Baking season has officially arrived, and with it, a host of activities that will have you donning your favorite apron and whipping up something scrumptious. And you won’t be alone – nearly six in 10 Americans say they plan to give homemade gifts during the holiday season, such as baked goods or crafts, according to a 2013 survey from Pew Research. This year, no matter what is on your social calendar, you can be the star baker with a few impressive recipes that are simple to make but leave a lasting impression. Consider these amazing sweet treats for the top holiday events of the season:

Holiday hosting

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Are you hosting a festive holiday party? Whether it’s a luncheon for friends or a formal dinner party with extended family, end the event on a sweet note by making the HERSHEY’S Gone to Heaven Chocolate PieThis indulgent pie is a little slice of heaven that will have guests begging for the recipe.

Meet the parents

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The holidays are a great time for new loves to introduce each other to special family members. If that thought leaves you worried, just make HERSHEY’S “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” Chocolate Cake and bring it to the big occasion. The rich layers of chocolate goodness are sure to help make an amazing first impression.

Cookie exchanges

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Whether it’s your first cookie exchange or you’re an experienced pro, it’s always fun to get together with friends and trade sweet treats. When you make the Double Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, you’ll have an instant favorite that will have all your friends buzzing.

Bake sales

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‘Tis the season for bake sales! Be sure to bake a winning treat to help raise money for your favorite groups and organizations. One delicious goodie sure to get scooped up right away is HERSHEY’S Ultimate Chocolate BrowniesAfter all, it’s hard to resist fudgy brownies topped with decadent frosting and dark chocolate chips.

Secret Santa

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Bake love into every bite to get on your secret Santa’s nice list! Try filling a colorful tin with the beloved Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookies. Instantly brighten someone’s day with this simple, yet delicious recipe. Just don’t forget to save a few blossoms for Santa!

Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe

Ingredients:
48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

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