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5 Dazzling Christmas Desserts

Every holiday dinner needs a show-stopping sweet finish. From Chocolate Pavlova with Whipped Mascarpone Cream to decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, these desserts all have serious wow-factor.
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Every holiday dinner needs a show-stopping sweet finish. From Chocolate Pavlova with Whipped Mascarpone Cream to decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, these desserts all have serious wow-factor.

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A pavlova is a cake-shaped meringue with a soft and marshmallowy center and crisp outer shell, usually topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. In this gorgeous chocolate version, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate are folded into the meringue and mascarpone cheese is added to the whipped topping. (Bonus: it's gluten-free!) GET THE RECIPE

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Baked pears are always so enticing, especially when served in a gorgeous pomegranate syrup. Make this light dessert a day ahead of time and serve with Italian-style cookies, such as Almond Biscotti, Double Chocolate Biscotti or Italian Cornmeal Cookies. GET THE RECIPE

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A rich, fudgy slab of flourless chocolate cake topped with peaks of light, marshmallowy meringue -- this cake is as impressive to look at as it is delicious to eat. GET THE RECIPE

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Made with cream cheese, ricotta cheese and a ground almond crust, the cake is a hybrid between an American-style cheesecake and an Italian-style cheesecake. It's a dream to make: unlike most cheesecakes, you don't have to worry about the top cracking (or fuss with a water bath) because it all gets covered with fruit anyway. GET THE RECIPE

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Just mention chocolate and peanut butter and people will swoon. This pie -- with a chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache topping -- lives up to the hype. GET THE RECIPE