Prepare your home for guests by making festive desserts that go well with coffee and tea. They're a sweet ending to any holiday meal and a nice change from traditional desserts, such as Christmas cookies or fruit pies. The pumpkin squares and coffee cake can be wrapped and transported easily to send home with family and friends, bring to work or to give to a neighbor, too.

Pumpkin Squares

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Pumpkin Filling
1 (16-ounce) can of pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 can (13-1/2 ounces) evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

3/4 to 1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Mix the base ingredients until crumbly, and press into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 F. Mix the pumpkin-filling ingredients together in a large bowl, and beat well. Pour the mixture over the baked crust. Return to the oven, and bake 20 minutes at 350 F. Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl, sprinkle over the pumpkin filling, and bake 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven, and cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares. -- Karen, Kansas

Pumpkin Freeze Pie

2 quarts vanilla ice cream
1 (16-ounce) can of pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
3 8-inch graham-cracker crusts

Soften the ice cream at room temperature for 30 minutes. Combine the sugar, spices and pumpkin. Mix well. Fold into the softened ice cream. Spoon into the prepared crusts. Freeze until firm. -- Marie, Ontario

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

1 (16-ounce) can of pumpkin
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Streusel Topping
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, diced
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream

The cake goes together quicker if you make the filling first, then the streusel and then the cake.
TO MAKE THE FILLING: Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl, and stir to combine. Set aside.
TO MAKE STREUSEL: Combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add the pecans, and stir to combine.
TO MAKE THE CAKE: Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Add the vanilla extract. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream; mix well after each addition. Pour half the cake batter into a greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Sprinkle with half the streusel. Spread all of the filling mixture over the streusel. Top with the remaining cake batter. Sprinkle the rest of the streusel over the top. Bake at 325 F for 50 minutes. -- Nancy, Virginia

photo by jamieanne