Yasmina Jacobs, who runs the bursting-with-ideas website Eat Make Celebrate, shares a few sweet and savory snacks that she says will impress anyone (even a finicky boss).

Joann Pan OWN
Posted: 10/02/2015 09:10 AM EDT
Edited: 10/02/2015 09:10 AM EDT

Yasmina Jacobs

The Buttery, Flaky, "You Made This?!" Pastry

Homemade croissants don't require any special ingredients, equipment or degree in French viennoiserie. All you need is time, so the dough can rest and rise. Eat Make Celebrate's Yasmina Jacobs walks newbies through each step in this uncomplicated recipe, which basically consists of combining yeast, warm milk and sugar with flour, butter and salt; shaping the risen dough into crescents; and, baking until puffed up and golden. Serve the croissants with jam and tea for a très Parisian morning, or afternoon snack.

Get the recipe: Croissants

Yasmina Jacobs

The Antidote to Pumpkin-Muffin Overload

For this twist on a fall classic, Jacobs turns old-fashioned caramel apples into a breakfast (or -- who are we kidding? -- anytime) indulgence. She suggests using store-bought puff-pastry dough, or sheets, as a shortcut, since the real star here is the rich, toasty tone of the caramel and apples. The other fabulous trick to this recipe is to bake the buns in a muffin tin. This keeps each treat from spreading out too much, and will ensure there are no squabbles over who gets the biggest one.

Get the recipe: Apple-Caramel Spice Buns

Yasmina Jacobs

The Cupcake They Never Saw Coming

Cupcakes at an office get-together? Yawn. But individual cakes with a totally unexpected filling? Now you've got our attention. They're a lot easier to make than you'd think: Just bake cupcakes as usual, let them cool then use a sharp knife to remove a cone-shaped piece out the center of each cake. Fill with sprinkles, rock candy or mini anything: M&M's, Reese's Pieces, gummy bears, SweeTARTS or other tiny sweets, then cover with the reserved piece and frost.

Get the recipe: Candy-Filled Cupcakes

Yasmina Jacobs

A Step Up for the Traditional Bake-Sale Bar

Jacobs' next-level Rice Krispies Treats redefine the back-of-the-cereal-box dessert. First, she folds in chopped candy bars (Snickers, Rolos, Milky Way or Twix all work well). Then, once she's pressed the bars into the pan, she drizzles melted dark chocolate and caramel sauce on top, finishing with sea salt for an unreal salty-sweet combination.

Get the recipe: Salted-Caramel Rice Krispies Treats

Yasmina Jacobs

The Seasonal Cakes You Can Make Ahead of Time

Cheesecake is always a crowd-pleaser, but it's a chef-pleaser, too, since it tastes even better after spending a night in the fridge. To make these beauties, you can use any kind of cookie crumbs, using anything from graham crackers to Nilla Wafers. The filling is just cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream, spices and a few spoons of maple syrup. Make them in cupcake wrappers for easy serving.

Get the recipe: Maple-Spice Mini Cheesecakes

Yasmina Jacobs

The All-in-One Savory, Salty Bite

If your gathering is taking place in the late afternoon, or evening, and there are cocktails involved, look no further than these crisp, flavorful, just-a-little-bit-spicy cheese straws. They combine the crunch of breadsticks with the rich flavors of Parmesan and sharp cheddar, and beautifully complement wine, champagne or punch. Stand them up in a glass to serve, surrounded by grapes or berries.

Get the recipe: Cheese Straws