Praline Iced Spice Cake Petit Fours

I like to come up with a new recipe each Christmas to make as home-made gifts for my close friends and neighbors, so this year I decided to make iced spice cake petit fours.  The cake is a very simple, savory base, which as it baked, it filled the house with all of those wonderful scents of cinnamon, vanilla, molasses, and allspice that remind me of the holidays.

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Cranberry, Orange, and Pomegranate Marmalade

My mother will probably cringe my telling this story; however, it’s been one of those humorous memories my three older sisters and I share from when we were very young. One day our mom decided to buy fresh pomegranates to give us girls a special treat. So, she sat us down at the table, each with our section of pomegranate, and unfortunately for her, she left the room, leaving us alone with this strange new fruit.  As my sisters and I began to eat the tiny, juicy seed pods, we were fascinated by their taste and how our fingers turned bright red when you squeezed the seeds between your fingers.  I’m not going to say which one of my sisters started it, but someone discovered you could pinch the seed pod at a certain point, and it would shoot the tiny seeds up as high as the ceiling.  Well, our kitchen ceiling was white, the juice was bright red, there were four of us all shooting our tiny seeds at the ceiling, and you can guess what happened next.  Our mother never bought pomegranates for us again.  EVER!

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Quadruple Chocolate Espresso Drop Cookies

These insanely, chocolaty, indulgent cookies are not for the faint of heart so make sure your Valentine is worthy (and medically sound)!

How insane, you ask?  How about four different types of chocolate AND a double infusion of espresso?  That should get your blood pumping!  The best part about these cookies is they have a brownie-like, crunchy top, a chewy, chocolaty center, and a rich coffee flavor at the finish.  One bite of these cookies and you may decide you’re your favorite Valentine this year!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Tartlets

I made these delectable little chocolate-peanutty bites as dessert for our July fourth dinner this year. Since I have a more savory palate and my husband and daughter lean toward the sweeter side, the addition of the sea salt made us all happy. And they were just the right size for a perfect, sweet, salty, crispy bite!

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Coconut Macaroons

Every time I make these coconut macaroons, I get rave reviews. There’s something about that cross between a cookie and a candy bar that makes them so addictive; you have to appreciate them for their simple, sweet, chewy goodness.

And speaking of simple, there are only seven ingredients, so your prep time is short and clean up is easy. The most difficult part is waiting for them to be ready to eat!

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Mini Cinnamon Cupcakes with Snicker-doodle Frosting

Some days I just want a small bite of something sweet, so these mini cupcakes are perfect.  It’s also fun to bring mini-sized desserts to a family dinner or holiday get-together where there’ll be several sweet options from which to choose.  Mini desserts mean you get to try them all! Continue reading

 

Molasses and Clove Cookies

These delicious cookies fill your home with the smell of warm, rich spices while they bake, have all the classic flavors of gingerbread yet have a chewy, cake-like texture perfect for dunking in a glass of milk or eaten all by themselves.  Not only are these cookies great during the Christmas holidays, the spiced clove flavor is perfect for Easter too!

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Braided Apple Strudel

My husband’s long-time friend, Timm, came to visit us last fall, and during the visit, we took him to a German restaurant for lunch. When our waitress asked if we wanted any dessert, Timm’s eyes lit up with anticipation when he found out they served apple strudel. Then he found out the strudel had nuts, which he’s extremely allergic to, and the spark in his eyes was gone.

Seeing the disappointment on his face instantly triggered a plan in my head. I needed to make Timm a nut free apple strudel! So over Christmas break, my daughter and I made him this braided apple strudel. It had the perfect ratio of sweetness and spice from the apple filling, a buttery, beautifully braided, flaky crust, but most importantly – no nuts!

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