Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie? Mine are the peanut butter blossoms. I’m a nut for anything chocolate and peanut butter (pun intended). Kevin, on the other hand, is a vanilla kind of guy: vanilla ice cream, vanilla malts, shakes…all scenarios where as I would choose chocolate without question. But one thing we agree on in our love for Spritz cookies. They are Kevin’s favorite Christmas cookie. Period. He loves the classic, crisp, buttery flavor of Spritz cookies. And, frankly, I have to agree. They are delicate, flaky and have the perfect crumb. Sign me up. Conversely, there is nothing worse than a bad Spritz cookie. Isn’t it so disappointing to bite into a cookie, expecting the buttery vanilla flavor, only to find something dry and flavorless? I have a winning Spritz recipe for you with a short ingredient list and a crazy easy way to make them WITHOUT a cookie press. Yup, you read that right, no cookie press.
Meet one of my new favorite homemade food gifts: Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Bark. Not only are the colors perfectly seasonal, but it’s a breeze to put together, lasts for weeks in the fridge and is a delicious combination of sweet and salt. Oh, and it has only 4 ingredients. How can you go wrong??
When Lisa and I visited Austin last June for the BlogHer Food conference, we met exhibitors, learned more about their businesses and sampled many of their products. One of the most memorable foods we tried was a side by side comparison of chocolate truffles (tough gig, I know!). The exhibitor claimed there was only one small difference in the truffles, but, boy, did it elevate one truffle over the other. The extra ingredient was a “secret sauce”….and now I’m sharing the secret with you.
Since I live in the tundra (affectionately known as Minnesota), I really have no choice but to embrace winter. Well, I actually have three choices: move, stay inside 6 months a year or get out and make the most of it. I choose to make the most of it. And although I don’t ski (Kevin so wishes I did, but chairlifts scare the daylights out of me), I will go ice skating, snow shoeing, make snowmen and go sledding. And my reward to myself after a day in the cold is this delicious Kahlúa Bread Pudding. Rich layers of eggy bread soaked in a Kahlúa, milk and egg mixture, and then baked to plump perfection. How can you resisit that? Comfort food at its best. Pour a White Chocolate Kahlúa Sauce on top, and you have just taken bread pudding to a whole new level.
Can I let you in on a little secret? I’m not really a pie person. Wait, I take that back. I love everything about pie FILLING, but I could take or leave the pastry crust. It just doesn’t do much for me.( I’m sure there is a collective gasp of shock rippling through our readers at this very moment.) Now don’t label me a complete outcast quite yet. There are certain crusts that I absolutely adore, namely graham cracker, shortbread and cookie. One of my husband’s favorite desserts is pecan pie, so when he asked me to make one, I happily obliged – with a few selfish modifications.
Is everyone tired of apple recipes yet? I hope not, because these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Biscoff Cookie Crust are just too good not to enjoy RIGHT NOW! While all of the ingredients are tasty on their own – caramel, apple, cheesecake, Biscoff cookies – the sum of their parts is simply luscious.