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Sweets

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Nutella & Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

December is a month full of family, friends, and loved ones alike. It’s a great time for looking back at the year passed to reflect on all accomplishments and triumphs, and focus on changes you would like to make in the year to come… to continue practicing the gratuitude brought on by Thanksgiving, and show your love to those that you truly care about. But above all other things- December is for sweets: Cookies, cakes, candy, sugar, sugar, and more sugar.

Servings: 3-4 Dozen Cookies, depending on how you scoop them

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

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Pate Sucree

Pate Sucree(sweet crust pastry, or sugar paste) is used in many confections- my particular fave would be tarts. Being my go-to dough, not only is it easy, but it’s subtly sweet flavor is what I believe to be the perfect dessert.

Servings: 1 Large Tart or 2 Small Tarts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

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Mixed Berry Tart

I hate seeing food go to waste… especially when there are berries involved. The second I see my fruit taking a turn for the worst I seal them in an air tight bag, date them, and store them in the freezer. You never know when frozen berries will come in handy. During a routine refreigerator raid in an effort to clear out some left overs I found myself with extra Pate Sucree from Thanksgiving confections. That’s when I decided it was time to break out the frozen berries. Yesterday I married some frozen bluberries and a pack of what I remeber to be the most delicious raspberries I enjoyed all summer… the result was delightful.

Servings: 1 mini Tart

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

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Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles with Fleur de sel

Preparing for Thanksgiving is both a physical and mental feat.  There is a lot that falls in between going head-to-head in cart wars at the grocery store and the dreaded clean-up of a feast for the masses. First you will need to lay out a meal plan and hope that it suits the tastes of everyone joining… then hours of prepping, only to realize at least once, but usually twice or more, that you need to revisit the supermarket… finding room for of all the ingredients needed to prepare the typical 1300-calorie per person meal… all while trying to keep up the holiday spirit and not lose your mind.

There’s a whole array of Holiday treats that are essential for a Thanksgiving meal- but I believe COOKIES to be essential for Thanksgiving sanity. Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite types of cookies… stuff them with caramel, add some sea salt to your mix of cinnamon and sugar, and you’re sure to have a breath of sweet relief from the day’s stress with each bite you take.

Yield: 4 Dozen small cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

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Blood Orange, Chocolate Chip, & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Seasonal ingredients are so special to me. There is something about the exclusivity of an item that brings such excitement to any recipe. Like a kid on Christmas morning, every January I am constantly on the look out at every local produce section and farmers market in the area for the gem of a citrus known as the Blood Orange. Be sure to post haste in finding them because come April or May their crates will be empty and you will have nothing but a fading memory of the ruby tinted rind, and naturally sweet fruit to last you until the next year.

Servings: 1 Pint

Prep Time: 30 minutes and 2 hours of inactive prep

Cook Time: 35 minutes

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Homemade Granola

Old-Fashioned rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, honey, chocolate, candy, puffed rice cereal… you name it- it probably goes marvelously in Granola. Through plenty of years, and tons of diets, I finally found a combination that I believe to be a simply perfect compliment to yogurt, ice cream, or even just enjoyed on it’s own. Let me know how you like it!

 

Servings: 15-20

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

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Quick Berry Compote

I can guarantee that we have all been at a point where we needed something else to dress up that sweet treat, but just don’t have it in the cupboard. From here on out- instead of throwing away those berries that are on the border of starting to become furry and completely inedible- throw them into an air tight zip-lock baggie and store them in the freezer for just this very reason. This is quick, suprisingly easy, delicious served both hot and cold, and you don’t feel bad throwing away mother nature’s delicious candies.

 

Servings: Variable

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

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Fifty-fifty Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt. I go both ways with it… Offering countless health benefits, there is really only so much you can eat before remembering it’s just yogurt and you’re completely sick of it- not matter how good it is for you. Many will flock to those sugar-laden, artificially flavored brand names that offer a zillion different flavors and are so easy to revert back to (No judgment), not even knowing how easy it is to make it on your own. Give this recipe a whisk and see for yourself.

 

Servings: 10

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

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