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My current beverage obsession is the Moscow Mule, a cocktail made with spicy ginger beer, tangy lime juice, and vodka - all served in a copper mug. There are a few variations to the drink. Some swap lemon juice for lime or add fresh mint, but nothing beats the combination of fresh lime and ginger if you ask me. It's so zingy! That's what inspired me to make these caramels.
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The days between Christmas and New Year's Eve always make me feel a little fuzzy-headed. What am I supposed to be doing again? There are no more presents to wrap and I've actually had a chance to put my feet up! Perhaps I should embrace this small respite, because 2018 holds a big change for us. We've purchased new (old!) house, which you can read a little about here. I'm so excited about this new adventure, and over-the-moon that I will have my own little studio in which to bake and photograph sweet things. It's a dream come true, really!

I'm raising a toast to all of this newness with these little Champagne Gelées, which are so simple to whip up. They are sweet and boozy, and your reward for making it to the bottom of the glass is a chocolate truffle!
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Merry Christmas Eve, friends! I hope you've enjoyed my daily posts as much as I have enjoyed baking and sharing them. My final advent treat is yet another shortbread cookie recipe, but one can never have too many if you ask me. These were my husband's favorite this season. He loves all things toffee, and even though these cookies don't have an ounce of toffee in them, the toasted bits of coconut may trick you into believing they do.
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Yesterday I woke up with a powerful craving for red velvet cake, but with all the gifts to wrap and tidying to do, I knew I wouldn't have time to create a fancy layer cake. I decided to make a bundt cake because it's quick, and I'd have an hour to do other things while it baked.

Wow, talk about tasty! A thick layer of cream cheese filling runs through the center of the cake, and it tastes like a cross between vanilla custard and cheesecake! It is lovely inside and out - what more can I say?
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We're just days away from Christmas! Are you ready? I've not wrapped a single present yet, but I have been making scores of cookies. These Lemon Sparklers have been a crowd favorite with their crunchy exterior and cake-like interior. The dough is rolled in coarse sugar and as they bake, they puff and crackle in the oven. They glitter like jewels and look extra-pretty stacked on a serving plate.
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I've been hesitant to try my hand at homemade mincemeat, and now I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was mention of suet in many recipes (and I haven't been acquainted with that ingredient since this 2010 post!). Or maybe it was the seemingly endless list of dried fruits to procure. I'm happy to report that I found all the ingredients needed at my local grocery store, and it's not difficult to make! It's also SO satisfying to check that item off of my baking bucket list!
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If there were ever an opportune time to make this bread, it is now.  First of all - it's Christmastime! And this bread was named for the season by our Scandinavian neighbors. I've been told that Norwegians cannot imagine a Christmas season without Julekage. (Is this true?) Second, at the end of the baking day you'll have three gorgeous golden loaves, which means one to keep and two to give.
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I'd almost decided to forgo our tradition of panettone French toast this year and make these panettone muffins instead, but I've reconsidered. This bread deserves more than just one appearance at our table this month. It's only available to us in December, which makes it even more special to enjoy while we can.

Last week I purchased a loaf studded with candied citrus and dried cranberries. I felt it was destined for traditional French toast, until I remembered a favorite recipe for baked french toast.
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I was inspired to make these funny guys after reading about nisse (or tomtar) from Scandinavian folklore. These little fabled creatures have long white beards and pointed caps, and they are associated with winter and Christmastime. In older versions of lore most nisse are benevolent, but if they are mistreated then trouble is not far behind. Modern versions of nisse are said to bring Christmas presents in Sweden and Norway, like Santa Claus!
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These delicious salty-sweet squares are a wonderful hybrid of dark chocolate brownies and peanut butter candy. They are studded throughout with roasted salted peanuts which give them texture and crunch. The hardest part about this recipe? Waiting for the bars to cool so you can slice and eat them!
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