Peppermint Bark Cookies

Peppermint Bark Cookies

I’ll keep this one short as I know everyone is in the last-week-before-Christmas craze.

At this point in December, you might find yourself with a box of peppermint bark laying around. Maybe you have already eaten it and maybe it won’t go eaten for another few days.

When I find myself with Halloween and/or holiday candy, I usually can’t help but put it in some sort of baked good. When applicable, of course! Nothing of the gummy variety will ever find itself in any baked good of mine.

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Pecan-Topped Toffee

Pecan-Topped Toffee

I was positive that I had already posted a recipe for this toffee but it turns out I had imagined the whole thing!

I was so certain because this is my absolute favorite sweet treat to make during the holidays. After getting over an initial fear of boiling hot sugar and butter to the hard crack stage, it is actually very, very simple and very, very rewarding.

I have very fond memories of making this toffee around Christmas with Popo over every school break for as long as I can remember. The process was always the same and the taste of it always takes me back to those happy childhood moments. As a result, I have become a toffee snob and will always hold this recipe in the highest regard even though it is literally four simple ingredients.

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Swedish Nuts

Swedish Nuts

Also known as Crack Nuts, Nuts on Crack, Incredibly Sugary and Buttery Nuts or "OhmayGod How Come I Can't Stop Eating These" Nuts. 

I am very particular when it comes to nuts. I don't mind them whole and salted as a snack or in a bowl that you pick over at a party. I only like salted peanuts on a plane because that's when they taste the best but will avoid them in say, trail mix and go for the cashews instead. 

I definitely do not like them in most cookies, unless they are ground so finely like in these Almond Crescents or macarons that I don't know they are there. And certainly not in cakes, brownies or doughnuts.  And never, ever in ice cream. Rocky Road and I were not friends as a child. Nor pistachio with chunky bits. 

Maybe it's a texture thing but I have never been one to enjoy the feeling that nuts leave in your teeth, especially in your back molars. 

So of course, it took me many years to like these nuts. 

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Chewy Spiced Ginger Snaps

Chewy Spiced Ginger Snaps

So, December is here.

And just a few months ago, I was reminiscing about fall

But now, Thanksgiving is over, I've spruced up my tiny apartment with some holiday cheer, it is now freezing by California's standards and the neighborhood yards have exploded with Christmas lights of all different colors. 

I'll admit, I used to be strictly a no-Christmas-music-before-Thanksgiving kind of gal but since churning out holiday work projects since August, I might have broken that rule just a few times. Some days, when it was still almost 100 degrees outside, I'd need a little something to put my mindset in the holiday season. I'd put my earbuds on, scroll through my various Pandora Holiday stations and choose something. Within seconds swelled the sound of uplifting trumpets and the suave voice of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Every so often, I'd slowly remove one earbud just to make sure that this was a silent endeavor. 

At about 15 minutes in, I'd turn it off and switch to something else. It just got too weird and felt wrong. 

And it still felt a little weird to listen to Christmas music the night of Thanksgiving

I think I'm starting to become a jaded adult. 

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