Baklava Bars

Baklava Bar Cookie In the midst of this maelstrom I’m always on the lookout for cookie recipes that are interesting, and special enough for the season, but that don’t take a lot of extra work. As soon as I saw these baklava bars, I knew I had hit the jackpot. A buttery cookie base with a crumbly topping of crispy phyllo and walnuts – what could be better? And you can bake a pan at a time and cut them into rich little triangles in no time flat. These taste affirmatively like baklava, but are also definitively cookies – which is a lovely half state to be in.

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Eggnog Rum Balls

Eggnog Rum Balls
So on to cookies. Because what is a celebration without cookies? I’ve always loved eggnog – it has been an integral part of The holiday. But as I get old(er), my tastes have changed, and drinking what is essentially a glass of custard has become less appealing. Enter these no bake cookies. Vanilla, nutmeg and rum, but in a convenient bite sized form. Now that’s something to celebrate!

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Sweet Potatoes with Gorgonzola Cream and Toasted Walnuts

Sweet Potatoes with Gorgonzola Cream and Toasted Walnuts #Thanksgiving I know that there are large factions of people in America who think a sweet potato isn’t worth eating if it doesn’t have marshmallows on top. I’ve tried to see that point of view. I like marshmallows. I have nothing against sweet things. Last year I even bought those canned sweet potatoes in syrup and baked them up, topped with marshmallows. My reaction was decidedly meh. No texture, no flavor – its like someone is trying to get kids to eat their vegetables.
For me, sweet potatoes sing when they are paired with something savory. Not maple syrup, butter. Not brown sugar, smoked paprika. Instead of the ubiquitous marshmallows, a salty sharp Gorgonzola. My signature sweet potato dish is the gratin with smoked paprika and cayenne I posted 2 years ago (an aside: where does time go?), but this one might just give it a run for its money.

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Panforte Margherita

Panforte 3
Panforte, a specialty of Siena, a hill town near Florence, dates back to the middle ages, when it was paid as a tax to monks and nuns, and was reportedly carried by Crusaders on the crusades. A combination of fruits and nuts, honey and sugar and spices, it is a cross between a caramel based candy and a cake. It is also utterly addictive, with a satisfying chew from the fruits and the caramel, and a crunch from the nuts.

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