Salted Chocolate Shortbread with Peppermint/Pistachios/Coconut

Chocolate dipped shortbread

It’s “A pair of Hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots/ Is the wish of Bonny and Ben/ Dolls that will talk and go for a walk/ Is the hope of Janice and Jenn!” …was my response to my coworker’s question, “who even knows those lyrics anyway?!”

I was then affectionately (I hope) deemed a Christmas nerd who probably has elf ears ready to wear at a moment’s notice :)  While I don’t have elf ears, I do have the banisters wrapped in holly garlands, a centerpiece of gold pinecones and nutcrackers, and seasonal soap, of course.

What can I say? I love the Christmas season. I often feel just as excited as Buddy the Elf. All the decorations, the music, the family time, the movies, and obviously the COOKIES. Oh! Remember these Spiced Molasses Cookies?! Or the Chocolate Walnut Sandwich Cookies with a Salted Caramel Filling? YES. Make them all.

Christmas shortbread cookies

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Chocolate Walnut Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with a Salted Caramel Filling

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Yes. You read that right. These cookies are outrageous. I’m gonna warn you up front – they just won “Most Addictive” in my office cookie competition…oh, I mean swap.

And there’s only a tiny amount of butter ;)

Hey, why not?! It’s Christmas! Let’s just go for it, shall we? You can skip out on something else later, but these cookies should not be passed up. They should also be the star of your Christmas cookie production line this coming week. I am a little biased though, because I happen to (correctly) believe that salted caramel is the stuff of gods – you could put it atop practically anything and it would sing with that heavenly sweet and salty river of flavor that rushes over your taste buds making your heart skip two beats and your knees weak.

…did I go too far? What can I say? It’s cookies like these that make me really really love running.

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Don’t stop now! Keep reading…

The Year of Making Things Happen

2012. The year of making things happen. I can, and I will. Job search in DC?…bought my ticket, and just went! BAM, just like that! Making that awkward phone call? Went for it. Crazy hard spin class? (sore for a couple of days) but, DID IT!

It’s also a year to be filled with many more delicious recipes. And to catch you up on the magic that happens when I don an apron, there have been sweets abound, but also more soup than I remembered to take photos of. The cupcakes were the lovechild of a “chilly” (read, 62 degree) California day and my joblessness. For the Super Bowl, Caitlyn and I decided, “why not?! it’s Christmas! let’s go for it!” and made “slutty brownies” (…because they’re oh so easy and just a little bit dirty) – definitely one of those things that makes life better.

I also HIGHLY recommend Joy the Baker’s vegan cream of mushroom soup!!! <3

The 2011 Recipe-a-Week Winners

Is it still a New Year’s resolution if you’ve kept it going for 13 months? Well, since I had so much success in France last year, I’ve decided to continue my resolution of making one new recipe every week (hopefully technically challenging, although we all have days that need “slutty brownies” – more later on that).

BUT FIRST, the 2011 winners: 

In the savory category…

Gnocchi from scratch with Annie in her lovely Dijon apartment!

Like little pillows of HEAVEN. Seriously, you need to make your own gnocchi stat. Worth it.

And in the sweet category…

A fabulous chocolate ganache chocolate shortbread tarte! (From Dorie Greenspan)

ohhh sweet baby Jesus, that tarte was to die for. With just a little dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top and the rich, yet crumbly shortbread, oh, and the oh-so-velvety ganache filling. I had people profess their love to me after eating this tarte.