Holiday Cookie Exchange – Seven Layer Bars

It’s the year of the bar.

I’m serious you guys, think about it. Cupcakes have made their mark. Cake pops were all the rage. Donuts are happening now. Cookies have their moment ever year around Christmas.

Seven layer bars - love these!But where are the bars!? Heaven in your hand. More versatile than a cookie, easier to eat on the go than cake, these stackable delights are due for their revival.

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Pistachio + Cranberry Chocolate Bark

We’ve all been there.

Someone you weren’t expecting gives you a gift, and suddenly you’re left with 48 hours before everyone leaves the office for Christmas and no gift to give your surprise Santa.

Pistachio + Cranberry Bark - homemade gift idea!

Don’t panic. I’ve devised the perfect solution. All you need are 4 simple ingredients in your pantry, and you’ll be safe-guarded against impromptu gifting. Continue reading

Cranberry Apple Crisp

I have to admit it. I love me some Martha.
Cranberry apple crisp - make this for christmas dessert?
I flip through the pictures of her magazines, and browse her Pinterest boards and think to myself how nice it must be in Martha’s happy land. Where everything is perfectly braised, and you can not only knit your own socks, but match them with your perfectly stitched tea cozy.
But let’s be real. I’m not a tea cozy kind of girl. Which is why there’s another reason I love Martha. Continue reading

Nutella Coconut Macaroon Nests

I think Easter is one of the most underrated holidays.

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Speaking purely secularly here, think about this. You stuff eggs full of candy, hide them around your house, find them, eat all the candy, and then start on your chocolate bunny. Which is a chocolately representation of the magical rabbit that delivered the candy filled eggs to your house in the first place.

Is it any wonder I love Easter?

But beyond indulging my sugar cravings, I love Easter because it’s an excuse to get together with my family. Continue reading

Chocolate Pretzel Candy

Merry Christmas from The Culinary Capers! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, then I hope you’re having a fabulous December 24th and 25th off of work, and with family and friends!

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My gift to you this year: simplicity in the kitchen. You have stressed yourself out with holiday shopping, unexpected visits, and multiple trips to the grocery store.

But this chocolate pretzel candy couldn’t be any easier. Continue reading

Last Minute Gift Idea – Holiday Cookie Mix!

So, I had all this holiday baking planned. Post after post after post of snowman cupcakes, gingerbread houses, santa brownies, and more.

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Then I got the stomach bug. I’ve spent some prime Christmas goody-making time huddled under the covers, avoiding anything edible, and cursing my work schedule for packing 3 late nights on top of my already precarious condition.

Best laid plans, right? Continue reading

Melted Snowman Ginger Cookies

I had planned to make these melted snowman ginger cookies all weekend. It was just fate that it happened on the day we had a foot of snow dumped on us.

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Hello, Minnesota Winter. I see you’ve decided to join us this year. Lucky for you I have a kitchen full of candy melts, flour, sugar and spices.

Snow all you want to. I will sit inside and eat so many cookies that I become big enough to be my own snow plow. Who’s winning now, Mr. Snow? Continue reading

Cranberry Baked Brie Bites

Baked brie is sort of an obsession of mine. Gooey, melted cheese topped with something sweet, wrapped up in puff pasty? Where do I sign?!

It’s an awesome dish to bring to a holiday party, and it looks gorgeous until people start digging in. Then it gets tricky.

As tasty as it is, baked brie usually ends up becoming a mess. Slicing through the puff pastry layer, and attempting to get the ideal ratio of brie to pastry to sweet topping can be tough to wrangle.

And then you put it all on a cracker. That part always baffled me a little. As I sat there putting pastry on a cracker, I found myself thinking…why? Why am I putting pastry filled with cheese and sweet goodness on a cracker? It’s like putting bread on more bread and putting stuff on top of your double bread.

So, being the plucky problem solver that I am (not that bread on bread is a problem…if you’re into that) I devised a solution. Continue reading

Carrot Cake with Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Want to know why people love carrot cake?

Cream cheese frosting.

Let’s be honest with ourselves now. Carrot cake is a great idea. A cake that gets its moist texture from vegetables? Genius! But would you eat it without cream cheese frosting?

Would you really? Continue reading