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Candied Orange Peel

Buying gifts can start to quickly add up, and it’s hard to not feel generous during the holidays. Though I try to set a budget for each person on my list, it can be really hard to stick to; I aspire to be one of the greatest gift givers in my family and sometimes overdo it. To help ease the pain on my wallet, while utilizing my knack for baking, I set out to churn dozens of sweets out of my own kitchen to give my favorite people on the planet presents that are homemade and edible.

I entered my culinary arena at 10 a.m. last Saturday and lost myself in batches upon batches of cookies, cakes and candies. When I finally came to, after a whirlwind day of stirring, mixing, and whisking, it was getting dark outside and I happily realized I spent the entire day in the kitchen. True, I was definitely proud of my accomplishments as I looked around my kitchen and admired my own work: freezer bags and Tupperware containers practically overflowing with holiday treats. But, I was also overcome with excitement as I imagined my confections wrapped in red and green paper, tied with ribbon. What was even more thrilling was the thought of them being eaten. Read More…

Oreo Truffles

The Christmas countdown has commenced and, for most folks, that means rushing out to malls and department stores, crossing items off their loved ones’ wish lists. For me, holiday anxiety comes from countless hours scouring my cookbooks, handwritten recipe collections, magazines and the internet, in search of the perfect cookie and candy recipes to wow family, friends and neighbors.

I have my staples: traditional chocolate chip, the always-a-hit Snickerdoodles, and my mom’s Chocolate Crinkles (which, just like her meatloaf recipe, I will never divulge).The old standbys never disappoint, but I do enjoy throwing in one or two new surprises to keep my recipients on their toes and always looking forward to the holidays.

This year, the internet has provided me with my latest addition to my rotation of seasonal sweets. It’s an unexpected twist using a classic cookie as the main ingredient and is both easy and inexpensive to make. The result is an overwhelmingly delicious hybrid of a cookie and candy – Oreo truffles. Read More…

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