Hot Cross Buns and Bread

It may be snowing out today, but I know spring is on the way. It’s been a long winter here! Easter will be here soon, and it never seems right without some Hot Cross Buns. I will make these again on Easter! Every year I get into the mood for Hot Cross Buns and this year is no different. I have tried various recipes and the one I made this year really hit the mark. The blend of spices is just right for what I like. Like so many other foods, what you grew up eating and liking, sets the bar for something tasting “right” when you get older.

Hot Cross Buns and Bread

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Almond Cherry Biscotti

For the last few years I’ve been making some kind of biscotti at Christmas time. I usually go for the sweet cookies but decided to try it,  I loved it…dunked in a cup of hot, good coffee. I’ve been making it every year since. This recipe with almonds and dried cherries is my favorite.

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Date and Walnut Loaf with Caramel Sauce

This Date and Walnut Loaf is totally delicious! It is moist and full of dates. I added a caramel sauce over it, as it really is more of a dessert that it is a quick bread. It is not overly sweet without the caramel sauce and since I am really into sweets, it just seemed perfect! And it is!
If you like things not so sweet, this is also terrific with some cream cheese smeared on top of a slice. That’s what my friend Ann does and it’s her recipe.
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Santa’s Helpers ~ Special Walnut Cookies

These are a special cookie for Santa’s Helper’s and don’t forget to save one for Santa too! The brown sugar cookie part is yummy and the sour cream and walnut topping is soft but crunchy. Add some drizzle and sugar glitter and you have a wonderful, special cookie!

Santa's Helpers ~ Special Walnut Cookies|Baking Blond

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Apple Chutney with Brie

Are you planning a holiday party? Do you have friends and family that like to drop over? Would you like to have something to offer with that glass of wine or whatever the drink of the day is? If so, then this may be the perfect recipe! Make this now, stash it in the fridge, ready to pull out and spoon over warmed brie or cream cheese… I’d go with brie, just because I love it.
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Chocolate Fruitcake with Dried Fruit and Baked Multiple Ways

Recipe titles can be hard. I couldn’t think of any other way to describe this recipe, because I wanted to emphasize that there are options on how you bake it.  I was in the mood to experiment, wanting to see what would work best. I’ve made this recipe as regular fruitcake in the past, but for many, fruitcake seems to have become a dirty word… there’s just too many jokes about it.  Besides that, I am not sure that this really is a fruitcake. It has plenty of  fruit, nuts and rum, but it also has plenty of cake, and the cake is nice and soft. Such a dilemma…what to call it? First, let me show you what I ended up with:

Chocolate Fruitcake with Dried Fruit and Baked Multiple Ways
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Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread Slices

Cookie baking time is here. I wait all year and watch for interesting recipes. I have my old favorites but every year I try a few new ones that sound good. This is one of the new recipes for this year.  It’s going to be a keeper for years to come. I love orange and chocolate and this recipe has just the right amount, yet you can still enjoy the buttery shortbread flavor.
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