Citrus-Drizzled Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies - These are it, folks. These are hands down the winner year after year. You can never go wrong with these. They are crack, sweet delicious crack! The cookies themselves are amazing, even without the citrus glaze. But the glaze makes them a whole new experience! And have fun with putting the drizzle on, let your artistic side out and play around.
Earl Grey Tea Cookies - A new addition this year, and a very unexpected surprise. I have quite a few friends who dislike sweets and after trying a few different options, I found this recipe to be very popular amongst them. The recipe calls for low-grade earl grey tea, however I found some AWESOME loose leaf earl grey tea in the bulk section of the local store. As always, I added a little splash of almond extract (a baker's secret weapon for yumminess).
Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps - By far, the easiest of recipes and one I use every year. Melt some white and chocolate chips, then mix with rice krispies, fruit and slivered almonds and let set. I used dried cranberries as they are usually cheaper and I like the tartness of them, although last year I used dried cherries and that was also delightfully good. Secret step - add a good sprinkle of sea salt on top while the chocolate is setting, results are outrageously good! The better the sea salt, the better the taste (I sometimes use smoked sea salt).
Lavender Tea Cookies - I adore these cookies. Oh how I love my lavender tea cookies! I skip the frosting glaze (too sweet for my tastes) and of course, add some almond extract. If you haven't discovered the world of baking with lavender, you are in for a treat! For the holiday trays, I made these into little star shapes for an extra festive touch.
Mini Popcorn Balls - WARNING, highly addictive!! Oh my, I can't tell you how much popcorn goodness I ingested while making these. One popcorn ball for the cookie trays, one in my mouth. :) If you need to do a double or triple batch, ensure you have a large turkey/roasting pan. It makes all the difference!
Hazelnut Brittle - I modify the recipe by usually adding a wee bit more chopped nuts than called for. The recipe does not produce much so I always suggest doubling or tripling when making the brittle. Watch out for under cooking the sugar mixture on the stove; if you do not cook it until it is a beautiful golden brown, you will end up with hazelnut fudge of sorts. Which is what happened to me this year on the second batch! I used the leftover popcorn from the popcorn balls for my homemade Moose Munch.