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Let Them Eat…Dessert

Galette des Rois or King’s Cake

As I examined the tiny figurines curious to learn their story, the seller exclaimed “la fève, la fève, pour galette des rois”! I thought to myself “beans for cake”? My French leaves much to be desired, so luckily a fellow shopper noticed my confusion and explained in English that these figurines were small charms used in a traditional cake called Galette des Rois or King’s Cake. We were in France at the vintage and antiques market in Aix-en-Provence where the vendor we discovered had hundreds of these darling pieces.

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No Guilt Chocolate Fix Ideas

Anyone in the room who is a chocoholic, please raise your hand! Folks, I am guilty as charged. Whether it’s a gourmet chocolate and peanut butter candy bar or a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone, I can’t stay away. But I’m always trying to eat healthier, so I’m on the hunt for ways to have my chocolate and eat it, too, so to speak. I don’t think dark chocolate on its own is inherently bad in moderation, but oftentimes it is accompanied by all kinds of oils, sugars, or unrecognizable ingredients. And those who are trying to eat paleo, gluten-free, etc. often have a hard time finding good options. Plus, if you make your own, you can save money! So it really is time we get back to the basics and indulge our chocolate addiction with ridiculously simple no guilt chocolate fix ideas like these. Come along!

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3 Easy Recipes for Fresh Summer Peaches

July means peach season in Ohio! And while it can be hard to find peaches grown locally (except at Quarry Hill Orchards, which is fantastic!), I always know when peaches are in season as the markets are full. Those beautiful fruits filling up the racks are just begging to be used in an infinite number of recipes. Today I’m sharing 3 of my favorite ways to use fresh peaches. First, I’m always up for trying a new cocktail so I concocted this Bourbon Peach-Tea Cooler. Second, I got hooked on this peach burrata salad I had a few weeks ago so I am making it again. And third, one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make is a rustic tart with whatever fresh fruit is available – in this case, peaches! You could make any or all of these in one day. I dare say if you make them all at once it will be a veritable “peach feast”. 🙂 Let’s get started…

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Decorated Easter Egg Cookies

When I think of the Easter holiday and how it has evolved in my life, I feel so blessed to have been able to share it with family. When I was younger my mom would often cook a big dinner and we would all gather round and enjoy the day. Since I’ve been married, we’ve spend it with hubby’s uncle and aunt. They always welcome a big crowd into their cozy home and somehow make sure everyone has a place.

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Valentine Linzer Cookies

Heart Shaped Linzer Cookies

I have always wanted to make Linzer Cookies. The idea of these delicate confections with a candy-like view of the raspberry jam peeking through the cutout opening and dusted with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar just oozes romance, love and sweetness! What a perfect cookie choice then for Valentine’s Day, especially with some heart shaped Linzer cutters I found at the craft store.
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The Linzer cookie origin stems from the Linzertorte – an Austrian dessert from the city of Linz made with a crust including ground nuts of some variety (mostly almonds), filled with black currant preserves, and then topped with an intricate lattice crust. It is most often served at Christmastime. The Linzer cookie is just a smaller version of the torte with two cookies sandwiched together by jam or preserves. If you cut the hole in the cookie round, they are known as Linzer Eyes (Linzer Augen). And you can really use any cutters you have on hand – you just need a larger one for the base and a small one to cut out the jam peekaboo part. At Christmas time, stars can be particularly pretty, but oftentimes simple fluted round cutters are used. I also prefer to use raspberry jam over black currant but you could experiment, just make sure it’s good quality. And the powdered sugar dusting makes them almost too pretty to eat! …nah 🙂
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Let’s get started!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup finely ground almonds (I used Bob’s Red Mill almond flour)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add flour mixture only until incorporated.
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Divide dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator and roll out to 1/8inch thickness. Cut half cookies with the insert in the cutter and the other half without. Transfer to cookie sheet. Scraps can be refrigerated and re-rolled.
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Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool in pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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Invert bottom cookies, spread with a tsp of raspberry jam. Dust the top cookies with confectioner’s sugar; gently sandwich the cookies together. Makes about 30 cookies.
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And now it’s time to share with friends or family and enjoy a beautiful treat for Valentine’s Day!
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