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Whenever I make hot cocoa for dinner guests or visiting friends, I make it the old fashioned way with whole milk and heavy cream blended with high quality chopped chocolate. It simmers on the stove-top until steamy and then it's poured into extra-large mugs. An obscene amount of whipped cream is usually the finishing touch.

Without guests to serve, I'm more likely to make myself a cup of instant hot cocoa. I'm the only one in the house who drinks it regularly, and I find it's more convenient to make (and there's no pot to clean!). I've developed a powdered formula that can be poured into a mug and roused into a satisfying treat with just the addition of hot water or hot milk.

Hello and welcome to my favorite candy of all time! It's true. Chocolate turtles have everything I need in life- toasty pecans, chewy caramel and rich chocolate. A sprinkle of sea salt on top makes these turtles absolutely irresistible. They are dangerously simple to make and take about 8 minutes in the oven. This crowd-pleasing treat disappears quickly on a candy tray so two batches may be in order!

There's something about these cookies that feels delightfully old fashioned. Maybe it's the unfussy way the dough is patted out into long batons and cut on the bias, or maybe it's that they taste like buttery shortbread which is indeed a very old type of cookie.

The recipe is simple, though it takes a little longer than their 'split second' name implies. I think the moniker refers to how much time it takes to cut the dough into cookies - or maybe how long it takes to eat them!

Have you ever heard of The Famous Peppermint Pig?  It's a Victorian holiday tradition in the form of hard candy molded to look like a pig. The candy is accompanied by a little pouch and hammer so it can be broken it into pieces and shared with friends and family. This tradition has come to symbolize good health, happiness and prosperity. Even though the hard candy pigs are still in production today, I thought a cookie version would be cute, too!

Much as I love to dive into a lengthy baking project (and oh, do I ever!) sometimes simple is best. There's no better example of this than our long-standing holiday favorite - fudge. This recipe uses just four ingredients and it's super quick to make. I always use my microwave to make this candy, but if you don't have one then a stove top will work just fine, too.

One of my biggest joys of the holiday season is making my dogs Christmas cookies. They know exactly what I'm making when I get a special bag of flour out of the pantry - PUPPY TREATS! They immediately start turning circles and barking. Even though they totally boss me around for 30 minutes while I'm making the cookies, I don't mind because I'm hard pressed to find anyone more appreciative of a homemade treat.
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