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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.

These pastel peppermint truffles will add festive color and flavor to your holiday candy tray, and as far as candy-making goes they are some of the easiest! The minty centers are made with the usual buttercream frosting ingredients - butter and powdered sugar - but a helping of cream cheese gives the truffles a delectable tang.

Hello December!

Today begins the advent of treats that I've been planning for all year! Some of you may remember that I did this last year, and the response was pretty awesome so I decided to do it again this year. That means you'll have a new recipe to enjoy each day until December 25th. This year the recipes will range from easy and accessible to creative and unique. Above all, these treats make great gifts! I've always felt that homemade gifts are the best gifts, so I hope you can use these recipes to spread some holiday cheer.

We're kicking things off with these fun and creative Spirograph cookies! Did you ever have a Spirograph as a kid? I did and I loved it! After finding these fine-tipped FooDoodler food color markers, I just knew they'd be fun to use with a spiral drawing tool.

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the first day of December and I'm so excited because it begins my month-long posting of Christmas advent treats! Each day until the 25th I'll have a new tasty holiday treat for you to enjoy. The first one is really unique and creative, so be sure to check it out tomorrow.

Now. This pie!

This pie is my family's evergreen favorite. The only good excuse we need to make it is to satisfy a craving - although it shows up at almost every holiday gathering and family function. It's been gifted as an expression of appreciation, but also in times of celebration and bereavement. It is almost our family's currency of love.

We are just days away from Thanksgiving and even though I'm not doing the bulk of the cooking this year, I've got a hefty menu of desserts to make. I'm looking forward to going to my parent's house for the feast. Mom always has a lovely place setting for her dinner guests with colorful leaves and other natural elements. That's what inspired these almond pinecones. You can use them as edible decor at each place setting or bag them as takeaway gifts. Or you could just serve them on a dessert tray next to the pumpkin pie.

This fall I began a new tradition of ordering myself a batch of apple cider donuts from Vermont. I could make them myself (and I have) but the cider mill that produces them "the old fashioned way" makes the luxury too affordable to pass up. They are delicious as-is, but I've found a few new ways to amp up their cinnamon-spiced goodness!
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