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This is one recipe that I've been meaning to add to my recipe index for ages. Back in October I asked my Facebook friends what kind of traditional holiday sweets they cook up in December. My Ohioan friend Tina said "It's not Christmas in Ohio without buckeyes." That made me reflect upon the last time I had them, which was almost too long ago to recall! I added them to my advent list that very moment.

Stirring up a batch of bubbling mulled cider is one of the coziest ways to get into the holiday spirit. Last year my mother-in-law gave me an ornament filled with mulling spices that she found at a local Christmas market. It was a lovely little thing to get, and so useful! I knew it was something I'd like to give because I enjoyed receiving it so much.

I recently had a wow moment when I first sampled whipped shortbread. It has the buttery flavor you'd expect from Scottish shortbread, but none of the denseness. These cookies are much more delicate with a texture that practically melts in your mouth. After making my first batch I kept urging anyone in close proximity 'YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE' which was really bossy but I felt it was in their best interest.


Bûche de Noël is one of my favorite traditional Christmas cakes to make because it is equal parts delicious and beautiful. It's a holiday centerpiece you can eat! I've made a few different versions over the years including 2015's Mulled Wine Stump de Noël, a Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Yule Log in 2013, and as far back as 2009 (my first year blogging!) with a step-by-step version that still sees a lot of traffic each December.

I'm happy to add another flavor to the list with this Black Forest Swiss roll. Tart black cherry plays well with dark chocolate sponge cake, and whipped vanilla buttercream tips to lighter side and gives the cake balance.

Bags of pfeffernüse cookies start appearing in the seasonal aisle at my local grocery store around December 1st, and it's a welcome sight. I've yet to try a scatch-made version of the cookie (it's on my list) because I always go a little overboard purchasing my favorite ready-made variety. This year I bought a literal armload, so with such a surplus I've been incorporating them into some of my favorite recipes. Like this one!

My little cousin Hannah is participating in a 4-H Christmas cookie competition, so she came over last Saturday and we had a baking day. We put our heads together and came up with these eye-popping green and red sandwich cookies, which I think is a winning recipe no matter the official outcome.

During assembly, Hannah commented 'they kind of look like macarons except these are waaaay easier to make!'  Never a truer word spoken, my friends.
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