chocolate almond toffee bars

Chocolate Covered Almond Toffee Bark

It seems that I inherited my sweet tooth from my Dad. Like me, he favors quick breads, cookies, and candies, and, like me, he also loves chocolate. When I saw this recipe for Chocolate Almond Toffee Bars, I knew it was the perfect treat to make for him.  I got my opportunity last weekend when we had a family gathering. I made sure there would be some extra pieces for my Dad to take home. What I didn’t expect was that he would have some competition for the leftovers…from my nephew, who proclaimed that all the leftover bars were his. I had to be the peacemaker and divide up the remaining pieces equally. It appears that a sweet tooth runs in my family. Note to self: Make a double batch for Christmas morning so Dad and little nephew could have as much as they want.

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almond and orange shortbread cookies

I have always loved reading catalogs from my favorite stores like West Elm, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and CB2.  To this day one of my guilty pleasures is leafing through pages looking for food styling inspirations and new props to use for plating.  I’ve been busy lately, but yesterday I finally had a time to relax with a cup of coffee, a cookie or two (or three) and my pile of catalogs.  Naturally, I found a few things I want so I folded down the page corners and left the catalogs conspicuously on the coffee table in the hopes my husband would get some hints for my upcoming birthday.  I wonder if it will work? Continue reading

valentine’s day sugar cookies

The thought of making decorated sugar cookies has intimidated me for years.  The whole process seems so laborious – making the dough, cutting out shapes, making the royal icing in a multitude of colors, and then actually decorating the cookies.  This year, however, I wanted to give a special Valentine’s Day treat to Audrey, a friend’s 5-year old daughter.  She loves cookies, especially sparkly ones.  So, I decided that I would make heart-shaped cookies for a sweet little girl. Continue reading