chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls with mascarpone orange glaze

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Mascarpone Orange Glaze

We normally have my family over for a big Easter Sunday celebration, complete with an egg hunt, but not this year.  Since I’m getting too old to be crawling around the bushes hiding eggs, and my nephews are way too old to be hunting around for them, our family plans never materialized. My husband and I ended up having a quiet holiday weekend alone, with plenty of chores, and our taxes, to keep us occupied.

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blood orange hazelnut muffins

Blood Orange Hazelnut Muffins

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, if I had these muffins, I’d eat breakfast every day. Heck, I’d eat two breakfasts a day. Unfortunately, this type of logic doesn’t follow healthy dietary guidelines, so I go without breakfast on some mornings and relish the days that I can indulge.

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almond bread

Almond Bread - 05

Just like many of you, I do a lot of baking during the holidays. Over the last couple of weekends, my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer has been in constant use and the sweet smell of warm vanilla, butter, and sugar has been wafting from the oven. I love to bake treats to serve at family gatherings, to take to work, and to give as gifts. I always make a variety of items:  a couple of my favorite cookies, a newly discovered treat or two, and a few special requests, all for the delight my family and friends.

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pumpkin cookies with brown sugar & orange glaze

pumpkin cookies

Aaaaah!  It’s finally starting to cool off here in Southern California, which really gets me in the mood for fall baking. I look forward to this time of the year, when I can relax with a cup of hot cocoa and a sweet treat.  A couple of weeks ago, I featured a pumpkin coffee cake, and this time, I have a pumpkin cookie recipe to share with you. If you are a fan of soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, you will definitely like these. They are tender and fluffy, almost resembling mini cakes.

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lemon shortbread cookies

Yesterday I needed a break from the weekend chores so I decide to make some shortbread cookies.  They are easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand.  This recipe is adapted from one given to Aunt Janet by Mrs. Beaten, a Scottish neighbor of hers when she lived in Hilo, HI.  These cookies have a great lemony flavor and are perfect with a cup of tea.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Beaten
Yields 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon (preferably meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, finely chopped for garnish

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