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Dessert

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Chocolate-Peppermint Puddle Cookies

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

I think chocolate and peppermint is one of the best flavor combos, so naturally these thumbprints are some of my favorite Christmas cookies. I’m a sucker for dark chocolate so I like bittersweet bars for the ganache filling. If you prefer a sweeter version, semi-sweet chocolate is also a great option.

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Stained Glass Christmas Tree Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

These cookies were so fun to make with my 3-year-old. His job was smashing the Life Savers with a rolling pin and filling the “ornaments” with the crushed candy. To prevent waiting time, make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding

Serves 6

Sometimes simple is the way to go. That’s how I feel about this pudding. It doesn’t have any fancy garnishes. It’s not super trendy. It’s no fuss. It’s my trusty dessert that’s super easy and versatile. Need a quick pie filling? This is it. Want to make the recipe your own? This one fits the bill too. Add some espresso, peppermint extract instead of vanilla, add a bit of rum—the options are endless.

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Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 8

I was in Seattle last week and finally experienced some fall weather. So, I can now say that I am ready to embrace pumpkin mania. These cinnamon rolls are the perfect weekend treat: tender pumpkin bread dough filled with a swirl of pumpkin pie spices and slathered with a decadent maple-flavored frosting. What’s not to love? Find maple extract at your local grocery store (I found some at Food Lion), or order online.

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Ginger-Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 12 sandwiches

Well, it’s October and it’s still 85° outside. And while I’m craving fall flavors—pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger—it’s still too hot for cozy desserts. My solution: These soft ginger cookies that sandwich silky lemon custard ice cream. Ginger and lemon are a natural pair, and this dessert is the perfect way to welcome the changing season. Feel free to trade the lemon ice cream for vanilla bean (or even pumpkin since it seems to take over this time of year). Want to know another secret? Sometimes I cheat and buy ginger cookie dough to make an impressive dessert in a pinch.

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Sugar-Crusted Strawberry Shortcakes

Serves 10

A pillowy dollop of Coconut Whipped Cream is the perfect pairing to the macerated strawberries and crunchy sweet biscuits of this dessert. If you’d prefer, substitute whipped organic cream sweetened with cane sugar, honey, or pure maple syrup.

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

Makes 1 cup

This is one of those cool “who would’ve thought” recipes, and if you’re lactose intolerant or just want a healthier option, it’s a great mock whipped cream. Don’t throw away the coconut milk liquid you set aside in this recipe. Use it to add extra flavor to Thai-inspired dishes, or try it as the liquid in your favorite homemade smoothie.

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