Holiday Bake-Off

Nothing says the holidays like a good old-fashioned bake-off. At work, we went all out with a bake-off for our entire department, specifically pitting the two big teams against one another. I wasn’t going to originally make anything… I don’t know, I couldn’t get motivated and had other plans the night before. But then my director e-mailed me: “You’re our ringer! What are you making?”. EEK. The ringer? Well, OK then, I’ll make something!

With just hours to decide, my mind flashed back to some cocktail cookies I’d seen in Food & Wine magazine in their November issues. Specifically the Rosemary, Almond, Parmesan Cookies and the Chocolate-Cayenne cookies called my name. The vote was pretty much tied about which one I should make, so I made both! Let me tell you, two happy hours and then baking at home is one fun adventure.

The cookies were a hit. I wasn’t exactly the ‘ringer’ but it was much appreciated to have a variety of things on the table and they were VERY well received. Everyone had their favorites – there were the rosemary people or the chocolate people, but both were packed with flavor and struck a chord with the crowd! The rosemary cookies were fragrant and flavorful without being too sweet. They were flaky, savory little crisps that really took the tasters by surprise. They would be a spunky accompaniment to a cocktail or glass of wine at your next party. The chocolate-cayenne cookies also had a huge following. The chocolate hits you first and then in the middle of your experience you get a little heat and it lingers with you in the end. I’ve recently been turned off by really heavy chocolate flavors, but despite their dark heavy-looking color these cookies were not too intensely chocolate and I loved their kick.

Both these 1 1/2 inch bites will wow, I’m sure of it, whether it’s just you or your next cocktail party. Give your mouth a mix of flavors this year and show them cookies don’t always have to be traditional.

Rosemary, Almond Parmesan recipe here

Chocolate-Cayenne recipe here

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