vanilla bean thumbprints

As the holiday season winds into New Year’s Eve, I know more of you are thinking of starting diets than starting a batch of cookies, but I have a few new recipes from the holidays that are too good not to share!  This first one was inspired by two lovely food gifts from the year – a large jar of demerara sugar packed with vanilla beans, making a wonderfully fragrant raw vanilla sugar, and several jars of homemade jams from my auntie.    I knew I wanted to use the jam to make Jam Thumbprint cookies, a childhood favorite, but I needed just the right cookie recipe.  After a few false starts, I came up with this dough that has the perfect crisp outside-soft inside texture and adds a fragrant vanilla creaminess as a counterpoint to the sweet-tart jam.   Fast, easy, and really delicious, this one is a cookie all-star!

A Fine Kettle of Ish's Vanilla Bean Thumbprint

See those little flecks of vanilla cookie goodness?

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devilishly good

Folks, autumn is upon us and Halloween will be here in less than two weeks.  Why not take a leisurly stroll over to The Year of Halloween and check out my guest post, 5 Spooky Treats for Halloween?  From Living Lucurto’s sweet brains in a jar to Martha Stewart’s shattered glass cupcakes, these are some of the spookiest, ooiest, devilishly decadent Halloween treats around.

Image & Recipe via Living Locurto


the savory & the sweet

The September issue of Bon Appetit magazine has a feature on desserts made with salt or pepper, like Pink Peppercorn Panna Cotta with Macerated Cherries or this Devils Food Cake with Boiled Black Pepper Icing.

As you can probably guess from previous posts, I am a huge fan of salty and sweet desserts.   Also amazing are spicy and sweet, like San Diego local Chuao Chocolatier’s Spicy Maya, with dark chocolate, Pasilla chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  Readers, how do you like your desserts: savory and sweet, or straight sugary goodness?

brown sugar bourbon glaze

Thanks to everyone who showed up this weekend to the San Diego Food Bloggers Bake Sale!  We have a ton of wonderful San Diego food bloggers and the bountiful display of goodies for sale Saturday was nothing short of jaw-dropping.  Our Bourbon Caramel Cupcakes and Chocolate Cherry Bombs were a huge hit (sold out! Thanks, San Diego!) and I fielded a few questions during the sale on how to top a cupcake. 

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