Rosemary and Apple Cheesecake

Cheesecake tends to make an appearance around the holidays every year - possibly because it's so decadent we can't justify it any other time. The problem is, though, that it's decadence for the sake of decadence and doesn't taste like a whole lot other than cheese. This version plays with classic flavours of rosemary and apple to make every bite a hit of holiday cheer.

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Sea salted brownies with truffle crème anglaise

So you think that chocolate and fungus don't go together? Well, as much as I like you, let me start by saying that you're wrong. Truffles aren't your average mushroom. They're earthy and deep, and in silken creme anglaise they elevate the chocolate brownie into a complex and plate-licking-worthy state.

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Bourbon Smoked Sugar Chocolate Shortbread

Why yes, I do love bourbon. Oh yeah, I totally love chocolate too. If you can get your hands on smokey, crunchy bourbon barrel sugar these are the things addictions are made of. If not, any boldly flavoured sugar (like orange or vanilla bean) will work well as long as they're large crystals that will add crunch to the outside while the centre remains buttery bliss.

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Chocolate Mousse and Salted Caramel Stacks

I first made a version of these treats at my friend Douglas' cafe The Mason Jar in Cheney, Washington. I was visiting and he was hosting a book club at the cafe. And you know, friends help friends bake. I love that you can prep everything in advance and then assemble just in time to wow guests with tiny treats it looks like you spent 15 hours on. (You didn't).

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Cornmeal and Candied Fruit Biscotti

Cornmeal and Candied Fruit Biscotti

People are intimidated by biscotti. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it's the notion that something bis- (twice) cotti (baked) must require more skills than making chocolate chip cookies. Trust me, they don't. They do take the tiniest amount more time, but you won't regret it at all. Especially because you're bound to break one while cutting the delicate logs into their final shape and official rules state that the cutter is also the sampler!

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