Chocolate swirl challah

Wishing everyone who celebrates Hanukkah a happy holiday!

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made with eggs that is slightly sweet and super delicious. This variation is created using the bread machine (which makes baking bread soooo much easier) and is prepared with cocoa powder and  chocolate chips to add more subtle sweetness. Enjoy this at breakfast time, brunch, or just as a snack! It’s fabulous toasted up with some cream cheese or jam.

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Easy-as-pie lemon squares

In this house, we love lemon.

It’s easily one of our favorite things.

I know it isn’t a traditional holiday flavor, but our collection of baked goods on Christmas isn’t complete without [at least] one lemony dessert. And this one is very quick to make, especially if you are pressed for time.

I first found the recipe for 2-ingredient lemon bars online years ago… and I couldn’t believe how simple they were. It was just mixing a box of angel food cake mix and a can of lemon pie filling. (Easy-as-pie. Get it? I’m hilarious.)

Even though the bars were good, they were not even close to being lemony enough for my taste. With the addition of some extract and zest, they finally met my standards. Cut into small squares and dusted with powdered sugar, they’re simply perfect.

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Peppermint dark chocolate oreo truffles

OK, so these technically aren’t a baked good, but they’re damn good.

Chocolate + peppermint is an EPIC Christmas dessert combination… and if you throw Oreos into the mix, it becomes even more magical.

I first made Oreo truffles around 10 years ago, and have since tweaked the recipe. I have used 4 different Oreo flavors (regular, peppermint, golden, and peanut butter) and so far this is my absolute favorite variation. If you’re one of those people who hates mint chocolate, you can always use a different combination of Oreo, chocolate, and extract.

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Pumpkin cranberry oatmeal squares

Ah, December… It’s OFFICIALLY Christmas time (in my mind, at least!)

And Christmas time = baked goods.

From decadent breakfasts to Christmas cookies… December has it all.

*sings* It’s the most yummiest time… of the year 😉

Today’s recipe was inspired by my love of Nature Valley’s soft-baked oatmeal squares. I love eating these as I run out the door on my way to work. In my variation, there is no added fat or eggs. All of the moisture and chewiness comes from the use of canned pumpkin and dried fruit. And the best part of this recipe is the ease of it – it’s only 4 ingredients!

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