Cranberry Crumb Bars

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How is it already the middle of November?  I suddenly feel very unprepared for the coming holidays.  I have a lot of planned knitting to knit.  A lot of holiday baking to bake.  And of course there is work.  Yesterday it got cold and it was like suddenly my brain kicked in.  I have so much to do before the holidays!  And what did I decide to do with my freaking out about the way the days seem to have speed up around me?  I decided to make cookies.

It seemed only logical.

I love cranberries.  This time of year just screams cranberry to me.  When I was young my father used to make a cranberry pie.  It was delicious but so rich you could just barely eat a whole slice before surrendering.  But it was so so good!

These cookies remind me of my father’s pie.  They are delicious and rich, sweet and tart, mmmmmmmmm.  But they have two advantages over my father’s pie.  One, they take barely an hour from start to finish to make.  Two, they cut into much smaller portions so you have to eat two or three before raising the white flag.

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Spooky Spider Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Need an easy last-minute Halloween treat for tonight?  I got you covered.
Ok, maybe they are more cute than spooky.  I can’t handle spooky spiders.  They creep me out.
There is a rule at my house: if the spider is outside, especially outside around my plants keeping all the harmful bugs away, then that spider can live.  But if the spider comes into the house I can’t deal and it must be killed!
I really don’t like spiders.

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Kolaches

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The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!

I switched mine up a bit and gave it a Autumn flavor twist.  Instead of the traditional quark (cheese)  filling I made a pastry cream flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.  Then I switched the plum jam for apricot and added a few more spices there as well.  They came out delicious, if not the prettiest thing I have ever made.  I would definitely make the bigger pastries next time.  I was ambitious in making all the small ones but I think I would have found the bigger option easier to work with.

Still very tasty though, and that’s really the most important part.

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