Orange & Walnut Palmiers
These palmiers are reminiscent of baklava, without the tedious work of layering phyllo dough. The walnut filling is brightened with the floral essence of orange zest, then sweetened with a touch of honey. Folding the puff pastry dough is fun, and, after a quick trip to the freezer, you'll cut into slices and the signature palmier shape magically appears. You'll love watching them puff and take on color in the oven. We prefer these with coffee or tea for breakfast, or serving as an after-dinner treat. Bonus: they transport easily in an airtight container, so you can bring them to all of your holiday gatherings.
Strawberry Dust Meringues
It’s incredible what the combination of sugar and whipped egg whites can become. A shiny and fluffy mixture turns into light-as-a-feather meringues that are crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle. For success every time, be patient as you're streaming in the sugar—the slower you add it, the better the final result. To check for stiff peaks, hold the whisk upright. If the meringue holds up straight and tall (and doesn't droop downwards), you’re there. Once you've mastered the basic recipe, get creative by piping them into different shapes and sizes. One last tip: be sure to be a new, unopened bag of freeze-dried fruit for this recipe. If the bag has already been opened, there's a chance the fruit will be chewy and not crisp.
We dressed up our favorite Black and White Cookie recipe with a super easy spiderweb decoration for a sophisticated non-candy treat. To spin the tidiest web, you'll want to make sure that the base chocolate icing is completely cool before you pipe on top of it. We like to use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly across the flat side, but a regular old dinner knife works too. If you do a lot of cookie and cake decorating, invest in an inexpensive set of Ateco piping tips. Use a small round tip for the webs here, but if you don't have one, you can fill a sturdy resealable plastic bag and snip a tiny hole in one corner. That'll do the trick.
Jack-o’-Lantern Rice Kreepies
Did you know that you can mold warm Rice Krispies treats into all sorts of shapes? Ghosts, Goblins, even Jack-o’-Lanterns! We fashioned them into tiny beggars purses and hid leftover Halloween Candy inside. As if the classic marshmallow and cereal combo weren’t enough, kids (and adults) will love the surprise they find inside. To make easy work on shaping the sticky mixture, use damp hands or lightly spray them with non-stick spray. These will keep, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for a couple weeks, but we doubt they’ll last that long.