Hey! How was your Thanksgiving? We had a lovely break, spent with family and friends.

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I could go for one more week “off” just to catch up from all of the stuff I’m now behind on because I really took a break. Of course that break didn’t come until Saturday…after the craziness of the week had died down. I don’t do Black Friday. It might be due to a long career in retail, or this year, it might be because I was throwing a birthday party. (Yep, it was the birthday party.)

Sometimes we actually do go out on Black Friday, not to shop, necessarily, but just to witness the energy and chaos of the day. It’s pretty relaxing if you’re just browsing around checking out all stores and not trying to hit any specific sale or get a specific item. Then, if you find something, it’s more like an unexpected surprise instead of a hard fought for deal.

25 Sweet Holiday Treats square

Now that that’s all over, it’s time to get serious about Holiday Baking 2016. To kick the big baking season off, I’m running down a list of ideas from holiday blog posts past; many are favorites that I make every year. First, check out my 25 Sweet Holiday Treats post. No…really… go check it out. There’s lots of great ideas there that you don’t want to miss from cookies to candies to breakfast ideas!

Once you get through that list…here’s a few more ideas to inspire you…

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Egg Nog Kringla– This has been a favorite for many years for me and my daughter. (I guess you could count my son in there too. He never picks a favorite, he always says he likes aaaalllll the treats :) The cookie is light and fluffy; it’s almost like a little tea cake. The egg nog flavor is present but subtle, and for those that love freshly grated nutmeg, and we do, that little bit sprinkled on each cookie really adds so much to the flavor.

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Minty Cocoa Snowballs– Ah, a traditional favorite with a twist on the flavor. Still buttery, but now chocolate flavored and full of creamy peppermint chips. Melt in your mouth yum!

Raspberry Almond Cake 13

Raspberry Almond Cake– This recipe was sent to me by a reader and it doesn’t disappoint. Raspberry almond is one of my favorite flavor combos and it’s perfect in this cake. Enjoy this delicious cake for breakfast, brunch, tea or dessert. I think the berries are so festive!

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Jammy Thumbprint Scone Bites– Remember when I said I loved raspberry and almond? Well, this is one more way to enjoy that flavor combination. I’m a huge scone lover and this little invention makes for the perfect bite…a buttery vanilla almond scone, filled with raspberry and drizzled with melted white chocolate.

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Orange Olive Oil Cake– Some of my longer term readers will remember this one. It’s one of those unexpected cakes, filled with fresh orange flavor and… olive oil! No need for butter here and yet, it’s sort of like a buttery pound cake! It’s easy to mix up, yet has an air of sophistication. It’s wonderful for any time of day. Oh! And if you read that post, you’ll find that this cake was inspired by a restaurant I visited in Santa Monica, that…wait for it….is now opening up in a location that I can get to by car :) Sooo excited for that! I hope the reality measures up to the memory…

Alrighty then…I’m off to bake, but I’d love to hear from you. What are the top 3 things that you absolutely, positively, without a doubt, must make each holiday season? Go!