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1 Best of Holiday Baking | Almond Butter Blackberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies!

A fun take on the classic thumbprint cookie!  Check out another fave from by Lyndsay Sung of Coco Cake.
File these under: super easy and super delicious. Also, healthy-ish! I made them with whole spelt flour and pure maple syrup, and a ridiculously delicious, tartly-sweet, rustic blackberry jam my friends Ashley and Hayden gave me (Hayden made the jam). You can also replace the spelt flour with whole wheat flour (or regular all purpose flour), or rice flour to make these gluten-free! Oh yeah! You can also use any type of jam you like. I like a nice tart jam. I'm actually a bit jam-crazy. It's hard for me to resist an adorably packaged jar of lovely fruit jam. This recipe is easy-on-the-sugar and while it does have maple syrup, it relies on the jam for its sweetness.



1 cup of almond butter
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of whole spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Make it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This recipes yields about 1.5 dozen cookies!

1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract until well-mixed.
2. In another medium bowl, sift the spelt flour and salt.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until nicely combined.
4. Using a small ice cream scoop or your hands, dole out the batter into 1.5 inch balls on parchment-paper covered baking sheets.
5. Squash those balls right down with your clean, just-washed thumb! Make sure you've created a nice well that the jam can happily sit in.
6. Spoon your chosen jam into the thumbprint-created wells!
7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning baking sheets halfway to ensure even baking.

Chomp into these easy-breezy almond butter jam cookies (like I did, above)! Enjoy, Poppytalk readers!


0 Best of Holiday Baking | Chocomint Cookies with Milk Chocolate Middles

Continuing on our Best of Holiday Baking, we love the holiday flavour of these cookies Lyndsay of Coco Cake made for us back in 2011. Yum!

These rascal-ish cookies are very simple to prepare and holiday-ish in flavour - peppermint = holiday, right? They have a rich, fudgy consistency and are best eaten with a tall frosty glass of milk or hot tea. Or, bag these up in some sort of cute packaging and present as a holiday gift to a loved one, or co-worker! Cookies make a delightful homemade present! I love the contrast of the dark chocolate cookie with the milk chocolate middle, with that fudgy minty-ness. Quit asking people to choose which they like better! Dark? Milk? Why not both, in one cookie!?



1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract
1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
2 bars of nice fancy milk chocolate (or Lindt milk chocolate chunks - I used Lindt Piccoli "Extra Au Lait" couverture chocolate, but that might be too crazy fancy to find. Plus, how many names can one milk chocolate have? Piccoli, AND Extra Au Lait? AND couverture? seems crazy).

Make it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper (if so desired). Makes 2 dozen cookies.

1. Using a stand mixer or handheld beaters, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, like an angel's soft, cloudy bed!
2. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
3. Add pure peppermint extract to combine.
4. In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients to combine.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined.
6. Using a small ice cream scoop or your clean bare hands, dole out 1 inch balls onto parchment-paper covered baking sheets, a dozen per sheet.
7. Break up your chocolate bars into nice little squares. Place a square in the middle of each ball and push down with your finger.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets! Turn the pans once halfway through. Leave to cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks (or your mouth).

Rammerjammer these into your mouth (or daintily nibble away on one like a little cheese mouse) and enjoy!

3 DIY | Clay Eucalyptus Soap

Contributor post by Emily and Erick of HeidisBridge.com

Whether you're in need of a last minute-gift or just want to save money and DIY presents this year, this Clay Eucalyptus soap is a quick and thoughtful gift for the holidays. This soap feels luxurious with french green clay--the clay used at spas to draw impurities from pores--and a sudsy lather, but at a price that won't break the bank. Bonus: the eucalyptus scent will relieve stress and even help with congestion--perfect for soothing holiday-related stress and winter colds.

You Will Need:
-.5lb Goat Milk Soap Base
-1 tsp. French Green Clay Powder
-1 tsp. Melted Coconut Oil (Optional)
-Eucalyptus Essential Oil
-Pieces of Eucalyptus Leaves

1. Measure .5 lbs of goats milk soap base in a glass measuring cup. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the soap is all all melted.
2. Mix in 1 tsp. of melted coconut oil, if desired.

3. Add in a five drops of eucalyptus essential oil and mix.

4. Stir in 1 tsp. french green clay powder.
5. Add in tiny pieces of eucalyptus leaves for exfoliation.

6. Pour into your mold and let harden for an hour or so. Enjoy!

Heidi's Bridge


0 DIY 3D Geometric Paper Tree

Our ol' pal Meg Allan Cole is always up to some fun DIYs and today she sent along this cute little 3D Geometric Paper Tree she made on her Hand-Made channel for HGTV.   Maybe you can't get a tree this year because you're going out of town, or maybe you just want a modern take on some greenery this year.  Whatever the case, this project can be made big or small and turns out pretty sweet, (just like her dogs)

Check out her how-to video below:

3 Best of Holiday Baking | Pretzel Toffee Chocolate Bark!

Back in 2012, Lyndsay of Coco Cake Land made this recipe for Poppytalk during the holiday season.  It's a favorite of ours, and definitely worth being included in our Best of Holiday Baking series we're introducing this week! Check it out!

Gosh making bark is wonderfully easy. I love the look of it too - all avant-garde shards and shapes! Modern art for your mouth! Plus your ingredients can be anything you darn well feel like sprinkling in. I made two types of bark, dark chocolate with pretzel bits and toffee bits, and milk chocolate with pretzel bits and peanut butter chips. Honestly, the world is your oyster with chocolate bark mix-ins (although I wouldn't recommend seafood)! Go nuts (nuts are good). This bark is so great for holiday gifting, too - place some lovely pieces into a little bag, tape it up or tie it with a bow and voila, a delicious edible gift.

You will need a double boiler or a glass bowl set on top of a pot with low-boiling water to nicely melt your chocolate without charring it. I guess you could use your microwave too - sorry, I don't have one so I am not sure how you'd go about zapping chocolate but I bet it's only a google away! You will also need a parchment paper-covered large baking sheet.



4 cups of dark or milk chocolate (I used Lindt couverture chocolate, but any nice chocolate will work!)
1 cup of pretzel bits, crushed into pieces (I used my hands to crush them like a female wrestler)
1/4 cup (or more, to taste) of toffee bits (I used Hershey's Skor bits, which I believe is called Heath, in America)

Make it!

1. Melt the chocolate until smooth and beautiful.
2. Pour onto parchment papered large baking sheet. Spread with spatula to even it out on pan.
3. Sprinkle pretzels and toffee bits all over it!
4. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes until set, or in the fridge for 1 hour.
5. Remove from freezer and chop with a knife or break up into pieces with clean hands!

Note: Keep pieces refrigerated until serving time. If giving as a gift, make sure to let the giftee know to keep the bark in the fridge!