Galettes de Perouges

Perouges is a small, fortified medieval city about 20 miles outside of France’s third largest city, Lyon. They have a variety of different dishes that are common to the area, but one dessert in particular is typically only found in this area. Galettes are a round or free-form creations made of dough and can be sweet or savory. These are most definitely sweet with a crispy, caramelized top and a buttery soft dough.
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Limoncello Cupcakes

Both the cupcake and frosting in this recipe are flavored with lemon and limoncello, but they manage to taste quite different from each other, working well in tandem. Lemon zest gives them an extra pop of freshness and the cream cheese frosting helps to balance out the sweetness of the sugar.

Vegan cream cheese and non-dairy milk can be substituted in this recipe to make it friendly to those with dairy sensitivities. I haven’t experimented with replacements for the butter, though I suppose it might be possible to replace it with some vegan equivalent. I’m not sure how it would stand up in the frosting though.
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Pear and Almond Tart

This tart is flavor-packed and will win over even those who don’t like pears. It is both mild and bursting with flavor at the same time and makes a great ending for a heavier meal.

You can use canned pears for the recipe, but it really is worth the time to poach the pears. Even lackluster, not-quite-ripe fruit transforms to a creamy and flavorful addition.
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Poached Pears

David Lebovitz has an excellent tutorial on poaching pears. I’ve used his guidelines to poach pears with the addition of white wine and vanilla beans to the poaching liquid.

There is some time involved in making these, but the result is truly outstanding. I’m tempted to work with this recipe to adapt a version for canning.

The pears can be eaten warm or chilled or included in other recipes.
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Cardamom Chocolate Toffee Cookies

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap partnered this year with Cookies for Kids Cancer to fund pediatric cancer research. With the help of brand partners and blogger contributions, over $13,000 was raised! In addition to the fund raising, the other great part is receiving 3 dozen cookies, Secret Santa style, along with some great goodies from sponsors! I was able to taste Wilde in the Kitchen’s Gingerbread Mallowmen, Yumology’s Apple Brandy Biscochitos, and Stir and Strain’s Molasses, Cocoa Nib, and Black Strap Rum Cookies. They were all delicious and it was fun to find new packages at home with a surprise cookie inside.
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