Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating


It seems that for the past couple of years I’ve been out of town when the cookie exchange is going on at my office. I REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE MISSING THAT.

Oh how I long for those trays and trays of home baked goodies and going around in circles around the table filling up my large tupperware container. This is my idea of a good time and UGH…I MISSED IT AGAIN!


As you might have guessed, I love to bake. I love it even more when someone else is the baker and I get to be the TAKER.

This year, one of my fellow food bloggers who I follow on Instagram decided it would be great to host a cookie party right here in Toronto.




We each received the name and address of a “secret recipient” and the premise was to bake at least a dozen or more cookies, package them and mail or deliver them in person. I didn’t live that close to my secret recipient, so I let good ol’ Canada Post do my delivering right to her doorstep.

OH! And the good folks at Ghirardelli Chocolate sent me an amazing gift basket filled with everything I needed to make one of my all time favourite cookie recipes. Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti (or in Jewish terms – Mandelbread). With the selection of chocolate I received, I wanted to kick them up with a black and white ganache drizzle to add some glitz for this cookie party.



Now, listen. They are perfectly fine without the drizzle shnizzle but really? They look pretty darn nice with the chocolate dripping all over them don’t they?

I literally whipped them out of the oven, dipped them in a cinnamon sugar coating then let them cool. And man oh man I went to town with that drizzle. So much so that I think I ended up wearing half and the floor ended up wearing the other half.

I packed them up in a cookie tin, added a little baking gift inside, addressed the package and ran to the post office.

Thank you Sara @thekitchensinkblog for organizing this great cookie exchange!

I received mine from @hautesucre and let me tell you, they were nothing short of spectacular. Take a look at these gold dusted chocolate Christmas trees. I mean. Stop.



And speaking of gifts, I also received the most wonderful package from my niece @littlemissparty. She sent a wonderful photo book filled with beautiful memories from 2016 PLUS two dish towels from Target which I’m totally obsessed with and used immediately for this shoot. She certainly knows how to make her Auntie D. happy.

Cheers to the holiday season and to lots and lots of cookies!


CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BISCOTTI (MANDELBREAD) -3 eggs -1 tsp vanilla -1 cup sugar -1 cup oil -4 cups flour -1 tsp baking powder -1 8 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips -Optional – ½ cup each dried cranberries & sliced almonds -Cinnamon Sugar ( ½ cup sugar to 1 tsp cinnamon mixed together on a plate) -Optional Drizzle - 1 cup each dark & white chocolate chips, melted


1) Mix eggs, vanilla, sugar and oil together. Gradually add flour that has been sifted with baking powder. Just before it is totally incorporated add in your chocolate chips, dried cranberries and sliced almonds. Form into a large ball and cut the ball in quarters.


2) You will have 4 pieces of dough which you need to form into rectangular logs. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I use a silicone baking mat) and bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into ½ inch cookies.


3) Place them back on the cookie sheet and bake for another 10-15 minutes. As soon as they are easy to handle and not super hot, dip in cinnamon sugar mixture and place onto baking rack to cool. Optional drizzle. White and dark chocolate chips. (melt in a heat proof bowl over simmering water)


See you next week!

RecipesDebi TraubComment