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Meatless Monday: Cookie Roundup

Whether you are invited to a dinner party and want to bring dessert, hosting a cookie exchange, or are having a rough day and need baking therapy, these three cookies will come to your rescue!

My friend Patricia invited me to join her family for Christmas Eve dinner and asked to bring sweets. I decided to go slightly overboard and bring three kinds of cookies: the more, the merrier! All of these can be done a day or two before and satisfy 99% of the people :)

The one pictured above is Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Saucisson. I remember my mom making chocolate salami when I was growing up in Russia, but it's been decades since I've tasted one, and I've never made one before. Until this past weekend. It was so easy!! If you like chocolate dessert, you'll love this. Bonus points: no baking required! The recipe calls for pistachios, cookies and dried apricots, which is what I used, but it'd be easy to play around with other nuts and dried fruit.

For the second cookie, I baked cookies with tahini from Zahav cookbook. I had a brilliant idea, if I say so myself, to use oxo cookie press: this made the entire process so much easier that the original method of using a cookie scoop! Anna, my twin, suggested I sprinkle half of the cookies with black sesame seeds before baking: it gave the cookies a slight crunch. These will melt in your mouth!

Last, but definitely not least, I made Pistachio, Cranberries & Orange Biscotti from Domenica Marchetti's Ciao Biscotti cookbook. I added cranberries into the dough and sprinkled the biscotti with sugar in the raw before the first bake. This is not the first time I've made Domenica's recipe, and as always it was a success. Patricia's family raved about these, and I may be just a tiny bit sad that I did not leave any for myself. 

The recipe was different from the ones I've used in the past because it called for separating the eggs and whipping the whites with sugar until the mixture becomes white and glossy. Only then do you add the egg yolks with honey and olive oil. The extra step wasn't too hard and the final results were definitely worth it!

Let me know what cookies you like the most!