This Orange, Whiskey and Star Anise curd is the newest arrival in my ongoing curd obsession. I love curd. Virtually every cake I make is filled with a curd, whether it’s my mango and lime recipe, a classic lemon curd, raspberry curd or an exotic passion fruit curd. I love how versatile they are. I use them as a snack with yogurt, as a dip, to spread on scones or to fill cupcakes.

OWSA Curd

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These chocolate and orange rugelach cookies are a twist on a traditional Jewish Sweet treat. They look a little bit like croissant, but I can’t profess to be in any way expert about it’s origins. They are, as I understand, still very popular treats within the Jewish community, although my version steers away from the more traditional spice and nut fillings.

Choc and orange rugelach

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(This recipe for cranberry, orange & ginger mincemeat was also featured on Getrealirishtours.com)

When I made this cranberry, orange & ginger mincemeat , the house was instantly transformed by the festive smells. People were trickling into the kitchen and even the collection of ingredients piled on the table spoke of the warmth and familiarity of a traditional Christmas. This recipe is, however, a twist on a classic, using the tart cranberry flavour in fresh and dried forms to offset the sweetness of the orange and other dried fruits. Cranberries are so delicious and I need to use them as much as I can during their short season! I can’t resist dried figs either – they are such a luxurious touch, especially when they are all bathed together in cherry brandy. The Christmas smells really come from the aromatic fresh ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Cranberry and White Chocolate Blondies are the perfect festive treat to bring along to all those Christmas gatherings that we have this time of year.I have, for some time, been lamenting that I can’t make the gorgeous Rhubarb and White Chocolate Blondies

I made during the summer, so this is a reworking of the recipe that works for winter (a shameless reworking – I even use some of the same pictures!). The cranberries in this recipe bring the same tartness as the rhubarb and using orange really brings a warmth and sweetness too.

Cranberry and white chocolate blondies

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There are few pleasures greater in life than getting a lovely crunchy biscuit on the side of your coffee. (Ok, there may be a few greater pleasures!). We commonly call them biscotti, but they are also known as cantuccini. I believe that the latter means coffee bread while the former refers to biscuits that would have traditionally been baked twice.

I know that some people don’t enjoy this type of biscuit, citing it as too hard but I think dipped in coffee, that the nuts and crunch are really delicious. I chose chopped hazelnuts and walnuts for this recipe because I quite like to have little bits of nut distributed throughout the biscuit, as well as the lovely whole chunks of walnut.
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