Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipe Round-Up!

Is it really Valentine’s Day without chocolate?  According to the seasonal aisle and every end cap at the grocery store, apparently not.  In case you are like me and giant heart-shaped boxes of mystery nougat-filled chocolate aren’t your style… I rounded up my favorite chocolate recipes from the blog! So if you want to treat your sweet to something sweet, give one of these Valentine’s Day approved chocolate recipes a try!! If you make any of my Valentine’s recipes including anything from this list, you can be entered to win a Valentine’s themed surprise from a local Seattle artist!  Just post a pic of the dish to Instagram and tag @almostproperly!…

Lemon Ricotta and Pistachio Tarts

This recipe is the dessert course of a 1-Hour Sicilian inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post! Ever been to Sicily?  If you have, then you know pistachios are everywhere- especially in pastries and gelato. Did you know that pistachios were first introduced to the Sicily via Middle Easterners in the 13th century?  It turns out eastern Sicily’s volcanic soil is optimal for growing pistachio trees.  Still grown on the island although on a smaller scale, sicilian pistachios are longer, thinner, and known for a stronger and sharper flavor than other varieties.  Most of the pistachios grown on the island…

Christmas Cookie Round-up

Christmas carols are like Christmas cookies.   Everyone has a favorite – often a favorite we can vehemently argue the superiority of.  The hubs believes no christmas cookie can ever top sugar cookies with thick buttercream frosting (read: a mountain of buttercream).  My sister would go to bat for hazelnut crescents.  My brother would make a case for chewy ginger molasses.  And my dad loves the Italian Anise cookies reminiscent of black licorice.  I admit, I’m not sure I could pick just one favorite, but I don’t think my brother is too far off on this one.  But still, it might be a toss-up between pillowy Italian ricotta cookies and a…

Persimmon Walnut Cream Tart with Shortbread Crust

You can always make pumpkin pie.  Or pecan.  Or you can switch things up a bit.  In truth, we almost never stick with the pumpkin/pecan staples.  And I’m not saying you should follow suite.  But when Thanksgiving doesn’t look all that traditional around here, why should dessert?  How about a persimmon tart with a walnut cream frangipane, and a much-easier-than-pie-crust shortbread crust?!  Plus, shortbread crust is roughly 10 times tastier and 100x less fickle than pie crust. I’m always shocked how few people have tried persimmons.  What are your thoughts??  I love persimmons.  I’ll even eat them raw.  The slightly spicy flavor pairs perfectly with the cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg…

Grown-up Twix Bars

If there was one halloween candy that I could remake into something just a bit more elevated it would be a Twix bar.  Don’t get me wrong, the original version had my whole Halloween candy loving heart as a kid… but now, something about it falls a bit flat.  Probably the waxy, too-sweet chocolate. Or the not-as-good-as-I-remember it cookie.  Or maybe its the caramel – a little pinch of sea-salt would go a long way! The result is by far one of my favorite things I have made in a long time.  Possibly my favorite recipe of the YEAR so far!  Which is saying something because there are a number…
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