Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

I was on the diving team in college and after every competition the team chowed down on a giant bucket of chocolate dipped pretzels with our school colors.  One of the mothers of a girl on the swim team made those pretzels every season and never missed a competition.

Chocolate dipped pretzels can look really beautiful and people will think you worked very hard in the kitchen.  But what they won't know is that, while it does take some time, the process is actually very simple.

You can also get creative with your toppings.  I used crushed candy cane for Christmas and blue sprinkles for Hanukkah, but you can also use a variety of colored sprinkles for other holidays or crushed up Oreos, graham cracker crumbs, and the list could go on.  I hope you'll share if you try something new.

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels


1 large bag or pretzels twists
1 large bag of pretzel rods
10-12 ounces white chocolate morsels
10-15 mini candy canes
Blue sprinkles


Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the chocolate in a microwaveable dish and heat in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth.

Place candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush or if you have a food processor you can also place the candy canes in there and pulse until the pieces are the size you want. (I found the processor worked better)  Place the crushed candy cane in a wide-bottomed bowl and do the same for the blue sprinkles.

Take one pretzel twist and place face down in the white chocolate.  Lift and tap to remove excess chocolate.  Place the pretzel face down in either the candy cane bowl or the blue sprinkles.  Press lightly to make sure all chocolate is covered.  Remove and place face up on the baking sheet.  

For the pretzel rods, dip about halfway into the chocolate.  Tap to remove any excess then roll into either bowl of candy cane or sprinkles (I found you may have to tip the bowl to the side to get the chocolate completely covered.  Another option would be instead of dipping in a bowl you could pour the sprinkles or candy canes over the rod and keep turning the rod until it is completely coated).  Place on baking sheet and let the chocolate pretzels harden before removing to a serving dish or eating!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chocolate Mint Pudding Cookies (for Hanukkah)

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.  And what better way to celebrate than with good friends and delicious desserts.

Pudding cookies tend to be soft and chewy, so I thought I'd experiment with a new version for Hanukkah.  I used chocolate pudding and cocoa powder to make them a richer chocolate cookie and added mint chips instead of chocolate chips.  My taste-testers enjoyed the experiment and this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Chocolate Mint Pudding Cookies (for Hanukkah)
adapted from The Capitol Baker


2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1.4 oz package instant pudding mix (I used chocolate)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups York Peppermint Patty pieces


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat together the butter and both sugars until creamy.  Beat in the pudding mix, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla.  Add in batches of the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat until combined.  Stir in the York Peppermint Patty pieces until distributed evenly.  Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 13-14 minutes.

My batch made about 40 cookies.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

M&M and Coconut Cake Cookies

I was in New York for work when Hurricane Sandy hit.  I was fortunate in that the worst I experienced was a house without power and a long gas line, but many others had far worse.   My heart goes out to those who lost their homes or lives or other irreplaceable memories.

After making it back to D.C. I figured I could use a simple recipe to get myself back into the swing of things.  You'd be surprised how great a boxed mix recipe can be just by adding in a few extra ingredients.  If you don't like coconut, you should experiment with other ingredients, maybe some nuts, toffee pieces, or even dried cranberries.

M&M and Coconut Cake Cookies
adapted from Curry and Comfort


1 box of yellow cake mix
3/4 cup M&M's
3/4 cup of coconut
2 eggs
1/2 cup of canola oil

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the cake mix with the eggs and canola oil.  Add in the M&M's and coconut and stir until combined.

Make a ball slightly smaller than the size of a golf ball and place on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.  You should be able to make about 15-20 cookies.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Keep the cookies on the baking sheet until completely cool and enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I have been wanting to make a version of this recipe for some time now.  Pumpkin season has come and gone and this year I am happy to report I have not missed my chance!  I found a great recipe and decided to lighten it up a bit.

I don't think my lightened up version is missing any taste, but it's probably a bit chewier than the regular version.  Regardless, these muffins were moist and sweet and a great alternative if you're trying to stay healthy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
adapted from A Cup of Sugar...A Pinch of Salt
5 PointsPlus per serving
Makes 12 servings


For the Filling
1/3 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup powdered sugar

For the Topping
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend*
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fat free egg substitute**
1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend*
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce***
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

*Brown Sugar can be substituted (1/4 cup brown sugar for 2 Tbsp of Splenda and 1/2 cup brown sugar for 1/4 cup Splenda)
**2 eggs can be substituted
***1/2 cup vegetable oil can be substituted


To make the filling: In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, egg yolk, and powdered sugar.  Cover and freeze until chilled, about 30-45 minutes.

To make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar blend, cinnamon, and salt.  Work in the butter with your hands.  Press the mixture into small clumps.  Refrigerate the topping until chilled, about 15 minutes.

To make the muffins:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the brown sugar blend, apple sauce, and pumpkin puree.  Beat in the dry ingredients until completely incorporated.

Spoon half the batter into the muffin cups.  Drop heaping teaspoons of the cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and spoon the remaining batter on top.  Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before placing them on a rack to cool completely.  (1 muffin = 1 serving, 5 PointsPlus per serving)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Try saying Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies three times fast.  Now you deserve to eat a cookie!  This recipe happens to be one of my all-time favorites.  The bananas turn this into a soft and moist cookie and the touch of cinnamon really adds a unique twist on the typical oatmeal cookie.  Soft, sweet, and just what you need at the end of a long day.  Delicious.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from the essential chocolate chip cookbook


1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 bananas, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute.  The mixture may look slightly curdled.  On low speed, add in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in the oatmeal.  Then mix in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.  Use a large spoon to mix in the banana pieces, mixing just until they are evenly distributed and some of the pieces are mashed but most are still visible.

Using a tablespoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly browned and the tops look dry, about 18 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apple Pie Crumble

Some things in life don't turn out as expected- baking included.  I was really excited for this twist on apple pie, but the recipe turned out more like an apple pie crumble.  With a tangy bite from the granny smith apples combined with a buttery crust and crumble topping, this recipe came out as delicious as I thought it would be...just in a different form.

Apple Pie Crumble
adapted from Butter


Shortbread crust
3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt

Apple filling
8 Granny Smith apples

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Almond crumble
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup + 1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.


Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1/2 inch cubes.  Combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and water in a large pot.  Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The apples should be soft, but still hold their shape.  Drain the juice from the apples into a bowl and stir in the cornstarch until it dissolves and return the mixture to the apples.  Mix to combine and set aside to cool.

Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the flour and salt.  With the paddle attachment, mix on a low speed to combine.  Add the butter and mix on a low speed just until a dough forms.  Put the dough in the pan and press it evenly into the base and up the sides. This will take some time, but keep at it.

Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust about 25 – 35 minutes, until it evenly colors to a golden brown.  I had some trouble here when I lifted the parchment paper and some of the crust came off with it.  I put it back in the oven for a few more minutes to brown more.  Remove from the oven and reserve until you are ready.

Mix the flour, almond meal, butter, sugar and salt together using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on a low speed for 4-5 minutes, until a buttery dough forms.

Spread the apple filling evenly in the crust. Take pieces of the crumble and spread over the apples.  Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bourbon-Roasted Peach Cheesecake

Last week I took a week off from work and flew home to Florida to see my family and spend time with my adorable nephews who just turned one year old!  Unfortunately Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac paid us a visit for a few days, but I would actually like to thank him for giving me time to bake this delicious cheesecake with my mother and her best friend.

There were several components and steps to this recipe, but everyone agreed it was well worth the time and effort.  The cheesecake was just the right amount of sweet and the bourbon flavor truly stood out.  The middle of the cake turned out a bit loose (as you can probably see from the photo above), but that didn't stop us from enjoying every delicious bite.

Bourbon-Roasted Peach Cheesecake
adapted from Serious Eats


For the Bourbon-Roasted Peaches
8 ripe but firm peaches
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup Bourbon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

For the Crust
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
For the Cheesecake Filling
4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1-2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar (white)
16 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces and at room temperature*
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream

*I used reduced fat cream cheese (and didn't taste a difference)


For the Bourbon-Roasted Peaches
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.  Slice 4 peaches into 3/4-inch thick slices.  Arrange in a single layer on 1 prepared baking sheet.  Cut remaining 4 peaches into 1/4-inch small pieces.  Arrange in single layer on the second prepared baking sheet.

Whisk together melted butter, bourbon, and salt in a medium bowl.  Drizzle half of the mixture on the sliced peaches and remaining half on the diced peaches.  Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the brown sugar on the sliced and 2 Tbsp of the brown sugar on the diced peaches.  Toss both sets of peaches to coat and rearrange in a single layer.

Roast until peaches are tender and liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

For the Crust
Decrease oven temperature to 250 degrees F.  Line the exterior of a springform pan with foil.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt in medium bowl.  Stir until crumbs are saturated with butter and then press onto the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.  Leave about 1/2 inch of space from the top of the pan. 

Bake crust until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely, about 15-20 minutes.

For the Cheesecake Filling
Decrease oven temperature to 275 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whip egg whites and vanilla on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1-2 minutes longer.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg yolks, and flour on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the cream and continue beating until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes longer.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, as necessary.  Drain the diced peaches and stir them into the cream cheese mixture.

Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture.  Then you can gradually fold in the remaining egg whites.  Scrape the batter into the cooled crust and bake until the cheesecake is set, but still slightly wobbly in the center.  This should take about 75-95 minutes.  Next shut the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 20 more minutes.

Transfer the cheesecake to cooling rack and cool for 1 hour.  Transfer to a refrigerator and cool until completely chilled and set, at least 3 hours.  Remove from the springform pan and set on a serving dish.  Drain the sliced peaches and then top the cheesecake with them.  Enjoy!

Note:  If you plan to let the cheesecake sit in the fridge overnight you should make the bourbon-roasted sliced peaches on the day you plan to serve.  Since I left my cake in the fridge overnight I also put the peaches in there and when I pulled them out before topping the cake they were not as pretty as they looked the day before.  They tasted great, but if you're also going for looks you should listen to my advice.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chocolate Cake Donuts

I was heading to a friend's birthday brunch this morning, and by heading I mean taking the elevator up a few floors in my building...convenient, right?!  So I was tasked with bringing mimosa components, but since I woke up early enough this morning I figured I'd try out my donut pan that I bought way too long ago and have yet to use.

My first batch came out looking more like cupcakes than donuts since I put too much batter in each donut hole, but the second batch came out much better.  The cake was moist and sweet and the vanilla sugar glaze was just right.

Chocolate Cake Donuts


For the donuts:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk *
1/2 cup milk **
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

*I used reduced fat buttermilk
**I used skim milk

For the glaze:
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 to 7 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the donut pan with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with flour or powdered sugar. Shake to coat and shake out the excess, set pan aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and whisk together to combine.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.  Whisk to combine.  Add the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Then add in the milk and whisk until fully incorporated.  The batter will be very thin.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, pour the batter into the donut pan and fill each donut mold about 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for approximately 7 to 9 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the donuts bounce back when lightly touched.  Let the donuts cool in the pan for a few minutes.  Then run a flat spatula or butter knife around the edge and pop each donut out carefully. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

For the glaze:

Stir all ingredients together.  If the glaze is too stiff, add a little water 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.  Dunk each cooled donut into the glaze and shake off any excess.  Place back on the cooling rack and allow the glaze to set and harden.  If you prefer a thicker glaze, once the first coat is hardened, dip the donut again for a second coat and allow it to set and harden.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July Strawberries

Happy fourth of July!  This is a great recipe for those lacking time to prepare for their July 4th festivities.  These strawberries are fun, patriotic, and taste even better than they look (according to one of my tasters).  Enjoy! 

Fourth of July Strawberries 


2 lbs. strawberries
10 oz. white chocolate
1-2 tsp canola oil
Blue sprinkles or sugar crystals (I ran out of blue sprinkles and finished my batch with multicolor nonpareils)
Wax or parchment paper 


Wash and dry the strawberries.  While the strawberries are drying pour out your sprinkles into a wide, but deep cup or small bowl.  

Heat the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted.  Pour in the canola oil, as needed.  Mix to combine and make sure it is smooth.

Now take your strawberries one by one and dip them into the chocolate, then roll the tips into the sprinkles.  Place the strawberries on wax or parchment paper to dry.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pecan Pie Muffins

It has been far too long since my last blog post and actually since the last time I really baked.  I can bore you with apologies and excuses, but how about I simply promise to do my best from here on out to keep on posting.  It may not be as frequent as in the past, but I am going to aim for at least one post per month and see how it goes.

I hope you enjoy these Pecan Pie Muffins.  Not only were they incredibly easy to make, they have a delicate and sweet burst of flavor, which definitely comes from the maple syrup. 

Pecan Pie Muffins
adapted from Sauce and Sensibility


1 cup brown sugar
1 heaping cup pecans
½ cup flour
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two mini muffin baking pans.

Toast the pecans in a skillet over low to medium heat until they begin to smell nutty.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Place in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chopped pecans and flour.  Melt the butter and stir it into the sugar/pecan/flour mixture.  Add the beaten eggs and stir until thoroughly combined.  Pour in the maple syrup and mix together.

Fill each muffin tin until nearly full.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for about 15 minutes and then remove them to a platter.  Makes 24 mini muffins.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chocolate Pistachio & Almond Fudge

I needed to make something for a colleague's Vietnamese Lunar New Year party and I didn't have much time to plan or bake.  I came across this recipe and thought it was perfect because 1) fudge takes only a few short minutes to make and 2) who doesn't love fudge?

Like I said, I didn't have much time to plan.  The original recipe called for only pistachios and dark chocolate.  I looked in my baking drawer and found almost a third of the amount of pistachios and dark chocolate that was needed, but I also found my bittersweet chocolate almond bark and figured I would mix things up and use what I had on hand.  Needless to say, my recipe came out great.

Chocolate Pistachio & Almond Fudge
adapted from Nigella
(2 Points Plus per serving)


100 grams dark chocolate
250 grams bittersweet chocolate with almonds
1 can condensed milk
30 grams unsalted butter
50-75 grams pistachios
Fleur de sel (optional)


Line a 9X9 inch pan with foil.

Chop both chocolates.  Put the chopped chocolates, condensed milk, and butter in a heavy-based pan on low heat.  Stir to melt.

Roughly chop the pistachios.  Add the pistachios to the pan and stir well to mix.

Pour the mixture into the foiled pan and smooth the top.  Let the fudge cool and refrigerate until set.

Cut into 64 pieces.  Top with a few pinches of fleur de sel if desired.  

Once cut these can be kept in the fridge or freezer. (1 serving = 1 piece, 2 Points Plus per serving)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snickerdoodle Bars

There is nothing better than the simplest recipe with loads of flavor.  Sometimes I wonder why it's fair to spend far less time than expected on a recipe and turn out with a final product that quadruples the effort you put into it, but I guest it's just the little things in life...  These scrumptious treats are super simple to make and are so very sweet and delicious.  The batter was like a thick cake batter, but the cinnamon/sugar topping gave it a flavor of its own.

Snickerdoodle Bars
adapted from Milk 'N Cookiezzz
(2 PointsPlus per serving)


1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well blended.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the baking pan.  (If you have sufficiently covered the pan and still have some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture left that is fine.  No need to use it all up.)
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed.   Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Cut into 32 pieces.  (1 serving = 1 piece, 2 PointsPlus per serving)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Banana Cinnamon Chip Blondies

After the new year I decided it was time to clean out my baking drawer.  I found a few unused bags of cinnamon chips that were about to expire, so I began searching for new recipes.  I found a ton of ideas, but this recipe for Banana Cinnamon Chip Blondies ultimately won out.

Not to mention the smell in my kitchen, these blondies were incredible.  They were super moist, had just enough banana flavor to taste and were loaded with cinnamon.  They also had a hint of a crunch from the pecans which added a nice texture.  This recipe is certainly a keeper.

Banana Cinnamon Chip Blondies
adapted from Beantown Baker
6 PointsPlus per serving


6 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup banana puree
1 banana, mashed
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9X9 baking pan.

Cream the butter, add in the sugar and beat in the egg.  Stir in the banana puree, mashed banana and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined.

Add the cinnamon chips and pecans and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into squares.  Makes 16 squares. (1 serving = 1 square, 6 PointsPlus per serving)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cupcake Decorating Class

I celebrated a bachelorette party this weekend for a good friend of mine who is getting married in just over a month!   She is a fellow baker, so the cupcake decorating class that we took part in was just perfect.  We went to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown and had a blast learning how to frost and top way too many mini cupcakes.  Here are a few of our creations!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweet Adventures in Israel

Israel is known for many things- its history and culture, the various religions and languages practiced and spoken, its geography including the Dead Sea, among many others.  But what most people don't think of is the incredible food found everywhere throughout the country.

The chocolate filled rugelach above and several of the photographs below come from the Mahane Yehuda Market, also known as "The Shuk."

Look at the rich chocolate and perfectly browned pastry.

Below you can see how the various vendors display their delicious merchandise in the Shuk.  It was difficult to only take photos and not sample one of everything!

Fresh mini challah rolls.

Below are sufganiyot, a ball-shaped doughnut, fried and injected with jelly or custard, typically eaten during the Hanukkah holiday.  

And last but not least, it was very important for me to make a stop at my favorite rugelach shop in Israel, Marzipan.  These were fresh out of the oven.