Sending Love with Sweet Valentine Parcels & Mini Gluten-Free Heart Cakes

Maybe Valentine’s Day makes you cringe, but I would encourage you to see the holiday as a gentle deadline for sending and showing love to friends, family, and romantic partners. This year, I’m harkening to my elementary school days, when we’d craft mailboxes, position them on our desks, then await the delivery of Valentine’s cards and a bounty of candy hearts.

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Dark Chocolate S’mores Cookies & Solstice Wishes

"I love s'mores," he hinted. "I love cookies," he hinted. So I went to the kitchen to heed the hints. I heated the oven, whisked, poured, whirled, and then swirled homemade fluff into a chocolate dough. I crushed whole-grain graham crackers and sprinkled them over the swirls. I watched as the warm oven solidified the textures into a magical campfire cookie. I tried to savor the moment - the warm kitchen, the chocolatey smell, the way he smiled after the first taste test.

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Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies with Rye Flour

These chewy ginger molasses cookies feel like a warm bite of the season, a way to savor the best of this time of year. The spices are so fragrant, they transform the baking process into a grounding exercise. In the spirit of savoring the season with each bite, I paused to reflect on my fall thus far, to appreciate the many moments I want to remember when life feels like it's moving too quickly.

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Whole Grain Linzer Cookies with Rye Flour & Lingonberry Jam

Whenever I plan gatherings, I choose to invest more time in one (or at least I *try* to invest in only one) menu item. This winter, I had been craving the flavors and simple beauty of Whole Grain Linzer Cookies, or Helle Linzer Plaetzchen if you fancy the German title. Named for the Austrian Linzer Torte, a latticed pastry with jam filling, these buttery shortbread cookies and peeks of jam feel like little ornaments. In the vein of European traditions, I chose a Swedish lingonberry jam for a burst of red filling (and because I dream of participating in a St. Lucia celebration someday!). 

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