Happy Christmas Eve! Brandon and I flew into Nashville last night, and are spending the next few days with my parents and my brother. As much as I love NYC, it's so nice to be with family for the holidays. Last night we sat by a roaring fire (perhaps my favorite part about being home!), decorated the Christmas tree, and looked at my sister's wedding pictures. This morning we had a leisurely breakfast, listened to Christmas music, and watched the snow flurries outside. It's been fantastic.

But this afternoon is when the fun really begins: my mom and I are going to do some holiday baking. Every year we make homemade cookies to leave out for "Santa" on Christmas eve, along with a glass of milk. Though we'll probably end up making our traditional oatmeal-pecan-raisin-coconut (my mom and dad's favorite) or chocolate chip walnut (mine and Brandon's favorite), I also wanted to share some recipes for my other favorite holiday baked goods. I've been baking up a storm the past few weeks - both for gifts and for photos shoots - and I hope you get a chance to do the same!


These cranberry pistachio biscotti (recipe below) were inspired by Giada di Laurentiis; they're great to have on hand for the holidays because they'll last for up to a week in an airtight container. I love the Christmas-y red and green colors, and they're the perfect thing to dunk in a mug of tea or hot chocolate. But the rosemary pecan shortbread squares are probably my all-time favorite sweet treat. I posted this recipe a year ago, but this year I added 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary to the pecan topping, and it took the recipe from really good to phenomenal. Try it - they are truly amazing!!! You'll recognize the dark chocolate truffles as well - the recipe is here.


Whether you're celebrating Christmas or not, I hope you have a fabulous week that hopefully includes some sweet moments with family or friends in the kitchen.

xo, Anna

(Photos by Signe Birck)