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Giving thanks

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In my faith, we periodically have pujas where we have an opportunity to gather, sit quietly and give thanks for our blessings. At every puja there is prasad offered usually by the person or for the occasion we are marking (birthdays, anniversaries, new job, new home, etc.). Usually it is a sweet or deep-fried treat.

Tonight, we are having a puja. Because I just started a brand-new job working in the industry I spent a year training for I am feeling especially grateful. So I asked if I could offer a Prasad to thank God for the bountiful blessings I’m enjoying.

The answer was yes. So I asked my niece what was the best thing she’s learned to make in her 5th grade home ec class. She told me about Simple Cinnamon Bites. I wondered how good they really were? I told her to rank them on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being mediocre and 5 being addictively delicious.

She told me they are a 6! So we decided to make these to offer tonight. She ended up making them with me assisting her. Above, is a picture of the chef with the first batch from the oven.

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Spicy & Sweet

These snickerdoodles came out light, spicy and creamy. One person described them as a spicy donut hole, rather than crisp cookie.

“Some cookies seem hard and dry. This were light and delightful.”

Rachel Dunn, foreign desk copy editor at the Los Angeles Times

I wanted to try a spicy cookie for the holidays so I tried out Nigella Lawson’s recipe for snickerdoodles. They are a light, creamy, spicy cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar immediately after cooling.

They were so easy to make and I especially liked the freshly grated nutmeg and oodles of cinnamon in these. And if you are a chocaholic you can replace some of the flour with cocoa to satisfy your chocolate habit.

I wanted a cookie that I could ship for a holiday gift. These were bounced all over the nation and made it to their recipients in their original tasty form. Hurray!

Want the recipe? Click here

Gone in 40 minutes

This is the cinnamon-pecan-cherry coffeecake I made.

“It’s so moist, rich and flavorful. Yet light and delicate.”

Aisha Khan, copy editor on the foreign desk at the Los Angeles Times

It was a rainy Sunday and since I couldn’t go take my usual hike or hit some balls at the tennis court, I decided it was the perfect day to bake something delicious. Baking is a relaxing and creative activity for me. But I wanted to make sure my creation was something that I could toss in a tuppeware container and take to work for the Sunday Crew at the Los Angeles Times. I thought a coffee cake with some nuts, dried fruit and plenty of sugar and butter would smell great during the baking part and taste great too.

“Scrumptious,” said Matt Moody, LAT graphic artist said after he finished his piece.

“The cinnamon really works with the other flavors.” said Lauren Raab, finance section copy editor. She also insisted that the pecans I put in the cake were toasted. No, I never toasted them but the melted butter that doused the top of the nuts may be the reason the nuts seem so crispy and aromatic.

Sugar high: If you normally don’t eat sugar or are on a low-sugar diet just one bite of this cake will give you a buzz. But be careful because one bite won’t be enough of this addictive confection. Remember, this cake was gone 40 minutes after I took the lid off the container. That type of speed is due to the candy-like filling and the tender, buttery cake it is layered in. Enjoy!

Want to make it for yourself? Click here for the recipe.