Showstopper Chocolate Cake with Caramel and Marshmallow

Toasted Marshmallow frosting over a chocolate caramel cake, Muareen Abood

This cake makes everyone happy wherever it goes! A super-simple yet very elegant dark chocolate cake is filled with caramel and topped with marshmallow frosting. A hint of orange blossom in the caramel is special. Torch the beautiful white peaks and valleys on your cake for a toasty, s’mores-like effect, one I just can’t get…

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Brioche Star with Strawberry Rose Jam

Baked brioche star with strawberry rose jam, Maureen Abood

This gorgeous brioche star with strawberry rose jam is scented with orange zest. A beautiful and delicious way to wake up on a holiday morning. Make the dough for the brioche star up to two days before you want to shape and bake the bread, keeping it chilled in the refrigerator. Also see my Christmas…

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Nut-Free Baklawa

Nut-free baklawa in a pan, Maureen Abood

Your nut-free baklawa recipe is here! A combination of seeds make a filling that competes handily with traditional nut fillings, so anyone with nut allergies or simply avoiding nuts can enjoy this buttery, crisp, fragrant pastry. All of the tips for making traditional baklawa with nuts can be used with this recipe (except…the nuts!). Read…

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How to make Lebanese Baklava

Simple Syrup for Lebanese Baklawa, Maureen Abood

Learn how to make Lebanese baklawa (baklava) with confidence, ease, and joy! Here you will make phyllo your friend, clarified butter your baby, toasty ground nuts your nirvana. And flower water syrup—that sweet simplicity that distinguishes Lebanese baklawa from all other baklavas—your pure, aromatic nectar. Scroll down to find links to all of the recipes.…

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Cranberry Sauce with Rose Water & Pistachios

Cranberry sauce with rose water, MaureenAbood.com

Cranberry sauce is such a natural with rose water, which brings out the cran-flavor and balances the sweet-tart beautifully. Be sure to use the rose water with restraint! We had a trial-run of Thanksgiving dinner recently, making good on what we say every year on Thanksgiving—which is: why don’t we eat this delicious meal more…

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts

Roasted brussels sprouts with red onion, toasted hazelnuts, and mulberry syrup, MaureenAbood.com

Roasted Brussels sprouts with mulberry syrup and toasted nuts are a knockout on your holiday menu. Use any toasted nut you like. I love roasted, salted hazelnuts, a great balance with the tangy fruitiness of the mulberry syrup (or pomegranate molasses). I find it shocking when I hear, usually from one of the nieces or…

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Ka’ik Biscuit Cookies

Ka'ik Anise Biscuits, MaureenAbood.com

There are many different versions of Lebanese ka’ik. These biscotti-like crunchy Ka’ik Biscuit Cookies are flavored with anise, rose water and turmeric. There’s a great divide here, as I’m sure there must be where you are, over the flavor of black licorice. This is anise, a flavor that brings intense joy to the face and…

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Apricot and Mulberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These gem-like jam thumbprint cookies are fun to make and so tender and beautiful. Use a combination of preserves like apricot and mulberry for color and flavor interest. This one will brighten up the cookie plates. It’s a beauty. That’s what mom said when she tasted the thumbprint cookies I’ve been making with our gorgeous…

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Christmas Breakfast Wreath

This Christmas Breakfast wreath is glorious to behold and to eat. A buttery dough is filled with cherry almond filling scented with rose water, cut and twisted to form a wreath, and finished with a rose water glaze. Also see the beautiful Brioche Star with Strawberry Rose Jam. At Tante Marie’s, where I went to…

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Lebanese Walnut Ma’moul Cookies

Ma'moul molded cookies with powdered sugar

Ma’moul cookies are a beloved Lebanese tradition: fragrant butter cookies filled with walnuts, formed in a special mold. Ma’moul cookies are made in three classic shapes; the dome here is typically filled with a walnut-orange blossom mixture. Purchase flower waters here and exceptional ma’moul molds here. I used to kick-box. A lot. And I loved…

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