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It’s all the cookies you’ll be baking.

Don’t look now but it’s already November and if you think that the holiday season is still far off, you’re wrong.

Very soon cookie recipes from all over the world will be knocking on your door, begging you to bake them.

Don’t fight it. Embrace the cookies.

Let’s say that together.

EMBRACE THE COOKIES!

If I may be so bold as to get the ball of cookie dough rolling, you may want to consider Julia Usher’s Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year as a prime candidate for holiday baking ideas (as well as year-round cookie-baking projects).

Take it from a cookbook addict, this is an incredible baking book. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of cookie-baking projects. While there are recipes for both elaborately decorated cookies and simpler treats, the book’s greatest strength is to approach each recipe in a clear, organized way so that even the beginning baker can master these cookies.

Oh, and the cookies! They are so sweet … literally and figuratively. Every major holiday is covered so it’s a book that will guide you throughout the year, not just Christmas.

I’ve had this book for awhile and if I had the time, I would have tried many of the recipes but I wanted to tell you about it in advance of the holidays so you can run out and get a copy or put it on your wish list for Santa.

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I have a real soft spot for crescent cookies of any type. The book features a recipe for a crescent cookie called Sugar Between the Sheets. For more than ten years I’ve had a go-to crescent cookie recipe that I make every Christmas: my Apricot Walnut Crescents. I make them every year, often by request. But after making the crescent cookies from Usher’s book I must say they’re going to give my Apricot Walnut Crescents a run for their money.

Made with sour cream, a rich and tender pastry holds a filling of walnuts and sugar that almost caramelizes as it bakes. So. Sweet!!!

As I mentioned above, I could have easily tried every recipe in the book if I’d had the time. Rest assured, though, I’ve bookmarked several other recipes for the holidays.

While I’m getting myself organized and planning ahead, you should be too. If you’re big on cookies for Christmas or any other holiday, you’ll love this book!

Ciao!