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Fall Fest: 5 Must-Bake Holiday Cookies

Spritz Cookies

Is there a holiday tradition more highly anticipated than baking cookies? Whether you like yours festively frosted or decked out in dark chocolate, cookies are pretty much guaranteed to spread the holiday cheer. We’re celebrating 31 Days of Cookies here on the blog, but if you’re not sure where to start, try these five favorite recipes.

1) We nominate Spritz Cookies (pictured above) as the most giftworthy holiday cookie. Rich, yet delicate in flavor, these winners hold up well days after baking, and have an elegant, classic look.

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Fall Fest: Winning Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Truffled Cheese Mash

Let’s be serious. The sides are the real stars of the Thanksgiving dinner table. Once your plate is piled high with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and cranberries, the bird is hardly the main event.

We’ve rounded up our go-to picks for each category, but tell us: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Vote in the comments as we give thanks to our picks.

1. Mashed potatoes are comfort food royalty. Dress them up for the Thanksgiving holiday with truffles and cheese (pictured above), and you may earn VIP spud status for life.

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Fall Fest: Carrot Recipes to Covet

A versatile root addition to salads, soups and sides, carrots are more than just bunny food. Whether served crisp and snappy or roasted to sweet tenderness, the orange (or sometimes purple, red, yellow and white) vegetables are a sure-fire fall fan favorite. Here are a few ways to get them on the table.

1. Bring out carrots’ natural sweetness with Sunny Anderson’s honey-glazed carrots (pictured above). They complement almost any meaty main, and offer a bright pop of color to the table.

2. Bobby Flay crowns the carrot as the king of this salad, and tops it with a citrusy-sweet-spicy dressing. Cumin and cayenne pepper give the dish an earthy flavor with just the right amount of heat.

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Fall Fest: Bring On the Brussels Sprouts

As children, we learned that Brussels sprouts are the yuckiest vegetable of all time. It’s an unfortunate misconception, because shaking our little heads in staunch refusal meant missing out on the versatile side dish for way too long. Embrace the bitter little cabbages and fight their bad rap with five of our favorites.

1. Crunchy panko bread crumbs and salty grated Parmesan give this Brussels sprouts recipe (pictured above) depth of both texture and flavor. For easier entertaining, prep the dish the night before, then cook it through while you complete your main course.

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Creepy Cocktails to Pair with Your Favorite Halloween Candy

Black Devil Martini

The best Halloween parties have three things in common: killer costumes, candy galore and plenty of cocktails to keep things interesting.

Before you go mixing up a truly spooky jungle juice, try these bewitching candy and cocktail pairings.

Pair Almond Joy with a Black Devil Martini

A simple mix of spiced rum and vermouth with a garnish of black olives, the Black Devil Martini (pictured above)  is a savory sipper. Since spicy rum and sweet coconut are a time-honored classic, try pairing this drink with an Almond Joy bar. The salty nuts and briny olives make a great match, too.

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Fall Fest: Slow-Cooked Meals from Breakfast through Dessert

Dust off your slow cooker. It’s officially the season of low and slow, the kind you can set, forget and come home to after work just in time for dinner. It’s kind of like having a personal chef who specializes in your favorite comfort foods. Here are a few slow-cooker favorites it can help you with, from breakfast to dessert.

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Fall Fest: Roasted Garlic Recipes Worth Worshipping

Roasted Garlic Bread Recipe : Michael Chiarello : FCooking Channel

Vampires, beware. Roasted garlic is nearly impossible to resist at this time of year, whether it appears as a toast topper or an enhancement to fluffy mashed potatoes. Roasting takes pungent and spicy garlic cloves and mellows them into a soft and buttery spread. Embrace this fundamental cooking component with five of our favorites.

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Fall Fest: Eat As Much Pumpkin as Possible

Bright orange and already popping up on porches across the country, the pumpkin is the most infamous fall signifier. Beyond its decor potential, this member of the squash family is also a bit magical (just ask Cinderella or check out The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). Of all the lore, we’re partial to Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater for his diet and all it’s gourd-infused potential. Tempted to try it? Here are the five ways to start.

1. These pumpkin-packed sticky buns (pictured above) are practically guaranteed to improve any autumn morning. The gooey pastry is topped with a sweet pecan-bourbon caramel sauce for an extra indulgent coating.

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Fall Fest: 5 Reasons to Make Cauliflower Immediately

Always leftover on the crudité platter, cauliflower suffers a reputation as the vegetable kingdom’s bland, lifeless throwaway. But the cruciferous underdog is flexing its florets with its versatility and pleasant crispness. These five recipes are proof that cauliflower is more than broccoli’s pale cousin.

1. Adding cauliflower to classic mac ‘n’ cheese not only adds an earthy touch to the comfort food classic, it also lightens the recipe a bit. Try the three-cheese blend of Rachael’s version (pictured above).

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Fall Fest: A Week of Apple Recipes

Apple Crisp Recipe

You know what they say about an apple a day. So why not commit to getting in your red (or green) all week long. We’ve developed the perfect meal plan for a week of all-apple eating.

Sunday: With an eye toward Monday breakfast, make a giant apple crisp. Kelsey’s 5-star apple crisp recipe (pictured above) comes together quickly and is ideal for a dinner party or leftovers.

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