for thanksgiving, i went home to michigan. my mom has not one, but two amazing kitchens, so i knew from the outset that i was going to take advantage of at least one of them. ever since these apple pie cookies were posted over at smitten kitchen, i had been dying to try them out. i love apples, cinnamon & of course, anything cute, so they seemed like an obvious choice. i’m glad i waited to make these because i definitely appreciated the extra counter space & dishwasher at my parents’. when i went out to buy ingredients on thanksgiving morning, i forgot to buy concentric, circular cookie cutters. luckily, my mom had a set of concentric heart-shaped cookie cutters that had never even been used before. i know it seems impossible, but the apple pie cookies turned out even cuter & tastier than i imagined. the only bad things i can say about this recipe are that 1) it is pretty time-consuming & 2) i had to hide the finished product from my savage siblings who were hovering over these freshly baked cookies like vultures over roadkill.
when you have a large arab family, like i do, one dessert simply won’t do. like me, my mother is a chocolate fiend & asked me to make a chocolate martini recipe she’d been saving. however, i had another smitten kitchen recipe weighing on my mind that would also satisfy both the chocolate-lovers & the lushes: red wine chocolate cake. i made my little brother taste the batter & he thought it was “a little heavy on the wine” … that’s a phrase you won’t hear much from a college freshman! nevertheless, this cake turned out amazing. it was super easy to make & took me only 10 minutes to prepare. it was smooth, delicious & decadent. everyone loved it, from my littlest cousins to my grouchiest uncles. a tip: definitely don’t skip out on the topping. the cake would be fine by itself, but the topping really adds an interesting flavor to the cake. definitely wander over to smitten kitchen for some better pictures–i plopped the cake on an ugly plastic plate & accidentally spilled too much confectionary sugary on top of it!