In an average year Cake & Loaf Bakery goes through more than seven hundred pounds of chocolate candy mini eggs. That’s equivalent to the weight of two full-grown gorillas. Just when we think people are sick of mini eggs, they request more! One customer request led to the creation of these mouth-watering cookies. Because they stay delicious for weeks, they also make a great take-home gift for your guests. Just make sure to bake them thoroughly and that they are dry all the way to the centre if you need them to last; they tend to hang on to moisture in their centres. They are beautiful gems to add to your platters or charcuterie spreads for a little extra colour and an unexpected treat to balance out a cheese tray or other savoury spread. — Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham
Every Christmas, Chantal Braganza's nonna-in-law would make an exceptional (and exceptionally labour-intensive) lasagna bolognese. Having made it herself for a few years now—and made it her own—she can confirm that it is absolutely worth the work. Don’t do pork? Switch to lean beef. Want more mozzarella content? Be her guest! But do not break Nonna’s two rules: no oven-ready dry noodles (though packaged fresh pasta is great) and no ricotta, ever.
Spoonably soft fruit and a velvety chocolate sauce get spiked with tequila and cayenne. Poach pears ahead of time for a quick dessert or skip the sauce and use a drinking chocolate mix instead, which is thicker than typical hot chocolate. Soma and ChocoSol make great Canadian options. —Chantal Braganza