I want cookies!

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Remember carefully leaving a plate of cookies out for Santa? Can you picture the hours spent decorating sugar cookies with your Nana? Almost everyone has a Christmas cookie memory woven into the fabric of their holiday traditions. Holiday baking represents so much of what the holidays are truly about – the love, family togetherness and spending your time creating delight for others. Of course, there are also the other great aspects of Christmas treats: the sugary sweetness and delicate tastes that practically sear their way into our taste buds and leave us craving them all year long. Christmas desserts come in all shapes and sizes, and most people have a definite favorite unique to their kitchen and reflective of their personal family traditions. On the pages that follow, Gwinnett Magazine gets the goodies from the best kitchens across Gwinnett.

Love at First Bite

Maple Walnut Confections
From the kitchen of: Chef Brian Legault, Aqua Terra Bistro, Downtown Buford

Maple Walnut Confections date back to Chef Legault”s first job in the restaurant industry at a French restaurant in his home state of Vermont. It was there that Brian discovered his love for cooking and years later, where he took the girl who his now his wife and won her heart with one bite of this rich, fudge-like dessert. In fact, Legault makes these confections once a year; what originally began as a surprise has morphed into an annual tradition to celebrate his wife”s birthday. "Even when we spent her birthday traveling to Disney World with our children, I managed to sneak a batch of these along on the drive to Orlando," he shares. Chef Legault”s advice for the perfect confection: "Do not over cook."

Maple Walnut Confections
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces of butter
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (reserve 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts for topping)
  • 1/2 cup of Fluff (marshmallow cream)
  • 2 Tbsp maple extract
  • 1/2 bag of sweetened white chocolate chips
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