Épicé

 Black Pepper and Maple Syrup Gingerbread | La Pêche Fraîche

“Always winter, never Christmas.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

 Black Pepper and Maple Syrup Gingerbread | La Pêche Fraîche

If you need some last-minute inspiration for your cookie boxes, I have rounded up some links of cookies that I’ve been stunned by lately. I guarantee we can all find some inspo from these amazing creations!

Cindy @ Hungry Girl Por Vida made really gorgeous and creative linzer cookies—with pistachios and lemon curd! Lemon curd is my favorite, so I’m keen to try this flavor combination out.

I’m sure you already saw these all over Instagram, but Tessa (Style Sweet CA) made perfect (as always!) spritz cookies in a collab with Wilton.

Snowballs—buttery and covered in powdered sugar—are always a weakness of mine. Christina (Dessert for Two) made gluten-free matcha and pistachio snowballs, and I want to try these so bad. I can only imagine how well the bitter, greeny matcha tastes when in a butter cookie!

Elizabeth from Brooklyn Supper made cardamom orange sugar cookies, and I’m intrigued.  They look delicate and lovely.

 Black Pepper and Maple Syrup Gingerbread | La Pêche Fraîche

Jes from Whisk and Wanter made these sparkly, adorable girly evergreen cookies. I’m inspired to step up my sugar cookie game after seeing her gorgeous creations!

These super comforting peanut butter and chocolate crinkle cookies from Tieghan @ Half Baked Harvest are a must! The flaky sea salt on the milk chocolate kisses, swoon.

Last year I made some eggnog roll out cookies which were a hit, as well as chocolate peppermint shortbread, cinnamon toast crunch treats, and Russian teacakes.
The year before, it was honey spice and dark chocolate cookies, among others. You can find links through to years even before that, as well, if you really want to do a deep dive!

The fact that I only made two batches of cookies this year makes me feel like a bit of a loser, ugh. I have to remind myself to step back and enjoy what I can—the holidays are a time to be with family and relax, not worry too much about cooking (this isn’t Thanksgiving, ha!).
Besides, baking in a different (tiny) kitchen can be frustrating.

 Black Pepper and Maple Syrup Gingerbread | La Pêche Fraîche

Still, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that brings me as much winter cheer as gingerbread, and if there was a single cookie I’d like to make and smell baking in my home, it would be these.
I just love the warm spiciness of gingerbread, whether in a layer or bundt cake or cookies crisp or soft.

These gingerbread cookies are crispy and thin—good for gifting and safe for shipping—and they stay fresh for a long time.
They are made with maple syrup and black pepper for a spicy little twist!
These are very similar to Swedish pepparkakor, or ginger thins—they’re not as dark and spicy as American style gingerbread, but rather a little lighter in color and in the spices added.
I think they’re absolutely addicting and cute, however you choose to decorate them!

 Black Pepper and Maple Syrup Gingerbread | La Pêche Fraîche

Maple Syrup and Black Pepper Gingersnaps
makes ~60 2-inch cookies

ingredients:
3/4 cup (6 ounces) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (6 ounces) maple syrup
3 cups all-purpose flour

directions:
Cream butter for 2 minutes to soften.
Add in the spices and sugar and cream for 3 more minutes.
Scrape the bowl and add the egg and vanilla and cream for 2 more minutes.
Scrape the bowl and add the maple syrup.
Beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
Scrape the bowl and add the flours.
Mix on low speed until a dough forms.
Knead once or twice, then wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured surface and cut shapes as desired.
Place on baking sheets and refrigerate for 15 more minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes, depending on desired level of crispness.
Decorate with royal icing, if desired.

Crunchy

Granola | La Pêche Fraîche

“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant.
You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself.
You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”

—John Lennon

Granola | La Pêche Fraîche

Welcome, brand new baby year, fresh and bright white and snow covered.
Welcome, welcome 2015!!

(I’m back in Chicago, and it’s snowing a fair amount.
Class starts tomorrow.
It’s going to be below 0 deg F on Wednesday.
Le sigh.)

Granola | La Pêche Fraîche

My mama loves granola.  She eats it for breakfast almost every day.
My mama is *ahem* particular about her granola.  She likes maybe one out of every 5 she tries.

So before I left to come back to school, I made a whole bunch of simple, healthy granola for my mom.
Heaps of oats, plenty of maple syrup, rich and buttery coconut oil, a hint of spice.

This batch fills up an entire large canister of rolled oats, and it uses about half of one, so it’s a perfect way to finish off the jar floating around your pantry.

It’s utterly delicious with cold milk—cow’s or otherwise (I recently tried hazelnut-almond-cashew and fell in love)—and fresh raspberries or strawberries, difficult as they are to source in the depths of winter.

Granola | La Pêche Fraîche

This granola is crunchy, sweet, with a whisper of salt.
It’s toasty and full of almonds and coconut.
It’s simple—a hint of cinnamon, maple syrup to sweeten, and that’s pretty much it.
It’s vegan and gluten-free if you want it to be—just make sure all your ingredients are certified vegan or GF either way.

It’s super easy to customize: add a tablespoon of vanilla extract or replace the almonds with hazelnuts or pecans, use coconut chunks or chips instead of flakes, toss in dried mango or raisins or cranberries or banana chips.

Anyways, this is meant to be a nourishing first post of 2015 (!) but also a short one, as I have to unpack and settle into our little home here in Chiberia.

Granola | La Pêche Fraîche

Almond Coconut Granola
gluten-free, vegan
makes ~6 cups of granola

ingredients:
5 cups of rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
1 cup of sliced almonds
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (or use unsweetened)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or ghee)

directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir oats, almonds, and coconut together.
Stir salt, maple syrup, and coconut oil together, then pour wet ingredients over and stir with a spoon until all is coated.
Spread oats out onto baking sheets and tamp down lightly to pack.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lightly stir with a spatula and rotate sheets.
Bake for 15 more minutes, then stir and rotate again.
Bake for 10-15 more minutes, until evenly and lightly browned and toasted.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on sheets.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Winter White

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“It comes in winter white/ in holiday disguise…”

-A Fine Frenzy

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Let’s hop aboard the crazed “winter-white” train, people.
Lord knows we’ve got enough crazy to go around in these here parts.

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I’ve certainly hopped aboard the crazy cookie train, more so than ever, I think.

I love gifting cookies!  People love to receive little sweets to celebrate with.
Personally… I eat my weight in cookies every holiday season.  It’s only natural and I won’t have it any other way lalalalala I can’t hear you.

I’ve baked sooo many cookies and packed them all up in pretty little Martha Stewart (God help me, I just wrote Marsha.  Marsha Stewart) cookie boxes, to be given away to fill people with joy and butter and sugar.

All good things.

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Can we talk about sparkles+cookies?
GUYS as if holiday sugar cookies could get any more appealing now we can add glitter and sparkly things.

I’m done for.  Definitely done for.  Look for my body underneath a mountain of luster dust.

I think I’m getting the glitter lung, Pop.

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The cookies hidden underneath all that sparkle and glitter aren’t your regular ol’ Christmas sugar cookies, either.
Nope.  I wanted to jazz that up too.  And so I did!  You will be glad.

I started with my 3-2-1-1-2-3 dough.  Out went the egg, to be replaced with thick maple syrup.
A smattering of nutmeg to heighten the nuttiness of the rye flour.
The resultant cookie is extra crisp and buttery (no eggs will do that) with a depth beyond that of any sugar cookie I’ve tasted.

I iced them with Bridget’s royal icing (1 batch), and since I used Wilton meringue powder, the icing came out just a touch lemony, which was lovely with the cookies.  If your meringue powder doesn’t have lemon extract in it, you may want to add a tiny drop.  If you’re into that kinda thang.

The glitter is white luster dust, the pearls are edible, and the sprinkling of stars are all paper thin sprinkles.

Glittery cookies!  They match my glittery ornaments!!
*stereotypical girl alert*

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Maple, Nutmeg, and Rye Sugar Cookies
ingredients:
16 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 pinches kosher salt (1 scant teaspoon)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
splash vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup rye flour

directions:
Whip the butter for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Scrape the bowl and add in the sugar and salt and beat for 3 more minutes, until there is no grit left.
Scrape the bowl and add the maple syrup, nutmeg, and vanilla; beat for 1 more minute.
Scrape the bowl and add the flour in all at once; stir until a dough forms.
Knead once or twice before turning out onto a floured surface.
Roll out to a thickness of 1/4 inch, then cut the shapes you desire.
Freeze the shapes for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days before baking in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
Decorate as desired: I used 1 batch of Bridget’s royal icing, left pure white, some luster dust and star sparkles, as well as some edible pearls; I used number 1 and number 4 Ateco tips.

감사합니다

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I’m thankful for home.

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I’m grateful to be surrounded by love and warmth and family.

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This brief respite has been much needed, and much appreciated.

It saddens me to leave (tomorrow), but I am comforted with the knowledge that I will be back in just a few short weeks.

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I love my home: my house, my friends, my family, my town.

I love this place.

I was dearly missing this place.

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I thought I’d share some snapshots of home with you; the first photo is of my beloved bed, where I haven’t been spending enough time this break. (Too many things to do!  People to see!  Places to go!)

You get a preview of our holiday cards (blech) and some cute photos of my kitten and pup.

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Also, THANKS GUYS, for being awesome and reading these stupid posts of mine on this silly little blog.

You rock.  Thanks for that.  I sure do appreciate you.

Now, food.

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Thanksgiving Menu 2013:

Roasted roots: herbed sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots with honey mustard aioli (GF)

Roasted brown butter and maple Brussels sprouts (GF)

Honey glazed turkey with giblet gravy (GF)

Maple and apple cranberry sauce (GF)

Cornbread stuffing with spiced sausages, pecans, sage, and celery (GF)

Goat cheese, buttermilk, and olive oil mashed potatoes (GF)

Whole wheat butternut squash mac and cheese

Mixed green salad with pomegranates, walnuts, shaved fennel, apples, and Parmesan with pomegranate dressing (GF)

Butterscotch and thyme apple pie (GF)

Maple kefir brûlée tart (GF)

Pumpkin roll with Frangelico and mascarpone whipped cream, brown butter glaze, chopped pecans (GF)

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Yes, I made all of that myself.  Boy, was it a marathon.  A very, very, very, long and delicious haul.

My photos were all very rushed and poorly lit; I had hoped to show you pictures of all the gluten free goodies I made, but no such luck.

At least I got a picture of the pumpkin roll cake… So I can torture you with yet another pumpkin recipe!

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This will be the last pumpkin recipe of the year.

It’s one to remember: light, fluffy pumpkin sponge cake rolled around mascarpone and maple whipped cream, topped with brown butter and Frangelico glaze and chopped pecans.

You might just be inspired to pull out one last can of pumpkin.

Happy Thanksgiving (weekend), y’all.

Thanksgiving (scaled)

 Pumpkin Roll Cake

ingredients:
for the cake:
powdered sugar, for sprinkling on towel
90 grams (3/4 cup) flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, coriander
pinch salt
3 large eggs
200 grams (1 cup) sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
for the filling:
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup mascarpone
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch salt

for the glaze:
4 tablespoons butter, browned
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons Frangelico (optional)

For garnish:
Chopped pecans

Directions:
For the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a sheet pan very well; line with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a dishtowel with powdered sugar.
Whisk the flour, leaveners, spices, and salt together.
Beat the yolks and ¼ cup of the sugar very well, then stir in pumpkin.
Sift the flour mixture over the yolks and fold in gently.
Whip the egg whites and remaining sugar to stiff peaks.
Fold into the pumpkin mixture, then spread the batter out onto your prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, until set.
Flip over onto towel and let cool for 5 minutes.
Gently roll up the cake and set aside to cool completely.
For the filling, beat the whipped cream to soft peaks, then gently beat in the other ingredients.
Spread onto the cooled, unrolled cake, then reroll the cake.
For the glaze, mix everything together until no lumps remain; drizzle over the rolled cake.
Garnish with chopped pecans.

Windy Wednesday

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Today’s post is brought to you by the letter W.

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Words are not one of the W’s.  They escape me today.

But rather: waffles, waterfalls, and wistful. (Wednesday, too, I suppose!)

Oh… and windy… Because, yes, I am in the Windy City.

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So, um, yes.  Here are some abstract pictures of a waffle cake.

And my dog, obviously.

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My waffle maker makes kind of smushed waffles.  It’s pretty old.  I don’t blame it.

The result of  stacking up these smushed waffles with a lightly spiced brown butter and maple pear-apple compote and a maple Italian meringue is a delicious but somewhat ugly cake.
I know!! So many ugly cakes lately.  Sorry.  Sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles.
Whataryagonnado.

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Pssst… I even had a slice for breakfast!

(Ginger, on the other hand, did not.)
Which explains her facial expression.

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Pear and Apple Waffle Cake

for the waffles:
from King Arthur Flour
ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 scant cup of Belgian pearl sugar

directions:
Sprinkle the yeast over the milk to prepare it for its job; after five minutes, whisk in the butter and maple syrup as well as the vanilla extract.
Stir in the eggs and the flour and salt; set the batter aside in a warm place, covered in plastic wrap, for one hour, to rest and rise.
Right before cooking, stir in the Belgian pearl sugar.
Cook the waffles in a waffle maker.
for the pear and apple compote:
ingredients:
2 medium pears, peeled and cored and chopped into small pieces
3 medium apples, peeled and cored and chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon butter
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

directions:
Brown the butter in a saute pan, then add all the apples and pears and saute them until they soften.
Add the maple syrup and allow it to reduce by 1/2.
Season to taste with salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Allow to cool before using.

for the maple Italian meringue buttercream:
ingredients:
1 egg white
pinch salt
pinch cream of tartar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 stick of butter, softened
directions:

Place egg white, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Place maple syrup in a small pot and begin to heat it up.
Whip the egg white while heating the maple syrup to 240 degrees F.
The white should be at soft peaks when the syrup reaches temp; drizzle it in with the mixer running.
Once the meringue has cooled, beat in the butter.
Stack up the waffles with buttercream and compote.
Enjoy!

C.R.E.A.M.

Catz Rule Everything Around Me.
Meow.
I have a love/hate relationship with these two nasty little buggers.
See, Sasha and Kasha were both rescues of sorts- both rescued from dirty, teenage-boy apartments.
 
Sasha was a farm kitty who was bought on a whim by my older brother and his roommates.  
They brought her back to NYC and she promptly (and tragically) fell out of a four story window.
She survived with just a tiny cut on her chin…  She now has 8 lives left.
She’s the nicer of the two cats, but certainly lacks in the beauty department.
She also has a bad habit of escaping outdoors when you’re least expecting it (our cats are firmly indoor cats), and then manages to evade recapture for ages.  
She lets you get in very close, almost as if to catch her, then sprints away.
That little ratfink.  
Kasha was just a little kitten “rescued” from my friends’ apartment last summer.
They had initially rescued her from a field.
She is truly a feral cat… Raised among teenage boys, what else could one expect?
She’s a pretty one, covered in stripes and spots, but she’s very small.
I don’t expect she’ll grow much more.  We call her Peewee.  (More often than we use her real name!  She’s such a dinky little thing.)
Kasha is not very friendly, and doesn’t like to be held or pet.  Real lovely personality.
She eats like a starved and crazed animal, which she is not.
She’s even got a tiny pudgy little belly. 
If you even come near her eating her food, she will make a strange, high pitched gurgling/growling noise and proceed to try to fit everything in her bowl in her mouth.
It’s grotesque.  Seriously nauseous eating habits.
Also, Kasha tends not to purr.  Or meow.  She beeps.
She sounds like a bird mixed with a telephone.
I don’t know where this is going.
But basically, all I do is take photos of my cats and food.
And all I talk about are my cats.  I don’t even like them that much.
Welcome to my life, I guess.
It’s very exciting and instagram-worthy.
I don’t have a recipe for these cookies.  
I dumped a bunch of things in a bowl and hoped for the best.
When I experiment like that (which is very often), I always make notes on a post-it.
Trouble is, I have so many damn post-its that I can’t remember what they mean!
Also, I can only find two- I don’t know where the others go.
Somehow, I still have notes for an orange-olive oil cake, and I swear I’ve thrown this very one out three times.
It keeps coming back.
But alas, the search for the maple-bacon-brown butter-brown sugar cookie post-it has been in vain.  I will update this if I find it!
 
Be back soon… With ice cream!

Zaftig

 Zaftig blueberries, people.  Get your minds out of the gutter.
 
I think zaftig is the perfect adjective to describe blueberries, especially those which have been blanketed in delicious crumbles and baked until just about ready to burst.
Pleasantly plump.
Outrageously juicy.
This is a vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, white-tee-staining, antioxidant-bursting, blueberry crisp.
(Well, vegan until I added a dollop of cold and creamy Greek yogurt.  Sue me.)

This crisp is sweet enough, even without any refined sugar, to serve with unsweetened plain Greek yogurt.
Forget the crisps and crumbles served with ice cream.  
 
This one is healthy enough to eat for breakfast, 
satisfying enough to eat for lunch (ahem), 
moreish enough to eat for a snack during a movie, and 
tempting enough to still call you back for an evening sweet.
 
It’s good.  Real good.
The only sweetener in this crumble is maple syrup, a few good glugs of it.
I was just in Vermont/New Hampshire and bought some maple syrup.  I promptly came home and put it to good use in this crisp.  
JK I used my already opened quart of syrup that was in the fridge.  Let’s just say it was inspired by my trip.
 
(Note: I still haven’t found/bought/even tried any Grade B… Who knows where I can get my sticky, grubby paws on some?)
While in New Hampshire/Vermont, I went on a long hike in the pouring rain.
Pouring as in so wet that you throw out your socks after the hike.
Pouring as in so wet that your baseball hat had its own rain cloud directed straight in between your eyes.
Pouring as in so wet that everything in your waterproof backpack is soaked.
I wrapped my camera up in two plastic bags and braved the cold, bone-soaking rain.
I loved it!  I love the rain; I figure, once you’re wet, you’re wet.
My camera… not so much.  Although the body didn’t get wet at all, there were a lot of raindrops that I ended up having to edit out of my photos.  Some were too impossible for even the clone tool to fix.  Sigh.
 
(I was right along the Connecticut River, and was in both states multiple times.  I don’t know whether to say VT or NH.  Both seem misleading.  I’ll go with NHVT.  Nahv-t.  Then I’ll sound really intelligent.)
 
The photos you see here (photovomit, sorry!) were taken in the Quechee State Park, which has a breathtaking gorge.
Unfortunately, later in the day, just as I was driving out of Vermont, the sun came out and the lighting was perfect, unlike earlier, when it was raining buckets.
That’s life for you.
The park is gorgeous- I found a large swath of dead forest, which seems to have been burned out.
It was hauntingly beautiful in all the mist.
I also found a lot of discarded garbage from disrespectful campers.
Seriously?!  Take out what you bring in.
I was immensely saddened by all the rubbish lying about.
How could such a pristine place be downgraded like this?
Pick up after yourself.  Nature doesn’t appreciate slobs.
Dietary-Restriction-Friendly Blueberry Crisp
ingredients:
2+ pounds (900 grams) fresh blueberries, picked over (enough to fill/heap up in your baking dish)
drizzle of maple syrup (depends how sweet your berries are)
100 grams hazelnut flour
100 grams oats (make sure they’re certified gluten-free if you intend on serving this to gluten-free guests/friends)
80 grams cornmeal
120 grams maple syrup
80 grams coconut oil
pinch kosher salt
directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the blueberries in a 10×6 inch pan.
Drizzle maple syrup over them, if desired (I used 2 tablespoons or so).
Stir the hazelnut flour, oat, cornmeal, and salt together.
Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and stir until combined.
Sprinkle the crisp topping over the berries.
Bake for 25 minutes, until the top begins to brown deeply.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 more minutes.
Allow to cool slightly.
Serve with plain Greek yogurt.

Specific


Well y’all, this has been a long week of speculoos-related goods.  

A long and delicious week.
I’m ready to share some other stuff, though, so this is the last Biscoff post… for a while, anyways.


These little bars are brunettes- not blondies.
That’s because they have too much going on and I cannot possibly describe all of that in a single title.
Thus, brunettes.  They’ve got speculoos and all the accompanying spices, brown butter, maple, white chocolate, butterscotch, and a sinful glaze.
They’re just a little darker and more complex than any run of the mill bar cookie.
They’re a good way to end this lovely week.

Biscoff Brunettes
cookie portion adapted from Picky Palate
ingredients:
for the cookies:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup speculoos spread (make your own!)
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
(optional) 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
for the glaze:
2 tablespoons butter, browned
2 tablespoons maple syrup
big pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8×8 pan.
Brown the butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
Once it is browned, stir in the chips and maple syrup and continue stirring until they melt.
Add in the salt and speculoos spread and mix until all in combined.
Beating quickly, add in the eggs; continue mixing very quickly so they don’t scramble.
Add in the flour, sugar, and baking powder and mix to combine.
Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips.
Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Right after you take the cookies out of the oven, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together.
Pour over hot bars and allow to cool.
Slice and enjoy!

Hipsternation

My Korean grandmother is a hipster.  
(Hi Grandma!)
A few weeks months ago, while she was visiting, a conversation about hipsters was sparked by God knows what.
In a feeble attempt to explain this large sector of the populous, I explained, 
hipsters live in Brooklyn and make their own pickles.
 
My grandma just stared at me.  I was probably eating some of her kimchi at that very moment.
Then: a revelation from my irreverent always wise father- 
Grandma is the ultimate hipster.
 
Lives in Brooklyn? Check.
Makes her own pickles?  Oh good Lord you betcha.
Best kimchi I’ve ever tasted.  Not to mention the tens of other types of pickles she makes, stuffed in her fridge at home and here in both of our fridges.
 
(Find something floating in a brown liquid in my fridge?  Keep your paws off and certainly don’t throw it out.  It’s probably some pickles.  
My favorite are chayote pickles.
Funny story about these pickles: none of my family knew what exactly the pickle even was; we couldn’t figure it out, even after poking around in the murky container for a few days.  Unfortunately, my grandma wasn’t quite so helpful, because her pronunciation of chayote left us all puzzled.  It sounded like she was sneezing.  
Ach aye OH tay.  What?!  
Eventually, I realized what she was saying- but none of the rest of my family knew what chayote was, even when pronounced correctly.  Whatever.  More for me.)
We all found this hilarious, including my grandma.
Still not sure if she understands what a hipster is, although we expanded the definition to “also really liking food trucks.”
 
Hipsters also like these rice krispie treats.
They’re the snobbiest krispie treats in the history of rice krispie treats.
First of all, everything is homemade, save for the rice krispies themselves (although, to be completely honest, I did quite a bit of googling for “homemade rice krispies”).
Secondly, the flavors are very different from your regular ole run of the mill krispie treats:
the marshmallows are made with maple syrup and an entire vanilla bean,
the caramel is heavily salted with miso,
and the whole shebang is tied together with brown butter.
(Remember when I made snobby krispies?  Yeah, these up the ante even further.)

I made these a while back, and they’ve waited quite some time in the “draft” stage of my posts, but nevertheless, they’re a chic little bar, definitely worth mentioning.  
My friend, le français, said they tasted like croissants.
I’ll take it.

P.S. Luv u gramz.

Hipster Krispiez
marshmallow adapted from smittenkitchen, inspired/adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
ingredients:
for the marshmallow:
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons gelatin
1/2 cup water, divided
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
scrapings of a vanilla bean
big pinch salt
for the caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons shiro miso
to assemble:
3 tablespoons of butter, browned
6+ cups of rice krispies
melted chocolate for drizzling, if desired
directions:
First, make the caramel.
Bring the sugar and water to a boil, allowing them to cook until the mixture turns deep amber, about 7 minutes.

Immediately remove from heat and whisk in butter; mixture will foam.
Stir in the cream; mixture will bubble violently- keep whisking.
Stir in the miso, whisking until everything is smooth.
Set aside; if it sets while you are making the marshmallow, just reheat it gently in the microwave or over a low flame.
Next, make the marshmallow.
Place 1/4 cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Sprinkle the gelatin on top to allow it to soften and bloom.

Mix the maple syrup, sugar, salt, and second 1/4 cup water in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
Bring the syrup mixture up to 240 degrees F, about 10 minutes over medium heat.
Pour the hot syrup over the bloomed gelatin and whip until mixture has tripled in volume and is very fluffy and white.
Sometime while the mixture is whipping, add in the vanilla bean scrapings.
Meanwhile, prepare your pan; grease a 13×9 pan with a little butter and set it aside.
Once your marshmallow is ready, transfer it to a large pot with the browned butter; heat gently to mix the butter into the marshmallow, then stir in miso caramel until everything is homogeneous.
Stir in the rice krispies, adding more only if the mixture is very wet still; you won’t need much more than 8 cups, maximum.
Scrape the mixture into your prepared pan and press firmly all over to even out the tops.
Refrigerate about 30 minutes to set, or leave it at room temperature for a bit longer.
Cut into bars or squares, and drizzle with chocolate if desired.