Soft does spring press on,
by briefest glimpses of the sun.
And eagerly do buds break,
warm winds whisp’ring them awake.
Quiet pinks and palest yellows
shade the undersides of petals.
The breeze is scented, sweet,
caressing the world out from its sleep.
Life unfurls far as the eye can see;
birds and blooms fill every tree.
Warbling melodies call from above,
honeyed confessions of new love.



Mother Nature has spread her arms, her wings, and enveloped my world in a deeply perfumed embrace.

I am humbled by and grateful for the beauty of spring.
Winter brought me to my knees, yet the long, dark months have served to make the sunshine even brighter, the flowers even sweeter, the buds even more promising.
I am doing my best to welcome life back in.


Forgive me my long absence, I am aware that a week is an uncharacteristically long break between posts.

Life has been crazy lately.
Assignments, papers, reading, problem sets, events, deadlines, on top of socializing and trying to let loose– they all pile up like pollen, itching the OCD part of my brain and making it sneeze with fear and dissatisfaction.
As I was falling asleep last night (around 3 am…), I tried to remove myself from the pile-up, to look at it from an external point of view.
To let my mind float up, extended from my body, and look down at myself and the growing number of duties beside me.

It did not go as planned.  You know what happened?  I had a panic attack.
I couldn’t help but think about all the things that were due, all the sleep I wouldn’t get, all the little things I do and have done wrong.
How I can’t and won’t be able to do everything I need and want to.
How I have over-scheduled myself, over-promised my time, over-stretched my mind.
How fine of a wire I am balancing on, eternally teetering between breakdown and triumph.

I know it’s a part of life to be challenged and be forced to keep on pushing through; I’m trying enormously to keep that in mind.
The funny thing is how well so many things have been going.  I’m happy.
Life is so so good.  Busy can be good.

We live in a busy, productive society– but sometimes I just feel terribly overwhelmed by the culture of stress that prevails, especially here at UChicago.
It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that you should be busy busy busy all the time, but it’s not sustainable.
I’m glad I only have 10 weeks of this, because I’m not sure how much longer I could realistically survive.

Downtime is just as important as the pep and the pomp.


This crepe cake celebrates the fresh berries that are beginning to call out in the markets.
By late spring, our baskets will be brimming with the first crop of sweet, juicy local raspberries.

The ones that topped this cake were perfect, but they came from California.
Those lucky bastards are spoiled with luscious local produce all year long.

The cake itself is a stack of simple crepes that melt on your tongue, thin and lacy with crisped edges, spread with sweet, rich mascarpone cream and sea-salted caramel with just a whisper of darkness, a near-burnt profundity that adds complexity; tart, juicy raspberries and a shower of powdered sugar complete it.

The sum is greater than the parts– it ends up looking quite fancy for being a no-bake affair!

My friends and I each enjoyed a slice as we sat around a table catching up.
A wonderful slice of relaxation.


A few tips and tricks for making this beautiful cake:

Don’t panic while making crepes!
Invest in a nonstick skillet– a small one will do.
Even if you avoid nonstick for fear of flaking coating, it’s worth having such a skillet for making crepes.
You won’t really need to butter your pan, which prevents weird fried edges and allows the crepes to cook evenly.
It also takes the hassle out of flipping the crepes– just slide a spatula or fork around the edges, and carefully pick up the crepe with your fingers to flip it quickly.

Keep your heat on medium-high.
Too cold, and the crepes will take forever and will not brown correctly.
Too high, and you’ll get bubbles that eventually burn.

Do the prep in pieces.
Make the crepes a day (or two!) ahead.  Lay them out on a baking sheet with parchment in between the crepes, wrap them in saran wrap and refrigerate them.
Make the caramel the night before– just leave it on the counter in a bowl to cool.
Make the mascarpone cream right before you use it; it takes all of five minutes to whip together.

Once the main components are all in place, it’s a breeze to stack up.  Methodical, really.
A spoonful of cream, a drizzle of caramel, another lacy crepe.
Rinse and repeat.


Caramel Mascarpone Crepe Cake
crepe portion adapted from Poires Au Chocolat

for the crepes:
50 grams (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
220 grams (1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon) flour
pinch of sea salt
4 eggs
400 mL (1 2/3 cups) milk
100 mL (7 tablespoons) water

for the salted caramel:
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
30 grams (2 tablespoons) water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

90 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) heavy cream
25 grams (2 tablespoons) butter

for the whipped mascarpone:
228 grams (1 cup) mascarpone
180 grams (3/4 cup) heavy cream
115 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar
tiny pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

to assemble:
1-2 pints raspberries
powdered sugar

Make the crepes: combine all ingredients in a blender canister or in a large bowl with a hand blender.
Blend on high for 1 full minute, until no lumps remain.
In a hot nonstick, 7-inch skillet, brush a tiny (1/2 a pea) amount of butter.
Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and swirl quickly to create an even, thin layer of batter.
Allow to cook for 3 minutes, until golden and browned, then flip the crepe with a spatula and your fingers.
Allow the other side to cook for 2 minutes, then remove the crepe and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Continue to make crepes until all the batter is gone; you should have 20 or so crepes.
After you have filled up one layer of crepes on the baking sheet, place another layer of parchment on top, then continue to layer crepes as they are made.
Next, make the caramel: combine sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt in a small pot.
Heat on medium-high heat, swirling but not stirring, until a deep golden color.
Remove the pan from the heat and, moving very quickly, whisk in the heavy cream and butter.
Whisk until very smooth, then pour into a container and set aside to cool; caramel will be exceedingly hot.
While the caramel cools, make the mascarpone mixture: beat mascarpone until very soft, then add in the heavy cream and beat until fluffy.
Add in the salt, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and beat until mixture is light and fully combined; there should be no lumps.
To assemble the cake, layer the first crepe with a spoonful of mascarpone and a heavy drizzle of caramel.
Layer the next crepe on, carefully and gently smoothing on the mascarpone and caramel.
Stack up all the crepes, saving a small amount of mascarpone for the top crepe; spread it thinly and use it to attach the raspberries.
Dust with powdered sugar, and serve in generous wedges.



The kitchen burned down.


No, I did not burn it down.  Thank goodness.
No, the building did not burn down.  Thank god.
Everyone is safe, but there was major damage done.
I am hardly the one most affected in this whole ordeal.

Let me tell the (theorized) story.


People staying over Thanksgiving break understandably wanted to make latkes to celebrate Thanksgivukkah with the house.
They deep fried the latkes, took the pot of hot oil off the burner, and placed it on another burner.
All good.  Except they failed to check if the second burner was off (people were cooking like crazy, and it’s an electric stove, so)… It was not off.
It is no ones fault; there is no blame to lay.  It was a complete and total accident.

Apparently, the fire alarm went off while they were eating dinner, and it was discovered that there was a grease fire raging on in our house kitchen.

The sprinklers dumped gallons and gallons of water into the kitchen. It flooded.

The lounge flooded.

The remediation crew came in and threw everything out.

Everything.  From my hoarded Madagascar vanilla beans to my favorite, homemade apron. (This one.)
My carefully curated pantry was emptied.

Where bags of flour, sugar, cocoa, and spices once resided, there is nothing.
Today, they’ve gutted the kitchen.  There is no longer even a cabinet.
I cried.  Not gonna lie.


The apartment below the kitchen, a faculty member’s, has had extensive water damage and flooding through the ceilings.  They have 2 dogs and 2 small children.  My heart goes out to them in this trying time as they attempt to put their life back together.

Our kitchen will (fingers crossed) be back up and running at the beginning of winter quarter.

None of you are probably wondering what will happen to this blog in the two weeks to come, before I can go home.
A lot of no bake stuff, some posts I have saved up, some cookie swapping.


Enter these memorable cookies, which I made 2 weeks ago and which are still fragrant and melting on my tongue.
I was craving something buttery and sweet, something that balanced coconut, raspberry, and salt.

Putting raspberry jam in cookies has proven to be too steep a task for me recently, so I decided on something simple, that could be served with the jam on the side: enter the classic Scottish shortbread.
And, honestly, no one touched the jam but me.  It’s not necessary, but you will include it on a serving tray with these cookies if you know what’s good.

The cookies are a mash-up of ingredients I had in my pantry (before it burned down, RIP).
Coconut oil, butter, cream cheese.  Flour, salt, sugar.  Simple, simple, simple.

The dough is easy: cream, mix, press, crimp, bake.
My friend who thought she didn’t like coconut loved these!  Yay!  Yet another victory for coconut oil!

Back soon with peanut butter.  Or lemon.  But not both. (Ew ew ew that’s probably something only my dad would like.)


Coconut Oil Shortbread

makes one 9-inch pan
2.2 ounces (4 1/2 tablespoons) butter
3 ounces (5 1/2 tablespoons) coconut oil, solid
1.5 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
7 ounces (1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
scant 2 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan.
Cream butter, coconut oil, and cream cheese together for 3 minutes, until homogeneous and smooth.
Scrape the bowl and add the sugar, flour, and salt.
Mix on low until a crumbly dough forms.
Scrape the crumbs into the prepared pan and press down firmly.
Prick all over with a fork; crimp the edges and score if desired and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, until shortbread is golden and fragrant.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Eat with raspberry jam!  Please!



“Impossible, for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage.
Impossible, for a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage.
A slipper made of glass is just a shoe and dreamers never make the dream come true. Impossible!”

-The Fairy Godmother, Cinderella


You’re probably hoping that your eyes deceive you and that these buns are not, in fact, orange.

That these buns are not, in fact, made of pumpkin.

Another pumpkin recipe on the blogosphere?  Impossible!  It will explode, raining orange, autumnal purée and pepitas over all of us.

Impossible!  Surely!

P.S. Still lolling at that gif.  Like I can’t even.  Hahahahahahahahaaha.


Okay.  Yes.  Oops.  It might be one pumpkin recipe too many.

I exploded the blogosphere and GET THIS IT GETS WORSE YES I KNOW

 because I still have at least one more pumpkin recipe

(but probably 2)

and then I’ll be done IpromiseI’msorryI’msorryIknowI’mabadblogger.

So let’s all forget that we’re sick of pumpkin.  Let’s pretend it’s a new and exciting medium in which I, as a food blogger, can work. (HA!)

Let’s just enjoy this damn orange vegetable while it’s still kind of fall and semi-acceptable.

Okay?  At least it’s November and not May.  Let’s look on the bright side of this tired squash.



Let’s talk bunz.

Soft, brown-butter, yeasted and spiced pumpkin dough is folded around a butter, pumpkin spice, and sugar filling into which you will undoubtedly want to faceplant.

Strips are cut, then cut again, then twisted and folded and knotted and topped with heaping amounts of sugars.

The Swedish-inspired buns expand a little, rise a little more, and then get baked to golden perfection.

The bottoms of my buns got a little burned.  (Teehee.) Double up baking sheets so this terrible tragedy doesn’t happen to you.

These are perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee.  They would be a most marvelous accompaniment for a Swedish fika.

Fika fika.


Brown Butter Pumpkin Kanelbullens
inspired by Call me Cupcake! (Serious blog admiration/love/drool.)
makes approximately 16 buns

for the dough:
125 grams (approximately 1/2 cup) milk
125 grams (slightly heaping 1/2 cup) pumpkin
7 grams (1 packet, 1/4 ounce, 2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
75 grams (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) butter, browned
45 grams (scant 1/4 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
420 grams (3 1/2 cups) flour

for the filling:
85 grams (6 tablespoons) butter, very soft
45 grams (scant 1/4 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend

to finish:
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
granulated sugar and Swedish pearl sugar, for decorating

Place pumpkin and milk in a saucepan and heat to 110 degrees F; sprinkle the yeast over and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
Whisk the browned butter, sugar, and pumpkin spice together very well.
When the yeast is dissolved and little bubbles are forming in the pumpkin/milk, whisk that mixture into the butter mixture.
Place in the bowl of a stand mixer and dump all the flour on top.
Mix with the dough hook for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is crazy soft and smooth, like a baby’s bottom.
You now have two options: leave the dough for up to 3 nights in the fridge in an oiled bowl with saran wrap pressed lightly against the surface, or let it rise at a warm room temp in the same bowl/wrapping situation until doubled in size, about 2 hours, depending on temperature.
If you refrigerate the dough, let it come to room temp before proceeding, which may take a while depending on the heat of your kitchen.
When you’re ready to finish the buns, roll the dough out into a large rectangle on a floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch.
Mash the butter, sugar, and spices together with a fork or spoon (if your butter isn’t soft, use a mixer to soften it).
Spread the butter mixture over the rolled out dough- it should be very thinly spread.
Fold the short edges over, to fold the dough like a letter.
Cut strips of dough, then split them almost all the way up, leaving a small bit at the top still attached as one– like pants!
Twist the pant legs, then knot them together.
Place the buns on a well-insulated baking sheet (my bottoms got burned– I would recommend doubling up) lined with parchment.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugars.
Allow to rise while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden and the buns are baked all the way through (pull one apart to inspect).
Enjoy warm with tea or coffee!



Actually, these were not giggle-inducing cookies to sort out.  They were kind of a pain in the ass.

Although very worth the headache.

Lately, all the cookies I’ve been making have been quite annoying.

By all I mean two batches.  One of which you see here.

Delicious, yes.  In the end, worth it, yes.  But testing recipes isn’t always smooth going.
Especially when you make it up as you go.

Sans thermometer, no less!

ALSO, I hate photographing cookies (I’m soooo bad at it someone teach me SOS).  My cookie skills (in all realms) clearly need brushing up.

(Good thing I have 6 rolls of slice and bake cookies in the fridge right now…)

These cookies struck me in the middle of a autumnal daydream.

Gooey, spicy pumpkin caramel+buttery, soft, cinnamon cookie pillows?

Good grief.

Somehow, I waited days!!!  I had no time.  I longed to make these lil guys.
I gathered my ingredients round, assuring them in hushed whispers, “You will be great.  Magical, even.  Just a little longer now.”

Pumpkin, spices, cream, sugar, butter…

The problem- the caramel was supposed to be stuffed inside the stupid cookies.  But it kept heating up and becoming hot molten lava that burbled and puddled out of the cookies.
Delicious puddles.

But ugly puddles.  I mean, come on… I can’t very well post a picture of an ENTIRE cookie sheet merged into ONE giant mutant cookie and expect people to be attracted, can I?
Yes.  That happened.

So I tried and tried again.  It didn’t work.  I gave up, rolled the snickerdoodles into little puffy balls, and spread gooey caramel in between them.

As I licked my fingers clean of salty-sweet-spicy caramel after biting into one of these little sandwiches, I regretted nothing.

Stuffed cookies are overrated anyways.  Hmph.


Soft Snickerdoodle Sandwiches with Pumpkin Caramel

cookie portion adapted from Joy of Baking

for the cookies:
360 grams (2 3/4 cups) flour
pinch salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
225 grams (16 tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces
300 grams (1 1/2 cups) sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

for the pumpkin caramel:
110 grams (scant half cup) pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
150 grams (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) heavy cream
40 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
225 (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) grams sugar
60 grams (scant 3 tablespoons) corn syrup
45 grams (3 tablespoons) water
7 grams (big, big pinch) salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the cookies, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes, then scrape the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for 4 more minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the baking powder, flour, and salt together.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the flour mixture all at once.
Gently stir to combine, just until a dough forms.
Use a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop to make little balls; roll them between your hands and roll in the cinnamon sugar.
Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly spread out and puffed.
Allow all of the cookies to cool completely before filling them.

For the caramel, whisk pumpkin, spices, and heavy cream together.
Microwave for 30 seconds, until warm but not hot, and set aside.
Place the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water into a small, deep pot.
Heat over medium-low heat until the caramel is a deep tan, about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and whisk in butter (careful!).
Once the butter is melted, whisk in the cream mixture (careful).
Heat over low heat, whisking almost constantly, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
Allow to cool completely before touching the caramel or filling the cookies.

To assemble, place a small spoonful of caramel onto one cookie, and place another one on top.
Easy-peasy!  Enjoy!

Clean Chakra, Good Karma


“Let’s trade in our judging for appreciation.  Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”
-Ram Dass

As some of you may know, yoga plays a huge role in my life.
I practice 5-7 days a week.  You could say I’m addicted.
Yoga has shown me a part of myself that doesn’t need competition to thrive.
Normally, I live for competing and comparison.
In yoga, I am given the opportunity to learn to appreciate and grow with the people around me who are also sharing in the experience.
Another beautiful part of yoga is the idea of self-study, which allows you to be both the teacher and the student, which is a unique and eye-opening experience.

Leaving Ithaca meant leaving a studio which I had grown to not only love, but feel at home in.
Mighty Yoga is not a yoga studio.  It is a yogic community based on pure love; they welcome new students in with open arms and keep a place for returning students.
I miss my Mighty Yogis something fierce.  All of the teachers there are amazing and bring a different and new sense of wonder to the practice.
I try to hold the sense of community and love that I received/receive from Mighty Yoga in my heart and mind as I try to set down roots in a new studio, which is a different community and a different vibe.
Not bad, or worse, just different.

I made these hand-painted, chai-spiced and rosewater-frosted cookies as a goodbye gift for all the yogis at the studio.
Buttery sugar cookies are dosed with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, and the royal frosting is tinged with rosewater.
They are delightfully crisp and equally buttery.
I painted each with one of the seven chakras.


P.S. Yes that’s me in the above photo… The pose is eka pada rajakapotasana II.


Chai-Spiced Butter Cookies with Rosewater Royal Icing

for the cookies:
3 cups flour
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
pinch each cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger
1 egg
2 scant teaspoons kosher salt
3 splashes vanilla

Beat butter and sugar together until softened and pale yellow.
Add in the egg and beat until super fluffy and shiny and not gritty, about 3 minutes.
Add in the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 20 seconds.
Add in all the flour and stir slowly, mixing until a homogeneous dough forms.
It should not be overly sticky, nor should it be very crumbly.
Roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut it into shapes.
Refrigerate or, even better, freeze, for at least 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until golden and easily lifted from the sheet.for the frosting:
use this kick ass recipe from Bake at 350, replacing rosewater for the extracts

Fallin’ For You


“Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
Now he will be a part of them forever.”

-Ernest Hemingway

I have very distinct and fond memories of apple cider donuts.
They epitomize fall for me.

Going to Hollenbeck’s to get cider and hot, fresh apple cider cake donuts… That’s heaven.

The scent of fried dough and cinnamon, mixed with hot, sweet apple cider… That’s autumn.

I made these donuts prior to leaving *my* kitchen for college.
Most of my posts for the next week or so will be like this… I somehow managed to plan ahead, which makes each of these posts a rare bird.
However, my first real-time, real-life, real-talk college (cawledgeeeee) post may very well be coming soon, because one of my new friends (I know… Whaaa?!?) has a birthday in a few short days and has requested chocolate cake… It may be a good excuse to get into the kitchen!
(As if I needed one.)

The recipe for these donuts (doughnuts?) comes from the wonderful Deb of Smitten Kitchen.
They’re a bit different from apple cider donuts that one would get at a cider mill or apple orchard, because most of those operations have donut droppers that can release a perfect donut shaped ring of loose cake batter into hot oil.
Most people at home don’t have these contraptions, so homemade fried cake donuts have to be made with a thicker dough, like an extra puffy, soft cookie dough.
Due to this fact, the donuts aren’t smooth and curvy.  They’ve got edges.  It’s okay.  It happens.
Ugly donuts are still donuts.  Trust me on that one.
They still taste like a piece of fried fall heaven.


Apple Cider Doughnuts
makes about 16
from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups AP flour, plus extra from dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
scant 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
shortening, for frying
Cinnamon sugar (1 cup granulated sugar+1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon)
Powdered sugar

Reduce the apple cider by 4, so that you have about 1/4 cup of thickened cider, about 30 minutes over low heat.
Whisk the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, then whisk the buttermilk and cider together and pour into the butter mixture.
Scrape the sides very well, and beat to make sure everything is incorporated before adding the dry ingredients in.
Mix only until the dough comes together.
Turn it out onto a very well floured and parchment-lined baking sheet and pat to a thickness of 1/2 an inch.
Freeze for 20 minutes, then cut out your doughnut shapes.
Put them in the fridge to rest while you heat the oil.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with plenty of paper towels.
Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together while the oil heats up.
When the oil comes to temp, fry your donuts until they are golden brown on each side, about 1 minute on the first side and 30 seconds to 1 minute on the second.
Remove them to the paper towel lined sheet for a minute or two before rolling them in the cinnamon sugar.
If you’re dusting them in powdered sugar, let them chill on the paper towels for 3 minutes before dusting.
If you don’t eat them right away, you’ll have to dust them in powdered sugar again before serving, as it will sink into the doughnuts.



These cookies are wholly counterproductive.
Welcome to the first installation of uses for your homemade speculoos spread (other than ravaging it with a spoon).
Basically, we made cookies to make cookies.
Oh, my lyfe.
These cookies are similar to peanut butter cookies, but they use cookie butter (can we just appreciate that for a minute?) in lieu of the traditional nut butter.
They’re big and soft and they make perfect sandwich cookies when pressed together with some dark chocolate ganache.
I’m telling you, these are not gingersnaps.  
Stop trying to make them gingersnaps in your head.  
They’re not.  I did it too.  Trust me. 
They’re more like lightly spiced peanut butter cookies.
Make them and you will appreciate this sentiment.
You will also be annoyed that you had to make cookies, grind them up, and then make cookies again.  It’s worth it my dear.
(Also, any excuse to pull out my Swedish pearl sugar is worth it.  
Let me just say how obsessed I am with this stuff.  It’s like sprinkles.  Addictive.
I actually prefer it over the larger, coarser Belgian pearl sugar, but you could theoretically coat these in the Belgian stuff, although it will add a lot more sweetness and crunch.  
You could also sub regular or turbinado sugar, but you’ll get less crunch.
I’m starting to think you could also coat these in sprinkles and then you’d have sprinkle Biscoff cookies and whaaa that’s a trap I’m getting out okay bye.)


Biscoff Cookies
adapted from Baking Bites
makes 6 large sandwich cookies
4 ounces (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch each cinnamon, ground cloves, and ginger
scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Biscoff (make your own!)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
swedish pearl sugar, or turbinado sugar, for rolling
for the ganache:
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Beat butter on high until fluffy and soft, about 1 minute.  
Add in the sugars, spices, and the salt and beat on high until all of sugar is dissolved and mixture is very light in color and shiny and not-gritty in texture, about 3 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the egg and vanilla extract.  
Beat for 3 more minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the Biscoff and beat for 1 minute.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Mix just until homogeneous, about 1 minute.
Using a large cookie scoop, or an ice cream scoop, scoop out 12 cookies. 
Gently roll them in the pearl sugar, making sure to coat all parts of the cookie.
Bake for 9-10 minutes, until puffy.  
They will look very underdone and will still be extremely soft in the middle; they will look somewhat uncooked in the very center.
Allow to cool on the sheet pans; the cookies will decompress and retain their softness, but the residual heat will ensure that they are not raw.
Once cooled, make the ganache.
Microwave the chocolate chips and cream together until the chips are mostly melted; do this in 30 second bursts.  
Stir to combine and finish melting the chocolate.
Spread between two cookies and sandwich them!

Not Yo’ Momma’s

Everyone has an ideal chocolate chip cookie.
Either your momma or your nonna or whoever makes ’em just the way you like, and any other way simply will not do.  
Maybe you like them crispy and thin or fat and fluffy, as big as a frisbee or small like little jewels.  
Maybe you like them with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, chips, chunks, shards, or whatever.
Maybe you’re not a human and you don’t even like chocolate chip cookies. 
(Go back to your own planet!)
I’m not here to tell you I’ve a better cookie than your grandma.
No way am I straying into that territory; I’ll never measure up.
What I am here to tell you is that I have a very unorthodox and very delicious cookie recipe for you that happens to have chocolate chips and that you should make.
These cookies blur the lines between chocolate chip, spice, and sugar cookies.
They’re soft and fluffy, like sugar cookies.
They’re rolled in sugar, like spice.
They’ve got a rich, buttery flavor punctuated with gooey chocolate chips, like youknowwho.
Yet the whole, in this case, adds up to so much more than the parts.
Fresh out of the oven, these cookies smell like heaven.
They’re nutty from the browned butter, sweet and spicy from the cinnamon, and you can genuinely smell the chocolate as it roasts in the oven.
Fresh out of the oven, these cookies taste like heaven.
They’re crunchy on the outside, thanks to the pearl sugar, soft and pliable on the interior thanks to a severe underbaking, and they’re studded with still-melted chocolate chips.
I had two fresh and hot, thankyouverymuch.
The trick to getting the best cookies is the baking time.
In my experience, if you follow what cookbooks say, you’ll end up with rocks.
Or doorstops.
I always used to put the most delicious cookie dough in the oven and, 10-12 minutes or however long later, pull out cookies so crispy they could break your tooth.
Obviously, liberal milk was needed in those cases.
They still taste good, yes, but if you want to make irresistible cookies, you have to underbake them.
They should still be puffy when you pull them out of the oven.
Keep in mind that no matter how soft they are straight out of the oven, the next day they will be harder.  
That’s just the way life goes; there’s no easy way around it.
These cookies pack a punch.
A solid right hook, I’d say.
The cast of characters features a few of my all-time favorite ingredients ever in them.
Brown butter.
Mini chocolate chips.
Pearl sugar.
And now, golden syrup.  We’ve only just met and yet how I love you.  Oh how I do.
Moral of the story: I’m sure as heck not your momma, but I’ll make you some damn good cookies if you let me.
P.S. check out the real life situation in the picture right below.  Six cookie sheets stacked up nice and high and very unstably.  Welcome to my kitchen.
Not Yo’ Momma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 15 large cookies
8 tablespoons butter, softened
5 tablespoons butter, browned
1 very lightly packed cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup golden syrup, like Lyle’s (can sub honey or molasses or agave, but flavor will change drastically and I can’t vouch for the texture.  Lyle’s is available in most supermarkets nowadays.)
big splash vanilla extract
2 pinches cinnamon
2 big, big pinches sea salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 scant cup mini chocolate chips
swedish pearl sugar, for rolling (you could also use turbinado sugar, or alternately use none… but that’s boring, isn’t it?)
Beat the first measure of butter on high speed until smooth.  
Add in the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes, until the grit is starting to disappear and the mixture is becoming fluffy.  
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the egg.  
Beat for 1 minute on low until egg is incorporated.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the golden syrup.
Beat on medium high for 4 minutes, until the mixture is extremely fluffy and shiny, and very pale.
Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined.
Scrape the sides of the bowl.  
Add baking soda and part of flour (1/4 cup increments).
Mix on low to combine, while slowly adding flour.
Mix only until homogeneous.  Add in the chocolate chips, stirring only to combine.
Scoop into rounds using an ice cream scoop.  
Roll into even balls and roll in sugar.
Place on a baking sheet at least 1 1/2 inches apart from each other, then flatten slightly and evenly until they look like mini hockey pucks.
Chill well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake cookies for 16-17 minutes, until the edges are golden brown but the interior still looks slightly puffy and pale (see photo below).
Enjoy one or two warm… You won’t regret it!

Brown on the edges, golden in the center.  Still kinda puffy and jiggly.


Le soleil se reveille.
Les villes sont illuminées; le petit matin scintille avec des rayons de soleil.
On apprécie toujours les couleurs vives.  
Le jaune clair se transforme et devient le jaune doré.  
Le soleil s’étire et ainsi, le jour est réalisé.
The sun rises.
Cities are illuminated; the dawn sparkles with sunbeams.
The bold colors are always appreciated.
Pale yellow morphs and becomes gold.
The sun stretches and thus, the day is realized.

I’m dreaming of bright sun and warmth.  The winter is dragging its feet out the door, and I’m ready for the transition from gray to green.
I mean, really.
This tropical produce-inspired dessert didn’t help much.
I don’t know whether my desire for a beach inspired the dessert, or whether the dessert inspired the desire.
Dessert-inspired desire or desire-inspired dessert?
These mango spheres, which look like farm-fresh yolks, were just short of mind-blowing. 
You can actually handle them like egg yolks; they’re not overly delicate, but when they hit your tongue, they release a lovely mango purée, fragrant and sweet.
I was so enamored with them that I also whipped up a small batch of sticky coconut rice (black forbidden rice cooked in coconut milk with a pinch of glutinous rice flour, then topped with a reduced coconut milk and jaggery sauce) to serve underneath them as a pre-dessert; it was a textural play on sticky rice with mangoes, a popular dish where I live.
I wish the fennel purée had been a bit smoother, but the fibrous nature of fennel was working to my detriment.  I was content with the flavor (mild, gingery, and a creamy foil to the acidic lime and pineapple), but I wish it had been just a bit silkier.  
I know that root vegetables tend to make smoother purées, so in the future, I may stick to roots rather than bulbs like fennel.
I plated this dish to look like its namesake: a sunrise.  I played around with the look of a sunny-side up egg, also an indicator of morning.  
With a tropical flavor profile and nouveaux textures, this dessert wakes you right up.
Ginger-fennel purée
Brûléed pineapple
Lime pâte de fruit
Coconut flan
Mango spheres


For the coconut flan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
Big pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degreees F.
Place 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan and heat until it caramelizes and turns a deep amber, about 7 minutes.
Immediately pour into a 9-inch cake pan, swirling to coat the bottom.  If it hardens before you coat the entire bottom, simply heat the cake pan up over low heat on a burner until the caramel becomes liquid again.
Put a kettle on to boil.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and second sugar measurement together briskly until lighter yellow colored and foamy.
In another saucepan, heat the salt and coconut milk until simmering.
Whisking constantly, slowly stream the hot milk into the eggs until all is incorporated. Pour into caramel coated pan.
Place the pan in a deep roasting pan and pour the boiling water in until the water is 3/4 of the way up the sides.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the flan is set around the edges but still slightly wiggly in the center.
Leave in water bath for 5 minutes, then remove from the bath and move to refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
To turn it out, place a plate with a slight rim on top of the cake tin, and quickly flip over.
To cut circles, use a circular cookie cutter.
For the mango spheres:
100 grams frozen or fresh mango
2 g calcium lactate gluconate
For the bath:
1400 g low-calcium water
65 g sugar
6 g sodium alginate
Purée the mango until very smooth; push through a sieve to remove any particulate matter; mix in the calcium lactate with an immersion blender.
Pour into a hemispherical mold and freeze completely.
For the bath:
Heat up the sugar and water until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Add in the alginate and mix very well with an immersion blender.
Allow to sit for at least 6 hours to allow any air bubbles to escape.
Remove the purée from the mold and place frozen spheres directly into alginate bath.  Leave for 4 minutes; do not allow the spheres to touch each other.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place in clean water.  (Do not serve immediately because the cores will still be frozen; wait at least 1 hour.)
To store, either store in clean water or water mixed with mango juice in the fridge.  Can be stored for up to one week.
For the lime pâte de fruit:
Adapted from the October 2010 issue of O magazine
1/4 cup lime juice
Zest of one lime
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon powdered pectin
1 1/4 cup sugar
Lightly oil a 6″ pan.
Combine sugar, juice, zest, applesauce, and pectin in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until mixture reached 225 degrees F.  Stir in some green food coloring, if desired.
Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle extra sugar on top.  Allow to cool completely, then cut out small cubes, toss in sugar, and allow to completely firm up overnight.
For the ginger-fennel purée:
Okay.  I’m going to be honest.  I roasted a fennel bulb, threw in some grated ginger, added some heavy cream, some white chocolate, salt, etc, until I was satisfied.  There wasn’t a… um… recipe per se.  I just winged it; I’m sure you can do the same.  Sorry!

For the brûléed pineapple:
Clean a pineapple, remove the core, and cut into desired shapes.  (I did a rectangular prism).  Sprinkle with sugar, brûlée, then flip onto the next side.  Repeat for at least three of the longer sides so that all visible sides

To assemble:
Schmear the purée on the base of the plate.  
Place 2 pieces of brûléed pineapple flush to the bottom of the plate.  
Arrange 3 lime pâtes de fruit organically around the plate.
Slide a flan above the pineapple; do not let it touch the purée.  
Finally, using a slotted spoon, transfer two mango spheres to the plate.