Salted Chocolate Cloud Cookies (gluten-free)

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So, I thought I was cookie-ed out.  It was after Christmas, and I’d eaten my weight in my mom’s Grand Marnier sandwich cookies, apricot jam stuffed half moons, O’Henry bars, and Seven Layers of Goodness.  But then I really wanted to make macarons.  These little cookies are just adorable, and a Berkeley bakery makes a delicious salted caramel version that I desperately wanted to create in my own kitchen.  These salted caramel macarons are like the subtle French counterpart to my supremely American, dense, chocolatey, salted caramel whoopie pies.  There is nothing subtle about whoopie pies. Now I don’t have … Continue reading

Christmas Cookies

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I’m home in Boston for Christmas.  It is Christmas, even though it’s a freakish 50 degrees with not a bit of snow in sight.  Still, there are many other signs of Christmas: lights, a tree covered in ornaments, and cookies.  So, so many cookies.  Every year that I can remember my mom has made Christmas cookies.  It’s a project that encompasses the entire season.  Butter and sugar are stocked in bulk.  Everyone has their favorite, and no one’s favorite could ever be eliminated, though new cookies are added every year.  Mom scaled back this year, but still made 13 kinds … Continue reading

Dark Chocolate, Espresso and Black Pepper Cookies

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Martha Stewart knows her cookies. (recipe here)  These are delicious with coffee, dipped in cocoa, or hot off the cookie sheet.  They’re worth any minor finger burns you get in the process. The recipe makes approximately four dozen cookies full of a round chocolately espresso goodness that’s complemented by the bite of the pepper.  You roll the dough into a 2” diameter log, put it in the fridge for at least an hour, and then slice off rounds.  I couldn’t get the dough to roll into a perfect cylinder, so my cookies were more oblong then round.  If you bake … Continue reading

Salted Caramel Whoopie Pies

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Salted caramel has been the flavor of 2011 for me.  Salted caramel mochas at Starbucks, the salted caramel cupcake at James and the Giant Cupcake, and sea salt caramel candies, which I still haven’t made at home yet.  So when I wanted to do a spin on the traditional whoopie pie, I didn’t try too hard to come up with something new and creative.  I just went with my favorite flavor combination. This recipe makes little whoopie pies.  You could just as easily get 4-6 large ones out of this, but I like the smaller whoopie pies.  I subscribe to … Continue reading

Healthy, Vegan, Gluten-free, AND Tasty Cookies

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Somehow, it’s December.  It totally snuck up on me.  I was just in Boston for Thanksgiving, and in 3 weeks I’ll get back on a plane and heading home for Christmas.  We are completely attached to our traditions in my family, and Christmas cookies (much like stuffing) are an unshakeable and completely irreplaceable tradition.  This is the part where I assert that my mom makes the best Christmas cookies.  I think last year she made 17 different kinds, and they are all always amazing.  We subscribe to the theory of small cookies, 2-3 bites at most, so you can try … Continue reading

Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil Bread

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When I was thinking about my stuffing recipe, I knew I wanted everything to be as flavorful as possible.  I was also dealing with a competing priority though, which was that I knew come Thanksgiving morning I’d have very limited prep time.  My redeye cross country flight got me into Boston at 7:30AM, and since we were delayed it was actually much closer to 9:00 AM.  I knew there’d be no time for bread baking, and then for letting the bread go stale and using it for stuffing at our actual Thanksgiving celebration.  Luckily I also knew that rosemary garlic … Continue reading

Apple Cranberry Turnovers

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I had some pie crust leftover from the Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tarts I made.  The pie crust recipe came together so easily, and was so flaky, I knew that I couldn’t let the rest of it go to waste.  I thought about using it to make these mini apple pies, which are my current dessert obsession, but I had a fair amount of dough and decided to try my hand at apple turnovers instead.  I seem to have decided that the calories in any dessert are exactly equal to the amount of calories burned while making said dessert.  … Continue reading

Pumpkin Walnut Spice Bread

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I don’t quite get all the fuss about pumpkin.  I like how seasonal eating feels right, how cold weather makes you want hearty soups and roasted vegetables and maybe some mashed potatoes.  I knew it was fall today when I went into the yoga studio and saw a shoe rack full of boots instead of flip flops.  Seasons changing isn’t as straight forward here in Berkeley as it was in Boston, so instead it’s the arrival of boots, slightly cooler temperatures, and squash at the farmers’ market that lets me know it’s not summer anymore.  Really, when it’s always about … Continue reading

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I’ve been meaning to bake for my coworkers for a while now.  A bunch of our desks are all together, and we’ve been joking about bringing in baked goods for our little desk area.  I had bananas that were on their last legs, and I’ve been meaning to make banana bread for a while now.  I added chocolate chips to the recipe; you can never go wrong with chocolate chips. I made the recipe vegan, partially because one of my coworkers is vegan, and I wanted her to be able to eat it, but I was also out of eggs.  … Continue reading

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tart

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At the Berkeley Farmers’ Market this weekend, I picked up a goat cheese and butternut squash tart for breakfast.  It was wonderful, and I was determined to recreate it in my own kitchen.  I was a little limited by an irrational fear of pastry crust.  Turns out that a food processor makes pie crust down right manageable. I followed this recipe for the pie crust.  The recipe makes enough for four of these small tarts.  I made just two, and put the rest of the dough in the fridge for some recipe that I haven’t come up with yet. Before … Continue reading