SMiLes by Meg

Brown Butter Blondies

Week 2 of quarantine baking and I still haven’t come up with a good word for it. “Quaranbaking”? “Sugar isolation”? Those are both so bad. If someone has already figured this out, let me know. I’m also quickly realizing that baking treats when you don’t have a kitchen to offload them into is a different experience. This week, a friend in the building requested blondies, so that’s what I made, and now they aren’t in my kitchen! If you live in the Boston area and are looking for something sweet, PLEASE let me know – I will happily make it

Caramel Peanut Brownies

“;.////////////////////////////////////p;//” – From Elwynn, who decided to walk across my iPad when I started typing this up. He did capture how I feel about this week though – I could use another 3 weekends right now. But I think that’s just February for you. Fortunately, I did get to spend some time making something new – caramel peanut brownies! Meg Fay, one of the other second years at my firm, has a birthday this week. She requested something “chocolate and peanut butter, or chocolate and caramel” and I was able to find something that was chocolate and peanut AND caramel.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I recently discovered the blog Hummingbird High when she was featured on another blog I like, Cloudy Kitchen. I feel like there’s this network of real baking bloggers that are all friends and go to each other’s places in New York and make really amazing and beautiful desserts and generally live pleasant lives. Michelle Lopez, behind Hummingbird High, recently released a cookbook, Weeknight Baking. The entire concept appealed to me – ways to bake delicious things in minimal time. And, the star recipe that seemed to be all over Instagram was Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownies, so obviously I started with those.

White Chocolate Pecan Bars

I’ve been having such a nice weekend. Erik and I have started alternating on what year we spend with each other’s families on Thanksgiving, and this year we’ll be heading to San Francisco where Erik’s sister will be hosting. On years where the plan is to go with Erik’s family, I’ve started spending the weekend before with my parents, while my mom is getting ready and Duxbury is full of holiday activities. My mom and I ran the Turkey Trot on Saturday, and for the second time in 3 years I was able to win the women’s overall group. That

S’mores Blondies

November might be a weird time to make s’mores-themed things, but I think campfires carry into the fall. Also, my running offer is that any first year (or I guess we’re now second years?) in the corporate group at work can request whatever they want for their birthday. Taylor wanted something s’mores, and these blondies looked like the best way to accomplish that. Start by pulsing the graham crackers in a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and pulse a couple more times to combine. In a stand mixer fitted with the

Mint Chocolate Pistachio Fridge Cake

The best-tasting treats are not necessarily the prettiest things I make, even if that rainbow cake was pretty delicious. No, they’re the dump-everything-into-a-bowl-and-hold-it-together-with-chocolate recipes. They’re quick to make, clean out your pantry, and give you just the right amount a sweet and crunchy. Take this Mint Chocolate Pistachio Fridge Cake. Maybe you have chili chocolate, or salted chocolate in your kitchen. That’s fine – use that instead! Or maybe pistachios aren’t your thing, but you’ve got pecans and walnuts. Perfect! And maybe you’re someone that just doesn’t like rum-soaked raisins (I can’t imagine why). Try whiskey-soaked dried cherries. This recipe

Millionaire Bars

Last week, I promised to make something with halvah. This week, I bring you: Millionaire Bars. I’m going to keep this post on the shorter side, since I’m typing it before going into the office on Friday, and I’ll be traveling to Portland for the weekend to see what the pacific northwest is all about. Though these take a little bit of work (three separate layers, each with its own instructions), they actually were easy to make during the week. One night, I made the shortbread layer, and let it cool overnight. The next morning, I quickly did the halvah

Halvah

Here’s how deciding on this week’s recipe went: Last Wednesday, I start thinking about what I wanted to make. Laura is coming into town to visit, so I think maybe it would be fun to do something a little more hands on and bake together. I decide on macarons. Thursday, I realize Laura won’t actually be in town long enough to make macarons. But that’s OK, I’ll make them myself. They’d be a good Easter recipe, and I should probably practice once first. I start looking at Cloudy Kitchen’s posts. Saturday, Laura is supposed to arrive within an hour and

Baklava

Baklava is one of those recipes where you think it must be super complex (there are so many layers!), but when you actually make it, you realize there aren’t that many ingredients, and the process is fairly simple. I wouldn’t have believed any of this, but Sandy, whose recipes have appeared on my blog in the past (Trout Farm Apple Pie, Mud Pie, Oh Henry Bars), gave me a pan and her recipe for Christmas. So obviously I had to give it a try. Now, to be honest, this was actually my second attempt at Baklava. When she first gave

Granola Bars

Sometimes, when I lost track of time, I realize two days before I’m going on vacation that I don’t have a recipe lined up for the weekend. Occasionally, I get lucky and already have something saved that I can post. But most of the time I have to scramble and see what I can find that is fast and doesn’t require a trip to the grocery store. This recipe hits both of those requirements: It takes less than 30 minutes to put together, and as long as you have some staples on hand, you can probably find some granola at