Putting aside final exams and cramming, I love the period from Thanksgiving through New Years. So many fun holidays. So much time with family and friends. A general feeling of magic happiness with good food, buying presents for people, and snow. Also, unending opportunities to bake.
I made some really really really good cookies this week. Like, I’m staring at the last one in a Tupperware next to me at the table right now seriously struggling with whether to eat it. I’ve already had 2 today. And maybe 3 yesterday. And every day before that since Monday. It didn’t help that the batch made about 60 cookies. So even though my students did some good work on the huge container I brought to their conferences this week, I still had too many left over.
I just got back from a camping trip and am due at a birthday dinner in under an hour, so I’ll be keeping this post short and sweet (pun intended). Last week I mentioned that I had so many baking events coming up – this is one of the recipes I made, with the help of Laura, Neha, and Alisa (their hands feature prominently in these pictures). Almost a month into the new school year, and the four of us had yet to be in the same room as one another, so we resorted to the best kind of girls …
I learned so many things yesterday. First, baking bread when your kitchen is over 80° is destined to be a disaster. Rather than rise up, the bread spreads out, and then you have flat sourdough, which is really only good to be cut up into crostini. Second, my apron has pockets, which means that when I discovered this and started storing my phone in one, I spent far too much time searching the counter for said phone whenever I needed to take a picture. Finally, there are some recipes that you just know how good the finished product will be …
I’m usually pretty wary of gluten free recipes that seem to be making odd substitutions, or just eliminating flour and thinking the baked good will come out the same. If they don’t do that, they require weird ingredients (has anyone ever actually found xanthan gum?) before they’ll reach a kind of close-to-right consistency.
This week, my recipe has a story! At my internship this summer, lunch meetings always have some kind of dessert. Usually it’s cookies and brownies, pretty standard. But one day this week, there were these little slices of chocolate cake with caramel, very much like a Twix, and I instantly decided I needed to make something similar. However, with a cake, you don’t get the same satisfying crunch that the cookie layer in a Twix bar provides.
I have a new theory in the kitchen: cinnamon belongs in everything. Perhaps controversial, but I’m pretty sold on the stuff. It’s amazing what the addition of some cinnamon does to what would otherwise just be a cakey sugar cookie in this recipe. Literally game changing.
Happy birthday, Mom! Though last weekend we had your surprise party, this Friday was the real deal, so of course, despite our emergency trip for coconut cake, I had to make one more coconut recipe. This week, a Kathy Muncey special: chocolate coconut macaroons.
As you’re reading this, I’m either driving up to New Hampshire or already there, spending four days in the mountains and 100% off the grid to celebrate finishing my second year of law school. So when deciding what to bake this week, I wanted some kind of treat we could bring with us, but still felt hearty enough to eat on the trail. That’s how I landed on spiced oatmeal cookies.