SMiLes by Meg

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

Happy Christmas Cookie Season! Every year, I dedicate one weekend to spending all of my time in the kitchen baking at least 5 varieties of cookies to put in tins and give out to friends and families. This year, that weekend will be next weekend, but when my roommate and I decided to host a Gingerbread House Party this weekend, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get a head start. Because I’ve already posted my gingerbread cookies, which I was using for my house base, I decided to throw a new variety of cookie in the mix: salted chocolate

Cate’s Biscotti

This week, I joined the ranks of employed, productive members of society for the first time in a long time, and, even though I had lots of time this weekend, I decided to post a recipe from my visit down to see Cate in DC! These biscotti are her recipe, and she really took the lead on this/told me what to do. Very anise heavy, nice and crisp, and perfect dunked in a cup of coffee, these are exactly the biscotti you need this fall.

Reese’s Pieces Cookies

I had such a baking-ful week! In addition to making these cookies, I also made pumpkin bread (which I’ll post next week), sourdough bread (which I’ll post at some point), and Trout Farm Apple Pie! Having this blog, I don’t often get to make a recipe more than once, since I always need something new for the weekend and a girl can only make so many recipes in a week. But when some friends invited us over for dinner, and I’d already made plenty of new stuff, I realized I had a chance to make one of my favorite recipes

Pop Tarts

I’ve been craving Pop Tarts since taking the ferry up to Alaska. They had them on the boat, but I couldn’t justify buying them, since we had plenty of snack food already. But it put the idea in my head, and every time I walk by them in the store I think about getting a box, before I remember I already have oatmeal at home. Finally, I decided the best way to be able to justify having Pop Tarts around would be to make them myself.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I have a confession to make: my sourdough starter experiment failed. For three days, it looked perfect – everything was bubbling away just like it should. And then I had to fiddle. The book I bought here, Alaska Sourdough, didn’t really give much guidance when it came to sourdough starter upkeep. I like having directions to follow, and don’t do well with “just let it be for 2 weeks.” I’m the kind of person that has to constantly push around anything I’m cooking on a stovetop. So I felt the need to at least give it a stir once a

Walnut Halvah Cake

Fun fact for my Instagram followers (@smilesbymeg): while 76 of you took the time to watch my Instagram story in which I made this cake, only 24 of you could bring yourselves to like the post itself. I’m not really sure what that says about my respective video/photo editing abilities, but I think it means I have to work on my food photography. Also, despite now having posted 7 different Ottolenghi recipes, I still haven’t been selected in his #IBakedOttolenghi compilations. Further proof that my food photography needs work. Looks like I have my project for post-bar-exam life!

Blackberry Brown Sugar Bars

When I’m baking in my mom’s kitchen, I usually take a break from my normal cookbooks and use one of hers that I like: The Farmhouse Cookbook.  What I found out this week is that as cute as the cookbook is, it doesn’t actually have that many dessert recipes. I was flipping through it, trying to decide on something, and thought lemon blueberry bread pudding sounded like a great dessert for the meal my mom was cooking. Almost 5 years into this blog, I decided it would be a good idea to check before starting it. Turned out I had

Speculaas Biscuits

Finals is for procrastibaking. In the last 24 hours, I’ve made 3 different Ottolenghi recipes: banana bread, cauliflower cake, and these cookies. It’s important to take some (read: most) time to destress when you’ve got your last final exams ever coming up. I also am determined to get on Ottolenghi’s Instagram account, where he occasionally posts things people have made of his, but I haven’t had any luck so far. My only chance is to keep baking my way through Sweet!

Gevulde Speculaas

Another week, another of Ottolenghi’s Sweet recipes. This time, in looking for something fittingly sophisticated for a book club meeting, I settled on a cookie that looked rich in spices and like it would pair equally well with tea or red wine, depending on what road the night took. Plus, the contrasting colors make for an impressive display, which never hurts when you’re laying out a spread of food for guests.

Carrot Bread

What do you do when your boyfriend asks you to pick up his root vegetable CSA? Google carrot recipes, thinking you’ll be able to get through them quickly, and realize that even carrot-based recipes don’t use enough carrots to make a dent in your bag of produce. Guess that means I’ll have to make carrot cake for Easter! (Also, if you can think of any other carrot recipes, any at all, please send them to me. Doesn’t have to bae a baked good!)