SMiLes by Meg

Chocolate Banana Pecan Cookies

Do you work with me? If so, these cookies will be in the kitchen tomorrow morning, and you should definitely try to get there before they’re gone. Plus, with banana as the first ingredient, they’re basically breakfast cookies. I’ve been at work for about a week and a half now, and still haven’t brought in any baked goods. It’s very unlike me, really. So hopefully this recipe makes up for it. They’re gooey, chocolatey, crunchy, and just a little banana-y, which is a combination I’ve never really thought of putting in cookie form. Fortunately, Ottolenghi did think of it, and

Hazelnut Crumble Cake

This weekend, I’ve reached the end of my funemployment traveling and am spending some much-needed time with my college roommate, Cate, her partner, Jonathan, and their corgi puppy, Giles. Cate was a baker before I ever thought to start this blog, and last time I was visiting her I gave her the cookbook Sweet by Ottolenghi, which we baked out of together. At that point in time, we were hosting a brunch and wanted to make a Rum Raisin Cake. I asked Cate if she had everything we needed to make it, and she assured me that she did.

Flourless Coconut Cake

This post is going to be a buzzer-beater. I made it yesterday, finally at home in Duxbury enjoying summer vacation, and then spent today moving into a new apartment with my mom’s help. There is nothing like moving into a new place – full of fresh starts and exciting decorating opportunities. And, of course, a new kitchen! But in all my excitement, I definitely was a bit rushed in baking this last night. And maybe had a pretty catastrophic baking fail. I do not blame the recipe – this one was all me. So if you do try this post,

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!

Halvah Ice Cream

If you’re reading this on the Sunday it’s supposed to appear, it means that my posting from Italy worked! I’m actually typing it on Tuesday, the day Erik and I leave for a bike tour through Piedmont. To say I’m excited is an understatement. It has been far too long since I’ve been able to go on vacation and not even think about bringing my laptop with me – my only electronics will be my phone, my kindle, and a camera.

Saffron Ice Cream Sandwiches

Law school is over! And as we always do when finals are over, Erik and I spent the weekend off the grid in the mountains, camping and hiking. That means I had to get something made before I left, since I wasn’t sure when I’d be back today. I came up with (yet another) Ottolenghi recipe, though this one didn’t go so well.

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.

Tahini Halvah Brownies

It’s Spring Break! And Spring Break means fun baking. This week I tackled another Ottolenghi recipe: Tahini Halvah Brownies. Ottolenghi uses tahini a lot, and I am yet to meet a recipe of his where I wish he didn’t. For example, I rarely eat banana bread without some tahini, salt, and honey these days. And his hummus is very tahini forward, which I firmly believe is for the best. So when I saw these brownies, with their swirls of tahini across the top, I knew they’d be one of the first recipes in his baking book that I tackled.

Rugelach

Last week, I baked my first recipe out of Sweet, but did so down in DC with Cate and Jonathan. This week, I baked my first recipe out of my own copy of Sweet, and did so here in Cambridge, during a much-needed weekend without travel. I had originally planned on making Torrone, but decided to wait on that. Then, I thought I’d make Ottolenghi’s peanut butter s’more cookies, but again decided it seemed a little too involved. Finally, I settled on Rugelach: impressive looking, but not overly time-consuming. And, as luck would have it, they got one of my