Raspberry Lavender Macarons

I used to make hundreds of macarons every day.  It was my first real pastry job and to my utter delight, making macarons was a useful thing I could do to ease the workload of the dessert station.  They showed me once and off I went, filling big half-sheet plaques with glossy circles of mocha, mint and mandarin.  There was a tiny learning curve with a few lopsiders that ended up my belly, but besides that, I remember them being uniform and picturesque, and countless.  The sky was the limit, and I marvelled at how such simple ingredients and really not that much work could turn into such marvellous little sculptures with so much texture.  My fave cookie, pretty much. Continue reading

swedish butter cookies with chocolate ganache

Cardamom Butter Cookies w. Mocha Ganache

IMG_5529Do you ever choose a recipe just for the chance to break out a piping bag and challenge yourself to get closer to swirly perfection (never attainable, but always fun to try)?  Gosh, I adore piping things out, I should really get a job at a bakery one of these days….

The inspiration for these cookies also came, I must admit, from hanging out on my sister’s couch watching – for the first time! – The Great British Bake Off.  There’s something about those technical challenges, where each contestant has the same recipe and must execute perfectly, that just fires me up so much!  One of the first episodes I saw had them piping out dozens of identical sandwich butter cookies, and I think I was already in the kitchen before the show ended, cause, butter cookies!  With shapes! Continue reading

Nut-Studded PB & J Thumbprints

img_5314Moving back in time, it’s a time machine, woot woot, and this way nothing matters but the foo-oo-ood.  It’s a recipe I made in ancient times (5 years ago) and am finally providing the details for, because… thoroughness is satisfying me a lot these days.  Here is the original post, and a window into a sillier time in my life when I had six-ish room-mates to feed, and their houseguests bunking in the rafters, and some cats, and my own retinue.  Back when Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours was mah true baking bible  (it is still page-stuck & splatter-stained <3).  The Kids’ Thumbprints naturally called my name, because by any other description they are peanut butter & jelly thumbprints, which is totes my *ahem*, jam.   Continue reading

Deep Chocolate Brownies for Grownups

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Brownies are such a superstar baked thing in their joy = effort ratio (something like 1,000,000 = not much), and come in ALL sorts of iterations, some fudgey or chewy or caky or spotted with candies or nuts or swirled with things, and they’re all good, every last batch of them.  These ones are the little black dress of brownies – elegant and grownup tasting and dressy enough for any occasion, with a touch of Grand Marnier and ground almonds. Continue reading

Meyer Lemon Bars (and the merits of cryonically preserving seeds for the morrow)

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Lemon bars are the perfect winter fooooood!!! ><  I ate half of them!!!!  They are like lemon pie but without all the floooooff!   And they’re easy.  And when you have a cup of Meyer lemon juice sitting all fragrant on your kitchen counter, wanting to be showcased in a simple frame, bars are the answer, yo.  Continue reading