Ma’amoul (Date & Walnuts filled Semolina Shortbread)

Aieeee! It’s another dried fruit cookie recipe in a row! I love them crazy though.

Sometimes I have the urge to root my body tableside, legs curled up not moving.  Fingers forming little identical packets, moving of their own wisdom, wet with water, sticky with grain.  Morsels of ripe dates and pale fine semolina, perfumed with orange flower and rose.  I feel time rest and swell and move slower, and maybe it’s just because I’m used to cooking on my feet, but the act of sitting down feels defiant.  Time is a tricky thing that runs out of your fingers like rice when you try to catch it, but will expand to fill every space when you decide to stop treating it like currency, to stop bargaining with it.   It’s an odd fluid thing not to be coldly bartered with.  It really hates that, I think. Continue reading

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Garibaldi Biscuits… “Squashed Fly Cookies”

I am feeling wiiiiiissttfulllll.   (Weestfool?  Rested.  Covered in flour.  Ahem.)

So I begin a long absence by writing about nostalgia cookies.  Biscuits even.  Little dry pastry rectangles made chewy with squishy squashy fat currant middles.  Garibaldis!  Britishisms!  Victoriana at it’s best and ongoing fuel for my current tea cookie obsession.   This isn’t my first attempt at recreating them, either.  (Yon!   A light over yonder window into Liz-face’s ickle-baby vegan scientist proto-cookhood links!).  I think they were my favourite when I was a kid.  Way up there, somewhere between gingersnaps and box brownies and thin mints™.  And they are full of flies.  So, grossness bonus. Continue reading

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