chocolate crinkle cookies by Maci Britt

IMG_0117-2.jpg

Is it just me or does the holiday season come and go faster and faster every year? It's not just me, I know. Many people I've talked with lately have had the same experience of December flying by at a ridiculous speed, of Christmas sneaking up before we've barely had a chance to prepare. 

It's a disorienting business to attempt to slow down during this season of Advent while so many speed up in a frenzy of promos and parties and free expedited shipping. 

IMG_0069.jpg

On Saturday, I finally found time for some baking. It was just me, alone in the kitchen, with Michael Bublé's voice streaming from the speaker that lives on top of the refrigerator and the perfect light that I never get to enjoy on weekdays pouring through the windows.

I listened to Christmas all the way through about 3 times as I baked these (as well as a batch of bostock... coming soon to the blog, hopefully). I didn't hurry, and the whole morning was so enjoyable. 

If you haven't worked a baking session into your holiday schedule yet, we have one more weekend, friends. Whether you make these or another cookie, put some music on, pour another cup of coffee, and just bake ✌ 

IMG_0072.jpg
IMG_0086.jpg

This recipe produces the most perfect chocolate crinkle cookies I've ever found. They're deeply chocolatey and extra crinkly, with a snowy exterior that doesn't disappear thanks to two coatings of sugar- granulated and powdered. The granulated sugar helps the powdered sugar stick. 

Removing them from the oven before they're completely cooked through keeps them wonderfully soft- almost fudgy in a way? There's not much to not love here. 

IMG_0122.jpg

Merry Christmas.


chocolate crinkle cookies
recipe from america's test kitchen

[ makes about 20 cookies ]


1 cup (5 ounces) flour

½ cup (1½ ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups packed (10½ ounces) brown sugar

3 large eggs

4 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finally chopped

4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

⅓ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar

⅓ cup (2 ounces) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.

Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla together in a large bowl. 

Melt the chocolate and butter together. You can do this in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. 

Whisk the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients with a sturdy rubber spatula until completely combined, then let the dough sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. While it rests, measure the granulated and powdered sugars into two separate shallow bowls. 

Portion the dough into 2-tablespoon balls (using a cookie scoop if you have one) and roll the balls first in the granulated sugar, then in the powdered sugar. Place them on the lined baking sheets, spaced evenly. 

Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cookies will be puffy, with soft centers and just-set edges. They will appear underdone. 

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets before serving (haha). 


blueberry oatmeal pancakes by Maci Britt

IMG_0356.jpg
IMG_0373.jpg

"Do you guys want pancakes for breakfast?"

"What kind?"

"Blueberry or oatmeal."

"How about both?"

That's how these pancakes came to be on a cloudy Saturday morning. I took one of our all-time favorite pancakes (oatmeal) and sprinkled little blueberries onto each one as they cooked. They were exactly what we wanted to eat. 

IMG_0315.jpg
IMG_0344.jpg
IMG_0349.jpg
IMG_0354.jpg

If these make an appearance on your own Saturday breakfast table sometime soon, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do 😊 

IMG_0378.jpg

blueberry oatmeal pancakes
recipe adapted from smitten kitchen

[ makes about 16 pancakes ]


In a small saucepan, bring the water and ½ cup oats to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it’s all melted. Set aside to cool. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. (I usually make the oat flour in my food processor and then pulse all of the dry ingredients in that bowl to save a dish.) 

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, eggs, and cooled oatmeal/butter mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold together with a rubber spatula until mostly combined. The batter will be thick and should also be a little lumpy. 

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and once it is hot enough for drops of water to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low. Brush the pan generously with butter and dollop 2 or 3 ¼-cup portions of batter into the pan. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of blueberries over each pancake, pressing them in gently with the back of the measuring spoon. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown before flipping.  They will only take 1 or 2 minutes on the second side. 

The blueberries make the second side really delicate, so use a sturdy spatula and be gentle but forceful when removing them from the pan, and serve them blueberry side down on the plate. 

Maple syrup is encouraged. 

1 cup water

Heaping ½ cup oats (old-fashioned or quick)

3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, plus more for cooking

¾ cup (90 grams) oat flour (I grind my own in the food processor)

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

Scant ¾ teaspoon sea salt

1 ¼ cups (295 ml) milk

1 tablespoon (21 grams) honey

2 large eggs

About 1 ¼ cups tiny frozen blueberries (the Wild Boreal Blueberries from Trader Joe’s are perfect)


tahini cookies by Maci Britt

IMG_0168.jpg

Maybe it's because I love it SO much and am so enthusiastic about it, but I'm always surprised that there are still people out there (people I know!) who have never heard of tahini. If you can buy it at Trader Joe's, do you actually have an excuse? 😊

IMG_0056.jpg
IMG_0088.jpg
IMG_0100.jpg

But, if this is the first you're hearing of it, tahini is simply a paste made from sesame seeds. You could make it at home with raw or toasted sesame seeds the same way you'd make a nut butter. It's delicious— toasty and rich with just a slight bitterness. 

IMG_0109.jpg
IMG_0116.jpg
IMG_0129.jpg
IMG_0146.jpg

Tahini is great spread on toast instead of nut butter or as a dip for raw vegetables (or apples— personal favorite). It's also a main ingredient in hummus. In cookies, tahini is reminiscent of peanut butter. You can think of these as "grown-up peanut butter cookies," which is how Bon Appétit described them in this month's issue.

IMG_0159.jpg

Hope you buy some tahini (or some more tahini if you're already a fan) and love it. Hope you make these cookies. They're great. They're also so simple to make, and perfect for popping in lunch bags for the work week. 👍


tahini cookies
recipe from bon appétit magazine, sep 2017

[ makes 30 cookies ]


2 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (170 grams) sugar

3 tablespoons (63 grams) honey

3/4 cup (192 grams) tahini

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. 

In a larger mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and honey together for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the tahini and beat until well combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, beat well, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. 

Scoop 1-ounce (heaping tablespoon) portions of dough onto a piece of parchment paper and roll into smooth balls. Place the toasted sesame seeds in a small bowl, and dip the top of each ball into the seeds. Set the balls 2" apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet. 

Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet or on a cooling rack. 

(The bottoms of my cookies were quite done at the 10 minute mark, so I removed them from the baking sheet as soon as I pulled them out of the oven. My oven runs hot, so you may find your cookies need an extra minute or two.) 


BONUS! Made a little time lapse video just for fun :) 

date shakes by Maci Britt

So, date shakes. 

I don't really have much to say except that if you've never had one, you're missing out on something really wonderful. Every time I make one for dessert my brother says, "Mace, can I have mine without the dates?" and I tell him no and he drinks the whole thing anyway.

Below is the version I make often- often as in three times in the last five days. What can I say? I bought dates at Costco on Saturday. 💁


date shakes
recipe based on one from sprouted kitchen

[ makes 2 shakes ]


1 1/2 bananas, frozen

4 Medjool dates, pitted

4 small scoops vanilla ice cream

1/2(ish) teaspoon cinnamon

Milk

In a blender or food processor, pulse the bananas and dates together to chop, then blend until mostly smooth.

Add the ice cream, cinnamon, and a generous splash of milk and blend. Add more milk if necessary. 

...And that's all there is to it.