• Mixed Berry Crumb Bars

    Sunday night, and I’m still in recovery mood from this weekend’s food coma. My Uncle Jimmy was on the Cape for his annual dinner where he wows us with his latest culinary skills, and has us all testing the physical … Continue reading

  • Browned Butter Salted Rice Krispie Treats

    I’ve been holding out on you. Taunting you with pictures of this on instagram but not actually getting it up on the blog for almost a month. I’ve probably made it about six or seven times in the past month … Continue reading

  • Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

    Sunday morning, brown butter and cinnamon buns. Now that is a combo I could get onboard with every weekend. Not to mention this weekend was filled with sunshine + good friends + good food. Another winning combo to kickoff summer. … Continue reading

  • Cape Cod Cranberry Orange Muffins

    I had every intention of writing this blog post much earlier in the day. But Mother Nature graced us with some sunshine and warm weather today. And then crazy eddie was in full pyro-mode next door tonight, so I got … Continue reading

  • Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Blondies

    That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m moving to Florida. Anyone who says they live in New England because they “love the seasons” is absolutely bananas. You can say you love summer and fall, but no one in their right mind … Continue reading

  • Brown Butter Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

    You know that part in Amazing Graze where it says “I once was lost, but now am am found, was blind, but now I see” – that is how I feel today. About brown butter. I have tasted brown butter … Continue reading

Mini Crispy Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Sometimes I get these great recipe ideas in my head. And if you’ve ever been around me when I am baking, you know that measuring isn’t really something that I enjoy. While some people go all Alton Brown on baking trying to nail down the perfect measurements to be as precise as possible, I am more from the school of dashes and handfuls and eyeballing it. Which popular to contrary belief, does actually work in baking. If you kind of know what you’re doing. Which today apparently I did not. So here’s how it all started:

On Tuesday I hosted a nice dinner in my backyard for my tennis friends Heather and Caitlan who both had birthdays last week. For dinner, of course I tapped my recipe guru Uncle Jimmy – and ended up making grilled romaine salads with steak tips, gorgonzola, fresh tomatoes, and a warm bacon vinagrette. But of course, it’s dessert where I need to wow my guests. So I made this nutella crunch fro-yo cake (gluten free!). I didn’t have a springform cheesecake pan, so I just made it in an 8×8 glass dish, which all tastes the same in the end. And this cake was a major hit. Not even a spoonful left over after we got done with it. Our 24-year old coach even made an appearance when I told him what was for dessert. photo 1

So with that in mind, I was thinking about how much my coworkers loved my browned butter rice krispie treats a few weeks back, and given I was feeling especially lazy today with a wicked case of the Sunday scaries, I thought what if I just added some Nutella to that recipe? That counts as a new recipe right? Well yes, if you don’t eff it up. I think if I just added two spoonfuls of Nutella, they would have turned out stellar. But I added an entire jar and it messed up the marshmallow consistency and got all weird and sticky like taffy and just wouldn’t coat the krispies. Ugh. And I couldn’t redo it because I didn’t have any more marshmallows and I was just not in the mood to go back to the store.

So I was staring at the box of Rice Krispies trying to think of what I could use these for if I didn’t have marshmallows. And I remembered seeing some recipes where people add them to chocolate chip cookies and it makes them a little bit airy and crunchy, and I figured sure, if it keeps me from having to walk back down to Stoppies, I might as well try it. So after doing some interweb perusing, I came across this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, one of my faves, and decided to adapt it a bit because I also only had mini chips. You can make these regular size too if you’re more organized with your ingredients than me.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix on medium to high speed until creamy.

Step 2: Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and add to the wet batter. Mix on a low speed until well incorporated.

Step 3: Add in oats and mini chocolate chips, and mix on low speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl so the oats are evenly distributed. Add in the Rice Krispies and just mix on low speed until they are incorporated, but being careful not to crush them to smithereens.

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Step 4: On a parchment or sil-pat lined baking sheet, use a medium cookie scoop to place even-size balls of dough about an inch apart. I fix 15 cookies per tray if you’re doing the mini cookies. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

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So despite the snafu with the original Nutella, I think I redeemed myself with these mini krispie cookies. I was surprised that they do have a different texture you can actually taste when you bite into them. I think the krispies make them a little bit airier (if that’s even a word) so they have a nice crunch to them too. AND the best part about mini cookies is you can eat as many as you want and they never add up to a full-size cookie, hooray! Just like munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. (Unless you’re my trainer Rita reading this right now … in which case of course I did not have any of these mini cookies. Processed sugar, yuck! Burpees, yay!)

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IMG_1712I’ll keep this short, because I still need to pack for my work trip to Pittsburgh which is giving me wicked Sunday scaries that can only be quelled by watching a few episodes of Teen Mom 2. Somehow Barb and Jeanelle screaming at each other is a sweet symphony that soothes my soul and makes me less anxious about the fact that JetBlue did not assign me a seat on my flight yet tomorrow. And it’s a well known fact that I like to book row 20 on JetBlue since they board from the back and then I don’t risk getting arrested on the flight when there is no overhead space and I go cray cray throwing peoples jackets out of the overhead bins. Not like that situation has almost happened before or anything.

You may notice a new look and feel to the blog. I’m testing out a new template and started playing around with my photos in Adobe Lightroom. I really need to invest the time in taking the tutorial because half the time my photos look more over-exposed than Casper the Ghost, but I’m getting there. Soon I’ll be asking you loyal readers (hi mom) for some recipe ideas that you’d like to see soon, once I get this whole new bloggy thing under control.

So aside from the fab dinner we had last Tuesday for Heather and Caitlan’s birthday – which ended in Heather calling the cops on our neighbors (and not even Crazy Eddie, shocking) the rest of the week was relatively tame compared to that. Thursday night we had our annual company summer outing at the Charlestown Navy Yard which luckily we had nice weather for. Company outings are much less fun when you’re older and responsible and limit your drinks and dancing in front of your coworkers. Back in the good ol’ days of my early twenties, I was much more fun at these outings. Like when I lived at the Raleigh Sheraton and some of the hotel staff took me out for my twenty-third birthday since I had lived there for so many months for work, and let’s just say every Sunday night after that I would be a little embarrassed checking in. And maybe I might have once rapped Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” at the company Christmas party. Or had too much vino on a boat in Boston Harbor and fell asleep in my new company windbreaker. Anyways, it was a tame night but still a fun one. These are the business consulting ladies that have to put up sitting in my row at work every day. Lucky ladies.

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A benefit of being lame (tame) was that I could drive down to the Cape Thursday night and work from home on Friday. Which meant instead of battling traffic during rush hour, I was able to cook my parents a nice dinner on the grill in time for this nice sunset view.
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And most importantly for what’s on the agenda for this week – my little sissy is turning the big 2-6 this week. Here’s to hoping she doesn’t try to dive into her birthday cake like when she turned the big s-i-x twenty years ago. Honestly though Kristen, what are you doing here?
photo 4Happy Sunday.

 

 

Coconut Macaroons

Before we get into the cookie part of this post, let’s revisit an important lesson in life. Looks don’t matter, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Now let’s keep that in mind when you take a look at my first attempt at Coconut Macaroons (not to be confused with macarons). I didn’t get into my cookie-baking state of mind until late tonight, which meant I was a little bit rushed and not patient (shocker). So while these coconut macaroons taste pretty good in my opinion, they don’t look like they belong on a cover of a magazine by any means. And while most people would say, who cares! My Type-A personality and OCD had me toss half the batch, but there is at least still a good amount for my trusty coworker taste testers tomorrow morning.

The idea for these came from my coworker Alex who has the great pleasure/honor (unfortunate circumstance?) of sitting next to me at work. At Sapient, we sit in a totally open office work environment, which means learning to work with headphones in if you want any sense of tuning out the people next to you. And Alex has to deal with all of the people coming over to my desk on Monday mornings getting their weekly sugar fix. Which I am sure is annoying. But, on the flip side, he gets first dibs on any cookies and a permanent spot on the coveted “cookie list” which some people wait their whole lives to get on. And what has secured his lifetime spot is the fact he came back from buying lunch the other day and dropped a bag of coconut and dark chocolate on my desk and just said “hint hint, coconut macaroons, hint hint.” It took me a while to pick up what he was throwing down, but I think I got the message that he wanted me to make some coconut macaroons. Challenge accepted.

I perused the internet this afternoon for variations of recipes to see how I wanted to make mine. Sally’s Baking Addiction used sugar and egg whites, while Ina Gartner went with a combination of egg whites and condensed milk. So because I love a good A/B test I made both. And while they both came out pretty similar, I think whipping the egg whites until they are a bit stiff on their own first, and even chilling the dough slightly helps keeping them from spreading too much, regardless of which ingredient variation you choose. I prefer using regular sugar over sweetened condensed milk, so the below recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 and 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (a little less than one 14-ounce package)
  • 1 package dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. According to Sally’s Baking Addiction, it’s important to make sure the oven is properly preheated before you put the dough in.

Step 2: Beat the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla together on medium-speed until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the mixture is foamy – for at least 2 minutes. Fold in the coconut, making sure it is evenly incorporated.

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Step 3: Using a large cookie scoop, place even-size balls of batter onto a sil-pat or parchment lined baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Take your time here (unlike me) to get the mounds nice and neat and compact, to help prevent spreading.

IMG_1680Step 4: Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Allow the cool completely (again, unlike me) on the baking sheet. This will make it a lot easier to get them off of the tray without breaking them.

Step 5: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil, removing every 30 seconds to stir to make sure it does not burn. Dip the bottoms of the cooled macaroons into the melted chocolate, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for at least an hour.

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Okay, so to be fair. I wrote the first half of this post before I actually tasted the finished product. And I’d like to retract my earlier statement that alluded to the idea that maybe I messed these up a little bit, because I taste tested one after it chilled in the fridge for a little bit. Holy coconut. These bad boys are duh-lish. Firstly, I friggin LOVE coconut. Especially toasted coconut. But coconut and dark chocolate? It’s like salt and pepper baby. Peas and carrots. Bill Cosby and Jello Pudding. Meant to be.

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Friday at work we had a half-day training in the afternoon for the business consultants. It was about personality and behavioral assessments and we had to each do a quick version of our DISC profile, and then the facilitator went around the room and gave a little more insight into what that meant for each person based on the words they selected and some of the observations he had of us during the earlier part of the day. Most people he talked about how they were friendly and gregarious and hard workers and whatnot. I had circled “competitive” “perfectionist” as a few of my words. When he got to me he explained that “I am the kind of person who takes people to hell … but most people really enjoy the ride there with me.” He went on to say that I am a straight shooter, I stick to the facts and I “get annoyed when people get emotional and take things personally when I am just being straightforward.” Meanwhile, my coworkers are all nodding their heads in agreement like YEP, spot ON facilitator. You nailed it. I was sitting there feeling like I just got a psychic reading done and was thinking GET OUT OF MY HEAD. Now everyone is going to know I just use the Monday cookies as leverage to get people to work on my projects. Anyways, it will be interesting to see how everyone acts this week now that we are all self-aware of our profiles. I’ve already been nicknamed “The Hammer” and “Thor” by my tech team so I don’t think I have to inform anyone that I am a straight shooter. We all know my favorite line on conference calls is “let me be clear.”

Speaking of Thor and Hammers, my sister was in town Friday night and was the first person to use the sleeper sofa in my new guest room. Little did she know that anyone who stays over must help with house projects. So she helped me finally get a lot of the wall art up in the guest room, and it’s really feeling like a comfy room now. I have one more ladder shelf thing coming from Pottery Barn this week for next to the desk, and then I think this room is finally done.

I love these wooden Starfish that I got from Pottery Barn a few months back. photo 3

I picked up these oars almost a year ago at The Crooked Fence in Chatham, which is great for nice nautical home furnishings. The pillows were from there as well.

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So my sister is a very good swing dancer and competes on the weekends. So she was in a competition on Saturday afternoon in Newton but took the train up on Friday night to stay with me and we got to hang out during the day on Saturday before I dropped her off. After putting her to work, we had a nice lunch on Newbury Street, and then as an early birthday present I made her an appointment to get her makeup done at Mac. Normally, I hate when people say we look alike or asks who is older, but look how gorgeous this pretty lady looked after her appointment. I definitely wouldn’t mind if anyone confused us for twins with her looking like a smokeshow!photo 4

I went back to Copley later in the afternoon because I have been waiting for a long time for a new laptop and have been pricing one out for almost a year. I finally decided to pull the trigger on this new MacBook Pro since my old one wouldn’t allow me to download any of the software I needed to up my cookie-blogging game. I’ve been playing with Lightroom and love it. I need to take a tutorial to learn all the tips and tricks, but if you scroll up I bet you can tell a big difference in the pictures from this blog post. photo 5
Last but not least, if you know me on a personal level, you know that I am a total freak magnet when it comes to dating. My friends enjoy my singleness because post-dates I usually write up a hilarious debrief email that gives a play-by-play of the date, whether it was good or bad. Honestly, I should have just started a separate blog for these, but then that would make it seem like I actually have a dating life. The cycle usually goes that I go on 3 dates in a few week period, and then get so bummed out that the dating pool is full of circus looneys (remember Kevin Mango or Karate Greg anyone?) that I take a month off, forget about how bad it was, and get back out there. Anyways, I thought I had screened this last one pretty well before I agreed to drinks the other night. Well, I can’t even write up a full debrief, because my key takeaway was that he was  crazy cat man who spent a really long time telling me about how he tried to patent a new cat food dish and all of the trials and tribulations around having a fat cat and a skinny cat. I spent the entire time trying to calculate in my head if no one ever wifes me up could I pay off my mortgage by myself. Well my trusty coworkers at least helped me find the humor in it, and when I came into the office the next morning, my desk was covered in hello kitty posters and cat food. Well done coworkers, but I think I prefer the baking ingredient gifts from Alex instead.

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As much as I am suffering from a bit of the Sunday scaries tonight since Friday was intern Abby’s last day and I am going to be in major withdrawal tomorrow, I’d just like to say I absolutely crushed Sunday today. Like nailed it, fist pump, high-five, Sunday for the win. I started my day with a nice yoga class at South Boston yoga, followed by a much needed uber relaxing massage at my favorite Christine’s Day Spa in Newton Center. I went down to Hingham for a nice outdoor lunch in the sunshine with my friend Sarah. My friend Heather stopped by tonight with a surprise batch of fresh-picked veggies from her garden for me to play with. And I have a few different plans with various friend groups this week that I am really looking forward to.

Sometimes I get really wacked out in the head when people around me are a bit crazy, so it’s definitely nice to take a weekend like this to myself and have some ‘me’ time and also spend time with my friends who I enjoy being around. I’ve made a point to reconnect with some of my friends who I haven’t seen in a while, like my friend Jen from college who I grabbed coffee with last week, and then my friend Kate who lived across from me freshman year in college and lives around the corner this week. In my old age (30 is rapidly approaching people) I’ve learned the importance of surrounding yourself with good friends. Lots of people come and go in and out of your life over time, but if you have a solid group of friends from all walks of life that don’t bring you down, you’ll always be in a good place. And not to get all deep on you this Sunday evening, but I was jamming to 90s on 9 in the car this afternoon, and heard this Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song lyric which I just love, and are totally words that I would like to live by better.

“The more I see the less I know
The more I like to let it go”

Just don’t google the meaning of the lyrics, because everyone on the Internet is pretty sure this song is about cocaine … in which case, those aren’t really words I recommend living by. Happy Sunday.

 

 

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Sundays in Southie, with a mildly severe case of the Sunday scaries. This is the first weekend I’ve stayed put in the city in over a month, and I have been quickly reminded why I escape to the Cape every weekend (aside from hanging out with my wonderful parents): the city is very expensive and I am way too old to stay out past 11pm two nights in a row. I did get a lot done this weekend and saw a lot of friends all over the city, but I’m probably good with hitting any Boston bars until after Labor Day. I’ll give you more details about the weekend via pictures later in the post.

A lot of times people ask me where I get my inspiration for my Sunday baking. I wish I had a more sentimental or riveting story behind the baked good inspiration, like I uncovered a secret recipe book from my Great Grandmother or that Martha Stewart is my baking sherpa and is guiding me on my life journey to become a famous baker. But the real story is that most weeks I am standing in the grocery store on Sunday morning trying to decide on some flavor combination that I haven’t tried before. This morning, I was unshowered, a bit dehydrated and smelling of pinot (in a classy way), standing in line at the Java House waiting for my large iced Snickerdoodle coffee to bring me back to life, and I was just staring at the display of muffins. And I wanted the Lemon Poppy Seed one. But I’m on a new kick where I try not to eat any processed foods if I can help it, so if I can make something myself from scratch than that is better than eating something with a shelf life of 4 years. So I decided, LemonPoppy Seed Muffins from scratch couldn’t be that hard … and they weren’t, and they are delicious. Probably more delicious than the one in the Java House display case that was likely manhandled by some hungover hooligans earlier in the morning. (just kidding, no one in Southie is up and about before 9am except me).

After some light perusing on the world wide web comparing recipes, I settled on this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers Two Peas and their Pod. She added a lemon glaze to these which looked really good, but I decided to keep it simple today – also because my coworkers are like three-year-olds and don’t do well with messy things.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 16 muffin tins with paper muffin cups and spray with nonstick spray.

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and melted butter until well blended. (*If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute plain Greek yogurt).

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Step 3: Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until they are well incorporated, but be careful not to over mix. Stir in the poppyseeds. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin tins. You can make larger muffins and just make 12 instead of 16.

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IMG_1631Step 4: Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

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These are going to be a regular in my arsenal of muffin recipes. Super easy, and really nice, light and refreshing. I spent a long time today in the grocery store trying to pick out the best lemons that would be super zesty. I think I got some solid ones, because between the zest and fresh lemon juice these pack a mean lemon punch. IMG_1647

Earlier in the week, I had some food adventures with friends. Sarah came over Tuesday night for some vino and grilling – a combination I’m getting a little better at this summer. My Uncle Jimmy is always a solid go-to for new recipe ideas, so he sent me this BBQ Siracha chicken recipe which was delicious. We made his go-to Emeril’s cole slaw recipe, and then grilled some peaches for dessert. We popped open the Cranberry Pinot Gris that I got from my trip to Cisco Brewery in Nantucket a few weeks back. Ideal summer night in my book.

photo 1My summer intern Abby is a big fan of cookies and all things baked goods. As her career sherpa, I’m supposed to teach her all of the important things in life and about how to be a business consultant and leverage things and synergize, and all that good stuff. So Friday we continued our summer research project to eat all of the cookies in Boston, and took a little afternoon field trip to the Food Trucks near South Station – specifically, we visited the Cookie Monstah truck. I kick myself for not thinking of this food truck idea first. They have fresh baked cookies, ice cream sandwiches, or ice cream scoops topped with a cookie. Abby and I shared The Salty Dog ice cream sandwich – which was Salted Caramel Cookies with Totally Turtle ice cream (vanilla ice cream, cashews, caramel and brownie) in between. Holy bananas. We just sat in the sunshine on a park bench and went into a delicious sugar coma. We brought back a half dozen cookies for our coworkers, since navigating the orange line with melting ice cream was not going to happen. Obviously I am sending her off on a solid life path by dropping this knowledge on her.

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The weather wasn’t looking stellar for the weekend, so I decided to take a weekend off from fighting Cape traffic and take care of a bunch of things around the house this weekend. Friday night I went out to Legal Test Kitchen down in the seaport with my friend Ania – who survived both high school and college with me – and was one of my original baked good taste testers back in my high school baking days. This watermelon martini was super refreshing and delicious – and had lots of vodka in it. My favorite.

photo 3I was at my favorite place in Chestnut Hill yesterday – Pottery Barn. I had to swap out a rug and then use some more rewards to buy more fun things for Operation: Furnish the guest room. So far we have some new curtains, a sea grass rug, Albert + Dash ottoman and Pottery Barn tray (to make the ottoman more like a casual coffee table). I have a bunch of things to hang up on the walls, but need to bribe a friend with cookies to help with that. Or just wait until my mom visits next, since she is handy.

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Last night I went out with Sarah and a bunch of other friends to Legal Roofdeck in the Seaport. A solid spot on a nice summer night, if you can get there earlier enough to avoid the line and lock up a good spot at a table. The pinot tastes a thousand times better with this view:

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I wrapped up the weekend with a trip to the new movie theater in Somerville with my friends Allie and Luke. We saw 22 Jump Street, which had us laughing the whole time, but mostly we were loving the assigned seating, big comfy chairs, and fancy Diet Coke machines. And now it’s late, because I always leave these until the last minute. Back to work tomorrow morning to try to make back all of the money I spent this weekend. Uncle Jimmy is coming to the Cape this weekend for his annual big-dinner where he basically cooks the most amazing multi-course meal of your life which you try to stay just sober enough to enjoy and remember. I like to try to be his helper so I can learn to make some of his dishes – like the first year a few years back when he taught me how to make risotto which is my winter go-to when I need an impressive dish to pull off. The grilled peaches soaked in booze over coconut gelato is one of my favorite summertime desserts. So prepare yourself for some food envy on my instagram this weekend, because it’s going to be a weekend of boozy gluttony and I cannot wait.

 

Browned Butter Glazed Cinnamon Donuts

It’s Sunday night. Day 10 of my 10 day vacation, which means back to dreaded reality tomorrow. I think I might coat myself in sunscreen tomorrow morning and swap out my desk chair for a beach chair, just to help ease the transition. I’ve been laptop free for over a week. I turned my emails off of my phone, and didn’t even  bother to check my emails. Because let’s be real. The only people who really needed to talk to me last week, were either down the Cape with me, or I get text messages from every day.

If you follow me on instagram (@thesaltedcookie) you probably already know everything that I did, and baked, and ate the past two weeks. I baked a lot. My mom took me to this cookware store in Brewster – The Cook’s Shop – where I basically acted like a 4-year-old in a candy store hyperventilating over all of the choices. Usually I smile like a normal person, but I was really freaking out in the pic below trying to play it cool in public.

PSo I settled on some mini pie tins, an apron, some new placemats, a new mini cupcake pan, and this baked donut pan. I’m not really a big donut person. Thank god. Because I know what my butt looks like without donuts, so I can’t imagine it would be a pretty sight if I was donut obsessed. But apparently donuts are the new cupcakes, so I need to get onboard with this baking trend and at least try it once. Don’t knock it till you bake it, right? The only real memory I have of liking donuts is as a kid we would get donuts after church when people used to stick around and socialize after church. Plain glazed donuts were my thing. I’m not into the whole chocolate donut or jelly filled, and me and powdered sugar is just not a good combo.

So I started perusing the interweb for donut recipes. Since this was my first foray into the donut making world, I figured I should follow a recipe this first time around and then once I have a good base down, I can start experimenting in the future. So I came across one of my favorite bloggers – Buns in my Oven – and her Browned Butter Glazed Cinnamon Donut recipe.

Now my one word to the wise before trying these — take your time. They actually don’t take long at all to make, under 30 minutes start to finish, UNLESS you are a total spastic headcase and impatient (like myself) and it takes you 3 times to make these donuts correctly because you keep leaving out key ingredients. The first time, I left out baking powder. The second time, I left out sugar. The third time, I triple checked everything and got it right. I blame vacation brain. Being so task + schedule oriented at work, I apparently just turned that entire portion of my brain off for the week. But I can say that the third time they came out looking, tasting, and smelling just the way donuts should.

Donut Batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (or regular milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar added)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

For the Browned Butter glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease the donut pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2: In a small bowl, stir the wet ingredients togethers – buttermilk, egg, and butter. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.

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Step 3: Full the donut pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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Step 4: To make the glaze, brown the butter over the stove and pour into a separate bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.

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Step 5: Dip the donut tops into the glaze. I double dipped mine (because it’s vacation, and I could.)

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This is great and a fast and easy (but super impressive) option for a fresh baked breakfast. You can get these donut pans almost anywhere. I think my next purchase will be the mini donut pan where you can make 12 mini donuts instead of these 6 donuts. I’m excited to try a bunch of different donut variations too.

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Unfortunately for my poor, sugar deprived coworkers, there will be no donuts or baked goods tomorrow morning. I just really was not feeling baking today – probably since it was 90 degrees outside, and even though my house is very nicely air conditioned right now, the whole standing in front of the oven thing wasn’t super appealing. I also baked 8 times more in the past week than I normally do, so I was all baked out. I did attempt a fresh cherry baked good recipe today that just came out looking like gray cat turds, so I decided to chuck that in the trash, and now it’s too late and I’m tired and suffering from some Sunday scaries, so I will do some mid-week donut baking to make it up to them.

So rather than write paragraphs upon paragraphs to explain the past two weeks, I’m going to just post a whole bunch of photo highlights from the past two weeks and give you quick commentary on them. Mentally I’m just not yet prepared for tomorrow. And if we’re being honest, I’ve been binge watching Scandal with my mom, and I really need my nightly dose of Olivia Pope tonight.

My best friend Katie came down to the Cape from Connecticut for the long weekend. We probably have 15 other pictures of us over the years in this exact spot. We do the same things every year per tradition: eat fried seafood at Cooke’s, sit in a beach chair on the seashore (with delicious sandwiches), daytrip to Provincetown, eat dessert Sundae School (every night), binge watch a new TV show, and bike and do outdoorsy things.

DSC_0043One summer Katie biked from Providence to San Francsisco. I am usually winded by the time we hit mile 2. So this year I went Tanya Harding style and tried to slash Katie’s tires so that we would be forced to skip the bike ride and just go to the beach. But of course, Katie found the nearest bike shop and we completed our casual 17-mile morning bike ride.

pPhoto 1We had a hurricane on Fourth of July, which was stupid. Because Mother Nature should know that is the one day of the summer to grace us with her sunshiney presence and keep the winds and rains out of it. Nevertheless, we made the most of the cruddy non-beach day with some baking.

Patriotic browned butter cinnamon rolls in the morning.
photo 1Homemade browned butter chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches when the hurricane hit at night

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The whole fam-bamily was down for the long weekend, which is nice because it’s my mom’s birthday and she loves nothing more than having us all down at the same time .. and smiling nicely for a picture together.

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And then once everyone else left, I got to spend the entire week with this lovely mama. We did lots of things. Some productive, like running errands and cleaning the house. And some less than productive, like binge watching almost 2 full seasons of Scandal. In our defense, some idiot waitress in Hyannis glutened my mom on Wednesday during our girl’s lunch, so I think sitting on the couch for 6 hours after watching Scandal definitely helped her feel better. DSC_0046

On Friday I day-tripped to Nantucket with my favorite Cape friend Jess. Jess and I met almost 10 years ago when we were interning for the Cape Cod Baseball League together, and to this day she is one of my favorite friends. Although our adventures now are much more tame than back in our younger days when we required a lot less sleep. So we took the fast ferry over to Nantucket, did some shopping, had a nice lunch, and then went to Cisco Brewery, which was SO much fun, I highly recommend it for a day trip. We sat outside, did a wine tasting, drank some fresh cold beers and listened to live acoustic music. Not bad for a Friday.

photo 4My friend Stacie came down for the night yesterday, so we tried to soak in as much sun as possible and went out to the Squire at night to people watch. One of my favorite activities. And by people watch, I mean “husband hunt” for me, which still is not going so well. Patience.

I took about 800 sunset pictures the past two weeks. You might find it annoying, you might not. My family finds it annoying when I sing the opening “Circle of Life” song from the Lion King every time the sunset is really red. My mom got this pic a few nights ago, which I think is the winner for sunset pics this summer.

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And finally. I drove back to the city to avoid traffic and run a bazillion errands since I hadn’t been home in a while. Not much has changed around here. Crazy Eddie is still being crazy – and currently set up a trampoline in his backyard next to the fire pit right under the electrical wires. I’m starting to think he’s setting up one of those tough mudder race courses in his backyard. I was already getting some anxiety and Sunday Scaries this morning, so I went to Pottery Barn in Chestnut Hill to sit on the couches. That store is my idea of heaven. I have been looking for a new desk chair for my office and finally settled on this nice upholstered dining room chair from PB. Apparently they were not supposed to sell me the display, but I really was impatient (shocking) and didn’t want to have to order it and wait for it to be shipped, so I convinced them that they really should just let me take it home today and let me use my rewards so that it only cost me $17. I can attest that after sitting it in it for the past hour writing the blog, this was a good purchase. And Tuesday my long-awaited guest room sleeper sofa arrives! So for all of my friends who want to eat some baked goods, I suggest you start putting in your reservation requests as soon as possible.

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Happy Sunday. Fingers crossed I will survive my return to reality tomorrow.

 

 

 

Mini Patriotic Funfetti Sandwich Cookies

You know how things go together like peas and carrots? Peanut Butter + Jelly? Bill Cosby and Pudding Pops? Most of my friends who have known me since middle school will easily use the comparison of “Becca + Funfetti Cookies.” These cookies started it all for me. I was taught never to show up somewhere empty handed, and once I discovered how easy (and fast!) it was to make Funfetti Cookies back in my wee young’n baking days, I became known around the land (of southern Connecticut) as the girl with the Funfetti cookies. At least to my friends, who used to hang out in my basement in high school and eat these.

So in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I decided to combine two of my favorite things: Funfetti Cookies + America. My friend (coworker + baking assistant) Allie was down the Cape with me this weekend, so I put her to work to help make these this morning, and we were done in under 40 minutes. Granted, we are both professional project managers, so this was the best organized and most optimized Sunday morning baking you could imagine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Funfetti cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Red, white + blue sprinkles
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • Red + Blue food coloring

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs. If you weren’t able to find the Patriotic red, white + blue Funfetti cake mix, then just add in about a 1/3 cup of red, white and blue sprinkles.

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Step 2: On parchment-lined baking sheets, place even-size balls of cake mix at least an inch apart. I made these mini, so about the size of a mini-cookie scoop, or about half a teaspoon. Mini means you can eat more, remember that. Press the dough down lightly with your fingertips. (You can dip your fingertips in flour if they are too sticky.)

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Step 3: Bake at 375 degrees for about 6-8 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let them cool while you mix the frosting.

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Step 4: Put the frosting in 3 separate bowls, and mix one with red food dye and the other with blue. This way you will end up with 1/3 of a can of red, white and blue frosting. Put into a piping bag (aka spoon into a zip-log bag, twist it, and cut the tip off). Try to match the cookies in pairs even in size, and turn one of the each of the cookie halves upside down. (OCD Project management at its best). Teamwork makes the dream work.

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Step 5: Cover each cookie evenly with the frosting. Alternating, red, white and blue across the different cookies. Then take the other half of each cookie and lightly press on top. If you have leftover patriotic sprinkles, you can sprinkle them over the sides to coat the frosted sides.

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I was singing the theme song to America’s funniest home videos while frosting these. “Red white and blue, the Funfetti things you do, America, America this is you (ba ba da boo).

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IMG_1531The last photo is my favorite. I really envy some of the other food bloggers I follow on Instagram that take these amazing pictures of what they bake. Taking great photos requires camera skills which I do not have and patience, which I most definitely do not have. So if you ever wonder how I come up with my semi-okay final cookie staged photos, it’s a pretty ghetto operation that usually involves my mom telling me not to jump on the counter.

Allie caught a few of these special ghetto photography moments this morning.

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A little hunchback of Notre Dame action going on here, but meh. Whatever it takes to get that good photo. cphoto 2And then Allie got this candid while I was giving her + her fiancee a boat tour around the lake, and I think I should probably hire her to start taking candid photos of me all over the place.

cphoto 3I’m thinking we have a new online dating headshot here, right? Speaking of online dating, I think I have pretty much given up any hope that means to finding a suitable bachelor will ever work for me. However. I had a random thought last week. And decided to create an online dating profile, EXCEPT, instead of writing my profile all normal like I usually do with career aspirations, being a master cookie baker, ninja consultant, and lover of sunsets, beaches, and diet coke (lame, yawn) I wrote my entire profile, only using quotes from Ja Rule songs. I honestly don’t know why I did not think of it sooner. His lyrics, especially when he teams up with Ashanti or J-Lo, are deep. So here it is, for your entertainment (and for those of you new to online dating, these are the standard questions the dating site makes you fill out):

What I’m doing with my life: Hard lovin’ an’ straight thuggin’

I’m really good at: Living it up’

The first things people usually notice about me: The rocks and gifts that you cop me baby / And that house on the hill when you drop like 80/ On a down payment thinking damn ain’t life gravy/ And ever since for my honey I been twice the lady
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food: The poetic lyrics of Ja Rule

The six things I could never do without: 
  1. The way you walk
  2. The way you move
  3. The way you talk
  4. The way you stare
  5. The way you look
  6. Your style

(Cause I’m real)

I spend a lot of time thinking about: why every thug needs a lady.

On a typical Friday night I am: not always there when you call, but I’m always on time.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit: you not just my love, you my homie.
You should message me if: You can tell me where would I be without my baby … because the thought alone might break me.

So, maybe not surprising, but it hasn’t quite attracted the right kind of men … yet. But until my 28-35, financially stable, handsome, Cape-lovin’ future husband finally comes out of hiding, I will be entertaining the messages I get from my dating Ja-Rule inspired profile.

I am still recovering a bit from the project launch a week ago, so I’ve been trying to catch up on 9 months of missed sleep and the past two months of pure insanity at work. I have an intern for the summer who I am supposed to be a business consulting sherpa to. So in between giving her business consulting work, I figured she needed a good research project for the summer. So she’s been assigned a research project that we titled Eat All The Boston Cookies, where Abby needs to find all of the Boston bakeries where we will go and eat all of their cookies. No easy task. Of course she will need to create a project plan with key milestones, scope prioritization, analytics for ratings + reviews, and a final presentation with lessons learned + recommendations. Best intern supervisor ever? We’ll let Abby decide that at the end of the summer. But our first stop last week, was Abby’s FIRST TIME to Flour Bakery in Back Bay. Since it was her first time, we went with the homemade Oreo, Chunky Lola cookie (my favorite), and raspberry seltzers. This got a 1o out of 10 rating, because I mean come on … does it get much better than this? Follow @thesaltedcookie on Instagram to stay on top of this research project.

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Speaking of instagram, I feel like I’m a total crazy person now that I have @thesaltedcookie officially on Instagram. Because it’s my public instagram, I feel like I can post multiple times a day and it’s not just my personal network that thinks I am crazy with my weird captions. I just post whatever the first thing that comes to my head. Today we had some good food instas in Chatham. I felt like I had to let this Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel ice cream cone from Emack and Bolios melt a little to get that perfect shot. And then I had to eat it … because there are starving children and I didn’t want to be wasteful.photo 1I had to take a picture of this card at the Mayflower Store, because I literally was just standing in the aisle cracking up like a looney tune.

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I didn’t even realize it looked like Batman was in my coffee cup yesterday morning. Probably because I had not yet had my coffee. photo 4

And finally, after a nice weekend, we caught this awesome sunset on the dock last night. My happy place. photo 3

I think I have almost forgiven Mother Nature for that insanely awful winter she put us through, because the weather the past few weeks has been unbelievable. I’m talking 82 degrees with a light breeze and no humidity down the Cape. Let’s keep that going for the next few weeks while I am enjoying some vacation days down there for America’s (and my mom’s) birthday. So enjoy the short week everyone! I know I am already ready for a week of beach chairs + sunshine. Happy Birthday America!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Muffins

I know, it’s almost midnight and I’m waiting to write this blog post. But that’s what happens when you absolutely crush a weekend. From when it was quitting time on Friday afternoon up until 10 minutes ago, I’ve been nonstop go-go-go. Very productive, very fun weekend all around. And I am tired. But Sunday blog posts are my thing right? So I have exactly 26 minutes to finish this bad boy before I turn into a pumpkin. (Also I wrote most of this before I left for a concert tonight, so don’t think my blog posts are written in less than half an hour … this is a full hour of wit coming at you).

I was looking for baking inspiration this morning. I was just standing in my kitchen, staring at 3 mushy bananas waiting for inspiration to strike. Just staring at those mushy bananas. In my pajamas. And all I could think of was that song “Bananas in Pajamas, are coming down the stairs, Bananas in pajamas are chasing teddy bears.” Nope. Can’t put those jammies in a muffin. And then it hit me. Jamz. Jelly Jamz. (the nickname Colleen and I use interchangeably for eachother). Peanut Butter Jelly Time. And then I couldn’t get that song out of my head. Peanut buttah jelly time. Perfect for a breakfast muffin.

So I decided to make a banana muffin and add in peanut butter, blueberries and then make a peanut butter brown sugar crumb topping. Boom. So I mixed up the batter, crossed my fingers, and when these bad boys came out of the oven, oh baby. We have ourselves a winner.

Ingredients:

Muffin:

  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper and spray with nonstick spray.

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix together mashed bananas, sugars, egg, oil, vanilla and peanut butter. Add in the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

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Step 3: Fold in the blueberries until evenly incorporated, but be careful not to smush them. Using a large cookie scoop, place even scoops of dough in the greased muffin tins.

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Step 4: To make the crumb topping, mix together brown sugar, flour, and peanut butter. Cut in butter until the topping is crumbly. The easiest way to do this with a pastry cutter, but a fork works as a convenient alternative. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of topping on each muffin.

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Step 5: Bake at 375 degrees for about 18-22 minutes. No need to even let these cool before you enjoy!

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Seriously bursting with banana and peanut butter flavor, with tons of fresh blueberries. So delicious!

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So where to begin with this week and weekend of epic productivity. Last week work was cray cray again, because we were in the final week before launching this website that has been in the works for over 9 months. Someone had the bright idea to plan the launch for Friday the 13th at midnight. But despite that, we launched the site successfully and did a bunch of testing Saturday morning. So this Tuesday night we flip the big switch and customers can see it and order their prescriptions, which is pretty cool.

My aunt and cousin who were down the Cape last weekend, finished out their New England adventure in Boston on Thursday and Friday. So we met up for dinner in the North End Friday night, and then I had to take them to Mike’s Pastry for the real deal Boston dessert — Cannoli. I mean just look at that. And after a week of eating zero carbs, that was like heaven on earth.

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Colleen and I started watching Orange is the New Black on Saturday afternoon, which was fun. We only made it through 2 episodes so far. I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening putting up painters tape and then starting to paint the room formerly known as Colleen’s bedroom and now known as the office slash guest room. I got up early this morning and put on the final coat, and if I do say so myself, I think I did a pretty decent job.

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But the real homeowner victory of the weekend, is the new patio in my backyard. It’s been a few months in the works planning this and being educated on the fact that since we have a very narrow alley way as our only access point to the backyard, that things are crazy expensive because of the fact that it takes so long to get the material in the backyard – not like in the burbs where they back a truck into your backyard, dump the materials and can get started right away. So we worked with our contractor and came up with this awesome awesome deck as the final product. Could not be happier. We just have to do a little bit of landscaping around the edges, but I see a LOT of grilled pizza + vino Friday nights happening this summer.

This is the view from the top:

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And from the back side. The step spans the whole width of the patio which is fantastic.

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Hopefully my contractor accepts this batch of vanilla bean brown butter blondies as a form of payment. I mean, these are money. So I’ll leave these in his mailbox tomorrow and hopefully we can call it even.

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I met a friend on Newbury Street today for manicures + pedicures (aka, I needed to pay someone to get all of the blue paint off of my arms, legs, hands and feet). And then my friend Bridget, who is my favorite concert buddy, and I went to Cambridge tonight to see one of our favorite musicians Matt Wertz at this super small concert. It was so so awesome. I was waiting for the bathroom, and he came out and was waiting next to me, and I was totally not cool about it at all. I did offer to let him to go in front of me, but I wish I had thought of something cooler to say on the spot than just “wanna pee first since you have to play a show?” Smooth Becca, real smooth.

And last but not least, I owe a big shoutout to this big guy today for Father’s Day. I probably give Skip a harder time than anyone, because that’s my job as the favorite oldest daughter. I followed in his footsteps to become a business consultant. Which means at the holidays we can speak in our consultant code language that no one else can understand. “Hey dad, can you leverage me those potatoes before I go open kimono on the turkey and float up a trial balloon on that cranberry sauce.” “No problem favorite child, get your ducks in a row to maximize your green bean synergy.” See, you common people probably did not understand all of that. He taught me that all vacations should be planned in color-coded excel itineraries and that you get the best reservations at Disney restaurants if you call exactly 180 days in advance. And of course I called my Grandpa today, because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here either. And all he had to say was, where are my cookies?

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Brown Butter S’mores Cookies

So let me preface this post with reminding you, looks aren’t everything. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. And whatever other Pinterest quotes in front of sunsets that I can find to say that these cookies taste delicious, but might not look quite as nice as I wanted them to. So the whole reason I picked Colleen over the other applicants for the room two years ago, is because of our mutual love for all things s’mores. We think the S’mores flavored iced coffee at Sidewalk Cafe was legitimately laced with cocaine because it was so insanely good you would wait 35 minutes in the blazing sun on a Saturday morning just to get some. I couldn’t bring myself to text Colleen a pic of these cookies tonight though because now that she’s not my live-in taste tester that would just be cruel and unusual. Because while on the outside these look a little meh, they still pack a mean punch of S’mores flavor.

You probably don’t remember, but I have attempted S’mores cookies before, about two years ago. The blog post was called “S’mores cookie experiment fail” because that’s exactly what it was. Such a fail that I ended up just chucking all of the dough into the trash. The issue is with the friggin marshmallows. I don’t like the dehydrated ones. But if you use regular mini marshmallows, if they are exposed on the outside of the cookie, they end up melting and getting chewy and the cookie kind of falls apart.

So I had given up on these for a while, until I saw a brown butter s’mores chocolate chunk cookie from one of my favorite food bloggers A Picky Palate. Her pictures came out amazing. So either she has mastered the marshmallow, or she did what I did and just took the best looking few cookies and only took pictures of them. Either way, I would still recommend trying this, because it was by no means an epic fail. It was just not perfect, which of course drives me nuts with my Type-A personality.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground graham crackers, about 8 full crackers
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the butter in a medium saucepan and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Step 2: Add brown + granulated sugars to the mixing bowl with the cooled brown butter. Beat on a medium speed until well incorporated. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.

Step 3: Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt. If you don’t have a food processor or didn’t buy graham cracker crumbs, put the graham crackers in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.

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Step 4: Add in marshmallows and chocolate chips, and mix on a low speed just until evenly incorporated.

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Step 5: Using a larger cookie scoop, place dough on a sil-pat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes.

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Step 6: The marshmallows will inevitably ooze out, so as soon as you take them out of the oven, use a small spatula or a butter knife to push the oozing marshmallows back around the cookies. (Or just eat the hot crunchy marshmallowness, because yolo right?). Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet to set for at least 10 minutes before moving them over to a wire rack to finish cooling.

This is what about half of them came out looking like at first:

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But with a little cleanup of the marshmallow ooze, they are looking much more photogenic! IMG_1394

I was happy when I read the Picky Palate’s recipe in more detail, because it sounded like she had some of the same marshmallow issue that I did. Which means nobody’s perfect when it comes to baking with marshmallows.

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IMG_1396So all in all, I would say this is definitely a recipe worth trying as long as you don’t freak out at the marshmallow ooze; just try to fix it up right when they come out of the oven.

I have a lot of pictures on my phone from the past week so I am going to have to pick and choose what to include in the highlights of this week. Mostly because it’s 10:30 and I am getting tired. and I have a bengay patch on my right shoulder so I smell like an old lady while wrapped in a snuggie watching the Tony’s. (still single, shocker I know right?) So, if you want to keep up with the Salted Cookie in photos all day every day, make sure to follow on instagram: @thesaltedcookie. Tell your friends.

This is the first Sunday night in a while where I don’t have a wicked case of the Sunday Scaries. I took Friday off because I needed a day to get a bunch of things done, because the next 3 weeks at work are going to be brutal. And I didn’t leave the Cape until almost 4 today, so I feel like I got 3 full sunshine-filled days down there, which is probably why I am a little more relaxed tonight than normal. Let’s hope I can channel this tomorrow morning when I get into work.

Firstly, I could totally be a stay-at-home Mom. Or an 80 year old. Whichever comes first. Friday morning after bootcamp I drove down to the Cape early morning and got my car serviced at Toyota in Hyannis because it’s cheaper than getting it done at the Lexus dealership. And I was pleasantly surprised the formerly ghetto Toyota service center had been totally redone. They had like 20 lazy-boy recliners and I got to watch Good Morning America + Kelly and Michael with a bunch of senior citizens. Which I probably haven’t done in over 3 years. And it was great. When the service guy came over to ask if I wanted some $50 filters in my car, I was like yeah yeah do what you need, but shhh Kelly Ripa is talking.

So we had some family visiting from Connecticut + Florida this weekend. One good thing to note, is both of my aunts tell me they read my blog every week along with my 14-year old boy cousin, so at least now I have 5 loyal readers including my parents. (oh, and my Cape friend Caroline’s mom!). So 6, loyal fans. So before everyone arrived on Friday, I enjoyed my day off with my mom and had a nice lunch by the water in Harwichport at Brax Landing, my old waitress stomping grounds. The lobster roll there is unreal. I like it over a garden salad because it’s so huge in the sandwich form that you can’t eat it like a lady. And I’m working on being more ladylike.

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Speaking of being un-lady like, I may have taught my 14-year old cousin Ryan a new word this weekend that I use all the time. Basically, the Southie version of the eff word. Like how we say Lobstah and Pahk and Wicked? Today I asked Ryan (my taste tester for the day) what he thought of the cookies, to which he replied “pretty fahkin good.” Woops.

For the record, I have been teaching him ghetto habits since he was a wee little nugget. This is the last time we hung out at Disney World in 2008. 171_527021377787_4569_n

And now he’s 14. And I kicked his butt in mini-golf. And by kicked his butt, I mean, somehow our parents beat us but I beat him, so that’s all that matters.

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I honestly can’t tell you how friggin great the weather was this weekend. Last night we had an awesome sunset. Skip drove us all out to the middle of the lake, he turns the boat engine off so we just sit and float quietly while watching this sunset. And by quietly, I mean that I find obnoxious songs to play on my phone because I can’t sit still or just enjoy a peaceful moment. So after playing “We’re on a boat” (one of my personal faves) I played “Circle of Life” from the Lion King, because that’s what the final moments of the sunset look like. And then I played “Hakuna Matata” because why not?

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So on the topic of Hakuna Matata, this morning I made a Hakuna Frittata. (ba da boom, cha) Now I’m making jokes like Skip! But I emailed my personal chef the other day (my uncle jimmy) for some frittata recipes, because if you need to see a man about a recipe, you go see Uncle Jimmy. (if you need to see a man about getting an ex boyfriend to sleep with the fishes, he’s also the man to see about that.) So with some coaching from Uncle Jimmy, I made my first frittata this morning after a nice 3.5 mile run. And let me just say, HAKUNA FRITTATA, what a wonderful breakfast, HAKUNTA FRITTATA it means no worries for the rest of your days, it’s our carbohydrate-free breakfast for me, hakuna frittata.

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One day I will put things other than cookies on this blog. And I will start with this frittata. This one had a bunch of leftover food in it, which is why frittatas are awesome. This one had roasted potatoes, red pepper, onion, spinach, cheese and some bacon. Nom nom friggin nom. It’s even good reheated for dinner.

Okay, I realize you guys are starting to play the music like my Tony acceptance speech is too long, so I will wrap this post up with some nice inspirational thoughts. When mom and I installed these shelves in the kitchen, I figured I would collect some Cape Cod swagger to really pull the room together. So I had picked up a few things over the past month. But then I found this sign in Chatham Friday afternoon and it just felt right. Probably because I really like french fries, so I can relate to seagulls with french fries making their day.

So take that inspiration into the week, will ya? Happy Sunday.

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