Tag Archives: cookies

Compost Cookies

Call em compost cookies, garbage cookies, kitchen sink cookies — they’re more like everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies!

These chewy-crunchy treats are full of snacks snacks snacks. What kind of snacks?

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Your favourite kind, of course!

Not only are they full of snack foods, but these magical cookies can lead you to a place of epiphany and a greater self understanding — for example, up until a few days ago I would have certainly, definitely not considered myself a “potato chip” person.

But, when I had to buy chips in order to make this recipe for a friend — insert snobby foodie eyeroll here — what did I do with the left over chips? I ate them. All of them.

In, like, 10 seconds flat.

Then I realized that I had no more chips left over for any photos, so I went back to the 7-11 to buy more chips and take some final photos, and then I ate those, too.

Arrgh!

Much to my own chagrin, I’ve come to understand that the real reason why I don’t usually buy chips is because must I have a very deep, very dark, and (up until now) very secret — secret even to me! — love in my heart for them.

But that’s okay — because I can make compost cookies. They make me feel justified in my brazen potato chip love.

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New York City eats and Momofuku Milk Bar, Corn Cookies with Raspberries

On my way to Europe two months ago, I finally had the chance to see New York City!

I had always, always wanted to go to New York — the skyscrapers, the glamour, the grittiness, the culture, the history, the food. Everyone in Vancouver wants to go to New York (okay — probably not everyone, but most of us have “see New York” on our bucket list).

That dreamy yearning to see the sights of an internationally-renowned city, though, is probably a one-way street  — as in, New Yorkers don’t dream of coming out west and visiting Vancouver… probably because we’re just not nearly as cosmopolitan and cool!

Ha!

It’s sad, but true.

Vancouver is “cool” like “your mom thinks you’re special” — or something like that. We have mountains. We have ocean. We have Canadian geese (they’ll bite you).

I mean, the dirty subways, the brilliance of Times Square, the striking ceiling of Grand Central, the harbor wind on my face on the ferry to Liberty Island… it was all as amazing as I thought it would be!

But, of course, it was the eateries and bakeries that had me most starry-eyed.

My partner and I ate at Cafeteria (lovely lemon ricotta pancakes)…!

We indulged at Spot Dessert Bar (a tip courtesy of daisy’s last visit)…!

We grabbed all the goodies we could hold from Momofuku Milk Bar (cookies, pretzel milk, and bagel bombs — oh my)…!

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Going to Milk Bar is what made rushing through New York totally worth it — I’d been enamored from afar with the quirky recipes in Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook, and now I was actually up close and personal with the chef’s work!

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Lemon & Thyme Tea Cookies

Sometimes pastry school doesn’t offer a whole lot of creative freedom.

A lot of pastry student time is taken up by making our daily quota of croissants, baguettes, breads, scones, and muffins, or by glazing chocolate cakes, fruit mousse cakes, or making tiny desserts for stocking the school cafe.

Every so often, though, I’ve got enough time to whip up a batch of these tiny lemony delights!

My excuse is always, “I’m making them to sell in the bake shop!” even though a good handful of these always end up in my stomach.

The flavourful nuances of these delicate, crumbly tea cookies hinges on using a rich, high quality olive oil (preferably extra virgin), fresh thyme, and, of course, beautiful, fresh lemon zest.

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Grandma’s Cherry Snowballs

My grandma is an awesome lady — I wish I knew her better.

She’s still alive n’ kicking, but my grandma has Alzheimer’s disease and hasn’t recognized me  for a long time now. I visit her occasionally and I see her at family dinners, but I could and should visit her more often.

Especially since my grandma has one of the kindest hearts and sweetest dispositions you could ever hope to find in a person — she loves animals and people and I remember someone in my family once telling me that the most terrible cuss they’d ever heard her say was “hell’s bells”!

From what I know from the stories she’s told me, she grew up just a block from where I grew up and attended the same school (back when it was a high school — by the time I went there it had been switched to an elementary school and the high school had been moved to a bigger building down the hill).

I went to the same university as she did, but she majored in social work while I did an English degree.

My grandma even belonged to a sorority (back when sororities did charity work instead of drinking with frat boys) and worked with the YMCA to help underprivileged children.

I remember once she gave me a bottle of pale green glittery nail polish for Christmas, and, upon seeing it, my teenage self exclaimed, “Grandma, this is wicked!

“Oh… well,” she said, “If you don’t like it, I can always take it back.”

Then I had to explain to her that wicked meant awesome, kind of like how bad can mean good. I think she was a little perplexed, but accepted the fact that I liked her present after all.

Haha!

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Egg Noggies, for Charity

Big news! Big news! So much news!

Where to start — um, um… okay — so, first off, I’ve just come out on the other side of a round of practical exams.

I’m totally thrilled with my marks, mostly over 9+/10 on all my items (although I didn’t do a great job on my hand-rolled chocolate truffles), and my chef told me that I “set the bar” for the exam. Squee! How great is that?

Of course it’s my dream to become a truly skilled pastry chef — and of course I think I can do it — it’s just nice when someone I respect immensely throws a bit of fuel on the fire of my hopes and ambitions, y’know?

Look out, next semester, here I come!

On top of that, I was able to get a seasonal position (a second job, no less) helping out The Vancouver Club during their Christmas rush.

I recently had the luck of meeting their pastry chef, too, and she’s totally nice — she offered to let me come to the club one night and follow her around to see what she does for free, but this is even better.

Doesn’t it seem serendipitous that I’m able to work with her so soon after meeting her?

I don’t even know if I’m getting paid or not and I just don’t even care — money would just be gravy at this point — the opportunity of experience and the ballin’ reference on my resume is really all I’m lookin’ for!

Whoooooa shit — okay. Must calm down.

So, in other news, now that it’s the season of giving, my school is making cookie tins to sell and raise money for the local BC Children’s Hospital. Each pastry class has to produce at least 150 cookies to contribute to the tins.

I love the idea of baking for charity, and I was totally eager to participate no matter what kind of cookies my class decided to make, but imagine my surprise when my chef instructor asked me to make 150 cookies of my own recipe for the tins!

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Christmas Recipe Round-Up

I have to confess — while recipe round-ups are not normally my style, I felt like there was too much of a gap between my stöllen and my next post, so a wee bit of filler was in order.

Coming soon: cookies and big news!

So, I’m currently bogged down with cramming and exams — that just means that some of the delicious treats I made last Christmas get an extra minute in the spotlight — like these rich and velvety Mucho Mocha Shortbread.

That’s win-win, right?

Especially because I think some of these creative recipes, like Mandarin Cupcakes with Clove Buttercream, definitely deserve a second look.

I did crazy, mad, frantic, enthusiastic baking during my first few weeks of blogging, and it just so happened to be over the holidays!

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It’s bitter-sweet to think about the lovely Pear & Cranberry Cake with Orange Buttermilk Glaze that hardly anyone ever looked at, simply because I hadn’t yet learned about networking, making fellow blogging buddies, or the glories of photographing with natural light.

Sad, but true!

I mean, these Cranberry-Pecan Sandies are the type of cookie that my coworkers pestered me to make again over and over (I just indulged them this last weekend — and they’re good as ever), but I just didn’t know how to make them shine in front of a camera.

Especially since I didn’t know anything about food styling or adding props to photos either.

The gold star embossed tissue paper behind these Toasted Coconut Icebox Cookies was about as complicated and intricate as it got with me.

Maybe a sad piece of shriveled holly bush managed to sneak itself into the frame when I photographed these Chocolate-Dipped Marzipan Cookies — but adding props like that didn’t happen very often!

Behold — a whole dish, napkin, and spoon! I had started to branch out!

A bowl full of nutmeg-dusted Cranberry Syllabub aside, the last year has been a serious learning experience for me — there’s more to making a blog work, to making food work, making writing work, than just churning out recipe after recipe.

You’ve gotta have a story to tell, a life to share, and a love of food to impart to the world!

This funny-looking Rum-Spiked Brownie Bits with Candy Cane Frosting has a story to tell, too — one about how half my coworkers wouldn’t touch these chocolately morsels because of the sluggish, speckled grey frosting on top.

That is, until someone had the guts to try this odd-coloured creation and declared it delicious!

Sometimes food blogging can be made pretty and easy and neat, like these Perfect Gingersnaps, and sometimes it’s so much stress that you want to tear all your hair out and sleep for an entire month!

I know that in my last post I said I fear the impending holiday rush — and, well, it’s still true.

But all your kind comments (and some like-minded facebook statuses from my friends) made me realize that it’s best to meet things head on!

Here’s to the holidays — the stress, the joy, the festive food, the amazing baked treats — and keeping your head screwed on as tightly as possible from now until the new year!

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