I hit the sibling jackpot when my younger sister was born. She was smart, funny, talented and clever. And then she grew up. And somehow, she got smarter, funnier, more talented and more clever. I am so lucky that she only lives a mile away and was only sort of kidding when she said she had given up speaking to me for Lent.
She swung by our condo before the parade on Sunday, and brought her fiance and one of her lovely friends, Amy, along. And Amy brought along some of the most delicious cookies of all time, adapted from this recipe and her friends’ blog, The Feasting Freds. With another storm threatening to derail work plans (and following through on that threat with several inches of snow before dawn today), I dug through my cabinets to find that I had almost all the ingredients on hand. I put on my frilliest apron and got to stress baking.
The original recipe (for maple walnut jam cookies) calls for whole wheat pastry flour, which I swapped out for a mix of coconut flour and almond meal. I found I needed additional flour mix, as the dough was a bit too soft. I used agave nectar instead of maple syrup, and was sure to use certified gluten free oats.
Gluten free thumbprint cookies with raspberry preserves
raspberry preserves (I like Bonne Maman, and not just because I was a French major)
Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a rimmed cookie sheet.
Mix chopped walnuts and gluten free oats in a food processor and grind until they’re combined.
In a small bowl, mix the canola oil and agave nectar.
In a larger bowl, combine the dry and wet ingredients, and stir. Add additional almond flour if needed.
Form the dough into small balls and drop onto cookie sheet. Flatten each ball slightly and form a depression (or in happier terms, a raspberry preserves pocket) with your thumb.
Add a small amount of preserves (or your favorite jam) to each cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies can be a bit crumbly when they first come out of the oven, so it’s important to employ a little will power and allow them to cool and set up. After a (very large) number of baking flops since forgoing gluten, this recipe was a real victory. I’ll take ’em where I can get ’em. These cookies were quick, easy, perfect for giving away and provided just the little project I needed to take my mind of this darn weather.
I’m grateful to Amy for sharing the recipe, and I am grateful to my sister for sharing her friends.
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]And cookies. And whoopie pies. And cake pops.
When Nick and I got to the wedding cake part of wedding planning, we knew the traditional route wasn’t for us. Wanting to maximize time on the dance floor, and minimize time spent cutting a giant cake. We came up with a plan: a dessert bar featuring mostly minis that can be consumed while doing your best Michael Jackson crotch grab relevé.
I reached out to Kelly at Mix Bakery, having spent nearly two years day dreaming of her peanut butter cup cupcakes. We discussed our vision (and shared Pinterest boards, obviously), and immediately I knew Kelly would be a dream to work with. She saw where I was going with Champagne sequined mini dresses for my bridesmaids, and answered with a color-coordinated cake pop. It was meant to be.
While we could have tasted samples in Kelly’s kitchen, she had an even better suggestion. Why not have a few friends over and make it a party? Last night, a few of our favorite people joined us for some very important research.
MixFetti and red velvet cake pops
A trio of mini cupcakes: peanut butter cup, chocolate and salted caramel, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Traditional and strawberry whoopie pies
Chocolate chip cookies
After I picked up the goods from Kelly, I zipped home to set everything up before our um, researchers arrived. Scheduling a cake tasting during an elimination diet may have not been the smartest idea, so I gave myself free pass to try a few bites. Weddings are the perfect justification for free passes, right? My favorite was the peanut butter cup minis, naturally, but the MixFetti cake pops were pretty incredible too.
It was so fun to get feedback from our pals, and see what everyone else enjoyed most.
If last night was any indication, we’re in for quite the party. 141 days to go…
Something about a high stake athletic event makes me want to retreat to the kitchen. Fortunately, I can see the TV from there. Oddly enough, I can also see the TV from the shower. Who wants to choose between seeing the Bruins crush it and maintaining a normal standard of hygiene? Not me.
In celebration of our Boston Bruins’ being in the Stanley Cup Finals, I made some edible hockey pucks. They may not be the prettiest things, but man, were they good. I added a teaspoon of fresh lime zest to the filling for a little extra kick. These little guys are tastier than Patrice Bergeron’s finger.
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]It’s no secret that I love to read. Right now I am in the middle of five different books. It’s sort of a problem. I recently finished The Kitchen House (and loved it). When I got to the end, I noticed an interview with the author. I usually skip over these book club-type sections, mostly because I have four other books to finish, but something about this interview drew me in.
I don’t want to spoil the plot, because I think this novel is definitely worth reading, but Kathleen Grissom’s description of how she developed the storyline and characters was fascinating. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but wasn’t exactly sure how that actually happens. I am sure it’s different for everyone, but Grissom’s revelations were quite fascinating. Perhaps my kooky imagination could play to my advantage?
Tucked within the interview was a recipe for Belle’s molasses cake, which appears throughout the novel. I figured if the cake was half as good as the book, it would be mighty tasty.
I flagged the page (wahoo for Post-its), picked up all the ingredients… and then completely forgot about it. Until this afternoon.
The recipe is simple and easy to follow, right up my alley. I wasn’t sure what it would taste like but, um, molasses is a good source of iron. Or whatever. Give me a baked good, and I will rationalize eating it for you. When I pulled the pan from the oven I thought two things:
I wish I had a square cake stand.
This smells insane.
If that’s not reason enough to pick up a book, I don’t know what is.
Looking for something to nibble on, while supporting an important cause? Bake for Hope is a week long, nation-wide, 100% volunteer-run, bake sale event happening this week. Proceeds will be donated to local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates.[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] We’re about to hit the road for Mass and Easter dinner at my parents’ house, but I wanted to be sure to wish those of you celebrating, a very happy Easter Sunday. To everyone ele, I’m wishing you a very happy regular Sunday.
In case you missed this last year, here is Clark doing his best impression of the Easter Bunny:
When I was little, I was terrified of the “Eater Bunny,” and as such, our baskets were filled and carefully delivered… to my dad’s car. Can you blame me?
Keep out of my house.
Terrifying. Speaking of terrifying, wait ’til my family cuts into this cake I baked (and then had to piece together with a big piping bag of frosting…) yesterday evening. Looks can be deceiving. I will be sure to post its innards later today.
As I rush to dry my hair and find my missing shoe, I’ll leave you with a few more early Easter pictures.
Easter baskets for Nick and Clark.
Please don't call the MSPCA. He likes the ears, I promise.
As you may have heard, Nick officially joined the ranks of old people yesterday. So I made cupcakes, but not just any cupcakes… dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough cookies. Here’s the secret: whip up a batch of cookie dough (with sea salt for a bit of kick), shape it into teaspoon-sized balls and freeze for two hours. Meanwhile, prepare your cupcake batter as you usually would, and drop a frozen ball of cookie dough into each cup before baking. You will die. Of deliciousness.
See, I told you. Cookie dough inside a cupcake.
I could use a manicure.
Look what I found hidden on my camera!
Off to the office the cupcakes went! When one of his co-workers asked who had made these edible treasures, another replied, “The devil.” I think that was intended as a compliment. Still here? Get to baking, angels.
Also On Tap for Today:
Rehearsal and dinner for Jimmy and Colleen’s wedding! 🙂
Two of my favorite people hatched on this day in history: my beautiful sister in 1984, and my handsome boyfriend in 1982. Aren’t they adorable? And smart? And charming? And accomplished? And a wee bit mischievous? And everything you could possibly ask for in a boyfriend and sister? Yes. Yes, they are.
That's a whole lot of ear buds.
All blinged out.
We'd be fun Siamese twins!
Cheers, birthday man!
Let’s see what the stars have to say about Andrea and Nick:
If You Were Born Today, October 7
You seek to balance the world around you on a mental level. You want things to be fair and just, and you are very uncomfortable with extremes of opinion, simply because they seem harsh and unfair to you. The world of ideas is precious to you. You think like a social worker at times. Although you very definitely march to the beat of a different drummer, you do it in such a charming manner that people find you delightfully odd, and, at the very least, interesting. A dreamer at heart, you are striving towards perfection, and always looking for answers. Famous people born today: Thom Yorke, John Mellancamp, R.D. Laing, Desmond Tutu, Oliver North.
They lost me at “balance on a mental level,” but found me again at “delightfully odd.” I love you both and hope you have an absolutely perfect birthday. And thank you, Jesus, for giving me one less important date to remember. That was very clever of you.