Thursday, May 31, 2012

52 cookies :: week 21 :: toasted walnut cookies

the weeks are getting more and more hectic as the end of the school year approaches.

activities are winding up and we are preparing for a 5th grade culmination (!)

this was a scramble-to-see-what's-in-the-pantry-and-make-it-work day!


52 cookies

Toasted Walnut Cookies
adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
via NYT December 14, 2005

2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tbsp roasted or plain walnut oil (optional - I left this out this time, as I didn't have any! but would include for the next)
1 1/2 c light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c flour
2 c finely chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar for dusting.

Preheat oven to 375.

If using walnut oil, subtract 2 tblsp butter. In a mixer, cream butter, walnut oil, if using, and sugar until smooth and light. Add eggs, and mix, then add vanilla and salt. With mixer running at low speed, stir in flour, then nuts.

Roll dough into walnut-size balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. (Or, roll into 2 logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in parchment paper and freeze for up to 2 months. Slice 1/4" thick before baking.)

3. Bake until lightly browned on top, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

Makes about 6 dozen small cookies

i went for the best of both on this one. i rolled 2 dozen "walnut-size balls" and then rolled the remaining dough into a log for freezing. i have a feeling i'll be slicing and baking it sooner than later.

52 cookies

K: I like the flavor very much!!! Please do these bigger next time. And please make more.

E: Ok ok, you need to make more next time, and more powdered sugar but I love the walnuts.

D: Here I sit broken hearted...and upping the ante to $1000!!!?! if you don't like this cookie. This week's offering outshines all the rest. Like a Mexican wedding cookie but soft and chewy. Great nutty flavor with the walnuts. Come by the house for a cookie and a beer and we'll arm wrestle for the cash.

Must add these are definitely in my top 5.  Yum!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I shared my breakfast this a.m. (freshly baked scone and a latte) with a beautiful bouquet of roses gathered for me from a nearby community garden.




i am working with this group to secure an agreement so that they are able to keep working the land they've been on for the last 15 years. they are a great group. and i am excited things are moving forward.

how great would it be to spread community gardens throughout un/underused ag yards on our campuses?

Monday, May 28, 2012

it looked pretty much like this...

3day weekend

3day weekend

3day weekend

3day weekend

3day weekend

3day weekend

perfect 3day weekend.

{having fun on instagram...}

Thursday, May 24, 2012

52 cookies :: week 20 :: chocolate wafers

52 cookies

week 20 and i'm feeling lazy! i actually did a search for "icebox cookie" and "food processor" (cookie dough in the food processor is such a cinch - another take-away from this endeavour.) apparently it paid off.

Homemade Chocolate Wafers
adapted from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert
via the smitten kitchen

Makes 50 to 60 1 3/4-inch wafers

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
14 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix thoroughly. Cut the butter into about 12 chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse several times. Combine the milk and vanilla in a small cup. With the processor running, add the milk mixture and continue to process until the mixture clumps around the blade or the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or a cutting board and knead a few times to make sure it is evenly blended.

Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate overnight.

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with silpat. Cut the log of dough into slices a scant 1/4-inch thick and place them one inch apart on the lined sheets. Bake, rotating the baking sheet from top to bottom and back to front about halfway through baking, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will puff up and deflate; they are done about 1 1/2 minutes after they deflate.

Cool the cookies on racks to cool completely. These cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks or be frozen for up to two months.

52 cookies

I see ice-cream sandwiches in our near future. And I plan on making these this weekend...

K: The cookie is nice and crunchy. I think it is one of the best cookies you ever made. The flavor is nice and chocolaty. The crunchiness gives the cookie a nice big chocolaty taste.

E: Mmmm, good dippin' cookies. Excellent with ice cream. They are good because they are absorbent. Yum!

D: Wow. I think this is your best cookie yet. Simple, crispy, thin, dense cocoa flavor. EAT THIS WITH ICE CREAM. You will love it. OMG. If you don't like this cookie I'll give you $100.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


it's the time of the year when i am filling all the containers in the house with flowers




from our garden... and from others...

happy saturday :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

52 cookies :: week 19 :: lemon icebox cookies

this icebox formula is working for me...

Lemon Icebox Cookies
via Martha Stewart

2 c all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 c confectioners' sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tblsp plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks
1/4 c granulated sugar, for rolling

In a food processor (oh how I love my food processor!), pulse flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, and lemon zest until combined. Add butter and process until sandy. Add egg yolks and lemon juice; pulse until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and form each into a 1 1/2-inch-wide log. Wrap in plastic and freeze overnight (or up to 1 month).

52 cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Spread granulated sugar on a piece of parchment; roll logs over sugar to coat. Slice logs into 1/4"-thick slices and arrange, 1" apart, on silpat prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 60 cookies

52 cookies

K: Very tasty! I liked how you added some lemon to it and I also liked how you added the sprinkles on the edges. They're practically the best cookies in the world!!!

E: LOVE!!!!!!
Awesome cookies this week. Lemony, tasty bites of deliciousness. And I really mean bites, the cookies are so small!!! I could eat them all day!

D: Big yellow crusty sun. It's a fun dessert cookie that's good with tea. I wonder how it will taste with a corona and lime...newsflash! Yum!

52 cookies

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012



i spent mother's day with the girlies who make me a mom.

a gourmet breakfast in bed.

some live theater. (my niece starring as peter pan!)

and dinner with my mother and sisters -in-law.

hope you had a wonderful mom's day too!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

hello summer :)

hello summer :)

we moved the pingpong table poolside.

we drank sun tea and ate watermelon.

i love these rare unscheduled saturdays.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

52 cookies :: week 18 :: gingersnaps

I felt the need for a home-run this week. I wanted an icebox dough. (its been hot - and I wanted to be able to make the dough at night - and bake it in the early morning - instead of staying up late to bake.) and when I found these gingersnaps (my dad's favorite cookies) they called my name. they didn't disappoint.

Chez Panisse Gingersnaps
via the kitchn

makes at least 3 dozen

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 c molasses
3 c all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Cream butter and sugar until very soft and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well-incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. On low speed, mix until it all just comes together.

Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight.

52 cookies

Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice brick into very, very thin slices, try for no more than 1/8". Place on a silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 until the edges turn dark brown, about 12 minutes.

52 cookies

Lovely when just slightly burned on the edges.

52 cookies

K: I love the cookies so much. They are so smooth, sweet, crunchy, good, and tasty. they are good with milk, and ice cream. i like them with ice cream because you can make an ice cream sandwich.

E: Good, crunchy, sometimes soft. Good 4 cool weather. And warm weather.

D: These are the coolest. I said "whoa!" when I saw that shape. I said "I must dunk you in milk", which I did. I know what yer all saying,"Oh no, D! You don't even drink milk!!!" and you would be right. BUT I CAN DUNK! And I did like seven times. Delicious. Fun. Super good delicious fun winner cookie.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


was national bike to school day

ride your bike to school day

ride your bike to school day

ride your bike to school day

ride your bike to school day

we were a little more organized this year than last, with stickers for all the riders. at least a dozen. (a 2001 survey by the cdc showed only 16% of kids walk or bike to school!)

they were all so proud of themselves.

{cookies will be here tomorrow!}

Friday, May 04, 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

52 cookies :: week 17 :: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

52 cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
via Orangette

2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 tblsp best-quality vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c rolled oats "zizzed" in a food processor for a few seconds

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Preparing baking sheet with silpat.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together melted butter and brown and granulated sugars until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, mixing until light and creamy. Mix in sifted ingredients, working until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and oats by hand, using a wooden spoon. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. Use a table knife to scoop and press dough into 1/4 c measuring scoops, and plunk the mounds onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be three inches apart.

3. Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. (I did 30 minutes.) Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cook completely. Eat.

K: I like how you did a mix of two kinds of cookies you already did. They are chocolate chip and oatmeal. I like how they are so big. I love the cookies so much.

E: Mmm, definitely better than oatmeal raisin. They are really hard to break to share with friends :( , but they're still delicious :D

D: This cookie has a nice salty flavor, and I guess that the oatmeal will save me when Jesus comes a counting my cholesterol. Well, I had a problem with this week's offering. It was hard and it was crumbly. This didn't help with its awkward snowball shape.

Woody Allen said something about pizza, "even bad, it's still pretty good". I'm not throwing this cookie off the island and I'll probably eat the last one in the jar, but this cookie does not rule thunder-dome!