Happy Fogust!

Hi Friends!

I love fogust. Hiking through Glen Canyon this time of year with the trailing little fog tendrils is the BEST. Not to mention – we did Twin Peaks this morning and it felt like hiking into the cloud layer, it was so foggy. Nice and humid – good for the skin, and to wake up – we literally rolled out of bed and into this hike. Not mad. Today’s included 10 pushups every mile for just under 6 mi – highly recommend.

Especially when there is galette waiting at home for breakfast! I love eating this with coffee. It’s literally the best of all possible worlds. I add barely any sweetener to it – only a sprinkle of coconut sugar at the end. It’s PERFECT for stone fruit season, which is peaking just about now it seems like – we’ll have great fruit for awhile yet, but it’s quite literally unbeatable at the current moment.

I was also lucky enough to get a shipment of a friend’s homemade apricot jam, yaaass!!!! I love having friends with fruit. I now have several jars of jam waiting in the wings – some of it went in here, to great effect – some of it will go on toast, I’m 1000% sure, and the rest, well…. we’ll just see ;)

As per usual, this did double duty last night for dessert and for breakfast with eggs+salad this morning – I am currently obsessed with trying rye in everything, just in case you hadn’t noticed. German rye bread is a fave of ours, and I find that rye works really well in a bunch of different dessert applications, especially when paired with fruit. It’s pretty subtle – more so than say, eating rye bread – the flavor is noticeable, but doesn’t smack you over the head with it.

the only condiment that truly matters

Let’s see, what else.

Ooooh! The dahlias are INSANE right now, look! Just look at them! How incredible are these?! The mind boggles. I’m so lucky I live within walking distance to the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park – I go over frequently to check on them.

On that note, happy Fogust! I hope you and yours had a relaxing weekend, hopefully involving dessert and summer fruit bounty.

Peach, Apricot & Blueberry Galette with a Rye Crust

Refined sugar free and whole grain. Peeerrrfect for late summer stone fruit bounty – use whatever looks good! Proportions will pretty much stay the same. There is barely any sweetener added – just a finishing sprinkle of coconut sugar – so make sure you fruit is nice and ripe. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

for the crust:
3/4 c dark rye flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c almond meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together rye flour, cornmeal, almond flour, and sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla & almond extract, then the ice water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. Flatten slightly and stick it into the fridge while you cut up the fruit (can be refrigerated up to several days if you want to make it in advance).

For the fruit:

peaches, sliced (I used probably ~5)
heaping 1c blueberries
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp tapioca starch

1/4 c apricot jam (preferably homemade by a friend ;)

In a large bowl, toss together sliced peaches, blueberries, lemon zest/juice, and tapioca.

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Spread the jam in a thin layer over the middle of the dough. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. Dot fruit with butter if you like, though it’s not strictly necessary. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

Summer fruit galette for breakfast

Mid July already! Someone pinch me.

I was up at camp last weekend to help give my mountain home a wee bit of a facelift – she’s 80+ years old so it’s time! Nothing like fresh mountain air and manual labor to get a nice reset on life. I’ll be going up one more weekend in July, and for four days in August, and I already can’t wait. My home away from home is the best place.

This weekend was for galette! Happy to report that between C and I we ate all but one slice of this thing in two sittings. Ha! Stone fruit is the BEST. Baking this time of year is almost stupidly easy – as long as you have good fruit, the world is your oyster! Is that too weird of a mixed metaphor? Whatever.

Arguably, this might be one of the best galettes I’ve ever made. I’ve been messing around with the crust, and I think I’ve landed on my favorite iteration – C and I are both legit obsessed with cornmeal so obviously this is a huge win for both of us.

I was given some amaaazing homemade apricot jam from a camp friend (camp friends are the best friends! Thanks Sun :) – so that went in here, as well as fresh apricots, and that is a match made in heaven. Helps to have some less than perfect bloobs hanging around too – that’s my solution for fruit that isn’t quite the best eaten out of hand: bake it!

I hope your July is going as well as it can be in these crazy times. Sending good thoughts & baked goods inspiration your way!

Apricot, Blueberry & Rosemary Galette

Refined sugar free, whole grain & perfect for summer. It’s amazing on its own or with a blob of ice cream or whipped cream. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

for the crust:
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c almond meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
4oz/1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, almond flour, sea salt & rosemary. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla & almond extract, then the ice water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. Flatten slightly and stick it into the fridge while you cut up the fruit (can be refrigerated up to several days if you want to make it in advance).

For the fruit:

Apricots, sliced (I used probably 8 really tiny ones)
heaping 1c blueberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple

1/4 c apricot jam (preferably homemade by a friend ;)

In a large bowl, toss together sliced apricots, blueberries, tapioca and maple.

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Spread the jam in a thin layer over the middle of the dough. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. Dot fruit with butter if you like, though it’s not strictly necessary. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

never enough stone fruit

Summer stone fruit!! Is totally the best!! I loooove the market bounty right now: basically anything you pick up is going to be delicious, and shine in whatever context you put it in.

Galettes are one of my favorite blank canvases for fresh produce: they are fruit forward; the crust can be whatever you want it to be (grain free? sure! gluten free? absolutely. whole wheat & cornmeal? done. herbs? why not!) and nearly any fruit works. They also make an amazing breakfast as well as dessert. Not to mention, they’re supremely unfussy and relaxed.

This one highlights some great peaches I picked up at the market, plus some blueberries that were slightly less than stellar (baking them totally takes care of that), plus rosemary that had been hanging out in my fridge and needed to be used – I love love love rosemary in my desserts, so that was an easy sell for me; also I hate wasting food in any way so odds & ends tend to find their way into dessert.

It’s pretty indicative of my week/weekend/week that I started this post 48 hours ago and am just now finishing it…. HELLOOOO DEADLINES nice to see you. I definitely worked pretty much all weekend so dessert had to be fast, which this one was. It was a great mental break to bake while it was foggy out, early Saturday morning. That is my preferred baking time (though obviously I love to bake so any baking time is good baking time).

reality. baking + monitor with work on the other side

Very short today because I just finished 11+ marathon hours of interview prep for the project we’re shortlisted for, and I’m dead. But I couldn’t leave this undone, plus dinner is in the oven so I have some downtime for a minute before I go back to work.

I hope your week from here on out is smooth sailing! Do yourself a favor and make galette, you’ll seriously thank yourself later.

Peach & Blueberry Galette with a Rosemary Cornmeal Crust

Whole grain and refined sugar free. A rustic galette with a crunchy cornmeal crust – great for all that summer fruit bounty! Yield: 1 galette; serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

for the crust:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
4oz (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, pulse together whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sea salt & rosemary. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla and ice water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a board and knead it into a ball. Flatten slightly and stick it into the fridge while you cut up the fruit (can be refrigerated up to several days if you want to make it in advance).

For the fruit:

4 peaches, sliced
1/2 c blueberries
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple

In a large bowl, toss together sliced peaches, blueberries, tapioca and maple.

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a border of about 3″. Fold up the sides of the dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. Dot fruit with butter if you like, though it’s not strictly necessary. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge overnight – it’s great for breakfast :)

Citrus Sunshine

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Hello, I am a healthified creamsicle! Anyone else eat those when you were small? I looooved a good 50/50 bar – my gram used to buy them for me, so I always associate the orange-vanilla flavor combo with her (along with apricot jam, chunky chocolate chip oat walnut cookies, tapioca, cream soda, toast crusts + coffee & all the good things in life.)

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This tart is everything sunny and springy and delicious, without compromising on the good-for-you stuff. It’s dairy free, gluten free & refined sugar free – can easily be grain free too. C and I love all things citrus, and poppyseed, so this is a winning combo in our book. There’s a little layer of dark chocolate in there too, since orange and chocolate are best friends – and who am I to split them up?

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I love olive oil in desserts too – that slightly earthy, savory note really sets things apart. The crust is a little crumbly but nothing you can’t handle – highly recommend a bit of ice cream on the top to melt over the crumbs so you can scoop them up.

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I needed a little baking therapy this weekend – Two Sentinels (the high sierra camp that I am a director for & attended since I was small) was told this weekend that we can’t operate this summer. Not unexpected, but so heartbreaking regardless. We’ll be using the summer to do some much-needed site maintenance upgrades & capital projects, but there will be a bit of a camp-shaped hole in my heart until the campers are there again. Not to mention having to relay that news to all of our campers, parents and staff this weekend… I very much needed baking and some long solitary walks. Luckily, I had both – I took a long walk yday by myself, and C and I did one of our usual loops today. Of course, there was tart to greet us at the end.

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Not to mention – zesting an orange is one way of immediately lifting my spirits – try it; I guarantee it will make you feel better.

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Here’s hoping you and yours are well, and safe. I highly recommend bringing a little orangy sunshine into your kitchen this week! Happy baking, from my kitchen to yours :)

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Orange & Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with an Olive Oil Poppyseed Crust

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free! Citrusy and sunny, kind of like a good-for-you creamsicle thing. Savory notes from the olive oil and a little bit of chocolate because orange and chocolate are best friends. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2c cornmeal*
3 tbsp poppyseeds
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 c dark chocolate chips

*swap for more almond flour if you’d like to keep it grain free

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, poppyseeds, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, almond extract, maple, olive oil & melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Spread the melted chocolate over the interior of the crust, and let cool until set. You can also pop the whole thing in the fridge to help it set faster, if needed.

For the Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
zest one large orange*
1/4c freshly juiced orange juice, cold
2 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt
orange slices, for garnish

*I used cara cara and navel oranges; but really anything is good here

Zest and juice an orange, and reserve 1/4 c of the juice. Strain it to remove any pulp, then stick it in the fridge.

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and add the orange zest, maple and sea salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold orange juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Strain the coconut milk to remove the orange zest. Whisk in vanilla, and bring the milk back up to a simmer. Whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! I used thinly sliced cara cara oranges. Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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More jammy goodness

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The first of the rhubarb has made its appearance! I loooove the tartness of rhubarb, especially when paired with berries. I think I’ve said this before on here but I don’t love strawberry rhubarb – I find it’s often too cloyingly sweet. I guess it doesn’t have to be, but somehow I’m always disappointed. Raspberries are another story entirely!

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This pandowdy is one of the ultimate low fuss desserts – it’s messy, jammy and unpretentious by nature – no one really cares what it looks like coming out of the oven. It’s kind of a study in artful disarray, no? Besides, I love where the filling bubbles up next to the sliced dough – it almost caramelizes when it cools and it’s DELICIOUS.

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This one is totally suitable for the pandemic kitchen – use whatever you have on hand! No whole wheat? No problem, use all purpose or spelt or a gluten free blend or whatever is in your pantry. No raspberries but you have frozen blueberries? Sure!

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I’m into the second week of being off dairy and eggs (if you know me even a little bit, you know the dairy sitch is DIFFICULT, ugh I’m so attached) but I had to do a little experiment to see if I felt better. Nothing really so far which is actually kind of a relief given the aforementioned statement about dairy but, eh we’ll see. That being said, I’m largely baking vegan these days out of necessity. I’m not usually a huge fan of vegan butter subs, since they’re usually made of soy or oils I don’t want to ingest a ton of, but this one I found is coconut based! It handles just like real butter in pie dough, so I’m a fan.

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I will say that as written, this dough is pretty sturdy. We both found it to be less of a favorite than some of the other crusts, but still good! (I wouldn’t post it if it didn’t pass the test ;) I’m working with whole wheat flour – as opposed to whole wheat pastry flour – because pandemic. It’s been impossible to source any near me and I’m reluctant to order on amazon for just that one thing. But I did find a giant bag of whole wheat flour locally, so I’m working my way through that. Maybe I’ll join the masses & make bread! Ha.

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^ha, couldn’t resist.

C and I ate this pandowdy with paleo vegan gelato (omg yum) and then this morning after a massive 7.5mi hike up Mt. Sutro & surrounding environs with a metric ton of hills. My legs are DEAD.

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I hope you had a lovely Sunday and Mother’s Day!

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Jammy Rhubarb & Raspberry Pandowdy with an Almond Poppyseed Crust

Rhubarb = spring! Tart, earthy & zingy pandowdy with a whole wheat crust. Great with ice cream, if you have it! Whole wheat, dairy free, refined sugar free  & vegan – though as written, you can use butter or whatever you have on hand. I’m egg free/dairy free for two weeks so I used vegan butter, but there’s a pandemic so use whatever you have on hand! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pie, serves several.

For the filling:

~5-6 largeish stalks of rhubarb, chopped into small slices
2 c raspberries (I used one bag of frozen because, cheaper)
zest + juice of one lemon
2 tbsp tapioca starch
3 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine everything in a large bowl, and toss to combine. Drop the filling into a deep pie plate (mine is 9″) and set aside while you make the crust.

for the crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter diced and chilled*
1.25 cup whole wheat pastry flour**
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons ice water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 c poppy seeds

*I used dairy free butter for this one – either works fine. I used Miyoko’s European Cultured Dairy Free stuff here and I have to say it performed just as well if you’re looking for a dairy free alternative
**sadly, because PANDEMIC, whole wheat pastry is nowhere to be found for me, so I am using straight whole wheat. You can do either, but whole wheat will yield a much more SOLID crust. Still good tho.

Combine flour, salt, and poppyseeds in a food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add butter; process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add vanilla & almond extracts, then ice water a tbsp at a time until the dough forms a ball – you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready! If it still looks dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Turn the dough out a floured surface (ie marble slab, or countertop, etc) OR use two pieces of parchment paper like I do for less mess – no need to flour. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Chill the assembled pandowdy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Make a few slits for steam to vent in the top of the crust, then brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar (or just coconut sugar if vegan/egg free). Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of. You do you!

Store any leftovers (who are you) covered in the fridge, but make sure to save some for breakfast. You’ll thank me later!

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This is my jam.

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Hi Friends!

I bring you the latest edition of baking your pantry! I haven’t actually shopped for baking specific things since the lockdown began in March, which is super fun – it’s giving me a nice excuse to use up the bits of things in my cabinets & also to get creative.

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For instance! I was gifted a jar of the most delicious apricot jam from a camp friend (hi, Doc!) and though I could have eaten it on toast, I wanted to use it in a dessert instead for fun. I’ve been saving it, and am so glad I had it around to use this weekend!

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These bars were actually supposed to be a galette. Funny how that happens… The dough wasn’t going to play nice to roll out – fine by me, since it made an excellent press-in crust for this instead, which is way less fussy. Jam tarts are maaaaybe the easiest thing on this planet, and infinitely adaptable. Out of the flours I suggested, or gluten free? No sweat, just swap in whatever blend of flours you like (highly recommend the cornmeal though, if you can do grains – the texture is phenomenal). Got a bunch of chia seeds and frozen fruit but no jam on hand? Make chia jam! Cook down the fruit for a bit with a bunch of chia seeds, let cool and boom – you’re on the way to jam bars.

Look at this flaky maldon sea salt goodness… it’s next level:

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Not quite sure if this is to be considered a tart, or bars. I’m kind of leaning toward bars since they slice up beautifully and would work well to serve at a – party? Ugh. Social distancing. Okay fine, they’d work well sliced to serve to those who you’re quarantining with! Highly recommend vanilla ice cream alongside, just saying – but they’re equally amazing as breakfast wedges, especially when you’ve just hiked 7 miles.

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C and I did our usual weekend hike today – 7 miles from his place, through the interior greenbelt and up Mount Sutro -> Twin Peaks -> home. It was fantastic, and such a beautiful day. My racerback tan is already aggressive and it’s only May…. I also have a fitbit tan, and a shorts tan, for those of you keeping score at home.

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Want to see what this really looks like?

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Sorry for the feet, hope that doesn’t gross you out. Ha! I promise they’re clean.

I hope you and yours are well! The outdoors is amazing for mental health – fully recommend getting out there (masked when necessary, of course, and observing social distancing rules!) to brighten up your quarantined days. And when you come back in, make jam bars. From my kitchen to yours! <3

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Apricot, Rosemary & Cornmeal Jam Bars

Whole grain (three different kinds!), dairy free and vegan with a refined sugar free option (depends on what kind of jam you use). Super easy to adapt, and comes together extremely quickly when you’re in need of a quick dessert or fun breakfast. Kind of like eating cornbread with jam, a personal fave. Yield: 1 9″ pan of bars, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:
2 cups of flour [I used 1c whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 c oat flour, 1/2 c cornmeal]
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup cold water
pinch salt

For the crumble and filling:
1/4 c almond flour
3 tbsp oat flour
~1tbsp rosemary, finely chopped (a few sprigs)
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
~1/2 c apricot jam (I used the entirety of a smallish jar) – hopefully homemade but use what you got! Chia jam would be great here too.

maldon sea salt, for sprinkles after

Mix the flours and salt until well combined. Add olive oil and water. Mix and knead into a smooth dough – I used the food processor primarily for this, but easy to do by hand as well. Lightly grease a dish of choice – you could literally do this in anything. I used a 9″ stoneware pie dish, but feel free to use a tart pan w/ a removable bottom, springform, square pan, pyrex dish, you name it. Press the dough evenly across the bottom to form a crust, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 c almond flour, 3 tbsp oat flour, a few springs of rosemary very finely chopped, and a pinch of sea salt. Add in a tsp each of maple syrup and vanilla extract, plus 1/2 tsp of almond extract. Stir until combined and crumbly.

Spread the apricot jam evenly over the prepared crust, followed by the oaty-almond rosemary crumble. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until jam is bubbly and crumble is lightly browned. Remove and let cool completely before serving. Sprinkle a little maldon sea salt over the whole thing to bring it up to the next level. Excellent with vanilla ice cream or in wedges on its own for breakfast. Store any leftovers (who are you?!) in the fridge, covered with foil.

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But first, coffee.

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Hihi friends!

I hope you had a restful and/or productive weekend at home! C and I did a bit of both, camp stuff for me and programming for him, and managed to fit in a beautiful foggy hike this morning. I took a walk yesterday too, as I do pretty much every day – it’s so fun finding new vantage points of old favorites.

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I also made this coffee tart this weekend! HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

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Yes, all caps is necessary. This is GOOD. C rated it high up on the list of personal faves, and I’d have to agree. I mean, okay – we both lovelovelove coffee so I guess we’re kind of pushovers when it comes down to all things coffee, but seriously – I think I impressed even myself with this one. It’s got an almond cornmeal crust layer, then a solid dark chocolate layer, then coffee panna cotta. See?

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^ In the process of being demolished.

Not to mention it’s super easy, and doesn’t require a lot of specialty stuff (alright, I fully acknowledge that I keep a pretty thoroughly stocked baking supply, but hey – at least there’s no yeast or flour in here!)

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Keeping it short today because I’m about to fall asleep, but definitely make this if quarantine has you feeling antsy for something to occupy you. It’s delicious and is guaranteed to lift your spirits, promise! Plus, you can do what we did and have it for dessert with ice cream and then for breakfast with more coffee. Coffee two ways? Sign me up.

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Have a good week! Sending love from my corner of the internet.

Salted Coffee and Chocolate Panna Cotta Tart with an Almond Crust

Gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: one 9″ tart, serves several. For those who love coffee! Coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Not overly sweet or rich, thanks to the light nature of panna cotta itself.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 c dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, almond extract, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Spread the melted chocolate over the interior of the crust, and let cool until set. You can also pop the whole thing in the fridge to help it set faster, if needed.

For the Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 heaping tbsp dark roast coffee, ground
2 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt
1/4 c brewed coffee, cold
maldon sea salt flakes & grated chocolate, for garnish

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and add the ground coffee and maple. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold water. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Strain the coconut milk to remove the coffee grounds. Whisk in vanilla and sea salt, and bring the milk back up to a simmer. Whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! I used maldon salt & grated chocolate. Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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There should always be dessert on Easter

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Happy Easter!

This a coincidental Easter-dessert post, but it seems fitting regardless – some normalcy amidst the chaos! I spent a lovely morning with C – we did our usual urban hike loop for a good six miles with lots of elevation.

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Normally I’d always make dessert for fam Easter, but since everyone is isolated, this one was eaten by C and I for dessert last night after a zoom board game night with the nieces and nephews, and then for breakfast this morning. Sadly, I didn’t have chocolate with my Easter bfast, but rest assured I’m making up for it now.

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Highly recommended to put tea in dessert! Not the first time I’ve done this of course, but it still remains one of my favorite things. Oolong is one of my absolute faves – although I’d actually be hard pressed to pick favorites, since I always have several types each of black, green, oolong, and herbals around here. It seems that anything that is coffee or tea flies with me, ha!

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This is also very easy to make – you’re basically making tea with the panna cotta filling before you actually turn it into a panna cotta. Bonus points for being all things out of my pantry (am averaging about 8 days between trips to the market, and trying to keep it that way), and for being gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. It’s easily grain free too, if you sub the cornmeal for more almond flour.

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I hope you’re able to find some quality time today with those you love, whether via an online, streamed thing or in person. I was lucky enough to do both – Easter traditions with the fam, though virtual, and time with C.

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Happy Easter! Go eat chocolate :)

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Oolong Panna Cotta with a Black Sesame Crust

A Wait are Those Cookies original. Gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. If you don’t have oolong, I think black tea would also be good here with the black sesame – maybe Earl Grey or Chinese Breakfast – anything you’d put milk in.

For the crust:

1/4 c black sesame seeds
1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Using a mortar & pestle, grind up the sesame seeds until they’re a gritty, flour-like consistency. You’ll probably have a few larger pieces in there, which is totally fine.

In a large bowl, stir together sesame seeds, almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3 oolong tea bags, tea leaves removed
Scant 1/4 cup maple
1/4 c cold water

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold water. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and add the tea leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

Strain the coconut milk to remove the tea leaves. Whisk in maple and vanilla, and bring the milk back up to a simmer. Whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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Low fuss desserts for strange times

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Hello from week three of shelter in place! It’s finally April? I think? As a friend said today on a virtual zoom coffee date, every day is Blursday and she is NOT wrong.

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I’m following a pretty typical daily routine at this point, which is weird even to think about but I guess I’m a routine type of person and that helps make it all feel more… normal? Short walk around the neighborhood and up some hills as soon as I get up, then french press coffee + frothy milk (oh yes) and work until the end of the day when I take another looooong walk for at least an hour. Probably TRX in there somewhere so my arms don’t fall off from lack of lifting (waaah).

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Hourly pacing around / shadowboxing and/or dance parties highly recommend to keep from becoming one with your chair! Ha.

Weekends are for baking something fun! I might make cookies or quickbread during the week, but I like to reserve weekends for something slightly more involved. Plus, I actually find the challenge of baking the pantry really fun, so there’s that.

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This pandowdy (‘dowdy’ pie crust, for those of you who don’t know – you cut it up partway through baking so the fruit can bubble up from underneath) was a happy occurence due to the gift of some vacuum sealed plums from a friend’s yard that had been in C’s freezer for a bit. I knew they’d be really juicy once thawed, so I cooked them down a little & drained some of the juice before turning them into pandowdy filling. I recommend you do the same, unless you’re using fresh plums and baking in season!

It’ll be dessert tonight with ice cream and breakfast tomorrow, I have no doubt. The gingery plums are punchy and tart – I added a bit of lemon zest and maple to round out their flavors. The cinnamon crust is SO easy and smells amazing. It’s easily subbed out for a gluten free or dairy free crust if you can’t do gluten or butter – I’m working through what I have on hand, so this is a whole wheat butter crust.

Added bonus of baking this: it will make your apartment / house / kitchen smell like a graham cracker in the BEST way!

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It’s rainy today and I love that. I’m giving myself permission to stay in – usually it’s GO GO GO to get in a long hike/run/walk at some point in the day, but my knees are feeling the pavement so I’m giving myself the day off to spend with my plants, minus some TRX work.

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Kuzco says hello from his new hanging perch! I’m pretty sure he loves it, and I absolutely do too.

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A shot of the urban jungle on a sunnier day. I’m trying on new names for the apartment – I called it the Eyrie when I moved in, since I’m on the fourth (top) floor and the wind tends to whistle around a lot up here. Now that the plant fam has grown so much though… do we like the Urban Jungleow? orrrr…. the Fogforest? hahaa.

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I hope you’re going easy on yourselves, too. This is a weird, weird time and everyone should cut themselves a little slack. I definitely suggest baking something awesome :) Happy Saturday!

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Plum and Ginger Pandowdy with a Cinnamon Crust

A Wait are Those Cookies original. Easily made with either fresh or frozen plums – I had been gifted a bounty of vacuum sealed, frozen plums from last summer from a friend’s garden, so I thawed those for use here. Yield: 1 9″ pandowdy, serves several. Refined sugar free! If you’re gluten free, sub in your favorite single-crust gluten free crust here and use that. I used whole wheat, since that’s what I have on hand and I’m doing my best to cook/bake my pantry :)

for the filling:

a whole lotta plums (I had a big thing of vacuum sealed, frozen ones from the summer; fresh would be fine too)
zest + juice of one lemon
1″ piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1/4 c chia seeds
3 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt

Combine everything in a large stockpot / dutch oven / sauce pot / whatever you have that fits, and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Drop the filling into a deep pie plate (mine is 9″) and set aside while you make the crust.

for the crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter diced and chilled
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c cornmeal
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons ice water
1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour cornmeal, cinnamon, and salt in food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add butter; process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water a tbsp at a time until the dough forms a ball – you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready! If it still looks dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Turn the dough out a floured surface (ie marble slab, or countertop, etc) OR use two pieces of parchment paper like I do for less mess – no need to flour. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Chill the assembled pandowdy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400.
Make a few slits for steam to vent in the top of the crust, then brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar. Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of. You do you!

Store any leftovers (who are you) covered in the fridge, but make sure to save some for breakfast. You’ll thank me later!

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Dessert for Socially Distant Times

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This post is brought to you by Social Distancing, plus Life in the Time of Covid19: the Cook Your Pantry Edition!

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I’m doing my part to stay sheltered in place and avoid unnecessary errands – which means I’m also getting a little creative with my baking situation. Not sure about where you live, but here in SF the stores are pretty cleaned out. I’m noticing now that the shelter in place has been in effect for a few weeks and the markets have been limiting the amount of shoppers in the store at one time, more products are appearing back on the shelves, but certain things (ha, toilet paper) are still totally cleaned out.

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I was able to stock back up today with the intent of not going back to the store again till I run out of fresh stuff, but in my mind somehow I had coconut milk in my pantry….. and WOMP I totally did not.

So!

Time to get creative. I’d already made the crust (way to plan ahead there & actually check the pantry first, whoops…) and I already knew a tart was going to happen. Luckily I almost always have whole milk because, coffee + milk frother = life. I also happen to have raw cacao butter in my pantry – I bought it with no clear purpose forever ago, and never got around to using more than a teeny bit. Behold! Saving my bacon in a time of shortages, quarantines and social distancing. 

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Unfortunately, that means this isn’t dairy free, but if you’re prepared with a nondairy alternative, you’re set! Full fat coconut milk is my fave for these. Though in the spirit of using what you have – experiment! I’m a big fan. Some of my best kitchen creations have been happy accidents and/or just a whim.

This uses blueberry powder that I picked up awhile back (yet another baking whim) – I’m glad I did, it’s a fun product to use. A little weird maybe in a liquid suspension like this panna cotta-hybrid, but I’m not sure I care! It’s still delicious, and a fantastically weird color. We could all use a little brightness in our days lately – might I suggest a fun colored baking project? Worked wonders over here for all parties involved.

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We ate this one as usual for dessert and for breakfast, since these tart shenanigans are so well suited for that. This one is a little different than a typical panna cotta – I was in experimentation mode so I wasn’t overly concerned with how it came out; it ended up as a tart-panna cotta hybrid. Way firmer in texture than a panna cotta would normally be, due to to the cacao butter (which solidifies when cold) but still that filling-to-crust ratio that my tarts typically have. A winner, in my book, despite being a product of the pantry and these strange times.

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Side note: I discovered last week that I can make matcha tea lattes in my milk frother and boy did it make my week.

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A few iphone snaps from my social-distancing-approved outdoor exercise outings: we’ve had some spectacular clouds lately, and I’ve been loving the rain!

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And also, my urban jungle is coming along nicely! 19 pots and counting (clearly not all plant friends are pictured)

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Be well, and safe!

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Blueberry & Cacao Butter Tart on a Cornmeal Lemon Crust

Gluten free and refined sugar free. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several. Lightly sweet, lemony and fresh. Ideal for breakfast or dessert.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, baking soda and lemon zest. Add in vanilla extract, maple, lemon juice, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the filling:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 whole milk
a few chunks (?!) of cacao butter (~1/2 cup of solid cacao butter)
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c blueberry powder
1/4 c lemon juice, cold

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold lemon juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the whole milk into a small saucepan. Add cacao butter, maple, vanilla, salt, and blueberry powder. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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