Meyer Lemons for 2019

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Hello hello! Happy 2019!

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Here is the first dessert of the year – and I’m quite happy with it! C and I loved it; but then, we’re also fiercely fond of anything that is citrusy and tart, so it was an easy sell. Plus, cornmeal! Let’s not forget our joint obsession with that.

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I love this tart for winter – meyer lemons are at their peak and are SO delicious, and the naturally bright yellow is just perfect for a bright midwinter dessert!

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I did actually bake for NYE, but it was the ricotta cornmeal cake I’d made recently & my favorite cookies, and I didn’t want any repeat posts! Both were very well received :)

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C and I had a lovely weekend – we did the tart for dessert first, with ice cream, and then again for… uh, if you eat your first meal of the day at 3 after a giant hike, is it still breakfast?! Anyway – great day out in Marin on the coastal trails by Rodeo beach, followed by tart and eggs and kale and all the usual things!

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I hope your weekend was all kinds of delightful, and that your year is off to a great start!

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Meyer Lemon Tart with a Cornmeal Almond Crust

Tart and bright – this is citrus at its best! It makes a difference to use meyer lemons – they are naturally sweeter than regular lemons. This is for those who like their desserts tart! Gluten free and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c 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

In a large bowl, stir together 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. Increase oven temp to 375.

Maple Lemon Curd*:

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 c lemon juice
zest of 4 lemons
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

*I made a batch and a half for a higher curd to crust ratio – feel free to do like I did. If you do, use 3 whole eggs & 4 yolks + another half of all other ingredients listed except maple (I like my curd to be tart!)

I used a double boiler for this lemon curd, which is a game changer. Highly recommended! Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use.

Pour the curd into the crust and smooth the top. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes, until the curd is barely set. Cool completely before slicing and serving – store in the fridge until serving and keep leftovers covered in the fridge.

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All things boats, crisps & hikes

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November already!?

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The extra hour this weekend was pretty swell though, I must say. Fave human and I got in a great 6 mile hike this morning before we ate – crisp makes a great post-hike addition to eggs!

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A few photos of life lately – we took a sunset sail this weekend too, which was awesome. The sky was just spectacular; there is no filter on these photos!

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As usual, I was my weird self… not sure what’s going on here but it just looks typical… was I summoning the water?!

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This is the reigning favorite crisp recipe around here – it keeps its structural integrity overnight even when sitting on super juicy fruit, which is a must. It’s chunky in the best way, like a good granola – and it’s perfect for breakfast! Fruit, nuts, oats, yogurt and butter – what more do you need?

Disregard awkward three fingered claw…

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I had frozen some late season peaches awhile back and wanted to use them before they sat too long in the freezer. It goes against my love of seasonal baking, but waste not, want not! Turns out pomegranate and peach go quite well together anyway, and the rosemary keeps it from feeling too overly summer-y of a dessert. It comes together in a snap too, so what’s not to love.

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I love love love adding rosemary to desserts. It brings just the right amount of savory to whatever dessert it is – and we know I like things on the very much less sweet side. C and I both loved this one – it was disappearing with mildly alarming rapidity, so we’ll see if it makes it though the end of the weekend, ha!

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Rosemary Walnut Crisp with Peaches, Blackberries & Pomegranate

An extremely easily adaptable crisp – use whatever fruit needs to be consumed! I had frozen some late season peaches and wanted to use them before they sat too long – they went excellently with blackberries and pomegranate seeds. This minimally sweet crisp is basically breakfast – fruit, nuts, oats and yogurt! Nearly all of its sweetness comes from the fruit, so make sure whatever you’re using is perfectly ripe. Yet another riff on the crisp I’ve made a million zillion times, here. Yield: 1 8×8, 2qt crisp, serves several.

3 c peaches, sliced*
2 c blackberries*
1/3 c pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 c coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss peaches, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple, water/port, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, salt, and rosemary. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Birthday Pandowdy!

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I had a birthday!

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It was lovely – C and I hiked, went to the symphony for some Stravinsky and ate a bunch of good things (like matcha verbena ice cream omg yum) and this thing! He also gave me some beautiful flowers – all around it was a wonderful birthday!

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Of course, true to form, I made my own birthday dessert! No surprises there, I don’t think. I haven’t had much of a chance to bake (other than a wedding cake, which was SO fun) lately, so it felt good to get this out – I’m overdue!

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Besides, I love pandowdies – they are pie’s unfussy cousin! So very easy, and so fun. Another excuse to play with your food! Cutting up the crust and flooding it with cream is my favorite part – it’s simultaneously soothing and satisfying.

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I sliced and froze a bunch of peaches over the last month while they were at their peak – frozen peaches do really well in this, as long as you don’t thaw them first – which makes for even easier baking, since you just toss them in some lemon zest and a few other things and go! The only bit of this that requires more planning is the crust refrigeration, but it can be made the night before or just an hour before, so you have some flexibility.

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I highly recommend this for breakfast after hiking – it’s filling and delicious without being overly heavy. Pair it with some whole milk (not like I speak from experience or anything!) and go to town. Whole grain, refined sugar free – as C said, this is no namby pamby fruit situation! We’re just into the tail end of peach season – enjoy it while it lasts!

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Swamped Peach and Blackberry Pandowdy

No namby pamby fruit here! This is a very fruit-foward dessert, so make it with the ripest, most perfect fruit you can find! Best for late summer/early autumn peaches. Whole wheat, refined sugar free goodness. Pandowdies are the unfussy cousin of pie – no bottom crust nonsense here! Yield: 1 9″ pandowdy, serves 6-8.

For the crust:

1.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp sea salt
zest of 1 lemon
9 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed into small pieces
3-5 tbsp ice water

Add whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sea salt, and lemon zest to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add in butter, toss to coat, and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until a coarse mixture forms and the butter chunks are the size of peas (I prefer to use my fingers for this since I a) like the feeling of having my hands in flour and b) have greater control over butter-chunk sizing). Add ice water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough just begins to hold together when pinched between two fingers. It’ll look a little crumbly, but that’s fine.

Toss the dough out onto a clean counter or wax paper (I prefer the counter method; less fuss), and use a bench scraper to gather the dough into a rough rectangle. Using the heel of your hand, smear the last fourth of dough away from you, against the counter. Repeat until you smear all the dough (see? playing with your food!), then gather the dough back into a rectangle and repeat, smearing it all away from you. The dough should be cohesive by this point, so gather it up into a disc, wrap in plastic, and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

For the filling:

3 c peaches, sliced*
1.5 c blackberries*
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1.5 tbsp arrowroot starch
juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp maple syrup
egg white & 1 tbsp coconut sugar for glaze

1 egg yolk
3/4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

*I used some that I had frozen earlier; if you do as well, bake them straight from frozen instead of letting them thaw beforehand

In a large bowl, combine the peaches and blackberries. Add 1 tsp vanilla, arrowroot, lemon juice, and maple, and toss to combine. Pour all this goodness into your pie plate or skillet of choice – 9″ pie plates are fine as long as they’re the deeper variety; a 10″ cast iron skillet would also work well.

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here, like I said – 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. Make a few slits for steam to vent, 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!

In a liquid measuring cup with a spout, measure the cream, beat in the egg yolk and 1 tsp vanilla, and let it sit at room temp.

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 (now begins the really fun part). Carefully pour the cream into the new breaks in the crust, filling each – some of the cream will pool under the crust, and some will sneak out on top, which is fine. Just be careful not to drown the whole crust! Go slow, and fill each vent/break. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cream is just set and barely jiggles in the center. 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, if you’re out of cream; otherwise, this can be served even swampier with extra cream poured over the top. 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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Camp and cherry cobbler

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Hello friends!

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Usually I do a camp post when I get back with a bunch of photos – this post will have to do double duty for that and this cherry chocolate cobbler situation! I came back from camp a week ago and face planted into a squillion work projects, so I am just getting caught up on life.

Camp was so, so amazing as always. It never ceases to amaze me how much impact it’s had on my life over the years (this was year 15! omg) – both in regards to my huge camp family, but also how much it’s helped me grow as a person. I LOVE Two Sentinels: it is truly is my home away from home. I had a great session, with 14 great girls and two amazing co-staff.

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It was a time of some serious belly laughs, friendship, relaxation, grounding, stargazing, singing, rafter climbing, mental resets and a reaffirmation of what is most important in life: love, friends, time in nature, and a break from technology. I’m having wilderness withdrawals!

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Definitely wishing I was still up among the pines in the high sierra, rather than behind a computer, but I know I’ll be back so I guess I can deal for now ;)

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At the very least, it’s nice to not wear shoes 24/7 – I always bake barefoot, and it felt great to get back into the kitchen for some summer baking.

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This cobbler is legit amazing for a summer breakfast – one guess who I ate it with! C and I stepped out for some cool foggy hiking up to Twin Peaks and Glen Canyon (this photo looks like something out of Middle Earth!) and ate it afterwards as part of delicious breakfast spread – usual eggs & kale not pictured but rest assured we ate them anyway.

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C and I have a serious obsession with cream biscuits – you’ve seen them featured in a many of my other desserts, but this time I figured I’d go the chocolate route. Despite looking like they’d be deadly chocolate death, they’re actually very lightly chocolate-y, which sets off the natural cherry sweetness perfectly. The cobbler itself is refined sugar free and whole grain! There is very little added sweetener, which we both love. I suggest making it for breakfast on a lazy summer morning!

Happy Summer!

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Cherry Cobbler with Chocolate Cream Biscuits

Whole wheat and refined sugar free! The natural sweetness of the cherries is complemented nicely by the chocolate biscuits, which despite their appearance are not overly chocolatey. Great for dessert or breakfast! A Wait are Those Cookies original. Serves 2-6, ish. I used my 2 qt dish that is 8 x 8, but you could also do this in a deep 9″ pie dish, or a larger, shallower pan (ie 9×11 or somesuch – it’s very adaptable).

For the filling:

enough cherries to fill your dish of choice! I used about 1.5 lbs, pitted (I used a combo of Bing & Ranier)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp port (optional)
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp tapioca starch

For the cobbler:

1 cup whole wheat flour minus 2 tbsp
1/2 c cornmeal
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 c chopped dark chocolate chunks

Heat the oven to 375°F. In your dish of choice, toss pitted cherries with maple, lemon zest and juice, port, and tapioca starch.

Mix the dry ingredients for the cobbler topping. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chopped chocolate together in a large bowl. Add vanilla and pour in the 1 1/2 cups cream. Stir until just combined.

Scoop 2-tablespoon blobs of the cobbler dough onto the fruit. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Brush the cobbler dough with the 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Place the cobbler on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips, or place aluminum foil beneath it in the oven. Bake until the topping is turning golden brown around the edges (difficult to tell with the chocolate – make sure the centers of the biscuits are firm) and the fruit filling is bubbling, 45 to 55 minutes.

Let’s get crisp-y

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Happy Pride! It is hard to believe we are this far into June – I’m excited, since the stone fruit season is starting to really get going, and berries are lovely right now.

This week was eventful – I gave myself a black eye with a 900 page paperback (sci-fi of course) when I accidentally (duh) dropped it on my face… such a raging Friday night! I wasn’t even asleep, it just slipped out of my hand & got me. Rude! Sometimes I impress even myself. Photo evidence, just in case you needed proof:

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Anyway, enough of my raging & back to the fruit at hand: I also love rhubarb – though I typically think of it more as a late spring thing than summer. This will probably be the last rhubarb thing on here – it gets harder to find, and I really want to play with all the stone fruit anyway!

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The California summer is definitely in full swing: the hills have gone that golden shade that is so pretty against the dark oaks and blue sky. I could do without the hot weather but… at least I have access to a very cold pool! You will find me there more than frequently ;)

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Super fun weekend over here – time with fave human, dessert, urban hikes, etc etc – a few pictures below.

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This crisp is for those who LOVE rhubarb – it’s very rhubarb-forward! We both love the tart awesomeness of it, but I know it’s not everyone’s jam. Lavender was an interesting addition – I don’t use it all that frequently in baking (I find it can get a little… soapy, sometimes) but it adds a nice floral note here, which pairs especially nicely with ice cream…

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Of course, it’s us – this got eaten for dessert and then alongside the usual breakfast. No regrets! We were both starving anyway after having woken ourselves up by walking up some hills on a nice little shorty hike.

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I hope everyone out there in my corner of the internet is enjoying their weekends! Happy baking, if indeed you do some :)

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Rhubarb, Blackberry and Lavender Almond Crisp

For those who LOVE rhubarb! This one is right in your face. Lightly sweet but seriously tart; lightly floral from the lavender and perfect with ice cream for a summer dessert or on it’s own for breakfast. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Yield: 1 crisp – I use an 8 by 8 dish that holds two quarts; you can also use a 9″ deep pie dish. Just make sure there is ample room for fruit! Serves: 2, or several… you decide!

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For the filling:

3 c rhubarb, chopped*
1 c raspberries*
1 c blackberries*
1 tsp lavender buds
1/4 c maple syrup
¼ cup water (I used 1/8 c port & 1/8 c water)
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

*I just approximate; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish
*I baked straight from frozen; fresh would also be fine

For the crisp:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup chopped almonds
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c maple (or coconut) sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss chopped rhubarb, raspberries and lavender into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, maple sugar and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.
Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about five days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long)

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Summer is for shortcakes

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Hi! I have cream biscuit shortcakes today.

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I’ve always thought that strawberry shortcake is just about the most June dessert there is.  I love shortcakes in most any form with pretty much any fruit, but C and I both agreed this one in particular is about the most perfect iteration. We might be a little biased since we both are obsessed with these cream biscuits, but whatever – this is pretty perfect.

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Simple, unsweetened cornmeal cream biscuits for the base, unsweetened sliced strawberries (they are just so perfect right now!), and some ice cream or whipped cream to finish it off: such a perfect trifecta.

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I did a bit of baking on Saturday morning, which was a great way to start the day. A batch of cookies for C’s studio recital, and then shortcakes for later! No complaints there – it was a good day.

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We both agree that these biscuits are also the perfect morning biscuit – not sweet, just so satisfying. They’re crumbly and flakey in the best way and go wonderfully alongside anything you might eat toast with (ie eggs and kale!). Of course, we did that – are you shocked? Ha. I didn’t think so.

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I’ll keep it short and sweet today: do yourself a favor and whip these babies out! They come together and bake up quite speedily, which is a boon when it’s hot out and you don’t want to run the oven excessively. Happy baking!

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Cornmeal Cream Biscuit Strawberry Shortcakes

Lightly sweet, perfectly biscuity. Summer dessert at its finest and most simple! Whole grain and refined sugar free. Yield: 8 biscuits. I adapted this one from my previous cream biscuit recipe; a Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the cream biscuits:

1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp unsalted cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 pint heavy cream + extra for brushing the tops of the biscuits
coconut sugar for sprinkling

For serving:

Sliced strawberries
Whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter using a fork, your fingers (my preferred method!) or a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas. Stir in the cream and vanilla with a fork until blended.

Lightly knead the dough a few times in the bowl, then turn it out on to a floured board or countertop and roll out to about 3/4″ thick. Cut 6 biscuits out – either circular or square, you do you! Reroll the scraps for 2-3 more. Place the biscuits on the lined baking sheet, brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar if desired, and bake for about 17 minutes until lightly golden.

Remove from baking sheet and let cool before serving.

To serve, split them in half & pile with whipped cream or ice cream & strawberries! Simple, summery.

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Wait, is this actually a cookie recipe?

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Cookies!

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Though this blog is named after them, I find that I rarely post them on here…. which is silly, given that I make this particular recipe at least several times a month – they are perennial favorites of all parties.

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I realized after I made them for C &I this weekend (they happen to be both of our favorite cookies) that I had never actually posted this recipe on the blog so – I am fixing this now! They are so easy, just mix dry, stir in liquidy stuff, mix, bake, BOOM! Cookies. I think my record to make them is 17 minutes start to finish, including bake time (then again, I do sort of bake a lot so perhaps I am not the best metric ;)

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We ate these for dessert with ice cream (of course! can recommend mint and vanilla with high marks) and alongside a late brunch/lunch after a very sweaty hike. Of course, they are also excellent alongside a tall glass of milk (whole, if you please).

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There was some haze in the sky today but we still had a great hike/walk up to Bernal – here are some snaps:

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And a few from when I stopped at the beach on the way back from camp training to say hello to the ocean, always a worthwhile activity:

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So anyway – tomorrow is Monday, ew – do yourself a favor and take 15 minutes to whip up some cookies. The beginning half of your week will thank you!

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Oaty Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My favorite cookies – I make these more than anything else, at least a few times a month! C & I love them, fam loves them, etc etc. Whole grain, refined sugar free, dairy free & a gluten free option (just use 1/2 c brown rice flour instead of 1 c of whole wheat). Cakey, dense, chewy cookies that are great for hiking or snacks or whatever else. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield – somewhere 12-16.

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1 c almond flour
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 c whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 c brown rice flour for gf)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Flax egg or regular egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/4 c maple
Chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips, your call)

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix dry, toss in melted coconut oil, flax/egg, vanilla, maple, chopped chocolate; mix – these are not finicky cookies! Roll into balls and place on lined baking sheet, flattening them slightly. Bake for 10-12 on parchment at 350 if using whole wheat flour; bake for 12-16 if using brown rice flour.

Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. I like to store mine in the fridge – they get extra dense and chewy that way. They do best wrapped in foil on the counter or in a slightly less than airtight container on the counter (I prefer plastic over glass since glass can make them go soft).

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