All the change, all at once. Why not?!

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Internet friends!

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Hello! It feels like it’s been forever. I started my new job last week – though I had two first days, one in Dallas for the marketing group and then one in SF at my actual office – and I signed the lease on an adorable little apartment today! I can’t wait to live in the same city in which I work, AND the apartment building is a 1920s original. The architecture nerd in me is doing the biggest happy dance. Not to mention that it has an incredible renovated kitchen and I can’t wait to bake in it!

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My walk to work is also substantially awesome:

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Minus the fact that I move the day before camp starts (somewhere, the universe is laughing at me), I am SO excited for all of these changes. I already love my new job!

Dallas was a great trip too – I got to see some incredible sunrise skies and the Thanks-Giving chapel’s amazing ceiling – photos were too good not to share!

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C also has a birthday coming up! We celebrated early since he’ll be off on a cycling trip (wheee!) for his actual birthday but it’s me and of course I couldn’t let it go unmarked – had to provide baked goods! Obviously.

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I have to say, this cake makes an awesome breakfast. It’s kind of like cornbread? Only lightly sweet and super delicious. C and I are only mildly obsessed with fennel right now, so stay tuned for more fennel-y things, as soon as the utter insanity of my life calms down. There might be one or two things before I leave for camp, but no promises.

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I actually made two cakes from one batch – one in an 8″ pan, and the leftover batter in a 5″. It’s a really adaptable cake; you can use an 8″ springform, a 9″ cake pan, 8″ cake pan + a smaller one (cupcake tins would probably work also)… you do you!

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Happy Monday! I hope the rest of your week goes swimmingly :)

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Apple & Fennel Ricotta Polenta Cake

Gluten free and refined sugar free! The fennel and apple balance each other perfectly for a lightly sweet dessert that has a dense crumb. I love it with ice cream, but it’s great on its own as well. Yield: 1 8″ or 9″ cake, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original!

6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c maple syrup, divided
zest of 2 meyer lemons
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
1.25 c almond flour
3/4 c fine polenta
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1.25 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 granny smith apple, diced
1 bulb of fennel, grated
1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/3 cup slivered almonds, optional for garnish
a sprinkle of coconut sugar

Preheat the oven to 325, and either use an 8″ springform pan OR do like I did and use a 8″ cake pan, well greased and lined with two strips of parchment paper so that you can lift the cake out onto a cooling rack easily (the leftover batter went into a 5″ pan; two cakes for the price of one!)

Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) , beat butter, half the maple, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in egg yolks and beat until combined, another minute-ish. In a smaller bowl, whisk together almond flour, polenta, and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients into the larger bowl, add ricotta, and stir to combine.

In a separate, non-reactive bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (preferably with your hand mixer or stand mixer so that your arm doesn’t fall off) – drizzle in the rest of the maple while mixing.

Fold the egg whites into the batter in two batches, then fold in chopped apples and grated fennel. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and top with sliced apples and almonds, if using. Sprinkle with a bit of coconut sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean (mine was done closer to 50 min). Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then lift out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, removing parchment from underneath if you used it. Let cool completely before serving; also delicious cold if you want to stick it in the fridge for an hour or two.

Excellent with a bit of vanilla ice cream (really, what isn’t) for dessert or eat it alongside eggs for breakfast. Keeps well for several days, covered in the fridge or stored in an airtight glass container.

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A match-a made in heaven

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Tea! I love green things.

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This tart technically has *two* teas in it – or rather one tea and one herb that is dried to make a tisane. New info to me, but apparently steeped herbs, flowers, spices or fruit is actually considered a tisane, not tea (‘tea’ proper refers to leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant, ie black tea). Tisane translates to ‘herbal infusion’ in French. Yay for trivia! But still – delicious either way.

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Both flavor are earthy, grassy and so fresh – they just go wonderfully together. Lightly sweet as all my stuff is – this works extremely well with ice cream for dessert, or by itself for a fun breakfast.

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Busy busy lately… I have one piece of news I can share publicly now – I have a new job! I will be starting June 10, but first flying to Dallas for onboarding and training. My official start in the SF office will be that Friday. YAY! I’m equal parts excited and terrified. I’ll be working as the marketing coordinator for a big architectural firm – they’re based out of Houston originally but I’ll be the marketing person for SF. Wheeee!

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That being said, desserts might take a slight hiatus for a few weeks, since I already know the next two weekends are going to be insanity. Hopefully I can squeeze something in, but no promises!

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I know there’s been a huge run of panna cotta tarts lately over here, but we both love them and they’re so convenient to make ahead when I’m working! Also, I’ve had my eye on this flavor combination for AGES so I was jonesing to make it before I didn’t have time to bake properly for awhile.

I hope you have a great holiday weekend!

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Matcha & Verbena Panna Cotta Tart

Earthy, grassy, and delicious. This is a sure bet for anyone who loves tea – since both matcha and verbena are such great fresh flavors, they go really well together. Lightly sweet, as always – great for dessert with ice cream or a special breakfast. Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original!

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c 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

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.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 c dried lemon verbena
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp matcha powder
1/4 c lemon verbena tea, cold*

*I use loose leaf dried verbena; I steep a small handful in 10oz of freshly boiling water for ~5min to make tea

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add lemon verbena, maple, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat and cover to steep for 15 minutes.

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

Strain the verbena out of the coconut mixture. Pour it back into the saucepan and add matcha (blend if necessary with an immersion blender if you have a few matcha blobs), then bring it back to a simmer. 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.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Purple desserts & rain

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Hi friends!

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Slightly delayed post from the weekend, since I was busy busy and didn’t have time to get this out earlier.

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C and I almost completely annihilated this thing in two sittings, haha! It was GOOD. I love the cinnamon crust – it’s reminiscent of cinnamon graham crackers, which which I had a phase when I was a kid. I’ve always loved graham crackers, and anything that reminds me of them (and by association, my gram – who always fed them to me at her house) is totally welcome in my book.

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Such a great weekend surrounded by fave human & friends – I wish it hadn’t flown by so fast! We’ve been having some unseasonably rainy weather (accounting for the slightly funky lighting in these photos… the foliage + overcast wasn’t cooperating with me), which I’m LOVING, despite everyone else wanting sun, hahaa. I just love the rain!

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We ate this tart while board gaming on Saturday night, and then came back for a second round over a late brunch on Sunday. It’s a winner in both contexts – I love it with vanilla ice cream, but it’s also great on its own. It’s not nearly as tart as some of my other desserts, so if you’re baking for a crowd or with kids, I’d suggest this one. Besides, purple is broadly appealing :)

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Have a great week!

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Blackberry Panna Cotta on a Cinnamon Crust

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several. The cinnamon play so well against the berries – this works for a special breakfast or a delicious dessert with ice cream. Or both! :) Crust is easily grain free – just swap out the cornmeal for an equal amount of almond flour.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp cinnamon
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, cinnamon, 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:

2 cups (approx. 1/3 lb.) blackberries — frozen is fine!
1/2 c wild blueberries (frozen is just fine)
2 tsp water
2 tbsp maple
2 cups coconut milk, full fat (one can)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 packet of powdered gelatin
1/4 c cold water

Make the panna cotta filling:
In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, blueberries, 2 teaspoons of water, and maple. Cover and simmer over low heat until the berries break down. Taste it – we love it tart, but bump up the maple a little if it’s too tart for your taste.

Add the coconut milk to the berries, and re-heat the berry-coconut mixture over low heat until it just reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes.

Toward the end of the 30 minute steep time, place the 1/4 c cold water in something large, like a mixing bowl or a large pyrex measuring cup (mine is 4c). Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water.

Return the berry-coconut mixture to the stove, and re-heat again until just barely simmering, and stir in the vanilla.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the pyrex or bowl with the softened gelatin, and strain the berry-cream mixture through the sieve, using a spatula to stir and press berry-y coconut milk to extract every last bit. Once all liquid has been extracted, thoroughly whisk the berry-coconut mixture into the softened gelatin.

Carefully pour the filling into the tart shell, then leave the tart in the refrigerator to at least four hours or overnight. Keeps well in the fridge; serve leftovers for breakfast ;)

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Seismically unsound tamarind things

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Hi friends!

A new to me ingredient today (at least for baking; I’ve definitely eaten it many times) – tamarind! I learned some new cool things about it this week too, since of course I had to research it.

Behold: my seismically unsound dessert! Let’s get crackin.

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Tamarind is part of the legume family, making it a cousin to peanuts. It’s high in essential nutrients (potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc) and is anti-inflammatory & full of antioxidants! There are a ton of other health benefits, if you feel like looking them up. Pretty rad, for funny looking little fruit pods.

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This tart is delicious! Definitely for those who like their desserts on the sour/tart side – tamarind itself is very sour-sweet, and of course lemon with it makes it perfect for those who like that sort of thing… obviously, we both do! This barely made it to the leftover stage – I think there is one piece left, and I suspect it may be gone by midnight. It made for a great pre & post climbing snack, and was fabulous with vanilla ice cream for dessert with a board game.

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Because tamarind looks much like molasses, you don’t get as pretty of a color as one would hope for a lemon tart – don’t be fooled if you see tarts that are bright yellow claiming to be lemon-tamarind – they lie! I thought for a minute I might have a nice pale yellow tart, until I opened my jar of tamarind & remembered – nope!

Tamarind makes things a nice custardy mellow dark tan/brown. Undeniably delicious, but also why I buried it under a pile of bright raspberries, hahaa. I will say though, raspberries + tamarind + lemon is a totally winning combination.

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Happy weekend! I hope you’re out enjoying some beautiful weather.

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Lemon, Tamarind & Ginger Tart

Bright & slightly sour, for those who like their desserts on the tart side! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. Gluten free & refined sugar free. Can easily be dairy free – use coconut milk instead of cream! The crust can easily be grain free as well – just omit the cornmeal & add an equal amount of almond flour.

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For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp ground ginger
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, ginger, 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. Reduce oven temp to 325.

For the filling:

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 scant tbsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 c heavy cream

Place lemon juice, tamarind, vanilla, eggs, sugar and cream in a bowl and whisk until combined. Stand for 5 minutes.

Add tamarind filling to the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling has just set. Allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold.

Top with sliced lemons, raspberries, coconut, and whatever else takes your fancy. Keeps well in the fridge overnight; can be made a day ahead as well & stored in the fridge. Excellent with vanilla ice cream!

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Wait, cookies?!

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I guess it’s about time I put up another cookie post, given the name of this blog… besides which, one of these is the reigning favorite cookie in this household, so it deserves another turn in the spotlight I think.

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The other – the tahini one – is a new-to-me recipe, adapted, because ofc I can’t leave any recipes alone and I *always* add vanilla and cut the sweetener!

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Since ‘come to the dark side, I have cookies’ is such a thing too, I got to play with my Death Star plate, courtesy of Chelsea! This thing cracks me up.

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^moody, rainy day cookies

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The hills are so GREEN!!! I just can’t get enough of them – I grew up in California and have spent nearly all of my adult life here (actually, I’m a fifth generation Californian, wooooo baby) and even so, I am just in awe of how beautiful the green is. All I want to do is go run around the ridges! So I did just that, last weekend between the rains. It was a little muddy in spots but totally worth it.

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I’m keeping it short today – busy but awesome weekend with fave human, old & new friends, and relaxation.

Happy April!

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Favorite Oaty Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

A Wait are those Cookies original – the reigning favorite for C and I! We’re obsessed, sorry not sorry! Yield: around 12, if you make them large, or 16 if they’re smaller. These keep fabulously in the fridge – I love them straight out of the fridge, but you can totally leave them on the counter too. Refined sugar free & dairy free w/ a gluten free & vegan option.

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 gluten free)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Flax egg or regular egg* (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water; let gel for 5 min)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/4 c maple
Chopped dark chocolate

*I have made these both ways and actually prefer the flax egg – that way, they’re also vegan if you require that!

These are incredibly forgiving. Preheat the oven to 350. Toss all the dry ingredients in a big bowl & stir. Add coconut, maple, vanilla & flax egg, and stir that… then add chocolate & form into little balls. Flatten them slightly, and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for ~12 min. They will bake longer if using brown rice flour – start checking at 12, but they can go for up to 20. They should have a slight give when you push on the tops, but not too soft.
Remove and let cool for a few on the cookie sheet, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store them in the fridge if you like them extra chewy!

Variation: add a scant tbsp of finely chopped rosemary

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free. Yield: 10-12 smallish cookies. Nutty and not too sweet! Adapted from Tasting Table, here. I used chocolate chips because that’s what I had on hand – feel free to chop a chocolate bar instead, I’m sure it would be divine!

1 large egg
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
roughly chopped chocolate or chippies
~1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

These are cookies, so they’re easy! Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir everything together except for the sea salt, making sure you don’t end up with clumps of anything in particular. The dough will be really sticky – totally fine. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into balls, flatten slightly, and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Bake for ~10 minutes, until the tops are just slightly firm and lightly brown. Remove and let cool for a few, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely – they’re fragile when warm. Store in the fridge.

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Yes it’s green, you’re not imagining it!

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Happy Saturday!

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I’ve had a great weekend already, and it’s only Saturday night – two G&S shows, quality time with fave human & great friends, and lots of sleep… no complaints.

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Also, there was tart! (it has since been demolished)

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you…. the crust is in fact green! There is matcha sneaking around in there – not a ton, just enough to bring an earthy balance to the tart lemon curd. I LOVE meyer lemon season – arguably, they are one of my favorite citrus (though I quite possibly say that about ALL citrus…), and I also love matcha. I was initially unsure about the combination of matcha and lemon, but it turned out to be a happy experiment that worked out quite nicely.

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As usual – great dessert, equally great breakfast. Here is a photo essay of the tart getting slowly eaten over the course of making breakfast, before we actually sat down (in our defense, we both woke up hungry! ha)

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Gluten free & refined sugar free – in fact, this has very little maple in it, even as far as my desserts go – only one tbsp in the curd and two in the crust! That’s a big win in my book.

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Happy weekend!

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Meyer Lemon Tart with a Matcha Crust

Tangy, tart and delicious. Perfect spring dessert that is light and fresh – meyer lemons really shine here, if you can find them. The lemon curd can be made several days in advance and refrigerated, if you need to split up the baking time. Gluten free and refined sugar free. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several.

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
1 tbsp matcha
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, baking soda, and matcha. 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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Messy delicious

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Hello!

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Happy weekend :)

It’s raining again which I’m sure is driving everyone else crazy, but I love it… I’ve always loved the rain, but within the last year I’ve noticed that bizarrely enough my autoimmune symptoms calm down in the rain, so I have another reason to love it.

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I have galette for you today! The last week FLEW by, but luckily I had stopped at the market for oranges earlier in the week, with an eye towards making this over the weekend.

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I LOVE how beautiful blood oranges are – they are like natures equivalent of stained glass! It’s so fun to slice one open and see the color gradient – my art history side comes out in spades around them! Besides that, they are of course delicious.

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It did the usual double duty for dessert+ice cream and then breakfast the next morning! C and I ate it post-climbing, and I have to say it makes a great snack.

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I forgot my laptop charger at work on Friday like a dummy so I’m trying to limp my laptop through the weekend… this will probably be a short post on account of that!

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I hope you have something fun lined up this weekend – galette maybe?! :)

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Blood Orange, Hazelnut & Chocolate Galette

Gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free & arguably paleo. Lightly sweet from the oranges, with a hit of dark chocolate that doesn’t put you in a coma! Great for dessert with ice cream or on its own for breakfast. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Yield: 1 galette; serves several.

For the galette dough:

1.5 c almond flour (not meal; you want the finer flour variety)
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/4 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp salted butter, chopped (or ghee)
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a food processor or high-power blender (I used a food processor), pulse almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, and butter to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Add in egg and vanilla extract and pulse just until combined. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

For the filling:

1/4c dark chocolate, melted
1/2 c hazelnut meal
2 tbsp maple
1 tbsp vanilla
2 blood oranges, peels removed & sliced
2 cara cara oranges, peel removed & sliced
Coconut sugar for sprinkling

In a food processor, combine hazelnut meal, melted dark chocolate, maple and vanilla. I leave mine pretty chunky/coarse, as opposed to making nut butter – but either one is fine. Set aside.

Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, keeping the circle to about 1/4″ thickness. Peel off the top piece of parchment, and slide the rolled out dough on its parchment onto a baking sheet. Top with the dark chocolate – hazelnut mix, spreading it carefully in order to not rip or crack the dough. Add the sliced oranges. Begin folding up the sides, creasing them together as you go – if the dough rips, that’s okay (you can crimp the cracks back together; remember: galettes are forgiving and rustic!); you can use the bottom piece of parchment to help fold up the sides. Sprinkle dough with a little coconut sugar and press the sides with sliced almonds if you want! Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden brown — mine came out just fine at 35 minutes, so check accordingly.

Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully slide the whole galette onto a cooling rack to let it cool completely. Serve with your fave ice cream or whatever of choice! Keeps well covered in foil on the counter.

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