Apple crisp for the soul

Full disclosure: it was a rough autoimmune week over here – mentally and physically. So while I was very, VERY glad for the weekend, I’m haven’t been feeling quite as upbeat as usual. That being said, I spent a very nice Saturday evening & Sunday with C – worked out like a crazy today which helps, at least mentally.

I’m keeping this relatively short, but I wanted to share this crisp with you – it’s gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free & vegan! I had half a bag of cranberries hanging out in my freezer that I wanted to use before they felt too out of season – plus, crisps are easy and delicious. I think this might actually be one of the best crisps I’ve ever made – at least, it’s probably my favorite that I’ve ever made, and that’s saying a lot!

I really couldn’t stop eating it today; very nearly all of it is gone (to be fair, we both worked out hard today so it was a great post workout snack.)

a few of the plants wanted in

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends! I’m bummed it’s finished already – can we get on this 4-day workweek train already? Sheesh. Looking forward to the next one! Something grapefruity is on the menu I think; I have some coming in my imperfect produce box this week. Stay tuned :)

Apple, Cranberry, Date & Ginger Crisp

Refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free & vegan. Yield: 1 9″ crisp; serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

5 small granny smith apples, chopped into cubes
1/2 c fresh cranberries (or frozen)
5 large medjool dates, chopped
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c water

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond flour
½ cup chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple syrup
heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1/3 c dried ginger, chopped (mine isn’t crystalized; if yours is, thats fine!)

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss apples, cranberries and dates 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 tapioca starch, maple, water until combined. 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 flour, chopped pecans, shredded coconut, and salt. Mix in the maple, vanilla, and coconut oil, followed by the chopped ginger. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly. Stir in chocolate.

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. Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days (yeah right – would take some major feat to make it last more than overnight..)

Rainy days and a cranberry tart

Rain!

I love baking when it’s rainy, or really just doing anything when it’s rainy. I even like walking in it! Maybe because I lived in the pacific northwest for awhile, who knows.

We finally got some here in SF – and oddly enough, my autoimmune temperature disregulation stuff calms way down when it’s actively raining, or when the humidity is super high (bizarre, I know. If anyone has ANY insight into this…. please let me know!!) – so I definitely welcomed the day of respite. Plus, I love rain anyway, so no complaints there.

In other news, it’s mid-December already, what?! Insanity. It feels like it was just my birthday in September, and now we’re almost to the end of the year. To that end, I wanted to make something ridiculously “festive” and wintery – enter this cranberry curd tart! I’m in LOVE with the color. None of the photos are edited! This is just the unreal color that it naturally is.

It sounds complicated but really isn’t – basically just a riff on lemon curd, with the extra step of cooking the cranberries (which is fun anyway, I love listening to them pop). The tart itself comes together very quickly once the curd is made – all told, it’s in the oven for less than 30 min. The curd can be made in advance too, since it keeps really well in the fridge – and actually, the color deepens a little if you let it rest overnight. Fun!

See! Curd straight out of the fridge, after resting overnight.

We’ve had more gorgeous sunsets lately – a few that were worth climbing out my window onto the roof for photos. I happen to have the only apartment in my building that has direct roof access, so I try to take advantage…. I took the screen out of the window for that reason!

C and I also took a midweek mental health break walk over at Fort Funston – hands down our favorite beach out here. It was a beautiful, salty and humid 6 miles – perfect.

I hope all is well as can be in your worlds. I’m here to bring a little color to my corner of the internet and wish you a festive season, in spite what is happening in the world. Regardless of my own personal health stuff, I can always find joy in baking, and I hope that is true for you too! At the very least, you can come over here and look at pretty pictures, that’s good too :) Happy December baking!

Cranberry Curd Tart with a Cinnamon Cornmeal Crust

Refined sugar free & gluten free. Crust is easily grain free – just swap out the cornmeal for an equal volume of almond flour (or more shredded coconut). The curd can be made well in advance if desired – it keeps well in the fridge for several days. A Wait are those Cookies original, inspired by a New York Times tart that keeps cropping up in my feeds. 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 tsp cinnamon
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 cinnamon. 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; or alternatively a pie plate) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge. 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.

Cranberry Curd

1 bag of cranberries, about 2 cups
1/2 c freshly squeeze orange + lemon juice (I used 4 small mandarins + 2 lemons)
1/4 c water
zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c maple syrup
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over medium high, heat cranberries, citrus juice, water and lemon zest until cranberries pop, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the berries are very saucy, remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender (or a food processor). Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all the good liquid. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve too! Add liquid back into the saucepan (wipe it out first, if needed); discard solids.

Add maple, salt, and butter into the cranberry mixture, heating over medium-low and stirring continuously until butter is fully melted, about five minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and egg yolks. Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in a bit of the hot cranberries; then continue to whisk in the rest. Add the whole thing back into the saucepan (no need to wipe it out here), and continue to cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until the curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon – about 8-10 minutes more. Whisk in vanilla, then remove from heat and let cool completely (I usually let it cool in a pyrex snapware container, not the saucepan). You can strain it again if need be – I found mine was smooth enough to do without.

The curd can be made ahead – it keeps well for several days in the fridge. No need to bring it room temp before using in the tart.

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 – even better, cool it in the fridge for a few hours before slicing. Leftovers keep well, covered, in the fridge at least overnight.

naked tart, with a small divot where I dropped a crumb and tried to get rid of it. oh well, perfection is overrated anyway.

Pie Therapy

I’m all for transparency in this blogspace…. so to be completely honest, this last week was ROUGH. Autoimmune flareup (for lack of a better way to put that… we still don’t know exactly what is wrong) caused massive amounts of emotional and physical distress. Fun! No. Actually not fun.

Thankfully, I have an amazing support system… both from phone calls with family and close friends checking on me, and actual surprise deliveries of flowers and ice cream from the favorite human. What a guy. He’s really the best (and I’m 100% sure he’s not reading this so I can be mushy and not get him all embarrassed, ha)

The flare is still going but I’m doing my best to just be zen. Or try to, anyway. Pie helps. Pie is kind of a meditation in itself, plus the ultimate end product is delicious, so that helps too. C and I also did a massive workout today which doesn’t help me ignore the symptoms, but does help me feel better in my body so that’s a start. We finished it and then had trouble with our forks and fine motor control, so you KNOW it was good. I had to just point the fork at my face and hope the food didn’t fall off… much laughter ensued.

brunch with dolly

In other news, it’s December – wowow weird, how did that happen. I am trying to stay in the mood with appropriately seasonal stuff, even if this year is totally festivity mood-killing. I did put up lights though (period detailing of picture rails for the win, makes an excellent spot for lights and ornaments, since I didn’t want to deal with the hoohaw of getting a tree) and I’m making all the cranberry things, like this pie.

one of the most soothing things I do on a regular basis

I love apple pie but I don’t really make it much, oddly enough. I’m trying to rectify that – here’s a start! Whole wheat crust, apples + cranberry filling, super simple, super good. This was dessert and also post-workout “breakfast” at 130p (ha. to be fair, we got up late too) – in my opinion, it was even better the second day. It’s also refined sugar free and only has about 2 tbsp of maple in the entire thing – a win for those who love apple pie but don’t love how gloppy and sweet it can sometimes be. I went light on the cinnamon to really focus on the fruit, and am very happy with the result.

oops. janky crust.

Unrelatedly, we’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately, like this:

Here’s hoping the rest of this month is better than the beginning, at minimum on the autoimmune front. Sheesh. In the meantime, you can find me in front of my humidifier. Send thoughts of fog and rain my way, please.

Apple & Cranberry Pie

Refined sugar free & whole grain. The filling is paleo & gluten free, so if you need or want a grain free/gluten free crust, feel free to swap in your fave! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 pie, serves two hungry people for dessert & breakfast, with a slice leftover (we did not eat nearly half a pie in one sitting. nope. I don’t know what you’re talking about)

shut your pie hole dish courtesy of bestie heather who GETS ME

for the crust

2.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 scant tsp fine sea salt
8oz unsalted butter (2 sticks), cubed & cold
4-6 tbsp ice water

for the filling

6-7 apples, peeled & thinly sliced (mine were on the small side; adjust accordingly if yours are large. I used half granny smith & half gala)
1/2 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp maple
2 tbsp tapioca starch
zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

to beautify the crust

milk of some sort (I used half and half; non dairy is totally fine also – whatever you have)
sprinkle of coconut sugar

In a large bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients. Let sit while you make the dough.

In a food processor (or by hand, but I actually love using the food processor for this dough; it comes together in a snap and keeps it from getting overworked), pulse together flour and salt. Add in cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add in ice water – I start usually with four tbsp, then add a tbsp at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.

Turn it out onto a floured surface, divide it in half and and roll it out – I prefer to roll and then chill, since the dough is easier to work with that way. You’ll roll out a circle that’s slightly larger than the top of your pie plate, to make for crimping excess – you should aim to have about a 1″ overhang. Lay the dough into the dish, tucking the edge underneath and crimping it as desired. Do whatever you want with the top crust! Shapes, traditional top crust, lattice, whatever. I used a small star cookie cutter for this one. Once the bottom crust is in, stick the whole dish into the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you roll out the top (helps prevent shrinking but honestly I almost always forget to do this and my crusts are fine… so… shrug. it’s good to do if you remember). No need to cover since it’s not in there very long.

Preheat the oven to 425, and bring out the chilled bottom crust. Pile in the fruit – make sure to really pack it down so there is no space between the apple slices. Typically you can fit much more than you think you can – and you’ll want it to be slightly convex on the top, to account for the fruit decreasing in volume as it cooks. Lay on the top crust pieces, and dot the fruit with butter. Brush the top crust with milk of choice and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar if you like (I like the color). Bake for 10 minute at 425, then lower the temp to 350 and bake another 65-70 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling like crazy. Remove from the oven and let cool at least an hour, preferably more, before slicing and serving (I made mine in the mid morning and we ate it after dinner; it sliced perfectly). Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered – keeps well overnight.

naked pie.

All things cranberry

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

May or may not actually post about what I make for the holiday (sweet potato pie & cookies) but here at least is a treat that nearly everyone can share – my apologies if you’re nut free. Otherwise, these bars are refined sugar free (of course) but also are gluten & grain free, dairy free, vegan & paleo. Yay!

They’re also super easy and come together in about five seconds, a plus when oven real estate is at a premium, assuming you’re doing the whole turkey thing.

C and I loved that they’re tart but herby – the thymes gives them a unique flavor that’s juuuuust on this side of savory. We didn’t eat them with ice cream but I’m 100% sure that would be spectacular; they’re also equally good in wedges on their own. Excellent for breakfast, which is what we did.

Cranberry sauce has always been a favorite part of the Thanksgiving spread for me – generally speaking, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the traditional Thanksgiving food (I know I know save your gasping) – my mom would be one of the first to attest. When I was small, I didn’t like pumpkin pie (eeehh not a ton has changed there, tho I’ll eat a small slice) so I always just asked for a bowl of whipped cream instead. I STILL love whipped cream, so that’s not changed! But cranberry sauce – I remember being fascinated by the ridgy blob that came out of a can as a kid, and now the real, non-canned variety is hands down my favorite part of the spread.

These bars are a fun hybrid: they start with a layer of shortbready crust and are filled with a quick cranberry jam/sauce, followed by more crumbly topping. Super fast, super easy, super delicious.

And with that – happy Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday is relaxing and safe.

sunset & golden hour!

Cranberry, Pecan & Thyme Crumble Bars

Treats for everyone! Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, vegan, dairy free & paleo. Hooray! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pan of bars, serves several. Perfectly tart and slightly herby; great for snacks or breakfast.

For the cranberry filling

1 bag (~2 c) fresh cranberries
zest & juice of one lemon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries, lemon zest and juice, maple, sea salt, and tapioca until the berries have popped and the liquid is just barely boiling, 10ish minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble

2.5 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
3 tbsp maple
5 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 c chopped pecans
3 tbsp dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 9” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 9” cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, thyme, salt, maple, and coconut oil together. Reserve a heaping half cup and stir in the pecans and dark chocolate (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set.

Remove from the oven and top evenly with cranberry chia jam. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

galette obsessed.

Hello, have you met me? I’m galette obsessed.

To be fair, this one was requested by C so how could I say no to that? Also, I had approximately one bazillion pears sitting at home that needed to be used – two weeks’ worth of imperfect produce deliveries that I hadn’t gotten around to using. Luckily, they were rock hard when I got them, so this batch was finally perfect for baking.

I swear at some point soon I will make something other than a galette – I have two ideas floating around, one involving more cranberries, the other featuring chai – that I’m sure will make an appearance on here soon; both are fun and seasonal.

Let’s see what is new! It’s been a week since things finally felt like they went the right way – we’ve had some beautiful cloud effects for sunrise and sunset in the city, and I’ve been enjoying the crap out of them. I usually go out for a brisk walk/hill run at 615a – I motivate myself by listening to Marketplace on NPR (I know I know I’m a dork) and usually get a pretty good view of the sunrise. My apartment faces southwest so evenings are gorgeous from home. Here are a few of the recent ones!

I’ve been trying to get back into drawing more. I love it and it’s relaxing, but I’ve just fallen away from it as a habit. Attempting to get back to my daily drawing meditation, even if it’s just a little doodle.

snack tiiiime

Then there’s this galette! Amaaazing with vanilla ice cream (what isn’t) and for breakfast with coffee (what isn’t better with coffee? seriously. life is better with coffee).

Perfectly seasonal with the pear and cranberry combo; plus I love pretty much anything rye. Ironically, I actually prefer rye alone and not with caraway – maybe that’s my german roots speaking? Anyway. If you think you’re not a rye fan, I recommend giving this crust a shot anyway – the rye isn’t in your face, just gives it a nice nutty undertone.

Happy baking, happy weekend!

Pear, Cranberry & Rye Galette

Refined sugar free and whole grain. Actually – there is NO added sweetener in here – the sprinkle of coconut sugar to finish could easily be omitted. The jam I use is fruit-sweetened (look for St. Dalfour’s, LOVE) so this galette is really just whole grain + fruit + butter. Can’t argue with that. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette; serves several.

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

In a food processor, pulse together rye flour, whole wheat pastry, cornmeal, and sea salt. Add in cubed butter and pulse until it resembled coarse sand. Add vanilla, 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:

pears, sliced (I used 3 d’anjou – pretty much any variety will work here except maybe Comice, which is so soft)
heaping 1/2 c frozen cranberries

1/4 c apricot jam (I use St. Dalfour, as it’s sweetened with fruit – no added sugar)
dabs of butter + egg wash + coconut sugar for finishing

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 pears and the cranberries 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 :)

Fall things

It’s fall! Hooray! I love fall, and fall produce. It’s finally been cooler and not smoky here in SF so I’m trying to seize the moment and roast/bake all the things before it gets warm again. Allegedly it’s supposed to next week and I’m not super thrilled… I’m ready for solid fall weather.

In the meantime, I’m just over here with all the fall produce. Today’s crisp is all things apple, cranberry, ginger and pomegranate – plus chocolate, since why had I never thought about doing a chocolate crisp before now?! It’s not in-your-face chocolatey but definitely enough to satisfy.

it’s been drizzly and foggy in SF and I LOOOOVE it

In other news, thought I lost my drivers license this week, but a kind soul contacted me on linked in later that day saying she’d found it! Proof that common decency hasn’t gone the way of the dodo quite yet.

I’ve also taken to eating extremely extra toast for a lunchsnack (see exhibit A, below). Seems to be an experiment in “how many things can I cram on here and still legitimately call it toast?”

Highly recommend this crisp for a weekend dessert – or weeknight, it’s super fast so no worries there. Delicious as is for a snack or breakfast, or with ice cream for dessert. Not too sweet, with plenty of textural fun. It’s also refined sugar free, gluten free, and whole grain! Is also easily dairy free/vegan; swap coconut oil for the butter and dairy free yogurt for the whole milk variety; or omit yogurt entirely and go all coconut oil. The whole thing is super adaptable.

C calls it granola, hahhaa… it essentially is, when it comes down to it – fruit / oats / nuts. Balanced breakfast, in my book ;)

Happy weekending! Hopefully yours was enjoyable and full of good food.

Apple, Cranberry & Ginger Chocolate Crisp

A Wait are those Cookies original – an endless riff on the crisp that I make ALL the time. Gluten free, refined sugar free, whole grain. Yield: 1 9″ crisp, serves several.

3 apples, chopped into cubes
1.5 c fresh cranberries (or frozen)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c water
Juice of two limes

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond flour
½ cup chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1.5 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 c chopped dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss apples, cranberries and ginger 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 and lime juice until combined. Add the tapioca starch, 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 flour, chopped pecans, shredded coconut, cacao powder and salt. Mix in the maple, vanilla, melted butter and yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly. Stir in chocolate.

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 2-3 days (yeah right – would take some major feat to make it last more than overnight..)

I love the number 2020

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Hi friends!

How is 2020 treating you so far? I’ve been BUSY. So many deadlines this time of year have meant some very long workweeks that bleed into the weekends (ew). But! I am not working this weekend and for that I’m super grateful.

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Had a great climb with C this morning – did a bunch of climbs at the top of my skill level, which always feels good. Finished and inhaled a plate of eggs & veg + a latte… working out on an empty stomach is great until I’m done, at which point I’m usually STARVING.

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I made these on Thursday night for a Friday datenight – I think they get better overnight actually, so I like making them in advance. Plus, I needed to destress and baking is my favorite way to do that.

I’d had a bag of cranberries that I tossed in the freezer somewhere in the early part of December, and some rosemary hanging out that I didn’t want to waste (waste not, want not!). Besides that, I’d been thinking about the rosemary – cranberry combo for awhile and I’m happy report that it’s fully excellent.

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These slice like beauties; are tart and “buttery”, despite being dairy free. Actually, they are free of all the things (gluten, grain, dairy, refined sugar & are vegan & paleo), so everyone can share the love.  Not to mention, they come together in a snap, so no waiting around. Perfect for breakfast or brunch, or an anytime snak.

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Happy weekend! Hopefully you’re finding time to bake something delicious and/or treat yourself right.

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Cranberry Chia Bars with Rosemary Pecan Crumble

Fully sliceable, tart, breakfast or anytime snak bars! Free of all the things, so everyone can share the love. Gluten and grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan & paleo. A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the cranberry filling

1 bag (~2 c) fresh cranberries
zest & juice of one lemon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries, lemon zest and juice, maple, sea salt, and tapioca until the berries have popped and the liquid is just barely boiling, 10ish minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble

2.5 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
3 tbsp maple
5 tbsp melted coconut oil
~1tbsp finely chopped rosemary – I used about 1.5 large sprig’s worth
1/3 c chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 9” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 9” pie plate. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, rosemary and coconut oil together. Reserve a heaping half cup and stir in the pecans & coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with cranberry chia jam. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)img_1927

Happy holidays from my kitchen to yours!

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Hello internet friends! Happy Holidays!!

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I have bonus things for you today – TWO recipes!

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I’ve now made three desserts in 24 hours and am feeling quite pleased with myself. One for my fam (since there are only three of us) and two for C’s fam, since there are going to be considerably more than 3 at dinner, ha.

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Besides, I made this crisp a few weeks ago for C and I and it was bit of a cluster because I lost power while it was in the oven, and then lost the daylight to photograph while waiting for the power to come back on…. so though I wanted to put it up here, I only had photos of half eaten crisp. Which has some kind of aesthetic (obviously I put them up, you’ve seen them) but I needed more than that for a legit post.

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So! I made it again for Xmas Eve dessert with my parents, because it was delicious, and now I have a few more actual photos.

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But, bonus – I also made this mint panna cotta tart with cacao coconut crust for tomorrow’s dessert, so why not feature that too! It turned out too pretty not to share. It’s actually the same as the one I made last year at this time – couldn’t resist the mint again, and it just looks so festive.

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I hope your holidays are filled with all kinds of good things, delicious food, and loved ones. Happy holidays from my kitchen to yours! Merry and bright <3

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Mint Panna Cotta Tart on a Cacao Coconut Crust

Minty fresh and chocolatey, perfect for a holiday dinner. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original. Grain and gluten free, refined sugar free. For dairy free, swap out coconut milk & yogurt for the cream.

Recipe HERE.

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Apple and Cranberry Pecan Crisp

I have successfully used both walnuts and pecans for this – both are delicious. I choose to chop up a chocolate bar in order to get the finer shards of chocolate, but chocolate chips would do if that’s all you have on hand. Totally adaptable to whatever is in your pantry! Yield: 1 9″ crisp (it was doubled for these photos); serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Gluten free, refined sugar free & easily dairy free with a sub of coconut oil or vegan butter + coconut yogurt.

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1 bag of fresh cranberries (fresh or frozen are both fine)
3 apples (I prefer Granny Smith and / or Lady Alice), chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tap tapioca starch
1/4 c water
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond meal
½ cup chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 c maple syrup
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 c dark chocolate, roughly chopped
a handful of crystalized ginger, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss apples & cranberries 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 until combined. Add the tapioca starch, 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 pecans, shredded coconut, maple, and salt. Mix in the vanilla, melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly, then stir in chopped ginger and chocolate.

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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Tis the season for festive desserts

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Happy December!

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Time for the full-tilt holiday jungle madness to start. I do love this time of year though, even if it means that going to the store becomes an exercise in all kinds of patience. It’s so pretty though, with the cold weather, trees and lights everywhere, and the RAIN! We’ve been getting so much, and I just love it. Even the streetlights reflecting in the wet pavement look festive. Besides that, it’s the season for festive desserts and pretty baked goods! (not that I really need an excuse, but whatever)

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I just put up my tree! I am one of those “nothing Christmas-y before the first of December” people, but here we are – I happened to have time after seeing fave human yday to go grab a tiny tree, and it is currently brightening my living room.

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So! This tart!

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It immediately became a huge fave of C’s and mine; it is tart, but just lightly sweet enough – we both love cornmeal anyway so that part is an easy sell. For the filling, thinly sliced apples are layered over chunky cranberry compote and then everything is submerged in a really simple coconut custard before baking. It sounds complicated, but I promise it isn’t! As with almost everything I make, it is great for dessert with ice cream, and equally great for breakfast.

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As per usual, C and I ate this as part of a very late brunch after hitting the gym for several hours – I was SO ready for all kinds of food at that point (and shaky! We’ve gotten back into climbing, and though my muscle memory is pretty good, my forearms and fingers are going through some serious reconditioning!)

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Happy holiday season! Do yourself a favor and whip up a quick cranberry tart: your tastebuds and your loved ones will thank you :)

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Apple Cranberry Custard Tart on a Cornmeal Coconut Crust

Tart, lightly sweet, and perfect for the holiday season. Thinly sliced apples are layered on cranberry compote, and a simple coconut custard is poured over the whole thing before baking. Gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves somewhere around 6. 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 tart pan 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.

For the filling:
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 medium apples, peeled (optional), cored and thinly sliced*

* I used granny smith; pink lady or gala would be nice here too

Combine the cranberries, maple, lemon zest, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until cranberries pop and sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, tapioca starch, coconut milk, and 1 tsp vanilla.

Spread the cranberry compote over the bottom of the tart crust. Arrange the apple slices over the top, and pour custard over everything. Sprinkle with a bit of coconut sugar if desired, but totally optional.

Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes until custard sets and apples brown. Let the tart cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the ring and cutting into it. Refrigerate if not serving immediately; keeps well in the fridge overnight.

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Pears and cranberries: the perfect pair

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So normally, I would tell you that this makes great dessert but you should save some and eat it for breakfast, blah blah…

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But really, this time, I’m going to throw that out the window and tell you to just straight up make this for breakfast. You really won’t be sorry – it’s mostly fruit anyway! Hiding under a whole grain, gluten free cream biscuit – what more do you want for breakfast?! I concede that we added eggs, kale, cholula & coffee, and it was a stellar combination, but you do you of course.

This is one of those homely-but-delicious desserts that doesn’t win any awards in the looks department but is undeniably amazing and should be made and loved immediately!

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I really love this for an autumn-winter breakfast-dessert: the cranberries and pears are a perfect pairing; the cornmeal cream biscuits are hands-down one of my favorite things on this planet (I am not alone in this, either); and the whole thing is just so seasonal!

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I leave the skins on the pears, both because I enjoy when my fruit desserts have more texture & body, but also because fiber is good for you! The cranberries soften but still retain their shape and eating them is quite fun, since they pop when you bite them!

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Let’s see. Besides eating this for a stellar breakfast, other things of note lately…

Beautiful skies!

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The worst opera we’ve both ever seen, but in the best company with some awesome seats so it was worth it… as an excellent learning experience and unforgettable evening ;)

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Can anyone else believe December starts tomorrow?! I can’t. Where did the fall months go?? Not that I’m particularly sorry, I do love festive holiday time and all the baking that goes along with it.

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I highly recommend you throw the rule book out the window and make this for breakfast. I am behind you 100% on the wisdom of this action. Happy eating!

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Pear and Cranberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Cream Biscuits and Ginger

Gluten free, whole grain and refined sugar free! The fruit makes an amazing complement to the cornmeal cream biscuits, which are personally one of my absolute favorite things. Easy to make, the most time consuming bit of this is chopping up the pears. But you don’t even have to peel them, so that bit is even easier! Very lightly sweetened, this is perfect for those who love seasonal, fruity desserts. Adapted from both of my earlier cream biscuit cobblers, here & here.

For the filling:

4-7 Bartlett & Anjou pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored and sliced into small bite-sized pieces*
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 c maple
2 tbsp port
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

*I used about 6; shrinkage will happen to a point so don’t be afraid to use a little more than you would think

For the cobbler:

3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 cup oat flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour, slightly heaping
1 tablespoons maple (or coconut) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Crystalized ginger, chopped; for topping – optional but delicious

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a deep 9-inch square baking dish or deep 9-inch pie pan with butter (I prefer the deepness of the 9″ square – mine is a 2qt baker & it holds tons of fruit!). Cut up pears into large chunks and toss them into the buttered baking dish. Add cranberries and toss to combine. Whisk the maple, port, arrowroot, lemon juice, ginger, and cinnamon together, pour over the fruit, and toss to coat.

Combine cornmeal, oat flour, rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the cream and vanilla, stirring until just combined; the dough will be very wet. Scoop the dough into 8-ish blobs onto the fruit filling. Sprinkle with maple or coconut sugar if desired. Bake until the fruit bubbles and the juices thicken, and the topping is browned and cooked through, 45-55 minutes. Typically I test the biscuit done-ness by sticking a knife between two of them to see if the bottom is done – you’ll know if it isn’t, it will look raw. Stick it back in for about 10 minutes if you find that – mine is typically perfectly done at 55 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or more cream and chopped crystalized ginger; leftovers keep well, covered, in the fridge for a few days.

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