Citrus Sunshine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For the crust:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More jammy goodness

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

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

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

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

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

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^ha, couldn’t resist.

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

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

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Jammy Rhubarb & Raspberry Pandowdy with an Almond Poppyseed Crust

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

For the filling:

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

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

for the crust:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Midweek pick me up

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Apparently banana bread and/or sourdough is the baked thing of choice during this quarantine? I dunno. I’ve love bbread for years – I remember learning early on to make my gram’s banana bread (my mom’s stationary had little birds on it that looked like music notes – this is a very tangible memory!). I’ve since moved on to recipes that are more whole grain/healthy fat/refined sugar free but that original loaf will always have a major nostalgia factor for me. Side note – cornbread was the other thing I learned to make early – I’m pretty sure I imprinted on that one, since EVERYTHING cornmeal based is my JAM.

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This is my latest favorite bbread recipe! I’m really pleased with it – started as another exercise in using up what I have / not using up my whole wheat pastry flour, which isn’t strictly necessary here and seems to be in rather short supply in the markets these days. I also HATE wasting food, above all else – I pride myself on eating everything that comes home with me, and that includes dead bananas. I abhor eating bananas out of hand that are the least bit spotty (picky picky) so once they get past that stage, they’re destined for bbread. Not that I’m the least upset about this situation – more bbread is always a win, in my book.

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This one is whole grain & gluten free, egg-free and refined sugar free, with majorly flexible adaptations to make it dairy free / vegan. I’ll add notes for those in the recipe, if you’re interested!

A few shots of my plants going ape, because… well, because! Can never have too many plant things.

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Repotted & so happy:

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Side note: check out these beautiful anthocyanins! (aka the little flavanoids hanging out in foods & giving them their gorg red/blue/purple pigmentation. Not to mention the beta-carotene goodness happening here. Gah! So pretty, so delicious.

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I used to make a loaf of carrot-banana-walnut bread a week in grad school, as a weeklong source of snacks and sanity. Not really close to that these days, but I’m definitely embracing the work from home ethos that’s allowing me to bake midweek – normally that’s a bit of a squish to try to fit that into a regular week; plus, now I have more time to actually EAT this stuff at home, which is lovely. No complaints on that front.

Happy midweek baking! A bonus post from this gal who usually only posts on weekends. Mwah!

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Banana Bread with Black Sesame

Super adaptable recipe – whole grain / gluten free / refined sugar free / egg-free as written; very easy to make this dairy free/vegan – see notes! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 large loaf or 4 small ones. Could also be made in a muffin tin if you wanted muffins instead – or a cake pan for a more cake-shaped bread. You do you! Just watch the baking times if you’re making it in a smaller or shallower pan – time will vary.

1/4 cup greek yogurt (made sure to use the whey on the top plus a splash of milk so it’s thinner*)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp maple syrup
scant 1/4 cup melted butter (or use coconut, ghee, etc – just start with it melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 c oat flour**
3/4 c almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
~1/4 c black sesame seeds
~1/3 c walnuts, roughly chopped

*can use 1/4 c milk (non dairy or dairy) + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar; let sit for 5-10 min

**use whole wheat if not doing gluten free; I love it with oat but it’s super flexy. Spelt would probably be great here too, or a gluten free flour blend if that’s what you have

Bbread is stupid easy! Mix wet – mash bananas & add all the other delicious goodness to the mashed banana bowl. In another, larger bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add wet into dry & stir until just combined, adding sesame seeds and walnuts towards the end. The batter will be super thick, just FYI.

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease your pans of choice – I used three small loaf pans for slightly taller loaves, but 1 large loaf pan would be great, or whatever you have (see recipe note up top at the header). Bake for ~35 minutes for the small pans; will be longer (I’d start checking at 45/50 for a standard loaf pan) – the top will be golden brown, and a tester will come out clean. Let sit for a few minutes, then turn out of the pan to cool completely. Store in the fridge, wrapped in foil, or on the counter if you think you’ll it it within a day or two.

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This is my jam.

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Hi Friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Want to see what this really looks like?

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

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

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Apricot, Rosemary & Cornmeal Jam Bars

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

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

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

maldon sea salt, for sprinkles after

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

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

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

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But first, coffee.

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Hihi friends!

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

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

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

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^ In the process of being demolished.

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

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

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

Salted Coffee and Chocolate Panna Cotta Tart with an Almond Crust

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

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For the crust:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Let’s get nutty (nuttier?!)

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Hi friends!

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Time for another installment of bake your pantry (/freezer) – this is a great catchall recipe for all those random things we all have lying around.

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As written, it happens to be grain & gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan & paleo! Woohoo! That being said, substitute at will. No coconut oil? Great, use ghee or butter. No pecans? No problem – sub in walnuts, peanuts, almonds, whatever. I love these bars for that reason – they’re infinitely flexible. The fruit can be swapped out for fresh as opposed to frozen, or swapped for different fruit entirely.

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Things here are pretty much same same, though we did do a nearly 11mi hike from C’s place this afternoon and I am POOPED. Thank all that’s holy there was a giant plate of nachos and a quesadilla happening immediately when we got back… I think those lasted all of 10 minutes. Complete annihilation.

On another note, everything is blooming here and it’s beauuuutiful. Springtime flowers are so pretty.

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(particularly proud of that photo!)

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All in all, a good weekend, despite the obviously strange times we’re currently living in. I hope yours were similarly restful <3

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Nutty Berry Crumble Bars

A catch-all for all those random nuts and seeds in your pantry, not to mention the half-empty bags of frozen fruit! Let’s do a pantry clean out, shall we? No pecans? No worries – sub in almonds, walnuts, whatever you have on hand. The fruit is infinitely flexible too, so use what you have! Feel free to riff on this. Gluten & grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo, vegan.  A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8-9″ pan; serves several.

For the berry filling

1/2 bag (~1 c) frozen blueberries, or fresh
1/2 bag (~1c) frozen raspberries, or fresh
zest & juice of one lemon
zest & juice of one lime
1 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 berries, lemon & lime 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
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp black sesame

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, chopped pecans and coconut oil together. Reserve a heaping half cup and stir in the black sesame and 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 ;)

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There should always be dessert on Easter

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Happy Easter!

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy Easter! Go eat chocolate :)

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Oolong Panna Cotta with a Black Sesame Crust

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

For the crust:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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