Happy Fogust!

Hi Friends!

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

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

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

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

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Let’s see, what else.

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

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

Peach, Apricot & Blueberry Galette with a Rye Crust

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

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

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

For the fruit:

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

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

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

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

summer shortcakes

Hi friends!

It’s shortcake time, because summer is for shortcakes. They’re perfect with all the fresh berries and stone fruit at the markets right now, and they can be made in about 20 minutes. Winning!

These are cornmeal and rye, since over here we are obsessed with all things cornmeal and rye. Highly recommend with vanilla ice cream, though whipped cream would be equally excellent . These are equally good with strawberries and blueberries, but I’m pretty sure peaches would be fantastic too. Basically, they’re adaptable and delicious no matter what you do with them or how you serve them.

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In fact, we ate them for brunch this morning and there may or may not have been ice cream involved then too. Although to be fair, we had eggs and greens too because, balance. Ha! Took a smallish hike this morning too – it was nice a foggy cool, perfect city summer. These shortcakes go amazingly well with coffee, might I add.

It’s also dahlia season! One of my absolute faves, and they’re just going gangbusters over in the Dahlia Glen at GGP – if you live locally, def go check them out. Hmmm what else. Roasted veg! Always pretty.

Going to keep it short today because it’s Sunday and I can feel a nap coming on. Happy weekend, blog friends!

Berry Shortcakes on Cornmeal Rye Biscuits

Whole grain & refined sugar free. I much prefer a biscuit to a shortcake, so here we are. These are one of my favorite summer desserts – so easy, so delicious. Plus, you can use literally whatever fruit looks good at the market. Yield: 6 biscuits. Adapted from the NYT, here.

1/3 c dark rye flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c buttermilk (or plain yogurt thinned w/ milk, which is what I used)

Preheat the oven to 450, and line a baking sheet with two layers of foil.
In a food processor, pulse together rye, whole wheat, cornmeal, baking powder and sea salt. Pulse in butter until the mixture is uniformly crumbly and looks like wet sand. Turn everything out into a bowl, and stir in the egg and buttermilk (or yogurt) – I like to use my fingers for this – I find it keeps me from overmixing. The dough should come together enough pretty easily. Turn it out onto a marble pastry board or a lightly floured countertop, and pat it into a 1/2″ thick layer. Cut into rounds or squares – if you don’t have a biscuit cutter, a cookie cutter works well too, or a glass. Just make sure whatever you use is sharp – a sharper edge means higher rising biscuits! Pat the scraps back together to cut the last few – you should be able to get 6 out of this.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar, and bake for 14-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack to cool before serving.

Serve with freshly cut fruit, and ice cream! Or whipped cream, or coconut cream, or whatever. Anything and everything is good here.

Summer fruit galette for breakfast

Mid July already! Someone pinch me.

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

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

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

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

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

Apricot, Blueberry & Rosemary Galette

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

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

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

For the fruit:

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

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

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

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

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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Birthday Pandowdy!

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I had a birthday!

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

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

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

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

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

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Swamped Peach and Blackberry Pandowdy

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

For the crust:

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

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

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

For the filling:

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

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

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

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

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out the dough to be roughly circular (no need to be perfect here, like I said – pandowdies are pie’s unfussy cousin), and lift the dough onto the fruit. Tuck in the edges, leaving a rim of dough between the edge of the pie dish and the fruit – I crimped mine because I’m an overachiever and I also had extra dough, but no need to do that. Make a few slits for steam to vent, brush the top with egg white and dust with coconut sugar. Pop the whole beautiful thing into the oven for 40 minutes; best if you line the rack beneath with foil or a large baking sheet – the juices runneth over!

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

Once you hit the 40 minute mark, take the pandowdy out, and use a sharp knife to break up the crust, thus ‘dowdy-ing’ its looks (now begins the really fun part). Carefully pour the cream into the new breaks in the crust, filling each – some of the cream will pool under the crust, and some will sneak out on top, which is fine. Just be careful not to drown the whole crust! Go slow, and fill each vent/break. Stick the pandowdy back in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cream is just set and barely jiggles in the center. Let cool completely before serving; it will be gloriously juicy and delicious so might I suggest serving it in bowls? Ice cream is… optional, sort of, if you’re out of cream; otherwise, this can be served even swampier with extra cream poured over the top. You do you!

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

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Summer is for shortcakes

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Hi! I have cream biscuit shortcakes today.

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

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

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

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

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

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Cornmeal Cream Biscuit Strawberry Shortcakes

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

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For the cream biscuits:

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

For serving:

Sliced strawberries
Whipped cream or ice cream

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

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

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

Remove from baking sheet and let cool before serving.

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

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Wait, is this actually a cookie recipe?

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Cookies!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oaty Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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

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

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

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

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Vegetables for dessert? Sure, why not.

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Happy 2018! I hope your new year got off to a good start – mine certainly did, absolutely no complaints over here!

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I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of using a squash other than pumpkin in a dessert.

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Don’t be deceived by the cute little dumpling squash hanging out in these pictures – what really went in here is kabocha, one of these guys:

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I like the kabocha here – if you’ve never encountered one, they’re a bit of a cross between pumpkin and butternut squash. I really like it for the earthiness it brings here, which plays nicely against the apples. Side note: after some thought, we gave it mixed reviews – it feels a little vegetabley to be dessert – I almost wonder if it would work as a side dish. That being said, if you like not too sweet things / vegetables, go for it!

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Besides, this is my absolute favorite crisp topping – it has a little extra protein from greek yogurt and almond flour, and is just so fun to eat. It stays crispy even after hanging out in the fridge overnight, which makes this excellent breakfast (see exhibit A).

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I also love it for dessert with ice cream (obviously) – the crisp ends up covered in melty ice cream, making it into slightly indulgent granola/muesli.

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In other news, I’ve been museuming and drawing again, which feels great. I let it lag a little too long I think!

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Of course coffee.

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Here’s hoping you’re enjoying the beginning of the new year! I have good feelings for this one. If you’re in the mood for a lightly sweet, perfectly healthy desserty-breakfast, I’ve got you covered! Happy baking :)

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Kabocha Squash and Apple Walnut Crisp

Gluten free, refined sugar free, and whole grain. Full of healthy fats AND fruits & veggies! Feel free to eat this as breakfast, I certainly did. Side note: we gave it mixed reviews – it feels a little vegetabley to be dessert – I almost wonder if it would work as a side dish. That being said, if you like not too sweet things / vegetables, go for it! Adapted from the Raz-Apple crisp I made around Thanksgiving, here. Yield: 1 2-quart baking dish (it’s about 8 by 8 and deep). Serves: 2 for dessert & then breakfast! Or… you know, a normal amount of people.

For the filling:

2-3 largish Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into thin wedges*
1 small kabocha squash, peeled & cubed*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 c port**
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

*I just approximate as I slice; I use however many it takes to fill my 2 quart, 8×8 baking dish; for ease of cutting kabocha squash, I recommend slicing it in half, then in wedges and using a knife to carefully peel it. The peel is totally edible, but I didn’t want its texture in the crisp. You’ll still get an arm workout peeling these babies, believe me!

**the port is optional but amazing; if you don’t use it, use 1/4c water instead

For the crisp:

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

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a veggie steamer (I use a metal steamer inside a pot), steam the kabocha squash for 10-15 minutes, until just barely fork tender.

Slice apples into a deep baking dish, and add steamed kabocha squash (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the maple and water/port until combined. Add the lemon juice, arrowroot, cinnamon and allspice, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the squash and apples and toss to combine. Bake for 15 minutes.

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

Once the filling has baked for 15 minutes, stir to redistribute it 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 at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving; or do like I did and make it earlier in the day, and have it later. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for about three days (yeah right. It would take some kind of major feat to make it last that long; ours was gone in just over 1!) Serve cold alongside breakfast because it’s extra awesome that way.

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Let’s get seasonal!

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Tis the season! As always, it feels like it’s sneaking up on me.

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But I do love the excuse to get very seasonal with my baking – the colors of winter fruit are so pretty!

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Pomegranate arils always look like piles of rubies to me – the light shines through them so beautifully, like it does through stained glass windows.

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This cake is the best excuse of cake for breakfast I’ve made recently – lightly sweet, lemony and delicious. It’s gluten free and refined sugar free, too!

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Incidentally, it’s also high in protein from the almond flour and the ricotta – added bonus, if that’s your thing. We enjoyed it two ways: it’s perfect for dessert with a bit of vanilla ice cream, and excellent for breakfast alongside eggs & kale (see exhibit a).

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This cake also includes beaten egg whites – this is one of my favorite examples of baking alchemy: I love watching the egg whites go from straight liquid to soft, foamy whirls. I never get tired of it!

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On that note, I’ll keep it short and sweet today. I do hope you’re enjoying the holiday season with loved ones! Might I suggest feeding them cake? Everyone wins!

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Lemon Ricotta Cake with Pomegranate Arils

Lightly sweet, perfectly lemony-almondy – dense but not overwhelming. Gluten free and refined sugar free. Not dairy free, but I’m thinking that either non-dairy butter or coconut oil would work for a sub, and I know they make non-dairy ricotta from almond milk. So! We have options. This version does away with the glutens but obviously contains dairy. Serve wedges with a bit of ice cream for dessert, or alongside breakfast. Yield: 1 8″ or 9″ cake, depending on the pan you use (see recipe). Recipe adapted from Foolproof Living, here.

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Let’s make cake!

7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c maple syrup, divided
zest of 4 lemons
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
1.25 c (5 oz) almond flour
1 c (4 1/2 ounces) fine polenta
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/3 cup slivered almonds, optional for garnish
pomegranate arils – I used one full pomegranate

Preheat the oven to 325, and either use an 8″ springform pan OR do like I did and use a 9″ cake pan, well greased and lined with parchment paper so that you can lift the cake out onto a cooling rack easily (see photo for reference).

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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. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and top with almonds, if using. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. 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.

Garnish with pomegranate arils before serving! 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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