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7 Jun


Rising in the oven. Yum!

Y’all, these are hands down the best cookies I ever made. Please don’t let this deter you, but they were also the first cookies I ever made. From scratch anyway, we’ve all baked that refrigerated cookie dough, and I’ve baked my fair share of cookies with my mom and her oh so wonderful electric mixer (which I can now appreciate) – but this was my first solo batch of cookies from scratch. I baked them for Nancy for her birthday, and they were so good I baked them again for my co-workers and then again for my family… in a span of 3 days. I’m so proud of these babies, and now I’m sharing them with you!

They’re called the 50/50 cookie after their 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cookie. For those of us who aren’t math whizzes, that means this cookie is 50% chocolate. Are you convinced yet? Okay, you may be considering your health right about now (it is bikini season after all) well fear not! I added a cup of rolled oats for the health buffs. That makes them healthy, right? Shhhhh…

And my biggest top secret tip to making these delicious cookies the best cookie you ever made, is to not use the regular hershey-kiss-shaped choc chips, but to use Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate CHUNKS, which are much larger block-shaped chocolate chips. (You can see them in my dough).

I got this recipe from The Tender Crumb via Broma Bakery, find the ingredients and super easy steps  

The 50/50 Cookie
Makes 24 cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 egg
*1 cup pastry flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces whole (or 1 3/4 cups chopped) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
*1 cup rolled oats 
*I added the oatmeal for imaginary health justification, you can leave these out if you wish
*I couldn’t find pastry flour, so I used 1/2 cup of cake flour and 1/2 cup of All-Purpose flour
In a large bowl, cream butter and the two sugars on medium speed using an electric mixer. Then, beat in the egg. Next, pour in the flours, salt, powder, soda, vanilla (I added the oats here) and beat until dough comes together. Using a spoon or spatula, fold in the chocolate until well blended. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours to let the dough set.*
*I couldn’t wait 12 hours for the dough to set, I baked them and ate them right away and they were still delicious. But if you have the patience or the foresight to make the dough and let it set, the texture will be even more amazing. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and there you have it, the best cookie you ever made!
May I remind you, these were the first cookies I made from scratch, so you can do it too!
And if you have any cookie recipes I must try, please let me know
xoxo Cristina



29 May

Hope you all had a lovely long weekend! Get up to anything fun? I got a bit adventurous and made bacon egg and cheese scones. I know, yum. My bloglove of course started years ago with street style blogs, but recently I can’t get enough of pretty recipes on pretty food blogs, Tastespotting in particular (anyone else love that site?). I always fall for cookies and cakes (naturally) but this recipe caught my eye with its delicious simplicity: bacon? eggs? cheese? I can do that!

And so I did.
Are you guys liking the videos? Well I’m enjoying making them so tough 😉 I found the scone recipe on the ever excellent Butter Me Up Brooklyn and the super easy whipped butter spread on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. You don’t have to make both of these together, they’re each delicious on their own (the butter spread makes my morning toast so special!). Follow the jump for the details…

Bacon Egg and Cheese Scones

Adapted from Butter Me Up Brooklyn

1 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/3 cup grated cheese (all I had was parmesan on hand, but sharp cheddar would be amazing)
4 slices bacon
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold butter, grated

Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Start cooking the bacon, and let it sizzle away while you prepare the scone dough.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, black pepper and cheese, then set aside. When the bacon is crispy, transfer to a cutting board and chop into small bits.

Whisk together two eggs (oops I did 3) with a pinch of salt and pepper, and scramble them over medium heat (I drained off the bacon fat from the pan and used it to cook the eggs). The eggs should be well cooked since they will be folded into the dough, and will look a bit drier than eggs you would serve.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture so that some chunks remain, add the in bacon, and toss with flour so that the bacon is dredged. Whisk the egg yolk into the buttermilk and incorporated into the flour mixture so that it is well combined.

Turn the dough on a floured surface and knead a few times so that it comes together. Fold in the eggs (working fast since the eggs will be warm) and when everything is combined, pat into a circle. Cut into quarters, and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve immediately.

Garlic Herb Butter Spread

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

*Makes about 2 cups of spread (the recipe is easily halved)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese and butter with a handheld mixer (or electric stand mixer) until light and fluffy and smooth. Add in the spices and herbs and mix until well combined. Serve at cool room temperature



23 Apr

High on the successes of my strawberry pie, I decided to tackle the pastry du jour, macarons. You can bake a pie, you can make a macaron, right?

Wrong. Macarons are on a WHOLE other level, and you probably already knew this. I even knew this in the back of my head but I was filled with an inflated self-confidence following my pie so this is what happened. I bought a food processor (the Ninja is a little miracle worker, I highly recommend it. Plus it has an awesome name), I also bought myself a hand mixer, almonds, almond extract, food coloring (I went with pink on the outside and lavender on the inside!). One thing I did not buy: parchment paper. Parchment paper is what will keep your macarons from sticking to the pan, so mine stuck to the pan. They were near impossible to scrape off the pan still looking cute, but here is one example of a cute one! Now, I hesitate to connect these results with a recipe, because I really did not do it justice. But as you can see from Jess’s results, the fault was in my execution and not in the recipe. I skipped the orange zest and went with a buttercream filling (instead of marmalade). I also may or may not have added an extra egg white by accident. And my version of “folding” turns out to have been ALL wrong.

But having said all of that, these macaron-alikes were DELICIOUS. They tasted just right. I’ve had fancy store-bought macarons and yunno what? These were just as good. They just didn’t have that aesthetic appeal.. which let’s be honest is 90% of the attraction with these oh-so-cute pastel-colored morsels. Possibly the cutest thing we’ve ever seen on a plate, right?  I’m gonna work on that.

Get the recipe (with my alterations) after the jump!

Gluten-free recipe courtesy of Forgiving Martha:

2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups almond flour (I used my Ninja food processor to grind the almonds into a fine powder)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. 
  2. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
  3. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
  4. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. Add zest and almond extract to the batter.  Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip. 
  6. Pipe one-inch-sized mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
  7. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F. Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
  8. Cool on a rack before filling.

See Step 4? I overfolded. But this is a fantastic recipe and while my technique could use some tweaking if I wanna make them cuter, the flavor was spot on

As I said in my last food post, (which was my first): 
If I can do it, you can do it!
xo Cristina


9 Apr
I’m trying something new today, in more ways than one! I baked my very first strawberry pie.  And I’m posting my very first recipe on the blog. I never meant for this to be a food blog, but I think of this as just one more idea to inspire beauty in your day. For example, you could eat this pie whilst wearing Dannijo, sitting on your brightly decorated patio. I’m full of ideas. Or on a sugar high.

I couldn’t decide between fresh strawberries or cooked strawberries, so I did a bit of both! Think La Madeleine meets Marie Callender meets homemade strawberry jam. I couldn’t find a recipe that satisfied my craving, so I sort of made one up! A layer of cooked strawberries on the bottom and a layer of fresh ones on top. I highly recommend devouring this with a scoop of ice cream. Or two. Or vanilla yogurt for a waist-friendly option!

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup water
Strawberries (I used two 16oz packs)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sugar

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all crust ingredients in a bowl, form a ball with the dough and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes
  3. Finely slice enough strawberries to fill a 9-inch pie tin, keep a separate bowl of strawberries to add on top at the end
  4. Add the cornstarch and sugar to strawberry filling
  5. Roll dough into a circle and place it in pie tin
  6. Fill the crust with strawberry filling
  7. Bake for 40 minutes
  8. Let cool for 15 minutes, then add fresh strawberries on top

I’ll be honest, it’s pretty finger-lickin good for my first time. If I can do it, you can too.
FUN FACT: I do not own a rolling pin. I used a wine bottle
I would love to hear your thoughts!
More recipes?
Never again?
Lemme know! xo Cristina