the funfetti cookie.

this sounds ridiculous, but one of the things i really miss about san francisco is the ability to order the confetti cookie on demand from doughbies. thus, i’ve been on the hunt for a good at home recipe. i adapted this one a bit and i’ll likely mess with the recipe a little more. these are just slightly crispy, but light and sugary and go down way too easily.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
7 tbsp sprinkles (roughly — add more or less if you’d like)

cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add eggs and vanilla extract. mix well. in a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sprinkles. gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, until just combined. cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. scoop into 2 Tbsp-sized balls and place at least 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. bake for 12 minutes, or until barely brown around the edges.

cool + enjoy.

cream cheese chocolate chip cookies.

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i made these morsels for the first time in a LONG time yesterday and they are tastier than ever. my mom made them for us growing up and they are still one of my favorite cookie recipes. small adjustment to the ingredients (no shortening this time), so i thought i would repost for inquiring minds.

2 cups butter
8 oz. regular cream cheese
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
4 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
12 oz. chocolate chips (*i used half dark chocolate, half white chocolate for this batch)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

preheat oven to °350. beat together softened butter, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. just until smooth. slowly mix in flour and salt. then fold in chocolate chips and nuts. spoon into 1″ balls, on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until just browned around the edges.

sour cream blueberry muffins.

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i’m a sucker for a hearty blueberry muffin. i used to work at a cafe in new zealand and we made fresh muffins from scratch every morning. our chef used yogurt in her variations to keep them nice and moist. it was hard to stay away from them fresh out of the oven with a nice flat white.

i modified a few recipes from the joy of cooking for this batch. if you like to experiment, the joy of cooking is a great resource. next time, i think i’ll add some kind of sugary crumb topping…

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups blueberries

preheat oven to 400°. grease muffin tray or use paper liners. mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. set aside. in a separate bowl beat eggs, then stir in butter, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. add wet and dry ingredients, careful not to over mix. fold in blueberries.

spoon into muffin tray, filling all the way to the top for jumbo muffins. bake for 15-20 minutes. cool for 2-3 minutes in tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate chocolate chocolate.


i was in the mood for chocolate last week. i have also come to the realization that all cookies (and chocolate, for that matter) should be sprinkled with sea salt. thus, i tested out these little morsels. after taking them over to J&J’s for dinner, they received a unanimous YES.

and in case you were wondering, they are even better dipped in coffee. chocolate cookies count as breakfast, right?


double chocolate sea salt cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
course sea salt (for sprinkling)
1/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup dark chocolate wafers (like these)

preheat oven to 350.

cream together butter and both sugars, then add egg and vanilla. dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and stir that in, along with the cocoa powder and salt. stir in flour and chocolate wafers. roll into 1″ balls, slightly flattened and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. sprinkle with course sea salt. bake for 10 minutes.

cool + enjoy!

*very slightly adapted from sweet french toast.



mushroom asparagus soup.


looking for something light and springy to fix for friends last weekend, i stirred up an impromptu mushroom asparagus soup with rice and sage. it’s a little early for asparagus, but i went for it anyway.

like most things i cook, there’s no exact recipe to follow. start with butter and onions, add salt, pepper, a little fresh sage and a pinch of dried thyme. once the onions are soft, add about 1/2 cup of dry white wine and let simmer until it’s nearly gone. then add stock, water and as many veggies as you’d like, until it looks about like soup should look. i added a bunch more sage at the end, as well as brown rice (since we were eating this as a light main dish, i wanted something to increase the heartiness).




smeyski salsa.

i learned how to make salsa by watching MS in the kitchen. my variations are different than his, though equally tasty. i love that it’s never quite the same. i throw the following together in a big bowl: tomatoes, a mix of peppers (bells and their spicier cousins), red onion, lots and lots and lots of cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper.

not all of it will fit in a food processor, so blend together in smaller batches. add more salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.


dark chocolate sour cherry sea salt cookies.

i can’t take credit for (what i think to be) the best cookies ever. GC recreated this recipe from metropolitan bakery in philadelphia. get all the deets on her fantastic blog, tastes and tales from the kitchen.

my version made an appearance at a tea time earlier this week, balanced out with a few fresh berries. a few people asked about the “flat” chocolate. for this batch, i used e. guittard 72% bittersweet chocolate wafers. the thinness of the wafers makes for wide chocolate craters throughout the cookies.


best wedding “cake” ever.

LL (formerly LY) loves rice krispie treats. when she and NL started planning their wedding, it was a total no-brainer to have a rice krispie treat CAKE! unique and fantastic, just like the happy couple.

who could create such a masterpiece? oh, don’t worry. JML. all over it. for months, she stirred up trial runs, getting her proportions just right.

in order to make the layers the exact size she wanted, she had particle board cut at the hardware store, taped the corners and wrapped all three layer molds in aluminium foil (rice krispie treats don’t go in the oven – score).

you can imagine that a three layer rice krispie treat takes a LOT of rice krispies and a LOT of marshmallows. JML’s pantry was stocked with value boxes.

thankfully, she had her sous chef to help out on the big day.

the calculations were precise (mathematician seen below) and the mixing “bowls” large enough for the challenge. the bottom layer had 100 cups of rice krispies and 70 cups of marshmellows. (note to mothers everywhere: if your son is getting married, don’t worry about going to the gym to tone before the wedding. just make an enormous rice krispie treat and the shear effort of stirring the ingredients is as good as 6 months working out with a trainer).

after packing and cooling, the stacked layers were covered in plastic wrap for the night.

come morning, we loaded the masterpiece in the car to transport to the venue (very, very carefully). the pastry chefs were seriously impressed. JML gave them some tips.

the end result? amazing.

congrats, LL & NL!


spiced sugar cookies.

ah, the holidays (i.e. BAKING-days in my universe).

these post thanksgiving treats will go splendidly with a cup of coffee. they aren’t super sweet, but the fall spices give this basic sugar cookie a little something extra. recipe from real simple magazine.

spiced sugar cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cup flour

beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. then beat in egg, vanilla, salt and spices. gradually add the flour, until just combined. refrigerate for at least 2 hours. heat oven to 350f. on a floured surface roll out the dough until about 1/4 inch thick. use cookie cutters of your choice! place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. let cool on a wire rack.