Tag Archives: Baking

Lauren: Orange Cinnamon Rolls

photo (4)Happy holidays friends! Welcome back to Cooking with Copy. It’s been getting quite festive around here lately between the sparkly tree, the music, and the three kinds of cookie dough chilling in the fridge. Sending care packages and buying washi tape have become my new hobbies, and sugar may as well be the base of the food pyramid.

No matter! We’re here to talk about more important things, like what you’re going to serve to overnight guests on Christmas morning. Or to yourself tomorrow morning. Or right now.

See, every overnight at grandma’s house in Indiana ends the same way: with Pillsbury orange cinnamon rolls served on her white mellamine dishes with the green trim, right before loading up the car and heading home. The rolls don’t exist outside of grandma’s house.

Then I watched Joy the Baker’s episode of, “Bonkers Awesome,” featuring The Pioneer Woman, and the world stood still. These were happening—with or without a trip to the Hoosier state.

The moment Joy posted the recipe, the countdown till Project Bun was in the oven (and the end of the workday), began. Having never made a yeasted item in my life—besides that one accidental-and-regrettable Jamie Oliver-fried-pizza-dough situation all those years ago, for which I am still appologizing—the long recipe, complete with dough rising and resting times, seemed ominous.

Orange cinnamon rollsThe truth is, I’m a lazy baker. This explains why cookies spew from my house at such an alarming rate. Yet even I managed to pull through for these. They’re so good, it’s stupid.

Adapted from Joy the Baker’s Bonkers Awesome Pistachio, Orange, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Notes:

  • I like mine on the simpler side, but let me know how it goes if you add the pistachios and dark chocolate.
  • This dough is stubborn and took nearly three hours to rise, so fear not if yours isn’t perfectly pillowy after one.
  • If you have a dishwasher, run it once through with the dirty dishes from dough mixing, while the dough does its preliminary rise in a warm place in the kitchen. Once the cycle is finished, unload the dishes and place the covered pot of dough into the now warm-and-empty dishwasher, and close the door. Leave the dough there until it has achieved the desired fluffiness.
  • After the three-hour dough ordeal it was time for bed, so I popped it into the fridge overnight. The rolls still baked perfectly the next morning.
  • Go crazy with the orange zest! I’d recomment zesting two oranges—doubling the amount Joy calls for. In keeping, feel free to layer on the cinnamon and sugar; the more, the better.
  • Baking the rolls in a round pan (which was probably too small) left raw dough in the center of the pan and required much more baking time than the square Pyrex dish. Use the latter if possible.
  • Add 3 (or more tablespoons) of orange juice to the glaze. Just do it.
  • Rolls can be enjoyed equally whether eaten layer by layer, or as one giant blob.
  • Bonus: You will have a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice thanks to the leftover juice from the glaze.

photo (3)They are the perfect way to thank grandma for all the cinnamon rolls she’s made for you over the years. Happy baking!

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Lauren: Linda’s Lemon Drizzle Cake

lemoncakewhole

I couldn’t cut into this cake because it was a gift, but look at the photo below to see the bright yellow interior.

Who likes Costco? MEMEME!!! Well sort of. Walking through the aisles and sneaking all sorts of delicious samples and Lululemon-esque yoga pants for $25 is great. But who needs a year’s supply of fruit snacks (my mother)? Or Cheerios (won’t they go stale?) Or lemons? Buying produce or dairy in bulk makes no sense to me unless you’re throwing a party. But that didn’t stop my mom from buying a bag containing enough lemons to last Martha a month (and that’s saying a lot).

I assumed this bag of lemons would simply waste away into little white shrivels since we’d never use that many before they went bad, but I was wrong. So wrong. In fact I personally used up the entire contents in three days. And it was all because of a recipe I found in a magazine.

While I’m not sure that I’ve ever read an issue of Town & Country, the April 2013 cover featured Allison Williams and, as the huge “Girls” fan that I am, that was that. Next thing I knew I’d paid for it, read the issue, and was zesting six lemons in the kitchen at 10 p.m.

The recipe is called Linda’s Lemon Drizzle Cake but I’ve renamed it the Lemony Snicket Cake because you can’t say the word lemony without me thinking of my beloved Mr. Snicket (and I’m not kidding, I was OBSESSED with these books and in fifth grade dressed as Violet Baudelaire for Halloween).

The cake is really easy to make, is doused in the most deliciously sweet-tart glaze EVER, and makes your kitchen smell like a dream. Even my niece was into it. What you don’t see: how she then reached out to grab some and had to be restrained. Not unlike me…

Anyway, are you ready for this recipe? Here we go!

Linda’s Lemon Drizzle Cake (or the Lemony Snicket Cake)—slightly adapted from the April 2013 issue of Town & Country magazine

Serves 6 (which means you get a rather large slice, SCORE!)

Ingredients:

  • Flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup superfine (granulated) sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or light spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • a toothpick

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter and flour a 9-inch nonstick loaf pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and superfine sugar together with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the eggs and mix until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest, flour, and baking powder, and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and mix well again. Then beat in the milk.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, mix the remaining lemon juice and the confectioner’s sugar together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, preferably one with a pour spout, to make the glaze.
  5. When it’s ready, take the cake out of the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then turn it out onto a plate WITH A LIP/RIM. Otherwise the glaze will run off of the plate and all over the countertop, floor, etc. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thin skewer/toothpick. Spoon/pour the lemon glaze carefully and evenly all over the cake until all of it is absorbed. It may look as though your cake is sitting in a puddle but give it a few hours and it’ll soak up all of that sweet and tart glaze.
  6. EAT!!!

Lemons are bright and sour and, essentially summer in fruit form. If you too like citrusy, not-too-sweet desserts that can be eaten at any time of day, then please, go to Costco and buy yourself an economy sized bag of lemons to make this cake. I promise, this is all you’ll have left:

The first cake that I made for my family, one day after I baked it.

The first cake that I made for my family, one day after I baked it.

Lemony Snicket Cake would also make a delightful Mother’s Day breakfast, not unlike these Valrhona Dark Chocolate and Orange Buttermilk Scones. Just saying.

Until next time, happy Mother’s Day!

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Lauren: Cornbread four ways

From left to right: Joy the Baker's cornbread, grandma's buttermilk cornbread, Martha Stewart's buttermilk cornbread

From left to right: Joy the Baker’s cornbread, grandma’s buttermilk cornbread, Martha Stewart’s buttermilk cornbread

No, that’s not a typo. I did spend last weekend making four kinds of cornbread, the first one just wasn’t good enough to be photographed. The recipe requirements for this trial were that what I made needed to be cornbread, include buttermilk, and preferably, not be sweet. Let’s just say I changed my tune as the baking went on. And on and on and on.

The impulse struck on Friday when I could no longer resist the siren song of Matthew Amster-Burton’s recipe from Spilled Milk. I wasn’t in the mood for any sticky, gluey, muffin-like corn business and it was an exciting prospect to, for the first time, try a true, totally-savory, Southern-style cornbread with absolutely zero sugar or flour. The recipe called for an 8 in. skillet and silly me, I thought the fact that mine was about 10 in. wouldn’t matter. Yeah, no. Instead of thick and substantial, the finished product was thin, about a centimeter tall—more of a corn cracker than bread—and extremely bitter. Straight into the trash it went, sans photo. One plus for the recipe: you preheat the skillet (with oil in it) in the preheating oven, and when you pour the batter into the skillet it sizzles and starts cooking IMMEDIATELY. Not shocking. Nonetheless, my inner second grader found it exciting to behold.

Up next, the second trial and the palest of the bunch: Martha Stewart’s buttermilk cornbread. While better than contender one, due to the addition of 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of flour, this bread was still pretty dry and not something I’d repeat after discovering breads three and four.

For the third recipe I trusted my first instincts, ignored up until that point, and went with the classic, moist and just-sweet-enough, grandma’s buttermilk cornbread from allrecipes.com which has an impressive 3,305 reviews, most of which are five-star. It was quite good, looked and tasted like the iconic cornbread with its golden color, and was the closest to the cornbread of my dreams I’ve found yet. We polished off about half the recipe. They’re especially delightful with butter.

Joy the Baker’s brown butter rosemary orange cornbread was the gold medalist of the Cornbread Taste Test of 2013. Fourth time was a charm (and my second time making this recipe) and only the three pieces in this photo avoided consumption (as in being eaten, not getting TB) and that was only because I hid them for photo purposes. The difference, and probably unfair advantage of this recipe? The additions of 1/3 cup of sugar, orange juice, orange zest, fresh rosemary, and browned butter which make this baby a star. The other secret: using instant polenta instead of cornmeal! The polenta I used was much finer and easier to chew than the cornmeal in the other three recipes.

From top to bottom: Joy the Baker's cornbread, grandma's buttermilk cornbread, Martha Stewart's buttermilk cornbread

From top to bottom: Joy the Baker’s cornbread, grandma’s buttermilk cornbread, Martha Stewart’s buttermilk cornbread

Well, I’m over cornbread now for at least the next year, so until next week I’m going to roll to bed. Enjoy your heat wave/ice storm/snow/tornado, and have a great weekend!

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Caro: Almond-Crusted Chicken Breasts

***I’m catching up on old posts! This was my intended contribution to almond week.***

Hello, and welcome to the easiest meal ever. Like… started and served in less than 20 minutes. Simple as can be, and so good that I ate it for four days in a row and still craved more. Season some chicken, food-process almonds, garlic, and olive oil, top the chicken breasts with the resulting savory almond crumble, and bake. Dinnertime!

almond-crusted chicken breasts

This chicken is so fuss-free and foolproof that it seems wrong to spend an entire blog post talking about it. So I’m going to talk about other things instead. Humor me.

1. I have a huge crush on Kid Cudi (even when he’s wearing a Hendrix wig).

2. Have you heard of this project called You Are My Wild? Every week, 14 photographers each take a picture of their child(ren), and the resulting images are gathered and posted to the project’s page. It’s suuuch a moving project… the collections of photos are gorgeous, and it’s fascinating to see how the different photographers choose to capture their little ones. Go ahead, look through some of the shots. Isn’t it kind of amazing, how much of a kid’s spirit can come through in just one picture?! It makes me want to develop photography skills just so I can have kids and take pictures like this of them.

3. I’ll probably fall in love with all 14 of the YAMW photographers as I check ’em out, but for now I’m already head over heels for Shelby Brakken. I like the travel section of her website, but it’s her photographs of people that totally sparkle. Oh my gosh. They’re inspired and bursting with the kind of beauty and emotion and personality and LIFE that photography should be about all the time. Stunning!!! I want to print these pictures and show them to everybody and hug all the people in my life for their uniqueness. I think I’m crazy.

4. If you know me, you know my love for sequins knows no bounds… so why will I never be able to afford these two dresses? And why will I never have an occasion that requires a floor-length sequin-covered gown? Sighhh.

5. Mika, who’s made top 3 in my list of favorite people of all time, teamed up with director Cristián Jiménez to create a short film in place of a typical music video for his song “Origin of Love.” It’s one of those songs that just feels so big and anthemic, but not in a cheesy, “Imagine Dragons” kind of way—Jiménez says “it almost feels like you can touch [the song]”—and I really didn’t think it could get any better, but the film brings it to life, and vice versa, and it’s just super beautiful. I keep watching it and getting teary-eyed, right at the bridge of the song. It’s love! I don’t know if this couple is in love in real life, but I 100% believe they are. Gah. Go watch it!

6. EASTER CANDY is in stores! And Easter is about to pass us by, which means Easter candy is about to go ON SALE!!! Sorry in advance, pants. It’s gonna be restrictive-waistband-free clothing up in here for a while.

That was fun! Now back to the chicken. I love this because you don’t have to worry about over-browning or burning one side of the chicken on a temperamental skillet. Just pop it into the oven, and come back to flawlessly cooked chicken in 15 minutes. (There’s an audience of people yelling “Set it, and forget it!” in my head.) I also love this because oven-baked chicken has always failed me in the past… dry and odd in texture. But this one bakes up so perfectly juicy, it’s insane! I think the almond topping must seal in the juices somehow. I also love love love the crunch of the almonds coupled with the chicken… texture party!

almond-crusted chicken breasts

Serve it alongside rice or veggies, or be like me and serve it with mac and cheese. Any way, it’s one of my favorite new weeknight dinners. Make it one of yours!

Click here for the recipe!

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Lauren: Cheese Crack(ers)

cheesestarsI beamed down from the planet Cheese. Seriously. During my junior year of college I nearly subsisted on wedges of Laughing Cow Light Cheese alone. Well those and salads, but come on, we all know salad is just an excuse for cheese. I feel similarly about my daily egg whites. What fun are they without shredded mozzarella? Most recently I’ve embraced eating Granny Smith apples with a few bits of cheddar. You could say cheese is my crack.

It makes sense then that from the moment Molly Yeh posted about her homemade sriracha gouda cheese-its, I needed them. My random interest in crackers was slow to catch fire as you might imagine as they are arguably the world’s most boring food. First I read about Joy’s sharp cheddar cheese (and chili cheese) crackers, then Molly Wizenberg’s oatcakes. And by the time Molly Yeh posted about her cheese-its, which feature my all-time favorite—SMOKED GOUDA—my cracker-love was blazing.

I made three different kinds of cheese crackers last week. Yeh’s, and both of Joy’s. This crunchy kitchen showdown yielded one reigning champ—a hybrid. It mixes many of the ingredients in Joy’s chili cheese crackers with Yeh’s dough base and baking times.

Ready to cook some crack?

Chili Cheese Crackers

Ingredients:

4 tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature

8 oz. cheddar cheese (I used a 2 year aged block of yellow cheddar)

1 cup all purpose flour whisked with:

  • around 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika (smoked if you have it, I didn’t)
  • Joy also adds ancho chili powder but I didn’t have any
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

Recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to bake at 350 degrees and place rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Throw all ingredients into an Oscar or other small-ish food processor and mix until it comes together into a dough. You can also mix the dough with a pastry knife if you’re feeling old school or don’t have access to a food processor. It’s just more annoying.
  3. Put a piece of parchment paper down on a flat surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the ball of dough until it’s 1/8 in. thick.
  4. Break out the cookie cutters! I made mini moons, tiny hearts, and small stars. You could also use a pizza cutter à la Molly and make simple rectangles. Collect the scraps and repeat until you’ve used all the dough.
  5. Arrange the cut crackers on the parchment atop a cookie sheet. The crackers don’t expand much in the oven so feel free to use every inch of the parchment.
  6. Bake the crackers in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes. Err on the side of over-baking. They get crunchier the longer they’re in the oven. Until they turn black. Then you’ve probably overdone it.
  7. They get a little greasy since you are melting cheese and butter after all, so I immediately placed the crackers in a single layer on a paper towel after removing them from the oven but this is optional.
  8. Just try to stop eating them.

cheesecrackers2If you’re at all spice-phobic these are your gateway drug. Despite what sounds like an ample amount of hot stuff present, the crackers are quite subtle and the intense cheesiness is what really comes through. The spices just give the crackers a nice toasty flavor. I swear this tastes like the actual recipe for Goldfish.

Until next week, farewell from the land of fromage!

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Lauren: Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

red velvet cheesecake brownieThe day of red and pink is here at last! Valentine’s Day!

A few weeks ago I tested this recipe from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen for red velvet cheesecake brownies and they changed my life. If you decide to plunge into this dreamworld of butter, sugar, chocolate, and cream cheese, then please follow these tips to achieve brownie bliss.

Whichever kind/percentage of chocolate you use (since the recipe simply calls for “dark chocolate,” (wow, thanks for those ultra specific directions), make sure the bar is something you’d be happy to eat in bar form as the chocolate is the star of the recipe. I made these brownies two times, the first with an organic cream cheese and the second with Philadelphia cream cheese. While the organic version looked like a curdled mess in the mixer, it retained more flavor and was a tangier counter to the chocolatey sweetness than the Philly version. The first bars also received rave reviews and Susan, my resident taste-tester, said, “Lauren, these might actually be one of the best things I have ever eaten.” But you know, take your pick.

Note too that these are FUDGY with a capital F. I had to cook them for several extra minutes (around 10) to achieve even the slightly brown edge described in the recipe due to their intense moisture (sorry!). They are totally worth it though and the recipe is low maintenance and comes together in a hurry—two mega pluses. They do well kept in tupperware in the refrigerator once they’ve cooled since they’re topped with cream cheese, but do let them stand at room temperature for around 10 minutes before serving so that you’ll really be able to taste their flavor.

These decadent bars are the perfect dessert for you, or you + others. You know what, these should only be baked in the event that you’ll serve them to a large group of people or else be prepared to eat the whole pan (which I DO NOT RECOMMEND!).

Some other recipes I considered before settling on this one:

Now go bake with your boo(s)/family/friends/furry companion and share the love that is these brownies. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Caro: Banana-Nut Muffins… with Spinach

Umm, you guys… I did something weird. I mean, I do strange things all the time, like put my jeans in the dryer on high heat intentionally, but this was especially strange, even for me.

banana-nut muffins with spinach

Yeah. I put spinach and banana together in a muffin.

In my defense, though, I wasn’t the first or only person to think about doing this. Sometimes, my mind puts together some pretty unusual combinations of ingredients… but, in every case so far, a Google search has proved that someone else has put those ingredients together before in one form or another. So when I Googled “spinach and banana recipes,” I wasn’t surprised (okay, maybe I was, a little bit…) when I found a whole bunch of recipes for muffins containing both the leafy green and the super-sweet fruit.

Why was I Googling spinach and banana in the first place? Hmm. Well, I had big plans for spinach week… I was thinking of fancy frittatas, or spiffed-up-with-spinach grilled cheese sandwiches, or maybe spinach chips (like kale chips, but probably better, since spinach is amazing, and kale, for some reason, kind of freaks me out).

But it’s busy season at work (11- and sometimes 12-hour days!), and I really only have time to make one legit thing each week. And I had bananas on the counter that were seriously on their way out… so I already had plans to make banana nut muffins when spinach week came around. Aaand… I was not about to cancel those plans in favor of some spinach-dominated health food. So instead, I thought, “Is there any way I can put the spinach and banana together, and make something wonderful?”

Enter spinach-speckled banana-nut muffins.

banana-nut muffins with spinach

It’s pretty hard to explain the appeal of these… It’s weird, because I actually liked them, a lot, and I would definitely make them again, but NOT to replace a straight-up banana muffin. Almost every blogger that posted a recipe for spinach and banana muffins had the same claim… “I promise, you won’t taste the spinach! These taste EXACTLY like an indulgent awesome dessert banana muffin!” Well, imma burst some bubbles here: They don’t taste like an indulgent awesome dessert banana muffin. I don’t know if my spinach was especially flavorful, or if perhaps I was a little heavy-handed in my measuring out of said spinach… but I could definitely taste it in the muffin. Funny thing, though, is that I thought that was good!

I’ll apologize for being so bad at describing what the spinach adds to these guys… they just taste like a slightly… greener muffin? Yeah, I don’t know. All I know is they made a yummy breakfast for the four days they lasted. (Relax; there were only six muffins in the batch.)

Oh, and to burst one more bubble: Don’t make these thinking they’re “healthy” ’cause they have spinach in them… at least not as I made them. Really, they’re just muffins… normal, sugar-laden, sweet, and dense muffins. Everyone’s all like, “It’s so great to sneak greens into your baked goods!” But you’re getting, what, a fraction of an ounce of spinach per muffin? Negligible nutritional value. Sorry 😥 !

So. Best thing ever? Nope. Unique recipe worth trying? I sure think so. If you like both spinach and bananas, give these a shot!

Click here for the recipe!

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Lauren: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

chocolatemintcookiesfinalChocolate and mint are our guests of honor this week. They’re a winning pair, a total classic, a sophisticated gem of a couple. And yet, I wasn’t that excited. This is probably because mint chips, those green chocolate chip look alikes, taste weird and kind of freak me out and because really, how could any chocolate-mint creation top the Thin Mint?

It’s difficult to be sure, and while these cookies do not outshine my Girl Scout cookies of yore, they are pretty awesome. They come from Joy the Baker and they do not disappoint. Perfectly fitting for a week filled with freezing, snowy days, these cookies are a little chilly and a lot chocolatey. Like A LOT. The best tip I have is to use my new favorite thing: Guittard Chocolate Chips (available at The Fresh Market and on Amazon). A thousand times better than anything by Ghirardelli or Nestlé, and so delicious I dare you not to eat them right out of the bag. If I can help it, I will never use anything else.

As per usual Joy writes a clear recipe but do beware of too much mint. Take only slight advantage of the surface tension of the measuring spoon and your cookies may veer a little closer to toothpaste-y than to something you want to intentionally ingest. Make sure to follow the baking time exactly too and you’ll have the perfect chewy-yet-not-undercooked cookie consistency, the one for which people eternally quest. I loved using only milk chocolate chips for this recipe but Joy uses a combination of chips, it could be delicious with dark chocolate too. Try it, let me know!

MAKE ME!

Joy’s recipe won because a) I’m lazy, and b) I had all the ingredients in my house. In a more ambitious mood these Chocolate Mint Wafer (sandwiches) from Martha Stewart would have won in a second.

Now get outside and play in the snow!

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Lauren: Caramelized-sesame chickpeas

sesamechickpeasIT’S CHICKPEA WEEK!!! How psyched are you? Yeah, for serious, cannot contain my excitement. Caro and I have been planning chickpea week, oh, since before this blog was even on our radar. We even have a DANCE about chickpeas for Pete’s sake! Don’t ask, just go with me here.

While I admit to having spent the past 15 minutes chipping garbanzo shrapnel off my pan and into every corner of the kitchen, I still implore you—MAKE THESE! There are sesame seeds and chickpeas, there is honey, they’re gluten free, they’re almost totally low-carb acceptable, they’re a little bit asian, they’re sweet without added sugar—they’re golden.

Let me explain how I found these little bits of magic.

Pinterest has been a regular haunt of mine lately and I have been “pinning” and “liking” up a storm. Everyone knows/thinks I like desserts but the thing is, I really kind of don’t. When I was little I was always one for cheese puffs over donut holes; I’d take savory over sweet any day. Now that I’m older, it seems to be happening again. Last weekend I went to St. louis, and for the first time frequented my favorite cupcake shop, and didn’t end up eating a single cupcake! I didn’t even want to eat them. I just kind of wanted to hoard them and look at them and maybe take the occasional sniff. But I had zero desire to eat them. WEIRD.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this recipe on Pinterest last week without even searching for chickpeas! It keeps with my effort to chill on the carbs since chickpeas, olive oil, and salt are totally ok (honey is another story but since most of it ends up burnt to the bottom of the pan anyway, I’m going to ignore it), it’s gluten-free (something I sometimes experiment with) and it has protein to keep you full—with some crunch! Nearly every salty snack that exists is packed with crap no one needs, so this is an ideal option. It’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s crunchy—just do it. DO IT! Just don’t eat them all at once (this is more of a note to myself) because about 1/4 cup of fully-hydrated chickpeas is one serving and they’re kind of high in calories for such a small amount.

sesamechickpeas2Anyway, are you ready for the deliciousness? Here we go.

The recipe came from the blog With Style and Grace. Aaand now (that I’ve just revisited the page) I see what would have saved me from the whole 15-minute chickpea-mining experience that just took place. PARCHMENT PAPER! Or a Silpat. The recipe is pretty self explanatory and easy-to-follow but there are a few notes besides the addition of my best friend, parchment paper.

  • Don’t burn your chickpeas. Once they’ve been roasting for around 25 minutes start watching them to ensure that they don’t shrivel into small bits of coal. The same goes for watching them during their second round in the oven after they’ve been covered in honey.
  • “Stirring” the chickpeas in the pan once they’ve been coated is nearly impossible. Try banging the sheet against the oven rack to free some of the peas, otherwise just ignore that part of the recipe—they turn out fine.
  • When the honey-ed chickpeas are finished, remove them from the pan IMMEDIATELY, or prepare to spend your afternoon as the archaeologist you never wanted to be.
  • The group of peas will fuse into one mass if placed in a bowl but fear not—lift the ball a few inches above where it sits in the bowl and just let it fall. It will break into smaller pieces. Repeat.
  • Know that if you do end up with a big, cement-like expanse of cooked honey on your sheet (if for instance you cook sans parchment paper and directly on the metal) simply run hot water over it instead of fighting it with a scrubby brush and dish soap, as it will dissolve in moments without any work!

Go. Make these now. Your 4 p.m. hunger will thank you.

For another gluten-free, lacy treat, check out these vegan florentines which look incredible.

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Lauren: Maple, white chocolate, and cherry oatmeal cookies

oatmeal-cherry-maplecookies

Happy New Year! In honor of winter/a year ending in 13/my sister’s surgery/it being Tuesday, I made cookies. This should surprise exactly no one. In case it’s difficult to figure out the ingredient of the week with my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink post title, it’s oats! The theme was chosen with this recipe in mind. I realize this might seem weird. Oats? How boring can we be? Answer: pretty boring. Do I even like white chocolate? No. What about real-deal maple syrup? Negative. Cherries? Chyeah I could eat a whole bag! Buuut in with all this other stuff? Skeptical. They looked so perfectly golden and chewy on Joy’s website though that I just couldn’t resist! They had to be made!

Now, baking is most fun when there is someone around to feed or there is an event for which to prepare food. Christmas was a prime example. I must have made and gifted these Valrhona dark chocolate and orange buttermilk scones 15 times. Every single time the recipient demanded the recipe; if only I could take credit for it! Anyway that whole exercise only fueled my newfound love of the Joy the Baker blog and cookbook…her podcast is another story entirely. Translation: I’ve been checking her blog with the ferocity of a crack addict hoping for inspiration for my latest food project.

Well last week that certainly happened. My sister, Meredith slept over at our house the night before her surgery. An extra house guest and a new recipe from Joy? “What a coincidence,” I thought, “I’ll bake!” This recipe made SO MANY COOKIES. Holy moly I could have fed a small nation. Instead of solving hunger in Papua New Guinea, we had a dinner of cookies while watching The Magic of Belle Isle (totally random but cute) and attempted to stuff Meredith with as many cookies as possible prior her midnight pre-surgery eating and drinking cut-off.

These dreamy wheels of oatmeal and maple were a big hit with my family, my dad’s coworkers, and my friends. Confession: I’ve actually made them twice in the span of 11 days. Yep I’m an addict.

Recipe: Joy the Baker’s Maple, White Chocolate and Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Notes:

  • No one was a fan of white chocolate at the outset so I inserted just a few shards of it into a couple dough balls prior to baking. After baking, my nay-saying family remarked that they actually liked the white chocolate and that it acted almost like goat cheese-a savory balance to the sweet.
  • I thought the cinnamon was the delightful aroma radiating from the cookies but Meredith and my mom thought it was the maple that really shone through. Whatever it was, the scent of this cookie acted like smell-fingers in a cartoon pulling in anyone within a 10 ft. radius. So good. But if you made any sugar/dessert/health-related resolutions DO NOT MAKE THIS RECIPE! You’ll end up having cookies for dinner. Several. nights. in a row.
  • The dough didn’t turn golden until they’d been in the oven—and my oven overheats—for around 13 minutes, I have no idea how Joy’s were ready after 10.
  • I’d use a cup or more of cherries instead of Joy’s 3/4 cup because their tartness and chew provide a nice counterpoint to the sugary, crumbly base. And if you’re wondering why you don’t see chocolate peeking out of my cookie stack, it’s because the second time I made these I left the chocolate out entirely. It was not missed.
  • These are super easy and are great for feeding a large group since one recipe yields 2+ dozen cookies.

Ok I’m going to resume stalking Joy’s blog now. Happy 2013 and welcome back to the Copy Kitchens, we’re so excited you’re here!

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