"While your desire for romance is on the low side, those who are most likely to win you over are sensitive, cooperative, caring types who wouldn't bat an eye if you demanded their dessert to fulfill your progesterone-fueled food cravings." IE: GIVE ME ALL YOUR COOKIES!!
If there's one silver lining to social distancing, it's a very stripped-back, honest look at time and fulfillment. How often do I turn to Netflix aimlessly? How often do I pick up my phone to fill a void of companionship? How could I fill my life with more joyful creation... and more cookies!
This “everything cookie” is my solution to analysis paralysis. It’s all three of the classic flavors in one cookie, with an added buckwheat crunch. Now, you don’t have to choose, and you can also feel good about eating this cookie as it’s lightly sweetened and high in fiber and protein.
Adapted somewhat by pantry necessity and by a grainy curiosity from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. The original recipe comes from Avery Ruzicka, the baker behind Manresa Bread in California, and the result is a recipe with careful and precise instructions that yields the most fragrant, gooey cookies. I'm not one for superlatives in blogging & baking, but these are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made!
Whenever I plan gatherings, I choose to invest more time in one (or at least I *try* to invest in only one) menu item. This winter, I had been craving the flavors and simple beauty of Whole Grain Linzer Cookies, or Helle Linzer Plaetzchen if you fancy the German title. Named for the Austrian Linzer Torte, a latticed pastry with jam filling, these buttery shortbread cookies and peeks of jam feel like little ornaments. In the vein of European traditions, I chose a Swedish lingonberry jam for a burst of red filling (and because I dream of participating in a St. Lucia celebration someday!).
You could think of this whole grain Gingerbread Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Gingerbread Twigs as too involved, or you could think of it as an excuse to spend a day in the kitchen, mull some wine, sip said wine, light the pine-scented candles and embrace the winter spirit.
I was beginning to think Christmas tree farms were a thing of Hallmark, Hallmark movies or quaint New England towns that feel like Hallmark come to life (or better yet, scenes from "Christmas Vacation"). But thanks to my friend Theresa, I discovered Christmas tree farms do in fact exist, and more importantly, one does in fact exist nearby(ish)!
The simplicity of these no-bake treats makes them an easy, sweet indulgence for a weekend away from a full kitchen arsenal. The simplicity also makes them a healthy option for those times when the ol' sweet tooth is calling. They're a near instant gratification without the guilt, and they're not a far cry from those raw cookie dough bites stolen when Mom wasn't looking.