Category Archives: Cookies

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats for Julep’s 3rd Birthday

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
-Anatole France


Remember this wee little bean? 

Baby Julep

It feels like a mere minute ago that I was introducing my budding kitchen assistant, and yet, my fur baby is now a whopping three years old (still just as cute as every though)! 

Rhubarb Season by With The Grains 21

In yoga they teach you how to push and stretch your lungs, inching closer and closer to breathing at full capacity. Bonding with a dog is a similar exercise for the heart- all my love for this gentle, faithful, happy creature fills my heart so as to burst the very seams. And that love for her somehow trained my heart to love even more and taught me to feel an empathy for dogs in general (i.e.: most dog videos can make me sob in a matter of seconds).  

Julep and Quelcy

We’ve been through a lot in these three short years- an aggressive dog attack I thought would surely end her, an injured paw that melted my heart, a near brush with rush-hour traffic- all these incidents enforcing how important it is to cherish this playful, sweet, snuggly creature for every precious moment I have her. 

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

As that Anatole fella said, Julep truly did awaken a part of my soul. She showed me a simplicity to life- friendship and play go a long way in bringing contentment to a day. Work hard, play hard and nap harder. She made me a better neighbor and taught me to expect the best from people. I’ve also watched her brighten the days of so many folks around us. 

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

I showed my love and gratitude for my birthday girl as I often do, through baking. Whether baking for human birthdays or four-legged birthdays, I am always concerned about the quality of ingredients and if they are appropriate for the birthday boy or girl. Accordingly, this recipe is simple and completely pronounceable. 

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Reading the list of ingredients on dog foods and treats is just as confusing (if not more?) as navigating our human nutrition labels these days. With so many companies just trying to make a buck off our love for our four-legged pals, this homemade gesture goes a long way in treating our pets without unwanted fillers. Plus, you can eat them too!

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Since sharing is caring, Julep shared her birthday bones with her new best friend- Lucy Lu. After Julep’s attack, she became very aggressive toward other dogs. When our very close friend brought home this curly new addition (an Aussie Doodle), we were hoping for a bond. 

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Words can’t even express how happy I was to see them connect when we first introduced them. The framily bond continues to grow even stronger and is helping to rehabilitate Julep. There goes that heart bursting again!

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

Well behaved ladies waiting for their treats.

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats //

These homemade birthday bones are nose-licking good!

♥♥♥ Happy 3rd Birthday to Julep, my not-so little one!  ♥♥♥

Quelcy Signature

p.s: I would be remiss not to mention how The Urban Farmer adopted Julep as his own and how he added a whole new level of happiness to her sheepdog heart. Working as his farm “assistant” has made her the happiest lass on the planet!

p.p.s: As much as I love my dog and want others to feel that same joy, Julep is a BIG responsibility. Think very carefully before adding a dog to your life, especially a high-energy, intelligent sheepdog! Too many of them end up at shelters by no fault of their own. 

Coconut Flour Bacon Dog Treats 

Adapted from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
Yield: ~50 cookies using this cookie cutter

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Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches 03

Sprouted Spelt Peanut Butter Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches

“If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”

“Sandwiches” he said with gumption, as if he had played the what-if game correctly.

Sprouted Spelt Peanut Butter Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches //

My hand snapped to my hip bone, my head tilted, my eyes rolled, I leaned in, and each syllable I spoke dripped with sarcasm. “Oh, so you would choose to eat food for the rest of your life? Is that what you are telling me?”

I’m a stickler for rules when it comes to games, a weird fluke of my perfectionism that somehow doesn’t always manifest in real-life rule situations. No turning from 3pm-6pm, even if no other car is in sight? …optional…. “Narrow” down your one and only food source to “SANDWICHES?”


Sprouted Spelt Peanut Butter Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches //

In this hypothetical game of sacrifices, my roommate Dan had not sacrificed a thing. While the rest of us would be chomping on french fries or cheese until the grease or lactose did us in, he’d be converting his every inkling of a craving into sandwich form- pizza sandwiches, egg roll sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, taco sandwiches, smoked salmon sandwiches… ice cream sandwiches.

Foul, I cried, FOUL!

Sprouted Spelt Peanut Butter Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches //

Though Dan was a complete and utter cheater, he was onto something- sandwiches are awesome (I didn’t say he was onto anything profound, just something). Whoever decided to stack ingredients between layers of bread- so smart! Whoever decided to swap that bread for cookies, and fill the space with ice cream? Genius! In the spirit of my college roommate not sacrificing a damn thing in a game of sacrifice, I bring you a recipe for wholesome peanut butter cookies. They make delicious bookends for ice cream, so you can eat sandwiches for every meal!


Here’s to you Dan Cohen!

p.s: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

Sprouted Spelt Peanut Butter Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches

About This Recipe: These cookies are soft and chewy- perfect for pairing with ice cream and withstanding a bit of freeze if you prepare the sammie ahead of time. However, the truly exciting element in this recipe is the flour. I just discovered One Degree Organic Foods’ Sprouted Spelt Flour, and so far I’m hooked! I couldn’t agree more with the company’s tagline “Every ingredient has a story.” It’s more than a tagline though. Each package includes a picture of the farmer responsible for that grain. Meet my farmer, (well, not my farmer, but my flour farmerand maybe he’ll become your farmer too!

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Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies featuring @RawSpiceBar

May 2015

There is the French bakery, and then there is the French boulangerie with reflections of the Tour Eiffel in the display cases. There are tapas, and then there are tapas amidst a mob of fútbol fans. There are empanadas, and then there are empanadas made by the madres who fought for their sons’ freedom from government corruption. There are cachacas, and then there are sweet, refreshing cachaças after taking in the views of sugar loaves and an omipotent redeemer. There are chai lattes, and then there are chais from earnest workers in slums, where school girls gather to practice their English and request their photos. The blurred lines of the globe fill us with glimpses and tastes, teasing and toying with the wanderlust stirring inside those of us who feel its tug. These foods and their customs, the way they lead us to expand ourselves and later revel in nostalgia, these are the connections I explore through mixing bowls, whisks and spices.

Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies featuring @RawSpiceBar //

Spices…the colors, the textures, the scents…transport us, to places we have been and to places we have only imagined. The sealed, glass jar of turmeric at the grocery store pales in comparison to the freshly ground, bright sunflower gold of the turmeric of the market stall. The way the spices blend and transform onions, garlic, ginger and greens becomes a vehicle, and we go on a sensory journey. Proper spices are a powerful tool.

Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies featuring @RawSpiceBar //

No matter how organized a trip may be, a traveler must always leave room for the unexpected, the serendipitous discoveries- the hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the unlisted gallery, the street performer who strums better than the famed. RawSpiceBar channels surprises, journeys and flavors in one great idea: a monthly spice subscription consisting of three, global, authentic, freshly ground spice mixtures, from top chefs, along with recipes for their use. It’s an idea I wish I had conceived myself. The monthly spice package unwraps like a friend returning from a trip abroad, regaling you with souvenirs and stories, complete with a layer of patterned paper representative of that region. My first spice package revealed glimpses of Punjabi India.

Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies featuring @RawSpiceBar //

As I learned, traveling to India is a foodie’s contradiction- the most authentic recipes, and pungent plates await at the street level, but avoiding Delhi Belly requires keeping a safe distance. Most of my food associations entail an extreme consciousness of what I ate and drank, but despite the precautions, there were still plenty of immersive moments like sipping authentic chai tea and riding a beautifully adorned Indian elephant.

Indian Elephant //

As a baker, I was drawn to the Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookie recipe. I used the cookies as a way to revisit my trip to India, through intense spices and elephant shapes. India is a trip I have yet to fully process in my head or organize photographically. There are still folders and folders of images waiting to be sorted and experiences to be recalled. In more ways than one, the spice package sent me wandering.

Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies featuring @RawSpiceBar //

These cookies became an afternoon shared with friends, exploring the exotic that exists close to home and finding inspiration in the distant. More on that to come!



Whole Grain Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies featuring RawSpiceBar 

About This Recipe: RawSpiceBar updated this centuries-old Indian shortbreads cookies recipe by adding freshly ground rose buds & chai spices, yielding a peppery, sweet cookie that pairs perfectly with milky tea or coffee. Nankhatai comes from the Persian word “nan” (meaning bread) and the Afghan word “khatai” (meaning biscuit). These little shortbread cookies are said to have originated in Surat in the 16th century, when the Dutch were prominent spice trading partners with the Indians. An Iranian man ran a European style bakery here but, once the Dutch explorers left, had to adapt to low-cost sweet treats for locals. Traditional North Indian Nankhatai do not use any leavening agents but these days a small amount of baking powder and salt is added to give these cookies a lighter feel.

p.s: I received product from RawSpiceBar, but all opinions are my own!

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies

March 2015

There are times that call for impressively stacked cakes with fluffy frostings, meticulous preparation methods and elaborate settings. There are other times that call for something more spontaneous, something simple and sweet to cap off a night and satisfy a craving.

For those times, there are these cookies!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies //

Cookies can be sweet, round reminders to appreciate the simplest of pleasures. When I need to refocus on these little joys, I find it’s worth putting pen to paper, making a list and reminding myself to be grateful and content.

Slow down. Calm down. Inhale. Exhale. Bake. Share. Repeat.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies //

From pen to paper, from paper to web, from frenzies to thoughtful focus, these are the joys I jotted down recently:

Puppy sighs.
Grape hyacinths and the first scents of spring.
The faded ink of aged journal entries.
The many places a camera can take you.
Discovering humility in the midsts of great talent. 
Observing and appreciating the growth of a friendship through so many phases of life.
Loving someone so much, my heart bursts at the seams!
Staying up too late petting Julep because she curled next to me in the most precious wheel, and no matter how much I snuggle her, it’s never enough.
Baking my roundest, softest, gooiest cookies to date!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies //

Dogs and cookies. Cookies and dogs. This may be my new mantra for savoring the simple things in life!


Here’s to the chocolatey, gooey, round reminders!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies

About this Recipe: Made with Bob’s Red Mill organic whole wheat pastry flour, these cookies are so soft and chewy with big bites of cashews. I recommend a high quality, dark chocolate chip such as Guittard, which I recommend for their use of all natural, non-gmo ingredients. For the cashews, either chop them coarsely, or simply use your fingers to break them in half.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches

September 2014

A Kogel Family Value: Ice cream knows no season.

If your family raised you to limit your frozen treats to the summer months, firstly, my sympathies.  Secondly, you better make these cookies soon! Then go ahead, and find that moment in the afternoon, when the sun is still beaming, the clouds are cotton candy, the breeze is warm, and eat an ice cream sandwich like a child who ignores ice cream rules. Hell, have that ice cream sammie for breakfast if you feel so inclined! I won’t tell your parents.

Coconut Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches

I made these cookies with a certain Hawaii transplant in mind, so coconut was heavy on my brain when scheming this recipe. Said surfer-turned-farmer boy inspired my first use of coconut flour, and it worked perfectly. The cookies were soft and chewy with a faint hint of coconut. As we move into crisper, fall temperatures, these cookies would also pair well with hot chocolate, but again, ice cream is eternal love in my book.

Gluten-Free, Chocolate, Coconut Cookies (for Ice Cream Sandwiches)


1/2 pound organic semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil

3/4 cup organic coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 organic, cage-free eggs
3/4 cup organic raw cane sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pink himalayan sea salt for sprinkling

For Assembly

Organic vanilla bean ice cream
Unsweetened, shredded coconut


Melt the chocolate,butter and coconut oil together over a double boiler. Stir it occasionally until the mixture is completely smooth, then remove it from the heat and set it aside while you prepare the rest of the batter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Slowly add in the sugar, and beat until the mixture is light in color and the eggs have tripled in volume.

Stir in the vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate mixture.

Fold in the flour mixture until well combined.

The dough will be very soft, almost batter-like in texture. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes or until it’s firm enough to scoop.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and portion the cookies into heaping tablespoons.

Sprinkle each cookie with salt, and bake them for 10-12 minutes, or until their tops are puffed.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then move to a rack to cool completely.


Scoop your favorite, all-natural, ice cream onto the flat side of one cookie. Top with a second cookie. Sprinkle the exposed ice cream with shredded coconut, and enjoy!


Here’s to Ice Cream All Year Long!

Midweek Romance: Whole Wheat Rosewater Cookies

April 2014

The attentive barista placed two cold-brew coffees in front of the customer, whose mix of jet black and bright pink hair contrasted sharply with the minimalist aesthetic of the space.

“These are actually both for me,” she said, demanding shock. “This night job is killllling me.”

“Oh wow!” the barista complied. “What’s your night job?”


There was nothing but a solid, conclusive period on the end of that statement. No joke. Without hesitation or judgment, the very attentive barista replied, “that is a really tough job!”

“It is! The other night I fell off the pole!”

Rosweater Cookies and Florals

Flowers by Thommy Conroy.

Maybe you fell off a stripper pole earlier this week. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’re looking for a picker upper after a tough night on the job. Maybe you’re seeking just a little note of romance, how about a simple, delicate cookie to get you past the hump day?

Rosewater Hearts

These buttery hearts have a hint of refreshing rose in each bite. Eat them simply, or pair them with a smearing of jam, a drizzle of honey, a dunking’s worth of melted chocolate, a dollop of rosewater whipped cream (recipe below), a dusting of powdered sugar or with two cold-brew coffees. The possibilities, much like a pole routine [I imagine?], are pretty endless.

Whole Wheat Rosewater Cookies


1-3/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
2 Tablespoons organic cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) organic unsalted butter softened
1/3 cup organic confectioners’ sugar

3 Tablespoons rose water


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat butter and confectioner’s sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add rose water, and mix until combined scraping down side of bowl.

Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture; mix until just combined.

Divide dough in half, and shape into disks. Wrap each in plastic, and chill 1 hours.

On parchment, roll 1 disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness; chill 15 minutes.

Cut 1-1/2 inch rounds (or hearts) from dough, and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining disk.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until barely golden, about 14 minutes.

Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.


Rosewater Whipped Cream


1 cup organic whipping cream
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons rosewater


Chill the cream in a mixing bowl in the freezer until the cream just starts to freeze. Remove from the freezer. Add the vanilla and honey.

Use a mixer, on medium speed, to beat until peaks begin to form.

Add the rosewater, and continue to mix until combined. Keep chilled until ready to serve.


May Your Week Be Filled With Romance!

Chocolate Sables with Pistachios & Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

January 2014

Trudging. Shuffling. Slipping. Trekking.

These are synonyms for walking in Pittsburgh in the winter. Though I am still managing to appreciate the pristine effects of the snowfalls this year, I do lament the many pairs of boots and shoes that sit idly while my Sorels steal the show [best investment ever!]. If it weren’t for my playful pup, who powders her nose like a model in an L.A. party scene, I might be singing a different tune (in the tone of a snow-stained, teary, emotional breakdown).

Chocolate Sables

If your hibernation needs a little inspiration, there’s nothing quite like piling on the blankets, firing up the projector, binging on guilty pleasures and dipping a little salty, chocolaty cookie into a mug of rich hot cocoa.

Chocolate Sables Pair

Sablés, as these biscuit cookies are called, come from the French word for sandy, perhaps as a nod to their crumbly consistency. Whatever their etymological origin, may these cookies help you to endure the longest stretch of winter, and if need be, may they mentally transport you far, far away to warmer places, brighter skies and sand between your toes.

Chocolate & Pistachio Sables
adapted from Bon Appétit
makes ~8 dozen cookies


2 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) organic, unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (lightly packed) organic, dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large, organic egg white

5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt


Whisk flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix just to combine, then mix in egg white.

Fold in chocolate and pistachios.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8”-long log about 1½” in diameter, pushing dough together if it feels crumbly. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (The colder the dough, the easier it will be to slice.)

Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°.

Working with 1 log of dough at a time and using a serrated knife, cut logs into ¼”-thick rounds and transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing ½” apart.

Sprinkle cookies with sea salt and bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until set around edges and centers look dry, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Do Ahead: Cookie dough can be made 1 month ahead; freeze instead of chilling. Slice frozen logs into rounds just before baking.


Bon Appétit!

Coconut, Pistachio & Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

January 2014

I have a guilty pleasure, and it starts with, “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell … You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl.” I fought it at first. One episode into the dramatic lives of New York’s Upper Eastsiders, and I swore I had had enough. I fought it hard, but my inner gossip won. Multiple episode binges later, I’m sitting at the hairstylist’s divulging my love of Chuck Bass’s bravado, Dorota’s devotion, the brevity of “S” and “B,” and for the love of all that is sacred- those dresses and parties!!! Gossip Girl had clearly cemented itself as a guilty pleasure.


However, in that same hairstylist’s chair, I rattled off the laundry list of justifications for watching a show which quickly escalates into a teen soap opera with better lighting and locations.

1. Living vicariously stretches the imagination.
2. The show references a lot of high culture from art, to fashion, to music.
3. I dig the music featured in the show.
4. I now know what Louboutins are. Though clearly behind the curve, that acquired knowledge seems like a rite of passage. Now if only I owned a pair.
5. The actors’ names alone are quite elegant- Penn Badgley, Leighton Meester. I find different names interesting and inspiring in their own right.

If you’re going to have a guilty pleasure, might as well find a way [or five] to justify it, right?

Oatmeal and Chocolate Chunk

Tucked nicely in my collection of guilty pleasures is my belief that each day should hold a sweet indulgence. To be fair, I was reared on daily dessert offerings, and my bones were fortified with ice cream in addition to garden fresh veggies. Instilled though it was, this belief in sweets leads to its own set of justifications.

Chocolate Chunks

If I’m going to eat sweets, I might as well make them more than sweet nothings. Whole grains and oats blur the line between dessert cookie and wholesome granola bar, but chunks of chocolate satisfy the desire for a sweet indulgence.

Oatmeal Cookies Stacked

The slightly misguided moral of this blog post? Go ahead and justify your guilty pleasures.

Coconut, Pistachio & Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) + 6 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed organic brown sugar

2 organic eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional

3 cups organic rolled oats
1 cup organic semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup roasted pistachios
1 cup unsweetened, coconut flakes


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, then add to the butter mixture and beat until combined.

Stir in oats, chocolate chips, pistachios and coconut.

Scoop dough into rounded tablespoons and place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done (crisper edges and gooey centers)

Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.


Bon Appétit!

Chocolate Gingerbread Twigs

January 2013

I am a January baby, so snow is part of my story. When the flurries falls fluffily, all white and pristine, I am happy to watch from my window. Ideally, I remain huddled under blankets with my warm, little puppy, who curls into the most cuddly of wheels. When the time comes to venture into the snowflakes, winter boots, a puffy coat and puppy antics are my physical and mental shields against Pittsburgh’s long winter.

Gingerbread Bark Cookies

When it came to baking gingerbread this year, I couldn’t resist Martha Stewart’s extra white-chocolate steps. Whether they mimic birch branches or snow laden boughs, these wintry treats offer another opportunity to appreciate the beauty of winter, and their taste is addicting too!

Chocolate Gingerbread Bark

Chocolate Gingerbread Twigs
adapted from Martha Stewart

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yield: ~80 cookies


2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 cups white whole-wheat flour, plus more for rolling
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 stick organic, unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed organic, dark-brown sugar

1 large organic egg
1/3 cup molasses

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped


Melt bittersweet chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth; remove from heat.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Add egg and molasses and beat until smooth.

Beat in bittersweet chocolate, then flour mixture, until combined.

Divide dough in half; form each half into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, about 30 minutes.

Dough can be made 3 days ahead and stored in refrigerator, or frozen up to 1 month.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out each piece of dough to a rectangle 1/8-inch thick, with 1 side roughly 12 inches long, on a lightly floured piece of parchment.

Transfer rectangles on parchment to baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.

Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 1/4-to-1/2-inch-wide irregular strips, each about 12 inches long.

Separate strips on parchment-lined baking sheets and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake until slightly darker around edges, about 12 minutes. Let twigs cool completely on baking sheets.

Melt white chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth.

Paint chocolate along length of each twig with a pastry brush to create a faux-bois look. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes. Twigs can be made 3 days ahead and stored in a cool place.


Bon Appétit!

Double Chocolate Cookies with Orange, Cranberry & Hazelnuts

December 2013

Brown bags became a covering for the wooden kitchen table. Once the cookies had cooled sufficiently on a rack, my mom would transfer them to the paper. I can still see the circular imprints from the buttery bottoms. She’d cover that impressively long wooden table with cookies and fill the house with their fresh-baked scent. I would do my part to eat them while they were still warm, soft and gooey. From my little step-stool, my mom’s massive cookie endeavors always seemed effortless.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

This year, I holed away and made cookies for hours upon hours for a Harvest & Gather* winter market. Though I covered my long dining room table with cookies, the word to describe my endeavor was “frenzy.” One element from my cookie memories remained the same though. I still took time to eat these double chocolate cookies while they were warm, soft and gooey.

Double Chocolate, Orange, Cranberry & Hazelnut Cookies
makes ~4 dozen


2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup pure cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup organic, unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup organic pure cane sugar
2/3 cup organic brown sugar

2 large organic eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange zest

3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chocolate chunks (pref. dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup hazelnuts


Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together melted butter and sugars.

Mix in the eggs, stirring them in one at a time, then add the vanilla and orange zest.

With the mixer on low or working by hand, stir in the flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain.

Stir in dried cranberries, chocolate chunks and hazelnuts.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet (dough balls were a bit larger than 1 inch in diameter). Leave about 2 to 3-inches between cookies to allow for spread.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are set at the edges and tops are slightly cracked looking. Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


Bon appétit!

*Harvest & Gather is a bespoke branding & event design collaboration between floral designer/painter Thommy Conroy and myself.