Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day. Can someone please tell me who decides these things?
Lucky for me, I already have a recipe for oatmeal cookies ready to go.
You know those No-bake Cookies? Some people call them Minute Cookies, and I’m sure there are other names I can’t think of right now. They’re made with cocoa powder and peanut butter, and I love them, but the other day, the kids wanted some and I was out of cocoa powder. I didn’t want them to just be peanut butter flavor, so instead I used cream cheese. At the last minute, I stirred in some chocolate chips so the mixture would have little bits of chocolate throughout. I even refrigerated them so that some of the chocolate bits would get crunchy. They were a huge hit.
How do you like to make your no-bake cookies?
I need a vacation.
The single mom thing has been getting to me lately. I would imagine a lot of you read my blog and think I have a perfect life, or that I’m trying to make you think I do. The truth is, I take many a photograph around here after I just shoved crumbs or unfinished homework out of the way to take a picture.
My life is messy. And most days I wonder how I’ll ever be enough. In a few years, my oldest will be leaving the house, and I wonder if he’ll ever know what stability actually feels like. I worry I’ll never get everything together . . . or not even everything! I’d be happy happy with just having a few things together! Like my laundry, for example. I think I’d like to actually get it all folded one of these days . . . that would be good.
I keep stumbling upon articles that talk about how stress makes it hard to lose weight, and then they go on to make suggestions about eliminating things that stress you out!! That’s when I break into a manic laugh. Oh right!! I’ll just cut back on my stress!! Why didn’t I think of that before!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!
Oh, I’m fine. I’m fine. Seriously. I’m fine.
So as I was saying, I need a vacation. I need the real kind with palm trees and soft white sand and towels and beach umbrellas. No cell phones. No computers. No cooking. Come to think of it, I’ve never had a vacation like that. The kind I usually take involves going to a city and walking around and eating a bunch of things that look interesting. And those are fun, too, and rare, and I love them when I can get them. A couple months ago I got to go on a little trip like that (and since I’m already talking about needing a vacation again, it must not have been quite long enough!). Remember a couple months ago I told you about those doughnuts from The Doughnut Plant ?? That was right after I got back from New York. I didn’t want to spill about the whole trip because I wanted to wait until I could show you these videos. I collaborated with Martha Stewart’s people and the Crocs shoes company to make a couple little videos about exploring New York and all the best places Martha loves. I got to try all my favorite foods and meet a bunch of fascinating people. You can see the videos here and here .
Shooting those was a lot of work, but really fun. It’s hard to explain why so many people love New York, but it’s so full of life and energy. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring you back a treat from all the great places I visited, but I thought you might like a recipe you can try for yourself. These French macarons are based on a macaron I tried from a French bakery. They had used un-blanched almond flour and then I think they only used butter as the filling. This is my version. Oh, and one more thing: don’t you think a vacation to Paris—with one whole day going from bakery to bakery to try all the different macarons—would be great?
When I was in Elementary school, a girl in my class brought in meringues her mother had made. They were white on the outside, but when you bit into them, you found M&Ms hidden inside. My nine-year-old self could not believe how amazing they were.
I made my chocolate meringue kisses ages ago to be like those M&M meringues, but these white ones are a simpler version. They’re just about as simple as you can get, but the possibilities are endless. You can mix in candies, pipe them into different shapes, swirl in colors, or flavors . . . you can do just about anything.
I’m sure you’ve been just as busy as I have been, but here’s just a quick something-or-other to add to your Christmas cookie boxes. They’re like eating pure evil.
Wow, I may have just broken a record. I have made bake sale week last nearly a full two weeks this year. I just ran out of days faster than I could bake cookies, apparently. Time has been going by so fast lately. In fact, my kids called me from school last Friday, reminding me to come get them because it was early out, and I was late. I never even realized it was Friday until they had called. Anyway, here I am, with one last recipe.
My favorite brownies showed up in 2008. They use an entire bag of chocolate chips, and are the easiest thing in the world to make.
But sometimes, you just don’t have a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry. You may have thought you did, but when you go to find it to make the brownies you have just set your heart on, you may discover it has been nibbled down to about a half a cup’s worth by your sugar-addicted-nine-year-old (not that I would have any personal experience with that).
That is what some would call a chocolate emergency.
I told you about these beer and bacon pecan bars by the Beeroness on facebook last week. Since I don’t drink beer for religious reasons, but since I couldn’t stop thinking about these amazing cookies, I decided the only thing I could do was make my own.
It was important to uphold the complexity of flavor that the stout in her recipe provided though, so I opted to make the entire recipe with pure maple syrup, and not use brown sugar or corn syrup.
Now, I’m not gonna lie to you—these things ain’t cheap. By the time I finished buying all the ingredients for these—Niman Ranch bacon, pure maple syrup, maple sugar, and pecan halves—I had spent at least $20. So, you might want to bring those marshmallows to your bake sale or even those s’mores bars, and keep the maple bacon bars for yourselves.
The other day, I saw these chocolate chip cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop on GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow‘s website. It just so happened earlier that week, Tate’s Bakery had contacted me about doing a giveaway of the same chocolate chip cookies. Any time I find I have something in common with Gwyneth, I feel a little twinge of hope we might one day be friends. And you know, she’s tried the cookies, and so have I. It’s a start.
These cookies are crispy and full of brown sugar goodness. They will giveaway one tower of three 3 ounce boxes of these chocolate chip cookies to one of my lucky readers. To enter once, simply visit Tate’s Bake Shop online, and then leave a comment here about which of their treats looks most delicious to you. You may leave another comment if you tweet about this giveaway, another comment if you share this post on facebook, and another each and every time someone else retweets your tweet, or re-shares your share on facebook.
Have you tried those salted caramel squares at Starbucks yet? Whenever I get a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate or a Caramel Apple Cider, I always buy a salted caramel square, too. They’re tiny little pieces of joy. And I love them.
It’s quite often that I want one, but I’m not near a Starbucks. I do live in Utah, after all.
One Sunday afternoon last fall, my next door neighbor gave us a jar of caramel. I knew that was the day I would figure out how to make those caramel squares. Though I’m no stranger to eating homemade caramel out of a jar with a spoon, I restrained myself to use the caramel for the greater good. I remembered a tiny bag of pretzels was still swimming around in one of my kids’ Halloween bags, so I bartered him for it, and got to work.
With all this moving, I got a little overwhelmed and decided to tack some of the bake sale recipes onto this week. You don’t mind, do you?
On Sunday, my daughter asked me to make a cookie that was lemony, chewy, and had no eggs in it (so she could eat the dough, of course). I told her it was a tall order, and probably couldn’t be done. As I went back in my archives, I found a lemon cookie ice cream sandwich. All I did was adapt the recipe a squeak, and we had our cookie. We thought we’d coat them in powdered sugar to make them extra special.
Okay, I gave these a different name, but I have to be honest: they’re practically the same dessert as the raspberry jam bars and the peach cobbler bars. I got the basic recipe from a friend a few years ago, who, when she makes it, dots the top of the batter with cherry pie filling, which is also great. It has become my ultimate go-to recipe whenever I am in a pinch and have to bring a dessert for a lot of people.
Since I was in a hurry doing family history research today, and didn’t have a lot of time, I fell back on this new standby. To change it up a bit, I just added a bunch of locally grown apricots, and I have to say, this may just be the best version yet.