Archive for April, 2015

Springtime dinners

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A few memories from spring dinners.


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Pipe Dream #326: To Sound the Siren Call – AK Cookies


The quote from the original recipe states:

“These cookies are best when they have fully cooled, though you will undoubtedly eat some warm because it will take you years to develop the patience to ignore their siren’s call until they are ready. You are only human.”




That is a gummy bear for size context.


I know you are only human. You know you are only human. YOU know that IIII am only human.

Paging all humans,


P.S. I deeply wish that I would have had coconut on hand to throw into these. Alas I did not and will therefore be making them again next week with coconut included.

AK Cookies

Adapted from Lucky Peach

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces milk chocolate chips (about 1 cup, you could use dark chocolate–that would be incredible)

1 cup quick oats

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 350°F.


Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until pale yellow, homogeneous and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix for another 5 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in order, mixing them in on low speed, just until each is incorporated into the dough.

Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 3o minutes, then scoop all the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. and chill it on a quarter sheet pan in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking. Space them well on a Silpat or parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 1112 minutes. Let them cool a bit on the sheets, then transfer them to wire racks to fully cool before serving.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that are not totally out of context like street people


Have you ever met someone random and just felt like, “I know nothing about you, and I have no context for who you are or where you are from, and it just feels like a huge effort to get to know you”? Mostly, I am thinking about people that you pass on the street or wherever. Despite your best attempts to avoid eye contact, you find yourself embroiled in a conversation with some weird dude because you’re too polite to be like, “Don’t talk to me, I’m just trying to find the reduced sodium black beans on sale, and I will never see you again, so I don’t want to make small talk.”

raisin cookies  a

At first glance, this recipe might be one that leads you to believe you will have to expound massive effort to get to know these oatmeal cookies. I mean, you have to grind the raisins into a paste? That seems like an unnecessary and annoying step to have to take. Browning the butter? Tedious, tedious. But let me assure you. All of the steps are worth it. These cookies were the best cookie to have come out of my kitchen in ages, a glorious twist on an old classic that is insane with a coffee and won’t leave you saying, “So. That was a raisin.” As we know many average oatmeal raisin cookies (or, heaven forbid, compromised carrot cakes) will tell you, because on the real, regular oatmeal raisin cookies can be so hit or miss, mostly due to the raisins. Who is telling who what in the last two sentences?



The thing is, these cookies are not out of context like street people. They are just familiar enough that after trying one, you’ll say, “Oh yes, it’s like I’ve known you all along!” And you’ll be the best of friends. I followed the suggestions made on the original recipe, adding a bit of instant espresso powder and some quick oats. I didn’t do a recipe comparison or anything, because why waste my time on the old version when I can just profit off of someone else who has produced the new and improved version?

For once, I baked these appropriately, and they were not so underbaked that they were falling apart. I loved the texture and all of the complexity of flavor that the espresso adds. Make sure to scrape all the brown bits from the brown butter into the batter. This is key.



The ultimate cookie for coffee lovers, raisin haters  and the random dudes on the street.




Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Adapted from Food52

1 cup golden raisins (or dark raisins)

1 cup flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup quick oats or oat bran (I pulsed up some old fashioned oats in the blender until the consistency was like quick oats)

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso

sugar for rolling (optional, I didn’t do this)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the raisin paste: Toss raisins with 2 tablespoons of the flour. Grind in a food processor with a blade attachment until the raisins form a very thick paste and come together in a ball. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender.

Brown the butter in a pan with a light bottom, swirling occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. When you begin to see the bottom of the pan becoming browned, remove from heat. Add sugar, vanilla extract, and browned butter (including all the browned solids) to a bowl and mix using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium speed. Mix for about three minutes. Add eggs and continue to mix on medium speed until the mixture comes together. When the mixture appears homogeneous, add raisin paste and mix until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining  flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder. With the mixer on low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 2 additions, until there is no flour visible.

Roll small pieces of dough into balls slightly smaller than a ping pong ball. If using, roll the balls in a dish of sugar. Place balls on the lined baking sheet, making sure they are about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are crinkly on top and just begin to turn golden brown. Another good way of testing is to lift a corner of the cookie, if it bends slightly and reforms when let go, they are done. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Store in a airtight container for up to one and a half weeks.

Lovebirds and Angry Birds and a colossal donut

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I made my sister and her new fiancé a celebration cake made out of a giant donut because this is how my family does wedding life. We are fancy.


Actually, we will SEE how my family does wedding life. Maybe they would be fancy if I didn’t insist on making donut cakes instead of like, catering real cakes. I nabbed the cookies  and the donut from a cute little bakery near my place.

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Obviously, I’ve been waiting my whole life for the perfect opportunity to purchase both of these novelties. One doesn’t just buy tire-sized donuts for you average Sunday brunch. My sister and her boyfriend, ahem, can’t stop with the Angry Birds, and their love of donuts…?

Well, let’s just say that one time, we were in LA, and it was midnight and they were driving back from somewhere and hankered for Krispy Kreme, and Rob gestured vaguely and said, “I FEEL like it’s over there.” And sure enough! There was a Krispy Kreme. So when I got back to the house in the morning, there were two empty Krispy Kreme boxes and a whole buncha guilty faces, but they didn’t, like, drown in their guilt because how could they?

Suffice to say that the fam loves a good glazed donut. So this cake was the perfect celebration treat.

Congratulations, Hrob!


Favorite Shots: Sun Kill Moon

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The lake at daybreak.


Pipe Dream #325: To Sell Out – Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Cookies


Slowly making my way through a Costco-sized jar of Skippy, though you wouldn’t know I am using commercial big brand corporate peanut  butter to do so because these photos look so dang hipster rustic health food, amirite?



Homies thinking I be using natural almond butter, amirite?



I did use coconut flour, so there’s that. I hope its magical health food vegan hipster food properties will make the scar on my right index finger less noticeable. A girl can dream, amirite?


Experimentally yours,


Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

An LH Original

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1 egg yolk

1/2-3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 tablespoon instant espresso, if desired

1/4 teaspoon salt

splash of milk or water, as needed

sanding sugar or regular sugar for rolling (I used a spiced rum sugar my sessy bought me

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, egg yolk, instant espresso, salt and brown sugar until well-combined. Stir in the coconut flour and baking soda. The mixture will be really crumbly, so add liquid a tablespoon at a time until a stirrable cookie dough consistency is reached.

Scoop out the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and roll each into a round ball. Roll in sanding sugar, if desired. Place about 12 on a cookie sheet (you could fit more as they don’t spread too much). Flatten each with the back of a spoon.

Bake 7-9 minutes, or until they look set. Let cool on a wire rack.

Pipe Dream #324: To Beg Forgiveness, Not Ask Permission – Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches


I told my friend that I was going to try and not set myself up as the “office baker” at my new job. Keep expectations low and all that. And besides, there is probably already some lady with that title, and I don’t want to step on any toes. Heaven forbid I should step on anyone’s toes.

He was like, “Not going to happen.”


And so I left off for as long as possible. I really did try. But then someone discovered my blog, and I started getting comments.

“We were salivating over your blog yesterday.”

“Wow, those Nutella rolls looked really incredible.”

Because I’m new, no one is going to outright bug me to bring something in. For all they know, I could be like, sensitive, and flip out if they make any demands and put them on a lifelong cake ban, and then where would they be? (Like I would ever flip out over ANYTHING EVER.)

But reading between the lines, those flattering comments could be translated to “When are we going to taste this IRL, Lauren??? Let us be your new taste testers immediately!!! Demands! Quality of life! Free food!” And so I tried to read the mood and cater to their unspoken demands. By which I mean, I just wanted to bring something in regardless of whether or not they wanted it, so I did.


I brought in the softest, easiest, more irresistiblest little peanut butter cookie sandwiches. Hey, I don’t know my new colleagues either, and I thought it would be a good idea to ask forgiveness rather than permission if someone died of a peanut allergy. Get that question out of the way up front.

Also, I realized that I needn’t have worried about usurping someone else’s baking throne. The reality is, people love treats, and NO ONE will complain when they are stocked in the empty cube, regardless of their source.



P.S. My co-workers are well cool and are really nice and do not manipulatively insinuate that I should feed them.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

An LH Original

For the cookies:

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

splash of vanilla or imitation maple flavoring

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment.

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls onto baking sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes until just set and edges are just starting to turn golden. Let cool on baking sheet.

For the frosting:

1 egg white


peanut butter

powdered sugar

Whip egg white with a hand mixer in a large bowl until foamy, beat in 1/4 cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until a stiff meringue forms. Beat in 2 tablespoons softened butter and 3-4 tablespoons peanut butter, to taste. Beat in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Spread between cooled cookies.

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