Dessert, Winter


Have you had your share of treats? Sorry. I just got my kitchen in (rough) working order and it's the last week to go big. I generally am one for an underdone oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Maybe a brownie type cookie if it tastes like real chocolate and not just cocoa powder. I also love these Peanut Butter Cookies from Heidi that my sister in law used to make all the time. But a pal who knows her way around baking recipes sent me these delicious goat butter shortbread cookies months ago when Curran was a wee thing and it felt like a dream to get homemade cookies in the mail. Until then, I didn't realize that I really liked shortbread. It always seemed like such a plain choice amongst cookies. Sure, butter makes things tastes good, but I don't need a butter cookie. Give me your chocolate. I ate the whole package of those buttery little coins when I thought it'd be a cookie easy to refuse. Which brings me to this recipe that caught my eye when browsing for holiday cookies in The New Sugar and Spice cookbook. It is a shortbread recipe spiced with coffee grounds and cardamom and while I'm sure you could roll it out and use cookie cutters, Samantha suggests baking it in a fluted tart pan or springform pan so you can pop the disk out and cut it into wedges or geo shards as we did here. These are not as dry and snappy as a traditional shortbread. I replaced a mere 1/4 cup of the flour with nut meal because I love the warmth it gives to baked goods and I'm sure that contributed to the change but for shortbread, they are pretty tender. Not a bad thing, just not necessarily par for the shortbread course. They taste of butter, of course, but the heavy hand of spices and vanilla make them so much more of a cookie. It stands out on a platter for sure and there is still time to leave some for your neighbor, mailman or the UPS guy that is still delivering packages at 8pm. Perhaps you're sick of baked goods but the way I see it, we have another week before all the cleansing and salads so what's one more?

A very warm and bright holiday to each of you. You make our year that much richer, thank you for reading along. 

COFFEE + CARDAMOM SHORTBREAD // Makes 12ish large triangles
Recipe adapted from The New Sugar and Spice Cookbook by Samantha Seneviratne

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, nearly room temp
2 teaspoons ground coffee (a light or medium roast)
1 tsp. cardamom seeds (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. almond or hazelnut meal
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup packed muscavado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325'. Butter  9" fluted tart pan or spring form pan.

Grind your spices until very finely ground. In a large bowl, whisk together the spice mixture, flour, nut meal, powdered sugar, muscavado or brown sugar and salt to mix. Into a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat in the butter and vanilla to combine. 

TIp the dough into the prepared pan using wet fingers. Press it into an even layer on the bottom, all the way to the edges. Freeze it until firm, about 15 minutes. 

Bake the shortbread on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaking butter. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Immediately, and while the dough is still warm, use a sharp paring knife to score the shortbread into wedges or slices as you wish. Set on a rack to cool completely. When it's cool, remove the cookie and gently break it apart along it's edges. 

Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for a month.

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Dessert, Summer



I'm dog earring interesting recipes in food magazines like a crazy lady. I have a catering job coming up and a particular mini-person has kept me from cooking all that much. Simple things, I have managed to get basic dinners together, but I haven't tried many new items unfortunately. Curran doesn't really like napping, I'm tired, so I eat a lot of brown rice and defrosted wild salmon patties and don't mind because I know this is a season. Ok, actually I cry a lot about it because I want him to get rest so he's happy and his brain grows, but Hugh reminds me it's part of figuring out this parenting thing and we'll turn a corner at some point. You'll miss naps one day, tiny sleep-resister. Anyway, dessert. I've been peeking around to try some new things and I thought these individual tarts in Food+Wine looked great. I haven't had the greatest luck with tart dough, regardless of the printed recipe, so I gave these a run through before putting them on the menu and I approve. I haven't baked much with rye flour but it is perfect here, a tad more flavor than all purpose, and I'm intrigued to try it in other things. The crust is excellent - quite buttery (likely why it's excellent) which makes this perfect for a special occasion.

Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen


Crust recipe adapted from September 2014 Food + Wine 

I used nectarines because the ones at our local farm are still incredible. If stonefruits are gone where you are, the original recipe suggests apples and I'm sure that would be great too. Note, I had creme fraiche on hand so made this creamy garnish but a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be just as nice and one less step.

  • // Dough //
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp. natural cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • // Filling //
  • 3 ripe nectarines
  • 2 ripe plums
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • quick grate of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
  • Turbinado Sugar, for sprinkling
  • // Maple Creme Fraiche //
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen

For the dough, in a food processor, pulse both flours with the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with flecks of butter. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until it just comes together (you should still see flecks of butter). Transfer to dough to a work surface, gather it together, quarter it and form four small disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour. This can be done a few days in advance. 

For the filling, slice the nectarines and plums thin. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cut fruit with the vanilla bean, lemon juice, a quick grate of nutmeg, 2 Tbsp. of the cane sugar and toss to combine. 

Preheat the oven to 400' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the 2 Tbsp. of flour and 2 remaining Tbsp. sugar in a ramekin. On a well floured work surface, roll out the dough balls 1/4' thick into roughly 6" circles. Spread a little bit of the flour/sugar mixture in the center of each dough circle, leaving a 1/2" border. Place a pile of fruit on top of the flour circle (be generous and pile high, it'll shrink down). Gently fold the edges of the dough up around the fruit, leaving the center open. Pinch the tears of the dough together to seal and transfer them to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the dough with a little water and generously sprinkle the whole top with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are golden brown and crisp. Let them sit for a minute and then transfer to cool completely on a baking rack.

While they cool, stir together the creme fraiche, maple and almond extract (a little goes a long way, you need just a couple drops). Serve each tart with a dollop of cream. These are best enjoyed the day they are made but they will keep covered for two days and could even be freshened up in a toaster oven when needed.

Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
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Dessert, Snack, Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter



It was my birthday earlier this week. It was smushed in between two trips to New York (Hugh has a wedding in Brooklyn this weekend), just after Mother's Day, the same week as my nieces birthday and nearly every female on my mom's side. I worked at Trader's most of the day and we had an excellent dinner in LA at Baco Mercat. I didn't need a bunch of celebration this year, there has been plenty going on and I just wanted to take account for the last 29 years. It kind of snuck up on me. My "twenties" have been abundant in experience - so many milestones and lessons and challenges and rewards and love and growth have been a part of this decade. I know I still have a year left, and not for a second do I believe my life is dramatically changing at the turn of a number, but still, there's only one year left! It has been so quick - but not - and somehow completely sufficient. I probably say this every birthday, but time fascinates me. How change is so sweeping in retrospect, but most of the time, you don't even notice the evolution of it.

These cookies actually don't have the slightest thing to do with my birthday but they need to be shared and we are celebrating. Ashley makes incredible cookies, and when I want to play around with a cookie combination or in this case, add something for my maple-loving husband, I use her recipe as a base and go from there. You really must try the original, but with the little bits of oats, tenderness from almond meal and the gentlest nudge of maple, I think I am calling this the "house cookie." I picked up some Valrhona feves, saving them for cooking glory, and they make the most gorgeous streaks through the cookies once baked. If you do try them, and even if you make a change of your own, just stay close to the oven. There is a time and place for a crispy cookie, but these babes are best consumed warm and just barely underdone.

PS. If you are in New York City this weekend, we will be at Posman Books in Chelsea Market on Sunday around 1pm signing cookbooks. It isn't an organized event, but we're signing their stock while in town so stop by and say hi if you'd like!


MAPLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Makes 18 small cookies

An adaptation of Not Without Salt's Almond Chocolate Chip Flax Cookies

Don't going searching high and low for chocolate feves, but I will say that they melt gorgeously in the dough. A chopped up bar of good-quality chocolate should work too.

If you need the cookies to be free of the glutens, a GF blend will work in place of the ww flour. Ashley's original gives you the option without the egg. I know maple extract isn't a pantry staple, but it's pretty fantastic and makes these cookies have a carmely-maple hint. This batch was made with maple flakes as well if you prefer a crunchy bit along with or instead of extract.

  • 1 stick/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. maple extract
  • 3 T. maple flakes (optional)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • heaping 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

Heat the oven to 350'.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, sea salt, vanilla and maple extracts and mix again to combine well.

In another bowl, mix the almond meal, oats, white whole wheat flour, pinch of cinnamon and baking soda together. Add the dry to the wet mixture and stir until almost combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the chopped chocolate and give it one more stir to combine. Allow the mixture to chill for at least 20 minutes, or covered overnight. 

Place your cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet or silpat, leaving space between for them to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until the centers are barely set. They will appear underdone, this is good. Allow them to cool and enjoy. 

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