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Ginger Molasses cookies

26 Sep

so i received this email the other day from Anonymous (who i’m sure you’ve come to know through his/her comments on the blog):

dear tessa,

why don’t you love us? it’s fall, so you should love us the most this
time of year.


cinnamon and nutmeg


Dear cinnamon and nutmeg,

so lovely to hear from you! I am sorry i waited so long to bring you guys back out- but it hadn’t really felt like fall yet. but now, the weather has changed and i’m craving you. last week, i made you a home in a delicious apple crisp. And today, you really shined in these ginger molasses cookies. So thank you! Keep doing what you do

looking forward to seeing much more of you in the coming months,



See apple crisp recipe for new pic and peeling apple trick learned in Ireland!


This cookie recipe comes from Flour Bakery- my new favorite spot in Cambridge. It is such a great cookie- because as she describes, these spicy fall flavors have this great soft presence. I don’t need that overwhelming bang from 7 kinds of ginger- and i dont see why i should have to choose between a molasses cookie or a gingersnap. I have to say- these are fucking good.  you know like that first day of fall– you feel it in the air- and smell it too- right Danny T? that’s what these cookies are like. you should be sad summer is over- and you kind of are. but you remember, fall is a great season too.

Erring on the lower side of the baking time keeps them delightfully chewy. More time- more crunch.

Ginger Molasses cookies by Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery

12 tablespoons (6oz, 168g) unsalted butter

1 cup (220g) tightly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (85g) molasses  ** ah! i don’t know how i did this- but just fixed had accidentally written 1/2

1 egg

2 cups (288g) all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp clove

1/2 tsp salt

small bowl of sugar for tossing cookies (regular granular sugar or turbinado works fine)

Preheat oven to 350 and put rack in the center of the over.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and let cool for at least 30 min or until warm, not hot, to the touch. [i left mine about an hour- and it reached this unexpected semi-solid state– (jess P you know what im talking about). Anyway- looks weird- worked great.] Using a stand mixer w. paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg and mix for about 20 seconds until well mixed. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, clove and salt and fold this into butter/sugar mixture by hand until well mixed. I refrigerated my dough overnight because was not baking off until the following day.

Scoop out 1/4 cup balls (size of ice cream scoop) and place them one by one in a bowl of sugar and toss gently to coat on all sides. Place cookies on a sheet, 2 inches apart and bake for 16-18 mins (i did 16) until the cookies are crackly on top and barely firm to touch (if you like them chewy i’d kinda ignore the firm to touch- the ones that i let go that long turned out crunchier). Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 20-30 mins (yes, i actually did that). slide cookies of sheet and cool rest of way on rack. Cookies can be stored up to 2 days in airtight container, dough can be stored up to week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Makes 16 cookies.

1/4 cup balls are very big but gorgeous cookies. I made my second batch a little smaller– but i dunno, go big or go home.


Peach & Raspberry Popsicles

20 Aug

Just got back from 2 weeks at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. It was an amazing time– and i have tons of photos and recipes to share. I thought I’d start with something super simple and very seasonal. Rory, our teacher, said they only make these a few weeks a year when the peaches are at their best. This can made into a sorbet (put in your ice cream machine), as a granita (put in freezer and bash up- like Sam did with her tangerine ice) or in popsicle molds. I studded my pops with a few raspberries. Others served their peach sorbet with a whipped cream that had mashed raspberries swirled in. These will always remind me of Cecile- one of my housemates at the school- who is fabulous, very french- and pronounces them “pop-cycles.”

This recipe is by Rory O’Connell
1 1/2lb ripe peaches
3/4 cup caster sugar (which is white sugar that has been pulsed through a processor a few times- i think regular would work fine but caster just dissolves more easily. i used a bit less sugar– but do know the mixture should be sweet. the sweetness dials back when frozen. But the amount you use depends on the sweetness of your peaches so be sure to sample them.)
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Start by peeling the peaches. First- score the peaches on the top and bottom with a small cross and place in a deep bowl. Pour over boiling water and keep them immersed for a few seconds. Strain immediately and put in cold water. Drain again and peel off skin– it will come off easily. Slice flesh away from pits and put in blender with sugar and lemon until mix is smooth and sugar is dissolved. Freeze in machine or pour into ice pop molds. Wait until set- then enjoy!

Banana Cream Pudding

10 Jul

Guest Post by Jessica P.

Here I present to you, Snackbacko fans, the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding. It seems like I have been making this consistently once a year around spring or the start of summer since you don’t need an oven, is great for parties (it makes so much!) and seems so weather appropriate. Finding a pretty way to serve it is fun – try Martini glasses that may or may not be hanging around your workplace along with a glass trifle bowl…

*Note– you have to start this recipe ahead of time as it requires several hours of fridge chill time.

Banana Cream Pudding

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package Jell-O instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafers
4 cups sliced ripe bananas
Pudding: Phase 1

On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together sweetened condensed milk and (remember: ice cold) water until well combined for about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat for about 2 minutes or until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight

Pudding: Phase 2

On medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form to make whipped cream. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended, making sure no streaks of pudding remain.


It is best to use a large wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Cover the bottom of the bowl with one-third of the wafers, then one-third of the bananas and then one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more. Feel free to garnish the top with wafers or wafer crumbs.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours (the longer the better so that the wafers get soft).

Green Tea Ice Cream & Orange Sherbet

17 May

I am obsessed with making ice cream these days. Ice cream is a nice balance between baking and cooking–because it acts as a great canvas to play with- and you can be less precise than baking. That being said, my experiments, thus far, never turn out as well as the recipes. For all recipes- basic and inventive- I turn to David Lebovitz. I am super into his book The Perfect Scoop. David posts several of the recipes on his blog– so check there. Also- if you have anything else in mind- email me. But here are two non-David Lebovitz recipes that I want to make again and again. David, fyi, also has a method for non ice cream maker ice cream- never tried- but just a bit more labor intensive.

Also, a fundamental question often asked. Ice Cream generally has Milk and heavy cream. Sherbet only has milk. Sorbet has water. I have been playing around a lot with yogurt too– which tends to retain the tang (for better or worse) not always in commercial fro yo. For me, Sherbet is a favorite– because it tastes creamy,  but I feel a little less bad about it than when I know I have consumed cups of heavy cream. ech. David Lebovitz- has a Chocolate Sherbet recipe- that is dynamite! Oh and while you are on his blog- check out the recipe for Whole Lemon Bars. I didn’t even know I liked lemon bars before those.

Fresh Orange Sherbet- America’s Test Kitchen Recipe. This recipe- nothing like the old-school gross Sherbet you might associate with fruit punch. This tastes like creamsicles.
1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 or 2 oranges
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups orange juice, preferably unpasteurized fresh-squeezed (can buy or do yourself)
3 tablespoons juice from 1 or 2 lemons
2 teaspoons triple sec or vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream

1. Process the zest, sugar and salt in the food processor until damp, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. With machine running, add the orange and lemon juice in slow stream, continue to process until sugar is dissolved, about a minute. Strain through fine-mesh strainer- into a medium bowl. Stir in triple sec, cover w. plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until very cold, 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t let it freeze.
2. When it is cold, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks. whisking constantly, and juice slowly in, pouring against the edge of the bowl. Immediately start ice cream maching and add to canister. freeze to machine’s instructions.

Green Tea Ice Cream- Harumi Kurihara recipe
2 tablespoons green tea powder (macha)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream

1. In a small bowl, mix the green tea powder with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks and remaining sugar.
3. Pour milk into a small pan and gently heat taking care not to let it boil (ideally the temp of the milk should be 176F). Remove from heat and mix a few spoonfuls of the warm milk with the green tea powder and sugar in a small bowl. When you have a smooth paste, add it to the remaining milk in the pan, then gradually combine with the egg yolk mixture. Leave to cool (in fridge).
4. light whip the cream and then add to the cold green tea mixture.
5. Add to ice cream maker and freeze per instructions.

Salted Oatmeal Cookies

9 Apr

I LOVE these cookies– they are a specialty of Jess P. so I’ll let her take it away. Post and pic by Jess P.

These are not those oatmeal cookies – those chewy, nasty ones with raisins in them (I hate raisins in my baked goods!). No, these are buttery, salty, crispy, golden snacks which are easily justifiable as a legitimate breakfast, because after all, they are made primarily out of oatmeal. They’re downright good for you. I love these cookies.  More importantly my family, friends and colleagues love these cookies, so I end up making them all the time. If I need to transport them, I like to wrap them in natural brown kraft paper sandwich bags and then put them back inside an empty oatmeal container.

Cripsy Salted Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Cooks Illustrated

1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg (I make sure this is at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ teapoon coarse sea salt (I use the fleur de sel Tessa gave me ) – this is for sprinkling on top

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated.
3. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 ½ inches apart (they will expand). Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about ¾-inch thickness.
4. Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on each cookie
5. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

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