bread and baking Archive

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Oh, you fancy!)

As I was baking these cookies, I had Drake’s song, “Fancy, ” stuck in my head. The words kept running through my mind, over and over: “Oh, you fancy, huh?”

Why yes, Drake, I am fancy.

(Truth be told, I’m not all that fancy. But these cookies? They’re pretty darn fancy.)

I took a relatively simple recipe for Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and I fancied them up a bit. I am not going to post a full recipe here, rather, I’ll just share my edits and changes to this classic chocolate chunk cookie:

*I used a combination of Mast Brothers Crown Maple Chocolate and Woodblock Venezuelan Dark Chocolate. (The whole reason I decided to make these cookies is because I had odd ends and bits of a few different specialty chocolate bars, so I decided to chop them up and make the best cookies ever.)

*I used a coarse and flaky sea salt from a local Oregon salt producer, Jacobsen’s Salt Co.

*I used duck eggs instead of chicken eggs!

*I skipped the powdered sugar and upped the brown sugar, plus I added a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses.

*Lastly, I added in 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves into the batter.

And that, my friends, is how I made fancy cookies. I was really pleased with the end result — they were chewy and chocolaty with just a touch of salt. (Next time, I might add a bit more thyme as the flavor got a bit lost next to the dark chocolate and sea salt).

I encourage you to play with the recipe and come up with your own fancy alterations. When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, it’s hard to go wrong. Stick with the basic sugar, flour, egg, and butter proportions — but the rest is up to you, my friends. Be fancy.

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Rosemarried

On Planting Fruit Trees (and a recipe for Blackberry-Blueberry Crisp).

Two weeks ago, I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my 31st birthday. My mom and sister were particularly excited for me to open my gifts, as they had already informed me that they’d chosen the perfect gift. As I unwrapped the presents, a theme began to unfold before me: a beautiful vintage cobbler pan, a cookbook for rustic fruit desserts. And lastly, a gift certificate to a local nursery. Specifically, a gift certificate for fruit trees.

I didn’t get it at first. Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit trees and I was very excited at the prospect of having my very own. But I wasn’t sure why they were so excited to give me fruit trees. And then they explained it: they gave me the gift of fruit trees because I’m the one that’s staying.

I am a planter.

I am rooted here in Portland.

As I mentioned previously, my sister and her husband and daughter are moving to Minneapolis to work with the urban poor. Specifically, they will working with the large population of Somalian refugees that have settled in Minneapolis. (To read more about what they’ll be doing in Minneapolis, check out their blog.)

On Friday, my sister and I will pack all of her earthly belongings into a Subaru wagon and we will then drive halfway across the country. We’ll see a lot of Montana and North Dakota, and eventually we’ll land in Minneapolis. My mom, brother-in-law, and niece will fly out a few days later and will join us, as we attempt to settle them into their new life in Minnesota.

To be completely honest, I’m a little bit of a wreck. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to them. Selfishly, I want them to stay here, but, in my heart I know that it’s their time to go. I know that this is what they are supposed to be doing. I’m heartbroken, and yet so proud.

And while they are off in Minneapolis doing amazing things, I’m going to plant some fruit trees and put down roots. I’m going to do everything I can to provide them with love and support them from afar.

That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to bake another cobbler or crisp without getting a little bit sappy. I definitely blubbered a bit while baking this crisp (and also while writing this post).

So without further delay, I’d like to share this recipe for you. It’s quite lovely.

(Note: I’m still undecided as to what fruit trees I want. I’m currently thinking I’d like a Meyer lemon tree and a blueberry bush. What do you think I should plant?)

Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp
(Adapted from Savory Sweet Life)

Note: The original recipe calls for 6 cups of blueberries (and does not use blackberries), which fills a 9×13 pan. I made less filling (4 cups of berries), and filled a 9×5 pan and a small ramekin. I did make the same amount of crumble as the original recipe called for, as I like to have a lot of crumble!

For the berry filling:
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
Juice from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried basil

For the crumble topping:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed in 1/2-inch squares
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease your baking pan (with oil, butter, or nonstick spray) and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash the berries a bit (with a fork or spoon), and season with nutmeg and dried basil. Transfer the berry mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together the butter, flour, and brown sugar. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Once combined, add in the pecans and process for a couple of seconds – until the pecans are chopped and incorporated into the mixture.

In a small bowl, gently toss the butter/flour/pecan mixture with the oats, cinnamon and salt. When combined, sprinkle this mixture over the berries in the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crumb top is golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The crisp is great hot or cold, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

**Funny side note: I tried to make fresh basil whipped cream to go atop this lovely crisp. I made it two different ways, and each time it was a dismal failure. That being said, I scrapped the idea of basil whipped cream and topped the crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. It was super delicious.

Raspberry & Rosemary Cornbread

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. It is simply too nice outside to spend my day inside, staring at my computer screen. I would much rather be outdoors, lounging in the sunshine (preferably with a margarita in my hand).

So that, my friends, is precisely what I plan to do.

I’m going to walk away from the computer and go enjoy the great outdoors.

However, before I do that, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts about this raspberry cornbread. First of all, I should mention that this cornbread is not intended to be a dessert. It just isn’t very sweet. You could always add a little extra sugar to the batter if you’d like it to function as a dessert, but I highly recommend this cornbread for breakfast (with just a touch of butter and honey). Similarly, it would be a great salad accompaniment for a light summer lunch.

And let us not forget that we are in the middle of raspberry season in the Northwest. This season is short and sweet, so get some raspberries while you can. (I have a ton of them growing in my backyard. Want to come over and pick some?) Since I have an abundance of raspberries growing in my yard, I’ve tried a lot of raspberry recipes over the past couple years. This cornbread is easily one of the best raspberry recipes I’ve tried. It’s so good that it might convince you to turn on your oven in the middle of July.

And that’s all I’ll say about that. It’s a beautiful day and I’m going outside to enjoy it!

(Slightly adapted from Easy Peasy Organic)

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter (or canola oil)
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with butter or oil and set aside.

Mix together dry ingredients (including herbs) in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and melted butter (or oil). Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir just to combine (it’s ok if there are some clumps).

Using a pastry blender (or 2 forks), gently mash the raspberries into the batter. Give the mixture one more stir, and then pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow the cornbread to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into it. The cornbread is particularly good with a bit of butter and honey.

Strawberry & Mint Shortcakes: Recipe Swap

When life hands you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade. When life hands you a neck injury, however, it seems that you can’t make much of anything.

I’ve been stuck on the couch for three days. It hurts to move, it hurts to sit, it hurts to sleep. I’ve got my routine down: a glass of water, ibuprofen, ice (frozen peas) and heat (homemade sock rice pack). I watched an entire season of Project Runway yesterday. I’m going a little bit stir crazy. And while there’s never a good time to get injured, this weekend seemed like particularly bad timing. The Montavilla Farmer’s Market opened for its 6th season today. In addition, today is the deadline for the June Recipe Swap.

I’ve been planning this post for weeks. When Christianna (from Burwell General Store) emailed us the recipe for ‘Mint Pie‘, I knew that I was going to take the recipe in an entirely different direction.

You see, I’m one of the few people on the planet that doesn’t like the combination of chocolate and mint. I love chocolate. I love fresh mint. For whatever reason, I just don’t like them together. (Please don’t hate me!) Since it’s strawberry season in the Northwest – and since my mint plant is growing like crazy and threatening to take over the backyard – I decided to combine these two ingredients instead.

My apologies to all of the chocolate-and-mint lovers out there, but I’m officially on Team Strawberries-and-Mint. The combination is incredible! This dessert is a slight variation of a classic strawberry shortcake, but it’s the subtleties that make this recipe truly special. Perfectly ripe strawberries, purchased at the farmer’s market this morning. Fresh mint, plucked from my backyard. Hints of lemon, mint, black pepper, and cream. It all works together to create a light and airy spring treat that isn’t overly sweet or complicated. It’s just perfect.

Adapted from Bite by Michelle
(Makes 10-12 shorcakes)

For the shortcakes:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely diced
1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled salted butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk
Optional: Egg wash & raw sugar

For the strawberry topping:
1 pint strawberries
1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white sugar
A couple grinds of black pepper

For the lemony whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender (or knives, fingers, food processor, etc) cut in butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in mint and buttermilk, and mix until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a couple of times and pat into a circle (with a 1″ thickness). Using a biscuit cutter (or juice glass), cut out the shortcakes. Place on a lined baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart. Optional: brush each cake with an egg wash and sprinkle with raw (or coarse grain) sugar before baking.

Place baking sheet in the oven on bottom rack and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and de-stem the strawberries. Slice strawberries and place in a bowl. Toss with fresh mint, black pepper, lemon juice, and black pepper.

Mix the whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and lemon zest together. Whip, using a whisk or electric mixer for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and billowy. (Be careful not to overwhip! You want soft peaks.)

When the shortcakes have cooled, arrange each cake on a plate with a generous dollop of whipped cream and strawberries. Enjoy!

Pita/Peeta Bread: An Utter Failure

First off, I’d like to state that I will now (and henceforth) refer to pita bread as Peeta bread, in honor of Peeta Mellark of The Hunger Games. Yes, I’m a nerd. I read the books, I watched the movie, and I’m officially on Teem Peeta (Team Gale? No thanks.).

In addition, Peeta is a bread baker by trade, so it makes perfect sense that pita bread should be called Peeta bread. I do hope you all understand.

Now that I’ve gotten that bit of nerderie out of the way, I have something to get off my chest:

I completely botched this recipe.

I saw this recipe on Under the High Chair and it inspired me to make peeta bread from scratch. Not only did it look gorgeous, but the recipe seemed simple enough. Just look at this fluffy, wonderful, pillowy peeta bread (!):

(Photo from Under The High Chair)

I read over the instructions quite a few times, just to make sure I understood them correctly. I measured all the ingredients carefully. I even bought a fresh jar of yeast (just to make sure it was still nice and yeasty!).

I rolled out my little discs of dough and they looked lovely. I was so pleased with the little discs that I even posted a photo on Instagram:

I let the discs rise for 40 minutes and they started to puff up (and look pillowy and awesome!). I was giddy with excitement.

Then, I baked the dough. I placed it in the oven and watched over the peeta like a nervous mother. I kept gazing into the oven — watching, waiting, and hoping.

And nothing happened.

Sure, they rose a little bit. But they were nothing like the glorious peeta puffs in the photos.

I removed the peeta from the oven. I then tasted the peeta bread: it was not good. The bread was rock hard, dense, and sad.

There was nothing pillowy or awesome about it.


My peeta bread was a total bust.

Now that I think about it, I’m not entirely sure why I’m telling you about my peeta bread failure.

I think it’s because I appreciate honestly in writing. There’s a fine line between writing a good (and honest) food blog and writing a bunch of self-congratulatory drivel that declares my culinary genius. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking (and I think I’m pretty good at it). But I screw up all the time. And if I can laugh at myself and my mistakes, so can you.

Hopefully, I’ll master the art of peeta bread one of these days. If I do, you can bet I’ll be sharing the recipe with you.





On Life, Los Angeles, and Blackberry Cream Scones

Holy smokes!

Life is certainly never ever boring. I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past few weeks and I don’t even know how to start writing about it. I keep starting blog posts, but then I never finish them. I feel overwhelmed, but in a good way.

So I’ll just start with the basics.

*If you happen to be reading my blog, you might notice that the site looks completely different. The blog got a whole lot prettier recently (thanks to Randall at Dept3), and I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to the new look. Thank you all for your kind words!

*I went to Los Angeles for a long weekend and ate a lot of good food and saw a lot of good friends. Highlights included: meeting Christianna of Burwell General Store (and dining at the fantastic Cook’s County Restaurant, where she currently works), eating a classic beef dip sandwich at Philippe’s in downtown LA, spotting Julie Taylor (Friday Night Lights!) at Intelligentsia, taking in the Pacific Standard Time exhibit at The Getty Museum, and discovering The Thirsty Crow’s amazing happy hour ($5 Manhattans, Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, etc.). Overall, it was a fantastic trip.

*Secondly, my first two articles for the Plate & Pitchfork Almanac were published a week ago, so if you haven’t seen them yet I’d encourage you to check out the first issue. The P&P Almanac is a collaboration between a few talented Portland ladies, and the first issue contains great photos, stories, and reports from the Portland food community.

*In a moment of complete and utter insanity, I signed up to run the Shamrock Run. I am not a runner. In fact, I generally hate running. But, my sister talked me into signing up for the Shamrock and so I best figure out how to run a 15k (9 miles) by March. This could be interesting. ;)

*This past weekend, I was hired to do “craft services” (aka provide food) for a commercial shoot and it was a great experience. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Strange as it may sound, I really enjoy the challenge. It’s experiences like this enable me to learn more about my abilities as a cook. I love it. Bring on the challenges!

*In the middle of all the madness, I found the time to make these delicious blackberry scones. Yes, I know that blackberries are decidedly not in season in January. But there they were, staring at me from the shelves of my local Trader Joe’s. They were so plump and perfect looking, I simply couldn’t help myself! So, I caved and I bought blackberries in January. (I then made myself feel better by justifying my purchase by using the fresh blackberries in combination with the last of the blackberries in my freezer from last summer’s pickings.)

Honestly, I’m just happy I found time to cook anything at all! In the middle of a busy couple of weeks, these scones were a welcome change from chard and beets.

That being said, you could easily substitute other berries (raspberries, marionberries, blueberries, etc) in these scones. I plan on making them again with the last of the raspberries I have in my freezer!

Blackberry Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze
(Adapted from Eat Live Run)
Note: I tripled this recipe, as I was cooking for 20+ people. I originally wanted to make blackberry sage scones, but realized that I was all out of dried sage. So, I used a bit of dried thyme, which worked nicely.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
3 tbsp cold butter, cut into small squares
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk or cream

for glaze:

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream


Preheat oven to 425.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter with your fingers and work mixture together until it resembles coarse sand. Gently cut in the blackberries, making sure to not overmix. You want large chunks of blackberries in the mix.

Add the cream and mix with your hands (or gently with a spatula) until a wet and sticky dough forms. On a well-floured surface, form the dough into a small circle and slice the dough into 8 small wedges. Place wedges on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar and cream. Add in lemon zest and vanilla, and mix to combine. Once the scones have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the scones.

Note: I forgot to take pictures of the scones after I iced them, so you’ll just have to imagine how lovely they were!

Chai Snickerdoodles

We made it through the holidays! High fives all around.

Granted, my house is in shambles and my pants feel like they are two sizes too small. But that’s what the holidays are all about, right? In all seriousness, I had a wonderful Christmas. I spent a lot of quality time with my family (and adorable nieces), I ate a lot good food, and played a lot of Just Dance 3. (In case you were wondering, I’m absolutely horrible at Just Dance 3.)

However, the holidays aren’t technically over yet. We still have to ring in the new year! I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions – namely, I don’t like making promises I can’t keep – but I do plan on making a few dietary changes on January 1st. No, I am not going on a diet. I’m just going back to the way I normally eat. I like eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains. I feel better when I eat healthy and exercise (call me crazy, but I actually like feeling good). So, I’m going to listen to my body and I’m going to cut back on sugar, carbs, alcohol, etc.

But, that starts on January 1st. Meaning: I’ve got a few more days to eat cookies. And so do you!

So make these cookies now and gobble them up before your New Year’s resolutions begin. ;)

P.S. I’m aware that these cookies may appear to be sprinkled with black pepper, but I can assure you that they are sprinkled with Chai tea leaves (and cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc). And I can assure you that they are really, really delicious.

Adapted from The Novice Chef

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

**If you do not have cream of tartar, you can substitute a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.

For the Chai sugar:
5 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons Masala chai tea leaves (Use loose leaf, or empty the contents of a couple of tea bags)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Using a food processor or mortar & pestle, grind the Chai tea until it is fine. Combine chai with the sugar and other spices in a small bowl. Set aside.

In another (medium) bowl, combine dry ingredients.

Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer), cream together butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla (and lemon juice, if substituting for cream of tartar).

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Place dough in refrigerator to chill for a half hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or a Silpat).

Once the dough has chilled, remove from fridge. Using your hands, form dough into large balls (about 1″). Roll each ball in the chai sugar mix, and place on a baking sheet (leave space, as the cookies will expand during baking). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are just barely beginning to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to rest for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.