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Peanut Butter Blondies

Hi guys!

I present to you today: the blondie. For these particular little guys, think as if shortbread and a peanut butter cookie had a love child. This is pretty much what you’d get. They were delightfully crumbly and addicting and were adored by gluten-eating and GF individuals alike. This recipe is very loosely based off of Food52’s with some changes here and there. The almond extract really brings a rich nuttiness to the cookie and the coconut flour soaks up a lot of the moisture, making these more of a shortbread-y texture than your typical blondie. I recommend these for a crowd. Simple and universally yummy.

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2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 c. natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp. almond extract
2 c. coconut flour
A generous pinch of sea salt
3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper. Melt your butter in the microwave–or, as Food52 suggests, if you’re fancy, brown it–and wait for it to cool down. Once it’s no longer hot, whisk the butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add your room temperature eggies one at a time, then your almond extract and peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in your dry ingredients gradually and, once completely combined, add your chocolate. Spread your batter (should be thick, so do not fret!) evenly into the prepared pan with a spatula and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. (Now is the time you can sneak one before you are forced to share them with everyone else.)

This recipe was a hit. I’d absolutely make these again.

In other news…can you believe it’s almost FALL? *Cue excessive canned pumpkin buying/hoarding* I can’t even tell you how excited I am to make soups and stews and curries and everything with more cinnamon in it than should be allowed. You can’t stop me. Yippeeee!

Love,
Emily

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Hellooooo all,

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This is a classic. You need a good go-to pumpkin bread recipe for October. The great thing about this one that I based this recipe off of is that it’s super easy and could be very easily converted to vegan (if you’re into that). No eggs (?!), which was a pleasant surprise seeing as I was out of eggs at the time anyways. What kind of a baker am I??! Anyways, once more, I apologize for the pathetic picture. My camera and I have been reunited at last (cue Hallelujah chorus) buuut this bread was devoured/gifted before I could get any good pictures. I know, pathetic. It happens. You must understand.

1 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. (plus a little more, so liiike a heaping cup) pumpkin puree
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325° and grease a large loaf pan (or, if you’re me and don’t have a normal sized loaf pan, 2 mini ones) with whatever your lil heart desires. Combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Measure out your coconut oil and stick it for 15 seconds or so in the microwave (depending on how solid it is) until it’s nice and melty. Add the vanilla and pumpkin to your coconut oil and stir until combined. Next, add your wet mixture to the dry one and fold together until completely incorporated. Don’t freak out if your batter seems really thick–it should! You’re not doing anything wrong! Add as many chocolate chips as your heart desires (I, for one, impulsively dumped the entire leftover contents of an open bag I had), and fold together a little more to disperse them as evenly as possible. Might be tough since the batter is so thick, but ya know. Do your best. Pour/scoop/dump your batter into your prepared pan(s) and stick in the oven for about 50 minutes for mini loaves or an hour and 15 minutes for a regular sized loaf. Keep an eye on it though–cooking times may vary depending on the oven!

Shoutout to my baking-assistant for ever-so-skillfully and precisely measuring out the coconut oil for me and learning/executing the perfect “gentle batter folding” technique. Ya did good, kid. Did me PROUD.

(Sorry ~not sorry~ for the pumpkin binge. Can’t help it. It’s OCTOBER after all.)

Love, Emily


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Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Hiiii loves,

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It’s FAAAALL. Well. Kinda. Not quite. It’s technically still summer for the next couple of days. But mentally (and according to these cookies), I am 100% in fall-mode. As a California baby, I’m especially enthusiastic about this season. I really just love being cozy, and fall is arguably the coziest season of all (winter crosses the line from cozy to cold, in my personal opinion). I am all for fall baking/cooking, too. It’s by far my favorite. Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, squash, cinnamon, pumpkin, CINNAMON. You get the picture. These lovely little cookies pretty much incorporate everything I love. Pumpkin, dark chocolate, and cinnamon, all combined in a delectable, chewy little morsel. Mmmmmm these cookies are yum. I can’t wait to eat one for breakfast-dessert when I get home. And probably another for lunch-dessert later.

1/2 c. or 1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate

Start to make the dough by mixing together the sugars and the butter until there aren’t any more lumps. Next, whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips as best you can–the butter will probably make it a little hard for the chocolate chips to stick to the dough since it’s so buttery (yum), but do your best. Stick the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you bake. (Ahem: That’s important! Don’t skip it!) Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease or line your baking sheets and place balls of dough about 1″ apart. (I got about 18 cookies here; you could get more or less depending on how big your cookies are and such.) Squish them a little bit flat–they won’t flatten much at all while baking–and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. They won’t look done, but they are! By “not done”, I mean extremely doughy. I promise they’ll firm up quite a bit as they cool. Let them cool for a while on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.

I brought these to Boston with me for a little weekend trip and they were certainly appreciated. My two lovely boys and I ate 3 a day until they were gone, so they didn’t last long. Not to toot my own horn (okay, maybe a little…I’m proud of these cookies) buuuut I was told by my toughest critic (and others) that these cookies are his favorite thing I have baked to date. Welllll, okay, his favorite thing that he has tried at least. To be honest, that is probably a pretty good indicator of how delicious they are, seeing as he’s tried probably 60% at least of the food I’ve made. I rarely get compliments from this individual, so this is a big deal, guys.

Prepare for more pumpkin. I guarantee you it’s COMING.

Love, Emily

PS: THIS PHOTO IS SO TERRIBLE I AM SORRY I am honestly so embarrassed. It’s heinous. I don’t have my Nikon and it was nighttime when I took this on my phone. I was in a hurry and ate them all before proper photos could be taken sooo this will have to do I suppose. Don’t judge me.


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Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi lovers/friends,

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The gluten free baking adventure continues (semi-unfortunately, but c’est la vie, en fait)! Whatever. It’s making me creative I guess. So I have a confession to make. There was something strange about these cookies. They tasted awesome, but there was something a little funky about the texture. I based these off of this recipe buuut they turned out rather different than expected. Maybe it was the natural almond butter, maybe it was the sugar substitute (coconut sugar instead of brown sugar). Who knows! But anyways, they were soft and spongey rather than chewy or crumbly (as I feel cookies should be) and it was throwing me off. The more I thought about it, the more I realized: these should probably be muffins. I would even venture to say that they are destined to be muffins–they were essentially muffins masquerading as cookies. The batter was just soft and runny enough that they would have been perfect; plus, they’re not too sweet to thrive in muffin form. In other words, these cookies could have easily been eaten for breakfast. The fact that they were cookies, however, made that feel wrong. That being said, I did eat a few of these for breakfast anyways. But I will admit that it felt scandalous. So, friends, if you make these, I suggest you forget the cookie sheets and put them straight into your muffin tins. The baking time would probably be a little different, so you’re going to have to experiment and let me know what happens. Or just make them as cookies if that doesn’t bother you, that works too, of course.

1 c. almond butter
2/3 c. coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2/3 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Throw your oats and baking soda into a little bowl and set these aside for a bit. Next, beat your almond butter, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla together with an electric mixer until combined, then gently stir in the oats and baking soda. Fold in the chocolate chips last. Place them 2″ or so apart on a greased cookie sheet (or like I said, make these into muffins!) and bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are just barely brown. They’ll look a little undercooked, but they’ll hold together once cooled.

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Obviously it goes without saying that you can make these with peanut butter. I’m just rather partial to almond butter. Or if you really want, you can substitute the chocolate chip for some other mix-in (although I find this a little sacrilegious, personally, but that’s just because I’m probably a certifiable chocolate addict).

Keep being wonderful. You guys are great.

Love, Emily


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Date, Pecan, and Chocolate Chip Blondies

Hiii guuuys,

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DISCLAIMER: this post is sassier and more sarcastic than usual. Don’t know. Bear with me.

Soooo I’ve had this box of medjool dates in the fridge for a while now and aucune idée what to do with them. Dates are wonderful, but to be honest, I’ve never really baked with them before. Or cooked with them. Yeah okay, I have very little date-experience (hahaaaaaa ha). Anywaaaays, ahem, I kept thinking about making some sort of raw Larabar/energy bar/raw healthy treat kinda deal with them and my new ~FOOD PROCESSOR~ (!!!!!) since they’re “nature’s natural sweetener” and “soooo nutritious” and all but just meh. I want something sweet and yummy and not healthy. Or at least, not masquerading as such. And I did not want anything “no-bake”. No-bake, no-fun, am I right?? (…) Basically what I’m trying to say is, I was in the mood to put something in the oven, smell it baking, and use all the willpower in the world to resist cutting into it before it cooled enough. So that’s exactly what I did. And ooooh was I happy with the result. (And oooooooh did these smell good while they were baking.)

This was an experiment gone awry wonderfully well! Since when does that happen ever?! I’ve been experiencing some odd health things lately (meh) but my doctor recommended I try to eat gluten free for a little while just to see if I respond well to that. Maybe I have some weird kind of food sensitivity, who knows. I blame my Paris bread-binge. Anyways, the point is, even as a temporary experimental trial-run kinda thing, being gluten free is HAAARD. I don’t even eat bread that much, but suddenly when I’m not allowed to have it, it’s all I want/think about/crave/yearn for. Okay maybe that’s a little extreme (or is it???) but honestly, for all you gluten-eaters, think about how many things have flour in them. Now, think about not being able to eat them. Tortillas. Cake. Sandwiches. Pizza. Mkay I have to stop before I start crying. But YEAH. Rough. Anyways, this means I’ve been getting creative with my baking. Just because all these things I’ve been making are gluten free, doesn’t mean they’re not just as delicious–perhaps even more delicious, I might venture to say (gasp!)–than their gluteny counterparts. These are pretty wonderful, guys. And like my brownies, they’re made with pretty snazzy ingredients. But don’t fret, friends, they do not taste “healthy” in the slightest. Truuust me.

1 1/2 c. almond meal/flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 c. coconut sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 c. dates, pitted and chopped
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°, grease an 8×8″ pan with your oil of choice (coconut oil hollaaaa), and set aside. Sift together the almond flour, baking soda, coconut sugar, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla) and stir the two mixtures together. Gently fold in the dates, pecans, and chocolate chips and evenly spread into the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until edges are lightly brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool. Dig in.

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So can someone hire me to be the in-house baker at their adorable little (but sometimes snobby) NYC coffee shop yet or what? I can bake trendy things! And they’re delicious! And I need a job! Lol jk I wish okay bye going to stop writing before you all hate me and refuse to read my blog ever again </3

Love, Emily


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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

Hi hi,

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So APPARENTLY there’s a gigantic storm a brewin’. Frankenstorm, if you will. So naturally, my first thought when faced with the harsh reality that we may not be able to leave our homes for three days straight was: I BETTER BAKE SOME THINGS ASAP. I planned on baking a bunch. I have perishables that could be baked into things, so why not use them while I still can, ya know? (There is also a chance that we might not lose power at all and that all of this baking will end up being a little unnecessary…but where’s the fun in that?) But seriously, guys! What am I supposed to eat if the power goes out and all our refrigerated things go bad? Well, muffins of course. And some brownies…but we’ll get to those later. All of my friends/roommates/their parents/my parents are freaking out about being safe in the storm and staying away from windows blah blah blah and my biggest concern is “what’s going to happen if all my food goes bad?! And WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO IF THE POWER GOES OUT AND I CAN’T USE THE OVEN OR THE STOVE?” But really though. What on earth am I supposed to do. Looks like I’ll be living off of dry granola, almonds and room temperature soup for three days. It better not come to that. I will be heated.

My first order of business was to bake something that could kiiind of maybe pass as somewhat healthy, since we were going to be eating a lot of this for the next couple of days. Soooo muffins with chocolate chips? Of course. I loosely based this recipe on this one from allrecipes.com. These really aren’t that bad though! And they’re quite yummy. Just a pretty standard muffin, but it does the trick when a muffin craving strikes. Or as a hurricane survival snack, ya know.

1 1/4 c. old fashioned oats

1 c. milk

3/4 c. plain greek yogurt

1 egg

3/4 c. brown sugar (separated into 1/2 c. and 1/4 c. portions)

3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Combine the milk and oats and set aside to sit for a little. Preheat the oven to 400 and grease/line a muffin tin. Add the egg, yogurt, and 1/2 c. of your brown sugar and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and combine the two mixtures together until juuust incorporated. Fill your muffin tin with the batter and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top. I made exactly 12 (rather full and round, but not too full) beautiful muffins. Bake for 18-25 minutes depending on your oven; the original recipe said 20-25 but at 20 minutes mine were already the teensiest bit toasty so I’d recommend you check them a little early!

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Stay safe, east coast buddies! Stay tuned for my hurricane brownies recipe. Let me tell you, it’s a good one.

Love, Emily


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Pumpkin Appreciation Post

OKAY HI GUYS.

Hi. It’s been a while. My camera lens shattered–hence the weird blur thing I’ve got going on in the pictures, I’ve been a busy busy girl, etc. Anyways: IT’S FAAAALL, EVERYONE. I absolutely adore fall. I am such a southern California baby; any sort of weather change makes me SO EXCITED. Especially when it involves beautifully colored leaves! And big comfy sweaters! And boots, and tights, and thick socks, and tea, and apples, and crisp autumn air, and scarves, and pumpkin flavored things. I repeat. Pumpkin flavored things. What’s not to love? Come October, I search the city of New York high and low for the best pumpkin themed treats and products (FYI New Yorkers: Stand Burger on E 12th and University has FABULOUS pumpkin milkshakes, and the pumpkin scone that I’ve tried so far is definitely at Alice’s Tea Cup) and I’d say I’ve done a pretty good job with my findings.

By that, I mean that I have been going pumpkin crazy. Literally though. I think my roommates are starting to get a little annoyed by my compulsive need to purchase any product with the word “pumpkin” in it. For example, I have recently eaten/have recently made/currently have in my pantry or fridge:

-pumpkin spice coffee
-pumpkin spice rooibos tea
-pumpkin pancake mix
-pumpkin bread mix
-3 cans organic pumpkin puree
-pumpkin chocolate chunk bars–my favorite (recipe to follow)
-pumpkin spice simple syrup, for coffee! (recipe to follow)
-pumpkin spice oatmeal (recipe to follow)
-pumpkin pie smoothie (recipe to follow)

Now that I actually look at a list it does seem rather excessive…whatever. Sue me. I’m just a girl who loves pumpkin more than anything, that’s all.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bars:

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You’ll note that this picture was taken towards the end of the life of this batch of pumpkin bars…they go fast. I made this yesterday, so the fact that a 9×13″ pan of them are already in this state is saying something. Apologies for the terrible quality of the photo, the camera lens issue plus the state of the pumpkin bars when I actually got around to photographing them was not idea, but oh well. These pumpkin bars are my absolute favorite pumpkin dessert to make for my family when I go home in the fall/winter. They are much appreciated by my dad and brother especially. I really, strongly believe that you will love them just as much!

2 c. flour

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves (if you have it! I omitted)

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 c. sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. pumpkin puree

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips, but preferably chunks)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, and salt) and set this aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fully combined, then add in the egg and vanilla it all together. Next, add the pumpkin puree to your butter and sugar mixture and mix well. This will look a little curdled and funky; you didn’t do anything wrong! It’ll all come together in the next step: gradually mix in the dry ingredients to the large bowl a little bit at a time, stirring constantly. Once completely combined, dump that entire bag of chocolate into the batter, mix, and pour into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took the full 35, plus even a couple extra for the middle to set) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Voila! There ya go.

Prepare for these to be eaten very quickly; they’re pretty wonderful.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

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See that mason jar of gritty-looking, thick, brown liquid? Yep, that’s what you’re making! I understand it looks highly questionable, but let me tell you. It is delicious. I adapted this recipe from this one for a pumpkin spice latte, but since I do not have an espresso machine (I wish), I just pour it in my coffee and it does the trick just the same! It’s my own version of the obscenely expensive–but equally addicting–Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. It certainly does the trick!

1 c. water

3/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ginger

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring every once in a while. Do so for about 10-15 minutes; it should thicken a little but it will do most of the thickening once you take it off the stove. Once it has cooled enough, you can strain it if you’d like to get rid of some of the gritty situation caused by the spices that will inevitably settle to the bottom, but you don’t have to! I don’t mind the spices, nor do I have a strainer or cheesecloth on hand, so I just stuck it in a mason jar in the fridge and called it a day.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal:

Sorry guys, no picture! This was just done on a whim since I had extra pumpkin puree that I needed to use (as was the pumpkin pie smoothie). It’s a super simple recipe. You could probably figure this out for yourself, but here ya go anyways

1/4 c. cooked steel cut oats

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger to taste

Mkay guys, all you have to do is mix this all together. Maybe add some dried cranberries or whatever else you like (I did that plus some walnuts, it was delicious).

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

Also no picture for this one. Apologies. This was DELICIOUS. I am absolutely in love with my banana smoothies, so this pumpkin version nearly killed me. In a good way. Death by pumpkin deliciousness.

1 frozen banana, broken up into pieces

1 scoop whey protein powder

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp. old fashioned oats

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to taste

1 c. milk

Ice (optional)

Blend this all together, and there ya go! The oats add a nice “pie crust” kind of taste; and honestly this is just all around delicious. I want one right now, but I don’t have an open can of pumpkin puree (blasphemy!). I can imagine blending some dark chocolate chips into it would make it a pretty fabulous healthy dessert…think about it…

For all of you who do not understand what the “big deal is” with all this pumpkin stuff: shame on you. Pumpkin is magical and wonderful in every way. It is the epitome of FALL FLAVOR. I will definitely be making more pumpkin things soon (pumpkin snickerdoodles have been on my radar recently, along with my eventual pumpkin apple crumb pie eventually for my Thanksgiving masterpiece), so pumpkin fans, stay tuned. It’s going to be a great fall for food.

Love, Emily