{gluten-free} Pistachio Layer Cake – Milk Bar Mondays!

The cake out of the freezer, before it's smoothed and presentable!

The cake out of the freezer, before it’s smoothed and presentable!

Milk Bar Mondays are back, folks!

Well… sort of. A long, long time ago, now, I joined with a group of lady bakers and bloggers to bake our way through Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook, headed up by Audra at The Baker Chick. But then, as often happens, our lives eventually got in the way of the sometimes lengthy, complicated recipes in the book; we changed schools, jobs and cities, some of us had babies (!), and our recipe priorities shifted. I’m sure we all value our blogs still for the many aspects of joy they bring to our lives, but I can’t say I’m surprised at our slow fizzle.

I wish, though, that I could have shared this cake with the other MBM ladies. Because it’s weird. Good weird, but weird. I made it for my dad’s 64th birthday, as the man adores pistachios and for many years bags of them have been stocking stuffers, random tokens of love and birthday gift toppers. So, despite the questionable potential of the cake’s general likeability, the copious amount of not-cheap pistachio nuts and pastes that went into it, and the somewhat lengthy procedure (that doesn’t feel that long, now, if I admit it to myself), this cake would be made.

And, damn, is it good. Weird good, but good.

Continue reading


Filed under Cakes/Cupcakes, Gluten-Free, Milk Bar Mondays, Recipes

{gluten-free} Nutty Banana Streusel Muffins

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins

Muffins are the easiest thing, ever, to make.

Pies and galettes are up there, as is a simple quick pudding and all, and pancakes aren’t half bad either. But muffins… yeah. No electric equipment, one or two bowls, and a hot oven. Yum.

This morning we New Yorkers awoke again to the kind of weather that freezes your face off; no matter the layering or quickness of step, by the time I got in from walking Mitra I could have rather easily snapped the frozen nose off of my face. Directly into the kitchen for hot tea and eggs, my eyes set on three blackened bananas I’d left waiting to be pureed into something sweet. My roommate – who took the rare day off – was still sleeping. I already had chicken stock simmering on the stove, and a day’s pitching pieces and transcribing interviews ahead. Yet there were those bananas. Continue reading


Filed under Gluten-Free, muffins, Recipes

Help 4 Harleigh Bake Sale!

Hello! Happy February!

I’ve been completely MIA lately up here, because I honestly haven’t been eating much sugar, so therefore not baking or posting much! I do have some delightful new gluten-free recipes coming up – Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake muffins, a few tea Madeleines, and a Pistachio Layer Cake from the Milk Bar Mondays group! – but in this New England wintery weather I’ve been enjoying hibernating and staying warm and off my feet more than anything.

One of my little “resolutions” of sorts is actually being opposed by today’s post: I am going to do less baking events for good causes. These compound during the holidays, and I love doing each and every one. But they take a few more spoons of energy than my body has at this point (click here for the story of what I mean by spoons), and because I use all organic and high-quality gluten-free flours, I would actually often be giving more by donating money than baked goods. Obviously we do this mostly for the community support such events bring, which is why I always say “yes” when I’ve told myself to say, “I’m sorry, no”.

But then something starts going around the Twittersphere, and my heart melts: Continue reading

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Filed under Baking for the Cause

Cookies for a Cause – The Breast Cancer 3-day for a Cure

2013-08-18 16.54.17

Dear lovely readers,

In 1993 I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I had woken up one morning without the ability to walk, and a series of misdiagnosis happened for months as my condition deteriorated, until the Lyme diagnosis was reached. It took a long time to get me back on my feet as I struggled through a few hours of school daily when able, and spent most of my time alone in bed when not. My freshmen year of college I started getting sick again, resulting in daily injections to again defeat Lyme my sophomore year. Late into 2007 I started going downhill again, resulting in yet another year of dropped work as I remained largely home bound, letting my body heal. The past year or so I’ve again been playing with another – albeit gentler – system of symptoms and forms of healing.

Throughout the rollercoaster that has been living with Lyme and its effects, I’ve learned so much about my body, my spirit, and the world around us. While I do sometimes wish life were a little easier and my body a little less strained, I am thankful for the ways in which it’s shaped me. Continue reading

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Filed under Baking for the Cause, Living with Lyme

{gluten-free} Peppermint Patty Brownie Bars

Peppermint Bars

Layers of Peppermint Chip Brownies, peppermint cream and a dark-chocolate glaze, studded with crushed candy canes. Yum!

In general I’m a lady of simple pleasures. But now and then I need a little ooh-la-la!

These bars pack a ton of ooh-la-la and a bit of fa-la-la-la-la and a heaping scoop of ho-ho-ho to boot!

I’d had a package of candy  canes on my baking shelf since October. Yes, October. Because that’s when my roommate (kinda sorta) lets me at least bring up the subject of Christmas without throwing something at me. But with all the molasses-ing and ginger-ing and cookie-ing of various sorts, I didn’t play with peppermint until last weekend. Continue reading


Filed under Cookies, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Holidays!, Recipes

{gluten-free} 3-Gingers Snaps!

Snappy cookies with dried, fresh and candied ginger!

Snappy cookies with dried, fresh and candied ginger!

“If you want really spicy cookies, go try those ginger snaps…”

This was said to me last Monday at the Serious Eats 5th Annual Cookie Swap, a fun little shindig with an impressive variety of sweets and some serious cocktails that I was told (but had a hard time believing) were somehow even stronger last year. Of course I didn’t actually get to try anyone else’s cookies (or the gorgeous canelles that Dessertbuzz brought and we were all oohing and aahing over!) because mine were the only gluten-free option of the bunch. I wasn’t going to even label them as such, but did just in case there was another “me” in attendance. When Niko (Dessertbuzz) told me to check out the “really spicy cookies” and I responded, “They’re mine!”, I was rewarded with a happy face standing next to them, noshing away. He’d been trying to stick to a gluten-free diet, and was psyched to find my little plate amongst the gorgeous spread.

So, yes, these are really spicy gluten-free ginger snaps! Continue reading


Filed under Cookies, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Holidays!, Recipes

{gluten and dairy-free} Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy molasses cookies - lots of flavor, no gluten!

Chewy molasses cookies – lots of flavor, no gluten!

I love spicy molasses cookies. They’re like gingersnaps’ saucier big sister.

I made these for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap benefiting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and an online auction Bake Sale for the Philippines, since they travel well and lack the gluten and dairy my swap matches can’t digest.

They’re rather easy to make and have that crackly, sugary top that makes me think of the holidays, for some reason!

They’re also 100% kid tested and approved. I can say that because the tiny little baby friend I had in my apartment the night I was making them gobbled one up. So 1 outta 1! Woohoo! She then got naked and started playing with the silver shakers at my living room bar, so I don’t know if we can trust a 1-year old with a drinking problem, but whatever.

Anyway, they’re delicious on their own, and even better when crumbled into another cookie, sandwiched around frosting or dunked in ice cream. A classic, chewy in the center and crispy at the edges. Yum.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

{gluten and dairy-free} Chewy Molasses Cookies

makes about 40 cookies


  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1.5 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 10 Tbsp butter flavored Earth Balance, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup white sugar (plus additional sugar for rolling the cookies)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses

In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk the Earth Balance, 1 cup sugar and egg until smooth, the sugar melting in as much as possible. Fold in the flour mixture. Refrigerate dough for a at least one hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment or Silpat.

Roll about 1 Tbsp of dough into a ball and roll completely in white sugar. Repeat to make 12 cookies a tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops crack and the cookies are set flat. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.


Filed under Cookies, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Holidays!, Recipes