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

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

{gluten-free} Nutty Banana Streusel 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

{gluten-free} Peppermint Patty Brownie Bars

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

{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

{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. Continue reading

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