hazelnut mini cakes

ok, hi!!! this isn't *thanksgiving content* this is just a list of things that i am excited about. you can read it now or when everyone else is tryptophan napping (and you're not because you b.y.o.-ed a squashducken) or when your husband is outside hanging christmas lights from the chicken coop even though half of them are burnt out. i don't know. 

eggboy's birthday! and eggdad's too! // they are both early next week so we are celebrating this weekend and eggboy has requested corned beef hash, which i have never made before! do you have any tips? so far all i got is the name and number of the town diner, in case i screw it all up.

my quin candy advent calendar // it's been sitting in my kitchen for about a week now, tempting me every time i walk by. thankfully there are bonus days thrown in there, so i've broken into those already, but now i've gotta wait until december 1 to actually start the countdown.

pizza night x 2 // since today is the friday of this week's work week, we get to have pizza. and since real friday is also still friday, we get to have pizza again. yippee!! amy thielen's cracker crust pizza has been one of our favorite's lately and we've been grinding up some of the wheat that eggboy grows to put in the dough. very tasty! very farm to belly.

these cute-as-a-button cake stands // they are the ones in these pictures and they are from aheirloom and yessss, your mini cakes deserve their own mini stands.

i'm gonna be in the tv making gingerbread cookies all weekend! // turn on food network or hgtv on saturday night at 8pm (eastern time) and i'll be making these little guys at some point during the hour! 

the turquoise raymond loewy skillet // i mean, look at it, it's stunning. it makes me want to be one of those people who are into design and who can authoritatively say things like, "ah yes, i love a good mid-century modern design." or something.

the spring awakening revival // it is my favorite musical and it recently returned to broadway with a cast that's a mix of hearing and deaf actors. watch this video, it is so beautiful. 

cake in a crate // my old friend from juilliard and his ladyfriend recently started the coolest ever company that is basically like blue apron but for vegan/gluten-free/refined sugar-free cakes! i tried it out over the summer and it is great. all of the ingredients come in cute individual packages (a.k.a. my true weakness in life) and the recipes are super tasty. i am especially excited about it right now because these here hazelnut mini cakes are now one of the crates that they're offering! 

...so these are vegan and gluten-free??? yesyesyes! they are super squishy and nutty and a little bit coconutty, and of course chocolaty because what is a hazelnut without its friend, chocolate? they are so easy to make and they whip up in a heartbeat and in case you're snowed in or you don't want to put on pants to go to the store or you just like cute awesome things, here, have cake in a crate send you all of the ingredients

hazelnut mini cakes

makes 12



1 1/4 c Gluten-free all-purpose flour
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 c maple syrup
1/3 c coconut oil, melted but not hot
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c full fat coconut milk


3/4 c chocolate chips
2 tb coconut oil
1 tb coconut milk
2 tb maple syrup


Crushed toasted hazelnuts


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, hazelnuts, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and coconut milk. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then pour into the muffin tins. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 16 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate is fully melted. Stir in the coconut milk and syrup, and then continue stirring for a few minutes until the ganache cools slightly. 

To decorate, pour the ganache over the cakes so that it drips down the sides. Top with hazelnuts and sprinkles as desired. Enjoy! 


cornbread french toast with caramelized onions and cream cheese

yay, thanksgiving week! clappy hands, clappy hands. i was going to be sad about our fun-filled weekend* coming to an end, but then i realized that another weekend is going to start the day after tomorrow. yay!!! 

*pizza night on the town with eggsister and eggsisterman! a ride on a ferris wheel! the new hunger games! cookies! tacos and nacho with fellow chicken parent friends! ooh and adele on snl. yessss.

so i'm gonna go hurry off to get my thanksgiving grocery shopping ducks in a row so that i can have first pick of the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.

this is a super simple recipe that works best when it's made with day-old cornbread (ahem, as in leftover-from-thanksgiving cornbread). corn, caramelized onions, and cream cheese are all things that can hang so nicely on the borderline of sweet and savory, and you know me, i *love* a savory breakfast, so i like finishing this off with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and paprika or harissa powder. but! if you want to take this in a sweet direction, there is no shame in nixing the onions here and topping this with powdered sugar or syrup! 

cornbread french toast with caramelized onions and cream cheese

this makes enough for about 2 slices of cornbread, but it can easily be doubled/tripled/etc.


unsalted butter, for the pan

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 large egg

2 tb whole milk

two 1/2" slices day old cornbread

salt and pepper

2 dollops of cream cheese

hot sauce or any spicy seasonings, optional, to taste



heat a small pat of butter over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they're very soft and brown.

meanwhile, heat another pat of butter in a skillet over medium-medium high. beat the egg and milk in a bowl and soak both sides of the cornbread in it (i keep mine in for 15 seconds per side, but depending on how sturdy/fluffy your cornbread is, you might find it needs more or less time), brown both sides in the skillet, season both sides with salt and pepper, and then top with onions, a dollop of cream cheese, and a sprinkling of hot stuff, if using. enjoy!


thank you so much to the american egg board for sponsoring this post! check out their site for information on things like all of those symbols on egg packaging and how to decipher the numbers are printed next to a sell by date. (do you know what a julian date is?!) their site also has tons of fun egg recipes which i'll certainly need once macaroni start laying. follow #recipeeggchange for recipes and holiday hacks to use in the kitchen this season!

pictured: pan // towel // bowl

olive oil baharat sweet potato chips

greetings from deep fried foods week! i have been spending my days in ratty old painting clothes, frying up all of the recipes for my book and the upcoming hanukkah season over and over and over again, and listening to justin bieber.

(because i am a fan of justin bieber now. omg. i don't even call him justin bieber, it's just bieber and eggboy doesn't approve. but! i like his new album! and when i listen to it i feel similarly to how i felt in 2009 about owl city: fun, ready to dance, and maybe in the mood for some internet shopping because in 2009 i did all of my holiday shopping on 5th avenue with owl city fireflying in my t-mobile sidekick earbuds, or something... i've also been really really into that disclosure/lorde song that they ***nailed*** on snl last weekend.)

ok, so now you know the vibe of my kitchen these days. fry stuff, eat it, make every attempt to dance it all off, repeat. watch master of none. don't think about skinny jeans. i know it was a really dumb decision from a health standpoint to book all of my fried food into one week (i ate latkes and schnitzel yesterday, that's it), but from a cleanup perspective, all is going well up in here! 

i recently learned a really great new thing about frying. last month i took a trip to the california olive ranch (those are their olives being harvested in the photos!) and among my biggest takeaways from the trip, in addition to the v fun times spent with lindsey and grace, was that the smoke point of good fresh olive oil is actually high enough to allow deep frying. like 425º high. i've always thought that canola and vegetable oil were best for frying, but finally i got home and fried some cauliflower and potato chips in ca olive ranch's olive oil and it worked. no smoke at all. it was like magic, only then i googled it and by the looks of how many articles there are about it, i think i am one of the last people to learn this... whatever! i get to eat all of the chips by myself with less guilt now.

this chip recipe is the easiest recipe ever. it's just fried sweet potatoes dusted with baharat, which is a middle eastern spicy situation that's got a little bit of cumin and some mad fall flavors going on, like cinnamon and nutmeg. it's super wonderful and these chips are likely something i'll make again after thanksgiving with any leftover sweet potatoes that didn't make it into the casserole.

olive oil baharat sweet potato chips


good olive oil, for frying (like california olive ranch)

1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced with a mandoline

kosher salt

1 tsp baharat, or to taste

1/4 tsp sugar

garlic and onion yogurt sauce, for dipping


in a heavy pot fitted with a thermometer, heat about 2" olive oil to 360º. fry the potato slices in batches until browned and crispy, 1 1/2-2 minutes. transfer them to a paper towel. sprinkle with salt, baharat, and sugar, and enjoy!


thank you so much to the california olive ranch for sponsoring this post! their olive oil is some of the best olive oil i've ever had and i am so excited to be partnering with them on posts over the next year!


sugar cookie mini cakes

and a little guide to fixing holiday dessert fails!

have we ever had a real honest discussion about bundt cakes and how i've never made a successful one and how it was even once a dark joke with yossy and sarah and me? and how all i ever wanted for my wedding was a gaggle of mini bundts on my dessert table and even though that is a gross exaggeration, i tried so hard to have red velvet mini bundts and failed miserably and had to reroute those suckers at the very last minute before saying my vows? the bundt struggle is real, as is the struggle with so many other holiday desserts and i've been doing some thinking: it's time we did some good old fashioned mental preparation for the holidays. 

sure, dessert fails aren't totally specific to the holidays, but any time you're making a dessert for a special occasion, you have the added pressure of *time*, and the challenge gets worse. like, just last month, i got an email about a failed batch of halloween cookies and by the time i could sit down and write a reply, i realized that halloween was half over and knew my advice probably wouldn't do much good at that point. so because the holidays are upon us and because i'm expecting all of you to do a bunch of baking this season, i've put together a little list of tricks that will help you save and repurpose any desserts that have gone south. it's my little way of keeping it together during the holidays, or as the good folks at hallmark say, #keepsakeit together.

if your bundt cake or any other cake breaks while it's coming out of the pan: crumble it all up, distribute the crumbles into individual jars and top them with a dollop of frosting and sprinkles (this is what i did with my wedding bundts!) or you can make cake truffles.

if your gingerbread walls fall apart: you can do what i did during the great gingerbread house catastrophe of 1997, in which we accidentally bought the fluffy flimsy frosting instead of the holds-like-glue frosting: use cardboard for the walls and glue them together with a hot glue gun. decorate with candy as if nothing happened... not even a monstrous tantrum...

if your cheesecake cracks down the middle: happens to me all the time. ugh! do what eva does and dump a bunch of berries on it! or cover the top in frosting or caramel. yum.

if your pie fails in any of the million ways that pies do: chop it up and fold it into some ice cream for a pie sundae or a pie milkshake. you were planning on serving it with ice cream anyway, right?

if your meringues deflate in the oven: break all of them up to make an eton mess!

if your cookies break or burn or you spend your afternoon building sugar cookie mini cakes and then a storm (or cat?) blows through and they all fall down: ok, i made you this sugar cookie mini cake recipe so that i could demonstrate what to do! these little guys are inspired by this cute ornament (seriously with all of the mini cakes that i've made why have i not made cookie mini cakes?? thank you, cookie ornament, for inspiring me to do this!) and for the record, no, a kitty did not come and tip all of these over. we're just talking theoretically here... see below for the recipe and my solution for fixing cookies gone wrong:

sugar cookie mini cakes

makes 6



3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


1 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
A pinch of kosher salt

Sprinkles, for decorating



Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium high until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the extracts and egg and mix to combine.  Reduce the speed to low and then gradually add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Pour the dough out onto a clean work surface and give it a few kneads to bring it all together. Divide it in half, wrap half of it plastic wrap, and refrigerate it while you roll out the first half. (Alternatively, you can make the dough in advance, wrap all of it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.)

Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the dough to 1/4” thickness. Cut out five increasing sizes of circles, 1 1/2"-3" (i use these biscuit cutters) and use a small offset spatula to transfer them to a baking sheet, 1" apart. Re-roll scraps and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer them a wire rack to cool completely.


In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and mix to combine. Mix in the extracts and salt. Add food coloring, if desired.


Transfer the frosting to a piping bag. Stack up the circles, largest on bottom, with a thin layer of frosting between them and decorate with sprinkles.

...ok so now you're la-dee-da going about your day after you spent hours building these and this happens:

never fear, make a good old northern midwest cookie salad! crunch up your cookies, fold them into whipped cream, add some fruit if you'd like, top with sprinkles (important!) and make some obscure fargo reference while you serve it in cute trifle cups. and hint: if your cookies failed by way of over baking, let your salad sit in the fridge for a good few hours (or overnight) before serving to allow the cookies to soften in the whipped cream. boom! cookie failure has been reversed. 

congratulations, you are now a holiday dessert resuscitator! now go forth and bake and enjoy your holiday season. 


thank you, hallmark! for sponsoring this post!! check out hallmark's microsite to see how others #keepsakeit together for the holidays!