tahini puppy chow

hello from hawaii where we are celebrating eggboy’s 30th birthday!! we came here right after a quick couple of days spent in new york for the today show and the launch of my taim falafel and it was so much fun! i got to make tater tot hotdish on air with al roker and harry connick junior, and they and everyone else at the show were so gosh darn sweet! i was so nervous but made sure to eat a good breakfast at ess-a-bagel before and then i managed to squeeze in a mention of our town tater tot factory during the segment. new york actually felt balmy when we got there since it was -20 when we left grand forks. it was perfect walking weather, so i was able to easily avoid the subway and log a zillion steps per day. 

anywho, about a month ago my bb kristin texted me a very important text message:

tahini puppy chow?????

yassssss!!!!!! ever since chanie posted a recipe for it i've been eyeing it up and down.

the last time i’d had puppy chow was probably also the last time i wore limited too and was obsessed with lime green and those little rhinestone accessories that stuck onto your hair by way of velcro. (do you remember those? what were we thinking?) puppy chow was the best soccer game half-time snack, tied with firmly packed rice krispies treats. and it is best eaten by shoveling it into your mouth, creating a powder sugar mustache that, now that i have grown out of my limited too phase, begs for a cocaine joke.

when kristin arrived at our house for our annual chrismukkah slumber party, she brought:


powdered sugar

my favorite m&m knockoffs which i think you can only get in the whole foods bulk section (the colors are the prettiest)

tahini for the puppy chow

more tahini for my personal use because my stash got dangerously low and good tahini does not exist in grand forks

and then we went to town and made what seemed like way too much puppy chow at the time but after a couple days of steady noshing it was gone and we got really sad. it’s ok though because the recipe is right here! we improvised on kristin’s classic peanut butter recipe, essentially just swapping out the peanut butter for tahini, adding a bit of cinnamon to enhance the flavor and finishing it with toasted sesame seeds, those pretty m&m knockoffs, and some chopped halva that i've had in my freezer from when ruth gifted me halva kingdom halva in tel aviv! it is perrrrfect to have around in a cute container for when you need just a little bite of something sweet.

tahini puppy chow

makes about 8 cups


1/4 c butter

1/2 c tahini

a couple pinches of cinnamon

a big pinch of salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c chocolate chips

6 c chex cereal

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

2 tb sesame seeds

1 c chopped halva

a few handfuls of m&ms


in a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. stir in the tahini, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is fully melted. remove from the heat.

in a large plastic bin or bowl with a lid, combine the chex and tahini mixture, stirring gently to keep the chex from breaking. stir in half of the powdered sugar and then add the rest of the powdered sugar and the sesame seeds, snap on the lid and shake, shake, shake! taste and add more powdered sugar as desired.

finally, fold in the chopped halva and m&ms and enjoy! 


molten halva lava cakes

with maya from bazek alim!

the other day i was strolling around tel aviv and i was a little bit blue because all of my travel companions had left the country without me (!!) and i still had one day until my flight. i mean, it was exciting because i still had one whole day and i could spend hours at the market debating between this za'atar and that za'atar or walk around my airbnb with no pants on if i wanted to, but that feeling of my trip being nearly over and that other feeling of having to navigate the bus system all by lonesome made me bluer than i should have been in such a sunny city. it felt like the last day of camp :(

but then suddenly, a jingle on my phone! (did you know that phones work kind of pretty well overseas now?!)

it was maya from bazek alimsaying something to the effect of, "hi! would you like to come over and make molten halva lava cakes???"

and all of my blues were gone. vanished! because halva and cake are my safe words and my kryptonite and my drugs of choice, all smashed together. maya inviting me over for halva cake was kind of like how in college if ever one of the percussion boys knew that i was in a salty mood, they could just compliment me on my hair and suddenly they'd be my best friend.


within five minutes of sitting down in maya's apartment/prop room, i had a halva cake from test batch #1 in my belly, a stack of not-yet-available-in-the-states cookbooks sitting on my lap, and a high powered air conditioner covering my person. fantastic!

we baked the afternoon away. we made halva pizza and inbal's cake. maya introduced me to tonka bean, i perused her prop shelves, we talked about blogs... halva was everywhere, caramel was everywhere.... it was glorious. the tastiest of afternoons.

when maya offered me a molten halva lava cake, i did what i always do with dessert. i ate one bite and savored the living daylights out of it, planning to not eat anymore since i knew that there would be more sweets soon. usually i can stick to this plan pretty well. this time i absolutely could not. somewhere between the chewy eggy outer cake and the smooth puddle of caramel that was flavored with just the right amount of tahini, i tossed my plan to the wind and downed the thing. i was bonkers for it.

they're fussy cakes to make, they over bake sooo easily (and i know from experience), but when they're right, they're right. and it still amazes me that they require such basic ingredients.

this recipe is all maya's doing. it is loosely adapted from this french book. (lol, maya, do you even speak french?!) and you can find maya's post and recipe, in hebrew, here

molten halva lava cakes

makes 6


3/4 c sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tb water

1/2 c heavy cream

1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3 eggs

4 tb raw tahini

2 tb flour

flaky sea salt, for topping


preheat the oven to 350f. grease six 1-cup individual ramekins or muffin tins. 

place the sugar and salt in a wide heavy-bottomed pan. stir in the water and cook over high heat until sugar melts into a sandy puddle. once this happens, avoid stirring, to prevent crystallization. continue cooking sugar for 2-4 minutes until it turns a light amber color. reduce heat to low and carefully stir in the cream. continue to stir until mixture smooths out. add butter, cube by cube, stirring, until mixture is thick and homogeneous. remove from heat and let cool slightly.

gradually stir the eggs into the warm (but not hot) caramel mixture, one at a time, and then stir in the tahini. add flour and stir until smooth. 

scoop mixture into the muffin tins and bake until puffed with a 1-inch jiggely circle in center, begin checking for doneness at 8 minutes. 

sprinkle with flaky salt and enjoy!


matcha white chocolate ganache

gravity feels a little bit strong this morning. the gravitational pull back to my bed, under a pile of blankets, and back into that dream where i think i was eating a babka. maybe it has something to do with the snow on the ground and the mountain of cheesy pickles that i demolished late last night with some brunch club ladies and the long hours of vibraphoning that i'm subjecting my fingers and toes to every evening when they think they're going to get a break from doing dishes and tweezering sprinkles on cakes. it's ok though, i'm drinking a huge mug of french press and wearing this fluffy sweater dress that i recently converted to pajamas. (don't smell me.)

and there's an entire package of danny macaroons sitting a few inches to my left. are you my breakfast? 

at some point later today i'm going to do one of two things, or maybe two of two things: eat this matzo brei breakfast sandwich with a carnegie deli-sized stack of salami, and/or further educate myself on the tater tots that are leftover in our deep freeze from last week's brisket hotdish. 

what did i walk in here for though? ganache? ganache. pouring ganache stresses me out, it's a reminder that i need to do more yoga. i don't like that you only get one shot to pour it and that you can't sit there and play with it all day like you could a buttercream. but when it works, it has such a pleasingly fudgey texture and it looks all nickelodeon-like so it truly is worth impulse buying a yoga studio membership. (see also: katherine sabbath's cakes. they are so happy and colorful!) 

in true gak-fashion, this ganache is green. green from matcha, which sings when it's paired with white chocolate. it's as if the matcha begins the sentence and then as it trails off, white chocolate picks up to carry you through to whatever chocolate cake mess is lying beneath it. you don't have to put this ganache on a cake though, you can put it on anything: a sundae, a cookie, your face.

matcha white chocolate ganache


4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

1 tsp aiya cooking grade matcha

1/4 c heavy cream



place the white chocolate in a heat safe bowl and set it aside, but not too far aside.

sift the matcha into a saucepan and whisk in 1 tablespoon of the cream. whisk whisk whisk until no lumps remain. whisk in the remaining heavy cream and then heat it gently over medium heat, stirring often, until it just begins to boil. remove it from the heat, and then pour it over the white chocolate.

let it sit for a few seconds, and then stir it all together until the chocolate melts. 

if you're pouring this over a cake, let the ganache cool slightly (stirring often), and then pour it over! if the cake is frosted, it helps to have it chilled so that the ganache hardens and doesn't melt the frosting. 


this post is sponsored by aiya matcha! all opinions are my own.

fairy toast, three ways

yo. listen to this thing that kids eat in australia: bread with butter and (wait for it) sprinkles. 


that's it! it even has a cute name! it's called fairy bread. i think i'm actually probably really late to the game on this one, but i just can't get over how adorable everything is about it. it's like five-second funfetti. the happiest open-faced sandwich in all the land. the life of the australian birthday party. the new number one reason why i want to go to australia (sorry, koalas!!!). 

look at this buzzfeed list of fun fairy bread-inspired recipes. 

when i received my new best friend, the toaster, over the holidays (thank you, stella!!!!!!!!), it was clear that there would be only one way to christen it. fairy toast. on big thick bread, with silly toppings. it was so much fun. usually when i use that many sprinkles, i have to earn it by way of baking a cake, frosting it, etc., but this time i just had to toast bread and it felt so wrong but so so right.

for a good smile, try this.

fairy toast, three ways

the olivia newton-john (classic) // white toast + butter + sprinkles

the healthy one // multigrain toast + coconut butter + naturally dyed sanding sugar

the lorde (lively and far from traditional) // sourdough toast + butter + sweetened condensed milk + bits of marzipan