flourless maple walnut peanut butter cookies + a giveaway

Monday, March 16

flourless maple walnut peanut butter cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine


"The pearls weren't really white, they were a warm oyster beige, with little knots in between
so if they broke, you only lost one. I wished my life could be like that, knotted up so that even
if something broke, the whole thing wouldn't come apart." 
                                                                        
                                                            ~ from 'The White Oleander' by Janet Fitch
I'm still guilty of neglecting my blog, yet I can't come up with a valid excuse. My thoughts, which have been buried +  scattered across the months of January & February, are slowly thawing. I'm trying to process the fact that it's actually warm enough to gently *pry* open my bedroom window at night. After a lengthy absence, it's hard to know where to (re)start. My writing voice is filled with an assortment of plump little winterling birds, each one longing to fly out and test the warm ambiance (at last!) of  March. I can't release them all at once so I'll start with the quiet ones and gradually work my way up to the brash confidence of squeaky wheels.

Today I'm sharing a sweetly simple recipe for maple walnut peanut butter cookies. Simple because unlike most cookies, you won't have to suffer the agony of chilling dough. They are also flourless. I'd label them gluten free but, being relatively unfamiliar with the gf world, I'll err on the side of caution. I enjoy peanut butter much too much, a jar of the good stuff will only last about a week in my cupboard. As soon as I arrived home with my beloved maple madness peanut butter, I whipped up these tender little gems. Feel free to omit the walnuts & chocolate, if you prefer. While both additions gave the cookies a pleasant nubby texture, I think they almost masked the peanut butter's maple flavour.

guest post: banana hazelnut pound cake

Monday, March 2

banana hazelnut pound cake; a guest post by @abrowntable

Once again I find myself tumbling swiftly through 2015 without a clock or parachute. Winter has been an absolute lion this year, its frigid, gigantic paw planted firmly on my shoulder, holding me in a frozen state of lethargy. Icy fingertips & drafty kitchen, I've simply been too busy to procure the required space of time to bake + blog. Thank goodness for (heroic!) fellow food bloggers. I'm elated to introduce you to Nik, from the exquisite A Brown Table.

Nik's food photography is stunning. He captures the perfect mood of each ingredient and makes the process of baking (and cooking) a work of art. I also love the fact that his recipes are unique and often include helpful hints & photos. If you're new to his food blog, I'm sure you will be immediately smitten, too!

Thank you so much for helping me keep my blog afloat, Nik. She's all yours... xoxo

Happy Birthday, Mom (& Tom Hiddleston)! a mid-winter dark chocolate + blood orange cake

Friday, February 6

blood orange cake with dark chocolate + blood orange frosting | une gamine dans la cuisine
"Decadence: where the tasty and the unsavoury, the harmful and the delightful are no longer discernible from one another." 

                                            ~ Wieki Somers
Oh hello again, everyone. The holiday season left in flurry of wind & salt. It slammed the door (with its typical jubilant-yet-oblivious manner) and left a mess of strewn confetti & unfulfilled expectations in its wake. I'm never prepared for Christmas, but I find I'm even less equipped for its abrupt departure. The breathless excitement felt at the top of a December's Ferris wheel makes January's plunge all the more grey & vacant. In an effort to soften last month's harsh edges, I decided to take a break from blogging. I simply wanted to bake for the sake of baking. My camera took refuge on a cosy pile of photo prop linens and we both enjoyed an unspoken truce. I'm sorry that I didn't announce my absence...it was a flight of fancy and I did not want to tarnish a rare act of spontaneity by over-explaining the motive behind it. An elephantine Thank You to everyone who inquired about my lack of posts (it's lovely & humbling to know they were missed!). xoxo 

This cake made me blissfully silly, again, & it reawakened my blogging nerdiness. It's embarrassing how many photos were taken (all while listening to an idiosyncratic mix of Tom Waits & the Amélie soundtrack). At first glance the recipe appears dramatic & lengthy but, if you take on each component individually, it's completely approachable. The cake is an experience. It's devastatingly rich...beyond anything I've ever made. I will have euphoric dreams about this cake for a very long, long time.

blood orange & clover honey marshmallows | une gamine dans la cuisine
blood orange cake with dark chocolate + blood orange frosting | une gamine dans la cuisine

apple-berry + hazelnut streusel bars

Tuesday, December 30

apple-berry + hazelnut streusel bars | une gamine dans la cuisine

"let it go - the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise - let it go
it was sworn to
go

let them go - the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers - you must let them go
they were born to
go

let all go - the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things - let all go
dear

so comes love."

                                    ~ 'let it go' by e.e. cummings

Wishing everyone a vivaciously blithe (mind-dust free) 2015!  Sometimes my tiny space feels lost in a hidden pocket of the blogosphere's ether; thank you for visiting, commenting and constantly reminding me why I keep returning to this cosy, flour-speckled nook. xoxo

{At some point in 2015, Tom Hiddleston will play Recuerdos de la Alhambra (for me) on guitar, I'm convinced.}

Hiddles Darling holiday cookies

Thursday, December 11

Hiddles darling holiday cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

I inherited my mother's delicate hummingbird bones and gregarious knees {as a teenager, my knees were more talkative than I was in the early mornings}. Even though I prefer the calm serenity of yoga,  every other year or so I take up running for a handful of months.

When the mercury plummets, I resort to using as archaic treadmill that dwells in my damp, stone-walled basement/dungeon. For some idiosyncratic reason I don't like the jarring feel of running shoes on vinyl, instead I wear yoga socks with sticky, grippy dots (aka, Spiderman socks!). The socks, apparently, are not as Spidey as I had hopped...at least not when they're up against rogue cats. Last week, Niles, in the midst of a phantom mouse chase, decided to take a short cut across a moving treadmill. In an effort to avoid a collision, I performed an inventive, square dance-esqe sidestep; my loquacious left knee was not amused. What began as a tickle, has morphed into a throbbing pain that radiates down my entire outer leg. I *loathe* being inactive. If I'm careful, I can eke out an errant yoga or pilates session, but even gentle movements sometimes ignite my knee's understandable ire.

What does this have to do with cookies (or Tom)? Not much, really. As I was soothing my knee in a hot bubble bath, I focused on a bottle of St. Ives oatmeal shower gel that was sitting on the ledge. The word 'Ives' is comforting; almost like ivy, which, for someone who loves all things verdant & green, is delectable. Ivy eventually led to eyes and eyes led, naturally, to Tom Hiddleston. Kind eyes and chewy cookies are capable of alleviating woes, ouches and fluttering knees.

 

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