Whole Wheat Pancakes

20130418-102028.jpg I love pancakes! I forgot to add that in my about page, but there’s a fundamental fact about me;) But as much as I love them, they don’t love me. When I have them for breakfast they always leave me with this empty feeling in my stomach and let’s face it: they’re not the most nutritional thing on the planet. So I started craving more substantial pancakes; something that would really fill me up. I was craving whole wheat pancakes. So my mom (lovingly) made me the best pancakes I ever had! It’s from my fav buttermilk pancake recipe (from Darigold; I already tried cooks illustrated and these are better:) where the all purpose flour is replaced with whole wheat pastry flour and oats are added for extra heartiness.

20130418-102822.jpg The result is thick, moist pancakes that have a wonderful flavor. She also added vanilla, which is a must! Buttermilk and the oats are what make these pancakes moist, and the whole wheat pastry flour doesn’t weigh it down a bit. I must warn you though: the result wouldn’t be the same if you were to use plain whole wheat flour, as I’m thinking it would make them heavy. Best of all, these fill you up! In truth, these are the best pancakes I have ever had. In my life. And I’ve tried a bazillion recipes! Make these and you won’t be disappointed!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Adapted from Darigold


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/8-1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter


Preheat griddle to 350F or skillet on medium-low heat. Combine first four ingredients. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients; add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Mixture will be thick, but if too thick (not spoonable), add more buttermilk. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto well greased griddle or skillet and spread with spoon if needed. Cook until tops are bubbly and edges are dry. Flip and cook until golden brown.

Yield: About 15 Pancakes


Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

20130415-154047.jpg Have you ever heard of caramelized white chocolate? I was bewildered when I came across it on thelittleloaf! Since I love all things caramelized and I adore white chocolate, this was a must try! Before I get any further, I know it sounds ridiculous. I mean, wouldn’t it seize up? Well yes it does, but you just have to stir it and it smoothes out again. What I did with the finished product was pour it onto some parchment, let it set, broke it into chunks and added it to one of the most amazing cookie doughs I’ve ever had.

20130417-115309.jpg The dough is made from my favorite quick chocolate chip cookie doughs from cooks illustrated that bakes up thick, chewy and professional looking. I made these with all brown sugar for extra caramel flavor, and browned the butter to make it more nutty and add depth of flavor. And because it’s browned butter 🙂 After adding the chunks of caramelized white chocolate it. was. ah-mazing!! Once I baked them (using a method of stacking the dough to make them thicker) they blew my mind. Have you ever had an oatmeal scotchie? You know, those cookies with the oats and butterscotch chips. These are like a more refined version. The caramelized white chocolate adds toastiness and the cookie dough is very caramely and soft.
I know that these look like a lot of work, and they are, but don’t let that deter you! They’re easy peasy if you make the chocolate the day before. You need this experience in your life!

Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from cooks illustrated


2 cups plus 2 tbsp (10 5/8 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
11 oz white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips)


To caramelize the white chocolate, place it in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. When chocolate seizes, take off heat, stir until smooth, and return skillet to burner. Continue this process for about 45 minutes, stirring all the while, until it’s a medium caramel color:

20130417-122800.jpg Pour onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let set and break into chunks.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small saucepan or skillet, heat butter on medium to high heat (depending on how fast you want your butter to brown). After butter begins to foam, stir until it is a golden brown color and smells nutty and wonderful. Take off heat and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat sugar and browned butter (make sure to add the brown bits) until smooth. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. On low, add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chunks (you will have some left over).

Using a muffin scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough and roll into balls. Tear balls in half, turn ragged edges to face top and bottom and press together:

20130417-124425.jpg Space cookies 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until light golden brown and puffy. Cookies will not appear to be done, but they will continue to bake on cookie sheet. Cool cookies on sheet; remove cookies to counter. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Yield: 12-18 cookies

Note: To give them a more professional look, halfway through baking time press
the extra chocolate chunks on top of cookies.

Shortbread cookies (GF)

So let’s get down to things: I’m really sick. It’s miserable.
Mostly because of the seizures. Yup…ugh. Ok I’m done sulking:) But seriously, I’m going somewhere with this! Since I’ve been sick (for like EVER!!) I haven’t done a lot of baking. So my sister (beautiful, gorgeous and kind…repetitive?? Nah;) made these for me. Gluten free. Twice. Because they’re so good and my sister is better than yours. (I think I feel more feisty at 3am;)

Anyhoo, these cookies are amazing! They’re stable–not too crumbly (a miracle for GF shortbread!), vanilla scented, melt in your mouth, warm your soul cookies. Did I mention that they melt in your mouth?! my favorite part:) Plus, (aside from being gluten free and wonderful) they’re infinitely customizable! Want Linzer cookies? Cut a hole in the middle, sandwich with preserves and top with powdered sugar. Cut outs? Roll with a bit of GF flour and cut away, topping with frosting. Chocolate chip shortbread? Add mini chocolate chips (duh). Chinese almond cookies? Add almond extract and top with an almond. You could even make a version of samoas Girl Scout cookies! Yum. Oh, and of course you could always use all purpose flour and leave out the xanthan gum for a gluten version. Whatever you do, do yourself and someone you love a favor and make these!

GF Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Argo Cornstarch


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I prefer King Arthur Flour)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon sugar


Preheat oven to 300ºF.

Mix butter, brown sugar and vanilla using electric mixer until creamy. In medium bowl combine flour, xanthan gum and cornstarch. Add to the sugar mixture on low speed.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Pour tablespoon of sugar on a small plate; dip bottom of drinking glass in sugar and gently press down on each cookie to flatten.

Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.

Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool; enjoy with a cup of tea.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Note: if you want shortbread slices, knead dough until smooth (about 2 min)
and shape into an 8×11″ rectangle. Slice off 2×1″ cookies and bake as directed above.


Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

20130302-190442.jpg So you guys, I dreamt about these brownies. I saw them at How Sweet It Is way back at Thanksgiving, and didn’t look at them since, until about a week ago out of the blue, I dreamt about making these exact same brownies. They must have left a big impression!! So after dreaming about them of course I had to make them. BUT, although they were really tasty, they looked like this:

20130302-191343.jpg Due to my errors, the brownies stuck to the parchment paper, they crumbled, I didn’t make the frosting thick enough so that they were completely covered, and the ganache did not help with appearances. I was NOT satisfied. So I tried again, buttering the pan, adding xanthan gum to the brownies so that they would stick together, adding cream instead of milk (oops) to the frosting, and changing the ganache into a thinner icing so as to get those beautiful chocolate streams down the sides. It worked!

20130302-192121.jpg These are incredible. Chewy brownie with chocolate chips, icing like the filling of a peppermint pattie, with shiny chocolate icing slathered on top. Oh yum. I love the icing, as it’s thick and very peppermint-y. Cool peppermint paired with dark chocolate FTW!! Note: you can make these with wheat flour by replacing the flour mix with all-purpose flour and leaving out the xanthan gum.

Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

Adapted from How Sweet It Is


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp evaporated milk or cream
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp salt
3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3.5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp corn syrup
1 pinch salt


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9×9″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisk until combined. Whisk eggs in one at a time, stirring until a smooth. Whisk flour mix, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes until set. Remove and let cool.

While brownies are cooling, combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk (or cream), vegetable oil, and vanilla and peppermint extracts in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour over brownies and spread in an even layer (press with fingers into corners). Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes.

Combine butter, chocolate and corn syrup in small saucepan over low heat until melted. Cut brownies into 16 pieces. Spread icing over top of brownies.

Yield: 16 brownies


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (GF)

So today let’s talk comfort. Everybody knows that winter is sick season, and man. I got it baaaad. Suffice it to say that I have had to ask people to bring me my food. For a month. Yup. So naturally this has to be a comforting recipe, for all of you sick people out there, or just for those of you who are needing a bit of love. Or for anyone who likes cookies. Really, you can’t go wrong.

When I was growing up (ok, if you want to get technical I still am) my mom never made oatmeal raisin cookies, because she didn’t like them. She said that it was disappointing biting into a cookie thinking it was chocolate chip but tasting a raisin. So naturally never having tasted a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie made me curious, so I made my own. On the first try, they were good, but not great. They had great flavor, but were more like lumps than beautiful cookies. So I tried again, making a gluten free version with all oat flour, but I had to flatten them quite a bit and they turned pretty hard when cooled. On the third try, my mom actually made them for me (thanks mommy!) but she was wise and let the toasted oats cool before adding them to the butter mixture….oops.


This batch turned out perfectly! To make these you toast 6 cups of oats (I know!!) to bring out the flavor, and blend half of them into flour, thus making the cookies both gluten free and more awesome. You add just a touch of nutmeg (my favorite part) to bring out the flavor, and I found that it gives them a certain tangy flavor. Oh, and I added vanilla to the recipe, because It’s delicious. And its a must.
Thick and chewy with a crisp outside, these cookies are sweet, toasty, and just warm you up like a hug:) I’m so glad I tried these! Go bake up some comfort!!

Oatmeal Raisin cookies (GF)

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated and Alton Brown


6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
Scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raisins


Heat the oven to 375F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, spread with oats, bake for 20 minutes until toasted, stirring every 5-7 minutes.
Let cool (important!). Reduce oven temperature to 350F.

Blend half of oats (3 cups) in blender or food processor for about 3 minutes until its a smooth flour. Pour all of the flour minus 1/3 cup into a medium bowl. Set remaining oats aside.

Whisk baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt into oat flour; set aside.

Using mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat eggs in one at a time.

Stir the dry ingredients into butter mixture on low speed. Stir in reserved oats and raisins.

Roll 2 tbsp of dough at a time and place 2 in” apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten very slightly.

Bake cookies until edges turn golden brown, 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Let cool (or eat warm!).

Yield: 24 cookies (and a warm tummy:)


Flourless Coconut Fudge Cookies (GF)

20130127-165519.jpgWell, it’s been a long time guys. All I can say is that life happens. School is in full blast, I am no longer allowed to eat any gluten, and soon no dairy. Yup. But in the meantime, here are some cookies that will knock your socks off (guaranteed), and meet everyone’s gluten free needs! And now to have delicious, super fudgy, gluten free cookies, you probably don’t even need to run to the store. All basic ingredients for one fabulous cookie.

20130127-170143.jpgNow that’s not to say that I’d make these just because they’re gluten free and convenient and incredibly easy. I make these because they are fudgy. They are full of dark chocolate. Not to mention the chocolate chips and the toasted coconut. They are truly a winner. But lets talk fudge for a minute. I love fudgy things. Not goopy, undercooked, cakey, gooey, or any other abominations trying to pass for my favorite texture. But these, my friends, have the perfect, fudgy consistency. Perfect. They are also great after algebra, another reason to get in the kitchen!

Note: you can leave out the coconut and the chocolate chips, just use one less egg white.

Flourless Coconut Fudge Cookies (GF)


2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup (3 oz) dark cocoa powder
4 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease with cooking spray.

Stir together all ingredients until smooth. Dough should be like thick batter.

Drop dough by a tablespoon or a medium cookie scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly.

Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through baking time.
They should have shiny, crackly tops.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on baking sheet.

Yield: 16 cookies.

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies

Today I am not only writing about a very special recipe, but am entering this recipe in the Creative Holiday Recipe Contest by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups! Have you ever thought of putting a candy cane in a cookie? I have. The thing is though, is that they melt all over the place. But, encasing it with cookie dough encloses the candy cane, so that when it cools, its crunchy and whole again. And that’s what I did with these cookies.

20121212-151018.jpg To make the ultimate candy cane cookie, first I covered the candy cane in dark chocolate. Then, I covered that in shortbread dough and baked it. Then, I covered that in white chocolate, and finally drizzled it with more dark chocolate and sprinkled some candy cane pieces on top. All of this resulted in a wonderful combination of textures, tastes, and one festive looking cookie.

20121212-151502.jpg The candy cane is crunchy, minty, with the dark chocolate adding depth and richness. Then, there’s some not-too-sweet shortbread, with it’s irresistible slightly crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture. The addition of white chocolate balances out the dark chocolate and shortbread, adding just the right amount of sweetness along with the candy cane. You absolutely can’t miss out on this one!! Plus, it’s my own recipe…now you have to make it, right? 😉

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies


11 candy canes, + 1, crushed for garnish
3 oz unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
5 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
12 oz white chocolate or vanilla candy coating, melted
1 oz unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate, melted


Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Coat candy canes with dark chocolate, place in freezer. Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in mixer just until combined. Combine flour and salt; stir into butter mixture just until combined. Divide dough into 11 equal pieces. Remove one candy cane from freezer (to keep chocolate from melting), cover with shortbread dough portion. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of candy canes; bake for 16-20 min. until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool. Spread cookies with white chocolate to cover surface. Pour unsweetened chocolate into zip-top back, snip small hole out of corner. Drizzle on top of cookies, sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let chocolate set.

Yield: 11 cookies