Grasshopper Brownies

Okay, so I didn’t get through quite so many Christmas cookies as I would have liked. I thought about squeezing one more round in, but opted instead to spend my evening making pain au chocolat and baguettes. So not quite so many cookies, but some really lovely breakfast for my friends and if all goes well, a step-by-step croissant tutorial for you guys soon. ‘Tis the season, or whatever. I do have one last holiday recipe for you, because it just didn’t feel right to have Christmas with no mint or white chocolate.

lindt

I actually wanted to make peppermint bark initially, but candy canes do not seem to exist in Byron Bay, so that idea was quickly abandoned. This is a bit of a similar concept, but with an added brownie layer. So you’ve got a chocolatey, fudgy brownie, topped with minty white chocolate ganache, topped with rich dark chocolate ganache. These are very intense and very, very tasty.

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Tropical Island (White Chocolate, Macadamia, & Coconut) Cookies

Hello from Australia! I still haven’t quite made it to my final destination (Byron Bay), but so far I’m having a great time here. I’ve been busy with my family and the amazing Great Barrier Reef trip we went on and I haven’t so much as stepped into a kitchen for over a week (not an exaggeration), but luckily I have a couple recipes saved up for you guys. Starting with this one.

plateful

Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of these cookies. Not because they aren’t delicious – I wouldn’t put them up here if they weren’t! – but because I don’t actually like shredded coconut in my baked goods. But sometimes, when you bake as much and as often as I do, you find yourself eating too much sugar, and the easiest way to counter that is by baking things you don’t like. Thus the coconut. And once I was putting in one tropical ingredient, the macadamia and white chocolate just seemed right.

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Compost Cookies

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I’m a couple years late to the party on this one. The Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook came out in 2011, and everyone went crazy making all sorts of Crack Pies and Marshmallow Cornflake Cookies, and I ignored all of it. But eventually, at the prodding of a friend, I decided the Compost Cookies were worth a try. Potato chips, pretzels, and coffee in a chocolate chip cookie? I had to try it out.

trio

I baked them for a camping trip a couple months ago and they went down a treat, but I couldn’t help feeling that the cookie batter itself could be better. So I made some tweaks and I think round two was great. They are ugly cookies, sure, but god are they tasty!

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White Chocolate & Dulce De Leche Brownies

This, I’m sure, goes without saying, but I am not a professional blogger. I work in a bar, which is great for this project because my baking gets done before work, when I still have natural light, but not great because my hours are wildly variable and budgeting time for baking is sometimes a real challenge. This means I don’t generally have time to test things out in small batches or make multiple attempts at a recipe – I just have to throw things together and hope for the best. I’ve been pretty lucky with this technique so far – I’ve only made one thing that didn’t make the blog, and even that will be going up after some very minor fine-tuning. But I’m the first to admit that my Caramel Cookie Cake, for example, was far from what I was aiming for, and I was a bit worried these brownies would be in the same category.

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But that was silly of me, because these are amazing. Rich, gooey, intensely sweet, with a strong taste of caramely dulce de leche and a subtler taste of white chocolate. It’s a great combo, and while I do think these should be eaten in very small doses, I also think they should be eaten by all of you. You will not regret it.

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Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

Before I came to the other side of the world, I was lucky enough to visit New York City several times. And like any good tourist, I stood in a very long line for a very overrated (though, to be honest, phenomenal) cupcake. Yes, I’m talking about the famous Magnolia Bakery, and yes, that is where I get most of my favorite cupcake recipes (and one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes, but we’ll get to that). Whatever you might think about the place itself, they’ve yet to lead me astray.

lone cupcake

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Triple-Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I have a few different go-to recipes – cocoa brownies, Magnolia-inspired cupcakes, peanut butter blondies – but chocolate chip cookies are probably my favorite. They’re simple, familiar, and nearly everyone likes them. For years I swore by the recipe from the back of the Ghiradelli’s chocolate chip bag, which I still love, but then I stumbled across the famous New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe and never looked back. Turning a simple classic into something extraordinary is the best sort of baking success.

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But the real reason I’m baking these cookies this week is because it’s so easy to make a double batch and end up with a borderline insane quantity of the things. Because this weekend brings us Wellington Rugby Sevens: beloved kiwi piss-up, winner of the Guinness World Record for the biggest costume party, and far and away the busiest weekend my coworkers and I will have this year. We’re going to need sugar. Lots of sugar.

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