Chocolate Chip and Walnut Meringue Cookies

When I bake, I prefer to have the entire process, from the first measuring cup I fill to the last countertop I wipe, contained within an afternoon. On some occasions, such as when I make pie, the afternoon inevitably extends into the evening, but rarely have I ever made something that required an overnight stay in the oven. These chocolate chip and walnut meringue cookies, or “forgotten kisses” according to Emeril Lagasse, had a toasty sleepover in my oven after their initial 2 hour baking time.

These meringue cookies are winter white, but texturally, they are crisp like fall leaves. In full embrace of the chillier months ahead, but still holding onto memories of summer, these delicate, simple, and handheld treats are the perfect transition confection.

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Blueberry Scones

What do I miss when I’m away from home? Lately, this question hasn’t been so easy to answer. At first when I was adjusting to life in England, year-round avocados, reliably fantastic Chinese or Japanese food, and unsweetened almond milk might have been my immediate answers. But since then, I’ve temporarily relocated to Beijing. From here, there are plenty of things I now see that I intensely miss about England, which I didn’t realize had become my home away from home. I’m thinking of Cornish clotted cream with the right amount of dense, textural inertia, fish ‘n’ chips with barely-there batter and zingy tartar sauce, and finally, the warm, rustic light inside my favorite pub in Oxford, a cozy glow that belonging to the color spectrums of worn wood and cracked leather.

In contrast to the whole pub culture though, is the afternoon tea ritual. I have previously written about afternoon tea on KbK and my followers on Instagram know that I love it and love it often. But what to do when I’m at home, but away from my home away from home? Make scones. Even if you don’t follow my logic, I don’t know anyone that can’t follow scones, and these blueberry ones are the kind that help life make sense even when it doesn’t really at all.

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Funfetti Cake Pops

One of the most influential blogs on the Internet belongs to Angie at Bakerella. Her fun, playful style, crafty, creative ideas, and ceaseless passion for everything cute and sweet in life is infectious and inspirational. When I first started blogging, Bakerella was where I headed for tips on everything baking, especially when it came to the crucial photography moments. But, despite Krafted by Kelly’s two year history, my first time making cake pops was last week. And Bakerella’s famous book has already spawned various kits, international editions, and most recently, a cake pop toy set. When I finally decided to make cake pops, I wasn’t quite ready to master the complicated shapes and characters she details in her book, but to capture her colorful, fun-loving take on baking and decorating, I knew funfetti cake pops with rainbow sprinkles and non-pareils would be a faithful homage.

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Crack Pie

When my family recently hosted an impromptu dinner party and I was in charge of the dessert, crack pie was a great choice because it delivered as both an interesting conversation starter and as a well-received dessert. Crack Pie is one of the destination desserts that people have to order upon arriving at momofuku milkbar. At $44/pie (according to their website), this sweet disc of ooey-gooey, oaty, crunchy, and salty harmony is surprisingly easy to make.

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Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam Thumbprints

Some of the younger kids in my extended family started school earlier this week, and though I’m used to later starts to the school year than usual, starting school before mid-August seems especially early this year considering my upcoming school year does not officially begun until the first week of October. Thanks, University of Oxford!

Nonetheless, for those heading back to the world of No. 2 pencils, spiral notebooks, and scientific calculators, I made these cookies in celebration of you. PB&J is such a expected back-to-school flavor that it needed to be upgraded with the ideal essence of summer. Readers of the blog know my affinity towards anything with blackberries, so blackberry jam with creamy peanut butter felt like a natural choice.

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Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Muffins

Happy Fourth! The best way to start a day filled with lots of quality family time and kitchen prep is to eat a solid breakfast. These lemon ricotta poppyseed muffins give you a little sweetness and tangy, zesty freshness on the go; just one muffin is substantial enough to get you going in the morning or to stave off your pangs of hunger before the grill’s ready in the afternoon. The ricotta is essential to its crumbly, scone-like texture and the light lemon flavor of each bite is bright and refreshing.

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Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

If cupcakes are so 2011, it would appear that doughnuts are in a good position to dominate 2012. Granted, neither cupcakes nor doughnuts are great for you, but my belief that making something homemade (even if it’s indulgent junk food) is better for you remains as steadfast as it did last year. To make homemade doughnuts, you need only go to the blogosphere’s resident expert, Lara Ferroni. Her recipe will allow you to make unbelievable doughnuts that put your favorite doughnut joint’s productions to shame.

This is my first attempt to make something from her wildly successful first book, Doughnuts, and if this recipe is any indication of the whole book, I am expecting to permanently inhabit my stretch pants. Her advice and guidance is concise and easy to follow, so my first attempt gave me wonderful doughnuts. A simple topping of cinnamon sugar is perfect to highlight the sweet, bouncy doughnut dough and light buttery, yeasty flavor.

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