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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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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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

This week I finish an eight month internship at a major art museum in Los Angeles and I am a little sad about it. While there, I have developed relationships with people that are passionate, smart, and kind. Learning from them has made me even more sure about the career path I wish to pursue and feel an immense amount of gratitude for their mentoring, patience, and friendship. This being my senior year at UCLA and all, I have mentally prepared myself for several “lasts;” last sorority sisterhood event, last final exam, last Diddy Riese ice cream sandwich, etc. Yet, the realization of my first “last” has hit me like a cold wind and I find myself dreading my last day.

I made these chocolate pistachio biscotti for those mornings when all you want to do is linger a little longer and savor the random things that you never thought you would miss. As an intern, I did do a fair share of paperwork and heavy lifting, but it was definitely worth it for things like walking by Egyptian antiquities everyday on my way to the office and taking “art breaks” to see the latest installation of a crazy new contemporary piece or a full eighteenth century gown.

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Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies

Lately I’ve been thinking about bright, pretty things that remind me of being a girl, daintiness in general, and looking at life through rose-colored glasses. My senior year has been more grueling that expected and I didn’t really get the chance to catch up on all the fall and holiday baking I had wanted to do.

Pink grapefruit sandwich cookies from one of Martha Stewart’s recipes is a nice girly cookie to counteract the rather blah constants in my life right now, like my androgynous, de facto school outfit of black workout pants and a hoodie. Admittedly, the recipe is not 100% perfect, but baking for me is as much about the process as it is about the product.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The original post from Brown Eyed Baker calls this cookie “the ultimate trifecta of cookie goodness.” And indeed it is. This recipe elevates the classic (but more banal) chocolate chip cookie without the pretention of sea salt or the childishness of M&Ms… not that there is anything wrong with adding either of those things. The combination of nuttiness, oatiness, and chocolatiness yields a cookie that is sweet with a salty bite, rich and chewy, and on the outside, nicely crisp and caramelized.

It helps that the recipe is comprised of pedestrian, back-to-school type ingredients. Though I’m not due to start the fall quarter for another 3 weeks or so, I have to say it’s quite satisfying eating a schoolyard favorite without the schoolyard.

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Cream Cheese Thumbprints

Thumbprint cookies are the cupcakes of the cookie world. Here, the velvety filling lends each small cookie bite all the richness, sweetness, and smoothness of a homemade cream cheese frosting. Being slightly larger than a quarter, it was very easy to eat two of these at a time and see the cookie supply dwindle magically. Best enjoyed after a spell in the refrigerator, this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook is a cookie that is just different enough from the old drop cookie routine. But the delicious and familiar flavors of vanilla, cream cheese, and buttery shortbread make these cookies an instant classic.

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Lemon Wreath Cookies

These light, crumbly cookies look like they could be doughnuts or bagels. But thankfully, they are neither. With a light citrus flavor in the cookie itself and a pleasantly strong lemon flavor in the glaze, this recipe from Martha Stewart is a great way to embrace the warmer weather Los Angeles has been having lately. Buttery, not-too-sweet, and easy to make, it might be wise to double the batch because they taste great throughout the day.

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