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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Nutella Blondies

Stephen and I have finally had a chance to breathe a little, now that recruitment is over for our respective Greek organizations. This school year promises to be busier than usual; all the senior year festivities, graduation audits, and final projects have already begun to dominate my time. (And I’ve only been going to class for two weeks!) It’s my last school year at UCLA and I have high expectations for myself. Balancing work, sorority life, schoolwork, thesis research, and a healthy, committed relationship requires hearty sustenance and bottomless joie de vivre. These Nutella blondies from Martha Stewart are definitely keeping me chipper in the early mornings when I have early class and perky when the afternoon lulls sleepily in the last of summer’s warmth.

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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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Green Tea Infused Vanilla Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the most exotic thing I’ve tried to date and it was an interesting journey. I usually stick to tried and true flavors, but I really wanted to try the Cupcake Project’s method of baking with tea. I’ve always loved green tea, so of course it would be a brilliant addition to the reliably delicious vanilla cupcake!

I am convinced the flavors of this cupcake work, but I think I may have to go with a less costly tea if I want to infuse more tea flavors into my bake goods. The amount of green tea I used to give this cupcake that green tea flavor was ridiculous.

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