Tag Archives: molasses

English Sticky Toffee Pudding

GUYS, I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!!!!! Can you guess what it is?

- Hint: there’s an important clue hidden in the post title! – 

No? Still no takers?

Then scroll scroll scrollllllll…

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IT’S OFFICIAL: I’m going to Europe again!!!

I’ve been bursting to share this news for months now, but since I didn’t buy my plane tickets until a few weeks ago I didn’t want to tempt the Fates and jinx anything. Now that all of us are officially squared away, though, I’m super stoked to tell that for about five weeks after graduation, I’m going to Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, and some place TBA (but equally exciting)!

You might remember that I spent three weeks last August traveling around Europe, staying with friends and visiting local sites in the UK, Ireland, and Italy. We hit a few snags along the way, but mostly I had an amazing time and couldn’t stop raving about it for months afterward (no more than I could stop making travel-inspired recipes!). This time, at the top of my bucket list will be the Harry Potter Leavesdon Studios, the Writers Corner at Westminster Abbey (where Chaucer, Kipling, Irving, Hardy, and others are buried), Stonehenge, a trip around the Scottish Highlands, and “les chauteaux en Espagne” that they commemorate in this song from one of my favorite French films, Les Choristes.

(Of course, the list will keep growing as we finalize our plans, but I must have missed something so please send recommendations our way!)

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In the meantime, I have been controlling myself just barely by making celebratory treats from some of the places I’m going to visit! First up is this English Sticky Toffee Pudding, a class British dessert featuring a warm, treacle-infused cake with a decadent toffee sauce poured all over it. I had only ever tried this dessert at Universal Studio’s Harry Potter land when we visited last year, but we immediately fell in love and I just knew that I had to recreate it at home.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

Super Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookie Bars with Cheesecake Filling

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Growing up in California, my Christmases were never filled with real snowdrifts and cups of hot cocoa over a crackling log fire. Christmases were thin flyaway scarves on nippy sun-soaked mornings and Chinese sticky rice served in a large rice cooker. They were elaborate piles of wrapped presents under a tree, but they were also eggnog-free, booze-free, cookie-free celebrations of time together with family. Until a few years ago, I never even considered what it meant to have a conventionally Western Christmas: to build floppy houses made of real gingerbread, to squeeze into an abhorrently amusing ugly holiday sweater for the evening with your friends, to stroll down snow-lined lanes and eat fruitcake and sing (slightly drunken) Christmas carols all season long. I think I tried making chocolate chip cookies for Santa once when I was eight, but I was so offended by the fact that he only ate half of the twenty-something cookies that I never baked for him again.

Living in LA for the past five years means that a lot of that has changed. While I still haven’t had my first white Christmas–though it’s on the bucket list!–I’ve proudly donned my inaugural ugly gingerbread man sweater, hosted themed holiday parties, and made my first-ever Christmas-inspired treats, which include these Super Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookie Bars.  These bars, by the way, may be new to my life, but I am most definitely and madly in love with them already. (Update: my mom just tried a bite and said rather matter-of-factly, “You don’t have to give all of these away” before whisking a few of the squares away for herself. High praise indeed!)

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I’ve only ever baked with molasses once, when my ex and I had a Harry Potter-themed cooking night a couple of years ago and decided to try making treacle tarts…with blackstrap molasses, because apparently we didn’t know that there was a difference between different types of treacle.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Cookies

Thick, Puffy Ginger Molasses Sugar Cookies

{a year in Facebook statuses} 

Every once in a while, I stop spamming my feed with #bakerproblems and share something meaningful. Today I’m spreading the holiday joy with these warm, puffy, thick, ginger molasses sugar cookies and a glimpse back at where this year has taken us…

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{December} 

Sitting at Starbucks, I bought a large coffee for a homeless man who was asking for any type of help people could give. As I continued working, I watched him, fascinated, as he limped around outside, cup out but constantly in motion. Then I realized that he was taking napkins and wiping the outside tables dry so people could sit there after the rain; he was also picking up cigarette butts and pieces of trash from the ground all around the coffee shop and throwing them away. There are people sitting outside now at the tables he dried, and there are people walking past his proffered cup on the sidewalk that he cleaned. The things we normally ignore when we’re rushing past with our heads down and our defenses up–try not to take them for granted. You never know what beauty you might miss.

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{December}

There’s a special spot in heaven for bus drivers who wait for you when they see you running to catch your transfer, instead of closing the door in your face and rolling with painstaking slowness away from the curb. Or if there isn’t, there should be. A salute to all nice public transit operators who have ever made life easier for us!

{November}

Instead of becoming a batty old cat lady, I have decided to be that token girl who bakes apple pie cheesecake donuts at 4 AM after watching the world’s worst rom-com on the couch with her stuffed whale and has nobody to share them with except herself. Read more

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