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Entries in brownies (22)

Monday
Aug022010

National Brownies at Brunch Month: Mimosa Brownies for Serious Eats

Hold the phone. Hold everything. Did you know that August is National Brownies at Brunch Month?

Don't waste time asking follow-up questions like why this month-long holiday exists—instead, bake up a batch of brunch-friendly Mimosa Brownies. Starting with the Oprah-approved brownie recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, this version gets champagne-and-orange juice makeover for a treat which truly embraces the decadent spirit of both brownies and brunch, all in one delectable unit.

Note: You may notice that the actual amount of champagne (or sparkling wine) is actually quite small, leaving you plenty of bubbly to make actual mimosas to accompany your brownies. As for the use of orange juice concentrate versus orange juice, I found that it offered a bright flavor and better consistency than orange juice.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Jul072010

Brownout: A Tale and Tasting of Two Brownies from 1923

Brownies are undoubtedly delicious, but when it comes to the story of their origins, things are less clear. While today's not the day to delve into that at great depth (soon! promise!), we are going to take a moment to discuss a bit of the brownie's ties to The Boston Cooking School Cook Book.

As I learned here, the 1896 edition of the Boston Cooking School cookbook was among the first known publications to feature "brownies" - but this version was really more like a blondie, little individual cakes garnished with nut halves.

However, as I learned here, the 1905 version of the book had a brownie redux, and this time, they had chocolate. 

But then, in the 1923 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, with no explanation at all, there are not one but two chocolate brownie recipes--simply labeled "Brownies 1" and "Brownies 2". There were a couple of differences in the recipes--most notably the absence of butter or oil in #2, which seemed to get all of its fat content from eggs and nuts. In both cases though, the brownies are only a cousin to the brownies we know today, which are generally far denser and more chocolatey than these ones (and I vote that modern chocolate-y ones have evolved into higher states of deliciousness).

Well, naturally this prompted some curiosity, and so I baked up a few batches of each (sans nuts) and put them out at my store with this sign:

Big surprise: people were more than willing to take this challenge. As for the results?

File under duh: people wanted a combo. Tasters mostly preferred the flavor of Brownie 1 (what with its delicious butter), but overwhelmingly preferred the chewier texture of Brownie 2. Which is to say...Brownie 1.5 takes the cake?

A big thank you to the generous tasters and their input. Here are the two recipes, BTW.

Brownies 1

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg, unbeaten
2 squares chocolate, melted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla (to mix things up you could also use almond extract, as I did in one batch)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup walnut meats

Procedure

Mix ingredients in order given. Line a seven-inch square pan with paraffine paper. Spread mixture evenly in a pan and bake in a slow oven (I did 325 for 30-35 minutes, just until dull on top). As soon as taken from
oven turn from pan, remove paper, and cut cake in strips, using a sharp knife. If these instructions are not followed paper will cling to cake, and it will be impossible to cut into shapely pieces.

Brownies 2

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or almond extract, as I did in some batches)
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup walnut meats, in pieces

Procedure

Beat eggs lightly and add remaining ingredients. Spread evenly in a
buttered 7-inch pan and bake in a moderate oven twenty minutes (I did
350). Cut in squares.

Monday
May172010

Going Blonde: Blondie-Topped Brownies for Serious Eats

Blondies or brownies?

It's a delicious dilemma: they're both bar cookie classics, one rich in brown sugar, the other redolent of chocolate.

But why should you have to decide? Because they taste so much better when baked together, in layers.

How'd I do it? Well, since brownies generally have a longer bake time, I started out my pan with a batch of brownie batter which I put in the oven for 20 minutes while I put together the blondie batter. Since the half-baked brownies would have gotten messy had I spread the blondie batter on top, I simply spooned the batter as gently as I could right on top and put it back in the oven for about 25 more minutes; the oven's heat did a nice job of spreading the batter for a tasty two-layered treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Jan262010

Double Pleasure: Decadent Brownie Pie

Brownies. Pie. Relegated to separate quadrants of the baked good world, always on separate shelves in bakery cases.

But why, when they're so much better together?

And so, in the spirit of sweet unity, I've baked what may in fact be a masterpiece: the Brownie Pie.

Comprised of a chocolate graham crust, rich, fudgy brownie filling, and topped off with a copious amount of luxuriant cocoa buttercream frosting and a festive array of malt balls, this baby weighs about the same as (if not more than) a newborn. Of course, it's a good thing it's not actually a baby--otherwise you might be coming closer to understanding why some species eat their young.

One may be tempted to call this beast of a baked good "too much", but based on how quickly it disappeared at a Pie Day party, I'm inclined to say it's "just enough".

Brownie Pie. Now, instead of asking what's been keeping these treats apart for so long, it's time to ask--what are you waiting for?

Here's how to make it.

Brownie Pie

Elements:
Procedure
  1. Prepare your pie crust (either make it or take it out of the package); leave it off to the side.
  2. Prepare your brownie batter to the directions specified in your recipe (or on your box mix--I won't judge). But at the point where you would normally put the batter in a pan, instead put it in your pie crust. Fill it about 2/3 full; you might have extra brownie batter.
  3. Bake on top of a cookie sheet (just in case of overflow) at the temperature and heat specified in your recipe; test the doneness the same way you normally would, by inserting a pick in the center and making sure it comes out clean. 
  4. When it's ready, remove your brownie pie from the oven, and let it cool. I didn't let mine cool very long because I was pressed for time; but ideally, you'd let it cool until it reached room temperature.
  5. Prepare your cocoa buttercream or whatever chocolate frosting you'd like, but make sure that it is a fairly spreadable (not too stiff) consistency--because brownies have a flaky texture on top, you want to make sure that you can spread it with ease and won't bring up too many of the crumbs on top (that just looks messy!). Spread it on top of the brownie pie, leaving a little bit of the brownie showing on the sides.
  6. If desired, garnish with malt balls (I used Malteasers).
Recipes I used:

Fudge Brownies

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

 Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have your prepared crust ready on the side.
  2. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
  3. While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
  4. Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
  5. Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
  6. Once you've put this batter in your crust, bake for about 30 minutes (I baked mine on top of a cookie sheet in case of overflow; it didn't end up being a problem but better safe than sorry) or until a cake pick comes out clean (it may be longer depending on the thickness of your crust and cookie sheet).

Cocoa Buttercream

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, as needed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-3 cups (use more or less, to your desired consistency) confectioners' sugar, sifted

Procedure

Cream butter; add cocoa, mixing well. Add milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Slowly beat in confectioners' sugar until it has reached your desired spreading consistency. Spread immediately. 

Monday
Dec282009

Stick It: Chocolate Covered Brownie on a Stick from Hot Cookie, San Francisco

Brownie on a Stick, Hot Cookie, SF

What food isn't enhanced by being served on a stick?

While you mull over that question for the ages, let me present the most delicious thing consumed by a Cake Gumshoe recently: the chocolate covered brownie on a stick from Hot Cookie in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco.
Brownie on a Stick, Hot Cookie, SF
When you enter Hot Cookie, you'll notice a few things. First, the attractive and well-groomed fellas that man the store do not look like they eat many cookies. However, they are awfully friendly and cute, and serve them up with a sweet sense of humor--in addition to the expected chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter varieties, they also have a variety of bar cookies, including erotic varieties (which prompted one CitySearch reviewer to aptly dub it "sort of a younger, borderline lewd Mrs. Field's"), and--the star of this writeup--the chocolate covered brownie on a stick.

Undoubtedly you'll take on the task of eating this sweet treat already liking it (it is on a stick, after all), but happily, you'll continue to enjoy it as the chocolatey taste hits. The chocolate coating is simply ingenious--not only does it ensure that the brownie stays planted on the popsicle stick, but it also keeps the brownie moist and offers an added hit of decadence. The brownie itself is fudgy and very chocolatey, not necessarily subtle, but around bite three or four you might just find yourself not caring about that very much.

(CakeSpy Note: Oh, and if you happen to have a four-legged friend with you, we found that the nearby Best in Show had a great variety of pup-cakes and treats).

Hot Cookie, 407 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA; (415) 621-2350‎.

Hot Cookie on Urbanspoon

Thursday
Sep032009

What a Brownie-Noser: A Sweet Recipe from Julia M. Usher's Cookie Swap

Brown(ie) Noser from Julia M. Usher's Book
The Brown(ie) Noser: photo from Cookie Swap by Julia M. Usher used with permission.

 

As promised in the interview with Julia M. Usher, author of Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (which you can win here!), here's a recipe for decadent butterscotch brownies with caramel and ganache on top!

Caramel Topping
  • 8 ounces caramel candies (about 27 cubes)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Butterscotch Brownies

 

 

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, chopped into
  • tablespoon-size pieces
  • 2¼ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • Ganache Glaze (optional)

    • 16 ounces premium semisweet chocolate
    • finely chopped or ground in a food processor
    • 1½ cups heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    Directions:
    1. Make the Caramel Topping. Unwrap the caramel candies and combine with the cream and butter in a small nonreactive (stainless steel or coated) saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring regularly to prevent scorching, until the caramels and butter are completely melted and the mixture has boiled. Remove from the heat. Stir in the flour, mixing well to break apart any lumps. Add the vanilla extract and set the topping in a warm place so the caramel stays fluid while you prepare the brownie batter.
    2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10 x 15 x 2-inch glass baking dish (sometimes called a roasting pan, p. 10) with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang around the top edge of the pan. Smooth out any big wrinkles in the foil and then lightly coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
    3. Mix the Butterscotch Brownies. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
    4. Place the butter in a medium (3-quart) saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has fully melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, mixing until smooth. (Note: Don’t be surprised if the butter and sugar do not completely come together at this point; some separation is normal.) Cool a few minutes; then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and rum, if desired. Gradually add the flour mixture, whisking all the while to keep the batter lump free. Stir in the pecans. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and level with a small offset spatula. (The batter will be less than 1 inch thick, but it will bake to about twice its original thickness.)
    5. Drizzle the caramel topping evenly over the batter. (If the caramel has thickened and is difficult to drizzle, gently reheat it.) Marble the top (and break apart any large caramel blobs) by drawing a spatula through both the topping and the batter in a random pattern.
    6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs on it, and the brownie has pulled away from the edges of the pan, about 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan. (Areas that had larger helpings of caramel topping may sink slightly, but don’t worry; the ganache will completely cover any holes.)
    7. Prepare and apply the Ganache Glaze (optional). Make the glaze only after the brownies have completely cooled. Follow the instructions for Ganache (below).
    8. While the ganache is fluid, pour it evenly over the brownie. Gently tilt or shake the pan so that the ganache completely coats the brownie top. Cover with foil, taking care to keep it from touching the ganache. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, or until the ganache is firm enough to cut cleanly.
    9. Remove the brownies from the pan in one block by gently pulling up on the foil overhang. Place directly on a cutting board. Remove all foil, and trim any uneven edges before cutting into 1½-inch squares. For the neatest cuts, slice the bars while the ganache is firm and wipe the knife clean with a warm, damp cloth between slices. Serve at room temperature.
    Ganache Directions:
    1. Place the chopped (or ground) chocolate in a large bowl so it
    2. forms a shallow layer. Set aside.
    3. Pour the cream into a medium (3-quart) nonreactive (stainless steel or coated) saucepan. Place over medium to medium-high heat and scald the cream. (That is, heat the cream to just below the boiling point. The cream will put off steam, but no bubbles should break on its surface.)
    4. Immediately strain the hot cream through a fine-meshed sieve directly onto the chocolate. Let the mixture sit 1 to 2 minutes without stirring, and then gently whisk until the chocolate is entirely melted. (If the chocolate does not completely melt, set the bowl over barely simmering water in a double boiler and stir regularly until smooth. Do not overheat, or the ganache may break.) Stir in the corn syrup.
    5. To use the ganache as a glaze, pour it while lukewarm. Alternatively, for piping ganache, pour it into a shallow pan to a ½- to ¾-inch depth, cover, and refrigerate 20 to 25 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally during chilling to maintain a uniform consistency. (Hard, overchilled pieces of ganache should be broken up, as they can easily clog pastry tips when piping.) Chilling time will vary with starting ganache temperature, refrigerator temperature, and depth of the ganache. Watch the ganache closely, as it can quickly overchill and become difficult to pipe.


    For more information about Julia M. Usher, visit her site, become a Facebook fan or follow her on Twitter!

     

    Thursday
    Aug272009

    Blonde on Blondie: The Blonde Bombshell from TrixieBakes

    Blonde Bombshell Blondie by TrixieBakes
    CakeSpy Note: This post appears concurrently on CakeSpy Seattle.

    Let's talk about TrixieBakes. I had seen them before: I'd walked by their booth at the Madrona Farmer's Market, but had never purchased one of their brownies because at $4 a pop, they weren't exactly cheap. But after reading the DailyCandy feature on the brownies, paired with a reader writing to tell me how amazing they were, I knew I was going to have to fork over the cash.

    Since I am one of those few people who prefers blondies to brownies, of course I had to go for the "blonde bombshell", described on their site as

    A luscious blondie with an indecent amount of brown sugar and pecans
    You can never be too rich or too dense. Ok, that's not really how the saying goes, but it definitely applies to this big blondie.

    Doesn't that just give you a shiver of anticipation?

    So, I enjoyed the blondie for breakfast the next morning, and I am happy to report that it was a particularly fine specimen of blondiehood: dense, chewy, and full of butterscotch-y flavor. The pecans were a particularly nice touch, adding a slight crunch and flavor contrast.

    But getting back to the price. Was it worth it? Well, no doubt about it, $4 is a lot for a brownie or blondie--I think that most will agree on that. But when I reflect on my blondie experience and how decadent and satisfying it was, I do believe I got $4 worth of joy out of the experience. I'm probably not going to indulge too frequently, but maybe that just makes it more special?

    TrixieBakes blondies and brownies are available at the Madrona Farmer's Market each friday, 3-7 p.m.; they're also available at Flying Squirrel Pizza Co., 4920 S Genesee St., Seattle and Pauline Patisserie, 2315 NW Market St. Seattle; also online.

    Thursday
    Jul232009

    Gimme S'more: Delicious S'more Brownies

    S'more brownies by Nicole
    Brownies can be a polarizing subject: cakey or fudgy? Frosted or unadorned? Wars haven't been fought over the subject, but I'm pretty sure that punches have probably been thrown.

    In a 2007 NY Times article, Julia Moskin wrote that “The ideal modern brownie is simple and unadorned, but rigorously designed (like a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress).” While she has a powerful point here, it's clear that she's never tasted the s'more brownies made by multitalented CakeSpy buddy Nicole (who happens to be a baker, pet shop owner and occasional clothing store employee...how many hours are in her day?). These decadent little chocolatey nuggets get a perfect little slightly salted crunch from lightly crushed graham crackers and an absolutely heavenly texture from the marshmallows. She served these at a recent get together at her house, and they disappeared faster than you could say (in your saddest Oliver voice, natch) "S'more, please".

    Luckily Nicole has shared the recipe so that we may all attain this well-accessorized brownie nirvana at home.

     

     

    Nicole's S'more Brownies
    • 2 eggs
    • 1c. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/3 c. shortening, melted (CS Note: Not sure how it would affect the recipe to use butter instead here, but I'm not anti-shortening and thought it gave them a nice chewiness).
    • 2 -1 oz squares unsweetened chocolate melted
    • 3/4 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 c. slightly crushed graham crackers
    • 10 large marshmallows, cut in half

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs lightly with a spoon. Stir in sugar, salt and vanilla. add shortening and chocolate. Stir in flour and graham crackers. Do not beat at any time. Spread mixture into 8 inch square pan. Place marshmallow pieces on top of brownies; bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. (Nicole's note: brownies should still be soft; let cool in pan
    before cutting.)

     

     

    By the way, if you're in the Seattle area, your canine friends can enjoy Nicole's baking too--she sells homemade dog biscuits at her pet store Immortal Dog Pet Supply! Just saying.

     

    Sunday
    Jun082008

    Blonde on Blondies: Ballad for the Brownie's Albino Cousin

    Bad News Brownies
    When we recently polled Cakespy readers on which iconic bar they preferred, the blondie or the brownie, we found the results staggering: out of our respondents, 174 vs 49 preferred the brownie.

    Now, we understand why brownies ought to be loved. They're soft. They're gooey. They take to a variety of fillings. But are they really so superior to the blondie? Surely, we figure, once people get to know the honey-hued confection they'll show a little more love--so, we took some time to get to know the blondie better, and share it here, so that our readers can see that while it may not be the same as a brownie, it sure ought to be loved:

    Brownies and BlondiesBut first things first. What is a blondie? Generally, a blondie is accepted as a type of brownie--but not so much a brownie flavor, more like an identical cousin. An identical, albino cousin. Generally, it uses vanilla or butterscotch base instead of chocolate, and thus has a lighter hue which gives it its name. In our opinion, the finest blondies will have a texture (though not taste) halfway between a cakey and a fudgy brownie: that is to say, delightfully chewy, rich, and dense.

    But whatever you may call a blondie, don't call it a brownie wannabe. For as we discovered on foodtimeline.org:

    According to old cookbooks, blonde brownies (also known as "Blondies") predated chocolate brownies, though under different names. The primary ingredients of blondies (brown sugar/molasses and butter) compose butterscotch, a candy that was popular in America in the mid-19th century. Some 19th century American cookbooks contain recipes that combined traditional butterscotch ingredients with flour and a leavening agent (baking powder or soda). Presumably, these recipes would have produced something similar to the blonde brownies we enjoy today.
    Bullies!Furthermore, aforementioned recipes are thought to be descendants of gingerbread cakes which dated back to Renaissance times, which eventually evolved to cakes which were baked in shallow pans and included nuts and brown sugar.
    Blame the blondie's status as second-class citizen on the genius branding and extreme popularity of brownies when they started to pick up steam as a favored American baked good starting in the early 1900's (learn more about the brownie's history here); for as we also learned from The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America,
    By the 1950s, butterscotch or vanilla brownies were described as "blonde brownies," underscoring the primacy of chocolate.
    Aren't you starting to feel a little bit for the dear blondie now?
    Of course, as much as history talks, here are some of our own observations on the finer points of blondies:

     

    Blondies, the taste of chocolate chips in: Because of the lack of chocolate in the base, it is our opinion that the addition of chocolate chips is better appreciated in the blondie--while we certainly wouldn't say they detract from a brownie's taste (oh, not at all), the contrasting flavor that they add to the blondie's mellow butterscotch taste is beyond compare, each little chocolatey morsel a pleasant surprise and miniature treasure for the tastebuds.

    Oh no!Blondies, lack of frosting atop: With brownies, it seems as though there are two primary types--dense, fudgy, moist brownies, which usually remain unfrosted--and more cakey, slightly fluffier versions, which sometimes have frosting. As much as we love frosting, we have to admit that some frosted brownies make us just a little bit suspicious--like they've got something to hide perhaps? However, we have never before seen a frosted blondie. Naturally, the only conclusion to be drawn is that our dear blondies have nothing to hide. (Cakespy Note: Naturally, when we make some bold statement soon about how everything benefits from the addition of frosting, we expect to be called hypocrites).


    Blondies, the color of: Now, don't get us wrong, we love brownies. But regardless of deliciousness, they're not always the cutest-looking treats: dark, lumpy and not very exciting in palette. Not that this stops any of us from enjoying brownies, but we're just saying, the warm golden hue of the humble blondie is definitely more welcoming, and far cuter.
    Want to make some awesome blondies? Well, here are some recipes that we love.
    If you, like Thursday Night Smackdown, believe that blondies, "should be a brownie counterpart, which means a brownie equal - rich, moist, chewy, flavorful bars, not cookie-like or overly fluffy...the fudgy texture of a brownie sans actual fudge"--then you should check out their great recipe here.
    Or perhaps you'd like to explore adding coconut to your blondies? Check out the delicious variation at ReTorte.

    MudhenIf it sounds good to you to have blondies that are "denser than chocolate chip cookies, more complex than brownies and in the classic Minimalist style" that you can "customize anywhere from a cranberry almond coconut bar to...gunky atery-cloggers"...then it sounds like you'd better check out this one by Smitten Kitchen.
    (Photo Left) If you feel adventurous and want to try a blondie derivation, why not acquaint yourself with the mudhen bar, a sweet which is Southern in origin, a meringue-topped blondie-esque confection that we've recently fallen in love with? 

     

    As for our final word? Well, we realize that we may not have turned you into blondie devotees. Certainly brownies are packing in more ways than one: they're classic, they're iconic, they're nostalgic--and, most importantly, they're delicious.
    However, we do hope that having learned more about the dear blondie and its plight, you'll give it another chance--because if nothing else, just like it's not easy being green, it can't be easy to be the brownie's albino cousin.


     

    Tuesday
    Apr012008

    No Fooling: Sweet Ideas to Make April Kinder

    They say that April is the cruelest month. But at Cakespy, we have the perfect idea for making the month a bit kinder--sweet treats in the mail! The perfect thing to put a sparkle in the eye and a spring in your step, no matter how many April Showers you're up against. To that point, we've assembled a list of some of our favorite new discoveries in the world of shippable baked goods--delectable treats to send off, care-package style to friends and family...or perhaps to your entitled and deserving little self. Of course, once you taste these treats you might not want to share the care--but hey, sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind.


    Sugar cookie from the Sweet Tooth FairyThis is what love looks like.
    The Sweet Tooth Fairy: Have you ever bitten into a cookie and had to pause and sit down before continuing? If so, then you'll understand why we're so in love with their sugar cookies, which are dense, crumbly, and frosted with a rich, decadent frosting that will keep you coming back for more. We love their rich little cake truffles too--blurring the lines between fudge, cake and truffle, these are little gems of pure pleasure in your mouth. As a bonus, everything was beautifully and securely packaged in their parcel. Sugar cookies are $28 per dozen (but they're BIG); cake truffles are $15 per half-dozen; these and more are available online at thesweettoothfairy.com.

    Cakespy Note: If cake truffles intrigue you, learn more about the art of cake truffles from a very talented friend of ours, Bakerella! She'll be showing Martha (you know, THE Martha) how it's done this thursday on Martha Stewart Living--find out more here!

    Ginger White Chocolate Cookie, Sugarlicious NYMoody Brownie
    Sugarlicious NY: Specializing in old-school treats like cookies and brownies, these are classic home baking with a modern makeover, from beautifully designed packaging to classic flavors with just a little something different thrown in. Our favorites? The surprisingly subtle and pleasing "Red Hot" Brownies (brownies with a touch of chili and cinnamon), and the Ginger White Chocolate Cookies. Of course, old favorites like chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies are on hand too. Cookies are  $18 per dozen; $24 for 9 generous brownies; these and more available at sugarliciousny.com.


    Walnut CookiesChocolate Spice Cookies, Jennie and Vera's
    Jennie and Vera's Cookies: (photos above care of Jennie and Vera's with thanks) Jennie and Vera's cookies are like little works of art, equally easy on the eye as they are on the palate. From the "walnut"--which looks like a shelled walnut and a macaron had a baby (and oh, what a baby: a cookie composed of ground walnuts, filled creamy walnut filling flavored with Croatian walnut liqueur) to the chocolate spice cookie, which marries Hungarian paprika with black pepper, ground chocolate and cocoa, we're pretty much hooked. Anyone you send these to is very lucky indeed! Prices range depending on cookie style; available online at jennieandverascookies.com.

    BiscuiteersBiscuiteers
    But if you're in the UK, don't despair--we have a good one for you too: Biscuiteers! Basically a biscuit-and-telegram service, you choose your cookie (sorry, biscuit) and your message, and it's sent to the recipient of your choice. Far less expected and much sweeter than flowers, in our opinion! Prices range from £8.00 for an individual message and treat, and go up from there; available online.


    DSC05525

     

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