An Unfortunate Affinity to 70s Soft Rock, and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on

Mmmm sweet potato biscuits… /homerdrool

Here’s an annoying fact: I get music from my parents’ generation stuck in my head. All. The. Time. Perhaps it’s because my mom listened to music constantly when I was small, but regardless of the cause, the end result is the vast majority of the 70s soft rock genre has wormed its way into my subconscious like an earwig on a coke bender. Air Supply, Chicago, Bread, the Carpenters, the entirety of the Yacht Rock canon. It’s all very good music, to be sure, but it’s little out of context in the land that is Steph’s Brain… And it’s become one hell of a distraction. [Read more...]

Traditional Shortbread Recipe (Mürbteig)

Traditional Shortbread Recipe (Mürbteig)
I’ve been searching for the ultimate traditional shortbread recipe for ages now. I love shortbread, but a lot of the recipes I find are too crumbly or too fatty for my taste. Ideally, shortbread should be a lesson in tender luxury – light and gently sweet, without leaving a fatty feeling on your palate. Finding the perfect shortbread was turning into an exercise in futility, and this lack of a decent recipe was a particular bummer around the holidays. [Read more...]

A Brief History of Christmas Cookies

A Brief History of Christmas Cookies - A Brief History of Christmas Cookies -

Today I’ve got a special treat for you–a guest post by fellow cookbook author Brette Sember. Besides her insanely prolific publishing history (with over 40 books to her credit!) Brette’s most recent project is a fascinating ebook called Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More. If you’re at all interested in cookies and want to expand your knowledge of this delicious global tradition, I highly recommend this book.

Please welcome Brette, as she shares with us a brief history of Christmas cookies. She can also be found on her food blog, PuttingItAllontheTable.

A Brief History of Christmas Cookies

Why do we eat cookies for Christmas? For lots of people, it’s not Christmas without cookies. Our kids leave cookies out for Santa, we spend weeks baking and decorating our cookies, and there’s always a cookie plate at any party. The gingerbread man has become synonymous with Christmas. But how did cookies come to be such an important symbol of Christmas?
[Read more...]

Crema Volteada Peruana, or Peruvian Caramel Custard

Crema Volteada, or Peruvian Caramel Custard on

This crema volteada peruana recipe was contributed by Nico Vera, a Peruvian chef and mixologist at Pisco TrailNico writes about Peruvian cuisine and the 500 year fusion of Inca, Spanish, African, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. 

Crema volteada peruana is the Peruvian version of the Spanish flan or the French crème caramel, but one of its ingredients gives it a very unique flavor and texture — quinoa. The Incas of Peru called quinoa “the mother grain,” and though I have enjoyed quinoa in many savory dishes or salads, I was very excited to be adding quinoa to a dessert for the first time. Not the least because it somehow made the dessert a little bit healthier. [Read more...]

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on

I was introduced to this salted caramel hot chocolate recipe a few months ago when a few friends and I shared a cup at a local chocolate cafe. I remember feeling a little lightheaded when the hot, creamy drink nuzzled its way up to my taste buds; its velvety texture and sweetly salty seduction were almost more than I could take. After the head rush faded away, I’m pretty sure I exclaimed, “This hot cocoa is better than sex!” [Read more...]

Spicy-Warm Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Recipe

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Recipe on

It had been years since I’d decided to make a gingerbread men recipe. In fact, the last time I made gingerbread cookies was when I was a little girl, living with my mom, grandma, and aunt. Every December my grandma would plan a cookie night, where she’d bake her now-infamously huge collection of cookies that she’d hand out to everyone on Christmas Eve. My grandma is hands down the bet baker I’d ever met. Every year she produces an incredible array of cookies for our family, and I remember feeling so excited to be involved in the process. She was definitely a big influence on my baking life as I got older. [Read more...]

Impossibly Rich, Buttery Gluten-Free Linzer Cookies


- Gluten-free linzer cookies? HUZZAH! -

Aaaaaaah, Linzer cookies. There’s just something about Linzers cookies that makes you want to dive right in and cover yourself with jam and powdered sugar. I love how each crumbly, buttery shortbread cookie clings to its swath of red jam, like the fruity sweetness is the only thing holding it together (and I guess it is!). The dusting of powdered sugar across the top layer always reminds me of winter, like a snow-covered church with its brightly colored stained glass window shining through the blustery cold. Without fail, Linzer cookies always make me smile. [Read more...]