I get a lot of traits from my mother, but my paralyzing indecisiveness is not one of my favorites. For me, trying to make a decision, even a simple one, is a huge struggle. I used to wonder how I got to be that way, why I couldn’t do something as basic as choosing an ice cream flavor without succumbing to total analysis paralysis. Well, after some time and closer observance of my mother, it became clear she was the source.
Between the two of us, reaching any kind of decision is nearly impossible. So when Mother’s Day started looming in the near future and I knew I needed to menu-plan, I started pestering my mom weeks in advance about what she wanted so we could maybe come to a consensus by May 12. It took until a day or two before, but I did finally come up with an idea she liked: Strawberry Coconut Macaroons.
I used to wonder where I got such a passion for food from. It consumes my daily thoughts, and when I am upset, food is the source of comfort I go straight to. But lately, I’ve realized it’s obvious where my obsession stems from: Mother Cookie. Like mother, like daughter, right?
You see, last week was a stressful one here in the Smart Cookie household. When Mother Cookie was having a particularly rough day, she slouched over to me and asked,
“Can I have some of your Almond Joy Poke Cake, or were you saving it for something?”
I looked up and replied,
“Have as much as you want.”
“I’m going to stick my whole freakin’ face in it,” she declared and trotted off.
That’s my mom!
Mother Cookie knows the healing powers of food, and after a hard day, she wasn’t afraid to embrace a big old pan of my Almond Joy Poke Cake. Considering that cake has “joy” in its name, it should come as no surprise that it has unparalleled mood-lifting powers in every heavenly bite.
Not many people are as lucky as me to absolutely love their co-workers. Most people can’t stand the people they work with; or at most, they tolerate them. I, however, found a sort of family at my job. But when new interns came in during the fall, I was concerned we wouldn’t get along, and my comfortableness at the office would be ruined. Turns out, I would up making two great friends, and it’s almost ridiculous how well we get along.
Perhaps the greatest moment of our relationship was when we discovered we all have a love for penguins. Picture this epic scene: one of us divulges that she adores penguin, then another chimes in, and the third agrees, resulting in a resounding, synonymous squeal of glee. That’s a true bond right there. And when one of my penguin pal’s birthday rolled around, it wasn’t hard for me to figure out that I needed to bake her something penguin-related. These Double Chocolate Penguin Cookies fit the bill.
Year after year, I am unable to see my sister on her birthday because it just happens to fall around the same time as finals (I swear, college has it out for me). Naturally, this upsets Sister Cookie as well, but I think that’s more because I’m not there to bake her anything than because she misses me. Well, lucky for her this year, I was able to be there in spirit by having Mother Cookie deliver a birthday cake to her when she went to visit this week.
My sister, being the indecisive creature that she is, had a painful time deciding what kind of cake she wanted. After a good amount of brainstorming that felt much like pulling teeth, I had a mouthwatering idea: Chunky Monkey Poke Cake.
Sister Cookie was right on board.
Like all Chunky Monkey-flavored treats, this cake showcases a trio of perfectly paired flavors: peanut butter, chocolate, and banana. What triple threat could be more tantalizing than that?
We as humans may not hibernate per say, but it sure does feel like it. When March rolls around, we slowly start to come out of our late-winter slump, opening our zombie eyes and feeling a slight hint of hope. Then, with April’s arrival, something warm really begins to awaken within us, and we feel differently then we have in a while. Is that sun I see? Are those birds I hear? Alas, we can finally shed some layers and spend extended amounts of time outdoors!
Spring has been a long time coming this year, but better late than never, right? I know no better way to commemorate Spring’s long-awaited arrival than without some festive, seasonal food. You can’t have a celebration with good eats and treats! So let’s rejoice at the sight of luminous sunlight and raise our hands to the mild and warm air; or, if you live in perpetually cloudy CNY like me, just pretend for a minute.
It’s time for Spring, and that means it’s time for spring cuisine. Without further ado, here is my best Spring recipe round-up:
(The number correlate with the photo above)
1. Chocolate Coconut Mousse Cups
2. Ma’s Baked Corn Pudding
3. White Chocolate Tiramisu
4. Brown Butter Blueberry Cookies w/ Vanilla Glaze
5. 3-Cheese Brussels Sprout Stove-Top Mac & Cheese
6. Mini Cauliflower Crust Broccoli Quiches
7. Chewy Red Velvet Bars with Whipped Cream Frosting
8. Four-Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato Mac & Cheese
9. Strawberry Coconut Poke Cake
10. Spinach Nut Pesto w/ Rotini & Roasted Tomatoes
11. Creamy Creamless Vegetable Soup
12. Classic Buttery Pound Cake
13. Roasted Brown Butter Pee Wee Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
14. Babci’s Carrot Cake
15. Spinach-Artichoke Veggie Burgers
16. Homemade Pesto Croutons
17. Mini Strawberry Mousse Pies w/ Golden Oreo Crusts
18. Vegetable Lasagna with Blush Sauce
19. Brussels Sprout Gratin
20. Spring Veggie Medley Soup
Which recipes are you dying to try this spring? Do you have a favorite recipe you whip out every year around this time?
A while back, I crafted what I consider to be heaven’s nectar: Milky Way Ganache. It was beautiful in its simplicity: my favorite candy bar melted together with heavy cream to create a satiny, rich sauce like no other. After I shamefully ate way too many sinful spoonfuls, and the chocolate-caramel bliss was gone, I never could get it out of my mind. I needed an excuse to make it again.
Since I am head-over-heels in love with ooey-gooey Milky Ways, I was more than happy to dream up another treat that featured them. What I have for you today is every Milky Way lover’s dream, the ultimate goo-rific chocolate experience that will satisfy every Milky Way-loving bone in your body.
I’m getting chills just thinking about them. Continue reading
Sorry for hitting you so hard with the sweets this week. Actually, I’m not sorry at all because from the E.L. Fudge Ice Box Cake to the Sandy Buddies, and now to these Copycat Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Blizzards, everything has been absolutely delicious. And you know what they say: good things come in threes.
If you don’t know by now that I have an unparalleled and passionate love for Dairy Queen, then you clearly don’t know The Smart Cookie Cook. And if you don’t know that their Blizzards are my equivalent of crack, then get your head out of the sand (or should I say get your head out of the Sandy Buddies? Ha!).
For a while now, as DQ debuted tantalizing Blizzards of the Month that I couldn’t actually try because I don’t have a DQ near me, I have been whipping up my own homemade versions to enjoy like these Confetti Cake Blizzards and these Chocolate Candy Shop Blizzards. Not to toot my own horn here, but I’ve been giving DQ a run for its money with my copycat versions. I’d argue they’re just as good, if not better. Continue reading
Sometimes, when you least expect it, you get bombarded by a random, unwarranted craving that’s so fierce, you simply must have that food. This happened to me the other day as I was strolling down the cereal aisle. I spotted the endless varieties of Chex cereal, and my eyes zeroed in on the Honey Nut Chex in particular. I’m not sure why, but in that moment, I needed a box of Honey Nut Chex. I hadn’t eaten it in years, but there it was, calling to my taste buds with a slow and sweet symphony that only my ears could hear.
When I got the box home, I tore into it and snacked on some sweet, crunchy handfuls, sans milk. I forgot how good Honey Nut Chex is, and immediately I pondered if there was something I could do with it besides inundating it in milk or snacking straight from the box like a barbarian. The natural solution would be muddy buddies, but of course, I had to put a Smart Cookie twist on it. So, I switched out the typical chocolate for a peanut butter and honey rendition and created the salty-sweet sister of muddy buddies: Sandy Buddies. Continue reading
When I was a kid, E.L. Fudge Cookies were my favorite treat ever. With a rather unrefined childhood taste, I knew little of homemade cookies, and could only base my cookie judgments on store-bought. To me, they were the crème de la crème of grocery store confections. No other packaged cookie could compare to their crunchy, buttery cookies and thick, unparalleled fudge filling. And the Double Stuffed version was almost too much fudgy bliss to handle. What wonderful cookies they were, like no other cookie in the cookie aisle.
Plus, how could you not love a cookie shaped like a cute, cookie-making elf and inscribed with messages meant just for you?
Today is a very big day here on Smart Cookie: it’s my 500th post! Can you believe it? 500 posts of deliciousness! I’ve loved writing every single one of them and sharing them with you, so today, I’d like to invite you to celebrate with me. And naturally, we can’t celebrate without cake.
But since this is Smart Cookie, not just any cake will do. We’re going to commemorate this joyous occasion with bite-sized, lovable cake balls instead. If you’ve never had a cake ball, it’s essentially all the goodness of cake, frosting and all, condensed into an adorable, tiny flavor-packed ball with the perfect cake-to-frosting ratio and a chocolate coating to-boot. Imagine the love child of a chocolate truffle and a hunk of cake; that’s a cake ball. Continue reading