Deep dark chocolate bread

It took me a couple of tries to get this one right.

The first time I tried was last fall when I spent a weekend binge-baking recipes from Christina Tosi’s recently published Huckleberry cookbook.

The original recipes says it makes one loaf.  And even though I thought that single loaf pan was really, really, REALLY full, I went with it.  Luckily my spider sense told me to put a half sheet pan on the lower rack because there was a serious chocolate explosion in my oven.

I made a note to try two loaves the next time I played with the recipe.

Then several months passed and it wasn’t until recently that I was brave enough to risk having to scrub the inside of my oven.

Sure enough, this recipe was meant to make two loaves.  Total success!  My nickname for this cake is “bribe bread.”  If you need a favor from someone who likes chocolate, this will do the trick.

Chocolate Chocolate Teacake

slightly adapted from Zoe Nathan’s Huckleberry, Stories, Secrets and recipes from our Kitchen


  • 3/4 C/100 g pastry flour (can sub all purpose in a pinch)
  • 6 TBS/45 g all purpose flour
  • 6 TBS/30g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C strong brewed coffee, cooled (I used espresso)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C/ 300g coarsely chopped dark chocolate, 60-70% cacao
  • 1/2 C + 2 TBS/ 140 g unsalted butter, cubed at room temp
  • 1 C + 2 TBS/ 225 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs at room temp


  1. Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 9X5 inch loaf pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.
  4. Combine the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla.  Set aside.
  5. Melt 3/4 C (130 g) of the chocolate.
  6. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  7. Incorporate the eggs one a a time, beating in between each.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl well.
  8. Pause mixer, add flour mixer and mix on low until just combined.
  9. Pour in the coffee mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  10. Fold in the melted chocolate.  Then fold in the remaining chopped chocolate.
  11. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool completely before removing from pans.
  13. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.



Rye and whiskey chocolate chip cookies

When I discovered that the secret ingredient in Sycamore Kitchen’s chocolate chip cookies was rye flour, my interest was piqued.  Rye is a sort of earthy grain, toothsome and rich.

It’s Don McLean who brought the whiskey to the rye party.

Don McLean has scored the soundtrack to my life at a couple different points.  As  kid, his American Pie album was the background music to many a summer road trip.  I can remember listening to Vincent as our green van trundled through the flat yellow fields of central California as we sought the cooler, greener destination of the redwoods in the North.

Then later, Don Mclean returned to my life when I was college student with his fraternity party anthem American Pie.  Though I’m sure this wasn’t Mr. McLean’s intention, American Pie was always played late in the night when it seemed everyone was lubricated enough to sing the song in its nearly 10 minute entirety.

I know you know where I’m going with this: “with the good ole boys drinking whiskey and rye singing this will be the day that I die.  This will be the day that I die.”

And so when I learned about using rye flour in baked goods, I could not divorce the notion from also using whiskey.  Luckily, someone else had the same idea and I didn’t have to experiment very much in my search for a whiskey and rye chocolate chip cookie recipe.  All I did was replace the chocolate chunks with chocolate disks (not “chocolate flavored” melting disks…but real, organic, bittersweet discs).  I also browned the butter.

I used Bushmills because it was near St Patricks Day when I first made these guys.  Use what you have…even if it’s bourbon or scotch.   This cookie is sophisticated and would pair well with a finger or two of its namesake, one ice cube.

Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from The Bojon Gourmet


  • 8 TBS/4 ounces  unsalted butter, melted (browned if desired)
  • 1/2 C  dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulated cane sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk at room temp
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBS whiskey
  • 3/4 C 2 TBS  rye flour
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 C bittersweet chocolate disks (chopped chocolate would work just as well)
  • 3/4 C toasted pecans (optional–I meant to use but forgot to pick up)
  • flaky salt for sprinkling
  1. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the rye and all-purpose flours, baking soda and sea salt.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the warm, melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  3. Let cool to warm, then stir in the egg. Stir in the vanilla and rye, and set aside.
  4.  Stir the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/egg mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped chocolate and pecans.
  5. Cover the dough and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
  6. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325ºF.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (or grease lightly with butter).
     Use two spoons or a 1/2 ounce scoop, scoop cookie dough, placing them 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Top each ball with a tiny pinch of flaky salt.
  8. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until the edges are set and just beginning to color, 8-12 minutes.  Rotate the pans halfway through to ensure even baking. The cookies will look under-done, but will continue to cook from residual heat.
  9. Remove the baking sheets to cooling racks and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets (unless they are in danger of over-baking – in that case, sweep the cookies, parchment and all, onto cooling racks).
  10. When the cookies have cooled completely, store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.

She did WHAT with a banana?

Has this ever happened to you?

It’s a Tuesday night and you are snuggled-in watching Mad Men (I realize Mad Men is on Sunday nights but we generally don’t watch it until Tuesday or Wednesday).  Suddenly, you are struck by a deep, yearning and insatiable craving for banana bread.  You make a hopeful trip to the kitchen only to find that your secret freezer stash is tapped-out and none of the bananas in your fruit basket are ripe enough to be up to the task.

So what do you do?

You roast your bananas.  That’s what you do.

Somewhere, at some point, I came across a recipe that roasted the bananas before using them in banana bread.  It must have been one of those casual skips through the internet because I failed to save, mark or pin the article.  But, the idea stuck.

So, I did some research of my own, mixed and matched some recipes, added some toasted coconut and peanut butter chips and here is where I landed.

Elivs would be proud.

I don’t know that I can claim roasting your bananas makes a better banana bread.  But, it does make a good banana bread and solves the banana problem.

Should it.  You know.  Arise.

Oh, one more thing.  That first picture is false advertising.  Do not peel your bananas before roasting.  Leave them in the skin.  I made that mistake so won’t don’t have to.

Roasted Banana Bread


  • 3 medium bananas
  • 6 tbs coconut oil, melted and cooled (but still liquid)
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C  yogurt (I didn’t have plain and so used honey)
  • 2/3 C toasted unsweetened coconut wide or narrow shredded plus a couple of tablespoons for topping
  • 2/3 C peanut butter chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the three bananas, unpeeled, evenly spaced, on the baking sheet. Bake the bananas for 10-15 minutes, until dark brown to almost black in color. Remove from oven and let cool, until ready to use.
  2. Maintain oven temperature and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4.  In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and yogurt or buttermilk.
  5. Then add the roasted bananas by peeling them over the bowl, allowing both the banana and any juices to be combined with the egg mixture. Whisk well to combine.
  6.  Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together until combined–do not over stir.
  7. Fold-in coconut and peanut butter chips.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Top with reserved coconut.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. This freezes well when tightly wrapped.

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Cookies

If you haven’t noticed, I kind of have a thing for roasted strawberries:  Exhibit A and  Exhibit B.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my little baking brain wondered if replacing the dried blueberries with roasted strawberries in Christina Tosi’s blueberries and cream cookies recipe would make a good swap.  Why roasted instead of dried strawberries?  Because up until about five minutes ago when I checked out Amazon, I didn’t know dried strawberries existed.

Knowledge may be power, but necessity is the mother of invention.  And I needed to make these cookies.  I also needed to stop quoting cliches.

Many of Christina Tosi’s recipes pay homage to her middle-class upbringing.  Without realizing it, I stumbled into a nostalgic favorite of my own.  I’m pretty sure I ate the same thing for breakfast every morning during middle school: Quaker strawberries and cream oatmeal.  As I bit into one of these cookies I was suddenly back in the seventh grade wearing my favorite two-tone Guess jeans and shaker knit sweater from Express wondering if I could talk my mom into carpooling to the mall that weekend.

Oh the responsibilities of being 12 in suburbia.

Anyhow, as summer is right around the corner, it would be pretty fun to make a batch of the original and a batch of the strawberry version of this recipe for your Fourth of July celebrations.

Strawberries and Cream Cookies

adapted from Christina Tosi’s blueberries and cream cookies

for the  streusel


  • 3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces chopped white chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Combine milk powder, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and coarse salt in medium bowl; toss to mix evenly.
  3. Add butter; stir with fork until clusters form. Spread mixture evenly on prepared sheet.
  4. Bake until crumbs are dry and crumbly but still pale, about 10 minutes.
  5. Cool Milk Crumbs completely on sheet.
  6. In a double boiler or microwave, melt white chocolate.  Pour over milk crumbs and toss with a fork until coated.
  7. Continue to toss with a fork every few minutes until the crumbs are dry.
  8. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

for the roasted strawberries


  • 2 C fresh strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently wash and cut strawberries into quarters.
  2. Place berries on a cooling rack fitted into a baking sheet, seeds-side-down (note, you can skip the cooling rack and place directly on parchment but will need to turn the berries halfway through baking).
  3. Bake until strawberries are partially dried, about 45 minutes. Let cool.

for the cookies



  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons glucose or light corn syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups struesel
  • Roasted strawberries


  1. Combine butter, both sugars, and corn syrup in large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add eggs; beat on medium-high speed until mixture is very pale and sugar is completely dissolved, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat on low speed just until blended, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
  4. Add streusel; mix on low speed just until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer. Stir in strawberries just until evenly distributed (dough will be very sticky).
  5. Using 1/4-cup ice cream scoop for each cookie (I actually used a smaller scoop–1/4 cup scoops make huge cookies), drop dough onto 2 large rimmed baking sheets.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
  7. While dough is cold, flatten the domes into disks using the flat-edged bottom of a cup or glass.  To prevent sticking, dip the glass in granulated sugar before flattening each dome.
  8. Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F.
  9. Line 2 large (18×12-inch) rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Transfer 6 chilled dough scoops (more if you’ve used a smaller scoop) to each sheet, spacing at least 4 inches apart (cookies will spread).
  10. Bake cookies, 2 sheets at a time, until golden, reversing sheets halfway through baking, 20 to 22 minutes total (smaller cookies cook in about 12 minutes–start checking at 10).
  11. Repeat with remaining chilled dough, cooling and relining sheets between batches.
  12. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely.