Spiced Cherry Hermit Cookies

Oh, hello. Did you think I died? Does writing personal statements and attempting a personal life count as dying? No?

Well, I didn’t die and my camera is full of photos that I’ve taken of my food and not blogged about. Now that Edward has shown me up by making bagels for New Years, I guess I should finally post at least one of the holiday cookie recipes I made this year. Since 4 out of the 5 cookies I made this year are technically recipes stolen from my mother (hi Mom), I decided to go with these hermit cookies which are adapted from a cookbook gifted to me sophomore year by the very bestest of roommates (hi Sydni). The cookbook is called Big Fat Cookies By Elinor Klivans and the original was called Spiced Raisin Walnut Hermits. As you may be able to tell by the change in title, I made some tweaks to the recipe.

Sneak preview of the finished product. Click-ity that read more link.

Sneak preview of the finished product. Click-ity that read more link.


Wedding Cake Chronicles Part 1: Chocolate cherry cake with Swiss buttercream

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There’s no peanut butter involved–I just suck at setting up fancy pictures.

Why I’m doing this:

Some friends of mine recently started planning their wedding and asked me to make the cake. [cue panic] I agreed, of course, because I am clearly not busy at all and I never turn down a chance to be awesome. I’m obviously a reasonably decent baker, but if I’m going to do this, I need to do this properly. That means finding the perfect recipes, flavors, and techniques to make this wedding cake look better than what a frantic grad student can make in her apartment kitchen. So my game plan for the next ~10 months now is to make at least one cake per month to figure out what the hell I’m doing.


Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

A little background: it’s grant application season, and my PI has been writing grants and having us do last-minute analyses for the past couple weeks. Last week, we got some sequencing data back on Friday–I proceeded to spend all weekend slamming my head against my keyboard to get an icky icky program to analyze it. I knew it would take a long time to run, but with any luck (and running jobs in parallel) I figured I could get it done for the grant deadline on Wednesday. That is, until Windows 8 decided to fuck me over at 1 am on Wednesday by forcing a restart to install Windows updates, sending a ^C to the program and wiping 3 days of progress. So, I restrained myself from chucking my laptop out the window and instead decided to bake something my PI would appreciate–mini muffins.

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I ain’t got time to bake

Actually, I had a little time to bake, on Friday night, when for some reason my friends decided we needed to watch Predator. I can’t remember why we needed to do this, or why I needed to bake a cake to go with it, but it all seemed very important at the time. Therefore, cake!


There are 4 parts to this recipe: the cake layers, Predator’s green blood (a.k.a. vanilla pudding), buttercream frosting, and strawberry sauce.