Tasting Tuesdays: Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

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This post is going to be a little love-letter to some of my favorite things. Things that are so pretty you can’t help but smile when you see them. Things that are sweet and buttery and lemony. Things that make you feel accomplished and fabulous and put a grin on your face for the rest of the day.

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These things all describe today’s first Tasting Tuesdays event at the Milwaukee Anthropologie, which I’ve been looking forward to for months. Until now I have been pawning off my baked goods on unsuspecting friends who–while I think they like it–might be a little sick of being stuffed full of butter, sugar, and flour every weekend.

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So I was thrilled when the opportunity to bake for my local Anthropologie once a month popped up. Not to gush too much about how much I like that store, but their aesthetic is beautiful and I love that they wanted to work with a local blogger. Everything in that store really does make me smile (part 1 of this little love-letter).

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I was also pumped when I found out Anthropologie carried the beautiful Miette cookbook, from which I’ve been wanting to bake ever since it came out this summer. These simple lemon shortbread cookies, just a little bit fussy but completely worth the extra work, have a kick of lemon zest and are so buttery they melt in your mouth.

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But I had to up the cute factor if they were going to be on display in Anthropologie, of course. Sandwich cookies were the perfect choice: a burst of bright, juicy sweetness from meyer lemon buttercream went perfectly with the crumbly shortbread. (Part 2 of my love-letter: the baked goods. Of course.)

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It was so wonderful to be able to share these with all the customers, friends, and store staff who came in this morning. (Part 3 of my love-letter: feeling totally flattered and happy for the rest of the day.) Thanks so much to everyone at Anthro, especially Jane, who created the ridiculously lovely display you see in these photographs, and Shannon and Kim too!

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If you live in Milwaukee, I hope you come and visit me for the next Tasting Tuesdays, which is October 18. And if you were there today and that’s how you made your way here–welcome to the blog! I hope you loved the cookies this morning, would love to hear your thoughts, and hope you’ll stay and keep reading! Continue reading

Peach Cardamom Cookies

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Remember how I was excited for fall in my last post? Well, this weekend I was cleaning out all my digital photos and I came across views out of my window where the streets are slushy, the trees exhausted and drooping under inches of snow, the sky a dull grey, and the light in my apartment frosty blue.

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Um. About that. I’m not rescinding my excitement about fall, exactly, but I think my enthusiasm needs to be dampened. I’m not ready to lose the warm summer sunlight yet. I want to keep the fresh fruit and red tomatoes and bright green grass and leaves on the trees. I am not ready for the endless string of grey days where I’m stuck wearing a gigantic marshmallow sleeping bag coat, navigating patches of black ice to get to work.

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So I made these transitional cookies. Let’s make some fashion metaphors. They are the windbreaker of your youth… the flats instead of flip-flops… the light, breezy scarf. They are bright sunny days of fall, ready for spices but holding onto fresh fruit.

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And I don’t know how I managed to do this, but these big, soft, cakey cookies taste like peaches and cream popsicles. I’m not kidding. It’s like a popsicle without the melting or the leftover stick–only the warmth of cardamom combined the fresh fruit popsicle flavor of summer.

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PS. Please don’t forget to visit me at Anthropologie on Tuesday, September 20 for Tasting Tuesdays! I’d love to meet you. Continue reading

Snickerdoodles with Crystallized Ginger

Note: There is a super exciting announcement at the end of this post! So please read till the end…

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Oh my goodness gracious. It is fall. Glorious, chilly, wonderful, boots and scarves and leggings and knits fall. Spices and pumpkins and apples and leaves fall. I know there will be some people who will be angry at me for ushering in the cold. And I do appreciate wearing flip flops all the time, believe me. But I just love really, really love cold weather. (I know: it is a good thing I live in Wisconsin.) These 90 degree days are not for me, and you know what else? They are not for baking. (Although, admittedly, I have had quite a fun time experimenting with lemons and herbs.)

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But there is something about the first chilly week of fall. Even though fall is currently in the running for shortest season ever in Wisconsin (it’s neck and neck with spring), I still love it. I love not wearing a coat but wearing a sweater, wearing boots but not snow boots. I love baking with spices and especially baking with cinnamon. I love telling myself I’m going to go to eight apple orchards and live off of nothing but apples, applesauce, apple pie and cinnamon even though I never can get it together to actually go. And did I mention I love cinnamon? Because I’m pretty sure that that is the primary reason why I love cold weather.

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This week. This week it is fall. So I did a weird thing. I baked on a weeknight. I baked on a weeknight when the light was poor and I have work tomorrow. I baked when I just got back from a trip to Pittsburgh, my hometown, and my awesome mom sent me home with enough food to feed an army. I am not kidding: I brought back five different kinds of cheeses (thank you Penn Mac), a bag of parmesan garlic popcorn (thank you Pittsburgh Popcorn Company), a stack of the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted (thank you Rococo Chocolates), and heck, somehow I even came back with cookies and crack pie from Momofuku Milk Bar! (Thank you, thank you, thank you, little sister.)

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But tonight, even though it is not an optimal time to bake, even though I have a ridiculous amount of food in the fridge, I baked. After all, it is fall. And I wanted something spicy and cinnamony and warm. And snickerdoodles were it. Fluffy and soft and accidentally-but-not-disastrously undercooked.

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I also did something a little crazy to them. I chopped up crystallized ginger and snuck them in the dough. That was a good decision. It’s not overwhelming, but adds a zing and a little more chewiness. A good fall celebration all in one little pillow of a cookie.

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And now, the exciting news…

Tasting Tuesdays at Anthropologie!
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m baking once a month for my local Anthropologie store in Milwaukee, WI! Every month, I’ll bake a recipe from a cookbook sold at Anthropologie. The treats will be on display for you to try–that’s right: goodies from my blog not on your computer screen, but actually in your stomach. Yum. And I’ll be there, too, of course, camera in hand! The featured recipe and photos of the event will be posted here afterwards.

The first one is September 20 at 10 AM and I’ll be baking from the Miette cookbook. RSVP on Facebook right here. I would LOVE to meet you and have you try my baking in person, so please come! And, if you’re feeling really social (har, har), feel free to “like” this blog on Facebook for instant updates, or follow me on Twitter for musings on baking and other things I love.

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