Galentine’s Day Cookies

Fair warning: If you do not love the TV show Parks and Recreation as much as I do, then this post is not going to make much sense.

Galentine's Day Cookies

Let’s start at the beginning. I know it’s a meme and whatever, but I truly believe Leslie Knope is my spirit animal. Like, sometimes I feel that I’m the museum education version of Leslie Knope. Like Leslie with parks, I absolutely love what I do and usually can’t comprehend why everyone in the world wouldn’t love museums and art history as much as I do. I love binders and organization and categorizing everything. I’m an unabashed feminist (thank you, nine years of all-girls education), more than a bit of a perfectionist, and definitely a talker and a share-er. I also happen to think Galentine’s Day is the best idea EVER.

Galentine's Day Cookies

If you don’t know what Galentine’s Day is, here are some GIFs.

A huge reason why I love Parks and Rec is obviously the character of Leslie, but a huge part of why I (and most folks) love Leslie is because of Amy Poehler. I loved her in the TV show, but it was when I found out about her organization Smart Girls at the Party that I realized how ridiculously amazing she is. Smart Girls at the Party is a website and video series about inspiring young girls (and boys) to accept themselves. They feature women in the world who are unabashedly doing amazing things. It is absolutely great. (They were behind the #AskHerMore hashtag that made a big splash at the Golden Globes this year.)

Galentine's Day Cookies

Then she published her book, Yes Please, and my adoration was cemented. It’s such a hilarious, empowering book. Go read it if you haven’t already! What does “yes please” mean? In Amy’s words: “I love saying ‘yes’ and I love saying ‘please’. Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying ‘please’ doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission. ‘Yes please’ sounds powerful and concise. It’s a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman.” (And don’t worry, if you’re a dude you will love the book, and Parks and Rec, too. I guarantee it.)

Galentine's Day Cookies

So, in honor of my love for Parks and Rec, Leslie Knope, and of course Amy Poehler, here are some Galentine’s Day cookies with three of my favorite quotes: Treat Yo Self, I love you and I like you (warning: link is a major spoiler), and Yes Please!

Galentine's Day Cookies

Oops, before I end this post I should probably talk about what these cookies taste like, huh? Well, in true Leslie Knope style, I’m not gonna be humble. These are the ideal, perfect sugar cookies. They aren’t crispy but rather a little bit chewy, super buttery, and I added a little cinnamon for some spice. The royal icing is sweet and balances out the butter. These are absolutely one of the best recipes I’ve ever made.

Galentine's Day Cookies

So: Happy Galentine’s Day to all of you! May your February be filled with waffles, friends, and work you’re passionate about, and lots of friends and family you love.

Galentine's Day Cookies

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Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

I decided to bake Christmas cookies rather than Netflix away the day! (If you’re curious, though, I’m currently watching Gilmore Girls for the umpteenth time and Black Mirror, two shows which, truly, could not be more different).

Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

Honestly, though, they were just an excuse to dance around my apartment all day while singing along to the Michael Buble holiday album over and over and over. And over.

Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

I love baking and blogging, but sometimes when you really think about the whole process, it’s kind of weird. I mean, arranging food and setting up shots is one thing if you’re a professional food stylist, but I have to admit I felt a little silly stacking cookies next to Christmas baubles in front of my sad little fake Christmas tree… But at least the photos look decent!

Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

I’m heading home for the holidays and although I’ll be baking a bunch, I probably won’t have my fancy camera with me (plus the light in my parents’ house is pretty bad), so there won’t be any new posts for a while. But, if you’re nebby, you can follow me on Instagram to see all my baking adventures in Pittsburgh!

Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

Happy holidays!

Snappy Gingerbread Cookies

(Sorry folks, I know it’s overdone, but I just couldn’t resist ending the post with some Christmas tree bokeh.)

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Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

Confession: These might be my favorite cookies of all time.

Molasses Spice Cookies

Second confession: This is basically just a rebake of a recipe that’s already on this blog (sans my beloved pearl sugar, which I’m running low on).

Molasses Spice Cookies

I know it’s kind of bad food-blogger-practice to re-do a recipe… but I just LOVE these cookies.

Molasses Spice Cookies

In fact, I love them so much that even though I actually very rarely ever bake the same recipe twice…

Molasses Spice Cookies

…I bake these at least three or four times a year (and that’s a lot when you have a food blog and feel like you need to create new content on the regular).

Molasses Spice Cookies

So forgive me, blog world, for repeating a recipe, but I’m just keeping it real. Let the record show: these cookies are so good I’ve baked, and now blogged, them more than once.

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Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

It is officially autumn.

Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

I’m living in giant sweaters and boots, and just got a new coat.

Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

I painted my nails red this weekend and settled in for a Gilmore Girls marathon (that burgundy pre-Instagram filter on the opening credits just instantly puts you in the fall mood).

Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

And I’ve had my favorite Christmas-y smelling candle lit all weekend.

Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

So obviously this weekend when I settled in for some baking, I knew I needed cinnamon and browned butter involved, and it seemed the logical next step to throw in some other winter/autumn spices: cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger. They are crisp on the outside and cakey on the inside–the perfect snickerdoodle.

Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

The real reason I baked was because I have a friend coming over for a visit, but even though I normally have pretty good self-control over leaving my baking be after a taste test, I just cannot stop eating these things. (Cleverly, I made them bite-size so even though I’ve had at least half a dozen already, it looks like I’ve barely made a dent. Pro baking tip from me to you!)

Autumn Spice Snickerdoodles

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Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m back!

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Well, maybe. See the last bit of this post!)

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Anyway, I finished grad school three weeks ago yesterday (!).

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Then I immediately went to Boston for an intense but awesome two-week-long institute related to my job (!!).

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

So writing-wise, I must admit I’m a little spent (thus the brief nature of this post)…

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

But luckily, exhaustion of the mind does not have anything to do with baking! So here’s what I made today, on a whim: another favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (can’t believe it wasn’t on the blog yet!) sprinkled with a treat I bought myself when I was in Massachussetts: Maldon sea salt, which I’ve been trying to find for a long time!

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are delicious: chewy, chocolatey, giant, and the fancy sea salt is the perfect finishing touch to play off the brown sugar and dark chocolate.

Sea Salted Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My birthday’s coming up, and I do have plans to bake myself a cake, so you’ll see that soon. And who knows, maybe I’ll start baking and blogging again… but for the time being, I am completely reveling in having no reading to do or papers to write, and I don’t want this blog to become a to-do list. So posts may be sporadic, but I hope you’ll enjoy them when they pop up!

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Sandwich Cookie Party

Sandwich Cookie Party

I was so lucky last week to bake once more for Anthropologie!

Sandwich Cookie Party

Since I’m on summer break from grad school, it worked out that I could squeeze in some baking time for one of Anthropologie’s summer events series.

Sandwich Cookie Party

I decided to make the baking more interactive this time around: a make-your-own sandwich cookie party!

Sandwich Cookie Party

I made two cookies–sugar cookies and brownie cookies–and two kinds of frosting–rose and chocolate malt. The idea was that you could mix and match either cookie with either of the frostings.

Sandwich Cookie Party

I was also so happy that my new Milwaukee blogger buddy Colleen from Inspired to Share came out to join us, too! (Her blog is awesome–make sure you check it out!)

Many thanks to Lyn, Shannon, and the rest of the Anthropologie team for having me back this summer! It was so much fun!

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Black & White Cookies

Black & White Cookies

In honor of the Oscars, some black & white cookies!

Black & White Cookies

I can’t believe I don’t have this recipe on the blog yet.

Black & White Cookies

It’s a good one: a little fussy, to be sure (it is a Martha Stewart recipe, after all), but worth a bit of work.

Black & White Cookies

A warning, though: without the icing, the cookies don’t taste amazing; and without the cookies, the icings taste way too sweet. So when you taste test along the way, just keep that in mind–they’re best when completely assembled.

Black & White Cookies

On a completely unrelated note, I have, in my limited amounts of spare time, been watching Alias. That spy show with Jennifer Garner from the early 2000s. Oh man. It is so good and addicting. Like Revenge‘s older sister. If you want to lose your weekend to Netflix, I highly recommend putting Alias in your Instant Queue…

Black & White Cookies

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