chocolate chocolate chip cookies

Sylvie and I LOVE these cookies.  We LOVE them.  Sweet and full of chocolate and a plethora of chips and chocolate wafers these are on our hit list.  Chewy yet sturdy.  If you make them as instructed they are giant and that makes them even more enticing for some reason.

My father was visiting the last time I made them and well – tbh, he didn’t LOVE them like we did.  He likes a darker richer chocolate cookie (I think) and Rob couldn’t really weigh in too much since I burned the batch he tried.  (These are tricky to bake because they are so dark!)  I sent the rest to the shelter so I’m not exactly sure how other people felt but they did get a 5 star rating in The NY Times so there is that!  These beauties mixed in to my vanilla ice cream, well, um, heaven.  

Big note – make these in advance – they are best if you are able to chill the dough for 24 hours before baking.  I also usually double this recipe.  Up to you…save extra in the freezer to bake off at a later date.  Also – I love to mix up all my chips.  I use both bitter and semi (with different percentages) in my cookies.  I chop some bar chocolate and make some shards and I use thin discs too as well as regular chocolate chips.  I find this adds a nuance to the cookies making each bite  more exciting than the next.  

Check out Guittard chips – they have a “super chip” chocolate chip that is a different texture than the semi sweet or dark Akoma chips.  I also add some classic Nestle chocolate chips because they are a taste memory for me even though there are more pure chocolate chips out there now.  

Found these in The NY Times baking section.  I will include the weighted measurement since that is way more accurate that cups etc.  So if you have a scale please use it.  You will guarantee a better outcome.


  • 1 cup/145 grams all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup/75 grams Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (diamond crystal!) (if you must use table salt cut by half but really get some kosher salt.  And not Mortons.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons/141 grams unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup/150 grams dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup/133 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mix of semi, bitter, dark, chocolate discs, chips or chopped chocolate


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand held beaters) beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until very light and fluffy.  This will take about 5 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and beat on low until JUST combined.

Add the chocolate chips and fold in to incorporate.  

Place the batter in plastic wrap – you can do big discs or you can make rolls to slice and bake shown in the photo above.  Let chill in fridge for 24-36 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking pan with parchment.

Portion balls – about 3.5 ounces (these make giant cookies!)  and place 5 balls onto your baking pan.  They will spread so do not try to add more (unless you are making smaller cookies (which I have done). 

Bake the cookies until set – about 18 m but still a bit soft in the center.  These are a little tricky so keep a close eye on them – a minute or two before and after.  

Continue to bake rest of batter or simple freeze dough and bake when you have a craving or guests!

Enjoy –

luscious lemon almond cake (gluten and dairy free!)

I’m always  on the lookout for some extraordinary gf/df sweets for Greg.  And I think this fits the bill.  It is incredibly moist and dense and has a marzipan feel to it which Greg loves.  It is also verrrry lemony!  Rob and I enjoyed as well btw – don’t have to be gf/df to appreciate.

I found this recipe in The Healthier Bite blog.  Jennifer created this blog for those with ulcerative colitis who are on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  Greg does not need to follow the diet so I modified only a tad –  only with the icing as my icing contains confectioners sugar and the original recipe does not.  

The original recipe is here if you want to follow the original SCD version and/or if you are trying to eliminate refined sugar.  (The SCD diet does allow honey which is why it is in this cake).  

When I made this cake the first time I mistakenly set the oven to 350 instead of 325.  But I actually prefer it that way.  The baking time is variable so you will have to check and check again.


Ingredients cake:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (but not hot) 
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (wash your lemon first)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
      powdered sugar (confectioners) and lemon juice.  Original lemon coconut frosting is on the blog   
     mentioned above



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the sides and bottom of a 8 or 9 inch cake pan. (Smaller pan will need a bit more cooking time).  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment. 

Place all wet ingredients (coconut oil, honey, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla) into a blender and blend for about 15-30 seconds.  The mixture should be frothy.

Add the dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, baking soda) and the zest and blend until all is combined.  Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed and blend again to incorporate.

Pour into the prepped pan and bake on the middle rack – check after about 25m.  I don’t remember exactly how long it took but use a toothpick and keep baking and checking until the pick comes out just clean and the cake is a nice golden color.

Let the cake cool before you glaze or frost.

Again look at the original recipe here for the SCD frosting.  And read through Jennifer’s directions too as they are more detailed than mine.  Also read the “about me” to learn more about Ulcerative Colitis and the SCD diet.

For Greg’s sugary and sinful icing – use about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and whisk In as much confectioners sugar as you like – to the consistency that you like.  It can be quite thick if you add a lot of powdered sugar and therefore will be sweeter.  Or, you can keep the glaze thin and lemony (which I prefer) and add just enough powdered sugar to cut the tartness.  Just add the sugar slowly tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk in and continue to taste until it suits your palate.

With a toothpick poke a bunch of holes in the cake.  Then brush on the glaze.  Yum.


a note on cookies and baking time

The first photo of these cookies is right out of the oven.  Second photo are the exact same cookies 10 m later.  This is just an fyi – showing you that cookies continue to bake after you take them out of the oven.  That’s all 🙂 

seriously good GF/DF chocolate molten cake

I cannot believe that 3 years has gone by since the photo on the right.  That is just crazy.  And it’s taken me this long to write about these delicious cakes.   

During covid 2020 Greg was home for his birthday – Andy too.  Andy’s request that year was a chocolate molten cake.  He loved it.  Greg’s Birthday, just four days later requested the same.  I sighed.  How to make a truly delicious gluten and dairy free molten cake?  It seemed impossible.  I am/was really inexperienced in this type of baking but I scoured the internet and thought hard about this.  (I make it sound like rocket science which is silly).  

The basic recipe for the cake is from Organically Addison –  I added what I learned from my first teacher Rick Katz – that molten is necessary for a seriously good molten cake.  No underbaked center here – but instead, a ganache ball made with coconut cream (not coconut milk)  and melted chocolate.  This little nugget placed in the center of the batter filled ramekin did the trick.  It was gooey, intense and the chocolate flavor popped.  Greg was thrilled. 🙂  

I made them again this last month – twice actually and Jill loved.  Sylvie loved.  She isn’t even GF or DF but enjoyed immensely.  Nicole, andy’s girlfriend who is GF and DF is next at bat.  These are easy to make despite this long write up! 

Here are some important notes/thoughts (please read through before you bake):

The recipe calls for coconut sugar.  But because Greg rarely eats desserts I opted for brown sugar.  I wanted a true treat for him.  But if he had access to these all the time I would make with coconut sugar as it is healthier than refined sugar.

The recipe also suggests that you grease the ramekins  and call it a day.  As mentioned above, because this is a rare treat for Greg when home I coated the greased ramekins with sugar.  Yup I did.  Regular white sugar so that the cakes had a crunchy sugar coating.  I hope that these efforts bring him home more often :).

Laslty, make the ganache balls the day before or a few days before – or the morning before you plan to bake.  This will give the ganache time to firm up – able to form a solid ball to be dropped into the batter. 

Oh, truly lastly I tripled the recipe as it calls for only 3! ramekins.  I made 9 and and froze the leftovers.  Now I’m ready when he comes home to pop in microwave for an easy treat.  The ganache recipe below is for 9 ramekins – so 3 times the recipe!

Ingredients and Directions

Ganache balls:
3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup coconut cream (this is available in most supermarkets right next to the coconut milk)
tiny pinch of kosher salt

Heat the coconut cream to almost a boil.  Then pour over the chopped chocolate.  Wait a minute then whisk to combine.  Add salt.  Place in refrigerator to let cool and firm up.

When ready to make the cakes, form balls with the ganache – you can pick the size of these balls – but I’d say around 2 teaspoons or so.  Place the balls back in the fridge.

As mentioned the cake recipe is from Organically Addision.  Refer to my notes above before you start to bake – specifically eyeing my notes regarding sugar, sugar coating and tripling her recipe.

Here is the link to her terrific blog and the directions.

Follow her instructions but as mentioned feel free to coat the ramekin with sugar as I did.  And after you pour the batter into each ramekin – drop a delicious ganache ball into the center to create the molten lava that you will enjoy later.

Bake as directed. 

Feel free to kind of press down on cake with your finger to check if done.  The center ganache ball will remain gooey and will never looked cooked – but the cake should look and feel firmer and lose its unbaked sheen.  You may have to cook for a minute or two longer…keep checking and timing.

Let sit for a few minutes then run a knife around the edges and pop out if eating immediately.  Be careful the ramekin and ganache will be hot.  

If saving for a later date, let cool, then run a knife around the edges and pop out.  Freeze once completely cooled.   Microwave before serving – in small increments.  Don’t want to kill the cakes but warm up the ganache.  


chocolate frosted brownies (GF + DF and sooo good!)

These are silly.  Silly good.  This is the best gluten-free and dairy-free dessert I have had to date.  I must admit that I don’t eat a lot of GF and DF sweets – but I can tell you that when I make these for Greg I’m eating them too!  Andy, Rob, Sylvie – all love them – although we are forced to abstain since Greg’s choices are so limited.  I made them for my friend Judy and she said a hit with her family too.  She then asked for the recipe which is always a good sign.

I found these gems in my Bakerita cookbook written by Rachel Connors.  She also has an amazing blog – and these are also featured in the blog.  I’ve made her chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles and both – well, just delicious.  Greg will likely have some vacation time around the holidays so I’ll start looking for some new ideas soon.  And likely from this book!

I always double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan.  The brownies are a little thicker this way and I prefer that.  So the timing needs to be fiddled with.  They burn easily and it is hard to tell when done so it make take some guess work.  I usually underbake a tad but we all like it that way.   If you happen to overbake, consider doubling the icing as it is sooooo good and unlikely that anyone would notice your hard brownie.  They also freeze well so I’m always ready for Greg and his sweet tooth.

Note: This recipe uses coconut sugar.   Although healthier (a non-refined sugar) I use brown sugar instead.  For the 3/4 cup of coconut sugar in the recipe I use a packed half cup of brown sugar.  You can do either and they will be good either way. 

Enjoy these!!  Here is a link to the blog post.

strawberry raspberry muffins

Do you remember Mrs. Fields cookies and muffins?  Well – these muffins reminded me of the Mrs. Fields raspberry white chocolate muffins (my absolute favorite).  It was really cake.  But I felt better eating them when they were called a muffin.  These are not as rich, do not have white chocolate, and are strawberry as you can see. 

I put them on the top of my “to bake” list and I’m glad I did!  I didn’t have enough strawberries on hand so I added raspberries and wow.  I love these.  Everything about them – moist, fruity and the icing – well – yum!  I follow dianemorrisey on instagram and EVERYTHING she cooks/bakes/presents calls out to me.  I mean everything.  And the joy she shares through food really is like no other.  

I will just post  her recipe here since it is concise and clear.  You can mix the raspberries and strawberries as I did – or use only strawberries.  Make them for your next treat.  They are worth it.


peanut butter cookies

I absolutely love these.  LOVE.  Joy.  Everything about them – the texture, the sugar coating, the versatility, the plain old scrumptiousness.  I’m not a fan of normal peanut cookies at all.  So this is a nice change for me.  

Rob had a nibble but the texture actually turned him off.  I don’t get it.  But I don’t have to.  I sent some to the shelter but feedback isn’t on the top of the list there (rightly so) – so I’m just hopeful that someone enjoyed as much as me.

The first time I made these I used dark chocolate chips and Reesees chips.  (Pictured on the sides above.). And they were good.  Good!  But the peanut butter chips always taste a little too sweet for me.  So the next time I chopped up some good quality (Callebaut) milk chocolate and added it to the mix (center photo).  Well, well, I mean so good.  Of course you can always add chopped or chips of dark and semi sweet which I think most people would choose but I’m telling you – a good quality milk chocolate (and not the chips – the bar) is worth a try.  For kids and those who like things sweet (me) I’d also consider M&M’s candies.  Yup I would.  I will and I’ll try to share with neighbors and friends to see if they like them too.

I found this recipe on  Love everything about the site – and have for many years.  I also have the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.   If you have some time click on the link where she tells us why and how she created this recipe.  Well, adapted it. 

Actually,  you might as well just read her directions.  It will make my life easier and she has some beautiful photos.  Way better than mine.  Oh – lastly I used creamy peanut butter – and I used the Wild Friends brand.  I didn’t want a PB with added oils and sugars.  I found it at Freshdirect (my grocery delivery store) and they came out great.  You can also get it here.


whole wheat (partially) banana bread

This banana bread was good.  It is good!  Great even.  On par with my normal banana bread which you can find here.  I might like this a bit more because it is a bit less sweet and I do love the addition of white whole wheat flour.  It gives the bread a heartier taste and I like the darker color which is irrelevant I know.  

I found this in my new  King Arthur Baking Company’s All-purpose Baker’s Companion book (that is a mouthful).  The book was updated in March of this year and I’m excited to try out a lot of recipes.  This was my first as I had extra bananas and felt like a change.  

As mentioned the recipe includes white whole wheat flour and also a little cinnamon sugar coating on top which is particularly yummy.  I added chocolate chips to some of my loaves (I doubled the recipe) and that was obviously very good (if you like chocolate).  

Not much more to say – well, the recipe calls for a 9×5 loaf pan and I always find that my loaf cakes come out better if I don’t fill the entire pan with batter.  I might use a bunch of small loaf pans or a large and small – but basically I find my cake cooks  more evenly when not stuffed into the pan.  Then I don’t have to overbake the cake in order to make the middle less raw.  You can also use a muffin tin and make a muffin or two with the extra batter.  Or just bake as the recipe is stated and I’m sure it will be fine.  

Enjoy – 


  • 2 cups (454 g) mashed banana (about 4-5 medium bananas).  Weigh everything if you have a kitchen scale.  And if you don’t – buy one!
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil (99 g)
  • 1 cup (213 g) brown sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (113 g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (diamond crystal is best in my opinion)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 c (57g) chopped walnuts, toasted if desired (optional)
  • choc chips if desired
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If using glass or stoneware, reduce the oven temp to 325.  Lightly grease the loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla

Mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts and chocolate chips (if using) 

Combine the two and gently mix and fold until it is smooth.

Pour into prepared pan(s).

Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and sprinkle all over the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out just clean – with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.

If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent the cake with aluminum foil.

Also, if using stoneware or glass pan, increase the baking time 15 m or so.

As you know – I don’t really believe in baking times.  The recipe in the book calls for 60 to 75 minutes.  As mentioned in the intro – I don’t like to stuff my loaf pans and bake for this long.  I find it better to put a little less batter into the loaf pan – and then bake the rest in a mini loaf pan or a muffin or two.

In that case I would check the bread after 30 minutes and just see what’s going on.  If it all is jiggly and wet – you know you have at least 10 m and likely more.  Keep resetting the timer until it is done.

Let cool for 15 m and then run a knife around the edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy –

buttermilk cake

I was making Easter treats for the shelter and I realized there was a lot, a lot of chocolate.  And surprisingly there are many many people who don’t love chocolate.  Well, I’m not so surprised anymore.  I had buttermilk in the fridge and wanted to make something for the vanilla lovers. 

I’ve made a few cakes lately that just don’t hit the spot.  One I made from a blog that I had to toss into the garbage.  So I went searching through my books and remembered that I could always count on Flo Bracker.  Her book Baking for all Occasions is one I used to reach for and hadn’t in a while.  I’m really glad I revisited.

This buttermilk cake is simple, light, airy, tasty and well, just that.  All of that.  And it is great served as is – or with a little powdered sugar.  I decided I needed to counteract the chocolate even more by adding berries and whipped cream.  Well.  That did it!  

The top of my cake was scraped a bit because it rubbed up onto my cooking rack but whatever.  Cake is cake and I’ve never been one to make the prettiest of sweets. 

Flo urges you to bring everything to room temp – so try to remember that!  Pull everything out now, and wait 25 m – then begin.  Enjoy this 


  • 1 3/4 cups (7 ounces/200 g) cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher salt or use 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2/3 cup (5 1/2 fl ounces/165 ml) well-shaken buttermilk (room temp if you can)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 ounces (1 1/3 stick/155 grams) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups (91/2 ounces/260 grams) sugar
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
I doubled this recipe btw – and used a bigger pan as I was baking for a crowd.


If you have a kitchen scale, then use the weighted measurements.  Your cake will have a better chance at being its best self – hah.  If you don’t know how to use the “tare” button then check it out here.  It is a 24 second video that will make your life so easy.  And get a scale – well worth it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remember to pull out ingredients to room temp. 

Prep your 8 inch square pan.  You can do this a variety of ways.  I like to spray a little oil in my pan then squish parchement paper in there.  You can also grease and then flour the pan.  You can also line just the bottom of the pan with parchment.  

Whisk together in a small bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Measure out the buttermilk and add the vanilla to that.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or beaters on electric hand held) beat the butter on medium speed until it is lighter in color, clings to the sides of the bowl, and has a statin appearance. This should take a minute or two.  Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream.  Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Another 3-4 minutes or so.  Scrape down the bowl now and then.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs slowly.  About 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition.  Bump the speed up to medium high if your eggs are not incorporated into the batter.  Again, scrape the bowl down here and there.

On the lowest speed, add about 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk.  Stop to scrape down the bowl, and don’t overmix here.  Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk. Lastly add the last bit of flour.  Again, just mix a little.  Then remove from mixer and use a spatula to gently fold to just combing all ingredients.  

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and Flo says to spread the batter from the center outward, creating a slightly raised ridge around the outside rim.  (Since heat is conducted faster near the metal rim, mounding the batter around the edges ensures the cake will bake more evenly and will be more level.)

Bake the cake just until it is golden brown on top, springs back when lightly touched in the center, a toothpick comes out just clean and the sides are just beginning to come away from the pan.  

She places the time at 45 m – but if I’m remember right mine took less time.  So as usual check earlier and then often at the end of baking.  I’d set my timer for 35 m and just have a look see and plan from there.

Eat as is, or with confectioners’ sugar and/or with berries, whipped cream.  Whatever you like.  



dairy free chocolate pudding ice cream

I used to kind of scoff at a non-dairy ice cream and I’m sorry about that.  (I don’t think I scoffed out loud though.)  But now that Greg is here, living with us, I’ve taken on the job of making him delicious gluten and dairy free desserts.  He is studying now for a big test so I’m on a mission to find delicious sweets for him – as it is something to look forward to at the end of the day.

Greg had told me about this vegan ice cream cafe called FoMu in Boston that he loved.  He said the ice creams were unreal and that he could safely eat so many of them.  So I bought the FoMu cookbook before the holidays (at the tail end of 2020) and surprised him with some chocolate pudding ice cream.

He was delighted!  And I was too.  Simple, cold, chocolatey, and smooth.  I’ve made it two more times since then as well as the vanilla which I can write about another time. 

I will say that this is best eaten a 4-6 hours after you run it through your ice cream machine.  It is soft and oh just so delicious.  Once frozen overnight it hardens (more than your ice cream) and it has to sit out a bit before you eat it.  And each day it recovers less from the thaw.  But this shouldn’t be a problem because you can eat it all right up ASAP.  Now you have an excuse to.  Also – you can freeze it it smaller portions to avoid re-thawing thawed ice cream.  You can purchase pint/quart containers easily online. 


  • 2.5 ounces or 70 grams premium dutch processed cocoa 
  • 2.5 cups or 600 ml coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup or 50 grams unrefined organic cane sugar (you can sub granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 cup or 120 ml agave 
  • pinch of sea salt I prefer Maldon 
  • 2 tablespoons or 30 ml espresso powder (optional) ( I used 1 of the two) 


  • In a heavy duty mixer or with an immersion blender, combing the coconut milk, cane sugar, agave and espresso (if you are using) 
  • Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture and mix again to combine well.  Add the salt and taste the ice cream base for flavor – add a tad more salt if it needs it.  Don’t skip this.  But don’t add table salt if that is all you have.
  • Run your ice cream in your machine – and store in freezer in freezer safe containers.  (Again, I buy the ice cream pint containers online).
  • Let freeze for a few hours before serving.  And let come up to room temp for a bout 10-15 minutes if it has hardened overnight.