Chocolate crinkle cookies

Ahhh holiday treat season, the best/worst time of the the year.

These cookies, in addition to being extremely charming to look at, are light and flavorful and perfect for tricking yourself and others into thinking they can’t possibly be all that bad.

Crinkle Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets, 1 inch apart.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

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strawberry basil peach crostata

This year I’m making a midsummer’s resolution to 1) bake more often and 2) post more recipes to the Patron Saint. I used to think of this blog as a 21st century diary where I always had to accompany my recipes and photos with some dreamy little insight or story. This is 2018 and we’re living in a world that consists of entirely too little time for frivolous things like that. So, I’m revamping my tiny corner of the internet to be less expository and more ‘recipe rolodex,’ where I chronicle my adventures in baking with as much or as little flair as I please.

Continue reading

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strawberry thyme mini pies


When I was a little girl I was fascinated by miniatures. One of the best days of my childhood included a visit to the Carole and Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures in downtown Los Angeles. The museum housed the Kayes’ privately commissioned, $25 million collection. Tiny elegant English homes. A reconstructed Palace of Versailles. The Titanic. The Hollywood Bowl. The stuff that kids with overactive imaginations and a flair for the dramatic live for. Continue reading

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chocolate covered caramelized matzoh


It wasn’t until I arrived at the end of this recipe and was just finishing sprinkling the toasted almonds over top that I noticed a little note at the bottom of the page on what ingredients to leave out if making for Passover. Whoops. My first foray into Jewish traditions and I had already failed miserably. So please take note if making Kosher for Passover: either leave out the butter and the vanilla extract (or find some that has been blessed by a Rabbi), or host a Seder where the most Jewish guest is only three-quarters and not too worried about sticking to the traditions of her people. Continue reading

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tart cherry and apple galette

tart cherry and apple galette

When I asked what type of pie I should bake for a get-together of some of my oldest and dearest high school friends, two of them piped up enthusiastically. “Cherry!” said one. “Apple!” said another.  Continue reading

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salted caramel pumpkin pie

salted caramel pumpkin pie

This pie is an ode to two of my favorite things.

Like many Americans, I can appreciate a good decorative gourd. And even better than a decorative gourd is an edible one. I baked this pie at Thanksgiving. Months later, my mouth is still watering thinking about the winning combination of silky pumpkin and the creamy salty sweetness of caramel. I realize we’re less in decorative gourd season and more into rotting decorative gourd season (don’t tell that to the mini pumpkin I’ve had perched on my desk at work since last October) but there’s certainly no need to wait till next Thanksgiving to bake this delicious treat.  Continue reading

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blueberry birthday pie with fresh basil

blueberry basil pie

Continuing with the theme of posting about pies I baked six months ago, this blueberry birthday pie with fresh basil was a delectable summer treat. The recipe is super simple. It combines cooked and fresh berries for a delightful mix of flavors and textures. I decided to complement the berries with chopped fresh basil just to get a little wild.   Continue reading

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bourbon ginger apple pie

bourbon ginger apple pie

I’m not a fan of loud new year’s resolution proclamations. I think it’s a little bit of my nihilism showing through. That said I do tend to make one every year–even if that one resolution is to not make any resolutions at all, which has been mine on more than one occasion before. Continue reading

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blackberry peach crostata with savory crust

pie boxThere is something truly wonderful about a thoughtful gift. I am so in awe of gift-givers who can always manage to find that one thing that fills the recipient with so much joy that it renders her speechless and leaves her a little teary-eyed. It’s really an under-valued talent, one that seems increasingly rare in today’s world of instant gratification and shiny things. It’s so easy to get the latest snazzy or sleek little thang, but to find a gift that is truly thoughtful is like finding the holy grail. It takes a special person with a big heart to expend that kind of time and energy. So thank you, thoughtful gift-givers of the world, for making the rest of us feel so loved while simultaneously putting our own gift-giving to shame.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received is this pie box. For pies on the go. It’s one of those gifts I didn’t even know I wanted, let alone would never have guessed that such a magical item existed. Continue reading

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cherry almond tart

IMG_4957 copyShout-out to sous chef Sarah M, a lovely friend with a big heart.

If you live in a place where it’s summer and where cherries are in season, and if you also lack the will power to buy a reasonable amount of cherries in one go, then I highly recommend this tart as an efficient method of quickly burning through a heap of them. The flavors of cherry and almond pair nicely together, and the tart is quite light despite the filling consisting primarily of flour, sugar, butter, and egg. That is precisely why I have a no-friend-left-behind policy when it comes to baked goods. You live within a few blocks of me? Cool I’ll bring half this tart over to you right now. You’re picking me up from my house to go out? Sweet, have a piece of this tart I just made. You’re on a diet? Okay, you can have a small piece but you’re still getting some.

Buckle up, because we’re all in this together, people. Still waiting for someone to complain… Continue reading

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