Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies

Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies

Are you also a holiday hot mess, swirling around baking a billion christmas cookies, decorating cakes, stressing over the perfect christmas presents for your parents who want NOTHING, and tearing your closet apart to salvage a holiday party outfit? No? It’s just me? I’m happy for you then! You definitely have your life together, a lot more than me. Gosh, there is just so much to do and so little time to figure out whats wrong with my royal icing recipe (I’m terrible at it and I can’t figure out why). I’m working away (at my real job) on a project that is sort of sucking the life and holiday cheer out of me. But we have back to back holiday parties this weekend, so that will be festive and fun! Or potentially really awful and I’ll have my first hangover of 2018. 2018 was not a typo. Is that sad or impressive? I’m particularly excited for Reuben’s holiday party because I literally know no one from his office and I like talking to strangers and making potential new friends. I hate small talk more than anything, so let’s hope there is none of that. His party is also going to be at a Spanish restaurant and the word on the street is that there will be octopus and lots of pinxtos! I love pinxtos.

I’m making up for my complete disinterest in work with baking as many cheery bites of sugar I can. I have a super cute holiday cake coming soon that I’m so excited to share! I brought it into work this past week and it caused quite a stir in the office. I’ve always wanted to say that. In the meantime, I’m leaving these Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies for you. I love shortbread so much. The dough is so quick and easy to whip up. In the world of cookies, I definitely tend to prefer buttery cookies to sickly sweet sugar cookies. The flavors of these cookies dance on that fine line between sweet and salty, which you know I’m ALL ABOUT. I put salt on pretty much everything. I’ve been experimenting with miso in baking lately as a savory alternative to flakey sea salt and I’m obsessed! The honey miso butter I shared a few weeks ago is what I want to eat everyday forever if heart disease wasn’t a thing. The cookies have a delicate and beautifully melt in your mouth texture. The matcha white chocolate drizzle adds a nice herbaceous sweetness that is not completely necessary but definitely welcomed! The hint of green is also a nice minimal approach to holiday decorations. I had plans of putting together little cookie boxes to send to my friends, so I still have these cookies in our freezer. They freeze beautifully BTW. But I find myself taking one or two out everyday to warm up and snack on… so we will see if any of them actually make it to the cookies boxes. If we had a chimney in our apartment I would at least save a few for Santa : )

Okay gotta go. So sleepy. We stayed up way to late last night because we were researching Italy things. We bought tickets to Rome for this spring! If you have any recommends for Rome, Florence, and Tuscany please share them with me!! Ah, so excited for all the noods.


Miso Toffee Shortbread Cookies

makes about 32 2” cookies

miso toffee materials:

8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp white miso paste
*recipe makes about 3 times the amount needed for the cookies!

shortbread materials:

12 tbsp unsalted butter - softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup AP flour

matcha white chocolate materials:

4oz white chocolate
1/2 tsp food grade matcha powder

make miso toffee:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add sugar and miso paste. Whisk to break up the sugar and miso. Bring toffee to a gentle boil while continually whisking. Gently boil for 7-8 minutes until the color is a deep amber. If you have a candy thermometer, you want the temperature to reach 285 degrees.

  2. Pour toffee over a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or aluminum. Place in the freezer and allow to chill and harden.

  3. Once hardened, break the toffee into 2”-3” ish pieces by smashing with a rolling pin or hammer. Place about a third of of the toffee shards in a ziplock bag. Lay the bag flat on half a kitchen towel. Fold the other half of the towel over the bag and crush the toffee with a hammer or rolling pin until pieces are small and fine. Pieces should no larger than 1/4”. Smaller pieces are better because the large pieces will melt and pool in the oven. Some larger pieces are okay though! Set crush toffee aside for cookies and keep the remaining toffee shards in an airtight container for treats later!

make shortbread:

  1. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk to evenly combine.

  2. Cream butter and powdered sugar in your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment. While mixing at low speed, gradually add in flour mixture and combine until the dough looks like wet sand.

  3. Dump sandy dough on to a lightly floured work surface. Add crushed toffee and knead to combine for about 1 to 2 minutes until dough is smooth and toffee is evenly dispersed. Divide dough in half, form into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the fridge for 1 hour.

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out until it is 1/4” thick. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Place on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

  6. Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

make white chocolate drizzle:

  1. Slowly melt white chocolate over a double boiler. Add in matcha powder and mix to combine.

  2. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

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Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Hi, December! You got here real quick. Reuben and I made the innocent mistake of venturing out to the suburbs on Saturday afternoon and quickly realized that literally everyone and their mom in Daly City was out buying their Christmas trees and other holiday goodies because it was December 1st. I don't know if I've just been living in an urban bubble, but I didn't realize that holiday madness is in full swing on the 1st. All we wanted to do was run some errands at the suburban Target because the experience is so much better than the dinky city Targets, plus there are more Chip and JoJo products I can longingly gaze at. I've also been dreaming of draping garland over all the windows in our apartment! Reuben swiftly vetoed the fake stuff covered in glitter from Target, because our apartment is a strictly glitter free zone. Then the parking lot at Home Depot literally looked like hell on earth, so we gave up on the garland mission for the day. Don't worry though! We found a pile of the real deal stuff at the nursery down the street from us! (I could tell that you were worried) I bought enough to drape around 1 single window because, JEEZ, real garland is EXPENSIVE. I definitely got into the wrong profession. Back when I was in high school they did not tell us that in 10 years taking photos of your food and selling tree trimmings linked together would make you a pretty decent living.

In the 3 years that Reuben and I have lived together, we have never had a Christmas tree. Main reason being because we don't really have room for a tree and we have absolutely zero outlets left to plug anything new into. Don't look at our power strips. I think all our other plant babies would be jealous if we moved them around to make room for a temporary woodsy roommate. So this one single garland strung over my mini kitchen island is a huge step up for us in the holiday department! I just got the battery powered twinkly lights too : ) so get ready! Oh! I should decorate our rubber plant with twinkly lights! I'm semi nervous that the next month is going to fly by extremely quickly. I'm doing my best to slow down and savor the holidays. I'm making time to bake all the cookies, work on this year's holiday cake (it's going to be a good one!), listen to the few select Christmas songs I can tolerate, and be extra extra cozy at home. I miiiiiight even be able to convince Reuben to watch Love Actually with me this year!!! I'll let you know if I succeed.

To kick off the next month of holiday baking, I'm sharing this ultra moist and decadent Persimmon Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. The recipe is actually based on Reuben's mom's Apple Cake. I've swapped out the apples with persimmons and added the cream cheese because you can eat all the cream cheese you want this month. I've had it once before when we were in New Jersey and it was amazing! It's one of Reuben's favorite desserts for a reason. When I was testing the recipe, I asked Reuben if he's ever watched his mom make it for him. He said no, because she would either make it early in the morning before he woke up, while is was at school, or the day earlier if he was coming from college. At the moment, I was like "Ah! I wish you had some idea if I was doing this right!". But once the cake was baked and it got Reuben’s seal of approval, I was thinking how magical and appropriate for the season his experience of never actually seeing the cake be made was. Like, how great is it to wake up in the morning with the smell of cinnamon and sugar baking wafting through your house and then realizing you're about to have cake for breakfast?! Or to come home from college for Christmas break and to be greeted by your family a slice of your favorite dessert in the kitchen?! Ugh, my heart. Those kind of memories, especially ones tied to delicious smells, are the ones that stay with you forever and then when you're 31 and don't live close to your parents anymore you ask your baker girlfriend to make you're mom's recipes.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the beginning of this magical season and fit in some time to bake some sweet treats for your loved ones! This bundt is a really great place to start : )


Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

bundt materials:

3-4 medium crisp fuyu persimmons
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

cream cheese filling materials:

8 oz cream cheese - softened to room temperature
1 egg
1/4 white sugar
pinch of salt

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Carefully remove the stems from persimmon and cut into 1/2” cubes, skin on. Place cubed persimmons in a large bowl and toss with white sugar. Set aside and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

  3. Make the cream cheese filling. Cream the cream cheese with sugar using the paddle attachment on your standmixer or with handheld beaters. Mix for about 1 minute until smooth. Add in egg and salt. Mix until combined. Set aside.

  4. Whisk together eggs, canola oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Give it a quick whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together until combine. Mix in persimmons until they are well dispersed in the batter. Batter will be really thick.

  5. Grease a bundt pan with non-stick spray. Pour half of the batter in bundt pan. Scoop cream cheese filling in the center of the batter ring. Add in remaining cake batter. If the batter almost fills your mold, don’t worry. The batter does not dome up too much.

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 75-80 minutes until done. Test for doneness using a clean toothpick or knife.

  7. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake pan onto a wire rack. Cake should fall out of the bundt mold. Allow to completely cool and then enjoy!

Pumpkin Curry Dumplings

Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings

Hello, hello, hello! It’s been a while since our last chat hasn’t it? What have you been up to the last 2 weeks? Did you have a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving????? Let’s see… what has life been like? I made a random pitstop in Bakersfield, California for a few days and it ended up being a super inspiring and weird 36 hours hours. I’ve spent the last 10 months or so designing and transforming a food truck into a mobile design center! It’s a fun little project I got to participate on with my office. We’re calling it the Food For Thought Truck! The plan was to drive it all across America and bring good creative vibes to communities that might need a little design spark! For this first leg, the stops are just within California, mainly because we are not convinced it will make it any further lol. Bakersfield was the farthest the FFTT has ever traveled to and it was definitely well worth it. Within a very jam packed week, we installed a beautiful floor graphic in the parking lot our truck called home, engaged with a huge chunk of the Bakersfield community, designed and built some public furniture, and made lots of new friends! Did I tell you that we stayed in a Frank Lloyd Wright house too? In theory it should have been a dream come true for someone who studied architecture… but it was just plain creepy. I felt like I was sleeping in a old dusty museum where all the furniture is hexagon shaped and oddly cultish. Despite the house giving me the heebie-geebies, the city of Bakersfield made my heart burst wide open. It reminded me so much of the midwest. Everyone was so unbelievably KIND. Like, “I’ll help you in a second without you even asking me” kind. My midwestern heart love it so much. I didn’t realized how much I missed having a community of people who genuinely supported each other. I mean, we have a great community of friends here in San Francisco. But I would say that the creative community here is not so warm… and feels much more competitive that supportive. In Bakersfield everyone was honestly so interested and supportive of everyone’s dreams and passion. Gosh it was such a lovely town.

After my quick 36 hours in Bakersfield, I flew right back to San Francisco and went straight to work after hopping off the plane. STRAIGHT TO WORK. Ugh. It was crazy. The days following felt like the last days of each semester of architecture school. We called it “Hell Week”. I’m sure you get the picture. It was long days working away in the studio and little sleep riddled with anxiety. Thankfully, our deadline was right before Thanksgiving, and as soon as our presentation was over on Tuesday my brain totally forgot that I even had a job and I was set into Turkey mode! We flew out to Portland for Thanksgiving and spend a nice long weekend with some great friends! We ate all the classic turkey day dishes, watched football, drank beer, waited in line for rare beer, visited the Tillamook cheese factory, ate all the cheese, and hunted for agates! It was a great time and now I’m regretting not moving to Portland years ago.

Now that I’m back home, I’m trying to enjoy the relaxing-ish week at work post deadline and attempting a cleanse after all the turkey, cheese, and beer. I had a chocolate chip cookie tonight though… so, yeah. I’m itching to get back into the kitchen to work on all the holiday goodies I’ve been dreaming about! That means cookies, cakes, and dumplings… obviously. These dumplings are inspired by one of my favorite cold weather takeout dishes! These dumplings are just as comforting as a warm bowl of thai pumpkin curry over rice on a chilly fall or winter day. The kabocha squash mixed with coconut milk and curry paste make the most dreamy and creamy filling. They are spicy but not burn your head off spicy, but if you’re heart and tastes buds feel like you need an extra tablespoon of curry paste then by all means add it! Just have a cup of milk ready on standby. The pan fried/steam methods results in a tender but crispy dumpling. The best kind of dumpling in my opinion!

Happy Dumpling making!


Pumpkin Curry Dumplings

makes 24 dumplings

dumpling dough:

10 oz (2 cups) all purpose flour
3/4 cup just boiled water
pinch of salt

pumpkin curry filling:

1 3lb kabocha squash
1 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

coconut curry dipping sauce:

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
juice of half a lime
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

make dumpling dough:

  1. Add flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour in just boiled water. Mix dough together with your finger tips or a wooden spoon if the mixture feels too hot. Mix until water is absorbed and the dough is just combine. Knead for 2-3 minutes until dough is round and smooth. Place dough in a medium ziplock bag, seal, and allow to rest and hydrate for at least 30 minutes. Dough can rest for up to 2 hours before being used.

make dumplings:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the kabocha squash in half. Place cut side down on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until fork tender. Allow squash halves to cool for 15-20 minutes until they are safe to handle.

  2. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for roasting later. Scoop out the flesh and place in a medium bowl. You can scoop right up to the outer skin layer.

  3. Mash squash with a potato masher. Add curry paste, coconut milk, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Mash or mix until smooth. Set filling aside.

  4. Lightly flour your work surface. Remove dough from the ziplock bag. Cut dough in half and keep one half in the bag. Roll out one half of your dough into a 1” thick rope. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Place pieces of dough in the ziplock bag to prevent drying out. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 3 1/2” - 4” disc with a small rolling pin or a tortilla press if you have one. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of your round dumpling wrapper. Fold in half so you have a half circle, making sure to firmly pinch and seal the edges. Hold the dumpling in the palm of your less dominant hand and use the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand to crimp the edges into a braid. If the braid isn’t sticking, try dabbing water around the edge of the dumpling before crimping. Place folded dumpling on a light floured baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough.

  5. To make your sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Whisk until the curry paste and sugar has dissolved. Cook over heat for medium heat for 4-5 minutes until thickened. Set aside until ready to heat.

  6. To cook your dumplings, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add a single layer of dumplings, about 6-8 depending on how large your pan is. Sear on one side for 3 minutes until the side is toasted and golden brown. Add 3-4 tbsp of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Allow to cook until the water has evaporated. Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid to cook off. Remove the dumplings or add a bit more oil to the pan and flip the dumplings over to sear the other side for 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

  7. Serve dumplings immediately with coconut curry dipping sauce and enjoy!