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Entries in glaze (3)

Sunday
Nov102013

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

When I fall in love with books and songs, I fall hard and fast and deeply. Belonging and acceptance can be a feeling so rare at times. When I find something that I can identify with, I draw myself into its world, surrounding myself with pages of words and looping tracks. Books are devoured in days, the written words joining me during spare moments throughout the day, at the dinner table, and late into the dark night. A single song may be put on repeat for weeks, meaningful for far longer than the few minutes it plays.

I breathe it in, taking in the experience and the moment, and I take and I take and when there's nothing more for it to give, I share it with someone else, hoping they will find the voice and spirit in it as I had.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

And I ran back to that hollow again
The moon was just a sliver back then
And I ached for my heart like some tin man
When it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang

The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov is one of the few songs that speaks to me in a way so many others cannot. When it plays, I find myself stopping whatever I am doing and listening. Listening with ears-wide, mind-open abandon. A hundred listens later, I still get the chills, still find the words speaking to me. Each time the guitar tells a slightly different story, the chords evolving with my life and its changes.

Yesterday it was about loss, tomorrow it is about self discovery.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

With my eyes shut tight, I imagine myself in the mountains on a warm summer night, the smell of green, of life in the air, the feeling of peace and sadness and emotion, and it somehow all fits together. The chords on the guitar allow me to live outside myself for a moment, live another life before my eyes open and I'm brought back to my kitchen table and my computer and an empty coffee mug and a distinct awareness of feeling drained but in a way I would never change.

I never want that moment to end.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts are moist and spiced with the scents of autumn. Pumpkin is baked into a cake doughnut, adding a bright flavor to match its bright color. The doughnuts and glaze complement each other well, providing the right amount of sweetness when paired together. A cup of coffee in one hand and a doughnut in the other is the best way I've found to enjoy these.

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Thursday
Sep262013

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake

Deep down, there's a part of me that believes that I belong in the city. Though I grew up in a city of sixty thousand, I spent most of my youth daydreaming of faraway places. Tropical islands, foreign countries, and big city lights were what I saw (and still see) when I closed my eyes. There was something about the tall buildings, the bustle of both cars and people, and the glowing of the city that I saw on television that drew me in.

Eventually I moved to one such city and fell in love—in love with the culture, the people, and the feeling of belonging. However, as all things go, the day came where I had to say goodbye. I packed my bags and left, my heart breaking in two.

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake Vanilla Bean Malt Cake

As the years have passed since then, the chaos of the city, both wonderful and maddening, is something I have sorely missed. I made a promise to myself that I would return to the city again one day. When I began applying for jobs last spring, I sent applications far and wide. While I couldn't have predicted where I would end up, the reality surprised everyone, including myself. Instead of moving to my big city, I moved to a small town, population 3000.

I now reside in the heart of lakes country. Life moves slowly and conversation circles around whether the fish are biting and when hunting season begins. It is a very different life from the one I had in the big city, but it is neither better nor worse. There is one thing to be certain, however—it will take some getting used to.

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake Vanilla Bean Malt Cake

Three stoplights fill the roads, allowing cars to traverse the small town in just a few short minutes. My restaurant options have decreased by ten fold, exchanging chains for mom and pop diners. I have to drive over an hour away to find dairy-free butter, a staple in my kitchen. Some days this place feels smotheringly small, so different and unfamiliar from what I am accustomed, and others it feels like a wide open space, peaceful and inviting.

The other evening I opened my window to allow the night breeze in. While the blinds occasionally rustled, it took me awhile to realize the gravity of what was taking place. There was silence outside the window. No cars on the highway or on the nearby streets, no airplanes overhead or sirens in the distance. It was so quiet I double checked to make sure the window was even open at all. In that moment, I wondered if this small town might just grow on me after all.

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake Vanilla Bean Malt Cake

Vanilla Bean Malt Cake is a dessert for all weather, warm or cold. The cake has a heavy flavor of malt and vanilla bean, though the crumb itself is light and moist. A light vanilla malt glaze tops the cake, coating the top and soaking into the bottom. I shared this cake with my new coworkers, a small gift of butter and sugar, and it disappeared both quickly and quietly. Light enough for warm fall weather and bold enough for a chilled evening, this cake will find a place on your table during all seasons.

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Sunday
Sep232012

Triple Coconut Cookies

Triple Coconut Cookies

In the past few months, I feel like I've finally started cracking the secret code of recipe development. In truth, I've been working towards developing my own recipes since the beginning of this blog, but progress has been very slow. At first, I changed a few ingredients here or there, playing around with different flavors. With these slight adjustments, I felt like I was moving forward, one chocolate chip at a time.

Even though I did leave a significant mark, the recipes were always another's at heart.

Triple Coconut Cookies

Sometimes I would jump full force into an idea, combining ingredients with abandon and without the experience to know in what proportions they should come together. The results were mixed, with at least half ending up in the trash. I grew frustrated waiting for experience to catch up to the visions in my head. The ability to develop recipes wasn't a natural ability bestowed by the pastry gods; it would have to be earned through long hours in front of a stand mixer.

I woke up well before the sun to spend my mornings in a bakery. There were tears over spilled cake(s). There were plates piled high with treats brought to work and shared with friends.

Triple Coconut Cookies

It took precisely three tries to get these Triple Coconut Cookies right. The first time I didn't add enough flour and the cookies spread out thinly in the oven. While the flavor was right, the texture wasn't quite what I had envisioned. The second attempt was improved, but I knew that the tweak of a few ingredients would take the cookies from better to best.

These cookies are more than just a recipe that turned out right. In a way, they signify the journey of a girl who studied physics and made cakes from box mixes to a girl who takes a wild idea and makes it a reality in the kitchen.

Triple Coconut Cookies

Triple Coconut Cookies are truly a coconut lover's dream. The base of the cookie is made with coconut oil and stuffed with sweetened flakes for a chewy, yet soft texture. Once cooled, the cookies are topped with a light glaze infused with coconut milk to add an extra touch of sweetness. Then, as if it wasn't enough already, the cookies are topped with toasted coconut to complete the triple threat.

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