snickerdoodle cookies

The essence of the classic snickerdoodle cookies lies in its utter simplicity.  They are unfussy cookies made from ingredients you most likely have on hand – flour, eggs, butter, salt, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon. You probably even have the cream of tartar, which you forgot you had, shoved all the way in the back of the spice cabinet. Snickerdoodles can be made entirely by hand, without any kitchen appliances, although I prefer to use the stand mixer for convenience. All you really need is a bowl and a whisk to combine the ingredients and your hands to roll the dough into balls and to dredge them in cinnamon sugar.  Fifteen minutes later (10 minutes to bake, 5 minutes to cool), you will be eating a crackly-topped cookie, fresh from the oven, that is soft in the middle with slightly crunchy edges.  Don’t forget the milk!

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mexican mocha ice cream


In Mexican hot chocolate, unsweetened cocoa  is usually laced with vanilla, cinnamon, and almond flavors to make a fragrant chocolate drink.  In this recipe, the espresso and cocoa combine to make a mocha ice cream with a cinnamon twist.  Follow this recipe from A Pastry Affair  to make your own Mexican cocoa or use a mix like Azteca D’Oro, which is readily available in grocery stores (at least in California). Continue reading

mascarpone rice pudding with dried tart cherries

On one of my recent trips to New York City, I discovered Rice to Riches, a modern, Jetson-inspired store that serves only one thing – rice pudding.  The gourmet rice pudding at Rice to Riches comes in 21 designer flavors with whimsical names such as Fluent in French Toast, Cinnamon Sling, and Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road. There are a variety of toppings to choose from – toasted buttery pound cake, espresso crumble, toasted coconut, and graham crackers, to name a few.  The bright, bold color scheme – orange, pink, yellow, and white – along with the irreverant slogans makes Rice to Riches a fun and kitcschy hangout.  The rice pudding is served in the coolest custom-made plastic containers with long curved spoons.  I loved those containers so much, I had to buy a pack of them.  They are cool, aren’t they?

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