Flourless Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The title I’ve given this post is a bit of a misnomer. These cookies aren’t made from Mexican chocolate. But they are inspired by some crazy delicious cookies I was obsessed with a couple years ago. It was a short-lived romance, as the baker had a limited supply of Mexican chocolate that she brought back from a trip abroad, and it ran out far too quickly.

I hadn’t thought about those cookies in a while, but they came to mind when I was working with this recipe. The two are nothing alike, texturally, but once I got the thought of chocolate + warm spices into my head, there was no turning back.

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Orange & Sichuan Peppercorn Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

Orange & Sichuan Peppercorn Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

I cannot believe that it’s already Thursday. I attribute the seeming disappearance of the week to the fact that I traveled to NY on Sunday, to house-sit while my parents are away for the next week. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I do this fairly often. It is, in fact, one of my favorite things. My parents take vacations to see family and go to things, and that means me, here in upstate NY, doing the exact opposite. Which is pretty much my ideal vacation. I make a mess of my mother’s usually pristine kitchen on a daily basis. I pick a ton of flowers from the gardens, then quell bouts of paranoia about some of them being poisonous because I think my throat feels funny, and maybe my face feels a little tingly too. (I read weird non-fiction medical books. This is the result.) I don’t answer the house phone. I barely look in the mirror. I wear the same comfy sundress until it actually feels dirty. In short, I have a grand ol’ time. Just me, nature, and a couple of cats.

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Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

These pancakes — they’re problem solvers. Of course pancakes, by nature, are pretty good at solving things. I’m pretty sure they have healing powers, especially when they’re stacked high and smothered in maple syrup and bits of bacon. But these particular pancakes solve a few specific problems for me. Before I get into that, let me explain a little bit more about these things. They are, in their simplest form, made with only two ingredients: bananas and eggs. “Whaaa?” you say? Yep. That’s what I said when I saw Izy’s post back in January. Mashed bananas + eggs = pancakes. Pretty healthy pancakes, at that.

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Buckwheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chunks & Cacao Nibs

Buckwheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chunks & Cacao Nibs

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never made anything with buckwheat flour. Nor could I even recall enjoying anything made of buckwheat (other than the occasional soba noodle dish). Kind of crazy, right?

I realized this when Alanna posted a recipe for Chocolate Buckwheat Banana Muffins, and I thought to myself, “I wonder what that tastes like with buckwheat flour?” I could kind of imagine it, thinking back to my teenage days of slinging pancakes on the weekends. I remember watching the strange cement-colored buckwheat batter being poured onto the griddle, and then carrying the plate of rich browny-grey pancakes over to their table, noting their nutty smell in the dozen or so steps it would take me to reach my destination. I was curious, but apparently not curious enough to actually try them.

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Chocolate-Raspberry Icebox Cake

If there is any dessert worthy of the description “hot mess,” it’s the icebox cake. It is really difficult to go wrong with this cake. If you can pile whipped cream on top of cookie wafers until you’ve made a mountain of crazy, then stick the whole thing in the fridge, go to bed, and wake up the next day, then you can make an icebox cake. You leave all the work to time and your fridge, where crispy wafers become cream-softened cakey layers while you sleep. Having said that, there are a couple of ways things can go wrong, especially if you’re me, and you decide to take the easiest thing in the world and complicate it. Allow me to explain……

One morning a couple weeks back, as I was lying in bed trying to muster the courage to fling off the covers and sprint downstairs to the warmth of the wood stove, I started thinking about Valentine’s Day posts. Last year, there were savory things. So this year, I wanted to do something sweet. And simple. No candy making or chocolate tempering or anything fussy. Just some chocolate. And something pink. Then my mind wandered to ombre things. (Is the ombre craze over? I feel like I might be a little late to the party on this one, but I love it and I don’t care!) And then I had a vision of a towering pink ombre icebox cake. Which then quickly morphed into lots of tiny little pink ombre icebox cupcakes. And then it changed again, just slightly, to larger cupcakes. Mini cakes. Whoopie-pie sized. YES. I was psyched.

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