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Oatmeal, my go to.

It snowed here yesterday morning for a good 4 hours. I woke up to the fluffiest snow flakes falling outside my window and was even more surprised when they kept going but by noon they had changed to more of a rain/drizzle and by the afternoon all traces were gone. Spring snow showers can sometimes feel like the strangest thing, I love snow in the right season but seeing it cover all the beautiful new flowers and bits of green made my heart a bit sad. I tell you this to let you know it’s still a bit chilly here in Santa Fe and as I type this I have a sweatshirt, wool booties (my favorite souvenir from Ireland) and a fluffy fleece blanket on.

One of my favorite breakfasts to eat when it’s cold outside is oatmeal, in the cooler months I eat it steaming hot and in the warmer months I eat ‘overnight’ oats which are cold. In the mornings I’m scrambling to get out the door in time for work and make my oatmeal in canning jars and eat it as soon as I’m settled in at my desk. Those canning jars come in handy for SO many things… actually ALL the things. If I’m on point I have my little jar all ready to go and waiting for it’s 1/2 cup of boiling water from the stove in the morning but If I’m not this only takes about 5 minutes in the morning, which I can normally spare.

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You can make yours any way you like, bowl, canning jar, coffee mug…

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup oats (I buy the gluten-free rolled oats from TJ’s)
  • 1 dash of cinnamon or cardamom
  • 2-4 dashes of chia seeds
  • 6 crushed up walnuts, pecans or almonds
  • 1/2 a handful of dried cherries or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons of jam or preserves (I put these in, in the morning right before adding hot water)
  • optional: regular milk or nut milk

Here is what you do:

  • place all ingredients in container of choice (don’t use plastic since you will be pouring hot, hot water in there)
  • pour in 1/2 cup + a splash of boiling water
  • cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes (canning jars are perfect for this because you can just screw on the lids)
  • stir and enjoy on the go or at the table
  • optional: small pour of milk once you’ve let oatmeal sit for at least 5 minutes

 

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There are so many variations you can make with oatmeal, the options are pretty endless but here are a few of my other favorites:

banana and almond butter (slice 1/2 a banana and put in oatmeal before adding hot water, this allows the banana to almost disintegrate and creates a great texture and flavor)

chocolate chips and pecans

apples and cinnamon

scoop or two of pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter

 

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Since the winter chill hasn’t left Northern New Mexico yet I’m still committed to my hot oatmeal, my wool booties and a blanket in every room. Not to mention endless cups of strong black tea, it’s my favorite wake me up, pick me up or settle my mind routine. If you like a good strong black tea my two favorites are Barry’s Tea (Gold Blend) and Yorkshire Gold (loose). I can find Barry’s tea at World Market and Yorkshire Gold at Whole Foods.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Banana Muffins (GF + Naturally Sweetened)

I recently heard that it was very Australian to eat a muffin with your morning coffee or latte… as if I needed another excuse to 1. love muffins or 2. love the land down under.

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Honestly I’m sure it’s hard to find a human who doesn’t love a muffin but since they can so often be the size of your head, full of sugar and carbs most of us steer clear.

 This muffin recipe might be able to solve the issue of world peace or in the least it helps you feel better about eating a muffin or two or three.

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It has just a few tablespoons of natural sweetner and gluten free flours. I used a gluten free mix that I had on hand + some almond meal but you could also swap the flour mix for oat flour and they’d come out just the same.

 My favorite thing about these muffins, (besides day dreaming that i’m on an Aussie porch watching the koala bears eat eucalyptus) well they are moist, slightly sweet and totally satisfying. In the morning when I’m on the go I like to top mine with a little bit of almond butter and I’m good till lunch!

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Here’s what you need

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 small eggs
  • 3 Tbsp almond milk
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup almond meal (almond meal, not almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour (from King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 drops Stevia
  • Optional toppings: walnuts

Here’s what you do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners, spray liners lightly with cooking spray (I use the coconut spray from Trader Joe’s)
  2. In a large bowl mash 3 bananas, add eggs and stir to combine. Add honey, baking powder, almond milk and vanilla.
  3. Add almond meal and oat flour and stir once more. Add several drops of Stevia to sweeten.
  4. If using walnuts add to the tops of muffins before putting them in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, should be lightly golden on top and when a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack.

Enjoy!

***This recipe can easily be made vegan by using agave or maple syrup and using 2 flax egg substitutes in place of chicken eggs.

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In my kitchen with 1905 Magazine.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve had a monthly drink/food feature in a brand new online magazine called 1905 Magazine. I thought I’d share the a peek into the featured recipes.

 

1st up in the January issue (page 57) // Home-made Ginger Beer

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This Ginger Beer recipe is non alcoholic but would make for a killer Moscow Mule by adding a few shots of vodka and some lime.

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2nd up in the February issue (page 93)// Bloody Maria

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Tequila makes everything better in my opinion. Meet the Bloody Maria she’s like a Bloody Mary but with tequila instead of vodka.

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3rd up in the March issue (page 85)// Kale Salad

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I recommend pairing with a Vino Verde, tossing on your Kale sweatshirt, Birkenstocks and glossier mask! Peace, Love and Kale.

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And… coming to online viewing soon 4th up (a very special treat; stay tuned!)

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I love spending time in my kitchen and even more I love spending the extra time to make things taste and look that much better. These recipes inspired me with both their taste and color and I hope they inspire you to give them a try or to spend a few more minutes in your own kitchen coming up with your own foodie inspiration.

Cheers!

-xxo

Jane

 

 

Irish Soda Bread Muffins (gluten free)

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and for me it’s a clear sign that Spring is on the way. I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day my entire life always wearing green and always eating something inspired by my Irish lineage.

St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Ireland since the 17th century but it was really just a minor religious holiday that Catholic Priests would honor has a feast day and families would have a big meal. In the 1970’s American Irish transformed it into what we now celebrate. I think it’s at least a great excuse to eat some good food, drink some good drinks and celebrate Spring. – What’s not to love?

Soda Bread is pretty typical in Ireland and you can expect to find it served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a crumbly quick bread that is slightly sweet and traditionally has currents or raisons in it. This year I opted for a modern take on it and made Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread Muffins. To help transform the traditional buttermilk loaf recipe into gluten free muffins I referenced this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup  raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup yogurt (full fat)

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line muffin tin with liners, be sure to use a cooking spray and spray the liners once in tin.

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients, gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and caraway seeds. Once combined stir in raisins until coated with flour and well incorporated.
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the melted butter, eggs and yogurt.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine just until everything is well incorporated and there are no dry spots. Do not over mix.
  4. Using a tablespoon or a cookie/muffin scoop fill muffin liners. Muffins will not rise very much so be sure to fill liner completely.
  5. Top with large crystalized sugar
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, should be golden brown on top and when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Hope you wear the tiniest bit of green tomorrow and in the least enjoy an Irish whiskey or Guinness!

-xox

Jane

 

COCONUT muffins!!!

Hi, do you like coconut? I do and so does more than 1/2 the world. To be honest coconut oil is pretty great, it tastes good, it’s good for you and you can use it for skin and hair care. One of my personal secret uses for coconut oil (I’m sure it’s not actually a secret) is to use it as an eye make-up remover. I keep a little jar in the bathroom just for this. Just rub a little together in your hands and rub off your eye make-up, works like a charm!

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The purpose of the blog today is to share more than that little beauty bit. I wanted to share a grain free recipe for coconut muffins.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp of coconut extract, optional you can also use 1 tsp vanilla or almond
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *extra coconut oil to grease the muffin tin

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, shredded coconut, beaten eggs, honey, extract and salt. Once oil is melted temper a small portion into the flour mixture, stir then add the rest of the oil.

3. Combine all the ingredients until there are no clumps. Mixture will be like a smooth paste.

4. Spoon into muffin tin and back 30-40 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean they are done. They will be lightly golden brown on top.

*Note: if using muffin liners you need to be sure to spray them with cooking spray as the batter will stick a bit to the paper.

Makes 6 large muffins and 12 small muffins. To make 12 small muffins just fill the muffin tin half way, for 6 large fill muffin tin almost all the way. These batter will not rise very much!

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There you go, grain free coconut muffins! Now, just so we are clear these won’t taste a thing like Sbux muffins… but they’re good, okay! I promise, the coconut just seals the deal.

-xox

sick day ‘WTF’ soup

Hi,

I’ve been sick 2 times in a month that only has 28 days. There are approximately 373 tissues in all of my pockets and purse. I look like a worse version of Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. There is a large orchid plant in my bathtub (because I don’t know what to do with it). There is a stack of mail I haven’t looked through from last week. My sink is clogged. Every dish in my house is waiting to be put away. Seth worked 101 hours this past pay period. My basement is the dustiest place on earth. My bird-feeder has been empty for like 2 months and I’m just sure all the neighborhood birds either hate me or died because I didn’t put food out for them. I’m wearing the same 4 sweaters over and over again because WINTER. My lips are so chapped that they cracked open. My nails and toe nails haven’t been painted in like… 3 months. I’ve been told that (my 27 year old self) is a ‘baby’ 3 times in less than 3 weeks which I mean I guess sounds right since my skin is breaking out like I’m 16 years old.

There you have it. My life as of right now. I can’t even. I can’t even but I can… I can because I have too and my problems could be worse. They could be worse but they also feel monumental right now. I know I need to feel grateful but it’s hard to accept.

All I want is not not be sick, have Seth not working all night and all weekend and have a home that looks picture perfect ALWAYS.

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I think the internet made me think this is possible and maybe for some people it is but it’s not my life right now and I’m throwing the biggest pity party you could think of- Wanna come? You have to wear black and be okay listening to the saddest mix of Europop and Folk music I pick out. Please bring cupcakes and nail polish.

Anyway, sometimes it’s a struggle to just have time to go through the mail and go on a date with your spouse. AND THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN A BOOK SOMEWHERE. Screw you Disney Princesses and Tuck Everlasting.

And to get to the point of this post, well here it is:

‘Sick Day WTF Soup’ proudly and most humbly made with the most random things I found in my kitchen. I considered is great blessing because it actually turned out not just to be edible but good. So, I encourage you the next time you have a WTF day to bang around your kitchen and make something, it takes the edge off. Kind of.

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Sick Day WTF Soup 

You need:

half a bunch of kale (Curly Kale)

1 can of black eyed peas

2 carrots, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced (have a cold, use 6. don’t have cold use 2-3)

2 Tbs of olive oil

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 can green chile (Hatch and hot)

1 zucchini, peeled and diced

2 dashes of Tabasco

1 dash of worcestershire sauce

4 cups veggie stock

2 handfuls of any pasta you have

 

Here’s what you do: loudly and with must gusto

1. put olive oil and garlic in pot, once oil is hot add carrots and zucchini and leave for 5 minutes.

2. add drained black eyed peas, green chile and corn leave for 5 minutes

3. add chopped kale and cook till wilted (5 minutes)

4. add veggie stalk and Tabasco and worcestershire sauce

5. add pasta, cover and simmer for 15-25 minutes (however long you can wait to eat, the pasta just needs to be done)

6. put in bowl, top with fancy parm that you bought on sale at whole foods and enjoy.

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Okay, bye! I’ll be crying in the hallway or partaking in shopping therapy or reading sad stories and listening to sappy music!

pizza is my bae.

I could drink this pizza sauce and I don’t even like tomatoes. I really, really want to like the tomato espeically those obscure looking heirloom ones. I wish I could eat them raw with fresh mozzarella, basil and call it dinner. BUT I CAN’T. I’m sensitive to nightshades, what’s a nightshade you might ask? Well, they are a family of plants more traditionally called Solanaceae – bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant all are included in the list of ‘nightshades’. I sadly cannot eat raw tomatoes or any type of eggplant without feeling like I am dying. 

Once Seth made me a special Italian dinner of Eggplant Parmesan and I literally laid on the floor taking deep breathes and staring at the ceiling for 2 hours feeling like I was at deaths doorstep. I will never eat eggplant again. (sorry Seth!)

I’m not prepping this well am I? I tell you these things to let you know I don’t really like the tomato and typically tomato’s don’t like me- BUT THIS PIZZA SAUCE. It’s easy, it’s cheap and I mean it’s homemade. It makes enough for at least 2 pizzas so you can freeze it, use it a few days later on pizza or another dish… it’s versatile and simply delicious.

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Here’s the recipe.

  • 1 can (28oz) whole tomatoes – I prefer San Marzanos; they really are a better quality tomato
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) olive oil

Here’s what to do.

1. Drain the tomatoes then transfer to blender or food processor. Puree the tomatoes until smooth, then add garlic, salt and olive oil. Puree until well blended and all ingredients are incorporated.

***Sauce will stay good in the fridge, in an air tight container for 1 week. You could also freeze this sauce for later use.

 

Need a pizza dough recipe? Because, honestly making your own dough is both fun, cheaper and more tasty. Here’s my go to pizza dough recipe based off of one of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 packet dry, active yeast
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Here’s what to do:

1. Stir together the warm water, yeast and sugar (in your mixing bowl) – let sit for 5 minutes

2. Add the flour and salt and mix on low until the flour is incorporated.

3. Add olive oil and continue to mix on low until the dough is smooth and elastic (10-12 minutes)

4. Transfer dough to oiled bowl cover and let rise for 1-2 hours

5. prepare dough on cookie sheet or pizza stone, bake at 45o for 10-12 minutes (take out add toppings and back for 5-8 minutes until cheese bubbles)

 

So there is that, pizza is my bae and don’t forget to keep it simple. Don’t overload with to many toppings the best pizza is always simple.

-xox

almond bark.

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IT’S FRIDAY!

I’m so happy to see this Friday roll around. I’ve had a little rough start to the new year, delayed more so than rough but you get the point. I had this bright idea that Monday (Jan. 5th) I would magically have healthy pre-made lunches, on point dinners, super great and long work outs and all sweets out of my house! I’d wake up extra early to have time to actually sit and have breakfast and I’d start a new book!

Well, surprise! That didn’t happen. Ha-ha but don’t fret I’ve come to terms that you (I) can start anywhere and just because this week didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean that today or next week won’t.

So, because of this what did I do this afternoon? I took some leftover baking chocolate from the holidays and made almond bark! Some really yummy almond bark at that!

I love almond bark because it always looks like it took so much more effort then it actually does!

Here’s what you do:

  • melt chocolate in double broiler
  • pour melted chocolate onto parchment lined cookie sheet
  • smooth over till 1/2 inch thick
  • drop on your toppings
  • place cookie sheet in freezer for 30 minutes
  • break with knife into bite size (or not so bite size pieces)

*I used orange zest, pistachios and hickory smoked salt on the white chocolate and red chile, sugar and walnuts.

Happy weekend!

-xoxo

 

 

 

 

Biscochitos.

‘On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:, 12 Drummers Drumming, Eleven Pipers Piping, Ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Biscochitos!

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Biscochitos are like the [New Mexico] state cookie. I do think they might have to grow on you but they have definitely grown on me, I could eat like 12 at one time if I let myself.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups butter, crisco or lard*
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 eggs
2 teaspoons anise seeds
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
About 3 tablespoons brandy or red wine
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

Mix brandy or wine with anise seeds and let sit in cup for at least 30 minutes before baking cookies.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter* and 1 cup sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and anise seed/brandy/wine mixture, and beat until very light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix thoroughly to make a stiff dough. Place dough on a long piece of waxed paper (towards one end). Bring the long end over the top and press to about one inch or slightly less in thickness and refrigerate until chilled; about 30 minutes at least.)

Roll out dough between waxed paper to just under ½ inch thickness. Cut with flour dusted cutters. Combine the 3 remaining tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl; dip unbaked cookies into the sugar-cinnamon mixture on one side. If dough seems to sticky do to this, just sprinkle the tops with the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 10 to 16 minutes or until tops of cookies are just firm. Cool cookies on wire racks.

*Notes: lard or margarine can be substituted for the lard, however the cookies will not be as crisp and moist. Lard is an original ingredient to these cookies. Apple juice, orange juice or milk can be substituted for the brandy or red wine, however they don’t compliment as well.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!

-xo

 

 

Chewy Ginger Cookies.

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‘On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven, Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Chewy Ginger Cookies.

Hi friends, can you believe Christmas is this week? I can’t, I really can’t believe it’s already here- but I guess I do this every year. Seth and I have 1 more day of work and then we are heading down South to celebrate Christmas with our families. I am definitely looking forward to spending time with them and friends from our hometown but NOT looking forward to a 5 hour car ride with 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 suitcases and a bunch of presents. Wish us luck!

Anyway, I love a good ‘chewy’ ginger cookie and this is my favorite recipe for them, it’s slightly modified from a bon appetite one. I don’t make them very often because they make ALOT … like 48 cookies. But it’s Christmas time and I couldn’t resist. Plus a ginger cookie always makes me feel a little bit better about the fact I’m eating a cookie. Ginger = healthy, duh.

Wishing you all the best this week! Check out the recipe below.

******SERVINGS: MAKES 48*****

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

1/2 cup blackstrap (robust) molasses

2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup raw or sanding sugar

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg

Instructions:

  • Preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Then using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides halfway through beating, until fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add egg, molasses, grated ginger, and vanilla; beat just to blend. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend (try not to over mix). Mix in crystallized ginger (dough will be very soft and sticky).
  • Place raw sugar in a shallow bowl. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out dough. Using a second spoon, scoop dough from tablespoon measure into bowl with raw sugar; turn to coat well. Roll into ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with half of remaining dough and sugar, spacing balls 1 1/2″ apart.
  • Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and centers appear cracked, 10–12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.
  • ***Be sure to use new parchment on the remaining trays of cookies.

-xoxo

Jane