Edible Holiday Gift guide 2015

christmas cookies  | apt 2b baking co
christmas cookies  | apt 2b baking co
shop ila black salt caramels | apt 2b baking co
christmas cookies  | apt 2b baking co

Hi guys! I wasn't planning on posting my holiday treats this year, but lots of you fine people asked for the recipe for the pistachio shortbread with cardamom and cacao nibs that I posted on Instagram (the second photo above) so here I am! I got pretty serious with my edible gifts this year because I had to make up for a so-so 2014. Links and recipes are below! 

Pistachio Shortbread with Cardamom and Cacao Nibs (recipe below)

My favorite Gingerbread with Royal Icing (recipe below)

Tartine's Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies

Alice Medrich's Buckwhat Cookies with Cacao Nibs

Soft Salted Caramels (shown with Shop ILA's Black Lava Salt)

Violet Bakery's Rye and Chocolate Brownies (inspired by Tartine's Cookies!)

Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Follow me on instagram for more holiday baking fun @yossyarefi and check out Melissa's post for even more edible gift ideas!


Pistachio Shortbread with Cardamom and Cacao Nibs

makes about 30 cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup cacao nibs

Combine the flour, pistachios, sugar, cardamom, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the pistachios are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks damp and crumbly. Drizzle in the vanilla extract, then add the cacao nibs. Pulse a few more times until the dough begins to just hold together.

Remove the dough from the food processor and knead a few times until the dough is evenly mixed and holds together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut into shapes as desired. Place the cut cookies onto the prepared sheets 1-inch apart. Reroll the dough scraps until all of the dough is used. Chill the cut cookies for 10 minutes before baking. If at anytime the dough gets warm and is difficult to work with, transfer it to the fridge for a few minutes.

Bake the cookies until light golden around the edges, 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.


Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on size

3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg

1/4  teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/4  teaspoon ground cloves

1⁄4  teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then the molasses and mix until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Working with 1/2 of the dough at a time roll the dough 1/8-1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin roll. Use a cookie cutter or stencil to cut out desired shapes then place them on the prepared baking sheets. For cookie ornaments, use a skewer to poke a hole through the top of the cookies before baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies have just barely begun to brown. For cookie ornaments bake the cookies until they are lightly browned all over and firm to the touch. Cool the cookies on the sheet pans for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Royal Icing

1 egg white

1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 3⁄4 cup confectioners sugar

Combine all of the ingredients and beat with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until stiff peaks form. If the icing seems too thick, add a few drops of water or lemon juice. If it seems runny, add a few table- spoons of confectioner’s sugar.

Use a pastry bag fitted with a #2 or #3 round tip and the stiff icing to add lines, shapes and dots to your cookies. Sprinkle with colored sugar, sprinkles or nonpareils if desired, just make sure to do it while the icing is still wet.

To make the cookies into ornaments, thread a string through the hole and tie it to make a loop.

christmas cookies  | apt 2b baking co
christmas cookies  | apt 2b baking co
christmas cookies  | apt 2b baking co

Gingered Blackberry Cobbler and a Few Favorites

Gingered Blackberry Cobbler

Here are a few things I've enjoyed from around the internets this week and a bonus recipe for a sweet and spicy blackberry cobbler that I made towards the end of my Seattle trip. When life hands you blackberries and you've already made 10 jars of jam and a crisp and you don't have time to let pie dough chill, make cobbler! It is one of those multi-purpose desserts that's not too sweet, making it perfect for breakfast the next day.

- Shae's beautiful post about the terroir of Alaskan blueberries and the jam she made. If you've ever had them, you already know that Northwest blackberries have a distinct terroir of their own.

- Kimberley's lovely words about running and returning

- Some tips on bread management from the always inspiring Rachel

 - A killer circus birthday party with warm cotton candy, a striped cake, and a hot dog bar from Ashley

- I wish I had known about this cocktail from Erin when I had my bounty of blackberries. Campari has been my drink of choice all summer. I guess I'll need a new drink soon, any ideas?

This series of intimate performances from the Newport Folk Festival, in the ruins of a fort no less

Lil Bub because if you haven't, you should

Have a great weekend.

Gingered Blackberry Cobbler

adapted from Cook's Illustrated

yield, 1 10'' pan

For the Filling

32 ounces fresh blackberries, rinsed

3 1/2 ounces sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1-1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (watch out, it's spicy!)

1 teaspoon lemon zest (meyer lemon if available)

juice from 1/2 lemon

For the Topping

5 ounces all purpose flour

2 ounces oat flour (or finely ground oats or use all purpose flour)

4 tablespoons sugar plus 1 tablespoon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 ounces butter, melted

1/2 cup plain yogurt (full fat if possible)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375º

For the Filling

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, grated ginger, lemon zest and juice. Add in the blackberries and mix gently to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9'' or 10'' pie pan and place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Slide into the oven and bake until the filling is hot and bubbling around the edges, about 25 minutes.

For the Topping

1. While the berries are baking, whisk together the flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, yogurt and vanilla extract.

2. One minute before the berries come out of the oven, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stir gently until thoroughly mixed.

3. Carefully remove the berries from the oven and increase the temperature to 425º. Divide the topping into 8 equal pieces and place them gently on top of the berries about 1/2'' apart, they should not touch. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of the biscuits.

4. Slide the whole shebang back into the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

blackberry cobbler-1