Funfetti sprinkle cookies

So these cookies were fun.

I was browsing Tastespotting on my iPad the other day (a truly enjoyable experience, it seems like this food gallery site is optimized to be viewed perfectly on a tablet) when I saw a picture of these cookies. An hour later, I was making the recipe.

I know they look fairly childish and, like nearly everything else on this blog, prepared for a maniacal troop of five-year-old birthday-goers. This is something my mom brought up with me the other week. That’s right, we had the “people at work might not want to eat colourful things” conversation. I was sad for about 10 minutes after that, before realizing that I would make whatever I wanted. Things I make – colourful or not – always seem to disappear with quite a bit of ease, and so I maintain: things can look like a rainbow and still taste delicious. Case closed.

Anyways, the result of my baking was these beautiful little morsels that I thought resembled homemade Chips Ahoy cookies. They had almond extract in them, which was absolutely the best. If I was the type of person to include weird qualities about myself in my Twitter status, one of them would definitely be “something, something LOVES ALMOND EXTRACT.”

I brought these into the newsroom on Friday so we could all pig out during story meeting. Story meetings are more productive when cookies are provided: fact.

I also made a point to wear the sprinkle headband that I made back in March. I always thought it was channeling a Tim Hortons vanilla dip doughnut, but it turns out that these cookies were the true inspiration. Check it out…matching baking and head ware – it’s all the rage!


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Much-needed baking bliss: Lemon olive oil cookies and orange-raspberry muffins

As written on Thursday evening…

I was going to go to bed early tonight. I swore to myself that I was. Early these days is anything before 10:30 p.m., FYI, so that I can wake up at 6-something and listen to CBC’s morning show. I have failed to wake up before 7:20 a.m. three times this week. And tomorrow’s not looking too hot, either. Next week I’ll adapt to this full time work thing. Promise.

Anyways, how am I supposed to go to sleep when I had such an amazing evening of baking and creating things? I am on a DIY high, and no matter how tightly I shut my eyes, sleep will not come. I’ll blame the sugar – the mouthfuls of cookie batter and almond glaze that was transferred from mouth to belly this eve.

It seems as though Thursday has become my baking day. I’ve discovered that if I do not bake, I get really anxious and grumpy. Back in Ottawa I would bake at least three times a week, and it’s an activity that has been significantly cut down post-grad. No more running to the corner store in my sweatpants to buy icing sugar and cherry pie filling. Perhaps this is for the best… Anyways, my point is that baking relaxes me and makes me feel like my normal self again. Baking is something I know and am always sure of. It’s a chance to make something beautiful out of nothing, a principle that I’ll hopefully be able to apply to my journalism work over the next few months.

But enough of the personal ramble. Let’s talk food and flowers.

One half of the food-flowers super combo

I’ve wanted to make lemon cookies ever since Brittany made these delicious little cookie morsels that burst with lemony flavour. I still don’t know what recipe Britt used and, since I started making these cookies at 1 a.m. Paris time (remember? She’s on an exchange!), I figured I wouldn’t disrupt her slumber for the sake of my own personal cookie pleasure. Anywho, I used a Joy the Baker recipe because she is my favourite cookie recipe source ever. These were a little untraditional – lemon scented olive oil cookies with almond glaze. Yeah, you read that right. Olive oil. What the hell, right? Ah well, Joy knows what she’s talking about. And god knows the Greeks need me to use all the olive oil that I can.

I also made some orange-raspberry muffins.

Then, in true Hilary fashion, I had a photo shoot in my bedroom, where the 8 p.m. sun shines the brightest and my cute desk decorations serve as the perfect backdrop.

I also made a paper flower out of nine paper muffin liners. Yes, it is looped around that bottle of Marsala that I still haven’t put away. Yes, I do plan on making my own muffin liner bouquet should I ever get married. Yes, I did give this flower to my mom as a corsage. Judge. Not.

These are accompanying me to work tomorrow and shall be gifted to my hardworking, well-deserving CBC colleagues. Apparently Hilary Makes Friday Treats is baaaaaack.

Happy Thursday (well Friday now) and cheers to DIY bliss.

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Creative cookie gifting (and the end of my undergrad degree)

Yeah, this happened. Because I am a domestically-inclined five-year-old in disguise. Last week I finished my undergraduate degree in journalism at Carleton University. Yikes, I know. The combination of me hitting 22 and graduating all within the same two-month span has been enough to send me spiralling into a tiny quarter life crisis, filled with existential self-reflection moments that normally involve me lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. Ee. But away from all, I have many people to thank for my undergrad success, and these cookies pay tribute to just a few of them: my professors and one former boss. Before you start rolling your eyes (too late?) and calling me an apple polisher, though, please know that I think nice, helpful people deserve to be appreciated. These cards and cookies are my thanks, and nothing more. Journalism is a great little department, and these cookie receivers have always had their doors open to my questions, concerns, and rants. So to those professors, thank you – the passive voice is still something I’d be writing in (hah, get it?) if it wasn’t for them. Oh yeah, this was also an excuse to use up some baking supplies before I left, score! PS: buying a set of half-a-dozen brown paper bags from your friendly corner convenience store is a great way to package all baked goods. These ones were inspired by my friend Martha.

Futon = cookie organization tool

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Giving cookies (of the brown butter toasted coconut chocolate chip variety)

There’s something about cookies that makes me want to do good deeds.

Perhaps it’s the childish innocence of them. Or maybe it’s the fact that before I learned to cook, the only thing I would ever contribute to bake sales, parties, work functions and surprises of any sort were cookies like these.

Whatever it is, I decided to make these Giving Cookies.

The cookies themselves were also chalked full of good things. Things that had been given to me, in fact.

I got lots of awesome fair trade and organic baking supplies from a Camino party that I went to earlier in the week. For those of you who have never heard of Camino (formerly known as Cocoa Camino), it’s a Canadian brand of fair trade and organic certified food. The party was being held in honour of the co-op’s appearance on CBC’s The Big Decision. Camino got a HUGE amount of funding from Arlene Dickinson (you know, from Dragon’s Den) to help them continue to sell their sustainable products. I love when good people get recognition for all they’re doing, and this party was a great example of that. You can follow Camino on Twitter @caminolala.

Anyways, Gord and I were spoiled and got a whole bounty of stuff.

A sneak peak into my evening: Camino fruit juices, Gord and I with our amazing basket of loot, Linda (my friend Coralie's aunt who works for Camino!) and I, a sampling of Camino chocolate bars

I set off to find the perfect cookie recipe to use these ingredients in, and googled upon Joy the Baker’s recipe for brown butter toasted coconut chocolate chip cookies (I like Joy because, like me, she sees the need to put every important ingredient into the recipe name). Oooh la la.

The idea intrigued me. After much butter browning and coconut toasting, these cookies came together nicely (though I needed to add some milk to make the batter have a more dough-like consistency).

And of course, as is essential when you’re making cookies, I ate a tonne of dough. Now I’m not hungry for supper. #storyofmylife

These turned out nicely, and I loved the slight coconut twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie. The dark chocolate chunks were a nice touch too. Finally, underbaking these cookies made them soft and chewy, even by Monday.

Operation Clear Cupboard: The slow utilization of all my baking products – coconut, chocolate chips, chocolate and vanilla

Recipients of the cookies: 
1. The Mannshahi family that manages the Old Ottawa South corner store near my house. They are always so nice to me and even listen to my requests to stock things like pesto, cherry pie filling and graham cracker crumbs. Be it dish soap, milk, a(nother) bag of icing sugar or a popsicle, they always welcome my (normally) sweatpants-laden self.

2. My old roommates. I smuggled an old sour cream container full of cookies into the play that Ariel and I went to on Saturday. These four haven’t gotten to eat a lot of my treats lately, so they deserved these. Update: these apparently never got to my roommates…they were eaten during the play’s intermission instead – at least they were appreciated!

3. Random friends, roommates and classmates, over the course of the weekend and Monday morning.

There’s two left. Guess what I’m eating as a late night snack?

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Martha Stewart’s outrageous chocolate cookies

I warned you that this was going to be a Martha Stewart week.

These cookies have become a bit of a tradition among my group of friends. To understand the tradition, you must first understand my friend Amanda, for whom I made these cookies. Amanda loves her birthday. Loves it. More than a small child loves puppies and more than I love cheese. She always has a week’s worth of birthday festivities, appropriately called “Amandapalooza.”

Amanda and I on one of her birthday nights

It is my job, as old roommate and friend, to bake something for her. Last year I made these white chocolate Macadamia nut cookies for the first time. This year she had another cookie request. These.

Cookies + Instagram = Love

As far as I know, Amanda’s love for these cookies started on her birthday last year, when our old roommate Brittany (SHE IS IN PARIS NOW, GO LOOK AT HER BLOG!!) made her a batch. They are actually the perfect cookie – slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside (so long as you don’t over bake them which I accidentally did with a batch of these…). They’re like a tiny brownie cookie, but better. A recipe like this obviously uses up a lot of chocolate, so it’s certainly a good thing that I always have an absurd amount on hand.

Since this was the second year in a row that the cookies were made, I declare it a tradition.

A tradition which I may whip up and eat solo in my bedroom once in awhile.


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