Almond Pulp Thumbprint Cookies

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This is a follow-up post from how to make your own Almond Milk recipe I posted to start the year. My family makes a lot of soy milk (which will be another post someday), but sometimes we like to throw in some fresh almond milk. We live in Lodi so there is an abundance of fresh almonds we usually get (often still in its shell). Almonds eaten this way are the freshest of any almond. Store bought just doesn’t compare. But for those not lucky enough to experience the country life, store bought will work just fine!

After making almond milk, you are left with this pulp. The pulp of course can be dumped as compost for your plants, but this stuff shouldn’t be wasted if you have the time to convert it into something else! Online, there are lots of recipes on how to use up almond pulp. My sister requested it be these Almond Pulp Thumbprint Cookies!

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Linzer Cookies!

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These adorable little things are traditional to Austria in the region of Linz. Love that the little circle/shape in the middle are called “eyes.” You can make these with any shape! I was in the holiday mood and had snowflake cut outs, then used a icing tip to cut out the circle in the middle. Tip: Make sure the dough is hard, but not too hard; have lots of flour on hand as the dough is super easy to break! Try them with different kinds of jams for different flavors and colors. I used homemade peach, grape, and orange jams to fill. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas :).

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Candied Orange Peels!

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We have organic oranges growing in our backyard and we have an abundance every year. My grandpa was a renowned fruit grower in China, with award winning satsuma tangerines being his most well-known. My dad remembers biting into those satsumas and juice just flowed. Thin skins, tons of juice, and the fruit, the size of an orange. My parents failed at growing the first orange tree, but my grandpa decided to step in to do the pruning in the winter for several years, and saved our second orange tree. Now, the tree produced over 100 pounds of oranges. 100 POUNDS! So every year now, we think about our grandpa and his pruning and it is an ode to his labor. Now that we have so much, we have to look for ways to not waste the fruit. So we have made orange marmalade and now candied orange peels. Takes a ton of sugar, but they end up looking SO PRETTY after. Also, you can give them away as gifts as these things store super well. Or dip them in chocolate.

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Graham Cracker, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And we are well on our way to Christmas!!! My favorite season of the year, and although it may be short (in my eyes since I only start the season the day after Thanksgiving), I value it that much more! Christmas songs are on repeat, holiday treats are being baked, and drinking coffee and hot chocolate when the rain is pouring outside. I try to learn something new every year in baking/cooking world, and this year I am pretty excited to say that I played with more meat and making sausages. Cookies are still my standard of baking, but I learned a new pie crust technique that I am now a fan of with no failure. Super excited to share all of these things on this blog, eventually…when I get a chance to write. Now that the year is winding down, I should have more time. Here are some pics of my Christmas tree, and Christmas cookie #1: Graham Cracker, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookie. The graham cracker makes the smell and the cookie DIVINE.

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Green Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Requested by my newest coworker, and a cookie I have never baked before! Turns out when I was baking at home that my sister has baked them before. And I was worried they would turn out dry since matcha powder just makes things look dry. But they turned out beautiful and spread perfectly. I am in love. Made a half batch from the original recipe, and all my measurements turned out perfect. Cookies and baked sweet goods are in full swing for the holidays! Can’t wait to drum up my next project.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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October is in full-swing!!! Busy busy October. I never have time in October. In high school and college, it was midterms, school activities in full throttle. Now at work, professionals are mostly back from summer vacation and are gearing up for the last quarter before the new year. Then, my friends mentioned Halloween last night, and I stopped and was like AHH! haven’t thought about it AT ALL. No costume, no plans. Help!

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!

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Hope everyone is having a fantastic LDW soaking up the sun!!! Although its September, and basically tomorrow is the unofficial start to fall (due to Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte being in stores nationwide), the weather is still warm but I can’t help but get excited about my favorite cooking season of the year!!! FALL!!! I love the pumpkin and the warm spices, and because summer continues on and on, later and later every year, there’s only a short time for pumpkin (before Santa Claus rolls in with peppermint and chocolate). The weather plays a huge factor in what my taste buds want, and when its hot out, there is little room for pumpkin cravings. But I figured that since tomorrow is the start of unofficial fall, and I am heading to Alaska, the cold cold rainy time for the state, I figured I would begin the celebrations in hopes that when I return from my vacation, that it’ll be full on fall in CA!

These pumpkin snickerdoodles are really bomb. They’re chewy and soft, with pumpkin and spices hinted in there. People say snickerdoodles are sugar cookies better cousin and I totally couldn’t agree more! Make these and enjoy them with your first of many pumpkin spice lattes! Or you can pair them with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream for sandwiches!

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Peach Jam – Almond Crumb Bars

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If you follow me on SnapChat, you might have seen that a few weeks ago, I snapped about tons of fresh peaches from my family’s tree, and snapped a story where I was making peach jam. That peach jam failed…since I didn’t have enough pectin and was too cheap to buy more at the time. However, my dad and sister, seeing that it was an absolute fail, and that I reused old jars, set out to re-make my failed jam. They bought new canning jars and my sister cooked the recipe. Now she is legitimately a Jam Queen. She has made 15 jars of jam (since we had SO much super ripe needed to be eaten peaches). Also, it is grape season here in Lodi. This year, due to the hot, dry weather, the grapes ripened early. Since Lodi is full of wine grapes, my dad went to go pick some and now, my sister has made grape jelly! Needless to say, we are a jam obsessed household now. My dad, being the French baker he is, has made croissants filled with jam (see picture below), and I can’t wait until the holidays, where I can make cookies!!! But since it’s summer, I figured crisps, and cobblers are the best to use our supply. I didn’t have an 8×8 pan, so I put the batter in cupcake tins. Turned out perfectly!!! So you can use either to get the same result – light, jammy, crispy, almond-y, and yummy. It’s perfect for breakfast!

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Cream Puffs! (choux à la crème)

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It’s been a busy two weeks since my last post due to the EXCITING Warriors v. Cavs matchup – didnt really have a life besides drinking beer and eating nachos for the past two weeks!!! If you didn’t know already, I basically pledged blue and gold a few weeks ago during the rockets series (I know I am a total bandwagoner fan but BUT i would argue that everyone has a starting point ha ha). Anyway, the night the Warriors won I was at ORACLEEEE watching Game 6 on the arena’s screen. It was definitely like a home game – us fans were just as loud, waving our teensy towels around and screaming our lungs off. It was truly an experience that I am hoping we can experience again in our lifetime! Let the curse be broken and a dynasty begins :). I was unfortunately super busy on Friday and wasn’t able to join everyone at the parade, but I saw all the Snapchats of the event and thought, damn, it really is a wonderful to be alive, in the Bay, and be young.

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These cream puffs were made with leftover Fruit Tart pastry cream! (But I have provided the exact recipe for 12 cream puffs in case yall just wanted to make the puffs and not the tart). I made exactly 12 little ones (if you want, you could make 6 Beard Papa’s sized ones if you wanted with the same amount of cream.

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Summer Fruit Tart!

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IT’S BASICALLY SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR!!!! Have been into WHITE lately – white shorts, white tanks, white shirts, white sheets, white shoes, all white everything! Can’t wait to be a little more tan (yes I still care about my facial skin care) by being outdoors! I hope this summer is the best summer yet (unlike last year when I was studying – had a nose disease that wasn’t curable until late summer! hahah) !! Lots in store like country concerts, wedding, ariana grande, vegas, kevin hart, etc. Someone invite me to a BBQ so I bring over this magnificent fruit tart and/or cream puffs (another post). Anyway happy beginning of SUMMER!!!

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