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Halloween 2008 was one of the best Halloweens I’ve ever had (barring those magical pre-teen Halloween evenings in late 80s Virginia, spent gorging myself on candy corn and fun-size candy bars).

S, our roomie K and I threw the most epic, till-7-in-the-morning party at our Brooklyn apartment and I feel that such an event will not likely ever be topped. Everyone showed up in costume and laden with bottles. The music was bumpin, creepy decorations hung and Freaks was on a silent loop in the background.There were Hitchcockian references, chubby Asian superheros, Little Mermaid sushi and Zack & Lisa during that one beautiful summer. Yes, that was a magical evening.

So far, my SF Halloweens have been decidedly lower-key, but still super fun! This year, I thought I’d bring a little hint of NYC to my SF Halloween shindig by attempting to make the holy grail of NY sweet treats…

The Black & White cookie.

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Everything about this recipe has me goin’…

Dark chocolate? Check.

Layers of sugar? Check.

Booze? Check.

Yes, it was love at first click and I knew that I had to have the cleverly monikered Chocolate Crack Cookies under my proverbial belt. Gather round, my friends… gather round.

Started out with a lovely Maraschino cherry liqueur – Luxardo… This was something new for me, as I am not all that well-versed in liqueurs. It’s syrupy, super sweet and surprisingly tasty with whiskey.

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Mama made some adorable little meringue cookies!

Actually, this is my second attempt – the first was not documented on account of an unprecedented pastry bag mishap. You see, I mistakenly used a tiny, tiny pastry tip, one that I had no business considering as a suitable option for this particular application. As a result, I had a minor temper tantrum, my meringue fell flat and my cookies were stupid.

Flash forward a few weeks to when I am in better spirits and have procured a giant Ateco drop flower pastry tip… Now… I can do this.

Started out with 1/4 unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder (oh, hi Whole Foods bulk aisle!)…

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I’ve been making all kinds of excuses for the past year or so, trying to justify why I hadn’t yet attempted that most tempestuous & persnickety of French confections, the macaron. First I wasn’t confident in my egg white whipping skillz. Then I didn’t have enough baking sheets. Then I didn’t know how to handle the pastry bag situation. But slowly, I overcame each of those minor obstacles and had to come to terms with the fact that I was just plain scurred!

See, I’ve been spoiled… I’ve had moderate success with most of the culinary experiments I’ve attempted in the past year (with the exception of those lavender-infused brigadeiros and that first S’mores Pie, but I totally redeemed myself the second time around). In short, I haven’t met with real failure in the kitchen yet. But, you never learn if you don’t try right?

So I got down to it the other night for my mini dinner party…

Started out by obsessively drawing 2-inch circles on my parchment-lined baking sheets to act as a guide.

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Hi, I’m Lauriebot!

I live in San Francisco. I used to live in NYC, Washington DC, and London.

I like to take the pictures.

I like color, excess, food, light, clothes, and going places.

I also like talking to people.

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