just a smidgen

can you improve on “perfection”

maybe there’s a certain cookie you

crave

even

long for

every single day..

something you would

indulge in

{ if you could }

more than once a day

well.. i couldn’t seem to find this cookie

anywhere in my hometown

{ if you can’t go to the coffee shop, bring the coffee shop to you }

so i decided to make my own

i’ve changed a few ingredients and think i’ve nailed

a solid 9.0 out of 10

i’m giving this recipe extra points for using organic ingredients and for being

homemade

an

amaretto

all by itself is a very lonely little cookie

it is much more joyful

to devour two

amaretti

{ you could eat four but then you might have a tummy ache.. not that i would know.. }

 ♥

did you know that

two amaretti could be squished together with

ganache, buttercream or jam..

{ maybe that would turn this recipe into a solid 10/10 }

but i tend to love understated flavours in baking

so i’m happy with these just as they are

i love these italian cookies mid-morning with a hot almond milk latte

thanks to Oldhand Coffee Shop

make these at home

and your kitchen will feel like spring..

even when it’s snowing outside

they’re crunchy on the outside

soft and chewy on the inside

and your kitchen will be redolent with the

fragrance of sweet lemon

ps loving my coral tulips..

Chewy Amaretti
 
I couldn't source almond meal so used almond "flour" and added finely chopped roasted, lightly salted almonds to create texture and help the cookies hold their loft.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 organic eggs whites, room temperature
  • 280g ground almond meal (mine was called almond flour) made from: 1 handful roasted lightly salted almonds chopped into tiny chunks plus enough almond flour to make up a total of 280g
  • 280g fine berry or caster sugar
  • zest from 1 small organic lemon
  • 1fl oz Amaretto liquor: I needed less than 1/2 ounce to create the right consistency
  • Optional:
  • 2 tbsp berry sugar
  • 2 tbsp powdered confectioner's sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Line two baking cookie sheets with baking parchment.
  3. Finely dice the handful of roasted, lightly salted almonds, add to a bowl then add enough almond flour until you have 280g of almond meal total.
  4. In another bowl, measure out the berry sugar and add the lemon zest, stir to blend.
  5. Using a mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, do not over beat or the egg whites will separate and go runny, if you get to this stage start over until you only have stiff, creamy whipped egg whites.
  6. Gently fold in the ground almonds, caster sugar/lemon mixture.
  7. Slowly stir in the amaretto liquor, adding just enough so that the mixture is sticky and holds together. I only needed less than half an ounce.
  8. If you wish to roll your cookies in sugar, measure the fine berry sugar and icing sugar into a small bowl and mix to blend.
  9. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out a rounded mound of dough. If you are coating, drop into the sugar mixture and roll gently to coat.
  10. Place amaretti gently on parchment covered cookie sheet, allowing a little room to spread (I didn't find these spread at all).
  11. Bake for 15 minutes and check to see if the cookies have browned. *if you don't coat in sugar as I did, it will take much longer to get the outside of the cookie browned. I had to almost double the baking time. If you do coat in sugar this may go much quicker. Either way, the centers of the cookies will still remain soft and chewy due to the egg whites.
  12. Remove the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet.
  13. If you like your cookies chewy, don't serve them warm, allow them to cool completely before serving.
  14. Store in a sealed container for a few days or freeze. Once frozen, remove from container and bring to room temperature.

 Love,

Smidge

© Joseph Barrientos

I was gifted with this life, vulnerable in tender hands.  This intention and love was my blessing to receive, fortunate were we who could count on an unsophisticated love, parent(s) who knew only what was in their hearts then and so began our journey.

I built a life, a separate life, with crude tools devised from experience, derived from inexperience. My fledgling self was shaped with small hands as I formed to inform, constructed to control.

Year after year I cultivated this little life, new devices helped me hone and shape what I knew with experiences gathered, both the delightful and the disheartening. Stepping back I’d admire the improvements, so tender were those raw beginnings, how all of it was done with so much heartbreaking fearlessness, strength, planning and the desire for a worthy life.

But my soul never seems to rest for very long, it always questions, always asks for something more from me. Today it requires so much more courage and I am afraid.

I see now that everything I’ve conceived of before this moment was never going to be enough, could ever amount to the potential life that has waited patiently for its revelation. I’ve learned that I am not the true “maker” of my life and that it is time to rely on someone so much more gifted in the creation of beauty.

I am being asked to have faith.

It seems simple, but I feel that it takes so much more resolve for me to let go of all of that independence and control that carried me up to this point in my life. Placing my life in someone else’s hands feels so much more counter-intuitive than all of the hard-won lessons that got me here.

It feels like I’m that newborn child at the beginning of her life again.

And so now I build a new life, a connected life with

trust & faith

When life brings us to our knees it takes an unparalleled vulnerability and new form of courage to push forward with humility and to admit that we don’t know what comes next and that we can only believe and have enough faith to..

let go and let God

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Psalm 33:4-6

Blessings xx

Barbara

 

If loving and being open is the essence, is at the heart of your true self then it only stands to reason that this is how you should show up in life. I’ve learned only too well, that if one goes about being authentic and loving, you can attract many who would love you and many who could seek to take advantage.

Being misled, having promises broken can close your heart to so much potential grace and loveliness in life. But who doesn’t find it instinctual to become a closed cynic after experiencing suffering at the hand of another? Who wouldn’t become discouraged and betrayed upon receiving intentional provocation?

Somewhere along the way my open heart had become closed, after all, it seemed prudent in light of life’s lessons. It seemed to make sense that I should “proceed with caution” with all but the few brought into my sacred circle of trust. Only there could I let my love shine.

But this morning, I wonder if the opposite is true. I think love could be contagious, love can stretch minds and change opinions. Love is a more powerful force than sometimes given credit for. Just be on the receiving end of unconditional love from anyone and you can feel it’s transformative energy.

Once I let go of the belief that I am somehow capable of creating or instilling emotion in another, I’ve also let go of being invested with how that person processes life. I’ve become both free and safeguarded in that moment.

I can openly shine my light of pure love into the world and acquiesce that others will do with it what they may. And so, regardless of how it is received, love is the answer, has always been the truth and the means for living a beautifully connected life with so many more than those few we hold closest to our hearts.

Ephesians 5:2
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God

Love,

Barbara

simply adorable

simple

and

softly sweet

these little coconut cupcakes

were so easy to make

Easter-ish

with the addition of

pink bunny ears

just hold the marshmallow by the flat ends and

snip the marshmallow diagonally

making a nice flat bottom

and pointed

tip

the sticky middle is perfect for

dipping

into

pink sugar


the coconut

sprinkled over

reminds me of

white bunny fur

or even

little Easter woolly lambs

just make sure to buy

longer thread fancy sweetened coconut

i combined two of my favorite recipes for this one

i didn’t want to use a heavy cream cheese frosting

so these little cups of cakes

have a light crumb filled bite of coconut and are

topped

with a smearing of buttercream frosting

Happy Easter

Happy Resurrection Day

Coconut Cupcakes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • marshmallows, regular size
  • pink sugar sprinkles
  • ¾ pound unsalted butter (3 sticks or 1 ½ cups) at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra large eggs at room temperature (or warm in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes)
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Cut each marshmallow diagonally. Dip the centers into the pink sugar sprinkles and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer (paddle attachment), cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). With mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix only until just combined! Carefully fold in 7 ounces only of coconut.
  5. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  6. Frost with buttercream icing (recipe below) and nestle bunny ears on top.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Easter Bunny Buttercream Frosting
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter, unsalted and at room temperature (not melted)
  • 3 cups confectioner's powdered icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • *optional: up to 2 additional tablespoons heavy cream (or milk) and additional confectioner's sugar
Instructions
  1. With the mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy, pale in color. This should take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add 3 cups confectioner's sugar. Beat on low until it is incorporated, then turn the mixer to medium speed and mix well to blend.
  3. Add vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Mix well for 3 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
  4. Notes
  5. I found this recipe worked to make the perfect consistency of icing, just as written. Measure carefully, but if your icing is too runny, add more confectioner's sugar. If it is too "stiff" add more cream, one tablespoon at a time.

Love,

Smidge

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