so, make cookies

I made some cookies a couple weeks ago, and it seems time for a sweet treat around here. Especially with Valentine's Day around the corner! These are pistachio sandies. I think what I was really craving were sand tarts,  like I remember my grandmother's sand tarts. What I remember of my grandmother's sand tarts are paper thin cookies (at Christmas time) sprinkled with red and green sprinkles. What I also remember is my grandmother saying that you should have seen her mother's sand tarts. She rolled them so thin you could see through them. Mom, am I remembering this right? Anyway. That's not what these are.

These are sandies. Usually sandies are the pecan variety, but I wanted something different, so I sleuthed around and found this recipe. Hey guess what! It's gluten free! But I got stuck at the grocery store and couldn't find several of the ingredients. Fortunately Google comes to the grocery store with me (how handy!), and I found a non-GF version for all the little people. You can find it here. You'll have to scroll to get to the recipe, which I had to tweak a bit, so if you decide to make it, shoot me a line and I'll let you know what helped me out.

They were good.

Up next? Sand tarts. Grandma's version.

red hot velvet {life}

Cal asked for Red Velvet Cake for his birthday, but I wanted to do something a little different. Lately, when I'm on the hunt for a recipe, my first stop is Food52 as a jumping off point. Apparently my cookbook collection is on a shelf that's too high to reach.

I originally bypassed this particular recipe when I was scrolling through the few that they had available because the picture didn't blow me away. Ha! That's pretty funny, isn't it? Photos make all the difference, don't they? But the name of the cake was so intriguing. Red Hot Red Velvet Cake. I finally took a second look.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Featuring chipotle powder, cayenne and cinnamon, this Red Velvet Cake has just the right amount of heat to balance out the sweetness. The result is a cake that first warms in your mouth before the fluffy icing cools it. Pretty much perfection. I tend to worry when trying unusual flavor profiles like like; I'm not an accomplished enough baker to know if a teaspoon is enough or would a tablespoon be better. And more likely than not, I'm disappointed in the end result. This time I was not disappointed. Sweet heat cake, followed by cool and light frosting. We'll definitely be doing this again.

So. I know I'm meant to be recapping the summer that really wasn't around here, but in honor of my friend Jon, who loves Red Velvet Cake and whose birthday was yesterday, and to answer all the calls for the recipe when I posted my first pictures of it, I thought I'd share it here with you.

Because I followed the recipes pretty much exactly, I won't write them out here, but Red Hot Red Velvet Cake can be found here, courtesy Food52. I wanted something super light for the frosting so I chose what Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy calls Cloudburst Frosting (scroll down for the frosting). It's also called Butter Roux Frosting or Ermine Frosting. My only recommendation is to maybe double the frosting recipe. I would have liked more for this three-layer cake.

Happy birthday to all my birthday buddies. May your year be equally spicy and sweet.