Discover more from the smitten kitchen digest
10 exceptional cookies + 3 weeknight dinners
Monday, December 5, 2022
This was too close to home (TikTok)
The Proustian Ideal of a Ham Sandwich (NYTimes, unlocked)
Good morning from the road to DC!
I’m back on the book tour train and thrilled to be well again. Tonight I’ll be at 6th & I in Washington DC. Tomorrow at 12pm I’ll be at Politics and Prose in DC, and then I skip on up to Philadelphia to go to the Free Library. Thursday and Friday are in Boston, and Saturday in New Jersey! Did you get all that? No need to jot it down. It’s all on the Events page, which I keep as updated as possible. Last week’s events in Minneapolis, Chicago, and NYC that were posted have been rescheduled, too. It’s such a fun time and I hope I get to see you out there.
Almost as much fun as book touring? Cookies! Cookies have always been one of my favorite things to bake: They're all flavor, texture, and impact. They keep well, they're infinitely giftable, and they make your home smell immediately like the holidays. Below, several of my favorites from the Smitten Kitchen Cookie Arsenal to get you inspired. I can’t wait to see which ones you make first.
Smitten Kitchen Keepers has been out for almost three weeks and I cannot get enough of seeing what you’re cooking from it. A few of my December favorites from the book: The Oven-Braised Beef with Harissa is impossibly cozy, so are the Swiss Chard Enchiladas. The Deepest Dish Broccoli Cheddar Quiche would be amazing for a potluck or holiday luncheon, and the Slumped Parmesan Frittata for a brunch. Don’t forget the Endive Salad with Apple Matchsticks, either. But, and since this is a cookies newsletter, the Thick Molasses Spice Cookies are the holiday cookie of my dreams. The Chocolate Chip Cookie with Salted Walnut Brittle is the highest calling of a chocolate chip cookie (People Magazine agrees!). The Oatmeal Date Shortbread are delicate and midweek-perfect and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies win all holiday cookie contests, they just do.
These are my favorite kind of bakery cookies — filled with jam, dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles — are so easy to make, and so delicious when homemade, that you'll never want to buy them again.
These pinwheels are everything wonderful about rugelach -- a top three cookie for me -- but, well, kind of cuter, and easier to pack tightly into a tin for shipping.
Two layers of deeply toasted, buttery, and crisp hazelnut cookies sandwiched with chocolate-hazelnut spread. Not into schmoopy hearts? Use any cookie cutter shape you like, but please don't skip these.
An airtight, no-fail recipe for this Italian-American bakery standard that are, for once, as delicious as they look.
Checkerboard cookies as fuss-free (cold butter, clean counters) and delicious (chocolate that actually tastes like it) as I could possibly make them. Plus, two other patterns -- spirals! marbled! -- I couldn't resist. Apologies in advance to the other cookies in your tin; these dazzlers are terrible at sharing the spotlight.
For instant joy right now, may I recommend a really easy sprinkle cookie recipe that, for once, tastes even better than it looks? They're plush, complex, fragrant, and also, you know, really cute decked out in holiday sprinkles too.
Classic, tender, buttery, perfect-every-time shortbread cookies with three ingredients and virtually no fuss are the treat you didn't know you needed. Ted Lasso would absolutely approve.
As New York as bodega bacon-egg-cheese sandwiches and as old-school as egg creams, there's no good reason to settle for stale black-and-white cookies when they're this easy to make at home.
An aromatic blend of walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest that is distinctly, wonderfully December to me. Don't be intimidated by that pretty design; Maida Heatter has a gift for making even the most complicated desserts doable and fun.
Chewy at the center with crunchy edges, naturally gluten-, flour- and dairy-free, these bakery-favorite almond horn cookies are shockingly easy to make at home.
Dinner ideas, too!
The simplest way to make spaghetti al limone is also my favorite, enlisting an uncooked sauce, but no cream, butter, or other clutter. It's sunny and triumphant, a delicious way to end a long way.
I love perfectly seasoned, craggy bread-crumbed, deeply golden, crispy chicken cutlets but hated making them until I learned a trick from my MIL that makes them a little faster, less heavy, and, if you have old bread lying around, the absolute crunchiest. These never, ever last.
This hearty, vegetable-heavy, and slightly decadent dinner frittata from Justin Chapple has saves the day every December; it really feels like a meal.
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!