Tag Archives: holiday

Best Sugar Cookie Bake Off

Best Sugar Cookie Bake Off // The Pancake Princess

Looking for the best sugar cookie recipe around? Me too. My memories of cookie baking include tons of time: getting out the heavy KitchenAid mixer, waiting for the dough to chill, rolling out mounds of dough, then cutting out and painstakingly decorating each cookie. Friends, if we’re going to put in the effort for sugar cookies, we better make sure the payoff is amazing! And in this bake off, we found a bunch of different kinds: crisp and flaky, soft and chewy, pillowy and cakey, bronzed and crunchy–in other words, something for everyone!

Best Sugar Cookie Bake Off // The Pancake Princess


All cookies were baked the day off, with the exception of cookies from The Kitchn since the icing required 24 hours to harden. Every dough was chilled overnight except for In Katrina’s Kitchen (which didn’t require chilling).  Each cookie was paired with the suggested frosting in each recipe (if none was specified, the cookie was served unfrosted. Approximately 28 friends tasted and ranked the cookies for the below scores.


Each taster ranked each cookie on an overall scale from 1-10 (including cookie and frosting), then just the cookie, then just the frosting, and then answered the question “would you want to eat this again?”

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Mini Avocado Toasts



While I will likely never reach the brunch heights effortlessly pulled off by my talented friends (check this birthday brunch spread that Lisa threw–complete with an utterly gorgeous crepe cake, personalized name tags and a gorgeous holiday tablescape!–or this mimosa bar by Erin!)…I enjoy them to the fullest extent.

img_9174img_9177img_9182Erin made these incredible mini avocado toast bites at a brunch hosted in her light-drenched loft–they were the perfect things to stave off hanger since I ran in late and made everyone wait for another 20 minutes for my eggs to bake–but also so incredibly easy to make and also totally festive!! It’s literally mini avocado toast. Smash avocado on crackers (specifically Mary’s Gone Cracker’s Everything flavor because that garlic/onion/seed combination is majorly tasty), salt and pepper, add cheese and then sprinkle on ALL THE POMEGRANATE ARILS! Instant holiday cheer like there’s no tomorrow!

img_9195img_9205img_9203Speaking of which, I am heading back to California VERY SOON to hang out with my family for the holidays! I’ve taken on the task of creating the family holiday card these days and went with Tiny Prints again this year for our card. I am SO excited to send these out–I love their tri-fold “year-in-review”-style cards because it meshes the styles of the photo card we used to send out with the newsletter we also used to send. If you still need holiday cards, I can’t recommend Tiny Prints enough. Their customer service is extraordinary and your card is pretty much guaranteed to look magazine-worthy!


This may be the healthiest holiday recipe I’ve ever posted and I will keep singing its praises even through the cookie currently in my mouth.

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Ugly Fruit Blondies

Does the following color combination appear oh-so-reminiscent of a recent holiday that may have involved fireworks, cookouts, and way too many chips consumed pool-side?

Ugly Fruit Blondies // The Pancake Princess

That’s because these blondies were definitely made TWICE for various Fourth of July celebrations, but I’m only getting around to posting them now because…life.

Ugly Fruit Blondies // The Pancake PrincessUgly Fruit Blondies // The Pancake PrincessI recently re-took various personality tests around the interwebs which revealed an interesting shift from my former middle-leaning-introverted tendencies of the Myers-Briggs scale to the extrovert-leaning side. Way back in the day, I took the real-deal test and scored INTJ, one of the rarest personality types and basically the ULTIMATE introvert profile. According to more recent (free internet) tests, I have solidly edged over to the extrovert side of the scale, which I found myself thinking “yeah, that could be right,” considering what a success story my Australia solo travel was.

But these past few weeks, man–definitely confirmed I’m still an introvert. I’ve had some kind of meeting or social engagement every single night after work and it’s exhausting. I want to curl up in my room, read the book that my roommate left in my doorway, and not speak to anyone for a week. I think that’s the definition of introversion. Though my extended period of extroversion was fun while it lasted!

So for the fourth, I riffed on Michelle’s rhubarb and white chocolate blondies with additional fruit for a red white and blue theme (the first batch with cherries, the second with pomegranates). Thhen, when gifted a few jars of Ugly Fruit applesauce, I used it in a second batch in place of some butter.

Ugly Fruit Blondies // The Pancake PrincessUgly Fruit Blondies // The Pancake PrincessBack in the day, I was a big fan of using things like applesauce and yogurt as a fat-replacer in baked goods. These days, I almost never substitute for fat in baked recipes since it almost always results in less satisfying goods that leave me wishing I’d just made the real deal. The applesauce, however, worked really well in these considering how fruity the toppings are anyway, simply resulting in a slightly firmer (instead of gooey-centered) blondie that still retains that buttery-sweet, salt-flecked flavor.

Ugly Fruit, by the way, is a company that uses blemished fruit that would otherwise be thrown away due to unsalable appearances that can’t make it through the high beauty standards of grocery stores. I’ve been seeing a lot of companies pop up lately that are attacking the issue of food waste from multiple angles and I LOVE IT. I think food waste and sustainability are incredibly important issues and it’s really great to see more people finding solutions to this rather gargantuan problem.

“Ugly Fruit is creating networks of farms, chefs, processors, and communities that are committed to tackling issues of access and nutrition and creating a food system that better allocates resources and provides healthier options accessible to all.”

^ How cool is that?? So to recap, make these blondies and go buy some really delicious small batch applesauce! If you’re on the East Coast, you can find Ugly Fruit applesauce in select stores in Connecticut, New York, and soon Boston (follow them on FacebookInstagramTwitter to stay updated on which stores carry it). If you’re not on the East Coast, you can buy it online and get it delivered to your door.

(Ps. I was given samples, but not compensated to write this post; I just really believe in this awesome product!)
Ugly Fruit Blondies // The Pancake Princess

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Chickpea Gingersnaps

gingersnap1Awhile back, I had the opportunity to develop some recipes for the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council. I was so excited to partner with them since I’m already fully in love with all things chickpea flour. This was my favorite recipe that I developed and I’ve had quite the time sitting on it–but now that holiday cooking baking seems in full swing, this seems like the perfect time to share it!

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Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Getting out of bed was soooo hard today.

Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip // The Pancake Princess

It’s getting down into the 30s and 40s (Houston, WHAT??), so I doubled up on my comforters and wore sweats to bed and now I remember why I slept with two comforters all through high school. My favorite thing ever is getting under a heavy layer of blankets before going to sleep. So this morning I woke up all snug and comfy and my alarm was the only downside.

Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip // The Pancake Princess

On the other hand, I’m not complaining about the cold since I can now look for excuses to turn on the oven. Warm kitchen + baking = winter upside.

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