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archive for December 9th, 2012

gettin’ real

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Recipe: homemade orange milano cookies

It snowed this weekend. It.Finally.Snowed. I don’t mean a dusting of white stuff either, because when I say snow I mean “skiable” snow. At first it came down in big fluffy flakes all day Friday.


at first kaweah didn’t notice

then it started to accumulate on her schnoz

sniffing the air – winter is here!



There were some strong winds blowing which sent most of the snow into the next county for a couple of days. But Sunday morning we woke to a familiar glow through our windows – the glow of freshly fallen snow covering everything. It was 8°F and completely calm. Magical conditions. The snow was feathery and dry. I’ve been waiting since September (okay, really since May) to feel the familiar glide of skis on snow under my feet. I am recharged.

perfect snow

ski touring our local mountains



Two summers ago, Jeremy and I were in Washington state to visit with good people and backpack in Olympic National Park. We enjoyed an amazing lunch at Sitka and Spruce with my friend, Lara Ferroni. She told us about a book she was working on – making all of those favorite snacky junk foods of our youth from scratch without all of the junk. I told her I would love to see a copy when she was finished.

my review copy arrived in the post a few months ago courtesy of sasquatch books



Lara’s book was a traipse through my childhood memories of Twinkies, Chocolate Cupcakes, Ding Dongs, Oreos, Doritos, Goldfish crackers, Hot Pockets, potato chips, tater tots, and so much more. She manages all of these with normal ingredients and without preservatives, artificial colorings, or artificial flavors. In addition to the healthier recipes for these snacks, she provides gluten-free, as well as vegan, versions. At the back of the book she includes recipes for some basic pantry staples like confectioner’s sugar, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow crème, and even sprinkles! I let Jeremy choose the recipe to make, since he was going to be eating them. He went with the Chocolate and Orange Wafers (aka orange milanos).

flours, powdered sugar, chocolate, salt, baking powder, butter, eggs, cream, orange (zest), vanilla extract

zest and juice the orange

sift the flours, salt, and baking powder



Lara gives lots of options on ingredients like white whole wheat flour, spelt flour, ground millet, all-purpose flour, and cake flour. I went with what I had on hand at the time (all-purpose and cake flours) for the cookies, but there is a good deal of flexibility so you can experiment with healthier mixes.

beat the powdered sugar and butter together

adding egg whites

beating in the orange juice

add the dry mix, beating until just combined



**Jump for more butter**