Krumkake

Krumkake stamped cookies on a wire cooling rack

These krumkake are the pressed cookies I made on the Nordic Treats episode of Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network! In this episode I pay tribute to my Nordic heritage by preparing Swedish cream and krumkake, and visiting a ladies’ church group for a lesson in making the traditional Norwegian flatbread, lefse. I also make sour cherry streusel bars, because if you go to a gathering in Minnesota, you must bring something to share! For those asking, here is a link to the krumkake iron we used in the show!

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Birthday Desserts

Sprinkle cake on a cake stand from Zoë François's cookbook, Zoë Bakes Cakes, one of many perfect birthday desserts!
Sprinkle Cake from my book Zoë Bakes Cakes!

Happy Birthday! If you’re reading this you’re on the hunt for birthday desserts, which means it’s somebody’s birthday. I love choosing birthday treats because you can make anything that the birthday celebrant loves. Sure, you’ll find a bunch of cake recipes below, since it’s the faithful symbol of birthdays, but you don’t have to stick to cakes. You’ll also find some bars and brownies on my list, which are great for parties and offer fun ways to play with flavors. If you are looking for cakes, check out my book, Zoë Bakes Cakes for a comprehensive guide, or find a few of my favorite cake recipes below.

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Coconut Macaroon Brownies

Coconut Macaroon Brownies \ Zoë Bakes photo by Zoë François

These coconut macaroon brownies are a delicious collision of two of my absolute favorite treats. They are the brilliant marriage of chewy coconut macaroons and the fudgiest brownies you will ever eat and we have Jake Cohen’s new book, Jew-ish, to thank. I grew up eating coconut macaroons at Jewish holidays and they were typically out of a box, that felt like it had surpassed its “Best By” date some decades earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved them, but they had very little in the way of flavor or texture, they were just sweet and as a hippie kid, that was enough. As I got older, they failed to excite me and I learned just how easy and delightful a homemade macaroon was. At about the same time, I started making Ina Garten’s outrageous brownie recipe and I realized, in a profound way, just how much I needed chocolate in my life. But, those two recipes never found themselves stacked together in a pan and baked as one. That is what Jake did and it is a stroke of genius.

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Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze | Zoë Bakes

Everyone should have a great sugar cookie dough (or two) in their kitchen arsenal. The perfect sugar cookie bakes up crisp, sweet and able to handle a bit of icing without getting soggy. I’ve baked dozens over the years and Sarah Kieffer’s Olive Oil Sugar Cookie is one of my favorites, along with her Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe, both you can find in her best selling 100 Cookies book. It’s also where you’ll find her famous Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies and the amazing Peanut Butter Marshmallow Swirl Brownies (amazing!!!)! This is a must have book. You can watch my son, Henri and I make these Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze from Sarah’s book on his YouTube Channel “Baking with my Mother!”

100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer
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Tips for Baking the Best Cookies

A stack of chocolate chip cookies for ice cream sandwiches | ZoëBakes

As I write this guide, it is early December, also known as “official cookie season.” There is no wrong way to make holiday cookies, and every style of cookie should be on the table (literally and figuratively). However, the joy of baking the best cookies isn’t reserved for the holidays. Every gathering is made a little better by a giant platter of cookies, and nothing satisfies a crowd like the classic dessert. Plus, making cookies from scratch is fun. So whether you’re baking non-stop for the holiday season, or preparing for a summer barbecue, this guide on how to make cookies will help you come up with ideas and tricks to perfect your cookies. Plus I include some of my favorite recipes.

Want to know to really take your cookies up a notch? Make your own homemade vanilla.

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan Too)

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies | ZoeBakes photo by Zoe Francois

It’s the perfect time for comfort food and these Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies from Stephanie Meyer’s The 30-Minute Paleo Cookbook are the ultimate snack to satisfy. They are super decadent and rich with flavor because they are made with almond butter. The cookies, like everything Stephanie creates, is gluten-free, in fact, these have NO flour at all and can also be made vegan. Stephanie is a friend, a sista blogger and the master at batch cooking healthy meals. She is one of the most spectacular home cooks I know, and her recipes are always absolutely delicious. The recipes in the book just happen to be Paleo, so if you have dietary restrictions all of her recipes will work in your daily meal planning. 

Stephanie’s over-arching goal is to help people transform their health by cooking real food at home. Amen! The 30-Minute Paleo Cookbook is a great introduction to experimenting with fresh-food cooking and seeing how doable and delicious it is. Her Project Vibrancy Meals meal plans are a mapped-out system for making that happen most days of the week. The plans include menus, shopping lists, simple recipes, clean-up and storage instructions, and a community of supportive and knowledgeable people. I am a baker and not a cook, so her meal plans help me get actual food on the table, so my family has more than cake, pie, cookies, and bread! 😉

Find out more about her Project Vibrancy Meals This is the perfect time to be cooking great food for your family.

Here’s a link to give her Project Vibrancy Meals meal plan for FREE

One of the things my family likes most about her meal plans are the sauces she makes, so I’m so excited she created a book of just her Kickass Condiments: 20+ Little Recipes That Change Everything.

Stephanie kindly shared the recipe for her Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (you can also make them vegan) recipe below and I have a video of making the cookies on my @zoebakes Instagram account. 

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies | ZoeBakes photo by Zoe Francois Read More