I guess by now you know I'm absolutely crazy about Allsorts candies. I used them as a colorful topping for this cake when I celebrated my first year of blogging, and then recently on top of these mini cakes. I love their stripey graphic appeal and they're so full of happy color, I feel I should designate them as the new Sprinkle Bakes mascot.

I came up with the idea for these sugar cookies when I was developing an all-in-one cookie dough recipe for an upcoming holiday project. I started playing around with layering techniques and ended up with a stacked, stripey, slice-and-bake chocolate and vanilla dough.  Just a trim here and a slice there - voila!  An Allsorts twin!

These are pretty simple to make, and most of the real labor is in dividing and coloring the dough. At the end you'll probably have 12+ dozen bite-size cookies. That sounds like a lot but since the cookies are so small they don't take too much time to bake. You can also fit about 50 on a standard baking sheet.

My friend Christen and I recently went blackberry picking on a sweltering summer day. We made the best of it though, finding shade where we could and admiring ancient-looking trees on Beauchene's Berry Farm. It's a beautiful piece of land that's just a stone's throw from my house. They have neatly groomed rows of vines and that makes for the easiest pickin'!

I love to make cobbler with freshly foraged berries (second only to muffins). My favorite way to serve cobbler is in individual portions, baked in little heat-proof mugs with buttermilk drop biscuits for crust.

I recently received the book The Elements of Dessertas a birthday gift, and I've found it to be a goldmine of inspiration. At first glance I knew the recipes would be aspirational for the home baker. There are formulas and techniques therein that I  may never use, (remember my feelings re: molecular gastronomy?) but the desserts are so utterly gorgeous, so playful. It made me seek out answers to new questions (pre-desserts? anhydrous butter? douglas fir milk?) and better, it made me want to reach for something outside my comfort zone.

One thing used throughout the book is chocolate texture spray. Professional pastry chefs use this mix of cocoa butter, chocolate and pigment to create the most beautiful velvety texture on confections. I fell in love. I had to try it, but alas, during my research and forum-stalking I decided that I wasn't quite ready to commit to buying a paint sprayer and air compressor for the task. 

Today my honey and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage! It's hard to believe that a decade has passed since I married my polar opposite, but somehow this life we've made together works.

Over the years I've learned to appreciate his laser focus on safety and practical footwear. He's learned to accept my cookbook sprawl and turbulence in the kitchen. While there are some things we'll never agree on (best to-go coffee, keychain flotsam [I collect, he hates], who loves our dogs more) there are some very strong and present alikes that keep our hearts tied together.

One of those things - cookies. We both agree they're super important for a happy marriage. His favorite cookie in all the land is homemade oatmeal-chocolate chip, so this post is for him.


Since I'm all about getting creative with cookie add-ins, I made these two ways. My version has cashews, soft caramel and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Mark sampling my souped-up version. He's usually such a purist, but he loves the cashew-caramel version, too!

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