"Search" by Hester Knibbe + Einkorn Oatmeal Cookies

Einkorn Chocolate Oat Cookies

Can you think of a scenario when cookies do not provide comfort? I cannot.

Cookies are simple yet complex, nuanced with echoes of vanilla or spice. They are tender and chewy, yet firm around the edges. They can be singular. One can make us whole again. If one cookie is not enough, there are others. It's how they are made.

Cookies have also changed. While my heart still holds true to the classic chocolate chip variety, my baking has shifted over the years, incorporating more whole grain flours, healthier fats, and less sugar, so naturally the variety of cookies I consume has changed as well. And not only me. As a nation, as a family, as food bloggers, there has been a collective awakening about food in recent years that I've enjoyed being part of. 

Especially around this time of year, we're looking for foods to be more wholesome. It doesn't mean we don't indulge now and again, but there are solid alternatives when a craving strikes. Like these cookies from Tim and Shanna's debut, The Einkorn Flour Cookbook

Our entire relationship was made possible by the internet, I should note. I reluctantly joined Twitter when a friend (the same friend who encouraged me to start blogging) said at the very least I should create an account and claim my name before someone else does. Fair enough. That was February 2010. In the months that followed I, also reluctantly, began sharing posts and replying to tweets of bloggers I admired. Over a long period of time (we're talking years, not days or weeks), I even became friends with some of them.

That's how many of us food bloggers got to know each other at first. It was an easy way to have a short conversation or say hello without screaming "be friends with me!" in an obnoxious fan kind of way. Shanna was one of those people. Tweets turned to reading each other's blogs. Reading turned to emails. Emails turned to one crisp afternoon in Chicago when we finally met face to face (along with her husband Tim, Erin, and Alex and Sonja, too!). So now we're real life friends, which is the best. I love that about the food blog community.

So you can imagine my delight when this cookbook arrived at my door. And after I'd read through it, made my notes, and ordered a bag of einkorn flour, I settled on cookies. And when I took a bite, standing alone in the kitchen gazing out at the trees beyond my kitchen window, I sensed a poem should be found and the search began. It's title then, is entirely appropriate. 




Wandered tonight through a city
as ruined as a body with broken
ribs and a bared heart. Looked for you 

there with cookies in my pocket, searched 
for a sigh, for movement in demolished 
streets and alleys. Tonight

since I’d forgotten for a moment where you are,
I searched for you with hope in my bones.
But no matter how I lured you with my voice
and my eyes, walls of debris 

grew up steadily around you, cellars seemed
to creep around you. I remained alone
with those cookies in my pocket
and kept calling and walking.

Source: Poetry (May 2010).

Einkorn Chocolate Oat Cookies

In this poem we return to comfort. The cookies in the speaker's pocket are desperately needed on a cold night when she is wandering through a ruined city. A war? An earthquake? A relationship broken into pieces? We might never know, but the cookies are symbolic enough to trigger memories in each of us. Whether we're sitting around our childhood table dunking cookies in milk, smearing rounds with ice cream, breaking a off a warm piece to share with our spouse, or walking around a deserted city with crumbs in our pockets, cookies lead us home.

Einkorn Chocolate Oat Cookies


Einkorn was new to me until Tim and Shanna introduced it on their blog Food Loves Writing. Although I don't have gluten sensitivities, I do appreciate having a variety of flours to call on in my baking. 

These cookies bake up thin, crisp on the outside where the edges turn a bit golden, and tender in the middle. The hint of coconut reminds me faintly of one of my favorite girl scout cookies, Samosas, but far more healthful. The chocolate adds a nice decadence, too. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Tim and Shanna Mallon, The Einkorn Cookbook

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup cane sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose einkorn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to sir together all ingredients except the oats and chocolate, until well mixed. Finally, add the oats and chocolate and stir until just combined.

Drop dough by the spoonful onto prepared baking sheets, leaving at least an inch between cookies (they will spread). Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm and golden.

Makes 20 cookies

Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook GIVEAWAY + Amy's Ginger Cookies

The word potluck conjures up different images for different people, but some of the usual trappings are never far away: Grandma's potato salad, church functions on the lawn, neighborhood parties in the park, and not always (but sometimes), an excessive use of mayonnaise.

It's time we give the potluck a modern twist. A new cookbook was just released that will help you embrace community cooking in a whole new way this summer (and any time of year, really). Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook by Nancy Vienneau is a breath of fresh air, and I'm excited to be able to share it with you! 

Amy's Ginger Cookies
Amy's Ginger Cookies

It all started when two friends in Nashville, Nancy Vienneau and Gigi Gaskins, met at a local summit on food security. Instant friends, they had an idea to host a once-a-month gathering that became "a potluck like no other." 

The rules are simple. Dishes aren't assigned, RSVPs aren't collected, and the whole thing feels casual and relaxing. In reading through the cookbook, I loved the story of the very first potluck. It was like the first day of school, a mix of excitement and nerves. 

Beginnings, by nature, are uncertain. In preparing for our first community potluck, our thoughts occasionally gravitated to worry. Will we have enough food? Will people like it? Will anybody come? Those concerns are natural, but run contrary to the joy and purpose of the gathering.

The collection of stories speaks to the splendor of gathering in any season, and the personal recipes like Maggie's Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles, Caroline's Warm Eggplant Salad, Mark's Fifteen-Spice Steak Rub, or Amy's Ginger Cookies (below), will provide inspiration for all your gatherings to come.

Amy's Ginger Cookies from Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook


What do you bring when you're invited to a picnic, potluck, or summer barbeque? To enter the giveaway for a copy of the Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook, leave a comment sharing your favorite potluck foods before Friday, June 20th. (Winners in US and Canada only.)


Since I wasn't making ice cream sandwiches (although a smear of lemon ice cream would be divine), I halved the recipe, making about 12-15 cookies.

Recipe slightly adapted from Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook by Nancy Vienneau

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup tubrinado sugar
1/4 cup molassas
1 large egg

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper together. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, 1 cup sugar, and molasses together until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place remaining sugar in a small bowl. Scoop up rounds of dough and shape into a ball. Roll each ball in the sugar and place on the baking sheets, slightly flattening. Leave 2 inches between each cookie. Bake on the middle rack for 12 minutes.


ETP Contest, Second Place: "Translation" by MariJean Sanders + Pumpkin Snickerdoodles


Sometimes it's better to bake a cookie than to have a long, drawn out conversation. Sometimes we need a spoonful of chocolate chip cookie batter to set things right. Sometimes we cook when we don't know what else to say, or when we've already said what we can.  We cook to satisfy our bellies and our emotional hungers. Simply put, cooking is a language of love. 

This sentiment is reflected beautifully in this poem by ETP's second place winner, MariJean Sanders. You feel the struggle in the poem. A struggle of the heart, twisting this way and that, yearning to express itself, and what comes out is not a soothing word, but a plate of cookies that says I love you.


by MariJean Sanders

You should know
we resort to cookies
when we run out of words.
when saying is too sharp
or too incoherent -
here have some
extra-stuffed chocolate chip, pumpkin-buttermilk
seven layer snickerdoodle
(yes let’s fill you up with too much sweet -
as if you really need it-)
it’s maternal instinct, maybe.
Or perhaps we just fail at loving,
and all we’ve got to hide behind now, our
last language
is coded for your tastebuds, masterpiece-by-the-dozen
(maybe you missed it)


allow me to translate.

cookies mean 

I love you
cookies mean I need a hug
cookies mean I just wish you would
say I’m beautiful or
tell your friends that I’m Pretty Much the Best
cookies mean please don’t leave
because I feel at home when you’re around,
I’m so very proud of you

you can do it I know you can and
I want you to know so badly that
I’m afraid to tell you
out loud

We stir it all in
with the butter and vanilla
and hope


Q&A With MariJean

MariJean Saunders.jpg

What struck me first about "Translation" was how relatable it was. Has food always been a language of love for you?

Yes! I grew up with family dinner as a central part of the day, and gathering around the table with family or friends are some of my best memories. Particularly after a hard day’s work. Nothing draws people together like working hard together and then sitting down for a meal afterwards.

Also I am drawn to anything that piques the five senses, and food has a special monopoly - sitting down to eat is one of the only things that utilizes sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.  And since eating also happens to be necessary to sustain life, a well-done dish is a wonderful example of making the most of what you have, transforming something potentially mundane into a masterpiece.

Tell us a bit about the genesis of the poem and what compelled you to write it.

I ran for my college’s small cross country and track team, where often the entire team would go to the cafeteria together for dinner after practice. Since it was such a small team, often the guys and girls would train together as well. Therefore, I developed relationships with both the guys and the girls on the team. I started to notice that girls could compliment and affirm each other verbally, whereas that didn't work so well with the guys. For instance, I could tell my girls “I’m so proud of you” after a great race – but those words wouldn't communicate what I meant as effectively with the guys – they were too afraid of anything that smacked of sentiment! Baking them cookies always seemed to get the message across, though.

The poem is a sort of universal confession from women to men they care about (though not all women and men will communicate exactly alike!) – when we get frustrated with the sometimes vast gulf of communication that exists between the sexes, it isn't words, but food, that can occasionally bridge the gap.  Which is a bit magical, I think.

Besides chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles, what's your favorite thing to cook?

Pie is definitely my specialty. This summer I think I averaged one pie a week. My two latest pies were a pie baked into a cake (a piecaken) and a pie shaped like a pirate ship. I enjoy experimenting and making anything from as 'scratch' as it gets (I even butchered a turkey once), and I love recreating recipes from my favorite stories.  I could also make and eat any kind of soup or pesto every single day. 

Download the anthology to read the rest of MariJean's interview. 


Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Michael Rhulman

4 tablespoons butter, browned
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt

Cinnamon Sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

When the butter has cooled slightly, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the sugars and pumpkin. Mix on medium speed until well incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Gently add the dry ingredients and mix until juts combined; dough will be slightly sticky. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then drop heaping tablespoons of dough into the bowl and roll around to coat before rolling between your palms to make a uniform circle. Chilled dough will be easier to work with, but will still be a bit sticky, so rolling the dough in the cinnamon sugar first will make it easier to rub between your palms. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until edges are golden.