Sunday, August 17, 2014

Semolina Shortbread Sandwich Cookies... with Caramel!

I have a recipe today for you, not just pictures of summer randomness!

A few weeks ago I went to this restaurant called Il Corvo. It is a tiny pasta restaurant that is open from 11am-3pm (or until they sell out of whatever fresh pastas made that day.) The menu changes daily, reflecting the mood of the chef. It is head to toe legitimate.

On this particular day, it was hot as hell outside. As we were leaving I told Jeff I wasn't even hungry and that I probably wouldn't eat much. I then proceeded to eat olives, fresh focaccia dipped in olive oil, thinly sliced prosciutto, pasta and a life-changing shortbread cookie. Famous last words.

If you are in the Seattle area go to Il Corvo. It was recommended to me by a few people and for good reason. The menu is small (three pastas choices and a handful of small appetizers to pick from) so do what we did and go in a group so you can get and try everything.

As I mentioned I had a life-changing shortbread cookie. It was two pieces of the crumbliest shortbread sandwiched together with a little bit of salted caramel. The texture is what got me... crumbly/melt-in-your-mouth buttery. I had to make it.

Meet canestrelli.

After trial, error and a little research I figured out the secrets to the shortbread of my dreams: semolina flour, corn starch and hard boiled egg yolks. Please keep reading! I was grossed out at the thought of hard boiled eggs in cookies too, but I am a believer now.

Canestrelli is shortbread made with hard boiled egg yolks in place of raw eggs. The yolks are pressed through a strainer/sieve which turns them into a fine powder. This powder gets mixed with semolina, all purpose flour, cornstarch, butter, a pinch of salt and powdered sugar- fairly ordinary ingredients that come together to make outrageous cookies.

Make these! Or go to Il Corvo! Or better yet, do both.

Il Corvo
217 James St, Seattle, WA 98104

Semolina Shortbread Sandwich Cookies (Canestrelli) 
recipe inspired by Il Corvo and
yields just over 1 dozen sandwich cookies

6 1/2 oz butter, room temperature
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c AP flour
1/2 c semolina flour
3/4 c corn starch
3 egg yolks, hard boiled and cooled completely
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
a  half batch of this caramel, for sandwiching (I suggest making the caramel the day before baking the cookies... once it is cooked to 230F, strain it into a clean bowl and allow it cool completely before covering with plastic wrap. You can refrigerate the caramel overnight, just bring it to room temperature before attempting to spread it on the cookies!)
- - -
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flours, corn starch and salt; set aside
2. Press egg yolks through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl and set aside (this will prevent any lumps in your cookies)
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy; add egg yolks and vanilla, mixing until just combined
4. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until just incorporated
5.  Sandwich dough between two pieces of plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour.
6. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 325F
7.  Roll the dough, still sandwiched between the two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper, to about a 1/2" thickness; cut out with a small (1 1/2") circular cookie cutter**
8. Press leftover scraps of dough into a disk between two pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before cutting more cookies
9.  Place cut cookies 2" apart on your prepared baking sheets and bake at 325F for 18-20 minutes (the edges/bottoms will brown slightly)
10. Cool completely before sandwiching with this caramel

**Traditional Canestrelli cookies are cut into a flower shape and dusted with powdered sugar once cooled, I used a different shape so that I could make mine into sandwich cookies

Monday, August 11, 2014

Seattle Street Food Festival Recap

The Seattle Street Food Festival happened this weekend, it was pretty much in our backyard so naturally we had to go. Cal Andersen park and a nearby street were turned into a home for restaurant/bakery pop-ups and food trucks. Some kind of wonderful.

If you were ever wondering how much fried food I can eat in an evening the answer is: a helluva lot. 

Cardamom and ginger donuts from Street Donuts

Flash fried Brussels sprouts at Evolution Revolution

Smokey grills

Hibiscus tea soda from Shenzen Tea

No words.

Fruit and veggies for balance at Fruit Chatter Box... I ate all the jicama.

Potatoes for days at Nosh. Hands down the best fried fish I have ever had + pea/mint magic on the side

Annnd, a fried PB&J (reminiscent of creme brulee and a Monte Cristo with a whole mess of peanut butter thrown into the mix.) Because we can. 

Add in a strong cup of coffee,a glass of wine and a (slightly disappointing) cheesesteak and you have my Friday night. 

Seattle Street Food Festival

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Pictures

There is a shortbread recipe coming at you soon... not today though. Today all I have to show is pictures of summer so far. Still good. Not as good as shortbread sandwich cookies, but still...

baseball games for days (and Charlie and his buddy running the bases)/ Goose & Little Man's favorite spots/ the "paper anniversary" meant cupcakes from the bakery that made our wedding cake and a legit paper football set-up/ a visit to the Japanese garden/ the water I've been sipping on/ evidence of my mustard obsession/ solo sushi & PB s'more/ remembering to look up

So far, so good!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Links & Such

I am sipping a gin and ginger while Jefe cooks dinner. It is an ideal "Sunday" night. Here are some things that have caught my eye lately, and also a question: why do weekends go by so fast???

This is happening on Friday... I can't wait!

Photo: Wondering what's good at this year's festival? If you love fish n' chips then you'll love NOSH's British take on this favorite. Catch them both days!

For my friend's wedding this fall, she wants cheesecake in shot glasses. Inspiration found here.

Patriotic Cheesecake Shots for July 4th | by Carrie Sellman for

These photos are great!


You had me at gin & prosecco.


Her pictures are magical.


How I Met Your Father... very cute.

How to (somewhat) distinguish between cobblers, crisps and crumbles

I am happy I found this guide for how long wine will last when uncorked. Very helpful.

How Long Will That Wine Last?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

"Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o'clock naps. And by nightfall were all like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but seemed longer."
                                                              -Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird

This quote sums up life right now. In my case "sweet talcum" is bread flour, but still, the quote applies.

I have been using the heat to my advantage lately by turning my apartment into a hot yoga studio. This is easily done because the apartment is technically a single room studio and it is effing hot inside. I'm making lemonade people. The other day, after yoga-ing, I made myself a blueberry muffin inspired smoothie. It was hands down the best decision I made all day.

How great is this mug?! I got it for Jeff because he loves monkeys. Until it is legal for us to get one as a pet, this mug will have to do.

This muffin-smoothie is made with (among other things) frozen blueberries, cinnamon, vanilla, honey and old fashioned oats. It is a winner and perfect for summer.


Blueberry Muffin Smoothie
makes 1

1/4 c milk
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
1/2- 3/4 c water (depending on how thick you want your smoothie)
3/4 c frozen blueberries
2 Tablespoons old fashioned oats
dash cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
1-2 Tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you want your smoothie)
a few ice cubes
- - -
1. Throw all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and drinkable
2. Pour into a tall glass, garnish with a few more frozen berries and enjoy with a straw