Pyzy Come, Pyzy Go

In addition to the Milk Bar(ish) cake, for my son’s birthday dinner we made pierogies, and one of my favorite cabbage recipes (and those recipes are forthcoming, I promise). We had also planned to make pyzy, which are a kind of dumpling with a potato dough and usually a meat filling. Unfortunately for us, they completely disintegrated in the hot water. Fortunately for us, the strained mashed potatoes with meat, mixed with the shallots fried in butter that were going to be the sauce for the pyzy, were honestly really good. So much so that, while I do intend to try making pyzy again with a different recipe, I’m also considering trying to make the failed pyzy again on purpose.

Alas, poor pyzy

My brother is a chef, and one time he had to fill in for the pastry chef while she went on leave. Macarons were on the menu, and he asked her for advice on how to make the finicky cookies all come out looking good. Her secret? “Buy a lot of extra almond flour.” Cooking can be unpredictable, and sometimes things just don’t turn out, even if you’ve got a lot of experience. If you’re lucky, you might create something new, or at least salvage dinner. If you’re not, and the only thing you made was a mess, then hopefully you learned a little, or have a funny story to tell on your blog. Look, if the popularity of BA’s Gourmet Makes teaches us anything, it’s that people love a good kitchen disaster, so I hope you enjoy mine.


One of my New Year’s resolutions was to make more cookies. It came about because I made the usual epic amount of cookies for the holidays, and some of them were really fantastic, but the sheer over-abundance made it difficult to appreciate them individually. Cookies have a really great time-commitment-to-happiness ratio as far as desserts go (the way I make them, anyway; there are some insanely complicated cookie recipes out there, and then there’s all the fancy icing stuff…), and I guess I wanted more of that spread throughout the year.

Plates of holiday cookies
so many cookies

Then this spring my daughter was going through kind of a rough patch, and, when I asked her how I could support her, she requested cookies. Specifically, some Nutella-stuffed cookies from the Delish cookbook. I was happy to oblige, and happier to learn that my baking skills might contribute to making her day a little brighter, but the cookies were a production. I mean, the hazelnut-cocoa-spread-from-Whole-Foods-filling was tasty, but the cookie surrounding it was kind of plain, and stuffing them was a whole thing. By the time they were finished, I was inspired to try and come up with a chocolate hazelnut cookie in the style of a Milk Bar cookie, and after some planning, and some ordering of exotic ingredients from Amazon, I got to work.

And here is where I wish I had a finished cookie recipe to give to you, for this, my first real post, but it turns out we are still in the testing phase of this plan.

chocolate hazelnut cookies
these gigantic cookies will devour us all

My friends, that is a wide-mouth jar lid for scale. The smaller cookie, baked on a chilled cookie sheet, is pretty close to what I’m looking for, but it still needs some work. How do they taste? Oh, fantastic. Maybe needs a little more hazelnut. But they spread like, well, obviously, and they released a bit too much fat on baking. I think less butter and sugar, and a bit more flour, maybe some chopped up hazelnuts, and we’ll be good to go.

So instead of a recipe, this is a lesson being patient with yourself, and allowing yourself to take risks, and make mistakes. It’s a lesson for me, mostly, but maybe you need to hear it too?

Anyway, welcome to the blog, and I hope you stick around, because I promise those finished cookies are going to be amazing when I’m done.