Claire’s Malted “Forever” Brownies

I sometimes go through phases where I wander down the seemingly never-ending rabbit hole known as YouTube. I recently came across a video by pastry chef extraordinaire, Claire Saffitz. She was whipping up a batch of her Malted “Forever” Brownies.  I clicked on the thumbnail purely for its entertainment value, and no intention of attempting them myself. As I listened to her expound on the process of developing this recipe, I considered how long it’d been since I tried my hand at brownies.

I’d long abandoned my pursuit of the perfect brownie, because my dear friend, Smalls’ brownies are a magnum opus, and far superior to any brownies I’ve ever made.

Brownies are a simple delight; an opportunity for chocolate to stand on its own and display its depth of flavor. They are at their best with a perfectly crackled top layer just above the dense, chewy confection with flecks of salt. Of all the raw doughs and batters deemed forbidden for consumption, brownie batter surpasses them all. There’s just something about that thickness of the batter with the grit of the granulated sugar amidst a spoonful of chocolate. Darn near irresistible!

After watching Claire, and engaging my inner dialogue, I decided I should take a crack at her recipe in case Smalls is too tied up to answer my distress call for brownies.  

Oh, and the brownies were pretty amazing! Make sure to chill them for an hour after they cool it’s key.

F&P Takes on Mexicanish Street Corn

Me: “What should I make?”

The Not So Little Littlest Sisters: “Mexican street corn!”

Me: “OK” *insert shoulder shrug*                 

We could never have imagined the battle that would ensue. Sure and certain of its simplicity, we walked into the stadium as if the battle were already won. We were holding steady, until it came time to skewer the corn. “Nothing to it!” or so we thought.

With our skewers at the ready, we went in for the strike. Alas, the corn cob proved tougher than we thought. One of the Not So Little Littlest Sisters went for it again, nearly losing the corn as it deflected her jab. There wasn’t much at stake so with persistence, we overtook the cobs in the end.

They proved no match for our “skewers”. Our skewers were in fact discarded chopsticks, and not an ideal choice. With great ingenuity and skill, we managed to skewer our cobs beautifully. It was a battle for the ages and for the books, but I encourage you to come prepared with the appropriate weapons. Otherwise, you may not be as fortunate.

Recipe for Mexican Street Corn
– Corn cobs, halved
– Lime Juice
– Lime Zest
– Sour Cream
– Mayonnaise
– Cotija cheese
– Cilantro, fresh
– Paprika
– Skewers (real ones)

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and place the cobs in the skillet to heat and brown it a little, turning as appropriate.

In a bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, sour cream, and mayo. Smear it all over the corn. Crumble the cotija over the corn, cover with paprika to your desired preference and top with some roughly chopped fresh cilantro.

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Not much to say here. This speaks for itself. Few ingredients yet flavorful. You can do anything with these. I’ve made sweet and savory ones.

Toss on a salad, in a curry or as a snack. This is perfect for an avid muncher like me because it isn’t doing any damage that a chocolate chip cookie would. 😉

  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Oil

Mix in a bowl and place on a pan in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.

Candied Pecans

A quick, simple way to satisfy a sweet tooth. The combination of spice and toasted flavors accompany the sweetness perfectly on these pecans. I lean on these when I am trying to do right but honestly, they are good in general. And on ice cream?! I digress.

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 oz pecan halves
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine the sugar, salt and cinnamon, then set aside.  Whisk the egg whites until they are a little frothy and bubbly. Add the water and vanilla to the beaten egg whites, then add in the pecans until all the nuts are coated in the egg white mix.

Next, pour in sugar mixture and stir until all pecans are coated. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put into a 400ᴼ oven, and. bake for 20 minutes, flipping the nuts halfway through to ensure even baking on both sides.

Remove from oven and cool completely.  You’ll have a sweet and crunchy snack to enjoy.


I am frugal; NOT cheap. However every blue moon, less frequently really, I succumb to a splurgey weakness. I was inspired by Claire Saffitz’s Bon Appetit show, Gourmet Makes. She challenged herself to upgrade the classic Kit Kat candy bar and to make this happen, she ordered a waffle cone maker. This inspired me to attempt my own “gourmet make” of Little Debbie’s Nutty Buddy. They came out pretty good, but they were labor intensive.

Alas, my waffle cone maker sat in its box, collecting dust. I decided it was high time I use that waste of space and money and so began thinking of possible recipes for it. I couldn’t tell you how Stroopwafels came to mind, but they did, and I had no idea where to start. I researched, found a recipe and tweaked the filling. They were delicious.

Recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bake

  • 4 1/4 cups/500 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup/250 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups/226g granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup/ 60 ml lukewarm almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ c honey
  • ½ c local cane syrup
  • ¼ c sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


In a bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, yeast, milk and egg. Knead together until you have a smooth, consistent dough. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place to for 40 minutes (doesn’t rise much but that little lift helps later on).


Heat the cane syrup, honey, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a bubble. When the mixture thickens slightly and the sugar is melted, remove it from the heat.

Heat up waffle cone maker. Knead dough and shape into balls about 2 tbsp. each in size. Place the dough in the center of the cone maker and push down slightly until golden brown. Quickly remove the waffle from the maker. Have your cookie cutter ready and a knife to slice in half.

Side Note: I wasted nearly half of my dough trying to slice the hot waffles as they came out of the maker. I found it much more manageable when I used 2” and 3” biscuit cutters and followed up with the knife. It’s a little difficult because the waffles are hot, but still manageable.

 Repeat with each dough ball.


Put a ½ or 1 tablespoon of filling, depending on the size of the cut out and sandwich the waffle sides.