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March 29, 2012

Recipe for chocolate cake in a mug

Chocolate-cake-in-a-mug-spoonful

On one of those days when silly little things were going wrong -- the bank machine was out of cash, and the office where I need to get my dump sticker was closed at 11 a.m. for no reason at all -- I absolutely, positively needed chocolate to restore my equilibrium. With no stash of candy or brownies in the house, I pulled out a recipe I've been saving for months from Ingredient, a cooking magazine for children. Chocolate cake in a mug (or an old glass measuring cup), made in less than two minutes. Almost like a brownie, the cake, kicked up from the original recipe with grown-up pantry items (walnuts, cinnamon, crystallized ginger, sea salt), delivered nearly instant gratification. The dump sticker could wait.

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March 20, 2012

Recipe for brown sugar and walnut puff pastry swirls

Brown-sugar-and-walnut-puff-pastry-swirls

Wrap the most humble pantry ingredients in a sheet of puff pastry, and what comes out of the oven will look as glamorous as a movie star. And if, like me, you don't make your puff pastry from scratch, the most difficult part of creating a great dessert will be waiting for the pastry to defrost. My husband Ted and I raided the pantry one Sunday afternoon to put together a filling for these flaky brown sugar and walnut puff pastry swirls. A bit of lemon zest balances the sweetness, and if you have almonds or pecans in your freezer, go and ahead substitute for the walnuts. Figure on two or three per person. Really fun to make with kids, these sweet puff pastries are dressy enough for any dinner party, yet easy enough for weeknight treats, too.

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January 26, 2012

Recipe for cardamom-brown sugar snickerdoodles cookies

Cardamom-brown-sugar-snickerdoodles-cookies

What I love about snickerdoodles: even if you're not a baker, and I am not, you always have all of the ingredients you need to bake these cookies right in your pantry. Cream of tartar might not be in constant rotation, but you know you have it somewhere in the rear of your spice rack, and even if it's almost ancient, like mine, it will give these cookies the bit of puff they need. The cardamom in this recipe lends the cookies a grown-up air, but kids will love them, too. We sprinkled ours with a pinch of extra cardamom after they came out of the oven. If you like your cookies sweeter, top the cookies before baking with demerara or another large-crystal sugar.

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December 18, 2011

Chocolate chocolate chip waffles recipe

Chocolate-chocolate-chip-waffles

Chelsea, Alex and I dubbed these waffle brownies when we took our first bites during Wafflepalooza, and I promise that when you taste these chocolate chocolate chip waffles, you'll understand. I'm a coffee-with-waffles girl, as a rule, but these waffles beg for a glass of cold milk, just like the very best brownies. For all the chocolate chips and cocoa powder, the waffles aren't as dense as you'd expect. In fact, they're almost fluffy. In our house, these are "special occasion" breakfast waffles, the kind my husband Ted might make on Christmas morning. They also make a fine (and fun) dessert, with a drizzle of raspberry sauce on top. You can make them ahead, freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan, then pack into ziploc bags; to serve, simply pop them in the toaster.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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