I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to write this post. It's a blustery day here in Boston (oh, by the way, I moved — I haven't posted in about a year, so just filling you in....reader), and I just got back after a long visit back home for Thanksgiving where I made the most amazing chocolate chip cookies.
To send it back several months, I moved into a new apartment with an oven that has seen better days, so, of course, I wanted to break it in with a couple chocolate chip cookie recipes. My mom and I have been taking chocolate chip recipes around the block for YEARS (mainly her, but I have witnessed this), and just hadn't really landed on one that met the necessary qualifications: crispy edges, salty/sweet balance, gooey inside, taller structure, and TASTY AF.
Long story short, I have tried an insane amount of recipes and felt like a failure — too floury, rock solid, too oaty, not enough flavor, takes too much time, etc. BUT THEN, my mom informed me that one of my favorite Instagram food bloggers @hipfoodiemom1 had posted a riff off of Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Table's chocolate chip cookie recipe. So, like the obedient daughter I am, I whipped up a batch of these babies and BY GOLLY, they were amazing.
I made another batch after coming back to the North with a few edits of my own to riff off the actual riff off of the OG. Note that the butter is salted as well. Most people purchase unsalted butter, but trust me, salted butter is necessary. It's cookie season y'all!
The Hip Foodie Mom, Magnolia Cookbook, Tiny Crumbs Love Child Chocolate Chip Cookie
Makes roughly dozen cookies | Serving size: ALL
*Tip: Add chocolate chips to the top of each cookie dough ball before placing in the oven, then slam the tray on the counter to achieve the "chocolate pool" method.
Okay so they began as lemon bars...
...and then I felt like bars were too simple. Too EASY. Anyone could make a bar! This is EASTER! I have to make this a showstopper!
So I just used the same recipe and put them in a different pan...and BAM. Honestly, it just felt more like a complete, holiday dessert than a backyard treat for the kiddos. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but when someone pulls out a circular glory treat out of the ole kitchen, I'm all in.
Long story short. Happy Easter! We had a simple dinner, so I wanted something light that would compliment that as well. We have massive citrus trees that have a lot of fruit in the winter/spring, so our lemon tree was just begging to be plucked for this very day. I made them a few months ago with oranges, which were incredible; they were definitely more sweet than tart, but I'm super interested in making them with grapefruit to get that rich pink color....will update...if there are updates, if that ever happens.
Anywho, as some of you know, I just completed Whole30, so I decided to make a normal (dairy-free) lemon tart for everyone and a gluten-free, refined sugar-free one for myself. Ultimately, the GF/DF one came out more like a lemon-coconut caramel tart but, hey, we live and we learn and I still ate half of it, so that's success if I ever saw one.
I'll put up both recipes if you're interested, but fair warning, the GF/DF tart will come out brown only because the coconut sugar is brown, so the yellow of the lemon does not shine through as much as with the white flour and white sugar combo. I'm adding a picture of the GF/DF one to the VERY BOTTOM because it's not as pretty as the one with normal flour, but #realtalk it was still bomb.
Note to reader: I'm aware that it is Easter, so I'm sorry I did not make a "rising dessert" to fit the occasion.
*To make gluten-free/refined sugar-free, substitute:
Bringing a little slice of California to the Northeast with a "put an egg on it" kind of mentality.