Shelley Hay Scanlon and Roy Harlan who works as an assistant pastry chef at Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering have been sharing their passion for food for three years. They are graciously sharing with all of us. is a place where two friends share their monthly explorations in the culinary world. Each month, she and he take turns choosing a theme that spotlights the season’s regional produce or simply a culinary theme. Our goal is to experiment and share our recipes with a community passionate about food. We hope all enjoy what she and he have grown to love and as always we do love feedback. She and he do need a we.

he said Chunky Hazelnut Meringues

I’m a meringue lover. I know that most people don’t really care for them, but I have come to terms with that. They are so easy to make, with most ingredients sitting in the fridge or in the pantry. Some egg whites, sugar and whatever you want to bring into the mix. I got this recipe from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich and was very happy with the outcome. I will say on a side note, they are quite good with some chocolate ice cream and cherry jam. Just sayn’.

Chunky Hazelnut Meringues via Alice Medrich
5 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 oz toasted and skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
3 large egg whites, room temp
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
4.625 oz sugar

Preheat oven to 300F, position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven
Set aside 1/5 of the chocolate and nuts to top the cookies
Combine the egg whites and cream of tarter in a dry clean mixer bowl.  Beat on medium high speed until the egg whites reach soft peaks.  Slowly add the sugar with the mixer going until you reach stiff peaks.  Use a rubber spatula and fold in nuts and chocolate
Drop or pipe the meringue on a lined sheet pan, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Top meringues with the reserved chocolate and nuts.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the meringues begin to turn golden.  Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back.  Turn the oven down to 200F and bake for another 1 1/2 hours.  Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in it to cool.  Let the cookies cool completely before using or storing.

she said Ginger Molasses Cookies

So as you might have guessed, I love experimenting in the kitchen, trying new recipes & cooking with new ingredients. But sometimes I just want to bake up a tried & true batch of cookies, you know? And use a recipe that I have made countless times before & always with scrumptious results, right? I started making these slightly-modified Ginger Molasses cookies from Martha Stewart when I was in college. They have been veganized from Martha’s original recipe. Do yourself a favor & bake a batch over the holidays. I promise they will be a recipe you go back to again & again

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg-replacer egg (I use Ener-G)
some granulated sugar, for rolling

1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves & salt.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar, & molasses until light & fluffy.
3. Beat in egg until smooth.
4. Gradually add flour mixture & beat until combined.
5. Wrap dough in plastic & flatten into a disc. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.
6. Preheat to 375 & line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Roll balls of dough, approximately 1 1/2 inches. Roll each in sugar, until fully coated. Place them 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet & refrigerate for 20 minutes.
8. Bake cookies for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on a wire rack.

he said Cardamom Walnut Sandies

Tis the season for cookies!  With the holidays in full bloom this month, what better theme than cookies.  I grew up with a mother that always had cookies in the house during the holidays and many to choose from to say the least.  Russian Tea Cakes were one of my personal favorites along with a few others that will be making a presence this season in my own house.  These sandies are light and buttery, so do make sure to use a good quality butter since it is the main flavor component.  Enjoy.

Cardamom Walnut Sandies
8 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups crushed toasted walnuts

Combine the butter and sugar, cream until light and fluffy.
Add the flour, salt, cardamom and walnuts, mix just till combined
Roll cookies into balls and press down with the palm of your hand.
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown.
Let cool, then dust with powdered sugar.