Peanut Butter &... Ice Cream

It's National Peanut Butter Cookie Day today and I can think of no better way to celebrate it and these warm summer days than by making one of my all-time faves: the ice cream sandwich. (Eaten outside, picnic-style... What kind of frozen summer treat would it be if the ice cream weren't melting all over my fingers?)

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Roses Are Red Velvet

By the Way Bakery, a completely gluten- and dairy-free bakery recently opened its doors in Greenwich. (It turns out they already had three locations in New York, but I'm absolutely thrilled they ventured out to the 'burbs of Connecticut and opened up a local shop.) Though my diet is not dairy-free, the artisans here have definitely broadened their potential customer base as it's a common issue, especially among those who can't tolerate gluten. More importantly, I couldn't taste the difference...

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Pumpkin Clouds

I was searching for the perfect pumpkin bread recipe a few years ago and was instead lured by cookie recipes everywhere tempting me with the words "melt in your mouth". I opted out of my original idea, and justified this with my unceasing notion that not much beats a freshly baked cookie. I adapted a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens: half the granulated sugar so the (optional) addition of frosting doesn't make it sicky-sweet, filling in with brown sugar for a warmer, richer sweetness. I added ginger to mimic my grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe, and made a standard cream cheese frosting.

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