Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD: Dulce de Leche Duos (and my 1 year blogiversary!)

Look at this; it is Tuesday, and I'm actually posting the TWD treat on its appointed day & week!!! Miracles do happen...

So, today is my one year blogiversary... I had big plans... They didn't so much work out... Now I'm left with these horrible photos of some insanely delicious cookies - I can't wait until I get my camera back from being repaired!!!

I always had a lot of interests growing up, and not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty good at everything I tried, so I was always a little confused about what I should do when I grew up. Through the confusion, however, there was always one thing I could unequivocally tell you I would never be: a writer. Writing was always something that I found to be very stressful - unless it was a completely impersonal essay. Those I could crank out by the dozens. I don't know that I consider myself to be a writer, but I do write on a regular basis, and that is certainly something I never thought I would do. Even more surprising is that I actually enjoy it. Love it, in fact.

When I started this blog, I don't know that I ever expected anyone to read it. It still surprises and delights me when I look at the number of hits I've gotten on a given day or week, and the locations from across the globe that I get visitors from.

Having a food blog is one of the most satisfying endeavors I've ever taken on. There are so many stages of activity; finding a recipe, creating the food, photographing it, of course eating it, writing about it, and then waiting a bit for that little piece of yourself to make its way into other people's homes and see how they react to your offering.

The food blogging community is overwhelmingly supportive, accepting, giving. It is something I am incredible proud to be a part of.

All of the interests I have had throughout my life have to do with creating things. When I was 8, I had my first business with a friend. It was called Eternal Light, and we made custom candles and jewelry that we sold to our teachers and classmates. We even had business cards. I've knitted since I was six, cooked from about the same age, taken photographs, done darkroom work, and then for many years I performed. I sang, I danced, I acted. I even studied this in college. Every one of these things from beading to singing was a form of expression, a creative outlet, something that made me who I am.

I had my first son in 2006, when I was 26, and I became so consumed with being a parent that I stopped doing things for myself. I stopped creating. Then came marriage problems, then another baby, throw in a new business and you've got a big stressful mess with no room for anything else. Not to mention, there was never a time that I actually had two hands free to create anything with... Then one day, I looked at my friend Teanna's Facebook page, and saw a link with a funny name and I thought I'd check it out. I was led to Spork or Foon, Teanna's witty, hilarious and beautifully photographed food blog. Her blog led me to discover Tuesdays with Dorie, and a number of other blogs that I love and visit on a regular basis. I toyed with the idea of starting my own, but felt self-conscious about putting myself out there in that way. Then one year ago today I took the dive, and I couldn't be happier about having made that decision.

I have emerged from a several-year funk through having this blog. I have once again found an outlet that is satisfying and nourishing and brings me a sense of purpose aside from being a parent to the two sweetest boys I could ever ask for.

Thank you to everyone who reads my little blog, to everyone who has ever left a comment, a word of encouragement. It means so much to me.

Through this transition into being a single parent, I am trying to find my way back to baking and blogging more. I have less time now, so I have to be more efficient in everything I do. I'm working on it.

In case all you want is to hear what I thought of these cookies, here it is: I have wanted someone to pick these cookies for months. Ever since I first noticed them in the book. Especially after I made dulce de leche for the first time. I was so excited to see them on the March schedule. I baked the first batch, and honestly, wasn't wowed. I used the amount of dough Dorie recommended, and the cookies spread like crazy, and they were just too big, and too soft. So I made them half the size and baked them for a little longer. Magic.

My first thought when biting into one of these cookies was sugar. It was like eating rich caramel-y sugar. Three textures of sugar to be more precise; the center is creamy and gooey, then there is the outside of the cookie which forms a crispy sugary crust when baked, and the inside of the cookie which is dense, chewy, soft. These are amazing. And dangerous. Oh, so dangerous. If you know what's good for you, you won't make them. But if you do, triple the amount of salt in the recipe, it is rather salt-poor (1/4 teaspoon), and needs that extra bit to help off-set some of the sweetness. Even tripled, the cookies aren't salty.

This cookie was chosen by Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake. The recipe can be found on her blog.


  1. happy blogiversary!! My 1 year mark was last month, and I agree with everything you said--it is so fulfilling and amazing to be part of this community. Your cookies look great too! Mine were not at all crisp, but I still loved every bite!

  2. love the site. am a huge baker too! glad i found you!.

    Are you on twitter? would,love to follow.

    My site is: www.takebackyourtable.com

    Cant wait to see what you are baking up nest!


  3. Sarah - Thanks! Congrats on your 1 year, too! They were fantastic cookies, weren't they???

    Christina - Yes, I am on twitter - I'm @blueridgebaker Thanks for visiting, I'll be sure to check out your site!

  4. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful story - I've enjoyed reading and staring at your beautiful photography (including these cookies)! So gald you enjoyed them (with more salt) and the food bloggin!

  5. Congratulations on your Blogiversary! I don't always leave a comment on the blogs I visit but that doens't meant that I don't love reading them. You photos are always inspiring.

    And, I agree with you. These cookies did require something, maybe even more than salt. But yours turned out beautifully. :)

  6. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I totally agree with you, blogging has led to big changes in my life too. I'm glad you're enjoying it and we get to share it with you! Your cookies look great. I wish I'd added extra salt to mine.

  7. Happy Anniversary! I the photos of your cookies!

  8. Happy Blogiversary!!! I am so glad you started this blog because I love reading it. And love the recipes. And love the kid's pics. And,...and...and.

    Cookies look delicious.

  9. Might just have to try these if I can squeeze some time in.

    Happy blogiversary - it's great to look back on. I past 4 years a couple of weeks ago.

  10. I like the photo! Of course I have zero photographer talent as noted in my own blog...lol. Happy Blogiversary!!

  11. Happy Blogiversary Sarah! I'm so glad we became friends through SMS, even if you have ditched me and left the group (kidding!) :) Keep up the awesome work!

    I'm jealous of your beautiful thick layer of dulce between the cookies. How in the world did you achieve that? Mine was leaking out everywhere! Gorgeous photos, as always.

  12. Happy blogiversary, Sarah! I'm glad that things are getting back on track for you. And I think your cookies look great!

  13. Hi Sarah, happy blogiversary! I am glad to hear you're doing well through this transitional time and that you were able to find the creative outlet you needed.

    Your cookies look fantastic! These were so good!

  14. Hi Sarah,
    How exciting to be celebrating your blogiversary! Congrats. As I was reading your post I got a little emotional. You were writing so many of my thoughts and feelings. I too cooked early and always had lots of hobbies but those seemed to disappear after my first was born. My food blog has given me a chance to enjoy something that's just mine.
    Have fun with it all! I look forward to reading more from you. Best- Melissa

  15. happy blogiversary! I love reading your posts and your twists on the recipes- glad the blog has helped yo out over the past few years as well

  16. Happy 1 year. I really enjoy your blog.

    And the Duos definitely needed more salt! But they look great and were hard not to keep eating!

  17. What you talking about horrible picture? I just wanna reach into the computer and eat that delicious perfectly round DDL filled cookie. Happy blogiversary. Here's to many more years of bloggin!

  18. Happy Blogoversary!! Your duos look absolutely perfect!

  19. Happy Blogoversary! I hope that I make it to mine!! Your cookies look awesome! :)

  20. Happy blogiversary! I've found the food blogging community to be such a nice group of people! I always enjoy reading about the great things you're baking!

  21. I love dulce de leche and your recipe is very interesting. I cook with DDL a lot. Congrats on your success with your blog...many more years of happiness I hope it brings you!

  22. Congrats on your one year anniversary. Us food bloggers are a pretty supportive, fun group. Please keep it going. I love coming back and reading your new posts!

    All the best,

    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen


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