Homemade Do Si Dos

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Yesterday (Thanksgiving day) was the first time that I can remember where scrolling through my Facebook feed produced nothing but delight and joy. Friend after friend recorded long lists of thanksgiving. There were pictures of family and of tables filled with food following gleeful descriptions of all the good in their lives. There were also some friends whose thankfulness transcended sickness, loss of family, pain, and suffering. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with my own gratitude as I read the gratitude of others. I could then easily see passed the sickness that rocked our own family and the annoyance of a car accident (no one was hurt!) that happened the day before.

The day before Thanksgiving I read this fantastic article about the science of happiness. It’s great, I’d highly encourage you to read it. It turns out my mom was right, when you smile, even if it’s forced, you’ll start to feel better. My value in authenticity often forces me to tell the whole story, to suppress the smile when I don’t feel like wearing it and to not hold back the good, the bad and the ugly. I think at times that’s fine and okay to not withhold your truth but this line in the article really hit me: “This Thanksgiving, don’t express gratitude only when you feel it. Give thanks especially when you don’t feel it. Rebel against the emotional “authenticity” that holds you back from your bliss.”

I want to be a rebel. Especially when that looks like giving thanks in all things.

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The turkey has been put away, the lingering can of cranberries tucked away for another year and the leftover pumpkin pie is now reserved for breakfast, but I’m determined that our day of thanks transcends the days to come. Even if my Facebook feed returns to its normal political fanatics and everyday grumblings, I hope to continue in the mindset of thankfulness.

Let’s start with cookies. It’s quite easy to be overcome with gratitude with a plate of cookies in front of you. These ones are special. Transformative even. You see these humble looking sandwich cookies transformed a friend from one who “doesn’t like peanut butter cookies” into a friend who “really loves THESE peanut butter cookies.”

They’re really my version of the well known Girl Scout Cookie call the Do Si Do. Usually I stick to the Thin Mints and Samoas (best when frozen) but this year Gabe snuck in a box of the Do-Si-Does and it was the first one emptied. So naturally my next move was to figure out how to make them myself because these cookies need to happen more than once a year.

First of all a sandwich cookie is always a plus as really it’s two cookies in one. Perhaps it was the sweet, salty and buttery filling that converted our friend or the crisp and crumbly cookie that is packed with oats for a pleasant heft. One can never know for certain but the whole sandwich is a sweet and salty delight. So much so, in fact, I think your holiday cookie platter just found a new friend.

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Homemade Do Si Dos

1 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies


3/4 Cup all-purpose flour

1/2 Teaspoon baking soda

1/4 Teaspoon baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup butter, softened

1/2 Cup /125 g creamy peanut butter

1/2 Cup white sugar

1/2 Cup packed dark brown sugar

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Cup quick cooking oats



6 tablespoons / 85 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

3⁄4 cup / 190 g smooth peanut butter

1⁄3 cup / 40 g confectioners’ sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon flake salt


For the cookie:

In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.


In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.


Drop by teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12- 15  minutes, or until cookies are a golden brown at the edges.


For the filling:

Cream together the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar. Add the salt then stir to combine very well.


Let the cookies cool before adding 1 teaspoon peanut butter filling to the bottom of 1/2 of the cookies then sandwich with another cookie.

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A Plate of Chocolate Dipped Things

Chocolate Dipped Things // Notwithoutsalt.com Chocolate Dipped Things // Notwithoutsalt.com

It’s sort of a silly name, isn’t it? But intriguing none the less. Also, delicious.

“It’s a platter of things dipped in chocolate.” I announced as I set the plate down in front of my guests after a full meal. It seemed the appropriate way to end a dinner of roasted apple and blue cheese stuffed pork, mashed carrot and potato gratin, and a salad of celery root and apple.

After cooking that sort of a meal a simple dessert is in order. But I have to tell you that this dessert (and I’ve now made it three times since) despite its ease, has resulted in some of the robust sighs of delight I’ve yet heard.

You first start by wandering the produce aisle and the bulk section of your favorite grocery store and you think to yourself, what would be appropriate to dip into a warm bowl of melted bittersweet chocolate? It’s a very fun question to consider.

Dried apricots are a must and then one bin down from those are the dried peaches which are also lovely – tart and fragrant. This time of year there are not a lot of fresh things to dip so I stick with candied ginger, dates, homemade candied citrus rind and something crunchy – salted pretzels are nice as are those thinly sliced crackers that have a whisper of rosemary. If you’re feeling up to the task a chocolate dipped homemade cookie is rather special. I’m partial to Speculaas.

A plate of chocolate things is really most appropriate after you’ve been spending most the day working on the meal and can’t bear to put more thought into dessert. Or if you’ve been asked to bring something to a party but your schedule doesn’t allow for much fanfare. The thing is, this platter, with its wafting scent of chocolate and candy shop-esque array of choices, meets your guests the furthest thing from their minds will be the fact that it took you approximately ten minutes to put together. Chocolate is quite good at hiding those sort of secrets.

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A Plate of Chocolate Dipped Things

It’s difficult to give you a recipe here as so much depends on how much and what you plan to dip. I will do my best but please simply use this as a guide.


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (good quality chips are fine)

a variety of things for dipping: dried fruit such as apricots; peaches, dates, prunes, bananas, ginger, and candied citrus. Also, pretzels, crackers, and cookies.

sliced pears and cut up oranges (nice when one needs a bit of a break from all the chocolate)


Cover a baking sheet in parchment then set aside.

Melt your chocolate.

The thing to remember when you are melting chocolate is that you must do so gently. There are two easy ways to do this. The first is to set up a bain marie which is merely a French way of saying “a simmering pot of water with another pot or bowl resting on top”. The bowl on top holds the chocolate and should never touch the water below. Stir and melt until just a few pieces of unmelted chocolate remain in the bowl. Remove from the heat and let the residual heat continue to melt what remains.

The second method is for the microwave. You’ll need a microwave safe bowl and a spoon or rubber spatula. Begin by melting the chocolate in 15 to 20 second intervals. Stir well after each heating. You may not see much change in the first few rounds but the slow and steady heating will ensure that the chocolate won’t burn. There’s no going back from burnt chocolate.

Continue to melt in this way until a few pieces of unmelted chocolate remain in the bowl. Let the residual heat melt the unmelted chocolate.

Dip your items into the chocolate then set them on the baking sheet.

When everything has been dipped set the tray in the refrigerator to set up the chocolate. This should take about 10 minutes.

After that you are ready to set all your chocolate dipped things on the platter. Tuck in a few pear slices and halved clementines on the plate just before serving.


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