Hey friends! Has your fall been zooming by? Those last lazy days of summer? Where did they go? More like queue the montage of calendar pages slowly flipping then getting faster and faster until they are flying off the screen as fast as possible. September and October are usually the lull before the holidays but this fall I decided to write a SUPER SPECIAL collection of recipes for your perfectly curated holiday cookie platter. Exclamation marks. More exclamation marks.

Upside Down Apple and Crème Fraîche Cake


It should be ready just in time to be downloaded to your iPad for all your holiday cookie baking needs. I AM SO EXCITED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. For realz. This is not your grandmother’s cookie platter. Unless your grandmother made things like mulled red wine crumble squares and bourbon-spiked drop cookies.

maple butter cookies

Soft Brown Sugar and Maple Butter Cookies

goat farm

I’ve been up to my elbows in butter, flour, sugar, and festive sprinkles as well as working on a variety of other projects. Like these extra cu-HOOT-e owl cookies made with speculoos cookie butter which I made as part of Rent the Runway’s Halloween Bazaar curated by the fabulous party planners Cait & Jules. I’d like to also make a special shout out to the dry cleaning costume which from personal experience I can recommend as a fabulous last-minute costume idea. After being a Metrocard the year before I had exhausted all my costume mojo and I couldn’t quite get it together – thus “dry cleaning” as costume was born.

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maplesnaps via buttermeupbrooklyn

A few weekends ago I took a little trip up I-95 to the lovely state of Vermont. All it took was a few hours of seeing ever so slightly golden leaves for me to shift into autumn overdrive. Pumpkins! Scarves! Bourbon! Then the pinterest manic mode turned real life and there was no turning back. Every baking idea was tinged with a golden ray of nutmeg spice. At the Brattleboro exit around midnight I got the idea for the ultimate fall cookie: maplesnaps. Oh you know, a chewy spiced gingersnap-like cookie but made with pure maple syrup instead of molasses.

maplesnaps on buttermeupbrooklyn 3

Then a few select food souvenirs came through to help me out in making it a reality. I picked up a bag of maple sugar for the coating. I spent far too long in what I think may be my ultimate happy place (also known as the King Arthur Flagship store where – among other things – I found an amazing vanilla extract with VANILLA BEAN SEEDS (and a gnome cookie cutter which is patiently waiting for its turn in the cookie line-up).

But the moment when I knew my cookie apparition was destiny was when I was given a jar of maple syrup to take home which was harvested from a tree no less than half a mile where I slept.

maplesnaps on buttermeupbrooklyn 2

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chocolate chunk 1

Wowie, all of a sudden It. Is. September. I hope everyone had a lovely summer!

[I just got to use the word "Wowie!" so I can tell you that things have been looking pretty good 'round here.]

Around this time of the year I always have a little moment where I reflect on the summer and tend to feel just a tiny tinge of sadness that I will have to tuck away my sandals soon for yet another fall-slash-winter. BUT any warm weather remorse doesn’t last long because you guys, FALL IS THE BEST. Well, mostly fall baking and scarves are the best. Summer pies are awesome and all, but I totally get it, no one wants to spend time around a hot oven during the summer months (and one could make the argument that the streets of New York are pretty much like a hot oven anyways) since they should be spent at the beach, or camping under the stars or laying on a patch of grass with a popsicle – all of which I was lucky to have taken advantage of this summer.

chocolate chunk 2

chocolate chunk 3

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lavender shortbread set up on butter me up, Brooklyn!

I have a real weakness for the shortbread cookie. It could be because of my Scottish roots or that it is a tiny little bomb of butter and sugar and who can resist that! But it is mostly because a good shortbread cookie seems to come along every once in a blue moon so when you see a good one, you must stop shaking your head in disbelief and realize your good fortune is not a mirage.

Oh shortbread, you get me every time.

The sad news is that shortbread seems to be one of those cookies that, in my humble opinion, never seems to be done quite to my liking. When they are sold out and about in the world they are usually too large for my cookie needs or they are overbaked and lack flavor and for all these reasons they tend to settle back into the case and let the brownies and chocolate chip cookies take all the glory. That’s cool. Shortbread know what’s up. They’ve been around a while so they are happy to let the others cookies have their turn with glory.

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red wine cupcakes via butter me up, Brooklyn!

I have a few life mottos that I attempt to practice on a daily basis. They mostly involve cocktails and yoga breaths and laughing and sharing cookies as often as I possibly can. But sometimes life-y things happen that are less then ideal and I turn to my most important lesson of all, “when in doubt, bake it out!”

red wine cupcakes via butter me up, Brooklyn!1

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Mascarpone Cheesecake Tart with Rosemary-Kissed Strawberries on butter me up, Brooklyn!

Did you know that June 10th was National Iced Tea Day? Or that June 7th was National Doughnut Day? Or that back in May, on the 31st, there was an entire 24 hour period devoted to all the glory that is The Macaroon, which is not to be confused with Macaron Day (that is celebrated on March 20).

One of the many indirect benefits to operating this here URL is that I am repeatedly alerted to such important celebrations. These include but are not limited to: the day of the Sandwich (November 3) and National Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Day (March 18) and be sure to set yourself a reminder to send your favorite cured meat lover a card on September 7. Why? Because it is Salami Day!

mascarpone cheesecake tart 2

Perhaps all these important baking-related holidays have slipped through the cracks in your calendar. That’s okay because there is one day that trumps all the others and it is June 12th. Let it be known to the powers that be that it is National Mascarpone Cheesecake Tart Day! I am declaring it the holiday to end all holidays.

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vegas in 48 hours

June 3, 2013

vegas 1

I had the great pleasure of celebrating the SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards in Vegas last week and what an incredible 48 hours it was. The editors at SAVEUR and lovely folks at The Bellagio (and let’s be honest the whole city of Vegas in general!) sure do know how to throw a party. They also know how to make a food blogger feel extra fancy for two days. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone for such a wonderful experience.

But before I get back to my real life of taking pictures of cookies in flour-dusted leggings here are a few highlights:

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nanaimo bars

May 11, 2013

nanaimo bars by butter me up, Brooklyn!

During my visit to Seattle I have been tasked with cleaning out some boxes in my childhood bedroom, a chore I have been putting off for roughly nine years. However the upside has been unearthing some pretty countless gems from my past including one of the earliest journals I kept. It opens with the line, “So, what’s new? Well, I got my first boyfriend and honestly I don’t know what everyone is talking about because it’s not all that it is cracked up to be…”

nanaimo bars by butter me up, Brooklyn! 1

I go on to apologize to no one except the journal Gods for not having written in weeks because I have been soooooo busy with self-proclaimed “trivial relationship matters” such as why doesn’t he call me all the time and should we go to the mall together? (The rhetorical answer was an emphatic “No!” Reason being: not if he hasn’t called. Obviously.) Then a few dozen pages of what I can only assume was meant to be “poetry”.

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croissant cupcakes with chocolate glaze by butter me up, Brooklyn!

I met my BFF in Language Arts class when I was fourteen. What the lesson plan of ‘Language Arts’ consisted of or what knowledge I gleaned from the 50 minutes a day I spent in that classroom is unimportant because from the moment we had our initial group project it was lady friend love at first sight.


All it took was one trip to the mall and we were pretty much instantly best friends. Over the years we have had a shared love of many things – namely flared jeans and a questionable taste (debatable!) in music and now that we are older and wiser our shared affection of things has grown to include good IPA and red lipstick and a high level of connoisseurship in the freshly-made buttery croissant department.

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It may not come as a surprise to learn that I descend from a clan of bakers all of whom know their way around the wooden spoon and the whisk. The most legitimate of these family members is my aunt who owns her own bakery but my uncle makes one mean tiramisu. You have already met my aunt’s sugar cookies and I have another aunt who is responsible for giving me both my first pie crust lessons and the inaugural Bundt pan in my collection. To this day I still refer to her as “The Bundt Master” but she happens to also know a thing or two about margaritas.

Over the years I have been fortunate to receive bits of baking wisdom from everyone who I call family, especially the most immediate members – my mom and dad. They fall into two baking camps: the celebratory and the everyday.

My mom is the celebratory baker. She bakes for the holidays and has made her fair share of dazzling birthday layer cakes for festive family gatherings. I have learned the secrets to her cinnamon rolls that are reserved for celebratory brunches and I have watched her take almost every single one of her holiday linzer tortes out of the oven. She has demystified the process of anything that requires multiple steps to achieve baking bliss.


On the other hand, my dad is the every day baker. He makes scones and pancakes from scratch and whips up batches of Sunday afternoon chocolate chip cookies. He is also a wise man who has taught me the importance of a firm handshake and to always leave the house with a coat and whenever I find myself at home he manages to slip me a bit of cash on my way out the door “just in case.”

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