Updated Recipe Posts

buttercrunch toffee

When I was in high school, our principal came up on stage during assembly one morning and stood there for a moment, until he got our attention. After a long pause, he inhaled deeply, and said, “We have a very sick person in our midst.”

Nobody moved, and we were all kind of stunned for a minute, hearing such a grave pronouncement. Finally, we learned the cause of his pronouncement. “Someone in this school has stolen a textbook from another student.” And for the next few minutes, he continued to tell us about how grave this grave situation was. I knew it wasn’t me, but I do feel like I have another maladie, and that’s going back to old posts and revamping them. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. And at some point, I’m going to need to be sent to the principal or something.

But for now, I’m on a roll and went back and recast several posts, many are holiday related – so for once, I’m ahead of the curve! In some, I’ve simplified the recipe or found a way to streamline it. Others were changed or modified because I realized that my tastes had changed and I wanted the recipe to reflect that. (Recipes aren’t cast in stone, which is a good thing. Because otherwise, cookbooks would be ridiculously heavy. But at least we wouldn’t have to worry about those being swiped, I suppose.)

It was also a chance to update the photos: Some were taken as far back as 2006 when I had a point-and-shoot camera. (Remember those?) So here are a few recipes and posts that I’ve refreshed:

Pumpkin ice cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream

For years, people were asking about a pumpkin ice cream recipe. And while I usually just pointed them toward my sweet potato ice cream in The Perfect Scoop, people just really seemed fixed on pumpkin ice cream. I remade it again this fall, giving it a whirl with kuri (hokkaido) squash. The rich squash lent the ice cream an intense color with lovely little orange flecks scattered about in it. And it tasted great, too.

Nonfat Gingersnaps

Nonfat Gingersnaps

I love these chewy-spicy cookies, not just because they’re nonfat, but because when you bite into one, you’re rewarded with a soft, toothsome, satisfying treat. With a hit of molasses and a melange of spices, these gingersnaps hit the spot. They also make great ice cream sandwiches with the pumpkin ice cream, just above. Or paired with another favorite ice cream flavor.

Spiced Pretzel Nut Cocktail Mix recipe

Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix

I gave my all-time favorite holiday mix a makeover with some new photos. This is my go-to treat to go along with before drinks. (Although truth be told, as soon as it’s cooled down enough, I start picking out nuts and pretzels off the baking sheet, and popping them in my mouth right away.) It’s a spicy, and a little sweet, and you’ll find yourself making it over and over, too.

Pesto recipe


During the summer, I fed 30 people pesto. I know, I know. I used to be a mortar and pestle pesto dictator. But my arm would have fallen off if I had made it all my hand. (And I’ve worked hard on my bicep, so if that fell off, I’d be particularly upset.) I go over myself and hauled out the food processor and used that. No one complained about the pesto made with a little help from my machine! (Tip: If you want to make a nice fall or winter pesto, one basil season has ended, try my recipe for Dandelion Pesto.)

Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

For years, people were scared off from using salted butter for baking. But I find that it adds a deeper richness and slightly salty contrast to many buttery baked goods, such as these chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chili recipe

Chili with Chocolate

I was gifted some beautiful pasilla and guajilo chiles from a guest who lives in Mexico. Those red crinkled pods were like gold to me. So I pulled out my favorite vintage pot and made another batch of Chile with Chocolate.

chewy Oatmeal cookie recipe

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

I guess I was on a cookie craze because I also revisited this recipe inspired by a recipe from Nick Malgieri. This recipe dials back the butter and uses applesauce to ease back on the fat, which was a good thing because I ate almost the whole tray by myself. I swapped out chopped dates for the raisins, and they worked beautifully.

Nick Malgieri Oatmeal cookie

Cranzac Biscuits

Hoo-boy. I snuck another cookie recipe in. But not on my blog, but into my recent newsletter. It’s one of my favorite recipes from Ready for Dessert – which is a collection of my all-time favorite recipes, so that should tell you how much I like them! (If you want to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, and get more recipes, Paris tips, and stories, you can do so here.) These big, chewy cookies are a riff off the classic Anzac Biscuits, loaded with coconut and oats, and sweetened with Golden syrup. I add dried sour cherries or dried cranberries to mine, hence the revised name. Like the oatmeal cookies just above, these cookies have very little butter in them.

chocolate almond buttercrunch candy recipe

Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch

If you lived in the Bay Area, you likely remember Victoria Toffee by See’s. I think they still make it but not longer include a tiny hammer to break it up. This one doesn’t require a hammer, or a trip to the store. In fact, you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry, which I did, so I made another batch of this classic candy, smearing dark chocolate over the warm toffee and finishing it off with a scattering of toasted almonds and flaky sea salt.

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  • tim
    October 15, 2015 7:25pm

    Awesome. Though you forgot the matzoh crunch.

  • pam
    October 15, 2015 8:05pm

    I’ve always used salted butter for baking as that is what I buy for the table. I usually decrease salt to around half the amount called for in the recipe.

  • October 15, 2015 8:29pm

    wow, you really did go off! i think we all appreciate and love it though (: and i’m feeling a little sad that i never got a hammer with my toffee (i’m from the bay area, but am probably too young to have experienced it).

  • denise
    October 15, 2015 9:15pm

    re: spicy nut and pretzel mix. would salted pretzels make the the mix too salty or is that what you use. i found them unsalted too!

    • October 16, 2015 5:56am
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not seen unsalted pretzels but I use regular, salted pretzels. Be sure to use one of the recommended salts in the recipe; fine table salt is too strong.

  • October 15, 2015 9:15pm

    Oh wow, so many cool recipes that are new (to me at least :)). Thanks for going through the trouble!

  • Heleen
    October 15, 2015 11:50pm

    Hi David, I am drooling behind the screen! I was wondering where you buy molasses in France? I ones bought a pot at my biocoop shop called ‘mélasse de sucre de canne’, but it tasted very strong. I am not familiar with molasses, so I don’t know if that is how it should tast.

    • October 16, 2015 5:54am
      David Lebovitz

      You can find it at shops like Thanksgiving and La Grande Épicerie. The health food store molasses that you found is strong and can be cut with honey. I wrote more at my post: American Baking Ingredients in Paris.

      • Heleen
        October 24, 2015 12:20am

        Thank you!

  • caroline mitchel
    October 16, 2015 3:00am

    Thank you, I’m inspired and looking forward making these yummies.

  • October 16, 2015 9:23am

    No don’t stop reposting recipes. Although some of us follow us for a long time, there are still some recipes that are hiding in the archives that we didn’t see (I think you really need a loooot of time to check all the post you posted). And it’s always nice to be remembered of all the deliciousness that is hiding here. These recipes all sound divine.

  • October 16, 2015 11:29am

    These all look amazing, especially the ice cream! I love that you refreh old posts. That’s something that I’d really like to do soon so thanks for inspirng me

  • October 16, 2015 1:54pm

    I love the idea of this post. In a crowded world of bloggers, you set the bar….recipes that actually work…simple but beautiful images of real and accessible food…good writing. It is encouraging to see a that it’s ok to want to go back and “tweak” a few old posts. Thanks.

  • Cheryl
    October 16, 2015 3:18pm

    I make your butter crunch a few times a year to bring to parties…people beg me for it. Thanks so much David for the recipe.

  • Mimi
    October 16, 2015 4:57pm

    As a San Franciscan, I remember See’s toffee – it was my mom’s favorite!! Thanks for so many delicious treats – looking forward to so many more!

  • October 16, 2015 5:57pm

    You have my heartfelt appreciation for this undertaking, as I’m trying to do the same, and it is so time consuming. My earlier posts are almost embarrassing in their quality of photos, but in a way they are a record of the evolution of my blog, a record of growth and maturity. Keep it up, David. But we will still appreciate the ones you don’t update.
    ~ Kathleen

  • Bev
    October 16, 2015 6:37pm

    Thanks for the great post, David. Reading the Gingersnap post got me thinking about candied ginger. I found your link for that, but what I would REALLY like to know is whether you have a tip for chopping candied ginger. I find I am constantly washing my knife because it is so sticky, and would love to hear about a time-saving method.
    Cheers – – – Bev

  • October 16, 2015 6:48pm

    Sounds like you’ve enjoyed your trip down the rabbit hole! How fun to revisit, revise and reshoot your favorites! Now I get to benefit from the updates. Merci.

  • shell
    October 16, 2015 6:55pm

    So….did they ever find out who stole the textbook?

  • October 16, 2015 6:58pm

    What is the first unnamed recipe? Looks awesome, but couldn’t find it in the cookie bars or cakes.

  • Jan
    October 16, 2015 7:05pm

    I love your posts – lapping up your visions of Paris but mostly only eat the edible morsels with my eyes!! My sweet tooth is satiated enough. However those are hardly Gingersnaps are they? Ginger cookies – yes – but SNAPS? No! Snaps have to have real snap to them – please find a real crisp snappy Gingersnap and I might just make some.

  • October 16, 2015 7:48pm

    Ok, they all look good…got a short list to dive into…oatmeal cookies and toffee to start…yum!

  • litlmike
    October 16, 2015 7:56pm

    Love this site! Also, any updates to your sticky toffee pudding?

  • October 16, 2015 8:46pm

    I would love to try and make your pumpkin ice cream. I’ve always had store bought but making it from scratch would really make our family tradition of having waffles and pumpkin ice cream on Thanksgiving extra special.

  • Em
    October 16, 2015 9:09pm

    Sorry but See’s Candies is not a Bay Area institution.

    • Bebe
      October 17, 2015 5:27am

      It is now. (And See’s is an “institution” in many places, a go-to place.) It was founded in Los Angeles, but its headquarters is now in South San Francisco.

      There can never be enough See’s!

  • Gavrielle
    October 16, 2015 11:58pm

    Eek! Pass the defibrillator! Because of the connection with NZ troops in WWI, Anzac biscuits are a sacred cultural treasure in New Zealand. Changing the ingredients is like graffiti-ing the Arc de Triomphe! (It probably tastes good with cranberries in, but THAT DOESN’T MATTER!) However, given that you also provide your unbelievable-looking Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch recipe, I may be able to find it in my heart to forgive you:).

  • Dee Ann
    October 17, 2015 4:37am

    Enjoyed seeing you on “I’ll Have What Phil Is Having” the other night on PBS.

  • Breda
    October 17, 2015 6:55pm

    Fantastic mouth watering recipes David,Thank you for re posting them.
    I am severely allergic to gluten.Which flour would you recommend for the non fat gingernut cookies etc

  • Victoria
    October 17, 2015 9:15pm

    A friend made and gave her version of chocolate almond butternut crunch as gifts to us and I thought it was the best thing in the world! She made her’s in a cast iron skillet and gave me the recipe. I’ve got to look for it and compare to yours — or maybe just make your version. I think her’s had pecans instead of almonds, being from Texas….

  • Joy
    October 18, 2015 2:40pm

    I made the Honey Almond squares &
    they disappeared in short order – they
    were so popular. My friends and I
    found them very addictive..mm….mmmm. Thanks for the recipe. Now I see I have quite a few cookies to make! Love your recipes.

  • Ute
    October 21, 2015 2:01am

    I just made the pumpkin icecream. As I only have scottish Single Malt Whisky I used that. The result is delicious but it tastes very much like Laphroaigh. :-) Thank you for a great recipe! I’ll print it and glue it into my copy of The perfect Scoop.

  • October 21, 2015 8:46pm

    As a retired school Principal, your first two paragraphs definitely grabbed my attention; however it was the next two recipes that reminded me why I LOVE your website/posts. I am addicted to anything with pumpkin or gingerbread. I can’t wait to make both recipes! My love for France is increased even more by your writing and I can’t wait to go back. Thanks for such inspiring anecdotes. I LOVE your books! By the way, I saw you on the PBS show, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” and can’t wait to go to Ble Sucre.

  • Shelley
    November 2, 2015 6:20pm

    David, thanks for your very interesting blogs and your monthly email. I really enjoy them but I need to post the following comment to your latest email here because that doesn’t accept comments and, as a long time SF resident and one who loves food, my blood just boils when I hear the kind of praise the SF food scene so unjustly receives:

    I just got back to San Francisco from Paris which really IS a great food city. First thing, went to the Fort Mason Farmers’ Market on Sunday and got so depressed thinking of Paris markets like Lenoir or L’Aligre, the two closest to the apartment we have rented for years. San Francisco is a food city aka “a legend in its own mind”. Yes, if you crave black sesame seeds on your kouign aman (aren’t we original, creative and innovative!) or if you think San Francisco “cuisine” is great based on its multiculturalism. But in general the ‘great restaurants’ are great because they have great PR, become trendy, require reservations weeks in advance, are overpriced and put black sesame seeds and unpronounceable foraged greens in their confit. Paris is where the real food is. No hype! Beautifully prepared, reasonably priced (not talking L’Ambroisie or Taillevant here), fresh, based on fabulous tasty ingredients and you can actually get a table.

    By the way, if you love cheese, as I’m sure you do, check out “A Year in Fromage,” a blog based on a cheese a day by an expat named Kazz Regelman. I hope you do and that you enjoy it!!

  • Angelina
    November 3, 2015 7:02am

    I LOVE your Blog…..and the discoveries I made…..through your recipes..and links…..Excellent!

  • Nanda
    November 10, 2015 12:53am

    I just made the oatmeal cookies today but the dough was so sticky! The cookies even stuck to the parchment paper. Also, they spread and flattened a bunch. My butter was room temperature, so that wasn’t the cause.

    They taste good but I wish I knew what to do differently next time.

    • November 10, 2015 3:42am
      David Lebovitz

      Cookies that spread too much: That’s usually caused by overbeating the butter, which incorporates air into it. Best to just cream the butter and sugar for cookies for a minute or just until they are well-combined.

      • Nanda
        November 10, 2015 5:00am

        Hmm, interesting. I felt like I had to beat for a long time but it never really seemed creamed. I think maybe the butter was too cold.

        Any ideas about the stickiness? I assume your batter wasn’t too sticky, since you were able to roll it into balls and flatten with a utensil.