Girl Versus Dough

ridiculously soft gingerbread crinkle cookies

Ridiculously Soft Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies -- homemade gingerbread cookies coated in powdered sugar and soft in the centers. Perfect for holiday parties and cookie exchanges! #girlversusdough #cookierecipe #Christmascookie

Friends, how do we feel about our Christmas shopping? Have we had presents purchased for everyone on our lists since Halloween? Or do we not even think about it until December 23? Usually, I’m firmly planted in between every year — after Thanksgiving, I go into a little bit of a panic mode and then I buy everything for everyone in an anxious flurry. Then, it’s December 1 and I’m done (though wrapping presents never, ever happens until it’s the night before Christmas and I forget and frantically wrap everything together with Mom’s extra wrapping paper, THANKS MOM).

This year, I’ve been much more relaxed on the shopping situation, pacing myself on all fronts in hopes that this new approach keeps me more calm and collected. Though I still haven’t wrapped anything. Should probably get on that.

ANYWAY, if you’re scrambling to come up with gift ideas, I say bake a batch of these ridiculously (no, really, ridiculously) soft gingerbread crinkle cookies and give them to friends and family. Or, if you’re all set on shopping, bake a batch of these cookies for yourself and enjoy them on the couch while watching Hallmark Christmas movies (I hear A Christmas Prince is worth a watch, FYI).

lemon-rosemary olive oil cake donuts

cake donuts on a cooling rack

Hi, hello. MUCH to tell you. But first, donuts. Specifically, Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Donuts, which are my new favorite food of all the foods.

If you, like me, enjoy eating fresh-from-the-oven donuts that are moist and tender and full of unique flavors like olive oil and herby rosemary and tart lemon and then coated in butter and sugar (OMG), then you need to make this recipe.

I actually based these donuts off of a classic olive oil cake — have you ever had one? Much like these donuts, it’s sweet with a hint of olive oil flavor that is anything but off-putting (it’s actually very mild and plays differently on the palate when it’s used in a sweet recipe vs. savory recipe), and the texture is soft and delicate and light. But since we had a chat on Instagram and the majority of you voted for donuts vs. cake (but only by a slim margin! Because you are my people and you love both), donuts won out. And here we are. And I am not mad about it one bit.

braided cardamom bread (finnish pulla)

braided cardamom pulla bread on a baking sheet

If there is one recipe I need you to make this holiday season, it’s this braided cardamom bread, a.k.a., Finnish pulla, a.k.a., the softest, pillow-iest, most delicately spiced and icing-drizzled bread of all the breads.

Don’t get me wrong — I love all the bread babies that have come out of my kitchen. I can’t pick a favorite. But if I had to choose a carb that was meant to celebrate the holiday season, this one is it. It tastes like Christmas in loaf form, and while I’m all for cookies and hot cocoa and rocking around the Christmas tree, this year, I’m breaking tradition with slice after slice of fresh-baked braided cardamom bread as the new way to make the season merry and delicious — er, bright.

deep-dish cinnamon swirl pumpkin pie

cinnamon swirl pumpkin pie

It’s here, friends: the MOST EPIC pie to grace your table, just in time for Thanksgiving. Because why just make a regular pumpkin pie when you can make a Deep-Dish Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Pie? That’s a rhetorical question.

How are you feeling as we enter this holiday week? Stressed? Chill? Are you hosting this year or heading out to see family? Whatever your plans, I hope you can find peace and relaxation and plenty of moments in which to feel gratitude. Despite the turkey, despite the mashed potatoes, despite the desserts, this season really is all about being thankful and remembering the blessings we have.

For me, that’s much easier said than done. To be completely honest, I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed and lacking in peace and contentment. We’ve got a lot on our plates lately, and while I do apologize for being so cryptic (because it irks me when other people do this), I am hopeful that we can share more very soon (and I PROMISE you’ll be the first to know).

Regardless, this season for us is a bit of a roller coaster, and yet — I can and do still find so much to be thankful for. Including this tasty pumpkin pie.

cheddar-scallion biscuits

cheddar scallion biscuits on a baking sheet

We’re back on the mainland from two weeks in Kauai, Hawaii and to be honest with you, I’m conflicted. I keep going back and forth between wishing I could click my heels and be immediately transported back to the island and its beautiful landscapes and sunny skies and sandy beaches. But now, I’m bundled up here in a scarf and cozy knit blanket with a hot cup of coffee and the leaves outside are brilliant reds and oranges and yellows and I’m fully in love with this fall weather, too. Why can’t there be a place where both seasons can co-exist? I would live there forever and ever if I could.

But since I can’t do that, I’m going to embrace the cooler temps and the fact that I can bake these Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits in the oven without sweating in my kitchen. Though, let’s be real – I would make these biscuits anywhere and everywhere, because they’re worth it.

brownie monster cookies

brownie monster cookies on cooling rack

Have you ever been at the crossroads of wanting a brownie and a Monster cookie at the same time, and you’re not sure what to do about it? Me too, friend, me too. That is why I present to you these brownie Monster cookies, which combine the soft, fudgy, chocolatey-ness of brownies with the classic flavors of Monster cookies — M&Ms, chocolate chips, oats and creamy peanut butter. No longer must we live in a world where we have to choose a brownie over a cookie or vice versa — with this easy and delicious brownie Monster cookie recipe, we can have both.