There’s not a lot of really creative cooking going on in my kitchen right now. I’m packing up infrequently-used gadgets and gear and trying to creatively use only what’s in my pantry and freezer so that I won’t have to move it. When cleaning out, I realized I had a ridiculous amount of rice. White rice, brown rice, white basmati rice, brown basmati rice, Forbidden rice, short grain rice (for sushi or paella), and jasmine rice. And, of course, a “wild rice blend.” My rice habit is worse than my pasta habit!

So now you know why rice is the center of this recipe, one I adapted to use with my new slow cooker from Hamilton Beach, the Set 'n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker.
slowcookerricepudding (Small)First, let me tell you about this slow cooker. It is awesome. Right out of the box, I knew I liked it when I saw clamps that keep the lid on for transport. I’ve owned three different slow cookers and none have had this feature! I’m glad someone finally thought of it. Also, even though there are several settings (not just one knob for “off – low – high”), it was very intuitive and easy to use. I got everything going for my recipe without even opening the user guide. I also love the removable crock for washing. Best of all is the programmable timer. It’s a nice feature to be able to determine the time for your slow cooker to turn off if you’re going to be away from the house for a while and you don’t want your food to be overcooked.

Next, the recipe. Slow cooker rice pudding. I’ve never made rice pudding before, but I’ve enjoyed it when other people have made it. I’ve also been looking for “treats” for the rest of the Eats family that are a bit healthier than cakes and cookies. So this worked out perfectly. I used this recipe as my guide and realized that I could make it even easier by using So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage Nog instead. There’s also a pumpkin spice version and a chocolate mint version and any of the three would work just as well (note, though: these are limited edition flavors only available in the fall and holiday season; other times of the year, you’ll need to follow the original recipe or just put some So Delicious in the freezer for emergencies!). The finished product wasn’t quite sweet enough for a treat, but that was quickly remedied with a drizzle of maple syrup. I added some toasted slivered almonds for a little crunch, too. But I bet pistachios would be even better. This was a great treat for the members of my family that always like a little sweet after dinner. It’s satisfying without being junk food!

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding
serves 4
adapted from With Style and Grace

½ cup basmati rice
1 can light or regular coconut milk
¾ cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage Nog
1 cup water
Maple syrup or agave nectar
Optional: toasted slivered almonds, walnuts or pecans or ground pistachios

Pour all ingredients in the slow cooker, stir and cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Serve warm and drizzle with maple syrup or agave nectar and top with toasted nuts or ground pistachios if you like a little crunch or texture for your pudding.

For more recipes, check out the hashtag #slowcookermeals on Twitter. There are also lots of chances to win your own Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker!

And be sure to check out all the great new products from So Delicious. The frozen treats (holiday editions available exclusively at Whole Foods), whipped topping, yogurt, creamers, and milks are all fantastic. I have loved everything I've tried. Sign up to get coupons so you can try them for yourself!


Disclosure: Hamilton Beach provided the slow cooker free of charge. So Delicious also provided free samples in advance of market availability of their holiday line of products. Opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and were not influenced by either organization. I only advocate for brands and products I truly like.


Just before Father's Day, I asked Twitter to recommend some chocolate cookies for me to make for Father's Day. I got some great suggestions (Love and Olive Oil's Double Chocolate Chipotle Cookies, these Brown Butter Pecan Praline Oatmeal Cookies with chocolate chips and a chocolate glaze), but after I looked through Pinterest and saw a picture of black and white cookies, I couldn't get my mind off of them. After looking through the first recipe that popped up in my Google search, I was struck by how easy they seemed to be to make, too. How could a cookie as good as this be so easy? And if it's so easy, why aren't more bakeries making good versions of them? (Really, the ones I've had outside NYC were meh, at best.)


These cookies are a favorite in the Eats household. Mr. Eats and I "babymooned" in New York City and ate lots of potatoes, bagels, and black and white cookies. But they're only shaped like cookies; they're actually small, round, flat cakes (vanilla, sometimes with a hint of lemon) frosted with vanilla-lemon glaze on one side and chocolate glaze on the other side. And they're usually huge. Like, four or five inches wide.

Anyhoo, this recipe comes from Epicurious/Gourmet, which I trust, but I still read through several pages of reviews to get some tips. One of the best tips was to double the recipe because you are definitely going to want plenty of these cookies (the only part I didn't double was the amount of cocoa for the chocolate frosting). I used a large cookie scoop that yielded cookies that were about three to three and a half inches wide and I got an even three dozen. Enough to snack on for a while and to put some in the freezer for a nice treat at a later date. But I left the measurements of the original recipe.

Black and White Cookies
adapted from Gourmet/
yield: about 18 3" cookies
Please see the notes section at bottom before making these cookies.

For the cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
2 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon two-tablespoon-size dollops of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Dip fingers in a bit of water and tamp scoops down into a disk shape about 3/8" thick. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack cool about 5 minutes.

Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons cocoa, adding more milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing and more cocoa to taste.

Frost the cookies:
Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half. Use a pointed knife to make a straight edge.

Let the frosting set completely before storing. Stack cookies on parchment in an air-tight container. Refrigerate after a few days

1. Set the butter out overnight to soften. Cut it to size first!
2. Set out the egg about a half hour before starting to get it to room temperature, which will help with the texture.
3. For the buttermilk, I put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1/3 cup container and added milk until full.
4. Be sure to use plenty of butter to grease the cookie sheets. And it's better to overcook than undercook because the flat sides need to be firm so that they don't come up and crumble when you frost them.
5. When I doubled my recipe, I just made the frostings separately and substituted water for the lemon juice for the chocolate frosting so that it did not have any lemon flavor.
6. I did *not* double the recommended 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, which is why I suggest starting with 2 tablespoons and adding more if needed. I used Valrhona cocoa powder and the frosting was amazing. Use good cocoa powder if you can.
7. To frost the cookies, I used the pointy butter knife that came with my silverware and got a perfect edge with it. Be sure to spread in only one direction so that crumbs from the cookie don't get mixed into the frosting (so start with just a little bit and at the edge). If your white edge isn't perfect, don't worry; the chocolate will cover it up.


carringtonfarmsambassadorVanishing cookies? Yes, but not because they have the ability to disappear on their own, but because they are so good that they seem to do so. This is an adaptation of the recipe that appears on the inside of the lid of Quaker Oats (and one I've written about before). And even though I just made a different version of vegan oatmeal cookies, I decided to veganize this recipe for two reasons: first, because Grammy Eats was visiting and oatmeal raisin cookies are her favorite and second, because I was chosen to be an “All Good April” ambassador by Carrington Farms. All Good April aims to highlight their great products, including the extra virgin coconut oil and milled flaxseed I used in this recipe. I love Carrington Farms coconut oil so much, that I buy it in the huge tubs from Costco! It’s so versatile and absolutely delicious straight from the container. If you don't shop at Costco, you can buy Carrington Farms products online. (Keep up with all the All Good April posts by following Carrington Farms on Facebook, too.)

Note the obligatory Ikea towel. And it probably doesn’t show, but that’s an “L” glass with coconut milk beverage from So Delicious in it. :)

I wasn’t sure how these would turn out because the recipe calls for a lot of butter, for which I substituted the coconut oil. And I’ve never made a recipe with egg replacer that called for more than one egg. But I’m happy to report that these turned out fantastic. The taste is amazing. It’s not very coconutty, but there’s enough of a difference that you can discern it from butter. These cookie crisp nicely on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside. They are a bit looser than the standard recipe, though, so make note of that. Aside from the replacements, I also noted that you should use dark brown sugar, a bit more flour and these should be cooked longer than the original recipe. These are great for anyone who has an allergy or aversion to dairy and eggs. I also added a cup of pecans because that’s why my mom prefers.

And though I am thoroughly opposed to the very overdone foodblog cliché of cookie stacks, I couldn’t help but include this one because—for reasons I’m not entirely certain of—it reminds me of the gopher from Caddyshack. And now I hope you are doing the gopher dance in your chair as you read this.

"I'm alriiiiight, don't nobody worry 'bout me. You got to gimme a bi-ite..."
"I'm alriiiiight, don't nobody worry 'bout me. You got to gimme a bi-ite..."

Vegan Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies
yield: about 4 dozen cookies

2 tablespoons Carrington Farms Organic Milled Flax Seeds
6 tablespoons hot water
¾ cup Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat flour and half white flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked oatmeal (you can use quick oats or old-fashioned oats)
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and water and stir vigorously. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until it becomes a gel.

Beat together coconut oil with the sugars until on medium speed until creamy. Add flaxseed gel and vanilla and beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and then add to the mixture and mix well. Stir in oats (about a cup at a time) and then raisins and nuts.

Drop by small spoonfuls (about an inch in diameter) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a minute and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.