Sea salt chocolate chip cookies

Sea salt chocolate chip cookies

OOF.

It’s been one of those weeks. Kind of. Not really. I find myself saying that and am instantly reminded that life is not nearly as chaotic or messy and out of control as it could be. But sometimes it feels like it. Sometimes I want to sit on the couch and binge eat chocolate chip cookies because my Tuesday got off to a bad start when I woke up with a bloodshot eye and what looked like a ripple in my corneal flap (video not safe for the squeamish). I cleared my schedule even though I had a day filled with what I thought to be a bunch of time sensitive important shit. I cleared my schedule because I didn’t have a choice – eyeballs are kind of top priority, folks.

I spent four hours at the eye doctor. More than half of that time I was waiting and complaining to Thom (via text) about my opthamologist taking so long. SERIOUSLY I CAN HEAR HIM TALKING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DOOR AND HE’S ALREADY AN HOUR LATE. He came in and looked at my eye, poked it a bit, diagnosed me with things I don’t know how to pronounce, and wrote me prescriptions for things I also don’t know how to pronounce. Things that cost me more than I would have liked to have spent on what I thought was just an ordinary Tuesday – like $124 (with insurance!) for this two week supply of eye drops. And in case you haven’t been tuning into Fox News: It’s allllllllllllllllllllll Obama‘s fault, you guys.

After my appointment I went to Costco and bought three bags of organic frozen berries. But not the antioxidant blend because it’s been linked to a hepatitis outbreak and I don’t have the patience for anymore doctors at the moment. I also bought 10 pounds of cane sugar, 4 pounds of chocolate chips, 2 pounds of medjool dates, and a bunch of other stuff we probably didn’t need (except we kinda needed the peanut butter filled pretzels, for sanity). Then I picked up that overpriced eye drop prescription and a pack of antibiotics that’s likely to wipe out the infection (along with all the good bacteria in my gut), and the pharmacist said I probably won’t be able to poop regularly for a week.

HUH?

Sea salt chocolate chip cookies in the makingSea salt chocolate chip cookies in the makingHIDESea salt chocolate chip cookiesSea salt chocolate chip cookies

I got home around 5PM and Thom drew me a candle-lit epsom salt bath. I soaked in the salty water while talking his head off and I’m pretty sure it was driving him crazy because he tried to leave twice but my incessant yelling was far worse than him sitting in the bathroom and tolerating me while I rambled on about my eyeball and the diagnosis and Do you think my doctor’s full of shit? He’s a good man. Thom, not my doctor (although I’m sure he’s a good man, too). But some days I don’t know what I did to deserve him. I got out, spent a lot of time googling the eye disease I still can’t pronounce and declared that my doctor IS full of shit because HEY THOM! I DON’T HAVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS. Well, except for the dry eye thing but that’s directly related the fact that I had LASIK and I live in dry ass Denver. But that’s beside the point because Thom agreed with me – which is the first (and probably the last) time he’s ever agreed with a self-diagnosis. To celebrate, I made almond blueberry crisp with extra crunchy topping and ate it right as it came out of the oven. I also made definitive plans to make this chocolate chip cookie recipe every day for the next week so I can send out all those care packages I promised my brothers I’d put in the mail after Christmas.

It’s Wednesday morning now. There’s a 1/2″ blanket of snow on the ground that’ll probably be gone by noon. My eyeball’s still bloodshot and it feels like the azithro-whatever is killing off all the good bacteria in my gut despite the fact that I’m supplementing with hella coconut kefir and crossing my toes that the pharmacist was wrong about the whole bowel movement thing. But ya know what? It’s Wednesday morning. There’s snow on the ground, I’m having a good hair day, and my house is about to smell like my favorite chocolate chip cookies.

It’s the little things.

PS – I did an interview, with one of my favorite bloggers, here.

Sea salt chocolate chip cookiesSea salt chocolate chip cookiesSea salt chocolate chip cookiesSea salt chocolate chip cookies

Notes: This recipe has gone through extensive testing and there are some things you need to know before you dive in and start making the best vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Like, cold butter is superior to room temperature butter (unless you prefer thin cookies) and letting the dough rest is key because it allows the sugar to completely dissolve. Some people like their chocolate chip cookies to have a little more going on so I have some recommendations: 1/4 chopped dried fruit (apricots, cherries, etc) or 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc) all make for delicious additions. If you want to do a combination of fruit and nuts (along with the chocolate chips), keep the add ins at a 1/3 cup maximum and reduce the chocolate chips to 1/3 cup. If you want to make an assortment of cookie sizes, this recipe will make 3 cookies with a 1/4 cup cookie scoop, 8 cookies with a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, and 24 cookies with a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop. The 1/4 cup cookies will need to be baked for 14-15 minutes and the 1 teaspoon cookies will need to be baked for 7-8 minutes. If you follow a vegan and gluten free diet, I didn’t forget about you – replace the flour with 1 cup plus 3-4 tablespoons of a gluten free flour blend and you’ll be golden. They’re not going to be exactly the same but they’re still damn good.

And because everyone prefers something a little different – for thin, chewy cookies, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup cane sugar) and omit 1 tablespoon of flour. For thick, pillow-y cookies, increase the flour to 1 1/3 cups and replace 2 tablespoons of the butter with non-dairy milk during the creaming process. The recipe below is for a balance of the two, and it’s my ideal chocolate chip cookie.

SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1/2 cup vegan butter, cold
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 flax egg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups/180g unbleached flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
Flaky sea salt, for topping

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl using a hand mixer) (or a whisk, but be prepared to have sore ass arms), beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sugar and vanilla extract; mix on medium speed for an additional minute then add the flax egg and mix just until combined. Off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour; mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they’re evenly distributed throughout the dough. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight (overnight is best, y’all).

When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop dough onto the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper, and line with chilled cookies, leaving 2-3″ between each cookie. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt then bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can either repeat the process with the remaining scooped dough (which should be in the freezer while the first batch of cookies are baking), or transfer the rounds to an air tight container and store in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Allow dough that’s been thoroughly frozen to thaw for 10 minutes before baking. Baked cookies will keep in an air tight container for up to four days.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

  • molly yeh February 26, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    girl you are totally pulling a bob costas! congratulations and i’m sorry about your poop :( my gosh, the craving that i have been having for chocolate chip cookies is just BEYOND. i think this post is a sign that i need to get on it…

    and i looooved your my darling lemon thyme interview!!!!

  • Alexa February 26, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    I think I would have said screw the $124 prescription and went home to eat cookies instead. ;-) Which look absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to give the recipe a go!

    Also that Obama gif made me LOL.

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan February 26, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    I’m glad we can talk about pooping, because it’s the worrrrst when you can’t! Hope your eye is better and eye infections < these cookies!

  • holly February 26, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    GREATEST ANIMATED GIF EVER.

    Sending good bacteria vibes + healing hugs!

  • Necole@seriouslysassymama February 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    My daughter is begging me to make some chocolate chip cookies. These look great.

  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker February 26, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Aww poop problems are the worst… especially ones brought on by medicals. While I am sure these cookies may not keep me regular, I am sure I could do with some chocolate cookie therapy right now.

  • lana February 26, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    you’re freaking hilarious.

  • Kathryn February 26, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I once cured some kind of weird eye thing with wine because I was too lazy to go to the doctor. Just putting it out there. Failing wine, I think cookies are probably the second best medicine in the world. Especially when they’re amped up with a touch of sea salt magic.

    PS the eye video is blocked on my relatively relaxed work internet so now I’m doubly intrigued to watch it.

  • adrianna from a cozy kitchen February 26, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    hahahaha! i loved this story. i always self-diagnose myself and most often times, i’m dead wrong, but sometimes we’re right, man. hope the eye heals soon. x

  • Katie @ Veggie and the Beast February 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    I’m so sorry about your eye! I also come home from every doctor’s appointment and try to diagnose myself. Healthy skepticism (/paranoia) is definitely a thing in my life. At least you had these cookies to make yourself feel better!

  • Erika February 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    That has got to be the best GIF ever… Sorry about your eye..doctors do sometimes seem to be full of shit especially when they write $124 prescriptions.. But I’m sure these cookies were just want you needed…

  • Melissa @ Treats With a Twist February 26, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Whew! Good hair days make a LOT of problems better. Eye problems suck ass though bc you can’t ignore your EYEBALL!!! Ahhh.
    I totally keep getting prescriptions written to me that are way too expensive. I ask the doctors for samples…then I take all their samples. And then when those are gone, I swing by the offices again and ask if they have any samples. Terrible, right? Well, not for me.
    Cookies. Yes please. And mass quantities of EVERYTHING. Love it.

  • Britney February 26, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    I hope your eye is doing better! These cookies look delicious. I hope they are solving everything.

    I have a question: What kind of coconut kefir do you consume? I need to get on it. I take probiotics, but I want more…. That sounds weird.

    • Ashlae February 26, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Hi Britney -

      Totally not weird! The coconut kefir is by Inner-Eco and it works so well that I don’t even take a pill probiotic anymore. It used to only be available in health food stores, but lately I’ve been finding it all over. Hopefully you can get your hands on it.

  • Shana February 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    $124 for a Rx at Costco?? Good lord, what did your Dr prescribe for you? (and if you get your meds @ another pharmacy, I highly recommend checking out Costco ~ they literally save me over $400 a month with GOOD insurance!).

    Hope your poop stays happily normal, your good bacteria stays put, and there is always a delish crisp, crumble or cookie coming out of the oven to make $124 med days brighter :)

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health February 26, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    your interview was just lovely. Im glad you had cookies to keep company after a rough day..hope you feel better.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 26, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Just because life isn’t as chaotic as it COULD be definitely doesn’t mean you don’t feel it sometimes. I’m totally with you on the “OOF” feeling. Cookies help. Especially chocolate chip.

  • sandra February 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    fabulous – I have yet to make a really successful chocolate chip cookie that didn’t come out of a tube. And vegan too, can’t beat that!

  • marlene February 26, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    love the cookie recipe. the self-diagnosis part riles me a bit. it does sound you at least have bacterial conjunctivitis, maybe a corneal ulcer. i know antibiotics are horribly overpriced. i know it sucks waiting at doctor’s office, but i am a specialist doctor and i can’t tell you how tiring it is to have patients come in with tons of information off the internet/their own ideas/their own needs and wants and then dictate to me what they think i should do for them. it’s crazy how much red tape and bureaucracy and charting there is with patients and electronic records and liability now. offices run behind and it’s made worse by patients who don’t show up or who are late. reimbursement is low so you need to see more patients just to pay bills. i know your condition is frustrating, and hey, there a few doctors out there who are shit and spoil it for the rest of us…but please give us the benefit of the doubt!

    • Ashlae February 26, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Hi Marlene –

      I definitely have a bacterial infection, for that I am certain, but he also diagnosed me with a chronic eye infection for which I exhibit zero of the symptoms. I’m going to get a second opinion next week. As for running behind, I was his first patient for the day and he told me, personally, that if I came in he’d be able to see me immideately. Otherwise I don’t mind waiting. :)

      • marlene February 28, 2014 at 5:27 AM

        Oh I see. Well that’s frustrating about waiting, true. I hope you’re on the mend!

  • marlene February 26, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    oh, and i hope you feel better soon! finish the antibiotics course ;)

  • Chrissy February 26, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    OOF. That day did deserves these cookies. And the crisp. And more cookies.

    Technical question- what’s your preferred vegan butter brand?

    • Ashlae February 26, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      Hi Chrissy -

      I use Earth Balance but am in the process of making my own vegan butter. When I nail a recipe, I’ll share it. :)

  • cheri February 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Love this cookie recipe, chocolate chip is my all time favorite. Sending you good bacteria along the way.

  • Ashley-Marie February 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Hi Ashlae! Just curious, what kind of vegan butter do you use? The ones I’ve seen have sodium levels of regular salted butter, but I typically use unsalted butter for baking and can’t find a good unsalted vegan butter substitute. Recommendations would make me the happiest (yes I know, it doesn’t take much)! I hope your eye feels better soon =)

    Thanks,
    Ashley-Marie

    • Ashlae February 26, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Hi Ashley –

      I use Earth Balance buttery sticks. If you’d prefer to steer clear of those (they do contain sodium), you can blend equal parts shortening and canola oil in place of the vegan butter.

  • Shannon February 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    I have been having that sort of week too. I went to the oral surgeon for a consultation, and he told me that I need $6000 worth of surgery & my insurance covers $283 of it. I just can’t even comprehend it.

    • Ashlae February 26, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Hi Shannon –

      I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine. If you lived closer we’d have a bake sale. ;)

      I’ll be bumped off my dad’s fancy insurance plan in a month and I have a feeling I’ll be in the same boat sometime in the not so distant future. It’s terrifying. And absolutely awful. Our healthcare system is fucked.

  • Jessica's Dinner Party February 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Hope you feel better! Totally do the self diagnosis thing all the time…drives my boyfriend crazy, especially because he’s a doctor haha. The poop thing is the worst! Eat lots of yogurt!

  • Kate February 26, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Okay, please no one hate me here, because I’m sure this is a fabulous recipe, buuut do y’think I could make these non-vegan successfully? Regular butter, regular egg? Thanks!

    P.S. Eye problems are horrible. My hubs had a detatched retina 4 years ago when he was 25 and is still dealing with it.

  • Kate February 26, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    And I just read your “About” section, and now I feel like a dope. Self-correction, YAY!

    • Ashlae February 26, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      :)

      PS – No hatin’ here, lady! Enjoy.

  • Maja February 27, 2014 at 5:42 AM

    They will be recreated asap, in the original version! I like a good medium between fluffy and crispy. Hope your eye is getting better very soon!. On the upsides, pirate patches are pretty cool, at least temporally ;)

  • Emma Galloway February 27, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    It’s takes great skill to make a person laugh whilst reading about eye problems :-) Hope that eye gets better real soon love xx

  • Erin February 27, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    I have always had a difficult time with vegan cookies (let’s face it, they usually suck) but I made these yesterday, let the dough rest overnight and just took my first batch out of the oven. EASILY the BEST vegan cookies I’ve ever had. I added walnuts to half the batch and I can’t wait to try other combinations. Do you think I could sub oil for the margarine next time?

    I second the eye patch idea and hope your eyeball gets its shit together soon!

  • Lisa @ Simple Pairings February 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    I LOVE chocolate chip cookies! And your recipe looks fabulous. Your pictures are breathtaking – I really enjoyed finding your blog today :) Now I’m on the hunt for chocolate chip cookies until I can make some of my own… :)

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe February 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    These cookies look like the perfect antidote to “one of those days/weeks/months.” I hope your eyeball and guts are functioning at optimal capacity soon!

  • Jade Sheldon-Burnsed February 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Aw, BOO! It’s been an odd sick month for me too. Here’s hoping we rid our bodies of the gross bacteria and keep the good…

  • Ali February 27, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    One of my most favorite things about your blog is how you’re able to blend in the personal with the professional (your baking). I love your voice. You’re a great writer and one of these days I’m actually going to get around to making one of your recipes.

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  • meg February 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Great recipe! I cant wait to try this out when I get back from India in a couple weeks! I, too, frequent Costco for my baking needs and I’ve been wanting to try their chocolate chips since I noticed they’re vegan. However, I didn’t want to commit to several pounds in case they weren’t very good. Would you say they have a darker flavour to them? Thanks!

    • Ashlae February 28, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Hi Meg -

      It depends on what kind of chocolate chips you usually use. I typically go for 60% cacao and up, but these are 51% (semi-sweet) and I really like them.

      • meg March 1, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        Thanks so much!! I always love having new chocolate chips to test! Om nom nom..

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  • Heather March 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Oh, lord. Sounds like you’ve had one helluva week. I’ve had so many quack doctors in the past, recommending ridiculous treatments. A few months ago I saw a doctor to get a referral for a physio (for my shoulder). He tried to convince me out of it, and recommended a shot of cortisone right into the shoulder blade instead. I told him he was crazy, got the physio appointment and self medicated with chocolate and gin later that evening. It seems as though you and I live our lives in a similar manner. Hope that eye heals up soon.

  • Emma March 1, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Hope your eye gets better… cookies look delicious!!

  • Katie March 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Oh God. I think my husband has died and gone to sugar heaven. This is the closest thing I have tasted to the infamous Tollhouse cookie that we grew up loving. Since transitioning off gluten and on a plant based diet my husband has had to endure a lot of “desserts” that he does not consider real desserts. As a special treat I made these for him this weekend. Seriously, he cannot stop popping them into his mouth. High fives to you girl!!

  • Judy March 2, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    K hope you didn’t get a thrush infection from the antibiotics. They tend to do that as well. Bio yoghurt is good for that in case nobody knew.
    Hope your eye gets better.

    • Ashlae March 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Hi Judy -

      That was one of the reasons I was hesitant to get on antibiotics – but thankfully all is clear and I’m on the mend. :)

  • Suzann @ helloveggy! March 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    I LOVE your writing voice. You are such a ‘blog-spiration’ of mine; thanks for sharing :)

  • Jordan March 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    I had a corneal infection last year, and it was the WORST. I mean, I’ve had knee surgery, and this little speck of dust that lodged itself in my cornea was far more painful. Wishing you the speediest recovery!

  • Jessica March 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Oh my, these cookies look adorable. Beautiful photography, will have to try!

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  • Laura March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Hiiii! I am sending my good vibes for healthy gut bacteria re-population and some proper healing. I’ve been having some spots of worst-ever times lately that really aren’t the worst ever as well. Just a car that likes to act up in the cold and cost me a lot of money and force me to sorta-stress-eat a bunch of treats. Lucky thing that we both have some solid dudes to make it all seem a bit less crazy and a whole lot more manageable. xo

  • ATasteOfMadness March 3, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Oh my goodness yum. These cookies are calling my name!

  • Emily March 4, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    Would you mind providing the amount of butter in grams? These came out kind of dry for me, and I think it might have been because it was difficult to tell how much solid butter was in a half cup. Thanks so much!

    • Ashlae March 4, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Hi Emily –

      Sorry about that! 1/2 cup of butter is equivalent to 112 (or up to 114) grams.

      • Emily March 4, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        Thank you!

  • Erin March 4, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe! I hope your eye is on the mend.

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  • Lilli @ Sugar and Cinnamon March 5, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    That sounds like the worst day ever! At least your cookies came out perfect and domed :) There’s nothing worse than a flat cookie!

    • Ashlae March 5, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      ..except a tear in one’s corneal flap. ;)

  • aa March 6, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Can i subtitue vegan butter with shortening?

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  • sara forte March 24, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    oh man, I want these cookies. Love all your notes on how to make them someones specific ideal cookie. So thoughtful of you and I’m certain it’s appreciated. I’m like you, sort of inbetween the chewy to poofy camp…but maybe more towards poofy because they end up a la mode and thin doesn’t stand a chance a la mode. Anyway. You’ve got a good man and you’re a good lady, hope the eye is better, lovely!

  • she March 26, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    These look like the best, yummiest, chocolate cookies in the history of all cookies.

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  • Deborah H March 28, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    I’m making these for the 2nd time! They are so good that even my non-vegan hubby LOVES them and requested that I make them again :)

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  • Gemma April 6, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    OH, what an awful week! :(
    Glad you ha these cookies to make you feel better though, they look wonderful!
    xxxx

    gemma

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  • Malin April 8, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    I hope you are feeling better. I love all this poop-talk! Great to get rid of such silly tabu..

    Have you ever used coconut oil instead of vegan butter? Vegan butter is really not good for you, so I am trying to stay away from that..

    I just found your blog and I am really excited about this great little tresure!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Ashlae April 8, 2014 at 7:15 AM

      Hi Malin -

      I am feeling better, thanks!

      I use coconut oil often, however – I tried it with this recipe and they turned out incredibly hard/oily. I’m currently working on developing my own vegan butter (which I will share once I get the recipe just right), but until then I’ll continue using margarine.

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  • Bethany April 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Did you seriously find a way to slam Fox News in a cookie recipe? Why are liberals so angry?

    • Ashlae April 14, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Hi Bethany –

      I wouldn’t necessarily say I “slammed” Fox News, but whatever – I’ll take it. (insert salsa dancing emoji here)

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  • Ali June 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Mmmm, can’t wait to make these.

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