Homemade Oreos

My mom got The Messy Baker for Christmas.

It looked interesting, so I decided to look through it. Inside there was a recipe for homemade Oreos, which is something I’ve wanted to make for a while. We got the whole family together, and the younger ones “helped” by sifting flour (and making a mess) and pouring ingredients in bowls. These cookies ended up being an all day project, as they had to chill in the fridge. We also didn’t have a big enough baking sheet and had to do it in three batches. I didn’t exactly do a great job filling them. They are kind of sloppy, as you can see below.

We used some black cocoa powder to get as close as possible to the Oreo-y color. This cocoa doesn’t have much flavor though, so we also used normal cocoa powder.

These cookies ended up being very rich. I don’t think I can eat more than one without getting sick, but they do taste very good! As the name of the book suggests, they are pretty crumbly and messy. The cookie part actually turned out a lot crisper than I thought. I assumed they would be chewy, but they almost have a melt-in-the-mouth texture.

I found a recipe close to what we did here.

Overall, this was a pretty good recipe, one that I would definitely make again. The cookies taste very good, and the recipe can be split over multiple days if necessary.


Chocolate Chip Almost-Mandelbrot

Yesterday, Corran finished school early and asked me if he could bake something. I guess he knew that most of our sweets from Thanksgiving were gone, and he wanted to replace them! I told him to go ahead and look through my cookbooks and find something. Cookbooks will always be useful I think!

While I went to take care of the baby, Corran went to work in the kitchen. He picked Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot from Dorie’s Cookies.

Dorie’s Cookies is a chunky book that is like a wishlist of cookies. It’s full of good things. It is interesting that I’ve actually not made many cookies from here, though I do have a few recipes marked that I want to bake. So far, Corran has made more cookies from this book than I have!

If you would rather see a recipe online, this recipe at TheKitchn is close to what Corran made.

Since Corran was the one who baked these and he is a competent writer, I will let him finish the post off for me.


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You’re stuck with me for the rest of this post – Corran

The difference between these and normal mandelbrot is that these don’t use almond flour. They were pretty easy to make, although I did use a cup of expensive olive oil instead of canola oil like I was supposed to. It was entirely my fault though, as our jug was gone and I didn’t know where to find more. Near the end of their cooking time some of their bottoms looked burnt, but they still tasted alright.

On the right side you can see the almost burnt ones.

Overall it was a fairly easy recipe and the cookies it makes are pretty good. I want to make it again, this time with orange instead of chocolate chips and I’ll dip the ends in chocolate.

If you’re thinking these look a lot like biscotti, you’d be right. The difference is in their texture; biscotti is more snappy, while these have a cake-like texture.

Destiny 2 Altars of Sorrow Guide

The Altars of Sorrow is a relatively recent addition to Destiny 2, and the weapons you can get from it are, for the most part, very good. In this guide I’ll give an overall strategy and then subclass picks for each class. (Do note that I play Warlock much more than Titan or Hunter, so everything I say may not be the best choice.)

Overall Strategy

The Altars of Sorrow is a wave-based mode much like Blind Well or Escalation Protocol. The main idea is to kill enough Nightmares before the time runs out to advance to the next wave, with there being five waves plus a boss wave. Do not let Nightmares reach the altars! If they do it subtracts 10 seconds off the clock, which can be game over on some of the higher waves. Don’t ignore the adds either, because killing them adds 1 second to the clock for each one.

Starting on wave 3, you will need to kill Wizards to spawn more Nightmares. These Wizards have invincible shields that can only broken by Hive swords, which are found on Knights wandering around the altars. Try to clear as many of the adds around the altar as you can before you pick up the sword, as you can easily be overwhelmed.

After wave 5 you will fight a boss, which is level 960 and can kill you quickly if you’re at a lower light level. After damaging the boss enough it will enter an invulnerability phase, and Nightmares will start heading toward the altar. Make it your top priority to kill the Nightmares here, as you want as much time on the clock as you can. I’ve failed this quite a few times because people kept damaging the boss and ignored the Nightmares, making us lose all our time.


Warlock: There are two that I like to use for this, Devour and Chaos Reach, while Well of Radiance is also very good.. Devour will work well no matter what exotics you have equipped, but if you want to become an almost invincible avatar of destruction equip Nezarec’s Sin and something like the Recluse. For Chaos Reach it’s pretty much mandatory that you have Geomag Stabilizers equipped, and along with Bad Juju you will almost always have your super. With Well slap on Phoenix Protocol and go to town on everything.

Titan: Thundercrash with Insurmountable Skullfort is very good for add clear, but isn’t that great for damaging Nightmares. If you like watching your enemies disappear in massive purple explosions, use Code of the Commander with Oppressive Darkness and Voidwall grenades. Unfortunately Oppressive Darkness won’t be around for much longer so enjoy it while you can. Burning Maul with Synthoceps is good for both boss damage and add clear.

Hunter: Both Tethers work well here, for both boss damage and add clear, and Blade Barrage does the same. Other than that, I can’t think of much else besides equipping Liar’s Handshake and punching everything, which if you haven’t tried it is a lot of fun.

Double-Chocolate Marble Cake

This post was written by our 15-year-old son, Corran. He has expressed an interest in cooking and baking, and he has actually been a big help to me in the kitchen lately. As he says, this cake was very yummy, but with our large family, it was gone in a few minutes! Fortunately, we had some leftover dinner rolls that Corran made last night for anyone who was still hungry. Corran will probably be posting often as his interests also run to video games, which would be a good addition to our “Geeky” section!



A couple days ago, I was looking through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan when I saw a recipe for a marble cake. I like the way marble cakes look, and it didn’t seem too hard, so I tried my hand at it.

This recipe used quite a bit of chocolate. Normally marble cakes are made by swirling together a white cake and a chocolate cake, but this one used white chocolate in the white portion. I thought it was interesting how the cake was formed; you separate the two batters and drop spoonfuls of each into the pan, then zigzag a knife through it a couple times. It wasn’t as swirly as I would have liked, but it still looked cool.

I don’t have any more pictures of it because I didn’t know I’d be writing a post on it.

I’m not sure how often I can make it though, as it uses quite a few ingredients and takes about 2-3 hours, but with how many of us there are it was gone in 15 minutes. If I do make it again, I’d like to add mocha to the chocolate portion and cardamom to the white.


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