Confession and Cookies Time: Alfajores

October 15, 2010

Working as an editor makes writing as a blogger absolutely maddening at times. Throughout the day, I’m constantly thinking about editorial direction and cohesive themes to the pieces and recipes I’m putting into place. There’s a rhyme and a reason for everything, and every recipe serves a purpose.

But life as a blogger isn’t nearly as cut and dried. Blogs by their very nature are extensions of the people who write them, and just like people are multi-dimensional, so are their blogs. And as those people change, their blogs come along for the ride, since at its core a blog is really nothing more than a journal or sorts.

As my blog grows, I’ve been wrestling with the direction of Espresso and Cream, and to be honest it’s got me feeling a little bit lost. Some of my favorite blogs are those that paint a bright, vivid picture of the bloggers behind the scenes – their lives, loves, daily routines, and adventures – like The Front Burner, Eat Live Run, Kath Eats, and Carrots ‘n Cake. They’re the girls you feel as if you already know because they share a part of themselves in each and every post.

On the other side of the coin, there are the food bloggers I revere and admire for their jaw-droppingly beautiful photos, inventive recipes and beautiful prose: Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Tartelette, and 101CookbooksΒ to name a few. You want them to mentor you, and teach you their brilliant secrets with cameras, food styling, and Photoshop.

As it is, I feel only a small potion of myself is shared here on Espresso and Cream. And just as I’d like to get to know you, the readers who make this whole thing worthwhile, I’d also like to share more of me on these pages but have hesitated for fear my blog will lose its direction, voice and personality. What does this all mean? I’m not entirely sure. Just bear with me as I try to sort it all out. What I can guarantee is that the recipes will keep on coming, and maybe a few extras, too.

Do any other bloggers out there have the same feelings from time to time?

Adapted from Gourmet Today
(Printable Recipe)

*1/3 cup cornstarch
*3/4 cup all-purpose flour
*1/4 tsp. baking powder
*1/8 tsp. salt
*8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 large egg yolk
*1 Tbsp. Amaretto liquor
*1/2 tsp. almond extract
Caramel sauce, dulce de leche, or raspberry preserves

*Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
*Whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
*Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, Amaretto, and almond extract. Stir in flour mixture until combined, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour if dough is sticky. (Dough should be soft)
*Form dough into a disk. Roll out into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out 18 to 22 rounds with a circle cookie cutter. Transfer to baking sheet, arranging rounds 1/2 inch apart.
*Bake until firm and pale golden around edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
*Spread about 1/2 teaspoon homemade caramel sauce or dulce de leche on flat sides of half the cookies and top with remaining cookies.

Happy Baking!



  • Reply running with chopstix October 15, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I completely understand what you mean. I was struggling with the same thing recently and I think taking some time to really think about what I wanted blogging to be for me really helped.

  • Reply Emily @ The Front Burner October 15, 2010 at 2:35 am

    I think we all have blog identity crises from time to time. I worry if I'm not finding enough balance – too much about food, too much about running, not enough about something else. Ultimately I try to just write about topics that excite me, and stray away from the ones that feel forced. Personally, I love your blog, and think you have a great writing voice.

  • Reply Lauren at KeepItSweet October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

    really interesting post and i completely understand how you feel! sometimes i feel like i want to share so much about myself, but sometimes i think that isn't what my blog is/should be about. definitely tough to figure out that balance.

  • Reply afreshdille October 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I still struggle with this blog identity crisis as well. I love writing about food but don't often create my own recipes so don't know whether I should re-write them for readers, etc. Also, writing about my life seems, honestly, not so interesting. Of course there are things along the line that might interest people but most of the time I am working, cooking, or relaxing with my boyfriend. It definitely is your voice and tone that brings me back!

  • Reply Anonymous October 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Hi, interesting post! I think you are on to something – as much as I enjoy reading your recipes and seeing your photos, I have felt that there is something lacking at times – you! As a blog reader, naturally I am interested in who that person behind the blog is…but the question is if you really want to take your blog into the direction of HTP and others? Are you ready to share so much of your personal life online? Maybe it would also help you to think in terms of target audience etc. to determine how you want to address your readers..why are you writing this blog? Good luck with figuring things out; I'll come back for your recipes no matter what you decide πŸ™‚

  • Reply Anne Living Life October 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I agree with comment from Anon above. Your recipes and photos are great. But it would be nice to know more about you!

  • Reply Tricia B October 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    My husband and I were talking about this today. I have recently started a blog and am working hard to identify my voice. He (my husband) wants to start sending it to his friends, co-workers, etc. and I am just not sure I am ready for anyone to start reading it. I have so many ideas – most of which are all over the road. You do a terrific job and when I click on your link, I know it will be interesting, not too preachy and full of flavor! I look forward to reading the next one.

  • Reply Imwaytoobusy October 15, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Fantastic post…and your photos…fantastic as well! Great work πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tanja @ Postmodern Hostess October 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I think virtually everyone who blogs has this struggle from time to time… totally normal! No exception on my end.

    I envy you for choosing just one topic for your blog! I find that I get the most comments when I unveil some big home “after,” but those are few and far between. Posts about cooking, gardening and parties don't garner nearly the same level of interest. BUT… I have to remember, my blog is only authentic if it's a reflection of me, and I wouldn't be happy just focusing on one category. I'm way too much of a multitasker in my actual life!

    So… I think you'll likely evolve over time on how much for your real life you want to share or not share. Just do what feels right month to month, or year to year. πŸ™‚ I bet it will be fascinating to look back!


  • Reply alice October 16, 2010 at 3:28 am

    I love the first shot, it is so beautiful. I've found from my own blog that it evolves into its own as you continue to write. It changes over time because you change over time. When I first started I hesitated to share my personal life out fear of too much information. Over time I would a little bit more and I became more comfortable with my own voice. I have you on my Google reader and I always enjoy your posts.

  • Reply vanillasugar October 16, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    so this is who has taken
    i love this domain name. great name! lol
    you have a fabulous website, and stunning photos too πŸ™‚

  • Reply Helen October 17, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I enjoy your posts and recipes. I have recently started my own blog and have a lot to learn. I share daily events as well as recipes and foods on it. I started the blog to use as sort of a journal and also to connect with others that have the same passion about healthy eating as well. I have very few people that check it out and no one that reads it daily as far as I know. I think that the fact that you have people reading your blog daily is a success no matter what you chose to post on it!

  • Reply DebZ October 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    i know i'm super late to this discussion, but thank you for describing the exact dilemna i have!

    i love my daily healthy living blogs (love feeling a part of their lives) and i love the less frequent, what i think of as “foodie blogs”. i don't have the stamina to be one of the former, but want to share more than the later. i realized it's the personal conenction that keeps me coming back to healthy living blogs regularly, and i end up treating the foodie blogs like online cookbooks, pretty databaes to search when i want something specific. it's been an interesting experiment to add a little more of myself to my posts. good luck with finding the voice you want out here.

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