This is an ode to great food and an ode to joy. Is that redundant?
This snickerdoodle is inspired by my favorite cookie of all time: the cinnamon sugar cookie from Diddy Riese in Westwood. It’s perfectly soft, perfectly sweet, and perfectly perfect.
I aimed to recreate a healthy version of this indulgence at home, and it is indeed spectacular. Chewy, soft, and sweetened just right, you can have the magic of Diddy Riese right in your kitchen! Thank goodness it’s single serving, or the entire batch would’ve been my dinner last night and these jeans would not fit so well.
Many of you have asked for some great places to chow here in LA, so I’m spilling my secret creme de la creme. When Honest Cooking and Fiji Water gave me the opportunity to share my favorites with you, I knew it was meant to be. Whether you live here or are just coming to visit me, I’m so happy to spread the joy! And the great food.
Plus, Fiji is running this fantastic competition where you can win a trip to any US city feature in Earth’s Finest City Guide! All you need to do is upload a pic of your favorite spot in your hometown to either Instagram or Twitter, use #myhometownguide and BOOM. Dream getaway here we come!
But for now I’ll start at home.
1. Diddy Riese
What it is: The greatest cookie place in the entire world (you know, besides my kitchen). It’s the best bargain in town ($0.35 for a cookie!), with treats so good you’ll remember them forever. Make sure to get a giant ice cream sandwich while you’re there. You’ve earned it.
Why I adore it: Their snickerdoodles. ‘Nuff said.
What it is: My favorite restaurant. Period. It’s 100% vegan with a ton of gluten free options, but it will please veggie folk and carnivores alike.
Why I adore it: Great vibe. Phenomenal food that feeds the body and the soul. I’ve been coming here for my birthday dinner for years!
3. The Counter
What it is: An upscale burger joint that caters to all nutritional walks of life. The beauty is in the customization, from a pound of bison to 1/3 pound of their fabulous veggie patty. I usually 86 the bun and order it on a bed of fresh kale with all kinds of yummy toppings. I know there are Counter Burgers all over the world now, but the flagship location is right here in Santa Monica.
Why I adore it: It’s indecision run amuck and it’s delicious and I love it.
What it is: My happy place. It is the best frozen yogurt in the whole world, and this is coming from a girl who thinks fro yo should be the base of the food pyramid. I come here almost everyday.
Why I adore it: The array of top-notch healthy options, and the super friendly staff. (If you go, please tell Maricella that Kelly says hi!)
What it is: The namesake of Hoboken is an Italian American region on New Jersey. The founder was born here, and lucky for us, he brought his roots in Italian cuisine with him to Los Angeles.
Why I adore it: Sometimes you want all-vegetarian, uber healthy cuisine, and sometimes you need comfort food done right. This is your place. I used to come here after school every Friday with my momma, and I’d order penna pasta with no butter and lots of melted mozzarella cheese on top.
Get ready to smile with your mouth full LA style! I do hope this guide was helpful. If you’re in LA sometime and ever want to meet up, please drop me a line!
Now. Let’s talk cookies.
The dough takes about 27 second to whip up, and another 6 seconds to cover it in cinnamon sugar. This all sounds very good so far. You can either make it in the oven or the microwave, depending on your preferences and how badly you need a snickerdoodle like now.
A giant cookie all for you. This is a good day.
Please note: The following recipe is NOT gluten or grain free, so please click for the recipe that is.
Yield: 1 GIANT cookie (all for you!)
Serving Size: the whole darn recipe because you
5 minPrep Time:
15 minCook Time:
20 minTotal Time:
- 2 tablespoons erythritol or sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon melted butter or applesauce
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small shallow bowl, combine 1 teaspoon erythritol or sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons erythritol or sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Add in vanilla extract, butter or applesauce, and almond milk and stir until completely incorporated and the dough has come together nicely. Roll the dough into a ball and generously coat it in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and press into a cookie. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until firm and ever so slightly golden. Let cool for a few minutes if you can. Word to the hungry: you can also cook your cookie in the microwave on a plate for 45 seconds to a minute. Devour.
Nutritional information calculated with erythritol and unsweetened applesauce.
What’s your favorite place to eat in your home town?
I’d love to hear what you have to say!
“Show us your favorite spots to eat, stay and play in your hometown and win a getaway to any of the US cities featured in Earth’s Finest City Guide! To participate, just upload an image of your favorite spot in your hometown to Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #myhometownguide and tell us where you live and what makes the image special and you will be entered to win automatically.”