Recipe Test Week!

overhead image of madeleines from recipe testing

Bakers! How the heck are you?

I just spent 4 days in the kitchen testing new recipes for the coming weeks. One of my assistants and I baked up a storm Monday – Thursday. It was awesomely productive. And that’s how I plan to approach recipe testing this year. “Power weeks” in the kitchen so I can spend the rest of the month on photography and writing. And having a relatively normal life outside of work! I really have no clue how to balance it all, but this feels like the best plan for my new role as a mom. We’ll see how it goes!

Side note. While it feels incredible to be back at it, I feel guilty not spending time with Noelle. Do any of you new moms ever feel that way when going back to work?

One of my goals for work this year is to provide new, exciting, somewhat challenging, and fresh content. For quite some time, my achilles’ heel has been madeleine cookies. The texture! I couldn’t get it right! Happy to say that after 6 or 7 different test batches, we landed on a winner. Stay tuned for the recipe (and what worked/didn’t work). We also tested a new recipe for roll out cookies, babka, a fun ganache, cupcakes, and pound cake… among a couple others. I’m sugared out. And so is my freezer!!! I’m excited to share all these new recipes with you. 🙂

flour storage containers

I shared some of our week on my Insta stories. One main question: where did I purchase my flour containers?! I have 4 of these. I included them in my 25 gifts for the baker post a few weeks ago. They’re not very glamorous, but they’re functional. Very large, so they’re great for anyone who bakes a lot. Snap shut, ingredients stay fresh, brown sugar doesn’t dry out. I use them to store flour, sugar, brown sugar, and confectioners’ sugar.

That’s it for now. See you Monday with a new recipe!


  1. You must be reading my mind….I just purchased a couple of mini Madeleine pans and I have regular-sized already, and all I needed was a recipe! I’m looking forward to trying yours. Also, I just purchased a couple of the brown sugar containers you mentioned but I got mine at Walmart. I bought one each for light & dark brown. Perfect size & definitely much better than a bag on my shelf.

    1. Sharing the madeleine recipe this week!!

  2. Will you be posting this recipe soon if not already. 
    Looking forward to trying these as they are one of my favourites 

    1. Will share this week!

  3. I see madeleinesss 🙂 no more shop bought Bonne Maman madeleines! I am placing an order for the baking tin right now! On another note, sadly the maternal guilt doesn’t really go away but like so many mothers have said – don’t stress too much about working hard, enjoy every single moment you can – kids turn out fine 🙂

    1. You’ll really like the flour storage container. I only had one to start then bought 3 more immediately after!

  4. comes with the baby. At one time I did day care. I would watch the little darlings cling to their Moms begging them not to go but the second the door closed they were happy as could be. At pick up time they would cling to me and beg to stay at my house. Mom’s could not win.

    1. Guilt is par for the course, that’s right!

  5. Sally, sounds like you had lots of fun in the kitchen, looking forward to your recipes!
    Also, I’m not a new mom, but your feeling of being away or not spending enough time with Noelle is soooooo normal!  It truly gets easier!  Speaking of Noelle please ck your DM, I’ve sent a few messages re: a package.

    1. Hey Thea! DM in Instagram? Or email? I haven’t seen anything from you! Sorry if I’m missing it.

  6. I can’t wait!

  7. I can’t wait to see your babka recipe! I raised two sons who are now wonderful adults. I often had the working mom guilt. I spent as much time with them as I could, but also made that time count. The best compliment they gave me was as adults is that they knew I was always there for them and supported them. I will say to you that you can do it–work and make your daughter feel loved and secure!!

    1. I agree about making the time together really count 🙂
      Thank you for this advice!

      1. I’m glad we can offer you support since you do so much for us! 🙂

  8. Babka? So cool! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make babka! (I shudder to think it was Seinfeld that may have caused this thought….) Working mom guilt? I’ve yet to meet a mom who hasn’t suffered some to much. It seems like a rite of passage for so many of us moms. Take advantage of your flexibility to find what works best for you and your family. Families are not ‘one size fits all.’ Feel free to experiment to find what feels like the right balance for you. You’ll find it. It could be tough at times. Even moms who make it look so easy had their tough times while finding their groove. You got this Sally!

    1. Thank you so much for this advice. It really helps!
      Sharing the babka recipe soon. And omg that seinfield episode hahaha

  9. My oldest daughter is 42. I still remember how hard it was to leave her at day care when I went back to work. It’s very normal. We fall in love with our babies and want what’s best for them. I had my youngest daughter at 38 , became a stay at home Mom, I even Home schooled her one year. Both my girls are wonderful. I’m very proud of both of them. They grew up knowing that  their mother loved and supported them. I know that you are Noelle’s biggest fan and she knows it too!
    Can’t wait for new recipes….yum

    1. This is so sweet thank you!!!

  10. I cannot wait to see all the results of your 4-day “power baking” adventure.   ALL working moms (if they’re perfectly honest) know exactly what you’re going through.  When you’re with Noelle, just be totally WITH her, and put all that work stuff away on the shelf.  You’ll make lots of fun memories, and Noelle will grow up knowing she is surrounded by people who love and care for her.  That’s the most important thing!  ❤️

    1. Wonderful advice Debbie thank you!! One thing I’ve been doing is leaving my phone in the other room when we’re playing, reading, snuggling etc etc 🙂

  11. Im so excited for the new recipes!! The one that I’m most excited about is the babka, though ❤️ 

    1. It’s SO good! I’m looking forward to sharing the recipe.

  12. Hi Sally! Great to hear you’re back in the kitchen whipping up delicious treats for all to make and explore. I am the Mom of seven children and remember the time I only had one. I decided not to go back into the outside work because the precious one needed so much of me. Then along came number two and on. No doubt that raising them was number one in my life and I haven’t missed that second paycheck at all. These are just my thoughts. Life is amazing and one of the greatest gifts is being a mom.

    1. The most precious gift. I’m grateful to be on this journey!

  13. Going back to work after maternity leave is no easy task. I just started back last week after my second one was born in September. I feel guilty for leaving her during the day, though I am fortunate to have my parents watch my two daughters. I just have to remind myself that I am setting my daughters a good example of how hard work and dedication can be applied not only to motherhood, but to the workplace. I love that first hug with my baby after work. She gives the best smiles! Best of luck in finding your balance!

    1. Oh Sharlotte, you’re so right! And being away makes the time with them even more special.

  14. Looking forward to your upcoming posts… I bought a set of several sizes of the prep works containers ( mine have black trim) last year.. and I agree with you they are the absolute best… need to buy several more of the flour size… and a larger one for confectioner sugar…

    1. One of the best purchases I made for my baking!

  15. Yes Sally! Definitely am with you on feeling guilty when I am at work. My daughter turned 4 today and I STILL feel guilty when I go to work, even though it’s part-time! But how wonderful for our daughters to see us doing work we love and are good at. Keep up the great work- at home and your job! 🙂

    How do you not gain weight with all these AMAZING recipes?!? Maybe you can do a FAQ post and include that question and how you started baking (did you teach yourself)? Happy weekend!

    1. You’re right on! Hard working mom who also loves her job is a wonderful example for our daughters.
      My about page touches on how I got started a little bit– and for the not gaining weight? Lots of self control haha. And I just started running again. Feels great!!

      1. Haha, thanks Sally!! 🙂

  16. Is a madelline really a cookie?

    1. Like little sponge cakes 🙂

  17. It has been a constant struggle as a full time working mama to find balance. My mama heart strings are always pulled at. It did get a little easier for me as time moved on. I found balance between work and running and family. I eventually stopped volunteering (for now) and have loved my added time with my kiddos as a result. It’s a constant give and take and learning to make adjustments as we go. It did get easier for me. Noelle knows how much you love her. No amount of time away can take that away. You can find balance, even if it’s a little hectic at times. <3.

    Those cookies look really good! I'm actually really excited to try the Zebra cake at some point 🙂

  18. Yay, excited to try these. I’ve had a madeleine pan for a handful of years now and only baked once in it.

  19. Sally, just before coming to your blog today I read a great blog post about “mom guilt” that seems relevant to share:

    Can’t wait for the madeleine recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing – I definitely relate!

  20. Yes, I definitely had working mom guilt. BUT, I think that a happy, productive mom is good for the baby. And just think how much more you will cherish those moments with Noelle after work. The key is striking a good balance, but the good news is that you have plenty of time to figure out what works best for you and her. 🙂

  21. The guilt thing won’t end but what might help is reminding yourself that you’re showing your daughter how to chase her passion, how to turn dreams into reality, how to work hard…

  22. Colleen Onken says:

    Hi Sally,
    I bake a ton and got these amazing bins for my flour and sugars. They hold 60+ pounds and I’ve refilled them since I filled them in October. They’re called stack-n-store (actually for pet food, but they work beautifully for dry goods too) They’re perfect for bulk buying.

  23. Brown sugar keeper coming my way…..! xo

  24. My daughter is two months old, and I will be diving back in to my 80 hour work week soon. Guilt, apprehension, sadness. I’ve got a real trifecta going. You’re not alone!

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