Cookies and Brownies and Yogurt, Oh My!

California is starting to open up and, slowly but surely, I’m getting back out there. I hiked in the mountains this past weekend and tomorrow I’m actually headed out of town for a couple of days. it feels good to get back to some sort of normal but I can’t complain. I’ve managed to stay healthy and even when I was stuck at home I found a lot to enjoy. I was also lucky enough to be delivered some wonderful California treats to make lock-down a little easier. Whether it was yummy cookies from Flour & Branch, tasty yogurt from Ayo Almond Yogurt or the ingredients for decadent brownies from Impastiamo I enjoyed tasting the flavors of the state…even if I couldn’t travel around it.

Flour and Branch

Flour & Branch, founded by Lauren Arnsdorff, is a San Francisco based bakery specializing in flavorful cookies, cheesecakes and more. Their tasty treats are all about indulgence and feature a variety of unique flavor combinations like rum, macadamia nuts and peanut butter or chocolate chips, espresso and s’mores. Available nationwide I was lucky enough to be sent a box of their cookies and speaking of chocolate chips, espresso and s’mores…

Flour & Branch

The Chipper is a delicious combination of a chocolate chip cookie and s’mores with some coffee thrown in. Flour & Branch recommends heating the cookie before eating which made it a decadent delight. Gooey marshmallow combined with melted chocolate and just a hint of coffee made for one indulgent treat.

PB & J Stuffy Flour & Branch

Another highlight was the PB & J Stuffy which is a whimsical take on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Who needs bread when you can surround your pb & j with a cookie?

Ayo Yogurt

After all that indulgence it was time for something a little healthier and, luckily, I was sent a variety of Ayo Almond Yogurts to enjoy. Ayo was founded by the Billings family, San Joaquin Valley almond ranchers who have been harvesting the nut for over 100 years. This family knows there way around an almond and decided to use some of their crop to produce a variety of delicious, tasty yogurts.

Ayo Yogurt

Currently, Ayo is available in four flavors: vanilla, strawberry, blueberry and peach. Each flavor is organic, dairy free and non GMO and every cup contains 20 almonds. As someone who’s lactose intolerant I was very excited to try Ayo and I wasn’t disappointed. Each flavor is refreshingly delicious and I’m so happy I can now pick some up at my local Ralph’s.

Ayo Almond Yogurt

Now that we’re back on the road to health let’s chuck it all and make brownies! Luckily, I have all the ingredients I need thanks to Impastiamo.


Impastiamo was founded in the early days of the pandemic as way to support chefs all over the world through online cooking classes. Last year I signed up for a tiramisu class and learned to make the delicious desert from a true expert. So when Impastiamo offered me another class I immediately signed up. This time I learned to make decadent brownies with Aliza Sokolow, an LA based food stylist who also bakes and sells gourmet challah bread. One evening, over zoom, I joined fellow foodies from all over the country in a fun brownie making class. Now, I’ve made many a brownie in my lifetime and these rank near the top.

Impastiamo Brownies

Don’t they look amazing???

After a year in business Impastiamo is still going strong offering classes in a variety of subjects. Currently, you can learn to make everything from Manhattans to empanadas to cannolis and so much more. When you purchase a class Impastiamo well send you the ingredients necessary for your dish and before you know it you’ll be making something delicious…all from the comfort of your home.

Whether it’s indulgent cookies, fresh yogurt or decadent brownies California offers an abundance of treats that are sure to please any palette. I know I’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg and I can’t wait to see what else is out there.


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