hummingbird high's 2017 review

December 30, 2017 Portland, OR, USA

Can you believe another year has come and gone, just like that? Time for my annual lookback, where I review your favorite recipes and my favorite recipes. Ready for it? Here goes!

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Readers' Favorite Recipes of 2017
The following recipes are YOUR favorites from the year — that is, the most viewed recipes of mine from 2017. In years past, you guys have been focused on all things chocolate, especially cakes and cupcakes. It's a little more varied this year but it turns out you're still cake people, since two out of the top three most popular recipes on my blog this year were cake recipes:

1. Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cake


Honestly, those swirls though — it really does look like iced coffee that's just been stirred! It was no wonder this recipe was so popular. I've loved seeing your renditions on Instagram, so please continue to tag me as you make this cake (or really, any one of my bakes)!

2. Black Tahini Morning Buns


I was a bit nervous about sharing this recipe since black tahini (that is, tahini made with black sesame seeds instead of regular ones) can look a little scary and tar-like. You guys LOVED this recipe though, which is inspiring because I love black tahini and plan to use it in more of my baked goods next year!

3. The Absolute Best Birthday Cake in New York City


This recipe isn't actually my own, but instead adapted from Butter & Scotch, a bakery/bar in the neighborhood adjacent to my old one in Brooklyn. Is it the best birthday cake in New York City? That's what Grubstreet claims, at least. All I know is that it's pretty darn good. Plus, hear me talk about my secret long-term plans in this post! Hopefully I'll be able to share more in 2018. 😜

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My Favorite Recipes of 2017
Similar to previous years, it was really, really hard to narrow it down to just three recipes. Talk about choosing between your children! Here are the three that made the shortlist, but really, this is just a small selection from a great year's worth.

1. Dinosaur Fossil Cookies


Remember that time I fulfilled my childhood dreams of becoming an archeologist a paleontologist by creating this fully edible dinosaur fossil dig site? I do.

2. White Chocolate and Raspberry Sheet Cake


This was the cake that, when Erlend brought the leftovers to the hospital he was working at, the scary Russian nurse who never smiles at anybody apparently cornered him in the break room and told him very seriously to never let me go since not all women can make cakes like this one. Too bad it's not actually my recipe, but Sarah Kieffer's. 😂😂😂

3. Blood Orange Curd Linzer Cookies


Prior to this recipe (from the talented Jen Farley of Savory Simple's cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen), I avoided rollout cookies like the plague. I thought they were too messy and just, well, (whispers) not very good. This is the cookie that changed my opinion — super buttery, with a perfect shortbread-like texture —and opened the door for the other rollout cookies of 2017: dinosaur fossil cookies, pink champagne Oreos, gingerdead men, and dark and stormy sugar cookies.

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Other Highlights

1. Moving Back to Portland + Weeknight Baking


I dropped a double-header bombshell in this post: after brief stints living in San Francisco and in New York, I moved back to my adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon to write a cookbook about the years I spent balancing my day job with this blog. Yowza.

2. My 30th Birthday + #humhibirthdaymonth


I turned 30 this past June and celebrated by a) having my book go into auction that day (100% would NOT recommend this to anybody — I'll talk more about it once I finally get over the trauma years from now), and b) creating birthday-themed baked goods inspired by Drake and others. See: this cake, birthday cake blondies, pink champagne Oreos, and strawberry yellow cake pudding pops with the SLAMM crew.

3. NPR + Purple Sweet Potato Pie


I made my first radio appearance as a guest on NPR's James Beard- and IACP- award winning podcast, The Four Top. Listen to me talk life and munch on this purple sweet potato pie with the badass boss ladies of Kyra's Bake Shop and Quin Candy Store.

4. Lisbon and Porto


Erlend and I took our first adult vacation not related to family or friends and spent a few days in Portugal. It was beautiful and I would 100% recommend to everybody.

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Your Favorites on Instagram


More and more, it seems that Instagram is playing a larger part in our little online food community. There are pros and cons to this (which I've discussed in the past), but for better or worse, it's a great tool to discover new folks and share my bakes on the fly. And according to that Best Nine machine that pops up at the end of the year, you guys gave me nearly half a million likes to 241 posts in 2017. Thank you for all your support!!! My blog would not exist without you guys.

Not all of the photos in my Best Nine are recipes on my blog, but here are links to the ones that have them: Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cake; Picture-Perfect Cheesecake; Passionfruit and Blueberry Cream Tart; #bangonapan chocolate chip cookies; Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with a Carrara Marble GlazeCake Decorating 101; Ube Crinkle Cookies (not a recipe, but a cookie party!); and salted caramel Twix tart (from this book).

Happy New Year's, you guys! Thanks for following along and be sure to check out the highlights from the previous years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. Let's keep baking in 2018!

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