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Getting Baked with Tommy.


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Getting Baked with Tommy.

Tommy Engstrom


The moment fall rolls around, let alone winter, I go straight into Julia Child mode and start cooking and baking up a storm. Soups. Casseroles. Roasts. Desserts. Anything and everything. Nothing is off limits. It's funny, you would think that I am in the kitchen constantly anyways, given the fact that I also write a food blog. It's true, but the ratio to kitchen-time vs. non-kitchen time is vastly different this time of the year. 

Here's a little piece advice, especially if you are looking for a way to win over my heart.... Sweets. I have an unfortunately massive sweet tooth. Chocolate. Cookies. Cake. Pie. Chocolate. I will never turn down sweets. Now if you really want to take that next step to go above and beyond, ask me to bake with me. I would marry you right then and there. 

I can be somewhat high maintenance when it comes to baking recipes. We all know that baking is a science while cooking is considered more of an art form. It all comes down to ratios, measurements, and exactitudes in the baking realm. I love that. In fact, I love finding obscure difficult recipes to try out. When I lived in Europe in 2008, I visited France a number of times (Paris and Marseilles). Clearly I had to visit a small cafe and order espresso and croissants. That's a given. But what I also did was stuff my face with an absurd amount on macarons. 

To this day, I have to make these French delicatessens at least once a year. They are my favorite. Unfortunately I cannot be in all of your kitchens with you at the same time. So pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some music, and I will be with you in spirit! Enjoy!


Salted Caramel French Macarons


3 egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt


  1. Start by shifting the powdered sugar and almond flour together. I do this twice to make sure all of the large almond chunks are removed.
  2. Whisk your egg whites until foamy. Add the salt and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold your flour mixture into your eggs, turning 65 times. Make sure you do this by hand to avoid over mixing.
  4. Place your batter into piping bags and pipe 1 inch rounds onto two parchment lined baking trays. Tap each tray 4-5 times onto the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  5. Allow the cookies to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees and bake exactly 20 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Sandwich two cookies with salted caramel sauce and enjoy!

Salted Caramel Sauce


1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.
  2. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
  3. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  4. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while whisking. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
  6. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
  8. Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.