Cookbook Cover for PERFECTLY GOLDEN: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats

PERFECTLY GOLDEN: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats

Angela Garbacz

Countryman Press
April 28, 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1682684764

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Angela Garbacz is the owner of Goldenrod Pastries. Called one of the “most innovative women in food and drink” by Food & Wine, she has been featured in Forbes, Tasting Table, Food Republic, Martha Stewart Living, New York Magazine, Radio Cherry Bombe, and other outlets. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A cookbook of treats from the Great Plains to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Goldenrod Pastries is a community bakery with an ambitious and talented baker at the helm. Angela Garbacz learned at her mother’s and grandmothers’ elbows, mixing up cookies and rolling sweet buns. Her training continued in New York City before she returned home and opened her dream shop.

From her grandma’s famous peach coffee cake to caramel-covered pecan rolls, lemon meringue pie and frosted brownies to fluffernutter buns and confetti cookies, Garbacz’s pastries come out of the oven perfectly golden and regularly sell out. At her bakery, she creates delicious treats without dairy or gluten, but every recipe in this book can be made with butter and all-purpose flour just as easily as any alternative. With her positive attitude and confident voice, Garbacz makes it easy and fun to bake a perfect dessert that everyone can eat. This beautiful cookbook—the photography, the philosophy, and the desserts!—is an instant classic.

Old School Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Yield: 24 cookies, 12 cookie sandwiches

This was our original cookie sandwich at Goldenrod. I was still figuring out a really successful way to make delicious gluten-free cookies and learned about making peanut butter cookies completely without flour. I knew this would be a good place to start while I continued learning and figuring out how to make the best gluten-free cookie recipe (see Goldenrod’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie, page 84). It’s so simple and tender—and was just begging for a healthy swirl of chocolate buttercream. So, the Old School Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich was born!

We tried taking this off the menu once. Never again. People revolted. It will never leave again.

  • 2 cups (500 g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs or flax eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 recipe Dark Chocolate Buttercream (See below)


Preheat your oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the peanut butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and fold together all the ingredients with a rubber spatula. The dough is ready when the ingredients are evenly combined and you don’t see any streaks of egg or pure peanut butter running through the mix.

We use the #20 scoop for these cookies, about 2 tablespoons (see page 41). You can also scoop the dough with a small soup spoon. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press down each cookie gently with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie are set and the center feels soft to the touch. Because these cookies are darker in color from the peanut butter, it is hard to judge their doneness based on color, so you have to rely on touch for these!

Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheets. Flip over half of them to add a swirl of Dark Chocolate Buttercream, and create a sandwich with the rest of the cookies.


Make sure not to overmix this cookie dough. It’s done mixing when the ingredients are just combined. Overmixed cookies are still delicious, but the shape gets a little shaggy.


Dark Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks, 338 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 1 1/2 cups (288 g) vegetable shortening
  • 5 cups (600 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, almond milk, or your favorite nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons brewed coffee (optional)

Combine your choice of fat and the powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start the mixer on the lowest speed and mix for about 30 seconds to disperse the fat in the sugar. Slowly stream in the milk and vanilla. Once all the ingredients have been added and are incorporated, increase the mixer speed to high and let the buttercream whip for 3 to 5 minutes. I love fluffy buttercream. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container. This can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator and store for up to 1 week.

Bittersweet Chocolate Buns

Yield: 12 buns

The beauty of the cocoa powder and brown sugar rolled up in this dough, then totally covered in chocolate ganache, is unmatched. This bun is a thing of beauty, meant for those who aren’t afraid of a little chocolate on their fingers or around their mouth.

On my husband’s rotating list of favorite buns, this is at the top.

  • 1 recipe Goldenrod’s Favorite Bun Dough of your choice, plus appropriate flour for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 55 g) unsalted butter or 1/4 cup (48 g) vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup (66 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup (59 g) light brown sugar
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Oven Ganache


Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out your choice of dough to a 10-by-20-inch rectangle, keeping the rolling surface lightly floured and moving the dough a little after each roll. You don’t want it to stick, and the best way to make sure it isn’t sticking is to keep checking. Use more flour as needed.

If you’re using the egg-free bun dough, spread your choice of fat over the surface of the dough with a rubber spatula. If you are using the rich bun dough, melt the fat first and brush it on the surface of the dough with a pastry brush. Evenly spread the cocoa powder and brown sugar across the surface of the dough, making sure to reach every edge and corner. Roll up the dough, starting from a long end and moving up. Make sure it is a tight swirl. Using a sharp chef’s knife and working down the length of the roll, cut into 12 1½-inch buns.

Arrange the buns in the prepared pans, about 2 inches apart. We always tuck the tails at Goldenrod. The “tail” is the end of each bun—grab it and fold it under the roll. This gives each person a really special bit at the bottom of each bun.

Let rise in a warm place until the dough is very fluffy to the touch and your finger leaves a slight indentation when you gently poke the edge, about 25 minutes. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the buns are perfectly golden brown all over and the centers of each roll do not give back at all when you press them lightly.

Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature. Scoop the Chocolate Oven Ganache over each bun once the buns have cooled—we use a #20 scoop, about 3¼ tablespoons (see page 23). These are absolutely best served immediately, but they will keep well for up to 24 hours.


Roll out gluten-free dough on a very well-floured piece of parchment paper or silicone mat. This prevents the dough from losing its structure and will help you to roll out the dough to the correct size. If the dough feels fragile after the filling has been spread, use the parchment paper or mat to roll up the dough. Simply lift the paper with both hands and use it to roll the dough forward, instead of using your hands. Keep going until it’s fully rolled.

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from PERFECTLY GOLDEN: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats by Angela Garbacz. (Countryman Press; April 28, 2020; $29.95/Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1682684764)

Contact: Nicholas Teodoro