Our New Ancient Grain Loaf

A hearty gluten-free loaf made for bread lovers (made in a gluten-friendly environment) 

At Macrina, in particular over the last decade, we’ve been baking with more and more heritage grains. We’re fortunate to have a close relationship with the renowned Bread Lab and Cairnspring Mills, both located nearby in the Skagit Valley. The quality, flavor and nutrition of the heritage grains they make available, many grown in-state, has led to thrilling possibilities. 

One goal has been to make a gluten-free loaf that celebrates different grains without compromising on flavor or texture. Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder, has spent months experimenting in our test kitchen to develop a loaf that rises to her standards. The result is our Ancient Grain Loaf. “This is unlike any other gluten-free loaf I’ve tasted,” says Leslie. “It’s highly nutritious, packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and its excellent flavor makes it ideal for open-faced sandwiches or toast.” 

Teff and millet, two ancient grains naturally free of gluten, add flavor and texture. Brown rice flour and finely-ground oats round out the grains, to which we add organic flax and chia seeds, olive oil and honey for enhanced flavor and richness. A long, slow fermentation process allows the bread to develop a semi-dense texture while retaining plenty of moisture. The bread has a subtly nutty flavor with a hint of honey sweetness.  

At room temperature, the bread has a shelf life of two days, but refrigerated it will stay fresh up to a week.

A Celebration of Pi(e): Math is Cool but Pie Tastes Better

In honor of Pi Day, Macrina will offer individually sized mini pies in four favorite flavors for an entire week beginning on March 11 

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the famed mathematical constant, Albert Einstein’s birthday, and edible homonyms (aka tasty round things) — which is why we choose to celebrate it with a week-long celebration of pie. From March 11 to March 17, we’ll be offering individually sized mini pies in four favorite flavors at all our cafés. Last year, we sold out quickly, so don’t dilly dally. Here they are: 

For those of you looking to share, we’ll also have the Very Berry and Maple Apple as 9-inch pies. Whether you love math or love to hate it, come celebrate your love of pie at Macrina.

Shrimp & Crab Salad Sliders for the Big Game

Macrina’s slider rolls, either brioche or potato, are the perfect bun for sliders. Of course, there are many great fillings. But for the big game, you want to bring your A-game. These Shrimp and Crab Salad Sliders are a guaranteed winner, especially with fresh Dungeness coming in from Washington’s Pacific coast. You can make the salad in advance and refrigerate it. Before serving, butter the insides of the rolls and sauté them to caramelize the bread and warm it through.

Makes 12 sliders

Shrimp & Crap Sliders for the Big Game

6 cups water
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1 lb frozen shrimp, 16–20 size, (deveined, shell on)
8 oz fresh crab meat, cooked
2 ribs celery, medium dice
2 tsp capers, chopped
3 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
3 tsp shallots, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
12 Macrina Brioche Sliders or Rustic Potato Sliders
Butter, softened

In a medium saucepan, add the water, salt and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Add the frozen shrimp and return to a boil, cooking for 3–4 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

Strain the shrimp and transfer to a bowl. Quickly cover with ice cubes to stop the cooking process. Toss and let cool for 10 minutes.

Peel the shrimp and coarsely chop them in ½-inch pieces

In a medium bowl, add the diced celery, capers, tarragon, shallots, remaining ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the crab and chopped shrimp. Stir to combine.

Cut the slider rolls in half horizontally and brush with butter. Pan sauté the interiors to caramelize the bread and warm it through. Divide the shrimp and crab salad between the slider roll bottoms and add a top each one. Serve with your favorite chips or green salad.



Recipe of the Month: Hazelnut Raspberry Linzer Cookies

This is our Valentine’s Day version of the beloved Linzer cookie, made with ground hazelnuts rather than almonds. These shortbread cookies are great just as they are — tender, delicately sweet, with a subtle, nutty flavor and a hint of cinnamon — but with the raspberry, they’re divine. We cut these into heart shapes and make them into beautiful window cookies. In addition to the raspberry hearts, you’ll also wind up with smaller, chocolate-rimmed hearts. We like heart-shaped cookies all year long but feel free to adapt the shapes to any occasion or even enjoy the hazelnut shortbread in its pure, unadorned form. At the Macrina cafés, we are selling a Hazelnut Shortbread Cookie Mix, which is very similar and will make it quick and easy for you to make this impressive cookie.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes nine 3 1/2 inch cookies + nine smaller cookies.

Hazelnut Raspberry Linzer Cookies

½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cornstarch
1¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or substitute Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup red and white crystal sugar

Line 3 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine brown sugar and cornstarch on low speed for about 1 minute to remove lumps. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, and ground hazelnuts. Mix until combined.

With the mixer running, gradually add cubed butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the vanilla extract and mix for another minute to allow the dough to come together.

On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a 10-inch square. Divide in half and roll out each half to a 1/4-inch thickness, ensuring evenness. Cut out 9 large hearts from the first half for the bases and place them on one prepared baking pan.

From the second rolled-out half, cut out an equal number of large hearts. Then, using a smaller heart cutter, remove the centers to create heart frames. Place these frames on the second baking pan, and the small heart cutouts on the third pan.*

Chill the baking pans in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble the cookies, spread raspberry jam on the heart bases. Lightly dust the heart frames with powdered sugar and place one on top of each jam-covered base.

Melt chocolate chips in a water bath, double boiler or microwave. Dip the edge of smaller heart cookies in the chocolate and then in the crystal sugar. Allow them to set up on parchment paper.

Enjoy making someone feel special with these delicious cookies for Valentine’s Day — or any day!

*Note: Any dough scraps can be brought together in a ball, re-chilled, and rolled out again for extra cookies! 


Product Feature: Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

This is one of our most flavorful breads, shining especially bright during the gray days of winter. Its mild sour flavor results from our natural starter and a long, slow rise. The locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills contributes to its hearty texture and natural sweetness. Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts, and pecans add flavor and crunch. You’d be hard pressed to identify the faint hint of anise and cloves — that je ne sais quoi that sets it apart — if they weren’t listed among the ingredients. The net effect is a bread with surprising balance and delicious taste.
The festive flavors make this loaf a natural for the holidays. Serve warm slices at your holiday brunch with creamy cheeses like Brie or ricotta, maybe a drizzle of honey. Or keep it simple: toasted and buttered is one of our favorite ways to enjoy it. But perhaps its highest and best use during the holidays is for the Prized Leftover Ham or Turkey Sandwich.

Prize Leftover Ham or Turkey Sandwich

Serves 4

¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup leftover cranberry sauce
½ cup leftover gravy
2 cups mixed white and dark turkey meat, leftover
2 cups leftover stuffing
8 slices Macrina Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf, cut on the bias
2 Tbsp butter

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Set aside.
Pour the gravy into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once the gravy is warm, add the turkey meat and cook until just warmed through, about 4 minutes.

While the turkey is warming, heat the stuffing. You can do this in a microwave until it reaches about 165°F, or in another skillet if you prefer.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of the Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf. Place the bread slices buttered side down in the skillet and toast until just crisped, about 2 minutes each.

Assemble the sandwiches: Spread the mayo-cranberry mixture evenly over the non-buttered sides of all 8 bread slices. On four of the slices, layer the warmed turkey and top each with a quarter of the warm stuffing. Place the remaining bread slices, mayo-cranberry side down, on top of the stuffing to close the sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

12 Days of Christmas Treats

Holiday gatherings and great food go together, but let’s face it, the festivities also bring a dash of stress. Our fresh, handmade baked goods, sweet and savory, help you pull together great meals with confidence. Macrina has been a secret ingredient in transforming many families’ holiday gatherings into tasty, joyous occasions for over two decades. Knowing your guests will love the food goes a long way to letting you settle into the convivial glow of family, friends, and festive cheer.

1. Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

One of our favorite breads for toast, this loaf is perfect for a holiday brunch. Made with locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills, the hearty texture gets flavor and crunch from Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts and pecans. Mildly sour, the savory sweet bread has a hint of anise and cloves. It’s great toasted with butter, or on a festive platter spread with creamy cheeses such as Brie or ricotta.

2. Salmon Spread

Made in-house with premium smoked salmon, lemony cream cheese, briny capers, and fresh herbs, our Salmon Spread makes entertaining PNW-style easy. It’s versatile enough to use spread on toasted baguette slices on a holiday platter, as a brunch addition with our MadRy bagels, a key ingredient in a sandwich, or tossed with fresh pasta as a creamy and flavorful sauce.

3. Cookie Box

We’ve been making holiday cookie boxes since 1994. The cookies are an assortment of Leslie’s family favorites, make great gifts, and are perfect for cookie exchanges with family, neighbors and friends — or you may just want the cookies all for yourself! This year’s lineup includes our Crisp Gingerbread, Chocolate Crinkle, Mexican Wedding Balls, Cranberry Orange Biscotti, Pecan Rosemary Shortbread, and Rugelach.

4. Eggnog Cheesecake

The creamy filling is rich with eggnog, flavored with a touch of brandy, and finished with white chocolate ganache over a ginger molasses cookie crust. Beautifully garnished with seasonal fruit.

5. Mini Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake

These single-serving size layer cakes make an excellent dessert centerpiece. Arrange them artistically on a platter with holly leaves or pass them around at a holiday party. Bittersweet chocolate pot de crème is topped with a white chocolate peppermint mousse and covered in chocolate ganache.

6. Black Forest Cake

Our version of this classic German cake is both visually striking and delicious, featuring layers of fudgy chocolate cake soaked in cherry syrup and cherry brandy, layered with sweetened whipped cream, cherries, and ganache.

7. Gingerbread Spice Cup

Single-serving size cakes that will sweeten any holiday gathering. These light, ginger-spiced molasses cakes are baked in an individual paper tulip cup, topped with cream cheese frosting, and a candied ginger garnish.

8. Chocolate Pecan Babka

We make our Chocolate Pecan Babka just a few times a year. The loaf is rich like brioche bread, with an added swirl of chocolate glaze and roasted pecans. It’s delicious simply toasted with butter, but for a special brunch, use it as a base for French toast and serve it with your favorite breakfast sausage, raspberries and sweetened whipped cream!

9. Panettone

Our holidays wouldn’t be complete without this traditional Milanese Christmas bread. The festive toque-shaped yeast bread is lightly sweet, enriched with eggs and butter, and studded with raisins and candied orange and lemon peel. Grab a bottle of prosecco and some mascarpone and invite some friends over for a very Italian holiday celebration.

10. Winter Pear Crown

This savory crown makes a beautiful table centerpiece, or slice into wedges and top with Cambozola for a showy appetizer. Before hand-forming the bread into a crown, we dice the plumpest, Washington state Bartlett pears available and gently mix them into the dough with just enough black pepper to casually announce itself.

11. Gingerbread Decorating Kit

This fun activity is for kids (and kids at heart) of any age. It includes gingerbread figures, red and white sprinkles, three piping bags, and instructions for easy frosting. Use a few drops of food coloring to create colorful frosting options. If sprinkles aren’t enough for you, level up by cutting sartorial accessories like belts, bow ties, gloves and scarfs from candies like licorice and jellybeans. Unleash your creativity!

12. Italian Cream Cake

One of Leslie’s all-time favorites, this luscious, light yellow layer cake has raspberry jam and mascarpone that soak into the cake layers giving it a pudding-like texture. Kumquats add a burst of tangy citrus flavor.

A Visit to The Bread Lab

One of the most exciting innovations at Macrina in recent years is our focus on the flour we use in our naturally leavened breads. The central resource in our search for the most flavorful and nutritious wheat is the nationally renowned Bread Lab, an extension of Washington State University. Located an hour north of Seattle in Skagit Valley, Bread Lab is run by Dr. Steven Jones. He is devoted to bringing grain agriculture back to our region. A hundred years ago, fields of grains filled the Skagit Valley, but as industrial wheat brought the commodity price down, farmers shifted to more valuable crops. Commodity flour—the inert, shelf-stable white flour were all familiar with—became commonplace throughout America early in the 20th century. The shift away from regional wheat and local stone-ground milling resulted from the roller mill, an industrial method that produced a more uniform shelf-stable flour at less cost. Growers bred wheat for the new mills. Yield, not flavor, was the key metric. As a result, our nations wheat crops were rapidly homogenized. Community flour mills that once processed locally-grown wheat—there had once been more than 2,000 throughout the country—mostly vanished. Wheat, once cultivated into various strains that thrived in the particular microclimate, was reduced to a handful of hard red winter wheat strains. In the name of efficiency, most farmers abandoned the flavorful and nutritious strains of wheat and grew what fetched the highest price. America got cheap flour and Wonder Bread. The rise of artisan bread in America that started in the 1980s challenged the dominance of the ubiquitous pre-packaged supermarket loaf. More recently, the popularity of home bread baking and sourdough starters is a turn back to the days when many homemade loaves were common. This pre-industrialized turn is reflected in a new generation of farmers and artisan millers interested in a tastier, healthier, and more sustainable approach to growing and milling wheat locally. Many of them, like us, turn to Dr. Jones. Macrina has partnered with the Bread Lab for years, uses locally-grown and milled wheat developed by the Bread Lab, and Leslie Mackie, Macrinas founder, has been a member of their advisory board. Earlier this year, our leadership team visited to talk with Dr. Jones and his team of researchers. Dr. Jones is working on developing organic grain to plant in the fertile Skagit Valley,” Leslie said. The farmers produce huge amounts of potatoes, cabbage, and more and need a good rotation crop to break disease cycles and to restore vital elements to the soil. The Bread Lab breeds grain for flavor, ease of growing in our region without chemicals, great performance for bakers like us, and great yield so farmers get a fair value for their work. Dr. Jones also intends to make the grain accessible to everyone, not just high-end bakeries. Thats supporting our local economy on all levels.” Macrina pledged our continued support for Bread Lab through their Bread Collective program. Participating bakeries make a sliced loaf that uses at least sixty percent whole wheat flour, is made with only seven ingredients (no chemicals, only real food) and is sold for six dollars or less. Our Organic Whole Wheat Loaf, sold in our cafes and grocery stores, is our Bread Collective contribution. A portion of the sales of this loaf helps the Bread Lab in its mission to bring together a community of people across the wheat ecosystem, from bakers to brewers, to experiment with the flavor, nutrition, and functionality of wheat. After a delicious lunch prepared by the Bread Lab team of whole-grain pizza and a salad of local greens and pickled Skagit vegetables, we returned more inspired than ever to continue to innovate with the locally-grown hybrid heirloom strains of wheat developed by Dr. Jones. Its an exciting time to be baking bread! 

All photos courtesy of @WSU_Bread_Lab Instagram. 

Macrina for the Holidays 

De-stress your holiday gatherings by letting Macrina handle the baking. Whether it’s a holiday dinner or brunch, appetizers or desserts, we’ve got you covered. 

Great food and holidays go hand-in-hand. So does stress. You want fresh handmade baked goods, but don’t have time to do all the baking, cleaning, organizing, and decorating. For over twenty years, we’ve helped people gather around the table for fun, memorable meals. Whether it’s a holiday dinner, a festive brunch, appetizers, or desserts, we’ve got beautiful, great tasting items that will please your guests. We make it easy to serve a perfect meal and still have plenty of time to spend with family and friends.

Holiday Dinners 

Holiday Porcini Stuffing Mix, Roll Trays (Porcini Harvest, Buttermilk, Rustic Potato), Raisin Pumpernickel Loaf


Winter Pear Crown, Holiday Quiche, Holiday Brie, Cinnamon Roll Tray, Pecan Sticky Buns, Mini Squash Harvest Loaf, Pumpkin Muffin, Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf, Panettone, Chocolate Pecan Babka


Crostini, Holiday Brie, Smoked Trout Spread, Roasted Artichoke Spread, Fig and Olive Tapenade, Sweet and Spicy Nuts


Maple Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Pie, Brandied Orange Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Eggnog Cheesecake, Mini Gingerbread Spice Cup, Brown Sugar Shortbread, Chocolate Yule Log, Gingerbread Cookies, German Chocolate Cake, Mocha Almond Torte, Mini Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake

Order online for pick-up at one of our cafes! Orders must be placed by noon, two days in advance. Pickup available at the café of your choice.

Pecan Sticky Buns

Perhaps no pastry requires more napkins or inspires cravings more than homemade pecan sticky buns. They’re warm, gooey and soft in all the right places—and absolutely delicious.

After years of customer requests, we’re launching our own based on Leslie’s recipe for her homemade brunch favorite. We make them by layering our slightly sweet and pillowy brioche dough with toasted pecans and cinnamon sugar, tightly rolling it, then baking it upside down on a rich brown sugar and butter caramel with orange zest and vanilla. We invert the rolls while still warm, causing deep swirls of caramel to run through the bun leaving the pecans gooey and proud on top.

The silky not-too-sweet roll has a light, tender crumb that provides a divine contrast to the toffee-like caramel and crunch of toasted pecans.

The Pecan Sticky Buns are available individually in our retail cafés and as a four-pack. They are best served warm (5–8 minutes in a 325°F oven).

Shrimp & Crab Salad Lobster Roll Sandwich

Macrina’s Lobster Rolls are the perfect bun for a summer seafood sandwich or grilled sausage with caramelized onions and peppers. No matter how you fill these rolls, the key is to butter and grill or sauté the sides to caramelize the bread and warm it through.


Makes 4 sandwiches

6 cups water
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1 lb frozen shrimp, 16–20 size, (deveined, shell on)
8 oz fresh crab meat, cooked
2 ribs celery, medium dice
2 tsp capers, chopped
3 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
3 tsp shallots, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 Macrina Lobster Rolls


In a medium saucepan, add the water, salt and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Add the frozen shrimp and bring back to a boil, cooking for 3–4 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

Strain the shrimp and transfer to a bowl. Quickly cover with ice cubes to stop the cooking process. Toss and let cool for 10 minutes.

Peel the shrimp and coarsely chop them in ½-inch pieces.

In a medium bowl, add the diced celery, capers, tarragon, shallots, remaining ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the crab and chopped shrimp. Stir to combine.

Cut a pocket into the top of each Lobster Roll. Brush with butter and grill or pan sauté on both sides to caramelize the bread and warm it through. Put an equal portion of the shrimp and crab salad into the pocket of each roll. Serve with your favorite chips or green salad.