Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Cake

A big, moist banana cake with a bit of chocolate for dessert-y-ness. I considered putting chocolate frosting on top, but don’t think it needs it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups cake flour, sifted before measuring
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth.

Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

Add the flour, baking soda, salt, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until evenly combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes, until the cake passes the toothpick test. Let cool, at least partially, before slicing and enjoying. Let cool completely before covering/wrapping to store at room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Cake

 

  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups cake flour, sifted before measuring
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until evenly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes, until the cake passes the toothpick test. Let cool, at least partially, before slicing and enjoying. Let cool completely before covering/wrapping to store at room temperature.

 

 

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Caramel Twists

Basically a fancy, crisp, brown sugar/cinnamon-y breadstick, in a way? These require starting the dough the day before, so start today to have dessert to snack on all day tomorrow! (Time means nothing these days, all foods at all times, right? I’m going with it, anyway…)

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm

Caramel coating:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (I skipped these)

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Room temperature butter

To prepare the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the size of small peas.

In a measuring cup/small dish, sprinkle the yeast on warm water, stir, and let sit 5 minutes. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture, then add the egg yolks and scalded milk. Stir until it starts to hold together, then knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease all over, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and set aside. Melt the butter for the caramel coating in a microwave safe bowl or small saucepan, then stir in the corn syrup.

Pour half into each of two 15×10″ jelly roll pans, then tilt the pans to cover completely with the butter mixture.

Sprinkle the brown sugar and nuts over the butter mixture evenly.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon of the filling.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.

One at a time, roll the thirds into a 10×15″ rectangle. Brush the center third lengthwise with room temperature butter, then sprinkle 1/6 of the filling on the buttered center third.

This was a somewhat skimpy 1/6th of the filling – you can do a bit more.

Fold one of the side thirds over the center third, then cover that portion with butter. Sprinkle with another 1/6 of the filling, then fold the remaining third of dough over the top.

Cut crosswise into 1″ strips, then transfer each strip to one of the prepared pans, holding the ends of each strip in both hands and twisting the ends in opposite directions. Press the ends firmly into the pan, to hold in the twisted shape. Place strips about 1″ apart. Allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Because I’ll be eating these locked in alone, I put one pan into the freezer after filling the pan. Once frozen, I wrapped the whole mess up pretty thoroughly with plastic wrap, and will eventually let thaw/rise for an hour before baking.

During the rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, get out some heavy duty foil. After 25 minutes baking, quickly cover the pan with foil (overlapping two pieces if you don’t have mega-huge foil), then immediately flip onto a table/counter. Let the pan sit for 1 minute, then lift it off the finished twists. Eat immediately, or cool completely before putting in an air tight container to store.

Caramel Twists

From Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook.

Dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm

Caramel coating:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (I skipped these)

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Room temperature butter

To prepare the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the size of small peas. In a measuring cup/small dish, sprinkle the yeast on warm water, stir, and let sit 5 minutes. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture, then add the egg yolks and scalded milk. Stir until it starts to hold together, then knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease all over, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and set aside. Melt the butter for the caramel coating in a microwave safe bowl or small saucepan, then stir in the corn syrup. Pour half into each of two 15×10″ jelly roll pans, then tilt the pans to cover completely with the butter mixture. Sprinkle the brown sugar and nuts over the butter mixture evenly.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon of the filling.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. One at a time, roll the thirds into a 10×15″ rectangle. Brush the center third lengthwise with room temperature butter, then sprinkle 1/6 of the filling on the buttered center third. Fold one of the side thirds over the center third, then cover that portion with butter. Sprinkle with another 1/6 of the filling, then fold the remaining third of dough over the top. Cut crosswise into 1″ strips, then transfer each strip to one of the prepared pans, holding the ends of each strip in both hands and twisting the ends in opposite directions. Press the ends firmly into the pan, to hold in the twisted shape. Place strips about 1″ apart. Allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

During the rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, get out some heavy duty foil. After 25 minutes baking, quickly cover the pan with foil (overlapping two pieces if you don’t have mega-huge foil), then immediately flip onto a table/counter. Let the pan sit for 1 minute, then lift it off the finished twists. Eat immediately, or cool completely before putting in an air tight container to store.

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Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies

Tasty little cookies, different than the traditional crinkle cookies. This dough requires refrigerating to get to a texture you can roll into balls, and after getting them rolled and covered in powdered sugar I threw them in the freezer to just cook up a few at a time. (Especially now that we’re all spending more time at home, it’s risky to have tons of cookies sitting around ready to be eaten!)

Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted, than continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter is browned and has a nutty flavor. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

While the butter cools, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the browned butter and the granulated and brown sugars together.

Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until evenly mixed.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with silpats or parchment.

Place the powdered sugar in a small, shallow dish. Roll the dough into small (~1 tablespoon) balls, then roll in the powdered sugar to cover.

Place about 2 inches apart on the lined sheets, then bake 10-12 minutes for soft cookies, or 18-20 minutes for crunchy cookies. Cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Alternately, after rolling the dough into balls and coating in powdered sugar, place on a pan in the freezer for a few hours, then transfer into a large ziplock. When ready to eat, preheat your toaster oven to 300 (not 350!) degrees. Once preheated, transfer a few cookies to a lined pan and bake 18 minutes, then just eat those cookies still hot!

Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies

Marginally adapted from Cookies and Cups.

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted, than continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter is browned and has a nutty flavor. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

While the butter cools, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the browned butter and the granulated and brown sugars together. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until evenly mixed. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with silpats or parchment.

Place the powdered sugar in a small, shallow dish. Roll the dough into small (~1 tablespoon) balls, then roll in the powdered sugar to cover. Place about 2 inches apart on the lined sheets, then bake 10-12 minutes for soft cookies, or 18-20 minutes for crunchy cookies. Cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Couscous Risotto with Chicken and Spinach

Last month’s library cookbook potluck was all dutch oven recipes. This isn’t the one I brought to the event, but it was the one I liked best/thought worth making later at home. I seem to do more fake risottos than real ones, and this is no exception. The couscous gets a bit smooshy-creamy, and is quite nice! You need pearl/Israeli couscous for this, small couscous will give you a whole different mess. (Also, if you’re having trouble finding it, Israeli couscous was in the Jewish-ish section at my supermarket…)

Not the single most photogenic food ever, but…whatever…

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise then sliced into thin semicircles, washed thoroughly
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl/Israeli couscous
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces baby spinach, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

If you swish your sliced leeks around in water a while, it’s best to then lift them out by hand/slotted spoon into a colander, rather than pour, so that all that dirt at the bottom of the bowl doesn’t just land back on top.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the browned chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and couscous and cook, stirring, until the leeks are softened and the couscous is lightly toasted.

Stir in the broth and 1 teaspoon of salt, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 12 minutes, or until couscous is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juices, then recover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about another 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach, cheese, peas, and cream.

Let sit until the peas are warmed and the cheese is melted in, a further 5 minutes, then serve.

Couscous Risotto with Chicken and Spinach

From Cook It In Your Dutch Oven.

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise then sliced into thin semicircles, washed thoroughly
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl/Israeli couscous
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces baby spinach, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the browned chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and couscous and cook, stirring, until the leeks are softened and the couscous is lightly toasted. Stir in the broth and 1 teaspoon of salt, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 12 minutes, or until couscous is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juices, then recover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach, cheese, peas, and cream. Let sit until the peas are warmed and the cheese is melted in, a further 5 minutes, then serve.

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Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies use tahini as a replacement for peanut butter to provide a more ‘grown up’ flavor that at first may seem just a bit odd, but quickly becomes a new favorite. The recipe calls for freezing the dough before baking, which is a good plan anyway for those without a big household – just break out the toaster oven and bake up enough for yourself to have a few warm, melty-chocolate treats when you want them!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups good quality dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 pinch flaky salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, tahini, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat an additional 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, then add to the creamed mixture and beat on low until just combined.

My dad moved recently, sent me his grandmother’s sifter. It’s actually got weird gross bits stuck in it, probably won’t use it again…

Stir in the chocolate by hand.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment/a silpat. Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop out the dough into balls and place them on the sheet. Freeze at least an hour, until firm, and then either wrap the whole pan with plastic wrap, or move the dough balls to a plastic bag. Freeze for at least an additional 11 hours, up to 6 months – the (minimum) 12 hours freezing with allow the gluten in the flour to relax, giving a more tender cookie.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Space the dough balls at least 3″ apart on a lined baking sheet and cook until just golden brown on the edges, 13-16 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of large, flaky salt, then let cool 20 minutes. Without the cooling time, the cookies fall apart pretty easily, but…they still taste the same, so who really cares??

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Food52.

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups good quality dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 pinch flaky salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, tahini, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat an additional 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, then add to the creamed mixture and beat on low until just combined. Stir in the chocolate by hand.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment/a silpat. Using a 2 ounce cookie scoop, scoop out the dough into balls and place them on the sheet. Freeze at least an hour, until firm, and then either wrap the whole pan with plastic wrap, or move the dough balls to a plastic bag. Freeze for at least an additional 11 hours, up to 6 months.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Space the dough balls at least 3″ apart on a lined baking sheet and cook until just golden brown on the edges, 13-16 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of large, flaky salt, then let cool 20 minutes.

 

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Gochujang Chicken

A good one for a long afternoon, I’ve made this chicken twice now, and will make it again! It’s moist, just a bit spicy, and generally quite delicious! It would probably be easier if you happened to have a second person around at the start, just to handle things while your hands are all chicken-y, but with a bit of soap you can get through it yourself, then have a nearly all hands-free 3 hour cooking time, followed by a great meal! The potatoes and chicken are covered in sauce, and over the 3 hours the juices from the chicken run down to help flavor the potatoes even more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3 1/2 – 4 pound whole chicken (I did a 5 1/2 pound chicken the second time because that’s what was available, and because it cooks slow and low, it was still cooked through. Just check with a meat thermometer that it’s reached 165* and you’ll be fine!)
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 3/4 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, plus more (different salts have different sized crystals, which leads to a different saltiness taste!)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole heads of garlic
  • 1 1/2″ piece fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, or a mix of small potatoes and other root vegetables, cut to approximately 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 5 scallions

Make sure that you’ve got a rack in the middle of your oven, then preheat to 300 degrees.

Line a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet in foil for easy cleanup, then put the chicken on it and dry with paper towels. Season all over, and inside, with the salt and some freshly ground black pepper. That’s the part that requires the most hand washing if you’re doing it alone!

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gochujang and 1/4 cup olive oil. Remove 3 cloves of garlic from one of the heads, peel them, and grate them into the oil mixture. Peel the garlic and grate it in as well. Whisk together well.

Cut the remains of the garlic head, and the entire second one, in two, cutting the top off the bottom, rather than a side from the other side.

Place two of the halves into the cavity of the chicken, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine. If you don’t have twine, you can poke holes in the skin and finagle the legs through to hold them in place – tried that last week, and it went alright.

Brush half the oil mixture over the chicken, covering it all the way around. Normally when brushing a sauce onto raw meat, you’d want to be careful not to put the meat-contaminated brush back into the remaining sauce, but in this case all the sauce is going to be cooked, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the remaining oil mixture and whisk together, then toss in the potatoes and remaining garlic halves, stirring to coat.

In a 12″ cast iron skillet, place the two oil-covered garlic halves cut-side down in the center, then place the chicken on top of them. Arrange the potatoes around the outside of the chicken – not under. I’ve done this in a dutch oven as well, and that also worked!

Roast the dish for 2 1/2 – 3 hours (with the bigger chicken, probably 3 hours), removing from the oven to rotate the potatoes once or twice.

halfish

all the way

Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes for the juices to settle.

this was the time when I cut holes in the skin to hold the legs in place

Meanwhile, back in the pan, use the back of a spoon or a potato masher to partially crush the potatoes, letting them soak up more of the juices.

Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the potato mixture, as well as the honey. Stir to combine, then taste and add additional salt if needed. Slice the scallions and sprinkle over the potatoes.

Carve the chicken, then arrange the pieces of the potatoes to serve. People can squeeze the remaining lime half over their dishes as desired, and squeeze some of the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins to eat as desired.

I am bad at carving chickens! Oh well.

Gochujang Roasted Chicken

Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit.

  • 1 3 1/2 – 4 pound whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 3/4 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole heads of garlic
  • 1 1/2″ piece fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, or a mix of small potatoes and other root vegetables, cut to approximately 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 5 scallions

Make sure that you’ve got a rack in the middle of your oven, then preheat to 300 degrees.

Line a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet in foil for easy cleanup, then put the chicken on it and dry with paper towels. Season all over, and inside, with the salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gochujang and 1/4 cup olive oil. Remove 3 cloves of garlic from one of the heads, peel them, and grate them into the oil mixture. Peel the garlic and grate it in as well. Whisk together well.

Cut the remains of the garlic head, and the entire second one, in two, cutting the top off the bottom, rather than a side from the other side. Place two of the halves into the cavity of the chicken, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Brush half the oil mixture over the chicken, covering it all the way around.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the remaining oil mixture and whisk together, then toss in the potatoes and remaining garlic halves, stirring to coat.

In a 12″ cast iron skillet, place the two oil-covered garlic halves cut-side down in the center, then place the chicken on top of them. Arrange the potatoes around the outside of the chicken – not under.

Roast the dish for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, removing from the oven to rotate the potatoes once or twice. Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes for the juices to settle.

Meanwhile, back in the pan, use the back of a spoon or a potato masher to partially crush the potatoes, letting them soak up more of the juices. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the potato mixture, as well as the honey. Stir to combine, then taste and add additional salt if needed. Slice the scallions and sprinkle over the potatoes.

Carve the chicken, then arrange the pieces of the potatoes to serve. People can squeeze the remaining lime half over their dishes as desired, and squeeze some of the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins to eat as desired.

 

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Orange Marmalade Cake

A lightly orange cake with a firm outside, and a very orangey, custardy topping. Unlike last week’s cake recipe from a ’70s cookbook, this one’s from a ’30s cookbook, called, amusingly enough at this point, The New Art of Modern Cooking!

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup nuts (I skipped ’em)

Orange Cream:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9″ pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir together.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add the eggs and beat in, then add the marmalade and zest and beat to combine.

Add half the flour mixture and beat until well mixed. Beat in the water, and then the remaining flour.

Add the nuts and stir together. (Or not!) Pour into the pan and spread evenly.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until it browned on the outside and the cake passes the toothpick test. Set aside to cool.

To make the orange cream, combine the sugar, salt, flour, and zest in a saucepan and whisk together.

Add the water and orange juice and stir in, being sure to stir up any flour pockets at the edges, then turn the heat on to medium.

Cook, stirring constantly, until warm. Stir in the butter, then the egg yolks. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens to a custard texture, with a big bubble or two coming up from the bottom.

Remove from the heat and beat in the lemon juice. Continue stirring until it’s stopped steaming, then let continue to cool about another half an hour. Spread on the cake, then cool in the fridge until chilled.

Orange Marmalade Cake

Adapted slightly from The New Art of Modern Cooking.

Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup nuts (I skipped ’em)

Orange Cream:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9″ pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir together.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs and beat in. Add the marmalade and zest and beat to combine. Add half the flour mixture and beat until well mixed. Beat in the water, and then the remaining flour. Add the nuts and stir together. Pour into the pan and spread evenly, then bake 45-50 minutes, until it browned on the outside and the cake passes the toothpick test. Set aside to cool.

To make the orange cream, combine the sugar, salt, flour, and zest in a saucepan and whisk together. Add the water and orange juice and stir in, then turn the heat on to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until warm. Stir in the butter, then the egg yolks. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens to a custard texture, with a big bubble or two coming up from the bottom. Remove from the heat and beat in the lemon juice. Continue stirring until it’s stopped steaming, then let continue to cool about another half an hour. Spread on the cake, then cool in the fridge until chilled.

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Sweetheart Party Cake

A summery-feeling cake, this one would be ideal at a backyard lunch, but was also delicious at a gross wintery night gathering as well. It uses gelatin, which may sound weird but works to let you add the juice that comes off of thawed berries to whipped cream, without your whipped cream getting watery and falling off the cake, and without creating any weird jello texture in your whipped cream. Smart! This one doesn’t require much hands-on time, but you do need to plan ahead both to let the berries thaw, and to let the gelatin set.

You could probably make this less lumpy, but…

Ingredients:

  • 1 10 ounce package frozen strawberries
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 9-10” angel food cake

Set your strawberries in a strainer over a bowl and allow to thaw, ideally in the fridge overnight.

Cut the strawberries into small chunks, continuing to collect the juice at it leaks off, then set the chopped berries aside. Add the gelatin to the collected berry juice in a small microwaveable dish, stir briefly, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave 20-30 seconds, until dissolved. Set aside briefly to cool – not long enough that the mixture begins to congeal.

Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add the sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, then fold in the strawberry gelatin and the chopped strawberries.

Cut the angel food cake into 2 layers. Spread the strawberry whipped cream over the bottom layer, add the top layer, and cover completely with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Sweetheart Party Cake

Slightly adapted from Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook.

  • 1 10 ounce package frozen strawberries
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 9-10” angel food cake

Set your strawberries in a strainer over a bowl and allow to thaw, ideally in the fridge overnight. Cut the strawberries into small chunks, continuing to collect the juice at it leaks off, then set the chopped berries aside. Add the gelatin to the collected berry juice in a small microwaveable dish, stir briefly, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave 20-30 seconds, until dissolved. Set aside briefly to cool – not long enough that the mixture begins to congeal.

Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add the sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, then fold in the strawberry gelatin and the chopped strawberries.

Cut the angel food cake into 2 layers. Spread the strawberry whipped cream over the bottom layer, add the top layer, and cover completely with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

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Root Vegetable Crumble

A few months ago my (gluten-free) mother offered to buy me a cookbook she’d heard about, by some famous bread bakery lady. Who would say no to that? I’ve made a few things from the book so far that I didn’t share because…well, I’ve decided that hand-making puff pastry isn’t actually worth the effort? But this recipe, which uses just bread crumbs, is well worth making repeatedly! This actually only uses bread crumbs, in theory from sourdough you make following their recipe, although I just used a few slices of super bread I had in the freezer, to make a flavorful, savory version of a dish that’s usually a sweet, fruity dessert!

If desired, you can skip the cheese to make this vegan, and/or use gf bread crumbs to make it gluten-free. Good for most everybody!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • fine sea salt (I actually used Kosher) and black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, fronds reserved, and bulb diced into 1/2″ pieces (I’m often skeptical of fennel, as I hate the flavor of anise, but I didn’t notice it in this)
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into thin wedges (yellow beets are fine and maybe don’t dye your bowl like red)
  • 1 cup coarsely ground bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped reserved fennel fronds (I put 3x more than that, misread it)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

To make the bread crumbs, I toasted the (frozen) bread, then whizzed it in the food processor attachment of my immersion blender.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook another two minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, toss the remaining chopped vegetables, not including the fennel fronds, with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Season well with salt and pepper, then spread over the cooked onions.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the bread crumbs, fennel fronds, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the cheese, and the orange zest.

Sprinkle over the cooked vegetables, then return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown.

I will absolutely be making this again! It is, unsurprisingly, best day-of, but heated up the leftovers are still good. If you don’t have a big cast iron pan (mine’s 12″), you can cook the onions in a different pan on the stove, then transfer to a 9″ square baking dish for the rest.

Root Vegetable Crumble

Adapted from Poilane.

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, fronds reserved, and bulb diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup coarsely ground bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped reserved fennel fronds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook another two minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, toss the remaining chopped vegetables, not including the fennel fronds, with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper, then spread over the cooked onions. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the bread crumbs, fennel fronds, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the cheese, and the orange zest. Sprinkle over the cooked vegetables, then return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown.

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Churro Bars

The blog where I first saw this recipe called it churro brownies, but can something without chocolate count as a brownie?? I’m not convinced. This is its own tasty cinnamon-y thing, no need to add confusion!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest (about 2 oranges’ worth)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • flaked sea salt, for garnishing (I only had more kosher salt!)

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter then remove from the heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9″ baking dish and set aside.

Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the cooled butter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest, then stir into the wet ingredients until evenly mixed.

Transfer into the greased pan and spread evenly – this is not a super ton of batter to fill that sized pan, but do make sure you get it out to all the sides/corners.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish (looks like A Lot of cinnamon, but doesn’t taste overwhelming) and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges are set. Sprinkle with a bit of the sea salt, then cool for 20 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving.

Churro Bars

From Homesick Texan.

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • flaked sea salt, for garnishing

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter then remove from the heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9″ baking dish and set aside.

Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the cooled butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest, then stir into the wet ingredients until evenly mixed. Transfer into the greased pan and spread evenly.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges are set. Sprinkle with a bit of the sea salt, then cool for 20 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving.

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