Sugared Shortbread

Cookies, Unfussy
I’ve been watching Ted Lasso lately and it has resulted in two things: saying “I appreciate you” with a little twang, and making sugared shortbread. Both are equally enjoyable.
  • 3/4 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with a parchment sling – cut one piece of parchment 8″ wide and about 14″ long so it lines the bottom exactly and extends over two of the sides so you can lift out the shortbread easily.

Melt butter and cool slightly.

Process powdered sugar, flour, almond flour and salt in the food processor until mixed well. Pour in melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until a dough has formed.

Press the dough into the prepared pan – try to make it flat. Using a bench scraper or other straight edge, press the dough around the edges of the pan to even them out. Cut the dough down the middle of the pan so you have two 4″ halves. Now cut the dough perpendicular to that cut into 1″ strips. You will have sixteen 1″ bars.

Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the shortbread is dark golden brown.

Sprinkle liberally with granulated sugar and let cool completely.

Lift shortbread out of pan and cut again following the cuts you made before. Be appreciated.

Marzipan

Candy, Unfussy
This is my favorite marzipan recipe. Vera would eat the entire batch if I let her. It mixes up quickly in the food processor with the almond flour I usually have in the freezer. Cut it or mold it in shapes, dip it in chocolate, cover a cake, fill a Stolen, etc…

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg white

Pulse the almond flour and powdered sugar together in the food processor until combined. Add almond extract and egg white and process until a smooth dough has formed.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Or eat.

Rum Balls

Candy, Food Hoarding Confessions, Unfussy
When I have cookies that are getting stale I stick them in a bag in the freezer. If you put them in the food processor you can turn them into a cookie crust for pies or cheesecakes, or use them for this thrifty little trick I’ve been doing to use up leftover cookies and assorted nuts that need a home after the holidays.

  • 3 cups crushed cookie crumbs (pretty much any cookie works here – chocolate, vanilla, graham crackers, etc…)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped nuts – toast them ahead if possible
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 TBSP corn syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp. rum exract
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • Additional powdered sugar or cocoa powder for coating

Process cookies in food processor – measure 3 cups (+/-) and set aside. Process nuts in food processor – measure 1 1/2 cups.

Put cookie crumbs and nuts back in food processor. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, extract and dark rum. Pulse until evenly combined and starting to stick together.

Form into balls (1” is a good size, but it’s up to you). Coat in additional powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

These are excellent right out of the fridge. They are also excellent when they come to room temperature and get soft and boozy.

Oatmeal Spice Cake

Breakfast, Cakes, Unfussy

This cake is a breeze to whip up and makes a great breakfast, what with all the oatmeal.

  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, pour boiling water over the oatmeal and let stand for 20 minutes.

In large bowl, cream butter until light. Slowly add sugars, creaming until the mixture is fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Scrape bowl as necessary.

Whisk together flours, salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to the creamed butter and blend well. Stir in the oatmeal and vanilla extract.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cook on rack for 20 minutes. Turn out onto rack.

Dust with powdered sugar, or glaze with a cinnamon glaze.

Cinnamon Glaze:

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whisk glaze ingredients together until smooth. Spoon over the cake.

Peach Cobbler

Unfussy

My favorite peach dessert. I like to get the peaches nice and hot before topping with cobbler so the underside of the biscuits isn’t underdone.


Peaches:

  • 2 1/2 lbs. peaches
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cobbler:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 TBSP cold butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dip peaches in boiling water for 5 seconds. Peel and slice into a medium bowl. Add sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine. Pour into an 8″ or 9″ baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare cobbler:

Stir together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until the pieces are no larger than small peas. Pour in heavy cream. Stir until the mixture is evenly moistened.

Shape the dough into 9 rough biscuits – flattening each to about 1 1/2 inches.

When peaches have cooked for 25 minutes, remove from oven. Top with cobbler. If desired, brush with heavy cream or lightly beaten egg.

Bake for an additional 35 minutes, until peaches are bubbling and cobbler is golden brown.