Ravani

Cakes, Food Hoarding Confessions, Unfussy

This tasty and simple cake is based on a recipe by husband’s late aunt. It is an excellent use of that Cream of Wheat sitting in the pantry.

Syrup:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Cake:

  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups farina (Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Make Syrup Ahead: Bring water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil and reduce for 10 minutes. Cool.

For Cake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan. In a large bowl, beat eggs and melted butter together with a whisk until well-mixed – about 5 minutes. Add farina, flour, sugar, baking powder and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until firm in the center.

Slowly pour the cool syrup over the hot Ravani. Let cool completely before cutting.

Blueberry Buckle

Cakes, Unfussy

It’s never a bad time to make blueberry buckle. My mother-in-law makes this in the summer with freshly picked wild blueberries from New Hampshire, which is hard to beat.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×9″ square pan.

Cream butter and sugar together until light. Add egg and beat to mix well.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk. Fold in blueberries.

Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over cake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes if using fresh blueberries, and up to 60 minutes if using frozen blueberries – until lightly browned and done in the middle.

Oat Scones

Breakfast, Unfussy

I keep making these scones. They seem to be what everyone in my house needs for breakfast right now. They are not too sweet.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl or food processor. Add butter and work by hand or pulse in the food processor until the butter pieces are the size of peas or a little smaller. If using food processor, transfer mixture to a medium bowl at this point. Add brown sugar and oats and stir to combine. Pour in buttermilk and fold until the dough is moistened well but do not over-mix. Dump dough onto prepared baking sheet.

Gently pat the dough together, fold in half, pat together again and fold in half again. Pat the dough into a 10 inch circle, about 3/4″ tall, in the center of the baking sheet. Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle liberally with sugar, and a few oats. Cut the circle into 8 wedges. Pull the wedges apart to separate them by about an inch or so.

Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Green Olive & Preserved Lemon Breadsticks

Bread, Unfussy

I love the combination of green olives and preserved lemons. If you can get your hands on some Goya brand canned anchovy stuffed green olives you should do so- they are little flavor bombs without being super salty like many green olives. Preserved lemons are easy to make if you have the time and they last forever.

Preserved Lemon Recipe: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_preserved_lemons/

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 325 ml lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup preserved lemon, diced (about half of a lemon)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir. Add water and mix for 5 minutes.

Combine olives, lemon and remaining 1/2 cup flour and add to mixer. Stir until incorporated, another 5 minutes.

Rub olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn dough into greased bowl and flip over to coat the top with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly flour counter. Grease or line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Turn dough onto counter and pat gently into a 7×7” square, or thereabouts. With a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 12 strips, twisting slightly and laying on prepared baking sheets about 2″ apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

Cookies, Unfussy

These are chewy, rich and delicious. The brown butter is key.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with a foil sling (leave foil overhanging out of the pan to make removing the bars easier). Lightly grease the foil.

Combine flour, oats, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Place butterscotch chips in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook until the butter is brown and nutty – this could take up to 15 minutes or so. Pour browned butter over the butterscotch chips, scraping all the brown bits at the bottom of the saucepan and including them too. Whisk until butterscotch chips are melted. Whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.

Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared pan and smooth evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes, until the edges are brown and the center is just firm.

Let cook completely in the pan before lifting out and cutting into squares.

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Pots De Creme

Unfussy

It’s hard to beat Pots de Creme, and this recipe is quite simple to whip up using your blender. The flavor really depends on the chocolate you use, so choose your own adventure in terms of bittersweet or semisweet.

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 11 oz good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Place egg yolks in the blender and mix well.

Combine heavy cream, half and half, salt and chocolate in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes uniform and thick.

Remove from heat and stir in the espresso powder and vanilla.

With blender running, pour in the chocolate mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream. Blend until well mixed.

Pour into ramekins and chill at least 4 hours.

Top with sweetened whipped cream.

Blueberry Muffins

Breakfast, Muffins, Unfussy

I made these for an after school snack this week and then immediately made them again. The addition of coconut oil keeps the muffins nice and moist for a couple days, if they last that long. I like to add the blueberries with the flour to the mixer which helps them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin, and so some of the blueberries break down and get jammy up in there.

  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup triple-filtered coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Cream butter, coconut oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl in between. Add vanilla and mix.

Whisk nutmeg, flour, salt and baking powder together. Add blueberries to flour and toss to combine.

Add half of the flour/blueberry mixture to the mixer and mix briefly. Add the sour cream and mix. Add the remaining flour/blueberries and mix well. Give it a good stir with the spatula to make sure it is evenly mixed.

Divide batter among the 12-cups – each about 3/4 full.

Sprinkle a generous 1/2 tsp Turbinado sugar over each muffin.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until the center of the muffins are just firm.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cookies, Unfussy

I know this is controversial, but I think the oatmeal raisin cookie may just be the best cookie out there. These are soft and chewy. You can bake these right after mixing, but they keep their shape better if you refrigerate the dough for an hour before baking.

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add honey and vanilla and mix. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt until well blended. Stir in oats and raisins, scrape the bowl and mix well.

Shape into balls using about 2 tablespoons of dough, (or use a cookie scoop) and place onto a cookie sheet to chill in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cookie dough onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet about 3″ apart. Bake for 12-18 minutes until light brown.

Tell people that yes, they do have raisins, but just try them already.

Favorite Cornbread

Unfussy
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This is my favorite cornbread recipe. I feel like it splits the difference between Northern (dry) and Southern (sweet) style cornbread- it’s tender and lightly sweetened. I usually make it in a cast iron pan with bacon drippings because that is how Mother Nature intended cornbread to be made. My Dad splits cornbread and tops it with a pat of butter and a heavy drizzle of sorghum, which is hard to beat.

  • 1 TBSP butter or bacon grease
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 1 TBSP butter/bacon grease in an 8-inch cast iron pan and place in the oven to melt. Alternately, grease an 8-inch pan and set aside.

Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

Whisk milk and egg together in a large measuring cup. Pour over cornmeal mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in 4 TBSP melted butter.

Remove pan from oven and swirl butter/grease around so it coats the bottom of the pan. Pour batter into pan.

Bake 20 minutes until lightly brown.

Leftovers can be made into Cornbread Skillet Cake: https://bakersanonymous.org/2019/10/08/cornbread-skillet-cake/

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Breakfast, Muffins, Unfussy

These muffins pop up in my kitchen and my sister-in-law’s kitchen frequently – pretty much whenever there are 3 ripe bananas that need to be used. They stay moist and are kinda healthy.

This recipe is from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (3 large)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, banana and honey and mix until smooth. Beat in eggs. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add to egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Remove from mixer and give a good stir to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Fill muffin cups almost to the top. Bake 20-25 minutes, until firm in the center.