Double Chocolate Cookies

Cookies, Unfussy

I was workshopping these cookies for awhile – the end result is soft chocolatey goodness.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, optional

Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until very light and fluffy 5-10 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed and mixing until the mixture is all the same pale color.

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

Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping as necessary. Add vanilla and mix.

Sift together cocoa, flour, soda and salt. Add to mixer and stir to combine well on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts, if desired.

Scoop 3 tablespoon mounds onto cookie sheet, leaving 2″ between each cookie.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until the edges are firm and the centers seem a little undercooked.

Cool 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheets and baking remaining dough. Or scoop and freeze dough balls for up to a month -baking a couple from frozen at 9:30pm when you need a little something.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Breakfast, Unfussy

This is the perfect thing to do when you can get your hands on the first tender rhubarb of the Spring. This is my mom’s recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups sliced rhubarb

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Grease 9×13″ pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream brown sugar and butter until light. Add egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to sugar, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix in rhubarb.

Spread into a prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon for topping, sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the center is done.

Tres Leches Cake

A little bit fussy, Cakes

This is a winner.

Cake:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar


Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Make Dulce: Place can of sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan, cover with water by several inches, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 hours, adding water to keep the can covered if necessary. Remove from water and let cool to room temperature.

Make Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, milk and vanilla over low heat until the butter has melted.

Meanwhile, place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the eggs on medium-high speed, and gradually add the sugar. Whip until thick and light, about 5-7 minutes.

Pour the milk and melted butter mixture into the eggs on low speed until the mixture is combined. Add the flour mixture and stir on low, then increase speed to medium and whip for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is lightly browned.

Meanwhile, combine cooled sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and vanilla together in a large measuring cup.

Poke lots of holes in the cake all over. Slowly pour milk mixture evenly over hot cake. Let sit for 20 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Whipped Cream Frosting: Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until firm. Spread over cooled cake.

Cut into squares and serve.

Homebakers Collective April Challenge: Donuts!

Breakfast, Fussy, Homebakers Collective Challenge

Sourdough Donuts with Candied Sesame Seeds

These sourdough donuts from Baking Sense were outstanding. I iced them with a simple vanilla glaze and dipped them in the most fantastic candied sesame seeds. The end result tasted like a donut meeting a dim sum sesame ball.

Check out all the other fabulous donuts from the bakers on the Homebakers Collective: https://homebakerscollective.com/2020/04/30/donuts/

Sourdough Donuts: Mix the dough up the day before (it takes most of the day) , cut and let rise for about 2 hours the next morning before frying. Recipe in link below. I substituted 1/2 tsp nutmeg for the 1 tsp cardamom because I feel like donuts have to have nutmeg.

https://www.baking-sense.com/2017/10/05/sourdough-donuts/

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP butter, softened
  • 2 TBSP milk

Beat together until smooth.

Candied Sesame Seeds:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sesame seeds

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. When the sugar dissolves and it starts to boil, pour in sesame seeds. Stir with a heatproof spatula constantly for about 8 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and the sesame seeds are completely dry and crisp. They should just barely start to brown. Pour out onto parchment lined baking sheet, break up larger clumps of seeds and let cool.

Let donuts cool for a couple minutes before dipping in vanilla glaze, then immediately in cooled sesame seeds.

Eat all day long.

Green Olive Fancies

Unfussy

These retro green olive appetizers really gussy up a quarantine Friday night. Serve with cold gin. Fancy boom.

  • 25ish green olives
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 TBSP butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line and/or grease a baking sheet. Pat green olives dry with paper towels.

By pulsing in a food processor, or by hand, combine the cheese, butter and flour until they are well combined. Stir in milk until the mixture will stick together when pinched.

Put about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture in your hand, press an olive in the middle, and mold the cheese mixture around the olive so it is completely sealed. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining olives.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

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.

Homebakers Collective March Challenge:

A little bit fussy, Homebakers Collective Challenge, Pie

Pie Challenge: Raspberry Lemon Chess Pie

This is an optimistic pie. Dedicated to my preggo sister.

Check out the other baker’s pies on: https://homebakerscollective.com/2020/03/31/march-challenge-a-pie-to-say-goodbye-to-winter/

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 60g lard, cut into tablespoons
  • 5 TBSP ice water

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Chess Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Fancy Pants Pie Decoration:

  • powdered sugar
  • freeze dried raspberries

Make crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse flour, salt, butter, and lard in food processor until butter and lard are the size of peas. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add ice water and stir with a fork until incorporated. Turn out onto work surface and work dough together until it forms a ball.
Roll out between sheets of wax paper.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with dough, prick with a fork and freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Partially Bake Pie Crust: Line the frozen pie dough with foil, fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool and remove foil.

Make Raspberry Filling: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, breaking down raspberries with a spoon if necessary. Pour into a fine mesh strainer and press through to remove raspberry seeds. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of strained filling (no seeds) for decorating on top if desired. Then, if desired, add back in about 2 tablespoons of seeds to the rest of the raspberry filling for texture. Chill until ready to use.

Make Chess Filling: Combine sugar, cream, butter, eggs, egg yolks, cornmeal, lemon zest and lemon juice and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick, about 7 minutes. Whisk in vanilla.

Spread chilled raspberry filling in the prepared pie shell. Pour thickened chess pie filling over raspberry. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the filling has set in the center and is just starting to brown.

Let pie cool completely.

For Plaid Design: Cut several 2″ strips of paper. Place paper on chilled pie, leaving 2″ between strips. Dust with powdered sugar. Remove strips. Place paper strips across the pie perpendicular to the white stripes. Combine equal weights of powdered sugar and powdered freeze dried raspberries (pulverized in blender or food processor). Sift over pie to create the pink stripes. Dust the sugar off of the exposed pie crust with a pastry brush. Place reserved raspberry filling in a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe one raspberry stripe along the side of every pink stripe and two raspberry stripes along the side of every white stripes. Chill until ready to serve.

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.