Archive for August, 2013

Favorite Shots: Zipping Up


Summer comes to a close.

Zipping up,


Emily & Oreo Truffles

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This is my cousin, Emily. She bought this sweet new pro-grade Canon, and let me help her break it in one day. It was raining, and there were mosquitoes as big as my fist hiding near the creek.

As an added bonus, I’ve posted the recipe for the Oreo truffles I did for Wades’ grad below. I always think of Emily when I make them because she made the first I ever had.

Thanks, Em! You’re beautiful, and if people don’t tell you that enough, then I am really sorry, because it is so so so true.


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emily face 1

emily face 2

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emily dress 1      mad grad 2

Oreo Truffles

Adapted from everywhere

1 package Oreo cookies (about 30)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into chunks

10 ounces almond bark or vanilla candy coating (alternately, you could use melted chocolate chips with a 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil for dipping)

Pulse the Oreos in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cream cheese chunks and pulse until well-combined. Scoop the mixture into small balls and roll until they are smooth. At this point, you can stick the truffles on candy sticks if you like. Set the truffles on a lined baking sheet, cover and freeze for at least a half hour.

Melt the candy coating in a bain marie or in the microwave, being careful not to scorch it. If you want to stir in food coloring at this point, you can do that. Dip each truffle in the coating and gently shake off the excess coating. Place the truffles on wax paper, sprinkle and let cool until hardened. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Pipe Dream #212: To Be A Picker – Behemoth Crumb Cake

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I was going to be a good blogger and re-title this recipe because I changed a few things from the Serious Eats version. But after wracking my brain for a better word to describe the hulking masses of butter and brown sugar that make the crumbs of this cake, I couldn’t figure out anything more appropriate that ‘behemoth.’

So here it is, the most inappropriately hulking mass of a calorie bomb I have ever made. It is the fulfillment of every crumb and crisp lover’s fantasy. I know who you are, you who snitch the crumbs off of every streusel-laden item that comes out of the oven. You are me, and the crumbs are everyone’s favorite part, so no shame. Besides, it’s not like you can even pick off enough crumbs from this to make it obvious. Under the crumb there is only…more crumb. An unending bowl of crumb. You’ll be ill before you hit the bottom.

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Unbelievably, there actually was a cake layer to this crumb cake, never mind that it was squashed to a thin pancake. I actually really liked the cake part; it was so soft! I want to make this again, reducing the crumb and increasing the cake part. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for ages.

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So. Much. Crumb.

Crumbs. So. Huge.

I halved the recipe and used an 8″ round, but if you do the same, I suggest an 8×8″ square or a 9″ round.

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The next time you hold a tea party for giants, make this cake. The next time you need a crumb fix, make this cake. Hokay.


Behemoth Crumb Cake

Adapted slightly from Serious Eats

For the crumb:

3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the cake:

1 cup sifted unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup superfine or strained sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Make the topping: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low flame. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes, but do not allow the butter to become cold. Transfer the butter to a large mixing bowl.

Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to the butter. Stir together until the mixture forms small crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment, spray with cooking spray and dust the pan lightly with all-purpose flour, tapping out the excess.

Make the cake: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk together. Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a standup electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Soften the butter on low speed. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the egg, and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat for about 1 minute longer. Blend in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, dividing the flour mixture into 3 parts and the sour cream into 2 parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary and mix for 10 seconds longer.

Pout the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a tablespoon or rubber spatula. It will just barely cover the bottom in a thin layer.Take a handful of the crumb mixture and make a fist to press the mixture into a large clump, then separate into smaller clusters, scattering them on the top of the cake batter. Repeat until all of the crumbs have been used. Try to make sure that every surface of the cake part is covered, as it will bubble up in any gaps you leave on top. Gently pat the crumbs into the batter with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top and begins to come away form the sides of the pan. Let cool completely, then lift the cake out of the pan. Drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze and cut into slices.

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