Posts Tagged 'american'

Pipe Dream #220: To Ban Children – Lane Cake

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lane cake 8

I discovered this cake and its connection to To Kill a Mockingbird ages ago, but it was more recently that Serious Eats posted a little article about the history of the Lane Cake. It’s a Southern cake, friends, and it is also quite boozy, so get ready.

lane cake 1

lane cake 2

We start with these light, light cake layers, made so by whipping the egg whites separately and folding them into the rest of the bourbon-flavored cake batter. I’m not sure what type of cake this is called, maybe a chiffon cake?

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lane cake 4

The cake is filled with a custard-y conglomerate of raisins, coconut, pecans and bourbon. I don’t typically go for raisins or coconut, but I was eating this stuff by the spoonful.

lane cake 8

And finally, everything gets covered with swirls of a marshmallow 7-minute-esque frosting, made with egg whites. Bonus, you can use the egg whites leftover from the filling recipe. This frosting was really difficult to work with, so be sure to use it as soon as it is ready. As you can see, mine was absolutely dead on picture perfect in every way ever.

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The result was an absolutely addictive cake. The name “Lane” is unassuming, but there is a reason it is an American classic, and it’s not just because it contains bourbon. Enjoiiii.

Not allowing children,


Lane Cake

Cake adapted from Food & Wine

Filling inspired by Booze Cakes and Saveur

Frosting from Saveur

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tabelspoon bourbon
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 275°. Spray a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray and flour the paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the  milk with the vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar until fluffy using the paddle attachment. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between additions. Mix in the bourbon. With the machine at low speed, add the dry ingredients in 4 batches, alternating with the milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture.

Transfer the batter to a large bowl, then clean the mixer bowl, wiping the bowl and whisk attachments with a vinegar-soaked paper towel to remove any trace of oil. Beat room-temperature egg whites until soft peaks form. With the machine on, gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until the egg whites are thick and glossy. Scrape the beaten whites into the reserved cake batter and fold until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool to room temperature. If desired, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

For the filling:

1 cup white sugar
8 egg yolks
½ cup bourbon
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup dried fruit (I used 75% raisins and 25% dried cranberries)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together sugar and yolks in a medium saucepan; whisk in bourbon and butter, and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently, cooking until mixture thickens to the consistency of loose pudding, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. If you are rushed, you can transfer the pot to an ice bath so that it will cool faster. Stir in raisins, pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Set aside.

For the icing:

1½ cups sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 egg whites

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook, whisking often, until the sugar dissolves. You shouldn’t be able to feel the granules.

Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with a whisk, and whisk the mixture on medium-high until tripled in volume and stiff peaks form. While the icing whips, cut the sheet cake into two halves and split each half, making four rectangular layers. Place one cake layer on a cake stand and top with 1/3 of the filling; repeat with remaining cake layers and filling, leaving top layer uncovered.

Immediately spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake until the cake is evenly covered. The frosting is pretty difficult to work with; I tried to do swirls, but they kind of failed. Best to use the icing immediately after whipping.

Chill the cake before serving, overnight if necessary.

Pipe Dream #219: To Change My Toothbrush – S’mores Cake with Malted Peanut Butter Frosting

smores cake 5

This recipe is the product of several recipes that have been roiling around in my brain for a year, at least. Except the peanut butter malt frosting. #LHOriginal on that. Yes, yes, I know it’s genius. It’s not like anyone has thought of marrying off peanut butter and malt. But ok, in frosting form.

Anyway, a year is too long to wait for


Marshmallows, generally


A new toothbrush

So I finally made it, then changed my toothbrush, which was irrevocably damaged due to the sugar in this cake, which lacquered itself onto my teeth right quick.

smores cake 1

I didn’t think it would be possible to add too much peanut butter to the frosting, so I bumped it up 1/4 cup, but I would make it with less next time. It may have been that using regular salted butter made it just a little too salty. The malt definitely started getting lost, too, so I was adding in arbitrary spoonfuls of malt powder to try and reclaim the flavor.

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And can I just say that I used one of those massive camping blowtorch things to toast this? Our kitchen torch is lost, but I knew I really wanted to toast the marshmallow frosting. Because it just wouldn’t be a s’mores cake if I didn’t. So I turned on the tiniest gas flame and worked out my biceps holding the torch just so. The next time you see me, just ignore the fact that my right bicep is bigger than my left and pretend like it’s normal.

smores cake 4

Because it’s normal,


S’mores Cake with Malted Peanut Butter Frosting

Cake inspired by hungry rabbit

Frosting is an LH Original

For the cake:

17 whole graham crackers, (about 9-1/2 ounces) broken into rough pieces
1/4 cup (1-1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup (6 ounces) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated

Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment. Grease and flour the parchment.

Process graham crackers  in a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the food processor and pulse until combined.

Whisk the milk and vanilla in small bowl.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter, beatin on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the graham cracker mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk mixture, stirring until just incorporated.

Using a clean bowl and beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Whisk one-third of the whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites until combined with no white streaks. Divide the batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack and carefully remove the parchment paper. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

For the malted peanut butter frosting:

3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
7 tablespoons butter, softened

4 tablespoons Carnation malt powder (not the chocolate kind)

1/2-3/4 cup peanut butter (I recommend 1/2 cup, as mine was a little strong on the PB)

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. It should also be completely cool. Add the butter and whip until the frosting comes together, then beat in the malt powder and peanut butter until incorporated.

For the fluffy marshmallow topping:

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 bag of mini marshmallows

Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3-4 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat, wipe dry and attached to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined, then fold in the mini marshmallows.

To assemble:

Fill and frost the cake layers with the peanut butter frosting, reserving any extra in a piping bag to decorate later. Chill in the fridge for an hour. Break up a bar of Hershey’s chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Add heavy cream until the chocolate is just covered. Microwave the chocolate/cream until the cream is hot. Let stand a minute, then whisk together the chocolate and cream to make a ganache. Let cool slightly, then drizzle around the edge of the frosted cake. Chill. Mound the fluffy marshmallow frosting on top of the cake. Chill. Then use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallow. Finish by piping decorate swirls of peanut butter frosting around the edge of the cake.

Pipe Dream #209: To Impinge Upon – Fluffernutter Cookies

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I would make the above picture a “Favorite Shots” posts just because of the way you can see that marshmallow cream oozing. This shot has movement. And plus that little crumb is just darling. I didn’t even try to make that happen. Crumbs just happen in my life.

It seems I’ve been impinging on a lot of American classics this summer. Classier slice-and-bakes, puppy chow in bar form, a giant Twinkie. And now this: a fluffernutter sandwich minus the bread. Remove the boring marshmallow creme vehicle, insert the delicious vehicle in the form of a soft, peanut butter oat cookie. I guess it’s good to make improvements, even if it is messing with a classic. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” need not necessarily apply.

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It is of the essence that you chill this dough. It is too wet to not do it. In fact, I would potentially up the flour next time or something so they spread a little less. At the very least, it’s not necessary that you flatten the cookies like the original recipe suggests. I tried it both ways, and even if you make those cute little pb cookie hash marks, they don’t stay defined when baked.

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fluff cookies 3

If you’re looking for a bit of variety, or if you happen to have a bunch of miscolored, rain-soaked M&Ms lying around, the forlorn and faded remnants of some sodden party, feel free to squish a few on the top of your cookies. It makes them almost into monster cookies and rids you of sad rememberances.

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Double scooping, playse.

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Be classic, but not too so,


Fluffernutter Cookies

Adapted from Serious Eats

1 and 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup (about 1 3/4 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup marshmallow cream (find a great homemade version here)

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, mix until incorporated, then slowly incorporate the flour mixture on low speed. When just combined, stir in oats.

Cover and chill the dough until it is firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out 1 tablespoon worth of dough per cookie and roll it into a ball. Spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart, place dough balls onto prepared baking sheet. Use the tines of a fork to press down lightly, making a crosshatch design on top of each cookie.

Bake until the edges are light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Once the cookies have cooled completely, spread 1 heaping teaspoon of marshmallow cream onto one cookie and top with another cookie to form sandwiches.

Pipe Dream #206: To Be a Mere Vessel – Puppy Chow Bars

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I’ve never posted about classic puppy chow before. I mean, sure, ages ago I tried out a lemon version, but I’ve since given up trying to make a dent in the 10,000 possible flavors you can lacquer onto rice. Rice is like dry tofu, flavorless and kinda gross on its own, which makes it indubitably versatile. In the case of puppy chow, rice cereal functions as a vehicle to transport peanut butter and chocolate from a bowl to my mouth without too much shame. (I feel like there is a “treasures in jars of clay” reference here in which I am the rice cereal and the Gospel is chocolate and peanut butter, but I can’t quite flesh it out, ah well).

puppy chow bars 1

And now, with the introduction of puppy chow in bar form, I have provided you with an even simpler way to do so. Aren’t you glad?

Amp up the powdered sugar for a more traditional level of p chow sweetness. I wish I had marshmallows on hand to make this a sort of Rice Krispy treat/puppy chow hybrid, but I didn’t. I think it might make the bars hold together a little better. I stuck these in the fridge for a bit before slicing to make things as clean as possible, but they still looked average. Story of my life.

puppy chow bars 3



Puppy Chow Bars

Adapted from Dinners, Dishes & Dessert

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex or Rice Krispies cereal
powdered sugar

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil. Place the cereal in a large bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to combine. Dump the mix into the prepared pan and press down with a spatula to form into bars. Let cool completely. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Slice into bars. You may want to stick the whole pan in the fridge before slicing to get the cleanest cuts.

Pipe Dream #197: To Scare Them Away – Cookie Dough-Stuffed Rice Krispie Treats

krispies 4

So I brought these to work, right? And I set them in their usual place of glory–the centrally-located filing cabinet space by the two fellas in my division. I mean, this positioning spares me some lectures from the ladies. (Ok, they don’t chastise me when I bring in treats, but we are just all so very, very aware that boys can handle eating mass amounts of treats and work a desk job without any adverse effects. Thus, the treats land there.)

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But before I brought these bars over, I walked past another dude from a different division. It’s a long hallway, and though there weren’t too many bars, I thought it would be rude to wave a plate of fabulous treats under his face and not offer him any, so I asked him if he wanted one.

As he reached for the plate, he asked, “What are these?”

I replied, “Chocolatechipcookiedough-stuffedRiceKrispiebars.”

Quick as a wink, he jerked his hand back from the plate.

Taken aback, I was like, “Dude, what’s up? Is that the worst thing you’ve ever heard of?”

And he said, “Wait, say that again. What are these? They had such a long name, I was worried that they were something weird.”

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And I was just amused. It’s just not the usual reaction people have to baked goods. What do these look like, chocolate covered scorpions? Glazed eel ovum? He seriously jerked away like they were going to bite. So scared of Rice Krispie bars, one of the most classically delicious treats out there.

And these bars just happen to be stuffed with marshmallows and cookie dough, a few other innocuously delectable American delicacies.

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You know you are going to make these tonight. Come on. So easy and fairly harmless compared to white chocolate cheesecakes. Like the Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies I made once, these were a bit sweet for me, but they’re worth a shot as an easy weeknight treat.

Happy Halloween,


Cookie Dough-Stuffed Rice Krispie Treats

Inspired by averie cooks

For the cookie dough:

4 tablespoons salted butter, softened

1/8 cup coconut oil*

1/8 cup vegetable shortening*

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 egg**

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

* You can really use whatever fat you like, as long as you have 3/4 cup worth. So you could use all butter, all coconut oil, or all shortening, but there will be flavor differences for sure.

**This batch makes enough to stuff the bars and have some leftover for cookies, which is why I included an egg. If you’re worried about eating raw cookie dough, try a vegan version, like this one.

Melt the coconut oil and shortening in a microwave safe bowl, and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together, then add in the melted oil, stirring until well-mixed. Beat in the in egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Dump all of the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips into the bowl and stir together until dough forms. Make sure to beat this pretty well to distribute everything if you don’t sift the dry ingredients together. Stir in chocolate chips. Stick this in the fridge to chill.

For the bars:

1 10 ounce bag of marshamallows + 1 cup mini marshmallows, reserved

4 tablespoons butter

5 1/2 cups Rice Krispies or other rice cereal

Melt the butter in a large pot of over medium heat. Add the marshmallows (not the mini marshamallows), stirring often until the butter and marshmallows are melted and combined. Remove from the heat and add the rice cereal, stirring until well-combined.

Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray. Press half of the rice cereal mixture into the pan using a spatula sprayed with non-stick spray. (Mine only took up aabout 2/3 of the pan, but try to spread it out–my bars were a little thick.)

Remove the chilled cookie dough from the fridge and sprinkle decent-sized chunks all over the cereal layer. Sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the first layer as well. Take the remaining cereal mixture and spread that over the dough layer, pressing it down firmly. The “firmly” part of this is key, otherwise your bars will break apart.

Let cool, then cut into bars.

Tuesday Throwback Scotcheroos + School Programming

I have this problem. I think I’m still in school mode. I am finding myself unable to resist buying clothes and pencils. I’ve even thought about purchasing cute folders? Folders? Really? Of all the superfluous things I could be spending money on right now…

It’s something about anticipating the start of fall, I think, or perhapsanticipating the start of school. the problem is, I’m not in school anymore. I’m in work (I got a new job, p.s.). Which means I don’t just get to go out and buy clothes because fall is coming.

Here are some symptoms you may experience if you are still programmed for school-mode:

1) You feel this weird urge to buy three whole new outfits around the end of August. You take advantage of all the sales.

2) You start making peanut butter sandwiches all the time and buying single-serving snack items.

3) You start thinking about how you are going to reorganize your desk.

In honor of the recent start of school, I decided to post a little throwback recipe for you. Nothing new, nothing original, but I hope it will remind you of your carefree elementary school days, if indeed they were carefree. Mine were. My mom bought all my clothes back then.

I also did not care about the vast amounts of sugar I’m sure I consumed. These bars are full of it. Be aware.

And then ignore.

Try not to feel guilty if you eat four. It’s rice cereal, for heaven’s sake. :]



This recipe is so widely used, I don’t know who has rights to it. I’ve been making it by heart for years.

6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal or a generic brand (it’s cool)

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

Combine corn syrup, sugar and peanut butter in  a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add rice cereal. Stir until everything is coated and then transfer to a greased 9×13″ pan. Press lightly but firmly to even out the mixture and get it into all the corners. Don’t press it so much though. If you do, the bars will be rock hard.
Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in the microwave (30 second intervals and stirring) or in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Pour melted chips over the cereal mixture. Let it all firm up, then cut into bars. Have a glass of milk handy upon consumption.

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