Posts Tagged 'summer'

Pipe Dream #224: To Be the Awkardest – S’mores Butter Cake Cookies

butter cookie

Just let me tell you about this butter cookie first. Except I won’t tell you anything, because what if she grows up and doesn’t want her whole life on social media and then hates me forever? I would hate that forever. So you can just bug out on cuteness for a second. Here are the cookies I made for her and the fam one day:

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These cookies are a riff on a classic gooey butter cake. Less authentic butter cakes are made with cake mix these days, which is what I used for these cookies, but there are from-scratch butter cakes that would knock off yer socks with a yeast dough bottom and gooey filling. I tried one a while back. Not my best attempt, but I’m too scared to make another one because of the name. So.

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Plus, I spazzed when I saw these on another blog because they are s’mores-themed. S’mores-flavored, whateva. Like you haven’t had enough of this nonsense already.

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The key is to “cut in” the marshmallow cream. Don’t mix it too much. You want it to be like the swirls of marshmallow in that Kemps chocolate ice cream. You know the one.

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Final verdict? They were ok. The cookies were gooey, especially straight warm from the oven (no complaints thur), but they tasted less like cake batter and more like saccharine fake-cake. Like Twinkies, or something. I haven’t had a Twinkie maybe in my whole life, but I imagine they taste like these.

P.S. Every time I say something is “ok,” you know it is probably, like, actually really fine, and anyone would eat it at a potluck. I’m just trying to differentiate the truly exceptional from the garden-variety. Are you reaping what I’m sowing? Harvesting what I’m planting? Picking what I’m growing? Awkwardest, sorry.

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Sew awkward, can’t help it,

L

S’mores Butter Cake Cookies

Adapted from Something Swanky

9 ounces (1/2 package) yellow cake mix
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/2 egg (about 1 ounce of a beaten egg)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, chopped

2 1/2 graham cracker sheets (about 3/4 cup), chopped

heaping 1/2 cup marshmallow cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the cake mix until well combined. Fold in the  in the chopped Hershey Bars and graham crackers with a large rubber spatula. Scoop the marshmallow cream onto the dough. Cut in the cream with the spatula, taking care not to mix it in too thoroughly, and leaving big patches of cream throughout. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough on to a baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the top is set, but the center is still gooey. Let rest on pan for five minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Makes about 16 cookies.

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

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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

S’mores

Marshmallows, generally

Malts

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.

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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.

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Because it’s normal,

L

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 #217: To Answer Precisely – Peach Cobbler + Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

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You know those weird icebreaker questions people ask at functions/college? Not the ones you have to do as the official icebreaker, but the ones that always come up as like “interesting details,” that are actually uninteresting, but we all just pretend.
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Examples include:
What’s your sign?
What is your middle name?
Do you like peaches or nectarines better?
Seriously, that last one. I feel like people ask me that all the time. So often, in fact, that I’ve developed a pretty particular answer to the question. I mean if I have to recite my answer, I’d better know it in my head.
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There is no fruit in this world better than an in-season, perfectly ripe, non-grainy, ultra-sweet peach. In all cases other than the perfect peach, I prefer nectarines, primarily because they don’t have any fuzz on.
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The following cobbler could be made with either, depending on what’s available. The great thing about baking peaches is that all the problems you might have worried about had you been trying to eat them raw (graininess, sweetness, unripeness) dissolve in a happy amalgamation of golden pulp.
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Smothered in bizkit and maple bourbon cream sauce. This dessert was actually so good that I ate three servings of it without batting a lash. I didn’t even have to justify in my mind. I just know that this kind of most perfect peach experience only happens in my life every three years, so imma take advantage.
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So what about you? Are you a peach person or a nectarine nibbler? Does it matter? Please take advantage of any late-season stone fruit and make this. Heck, you could try it with flash frozen fruit. While not as delish, probs, the cobbler would still serve as a massively adequate vehicle to transport maple bourbon cream sauce into your mouth.
Bloggin,’
L
Peach Cobbler
Adapted from David Lebovitz
For the filling:
4 large, ripe peaches (abbou 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup sugar
a squeeze of lemon juice
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the biscuits:
1½ cups (210 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
a pinch each of salt and nutmeg + a dash or two of cinnamon
4 tablespoons (2 oz/60 g) unsalted butter, very cold
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon whole milk, half and half or cream
white sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Halve, pit and cut the peaches into ½-inch slices; you don’t have to remove the skin. In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons flour and vanilla. Transfer the fruit mixture to a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once, until the fruit is warm and bubbly.
While the fruit is baking, make the biscuit dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1½ cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 teaspoons sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Grate the butter on the largest holes of a box grater into the flour mixture. Stir just to coat the butter in the flour. Pour in the buttermilk and stir just until the dough is moistened. Don’t overmix.
After the fruit has baked, drop the dough in six equally sized mounds onto the fruit. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush the egg wash over the biscuit dough and sprinkle liberally with extra sugar. Return the baking dish to the oven for about 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.
Let the cobbler cool until just warm and serve with maple bourbon cream sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
4 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 cup Whipping Cream
3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 tablespoon bourbon

Pour the whipping cream into a saucepan. Add the maple syrup, corn syrup, maple flavoring and bourbon, stirring over moderate heat until thickened and reduced by about one-third, which should take 15-20 minutes. Refrigerate the mixture until it is cold and thick, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t form a skin. If you are rushed, you can set the sauce over an ice bath and cool it more quickly.

Pipe Dream #216: To Retire Early – Rhubarb Crumb(le) Cake

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I saw a recipe for a “big crumb” cake, which emphasized the crumb part of the cake, and thought, “Duh, everyone’s favorite part. I want this now so I can pick the crumbs off the top.” And then I promptly waited probably two years to make it because I was half-waiting for rhubarb season, even though this riff on a classic American coffee cake can be made with any half-pound fruit ya like, I’d wager. (P.S. I apologize that rhubarb is sooooo not in season right now. Forgive me.)

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A friend of mine pointed out that it is odd that these types of cakes are called “coffee cakes,” as they really have nothing to do with coffee. The only logical explanation is that this is the perfect slice to have with your afternoon coffee…for those of you who sit around in the sunshine dozing, reading and doing other laid-back things on your average afternoon. Someone has to live like this. Please tell me who.

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Maybe this cake would have made more of an impact on my life if I hadn’t already made this hulking monstrosity, which not only featured the actual biggest crumbs this world has ever seen, but also an excellent sliver of actual cake at the bottom. Because the crumbs of the behemoth crumb cake were so massive, I actually appreciated the cake part a lot. When I made this rhubarb version, which featured a very similar cake/crumb recipe, I found myself wishing the bottom of the cake had not got so brown.

rhubarb crumble 1

Two years from now, when I make another crumb cake, I am going to double the cake recipe from the behemoth cake and cut the crumbs by like 2/3, and it will be the most perfect crumb cake ever, and I will sit in the sunshine and eat cake and enjoy my early retirement from work, life and the cares of this world. The end.

Completely pipe-dreaming,

L

Rhubarb Crumb(le) Cake

Adapted from smitten kitchen

For the rhubarb filling:
7 ounces (or about a 1/2 pound) rhubarb, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup whiet sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) softened butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and spray an 8-inch-square baking pan with non-stick spray. Toss the rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

To make the crumbs, whisk the sugars, spices and salt into melted butter in a large bowl until smooth and amalgamated. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a solid dough. Leave it pressed in the bottom of the bowl.

To prepare the cake, stir together the sour cream, egg, heavy cream and vanilla in a small bowl. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and a spoonful of the sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened and the mixture looks like large crumbs. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about a 1/2 cup of the batter and set aside.

Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rhubarb over batter evenly, then dollop the reserved cake batter over the rhubarb.

Using your fingers, break the crumb mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size and sprinkle over the cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Pipe Dream #213: To Cheat Magicians – Quicker Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

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Because sometimes we need cinnamon rolls now.

lisa cinn rolls

There are so many tips, tricks and shortcuts in this recipe, that I kind of feel like I finnagled the magician into giving away all his secrets for a wink and a smile. I feel kind of guilty. Like I shouldn’t have led you on, only to share your deepest heart with the World Wide Web.

You shouldn’t feel guilty, though. These rolls are whole wheat “healthy,” and they come together in a snap. That is, compared to regular cinnamon rolls. I mean, can I get an ‘Amen!’ for no rise time? Amen!

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I made these with Lisa of Wild Chow fame. She basically did it all, and I just bummed around for 30 minutes because that is how long these took to come together and then ate cinnamon rolls. It was great.

One of Lisa’s secret baking tricks is to use powdered buttermilk rather than liquid buttermilk in any baking recipe calling for buttermilk. Don’t ask me why it works; Lisa is a lot smarter at cooking science than I, and she swears by it. Simply mix the buttermilk powder in with the dry ingredients, and add the equivalent amount of water instead of the liquid buttermilk.

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Another secret trick, divulged by America’s test kitchen is to seal the pan with foil. Again, don’t ask me why this works, but it is supposed to give the rolls a more yeasty flavor comparable to traditional cinnamon rolls.

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You’re a square, but I like you.

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With a wink and a smile,

L

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

Filling
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dough
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/4 cups water + buttermilk powder, mixed in with the dry ingredients)
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, divided

Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 oz light cream cheese
1 tbsp buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

Whisk together all filling ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all purpose flour, whole what flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Add in buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and mix until dough starts to come together into a shaggy ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, until dough begins to look smooth and can be handled easily.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press or roll out into a 9×12-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Take remaining tablespoon of melted butter and brush over dough rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with filling mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border around each edge.

Using a bench scraper  or a flat spatula, roll the dough up into a tight spiral. Pinch seam to seal.

Use a serrated knife to cut dough into 9 even pieces. Gently flatten each of the rolls before placing them in the prepared pan, to even them out if they were misshaped when sliced.

Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 12 minutes covered, then uncover the rolls and bake for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Use the foil to life the rolls out of the baking pan and place them on a wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients together with a hand mixer until very smooth. Drizzle over slightly cooled rolls and serve warm.

Makes 9 cinnamon rolls.

Favorite Shots: Zipping Up

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Summer comes to a close.

Zipping up,

L

Pipe Dream #210: To Be TartNotATart – Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler

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I realize that rhubarb is no longer in season. But I’m posting this anyway, because I think you should make this cobbler, except with a different fruit. Unlike a more traditional cobbler recipe, this one includes cornmeal in the biscuit dough, making for a light, cornbread-y type topping. I think this would pair particularly well with a lemon-blueberry filling, or the late-summer plums with which this topping was originally paired. I’m looking forward to making another strawberry rhubarb cobbler with a more traditional biscuit topping.

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I loved loved lived the sweet-tart flavors meld. The rest of my family felt that neither the biscuit topping nor the filling was sweet enough. I think they were just wishing that it was a crisp or crumble like they are used to snarfing. I beg to differ regarding the sweetness, but you could try increasing the sugar in the filling by 1/4 cup if you’re nervous about it.

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Stop. Look at that.

Ok, the original recipe called for 1 hour and 15 minutes of bake time, but I found my biscuits brown and fruit gurgling at 50 minutes. If your biscuits are getting brown before your fruit is warm, just cover them with a little aluminum. Also, it is key to let the cobbler cool for at least 30 minutes before serving; it gives the fruit juices time to thicken up a little bit after simmering with the cornstarch.

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Springing, already,

L

Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler

Adapted from Food & Wine

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb + 2 1/2 pounds strawberries, in chunks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, toss the rhubarb and strawberries with 3/4 cups sugar and the cornstarch and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, ginger, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the milk and pulse until moistened.

Spread the filling in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scoop 15 mounds of dough over the filling. Bake in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden and crisp. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.


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