Say hello to your new best friend, Birthday Cake French Toast. This recipe breathes new life into birthday cake that is past its prime, making use of the dry texture to absorb a rich, eggy mixture, which is then pan-fried (frosting and all) to yield a new breed of French toast that's beyond decadent. In the tradition of over-the-top morning foods such as Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict, this makes for a sugar bomb of a plate, tasting far better than it has any right to, in a so-bad-it's-good sort of way.
Entries in recipes (582)
It's not easy being green.
It is, however, exceedingly easy to eat green, especially when we're talking about zucchini cake. Now, you probably already knew that the abundant late summer fruit (yes, it's a fruit) yields a moist, dense, and delicious quick bread. But please, don't let the story end there—because when you take it into cake territory by adding a thick slathering of chocolate cream cheese frosting, you'll have a far sweeter finish.
The frosting prettily contrasts the color of the cake, and the triple-threat of complementary flavors—tangy cream cheese, rich chocolate, earthy zucchini—makes for a final product that leaves zucchini bread absolutely green with envy.
Question: what happens when you raid your pantry while making cinnamon rolls late at night and top them with every sweet thing you can get your hands on?
Answer: Nothing good. Nothing good at all. It's awful. It's terrible. Here's how you do it at home.
Note: This is best done late at night, when things like this seem like good ideas.
Step 1: Get yourself some cinnamon rolls--you know, the kind from the can that pops when you open it.
Step 2: Set them all in a pie plate or in a baking pan.
Step 3: Raid fridge and pantry for any various sweet leftovers you might have. For me, these happened to be about 1 cup of chocolate fudge frosting, 3 almost-stale brownies, and half a can of chocolate fudge sauce.
Step 4: Put all foraged items on top of the cinnamon rolls (I broke the brownies into little crumbs). Bake as directed on container.
Step 5: Remove from oven. Admire handiwork. Remember the icing that comes with cinnamon rolls. Wonder to self: is it too much? Decide that no, it's not, and pour icing on top of the bubbling mass of a sugar-bomb.
Step 6: Top it all with the rainbow sprinkles that you found in the cupboard while the rolls were baking. Because...well, why not?
Step 7: Enjoy, preferably immediately and in front of bad TV for the ultimate terrible late-night indulgence.
As any 1980s music lover knows, running with the shadows of the night burns a ton of calories. You're going to need a slice or six of Pat Benatart to maintain your energy.
Inspired by pop-rock princess Pat Benatar, this tart starts with a cookie crust (erring more toward crumbly than "real tough cookie with a long history"), a lemon-lime cream cheese filling (sweet and rich with a pleasing tartness, these flavors say that "We Belong" together), and is topped with whipped cream for a sweet finish. The crowning glory? A totally cheesy free-form portrait of Pat, accented with Pixie Stix powder, one of the star's favorite treats.
It's an ideal mix of awful and awesome—basically, before you put another notch in your lipstick case, you'd better make sure you give it a taste.
Thing I'm saddest about at this minute: I do not have a Whisky Maple cupcake from Cupcake Royale in my mouth. This is a fact that became all the more evident when I read the Seattle Weekly writeup on the delicious seasonal morsel, which is sadly available only during March.
Happily, I uncovered the recipe in an issue of Edible Seattle, and you know what that means: you can be Irish any time you want now. And oh, how sweet to be Irish with a rich sour cream vanilla cupcakes with whisky maple buttercream. They're just as good made at home (although your frosting swirls might not be as perfect as the one shown above, which was made by Cupcake Royale!).
Here's the recipe.
Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes with Whisky Maple Buttercream
Adapted from Cupcake Royale
- 3/4 cup whole milk (I used half and half! heavy, but tasty)
- 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup whisky (CCR uses Jameson, I used some cheap brand, I'll be honest about it)
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners (this recipe yields 18-24 cupcakes, depending on size).
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the milk, sour cream, and vanilla. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium spead until the mixture is light and fluffy, about one minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at medium speed for a full 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add half the dry mixture, and beat until incorporated. Repeat the process again, mixing until the liquid and dry ingredients are combined, the batter thick and smooth.
- For traditional cupcakes, fill each lined cup 2/3 of the way full with batter. For fat crowns on your cakes, fill each cupcake liner close to the top (this will make fewer cupcakes, but bigger and awesomer ones).
- Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, whiskey, syrup, salt, and one cup of the confectioners' sugar together until smooth. Add the rest of the sugar bit by bit until it has reached your desired consistency (you might not use all of it). Spread generously on cooled cupcakes.
If I were, on this very day, pressed to answer the question "what treat would you most enjoy eating until you descend into morbid obesity?" I would have a ready answer: Peanut butter and Chocolate Chip-Topped Bar Cookies.
It all happened recently while baking the "Dream Bars" from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book and realizing that--duh--I basically had none of the ingredients for the top layer, which was meant to be made up of an almond-coconut topping. So there I was, with a somewhat sad expanse of beige batter for a bar cookie base.
Turning to my pantry (OK, my cabinet), I found half a jar of old-fashioned chunky peanut butter and half a bag of milk chocolate chips. Yes! In the mix they both went, scattered irregularly on top of the batter.
The result? Something lovely and amazing. Moist blondie-esque cookie bars with pockets of gooey-crunchy peanut butter and smooth, delicious chocolate. Something you won't...be...able...to...stop...eating. And if you don't like them? No problem, I'll finish the tray for you.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip-Topped Bar Cookies
adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 jar (about a cup) peanut butter (I used chunky)
- 1/2 bag (about a cup) milk chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Mix the butter and sugar thoroughly. Stir in flour. Press and flatten with hand to cover the bottom of a parchment-lined oblong pan, 13x9-ish.
- Bake 10 minutes, then spread with the topping (irregularly spooned globs of peanut butter and a sprinkling of chocolate chips).
- Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, then cut into bars. Makes about 20.
Now, I don't like to talk in absolutes, but...
...without a doubt, there's definitely something wrong with you if you don't think that the Baked Brownie is the finest brownie of all.
I recently used it as the base for Mimosa Brownies, which were most excellent--but really, this is a brownie that doesn't need anything added--and for that reason, I'd like to take a few moments to celebrate the beauty that is the Baked brownie in its purest form.
This is a brownie which is fudgy and chewy but not too extreme in either direction. Each bite is redolent of chocolate, and every bite is indulgently delicious. They're perfect (but it's ok if you don't like the espresso--while I don't necessarily understand what your problem is, they still taste great without).
Here's the recipe. As you can see from the top photo, it's not only CakeSpy-beloved, but gnome-approved.
The Baked Brownie
As seen in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
- 8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan (I like to lay down a bit of parchment too, for easy removal from the pan).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
- Configure a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
- Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotate the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
Eating is awesome, but what to do during those in-between meal times when you're not hungry? Work up an appetite by reading food-themed literature, that's what. Or at least that's what I do (when I'm not painting anthropomorphic pastries, of course).
So I was delighted to receive a review copy of Georgia's Kitchen, a novel wherein the namesake character is a New York chef who goes to Italy to find herself, both in a culinary and existential sense. The book is full of sensual descriptions of delicious food (hooray!). While there isn't a heavy dessert presence, happily I was able to catch up with author Jenny Nelson, who was able to answer the question: what type of dessert keeps authors inspired? Here's what she had to say about one of her favorite recipes, for Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta:
Panna cotta, a deceptively simple Italian dessert that means, literally, cooked cream, is one of my favorite desserts to make, serve and – most important – eat! I serve it all the time -- at dinner parties, holidays and even as a weekday treat for my kids. It’s elegant, delicious and so, so easy to prepare. While tasty panna cotta recipes abound, this is one of my all-time favorites. You can make it even richer using all cream, but I opt for a more healthful 1 cup half and half, 1 cup whole milk. Either way, it’s delicious.
Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta with Berries
- 2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup half and half, 1 cup whole milk; or 2 cups whole milk)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey, plus more for serving
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are my favorites)
- Place cream and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring cream to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover pan, remove from heat, and set aside steep, at least 10 minutes.
- Place 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl, and sprinkle gelatin over water; set aside to soften, at least 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, honey, vanilla and salt until combined; set aside.
- Return cream to a boil. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in softened gelatin until dissolved.
- Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into yogurt-honey mixture; mix until combined.
- Divide mixture among eight 4- to 6-ounce ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
- Wash berries and, if necessary, cut into bite-size pieces. Mix together and set aside
What with Monday's Pie Vs. Cake Showdown coming up, I was pretty excited to discover that this month's newsletter from Macrina Bakery included a blueberry pie recipe! Yielding a not-too-sweet filling with a very buttery crust, this one might just be prize material!
As they put it in the newsletter, "Few things in life are as wonderful as homemade blueberry pie. It is heaven on earth! I recommend using slightly tart organic blueberries whenever possible."
Photo credit: Macrina Bakery
Classic Blueberry Pie
Makes one double-crust 9-inch pie
- 7 cups (3-1/2 pints) organic blueberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 recipe Flaky Pie Dough (see recipe), chilled
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water
- Coarse raw sugar
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Sort through the blueberries, removing any stems and leaves. Gently rinse the berries and lay them out on paper towels to air dry.
- Combine 3-1/2 cups of the blueberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract and flour in a medium saucepan. Mix with a spoon. Cook over medium heat until the fruit juices have been released and the mixture has thickened, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the mixture from burning. Pour the cooked fruit into a large stainless steel bowl and add the remaining blueberries. Stir with a spoon and set aside until the fruit has cooled to room temperature.
- Divide the chilled pie dough into 2 pieces, making one piece slightly larger than the other. Coat your hands with flour and shape the larger piece of dough into a ball. Working on a floured surface, flatten the ball slightly, then roll it into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges of the dough to leave a 1-inch overhang around the pan. Roll out the remaining piece of dough 1/8-inch thick and trim it into a 10-inch circle. Set aside. This will be the top crust.
- Pour the cooled fruit into the pie shell and dot with butter. Brush the top side of the overhanging dough with a little egg wash. Lift the top crust onto the pie, folding it in half to make it easier to accurately position. Lift the overhanging dough onto the top crust and crimp with your fingers. Mark the crimped edges with a fork, then brush all of the crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse raw sugar and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut 4 slits in the center of the crust. Bake pie for 50 to 55 minutes. The crust will be golden brown and the fruit will be bubbling in the center of the pie. Let cool for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
There are many moments in life to enjoy over-the-top desserts (seriously--just read the responses in the "what would your last-meal dessert be?" giveaway).
But sometimes, you just need a good old-fashioned cookie. Or, as Betty Crocker of the 60's would say, a cooky.
After all, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book is where I found this understated gem of a recipe for Old Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies. It's listed in the "Heritage Cookies" section of the book, which is where you'll find, as I think of them, the frumpy forefathers of today's cookies. I don't mean this as an insult--I simply mean that while they're not the sexiest-looking cookies, they're substantial enough in flavor that it's no secret why these recipes have stuck around through the years.
This particular recipe yields a cookie that is lightly tangy, and yet somehow fluffy without being "light"--they have a compelling flavor which keeps bringing you back for more. And with a sprinkling of sugar on top, they have a satisfying crunch, too.
Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Heat oven to 425 F.
- Mix butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla thoroughly.
- Sift the dry ingredients together; add to the sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream.
- The original recipe suggests rolling the dough out, but I simply pinched off pieces and rolled them into approximately 1 1/2-inch diameter balls and placed them on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Place on a greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the sides. Makes about 36-48 cookies.