I was planning to make banana bread but then told my husband about this cake. He did not hesitate before casting his vote. 😉 It was incredibly moist and delicious- and easy to make. I loved the crumb layer inside the cake.
This recipe was adapted from cookiesandcups.com. I weighed the ingredients, used unsalted butter, incorporated whole wheat pastry flour and cinnamon, omitted the glaze, and modified the baking time for a convection oven. We ate it for breakfast and dessert!
Yield: one 9×13-inch cake
For the Cake:
120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
120 g (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Morton kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 ripe medium-sized bananas, mashed
8 T (1 stick, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
400 g (2 cups) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
For the Crumb Filling & Crumb Topping:
16 T (2 sticks, 1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed
432 g (2 cups) light brown sugar
120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
120 g (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
pinch coarse salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. (I set my oven to true convection.)
Coat a 9×13 metal baking dish with baking spray, line with parchment paper (overhang on long sides), lightly coat with baking spray; set aside.
Make the Cake Batter: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl stir together the mashed bananas, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until mixed well.
Add in the flour mixture and milk in alternating portions and stir until combined. Set batter aside while you make your crumb mixture.
Make the Crumb Filling & Crumb Topping: In a large bowl combine the cold, cubed butter, light brown sugar, and flours using a pastry blender or fork until a coarse crumb forms.
To Assemble: Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with 1/3 of the crumb mixture. Cover the filling with the remaining batter and then top with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes on convection or up to 50-55 minutes in a conventional oven, or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature.
This pie is an upgrade of classic strawberries and cream. It was simple and minimally sweet. The creamy pudding filling was flavored with vanilla bean- yum. I had originally planned to make it with our freshly picked berries but ultimately made it with store-bought berries. (I ran out!) The honey drizzle was essential to the presentation and to add a little sweetness.
The recipe was adapted from Food 52, contributed by Erin Jeanne McDowell. I made the crust and filling in advance and chilled each component separately until serving to ensure that the crust wouldn’t soften once assembled. I must note that the crust remained crisp the next day when we ate the leftover pie. I also used a ceramic deep dish pie pan. Next time, I would sweeten the filling a little bit more, noted below. I would also add salt to enhance the vanilla flavor.
This would be a wonderful dessert to serve on July 4th because the components can be made in advance. Nice.
Yield: One 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
3 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
For the Filling:
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided (adjust sweetness to your taste)
1/3 cup (5 T) cornstarch
generous pinch of coarse salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 quart strawberries, hulled (or enough to cover the top of the pie)
2 tablespoons wildflower honey
To Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 425º F, preferably on convection.
In a large bowl or in a food processor, combine the flour and salt.
Add the butter and toss to coat. Cut the butter into the flour with your hands, or pulse in the food processor until the butter resembles the size of peas.
Add the water and mix to combine. The dough should come together easily but not be wet or sticky.
Wrap the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s 1/8-inch thick. (I rolled it out between lightly floured parchment paper.)
Transfer it to a pie plate, and trim the edges so there is only 1/2 inch of overhang all around. (I did not have this luxurious amount of excess crust because I used a ceramic deep dish pie plate.)
Chill the dough inside the pie plate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Fold the excess dough under at the edges, pressing gently to “seal” the dough to the pie plate. Finish the edges as desired.
Poke the base of the crust a few times with a fork. If the dough seems warm, chill it again.
Line the crust with parchment paper and pie weights, and bake until the crust is golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the parchment and pie weights and continue baking until the crust is fully baked, 5 to 10 minutes more. (I continued to cook the crust for an additional 8 minutes.)
Cool completely. (After the crust had completely cooled, I covered it with plastic wrap and kept it at room temperature overnight. I chilled it the next day before assembling the dessert.)
To Make the Filling & Finish the Pie:
Mix the milk, cream, vanilla bean, and 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar together in a medium sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. (I used 1/4 cup granulated sugar this time but would use up to 1/2 cup next time.)
While the milk warms up, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium heat-safe bowl.
When the milk comes to a simmer, gradually pour the hot liquid into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to combine.
Return the mixture to the pot and cook until the mixture is thick and comes to the “first boil” (one large bubble rising from the center of the pot, not many small bubbles around the edges).
Whisk in the butter and pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary. (I made the filling a day in advance and placed it in a glass bowl and refrigerated it overnight.)
Cover the surface of the pudding directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 3 hours. (I chilled the pie crust for at least 3 hours prior to assembling and serving the pie as well.)
To finish the pie, top the pie with the hulled strawberries.
Warm the honey in the microwave or over medium heat, and when it’s runny, brush it over the strawberries.
Serve the pie chilled. (not too chilled- let it warm up slightly so that the flavors shine through!)
Before I share my fresh strawberry delights, I have to share these jewel-toned strawberry muffins that can be made year-round. I made them before picking our beloved Long Island strawberries. The crumb was very tender and tasty. I loved the subtle flavor from the coconut oil as well.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. Even though I didn’t have difficulty with the jam leaking, next time, I would put more batter in the base of each muffin before filling so that it would be more centrally located. I would also reserve the freeze dried strawberry-sugar coating solely for the muffin tops. The jam-filled portion and the strawberry-sugar coated portion were two separate (and delicious) elements in the finished muffin. Both of these modifications are noted in the recipe below. I may also use my homemade jam in the filling. 🙂
The original recipe notes that this special strawberry-sugar could also be used to coat snickerdoodles. Great idea.
Yield: 12 muffins
For the Muffin Batter & Filling:
5 T refined coconut oil, room temperature
4 T unsalted butter, room temperature
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
67 g (1/3 cup, 5 T) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
281 g (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
240 g (1 cup) sour cream
1/2 cup thick strawberry or other berry jam (such as Bonne Maman Intense or Crofter’s)
For the Strawberry-Sugar Coating:
6 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
6 T granulated sugar
pinch of kosher salt
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
Lightly coat the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, beat oil, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again just to incorporate.
Add eggs, increase speed to medium, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute (mixture might look a little curdled at this point and that’s okay).
Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined and creamy.
Add flour in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream in 2 additions, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. When last batch of flour is nearly incorporated, mix in any remaining dry bits by hand.
Scoop scant 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. (I used a cookie scoop.)
Using a damp finger, flatten each into a mostly even layer with a slight dip in the center.
Add 2 scant teaspoons jam to each center. (I used a 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop.)
Divide remaining batter evenly among cups (about 2 tablespoons each). Take care to seal in jam as much as possible.
Using a damp finger, gently flatten surface.
Bake muffins until golden brown, 15 minutes on convection or up to 17–19 minutes in a standard oven.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes in pan.
While the muffins are cooling, melt butter in the microwave in a glass dish or in a small saucepan over medium heat; set aside.
Finely grind strawberries in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Transfer strawberry powder to a small bowl and mix in sugar and a pinch of salt. Transfer a small portion to a shallow bowl.
Gently remove muffins from pan; place on wire rack and set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Generously brush each muffin top with melted butter and roll in strawberry sugar to coat, working over bowl to catch any excess. Repeat with remaining muffins, adding more strawberry sugar to bowl as needed.
Do ahead: Muffins can be made 3 days ahead. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
In Mexico, this simple cake is called panqué de elote, pan de elote or pastel de elote. It is often served for breakfast. We ate it for dessert after our family favorite Middle School Tacos on Cinco de Mayo this year and ate the leftovers for breakfast. Perfect. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street. The original recipe accurately describes the texture as somewhere between cake and cornbread while hinting at custard. I used Greek yogurt and modified the method and the baking time for a convection oven. I served the cake with strawberries which was a lovely accompaniment.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
3 medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked (see Note)
36 grams (1/4 cup) fine yellow cornmeal
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
57 grams (1/4 cup) plain whole-milk yogurt (I used whole-milk Greek yogurt)
165 grams (1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
fresh strawberries, to serve
Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. (I set my oven to the true convection setting.)
Mist a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
Hold an ear of corn upright in the center of a medium bowl. Using a chef’s knife, cut the kernels from the corn. Repeat with the additional two ears. Measure 250 grams (1 1/2 cups) of the freshly cut kernels and add to a blender; if you have extra corn, reserve it for another use.
To the blender, add the cornmeal, condensed milk and yogurt, then puree until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the blender as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes. (I used a Vitamix.)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
To the blender, add the whole eggs and yolks, and the oil; blend on low until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds.
Pour the puree into a large bowl.
Add the flour mixture and whisk just until evenly moistened and no lumps of flour remain. It is important that you don’t whisk vigorously! Gentle mixing, just until no pockets of flour remain, will minimize gluten development so the finished cake is tender.
Transfer to the prepared cake pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes in a convection oven or 40 to 45 minutes in a standard oven.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the cake, then invert directly onto the rack and lift off the pan. Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Serve dusted with Confectioners’ sugar with strawberry slices on the side.
Note: Don’t use frozen corn kernels—it results in a dense, gummy texture. Made with fresh corn, the cake’s crumb is much lighter and softer.
WOW. My daughter declared that these are the best cookies I have ever made!
They are composed of crispy and crunchy, thin toffee cookies sandwiched with fabulous brown-butter buttercream. The filling is the perfect complement to the toffee flavored cookies.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sohla El-Waylly. I modified the method and increased the amount of filling. I also used toffee with chocolate- now I’ll have to try them without as well. Amazing!
The original recipe notes that these cookies are ideal for shipping and sharing because they have a long shelf life. They didn’t last very long in my house! 😉
Yield: 34 to 36 sandwich cookies
For the Cookies:
227 g (about 1 1/2 cups) English toffee bits, preferably without chocolate (such as Heath Bits O’Brickle)(I used Trader Joe’s Toffee Chips with both dark and milk chocolate, coarsely chopped)
112 g (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
3 T (42 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, white and yolk separated, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (224 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup (40 g) sliced almonds, or more, for garnish
For the Brown-Butter Buttercream Filling:
16 T (227 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp plus a pinch Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/8 tsp Morton kosher salt
320 g (2 2/3 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
To Make the Cookies:
In a food processor, process the toffee bits, sugar, baking soda and salt until the toffee is mostly ground and the mixture is sandy, about 1 minute.
Transfer the toffee mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer).
Add butter, egg white and vanilla. Mix together with the paddle attachment on medium until creamy and fluffy, stopping once to scrape the bowl and paddle, about 2 minutes.
Add flour, and mix on medium-low until the mixture comes together into a soft dough, about 30 seconds.
Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into a disk. Wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before proceeding. (I wrapped each disk in plastic wrap.)
Dust a piece of parchment paper and dough with flour. Top with a second piece of parchment paper.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick between the two sheets of parchment (the thickness of two stacked pennies), turning the dough frequently to ensure it moves freely, dusting with more flour as needed. Each sheet of dough will be about the size of a standard sheet of paper.
Place the dough on a flat surface (I used a cutting board) and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter dusted in flour, cut out cookies from one sheet of dough. Using an offset spatula, transfer rounds to a parchment paper lined rimmed sheet pan, placing another sheet of parchment paper between layers. (I stacked the rounds between sheets of plastic wrap but it was slightly difficult to remove them once frozen- parchment paper seems like a better plan.)
Repeat with the remaining sheet of dough.
Gather and knead together any scraps, refreeze and re-roll, repeating until all the dough has been rolled out for a total of about 68 to 72 cookies.
Wrap the rounds of dough on the sheet pan with plastic wrap; freeze on sheet trays for at least 30 minutes before baking. (Alternatively, once the cookies have firmly frozen, stack them between parchment in a freezer-safe container or zipper-lock bag for up to 3 months.)
Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. (I used the convection setting.)
Whisk together the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and evenly brush on the tops of half (34 to 36) of the chilled cookies.
Sprinkle the yolk-brushed cookies with almonds, pressing gently to adhere.
Bake the cookies until deeply browned like a pretzel, switching the sheet trays from top to bottom and rotating from front to back halfway through, 10 to 14 minutes. (I simultaneously baked 3 pans of 12 cookies each for 10 to 11 minutes on convection.)
Bake the remaining cookies (without almonds) at the same temperature for the same duration.
Let cookies cool completely on the sheet pans.
To Make the Filling:
Set a piping bag in a tall and narrow container, like a deli quart container, and fold over the top edge to secure.
Flip over the cookies without almonds. (You need to pipe the icing onto the cookies immediately after mixing, so make sure you are set up.)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until foamy, about 3 minutes.
Continue cooking butter, stirring and scraping frequently with a stiff silicone spatula, until the sputtering has subsided and the butter solids look deeply browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the butter and any brown bits into the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large bowl if mixing by hand).
Stir in the vanilla and salt.
Sift over the powdered sugar.
With the paddle attachment, mix on low until creamy and combined, about 1 minute, stopping once during mixing to scrape the bowl and the paddle. (You can also mix with a stiff silicone spatula until creamy and combined.)
Transfer the icing to the piping bag and cut a 1-inch wide opening at the tip. (I used a round piping tip instead.) The icing will be warm and fluid.
Pipe a scant tablespoon of filling onto a flipped cookie and immediately top with an almond-topped cookie.
Gently press to adhere so that the filling reaches the edges of the cookie.
Repeat with remaining cookies and icing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
As soon as I read an article about these cookies, I was obsessed. 😉
Although named butter cookies, I would describe them as shortbread cookies. According to The Chicago Tribune, these fantastic cookies were the standout item served by the Chicago Public Schools from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Now described as a “cult classic,” easily identified by the three-finger press on top of the dough, Crockett Cookies updated the original recipe by incorporating vanilla bean paste and sea salt.
The recipe was adapted from crockettcookies.com, via myrecipes.com and The Chicago Tribune. I modified the proportions and size, using a cookie scoop to ration the dough. I also baked the cookies in a convection oven. Crockett Cookies sells them (as well as a peanut butter version) in grocery and specialty stores throughout the Chicagoland area- genius.
They have quickly climbed the ranks to be one of my husband’s absolute favorites- tied with Tutu’s! 🙂 The texture is perfect- crispy on the edges and tender and crumbly in the center. Crazy easy and absolutely delicious.
Yield: Makes about 20 cookies
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Other than wearing green, we typically celebrate the holiday by having a festive meal. 🙂
This year, instead of making a new soda bread, I made this Irish version of beer bread. I loved the caraway seeds (which I also love in soda bread) and the flecks of green from the fresh herbs in the dough.
We ate it for dinner with shepherd’s chicken pot pie, roasted asparagus, and green salad. It would also be a perfect accompaniment to a traditional celebratory corned beef and cabbage meal.
The recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I modified the baking time to bake the loaf in a pullman loaf pan in a convection oven. The bread was delicious with and without salted butter.
Yield: one Pullman loaf or one 9-inch loaf
260 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
60 g (1/2 cup) cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 T caraway seeds, coarsely ground in a spice grinder