When I recently received spaghetti squash in my CSA box, my farm newsletter included a link to this Food 52 recipe. I had to make it after reading the first line of the article- “When you think spaghetti squash do you think snoozefest?” Maybe? I definitely hadn’t cooked or eaten spaghetti squash in recent memory.
This recipe was adapted from Food 52, contributed by Checker. I modified the proportions and method. The results were cheesy, buttery, and subtly sweet. Easy and simple to prepare and no longer a snoozefest! 😉
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
4 to 6 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch coarse salt, plus more to taste
Preheat your oven to 400° F. I set my oven to convection roast.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Brush the inside of the squash liberally with the melted butter and sprinkle sugar all over the insides.
Place the squash cut side down on the lined baking sheet. Brush a little of the butter over the skin. (I used the residual butter that was left on the basting brush.)
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the skin of the squash is starting to show some brown blisters.
Use a fork to scrape out the strings of squash, loosening it so that it’s a spaghetti-like consistency.
Toss with grated Parmesan, season with salt, and serve.
I have had my eye on a couple of easy sheet cake recipes. My indecisiveness led me to combine them. 😉 It was a successful combination! This cake was moist and delicious.
The simple vanilla cake is from Food 52, from their book Genius Desserts, contributed by Jami Curl. It was proposed to serve it topped with strawberry compote & butterscotch whipped cream. I included these original topping recipes below- just to keep my options open.
The frosting recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. It was originally from an easy sheet cake recipe with a “reverse creaming” technique. Of course, I’ll have to try this cake as well at some point. 🙂
For the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
3 1/3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
1 T plus 2 tsp (20 g) baking powder
1 tsp(5 g) kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (227 g) sour cream
1/2 cup (105 g) canola oil
1 T (18 g) pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75 grams) boiling water
For the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 to 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
sprinkles, for garnish, optional
To Make the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
Heat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking oil spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sour cream with a fork, mixing until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla and use the fork to mix until they’re incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and creamy.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and continue to stir until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated. The batter will turn very thick.
Add the boiling water and stir until the batter is smooth and uniform with no traces of unmixed ingredients remaining.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it evenly into the corners.
Bake the cake for 35 (to be safe- check even earlier) to 40 minutes, until it’s golden, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
To Make the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
Make icing while cake cools.
Using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add powdered sugar, sifted cocoa powder, and salt and beat again, scraping down sides of bowl, until completely smooth.
Add vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy and lightened in color, another minute.
Smooth icing over top of cooled cake (it should not be at all warm to the touch, or else the icing will melt).
Top cake with sprinkles, if desired.
Cut into pieces and serve.
Do Ahead: Cake can be baked and frosted 2 days ahead. Chill until icing is solid, then cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.
For the Alternate Cake Toppings:
For the Strawberry Compote & Butterscotch Whipped Cream:
4 cups (600 grams) frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons (30 grams) apple cider vinegar
4 cups (800 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
1/3 cup (72 grams) brown sugar
2 teaspoons (12 grams) pure vanilla extract
To Make the Strawberry Compote:
Combine the strawberries and vinegar in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the fruit is soft and has released some juice.
Add the granulated sugar 1 cup (200 grams) at a time, stirring between additions until the sugar disappears.
Increase the heat to medium and bring the fruit and sugar to a boil. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and let the compote cool before using.
To Make the Butterscotch Whipped Cream:
Chill a bowl and a whisk.
Pour the cream into the bowl and add the brown sugar and vanilla.
Whisk the cream until stiff-ish peaks form. Take care that you don’t turn it into butter by overwhipping.(You can use a mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the cream.)
To Serve the Vanilla Sour-Cream Cake with Compote & Whipped Cream: **Two Options:
Option 1: Spoon the Strawberry Compote over the cake. Top the compote with the Butterscotch Whipped Cream, using the back of a spoon to give it some pretty swirls.
Option 2: Use the parchment paper to lift the cooled cake out of the pan. Cut the cake into 12 equal pieces. Spoon some Strawberry Compote over each piece. Top with a generous dollop of Butterscotch Whipped Cream.
Note:The Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake will keep, tightly covered at room temperature, for several days. Once assembled with the Strawberry Compote and Butterscotch Whipped Cream, plan to enjoy this cake the day you assemble it. That said, if you cover and refrigerate it, it will not disappoint the next day or the day after that. Especially for breakfast.
My son is becoming more interested in cooking! 🙂 He actually made this cookie dough almost completely on his own.
This recipe is from Food 52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes that will Change the Way You Cook by Kristen Miglore. We modified the size of the cookies, used semi-sweet chocolate, and refrigerated the dough prior to baking. As they were best served warm from the oven, we baked each batch separately just prior to serving. We also served them with vanilla ice cream, which I would highly recommend!
The cookies had a deep toasty flavor with caramelization of the dark brown sugar on the edges. My husband was absolutely in love with the texture- a little bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Yum.
Yield: Makes about 48 cookies
3 cups (360g) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (230g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1.3cm) pieces
1 cup (220g) packed dark brown sugar
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 oz (225g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch (6mm and 1.3cm) pieces (I used 10 oz semisweet chocolate chunks from Trader Joe’s)
ice cream, for serving, optional
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low-speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes.
Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is combined.
Mix in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low-speed until the flour is barely combined, about 30 seconds.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the chocolate all at once to the batter. Mix on low-speed until the chocolate is evenly combined.
Use a spatula to scrape down the the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Using a large cookie scoop, scoop mounds of dough about (1 1/2 tablespoons in size) and place on a plastic-wrap lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight. (I kept some of the dough refrigerated for an entire week prior to baking with perfect results.)
Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the cookie dough on the prepared sheets, leaving 2 inches between them, about 8 to a sheet.
Bake for 16 minutes (one pan at a time) or 18 minutes (two pans at a time), rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly dark brown.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Note: These cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or later the same day. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.