I was on a scone making tear last night. I started out thinking only in terms of sweet–I have a go-to recipe on Epicurious.com that is so easy to customize. This night I decided to make raisin and lemon scones and lavender and lemon scones. This was mostly because this was what was available in my pantry. But spring has arrived here in Baltimore, and I some of my herbs from last season have made a comeback. The one that has thrived the best so far were my chives, and so looking into my fridge, I got an idea–how about some savory scones? Get all the ingredients out and just knock three types out while the oven is literally hot?
Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category
If you know me you know that I’m obsessed with lavender. I love the flowers, the scent, I even love it in my food. So when given the opportunity I try every recipe I can that says, “add culinary lavender.” For those of you think lavender makes everything taste like soap? Well, I say this to you: Haters to the left!
For this recipe though, you can skip the lavender if you so choose, but a hint of it really gives the lemon poundcake an extra something. It’s lemon and dense and moist and sweet, a nice summer treat to be served with coffee or tea, or a big cold glass of lemonade.
Oh, hi! I made pie! And crust. And it was all quite easy, really!
Strawberries are still wonderfully in season so my household has been getting two ripe quarts a week. I personally hate the idea of eating fresh fruit in any other way other than fresh and unadulterated, but sometimes ripe means really ripe, and that’s what happened with the strawberries the week I made this pie.
Are whoopie pies the new cupcake? Is the cupcake soo the “aughts” and the whoopie pie the “it dessert” just waiting in the wings to break out in the teens?
The Baltimore Sun thinks, maybe so.
It was a funny coincidence then that I read this article about a week after I had made a batch of whoopie pies for my birthday. Apparently my subconscious is more on-trend that I am.
Whenever my birthday rolls around I get it in my head to make treats for my classmates/friends/coworkers. Since I’ve been binge baking since Thanksgiving, though, when February rolled around I was running out of novel ideas for treats. What’s a girl to do? I had just baked a batch of red velvet cupcakes. A platter of lemon bars. More blueberry panna cotta than is probably wise.
When I was in elementary school my favorite treat to bring in back then were these mini “hamburger” cookies. The “meat” patty would be a thin mint, and the bun would consist of two vanilla wafers. I’d “glue” the cookies together with red, green, and yellow frosting for the ketchup, lettuce, and mustard respectively, and to literally top it off, I’d smear a little corn syrup on the top wafer and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
And while the child in me still loves the little burger cookies, because they are so cute, I’m 29 years old now. I’m barreling toward my thirties. Sometimes my knee I hurt in rec soccer in college feels funny when it rains. All this said, I need something that’s a little more adult that still appeals to the kid in me. Like whoopie pies. But let’s do this right. Let’s get rid of the shrink wrap, the preservatives. Let’s make these suckers from scratch. Impress your friends. Take a bite. Savor. Let your eyeballs roll into the back of your head. Feel the surge of pleasure tingle all the way down to your toes.
I sometimes make new year’s resolutions, but if I do it’s not so much that I break them so much as forget them. Hey, life gets busy when you’re blogging about food and getting all googily-eyed over the copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking that your dapper and charming boyfriend got you for Christmas. But I view resolutions in the way I view diets—they’re ephemeral and not always effective, especially when compared to lifestyle changes, and usually in this case, lifestyle changes that are steps and not drastic 180s into world where—gasp!—you might cut out say, desserts!
Because you shouldn’t deprive yourself, especially of dessert, because you’ll just drive yourself mad. What you can do, though, is attempt to make “healthier” versions of desserts and eat them only in moderation (especially after the cookie-binge that is December).
So to start the new year, here is my attempt at a health(ier) dessert. While it’s not prime apple season anymore (should I make another resolution—erm—lifesetyle change, to actually post these recipes when they’re in peak season and when I say I will? I’ll make a mental note).
Every October and November I’m moved to make baked goods out of pumpkin. But hey, cold weather makes me want to bake more in general (I made an apple pie this evening, and tomorrow even more pies will be made because Tuesday at work? Is a pie party. Yes, a party with just pies. I’m making a raspberry tart with chocolate ganache and a tomato and corn pie). But back to the pumpkin . . .
This year I made some pumpkin butterscotch bars with oatmeal topping and my annual pumpkin roll. But after that I wanted something different. After some browsing I saw pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin brownies, but where were the pumpkin cheesecake brownies? Apparently, in my head. So I played around and came up with this recipe.
Today is my boyfriend’s birthday. We celebrated this weekend with a good deal of good food, too. On Saturday we went to Woodberry Kitchen and had an all-around wonderful meal, simply wonderful (review and pictures to come). I can’t say too many good things about it. I had tuna seared with Moroccan spies; he had braised leg of lamb with lamb sausage and eggplant and other good things. I could go on, but I’ll save that for another time.
We continued the food good times Sunday night with steamed crabs covered in salty, delicious Old Bay seasoning. At the end of the meal, the proprieters were so good to let me bring in the cake I had baked for his birthday.
This cake, in fact: