No Recipe Required: Berry Crumble

If I’m going to bring dessert to a party, I want to make it – I don’t get to do a ton of baking (since if I bake without occasion the two of us just…eat it all), so I always jump at the opportunity. Sometimes, however, there come those events that are timed just such that you don’t have time to hit the grocery store or prep a pie crust with enough time to let it chill. Enter: Crumble.

Berry Crumble

Crumble is a simple but extremely effective dessert – cooked, jammy fruit topped with crunchy, sweet, crispy, buttery goodness. With the help of The Kitchn’s recipe, I’ll walk you through it, but it’s pretty flexible once you’ve got the basics. Continue reading

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Eating In: Kahlo (Mexican Chocolate) Cookies

I received Libbie Summers’s Sweet & Vicious: Baking with Attitude for Christmas, and it didn’t take me long to find an occasion to test it out – a friend’s birthday. I wanted something that was easy to pack and go, so I went with cookies – “Kahlo Cookies,” to be exact. These spiced Mexican chocolate cookies seemed like the perfect balance of interesting and crowd-pleasing – and also, not too difficult (I wasn’t really trying to get into a four layer cake or anything).

Kahlo (Mexican chocolate) Cookies

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Eating In: Salted Brûléed Apple Tart

Yes, I know it’s January, and we’re supposed to be all resolutions and salad, but I made pies over the holidays and I was too busy to post them and so, you’re getting them now. And heck, at least one of you out there made the resolution to bake more, right? Just nod.

Anyway, this brings me to the Salted Brûléed Apple Tart from Kelly Jaggers’s Not-So-Humble Pies: An Iconic Dessert, All Dressed Up.

Salted Brûléed Apple Tart

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No Recipe Required: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

We went to a party recently where the potluck theme was “elevated food from childhood.” The Boy immediately decided he wanted to make elevated tuna salad (with homemade bread – delicious!) and we also brought along this cake, which may not be fully elevated but certainly makes use of one beloved childhood food – ice cream sandwiches!

Layering Ice Cream Sandwiches

This cake, courtesy of Katherine Sacks and Epicurious, turned out to be a brilliant choice because not only is it super easy to make, it gets made in advance! Pretty much all I want out of party food. The only tricky part was keeping it cold on the way to the party, but a few ice packs made pretty quick work of that. Continue reading

Eating In: Golden Butter Cake with Berries & Mascarpone Frosting

Summer is a wonderful time, as long as you live in a place with A/C and own a good quantity of sunscreen. It’s a time of parties – hell, all the patriotic holidays fall during summer, and even the least patriotic among us appreciate a day off of work and an outdoor BBQ. It’s also – in my opinion – a time for fruity, lighter desserts, which I appreciate as those tend to be my favorite variety (especially pie…but that’s another blog post).

Hence, as we leave Memorial Day behind and approach Labor Day, I was excited to try my hand at making Valerie Gordon‘s Golden Butter Cake with Berries and Mascarpone Frosting, which seemed like a beautiful combination of patriotic coloring and summer berry bounty.

Golden Butter Cake with Berries & Mascarpone Frosting

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(Almost) No Recipe Required: Berry Cheesecake Tart

Happy 4th of July! It wouldn’t be the Fourth without some kind of gratuitous red, white, and blue recipe, now would it? Of course not. Best of all, the particular patriotic recipe I’m about to show you is so simple it totally fills all the “oops, I was supposed to bring something to that cookout this afternoon” requirements. Which are really the only requirements that matter if you’re still looking up recipes today.

Berry Cheesecake Tart

I call this “Almost” No Recipe Required, because of course this dessert is quite closely based off of a recipe by the fantastic Laura of Fork Knife Swoon, with a few modifications to (1) save even more time and (2) because sometimes I charge full speed ahead and forget ingredients. BUT it is so wonderfully simple that after you’ve made it once, I think you could probably go without the recipe in a pinch (and, as Laura notes, it’s easily altered for whatever fruits you have on hand, throwing the recipe even further to the winds). Continue reading

Eating In: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup

It’s the holidays (am I right or am I right? What madness…) and inevitably that means that at some point you’re going to have to make a dessert. And sometimes, somebody already called the chocolate dessert, and somebody called the pie, and if you have to make another tray of cookies you’re going to punch somebody in the face.

So, courtesy of Bon Appétit, I bring you: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake! It’s make-ahead (god bless), it’s light-ish after a big holiday feast, and it’s even the right color combo for Christmas (look at that gorgeous deep red).

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

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In Which We Have a Guest

In fact, in which we have two guests – one houseguest and one dinner guest. But this is more about the dinner guest, though I will say that having a coffee table made out of two futons comes in handy for the unexpected (though of course happily welcomed) weekender.

This was our first dinner guest besides my parents, who would love me no matter what we cooked for them, and the menu was:

Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Whole Wheat Sourdough Toast
Molten Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake

And, of course, wine, which our guest (we’ll call him E) brought!

The menu gave us our first opportunity to utilize our slow cooker, which in my opinion is an awesome piece of equipment:

Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Dinner slow-cooking away!

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In Which I Make Christmas Dessert

OK, so this post isn’t technically about an event – or a dish – that took place in my apartment. But I’m on vacation with family back East, and soon you’ll get to read about all the nice things that I got for Christmas back East that are going to go in the apartment, so it’s in some way vaguely connected, right…? Fallible logic aside, I made the dessert for Christmas dinner number one at my Grandma’s, a simple maple apple tarte tatin from Bon Appetit (to which my lovely father got me a subscription for Christmas! Woo hoo!).

First off, you prep your (pre-made and bought, unless you’re fancier than I am) puff pastry, then melt the maple syrup and butter together in a pan:

Maple butter melting.

Mmm…maple butter. I use Grade B as I hear it’s more “maple-y.”

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In Which I Make Cookies

So. My office decided that the second-to-last-day before the holiday break we were having a “cookie party.” What is a cookie party, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Everyone brings in cookies, puts them in the kitchen, we all start eating them at around 9am and are sick and sluggish by 11. Add this to the fact that our e-mail servers had been down for a day-and-a-half and everyone had “holiday-itis,” and you’ve painted yourself a picture of a very productive day at work.

I contributed to this delicious madness with two dozen of the New York Times chocolate chip cookies. Many have claimed this recipe to be the best of all chocolate chip cookie recipes, the holy grail, the be-all end-all. Do I agree? I don’t know.

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies

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