Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

Can you believe that it’s already Memorial Day Weekend? Honestly I’m a little spooked, where did all of the Spring go?? It’s almost JUNE. Whew okay I’m calm we’re good it’s all good. I’m interrupting my usual Tuesday posting schedule to bring you this special collection of recipe highlights, perfect for a backyard barbecue! Whether you’re hosting a party or just feel like making something new and fun, please enjoy this collection of my 10 most Memorial Day appropriate recipes!!

ONE. Blueberry Slab Pie

Do you need dessert for a crowd? Or do you just eat enough pie on your own? Look no further than this masterpiece, it is deceivingly simple to make, because why mess with the flavor of blueberry and pie crust? Also did I mention that slab pies are baked on a sheet pan, crazy easy to slice, and serve up to 20 people? Go make a pie!!!

 

TWO. Fresh Fruit Tart

Slightly more labor intensive than a slab pie (only slightly), it’s hard to pass up a tart like this when theres fruit art involved. A crisp tart shell holds a generous portion of rich vanilla pastry cream, and from there the decorating is up to you! Will it be a symmetrical pattern? Or an artful heap? Berries or stone fruit? Or both? It’s up to you!!

 

THREE. Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

Did you think I would go an entire rhubarb season without mentioning rhubarb?? Think again!! While a new 2019 rhubarb recipe is on its way, I will tide you over until then with this twist on the classic strawberry shortcake. A buttery biscuit, lightly sweetened soft whipped cream, and a heaping scoop of strawberry rhubarb quick jam becomes a simple yet incredibly flavorful dessert that guests can assemble themselves and take the pressure off you! You’re welcome!!

 

FOUR. Fried Burrata in Romesco Sauce

I realize that here on Sweet D I tend to favor dessert recipes, after all, it’s called SWEET D, right? However, this recipe was designed with entertaining in mind, so I’d be crazy not to include it on this list. And while you could eat this whole thing yourself (and I’d be very impressed with you), the best way to eat a ball of fried burrata is surrounded by friends, with a glass of chilled white wine and lots of garlicky bruschetta. Do I need to keep convincing you? I didn’t think so.

 

FIVE. New York Cheesecake with Roasted Blueberry Sauce

The best part about this cheesecake recipe, aside from the fact that it could LITERALLY be in a museum, is that the whole thing can be made the day before and kept chilled in the fridge, meaning you have more time with your guests, more time to grill, and more time to eat snacks! Highkey this recipe is one of the most decadent ones on my site, I still think about it at least once a day and you should too.

 

SIX. Almond Sheet Cake

You know how every year, Ina Garten makes a Flag Cake using a sheet cake and some berries? Well, here’s your fancy base to a flag cake, the simplest almond cake and frosting which will be a gorgeous and elegant compliment to the fruit on top. A word to the wise- if you choose to make the flag on this cake, use fresh berries only and don’t add any extra sugar to them, the berries will release their juices and make the top of the cake very soggy!

 

SEVEN. Cornmeal Peach Cobbler

Okay I know that ~technically~ it’s not peach season yet, but I couldn’t bring myself to look past this perfect cobbler in all its bubbly, fruity glory. Golden cornmeal biscuits are an excellent, slightly salty counterpart to the classic flavor of peach, but if you’re having trouble finding good ripe peaches this time of year, you could always substitute with blueberries, strawberries, or cherries!

 

EIGHT. Tomato Salad with Burrata

What’s that? You spent all your time making the desserts on this list and don’t have any food for dinner? Boy have I got good news for you. Enlist one of your guests to be your tomato chopping sous chef, and this salad will be done in 10 minutes. That’s right, TEN. And with the rustic yet glamorous presentation, people will think you put a lot more work into it than you did. Plus, there’s no better combination than mozzarella and tomato, am I right or am I right?

 

NINE. Mini Pavlovas

Are you sensing a theme here for these desserts? If you guessed berries, you’d be correct. Personally, nothing screams summer holiday like fresh berries, so it seems only fitting that they keep popping up on this list. While pavlovas are slightly on the challenging side, the payoff is well worth it, there’s nothing quite like the crisp, marshmallow texture of a pavlova with whipped cream and berries.

 

TEN. Summer Fruit Galettes

You know that I had to fit one more pie recipe in here, it’s practically in my contract. And what better recipe than the deeply unfussy, rustic pie that doesn’t even require a pie plate? These galettes are easily customizable, easily served, and the best part is you don’t have to sacrifice any of the things you know and love about regular pie to do it. A win-win!

 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, I hope it’s filled with all ten of these foods! XoxoxoxoxD

Norwegian Gold Cake

On the heels of a very family-filled weekend, it seems only fitting to share with you a family recipe that has been passed down and sideways since before I was born. Called “Norwegian Gold Cake”, I am actually unsure of where it even got its name, but the recipe comes from the grandmother of my mom’s cousins (what that makes her to me, I couldn’t even begin to guess). The cake is luxuriously rich and golden in color thanks to the 5 eggs in the batter, but is also perfectly offset by the lemon-orange buttercream that tops it. Its got the zest and juice of both fruits and is the freshest, brightest tasting frosting you’ll ever have. When I was little, you knew dessert would be good if you showed up to my grandparents house and this cake was sitting on its cake plate on the dining room table. My grandma even put her own spin on it, preparing the cake with half citrus frosting and half coffee frosting. This may sound like a strange combo, but both frostings pair so well with a dense cake like this one separately, however the real best way to eat it is to have one slice with some coffee frosting and some citrus frosting. Traditionally in this family, this cake is baked in a tube pan, but it could also be done in a 9 x 13″ as a sheet cake instead, although a shorter baking time will probably be required.

A piece of advice, read this recipe through all the way before starting, since some of the process is different than most cake batters. This recipe uses the reverse creaming method, which involves beating together the flour and butter instead of the sugar and butter. This way, gluten doesn’t start forming until the flour comes into contact with a liquid, and when the flour is coated in butter, it slows down this production. As a result, the cake should be more tender and velvety, as well as bake with less of a domed top. That last bit doesn’t matter so much for this recipe since you aren’t stacking the cake, but when making layer cakes, reverse creaming is a good idea since each cake bakes up flatter and less trimming is required. There’s your baking education for the week!

This weekend we watched my only brother graduate from Notre Dame and it was so special. We spent Friday in Chicago, where we saw the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute, and had some crazy good food to warm us up on a particularly drizzly day (I’m talking chicken and waffles for brunch AND Russian food for dinner), then drove to Indiana for the remainder of the weekend. I am immensely proud of everything my brother has done, it’s been awesome to watch him grow over the past four years and he deserves every good thing coming to him. He’ll be starting a job at Google in August and ooooooh we’re so proud! Go Aidan!


Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
ONE. Sun showers that produce rainbows.
TWO. Going out for tea.
THREE. Putting your hair up.
FOUR. Having your coffee in the park.
FIVE. Pinch bowls.
SERVES: 10-12 people
PREP TIME: 45 minutes
BAKE TIME: 35-40 minutes

CAKE INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
5 eggs
1½ cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

CAKE STEPS

Pls note that I took this before reading the recipe again, flour + baking powder shouldn’t be combined!!

ONE. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease a tube pan or 9×13″ cake pan with butter and flour, then set aside.

TWO. Cream together the flour and butter on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

THREE. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and baking powder, then add this to the flour mixture. Mix in the vanilla.

FOUR. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and tap on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. If you’re using a 9×13″ pan, start checking earlier, between 25 and 30 minutes instead. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

 

FROSTING INSTRUCTIONS

1 lb. confectioners sugar, more if necessary
1 stick (½ cup) butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Zest + juice from 1 lemon
Zest + 1 Tbsp juice from 1 orange

FROSTING STEPS

ONE. Cream the butter and confectioners sugar on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the vanilla.

TWO. Add the lemon juice and zest, plus the orange juice and zest, and mix until incorporated. At this point you can adjust the proportions by adding more confectioners sugar for a thicker frosting, or more juice for a thinner one.

THREE. When the cake is completely cooled, frost the cake and decorate however you’d like! If you’re feelin ~fancy~, you could even try to candy some fruit peels, instructions here!

YUM! xoxoxoxoxoD

2-Day Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t think I’m being dramatic here when I say I will never make another chocolate chip cookie recipe again. This all started when I was left to my own devices for two days straight, and I started thinking about projects that I had set aside and kept in my notes that fell by the wayside. And one of those ideas was, you guessed it, brown butter chocolate chip cookies. But I had some concerns, since brown butter is the melting and, duh, browning of unsalted butter, and melted butter is not good for cookie dough. The re-firming of the butter is necessary, but even so I was worried that the fact that the butter was softer than normal would cause the cookies to spread too far and thin.

Enter my next idea. I’ve been on a chocolate chip cookie recipe binge lately (see here as well), and I’ve been seeing more and more that require the dough to be refrigerated for at least 12 hours after being scooped, in order for the flavors to fully develop. The bonus benefit of this method in this case is that the butter would have ample time to re-harden, and therefore would not spread as much as cookies that were not refrigerated overnight. So, with these two methods under my belt, I got to work and created, in my opinion, the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. The brown butter makes them taste slightly nutty and caramel-y, and the use of baking chocolate rather than chocolate chips that never fully melt means pockets that are fully melted and fudgey. A finishing touch of a sprinkle of kosher salt is the zippy balance to the sweetness, and overall an incredible cookie is made.

With all this talk about melty chocolate, I’m sure we’re all in the happiest of headspaces, but just in case you’re not, here are 5 other things to be happy about today!
ONE. Matching pajama sets.
TWO. Looking through old photo albums and having the memories flood right back.
THREE. Egg noodles with butter and parsley.
FOUR. Homemade strawberry jam.
FIVE. The first time of the year that you can drive around with the windows down blasting music.

Let’s bake!!!
MAKES: 24 – 26 cookies
PREP TIME: 45 minutes
INACTIVE TIME: 12 hours
BAKE TIME: 12 – 15 minutes

COOKIE INGREDIENTS

1 cup browned butter (from about 3 sticks unsalted butter)
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups roughly chopped semi-sweet baking chocolate
Kosher salt, for sprinkling

COOKIE STEPS

ONE. Brown the butter in a large saucepan by heating on medium, swirling and stirring occasionally, until the milk solids turn golden brown and the melted butter smells toasted and nutty. Pour the melted butter into a bowl and chill until set.

TWO. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt, then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the set but softened brown butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla.

THREE. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Slowly add the flour, a little at a time, until all is added. Chop the chocolate into chunks and stir into the dough with a rubber spatula until uniform.

FOUR. Using a cookie scoop, scoop all the dough into rounds on a single baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap the entire sheet tightly with plastic wrap, then refrigerate the cookies for at least 12 hours.

FIVE. The next day, preheat your oven to 375ºF. Split the cookies onto two parchment paper lined baking sheets about an inch apart. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden but still melted and gooey in the middle. Sprinkle some extra kosher salt on top of each cookie. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. OR eat every single one while they’re still warm, I literally won’t judge at all.

xoxoxoxoxoxoD