• Roasted Rhubarb Sandwich Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

    TODAY’S THE DAY!! At long last, I bring you our first rhubarb recipe of the season. I know you’re all just as excited as I am right???? Even if you’re not, once you see what’s in store you won’t be able to resist and that’s a fact. Let’s set the scene, shall we? It all started sometime last year, I was perusing my Instagram explore page as one does, and I came across this recipe. Except, as often happens, it was saved and then promptly forgotten about and it was soon buried under all the other recipes I save on a daily basis.

    Cut to two weeks ago, I am once again glued to my Instagram, and what do I see? The very same picture, except now I come to realize that the recipe is from one of my absolute FAVORITE blogs, A Cozy Kitchen! It was meant to be, and I simply had to try them out this time.

    This weekend I watched my sisters while my parents were away, and apart from getting up ungodly early on Saturday to take them to their SATs, I had a lot of free time to mess around with recipes I’d been saving. Obviously I started with this one, and oh boy did we start the weekend off right. The sweet-but-sour roasted rhubarb is such a surprise when sandwiched between a buttery scone dough, and the vanilla bean glaze is DECADENT. The recipe was so perfect that I changed very little, my only wish is that it made three times as many so I could eat these for breakfast forever.

    And how did the rest of the weekend go you ask? Well, I was determined to finally conquer my fear of grocery store seafood counters (is that a thing?), so I found a New York Times recipe for Seared Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes that seemed perfect. HA. The moment I began to sear my scallops, the ENTIRE house soon filled with smoke. I’m talking fire alarms on both floors, and a smokey haze within 5 minutes. Thank god I had my sisters on hand to open every window in the house and turn on every fan, but I cannot tell what happened! Some comments said don’t use a cast iron skillet, others said you should only use a cast iron skillet (????). I always thought that olive oil smokes easily on high heat, but the recipe requested it!

    Will I try it again? Who’s to say. Just know that if I do, it’s on the grill stovetop outside because I’m sure as hell not going through THAT mess a second time, I’m pretty sure the house will smell like scallops for weeks.

    But anyway, now that that’s settled, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Comfortable silence.
    TWO. Being the only person awake and having the house to yourself for a while.
    THREE. Treating yourself to a face mask.
    FOUR. A house full of plants.
    FIVE. Turning up the air conditioner so that you can keep using a blanket, even in the summer.

    Let’s bake!!

    Roasted Rhubarb Sandwich Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

    The perfect combination of rich vanilla and tart rhubarb, these scones prove that there's more to rhubarb than strawberry rhubarb pie!
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Inactive Time20 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: breakfast, dessert, glaze, rhubarb, scone, vanilla bean
    Servings: 6 scones

    Ingredients

    Roasted Rhubarb

    • 2 cups diced rhubarb
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • zest of ½ a lemon

    Scone Dough

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 Tbsp white sugar
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter cold
    • 1 cup buttermilk plus more for brushing on top

    Vanilla Bean Glaze

    • cups powdered sugar
    • 5 to 6 Tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • pinch of salt

    Instructions

    Roasted Rhubarb Steps

    • Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and lemon zest until all the rhubarb is coated.
    • Pour onto the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and juicy. Set aside to cool.

    Scone Dough Steps

    • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter onto a cutting board or plate and add to the flour mixture. Freeze for 5 minutes.
    • Remove the bowl from the freezer and toss the butter pieces with the flour so that they're spread uniformly. Press the butter into the flour with your fingers until it's mixed throughout.
    • Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough begins to hold together, then dump onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until the dough is fully uniform (about 4 or 5 times, it's important not to overwork this or it will get tough).
    • Press or roll the dough into a ¼" thick rectangle, with one long end closest to you (so it folds hot dog style rather than hamburger style if you know what I mean). Spoon the rhubarb filling onto the front half of the dough, then carefully fold the other half of the dough over the rhubarb filling. Trim the edges so that they're neat and even.
    • Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 or 7 large scones and transfer them to your prepared sheet pan. Place the entire pan in the freezer for 15 minutes, while your oven preheats to 400°F.
    • Remove the tray from the freezer, brush the scones with some extra buttermilk and sprinkle with demarara sugar (optional). Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and risen. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before glazing.

    Vanilla Bean Glaze Steps

    • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and pinch of salt. Feel free to adjust as you see fit, adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream as necessary. The glaze should be thicker than a normal glaze, just barely pourable so that when you spoon it over a slightly warm scone, it spreads as it melts.

    Notes

    If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, do not fret! Regular vanilla can be substituted just as easily here, as can a whole scraped vanilla bean. Additionally, if rhubarb isn’t your thing, this recipe could just as easily be done with strawberries or blueberries, just adjust the sugar level and baking time as necessary. YUM! xoxoxoxoxo

    Looking for more rhubarb recipes?? Look no further than here, here, and here! Happy baking!

  • Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    I will warn you all right now, I’m on something of a blueberry kick right now, so be prepared for several blueberry recipes to come. It seems like the time, right? To be fair, there’s really never a time that’s not for blueberries, but now that Memorial Day has passed and summer has ~unofficially~ started, I find myself craving blueberry desserts all the time. Not to worry, I’ll soon bring out the rhubarb recipes I swear it, but until then, this glorious cake will do just as well.

    It all started when I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I was looking for something simple for a weeknight birthday cake, without sacrificing taste. Imagine my displeasure when I went to buy raspberries at the store and discovered that they were $6 per tiny package!! I may act like I’m made of money when I step into Sephora but alas I am not. I decided that blueberries would just have to suffice, added some cinnamon to the batter and the topping, and voila, a beautiful cake was created! The cinnamon is a lovely compliment to blueberries, the buttermilk makes this cake impossibly moist, and the cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top lends a satisfying crunch to round the whole thing out. We stuck in some candles and called it birthday cake for my wonderful mom, and it was a hit! Second only to how good it was the next morning, slightly warmed and with a cup of coffee. If I started my day like that every day, maybe I’d consider becoming a morning person. CONSIDER it, but don’t hold me to that.

    Some quick notes about Sweet D, you may start to notice some little updates here and there, the largest being my fancy new recipe blocks (see below), over the next few posts. In an effort to bring forth the best blog that I can, I’m learning some new bits and pieces, along with the help of my computer science trained (recently graduated!) brother, to make my site easier to navigate and really get myself out there. In the coming weeks I’m hoping to reorganize my Recipes page as well, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted. It felt like the right time to take Sweet D to the next level, because I love having my little corner to bake and write, and I’m hoping other people do too. I’m not always a huge fan of change, but this feels like a good one!

    Before we get started of course, here are 5 things to be happy about:
    ONE. Checking up on a friend “just because”.
    TWO. Reflections on wet pavement.
    THREE. Measuring and setting out all your ingredients before you start cooking.
    FOUR. Sitting on the porch just to enjoy the weather.
    FIVE. Finding a new song that you listen to over and over.

    Let’s bake!!

    Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    A play on an equally beautiful recipe from Smitten Kitchen, this incredibly simple recipe is as good for dessert as it is for breakfast, with bursts of jammy blueberry and a crisp, cinnamon sugar top.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, cake, dessert, fruit, spring baking
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Buttermilk Cake Ingredients

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ stick unsalted butter softened
    • cup sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp lemon zest
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 cup blueberries

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    • Tbsp sugar
    • ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the ⅔ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    • At this point, add in the vanilla and lemon zest, then the egg. Mix until all is well combined.
    • With the mixer on low, add the flour in three installments, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 installments. Mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
    • Drop the blueberries on top of the batter in the pan, it doesn't matter how you arrange them, they'll sink into the cake as it bakes. Mix together the cinnamon sugar topping and sprinkle evenly over the entire batter.
    • Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate to serve. Best eaten warm!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoD

  • 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.

    Norwegian Gold Cake

    This may be the most coveted family recipe that I've got; a moist, rich cake with the most perfect citrus buttercream, this cake is perfect for birthdays, dinner parties, or when you just feel like treating yourself!
    Prep Time45 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time1 hr 25 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: buttercream, cake, citrus

    Ingredients

    Norwegian Gold Cake Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
    • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
    • 5 eggs
    • cups sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

    Citrus Buttercream Ingredients

    • 1 lb confectioner's sugar
    • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
    • 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice + zest

    Instructions

    Norwegian Gold Cake Steps

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a tube pan or 9×13" cake pan with butter and flour, then set aside.
    • 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.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and baking powder, then add this to the flour mixture. Mix in the vanilla.
    • 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 the 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.

    Citrus Buttercream Steps

    • Cream the butter and confectioners sugar together on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the vanilla.
    • 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.
    • When the cake is completely cooled, frost and decorate however you'd like! If you're feeling ~fancy~, you could even try to candy some fruit peels, instructions found here!

    YUM! xoxoxoxoxoD