• Classic Popovers

    Ooooooh you guys, I can’t believe I ever forgot about how good popovers are. They are literally so simple to make and you can eat them with dinner, with a cup of tea, or several at a time while they’re warm and crisp right out of the oven. I came across this recipe from Zoe Bakes and sprang into action, immediately ordering a popover pan from Amazon. Naturally because I’m me, the pan sat on my kitchen table for several days after arriving before I did anything about it, but goodness am I glad that I did.

    For those who are unfamiliar with popovers, they’re the lightest, puffiest little pastries, practically hollow on the inside (perfect for filling with jam and butter), with the most comforting crisp outside and eggy inside. They are typically baked in a pan made specifically for popovers (I bought this one here), but I have read that you can also make them in a regular muffin tin, you may just have to play around with the baking times and how much you fill each cup. They are best eaten fresh out of the oven, but I still found myself reheating a leftover until it was crisp in the oven because I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste.

    On this particular baking adventure, I brought my dear friend Michelle, who I have known for years and often share a brain with, it feels like. We baked 12 popovers and then she introduced me to the world of Bon Appetit Test Kitchen cooking videos and suddenly they are the only thing I care about watching (Bon Appetit, if you’re reading this, hire me pls). It’s always so inspiring to watch professionals pulling together recipes as they go, and being able to hear about the thought process and reasoning behind certain flavor combinations or techniques teaches me so much. Also, everyone is so lovely and hilarious and I think I’ve gone through every episode of It’s Alive! with Brad Leone to exist. It’s in your best interest to head over to YouTube right now and maybe binge it, it’s better than regular binge watching because it’s informative, right?? Okay now that I’m done fangirling about that, we can get down to business, thanks for sticking with me.

    Here are 5 things to be happy about today!
    ONE. The half-light of evening.
    TWO.
    Postcard views.
    THREE.
    The green shoots of new plants.
    FOUR. 
    Frolicking.
    FIVE. Cake mix.

    Let’s bake!

    MAKES: 12 medium (or 6 large) popovers
    PREP TIME: 10 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 35-40 minutes

     INGREDIENTS

    5 eggs
    2 cups whole milk
    1½ cups all-purpose flour
    Kosher salt
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Softened butter, for pans

    STEPS

    ONE. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Blend together the eggs, milk, flour, salt, melted butter, and vanilla so that it’s totally smooth and a little bubbly.

    TWO. Brush your popover pan with the softened butter and place in the preheated oven until the butter is melted and the pans are hot.

    THREE. Pour the batter into each cup ¾ of the way full, and bake for 15 minutes, until golden and puffed up. At this point, decrease the temperature to 350ºF without opening the oven door. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the color is deep golden.

    FOUR. Tap the popovers out of the pan immediately so that they remain crisp and don’t steam. Best served immediately.

    *Tip: it’s pretty easy to change up the flavor of these, whether you stir finely shredded cheddar cheese and some green onions into the batter, or you brush the finished popovers with melted butter and roll them in cinnamon sugar, it’s totally up to you!! Pls note that if you’re going savory, remove the vanilla extract!

     

  • Funfetti Macarons

    I’m gonna cut right to the chase here and tell you that I’m a basic bitch who loooooves funfetti baked goods. There’s something so cutie about the rainbow sprinkles that I keep coming back to it even though it tastes literally no different than classic vanilla. And because it’s a proven fact that french macarons are the world’s cutest dessert, why not take the next step and funfetti-ify them!! Now that I type funfetti-ify I realize that it has become my favorite word and I WILL be using it as much as possible, thank you very much.

    I was home alone for a handful of days this week, and because I have too much time on my hands, I made an extra large batch of these babies. If left to my own devices I would have eaten all 40 myself, but because I’m an adult and I need some self-control, I brought the rest into work, where they were GONE by the end of the day, so I think I passed the co-worker test with flying colors. But now it’s time for the reader test, so quick! First person to make these themselves wins all my love and affection.

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today- do yourself a favor and envision each one slowly for maximum happiness:
    ONE. Smelling a familiar smell and having memories associated with it come flooding in instantly.
    TWO. Seeing a full rainbow.
    THREE. Eating cereal at 11pm.
    FOUR. Winter citrus being the pick-me-up you need after a gloomy day.
    FIVE. Boats with clear bottoms so that you can see the fish swimming under you.

    Let’s bake!!

    MAKES: About 40 macarons
    PREP TIME: 1 hour
    BAKE TIME: 15 minutes per batch

    MACARON SHELL INGREDIENTS

    2¾ cups + 1 Tbsp ground almonds
    2 cups + 1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
    6 egg whites + 1 extra (just in case)
    1 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    Rainbow Nonpareils

    MACARON SHELL STEPS

    ONE. In a large bowl, sift together the ground almonds and confectioner’s sugar to remove any lumps. Set aside.

    TWO. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the 6 egg whites until foamy. Add a third of the granulated sugar, and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add another third and beat for another minute. Add the final third and beat until the egg whites are thick, glossy, and can stand in soft peaks.

    THREE. Gently fold the ground almond mixture into the whipped eggs until everything is fully incorporated. You’ll know the batter is ready to pipe when you lift the spatula up out of the batter and it flows back into the bowl in a smooth V shape. If the mixture is too thick, beat the extra egg white until foamy and stir into the batter to thin it out. Batter should be thick enough that a piped circle maintains its shape, but thin enough that the top can be smoothed out. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or ziplock fitted with a large round tip.

     

    FOUR. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and pipe 2-3 inch circles of batter about an inch apart. While the cookies are still wet, sprinkle the tops of each one with some of the rainbow nonpareils. Tap the sheet pans on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles, then allow the cookies to sit for at least 30 minutes, or until you touch the top of the cookie and it’s dry instead of sticky.

    FIVE. Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Bake the trays for 15 minutes, then allow to cool completely before removing from the parchment paper. Before filling, pair each cookie with one of a similar size to make the sandwich.

     

    FUNFETTI BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS

    3¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
    ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    3-4 Tbsp whole milk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Splash of almond extract
    Red Food coloring
    Cylindrical Rainbow Sprinkles

    FUNFETTI BUTTERCREAM STEPS

    ONE. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

    TWO. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, as well as the red food coloring (or any coloring that you feel like). Fold in rainbow sprinkles with a rubber spatula so that the mixer doesn’t break them, then fill a piping bag or ziplock bag fitted with a star tip.

    THREE. For each pair of macaron cookies, pipe a generous swirl of buttercream on one half, then place the second cookie on top to create the classic sandwich. These cookies can be eaten immediately, but are best served after chilling in the refrigerator overnight.

    YUM! xoxoxoxoxo

  • Buttery Double Vanilla Cake

    Hello and happy Tuesday my friends, today we’re slowing things down with a simple tea cake. But when I say simple, I am referring only to the level of skill required to make this cake, and not at all to the depth of its flavor. I love recipes with a catch, and this recipe’s catch is that it’s got not one, but TWO types of vanilla in it. Classic vanilla extract is necessary, but the secret is an additional teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, which adds an extra punch of vanilla as well as flecks of vanilla bean so you KNOW what you’re getting before you even eat it. I used the very last of both my fancy vanilla extract AND my fancy vanilla bean paste, but I can’t imagine a better way for them to go. Taken from this recipe here by Posie Harwood, this cake is the perfect complement to a cup of tea- it’s buttery and dense and rich, and because the cake pan is lined with sugar instead of flour, it’s got a delicate, caramelized crunch on the outside.

    To match the simplicity of this recipe, I will keep it short and sweet here as well, because we all know why you’re here and it’s to BAKE not to read! Thank you love you for reading, here we go!

    But of course, before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!
    ONE. Hot drinks in clear glass mugs.
    TWO. Teaching yourself calligraphy by practicing the alphabet over and over.
    THREE. Mini succulents in individual pots.
    FOUR. The idea that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes not planning is the best way to be.
    FIVE. Mint green kitchen appliances.

    Let’s bake!!

    MAKES: 1 8-inch round cake
    PREP TIME: 15 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 35-40 minutes

    INGREDIENTS

    1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the pan
    3 eggs, warmed
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp salt
    1 cup flour
    14 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly

    STEPS

    ONE. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch cake pan with a parchment circle, then grease the sides and bottom of the pan with butter. Coat the buttered pan with white sugar and shake around until it’s evenly coated.

    TWO. If your eggs are at anything other than room temperature, warm them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes, this will help when you’re whipping air into them later. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the warmed eggs and cup of granulated sugar for 4 to 5 minutes, until they are doubled in size, pale yellow, and fall in thick ribbons when the mixer is turned off.

    THREE. Add the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract, and salt. If you don’t have any vanilla bean paste, just add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract to make it three total. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula. It’s important to fold gently in order to maintain the air beaten into the eggs and not deflate them!

    FOUR. Drizzle the melted butter into the batter and mix, again gently, but until it’s totally incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake will puff in the oven and then sink a little when it’s removed, but that’s normal!

    FIVE. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edges, then allow it to cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Turn the cake onto a wire rack and continue to cool completely.

    This cake is best enjoyed slightly warm with a cup of tea!! xoxoxoxoxoD