Oct 13, 2019

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

I have always been a fan of Oatmeal Cookies, but sometimes they can be, admittedly, a little dull. This variation will shake things up with the flavors of Black Forest Cake. Of course, if you are looking for a good Oatmeal Cookie recipe and don't care for the chocolate cherry idea, simply choose your own mix-ins; raisins, cranberries, walnuts nothing at all.

Do not over-bake these cookies! The edges should be brown, but the rest of the cookie should be very light in color.
If you use salted butter, omit the salt called for in this recipe.


  • 1 cup (1/2 pound or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, OR 1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cherries, cut in pieces if very large
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • 3 cups "Quick" or "Old Fashioned" rolled oats 

How to:

1 Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
2 In a large mixing bowl, beat butter or Earth Balance until creamy. Add the sugars, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
3 Mix flour, salt, baking soda together. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the cherries, chocolate and nuts. Stir in the oats.
4 Spoon out the dough by large tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
5 Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown, about 14 minutes. Note that the cookies will seem underdone, but they will firm up as they cool.
6 Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Then carefully remove them, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack. Cool completely. They will be quite soft until completely cooled. Store tightly covered.

Sep 18, 2019

Korean Spare Ribs (Kolbi)

Kalbi (Korean Barbequed Beef Short Ribs)
Recipe courtesy Judiaann Woo

4 to 6 servings as a main course

5 pounds Korean style beef short ribs*
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
1 small onion, peeled and finely grated
1 small Asian pear, peeled and finely grated
4 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
Sprinkle brown sugar over beef and mix well to evenly coat. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes while preparing marinade. In a bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Transfer beef into a large sealable freezer bag (you may need 2). Add marinade, press out excess air from bags, and seal. Turn bag over several times to ensure beef is evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-hot. Drain excess marinade off beef. Grill short ribs, turning once, to desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions, if desired. Serve whole pieces as a main course or cut into smaller pieces, using kitchen shears, for a starter or party nibble.

* NOTE: Korean-style short ribs can be found at most Asian markets. The cut, also known as "flanken," refers to a strip of beef cut across the bone from the chuck end of the short ribs. Unlike American and European-style short ribs, which include a thick slice of bone-in beef, Korean-style short ribs are cut lengthwise across the rib bones. The result is a thin strip of meat, about 8 to10 inches in length, lined on 1 side with 1/2-inch thick rib bones. The thin slices make for fast cooking on the grill.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.

This Malaysian rice salad is ideal summer fare: light, cooling, and scented with
green herbs like basil, mint and kaffir lime leaves.
In Cradle of Flavor, James Oseland tells of stopping in a teashop on the northeast coast of Malaysia just before nightfall. The Chinese cook had only one dish left to offer him: a jasmine rice salad tossed with freshly toasted coconut and aromatic herbs so finely slivered that they looked like “green lace” draped over the rice. It was so intensely fragrant, Oseland says, that he became an instant convert.
Herbal Rice Salad is a perfect summer dish: light, delicately flavored, redolent of anise-flavored basil and cooling mint, citrusy lemongrass and lime. Before you begin, sharpen your knife since all the herbs must be slivered very finely. The author notes that the flavors of the salad are not cast in stone—you could add more of any herbs that please you, or even use other leafy herbs that are running riot in your garden—say lemon verbena, purple basil and black-stemmed mint.
Resist the temptation to skip the dried shrimp, however. They are available in most Asian markets, and, although pungent-smelling, these tiny crustaceans add just a whisper of the briny deep once they have been pulverized in a food processor and mixed with the rice. I did cheat on one ingredient, though—Instead of grating and toasting fresh coconut meat, I made do with the packaged variety, lightly toasted until it turned golden brown. I know fresh coconut would have been luscious, but even this poor second added richness to the rice salad.
This is a dish that engages all the senses—taste and smell of course, but also the sense of touch if you toss the rice with your hands as Oseland suggests. Its light green herbal flecks are cooling to the eye, and, as for the ear, well, you are likely to hear little whimpers of delight from everyone at your table.
Herbal Rice Salad
(adapted from James Oseland, Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore)
Makes 4 servings as a main course, 6 servings as a side dish
4 heaping tablespoons toasted grated coconut (recipe follows)
About 50 fresh lemon basil, Thai basil or Italian basil leaves (about 1 small bunch)
About 35 fresh mint leaves (about 1/2 small bunch)
About 60 fresh Vietnamese basil leaves or cilantro leaves (about1 small bunch) (see note)
1 thick stalk fresh lemongrass
3 whole fresh or thawed frozen kaffir lime leaves (see note)
3 to 4 tablespoons small dried shrimp (see note)
3 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
5 cups cooked jasmine rice at room temperature (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
About 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the toasted grated coconut: If using fresh coconut see recipe below. If using packaged coconut (very finely grated and unsweetened), heat a skillet over a medium low flame. Add the coconut and with a spatula, gently stir until it begins to change color. Continue to stir until the coconut becomes a light caramel color. If it darkens too quickly, remove it from the heat and keep stirring. After a minute or so, return the pan to low heat and continue to stir until it has turned a rich golden brown. Place the toasted coconut in a bowl and allow it to cool. (If you have used shredded rather than finely grated coconut, place it in a food processor, and pulse until it resembles sawdust, 30 seconds to 1 minute.) Set the coconut aside.
2. Working in batches, stack the lemon basil leaves, roll up lengthwise into a tight bundle and slice crosswise as thickly as possible with a very sharp knife. You should have about 5 loosely packed heaping tablespoons of the sliced herb. Cut the mint leaves in the same manner; you should have about 3 loosely packed heaping tablespoons of the sliced herb. Finally, cut the Vietnamese basil leaves in the same manner; you should have about 5 loosely packed, heaping tablespoons of the sliced herb. Set all the herbs aside.
3. Cut off the hard brown bottom and the bristly green top of the lemongrass, which should leave you with a pale white and lilac piece about 5 inches long. Discard the 2 or 3 tough outer layers. With the same sharp knife, cut the lemongrass on the diagonal into the thinnest possible slices, making them as close to paper-thin as you can. (The lemongrass slices will be difficult to chew if they’re too thick.) Set the lemongrass aside.
4. Again with the sharp knife, remove the tough center vein and hard stem of each kaffir lime leaf. Cut the leaves lengthwise into the narrowest possible strips—as narrow as a strand of hair if your knife will allow it. (The lime leaves will be difficult to chew if they are sliced too thickly.) Set the sliced lime leaves aside.
5. Place the dried shrimp in a small food processor and pulse until you have a fine powder resembling sawdust. Set the powdered shrimp aside.
6. In a large bowl, combine the sliced herbs, lemongrass and lime leaves; the powdered shrimp; the shallots; and the rice. With a large spoon (or better yet, your hands, which will allow you to distribute the ingredients more evenly), combine the ingredients until the herbs and the rice are well mixed and the rice is free of clumps. Add the lime juice and mix once more.
7. Add the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Because the herbs and shallots are intensely flavored, you may need to add less than 1 teaspoon salt. This dish should be neither salty nor acidic. It should be subtle and intensely fragrant with the clean taste of each herb clearly coming through. Add a squeeze of lime juice if needed.
8. Transfer to a serving bowl and eat at once. The herbs in this dish will wilt and lose their zing if allowed to sit longer than 30 minutes.
Note: Look for Vietnamese basil, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and dried shrimp at markets carrying southeast Asian ingredients. If you cannot find peppery Vietnamese basil, substitute cilantro—As Oseland notes, it tastes nothing like Vietnamese basil, but its fresh, clean taste makes it a pleasant addition to the salad.
See below for recipes for Steamed Rice and Toasted Grated Coconut.
Steamed Rice
(from James Oseland, Cradle of Flavor)
Makes 4 generous servings, or 6 small servings
2 cups jasmine rice
2-1/2 cups water
1. Place the rice in a 1-1/2 or 2-quart saucepan. Fill the pot halfway with cold water. If any rice hulls or small twigs float to the surface, scoop them aside with your hand and discard them. Gently swirl your fingers through the rice until the water becomes cloudy from the surface starch on the rice grains, about 20 seconds. Be careful not to massage the rice aggressively. You don’t want to crack or break the grains. Allow the rice to settle for a few seconds. Tilt the pot over a sink and drain out all the water, cupping the rice with your hand to prevent it from spilling out of the pot. Repeat this process with 3 more changes of water. The water after the first 2 rinses will be quite cloudy; by the fourth rinse, it will be much less so. The water need not run completely clear by the final rinse. Slightly cloudy water is fine. Leave the rinsed rice in the pot.
2. Add the cooking water to the rinsed rice. Gently shift the pot back and forth a few time, letting the rice settle in a flat, even layer at the bottom.
3. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a rolling, noisy boil. Allow the rice to boil vigorously for 15 seconds. Immediately reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to lift or remove the lid during this time. You’ll lose essential cooking steam if you do.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice to continue to steam, covered, away from the heat for an additional 10 minutes. This period ensures that the rice will be fully tender and makes it less prone to sticking to the bottom of the pot. Open the pot and fluff the rice gently with a fork, being careful to break as few grains as possible.
5. Transfer the rice to a deep serving bowl and fluff it again well with a fork, lifting it into a peaked mound. Serve the rice piping hot. (Editor’s note: If you are making the herbal rice salad, spread it out on a platter so that it can cool to room temperature.)

Toasted Grated Coconut
(from James Oseland, Cradle of Flavor)
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
Meat from 1 medium-sized coconut, cut into 1-inch pieces
1. Fill the work bowl of a regular-sized food processor one-third full with the coconut meat. (Be sure the pieces are no larger than 1 inch; larger ones will get caught in the processor blades.) Pulse until fluffy and light, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don’t over-process, or the coconut will become gluey. Repeat until all of the coconut is grated.
2. Heat a 12-inch skillet (non-stick works best) over medium-low heat. When it’s hot, add the grated coconut and toast slowly, stirring often with a spatula and gently rotating the pan to disperse the coconut evenly around its surface. Continue until the coconut is the color of light caramel and pleasantly fragrant. (The coconut will color fairly evenly but some bits won’t noticeably change color.) This will usually take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how dry the coconut is and the intensity of the heat. Resist the temptation to raise the heat. It’s easy to overbrown the coconut, which will make it taste bitter. (Conversely, if it’s underbrowned, it will taste bland.) If the coconut begins to burn or overbrown, immediately remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool for 1 minute, stirring the coconut constantly, and then return to low heat to continue cooking.
3. Transfer the toasted coconut to a bowl and set it aside for a few minutes to cool.
4. Place the cooled toasted coconut in the food processor, and pulse until it resembles fine sawdust, about 1 minute. Use immediately or store in the freezer where it will last for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed jar or plastic container or a zip-lock bag.

3 Day Chili- Winner of Westport Wakeman Town Farm Chili Cook-off

3-Day Chili Recipe
Inspired by Barbara Sibley of La Palapa
Serves 6

2 lbs gound beef (not extra lean)
6 guajillo chiles *
12 chiles de arbol *
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic

3 Tablespoons canned, mashed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce*
2 cups tomato puree
2 teaspoons ground cumin

salt to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme (dried or fresh)
1 bay leaf
¼ cup corn oil
2 cups cooked dried pinto beans
1 cup chopped, seeded red peppers
1 cup chopped, seeded poblano chiles
½ cup chopped seeded jalapeños *
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1. The day before making the chile, rinse the dried pinto beans well in several changes of water, cover with fresh water to 2 inches above the level of the beans, cover, and allow to soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans, and put in a pot with fresh water to cover by 2 inches and cook over medium heat, skimming any foam that develops, for one- two hours or until the beans are soft but not mushy. Do not add salt to the beans, as it can toughen them. 

2. Wearing gloves, wipe the chiles de arbol and guajillo chiles clean with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and shake out seeds. Put the chiles in a hot dry pan and toast over high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place chiles in a non reactive bowl and pour one cup of boiling water over them. Allow to soak for 30 minutes. Blend well in a blender with as much of the soaking water as is need to blend well. Strain through a sieve. Mix in chipotles in adobo. Set aside chile puree.

3. In a deep sauté pan or 3 quart stock pot add the corn oil, onion and garlic and cook at medium heat until translucent. Remove and reserve.

4.Add the beef to the hot pan and sauté until no longer pink. Drain through a sieve to remove most of the fat. Return the beef to the pan with the onions and garlic.

5. Add the tomato and the chile puree* to the beef and cook for about 3 minutes at medium heat. Add in the oregano, cumin, black pepper, thyme, bay leaf and salt to taste. Continue to sauté for one or two minutes or until the spices are aromatic.

6. Stir in the cooked beans, chopped red pepper, poblano chiles, jalapeños and cilantro. Lower heat to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes or until some of the liquid is reduced. Stir in pomegranate molasses.

5. Allow Chili to rest at least 24 hours to let the flavors mellow.

Garnish as desired. For the cook-off chili was garnished with chopped mixed hot chile peppers and popcorn dusted with Ancho Chile Powder

*Note: This is a very spicy chili! If you prefer less heat you will want to experiment with the * items on the ingredient list and reduce the amounts accordingly.

Aug 10, 2019

The Best Lentil Salad Ever

The Best Lentil Salad, Ever
2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils, or green or brown lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup capers
1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. strong mustard
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Optional add-ins:
Goat cheese
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Crispy seasonal veggies
1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.
4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.
Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com

Jul 9, 2019

snickerdoodle-- the perfect recipe for a favorite cookie

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture:
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla. Cream for 1-2 minutes longer. 
  3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, just until combined. 
  4. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. 
  5. If time allows, wrap the dough and let refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.  Roll into small balls until round and smooth.  Drop into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and coat well. Using a spoon, coat for a second time, ensuring the cookie balls are completely covered.  *To make flatter snickerdoodles, press down in the center of the ball before placing in the oven. This helps to keep them from puffing up in the middle. *
  6. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Let cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing from the pan.  

Jun 5, 2019

Rosemary Tomato Focaccia

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes Roasted on Focaccia-- I wish I had used even more tomatoes!

Thanks to Bon Appetit for the recipe for the best focaccia ever!

This recipe uses a liberal amount of olive oil for the crispest, best tasting focaccia I ever tasted. Be sure to read through the recipe-- it calls for a long, lazy rise in the refrigerator-- 8-24 hours to develop its yeasty, chewy deliciousness. Mix it up in the evening and let it make magic in your fridge for dinner the next night.

6¼ cups bread flour (30 oz. or 850g)
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast (from one ¼-oz. packet)
Pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt read here about the differences
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing and drizzling
Flaky sea salt
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, halved, tossed with a bit of olive oil. salt and pepper


Combine flour and 2½ cups room-temperature water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Mix on low speed, scraping down sides and hook as needed to incorporate any dry flour, until a shaggy dough forms. Remove dough hook and cover bowl with plastic.

Let sit while you prepare the yeast (you can leave the dough in this state up to 2 hours). Stir yeast, sugar, and ½ cup warm water with a fork in a small bowl to dissolve. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Pour yeast mixture into stand mixer bowl and mix on low speed until dough absorbs all additional water, about 1 minute (pulse mixer on and off a couple of times at very beginning to prevent liquid from splashing over the sides).

Add kosher salt and continue to mix, increasing speed to medium, until dough is extremely elastic and very sticky (it will look more like a thick batter and will stick to sides of bowl), about 5 minutes.

Pour 3 Tbsp. oil into a large (preferably glass) bowl and swirl to coat sides. Scrape in dough with a large spatula or flexible bench scraper. Cover and place in a warm spot until dough is doubled in volume, 2–3 hours. If using a glass bowl, it’s helpful to mark the position of the dough at the beginning so you can accurately assess the rise (a dry-erase marker or piece of tape works).

Drizzle 2 Tbsp. oil over a 18x13" sheet pan and use fingertips to rub all over bottom and sides.

Using large spatula or flexible bench scraper, fold dough inside bowl a couple of times to deflate, then scrape onto prepared baking sheet. Using oiled hands, lift up dough and fold over onto itself in half, then rotate baking sheet 90° and fold in half again.

Cover dough with a piece of well-oiled plastic and let rest 10 minutes to let gluten relax.

Uncover and go back in with oiled hands, gently stretching dough (to avoid tearing) across length and width of baking sheet in an even layer, working all the way to edges and into corners. If dough starts to spring back, let sit 5–10 minutes and start again.

Cover again with same piece of oiled plastic and chill at least 8 hours and up to 24. 

Let sheet pan sit in a warm spot until dough is puffed and bubbly and nearly doubled in height, 45–65 minutes (if you’re using a standard half sheet pan, it will have risen to the very top of the sides).

Meanwhile, place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 450°. Remove plastic and drizzle dough generously with more oil. Oil hands again and press fingertips firmly into dough, pushing down all the way to bottom of pan to dimple all over. Sprinkle generously with sea salt,  scatter tomatoes and rosemary over the focaccia.

Bake at 450°until dark golden brown and crisp, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool before you cut into it. (Yeah, I dare you to wait.)

Apr 25, 2019

Delicious Passover Lemon Curd Meringue Kisses

This delicious, if labor intensive recipe comes from Amy Spiro and was published in The Jewish Week. I used a different recipe for the lemon curd, one which did not use margarine, but Coconut Oil which is Kosher for Passover.

Lemon Meringue Thumbprints:
4 egg whites
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
about 1 cup lemon curd (recipe below)
(Shredded coconut for garnish optional)
Beat the egg whites on medium until foamy – about 1 minute. Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form – any where from 10 to 20 minutes. You should be able to hold a spoon of meringue upside down without it sliding off by the time you count to 5.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe 1" circles on to the paper. Then go back over and pipe rings around the top of the circles.
Bake on 250 F for 20 minutes – remove from oven and use the bowl of a teaspoon measurement to press down any centers that have risen too high – they may crack slightly, this is fine. Return to the oven for an additional 40 minutes, until the bottoms peel off the parchment paper easily and appear done. Let cool. Use a small spoon to scrape out any excess baked meringue, so that you have a nice depression in the center.
Carefully spoon or use a pastry bag to pipe  1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon curd in to the center of each cookie. Sprinkle with some shredded coconut if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
Lemon Curd
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
zest from 2 lemons
pinch of sea salt
6 Tbsp Coconut Oil
In a small pan, whisk together eggs, yolks, honey, lemon juice, salt and zest.
Add coconut oil and turn heat to low
Cook on low until fat is completely melted, stirring constantly
Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens, about another 5-7 minutes.

Immediately strain through a sieve and refrigerate. Curd will thicken as it cools.
Store, well covered in the refrigerator, and stir before using.

Feb 22, 2019

Delectable Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This easy-to-put-together streusel-style coffee cake is a real crowd pleaser. It goes into the file of "the only recipe you need". It is light and tasty, and the maple glaze really adds to the flavor. Be sure to have the eggs and the butter at room temperature, and do use the cake flour for the light texture. Feel free to swap out walnuts for the pecans, or leave out the nuts entirely.


12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) butter at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1¼ cups sour cream
2½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
For the streusel:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
For the glaze:
½ cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed. Do not over mix the batter.
For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the pecans.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Feb 7, 2019

Fabulous Dairy-Free, NO MIXER Chocolate Cake

Spruce Eats recently shared this chooclate cake recipe from chef Sharon Paley, and I don't think I ever will make a different recipe. Its just perfect, and, you won't miss the dairy! As an added bonus, you don't need to take out a mixer, just whip it up in a bowl, and bake it off in a bundt pan. It doesn't even need frosting, just dust with a little confectioners sugar.


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso granules
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 ° C). (If you are using a dark or nonstick pan, reduce the heat by 25° F). Lightly grease and flour a Bundt pan, making sure to tap out any excess flour. Or, grease 2 9-inch (23 cm) layer cake pans, and line the bottom of each with a parchment paper circle. Grease the parchment circles. Set aside.
  3. In a double-boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate. Alternatively, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set it over a small saucepan of gently simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should rest in the saucepan, but should not touch the water). Stir constantly until the chocolate melts, then remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant espresso, and salt.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, orange juice, water, eggs, and vanilla.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix just until combined. Add the melted chocolate, and stir just until it is well incorporated and the batter is smooth.
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake in the preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean – about 50 to 60 minutes if using a Bundt pan, or 35 to 45 minutes if using layer cake pans. Cool completely on a wire rack. Glaze or frost as desired. Enjoy!