Category Archives: Breakfast

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeI had the idea for this Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake after making Double Funfetti Crumb Cake last year and have just been waiting for the right occasion to make it. Why, you may wonder, is today the right day for this cake? Because May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day!Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeGenerally speaking, I’m not a big celebrator of food holidays, but I seem to always remember Pi Day, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, and Chocolate Chip Day. While these are all silly occasions, I feel like this is *the* time for silly occasions. After all, it’s the 64th day of lockdown here in NYC—Chocolate Chip Day and especially this Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake have never been more necessary.Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeI mean, look at that pillowy soft chocolate chip cake! It’s buttery, tight-crumbed, and super moist thanks to half a cup of sour cream. It’s almost enough to restore my hope for the future.Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeOh, and speaking of restoring hope in things, let’s discuss the crispy chocolate chip cookie crumb topping! It’s the real star of this show. Think streusel, but instead of cinnamon there’s a bunch of brown sugar and chocolate chips in the mix—it’s actual perfection.

If you want to get fancy, you could brown the butter in the crumb topping. I’m gonna do that next time as part of that hope in the future thing.Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeIf you want perfectly clean slices and have slightly more patience than I do, you can wait til the cake has cooled completely before divvying it up. I ceased having extra patience 42 days ago, so the pictured slice is a little scraggly…but as a perk, the chocolate chips are still soft. I will choose melty chocolate over aesthetics any day, anytime. But, like, especially today and right now. The future can wait while I finish my slice of cake.Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeHappy Chocolate Chip Day, dear readers.Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake, about 10-12 servings

Chocolate Chip Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips

Cake Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a springform pan. Set aside.

Make the crumb topping. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in and melted butter and stir until dry ingredients are saturated and clumps form. Stir in miniature chocolate chips. Set aside.

Make the cake batter. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream and vanilla; mixture may be a bit lumpy. Mix in half the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Add remaining dry ingredients, followed by remaining milk. Use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold in miniature chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Use your fingers to evenly distribute crumb over the top. Tap full pan a few times on the countertop to release any large air bubbles. Bake cake for 65-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes in the pan on a rack. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the springform. Cake may be served warm or room temperature. If you’d like, let the cake cool completely, invert it and remove the parchment before placing on a serving platter. Slice and serve.

Leftover cake will keep well at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeChocolate Chip Cookie Crumb CakeChocolate Chip Cookie Crumb Cake

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk PancakesI want you to know that these took me a while—like 24 test batches, and also years of making subpar pancakes and wondering if there was something wrong with me or if I should give in to a lifetime of Bisquick.

How difficult could pancakes from scratch possibly be? Well, not difficult at all, it turns out. I just had to stop nitpicking and get out of my own damn way. Very good, very easy Buttermilk Pancakes happen when I stop nitpicking and get out of my own damn way.Buttermilk Pancakes These Buttermilk Pancakes are on the thick and fluffy side of things—perfect for piling high with butter and maple syrup. They are so soft and tender that I can’t get enough, which is a very good thing considering that I have 24 batches-worth triple-wrapped in plastic and stacked into columns in my freezer. I’d invite you all over for pancakes and Sahadi coffee if inviting blog friends over to eat reheated leftovers weren’t extra weird. Also, the whole pandemic thing.Buttermilk PancakesAnyway…I didn’t reinvent the wheel here. Flour, sugar, baking powder & soda, salt, buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla—those are the ingredients you’ll find in most buttermilk pancakes, including mine. You’ll notice that the volume of wet ingredients far surpasses the dry, so these are fluffy but not heavy or rubbery.Buttermilk PancakesI don’t have any magical tips for you except to rest the batter for a few minutes (it will change dramatically as the gluten develops), make sure your surface isn’t too hot, and don’t cook your batter in too much fat. That last bit of advice seems to be the secret to evenly-browned pancakes, at least when it comes to this recipe. I brush the pan with oil and then wipe out any excess with a paper towel before pouring batter.Buttermilk PancakesThese are buttermilk pancakes, so I tested them primarily with full- and low-fat buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use a vinegar/lemon juice + milk substitute. Your pancakes will be a little thinner than mine, but they will still be delicious. I also had pancake success with a mixture of 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup milk. Yogurt and milk would probably work just fine, too. We’re making pancakes, not doing rocket science–work with what you have.

Oh, and don’t worry about whisking out every last lump in your batter. In fact, you absolutely shouldn’t do that. Normally we’d want those bits of unincorporated flour and leaveners gone, but here they keep the gluten from overdeveloping and the baking powder and soda from all reacting at once. All of that is a very long way of saying that a few lumps keep our pancakes tender and fluffy instead of tough and chewy.Buttermilk PancakesYou may think this batter is particularly thick, or at least I do (maybe from my lifetime of Bisquick?), but it’s still pourable. I find that rotating my wrist/the measuring cup 90 degrees while pouring batter onto the pan helps to develop a good round shape…not that I’ve ever discriminated against a pancake based on its shape. Pancake positivity all the way.Buttermilk PancakesAs for when to make and eat Buttermilk Pancakes, I know the weekend is traditional, but days are just days now, and there’s never really a bad time for pancakes, now is there? Maybe, just this once, be like me–Stop nitpicking and get out of your own damn way. Very good, very easy pancakes happen when you stop nitpicking and get out of your own damn way.Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes
makes about 18 pancakes

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature*
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, cold or room temperature (both work)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
canola or vegetable oil, for cooking

For serving:
pats of butter
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until no streaks of flour remain—there will still be some lumps. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes.

Heat your griddle or pan (I used anodized non-stick and cast iron) over medium heat for a few minutes, until heated through. Brush with oil (or grease lightly), then wipe excess out with a folded paper towel or dish towel.

Stir rested batter one or two strokes. Pour 1/4 cup increments of batter on greased pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbles are forming and they are turning golden. Flip with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes, or until the bottom is turning golden. Remove to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until serving.

Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, greasing the pan only as necessary.

Serve immediately with pats of butter and maple syrup.

Leftover pancakes may be stacked in threes, triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for a couple of months. Discard plastic and microwave 2.5 to 3 minutes before serving.

Note:

I take the chill off my buttermilk by microwaving it for 35-45 seconds and giving it a stir with a fork before using.Buttermilk Pancakes Buttermilk PancakesButtermilk Pancakes

Friday Favorites: Bananas

Any guesses as to the number one thing I’ve been asked for this pandemic? Anyone? Bueller?

Okay, I’ll tell you—it’s things to do with ripe bananas! I feel like I’ve been passing out banana bread recipes right and left for the last two months. Here are a few favorite banana breads and muffins, and a few more things to do with brown bananas. I figured you might like to have some options for the duration.Friday Favorites: BananasWhole Wheat Banana Bread

This soft and tender loaf has a little extra depth from whole wheat flour. There’s also a little life hack in the post for getting bananas to ripen in minutes rather than days. The more you know…Friday Favorites: BananasChocolate Banana Bread

This double chocolate banana bread is somewhere between breakfast and dessert. Incidentally, that is the exact time of day I like to enjoy it—anywhere between breakfast and dessert!

Friday Favorites: BananasSmall Batch Banana Muffins

One banana, six muffins, accidentally vegan. Need I say more?Friday Favorites: BananasOne-Banana Banana Bread

…okay, I’ll say that you can use the same basic formula from above (plus an egg or vegan egg substitute) and make a teeny loaf of banana bread. Small batch baking for the win!Friday Favorites: BananasWhole Grain Banana Muffins

One last banana bread/muffin/what have you, because heaven knows you can never have too many. These whole grain banana muffins are made with a ton of oats in addition to whole wheat flour, toasted walnuts, and chocolate chips. Yum!Friday Favorites: BananasWhole Grain Banana-Chocolate Chip Bars

Reading through the post, It seems I sort of tried to pass these off as a healthier option back in 2016. Not so sure about that, but I do know that these bars—made with oats,whole wheat flour, chocolate chips and one very ripe banana—are super delicious.Friday Favorites: BananasCaramelized Banana Milkshakes

Bananas cooked in butter and brown sugar and then whirled into a vanilla milkshake? Sign me up!Friday Favorites: BananasBanana Pecan Sticky Buns

The best sort of weekend breakfast! Sliced ripe bananas are rolled into cinnamon buns, baked over a lake of sticky pecan caramel, and then inverted so it all runs together in a truly wonderful way.Friday Favorites: BananasBanana Snickerdoodles

These soft, cinnamon-spiked banana cookies are coated in a thin, crackling layer of cinnamon-sugar. So, so, sooooo good.Friday Favorites: BananasBanana Pudding Cookies

I have had many baking “Everests” in the last several years, but this was the first. These soft, chewy, white chocolate chip studded cookies taste exactly (*exactly*) like banana pudding. They don’t contain a box of pudding mix either, instead relying on a mixture of powdered milk and cornstarch. Oh, and they are absurdly delicious and you should make a batch as soon as possible.Friday Favorites: BananasNo-Churn Banana Pudding Ice Cream

I love a no-churn ice cream, especially when it’s scented with vanilla and studded with banana and crumbled vanilla wafers! This was the most popular recipe on my site in 2016–believe the hype!

Have you made any of these or any of my other banana recipes? Let me know in the comments or on social media!Friday Favorites: BananasFriday Favorites: Bananas

Friday Favorites: Flourless Baking

It will surprise none of you to find out that when this pandemic started affecting the U.S., my first instinct was not to buy toilet paper or regular groceries, but instead to replenish my supplies of sugar, butter and flour. If I had to be stuck at home for two weeks (ha!), at least I’d be able to bake.

Fast forward six-ish weeks and there have been runs on everything—hand sanitizer, household cleaning supplies, toilet paper, literally everything on grocery store shelves—and most of it has bounced back a little, but I am hearing from many people that they still can’t get flour. Or if they can, it’s whole wheat or cake flour or 00—all great and useful, but not what you need to make most everyday things.

Luckily, there are plenty of recipes that don’t rely on flour at all and still bake up beautifully. Oh, and since they don’t contain flour, they’re all gluten-free. Score! Here are a dozen of my favorites from the archives.Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingBlueberry Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is one of those things that’s great for any occasion. This one was made while I was on vacation in Maine, but I’ve also made them for holidays, brunches, the average weekday, and—oh yeah—quarantine. It relies on old-fashioned oats for structure, and baking powder and eggs (or aquafaba or flax eggs) for lift. You can make it as sweet as you like, with whatever fruit you have on hand, and keep it vegan or use dairy milk. Whatever makes you happy.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingChewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These vegan, gluten-free cookies are my take on an Ovenly staple. They’re made from oats that have been blitzed in a food processor until good and powdery, but not fine like flour. The ingredients are stirred into a very loose batter and then refrigerated for 12-24 hours before being baked to delicious, chewy, chocolaty perfection.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingAlmond Joy Granola

More oats! But who can blame me when they’re baked with almond butter and coconut, then tossed with chocolate and crumbled over your morning yogurt?

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingCashew Butter Snickerdoodles

These Flourless Snickerdoodles are one of my most popular recipes. It’s easy to see why—what’s not to love about vegan, gluten-free cookies made from cashews and coated in cinnamon-sugar? Nut butter (in this case, cashew) lends fat, flavor and structure in baking, making it a very popular option in gluten- and grain-free recipes. I’ve got two more cashew butter cookies in my archives, and a few other nut butter-based cookies too…

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingEasy Nutella Cookies

…like these Easy Nutella Cookies! These grain-free beauts are made with six ingredients, one of which is a whole lot of Nutella. They’ve got big chocolate hazelnut flavor in teeny, tiny packages.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingFlourless Chocolate Cookies

I posted these four-ingredient wonders last week! Cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, salt and egg whites are all you need for a stack of these meringue-edged, brownie-centered cookies.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingSuper Fudgy Brownies

These glossy, crackly-topped brownies are made with cocoa powder and cornstarch instead of flour. Yesssss.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingCoconut Macaroons

My favorite Coconut Macaroons are both flourless and egg-free, relying instead on sweetened condensed milk for texture and structure. They’re super quick and easy to make—all you need are four ingredients and about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingChocolate Macaroon Tart

This is *the* most popular recipe on my site. It’s made with five ingredients and none of them are flour or eggs.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingButtermilk Pie with Oatmeal Crust

Pie is probably the last thing on your mind right now, but berries and rhubarb are starting to appear in stores and if you were to nestle them in this easy, no-roll oatmeal crust and pour some buttermilk custard over the top and bake until the center is ever-so-slightly jiggly…well, it would probably be very good.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingToasted Oat Graham Crackers

I’m back in the oat zone, y’all. These vegan oat grahams come together in a food processor and bake up perfectly crisp. Sandwich them with chocolate and toasted marshmallow for s’mores, or serve them with peanut butter and apples for a snack.

Friday Favorites: Flourless BakingWinning Hearts & Minds Cake

This recipe is just the tiniest twist on Molly Wizenberg’s perfect chocolate cake. Hers contains one lone tablespoon of flour, which I have swapped for cocoa. Truth be told though, the eggs do all the heavy lifting in this dense, fudgy, and supremely easy flourless chocolate cake. Make it for quarantine and then, when all of this is over, make it for…everyone.Friday Favorites: Flourless Baking

Have you tried any of these flourless recipes, or any of the others in my archives? Let me know in the comments or on social media 💗 And be on the lookout for another flourless recipe coming your way on Wednesday!

Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Almond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeIn keeping with social distancing, baking with what I have, considering what you might have, thinking up swaps, and trying to make something Easter-appropriate, I present to you this Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake. It’s made with the last of a container of sour cream I found in my fridge, poppy seeds leftover from Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, and sliced almonds from Almond Boterkoek. The rest of the ingredients are baking basics/things I normally have around. Oh, and it only requires one egg—score!Almond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeAs far as Easter goes, this is not my norm. This cake is not pastel or coconut or coated in my nemesis, poured fondant, but it feels decidedly springlike anyway. I mean, I know we eat almond things at other times of year, but doesn’t Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake scream springtime Sunday morning?Almond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeThe cake is just my usual coffee/crumb cake base, but perfumed with almond extract and studding with crunchy poppy seeds. It’s super moist and tender thanks to sour cream, milk and softened butter.Almond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeI skipped the traditional coffee cake crumble here because I felt like it was competing with the poppy seeds—too much crunch, ya know? Instead, I’ve taken the easy way out and topped this sucker with sliced almonds, put it in the oven and called it a day.

You might think you’ll miss the crumble, but once this cake is baked and golden, I promise you’ll be like “Crumble who?” Or, more likely, you’ll be too busy eating soft almond poppy seed cake to care.Almond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeAs with every recipe I’m posting right now, Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake has plenty of room for substitutions and swaps.

-don’t have poppy seeds? Leave them out. You won’t have same crispy, crunchy texture, but your coffee cake will still be delicious.
-if you don’t have a round cake pan, use a square pan. I haven’t tried it, but I have a sneaking suspicion this will work in a loaf pan too, though you may want to let it bake for more like 50-60 minutes.
-don’t have both granulated and brown sugars? You can use all of one or the other. This will change the color and flavor of the cake a little in either direction, but not in a bad way.
-no almond extract? Well, your cake won’t be Almond Poppy Seed without it, but it also will be fine. If you have citrus at home, feel free to zest a lemon (or whatever) into the sugar. If you leave it plain though, I promise it will still be good.Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake
-no vanilla? Not ideal, of course, but it can be left out.
-our of sour cream? Use yogurt. No yogurt? Swap all the sour cream & milk in the recipe for 1 1/4 cup buttermilk. For DIY buttermilk, see here.
-I bake almost exclusively with whole milk, but feel free to sub whatever you have. With the quantity of sour cream in this recipe, plant-based milks should work without issue.
-if you don’t have sliced almonds for the top, use slivered or chopped almonds, or leave them off entirely. If you feel like your cake needs more adornment, make a glaze or sift confectioners sugar over the top.

That’s every substitution I can think of, but feel free to ask questions in the comments if you think of another. “Make it work” is the name of the game this Easter.Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Almond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake, about 10 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts; mixture will be a bit lumpy. Mix in half the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Add remaining dry ingredients, followed by remaining milk.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Use your fingers to scatter sliced almonds over the top. Tap full pan a few times on the countertop to release any large air bubbles. Bake cake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes in the pan on a rack. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before inverting onto a plate to release. Revert cake onto a serving plate. Cake may be served warm or room temperature. Serve.

Leftover cake will keep well at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.Almond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeAlmond Poppy Seed Coffee CakeAlmond Poppy Seed Coffee Cake