Category Archives: game day

Funfetti Bundt Cake

Funfetti Bundt CakeFunfetti, confetti, whatever you want to call it, white cake dotted with rainbow sprinkles is one of my favorite things on earth. Like, I logically know that sprinkles don’t qualify as a flavor, but that won’t keep me from saying that sprinkles are my favorite flavor. Seriously, add sprinkles to pretty much anything and I’ll love it. Those little pops of color are just so…happy. Is happiness a flavor?Funfetti Bundt CakeI haven’t made many layer cakes in the last year—it’s hard to believe I used to make 10-20 a month!—but that doesn’t mean I haven’t fed my craving for rainbow sprinkles. Last summer’s Funfetti Cookie Cupcakes are one of my favorite recipes in a long time, as is this Funfetti Bundt Cake.Funfetti Bundt CakeLike the traditional layer cake, this is a moist sour cream white cake positively loaded with rainbow sprinkles. Unlike the traditional cake, this batter takes exactly four minutes to mix; just dump everything in a bowl and let your electric mixer have at it until it’s impossibly smooth, thick and voluminous, then stir in 3/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles before baking.

Like most bundt cakes, this one takes its sweet time to bake and cool, but I promise your patience will be rewarded. Once your cake hits room temperature, pour on a glaze, scatter on some more sprinkles and slice it up! Funfetti Bundt Cake would be great for birthdays, picnics, holidays or any old time.Funfetti Bundt CakeI know that restrictions are starting to loosen as vaccines becomes more available, but if you’re not attending gatherings that require a cake of this size, don’t worry, I’m not either. What that means is that I happen to know that this recipe halves well and can be baked in a loaf pan for your immediate pod or just yourself. I don’t know about you, but dipping into my own personal Funfetti cake over the course of a week sounds a lot like happiness to me.Funfetti Bundt Cake

Funfetti Bundt Cake
makes one 10-cup capacity bundt*

Cake:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract or imitation butter extract (optional)
3/4 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)

Icing & Garnish:
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
rainbow sprinkles (jimmies or nonpareils)

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 325F. Heavily grease a bundt pan with softened butter (or shortening) and dust well with flour. Set aside.

Make the cake. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, egg whites, vanilla, almond extract, sour cream and milk in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Batter will be thick. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold rainbow sprinkles into batter.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around all exposed edges. Invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cake cool completely. Cake may be made up to a day in advance; it will keep double-wrapped in plastic wrap.

Make the icing. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Mixture should be very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more milk by the teaspoon up to 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon); if it’s too thin, add more confectioners sugar in 2 tablespoon increments. Pour over cake. Scatter rainbow sprinkles on immediately. Let sit for 20 minutes to set. Move cake to a serving plate before slicing and serving.

Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Note:

This recipe may be halved and baked in a parchment-lined 9×5-inch loaf pan. Start checking the cake for doneness at the 55 minute mark.

Funfetti Bundt CakeFunfetti Bundt Cake

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesThese Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies were the maiden voyage of my brand new sheet pans! If the results are any indicator, I think we’re off to an auspicious start.Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesReese’s Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesWe’re talking thick, soft cookies with tons of peanut butter flavor and an extra peanut buttery crunch from the Reese’s Pieces strewn throughout! You could obviously swap in chocolate chips or M&Ms or any other add-in you like, but I am all about that double peanut butter life.This cookie dough is super fun and easy to make. It comes together in just a few minutes and doesn’t require a mixer or a chill—score! Just mix, scoop, roll and bake. If you were to turn on your oven right now, you could have puffy peanut butter cookies in half an hour. Half an hour!Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesPretty sure that’s the height of luxury on the fiftieth weekend of quarantine. Or at least it is around here.Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 23-24 cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural-style)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Combine butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. This may also be done in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat.

Transfer butter/peanut butter to a medium mixing bowl and whisk in brown sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, stirring until combined. Fold in Reese’s Pieces (or other add-ins).

Scoop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments, roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Flatten cookies lightly with your palm. Bake 9-11 minutes, until puffed and no longer raw looking. Let cool on the pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let baking sheets return to room temperature before rolling and baking any remaining dough.

Serve cookies. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesReese’s Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesReese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Soft Sour Cream Sugar CookiesSoft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies. Try saying that five times fast. Or, you know, skip the silliness and just make ‘em.Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

These are a homemade take on the super soft, vibrantly frosted Lofthouse Cookies I loved during my college years. While you won’t find me buying them these days, I think about them more than is probably reasonable. They are like a supermarket birthday cake and some sugar cookies had a baby and I am here for it.Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Like the cookies that inspired them, these are feather-soft thanks to the sour cream and confectioner’s sugar mixed into the dough. Those ingredients in particular make these puffy sugar cookies super tender and almost cakey. I know I’ve railed against cakey cookies in the past, but I’ll make an exception for these.Soft Sour Cream Sugar CookiesSoft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

The dough comes together pretty quickly, but is on the sticky side and needs a chill before baking. I roll these cookies super thick (1/2 inch) and cut them with a 2-inch cutter. I tested with bigger cutters, but found that a smaller diameter helps the cookies to bake evenly, reducing the chances of dense centers and crisp edges. While those are usually good things in cookies, these are best when they’re soft all around. In fact, I prefer to eat them the day after they’re baked for maximum softness. So good.

Quick tip: in case you want to take your sugar cookie game to the next level, you could absolutely make these in the shape of a football, heart, Christmas tree or other simple shape. Keep in mind that this dough spreads and puffs a bit, so you won’t want to do anything terribly intricate. But also…go wild.Soft Sour Cream Sugar CookiesSoft Sour Cream Sugar CookiesSoft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are good unadorned, but a thick smear of vanilla buttercream and smattering of sprinkles take them over the top! I went with a pink marbled motif, dying half my frosting and then spreading both colors together, but feel free to use whatever color(s) of frosting or variety of sprinkles you like here. Get festive with it for holidays, big games, birthdays or any day!Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
makes about 3 dozen medium cookies

Cookie Dough:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream (not fridge-cold)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Decorating:
Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)
food coloring, if desired
sprinkles of choice

Special Equipment:
a 2-inch round cookie cutter
offset icing spatula

Make the cookie dough. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, confectioner’s sugars, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in sugar, followed by egg, sour cream and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 2 installments, beating until combined. Dough will be a bit sticky.

Divide dough into halves and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Place oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

Generously flour a surface and rolling pin. Unwrap one half of the dough. Roll the dough to 1/2-inch thickness, lifting and turning the dough frequently so that it doesn’t stick to your surface. Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut cookies. Cut directly down. Do not twist.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 9-10 minutes, rotating top-to-bottom and back-to-front at the 5 minute mark. Cookies are done when puffed and no-longer raw-looking. They should be mostly pale, but there may be some golden coloring at the bottom edges. Let cookies cool on the pans for 8-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let sheet pans come to room temperature before proceeding with the next batch.

Repeat rolling, cutting and baking with remaining half of dough. Re-roll scraps as desired, refrigerating if anything gets too sticky.

After cookies have cooled completely, use an offset icing spatula to frost each one with about 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Buttercream (I used 1/2 tablespoon each pink and plain white buttercreams). Garnish with sprinkles immediately after frosting. Buttercream will crust after an hour or so. You may serve the cookies immediately after frosting, but they are softest the next day.

After they’ve crusted, leftovers may be layered with wax or parchment paper and kept in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for a couple of days or I’m the refrigerator for up to a week.

Vanilla Buttercream

makes enough for 3 dozen cookies (with a little leftover)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
food coloring, if desired

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in three installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt and vanilla. Add in heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.

To dye half of the buttercream, remove half to a smaller bowl. Add a drop of gel food coloring (or a few drops of liquid) and use your electric mixer to beat until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Use buttercream to frost Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies.

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Friday Favorites: Game Day II

Friday Favorites: Game DayI have made it clear over the years that I am a baseball and Olympics person, and very definitely not a football fan. Oh, I’ve tried. I grew up in Texas and was the co-captain of my high school dance team, so I attended 40+ games from the sidelines, and I never missed a Super Bowl for the first 22 years of my life. I can say with confidence that football is not for me.

That said, I most certainly like football food. In fact, today’s list of Super Bowl Sunday recipes is the second Game Day round-up I’ve compiled in the last five years. There are some of the usual meaty, cheesy, gooey suspects, and a couple of non-traditional options. You know, for keeping things interesting between commercial breaks.

I sincerely hope none of you are gathering for Super Bowl parties next weekend—I would like to be able to see my family sometime this year, okay?—but for all the things that will be different/less good about the big game, let’s not let the food be one of them.Friday Favorites: Game DayPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Pigs in blankets are a classic football food. Here they’re wrapped in puff pastry (rough puff or frozen/thawed puff) and baked until super flaky and golden. Yum.Friday Favorites: Game DayPimento Cheese Tarte Soleil

You could just make Pimento Cheese for game day, but why pass up the chance to stack it with flaky pastry, twist it to sunny perfection and bake until bubbly?Friday Favorites: Game DayCreamy Avocado Salsa

Is it even game day if chips and salsa aren’t on the table? This Creamy Avocado Salsa has all the flavors of classic guacamole, but with a smooth and dreamy texture. Serve it by its lonesome or… Friday Favorites: Game DaySpicy Turkey Tacos

…drizzle it onto these Spicy Turkey Tacos! This thirty minute main is one of my go-to weeknight recipes. It’s easy, saucy and has a good kick to it from a DIY taco seasoning. If heat isn’t your thing, don’t fret; I’ve included a way to make these milder without sacrificing any flavor.Friday Favorites: Game DaySlow-Roasted Pulled Pork

Say goodbye to your favorite slow cooker pulled pork because once you try this, you’ll never want to go back. My Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork does require a little forethought, but it’s actually very simple to make. It’s dry brined ahead of time and then roasted low and slow until super tender. Pile it high on soft rolls with whatever sauce and crunchy vegetables you like, or use it as filling for enchiladas!

Oh, and did I mention there are crispy cracklings strewn throughout? Because there are crispy cracklings strewn throughout. So good, y’all.Friday Favorites: Game DayButternut Squash Chili {Vegan}

If meat’s not your thing, this vegan Butternut Squash Chili is a perfect option for you! It’s hearty and comforting and basically everything wonderful about game day food, just without the animal products.Friday Favorites: Game DaySuper Sprinkle Popcorn

I find that dessert is frequently overlooked on Super Bowl Sunday, and to that I say “not in my house!” Super Sprinkle Popcorn would also be a perfect way to end the big game. Coated in white chocolate and loaded with rainbow sprinkles and homemade Funfetti crumbs, this stuff is cute and delicious as all get out!Friday Favorites: Game DayMonster Carmelitas

I think this goes without saying, but no matter how much heavy food I’ve eaten during the game, I will always—always—have room for a gooey, peanut buttery Monster Carmelita.

Have you made any of these or any of my other game day favorites? What’s your favorite thing to serve on Super Bowl Sunday? Let me know in the comments or on social media!Friday Favorites: Game Day

Spicy Turkey Tacos

Spicy Turkey TacosAs with so many of the weeknight meals that show up on this site, I’ve been making these Spicy Turkey Tacos for years. They became a part of my repertoire when I started my day job in 2016, and they’ve been in my weekly rotation ever since. They’re easy to make, require less than half an hour start-to-finish, and are a guaranteed crowd pleaser—not an easy feat with teenagers!Spicy Turkey TacosThese are a simple & saucy DIY taco seasoning, ground turkey and tomato paste situation that remind me—for better or worse—of the Old El Paso Tex-Mex taco kits my mom made when we were little. But, you know, a little classier because there’s nothing from a packet.

Now, I want to make it exceedingly clear that I am of Czech and British heritage, two cultures that are not known for their tacos. To my knowledge, Spicy Turkey Tacos (and recipes like them) aren’t particularly authentic to anything. Please correct me if I am wrong; I want to give credit where credit is due. Spicy Turkey TacosSpicy Turkey TacosThe key to this recipe is the homemade taco seasoning. It’s a simple blend of chipotle chile powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne and salt, and it is responsible for the majority of the flavor here. The recipe below makes enough for about four pounds of meat, meaning that you can make the seasoning once and then throw Spicy Turkey Tacos together in no time with no notice on a future busy weeknight. Score!

Fair warning that these Spicy Turkey Tacos are called “spicy” for a reason—this taco seasoning was has a real kick to it, so if you aren’t a spicy food person, you may want to reduce the chipotle powder by half (2 tablespoons) or switch to something milder. I promise your tacos still be great.Spicy Turkey TacosSpicy Turkey TacosTo make Spicy Turkey Tacos, begin by browning a pound of ground turkey. Stir in 2 tablespoons each of your taco seasoning and tomato paste until everything is coated. Then add some water and let your taco meat simmer until thickened to your liking. I usually let mine go until the sauce is reduced by half or two-thirds, until it’s thick but still decidedly saucy.Spicy Turkey TacosAs for serving, spoon this Spicy Turkey Taco meat into warmed flour or corn tortillas (or make a taco salad!), and pile on whatever toppings make you happy. I threw cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, romaine lettuce, cilantro, lime, grated cotija and hot sauce on these, but you could go with salsa, guacamole, shredded cheddar, or nothing at all—whatever you like. Next time, I’m going to serve them up with my Pineapple Salsa Fresca for a sweet & spicy finish.

Just living my best pandemic dinner life over here.Spicy Turkey Tacos

Spicy Taco Seasoning
makes a heaping 1/2 cup (enough for 4 pounds of meat)

It is easier to add heat than it is to remove it, so be careful. For a milder blend, reduce the chipotle powder to 2 tablespoons or use 1/4 cup of a milder chile or chili powder. I like this blend with ancho chile powder.

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) chipotle chile powder or other chile or chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year.

Spicy Turkey Tacos
makes 1 pound of meat (3-4 servings), but can easily be scaled up

1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 pound ground turkey (leanest I’d go is 93%)
2 tablespoons spicy taco seasoning (above)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cups water
warmed flour or corn tortillas

For serving (optional):
avocado
cherry tomatoes
cilantro
grated cotija or other cheese
hot sauce (I used Tapatío)
guacamole
lime wedges
romaine lettuce
salsa

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking it up with the edge of a silicone spatula or wooden spoon as you go.

Add taco seasoning and tomato paste; stir to coat. Add water and let come to a simmer. Let liquid reduce by 1/2 to 3/4, stirring occasionally, until sauce texture is to your liking. Add more water as desired.

Serve meat in warmed tortillas with desired toppings.

Leftover taco meat will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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