Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb TartI had never seen rhubarb in person until I moved to New York, but let’s just say it was love at first sight. Super tart and brightly colored, this is the sort of thing my springtime dessert dreams are made of—strawberries strictly optional.

Now, I have no real reason to make pie this spring, but that doesn’t mean I’m skipping rhubarb season. Ohhh no. As soon as I spied a pile of hot pink stalks at the market a few weeks ago, I grabbed more than I probably needed and promptly went home to make this tart.Rhubarb TartI love tarts like this one. They’re so uncomplicated. So unfussy and uncluttered. So rustic. So classy. So freakin’ easy.Rhubarb TartRegarding the crust, you can follow my lead by making your own flaky, buttery rough puff, or make it easy and use thawed frozen puff pastry. Don’t have European butter in this pandemic? Neither do I! Use whatever you have.Rhubarb TartRhubarb TartThe filling couldn’t be simpler. Rhubarb stalks are sliced into thin pieces, arranged on the pastry in whatever fashion makes you happy, sprinkled with sugar and dotted with butter. Bake the tart until the crust is golden and the rhubarb is soft, then paint on warm honey for a little extra sweetness and shine. Since this tart doesn’t have any berries to offset the tanginess of the rhubarb, that hint of honey goes a long way.Rhubarb TartRhubarb TartWhere pies are thick and take hours to cool, this tart is so thin that it only needs 45-60 minutes to reach room temperature. The flavor is more tangy than it is sweet, but the flaky crust and a dollop of whipped cream (or ice cream, if you have it) round things out nicely. Also, it’s pretty—pretty delicious!Rhubarb TartNeed a reason to make a Rhubarb Tart? Well, first of all, we are in a pandemic and you can have whatever dessert you want and anyone who says otherwise is flat wrong. But also, it’s perfect for celebrating literally any day of the week or that you put on real pants or that you didn’t see anyone not wearing a face-covering today.

If you’re slightly less weird than I am and are cooped up with anyone who identifies as a mother, I have it on good authority that this would make a fine Mother’s Day dessert. But really, any old occasion will do.Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb Tart
makes one tart, about 8 servings

Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For the tart:
4-5 stalks rhubarb, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup

For garnish:
sweetened whipped cream
vanilla ice cream

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the tart. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to the prepared pan. Trim any excess overhang. Dock center of the dough with a fork. Refrigerate while you prepare the rhubarb.

Using a large sharp chef’s knife, slice each stalk of rhubarb lengthwise once (or twice, depending on their width), until each long piece is about 1/2-inch wide. Then slice those long pieces into 4-inch lengths.

Arrange rhubarb pieces decoratively over the crust. Scatter sugar over the top and dot with butter. Bake 28-30 minutes, until edges are puffed and golden brown. Large bubbles may form during baking. Just pop them with a fork or sharp knife.

Let tart cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Warm honey (or agave or maple) slightly to loosen—about 10 seconds in the microwave should do it. Use a pastry brush to apply it to the soft rhubarb.

Use parchment to remove tart to a cutting board. Remove parchment. Slice into pieces. Serve immediately with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tart is best eaten the day it’s made as crust will soften dramatically over time. Leftover slices may be layered with wax paper or parchment and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Note:

You may use frozen all-butter puff pastry instead. Thaw according to package directions and begin the recipe at the paragraph that begins “Make the tart.”

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cake

Flourless Peanut Butter Cake If you are into rich, thick, salty-sweet, intensely peanut buttery peanut butter things…well, let me introduce you to your new favorite cake. This Flourless Peanut Butter Cake is the sort of thing that you can whip together for a casual night in (also known as every night right now) or dress it up for a birthday or dinner party (when dinner parties are a thing again).Flourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter CakeThis recipe is a play on the three ingredient peanut butter cookies that have been around forever. If you haven’t made them this quarantine, the general gist is that you mix together 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar (brown, granulated, or a mix) and an egg, scoop, roll and bake 10-ish minutes for some really excellent grain-free peanut butter cookies.Flourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter CakeThis cake is almost exactly the same thing, except that I add a few more eggs, a pinch of salt and a little vanilla, and bake it all up in a cake pan. The result is a little chewy at the edges and tender in the center—think somewhere between Flourless Almond Cake and a cookie cake. Yum!

Lest I forget quarantine swaps…feel free to use all brown or all granulated sugar in the cake. You can leave out the vanilla too, if you’re out or running low.Flourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter CakeAfter the cake has cooled, garnish all up to you. Leave it plain, dust with powdered sugar, serve with ice cream, make it into Peanut Butter Mousse Cake—whatever makes you happy.Flourless Peanut Butter CakeToday marks fifty days of lockdown in NYC, so I felt the need to jazz it up a little. I nuked chocolate chips and peanut butter until smooth, then loaded it into a bag, snipped a tiny corner and drizzled til I liked what I saw. The border is just chopped roasted peanuts and mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s. I know it’s gilding the lily, but like…what else are we doing seven weeks in?Flourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter Cake

Flourless Peanut Butter Cake
makes one 8-inch round cake

1 cup creamy-style peanut butter (not natural-style)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature

Drizzle (optional):
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon creamy-style peanut butter

Garnish (optional):
chopped peanuts
miniature peanut butter cups
chopped peanut butter cups
Reese’s pieces
chocolate chips
dusting of confectioners sugar

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line with parchment. Grease again. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat peanut butter, granulated and brown sugars until combined and a bit fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in salt and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, mixing to combine after each addition. Beat on high for 30 seconds.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 27-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs (not batter). Let cake cool 30 minutes in the pan on a rack. Cake will deflate a bit as it cools.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate (or rack). Peel off parchment. Place a serving plate upside-down onto the bottom the cake. Holding on tightly to both plates (but not so tightly as to crush the cake), flip the cake to be right side-up on the serving plate. Let cake cool completely.

Make the drizzle. Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Load into a plastic sandwich bag, snip a tiny corner and drizzle onto the cake as desired. Alternatively, drizzle with a fork or use an offset icing knife (or the back of a spoon) to spread it onto the cake. This will likely be more than you need.

Garnish as desired. To set the drizzle, refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes.

Slice and serve. Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to four days, and in the refrigerator for a bit longer.Flourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter CakeFlourless Peanut Butter Cake

Oatmeal Raisin Blondies

Oatmeal Raisin BlondiesI posted my best-yet Oatmeal Raisin Cookies last fall, but now I have one-upped myself by simplifying them and baking them up in a square pan. Oatmeal Raisin Blondies, y’all!Oatmeal Raisin BlondiesIf you are an Oatmeal Raisin fan, you’ll love these sweet little bars. They’re super chewy thanks to low flour content, a glut of old-fashioned oats, and a high brown sugar-to-dry ingredients ratio. The raisins are plumped in simmering water before mixing for maximum flavor and texture.Oatmeal Raisin BlondiesOatmeal Raisin BlondiesDeep toasty flavor comes courtesy of brown butter and toasted oats. You could, of course, just melt your butter and use your oats straight out of the bag, but spending a few minutes drawing out their nutty richness makes a huge difference in the final outcome. A teaspoon of cinnamon rounds out the batter and makes these blondies pretty irresistible!Oatmeal Raisin BlondiesThese blondies bake up in 25 or so minutes, until the top is puffed and a little glossy. Let them cool until room temperature and then slice into pieces. The tops will crack in the best way and the middles will be dense and…well, they’re *very* good. The perfect low-maintenance sort of thing to make on this quarantine Wednesday.Oatmeal Raisin Blondies

Oatmeal Raisin Blondies
makes one 8- or 9-inch pan, about 16 servings

1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Line with parchment, leaving a little excess on two sides for ease of removal. Grease again. Set aside.

Scatter oats on a dry rimmed baking sheet. Toast 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside to cool until you can handle them.

Plump the raisins. Put raisins and water in a small saucepan; if water doesn’t cover the raisins, add more until it does. Put over medium-high heat. When it reaches a simmer, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Brown the butter. Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Let butter melt. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a small-medium mixing bowl.

Add brown sugar to brown butter and whisk to combine. Mix in the egg and vanilla, followed by flour, cinnamon and salt.

Pour raisins and water through a fine mesh sieve to discard water. Fold raisins into batter.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread in an even layer all the way to the edges. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes back with only a few moist crumbs (not batter).

Let cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use excess parchment to lift blondies onto a cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice into 16 pieces. Serve.

Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to four days.Oatmeal Raisin Blondies Oatmeal Raisin BlondiesOatmeal Raisin Blondies

Super Sprinkle Popcorn

Super Sprinkle PopcornIn trying to work with the baking supplies I’ve already got during this pandemic, I’ve uncovered a hoard of rainbow sprinkles that I bought at Sahadi’s in January. I don’t know what I was doomsday prepping for back then, but it involved four containers each of jimmies and nonpareils. Good thing they don’t go bad, and that they go in (or on) pretty much everything. I’ve put them in cookies, truffles, blondies, doughnuts, layer cake, and crumb cake, just to name a few. Today, they’re being scattered alllll over some popcorn!Super Sprinkle PopcornYes, this Super Sprinkle Popcorn is loaded with rainbow sprinkles—absolute heaven for a sprinkle enthusiast like myself. The popcorn is popped in oil (you can also use the plain microwave stuff), then tossed with melted white chocolate, sprinkles, and Funfetti crumbs.Super Sprinkle PopcornYeah, Funfetti crumbs. Like crispy, crunchy pieces of Funfetti cookie that are the size and texture of what you’d find on top of a crumb cake, which is exactly what these are. I’ve simply taken the crumb topping from my Double Funfetti Crumb Cake and baked it on a sheet pan, let it cool, and crumbled it into a big bowl of popcorn.

Lest you think I am more creative than I actually am, these crumbs are a riff on Christina Tosi’s confetti crumbs. Mine have fewer ingredients and require melted butter instead of softened, but still bake up perfectly and are hard to stop eating once you start!Super Sprinkle PopcornSuper Sprinkle PopcornAll that said, if you don’t have the ingredients for the crumbs, this popcorn can be made without them and still be sweet, sprinkly and colorful. You can also toss in a couple of cups of broken Oreos (regular, Golden or Birthday Cake!), vanilla wafers, graham crackers, or any other crispy addition you can think up.Super Sprinkle PopcornSuper Sprinkle PopcornThis popcorn is so delicious! If you are a texture person, you’re in for a treat. Light, airy popcorn, crispy crumbs, creamy white chocolate coating and crunchy sprinkles make for texture heaven! No two bites are the same; you might get equal parts popcorn and crumb, big crumbs, little crumbs, or a big cluster of sprinkles. It’s all part of the fun!Super Sprinkle PopcornSuper Sprinkle Popcorn is the perfect treat to have for a movie or game night, for spending some time outside, or as an alternative to a traditional celebration cake. Or, you know, just another thing to spend time making and sharing during this quarantine weekend.Super Sprinkle Popcorn

Super Sprinkle Popcorn
makes about 8 cups

To clarify, jimmies are the long, cylindrical sprinkles. Nonpareils are the tiny ball-shaped sprinkles. For more information, click here.

For the Funfetti Crumbs:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Popcorn:
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)
1/4 cup popcorn kernels

Coating:
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil (or canola oil)

For finishing:
3/4 cup Funfetti Crumbs
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (jimmies and/or nonpareils)

Preheat oven to 300F.

Make the crumb topping. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in rainbow sprinkles. Add vanilla and melted butter and stir until dry ingredients are saturated and clumps form. Scatter mixture over a dry rimmed baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. It will be puffy and clumpy and soft, but will crisp as it cools. Once cool, crumble into pieces. Reserve 3/4 cup of the crumbs for finishing, and set the rest aside.

Make the popcorn. Put oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add 4-5 popcorn kernels. Heat over medium heat until kernels begin to pop. Add remaining kernels and cover with lid, leaving it a little bit ajar. Jostle constantly while popcorn pops, until pops are 2-3 seconds apart. Do not burn.

Remove pot from heat and pour popcorn into a bowl. Measure popcorn to ensure there are about 6 cups. Discard unpopped kernels. Place popcorn in a medium-large mixing bowl.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

Make the coating. Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

Place white chocolate chips and oil in the bowl. Turn simmering water to low. Place the filled bowl over the water. Use a dry whisk or fork to stir constantly until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

Pour coating over popcorn and toss with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Add Funfetti crumbs (not the reserved ones) and toss. Spoon/pour/spread mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Scatter with reserved Funfetti crumbs and rainbow sprinkles.

To expedite hardening the coating, put the pan in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Break popcorn into pieces and serve.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
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Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa CakeCake with frosting seems like it’s almost not allowed right now, but this is not just any cake and this is not just any day. Coronavirus be damned.Chocolate Quinoa CakeIf you’re scratching your head wondering what today is…well, it’s Earth Day, and that is important. But there’s also something that I don’t talk about much on here because it seems mostly irrelevant to the daily operation of a food blog…but it’s actually completely relevant because there would be no E2 Bakes without it. Today marks seven years since I took a drink or a drug. Yep, I’m that sober home-baking food blogger that nobody warned you about.

I’m serious when I say there would be no E2 Bakes without my sobriety. I talked about having a blog for years before actually committing to it, and for no other reason than that I was held back by my own addiction issues. I didn’t start baking with any regularity until I quit drinking, and then I spent more than a year just learning and practicing before I hit “publish.” But here we are, four and a half years and a lot of learning and practicing and baking and failing and succeeding later. This blog is not what keeps me sober, but it certainly helps.Chocolate Quinoa CakeQuitting drinking and putting mind-altering substances in my body is the kindest thing I’ve ever done for myself and the people I love. I’ve gained so much more from that one decision (and many moments of grace and a lot of trudging) than I will ever be able to adequately express, least of all the ambition to run a baking blog. And, well, now you know why there is never liquor in my bakes or wine in my sauces–I can’t post something I can’t test.Chocolate Quinoa Cake

I don’t normally mark this day on here because I celebrate elsewhere, but with everything on lockdown for the foreseeable future, things have changed. So, how does a food blogger celebrate being sober for seven whole years all in a row? With cake, of course!Chocolate Quinoa CakeLayer cakes are out for now and flour is difficult to find, but chocolate and frosting (and sprinkles!) are always welcome in my kitchen. Today’s cake is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had—so tender and chocolaty! If I weren’t telling you right now, I bet you’d never guess that it’s made with a cup of cooked quinoa instead of flour. For real.Chocolate Quinoa CakeThe batter—which includes cocoa powder, a hint of coffee, eggs and milk—is made in a blender to eliminate any whole pieces of quinoa. I wouldn’t recommend making most cake batters in a blender, but since this cake is naturally gluten-free, there’s no need to worry about overmixing or tough cake. Score!Chocolate Quinoa CakeChocolate Quinoa CakeChocolate Quinoa CakeChocolate Quinoa Cake bakes up in 30 minutes and is thin enough that it cools within an hour. I topped it off with a small batch of chocolate buttercream and dug into my stash of rainbow sprinkles for the occasion.Chocolate Quinoa CakeOh yeah, that’s the stuff.Chocolate Quinoa CakeAs for quarantine substitutions:

-this single layer cake is the perfect size for my celebration needs right now, but it can be both halved and doubled. I haven’t tried it as cupcakes.
-if you don’t have a square pan, you can use a round one.
-no parchment, no problem. Grease the pan and dust with cocoa powder. If you’re concerned about releasing the whole cake, you can slice and serve directly from the pan.
-the ingredients for this cake are pretty set, but feel free to swap the oil for melted butter and to leave out the espresso powder and vanilla, if you don’t have them.
-use any color of quinoa you like. I used white.
-as far as frostings go, the sky’s the limit. Make any flavor you want, go for whipped cream or ganache, or keep it simple with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
-you can freeze this cake with or without frosting. It’ll keep triple-wrapped in plastic for several weeks. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before enjoying.Chocolate Quinoa CakeWhew! Okay. Now that you’re armed with everything you need to make a kickass gluten-free chocolate cake, go find something to celebrate. I promise you will. Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake
makes one single-layer 8- or 9-inch square cake

Cake Batter:
1 cup cooked quinoa (measured like flour)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons milk of choice
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee granules, optional
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Chocolate Buttercream:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

For garnish (optional):
rainbow sprinkles (jimmies and/or nonpareils)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Place all cake batter ingredients in a blender (or a tall cup for a stick blender). Blend for about a minute, or until no whole quinoa remains. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Tap full pan a few times on the counter to release any large air bubbles. Bake 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean or with only a few crumbs (not batter).

Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife along the edges of the pan and invert onto a rack. Cool completely.

Make the chocolate buttercream. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in confectioner’s sugar, followed by cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.

Place cake on a serving plate. Top with buttercream and spread to the edges. Scatter sprinkles over the top, if using.

Cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the fridge for up to five.Chocolate Quinoa CakeChocolate Quinoa CakeChocolate Quinoa Cake