Tag Archives: easy recipes

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

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.”

Rhubarb TartRhubarb TartRhubarb Tart

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

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!