sunflower life bowl

sunflower life bowl

“sunflower life bowl” is hands down the most hippie name i’ve ever given to a recipe. it fits though, because when i haven’t been eating as well as i should, i make this. when i’m chowing down on all those good late-winter veggies, greens and living sunflower sprouts it feels like i’m giving a gift to every cell in my body. it just feels good to eat this. i buy the living sunflower sprouts at my local natural food store. they are only a few dollars and i keep them on the kitchen windowsill. bonus: with regular watering, they keep producing. pea shoots too, will go on forever.

this is less of a recipe and more a combining of ingredients. the recipes are the really the preparing of the individual components, so make any or all of them that you like. it can be made with any vegetables that are fresh and seasonal or that you just feel like eating, but i have to say this combo is really nice together

i try to keep containers in my fridge of cooked grains, roasted root vegetables, greens, some marinating tofu or tempeh and a few dressings so i can throw together a veggie grain bowl like this for dinner or an easy lunch. beets can be cooked anytime, peeled, and then kept in the fridge for whenever you want them.

i’ve used tempeh here, but if you’re a meat-eater by all means feel free to use any protein you like.

as for the cheese, i chose this lovely mild brebis frais from best baa dairy, but leave it off for a vegan bowl.

namaste.

Sunflower Life Bowl

sunflower life bowl

1 cup farro*
2 cups water
3 small golden beets
2 small red beets
1 small butternut squash
8 oz tempeh or tofu
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. canola oil
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
4 cups mixed greens
2 cups sunflower sprouts
200 g (7oz) soft sheep or goat cheese

dressing

1 small clove garlic, finely minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
2 tsp. tamari
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil

bring the water to a boil. add a pinch of salt, then stir in the farro. bring back up to a boil. cover, remove from hear, and allow to stand for 1 hour, or until farro has absorbed all the water.

preheat oven to 400F. place beets in a glass dish and add 1″ water. cover tightly with foil and cook until tender, about 1 1/2-2 hours, depending on size of beets. cool, then peel and set aside.

peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. scrape out seeds, and cut into 3/4″ thick slices. arrange on a parchment-lined pan. sprinkle with alt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. roast for 10 minutes, flip pieces, and roast 10 minutes more. set aside to cool

slice the tempeh or tofu into 1/2″ thick slices. whisk together tamari, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight. cook in a hot non-stick pan or grill pan for 2 minutes per side, (or use the bbq). Set aside.

heat the 1 tsp. canola oil to high. toss in the chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes or until hot and a little brown. remove from heat, add the paprika and nutritional yeast and toss well.

whisk together all dressing ingredients and pour into a glass jar with a lid.

to assemble, divide the greens among 4 bowls, and top with 1/4 of the farro. arrange the beets, squash, tofu, chickpeas, and a spoonful of the cheese on top. drizzle with the dressing, and mound with a handful of the sunflower sprouts.

*farro may also be called spelt grains or emmer. whatever you call it, its a nutty, chewy, tasty little variety of wheat!

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blood orange cardamom cake

blood orange cardamom cake

this is a special cake, and i think, well worth the time to make it.

i’ve used the moro variety of blood oranges, which have lots of colour and a distinct raspberry flavour, but are also very slightly bitter. when folded into a buttery cake batter, the flavours really work. moros are only in season from december to march. the season is winding down.

the secret ingredient here is a confit made from the skins of the oranges, almost like a marmalade. it feels good to use the whole fruit, and the best part is, the confit can be stored in the fridge for months, which means you can make this cake any time you want. make sure to cool the confit completely before adding to the cake.

blood orange cardamom cake

blood orange cardamom cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup finely chopped blood orange confit (i use a food processor)

glaze
1/2 cup blood orange juice
1/4 cup sugar

drizzle
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp. softened butter
2 tsp. blood orange zest

using a pastry brush and melted butter, grease a 9-cup tube pan, then dust with flour, tapping out the excess. put it the fridge until ready to use.

preheat oven to 350f.

in a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.

place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. cream until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. add sugar and cream until light, 4 minutes. crack the eggs into a bowl and muddle with a fork. drizzle eggs slowly into creamed mixture, scraping down sides, to combine. add the almond extract and chopped confit and pulse to blend in. add 1/2 of the flour mixture, pulsing to combine, then add the milk, and the other half of the flour mixture. mix for 30 seconds to mix completely, scraping down sides once.

scrape mixture into prepared pan. bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until cooked through (check with a toothpick).

place pan on a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes. turn cake out onto rack set over a baking sheet and pour over the warm glaze. cool completely, then top with the drizzle. garnish with zest.

blood orange confit

6 blood oranges
1 cup blood orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

cut oranges in half and juice. cut juiced orange halves into 4 pieces each. use a sharp knife, and remove the membranes and discard, leaving the skin behind.

bring the juice, water, and sugar to a boil. stir in orange skins. return to a boil. reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 1 hour, or until skins are translucent and liquid is a thin syrup. remove from heat and cool completely. store in a glass jar in the fridge. keeps for months.

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mushroom pie + stilton biscuit crust

mushroom pot pie

pot pie is a pretty humble dish, but one i think most people love. meat pies are ubiquitous, but a good veggie pie is not always easy to find.

the recipe is straightforward, but i did dress it up a little bit. stilton pairs so well with mushrooms, so it gets crumbled up in a biscuit crust, and i added some caramel-y onions, white wine, and fresh thyme to the filling. you can do it up in a large pan, or make up some individual ones for a perfect meal for one.

you may be looking at the picture and thinking, wait, that looks like cheddar cheese in those biscuits! you’re right, and i included that option in the recipe, because the truth is, there are some weird people out there who don’t like blue cheese. probably the same people who don’t like kittens, or happiness. i have nothing against some good old cheddar cheese, and it works equally well.

mushroom pot pie

mushroom pot pie with stilton biscuit crust

3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
3 tbsp. vegetable bouillon powder
4 oz (1 stick) butter
3 onions, halved and sliced
4 carrots, cut into 1/2″ dice
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
4 large stalks celery, cut into 1/2″ dice
4 cups small button mushrooms, cut in half
1 cup flour
1 cup white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup 35% cream
2 cups frozen peas

biscuit crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup crumbled stilton or grated extra-old cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk
flour for dusting
egg wash for brushing (1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp milk, cream, or water)

place stock in a small pot and heat to simmering. add the vegetable bouillon and stir to dissolve. keep hot while you prepare the filling.

in a large pot, melt 1/2 the butter over medium high heat. add the onions and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes, or until the edges just start to colour. turn heat to medium-low, and cook onions another 10 minutes, or until they are well-coloured. remove to a bowl and set aside.

increase heat to medium high. add remaining butter and the carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, and thyme sprigs and cook for 10 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened and mushrooms have released most of their liquid. return onions to the pan, along with any juices form the bowl. sprinkle the mixture with the flour and stir briefly. add the wine, and stir to make a thick paste. slowly add the hot stock, stirring well so no lumps form (don’t worry if you get a few small ones). and basil, and season with salt and pepper. reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. remove from heat, fish out the branches from the thyme, and stir in the cream. pour into a 13×9″ baking pan and set aside while you prepare the biscuits.

preheat oven to 375f

in a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut in the butter until the pieces are smallish, the size of baby peas. add the cheese and toss to coat in the flour. make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk all at once. stir a few times just to combine, then scrape dough out onto a floured surface. lightly dust with flour. it will be very sticky. turn and fold the dough 4 or 5 times, then form into a rough square shape. cut into squares, rounds, or whatever shapes you like, and place on top of the mushroom mixture. re-roll any scraps and cut. the biscuits do not have to cover the filling completely but they can. be as creative as you like!

brush the biscuits with egg wash and bake the pie for 35-40 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and puffed and the filling is bubbly.

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salted macaroon granola

salted macaroon granola

i have great, great news for you. this salted macaroon granola is somewhat healthy. unlike commercial granola it isn’t fat laden. it’s full of whole grains and  contains only a small amount of unrefined sugar as well as a good handful of cacao nibs, a bona-fide “superfood” and other things that are closer to the good side of the food spectrum. okay, so it’s not broccoli, but it’s not brownie cheesecake either. i don’t think enjoying something sweet and tasty should (always) make you feel dirty after.

there are times i really crave chocolate. like right now. also, 5 minutes ago. that’s when i grab a little handful of this yummy stuff. thanks to the triumvirate of cocoa power, cacao nibs, and a smattering of vegan chocolate chips, this is REALLY chocolatey. it should be noted that i never use caps. not even when i spell my own name, so this is like, huge. there are also coconut chips and sliced almonds, mingling amongst the big clusters of oats, kamut, rye, and bran, so it goes without saying this granola packs a decent crunch.

all bliss-inducing chocolate dreaminess aside, the cacao nibs are pretty special. they are a source of powerful antioxidants and release euphoria-inducing neurotransmitters. a chemical in cacao called PEA sharpens you up and makes you feel more alert. (i know this to be a true and undisputed fact, because it’s 1 am and i came up with the word “triumvirate”).

sprinkled over some greek yogurt or doused with almond milk, it’s breakfast. mix a bit up with some air-popped popcorn and it’s snacking gold. or just crack the jar and stick your hand in there. now is good.

salted macaroon granola

salted macaroon granola

4 cups of a mixture of rolled oats, kamut flakes, rye flakes, barley flakes, etc. (any combo you like)
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup liquid honey or brown rice syrup
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup organic cacao nibs
1 1/2 cups raw, organic coconut chips
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350f. line a large baking sheet with parchment. in a large bowl, mix together the grains, wheat bran, and almonds. in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil with the honey or brown rice syrup until runny. remove from heat. whisk in the cocoa powder and salt until very smooth. scrape out of pot into the bowl with the grains. toss well to combine (i usually just use my hands).

turn out onto prepared pan. bake for 1/2 hour, stir once, and bake an additional 15 minutes. remove from oven and allow to cool completely. it should not be the slightest bit warm.

when cooled, gently break up the granola so that some large chunks remain. toss with the cacao nibs, coconut chips, and chocolate chips. store in an airtight container or glass jar. eat with reckless abandon.

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muhammara

muhamarra

muhammara is the most exotic and wonderful of dips.

dips in general are so versatile and practical. when made with flavourful and healthy ingredients, they can go so many places.

every culture has their dips. mexico has a creamy peanut salsa from chiapas, guacamole taquero, and pica de gallo. in greece there is delicate taramasalata and tzatziki. hummous, baba ghanouj, and labneh straddle several cultures.

around here, we quite often make a meal of a few great dips, some hot flatbreads or pitas, a dish of olives, and a cold glass of wine. the next day, a smear of dip on a wrap gets rolled around fresh greens and veggies for lunch, or used as a sauce for marinated tofu sandwiches. and we love to make a charred vegetable salsa for tortilla chips.

muhammara hails from syria, and is a lovely blend of red bell peppers, walnuts, bread crumbs, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, spices, aleppo chilis, and mint.

in the summertime, when red peppers are cheap and plentiful in ontario, we eat a lot of this with grilled Syrian flatbreads. in the winter, if peppers are very expensive where you are, a jar of roasted peppers will work just fine.

muhamarra

muhammara

1 cup + 2 tbsp. toasted walnuts
3 tbsp. sliced sundried tomatoes (the ones packed in oil)
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp coarsely ground red aleppo pepper
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

place the 1 cup walnuts, tomato paste, bread crumbs, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper, bell peppers, cumin, and salt in the bowl of food processor and blend until smooth. scrape into a serving bowl. drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp of walnuts and the mint. serve at room temperature with grilled flatbreads or pitas.

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pomegranate molasses

pomegranate molasses

i like reducing things.

remove the water, concentrate the flavour, take something that’s already pretty good and transform it into something completely different. the word “reduction” sounds chef-fy, but fear not. if you can boil water, you can make a reduction.

pomegranate molasses isn’t truly molasses, but a reduction of pomegranate juice. reducing the juice changes it, thickens it, turns it dark and sultry, and results in a ruby-hued tart/sweet elixir, not unlike an aged balsamic vinegar. it’s complexity from simplicity.

i like to drizzle it over oven-roasted tomatoes in the last few minutes of cooking. it’s perfect for adding balance and depth to salad dressings, and you’ll be amazed (amazed i tell you!) at the way it heightens and brightens the flavour of a simple tomato sauce. it’s also a key ingredient in muhamarra, that sublime syrian red pepper dip that, when made well, leaves you wondering how anything could taste so good.  

you can buy it in bottles at middle eastern stores, but making your own is easy and allows you to control the amount of reduction. you can reduce to a syrupy consistency, or take it further to make it more molasses-y.

the addition of sugar and lemon balances the flavours and helps to retain colour, but i often omit it altogether.

pomegranate molasses

pomegranate molasses

4 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and reduce for 45 minutes for syrup, and an hour or more for molasses. Store in the refigerator.

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pain rustique

pain rustique

happy monday.

and it is happy, because we’re talking about some good, crusty white bread.

pain rustique is probably the most satisfying bread i make. it’s the perfect bread for squishing into a charred panini full of melted cheese, or to toast and eat for breakfast with butter and a fried egg and the morning paper. it’s real and rustic, the kind that you tear apart and reach across the table to dip in olive oil while laughing with friends. it’s the bread you seek out at 2 am when a storm wakes you up, and smear with nutella. its strong coffee and toast bread. it’s what you want to smell when you come home from school. it’s real and rustic, like life itself.

i also use pain rustique as pizza crust. you can shape it into loaves, or make into squares or rectangles for panini, described here. perfect, easy bread.

Pain Rustique

pain rustique

start the poolish night before, or first thing in the morning to bake bread for supper.

make the poolish (starter): in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 300g flour, 400mls of warm water, and 3g of instant yeast (about a teaspoon). Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. cover bowl with plastic or a towel and allow to ferment overnight, or 8 hours, minimum.

for the dough: to the bowl, add 1 kg of flour, 23g of salt, and 20g yeast. pour in 600mls warm water. place in mixer with the dough hook attachment, and stir on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. remove bowl from mixer and cover with a clean towel. proof in the bowl for 1 hour.

turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a rough square. roll out to 1 1/2″ thick, using a bench scraper or a ruler to shape the sides nice and straight. cut into 5×5 squares and dust with flour. place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and using a sharp knife, score each little pain with a 3″ cut down the middle. allow to rise for 15 minutes.

preheat oven to 450f. bake bread for 5 minutes. rotate pans and reduce heat to 350f and bake for 15 minutes longer. cool on racks.

*for the little loaf pictured, i divided the dough into 4 and shaped it into rounds, a topic which needs its own post.

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pretty pizza

pretty pizza

i make pizza about every other week using a techinque i’m happy with, dough that behaves itself and a simple sauce that tastes really good. pizza at my place is good fun, with everyone throwing on what they want. it’s delicious, but it ain’t exactly pretty.

i like the idea of a composed pizza. like a composed salad, you can taste each ingredient on its own. usually each piece winds up having 1 or 1 ingredients on it. the next piece is something completely different.

this antipasto pizza is topped with sundried and fresh tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, fresh basil, zucchini sliced on the mandoline, and some marinated mushrooms from a recipe i posted on the blog. cheese goes on the bottom to you can see the patterns and colours of the ingredients.

i didn’t take too much time arranging it all. i’d love to see someone go really nuts with this idea and make the world’s most beautiful pizza. the angelina jolie of pizza. today we’ll go with pretty, and that’ll do just fine.

pretty pizza

pretty pizza

make it pretty and compose your ingredients, or just throw them on there.

the starter for the dough needs to be made the night before, but if you want to be eating pizza in the evening, start in the morning and you’ll be fine.

olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
easy and flavourful pizza sauce (recipe follows)
rustic pizza dough (recipe follows)
toppings of your choice

easy and flavourful pizza sauce

1 can plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 400F. dump tomatoes into a 9″ glass baking dish and squish them with your hands. stir in the garlic and the basil. roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until tomato juice is reduced and thickened. place in food processor, and process until smooth. drizzle in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. makes 1 pint.

rustic pizza dough

makes enough for 4 12-inch pizzas. can be frozen after portioning. i’ve scaled it in grams for accuracy.

make the poolish (starter): in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 300g flour, 400mls of warm water, and 3g of instant yeast (about a teaspoon). Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. cover bowl with plastic or a towel and allow to ferment overnight, or 8 hours, minimum.

for the dough: to the bowl, add 1 kg of flour, 23g of salt, and 20g yeast. pour in 600mls warm water. place in mixer with the dough hook attachment, and stir on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. remove bowl from mixer and cover with a clean towel. proof in the bowl for 1 hour.

turn onto floured board and divide into 4 equal pieces, shaping into round balls. each piece will be roughly 530g. allow the dough to rest 10 minutes. (if freezing, wrap each piece well in plastic wrap, then pop into a freezer bag)

tear off a piece of parchment to cover a 12-inch round pizza pan with an overhang. press the dough to cover the pan. brush with olive oil and sprinkle the edge with salt, pepper, the dried basil and the dried oregano. spread with about 1/4 cup of the sauce (or more, if you like lots of sauce). add your toppings of choice. trim the parchment close to the pan.

preheat your oven as hot as it will go. mine goes to 550f, but many only go up to 500f. this is fine. place pizza on the lowest rack.

bake for 10 minutes. rotate pan and move from low rack to the higher one. Reduce heat to 400F and bake another 5-10 minutes or until bottom of crust is browed and feels firm.

rest pizza for 5 minutes, then slice.

chef’s note: i’ve had success cooking these on the bbq. heat grill as hot as it will go. divide the dough into eighths, and roll out. brush rounds with oil and season as above. place un-topped on grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. flip over, add sauce and toppings, and grill another 3-4 minutes, closing lid to melt the cheese.

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white bean gumbo

gumbo is a thickened soup from louisiana that always puts me in my happy place. i can’t help eating bowl after bowl…it’s so satisfying!

this gumbo starts with a dark roux, a very different flour and fat mixture than you would use for a white sauce. this one gets cooked a long time, until it’s very dark brown and nutty. the result is a toastiness that is one of the signature flavours of gumbo. once you’ve made the roux, the rest is easy.

it’s not that roux is difficult, but it needs your attention. roux while it’s cooking is extremely hot. you’re essentially deep-frying flour, so don’t walk away. don’t check your instagram feed. just, don’t. it will take about 4-5 minutes to get the roux to the right stage. it will turn golden, then become curdled and lumpy, and finally smooth and deep brown. just stand there and give it 100% attention and stir it and you’ll be fine. a dark roux like this doesn’t really thicken too much, but it makes the soup shiny and full of body.

gumbo usually contains chicken, sausage, shrimp, crawfish, or any combo of these. since ours is vegan, i’ve added some white beans. you could also throw in some vegetarian sausage, which i sometimes do.

the final thickening comes at the end, when you add the okra. i think okra is a beautiful vegetable. if you’ve never tried it, do! it gets a bad rap for it’s slightly slimy texture, but it’s no different from a banana, and it thickens this soup so nicely. 

a recipe for gumbo spice blend follows. when i’m not using it for gumbo, it gets sprinkled on roasted cauliflower, or pan-fried potatoes for breakfast.

DSC_2870.NEF

white bean gumbo

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
3 stalks celery, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can plum tomatoes
8 cups water
2 tbsp. gumbo spice blend
2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked white beans such as white kidney or navy beans (2 19-oz cans, drained)
2 cups sliced okra
1/2 lemon
hot cooked rice
fresh chopped parsley

place the chopped celery, bell pepper, onions, and garlic in a bowl. open the tomatoes and dump into another bowl. crush them with your hands, breaking them up well.

in a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. add the flour, turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns a rich, dark brown colour and just begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. add the bowl of vegetables, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. add the gumbo spice blend, salt and pepper, and pour in the tomatoes. give a quick stir, then add the water. increase heat to high. bring to a boil, then reduce heat back down to medium and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened. add the cooked beans and the okra. cook for another 15 minutes. squeeze in the juice of the half lemon.

place a mound of rice in a bowl. top with the gumbo, and sprinkle with parsley. serve with hot sauce on the side.

gumbo spice blend

2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp. hot smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. quatre epices
1 tbsp dried oregano leaves

mix everything together and store in a glass jar.

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milk + cookies

how did it take me so long to discover cookie butter?

speculoos are one of my favourite cookies, ever. they are thin, crispy little dutch butter and spice cookies. i’ve loved them all my life, but i didn’t know what they were called until i was an adult. the combination of spices is outstanding: pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. and BONUS, they are often baked into fun shapes like elephants, or the windmills of holland!

imagine my delight when i discovered you could buy something called cookie butter. it consists of ground up speculoos cookies, blended with sugar and oil, much like commercial peanut butter. i never said it was good for you. but for me, eating this stuff is the equivalent of netflix and chill, if you catch my drift.

an article in the toronto star maligned cookie butter as an “unneccesary confection”. hey toronto star, why the hostility?

truth be told, cookie butter has limited applications. there’s only so many times you can spread it on toast, or eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon (see “netflix and chill”)

i needed to find another way to use cookie butter. so i came up with this little dessert i call milk + cookies. buttermilk cake batter is piped into rounds, and sandwiched together with a nice thick layer of cookie butter for a two-bite treat. these are a bit of a cake/cookie hybrid, soft in the middle, and just sweet enough.

buttermilk whoopie pies with cookie butter

milk + cookies

you’ll need parchment paper, 1 large piping bag, 1 medium piping bag, a large plain tip, and an open star tip. you can also use a 1 1/2″ scoop to portion the batter, but your circles will not be uniform.

makes 12-14 sandwiches

1 stick butter (4 oz)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 jar cookie butter
icing sugar, for dusting

preheat oven to 350f.

prepare two sheet pans lined with parchment. with a pencil, trace circles on the parchment that are roughly two inches in diameter (i used the bottom of a small juice glass). the circles should be at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. add the egg and mix until light, scraping down the sides of the bowl. turn off mixer and add the flour mixture, all at once, and pulse a few times to combine. add the buttermilk all at once and mix on low just until combined. do not over-mix, it should just be blended. the batter will be thick.

fit your piping bag with the plain tip, and use a rubber spatula to load the bag about 1/2 full. pipe the batter to fill the circles on your parchment. bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool for 5 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a cooking rack to cook completely.

fit your medium piping bag with the star tip and load it up with the cookie butter. it will be very thick, and un-pipeable, so knead and massage the bag and the warmth of your hands will soften it. once you can push it through the tip, pipe about 2 tbsp onto half the rounds. top with a second round, then dust them all with icing sugar. they taste best eaten very fresh!

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