When it comes to food, few things are more simple and comforting as a nice slice of warm coffee cake with a glass of cold milk.  The recipe below belongs to David Lebovitz, the immensely talented professional cook, baker, blogger and cookbook author who currently resides in Paris, France.  In his blog post, he describes this coffee cake as “A yogurt-enriched batter gets covered with a brown sugar topping, which melds into the cake while baking.  When done, you have yourself a nice square of crumble-topped cake with a whisper of cinnamon”.

In short, this cake is perfect.  I insist that you give it a try.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 1.jpg

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 2.jpg

First, make the topping.  Flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt are combined with melted butter and vanilla.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 3.jpg

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 4.JPG

Mix until well-combined and crumbly.  I ended up using my hands as the wooden spoon just didn’t cut it.  Set aside.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 5.JPG

Next up, the cake batter.  Softened butter is creamed with granulated sugar.  This is perhaps my favorite part in all recipes.  1 egg and 1 egg yolk are then added.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 6.jpg

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 7.jpg

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix the yogurt with vanilla extract.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 8.jpg

Stir in half of the dry ingredients, followed by the yogurt mixture, then end with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Don’t overmix!

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 9.jpg

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 10.jpg

Drop batter into a prepared 9″ pan.  I used shortening followed by a light dusting of flour, but you can also line the bottom with parchment.  Spread batter as even as possible making sure it reaches into the corners.  Next, strew the topping over the cake batter, gently pressing down as you go.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 11.jpg

Ready for the 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 12.jpg

Take the pan out of the oven and let cool before slicing.

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 13.jpg

Coffee Cake from Simplified Feast 14.jpg

Slice and enjoy!

 

Coffee Cake

Recipe from David Lebovitz (April 2015)

Yield:  One 9-inch square cake, about 9 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

Topping

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Cake

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. plain whole milk yogurt OR sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Method:

  1. To make the topping, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  The add the melted butter and vanilla.  Mix until well-combined and crumbly.  Set aside.
  2. Butter (or use shortening) a 9-inch square cake pan and dust it with flour.  Tap out any excess.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. To make the cake batter, in a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 c. flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, until well combined.  Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and vanilla.  Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, cream 1/2 c. softened butter and granulated sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg and egg yolk, mix well.
  6. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then the yogurt and vanilla and lastly stir in the remainder of the dry ingredients.  Mix until until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Don’t overmix.
  7. Drop the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly, making sure batter reaches into the corners.  Batter will be thick.
  8. Going by handfuls, strew topping over the cake batter, gently pressing down as you go.
  9. Bake on middle rack of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cake cool before slicing into squares.
  10. Storage: The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 days, well-wrapped.  It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Hello again and happy Halloween!  It has been quite some time since I’ve posted a recipe, but this one was too good to not share it with you.  These caramelized apple oatmeal cookies are perfect for Fall and wonderful in every way.  A familiar favorite, the chewy and delicious oatmeal cookie, is crossed with the flavor of apple pie and warm cinnamon.  This recipe is a keeper!

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 1

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 2

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 3

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 5

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 6

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 7

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe from Liv for Cake 

Yield: Approx. 24 cookies (depending on size of scoop)

Ingredients:

Apples:

  • 2 c. granny smith apples (approx. 2 medium) peeled and diced
  • 3 tsp. butter, salted
  • 4 tsp. light brown sugar

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 c. light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 c. old fashioned rolled oats

Glaze:

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs. water

Method:

Apples:

  1. Place butter, sugars and dices apples into a medium frying pan.  Cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly browned.  Spread on paper towel lined baking sheet to cool.

Cookie Dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugars on med-high until pale and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes).
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.  Beat on high for 1 minute.  Add vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Add oats.
  5. Fold in caramelized apples and mix until just combined.
  6. Cover bowl and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using a medium cookie scoop, place cookies on baking sheet 2″ apart.  I did 6 cookies per sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are browned, but center is still soft.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.  Cool completely.

Glaze:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a bowl.  Drizzle over cooled cookies with a spoon.

Enjoy!

As we all know, people can be jerks.  Sometimes they mean to be, sometimes they don’t.  It’s nothing I can control.  Maybe you’re the jerk?  Maybe I’m the jerk?

I try hard to keep cool, but things have a way of crawling under your skin where negativity doesn’t belong.

I understand you’re battling some kind of inner struggle and this is your way of coping.  Or maybe it’s something else bugging you.  Please excuse me, I’ll just step aside while your righteous high horse passes by.  Do you feel better?  Good.  I do too.  Let’s move on.  Let’s move on to donuts…

They’re fun to make and fun to eat.  Do something that you like.  Do something that you’re good at.

Baked Double Chocolate Donuts from Simplified Feast

Baked Double Chocolate Donuts

Recipe slightly adapted from Buns In My Oven

Yield: 10 donuts

Ingredients:

For the donuts:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and baking soda.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, egg, sour cream, milk and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Spoon in a greased donut pan.
Bake for 8 minutes or until the tops spring back when you touch them.
Let the donuts cool on a wire rack before spooning on the glaze.

To make the glaze:  Put the chocolate chips and agave in a small bowl.  Heat cream in microwave on 50% power for 3 minutes.  Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk constantly until smooth.  If consistency is too thin, wait 10 minutes and glaze should thicken on it’s own.

Note:  A muffin pan can be used if you do not have a donut pan.  Fill cups half way full with batter.

Enjoy!

Seeing as my last post was in November, I think it’s high time for another.

I bring you a recipe for a very old-fashioned, but delicious shortbread thumbprint cookie.  It’s mixed with a lot of arm muscle, dipped in egg whites, rolled in chopped pecans and filled with a fancy blackberry jam.  When they’re baked, the jam becomes firm and chewy, while the nuts turn toasty.

I found this recipe in an old cookbook of mine from High School.  It’s handwritten on a recipe card, lovingly titled “Nana Wilson’s Cookies”.  These cookies are very dear to my Mom’s friend’s Grandmother who I presume made them all the time for her.  They taste like they’re made with love and that’s exactly how it should be.

Blackberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Simplified Feast 1

Cookie history, for those that care:  This humble pastry is actually called “Hallongrotta”, which sounds pretty terrible, but means “raspberry cave” in Swedish.  They are typically filled with raspberry jam.

Blackberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Simplified Feast 2

I used a Blackberry & Poppy Flower Preserve that I found at World Market, but you can use whatever jam or preserve you fancy most.

Blackberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Simplified Feast 3

Blackberry-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

also known as Nana Wilson’s Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

 

Ingredients:

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room-temperature

1/2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed

2 eggs, separated

Pinch salt

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. finely chopped pecans

Jam or preserves  (any flavor)

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add beaten egg yolks and a small pinch of salt.  Mix until combined.  Stir in flour, 1 c. at a time, until well incorporated.

Roll into teaspoon sized balls (maybe a little bigger).  Dip balls in egg whites that have been beaten a little and thinned with a splash of cold water.  Roll in chopped nuts and transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, 1-2 inches apart.

Make a thumbprint in center of each cookie and fill with preserves.  Bake on middle rack for 13 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels.  Let cool.

Enjoy!

I woke up this morning thinking about baking cookies.  That’s probably a sign that I should go on a juice cleanse or something of that nature so I can rid my thoughts of brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses.

It’s not the actual eating of the cookies (of course, I won’t deny 1 or 2 warm ones right from the oven), I more so enjoy the making of the cookies.  I’d rather cream butter and sugar together until fluffy than do anything else on an early weekend morning.  Sifting flour and folding in chocolate… yes please.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 2

Brown butter and a little sprinkle of sea salt makes these cookies rise above the rest.  Plus, the recipe is from Joy the Baker.  If you don’t know her by now, I recommend you head over to her blog and start reading.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 1

Brown butter is delicious and nutty.  Definitely worth the extra bit of stovetop time and pan swirling.  The milk solids in the 1/2 c. butter are browned over medium heat and create the most beautiful flavor.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 3

Not too flat, not too fluffy.  Crunchy edges with a chewy center.  Just the right amount of salt and sweet.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 4

Enjoy your Sunday and go bake some cookies!

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from The Joy the Baker Cookbook
Yield:  About 24 cookies
 

Ingredients:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon molasses

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top

 

Method:

1) Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2) Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan at intervals. The butter will become fragrant, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
3) Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
4) Beat in the vanilla and molasses.
5) Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.
6) Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for another minute.
7) Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
8) Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
9) Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, preheat your oven to 350°F, with the racks in the center/upper third.
10) Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Each will weigh about 1 ounce (28g). Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake.
11) Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like.
12) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.
13) Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

 Enjoy!

Forget everything I’ve ever said about a good banana bread.  I think I’ve finally found the most delicious version that uses up your ripe bananas sitting on the counter.  Behold, a cake with just enough banana taste, speckled with crunch poppy seeds and slathered with cream cheese frosting studded with real vanilla bean.

I think it tastes best refrigerated and with a hot cup of black tea (with honey and a splash of milk, of course).  Just be sure to check your teeth after, those poppy seeds are sneaky.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 1

This recipe makes a small, 8×8-inch cake that’s about 1.5 inches high.  It’s the perfect size to have a taste of something sweet, but not feel overwhelmed by the quantity of cake still left over.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 2

What you see is what you get for the cake; A little bit of butter, turbinado sugar, SOUR CREAM (AH!), 1 egg, mashed banana, poppy seeds, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking soda.  Easy peasy.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 3

This  frosting was something of a first for me.  I had never bought, split, and scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean before.  If you’ve never done it, I recommend you splurge and try it.  Super fun and oddly satisfying.  The black specks swirled in the frosting make everything worth it.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 4

Here are the notes from The View from the Great Island blog, where I got this recipe.  She describes this cake better than I ever could: There’s a lot going on in this simple, old fashioned cake.  What makes it special?   A more pronounced than usual banana presence, for one thing.  The poppy seeds add crunch and visual interest, and then the tangy cream cheese frosting gives it a final zip.  And real vanilla bean makes anything special.”

 

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Slightly adapted from The View from the Great Island
Yields: 1 8×8-inch cake
 

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup turbinado sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Milk for thinning the icing

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cream the butter, sugar, and sour cream together in a medium bowl with electric mixer.  Beat in egg, mashed bananas, and vanilla.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into the wet mixture.  Mix together just until combined.  Fold in the poppy seeds.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick just comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, mix together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla seeds until smooth.  Add 1 cup of sugar, stir until combined, then add remaining cup.  Thin if needed with milk and mix until you have a thick, creamy, spreadable frosting.  Spread onto the banana cake in an even layer.  Cover cake and store at room-temperature or in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

This past Sunday, I visited my fiancé’s family farm.  We made friends with the neighbor’s donkey, waived to grazing cows in the field, and picked corn and wild blackberries, all in the sweltering heat of a mid July day.

I’m not sure if these “wild berries” that I speak of are technically wild raspberries or blackberries.  Either way they are abundant right now.  Rather than eating the fresh picked berries right away, I opted to save them for making a simple, Summertime crisp.  This is by far my favorite dessert in the Summer months.  Warm, in-season fruits and a crispy, sugary, oat topping with a scoop of vanilla ice cream… now we’re doing good things.

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 1

The wild berries get rinsed, drained, and picked through.  We picked about 1 1/2 cups on Sunday, which was just enough.  I had some blueberries (1/2 cup) and 5 black plums (halved, pitted, and chopped) on hand, so those were thrown in, too.

The great thing about a Summer crisp is that can use almost any type of berry or fruit.  Strawberries, pears, cherries, nectarines… you name it!

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 2

Brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, and a few spices are whisked together in a bowl.  The oat topping mixture gets incorporated with cold, cubed, unsalted butter.  Break the butter up with the oats until the butter is the size of small pebbles or oat flakes.  Then add chopped walnuts, if you’d like.

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 3

Toss a generous handful (about 1 cup) of crisp topping into the plum and berry mixture.  Toss loosely with your hands.

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 4

Spread remaining crisp mixture evenly over the fruit.

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 5

Bake until fruit is juicy and bubbling, and the top of the crisp is slightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 6

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp from Simplified Feast 7

It may not look so beautiful, but it sure tastes great.  Get out there and pick some berries!

 

Wild Berry and Black Plum Crisp

Slightly adapted from Joy The Baker

Yields:  1 8×8-inch pan, 6+ servings

 

Ingredients:

5 black plums, halved, pitted and quartered

1 1/2 c. fresh wild blackberries, rinsed and drained

1/2 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. packed light brown sugar

3/4 c. old fashioned oats

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Pinch of salt

1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts (optional, but recommended)

 

Method:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place sliced plums and berries in a square 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, oats, spices, and salt.  Add the butter and toss the mixture together with your hands.  Break the butter up into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small pebbles or oat flakes.  This took me about 4 minutes.  Toss in the walnuts (if using).

Toss a generous handful (about 1 cup) of crumble topping into the plum and berry mixture.  Toss loosely with your hands.  Spread fruit evenly in the pan and top with the remaining crisp mixture.  Bake until fruit is juicy and bubbling, and the top of the crisp is slightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve with vanilla ice cream.  Crumble is delicious served warm and can be stored, covered, in the fridge and reheated in the oven or microwave for serving.

 

Enjoy!