Recipe: Carrot Cake Donuts

Here's the thing: jetlag is a killer.

Anyone who follows me over on Instagram knows that G and I spent the end of February/beginning of March in Kathmandu, Nepal for a wedding/vacation. This is by far the furthest from home I've ever been and I knew jetlag would be an issue coming home. We planned to land home on a Friday afternoon so we would have a full weekend to sleep and get back up to speed. By I severely underestimated this jetlag. After an initial weekend of sleeping, we spent all of last week going to work and sleeping. By the end of the week I found myself on a wonderful schedule where I would fall asleep at 8 pm and wake up at 4am ready to go for the day. 馃檮

Saturday was the first day I started to feel like a normally functioning human being and I made you these Carrot Cake Donuts in celebration. Happy first week of spring!

Carrot Cake Donuts

Yields 18 donuts

For Donuts:
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
rainbow sprinkles
toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make your donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in yogurt and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Once dough comes together, fold in grated carrot and walnuts and mix until combined.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make your frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until all is combined. If your frosting needs to be softer, add in milk one tablespoon at a time until you have your desired consistency. Using an off-set spatula, frost your donuts and top with toasted coconut or rainbow sprinkles.

Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cocktail: Elderflower & Pomegranate Spritzer

It's Valentine's Day week y'all! For me, it's another excuse to eat all the sweets, tell my friends how much they mean to me, mail a bunch of valentines, and cook an indulgent meal at home with G. 

This cocktail is a simple & sweet drink you can easily throw together at home for a pre-dinner treat or for brunch. I try a decent amount of cocktails at home and while I'm out and about, but I'm always drawn to elderflower + gin combinations. Add a few bubbles and count me in. Let's get shaking!

Happy V-day, my loves!

Elderflower & Pomegranate Spritzer

Makes 1 cocktail

3 oz pomegranate juice
2 oz floral gin, such as Hendrick's
1 oz elderflower liqueur

This is a easy one. Fill a high ball glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, shake pomegranate juice, elderflower liqueur and gin and stir over ice. Strain into glass. Top with champagne and pomegranate seeds. Cheers!


Recipe: White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Blood Orange Drizzle

Oatmeal cookies are one of my favs because they are basically a delicious vehicle for other amazing ingredients. Cinnamon? Chocolate chips? White chocolate? Candy chunks? Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

Anything but raisins, because I don't get down with raisins. 

Today I'm using up some blood oranges I have around to top these white chocolate oatmeal cookies with a citrus glaze. This glaze adds a perfect sweetness and tanginess to a classic oatmeal cookie. Plus, who doesn't love a pink drizzle?

White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Blood Orange Drizzle

Yields 2 dozen cookies

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Blood Orange Drizzle
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
zest 1 blood orange
3-4 Tbsp fresh squeezed blood orange juice, depending on desired consistency

Bake your cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a nonstick baking mat onto a baking sheet. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy and creamy. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredient to the butter mixture, large spoonfuls at a time, until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in oats by hand. Once combined, add in white chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet about an inch and a half apart. Before placing in the oven, press the circles of dough down slightly on the top, making them the shape of small hamburger patties. Bake 8-9 minutes until the edges and bottom are golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before cooling fully on a cooling rack.  

Make your glaze: In a small saucepan, whisk together powdered sugar, blood orange zest, and blood orange juice. The mixture will be very stiff and not come together easily. Once it is mostly combined, heat glaze over medium heat, whisking frequently. The glaze will start to come together and thin out. Remove from heat when the mixture is warm but not hot. Remove from heat and drizzle the glaze over the cookies using a spoon. Glaze will harden quickly so you'll have to work quickly. Store cookies in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Blood Orange Oatmeal Cookies 4.jpg

Recipe: Lemon Cr猫me Br没l茅e

There's nothing more luxurious than spending your Sunday night wrapped up in a heated blanket, sipping on a glass of red wine and diving into a homemade cr猫me br没l茅e. I say this because I've been there, watching a Harry Potter marathon and shoveling lemon custard into my face.

Making cr猫me br没l茅e at home can be intimidating but is in fact fairly simple. It's a dessert that makes any meal feel more of an occasion. So let's make your average Tuesday dinner feel a little fancier, shall we?

Lemon Cr猫me Br没l茅e

Yields 6 ramekins

4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
additional sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and lemon zest and work them together with a spoon until fragrant. Drop in egg yolks and whisk until combined and any lumps are gone. Whisk in heavy cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until mixture comes together. Pour into something with a spout for easy pouring.

Arrange ramekins in a baking dish so they are not touching each other or the sides of the baking dish. Pour the custard mixture into each ramekin so it's 3/4 full. Heat about 4 cups of water to a boil, and pour the water into the baking dish to create a water bath for the custards. Water should come half way up the ramekins.

Carefully place in the bottom rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes. Finished custards should be set in the center, but still have a jiggle. Once cooked, let cool on a cooling rack until room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator before serving. 

When ready to serve, sprinkle a heavy, but even, coating of sugar over each custard. Use a kitchen torch to br没l茅e the tops until the sugar melts and is a golden brown. If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can place them in the broiler for a few minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on them. Serve immediately.


Recipe: Birthday Cake Bars

Today is my birthday! 

I've taken off from work and am having a relaxing day buying myself brunch, going to some of my favorite shops, and having a cocktail or two. Over the weekend I celebrated by hosting a brunch party for a handful of friends, surrounded by some of my favorite people and the 50+ balloons I had blown up, and eating great food. We chatted and hung out in the house, played some group games and then had a lull around dinner time before a few of us rented a private karaoke room. We sang until I was on the brink of loosing my voice. I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate. I'm feeling really positive going into 28. 

Let's talk about these bars for a moment, shall we? These Birthday Cake Bars are A LOT. They're a lot of uncooked butter and sugar and vanilla but sometimes that's all you need. These definitely won't be for everybody, but if you have a cookie dough lover in the house then these are a sure bet. If you wanted to feed more of a crowded with these, I would recommend cutting them in half before doubling the recipe. That way, everyone gets a one or two bite treat! 

Birthday Cake Bars

Yields 12 bars

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon sour cream
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk

To make the bars: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color (about 4-5 minutes). Add in sour cream and vanilla extract and mix. Add in flour & salt, then milk, mixing until everything is combined into one dough. Fold in sprinkles with a rubber spatula. 

Line a 8x8" or 9x9" baking dish with plastic wrap (enough so that it is hanging over the sides on all sides). Press your dough into the dish until it is evenly distributed. Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the dough and refrigerate for at least one hour, if not overnight. 

To make the buttercream: In an electric mixer, whip butter until it is soft and fluffy. Gradually add in confectioner's sugar, then vanilla extract and milk. Whip for 3-4 minutes until the buttercream is fluffy. If your frosting is too thick, gradually add in more milk one tablespoon at a time. You'll have a thick frosting that's pipeable.

Assemble: Remove your bars from the refrigerator and lift out of the baking pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 even pieces. Fill your pastry bag fitted with a star tip with buttercream and begin piping small swirls until the each bar is covered. If you don't have a piping bag or don't feel like digging it out, you can always spread the frosting on with an offset spatula. 

Store these bars in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. They longer they stay out of the fridge, the softer they will get, but because this is an eggless cookie dough they are fine to eat at room temperature.