Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'food'

Blueberry Sour Cream Pound Cake

May 19th, 2014 · 4 Comments

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Even when I’m not posting a ton of new recipes on this site, I bake.  A lot. 

I bake when I’m hungry.  I bake when I’m bored.  I bake when people are coming over; I bake when it’s just me and Chad.  I bake when I’m stressed, and I bake when I’m relaxed.  Pretty much, if I’m not overwhelmingly busy… I bake. 

So a few days before going into labor, guess what I was doing?  I’d already followed some (extremely good) advice and prepared a bunch of make-ahead dinners for our first week with the baby (my slow-cooker BBQ chicken was a major staple), but I wanted to try something a little more fun. 

And I settled on this lemon pound cake.  It’s an easy, no fuss recipe that uses mostly ingredients you probably have on hand.  Fresh blueberries are great, but for a recipe like this, thawed frozen ones work just as well, and you could always use lemon juice instead of fresh lemons to make this a little easier.  But the thing I love most about pound cakes is that they’re basically foolproof — just combine all the ingredients, stir, and bake! 

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Blueberry Sour Cream Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 5″ by 9″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cream together the butter, sour cream, and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add vanilla extract, salt and eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly each time.  Add 1 1/2 cups of flour in several steps, mixing until just incorporated.  Toss blueberries in remaining 2 tablespoons flour and fold them into the finished batter.

Bake until a toothpick or slim knife inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 70 minutes. 

For the whipped cream, combine the heavy cream, 2 tbsp sugar and lemon zest.  Beat with an electric mixer to desired consistency, and sprinkle with additional lemon zest to serve.

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Tags: Breakfast and Brunch · desserts · food

three-ingredient peanut butter cookies

March 31st, 2014 · 6 Comments

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People sometimes forget this, but five years ago, when I started Sugarlaws, it began as a food blog.

I was in a long-distance relationship (Chad spent a year working in San Antonio while I was still in New York), fresh out of school, and for the first time in my life, I decided to actually learn to cook.

And it was wonderful. My Saturday mornings would start off with a trip to the farmer’s market, where I’d take inspiration from whatever was in season. December in Manhattan meant apples and local goat cheese and rendering duck fat, spring brought ramps and sunchokes and dragonfruit. I made my own sourdough starter and piped éclairs, baked cakes from scratch and finished them off with scoops of homemade ice cream.

I became, after many months of effort, a pretty darn good cook.

And then… life started getting in the way. Chad moved back to New York, and we got engaged and moved in together. I went from a 9-to-5 job to an “Oh, it’s Saturday? Nice try, but we need this research memo in two hours” kind of job. We got married, I added fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts to this blog, I wrote three novels, we moved to Texas, and then moved again into this house, I started my own law practice, got pregnant, and then some.

Things just… changed. It wasn’t any one of those things on its own, but the fact is: my life is different now than it was five years ago.

In some ways, I have a hard time accepting that. Part of me wishes this post would conclude with, “so, I’m going to make more of an effort and go back to mastering french techniques and tackling recipes that challenge me and make me a better cook.”

But… I have to face facts. That is very unlikely to happen.

Who knows? Maybe having a newborn will make me whip out my old pâte à choux techniques, revive my long-dead starter, and custom order duck legs from the farmer’s market to create a jar of that beautiful, golden fat.

But, from what I gather about newborns… probably not.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s this:

When your life changes, you can either work yourself into exhaustion trying to keep everything exactly the way it used to be… or you can go with it.

Maybe I’ll never pipe another homemade éclair. But that doesn’t mean I won’t spend many more Saturdays in our kitchen, whipping up creations for my little family (dogs included). Maybe they won’t be as fancy or as complicated as they could be in a world where I had infinite hours each day. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be delicious, and homemade, and very much appreciated.

So even if it’s as simple as combining three ingredients in our pantry into these sweet little treats, I will still be cooking and baking as much as I can.

And, for now: that’s enough for me.

(Also: I do not do justice to these cookies by rambling about life changes. They. Are. Awesome. And you probably have all three of these ingredients right now, so basically have no choice but to make them.)

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Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together the sugar, peanut butter and egg until smooth. Roll cookies into small balls using about 1 tbsp of dough per ball, then press gently onto a baking sheet lined with Silipat or parchment paper. (These cookies do not spread, so you can place them close together!)

Bake for 9 minutes and then remove them from the oven and use a fork to create the criss-cross pattern on top of each cookie. Let them cool for 1-2 minutes on the tray before placing the cookies on a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Tags: desserts · food

recipe: caramel sandwich cookies

March 10th, 2014 · 4 Comments

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You know how everyone has their desert flavor?

For some people, it’s chocolate.  (Ok, for a lot of people, it’s chocolate.) For others, it’s lemon or coconut or strawberry or mint.  But whatever it is, it’s that flavor that you just can’t resist on a menu — the one that calls your name every time you see it.

For me, that flavor is caramel. 

I’ll face it: I’m a little obsessed.  On this site, I’ve made homemade caramel sauce, caramel mousse, caramel fudge cookies, caramel syrup, caramel cupcakes, marshmallow caramel bars, and, of course, caramel ice cream

I know, I know.  It’s getting a little out of control at this point! 

Weirdly enough (go figure), I’ve never actually made caramels, but clearly that needs to be remedied pronto.

But that’s what happens when you have a favorite flavor — there’s no end to the variations you come up with.  So, to add to the list, I give you Caramel Sandwich Cookies.  They actually use the caramel sauce I made a few months ago, so this is a perfect recipe to use up any leftovers on. 

And they come out completely delicious.  Caramel buttercream, in between crispy chocolate cookies? 

Yes, please.  I’ll take the whole batch.

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Caramel Sandwich Cookies

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies:
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the frosting:
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cream together the butter and sugar and then add the egg yolk.  Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and then add that mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.  Drop dough by teaspoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment or Silipat.

Bake cookies for 7 minutes and allow them to cool completely.

For the frosting, beat together the caramel sauce and butter, then gradually beat in the confectioners sugar. 

Spread frosting on the bottom side of one cookie and then create a sandwich with a second cookie.  Repeat until all the cookies are gone! 

Makes about 30 sandwich cookies.

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Tags: desserts · food