Well the recipes continue to stockpile in my head, and unfortunately we leave tomorrow for another week or so. So, before I forget I have 2 recipes to share with you, both of which I have made in the last few days. The first is a tried and true cookie recipe that is (relatively speaking) good for you and that I have returned to again and again in the last year, since I first discovered it. The second is a bundt cake that I made today to take home to my family—we stole a few of the mini cakes for dessert tonight and our socks were knocked off. I hope it knocks yours off as well.
Nutty for Oats Cookies
I first discovered this recipe last year when I got King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking Cookbook for Christmas. Like a gazillion other bakers out there, I fell in love with the book and its myriad of recipes for whole grain flatbreads, yeasted breads, quick breads, scones, cookies and cakes, among other things. I don’t use the book quite as much now but I think that is an even more positive comment on the book, as I learned enough from it that I am now pretty comfortable subbing whole grains into recipes where previously I might have hesitated. But this recipe has been an absolute keeper—I have made these cookies more than any other dessert in the past year. You will never guess they are 100% whole grain.
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter* (6 ¼ oz)
4 T (1/2 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (5 5/8 oz) packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
½ t salt
¼ t baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup (3 ½ oz) rolled oats, processed to flour (I just weigh out 3 ½ oz of ground oats)
1 ½ cups (5 ¼ oz) old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips
Place your oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together the first 6 ingredients—I add them gradually, as I have been taught by most other recipes, but King Arthur does not seem to care about the order. Add the eggs and beat them into the batter until incorporated—remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then mix in the ground oats, the rolled oats and the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake the cookies, rotating from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, for 11-13 minutes. They should be barely set and just beginning to brown at the edges. Let them cool completely on the pans.
*On the CLBB I remember last year discussing whether people’s Nutty for Oats cookies stayed super-thick (mine did) or flattened and spread. I have not experimented with this but I do wonder if mine stay so thick because I use 100% natural peanut butter—no sugar or shortening added. If you make yours with natural peanut butter (not the easily spreadable kind but the 100% peanuts only kind) and they do spread leave me a comment and let me know!
I had decided on a pan and a flavor before I found this cake. I knew I wanted lemon, because it is (almost) spring, and that feels lemony to me. Also my family, my mom in particular, loves lemon pound cakes. I settled on my rose bundt pan because I wanted a funky bundt pan (I almost never use the boring traditional bundt or tube pans—why bother when whimsical designs are so easy to get with uniquely shaped pans?) and I decided that Alex and I would make the cake for my mom, because my mom loves yellow roses. So I went hunting for a lemon rose bundt cake.
I have sung the praises of Lisa Yockelson’s recipes elsewhere so I won’t start up again other than to say if you want to highlight a particular flavor, Baking By Flavor is a great place to start. And lo and behold, I found 2 choices for lemon cakes that could be baked in bundt pans. One called for a glaze and a soak, the other just a glaze. The just a glaze won since I was feeling inspired but not super inspired.
This is a pound cake recipe that I converted to a bundt cake. Converting it basically meant making sure I used the right sized pans as it is a large recipe, meant for a 10 inch tube pan, which holds 16 cups. My bundt pans hold 10 cups each, but happily I have a matching rose individual bundt pan that has 6 molds—one cup each. I adjusted the baking times; if you use one cup molds they will take about 30 minutes—keep an eye on them!—and a 10 cup bundt pan will take about 1 hour—also keep an eye on it. The recipe below is for a 10 inch tube pan.
Do not skimp on the glaze, by the way. It is fantastic.
Lemon peel infusion:
Zest of 3 lemons (Yockelson calls for less so feel free to use less if you have less but I like a strong lemon flavor)
2 ½ t lemon juice
1 ½ t or ½ T lemon extract
Lemon-Sugar Wash (glaze)
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1/3 cup sugar, preferably scented with lemon zest (I was out of zest so I made some by pulsing some sugar in the food processor with a little lemon oil)
Mix together the zest, juice and extract for the lemon peel infusion and let sit at least 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. If using a tube pan, grease the pan and then line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour over the parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and on the sides. If using a bundt pan, spray with a grease/flour mix like Baker’s Joy. Set aside.
Sift together the baking soda, salt and flour. Set aside.
Cream the butter on moderately low speed for 4 minutes. Add the sugar in 3 additions, creaming for 1 minute after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending for 45 seconds after each egg. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, blending well in between (but on the lowest speed) and scraping the sides as needed. Blend in the lemon peel infusion.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake withdraws clean. See my notes above if you are using smaller pans. The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when it is done. If your oven is crowded (as mine was) be sure to rotate the pans side to side AND front to back (I forgot front to back with the mini cakes, which is why some of them look darker in the pictures).
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. While it is cooling, mix together the lemon juice and lemon sugar for the lemon wash. Carefully invert the cake onto the cooling rack. Slide foil or wax paper under the cooling rack and carefully brush the cake’s top and sides with the lemon sugar wash. Cool completely before serving.