Carrot Cake from Cooking Light

carrot cake CL
Carrot Cake from Cooking Light
Source: Cooking Light
This cake is quite moist and keeps for a while. It’s very sweet, so I didn’t make the frosting and instead, sprinkled ½ cup chopped walnuts over top before baking. I also used olive oil instead of butter.

Makes about: one 9×13’’ pan
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 30 min

10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9×13’’ pan.
2. Mix together eggs, sugars, butter, and carrots together.
3. Mix in vanilla extract and buttermilk.
4. Mix in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

carrot cake CL


Blood Orange Walnut Cake

blood orange walnut

Blood Orange Walnut Cake
Source: The Boot
I had some blood oranges, so this cake seemed like the perfect thing to make. I wasn’t too impressed with this cake, especially it turned out on the drier side, although everyone at the party enjoyed it. I forgot to use the zest, so didn’t turn out to be that orange-y; that would probably have made a difference. I also used 6 tbsp juice instead of the milk. For topping, I sprinkled 2 tbsp sugar on top and didn’t put the glaze as suggested by the original recipe.

Makes about: 1 9×5 loaf
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 45 min

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
3 tbs low-fat milk
3 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs juice (from 1 blood orange)
2 tsp orange zest
2 eggs


1. Preheat oven 350F. prepare 9×5 loaf pan.
2. Mix together sugar, buttermilk, milk, juice, vegetable oil, and eggs.
3. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg.
4. Stir in walnuts.
5. Bake 45 mins, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Banana Blondies with Chocolate Crust

banana blondies 1
Banana Blondies with Chocolate Crust
Source: New York Times

Makes about: 9×13 pan, or about 35 cookies, depending on how you cut
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 45-55 mins

These were very sweet, very rich, and very buttery. They were really delicious, likely from the fact that it contains a TON of butter. The banana topping is especially rich because it’s got 1.5 sticks of browned butter goodness. This is also very easy to make!

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups), more for greasing pan
200 grams chocolate wafer cookies (to make about 3 cups crumbs), crushed into crumbs
55 grams light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)
3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), plus a pinch
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
455 grams dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
80 grams toasted walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375F and prepare 9×13’’ baking pan.
2. To make the crust: mix together the butter, chocolate cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and salt. Process in food processor until “damp sand.” Dump into pan, press to an even layer, and bake 7-10 minutes. Let cool.
3. Reduce oven to 350F.
4. Brown 12 tablespoons of butter (cook until foam subsides and butter turns a deep brown, 5 min). Let cool
5. Whisk together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, rum, and butter. Mix in flour, salt, walnuts. Pour over prepared crust
6. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

banana blondies 2

Hazelnut Cookies

Baci di dama (or, hazelnut cookies)
Source: David Leibovitz

I made these in the food processor, and they were surprisingly easy to make. I also cheated by using the pre-toasted hazelnuts from Trader Joe’s. The dough was rather crumbly, but came together after being wrapped in plastic.

1 1/4 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 cup rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. Pulse hazelnuts in the food processor until fine.
2. Add flour, butter, sugar, salt. Knead tillc ombined
3. Divide into 3 pieces, roll to ¾ inch diameter.
4. Chill logs till firm, then cut into equal pieces.
5. Bake at 325F, 10-14.
6. I didn’t make sandwich cookies, but did dip them in dark chocolate.