Sunday, February 28, 2010

Glazed Lemon Cakes

I've been eye-ing up this recipe ever since Christmas. My sister, Katie, gave me an awesome cookbook for Christmas based on my favorite magazine, Everyday Food. I'm always flipping through my cookbooks for dinner ideas and I somehow also end up staring at these glazed lemon cakes. It's not that I'm a huge fan of lemon they just always look so refreshing! Since I had all ingredients on hand, (bought buttermilk at the store with the intention of making these) I decided to whip them up for breakfast today.

The recipe yields 6 "jumbo" muffins. I made 12 regular size muffins. You can make it into a Bundt, mini muffins, mini loafs, or really whatever shape you want.

Overall, they were really easy to make and in my opinion very tasty. I didn't think the lemon flavor was too much. If you're in the mood for a mild lemon taste I'd suggest omitting the lemon juice from the icing and just make a standard glaze with confectioners' sugar and milk. Maybe I'll try that next time. If you have a favorite citrus fruit other than lemon, try substituting the lemon for whatever you prefer.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for muffin tin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, or plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus juice, plus 2 tablespoons more lemon juice for the glaze
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk mixture.
  3. Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.
  4. Set rack over wax or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar with remaining lemon juice until smooth. Pour over cakes, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set 30 minutes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baked Brie with Pecans

What's wine without cheese? I mentioned in my previous post that February club was all about wine!!! I'm a huge fan of brie...basically all cheeses! Brie is a great cheese to put out when you're having company. The presentation alone makes it look like you spent all day working on this simple dish. Brie is a soft cheese that comes in a shape of a wheel and can be cut into smaller triangle pieces.

I found this recipe and though it would be perfect for club. The roasted pecans and maple syrup really bring out the sweet taste of brie. This recipe comes from the one and only, Martha. Enjoy!


  • 1 small wheel of Brie or Camembert (about 9 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • crackers or sliced baguette, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cheese on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate; cool about 20 minutes.
  2. While cheese cools, place nuts on a clean baking sheet; bake until toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle nuts over cheese.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle warm sauce over slightly cooled cheese and nuts; serve with crackers or baguette.


I know I mentioned before that each month my group of girlfriends get together for what we like to call club. This year February club was held at our house. We attempted to do a wine tasting...well I guess we did do a wine tasting since we went through several bottles of wine. All in all it was a good time!

I decided to make hummus for the occasion. Although it's a timely process it's quite simple. I turned to one of my favorite food blogs for the recipe, Smitten Kitchen. After researching recipes I found there are so many ways to make hummus and I'm not talking flavors. Of course the main ingredient is chickpeas but some recipes call for more tahini, some call for less, some say 1 clove of garlic, some say a whole head of get the picture. Since Smitten Kitchen said this is the only hummus recipe you'll need I decided to go with that one. This recipe called for dried chickpeas which need to be soaked. So if you're planning on making this recipe keep in mind that the dry beans need to soak in cold water overnight before you can cook them. After soaking and cooking the beans the hummus comes together in about 20 mins! So even though it's a lengthy process you're able to do other things while the beans are soaking and cooking.

Overall, I really enjoyed this hummus recipe as did my guests (especially Leora)! I served it with a little bit of olive oil on top and crackers, pita, and raw vegetables for dipping. I'll be making this hummus again since it was a hit but I'm interested in trying other recipes. The hummus can be stored in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

You can find the recipe here

Sunday, February 14, 2010

National Pancake Month!

Did you know that February is "National Pancake Month?" Well now you know...quick, hurry there's only 2 days left to celebrate! Making homemade pancakes is just as easy as making pancakes from the box. There are so many variations too! To celebrate I decided to make basic pancakes. I wanted to make buttermilk but it's impossible when you don't buttermilk on hand so I opted for the basic.

Nadya got clever with the presentation as you can see in the picture above.

You can find the recipe here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yes, another pizza

I can't really take credit for this pizza since Nadya came up with the idea while we were in the middle of an extremely crowded Whole Foods. An easy pizza with only 2 ingredients, pesto & mozzarella.

We used my standard whole wheat pizza dough which usually have on hand in the freezer. The trick to this pizza is to cook the dough alone and then top with pesto and mozzarella to heat up and melt the cheese. We'll be making this again. Really easy and super tasty!

1 Whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 cup of pesto, store bought or homemade (check out my previous post for a great pesto recipe)

Bake for 15 mins at 400 degrees.


It's been a snowy week here in Philadelphia! We had 2 big Nor'easters in the last week. Needless to say I didn't make it into work yesterday so I decided to do some baking while I was "working from home."

As you know from previous posts, I have a Magnolia Bakery cookbook, More From Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen. I really need to bake more from this cookbook because I'm always satisfied with the end product.

Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies and I've try other recipes in the past but this recipe might be my favorite. They're easy to make but they do require 2 hrs of chill time so they're not the right cookie if you're looking to be done quick.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 350?F.

  4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. (I recommend leaving extra room between these cookies because they spread more than most.) Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 12-14 minutes.

  5. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.