Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons

Macaroons for Passover. I made them for Easter dinner. Sacrilicious?

Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons
adapted from The New York Times

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

1 3/4 cups blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1  scant cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom
1 large egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Grind the almonds in a food processor until mostly powdered. Transfer to a large bowl. Grind the walnuts also until powdered. Add to the same bowl as the almonds.

Add sugar, cardamom, egg and egg white to the nuts and mix until combined. Cover with a towel and let it sit for about an hour. 

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpats. Scoop out dough into tablespoon size balls and place about 2" apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly. Make a small indentation in the middle of each cookie with your thumb or finger.

Bake cookies for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and spoon in about 1/2 teaspoon of jam in each indentation. Put sheets back in the oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Storing: Cookies can be frozen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Raspberry Ricotta Cake

I make cake. I like cake. I especially like simple cake. I saw this recipe in the Fast, Easy, Fresh section of the March issue of Bon Appétit and immediately dog-eared it. Apparently, I was not the only one

First time I made it, it was good but needed some brightness and more berries. (I don't think I've ever come across a recipe that I thought, "This could use less berries.") So, I made it again. I added some lemon zest and doubled the berries. 

This is really good cake. 

Raspberry Ricotta Cake
adapted from Bon Appétit, March 2015

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1  cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups ricotta (I used part-skim, but feel free to use whole milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups frozen raspberries, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray a 9" diameter cake pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper and spray the paper.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until blended. (It will be really thick at this point.) Fold in the melted butter until blended. 

Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter 1 1/2 cups of the berries over the batter, pressing some of them into the batter. Spread the rest of the batter evenly over the berries, then scatter the remaining 1/2 cup of berries over top. 

Bake 55-60 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.

Do ahead: Cake can be stored for 2 days at room temperature tightly wrapped.