Rosewater Cake + Cupcakes

Rosewater Cupcakes Rosewater Cake

Hello, friends. Let’s have summery rose-flavored cake and iced tea together out in the sun!

Rosewater Cake

Here are some things I love:
1) Six-inch cake pans.
2) Birthdays.
3) Rosewater.

Rosewater Cake

Why do I love these things? First. Six-inch cake pans give you the excuse to make not just cake, but also cupcakes. There are very few cake recipes that make just enough batter for a six-inch cake. Most of the time you’ll have enough left over for cupcakes. Like these guys!

Rosewater Cupcakes

This cake is moist and light and fluffy. For a little cupcake, all you need is a dollop of fresh whipped cream, lightly flavored with vanilla.

Rosewater Cupcakes

Two. BIRTHDAYS! I love it when friends have birthdays because I have an excuse to make a cake. And I really love it when friends with adventurous tastes have birthdays. Because then I can get quirky with my cake flavors.

Rosewater Cake

I knew my friend, Shannon, who is an artist, educator, gardener, and lover of food, would appreciate a cake with an unusual flavor. It was time to go for the rose. (By the way, are you wondering why the inside layer is green!? It’s because that’s Shannon’s favorite color! I had to have some kind of surprise in there since it was a birthday cake!)

Rosewater Cake

Rosewater is a tricky ingredient. Too much and it’s soapy, too little and it’s a bit odd. But just enough is magic. Unable to find a summery rose-flavored cake (most of the ones I found used cardamom, which felt too heavy to me), I adapted a plain cake recipe, went sparingly on the rosewater, and hoped for the best.

Rosewater Cake

Which brings me to… Three. Rosewater! Oh goodness. The cake is soft, subtle, and tricks you into thinking it’s just a normal, albeit awesome, vanilla cake. Until you get the hint of rose. Floral, sweet. Not overpowering. Just there in the background, being lovely. And the frosting is super-sweet, giving you a break from the flowery flavor, just for a little bit.

Rosewater Cake

I am completely in love with this cake. (And by the way, it’s all thanks to Sweetapolita–whose recipes are divine and have worked beautifully every time I’ve tried them.) I highly recommend this recipe for a celebration–or just for summer fun!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

You know how everyone is always searching for The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe?

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

To that, I say: Whatever!

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

I know, I know. That’s enough to make other folks who love to bake cringe and loathe me. What self-respecting baker isn’t constantly searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie!? Let me explain.

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

I was once in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, too. I thought I’d found it in a sea-salted recipe, which I made for months straight. I thought I’d found it in a browned butter variety, because nutty, caramelly browned butter makes everything better. Then I made a crispy, thin, buttery version that I thought must be the ultimate. So many cookies–and so many conclusions that just didn’t stick when the next best thing came down the pike.

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

And this weekend, I made THESE. And my lord, they are the most delicious mix of crispy and chewy and nutty and salty all at once.

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

As I was downing five of these in a row (I’m a very thorough taste tester), mulling over what makes a chocolate chip cookie perfect, here’s what I realized. It’s pretty darn hard, actually, to find a not perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

So, in light of that, here’s my advice. Forget the search. Just keep making TONS of chocolate chip cookies. Chances are good they will all be delicious, especially if other people say it’s their perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, and then you will have a bunch of tried-and-true recipes under your belt. Then, when a friend or coworker begs you for a certain kind of cookie–crispy! chewy! salty!–you will know exactly which one to bake them. You’ll be like Netflix but for cookies. Who doesn’t want a friend that’s a walking Cookie Netflix?!

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

So. Back to these guys. These have it all. Crispy on the outside. Chewy on the inside. Hazelnut flour makes them a little nutty. Finely chopped chocolate chips infuse every bite with melty semisweet chocolate. Chilling overnight deepens all those flavors and brings everything together. And that final sprinkle of fancy grey sea salt puts them over-the-top on the deliciousness scale (see video evidence below).

As always, I am so grateful to Anthropologie Milwaukee for giving me the chance to sample so many different cookbooks and recipes for our Tasting Tuesdays events! The cookbook I used this month, The Sugar Cube, has been making the rounds on food blogs lately and, happily, for good reason! I had a very difficult time choosing which cookie to make. Everything sounded so good and Kir Jensen’s voice is funny and charming. It makes me want to go to Portland and get something from her food truck.

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t, as usual, betray my adoration for all things Anthropologie by mentioning that they’re having a big sale right now (expect the tea towel version of this little pretty to pop up in future posts soon)…

Tasting Tuesdays: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt and Hazelnut Flour

Thank you so much Shannon, Tera, Lyn, Kim, and the whole Milwaukee Anthro team! And a special shout out to reader Connie, who stopped by the store especially for Tasting Tuesdays! (Next time we’ll cross paths, Connie!) You all have put a smile on my face for the rest of the month. Continue reading

Brown Sugar Cookies with Buttermilk Glaze

These cookies had big dreams. Big aspirations. They were going to a bridal crafting party. They were going to be gifts for wonderfully helpful coworkers. There were tons of them! Dozens, I say!

Brown Sugar Cookies

Sadly, these cookies did not make it to the party. They did not become gifts. Because I became sick.

Brown Sugar Cookies

Has that ever happened to you? I made these cookies exactly a day before I got hit with a flash cold. The cold lasted about a day and a half. And then I was totally better. It was pretty bizarre. (I’m blaming the supermoon.)

Brown Sugar Cookies

Anyway, since I was out of commission for just over 24 hours, I figured the cookies were similarly contaminated. So their dreams were burst. Their aspirations crumbled. I couldn’t give my friends and coworkers the gift of a cold. Ah, contaminated cookies–appetizing, huh? (I know. This is probably the worst blog post ever. Don’t judge me. I’m just being honest here.)

Brown Sugar Cookies

Anyway, fear not. Although MY cookies were under the weather, yours, I guarantee, will not be! (Unless you get the supermoon bug too. For which I take no responsibility.)

Brown Sugar Cookies

I know they will turn out amazingly because I taste tested them before I got sick. And they are SO GOOD. Certainly one of my new favorite recipes.

Brown Sugar Cookies

They have the texture of a white sugar cookie but the deeper, more caramel-y flavor of a brown sugar. They keep their texture well and the drizzle of just-a-little-bit-tangy buttermilk glaze gives them the right amount of sweeter lightness. They would be great for shipping or a picnic. And you could add chopped up crystallized ginger to them and they would be simply phenomenal.

Brown Sugar Cookies

So, in conclusion, if you’ve got a kind soul, you’ll make these cookies for yourself or, better yet, someone you love. And in doing so, you’ll be giving these cookies their dreams back. Their big aspirations of being gifts and making smiles. Now doesn’t that sound a whole lot more appetizing?

Continue reading