Category Archives: Baking

Snickerdoodles

Forbidden Rice Blog | Snickerdoodle Cookies

Guilty (but really not-so-guilty) pleasures, a list:

Mac and cheese from a box (preferably this one), cheese added, eaten straight out of the pot (you know, less dishes to wash).

The time between 2 and 4 AM when I am not sleeping (dammit) and the house is incredibly, almost eerily quiet.

Getting all the lint off the lint sheet in the dryer, in one solid piece.

Burying my whole body under my down comforter, face included, then sticking my toes out.

Cooking alone and singing along to really shitty country or pop music while doing so.

Tight-fitting deep pocket sheets that I can pull super-duper tautly over our king size bed.

Looking through other folks’ baby and wedding registries online. Sorry…not sorry.

Watching crime shows late at night, trying to solve the crime before the show’s over.

Waking up, but pretending to still be asleep for another 15-50 minutes.

Eating cookies straight out of the oven, so they still have that almost-gooey soft, warm, center!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Like two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Cream together the butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Scoop the dough by rounded spoonfuls (about one heaping tablespoon) and use your hands to roll them into balls.

Mix the 1 tablespoon of sugar and the ground cinnamon. Gently roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard or dark brown in color. Remove immediately from baking sheets to a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 days for best flavor.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Snickerdoodle Cookies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Snickerdoodle Cookies

Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Awaiting Oregon berry season with eager anticipation is one of the highlights of these months for me. Embracing the vast bounty and variety of berries available here each summer can be chalked up to “enjoying life’s simple pleasures” in its finest sense. Strawberries can be found as early as May, then again in the later summer months (when they are full of even better flavor). Raspberries and blackberries start showing up in June, marionberries around July… but my all-time favorite, blueberries, are beginning to show up right now… and should easily stick around until late summer.

Last year I made one of my favorite jams ever with some local blueberries. While I look forward to making another batch or two (or three, or four), standing around a stove cooking piping hot jam, then jarring them up while Ashland temperatures have been lingering in 3-digit numbers, sounds less than ideal.

Of course my next move wasn’t the most intelligent either, given the outside temps, but I couldn’t resist the first blueberry pie of the season. It’s one of my favorites and not often a pie I find on restaurant menus. There’s a beautiful simplicity about a good blueberry pie. This recipe isn’t brain-surgery; it’s pretty simple, the crust is flaky and also simplistic. This pie will easily become a loved staple in your recipe repertoire if you let it! :)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus a little more to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons cold butter
8-10 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:
6 cups fresh blueberries, picked through for stems
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
zest and juice from half a large lemon
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Directions:

Prepare the dough for the crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cold butter (I like to use a standing box-type grater for this) until you have a shaggy looking mixture with pea-sized pieces of butter mixed in. Add the water to the mixture, then use a fork to bring to dough together. Add a bit more water (a tablespoon at a time) if necessary, although you want to dough to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and gently knead each portion into a flattened disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, salt, zest and lemon juice. Gently mix until all the berries are coated. Let the blueberries sit for about 10 minutes.

Prepare the pie: Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. Roll the dough out into about a 13-inch round, on a lightly floured surface. Gently lift the 13-inch round and center it in a deep 9-inch round pie dish. Place the crust in your fridge while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, creating a roughly 13-inch circle.

Remove the bottom crust from the fridge and fill with the blueberry mixture, evenly spreading the blueberries around. Carefully remove the top crust from your work surface, then drape over the filling. Use a small knife to trim the crust, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Press the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers, and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut a few small slits in the top of the crust so the steam can vent.

Brush the pie lightly with beaten egg, then sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar. Place the pie in your fridge to chill while the oven preheats.

Bake the pie: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is nicely golden brown and crisp.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

S’mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

When I first met Silas, he was a not-quite-two-year-old, making a mad-dash away from his dad (my now husband) at the park beside my old apartment. Seeing this rambunctious, active, very spirited, near-two-year-old grow up into the still rambunctious, very spirited, ten year old he is now has been quite the journey. He is more than willing to try your patience… again and again and again, within a matter of minutes. But he’s just as quick to care about people, offer sincere compassion for folks he both knows and doesn’t know. His heart is gold (even on the days I would quickly describe him as pure hellion).

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

For his tenth birthday, Si requested a s’mores cake. The last couple years he’s requested cakes that are more ambitiously themed or colored, so I was pretty quick to OK a s’mores cake. Even though I buy marshmallows only, perhaps, once every couple years. Hah. As I scoured the inter-webs for ideas, I pulled tips and recipe attempts from various places. This is probably the largest (as in tallest) cake I’ve ever baked, but it was fun to make! And even more fun to eat!

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

S’mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Makes one 3-layer, 8-inch round cake OR one 2-layer cake and 6 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
14 tablespoons butter, softened
3 eggs
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup boiling water

For the filling:
12 large marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
one 7 1/2-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 graham cracker, finely crumbled

For the topping:
one 3.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate, broken into pieces
12-16 large marshmallows
1 graham cracker, coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Directions:

Prepare the cake: (This step can be done 24 hours in advance; just let the cake layers cool completely, then individually wrap each layer in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until needed.)

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans then dust lightly with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream to your butter mixture. Mix on low speed until well combined. The batter will appear semi-thick at this point. Stir the boiling water into the batter.

Pour the batter into your prepared pans, filling each to about 2/3-full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean or with minimal crumbs attached. Cool completely.

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Prepare the toasted marshmallow buttercream: Turn your oven on to broiling. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then brush lightly with olive oil. Arrange 12 marshmallows on the prepared pan, spacing them at least 1 1/2-inches apart. Place the marshmallows under the broiler and watch carefully. As soon as the marshmallows have reached a toasty-brown color, flip them over. Lightly brown that side as well. Make sure to keep a close eye on these. They go from light brown to burnt quickly! Remove from the oven.

Beat the butter and powdered sugar over low speed until blended together (1-2 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 3-4 minutes. Add the marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows, and mix on the lowest speed for about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Assemble the cake: Place your first layer of cake face-up on a cake plate or stand, then cover with half of the toasted marshmallow buttercream. Sprinkle on half of the finely crumbled graham cracker and half of the mini chocolate chips. Place another cake layer on, face-up and cover with the remaining buttercream, followed by the remaining finely crumbled graham cracker and mini chocolate chips.

Prepare the top cake layer: Turn your oven on to broiling. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the remaining cake layer on the pan. Arrange the 12-16 marshmallows on the cake, standing them upright. Gently place the cake in the oven and again, keeping a close eye on them, toast until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and gently smoosh down each marshmallow.

Melt the dark chocolate in either a double broiler or microwave.

Place the top cake layer on top the the assembled cake, then sprinkle on the coarse graham crackers, remaining mini chocolate chips, and drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the entire cake.

The cake is best served the same day it is made, but leftovers can be stored at room temperature, wrapped or covered, for up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

I am not a huge sucker for sweets. Generally, treats for me center around saltiness, crunchiness, and perhaps bourbon or a good beer. Some days, though, a wild hair tickles my fancy and dark chocolate dessert concoctions say please make me. However, I live with three dudes who are in ever constant request of something sweet. My unstated rule of making desserts no more than once a week sort of got thrown out the window over the last few months. One of my go-to dessert options are homemade brownies. They’re easy, quick to mix up, and especially simple if you have the basic ingredients on hand (butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs).

The last time I decided to make brownies was for a little dinner party we hosted. I decided to do a little hunting for something more elaborate. I vaguely remembered a peanut butter swirled brownie that failed miserably… Then I remembered a peanut butter swirled brownie I’ve been wanted to try for years, one topped with pretzel sticks. Yes. A smash-bang-concoction of chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzels. How can a girl go wrong?

These brownies are delectable! They’re quite a bit more cake-y than fudge-y, but just go with it. The peanut butter swirl is rich and delicious, atop a not-overly-sweet brownie, and the added salty crunch of the pretzels is perfect. You can also half this recipe and make it in an 8″ square pan.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Make a large 11 x 17-inch pan of brownies.

adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingerdients:
For the Brownie Batter:
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces extra dark chocolate (75-85% cacao), coarsely chopped
8 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

a large handful of pretzel sticks

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 11 x 17-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides, then grease the parchment paper.

Boil two inches of water in a medium saucepan. Combine the butter and two types of chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Place over the simmering water, making sure no water gets into the chocolate mixture. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted together. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and let mixture cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk granulated sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture. Make sure the chocolate mixture isn’t too hot, then whisk the eggs in one at a time.

Fold in the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and pour into your prepared pan.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Make the peanut butter mixture: whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until smooth.

Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter and use a butter knife to swirl the two together. Arrange pretzel sticks on top of the brownie batter however you’d like. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes our mostly clean (a few crumbs are alright).

Let the brownies cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Forbidden Rice Blog | Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Some days I swear I’ve misplaced my brain. My friend Kara (hiiiiiiiii in MinneFuckinSota!) and I sometimes joke (I think it’s a joke… but other times I’m not certain) that we share a brain. Should one of us be having a day where our brain’s obviously missing, the other person must be using it. On the days where Kara has our brain, I have done things such as taken a big swig of canola oil thinking it was the beer I set on the counter (I don’t advise you trying this). I’ve left the house to go to the grocery store, walked around said grocery store, returned home, and realized I didn’t get a damn thing I needed or planned on. I’ve worn various clothing items inside-out, backwards, inside-out-and-backwards… I’ve put food in the oven to cook, for over an hour, before realizing the oven wasn’t ever turned on…

While I would probably never go as far as saying baked doughnuts are better than fried doughnuts, even on the days I don’t have my brain, I will eagerly agree that they are delicious in their own right. And easy to make. I am no stranger to the less-and-less-elusive baked doughnut (though typically I still prefer fried versions). These baked lemon doughnuts are a happy nod to spring time. They’re pillowy and soft, flavorful and a lovely balance of tangy and sweet… plus the homemade lemon curd is worthy of being eaten by the spoonful!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Yields about 1 dozen doughnuts

Ingredients:

For the lemon curd:
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

Forbidden Rice Blog |Homemade Lemon Curd

For the doughnuts:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the lemon glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Prepare the lemon curd:  in a small pot, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and eggs until well combined. Turn the heat on to medium low and stir in the butter, whisking until the mixture thickens (6-8 minutes). Continue cooking just until the mixture starts to bubble up. Remove from the stove and allow the curd to cool completely.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Homemade Lemon Curd

Prepare the doughnuts:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a doughnut baking pan.

In a bowl, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant and well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

Whisk together the milk, melted butter, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the above bowl of dry ingredients just until everything comes together into a thick batter. Either pipe the batter, or simply spoon it into the doughnut pan until each well is filled a little more than 2/3-full (we want the hole to somewhat bake closed).

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in your preheated oven. Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5-6 minutes before removing the doughnuts to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until completely combined.

Dip the completely cooled doughnuts into your prepared glaze. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the prepared lemon curd into the center of each doughnut. Return to the wire rack and sprinkle the vanilla side with color sprinkles. Allow to set for about 30 minutes before stacking or serving. Doughnuts are best within 2 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Forbidden Rice Blog | Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Forbidden Rice Blog | Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Homemade Lemon Curd