Some recipes can transport you back to a specific time or place in your life, the sheer memory conjuring another time. Most people would associate a cobbler with home, matriarchs, or summer. Me? I associate this cobbler with being poor, living in the city, and working way too much. The simplicity of the ingredients meant that we could make this on a whim with what was already in the kitchen. After a long day at the office, or a really bad date, this recipe warmed out souls and convinced us we were eating healthy, even though that is simply not true.
All of the ingredients are adjustable. You can pick any fruit, fresh or frozen. You can use milk, heavy cream, buttermilk, whatever you have in the house.
City Girl Cobbler
Serves 8. Recipe care of Melissa, care of The Fannie Farmer Baking Book
- 1 ¾ cup Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 6 tbsp Butter, chilled and in pieces
- ½ cup Sugar, plus more for fruit
- ¾ cup Cream or Milk
- 6 cups Fresh or Frozen Fruit or combination of fruits (I used frozen blueberries for this photoshoot)
- Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a 3 quart baking dish.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
- Add sugar and blend. Stir in cream with a fork. Knead dough 5-6 times until just combined.
- Sweeten fruit to taste and put into prepared baking dish.
- Place dough on top of fruit in spoonfuls and bake 40-50 min until brown and toothpick comes out clean.
- Garnish with cream and serve warm.
Sometimes I like to reflect on my train of thought, and try to remember the pathing from one thought to another. Even more fun? Link pathing. Okay, it’s not as much fun, but at least there is an easily navigable history.
These Lovecakes came from a late night read on Flipboard (my favorite app), which pointed me to this article by the Huffington Post, which led me to stumble upon this recipe by wee eats.
I am naturally skeptical of recipes on the web. They often have typos, rarely have solid reviews, and sometimes have never even been made by the writer. Add to that the expense of high quality ingredients and the high pressure of Valentine’s Day, and I was more than hesitant to try this one out, but after drooling over chocolate recipes for several hours, I finally settled on giving this a go.
No, wait, let me say that again…
Throw away all your other chocolate cake recipes, this is the last one you’ll ever need. It’s simply heaven. My coworkers raved the lovecakes, and they were gone before 9AM. Chocolate for breakfast, is there really any other way on Valentine’s Day?
Dark Chocolate Lovecakes
Makes 24 cupcakes. Recipe adapted from wee eats.
- 1 3/4 c Flour
- 2 c Sugar
- 3/4 c Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 c Buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 c Vegetable Oil
- 2 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 c Coffee, hot
- 6 oz Dark Chocolate, chopped
- 2 sticks Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 – 2 c Powdered Sugar, to taste
- 1 – 2 tbsp Milk
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake pan with cupcake tins.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. After sifting, mix the ingredient on low speed until combined.
- In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- With the mixer on a low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined.
- With the mixer still on low, slowly add the coffee to the mixture, being sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl. The mixture will be very thin and runny. This is okay.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before making the frosting.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted.
- Beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and beat for 3 minutes. This is where your frosting is going to learn to be fluffy.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. The original recipe called for 1 – 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, but I felt like this wasn’t sweet enough. Feel free to vary to your particular taste. I may have even added more than 2 cups in the end. To compensate for my added sugar, I added a tbsp or so of milk to adjust the texture. How sweet should the frosting be? I used the scientific method of dipping my finger first into the butter concoction and then the melted chocolate. Judge me. It worked.
- Continuing on low speed, add the chocolate in a steady stream.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes immediately. Top with sprinkles.
Natalie at Wee Eats is totally right, these were absolutely better the second day. Be sure to use top quality coffee as the flavor balances the chocolate.
I saw a recipe for this in Bon Appétit, and rather than making the Buttermilk Crêpes as per the recipe, I decided to try to enhance our favorite Crêpe Recipe from the book Pancakes & Waffles (below) with the dessert variation. This proved to be very difficult since the added ingredients (Grand Marnier, sugar & vanilla) made the batter much thinner and therefore I had a hard time coating the pan. Also, the alcohol burned off strangely. I lost a solid half the batter before any were salvageable, so imagine this cake twice as tall. In my estimation, you can just make the standard crêpes without the “dessert” ingredients
Also, I found smashing the crêpes down to smash the raspberries worked very well. Before, when just trying to stack, it looked very lumpy.
I did make the yogurt spread according to the Bon Appétit recipe and it was scrumptious. I wasn’t sure how much to add between each layer, and I ended up wishing I’d used more dollops instead of spreading it around.
- 3/4 c Milk
- 3/4 c Flour
- 1/4 c Water
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
- 1 tbsp Sugar (optional)
- 1 tbsp Orange Liqueur, Rum or Brandy (optional)
- 1 1/2 c Plain Yogurt (we used Greek yogurt)
- 2 tbsp Honey
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Fresh Raspberries
- Combine all crêpe ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Let rest in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours. Stir before using.
- Heat a crêpe pan over medium heat. Pour a small amount of batter into the center of the pan, and tilt the pan to cover evenly. Cook until golden brown on the edges and dry on the top (1 minute). Turn and cook the other side until brown (30 seconds). Stack crêpes on a plate. (You can cook these in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days).
- Let cool
- Combine the yogurt, honey, and pepper in a bowl.
- Place one crepe on a large plate, smear on a thin layer of yogurt and a couple berries.Top with another crêpe. Repeat until you’ve layered all the crepes into a beautiful cake. Top with raspberries and a last dollop of yogurt.
I once saw a photo of these chrysanthemum cupcakes, and thought they would be impossible to reproduce, but it turns out they were rather easy, if a little labor intensive. Even better, when I brought them into work my colleagues thought I was a super-genius, though in truth, these required no special skills.
The basic principle is simple: cut mini marshmallows in half on the bias. Dip in sugar. Attach to cupcake with frosting.
Your best bet is to employ a friend to do the cutting of the marshmallows while you attach them, or vice versa. Just make sure the person with the most attention to detail does the attaching. Marshmallows that have been poorly sliced can be eaten 🙂
- Mini Marshmallows
- Colored Sugar Sprinkles
- Let cupcakes cool completely
- Pour one color of sugar sprinkles into a cereal bowl
- Cut mini marshmallows on the bias and drop immediately into the sprinkles
- Toss marshmallows with the sugar, ensuring an even coat on the exposed sticky cut
- Frost one cupcake at a time
- Arrange marshmallows onto cupcake, starting in the center
- If desired, add larger sprinkles to the center for the stamen
I was oddly out of colored sugar sprinkles, so I made some by taking simple white table sugar and adding food coloring. I found I had to use my fingers to evenly disperse the color, but it otherwise worked perfectly. Start with a couple drops, though I ended up using quite a bit.
For whatever reason, my company choose little rubber duckies as its mascot. The urban legend is that we wanted to bring a cheap giveaway to a trade fair, and Oriental Trading Company was the only place that could deliver en mass in time. So, we bought a bajillion of the little guys, and gave them away. I don’t know if they were a success or not, but I do know that they have been laying around the office since my first day.
So, when my team had to work over the Fourth of July weekend, I thought a cupcake version of the ducks would be appropriate, and I’ve named them Duckcakes.
- 1 batch of Vanilla or Lemon Cupcakes
- 2 batches of Frosting (lemon worked well)
- Large Marshmallows, like for S’mores (1 for every 2 cupcakes)
- Donut Holes (1/cupcake)
- Yellow Food Coloring
- Dark Chocolate, small amount (for decorating)
- Orange flavored Starburst, or other chewy candy (1 for every 2 cupcakes)
- Cool cupcakes completely
- Cut large marshmallows on the bias
- Frost cupcakes and immediately add a donut hole and a marshmallow as pictured. You may want to add some extra frosting to secure these in place. Chill in the freezer.
- Cut the orange chews in half, and working like silly putty, form into beaks
- Microwave remaining frosting in 15 second intervals until liquidy, stirring between each interval. Add food coloring to desired color.
- Put a cookie sheet into the freezer, flat.
- Working quickly, dip the cupcake with the donut hole and marshmallow into the melted frosting, letting excess drip off. Add the beak to the donut hole lump. Put into the freezer on the cookie sheet (this was my idea and kept the beak from slipping). Work one at a time until finished.
- Melt chocolate, and pour into a ziploc bag or piping bag.
- Once the ducks have set (5 – 10 minutes), remove the tray from the freezer. Using the chocolate, decorate each duck with eyes as desired.
Army of Duckness
One year for class Christmas party, back when you could call it a Christmas party, my mom made the most amazing treats for me to bring to school. She hand-crafted 31 Rice Krispy Treat Christmas Trees, each dyed green, and decorated with Nerds and Skittles, and topped with a foil star with the name of each kid in my class written on it.
Ever since then, it has mystified me how people think something like this, could be called festive/impressive/worthwhile, when its clearly not:
For Halloween I was having a krispy-craving so I decided to make some pumpkins for my coworkers, and teach Monkey the ways of the Rice Krispy Treats, that will someday make him the coolest cat around.
We made two batches, one orange and one green…we had too much green so we made some monsters too. There are a couple tricks:
- Add the food coloring before the marshmallows are completely melted.
- Butter everything; pot, spoon and, most importantly, YOUR HANDS!
- Only do one color at a time. Otherwise your treats will get stiff and hard to mold.
From there we basically used the standard Rice Krispy Treat recipe, found on their website or on any box of the stuff:
Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treat Army
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 10 oz bag Marshmallows (make sure these are fresh, not the stale ones from your last camping trip)
- 6 cups Rice Krispies (I have not had good luck with substitutions)
- Food Coloring
- Extra butter for your hands and things
- Wax Paper
- Melted Chocolate
- Butter your pot and spoon.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat.
- Add the marshmallows, and continue stirring until completely melted (add food coloring towards the end)
- Add the Krispies, and stir vigorously until they’re all coated
- Are your hands buttered? Butter your hands well!
- Working quickly, grab a handful of Kripies and mold into a pumpkin shape. This best way to do this is to make a ball, press it on to wax paper, and then form with your thumbs.
- Allow to cool, then decorate with additional colored treats, melted chocolate, or leftover candies of your choice.
Now lick your fingers clean, and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Pumpkin’s a fruit, right?