smoked butter shortbread with violet buttercream

Alright nerds, I have a Twelfth Night cookie for you!!

Last month, North Dakota Shakespeare put on a production of Twelfth Night in our town square and it was so great!! Eggboy and I packed the cutest ever picnic and I was brought way way back to Mrs. Meyer's junior year English class when I triumphed my way through Shakespeare, thanks to Sparknotes. You too? Ok cool. 

Just like last year’s rose cookies for Romeo and Juliet, I created this special Twelfth Night cookie to be sold the week of shows. This cookie is kind of all over the place but Twelfth Night kind of is too?! Like that play’s a lil drunk right?? But the important part is is that these cookies taste good and get you thinking about the play. So here are all of the references wrapped up into this chocolate and smoked butter and floral sandwich cookie:

Smoked butter cookies with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves: these cookies have the same spices as the traditional English Twelfth Night Cake which was the predecessor to the King Cake. And what’s great is that the spices compliment the smoked butter element, which was a nod to this particular performance being outside during the summer, as they smelled faintly like a campfire. 

Yellow lemon buttercream: a nod to Malvolio’s yellow stockings!

Purple violet buttercream:

 “O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound

That breathes upon a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odour.” 

Green rose buttercream: the fact that the rose buttercream is colored green and not pink is a reference to the theme of mistaken identity that’s all throughout the play. Rose is also inspired by Orsino saying something about lying on a rose covered bed.

Yellow, green, and purple buttercream: A nod to the King Cake, which grew out of the Twelfth Night Cake tradition.

Pink buttercream: it symbolizes the role of gender in the play and love, and also throws off the King Cake reference because having something as straightforward as a King Cake reference wouldn’t be in the spirit of this very wild play. It’s also pretty.

Chocolate shortbread: This represents the darkness of Malvolio’s prison. And it makes this a sandwich cookie, which represents the twins! I was also inspired by the cookies in this photo that I've had saved on my phone for forever.

…that’s it! Did I get a good grade??

My awesome friend Mollie drew a picture of it that was displayed during the shows with all of these references:

Here is the recipe for the full cookie, four kinds of frosting and everything. The chocolate shortbread, rose buttercream, lemon buttercream, and vanilla buttercream are all things you’ve seen here before, so what I’m most excited about in this recipe are the smoked butter shortbread and violet buttercream. 

Smoking butter is something I first read about in Katrin Bjork's beautiful cookbook, From the North. I always figured I’d need fancy tools to smoke stuff but when I read this recipe I realized that all I needed were wood chips and a dutch oven. What you do is you heat up some wood chips and then place a bowl of butter on top of them (propped up by some balls of aluminum… if you look in the photo below you can spot them). I found that heating it for about an hour gave it a smoky enough flavor to hold up in baking the cookies, but if you're just smoking butter to serve with bread or radishes, you can smoke it for less time. The process makes the house smell like a campfire which is never a bad thing. The options for what to do with smoked butter are endless and range from spreading it on toast to making a cake with it (how wild would smoked sprinkle cake be?!). It adds a smoky flavor that’s much more subtle than liquid smoke. These shortbread cookies are fairly simple and have some warm spices tossed in that amp up the smoky flavor.

Violet buttercream is a display of my new loyalty to melodramatic purple as the new millennial pink. I ordered violet syrup from Amazon and it smells like a snow cone! Not a specific flavor of snow cone, just general snow cone. Or like, how the blue sparkly snow cone flavored lip gloss that I owned in the 90s smelled. A few splashes of the syrup in a basic buttercream give it a light floral/candy like flavor, and then I added some purple food coloring because the color of the syrup isn’t that concentrated. 

Twelfth Night Cookies

Makes 12

Ingredients

Smoked Butter Shortbread: 

1 c + 2 tb (146g) all-purpose flour, more for dusting
1/2 c (60g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of cloves
1/2 c (113g) smoked butter, at room temperature (recipe below)
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Chocolate Shortbread:

3/4 c + 2 tb (113g) all-purpose flour, more for dusting
6 tb (30g) dutch cocoa powder
1/2 c (60g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Violet Buttercream:

3/4 c (168g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2c (240g) powdered sugar
A pinch of kosher salt
1 tb heavy cream
2 tb violet syrup
A squeeze of lemon juice
Purple food coloring
 

Clues

To make the smoked butter shortbread, combine the all of the dry ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low until crumbly. Sprinkle in the vanilla and continue to stir, scraping the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula occasionally. Increase the speed and continue to mix until the clumps start to get bigger and the dough starts to come together. Scrape the dough onto a surface and bring it together with your hands into a big ball. Pat it out into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On surface dusted with flour, roll the dough out until it’s 1/4” thick, dusting with additional flour if it’s sticky. Cut out 2 1/2” circles and transfer to the baking sheets, an inch apart. If desired, cut out smaller circles within the big circles using a round piping tip. Bake until lightly browned around the edges; begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes un the pans and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 


To make the chocolate shortbread, repeat the same steps as the smoked butter shortbread.

To make the buttercream, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until creamy. Add the heavy cream, violet syrup, lemon juice, and food coloring and beat to combine. Taste and adjust as desired. Alternatively, to make the four buttercream flavors pictured: don’t add the violet syrup or food coloring. Divide into four and mix in 1/2 tb violet syrup to one part, 1/4 tsp rosewater to another, 1/4 tso vanilla extract to another, and a pinch of lemon zest to the last. Add food coloring as desired.

To assemble, pipe the buttercream between two cookies and smoosh. Enjoy! 

These can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days!
 


Smoked butter

Makes about 1/2 cup

 

Ingredients

About 2 c Hickory wood chips (other wood chips work too)
10 tb (131g) unsalted butter

Clues

Cover the bottom of a big dutch oven with wood chips. Ball up three big pieces of aluminum foil to make three golfball-sized balls. Place them on top of the chips; they’ll be used to prop up the bowl of butter. Cover the dutch oven and heat over medium high for 10 minutes. Place the butter in a heat safe bowl and place the bowl on top of the aluminum balls. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pot, allowing a small opening to vent. Cook for 1 hour. Let the butter cool and allow it to come back to around 65-70ºf. You can let it sit at room temperature overnight or stick it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spreadable and opaque. 


peanut butter s'mores pop tarts

Omg I love a s’more occasion because it means it’s warm enough to sit outside but not so warm that you’d overheat near a bonfire. It’s a similar pleasure to having the temperature of your house on the colder side just so you can wear your coziest sweatshirts. 

I made these s’mores pop tarts last month for Eggboy’s cousin Sarah’s bridal shower. She’s getting married at a ranch in the Tetons next week and I cannot wait!!! We are staying one night in Jackson Hole, which will be my first time to Wyoming, and then driving to the ranch to hike and celebrate. Where do I need to eat brunch in Jackson Hole???

There are some very specific things I need to talk to you about with these pop tarts. I’m going to do this in list form:

  1. The magic is in the crust! It is a pie crust dressed up as a graham cracker and the measurements below are such that the crust remains thick. It’s true that I have a complicated relationship with pie crust and that I am so not opposed to using store bought pie dough in situations where the fillings carry the dish, however, 1) this crust is truly magical and nutty and oomphed up with cinnamon and nutmeg, and 2) the fillings require no preparation so the crust is the only place where you need to exert energy. It’s so good! 
  2. An unfortunate thing about marshmallows is that they really can be too sweet. It’s one reason why Lily doesn’t like them. But between the crust, which is not very sweet, and the unsweetened peanut butter, there is a really nice balance that happens in this tart that I think Lily and others alike would approve of. Where these tarts leave off in sweetness, they pick up in nuttiness from the peanut butter. Obviously almond butter or another nut butter or tahini would also be great here.
  3. Real marshmallows alone do not werk! They are firmed up with gelatin, which melts down to complete liquid in the oven and has a very, very high chance of oozing out. However, if they do stay put in the tart then when they cool back down to room temp, they leave you with some of that signature s’mores chewiness. Marshmallow fluff, on the other hand, does the opposite of all of that. It is thickened with egg whites and therefore gets firm in the heat of the oven so there’s little risk of that oozing out but then when it cools you don’t have the chewy marshmallow texture. My solution is to use both. Fluff to lock in the marshmallows, marshmallows to provide chewiness, and both to provide flavor. You can make both from scratch if you’re truly feeling extra (this fluff rules), or you can make neither from scratch. Just do whatever option will leave you with enough energy to make the pie crust because that really is the most important part of this picture.
  4. To me, Hershey’s bars are a very important part of a s’more. The waxy texture and milk chocolate flavor are what I latch onto when I dream of a s’more and that’s just how I am. You might have a need for a fancy chocolate and that’s fine, you do you. I’ve opted to use a straight up piece of the chocolate bar here rather than using a chocolate spread because I like how it firms back up when the tarts cool. (I also like my chocolate croissants this way, with a full on hard chocolate bar in the middle. It’s texturally more exciting to me than a soft spread. It makes me want to eat a chocolate bar sandwich. We’re getting off topic.)

Make these!!! 


Peanut Butter S’mores Pop Tarts

Makes 10

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 c (195g) all-purpose flour
1 c (130g) whole wheat flour
1/4 c (50g) sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A few passes of nutmeg
18 tb (253g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 c ice cold water


Filling and assembly

About 1/4 c (65g) unsweetened peanut butter (I like Smucker’s All-Natural)
2 hershey’s milk chocolate bars
About 3/4 c (60g) marshmallow fluff
30 mini marshmallows
1 egg, beaten 


Glaze

1 c (120g) powdered sugar
1/4 c (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tb whole milk
A pinch of kosher salt

Sprinkles

Clues


In a food processor, pulse to combine the flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized (a few larger bits are ok). Drizzle in the water and continue to pulse until the dough starts to come together. It may still look crumbly but it’s ready when it sticks together if you squeeze a handful of it together. Turn it out onto a clean surface and use your hands to smush it all together into a ball. Divide it in half and pat out into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a day or two. 

Preheat the oven to 425ºf. Line two pans with parchment and set aside. 

On a lightly floured surface, working with one dough disc at a time and dusting with additional flour as needed to prevent it from sticking, roll it out until it’s just under 1/4” thick (3/16” is ideal but I don’t mean to freak you out with such an odd measurement). Cut out 10 3” squares, re-rolling scraps, and arrange them on the baking sheets at least 1” apart. Top each with a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter, 2 chocolate rectangles, about a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff, and 3 mini marshmallows. I recommend adding the marshmallow fluff by piping it out of a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off. It makes this process cleaner and allows you to make a little border that will hold in your mini marshmallows. (See the gif above as a reference.) And you can eyeball the tablespoon measurement, it doesn’t need to be exact. 

Roll out the remaining dough disc along with any scraps from the first disc and cut out 3 1/2” squares, re-rolling scraps as needed. Brush the edges of the bottom squares with a thin layer of egg wash and top with a larger square. Pinch the edges to seal well and crimp with a fork to ensure that they’re sealed. Trim the edges if desired so that they line up cleanly. Poke a few holes in the top with a fork and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 16 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. 

Top the tarts with glaze and sprinkles and enjoy! These will keep for a couple of days at room temperature.
 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brettshirt from of a kindsprinkles from supernatural!

#girlmeetsfarm peanut butter cup cake

My show is premiering on Food Network on Sunday and even just typing out those words makes me wanna vom and cry. But like in a good way!!! It’s really weird how there is no word to describe equal parts nervous and excited, or is there? Maybe it’s just this string of emoji 🤗🙈 over and over and over 🤗🙈🤗🙈🤗🙈. 

I wonder what Sunday will be like. I’ll be in Amsterdam, celebrating Rob’s bachelor party with a bunch of dudes. We’ll probably ride bikes and then eat fries and drink beer and I’ll probably have nervous tummy until the evening time when it’s 11 am eastern, and then I’ll probably do a shot. Is that the move? I won’t be able to actually watch Girl Meets Farm so I feel like the second best option would be to do a shot with my bridesmen, Rob and Brian.

At any rate, I made a cake to celebrate the premiere and it’s in my deep freeze right now waiting to be thawed for episode four, the first episode I’ll actually get to watch from home. It is a peanut butter cup cake! It’s very similar to the crazy moist party trick peanut butter cake from Molly on the Range and it’s covered in sweet milk chocolate frosting, cookie dirt, and marzipan vegetables. When articles came out recently defending milk chocolate I rejoiced because milk chocolate tastes good and has nothing to prove. The frosting requires melting chocolate, which, in the past has been one step more than I’ve been willing to take on the journey to frosting (I’ve historically stuck to dumping cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar to avoid dirtying up a chocolate melting pot), but adding melted chocolate makes the frosting like a luxurious rich chocolatey mousse. The cake itself is wildly easy to make and only requires two bowls and a whisk, making up for all of the work I’m making you do for the frosting.

Also (!) my friends made viewing party snacks for the premiere!!!! They are the sweetest most supportive fronds a girl could ever ask for and I’d give anything to have them with me in Amsterdam for my celebratory shot. I am so touched that they spent the time to make these delicious treats and can’t wait until the next time we can hang out irl and eat these and take mirror selfies all together.

Stephanie made a donut version of the grapefruit olive oil loaf cake from Short Stack Yogurt, which I will definitely be making soon. That loaf cake took me about a thousand test runs to master and it was worth it. A donut version is next level!

Lily made a surprise thing that I don’t yet know about but there’s tahini in it! She also interviewed me in the most Matt-Damon-Poop-Centric interview I’ve ever participated in. 

Alana made a stinkin beautiful plate of all of my favorite foods. Give me that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for the rest of my life and I will be happy.

And Michelle made tahini magic shell!!!!!!!! On a hangover!!!!! 


Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Makes one 4-layer 6” cake

Ingredients

Cake

2 c (400g) sugar
2 c (260g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 c (240g) buttermilk
1/2 c (100g) flavorless oil
3/4 c (178g) water
1 c (270g) creamy unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter

Frosting

6 oz (170g) milk chocolate, chopped or milk chocolate chips
1 c (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c (360g) powdered sugar
A good pinch of kosher salt
2 tb heavy cream

Assembly

Crushed chocolate cookies, optional
Marzipan kneaded with food coloring, optional
 

Clues


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease four 6” round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. If you don’t have four pans you can bake this in batches. You can also make two 8” layers.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, water, and peanut butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

Cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove to the rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave, heating for 30 seconds at a time and stirring between each increment until it is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly until it is no longer hot to the touch. Meanwhile, combine the butter, powdered sugar, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until smooth and combined. With the mixer running, gradually drizzle in the melted chocolate. Lastly, mix in the heavy cream and continue to mix, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until smooth.

To assemble, stack up the layers with a layer of frosting in between each and then frost all over. Decorate with crushed chocolate cookies and marzipan molded into your shapes of choice. Enjoy!
 


-yeh!

Photos by Chantell and Brett! Top from Of A Kind

P.S. I hope you guys like the facelift on this site! If you haven’t already, scroll over the logo at the top to see some sprinkles :) Also, the logo is now my handwriting and not a free font! This design was created by Hello Cereal!! 

P.P.S. For those who were wondering how to watch GMF without cable, you will be able to watch online at watch.foodnetwork.com or on the Food Network app on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung, Android TV, and mobile devices. You just need to log in with a provider (or your mom's provider like I do for HBO).

tahini milkshakes

We have a dog chicken. You know, like a dog cat, a cat that behaves like a dog, but a chicken. It started last month when we noticed that one of our chickens was looking blue and had a little blood on her head from getting her feathers picked out by the other chickens, it was so sad! We separated her so she could heal in peace, and gave her special treatment, like extra cucumbers and apples. Eventually we let her roam around the yard, freely outside of the run, and she became so personable! Not like the other chickens who run away if you try to come near them. This chicken comes up to you when you’re in the yard and lets you pet her. Occasionally she visits Eggboy in the workshop. On Mother’s Day when we presented Eggmom with her gift (a wagon to hook on to her lawn mower), Eggboy had all of us stand in one part of the yard to watch the big reveal, and as all of the Eggs and I assembled in a little group as the audience, Chicken also gathered with us and stood attentively waiting for the show. It was the best. She’s the best. I love her. I know you’re not supposed to pick favorite chicken children, but she’s my fave. 

Anyway, over the weekend we had a scare. We heard a flopping noise, ran outside, and couldn’t find her anywhere. All we could see was white feathers scattered about in two different parts of the yard, and we searched everywhere but couldn’t find her. It was the worst. A fox, a hawk, or a coyote had come to eat her, we figured :( But then!! Two very sad long hours later, she reappeared!!!!! A little shaken but still her happy self. She must have been hiding from whatever monster tried to get her. We sliced up celebratory cucumber, danced around, and then put her to bed and then went inside and ate celebratory Chana Masala and watched celebratory Breaking Bad.

This morning as I left for the gym, I saw her keeping Eggboy company while he weedwacked and it made me so happy. I am a little bummed that we’re going to have to move her back into the coop with the other chickens soon but at least she’s safe.

This is a pic of her I took when I was using up the rest of my shots on my Paris cameras:

So that’s what’s happening around the farm.

In tahini news, it occurred to me last month that it has been over a year since I had the earth shatteringly amazing tahini shake at Goldie, in Philadelphia. I decided that it was time to start making my own. But did you know that if you do a Google for tahini shake recipe, the internet automatically assumes that you also want dates?? And, worst case scenario, bananas????? Like I realize that tahini is classified as a health food in some brains and fits snuggly in with this practice of sweetening shakes with dates and creamifying them with bananas, but I just really wanted… sugar. And no date flavor. And real ice cream. Bananas can gtfo forever and ever. ❌🚫🙅🏻‍♀️

I wanted an old school milkshake, like the chocolate peanut butter ones we got at Steak 'n Shake in high school to have with their crispy shoestring fries, only instead of peanut butter I wanted tahini.  And I wanted a smaller milkshake too because one problem I have with the world of milkshakes is that they are always too darn big. They tempt me into bellyache sugar crash territory and these days I just never order them because of this and resort to stealing sips of my dad’s or Eggboy’s during our annual In-N-Out trips. If there was a universally understood kiddie cone equivalent option, or like a shot of milkshake option, that would be ideal. That’s what my future imaginary restaurant will have, shots of milkshakes. And then the cute as a button juice glasses in these pics will be the jumbo size.

My last opinion about milkshakes is that I appreciate when they have something in them to chew on, like cookies or a whole piece of chocolate cake, a la Portillo’s or the Oreo Dairy Queen Blizzard. So I’ve thrown in handfuls of crushed chocolate cookies here. They get so good and soft as they soak up the shake. The rest of the shake is as perfect as you’d imagine: nutty and extra creamy, thanks to the tahini, and perfect with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. A pinch of cinnamon enhances the tahini flavor, and an optional drizzle of chocolate syrup will do no harm. And rainbow sprinkles, doyyy.

Tahini Milkshakes

Makes 6-8 mini shakes or 4 medium (pictured)

ingredients

2 c (400g) vanilla ice cream

3/4 c (180g) whole milk

1/2 c (100g) tahini

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of cinnamon

a drizzle of chocolate syrup, optional

a handful of crushed chocolate cookies (homemade or store-bought), optional but highly recommended

fresh whipped cream

rainbow sprinkles

clues

In a blender, combine the ice cream, milk, tahini, vanilla, and cinnamon, and blend to combine. Pour into glasses and top with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and crushed cookies (if using), whipped cream, and sprinkles and enjoy.


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett! dress from gap!