chocolate sheet cake with pistachio butter frosting

Sugar beet harvest is well underway!!!! It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year. It’s by far the busiest and the sleepiest, but also the most exciting. Eggboy has a weird, vaguely nocturnal sleep schedule which has me waking up way before him (this has been a little nerve wracking since he’s the only one who knows how to operate our very complicated coffee grinder) but it means that I can make a big breakfast when he wakes up in the afternoon. Tonight will be my first night home during harvest since I was away over the weekend and I intend to just binge Pretty Little Liars and restock the freezer with pita and soup for quick harvest break snackees. Good thing there are enough PLL seasons to take me through even the longest of harvests, which luckily this doesn’t seem like it’s going to be. Based on my extremely limited knowledge, I’m gonna bet you a dollar that this harvest will take shorter than last year’s verkakte muddy harvest but longer than the easy breezy beautiful year before that. Which affects you and me in the sense that it determines how many baked goodies I make for the crew. I filled our deep freeze with pumpkin bread, blueberry scones, and a sprinkle cake last week before I scampered off for a quick trip to Harbor Springs, Michigan, for a Molly on the Range event and then to Boston for the Forbes Under 30 summit. 

Wow, Harbor Springs is one of the prettiest cutest places in the world! I could eat it all up. Or at least see myself going back again and again to crash the book festival and look at the beautiful houses. I got to stay with Maureen, who wrote one of my favorite cookbooks, Rose Water and Orange Blossoms, and we made raw kibbeh!! It was a dream come true. I’ve been wanting to make raw kibbeh since reading about it in her book but was never confident enough in my butcher finding skills to get clean enough beef that could be eaten raw. So I waited until I got to Harbor Springs, and then we feasted on raw kibbeh, baked kibbeh, fattoush, hummus, knafeh, and this amazing sticky date cake with orange blossom caramel. I also got to hang with Nicole and a whole bunch of new sweet people. It was heaven! 

After Michigan I zipped on over to Boston for a quick day and a half at the Forbes Under 30 summit, surrounded by break fast at Mamaleh’s (with a truly inspirational kasha varnishkes), brunch time tahini buns, sofra with family, and then sofra again with friends, and some hardcore catching up with old college homies. I was in a cloud of congestion and snotty tissues (ew gross sorry forget I said that) but came home with a full heart and a full suitcase of saffron gummies, aleppo pepper, the la boîte halva mix, and Maureen’s nougatsA+ souvenirs

Ok one last thing before we get to cake: Molly on the Range turns one today!!!!!! I can hardly believe it! This last year has been a year filled to the brim with your sweet posts and messages about recipes you’ve made from MOTR and they make me the happiest bean in the world. I love seeing you guys celebrate birthdays and holidays with MOTR cakes and challah and schnitzel and I am so freaking happy that I've gotten to meet and hug so many of you at book events. I cannot thank you enough for how much joy your support of Molly on the Range has brought me over this past year. I am going to try and express all of my gratitude by making some of your favorite foods though!! Since so many of the recipes in MOTR were homemade versions of my childhood favorite foods (lunchables, pigs in blankets, you know…), I want you to hop over here and tell me some of your crazy childhood favorite foods and then I’m going to pick a few to recreate from scratch! If yours gets picked, you’ll get a special one of a kind edition of Molly on the Range :) Head to Instagram for more details.

Alright, cake time!!!! Because all of this harvesting and book birthdaying is calling for celebration. Eggboy put this cake out for all of our harvest helpers on the first day of harvest and from what I can tell, it got gobbled up immediately. It’s your basic super rich chocolate sheet cake covered in a buttercream that has my current obsession, pistachio butter, all up in it. It’s the same pistachio butter that was in these pudding pops but now that it’s getting a little colder I’m giving you a more weather appropriate use for it. Pistachio butter, the fanciest of the nut butters (?), is so great in this buttercream. Just think of how great peanut butter frosting is and then... make it pistachio. This frosting is rich, pistachio-y, a little lemony, and almondy. AKA basically perfect and greenish, the best color. Hooray!   


chocolate sheet cake with pistachio butter frosting

makes one 9" x 13" sheet cake

ingredients

for the cake:

1 3/4 c (350g) sugar

1 3/4 c (223g) all-purpose flour

1 c (85g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1 c (240g) buttermilk

1 tb vanilla extract

1/2 c (100g) flavorless oil

3/4 c (178g) boiling water

for the frosting:

1 c (128g) roasted pistachios (preferably unsalted)

1 c (225g) unsalted butter, softened

3 c (360g) powdered sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt (omit if pistachios are salted)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 tb heavy cream

clues

for the cake:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease and line the bottom of a 9" by 13" pan with parchment paper.

in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. whisk in the boiling water.

pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes. let cool in the pan.

for the frosting: 

first, make the pistachio butter. in a food processor, blend the pistachios, scraping the sides occasionally, until very creamy and spreadable, about 5-10 minutes.

with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and pistachio butter until creamy. add the powdered sugar and mix to combine and then mix in the salt, vanilla, almond extract, lemon zest, and then heavy cream. 

spread all over the cake, decorate as desired, and enjoy! 


-yeh!

everything bagel galettelettes with tomatoes and scallion cream cheese, and look, i updated my fashions!

happy back to school week everybody!! i realize that macaroni aren’t old enough for preschool yet and i’ve obvi been out of school for a while, so back to school doesn’t really affect my life too much these days (except that grocery shopping takes way longer now since the school supplies sections are a mega distraction from the vegetables) but this year i kinnnnd of feel like i can join in on part of the fun because my book tour starts this month!!! there will be new people to meet, presentations to give, probably some new buildings to get lost in while i search for the bathroom, and new pens in case someone asks me to sign their book. eeee! note to self: find a cute hello kitty pencil case. 

one fear i have about this whole tour thing (other than no one showing up and just generally letting my inner awkward turtles get the best of me) is looking like the slob that i am. it’s not very hard to look like a slob when all day long you play with cake batter and hang out with a cartoon horse. but just like the molly on the range cover, i want to dress in a way that’s approachable, not slobby, and that also gives a nod to my mighty midwest home and farm. 

so it was actually perfect timing when old navy asked me to define my state style for their super cool 50 styles 50 states project: coziness, layers, knitted sweaters. colors like olive, denim, mustard, and cookie. and movability! because you never know when you’re going to be climbing into a tractor. all of that good stuff, and none of that stuff that i wore in new york when opaque tights and dry-clean-only skirts filled my closet. 

i got to go back to school shopping and try on some of old navy’s new fall things, which i think will be just right for some of the more casual book recipe demo events, one of which i know will be on a farm! 

chantell came over and we took my new fashions for a test run. we fetched eggies, picked tomatoes and scallions from the garden, and then made galettelettes (mini galettes!) for eggboy and the other farmers who were around that day to help with wheat harvest. it was a great day! i even discovered that i like jeggings because, among other reasons, you can climb up a tractor in them. boom! 

these galettelettes are dead simple. they’re for when you’re feeling bagel-y and don’t have any bagels but do have tomatoes, scallions, and a big old batch of everything bagel topping. and if you want to simplify it even more, there is no shame in buying scallion cream cheese (or any savory flavor really). and i’ve used store bought pie dough here, but feel free to use homemade. these make a great brunch, snack, or picnic treat! 


everything bagel galettelettes with tomatoes, and scallion cream cheese

makes 8 mini galettes

ingredients

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes

14-15 oz pie dough (homemade or storebought)

1 beaten egg for egg wash

filling:

8 oz cream cheese, room temp

3 chopped scallions

1 egg yolk

1 tb flour

pepper

salt

everything bagel topping:

1/2 tsp dried minced garlic

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp dried minced onion

clues

preheat the oven to 400ºf.

slice the tomatoes. then lay them out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt so that some moisture drains out of them.

divide the pie dough into 8 balls. roll out each ball into a circle that's 6 or 7 inches in diameter. 

mix together cream cheese, scallions, egg yolk, flour, and pepper until smooth and well-combined.

mix together the everything bagel topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

brush the edge of the rolled-out dough with egg wash, spread with filling and top with tomatoes. fold over the edges and pleat. brush the outside edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with the everything bagel topping.

bake galettes for 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. enjoy!

 

 

-yeh!


pictured: jacket // jeggings // booties // flats // shirt // yellow sweater // grey sweater

thank you, old navy, for sponsoring this post! go check out the other 49 looks in their #50styles50states project and then post your own state-inspired look with the #50styles50states and #oldnavystyle hashtags! disclaimer: per my sponsor agreement, the product links in this post are affiliate links. 


all photos by chantell quernemoen!

macaroni's first egg!!!!!!

we hyperventilated for five minutes straight. and then omg-ed for five more. it was the greatest hanukkah present ever in all the land! one teeny tiny egg, too small for most of our egg cups and very lightly speckled. everything we've waited for since june (they grow up so fast!). we cuddled it and stared at it and finally decided that we should eat it ceremoniously, out of the egg cup we bought on our honeymoon.

we wanted a six-minute egg, but with such a dainty little specimen we reduced the time to five and it was perfect. firm whites, a yolk the thickness of honey. and its color! we kvelled so hard, we've never been prouder. is this what having an honor roll student is like? can i get a bumper sticker about all this? 

we spread our little egg onto buttered toast and sprinkled it with salt while the snow came down outside. it was tasty and bucolic af. now we're researching how to bronze the shell so we can keep it on our mantel forever and ever. 

we're so proud of you, macaroni!!

-yay!

meet our chickies!!!!!

ok, i get it. i get why all of you like posting pictures of your pets and offspring. i get it. you were right. it's all i want to do. 

because ohmygahhh i'm a chicken mama!!!!!!!!!!

these little ladies are the greatest. they were hatched just about a week ago and already they've grown so much! they're so fluffy and goofy. all day long they peck and waddle and scoop up water with their little beaks. and the poop! they poop so much.

at night they all pile on top of each other and sleep in a little mountain of chick, it is so cute i could cry. 

all of their names are macaroni for now. once we can tell all 15 of them apart, we'll give them grownup lady names, like curer bell and robert galbraith

hehe.

ok it's been a whole five minutes since i last checked on them, so i'm going to go do that.

bye!

-yeh!