pistachio and olive oil basbousa

We are down to the last week and a half of filming season 2 and I miss it already! I love this crew so much. Right now they’re in my kitchen filming a conga line gif of sprinkly rice krispies treats and it is the silliest. The past few days have been warm enough for us to sit outside and eat lunch together (with Sven and Ole, who also are going to miss the crew dearly when we wrap). And over the weekend we went out and ordered all of the pizza at the best dive bar in town, Judy’s, but because they only have one pizza oven it came coursed out like a fancy tasting menu, which was a great new way to eat pizza. While we ate we sat anxiously waiting for the lottery numbers to be announced because we all went in on tickets together… we didn’t win. Or maybe we did and I just can’t tell you because we all made a pact not to tell anyone if we won. (I guess you’ll know I won if I start using whole vanilla beans and manuka honey in everything.)


In Eggboy news, sugar beet harvest is chugging along! The weather is so conventionally beautiful that at this rate all of the beets will be out of the ground by the end of the week. Then we party!!! Then Eggboy catches up on sleep. Then it’s Thanksgiving, then it’s Chrismukkah, then it’s 2019. It’s all smooth sailing from here! 

So, like, let’s eat cake about it??

This is my new favorite cake, Basbousa! Basbousa is a Middle Eastern semolina cake that has a coarse texture, not unlike that of cornbread. When it comes out of the oven it gets covered in a sugary syrup, so even though it’s crumbly, it’s very moist. I first met basbousa at Zahav last year, when I tried their carrot hazelnut version. It was nutty and almost pudding-y, and I immediately fell in love with its ability to be rustic in texture and sharp angled all at the same time. Like a structured tweed blazer, for lack of a more relevant comparison. 

This version is based on Janna Gur’s recipe from Jewish Soul Food and combines roasted pistachios with coconut and olive oil for a toasty, tender, and comforting snack cake. Its flavor is so complex that “frosting” isn’t even in its vocabulary, and because of the syrup, it will stay fresh for a good few days. If it lasts that long. 


pistachio and olive oil babousa

makes one 8” square cake

ingredients

1/2 c (50g) shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut

1/2 c + 1 tb (80g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c + 2 tb (125g) semolina flour

1/4 c (28g) ground roasted unsalted pistachios, plus more for decorating

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp baking powder

6 tb (75g) olive oil

1/4 c (60ml) heavy cream

1/2 c (120ml) whole milk

3 large eggs

3/4 c (150g) sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract


Syrup

3/4 c (178ml) water

3/4 c (150g) sugar

1 tsp rosewater, optional

clues

Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line an 8x8” pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut, flour, semolina, pistachios, salt, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, cream, and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and almond extract on high for 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Fold the egg mixture into the semolina mixture and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes.

While the cake bakes, make the syrup: combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in rosewater, if using. 

When the cake comes out of the oven, pour the syrup all over it and let the cake cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with additional pistachios, cut into squares, and enjoy.


pistachio nutter butters + a giveaway!

Hello to my birthday month, the month where I get to chill a little more, eat a little more, and spend a little more, at least at Sephora, so I can get my free birthday lip gloss. Every day feels like pizza friday during birthday month! And this month I’m going to Stars on Ice so like, wow, if you thought I freaked out at the Olympics, just wait until Meryl and Charlie take the ice. I cannot wait.

Here are some photos from over the weekend when I met Nile’s Beethoven dog puppy, Frida, and then went to the Empire gala! We danced our butts off, wore big dresses, sang, it was the perfect eve to birthday month. 

Now I’m kicking off May with two recent objects of my obsession: pistachio nutter butters and jewelry that reminds me of rainbow sprinkles. Pistachio nutter butters felt like such an obvious thing to do, given my love of pistachio butter (see: pistachio buttercream and pistachio pudding pops). So I replaced the peanut butter in my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe for pistachio butter and they came out chewy and amazing. And then when sandwiched with creamy pistachio frosting, they just got better. They are thick nutty wonders of the cookie world. And, yes, they deserve to be rolled in sprinkles.

Speaking of sprinkles, I have the most fun giveaway happening over on Instagram for the colorful ring that I’m wearing in these photos! I have been a fan of Elisa Solomon’s jewelry for years, ever since finding her rings at Catbird. (I sometimes just go onto the Catbird site just to look at this ring). Her jewelry is right up my alley, it’s colorful and whimsical and dainty and every time I look at my ring I think of rainbow sprinkles!! So I could not be more excited to partner with her on this giveaway. To enter, head over to Instagram (but if you don’t have Instagram, you can leave a comment here)! And be sure to check out her other jewelry, like this Sven cat ring!!! 
 


Pistachio Nutter Butters

Makes 8 large cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

1 1/4 c (160g) raw pistachios
1 1/4 c (160g) raw almonds
1/4 tsp kosher salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 c (200g) sugar, plus a couple more tablespoons for rolling
1 large egg

Filling

6 tb (85g) unsalted butter, softened
1 c (120g) powdered sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
a pinch of lemon zest
Optional: splash of rosewater

Sprinkles
 

Clues

Preheat oven to 350ºf. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

To make the cookies, in a high powered food processor, blend the pistachios and almonds for 10-15 minutes until spreadable. Remove 1/4 c (or 64g) of the mixture and set aside for the filling. To the food processor, add the salt, lemon zest, almond extract, and sugar to the food processor and blend together. Add the egg and blend to combine. Scoop out 16 tablespoon sized balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheets 1 inch apart and flatten with two presses of a fork to get a crisscross pattern. Bake for 12 minutes (they’ll still be very soft but they’ll firm up as they cool). Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the butter and reserved pistachio butter. Add the powdered sugar and blend to combine. Add the salt, vanilla, almond, lemon zest, and rosewater, if using. 

Fill a piping bag with the filling and pipe in the centers of half of the cooled cookies, sandwich them with the other half of the cookies and then roll in sprinkles. Enjoy!


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen!

apron from enrich and endure, cookie plate from le creuset

french yogurt "malabi"

Happy Friday everyone!!!!! Are you on your way to recovering from post-Olympic blues? We put in a great effort this week by taking up a Westworld habit and partying for Purim! I thought we’d be partying just the two of us but then we last minute found out about a little Purim party with a rabbi from Fargo and it was so fun! I dressed up as a hot dog and brought a weenie whistle for my noisemaker but then I dropped it on the ground and didn’t want to get cooties so I chickened out. I was also just way too sheepish to take out a weenie whistle in front of people I’d never met before. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Next year, with a weenie whistle!

Now I’m making bagels and getting ready for Mackenzie’s baby shower, but they’re cooling now so I thought I would bop in and post another quick little yogurt recipe! 

This is another recipe that was cut from Short Stack Yogurt. It is *so* simple, (and follows a similar format as another recipe in the book, which is why I think we ultimately decided to cut it) but the flavors aren’t anything you’d find in a typical yogurt section. At least not in America. It’s a recipe inspired by Malabi, the Middle Eastern milk custard that is commonly topped with rose syrup, crushed pistachios or other nuts, and shredded coconut. (I’ve got a version in Molly on the Range!) It’s refreshing and fruity and floral and also so pretty!! Pistachio + rose is easily one of my favorite combos ever, for looks and taste.

With this version, I’ve put these same flavors onto my new obsession, French style yogurt. French style yogurt is that yogurt that comes in the cute glass or ceramic jars. It’s not that way just for show, it’s actually cultured within those individual jars, as opposed to other styles of yogurt which are cultured in big batches and then portioned out. French yogurt is so rich and custardy and not at all tangy, so if you’ve been avoiding Greek yogurt because you don’t like its sourness then this is 4 u. (Yoplait’s French yogurt, Oui, came out recently which meant that I could suddenly for the first time buy French yogurt in Grand Forks and my life has been better ever since. But St. Benoit is another brand that I’ve had in California that is really good, and I’m sure if you live in New York or another big city you can find some various brands pretty easily.)

This is a healthyish dessert but also a passable breakfast I think because not only do you get yogurty probiotics, but you can also assemble it in a rush because it takes all of six seconds. Just make your syrup on a day when you have a little time and then keep it in your fridge to use throughout the week. And it comes together directly in your yogurt jar! How easy is that. Fit for a morning when your dumb alarm clock didn’t go off.

French Yogurt "Malabi"

makes 1 serving; easily scaleable

ingredients

1 tb Pomegranate Rose Syrup (recipe follows)

1 jar (~5 oz) plain French yogurt*

2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tsp toasted pistachios, almonds, or another nut, coarsely chopped

2 tsp pomegranate seeds

A small pinch of cinnamon

A large pinch of lemon zest, optional but recommended

*I use plain yogurt here since the syrup is quite sweet, but vanilla or coconut flavored yogurt could certainly also work. 

clues

Spoon 1 tablespoon syrup over the yogurt and top with shredded coconut, crushed nuts, pomegranate seeds, a small pinch of cinnamon and a bit of lemon zest, if using, and serve. 


Pomegranate Rose Syrup

Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

1 c pomegranate juice 

¼ c (50g) sugar

1 tb fresh lemon juice

2 tsp rosewater

clues

In a small saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice and sugar to a simmer over medium high heat and cook until reduced by half and syrupy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and let cool (this can be made up to a couple of days in advance and kept in the fridge). 

 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett!


Short Stack Yogurt, available here

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!