Jam In The Middle


Whenever I make jam, I have to make something like this.


3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1/2 cup crush almonds
1/2 cup raspberry jam


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar until just combined. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. On low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Pour on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll in crushed nuts.  Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown.

I worked with this recipe.


Saturday Morning Pumpkin Bread


You can make this in one bowl and just sprinkle on the topping.  I’m thinking you serve it with cream cheese.


1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
½ cup melted butter
⅓ cup milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9″x5″ loaf pan.

Whisk together sugars, flour, spices, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Add the wet ingredients. Whisk, starting with the wet ingredients and working your way to the outside of the bowl, mixing until batter is smooth but not over-mixed.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnuts. Bake for 55-65 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cool on a rack until ready to serve.

I worked with this recipe.

Fig and Peach Shortbread Tart

This recipe was conceived in the early morning hours, as most of my experiments do.



1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour

1 cup Fig Jam
1 peach sliced thinly
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

For Crust: cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla. Add flour one cup at a time and fully incorporate. Press into tart pan, add pie weights to stop crust from rising and bake for 20 minutes until set and slightly browned.

For Filling:  Remove pie from oven and spread jam. Turn oven up to 375 degrees. Cover top with sliced almonds and arrange peaches.  Sprinkle peaches with sugar.  Bake for about 20 minutes more until jam is bubbly and crust is browned.

Let cool before serving.

Almond Buttermilk Muffins with a Cherry on Top


A co-worker owns a sprouted almond company, Crack-Nuts, and he was kind enough to bring me a few flavors to try. I used the Maple Cinnamon kind in these muffins.


2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 cherries, pitted
1/4 cup crushed almonds


Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed (the batter will not be smooth). 

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins half way and then sprinkle a little bit of crushed almonds.  Cover with the rest of the batter and then add the pitted cherry on top. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 18 minutes.

Peach and Hazelnut Cake with Olive Oil Ice Cream

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Flourless cake that is perfect with some olive oil ice cream and a cup of tea.

175 g blanched hazelnuts
125 ml olive oil, plus more for greasing
2 peaches cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons honey
1 lemon (zest of all and juice of 1/2)
130 g corn meal
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
200g sugar


Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. Put nuts on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. Lightly grease the base and sides of a 23 cm springform pan with a little olive oil and line with parchment paper.

Arrange the peach wedges on the base of the pan.  Stir together the honey and lemon juice and pour over the peaches.  Set aside.

Once the hazelnuts are cool, pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Put in a large bowl and mix in the corn meal, baking powder, lemon zest and a good pinch of salt.

In another large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar with electric beaters until light and fluffy.  Very slowly trickle in the oil beating as you go until fully incorporated.  Fold in nut mixture and then scoop over peaches and bake for 1 hour until it comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin.

Olive Oil Ice Cream

Sweet and Savory like all the best desserts.


550 ml whole milk
170 ml heavy cream
130 g sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp flay sea salt plus extra when serving
60 ml extra virgin olive oil


Heat the milk, cream and sugar in a small heavy pan, stirring over a low heat until about to start simmering.  Beat in the egg yolks in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon.  Pour in the hot milk mixture and stir immediately to combine.

Give the pan a quick rinse and return the mixture to the pan.  Cook over a low heat, stirring continuously for about 4-5 minutes until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Don’t let it boil or the eggs will scramble.  Remove from heat and pass through strainer. Stir in the salt, cover and leave to cool.  Chill for at least three hours before putting in ice cream machine.  After about 30 minutes in the machine, drizzle in the olive oil.

I got these recipe from Waitrose.com


Raisin Scones

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Pretty sure I subconsciously bake some scones since my English friends arrive today.


500 grams of self-rising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
50 grams sugar
4 oz cold butter
300 ml of buttermilk
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 beaten egg + a little water for wash


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place flour, sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl and mix to combine by hand.  Crumble in the butter until you have a slight even crumb (it is fine if they are not the same size.  Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk.  Move the bowl in a circle with one hand and toss the flour mixture over the milk again and again.  Add the raisins and gently mix in. The key is to gently handle the mixture and not to compress it too much.

Once the flour and milk have blended, pour out mixture onto a lightly flour counter. Push together ingredients and form a circle of the dough. Press down gently to until you have desired thickness, about 1″ high.  Use a biscuit cutter dipped in flour (each time) to cut out each scone.  Place on cookie sheet and  brush gently with egg wash.

Cook for approximately 15 minutes until golden on top. Let cool on a clean dry tea towel on a wire rack.

Lemon Girl Crush 2.0 feat. Nigella Lawson

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It has been too long since I’ve made this Nigella Lawson treat.  I don’t mess with her recipes.


  • 1 ¾ sticks soft  unsalted butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • ¾ cup fine  polenta (or cornmeal)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of  2 lemons (save juice for syrup)


  • juice of  2 lemons
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Line the base of a 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.
  4. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.
  5. Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  6. It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.
  7. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in a smallish saucepan.
  8. Once the confectioners’ sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done.
  9. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester, pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

Million Dollar Pound Cake

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I’m terrible of with getting fillings to rest in the middle of the cake, but I’m okay with that.  This recipe makes two loaves. One to keep and one to give away.


1 pound butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup strawberry jam

2-4 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar


Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat butter until creamy and the color turns a much lighter yellow. Usually takes about 5-8 minutes. Add sugar 1 cup at a time until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and almond extracts.

Add flour alternately with milk beginning and ending with flour. Stir gently but batter should be smooth. Pour half the batter between the two loaf pans and bang down on counter to level batter.  Use a 1/2 cup of jam in each pan down he middle of the batter and leaving a border of batter. Cover equally with the rest of the batter and smooth top.

Bake for an hour and 45 minutes. Let cool and glaze (or don’t glaze) by whisking powdered sugar and milk to desired consistency.

I worked with this recipe.

Chocolate & Strawberry Thumbprints

There is a lot going on here.


1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 strawberry jam
1 cup chocolate
Sliced almonds for garnish


Cream butter and sugar. Add extract. Gradually blend in flour.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll into one-inch balls and place one inch apart on un-greased cookie sheets. Use the end of a wooden spoon and make an indentation and fill with jam.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Cool completely.

Temper chocolate. Cover jam with dollop of melted chocolate. Garnish with almonds and let set.


Because nothing beats a classic.


2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 stick or 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 400°.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. At this point, I chilled the dough for at least an hour before scooping it.

Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes.

Thanks Smitten Kitchen.