Gingerbread Cupcakes

When it comes to Christmas baking, it doesn’t get more festive than gingerbread! I wanted to try out gingerbread cupcakes this year, and was so pleased with how they turned out! I decorated mine with big piped swirls so I doubled the original buttercream recipe, as I always like to make sure I have plenty! The recipe was fairly unusual, I hadn’t made anything with treacle before, or dissolving the baking soda, but they turned out beautifully, and are such soft, springy and delicious cupcakes!

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MAKES 12 CUPCAKES
YOU WILL NEED…

75g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
125ml black treacle
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
175g all-purpose flour, or plain flour
1tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/4tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground allspice
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
1/4tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
125ml cup hot milk
For the Buttercream:
240g butter, softened
400g icing sugar, sifted
2tsp vanilla extract
4tbsp milk
First, preheat the oven to 175˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4 and pop some cupcake cases in a cupcake tin.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the treacle and the egg and egg yolk.
 Then, in a separate large bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
Carefully heat up the milk but be careful not to boil it, and then dissolve in the baking soda.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture.
Spoon the batter evenly into the cases.
 Bake for 20 mins or until slightly springy to the touch.
Allow to cool for a few mins in the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream:
Cream the butter in a large bowl until smooth, gradually adding the icing sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the milk and cream until combined.
Spoon the buttercream into a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. I piped mine from the outside in, finishing in a point to create a swirl. I then topped the cupcakes with mini gingerbread sprinkles!

Apple Crumble Cupcakes

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YOU WILL NEED…

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 Eggs
230g Plain Flour
155g Sugar
125g Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
2 tsps Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
Apples

Crumble Ingredients:
75g Golden Caster Sugar
100g Salted Chilled Butter
140g Self-Raising Flour
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:
1tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Vanilla Extract
110g Soft Brown Sugar
250g Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
400g Icing Sugar
2 tspb Whole Milk
Preheat the oven to 170oC.

For the cupcakes:

Start by making the apple mixture. Peel, core and then chop the apples into little squares.

Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them and simmer for 5-7 minutes until soft, and then leave until cool.

Cream together butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, then vanilla extract until combined.

Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and gently mix until combined.

Carefully fold in the apple mix.

Spoon the mixture into a lined cupcake tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Next make the crumble topping!

In a large bowl, rub together the butter, flour, cinnamon and vanilla until nice and crumbly, and then stir in the sugar.

Spread the crumble mix onto a lined baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes until just golden.

For the icing:

Beat together the butter and brown sugar with the cinnamon and vanilla extract, for 5-7 minutes until fully combined and light and fluffy.

Add the icing sugar a little bit at a time and continue to beat on a low speed.

Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until the icing is light and creamy but stiff enough to hold it’s shape.

Building the cupcakes:

Once the cupcakes and crumble are fully cooled, spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

Spread a small amount of icing on the top of each cupcake, and add the crumble mixture.

Using the piping bag, pipe a small swirl of icing onto the top of the crumble on each cupcake. Top with a small sprinkle of crumble, and enjoy!

Healthy Habits: The Busy Girl’s Guide to Weeknight Meals

The Busy Girl's Guide to Weeknight Meals

If your schedule is as jam-packed as all of ours are, you know how hard it can be to keep all parts of your life feeling balanced. Doing well at work, having a thriving social life, getting enough sleep, and staying healthy—it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day! But instead of giving up any of the things we love (like cooking), we’re big fans of finding little life hacks that give us more time or simplify our schedules. The other day we got to talking about how stressful it can be to think up healthy homemade meals and go to the grocery store after a long day of work each week. Which then lead us to discuss our love for our favorite meal delivery service, Blue Apron.

Blue Apron is revolutionizing our weeknight meals
Blue Apron delivers the freshest ingredients

Each week we get a box of refrigerated, fresh ingredients and recipe cards that map out how to make a gourmet meal for two or four people in about 40 minutes. Blue Apron takes the guesswork out of wandering down the aisle while grocery shopping, but it also helps us to steer clear of getting lazy and ordering takeout each night (which can pay a toll on our wallets and waistlines). Plus, the two portion meals are perfect for a date night at home!

Why our LaurenConrad.com editors love Blue Apron
Our secret to making delicious weeknight meals

Our most recent box came with the most delicious recipes including Seared Chicken with Sautéed Purple Potatoes and Apples, Grains-of-Paradise Encrusted Steak, and Crispy Cod & Yuzu-Shoyu Soba Noodles. So, we got together to document our cooking process to share the details with you today…

The best , Grains-of-Paradise Encrusted Steak recipe

All the ingredients come perfectly portioned and packaged in our Blue Apron box, and the recipe cards give step-by-step instructions that are super simple. Plus every recipe is between 500-800 calories and is fun to cook. Let’s just say it beats throwing a bag of popcorn in the microwave…

The busy girl's guide to weeknight dinners
Weeknight meals made easy thanks to Blue Apron
Fresh ingredients delivered right to your door thanks to Blue Apron
Even our LaurenConrad.com pups love Blue Apron

The best part about making Blue Apron recipes each week is that we can get together and discuss which one was our favorite. This week, the Crispy Cod and Noodles came in first, but the other two were close runners-up.

Blue Apron is perfect for beginner cooks or busy girls who just want to have their dinner ingredients delivered to their doorstep.

Blue Apron is perfect for beginner cooks or busy girls who just want to have their dinner ingredients delivered to their doorstep
Our secret to healthy weeknight meals {busy girls we're talking to you!}

What recipes are you excited to cook at home this spring?

XO Elizabeth

Holiday Special: Thanksgiving Oaxacan Spiced Turkey, Mushroom Leek Stuffing and Brown Sugar Roasted Yams

When it comes to cooking a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner, a juicy turkey, savory stuffing and sweet potato casserole are classic staples that really capture those true flavors of the holiday. And, just like many of you, we have our go-to recipes for these dishes that we pull out of our recipe box each year. And while they are a guaranteed crowd pleaser, we do believe that sometimes it’s good to shake things up a bit. Old traditions are made better with new twists along the way… Don’t you agree? This brings us to today’s post, which involves adding a few new and interesting flavors into your traditional turkey, stuffing and yam dishes. With this idea in mind, we talked to our friends over at Urban Palate, who always whip up creative dishes that leave you wanting more. Their three recipes we’ll be sharing today are no exception.

Holiday Special: Thanksgiving Oaxacan Spiced Turkey, Mushroom Leek Stuffing and Brown Sugar Roasted Yams

Cooking a turkey is by far the most time-intensive and difficult feat of your Thanksgiving prep, but the aromas that will fill your home while this Oaxacan spiced turkey with cumin honey and tomatillo serrano gravy cooks makes it all worth it. Urban Palate’s savory mushroom leek stuffing is so flavorful, thanks to the touch of Gruyere cheese and fluffy ciabatta bread, that it just might become a staple on your menu for years to come. And, don’t even get us started with these brown sugar roasted garnet yams—the cotija cheese adds the perfect hint of Spanish flavors. Without further ado…

Oaxacan Spiced Turkey with Cumin Honey and Tomatillo Serrano Gravy

Oaxacan Spiced Turkey with Cumin Honey and Tomatillo Serrano Gravy


For the spice rub

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ground chili de arbol
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 white onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 orange quartered
  • cumin oregano honey
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

Instructions:

1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and turn off.

2. Heat oven to 500° and place rack in bottom third of oven. Season inside of turkey with salt. Rub turkey with chili rub and stuff with onions and oranges; transfer turkey breast side up to a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes; lower heat to 325° and cook for 30 minutes more.

3. Remove turkey from oven and, using kitchen towels to protect your hands, flip turkey breast side down. Roast, basting occasionally with cumin oregano honey, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh but not touching the bone registers 160°, about 3 hours total for a 12-lb. turkey.

4. Lower oven to 150°. Transfer turkey, breast side up, to a baking sheet; return to oven to keep warm. Remove turkey from oven 15 minutes before serving.

Oaxacan Spiced Turkey with Cumin Honey and Tomatillo Serrano Gravy


For the tomatillo serrano gravy
 

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ pound butter
  • 2 pounds tomatillos peeled and quartered
  • 2 serrano peppers seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart turkey stock
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice

Instructions:

1. Place a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat add oil and butter to pan. When butter is melted add tomatillos, onions, garlic and serrano peppers.

2. After 5 minutes, sprinkle flour over mixture and stir in. Reduce heat to low and cook another 5 minutes. Add 1 quart turkey stock Simmer for 5 more minutes. Add cilantro and lime.

3. Take off heat and add to a blender. Puree until smooth.

Ciabatta Mushroom Leek Stuffing with Gruyere

Ciabatta Mushroom Leek Stuffing with Gruyere


Ingredients:

  • 8 cups 1-inch bread cubes, Ciabatta
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups diced leeks (make sure to wash well)
  • 6 cups chopped mixed mushrooms (shitake, crimini, enoki, maitake)
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
Ciabatta Mushroom Leek Stuffing with Gruyere

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the leeks, mushrooms, parsley, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add wine.

3. Beat eggs and add the chicken stock and cream. Add to the bread cubes and sautéed vegetables. Then fold in Gruyere, reserving ½ cup for the top.

4. Pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm.

Brown Sugar Roasted Garnet Yams with Guajillo Chili Brown Butter and Cotija Cheese

Brown Sugar Roasted Garnet Yams with Guajillo Chili Brown Butter and Cotija Cheese


Ingredients:

  • 4 garnet yams, un-peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black peppers
  • 8 tablespoons of brown butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of guajillo powder
  • 1 cup cotija cheese
  • 1 lime zested and squeezed

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the yams out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, salt and pepper over the potatoes.

2. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.

3. Meanwhile, sauté brown butter, brown sugar and guajillo chili until incorporated (about 2 minutes). Take yams out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Toss with melted butter, sugar and guajillo mix. Top with cotija. Then put in baking dish and broil for 5 minutes.

4. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with lime zest and juice.

Holiday Special: Thanksgiving Oaxacan Spiced Turkey, Mushroom Leek Stuffing and Brown Sugar Roasted Yams

These look pretty delicious, don’t you think? A big thanks to our friends at Urban Palate for creating these recipes for us to share with all of you! We hope you like them.


Will you put a fun twist on your traditional Thanksgiving recipes this year?

XO Elizabeth

Good Eats: 3 Guilt-Free Recipes to Make with Your Spiralizer

Good Eats: 3 Guilt-Free Recipes to Make with Your Spiralizer

Making any kind of pasta you want with no heavy carbohydrates? It sounded right up my alley.  I went to my nearest kitchen supply store and bought myself a spiralizer. I was so excited to get home and use it—if any of you own a spiralizer, you know what I mean! It’s probably the most fun kitchen gadget I own. You simply put the veggie into the spiralizer, start turning, and it makes these gorgeous, curled veggie noodles. It’s like magic. Anyway, I’ve since been experimenting with some really delicious and healthy recipes to make with my spiralizer, and today I wanted to share them with you.

3 incredible recipes to make with your spiralizer!

The great thing about zoodles is that you can serve them cold in a salad or warm with a sauce, like spaghetti. Below are three delicious, guilt-free zoodle recipes you can make for your next lunch or dinner. Ready to spiralize?

Shrimp Scampi Basil Zoodles

Shrimp Scampi Basil Zoodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium zucchini, zoodled
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 jumbo shrimps, shelled and deveined
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • finely chopped basil, for garnish
  • pepper and salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Using a spiralizer (medium blade), spiralize the zucchini into thin, noodle-like strands.
  1. Place a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Let them cook for 1 minute while stirring.
  1. Add the shrimp to the pan to cook them, stirring as needed, until they are cooked throughout and pink on all sides (about 3 minutes). Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and then using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl, leaving any liquid in the pan.
  1. Add white wine, lemon juice and diced shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the zucchini noodles and cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, until zoodles have softened but are still crisp. Add the shrimp back into the pan and stir with the zoodles.
  1. Season with salt, pepper and basil and serve warm.

Spicy Tomato Rainbow Zoodles

Spicy Tomato Rainbow Zoodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ carrot, spiralized
  • ½ zucchini, zoodled
  • ½ cup Napa cabbage, shredded
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon pine nuts
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • arrabiata sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
You don't want to miss these easy and delicious spiralizer recipes!

Instructions:

  1. Using a spiralizer (medium blade), spiralize the ½ zucchini into thin, noodle-like strands. Then, do the same to the ½ carrot. Set aside.
  1. Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add a drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic, cherry tomatoes and napa cabbage. Let cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the zoodles.
  1. Place a separate small sauce pan on high heat and crack your egg to cook it sunny side up.
  1. Once your vegetables have softened, put the pan on low heat and toss in the pan with arrabiata sauce and pine nuts. Remove from heat and serve with the egg on top.

Avocado Edamame Sesame Zoodle Salad

Avocado Edamame Sesame Zoodle Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium zucchini, zoodled
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup edamame
  • ½ avocado, cubed
  • oriental salad dressing of your choice (I love Annie’s Organic Asian Sesame Dressing)
  • finely chopped basil, for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Use a spiralizer (medium blade) to spiralize the zucchini into thin, noodle-like strands. Place in a large salad bowl.
  1. Add the shelled edamame, cubed avocado, green onions and salad dressing to the bowl. Toss like a salad.
  1. Serve on a plate and sprinkle the finely chopped basil on top for flavor.
Zoodle recipes that you don't want to miss out on!

Each of these recipes makes enough for one serving, so you can double or triple the ingredients as needed for larger portions. And doesn’t that spiralizer look so fun to use? Trust me, you’ll get hooked.

Which of these spiralizer recipes will you try first?

XO Elizabeth

Edible Obsession: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

There’s nothing quite like the combination of sweet and spicy. One of my favorite drinks to sip on during the cooler months is Mexican hot chocolate. Unfortunately, since the weather doesn’t call for hot beverages quite yet, I wanted to think up a tasty alternative. I recently whipped up a batch of Mexican hot chocolate cookies that give the traditional drink a run for its money. If you enjoy a little bit of spice and a lot of melted chocolate, then these cookies are definitely for you.

Keep scrolling to see how you can recreate these spicy sweet cookies in the comfort of your own home…

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies Recipe

Mexican hot chocolate cookies that will give the drink a run for its money

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks (or substitute chocolate chips)
Mexican hot chocolate cookies - the ultimate combination of sweet and spicy!

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add sugar and canola oil and whisk until combined. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula just until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until distributed evenly. Tip: Do not over mix your cookie dough, or it will be rough! The dough should be looser than your average cookie dough.
  5. With a cookie scoop (preferably a 2 tbsp. size) scoop out cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 1.5″ apart from one another.
  6. Set in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies harden a little.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Push cookies down a little with the palm of your hand so that they are more flat than dome shaped.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes, until the edges are set and the center doesn’t look raw. Cookies will continue to bake once they are out of the oven. (I like my cookies extra fudgy, so bake more or less depending on your preference!). Enjoy!
Extra chocolatey Mexican hot chocolate cookies.

Will you be trying this yummy recipe?

My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

XO Elizabeth

Edible Obsession: My Fair Lady Flower Tea Cakes

Edible Obsession: My Fair Lady Flower Tea Cakes

Now, I know we all love Lizzie and Darcy (Pride & Prejudice, in case you missed that one), but honestly, my favorite prideful curmudgeon and the outspoken free spirit that changes him is Henry and Eliza, from My Fair Lady. Henry is an epic chauvinist. Think next level. I mean, he has an entire song titled, “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man.” And Eliza, well, is very rough around the edges (when I was little, I would fast forward the first half of the movie because her grating “Noooooo!” would get on my nine-year old nerves).

But that friction is key to the chemistry here. Every time Henry bemoans her lowly accent or congratulates himself on her hard earned progress, she comes back with a song about eventually murdering him, or just up and leaves him, without any explanation or drama. It takes the tenacity of a “heartless guttersnipe” to effect change in Henry.

I love this love story so much. There’s no big kiss, there are no sighs, no one is fleeing Nazis on a rotary plane in Morocco—but there’s a quiet love and a genuine friendship. To celebrate Eliza’s transformation from flower girl to young lady in My Fair Lady, I thought a floral tea party was the perfect party to throw. Strawberry nasturtium jellies, flower coated elderflower petit fours, and Earl Grey Lavender madeleines fill out this delicate array of sweets. Enjoy!

Edible Obsession: My Fair Lady Flower Tea Cakes

Strawberry Nasturtium Jellies

Strawberry Nasturtium Jellies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup nasturtium flowers (or fragrant rose petals)
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened smooth applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon powdered pectin
  • 4 to 5 drops red food coloring (optional)
Strawberry Nasturtium Jellies {yum!}

Instructions:

  1. Combine the strawberries, nasturtiums, and a tablespoon of sugar in a small pot over medium low heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  1. Cut a 16-inch-long piece of parchment paper and fold over the edges so that it measures 8 inches wide. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with the parchment, seam-side down (the 2 long ends will hang over the edges). Be sure to fit the parchment as smoothly as possible into the dish, snugly creasing it into the corners; set the pan aside.
  2. 
3. Place 1 cup of the sugar, the applesauce, juice, and pectin in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan, add 1 more cup of the sugar (set the remaining ½ cup aside), and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 220°F, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. 
Remove from heat and remove the thermometer. Stir in the zest and the food coloring, if using. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate until set, about 2 to 3 hours.
  4. 
To remove the pâte de fruit from the pan, sprinkle ¼ cup of the remaining sugar in a thin, even layer about the size of the baking pan on a cutting board. Invert the pan, and the pâte de fruit, onto the sugar and peel off and discard the parchment.
  5. 
Cut the pâte de fruit into 1-inch squares. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of sugar evenly over the top and toss the squares in the sugar to completely coat. Store in a covered container at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. (If the pâte de fruit absorbs the sugar coating, just toss the pieces with more sugar before serving.)

Petit Fours

Petit Fours

Ingredients:

For the Almond Pound Cake:

  • 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 
4 oz. (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons St. Germain liqueur
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package almond paste
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling

For the Rosewater Glaze
:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk, approximately
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater

For the St. Germain Frosting (makes about 2 1/4 cups of icing):

  • 8 oz. (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon St. Germain
Almost pound cake with rosewater glaze

Instructions:

For the Almond Pound Cake:

  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over two sides. Butter the other two sides.
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  1. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the ground almonds and St. Germain and stir to blend. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. On low speed, add the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool. Unmold onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
  1. On a work surface dusted with icing sugar, roll the almond paste into a square about 1-cm (1/2-inch) larger than the cake. With a brush, remove any excess sugar. Cover the top of the cooled cake with the almond paste.
  1. With a sharp knife, cut around the cake to even out the almond paste. Cut the cake into 16 squares. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet.

For the St. Grermaine Frosting:

  1. To make the frosting, whip the butter (this is easiest done with an electric mixer) on medium high speed. Turn the speed to low and the confectioner’s sugar, about a ½ cup at a time (if you add too much too fast you’ll have a cloud of powdered sugar around your head – not good).
  1. Add until all of the sugar if mixed in, then add the vanilla, milk, and elderflower liqueur. Add more confectioner’s sugar or milk if you need it to be thicker or thinner, respectively.
Petit fours with St. Grermaine frosting

For the Rosewater Glaze:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Add water, if needed. The mixture should be runny, but thick enough to leave an opaque layer on the cake. Correct the color by adding food coloring, as needed.
  2. With your fingers, hold a cake on its top and bottom sides. With a spoon, drizzle the glaze on the sides of each cake to coat. Place the cakes on the rack and cover the top of the cakes with glaze. Place a few crystallized lilac flowers or dried sprigs of lavender on the petit fours. Let stand for about 30 minutes.

Lavender Earl Grey Madeleines

Lavender Earl Grey Madeleines

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients: 

For the Madeleines:

  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus a tablespoon) unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon culinary lavender, lightly ground (I did this in a mortat and pestle)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting trays
  • 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder

For the Earl Grey Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons early grey tea
  • ½ cup milk

Instructions:

For the Madeleines:

  1. Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whip the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla for 5 minutes until pale and thickened.
  1. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour as you sprinkle it over the batter. Drizzle the browned butter into the batter, a little at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
  1. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  1. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  1. Plop enough batter in the center of each mold that you think will fill it by 3/4′s (it’s about a tablespoon and a half on my trays). Do not spread it.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until the cakes just feel set—press the cakes lightly with your finger and if they bounce back they’re done; if they stay indented, give them another minute in the oven.

Lavender Earl Grey Madeleines {pretty & delicious}

For the Earl Gray Glaze:

  1. While the cakes are baking, heat up the milk to a simmer and add the earl grey tea. Let it steep for about 10 minutes, and strain. Make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of the earl grey milk, a drop of purple food coloring and water until smooth.
  1. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with your finger. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up. Tip: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered and eaten as soon as possible after they’re baked!
Lavender Earl Grey Madeleines {good enough to share}

I hope you all enjoy recreating these tea cakes as much as I enjoyed dreaming them up. My cat Moji sure wanted to try some…

What classic film would you like to see me make a recipe for next?