Sorghum Corn Muffins
I woke up yesterday with a strong craving for corn muffins and looked for an easy recipe that could be made with the ingredients already in my pantry. The honeys I had on hand (e.g., Tasmanian leatherwood honey) were a little too fancy to spare 75 grams of for a batch of muffins, but I did have a jar of sorghum molasses on hand from the last time I bought a Kentucky country ham.
Buckwheat Butter Cookies and Barbados Biscuits
I baked a pair of recipes from Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook for the USDS holiday party. This year’s desserts were supplied by attendees in the form of a cookie war, and I wanted to make sure there was at least two gluten-free entries. I made a double batch of buckwheat butter cookies (a slice-and-bake shortbread with chopped nuts and candied citrus peel) and a single batch of barbados biscuits (fudgy almond macarons with a pecan topping) because the former used one egg yolk in each batch and the latter used two egg whites.
Smoked Salmon Rillettes
I made this recipe as an hors d’œuvres dish for Thanksgiving when hosting my fish-loving family this year. The dish is only slightly altered from David Lebovitz’s original to use more lemon juice, scallions instead of chives, and kippered (or hot-smoked) salmon instead of fresh. These changes lead to more aggressive lemon, onion, and smoke notes in the final dish, and using kippered salmon (which can be kept in the fridge for days and then flaked directly into the rillettes) helped with Thanksgiving-day logistics, as I did not need to take over a burner to prepare any fresh salmon.
Honey Wheat English Muffins
English muffins aren’t something you normally make at home, and after running through Stella Park’s recipe on Serious Eats, I can understand the hesitation. Store-bought muffins are always fine but hardly seem worth planning the day ahead, which this recipe requires. While these muffins are cooked in the same manner as pancakes, they are naturally rather than chemically leavened and thus need to be left to rise overnight. The cripsy, butter-fried results have a rich and yeasty aroma reminiscent of a fresh baguette, but making them definitely tested my patience.
Few things evoke holiday nostalgia as strongly as the scent of fresh gingerbread baking in the oven. I’m not the biggest fan of soft gingerbread, but Swedish pepparkakor (“pepper cookies”) are thin, crispy, and fill your kitchen with the same warm spice aroma. This recipe uses no ginger but gets the same flavor profile from cardamom, a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the ginger family. I picked up this recipe at a holiday baking class at Culinaria, a small cooking school in Vienna, VA.