Kate

Strawberry Shortcake

roasted strawberry shortcake with honey whipped cream recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. These are simple drop biscuit style shortcakes made with butter and cream. The strawberries are roasted and made into a delicious filling and topping. The whole thing can be topped with a honey whipped cream that is sweet and fluffy, the perfect accent to the shortcakes and berries. Find this simple summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

If I ended up on death row and tonight’s dinner was destined to be my last meal, I would you ask you for an over-sized portion of my mom’s baked spaghetti. It’s nothing fancy, really- diced onion, ground beef, and canned tomato sauce, baked together with cooked spaghetti noodles under a blanket of shredded mozzarella and parmesan- but to me, no baked spaghetti could ever taste as good to me as hers. Other contenders for my last meal just may include something similar to today’s recipe: strawberry shortcake .

roasted strawberries

One of the first foods I can remember learning to make is biscuits. Growing up, my Mimi would prepare her famous chicken and dumplings, and I would watch her cut the fat into the the flour, rolling out the dough and cutting each biscuit round out with the lip of a slender drinking glass. Mimi’s take on chicken and dumplings included baking the biscuits in the oven and smothering them with the chicken and thickened sauce. If we were lucky, she would prepare extra biscuits and these would become the foundation pieces for a dessert of strawberry shortcake. We would macerate berries in sugar and make a generous bowl of whipped cream to dollop over the sweet berries and warm biscuits. The words “strawberry shortcake” will always be synonymous with Mimi and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And isn’t that the one of the coolest things about food? Food can take you somewhere- to a place, to a time, to a feeling. Just the smell of certain foods make me feel like I’m a kid again, or on a first date, or fanning the kitchen after scorching something on the bottom of the oven. Foods jar memories, emotions, and a range of other things because those moments become apart of us. Baked spaghetti and strawberry shortcake, to me, is more than just a meal- it’s a memory of home.

I want to create moments like that with my kids. I want them to grow up and say their version of some food was better because it was apart of their memories… because eating that food was like sharing a meal with their mom again.

Okay, I swear I’m not crying over here. (Read: I am.) #pregnancyhormones

We should move on. Let’s get to the good stuff. The nitty gritty. Let’s talk strawberry shortcake.

roasted strawberry shortcake with honey whipped cream Starting with my Mimi’s biscuit recipe and modifying to make a sweeter, more scone-like shortcake, this strawberry shortcake recipe features  roasted strawberries and really, realllly good honey whipped cream. Roasting the strawberries intensifies their strawberry-ness and makes an otherwise ordinary dessert really something to talk about. And the honey whipped cream? Well, let’s just say I’m putting this bad boy on everything now.

roasted strawberry shortcake with honey whipped cream

If I were you, I’d double the batch of shortcakes and plan on eating those little nuggets for breakfast all week long. Monday could be butter and honey, Tuesday could be fresh preserves and left over honey whipped cream, Wednesday could be hazelnut spread and marshmallow fluff… the possibilities are endless. The bottom line is that with summer just around the corner and fresh berries on the verge of taking over your grocery store, you NEED a strawberry shortcake recipe that is for the books. Done and done.

Print

Strawberry Shortcake

Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. These are simple drop biscuit style shortcakes made with butter and cream. The strawberries are roasted and made into a delicious filling and topping. The whole thing can be topped with a honey whipped cream that is sweet and fluffy, the perfect accent to the shortcakes and berries. Find this simple summer recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

This strawberry shortcake recipe features roasted strawberries and really, realllly good honey whipped cream.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the shortcakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 11/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup whipping cream

For the roasted strawberries

  • 2 pounds of strawberries, stemmed, hulled- cut large berries in half and leave petite ones whole
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the honey whipped cream

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 11/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

To prepare the shortcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork, cut in the butter until well combined and with pea-sized clumps uniformly throughout.
  4. Add the cream, stirring until a soft, shaggy dough is formed.
  5. For rustic shortcakes, use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to portion out 1/4 cup mounds of dough and flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand. For more biscuit-like shortcakes, gently pat dough out on to lightly floured surface until 3/4″ thick. Using a 3″ biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Lightly brush the remaining cream over the mounts of dough. Sprinkle a little extra sugar on top, if desired.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until shortcakes are golden and cooked throughout. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

To prepare the strawberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss together the strawberries, sugar, and salt on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until juices are released and strawberries are fragrant. Add two tablespoons of water to the berries and juices and stir with a spatula. Allow to cool slightly.

For the honey whipped cream

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until most clumps are smoothed out, about one minute. Add the honey and sugar and beat to combine, about one minute.
  2. Add about 1/4 of the cream and beat just slightly until the cream cheese mixture is thinned out, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining cream and beat until cream is whipped to stiff peaks. Avoid over-beating.

To assemble the shortcakes

  1. Set aside about 1/2 of the strawberries, leaving the juices behind with the other half. Using a potato masher, mash the half of strawberries with the juices remaining until all large bits of strawberry is smooshed. Fold in the other half of intact strawberries.
  2. Slice each shortcake in half, removing the tops. Spoon a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of the bottom.
  3. Spoon a generous helping of strawberries over the cream, saving enough liquid and intact strawberries for the rest of the shortcakes.
  4. Replace the top of the shortcake and enjoy immediately!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Peach Semifreddo

Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Mint Compote by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a semifreddo which means semi frozen. It is like a layered ice cream cake dessert filled with a simple peach jam filling and sliced after freezing. A blackberry compote made with fresh basil tops this recipe. Learn about how to make this dessert in a loaf pan on the blog at thewoodandspoon.com

Before starting this blog, I promised my husband I wouldn’t air out his dirty laundry online. That was, of course, so long as he managed to put in in the hamper where it belonged. Jokes aside, both Brett and I have learned a lot through this blogging venture and he’s been really supportive by listening to ideas, stories, ingredient lists and technical woes. While I’m certainly able to go to him about the vast majority of my blog-related needs, the disparities between mine and Brett’s food preferences have become more and more apparent since the recipe testing began months ago. Exhibit A: Peach semifreddo with blackberry mint compote.

If you’re thinking to yourself right now, “what is semifreddo?”, then you and Brett are tracking on the same page. Upon first hearing of semifreddo and spotting it in the freezer, Brett made his patented stink face and asked me if I had any cookies instead. Truth be told, it’s not much to look at while it’s resting in the freezer, but sliced on a plate with a warm smattering of compote, this semifreddo has effortless good looks to boot.

Peach Semifreddo with Basil Blackberry Compote

Semifreddo means “semi-frozen” and is a fluffy, mousse-like dessert made up of whipped cream, eggs, and sugar. The air incorporated during the whipping process causes this little sweet treat to freeze up light and airy, similar to the consistency of frozen whipped topping, making it 100% mouth-meltable and refreshing.

I first tried semifreddo only recently at Bottega, one of my favorite restaurants in Birmingham, and proceeded to have dreams about roasted strawberries, toasted pistachios, and this newfound love of mine. Even more recently, I purchased the fruit-heavy cookbook by food blogger goddess Yossy Arefi called “Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season.” Her take on semifreddo includes roasted rhubarb and it is an absolutely stunning addition to the book. In a cookbook filled with numerous promising recipes, the rhubarb semifreddo called my name and I knew I had to give it a try.  

Peach Semifreddo

We’ve already established that ice cream has a major place in my heart (Exhibit B: confetti ice cream cake, mocha brownie fudge ice cream, and apple crisp ice cream ), but semifreddo is really quite different. I love this recipe because it feels like a more polished dessert option than ice cream and because both the peach semifreddo and the compote can be made up to a week in advance, it’s a terrific make-ahead option for a crowd. With sweltering summer months just around the corner, I’m happy to have this recipe in my arsenal as a potential late night treat for Brett and I to snack on. 

Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Compote

If you’re not a fan of peaches, feel free to roast up a different fruit like strawberries, plums, or raspberries and swirl that in instead. The blackberry compote is an entirely optional addition to this recipe, however, I certainly recommend it. The contrast of the tart berries against the sweet and creamy peach semifreddo is really delightful. I also chose to top my dessert with a dollop of whipped cream, mainly because I have a hard time not believing everything is better with a little cloud of cream and sugar on top. 

Give this recipe a try and be sure to check out Yossy’s book here. The recipes and images are gorgeous and it’s definitely a book you’ll want on your shelf this year. Happy Wednesday!

Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Compote

 

Print

Peach Semifreddo

Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Mint Compote by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a semifreddo which means semi frozen. It is like a layered ice cream cake dessert filled with a simple peach jam filling and sliced after freezing. A blackberry compote made with fresh basil tops this recipe. Learn about how to make this dessert in a loaf pan on the blog at thewoodandspoon.com

Peach Semifreddo is a fluffy, mousse-like dessert made up of whipped cream, eggs, and sugar, and it is 100% mouth-meltable and refreshing.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30

Ingredients

Scale

For the peach semifreddo

  • 16 ounces (3 cups sliced) peeled peaches
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 11/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the blackberry mint compote

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

To prepare the semifreddo

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a bread pan (9″x5″x3″) with plastic wrap or parchment paper, allowing an inch overhang on every side.
  3. Place the peaches on a sheet pan with 1/4 cup of the sugar and salt. Toss to combine. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until the peaches have begun to release their juices and are tender. Allow to cool slightly, then puree the peaches and juices in a blender until smooth. Cool in the fridge while you continue to work.
  4. In a double boiler, or in a pot with a glass bowl fitted on top (but not touching the water), whisk together the eggs and 1/4 cup of sugar. Continue to whisk, cooking gently over the simmering water until sugar is dissolved and the egg mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. This took me about 6 minutes.
  5. Pour the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixture and, using the whisk attachment, beat until the mixture is pale, fluffy, and nearly tripled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the cream, final 1/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  7. Gently stir 1/2 cup of the peach puree into the eggs. Fold 1/2 of the whipped cream into the eggs. Once combined, fold the remaining whipped cream into the eggs.
  8. Spread about 1-1/4 cup of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and then drizzle with 1/3 of the remaining peach puree. Repeat this process three more times, ending by smoothing out the final quarter of cream and egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 6 hours or overnight.
  9. When ready to serve, remove from pan by pulling up on sides of the parchment paper and flip out onto a plate or serving platter. Slice as you would a loaf of bread and serve slices with warm blackberry compote and whipped cream, if desired.

To prepare the compote

  1. Combine the blackberries, water, sugar, lemon, and mint in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove the mint and stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool slightly before topping the semifreddo.

Notes

  • Serve with whipped cream, if desired!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Recipe Adapted From: Yossy Arefi

Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple stuffed oatmeal cookies loaded with your choice of ingredients. Chunky oats, chocolate chips. dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, or even candies, toffee, or nuts! These oatmeal cookies are simple to make, buttery, and full of brown sugar goodness. You can freeze as well! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

There’s something about eating oatmeal cookies that makes me think of breakfast. Maybe it’s years of oatmeal with sliced banana and honey for breakfast or dried fruit and oat topped yogurt snacks, but I tell ya what- oatmeal cookies have got me thinking, “man, this dessert feels pretty healthy.”

Yeah, yeah. I know. Wishful thinking. You can’t blame me for trying.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

I have yet to come to a firm stance on my oatmeal cookie preference. Thin and crisp? Puffy and cake-like? Buttery, crisp edges with a chewy center? The jury is still out on this one, but one thing I do know is that I like my oatmeal cookies fully loaded. If someone created the cookie equivalent to the everything bagel, I would buy and consume them er’ryday. Dried fruit, chocolate chips, a browned butter drizzle… really, just feel free to have your way with my oatmeal cookie. The more the merrier.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a toned down version of my ultimate fantasy, maxed out, loaded oatmeal cookie, mainly because I know my husband would be ultra-grossed out by any cookie with a dried fruit to cookie dough ratio any greater than 1:1, but this oatmeal cookie also boasts a super chewy texture alllllll the way through, and enough of a variety of add-ins that nearly every bite is a bit different. They’re also super adaptable in that you can mix and match your add-ins according to your preferences. Don’t like dried cranberries? No problem- try apricots! Want to pack a nutty punch? Sub in chopped pecans or peanut butter chips! This oatmeal cookie is pretty much your oyster, so do as you please with it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If anyone has any extra luck with a certain flavor combo, give me the dirty deets below in the comments!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

Print

Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple stuffed oatmeal cookies loaded with your choice of ingredients. Chunky oats, chocolate chips. dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, or even candies, toffee, or nuts! These oatmeal cookies are simple to make, buttery, and full of brown sugar goodness. You can freeze as well! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Chewy oatmeal cookies filled to brim with craisins, toffee bits, and chocolate chips.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups quick-cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 11/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and smooth, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and beat again for another 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until combined and scraping the bowl as needed.
  5. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, baking powder, and oatmeal in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and stir on low until just barely combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Fold in the craisins, chocolate chips, and toffee bits until well combined.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out 3 tablespoon mounds of dough on to a heavy-bottomed baking sheet. Keep dough balls at least 2 inches apart.
  8. Place in the freezer to chill for 3-4 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the entirety of the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
  9. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside and barely set on the inside.
  10. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

  • This is a highly adaptable recipe. You can sub in your favorite chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit easily.
  • Be sure butter is room temp and not too soft or hard out of the refrigerator.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

 

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a layered dessert made in a sheet pan. A salty pretzel shortbread crust with butter and brown sugar. There is a soft and creamy peanut butter cup filling. The whole thing is topped with a chocolate chip brownie made from melted chocolate bars and chips. Adapted from ina garten's brownie recipe. This serves a crowd and is great for a party barbecue or gathering. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This past weekend, I traveled to Orlando to visit family one last time before I’m due to crank out this baby. At 33 weeks pregnant, waddling around the airport with a wiggly toddler and a carry-on bag full of snacks, diapers, and a well worn copy of “Goodnight Moon” made me a sight to see. By the time we arrived to the sunshine state, Aimee was covered in Goldfish crumbs and chocolate, I was covered in Aimee’s Goldfish/chocolate drool, and we both were in desperate need of a little personal space.

Winding down the last few weeks of pregnancy is a lot like the last couple weeks of school before summer break. I have a never-ending checklist of things to do, things to buy, things to make, and things to wrap up. Baby items to purchase, baby room decor to hang, and a baby quilt to finish sewing. Recipes to test, blog posts to write, photos to take, and groceries to buy. Start a load of wash, make dinner, go to the grocery store again, and do more wash. Feed toddler, bathe toddler, play with toddler, change toddler’s diaper. Go to work, work out, go pee for the millionth time, and try to remember to shave legs/ bathe/ put on deodorant sometime before my husband comes home.

Never. Ending.

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie

Meanwhile, my pregnancy app on my phone keeps saying, “Relax! Put your feet up! Pamper yourself! You’re glowing!”

What? Is that supposed to be a joke? Ain’t nobody got time for that. And if by “glowing”, you mean “sweating like a pig” then OK, yes, you’re right.
 
My hand is tempted to write that being a mom or being pregnant is hard work because those are two incredibly true statements, but really what it boils down to is that being a grown up is tough stuff. People expect things of us, we expect things of ourselves, and with a to-do list longer than the Mississippi River, it’s easy to get bogged down. There’s no pause button, much less a rewind option, and life can sometimes just wear us in ways that affect us from the inside to the out. 
 
If you’re experiencing even a taste of this nowadays, take heart, because you are not alone. If you’re feeling behind on your check list, or even behind on life in general, you are not alone. Life is beautiful, but it’s also hard work and I think that sometimes we need to be okay with being a little bit of a mess. And when things get to feeling out of control, out of order, or out of service, we may just need to stop the grind and go back to what makes us happy for minute.
 
Kinda like these pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies. Admittedly, these brownies will not help me fold another load of wash or soothe a crying baby or make my to-do list one inch shorter. But baking these buttery, fudgy, little bars of goodness and eating their warm crumbs straight from the pan alongside a big glass of milk feels a lot like a big hug from life. Some days, that’s just what we need.
 Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie
So let’s break down these bars. We have a pretzel shortbread crust and a peanut butter cup filling, all topped with a dark, rich brownie and an extra sprinkling of chocolate chips. The shortbread is modified from my brown sugar shortbread cookies and the brownies are adapted from Ina Garten’s outrageous brownie recipe. The peanut butter filling tastes a lot like the inside of a Reese’s cup mixed with a little fairy dust and tiny food angels, which I think is pretty much the same thing as being next level delicious. Plus, this recipe makes a substantial batch of pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies which makes it a shoo-in recipe for parties, a crowd, or even just a quiet weekend at home alone after a really hard week. The whole recipe can be whipped up in a food processor which makes cleanup a whole lot more simple than most other layered desserts.
 
Give pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies a try and then just give yourself a mental pat on the back. You probably deserve both. 
 Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie
 
 
Print

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Pretzel Shortbread Brownie Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a layered dessert made in a sheet pan. A salty pretzel shortbread crust with butter and brown sugar. There is a soft and creamy peanut butter cup filling. The whole thing is topped with a chocolate chip brownie made from melted chocolate bars and chips. Adapted from ina garten's brownie recipe. This serves a crowd and is great for a party barbecue or gathering. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This bar has three layers that consist of a pretzel shortbread crust, a creamy peanut butter cup filling, and a rich, chocolate brownie on top. They are sweet, salty, decadent, and everything in between.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

For the pretzel shortbread

  • 4 ounces (about 2 cups) salted pretzel crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

For the peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 11/4 cup confectioners sugar

For the brownie

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 8 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (15″x10″x1″) with parchment paper and spray the sides with baking spray.
  2. In a double boiler or a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, prep the brownies. Cut up butter and chocolate into small pieces and places these in the bowl, allowing to melt while you prepare the other layers of this bar. Be sure to check in on it every couple minutes or so, stirring as needed. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Keep on the stovetop only as long as the chocolate and butter is continuing to melt.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse pretzel crumbs until they are the consistency of sand. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt, pulsing briefly to combine. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and pulse the food processor until a dry, crumbly dough comes together. This took about 1 minute of pulsing on my machine.
  4. Pat the dough out into the prepared jelly roll pan and bake in the oven for ten minutes.
  5. While pretzel shortbread is in the oven and the chocolate and butter is melting on the stovetop, combine the peanut butter and milk in the same bowl of your food processor. (It’s not necessary to wash it out yet- hooray!) Whiz in the food processor until smooth and combined. Add the confectioners sugar and pulse until thick, dry clumps come together. This mixture will appear similar to the inside of a peanut butter cup. Set aside in another bowl.
  6. Back in the same food processor bowl, add the eggs, vanilla, and sugar for your brownie layer. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and pulse to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and mix just until combined. Remove from machine and stir half of the chocolate chips in by hand.
  7. Sprinkle clumps of the peanut butter filling evenly over the top of the shortbread crust. Pour the brownie batter over top of the shortbread and peanut butter clumps and smooth out evenly in the pan. Your pan will be full. Sprinkle the remaining mini chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, carefully rap the pan on the rack of the oven several times to help air to escape the pan. Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out with barely moist clumps on it. Do not overbake.
  9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes and then cool completely in the fridge before slicing.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Grapefruit Tejitos

Grapefruit Tejitos / Tequila Mojitos Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a tangy, delicious boozy take on the classic mojito, made with tequila and lemon juice, fresh mint, and citrus grapefruit juice. Shake this fun summertime cocktail in a shaker or make a pitcher full for a crowd. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

There should’ve been margaritas. 

White sand, the smell of Coppertone, fish tacos, yes. But mostly, margaritas.

Don’t underestimate the amount of tequila a small woman can put away when it’s appropriately mixed with lime, salt, and a little bit of sunshine. On tropical vacations, I always feel like I’m in some weird Bermuda Triangle of alcohol tolerance where my upper limit for liquor is  suddenly similar to that of like, a 250 lb. Irish biker dude that hangs out in bars and takes his coffee with two shots of Bailey’s. I shudder to think of what the cabana boys must think of my poor liver at that point in time, but what is that saying about “work hard, play hard?” Yeah, let’s do that.

Our flight to Mexico last fall was to land mid-morning, giving us ample time to travel to our resort, check-in, and wiggle a pasty body into last summer’s bikini. By noon, I would be (over)due for a margarita.

Grapefruit Tejitos

This is, at least, what was supposed to have happened. 

At 5pm the evening before our 5am flight to Mexico, my husband announced that he could not find his passport. We spent the next several hours plowing through stacks of papers, pulling sweaters off of shelves, looking through all of our luggage, bags, and purses, and even lifting up the coffee table for a peek. I looked between every book on my bookshelf, in the back of that weird, tiny cabinet that is above the refrigerator, and in the medicine drawer.

Spoiler alert: we never found it.

I can’t really articulate the things going through my mind at that point, nor would my thoughts at that time be appropriate to share on the Internet with you kind folks. You come here for recipes, not to read about the evil torture I was plotting for my husband. Although I was mega-bummed, my frustration and disbelief was outweighed by the look of devastation on Brett’s face. He works so hard for our family and he had earned every second of that vacation. We were both equally disappointed and discouraged.

Eventually, we decided to throw in the towel and I called to cancel our flight. I spent the next hour on the phone with the airline and I think we can all agree there is nothing worse than that. Forty minutes of automated conversation with a smattering of elevator music, all endured  in hopes of finally talking to a REAL PERSON?? And then, can you even be sure it’s a real person? I’m convinced they’ve hired robots, which would actually be impressive if some scientist has already figured out how to create machines that are even more annoying that any human being I’ve ever met.  I submit that a superior option to these world-dominating telephone robots would be Siri or even Scarlet Johannson from that movie “Her”. Or maybe they could hire Matthew McConaughey or Morgan Freeman to do the voice prompts? These have got to be better ideas than what we’re currently working with. 

I was moments away from a mental break when Brett announced we still just needed to get away. We had airline credit now, a babysitter lined up for the weekend, and a few days off work; we might as well spend those days on the road to somewhere else instead of sitting at home, salivating over the margaritas that should have been.

Grapefruit Tejitos

The following day, we were poolside in Scottsdale, Arizona, which I’m now pretty sure is is the birthplace of cactuses (cacti?) and delicious, over the top breakfast and brunch options. The trip was perfectly splendid, but I was definitely missing my margarita.

When we got home, I made a margarita for Brett and a cocktail for myself that was almost too good for words. I was really proud of this creation until just recently when I discovered it was not ingenious and, in fact, was a near dead-ringer for Mexico’s most popular cocktail: the Paloma. 

Have you all tried one of these? If my research serves me well, a traditional Paloma consists of tequila with a splash of grapefruit soda and a wedge of lime. In light of a margarita, I have unknowingly turned a blind eye to this delicious beverage for years! No longer.

grapefruit tejitos

The version I mix up for myself contains fresh grapefruit and lemon juice, tequila, simple syrup, and a few mint leaves muddled in for good measure. I told Brett they were called Grapefruit Tejitos because in my mind, I was drinking a flavored mojito made with tequila instead of rum. These cocktails are refreshing, tart, and multi-faceted in flavor. With a salt-rimmed glass, they make me feel like we never missed that flight to Mexico last fall and we’re laying on the beach right at this very moment. Sigh. Maybe this fall.

I think these tejitos (it has a ring to it, doesn’t it?) would be a perfectly unique way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a couple weeks, or, at the very least, to celebrate the start of this weekend. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

grapefruit tejitos

 

Print

Grapefruit Tejitos

Grapefruit Tejitos / Tequila Mojitos Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a tangy, delicious boozy take on the classic mojito, made with tequila and lemon juice, fresh mint, and citrus grapefruit juice. Shake this fun summertime cocktail in a shaker or make a pitcher full for a crowd. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

If a mojito had a love triangle with a grapefruit and some tequila, these grapefruit tejitos would be the outcome. This beverage is refreshingly balanced in flavor, offering both sweet, tart, and floral notes.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 2 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 large mint leaves
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or another orange flavored liquor
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 large grapefruit
  • Salt (for rimming glass)

Instructions

  1. Muddle mint in the bottom of a martini shaker.
  2. Add tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, and fruit juice.
  3. Fill shaker up with ice and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds or until ice has begun to dissolve.
  4. Serve in a salt rimmed glass with additional ice, if desired.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 13
  • Sodium: 92
  • Fat: 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 24
  • Protein: 1
  • Cholesterol: 0

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Confetti Ice Cream Cake

Confetti ice cream cake recipe by The wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. This is a simple funfetti cake recipe inspired by momofuku milk bar by christina tosi. The cake is make and layered in a naked style with a no churn cream cheese cake batter ice cream with sprinkles. There's also a salty cake mix crumb inside the cake. This is a fun birthday cake or frozen celebration cake that will serve a crowd and is very festive. Find the recipe and how to make a layered naked cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Let’s slow clap for America. We’re screwing up a lot around here these days, but one area where Americans are consistently winning is birthdays. In my lifetime, I’ve been apart of very few birthday celebrations that didn’t include cake and I’m thinking that’s something I need to appreciate about my motherland today. An extra special shout out goes to those who celebrate with the quintessential American cake flavor- the one, the only, confetti cake. Is there anyone who doesn’t secretly love a confetti cake made straight from the box? I don’t think so. Is there anything more American than taking an already sweet cake batter and adding more sugar to it in the form of playful little sprinkles? Not a chance. So strap on your jean shorts and handlebar mustaches, because today’s cake is going out to the land of the free and the home of the brave. We’re making confetti ice cream cake.

‘Merica!

confetti sheet cake

Christina Tosi, the genius pastry chef behind Milk Bar stores, makes these ridiculous layer cakes that I am obsessed with. They’re “naked”(meaning no exterior frosting) and often include one of my favorite flavor/texture elements, “crumbs.” You may have seen a few of my takes on a naked cake posted on social media here, here, or here. (Sidenote: if you really want to weird out your husband, mom, or best friend, call them and tell them you’re taking “nude” photos… the responses are pretty priceless.)  

One of my favorite Milk Bar cakes is the birthday cake. I’ve made it a million times and it never disappoints. It’s sweet, fluffy, and perfectly reminiscent of the box confetti cake that we all know and love. The only thing, and I literally mean the ONLY thing, that could possibly take Milk Bar’s classic birthday cake to the next level is ice cream. Better yet- no churn ice cream. There aren’t many things in this world that make me feel the same degree of childlike nostalgia quite like confetti cake with a scoop of ice cream, so obviously, combining the two is a logical choice. Let’s get started. 


confetti sheet cake cut for 6" ring

confetti ice cream cake


confetti ice cream cake

Just like with Milk Bar’s confetti cake, we start by making the cake. We’re baking ours just like Tosi recommends in a jelly roll pan. While that’s in the oven, we will mix up the ingredients for the crumbs and have those ready to go into the oven when the cake is finished. Once the cake and crumbs are cooled to room temp, set out to make your ice cream and assemble the cake. Our no churn ice cream is made using a mix of cream cheese and whipped topping, but you can use homemade whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy. The instructions for this recipe appear to be pretty labor intensive, but the process is all fairly easy, particularly when spread out over the course of two days. You can check out the original recipe for Tosi’s birthday cake here for more detailed instructions on assembling the layer cake. Once the cake is assembled, you can let it party in the freezer for several days or even up to a couple of weeks! Nothing say “God Bless America” like having an ice cream cake in the freezer, ready for eating at any moment’s notice. 

confetti ice cream cake

This recipe for confetti ice cream cake made with no churn ice cream is delicious and super fun to share with others! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

Print

Confetti Ice Cream Cake

Confetti ice cream cake recipe by The wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. This is a simple funfetti cake recipe inspired by momofuku milk bar by christina tosi. The cake is make and layered in a naked style with a no churn cream cheese cake batter ice cream with sprinkles. There's also a salty cake mix crumb inside the cake. This is a fun birthday cake or frozen celebration cake that will serve a crowd and is very festive. Find the recipe and how to make a layered naked cake on thewoodandspoon.com

This recipe for confetti ice cream cake made with no churn ice cream is delicious and super fun to share with others!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

Scale

For the cake

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 110 g buttermilk (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

For the crumbs

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract

For the ice cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip or 3 cups of homemade whipped cream

Special equipment required

  • A 6” cake ring or 6” cake pan
  • Acetate sheets or some other sturdy, food safe material (I have used two sheets of thick parchment paper, doubled up, in a pinch, but admittedly, the acetate sheets work much more easily. They can be purchased on Amazon (3 inches by 20 inches long), washed, and reused in the future.

Instructions

To assemble the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet.
  2. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugars in a stand mixer at medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl and slowly add the liquid ingredients. Beat in the stand mixer until the batter is fluffy, lighter in color, and uniform. This will take 6-8 minutes. Be sure to scrape the bowl as needed throughout this process. Add the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the sprinkles and mix on low speed, just until combined, about one minute.
  3. Pour batter into pan and spread out to smooth. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sprinkles evenly over top of batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is no longer wiggly and will spring back slightly when touched. Allow to cool on a cooling rack until room temp.

To prepare the crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, including sprinkles, in a stand mixer and mix to combine, about 30 seconds. Add the wet ingredients and continue to mix on low until small little clumps begin to form. Once combined, turn off mixer and pour the clumps out on to a small baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are just beginning to turn golden. Allow to cool to room temp.

To prepare the cake

  1. Loosen and remove cake from pan. Using the cake ring (or the bottom of a 6″ cake pan as a guide) cut out two 6″ round cakes from the sheet cake (see photo above in post as a guide). Then, cut out two half-moon shapes from the remaining sheet cake. This will be used to piece together your third and final layer. Set cake layers aside.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minutes.
  3. Fold 1/2 cup of Cool Whip into cream cheese mixture until well distributed. Add remaining 2-1/2 cups, folding gently until well combined. Slowly fold in the cake crumbs, reserving about 1/3 cup to decorate the top.
  4. Line cake ring or pan with one acetate sheet. Place one cake layer in the bottom of inside of cake ring. If using the cake pan, line the bottom with a small piece of parchment to ensure easy removal from pan. Smooth 1/3 of the ice cream mixture over top of the top or cake layer. Place your two cake “half moons” on top of the ice cream and fill in with tiny cake pieces to create a makeshift 2nd layer. Top with another 1/3 of ice cream mixture. Wrap an additional acetate sheet to continue the 6×6″ tube you’re building this cake inside of (see photo) and tape to secure, if needed. Add the final layer of cake and smooth the remaining 1/3 of ice cream over the top.
  5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze in the freezer until solid, about 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Notes

  • See Christina Tosi’s original birthday cake recipe for more notes on how to build the cake.
  • If you’re prefer, feel free to lightly grind up the cake crumbs so that they are more evenly distributed. I prefer the clumpy crumbs.
  • In a pinch, you can use a box cake mix for this recipe, baked in a 9×13″ pan, but I strongly recommend going with the homemade version- it’s delicious!
  • Cake and crumbs can be made a day or two in advance and saved at room temperature, wrapped tightly.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Recipe For Cake Layers Adapted From: Christina Tosi

S’mores Cheesecake

S'mores Cheesecake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a campfire inspired cheesecake that comes out without cracks or dry edges every time. A graham cracker, butter and sugar crust and a simple chocolate filling made from melted bars or chips. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath in the oven to get a smooth and creamy cheesecake. Top the whole thing with toasted marshmallows and more graham cracker crumbs for a summertime favorite cheesecake.

Spring is officially in the air. The trees are blooming, everyone has a sinus infection, and our little corner of lower Alabama is slowly turning into a muggy, rain forest-esque area that ensures I am constantly frizzy and a little sweaty. Spring, in my mind, is the pre-party for summer when my diet will primarily consist of fresh produce, frozen beverages, and anything made on the grill. These last few weeks before full-on summer mode make me want to reminisce on the deliciousness that ensued during the fall/winter months and celebrate it one last time. Today, we will do just that by way of s’mores cheesecake. 

S'mores Cheesecake

Now don’t get me wrong- summer and I get along really well. What’s not to love? Longer days, flip flop weather, and the fact that I get to wear white everyday without any judgment from more fashionable onlookers is reason enough for me to celebrate the warmer months. But once summer hits, I’m going to be rolling out all of my favorite fruit-based desserts and it’s really an injustice to forget little beauties like s’mores cheesecake. So let’s take a look, shall we?

This cheesecake, with its creamy chocolate innards and buttery graham cracker crust, is topped with a handful or two of marshmallows and a rich, chocolate ganache that seductively whispers, “come hither.” I love the texture of this cheesecake- smooth, fluffy, and not too dense. Bonus points for the fact that I have never ONCE had this cheesecake develop an unsightly crack or crevice on the top. The crust is sweetened with brown sugar and seasoned with a heavy-handed douse of salt because, if you ask me, sweet and salty is still in. Chocolate cheesecake, graham cracker crust, and melty chocolate ganache practically begs for some festive little marshmallows, thus- s’mores cheesecake.

S'mores Cheesecake

Before we dive head-first into fish tacos, strawberry daiquiris, and giant slices of watermelon, let’s celebrate the right now with this s’mores cheesecake. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. 
S'mores Cheesecake
 
Print

S’mores Cheese

S'mores Cheesecake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a campfire inspired cheesecake that comes out without cracks or dry edges every time. A graham cracker, butter and sugar crust and a simple chocolate filling made from melted bars or chips. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath in the oven to get a smooth and creamy cheesecake. Top the whole thing with toasted marshmallows and more graham cracker crumbs for a summertime favorite cheesecake.

This s’mores cheesecake has a buttery graham cracker crust, a rich and creamy chocolate filling, and is slathered with a chocolate ganache before being topped with toasted marshmallows.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

  • 11/2 sleeves of graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

For the cheesecake

  • 11/2 pounds (3 blocks) of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the ganache

  • 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream

Toppings

  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 sheets of graham crackers, crumbled

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor to crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined to a wet sand consistency.
  3. Pat crumbs into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

To prepare the cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start a kettle or pot of boiling water on the stove top for the water bath. You’ll need about 3 quarts of water. Wrap your springform pan with crust baked inside securely with aluminum foil. I triple layer and make sure there is no room for the water bath to leak through the pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cocoa powder, beating an additional 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add the cream and vanilla, and beat until smooth and no lumps remain, about 2-3 minutes. Do not overbeat.
  3. Using a rubber spatual, push your cheesecake batter through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Pour this mixture into your prepared springform pan.
  4. Place your springform pan into a pan/dish slightly larger than the springform. I use a 10″ round cake pan, but any oven-safe dish with sides will do. Pour water into the water bath pan until the water level reaches almost halfway up the sides of the springform.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The filling will barely be set but will still jiggle slightly if jostled in the oven. Allow to rest in the oven with the heat turned off and the oven door propped open slightly (I use a wooden spoon) for an additional 30 minutes. Then, transfer the springform pan to the fridge and allow to cool for at least 4 hours or overnight, if possible.
  6. Once cheesecake is cool, remove from pan and prepare the ganache. Microwave the heavy cream on low heat just until it begins to lightly bubble. Remove from microwave and pour over top of the chocolate chips. Cover with Saran wrap and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Allow to cool slightly- if your ganache is too thin, it will drip down the sides of the cheesecake too quickly. Spoon the ganache over top of the cheesecake and smooth out gently with a spatula. Once you get close to the edges, push the ganache out gently, allowing little trickles of chocolate to cascade down the sides. Allow ganache to set up slightly. Extra ganache will keep in the fridge for 1 week.
  7. Top with graham cracker crumbs and and a sprinkling of marshmallows. Toast with a torch or under a low-heat broiler until golden brown.

Notes

  • Cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, but marshmallows should be toasted just before eating.
  • Do not overmix your cheesecake batter. Overmixing can cause cracks and holes in your cheesecake.
  • Be sure ingredients, particularly the cream cheese, are room temperature. If they are too cold, clumps will form and you won’t have a smooth and creamy cheesecake.
  • Feel free to adapt this cheesecake! You can opt out of the marshmallows for a double chocolate cheesecake, or layer in peanut butter cups before baking for a peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. The world is your oyster!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Recipe Adapted From: Miette

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies Recipe by The wood and spoon blog by kate wood. These are tiny, mini buttery butter pecan cookies that require just a few minutes to make. These crisp cookies are almost like famous amos cookies and are inspired by Gmomma's cookies. Tiny chopped pecans, sugar, and flour are among the few ingredients here. Find the how to for these small cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

I’ve reached the point of my pregnancy where I think my husband is becoming a bit concerned. Just the other day, he looked at me and said, “Why don’t you go take a shower… or cry… or do whatever you need to do. I’ll take care of Aimee for the rest of the night.” Catching my reflection in the mirror validated his voiced concerns- I looked greasy, tired, and a few minutes shy of a breakdown. So I got in the shower to a soak a bit, and in those minutes of quiet, I dreamed up today’s recipe: crispy butter pecan cookies.

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

Now, please don’t mistake my momentary exhaustion for a lack of gratitude. Even on the longest days and most sleepless of nights, I wouldn’t trade the hand I’ve been dealt for anything. It’s in those darkest hours of the night, sitting in the rocking chair in the corner of the nursery, when my big girl is sleeping soundly in my lap and I can feel the rolling movements of my baby boy underneath my skin, that the weight of God’s blessing in my life is almost more than I can bear. There is nothing I could ever do in my lifetime to earn this honor. This duty of motherhood, the title and tasks I wear some days as if it were a dried up milk stain on a favorite silk blouse, is a badge of undeserved love stamped on my life. It’s evidence of one million things I have to give thanks for. Someone, please, in a few months from now when I sit in that same nursery sleeplessly nursing, changing, and consoling the new baby we’re waiting for, remind me that this is a gifted treasure, not a burden to bear.

On that note, remind me also of these crispy butter pecan cookies.

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

There’s a lot to love about these little buddies- they’re buttery, crisp, and perfect with a cup of coffee- but they also contain only 5 ingredients and take only 20 minutes to make. If that doesn’t sound perfect for a busy mom’s schedule, I don’t know what does. The inspiration for these cookies came from my hometown hero, GMommas Cookies. OK, so I know I’ve already mentioned them more than a few times like here and here. But why mess with a good thing? These petite, bite-sized cookies are crisp all the way through and have a pronounced, real butter flavor that I have yet to find in many other recipes. Plus, as the cookies bake, the pecans become toasty and nutty and all together decadent.

Yeah, I know. Your mouth is watering. So do yourself a favor and next time you have a spare 20 minutes, grab a glass of milk and a handful of these crispy butter pecan cookies.

On second thought, grab two handfuls. You’re welcome.

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

 

Print

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies Recipe by The wood and spoon blog by kate wood. These are tiny, mini buttery butter pecan cookies that require just a few minutes to make. These crisp cookies are almost like famous amos cookies and are inspired by Gmomma's cookies. Tiny chopped pecans, sugar, and flour are among the few ingredients here. Find the how to for these small cookies on thewoodandspoon.com

These crispy butter pecan cookies are delicate, nutty, butter-packed, bite-sized morsels of nutty deliciousness. You cannot eat just one.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 72 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature, but not too soft
  • 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, chopped peans, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix just until combined.
  5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop out 1 teaspoon balls of dough. For uniform cookies, gently and quickly roll each mound of dough into a ball.
  6. Bake 13-18 minutes, or until cookies are fragrant, barely set, and browning on the bottom. Allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.

Notes

  • These cookies are mini! So while one batch makes 72, trust me- you’ll be glad you have extras.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

“If at first you don’t succeed: try, try again.” I’m not sure where that quote originated, but whoever it came from clearly has never tried to create the perfect lemon tart. I can almost see those people pointing and probably laughing at me as I taste tested another round of lemon tarts with utter disappointment. Well, this time, I get the last laugh, because I am happy to report that after many tries, I nailed it. Today, I get to share with you the recipe for the best, most perfect lemon almond tart – a light and nutty almond crust  filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. (Drool)

lemon almond tart

This all started with a giant bag of lemons and an afternoon peruse through Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon” cookbook. I ran across his recipe for lemon tart (or as Keller and the French call it, “Tart au Citron”), and I thought it may be worth a stab. I had all of the needed ingredients, with exception of those needed for the pine nut crust, but thanks to a lone wolf bag of almond meal left in the netherparts of my pantry, I decided to proceed.

Attempt number one was eggy- and so, so tart. Everything Thomas Keller does is is perfect, so I confess that my lack of skills and palate were likely to blame. Unfortunately, as my husband pushed the tart around on his plate, I knew it wasn’t a winner. 

Attempt number two yielded a perfect almond crust but with a filling that was still kind of eggy. I researched and discovered a few things about cooking with lemon and eggs (see notes!), so  attempt number three left me with a perfectly tart/sweet lemon filling. Unfortunately, I torched the shell this time around and failed to cook the filling for quite long enough so it still wasn’t right. #humblingkitchenmoments

lemon almond tart

Attempt number four, as baby bear would say, was juuusssst right. Lemony, sweet, and with an incredibly creamy mouth feel, this was a tart sexy enough to call it by its French name. This was a tarte au citron.

I often receive complements from friends and family about how lovely all my food looks from the 2×4” screen of an iPhone, but what most people don’t know is that behind every photo is usually a failed attempt, a frosting that’s too stiff, a curdled filling, a sink full of dishes, or a scorched mess on the bottom of my oven. Those things aren’t as fun to write about or as pretty to photograph, but they’re apart of the process. If this is ringing any bells right now, take heart, because redemption is almost always just around the corner. This week, we’re calling redemption lemon almond tart.

Lemon Almond Tart

Read through the recipe, and the notes in particular, prior to getting started. There’s no need for y’all to make the mistakes I’ve already trudged through. I like my lemon tart the exact way I take my ice cream sundaes- with a giant dollop of whipped cream. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to be sure to whip some of that up as well.

 

Print

Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

A light and nutty almond crust filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. I prefer this tart served with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream and lemon almond crumbs.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

  • 4 ounces (About 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) of almond meal
  • 7.5 ounces (About 11/2 cups) flour
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 whole eggs, cold
  • 2 egg yolks, cold
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of about 21/2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons of packed lemon zest
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the lemon crumbs (if desired)

  • About 1 cup of reserved, uncooked almond crust crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. In a bowl, combine almond meal, flour, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a large fork, cut in the stick of butter until dough is uniformly pea-sized crumbles.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg and extracts together in a separate bowl, and, using the pastry cutter again, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Only manipulate the dough as much as you have to to make it uniform. Overworking your dough will cause it to toughen when baked.
  3. Place dough in the refrigerator for about ten minutes while you prepare your tart pan. Dough can also be left covered in the fridge at this point for up to one day.

When ready to prepare the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, butter a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom with 1 teaspoon of softened butter. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of pan with flour.
  2. Using your fingers, press the almond meal crust into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. You will likely use all but 3/4-1 cup of the dough. Trim any excess off the top.
  3. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until edges are almost turning golden and the center crust is set. Allow to cool while you prepare your filling. Alternatively, the crust can be made one day in advance and set aside covered.
  4. Bring a small-medium saucepan filled with an inch of water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. In a bowl just barely larger than the saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.
  6. Once water is boiling, place the bowl of eggs on top of the saucepan and whisk until mixture becomes paler and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the lemon juice and zest, continuing to whisk all the while. Occasionally turn your bowl to ensure you don’t cook the eggs. Continue whisking consistently until mixture is thickened, about the consistency of a very loose pudding. Your whisk should be leaving a momentary trail behind it as it moves through the bowl and the mixture should generously coat the back of a spoon. The entire cooking process will have taken about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off, but with the pan still on the burner, add the cold butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, whisking until piece is combined before adding another piece. Stir in the vanilla.
  9. Pour your filling into the tart crust. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on top of the filling and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Tart is complete at this point, but lemon crumbs can be added as a garnish if desired.

To prepare lemon crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, combine about 3/4 cup of reserved, uncooked almond tart crumbs with lemon zest and sugar. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until small clumps form.
  3. Spread out on a sheet pan and break up larger clumps to smaller, pea-sized pieces. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan intermittently. Allow to cool. Sprinkle on top of tart or on top of each piece along with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

  • Crust dough will be crumbly, but be sure to cover the sides and bottom of your pan thoroughly and evenly. It may crack in the oven, but that’s ok.
  • When zesting your lemons, avoid the pith (the white part below the yellow exterior of the lemon). Zesting the whites can cause your tart to taste bitter.
  • Cooking time of the filling may differ depending on the type of saucepan you’re using and how large your bowl is on top of the pan. If your bowl is too large, it will take longer to cook the eggs.
  • Cooking your filling in some materials can cause your tart to taste metallic or eggy. After trial and error myself, I recommend using a glass bowl and a silicone whisk.
  • If you prefer a much more tart filling, add another packed teaspoon of zest to the filling.
  • If you like to serve your tart with whipped cream (don’t we all?), whip 1 cup of cold, heavy whipping cream until frothy, then slowly add 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. When nearly to stiff peaks, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Yum!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Recipe Adapted From: Thomas Keller

Easter Cake

easter cake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a how to on making a layer cake covered in robin egg blue frosting and speckled to look like an egg. This tutorial is adapted from the cake blog. Step by step how to and photos for this easter / good friday / spring time cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Easter Cake TutorialAbout one year ago, almost to the day, I made the decision to be more intentional on social media as a means of determining if blogging and putting myself out there on the interwebz was something I was ready to do. About two weeks into this experiment, I made an Easter cake, speckled to look like a robin’s egg, topped with little nests of swirled chocolate buttercream, and studded with leftover jelly beans from Aimee’s first Easter basket. (Shameless shout out to other moms who buy candy “for their kids” that just so happens to be their own favorite varieties and wind up hiding in the secret, “mom’s only” corner of the pantry. I feel you.) The cake was adorable and because I was pretty excited about it, I posted a photo on Instagram. Imagine my surprise when, hours later, Food and Wine magazine re-posted the photo. MY photo. I found myself victory dancing in the living room, high-fiving my husband, and with a new batch of Insta-followers. To me, that Easter cake was a moment of much needed confirmation that I was to continue forward.

easter cake

Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask how to make that humble little cake, so in honor of Easter, you’re going to get a fancy little tutorial today. This Easter cake is fairly simple and is a perfect excuse to get messy in the kitchen. If you have kiddos, or if you just share my affinity for pretending to be artsy in the kitchen while simultaneously stuffing your face with Easter candy, this cake is for you! Little ones can help with the speckling and will love the opportunity to sneak a jelly bean or a lick of the frosting bowl. Be warned that this process can get a little messy, so be sure to protect your work space with newspaper, wax paper, or old t-shirts of your husband’s that you secretly want to make disappear. 

easter cake

This Easter cake is one I plan to make for years to come and seems like a brilliant tradition to start with my family in the kitchen. My babies aren’t even old enough to say the words “Easter Cake”, but I’m eager to make memories with them on special holidays. If you have any traditions or recipes you like to share with your family during this holiday, I’d love to hear about it below in the comments section!

Happy Easter and Happy Baking!
easter cake

To make the Easter cake, you’ll need:

  • One baked cake (I used a 2 layer, six inch cake in a lemon poppyseed flavor which will be coming to the blog soon. You can try this recipe if you’re looking for a no-fail cake recipe)
  • 3 cups of frosting, divided
  • Light blue gel food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • M&M’S Eggs, Jelly Beans, Cadbury Mini Eggs, or any other bean/egg shaped candy
 

Tools you’ll need:

  • News or wax paper to cover your work space
  • A clean, unused paint brush or a natural bristle pastry brush
  • Piping bag fitted with a 1M tip
 easter cake

Directions:

  • Set aside 1 cup of frosting.
  • In a bowl, add a small drop of light blue food coloring to the remaining two cups of frosting. A little goes a long way, so add slowly. Once your frosting it too dark, there’s no going back! Also, keep in mind that the frosting will darken as it sets.
  • Fill and frost your cake. I like to smooth my cakes with an off-set spatula like this , but a butter knife will do the trick!
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder and the vanilla extract until a thin, watery slurry comes together.
  • Set your unfrosted cake on a clean, covered work surface. Do no speckle close to anything you can’t easily wipe down with a wet rag- things are about to get messy!
  • Hold your paint brush or natural bristle pastry brush at the base of the bristles. Squeeze, applying a small amount of pressure with your fingers to fan the brush slightly. Dip the tips of the brush in the cocoa/vanilla “paint” and find a spare corner of your covered work space to practice your splatter. While continuing to fan your brush with one hand, use the fingers of your other hand to lightly pull back the bristles and release. This will be a slingshot type of movement and will result in a splatter effect on your work surface. Once you’re confident with your speckling skills, move on to the cake! I start with the sides of the cake and finish with the top.
  • Mix your remaining cup of frosting with the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Add a small amount of water, if needed, until frosting is piping consistency. In my experience, a medium consistency frosting works best here and can best be described as frosting that, when peaked, will droop slightly without collapsing back into the blow.
  • Fill piping bag with this frosting and pipe away! I did simple swirls but you can get as fancy as you’d like.
  • Top each swirl with one piece of candy.

easter cake

 

Technique adapted from The Cake Blog