It’s that time of year again–tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, in case you’ve been living under a rock–and if you’re still looking for inspiration about what to make for your sweetheart (or something to make to spoil yourself!), this mini strawberry rustic cake is simple and chock-full of sweet berries. A hint of almond extract brings out the natural sweetness of the berries, which tend to be wonderful this time of year. With billowing stabilized strawberry whipped cream oozing out between the soft, moist layers and no frosting on the sides, it’s not only charming, but that much easier to make than a proper, has-to-be-perfect iced layer cake.
As anyone who knows me even a little bit knows well, doughnuts are my true weakness. Always have been. Always, probably, will be. Plain glazed; old-fashioned; maple cake; chocolate with sprinkles; they can all send me into a transcendent state of sugar-sated contentment. That said, I don’t eat doughnuts every day. They remain, and will probably always be, a once-in-a-while treat. But one way to make them a a little easier and a little healthier, and thus a little more justified in the regular rotation, is to bake ’em in one of these nifty donut pans that started showing up everywhere a few years ago.
“Cupid, draw back your bow! And let your arrow go-ohhhh! Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me-eeeee-eee!” Erhem. Pardon me. I never can resist an opportunity to belt out Sam Cooke, especially when the day calls for a soundtrack that name-checks that chubby little archery-happy cherub who gets his kicks from knocking poor souls stupid with lurve. Now
Lemon bars have been one of my favorite treats ever since I discovered a recipe for them while flipping through my mother’s Junior League Cookbook when I was a child. We had a Meyer lemon tree that more closely resembled a sprawling bush, which produced so many more lemons than we could use that we gave them away by the grocery bag-full. Plenty of
Though I’ve never quite been one of those people who secretly love to dig a spoon down into a container of peanut butter and savor it just like that, I do have a very soft spot in my heart for this uniquely American spread. And sometimes there is simply nothing that hits the spot more than a warm, almost-falling-apart peanut butter cookie—crusty with sugar on the outside and gooey tender on the inside, topped with those kitschy but oh-so necessary crosshatches—and a tall glass of ice cold milk.