morning glory breakfast cake

It’s hardly the biggest surprise of parenting, but I’ve yet to get my head around the idea that I’ve taken part in creating a morning person. My son has always woken up early; if it’s 5/5:30am, he’s on the sofa, r…

It’s hardly the biggest surprise of parenting, but I’ve yet to get my head around the idea that I’ve taken part in creating a morning person. My son has always woken up early; if it’s 5/5:30am, he’s on the sofa, reading a thick book, wondering why we do not care to watch the sunrise with him. Over the years, we’ve tried everything to change his wiring — lecturing, star charts, bribery, begging, asking the pediatrician to talk some sense into him [although “he wakes up early and reads chapter books!” didn’t quite have the doom-and-gloom impact we’d thought it would], prayer — and eventually, as you might have inferred from referring to it as wiring, we gave up.

what you'll need

When you wake up at the crack of dawn, you also require breakfast at an earlier hour than normal people, like your parents, who love to sleep. So there’s no, uh, confusion as to what is and is not a “breakfast food,” we’ve taken to packing him a breakfast and leaving it in the fridge: a hard-boiled egg, fruit, cheese, and some sort of muffin. After working my way through my own muffin archives, I realized that I was missing one of those hippie/morning glory-ish muffins that he loves, loaded with carrots and apple and dried fruit, sometimes coconut, and spices. I’ve made a few versions over the last few months, and was about to go another round when a new (out tomororw), wonderful cookbook arrived at my doorstep: Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes.

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ultimate banana bread

I know, I know, you don’t need to tell me that there are already four banana bread recipes on this site, plus four additional banana cakes, and that’s probably enough, right? Genuinely, I believed I was done too, that the Banana Ba…

I know, I know, you don’t need to tell me that there are already four banana bread recipes on this site, plus four additional banana cakes, and that’s probably enough, right? Genuinely, I believed I was done too, that the Banana Baked Goods course at SK University* had been completed. But then a few things happened. After creating the pumpkin bread of my dreams and what I hope will be the last zucchini bread recipe you’ll ever need over the last couple years, it began to bother me that the banana bread recipes on the site lacked what these have: a towering height and a crunchy top that will be hard not to lift off in one giant tile and swiftly coat the underside with salted butter. So, I created one and I’ve been keeping it to myself for over a year because, see above: SK is probably at Banana Bread Capacity. But over the last few weeks of, well, not doing a whole lot else, I can’t help but notice that we’ve all been making a whole lot of banana bread. And I think you might like this one instead.

what you'll need, and yes, that's five bananasit will mash down to much lesstwo heaped cups of mashed bananasadd sugar, then eggswhisk in dry stuff, then flourfilled almost to the brim

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ultimate zucchini bread

I have a few complaints about zucchini bread and I bet you cannot wait to hear them. I bet you were thinking “I was hoping to hear more complaining today than I usually do.” Or, “Wow, Deb is really going hard on the zucchini …

I have a few complaints about zucchini bread and I bet you cannot wait to hear them. I bet you were thinking “I was hoping to hear more complaining today than I usually do.” Or, “Wow, Deb is really going hard on the zucchini content this summer, isn’t she?” It’s all fair — and true. But if you, like me, couldn’t help but notice that a lot of zucchini bread recipes could be better, well, pull up a chair, you’re among friends.

what you'll needanother way to grate ita whole lot of zucchihnipile in the eggs, oil, sugars, vanilla, saltwet batter, one-bowladd the flourfork-mixedready to bake

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strawberry summer sheet cake

Eight years ago, I wrote about a strawberry cake I’d been making and tweaking from Martha Stewart since, apparently, 2005 that felt to me like the epitome of early summer. The batter is a simple cake — butter, sugar, flour, eggs, m…

Eight years ago, I wrote about a strawberry cake I’d been making and tweaking from Martha Stewart since, apparently, 2005 that felt to me like the epitome of early summer. The batter is a simple cake — butter, sugar, flour, eggs, milk. The berries are fresh, hulled and halved. There’s seemingly nothing new or revolutionary but what differentiates it from other summer cakes is the sheer volume of strawberries. There’s a full pound of berries placed on top before you bake the cake, more than easily fit. In the oven, the batter buckles around the berries, turning them into jammy puddles, especially if your strawberries are a touch overripe. The sunken berries dimple the top like a country quilt. The edges of the cake brown and become faintly crisp. If you can bear to wait half to a full day to eat it, and really let those baked berries marry with the cake, you might swear off all other summer desserts.

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