Actually, both of these recipes are a lot easier than pie, which I frequently find to be a little bit difficult (especially if you make your own crust). The first is raspberry buttermilk cake, which is incredibly delectable but only makes about 8 slices, so it's not great for a crowd. The second is Bavarian Buttercream Cookies. One of the things that makes these cookies so wonderful is that the recipe calls for nothing other than ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry, making them the perfect cookies for spur-of-the-moment baking when you just don't feel up to the grocery store.
I would also like to take a moment to point out to all (three?) of my readers, that I am desperately in need of a job, so if you know of one... point me in the direction! Otherwise it is possible that I will be blogging from the public library and living out of a box on the corner within mere months. My blog will have to change titles of course, it will no longer be the Honey-Do Kitchen blog, instead I think I'll call it the I Live in a Box Blog, or perhaps to be more creative... the What You Can Cook Over a Steam Grate on the Street Blog. I anticipate that such a blog will have a much more limited recipe collection.
Now, back to the raspberry buttermilk cake. This could really be made with any berry you wanted. I've also made it with blackberries. The recipe (from smittenkitchen of course) is as follows:
Preheat the oven to 400 with the rack in the middle and butter and flour a 9" round cake pan.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk*
1 cup fresh raspberries (or other berries)
*You can make your own buttermilk, my Mother says to use 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup of milk, let stand until it looks curdled (maybe 8 to 10 minutes). I will point out however, that some people think that this kind of buttermilk isn't as good *coughJustincough*
Start (as usual) by whisking together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and setting this aside. Then in a larger bowl beat the butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, for about 2 minutes, then beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the egg and beat well.
At a low speed mix in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top. Then, scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Now, I think i've already given you all my opinion about scattering things. As you can see, I chose to place my raspberries in concentric circles (is this the right term?). It looked much prettier and far more orderly, plus that way no piece of cake got shorted on fruit.
Bake until the cake is golden and a tooth-pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool.
Next for the cookies. I got this recipe off of cooks.com after watching Stranger than Fiction. I am absolutely in love with Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in that movie. Sometimes when I'm baking I like to pretend that I'm really hot and have lots of cool tattoos. Anyway, at the end of the movie she mentions some sort of Bavarian cookie, which I honestly can't remember the name of anymore. But these were the closest thing I could find, and they are so yummy.
Like I said before, you'll probably already have everything you need for these cookies.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. (Notice, in almost all recipes you will mix together the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, then add the dry to the wet. There is some sort of scientific chemical reason for this, but I don't know it) Set aside the dry ingredients.
At medium speed beat sugar and butter until blended, then crank it up to high speed till it's light and fluffy. In yet another bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and pale yellow.
Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter and sugar, then stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Shape the dough into 1" balls (or thereabouts) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.
Next up: Lime Tart! (i think).