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Recipe: Moroccan M’hanncha (The Snake) Cake

Recipe: Moroccan M’hanncha (The Snake) Cake

Ingredients

6 oz (12 tbsp) butter, melted plus another cup for brushing phyllo dough
4 oz (1 cup) sliced almonds, toasted
4 oz (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
11 oz (2 3/4 cups) almond meal
2 oz (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp orange flower water, divided
12 oz phyllo dough
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with some water
¼ cup honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Let the phyllo dough thaw if you have not already.

Place the sliced almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, mix often and toast until the nuts are golden fragrant, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully as the almonds can burn easily. Transfer nuts to a heat safe bowl to cool.

Pulse the toasted almonds with the granulated sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. The sugar will help prevent the nuts from turning into almond butter. Add the 6oz melted butter, almond meal, the whole egg, powdered sugar and cinnamon to the food processor, keeping almond/sugar in the bowl. Process until the mixture is well combined, scraping down the edges as needed.

Grease the 12 inch cast iron skillet with butter. Unroll the phyllo dough, place on a large clean work surface. Have the 1 cup melted butter handy. While you are working, keep the stack of unrolled phyllo dough lightly covered with a clean damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Carefully take one sheet of the phyllo dough and place it longways in front of you. Lightly brush with a layer of the melted butter. Continue to layer in this way with two more sheets, brushing butter in between each layer and on the top most layer.
Roll a golf ball sized piece of the almond mixture in your hands until you have a 1/2 inch snake. Piece the snakes together until they are long enough to fit the entire length of the stacked phyllo sheets. Place the almond snake at the edge of the phyllo dough, lay the snakes across the dough so they fit end to end. Starting at the side closest to you, roll the dough until you have a long coil. Continue to make these coils in the same way until you have enough to make a single layer in the skillet. They will resemble cinnamon buns. Place the coils in the skillet, they can and will touch.

Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg yolk wash. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Gently heat the honey and the 1 tbsp of orange flower water, drizzle it over the pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Buttery Lemon Garlic Cauliflower Rice

In just 15 minutes you can have this gluten free/grain free Buttery Lemon Garlic Cauliflower Rice on the table. A great side dish and the perfect alternative to heavy carbs.

4 cups

1 head cauliflower
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

To make the cauliflower rice: Chop the cauliflower into 4 floret sections. Rinse and pat dry very well. Discard and leaves and stem. Pulse 1/2 of the florets in a food processor until they are the consistency of rice. Repeat for the rest of the cauliflower.
Melt the butter in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon juice and garlic. Cook one minute. Add the cauliflower rice. Cook about 5 minutes or until the level of doneness has been reached. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Coffee Cake Banana Bread

We can’t get enough of this Coffee Cake Banana Bread recipe, great for breakfast, brunch & snacks! Brown butter adds to the deliciousness!

10-12 slices

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3-4 medium or large very ripe bananas
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
–crumble topping
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Grease a 9X5 loaf pan with butter or baking spray.
In a medium stainless steel skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to heat until it foams, pops and crackles. You will start to see brown flecks. Transfer to a bowl to let cool.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon.
Mix the brown butter, sugar and eggs into the banana mixture.
To the wet ingredients, sift in flour, baking soda and salt. Combine well. Mix in the sour cream.
Using clean fingers, combine all the streusel ingredients in a medium bowl. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Top with the streusel.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out virtually crumb free.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a serving platter.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash with Butter, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

You will love this Roasted Butternut Squash with Butter, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon recipe for the holidays! Enjoy as a side dish or add to a salad or grain for a main course.

4 servings

1 butternut squash
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar (plus more for finishing)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Pre heat oven to 375˚ F
Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil.
Pierce the butternut squash with a sharp knife several times. Place on a plate and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until just soft enough to peel and cut into. Peel the squash. Cut into 1/4 inch round slices, discarding any seeds.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Place the squash on a single layer on the baking sheet, drizzle the 1/2 butter over the top.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the sugar mixture over the squash.
Flip the squash and drizzle the other half of the butter and sugar mixture over the top.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the squash is tender. Sprinkle on a little more brown sugar and nuts to finish. Serve hot.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cast Iron Skillet Grilled Cheese

This grilled cheese is simple to prepare and absolutely irresistible. If you don’t already own an inexpensive cast iron skillet, the time is now to get one!

1 grilled cheese

2 pieces your favorite bread (We LOVE sourdough)
4 ounces your favorite cheese (sliced no thicker than 1/4 inch) Asiago, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Pepper Jack, etc.
mayonnaise
salted butter, a few pats

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt a big pat of butter while its heating up. Swirl the butter in the pan to coat it evenly. Use an oven mitt so you don’t burn your hand on the skillet handle. Have a heavy plate, lid or a fry pan ready so you can place it over your grilled cheese as it cooks.
Coat each piece of bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Top each slice with cheese & then make a sandwich. Place the sandwich in the hot pan. Let the first side cook until golden brown. Flip & do the same to the other side.
Add more butter to the pan & swirl it around. Flip sandwich again. Now you need to watch things carefully, it’s easy to burn your sandwich. Place the lid or another pan over the top of your sandwich & watch the cheese start to melt. Flip a number of times, covering & watching the bread carefully, adding more butter as grilled cheese absorbs it.
Remove from pan when the bread is crispy & browned and the cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Pâte Sucrée (Sweet French Pastry Crust)

We love this baking basic Pâte Sucrée. This short crust can be used in all kinds of tarts and makes great cookies too! It freezes well too, so you can always have some on hand for last minute baking.

dough for 2 large tarts or 12 individual

seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups (400g) unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting
1/3 (35g) cup almond meal/flour ~ blanched or unblanched
2/3 cup (75g) confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and chilled
2 large egg yolks
approximately 1 tbsp ice-cold water

Place the vanilla seeds or paste into the bowl of a food processor.
Add the flour, almond flour, confectioners sugar and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse meal.
Add the egg yolks and mix together until everything just combines. Do not overwork dough or crust will be tough. Pinch the dough with your fingers to see if it sticks together well. If the dough is not coming together add the ice water and pulse quickly to combine.
Transfer the dough to a large work surface lightly dusted with flour.
For larger tarts divide dough in two and pat into disks. For individual tarts, roll the dough into two thick logs which you will later slice.
Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours before using.
Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before rolling.

Blanched almond flour is light in color as the almond skins have been removed. Unblanched has some dark pieces as the almond skins have been left on. Both taste great!

The terms almond flour and almond meal can be used interchangeably.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Swedish Pancakes

We love these thin Swedish Pancakes. Great for weekend breakfast and brunch.

14 swedish pancakes

3 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tbsp melted, unsalted butter (plus more for skillet)
powdered sugar for serving
fruit for serving

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, salt and flour. Whisk 1-2 minutes until you have a smooth batter.
Place 1 tbsp butter in a 10 inch cast iron, melt over medium heat. Place 1/4 cup of the batter in the center of the pan. Cook about 1 minute, until you see bubbles forming. Gently flip the pancake and cook another minute. Continue this until you have used up all the batter, adding more butter as needed to the pan.
Serve immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh fruit.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

These are the ultimate Blueberry Buttermilk Scones. Your entire family will love them for breakfast, brunch & snacks.

9-12 scones

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 ounces fresh blueberries (do not use frozen)
coarse sugar for topping

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add the butter and pulse until you have pea sized pieces. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the processor funnel. Pulse until just combined, batter will pull away from the edges.
Scoop the batter onto a clean work surface. Quickly knead in the blueberries. Divide the scone batter into 9-12 pieces. Place on the prepared baking sheets and pat into 1 inch thick disks. Top each scone with coarse sugar.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the sheets 1/2 way through. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~ Marla Meridith

Perfect Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Reindeer Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Maple, Pecans & Golden Raisins

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith