Winter is orange season, and nothing is more dramatic than a blood orange. And few upside down cakes offer this kind of burst of color to brighten up the winter blues. Blood oranges are available from December to March in North America, but seem to be most prevalent in January. We had to try to showcase them in this cake!
This blood orange almond cake is complex in flavor and texture – sweet, citrusy, nutty, and moist. Our oranges did not offer the super-dark red flesh some varieties offer, but ours were still unique and delicious. Ask at your supermarket or specialty grocer to see what you can expect.
The recipe, by Linda Schneider on Taste, calls for fennel seed, but we chose not to use it. We did include almond extract, and highly recommend that extra boost of almond flavor.
If you have a hankering for some great , crispy+chewy chocolate chip cookies, might we suggest these babies? Chock full of chopped toasted hazlenuts, chopped bittersweet chocolate, toffee chips and oats to make it healthy, these are just what you need to get you through the day. They can easily be made with almond or other gluten-free flour for those who are limiting gluten. They're delicious either way.
Our favorite part of these cookies is that we tossed in the chocolate dust that forms when you chop a thick chocolate bar. It's distributes the chocolateyness throughout, with larger studs of chocolate here and there. We toasted our peeled hazelnuts and then chopped them roughly (no smaller than 1/4 of a nut). You can grind for a smoother cookie if desired.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen 2-1/2 inch cookies. They keep well in a sealed container for several days at room temperature. The cookies or dough can be frozen for up to two months.
HINT: For thicker cookies, refrigerate the dough for an hour or overnight and bake as indicated (it will take an extra minute to bake if cold.) If you chill for more than an hour, allow the dough to warm up for 15+ minutes so it's scoopable.
Looking for a chocolate frosting that's not too sweet or cloying? This is it, my friends. For those of you who are non-frosting lovers, this light, not-too-sweet frosting with a hint of salt will be your new favorite! It whips up easily with SideSwipe and spreads with just a swish of your spatula. We didn't even need a crumb coat!
This recipe, slightly adapted from Brian Hart Hoffman's Bake From Scratch book, is our new go-to frosting. This recipe generously frosts a single 9-inch layer cake or about 12 cupcakes. You'll need more for more layers or if you plan to do towering frosting on your cupcakes. We, being in the less-is-more frosting camp, need less.
The recipe calls for buttermilk, which adds a tang to your frosting, but you can substitute whole milk or heavy cream if you like. The frosting will still be light and delicious.
Hint: We recommend that you weigh your powdered sugar so you don't add too much. If you don't have a digital kitchen scale, whisk up your sugar a bit before measuring. Confectioners' sugar is notorious for sinking and getting heavier as it sits.
If you love peanut butter, you're going to love these cookies. Soft, tender and loaded with peanut taste, these cookies are also perfect for people with special diets. The recipe is both gluten-free and vegan, but you'd never know it.
These cookies are quick to make and bake - no chilling/resting period and only about 8-9 minutes in the oven. Don't try to use natural peanut butter in this recipe. If just seems to turn out really greasy and flat. We prefer Skippy for PB cookies. Not sure what is in their formula that makes it best, but we think it's great for baking.
This recipe makes a small batch, about 18, 3-inch cookies, so feel free to double. A stand mixer is a real help when mixing peanut butter and oat flour (which we made by tossing rolled oats for a minute or so in the food processor). Of course, SideSwipe makes mixing effortless - especially if you are doubling up!
We adapted the recipe from one from Blissful Basil. The cookies can be baked a little longer if you like crunchier cookies, but we think they're best in their softest form(8-9 mins). They will keep for a couple of days at room temperature. We haven't tried freezing them (they were gone pretty quickly!), but they should freeze well for at least a month.
Calories: About 150 each for 18 cookies made from a single batch.
tips & shopping
We have an old Pampered Chef sliding measuring cup that we use to measure out peanut butter. It has a plunger that pushes measured ingredients out - no mess, no digging into a standard measuring cup. They still offer their Measure-All cups online.
You can also purchase a dishwasher-safe product by KitchenArt, Adjust-a-Cup with the same features, including being dishwasher safe. Click on the photo below to go directly to Amazon.
If you purchase, we may receive a small referral fee. Your price will remain the same.
Recipes and mixing tips
Simple recipes for home cooks using SideSwipe + your mixer. Tips for using + caring for your mixer. Our goal = Helping you get a perfect mix + great taste.