Wait For Me


Wait for me and I’ll come back,
Dodging every fate!
What a bit of luck! they’ll say,
Those that would not  wait.
They will never understand
How amidst the strife,
By your waiting for me, dear,
You had saved my life.
Only you and I will know
How you got me through.
Simply—you knew how to wait—
No one else but you.

—Konstantin Simonov, 1941, to Valentina Serova


I refuse to accept the fact that it is nearly November.
I mean, if it is, then
where are the Halloween spooks haunting my blog?
And where are the many festive fall recipes that surely I’ve shared on this page?

And why aren’t there cakes like this (bloody amazing, if I do say so myself) one or this (OCD-tic-inducing) one, or non-pumpkin treats like these cookies or even pumpkin treats, for God’s sake, because even a cliché is better than utter silence and the cold shoulder, isn’t it?!

Where in the world have I been?
Well, this last week I had 2 p-sets, a double lab report, 2 midterms, and a paper due.
Twice this week I have gotten 3 hours of sleep because there is simply too much organic chemistry and cell biology to learn.
Far, far too much. 


I’m humbled by this year.

I haven’t quite bitten off more than I can chew, but my mouth is certainly full.

I know the blog has been sadly neglected, but it’s not just because I’m busy.  I promise I haven’t forgotten, either.
The developer I hired has fixed the Pinterest issue, I think, and if that’s true, I’ll be unreasonably happy and grateful.
I have a bunch of new, delicious cakes to share with you, and one of them is (ya, Alexa, this is your shoutout) this gal’s birthday cake.

For now, I’ve brought something comforting and cozy and warm.
Something buttery, full of warm spice, and covered in crackling glaze.  Brown butter and banana and speculoos.

This is a classic banana cake, made with a combination of butter and coconut oil along with greek yogurt to keep it moist and tender, with four wizened old bananas to give it the most concentrated banana flavor.
It’s a go-to.

The glaze is bananas… Unbelievably addicting.
You will spoon it straight into your mouth, unless you have a remarkably ascetic type of willpower.  Ahem.
Butter is browned until it’s fragrant, then showered with lots of fat flaky sea salt shards.  A few spoonfuls of cookie butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon are whisked in; next comes milk (or cream, you minx) and a pile of powdered sugar.
The whole shebang is glossy, shiny, and sexy.
It’s thick and pourable and cools into a shattering glaze that perfectly complements the soft banana cake underneath.
You must use all of it.  It seems like a lot.
You must persevere, friends.

Happy Halloween! Let’s eat some cake.


Classic Banana Cake with Speculoos Glaze
cake portion adapted from Hummingbird High

makes 1 bundt cake
for the cake:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter
4 ounces coconut oil
2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 blackened bananas
1 cup greek yogurt

for the glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (Maldon)
3 tablespoons cookie butter (speculoos, biscoff)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
~1 cup powdered sugar, or as needed

Make the cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a bundt or tube pan very well.
Place butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat for 3 full minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the sugar and salt and beat for 3 more minutes.
Add in the eggs and beat for 5 full minutes, until mixture is fluffy, shiny, and pale white—it shouldn’t be gritty.
Mash the bananas with the yogurt and vanilla extract, then add them into the bowl (don’t mix yet).
Place the flour and baking soda on top of the bananas, then gently stir to combine everything, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out completely clean; allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: brown the butter in a sauce pot, then add in the salt and speculoos and whisk vigorously to melt the speculoos.
Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and milk; whisk in powdered sugar until no lumps remain (you may want to sift it in).
While cake is just barely warm, pour the warm glaze all over it.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then cut into fat wedges and serve with milk and tea.


Well y’all, this has been a long week of speculoos-related goods.  

A long and delicious week.
I’m ready to share some other stuff, though, so this is the last Biscoff post… for a while, anyways.

These little bars are brunettes- not blondies.
That’s because they have too much going on and I cannot possibly describe all of that in a single title.
Thus, brunettes.  They’ve got speculoos and all the accompanying spices, brown butter, maple, white chocolate, butterscotch, and a sinful glaze.
They’re just a little darker and more complex than any run of the mill bar cookie.
They’re a good way to end this lovely week.

Biscoff Brunettes
cookie portion adapted from Picky Palate
for the cookies:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup speculoos spread (make your own!)
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
(optional) 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
for the glaze:
2 tablespoons butter, browned
2 tablespoons maple syrup
big pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8×8 pan.
Brown the butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
Once it is browned, stir in the chips and maple syrup and continue stirring until they melt.
Add in the salt and speculoos spread and mix until all in combined.
Beating quickly, add in the eggs; continue mixing very quickly so they don’t scramble.
Add in the flour, sugar, and baking powder and mix to combine.
Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips.
Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Right after you take the cookies out of the oven, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together.
Pour over hot bars and allow to cool.
Slice and enjoy!


Remember how I said that people like to shove cookie butter into every dessert imaginable?
Well then, this swap of cookie butter for peanut butter should come as no surprise to you.
Cookie butter cups!  
The only problem with these is that the cookie butter mixture for the middle has to be formed into little patties- if it were more liquid and pourable, the little cups would have even tops, just like the peanut butter cups we all know and love.
A lumpy top is but a small price to pay for these.
The dark chocolate combines with the spices to give two or three perfectly creamy and balanced bites from each confection. (and then you reach for another… and another…)
Bonus?  They’re super quick and easy to make.
(I tempered my chocolate, which takes a bit longer, but feel free to add a teaspoon of shortening and a teaspoon of corn syrup to melted chocolate to make an approximation!)
This is a peanut butter cup.  This is a peanut butter cup on drugs…


Speculoos Cups
makes about 9
adapted from the Little Kitchen
1/4 cup speculoos spread (make your own!)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
about 2 cups dark chocolate, tempered (or see approximation above)
Put cookie butter and butter in microwave and heat in 30 second bursts until melted.
Stir in salt and powdered sugar until a thick paste forms.

Set out 9 cupcake liners and drop about a teaspoon of chocolate into the bottom of each.
Form small patties of speculoos mixture and nestle them into the chocolate.
Finish each cup by filling it with chocolate until the patty is covered.
Allow to set by placing in the freezer or fridge, then unwrap and enjoy!


Part III.  Gird your loins.
Here’s an easy fix for any (and all) cravings.
Puppy chow/muddy buddies are a classic childhood treat.
I remember making these when I was in elementary school.
Melt (peanut butter), chocolate, butter, add Chex, finish with a heaping pile of confectioner’s sugar.
They couldn’t be easier.  Really.
In this case, I’ve swapped the peanut butter for cookie butter.
Now, these little guys are sweetly spiced, but still crunchy, sweet, and very addictive.
It’s important not to zone out around puppy chow- before you know it, the whole batch is gone! 
And then you have to make more…
Rather than going with all semi-sweet chocolate, I swapped half for milk and half for white chocolate.
The milkiness of this combination really plays off of the deep brown sugar in the cookie butter.
They’re divine and so simple to make!
More good news?  I have an even easier cookie butter recipe coming stat.
Two more recipes, and I think my speculoos reserve will be all used up!

Biscoff Muddy Buddies
adapted from Chex
9 cups Rice Chex or other Chex cereal

2 ounces (1/4 cup, 4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup biscoff spread (make your own!)
2 milk chocolate bars, coarsely chopped, or about 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
enough white chocolate chips to make 1 cup of chocolate when combined with the roughly chopped milk chocolate (chop the milk chocolate and add it to a 1 cup measure, then fill to the top with white chocolate chips) (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Brown the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Add in the speculoos spread and the chocolate and stir to melt and combine.
Pour mixture over the cereal and stir very well until every piece is coated- this will take a little while, maybe 3 or 4 minutes, gently folding with a spatula, as the mixture is very thick.
Place 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in the bottom of a gallon ziplock bag.
Add in 1/2 of the coated cereal, then add another 1/2 cup powdered sugar over the cereal.  
Add the rest of the cereal, and put the last 1/2 cup powdered sugar over that.
Zip the bag and gently toss around so that all of the cereal is coated with powdered sugar.


Just the name of this dessert gives me the goosebumps… Hello, lover.
This should be a sin.
This probably is a sin.
Gooey.  Biscoff.  Butter.  Cake.
Wait.  I went even further.
Gooey.  Biscoff.  Brown Butter.  Cake.
Good Lord have mercy on my poor, poor soul.
Speculoos cookie butter is blended into cream cheese and eggs, augmented with sugar, and poured over a brown butter cake base, then baked until barely set.
When you cut into this (first you have to endure the agony of a multiple-hour cooling period), the filling oozes and sticks to the knife and by Jove, you know you’re in for a treat.
It’s subtly spicy, and so creamy.
It’s decadent and delicious.
I packaged this up and sent it with my mom to her office.  

In her words, people “freaked out.”
It’s called a gooey butter cake, for Pete’s sake, what do you expect?

This was part II of the speculoos series on this here blog.
There’s still more to come.

Praise Yeezus.

P.S. I graduate today… If all goes well, I’ll post about that soon enough.  Weird.
Gooey Biscoff Brown Butter Cake
adapted from Bake Your Day, via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
for the cake base:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 8 tablespoons) butter, browned
2 tablespoons milk
splash vanilla extract
for the gooey layer:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Biscoff (make your own!)
16 ounces powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
Make the cake base: whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together, then add in the butter, milk, vanilla, and egg.
Whisk very well to combine, then press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Make the gooey Biscoff layer: beat cream cheese on high until softened and fluffy.  
Add both the eggs in and beat on high until mixture is lightened in color and homogeneous.
Beat in the Biscoff and vanilla.
Mix in the powdered sugar, making sure that everything is combined and there are no lumps.
Pour over the cake base in your pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is puffed and shiny and the edges are set.  
The interior of the cake will continue to cook, so it should still be jiggly when you pull it out of the oven.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into the cake.


These cookies are wholly counterproductive.
Welcome to the first installation of uses for your homemade speculoos spread (other than ravaging it with a spoon).
Basically, we made cookies to make cookies.
Oh, my lyfe.
These cookies are similar to peanut butter cookies, but they use cookie butter (can we just appreciate that for a minute?) in lieu of the traditional nut butter.
They’re big and soft and they make perfect sandwich cookies when pressed together with some dark chocolate ganache.
I’m telling you, these are not gingersnaps.  
Stop trying to make them gingersnaps in your head.  
They’re not.  I did it too.  Trust me. 
They’re more like lightly spiced peanut butter cookies.
Make them and you will appreciate this sentiment.
You will also be annoyed that you had to make cookies, grind them up, and then make cookies again.  It’s worth it my dear.
(Also, any excuse to pull out my Swedish pearl sugar is worth it.  
Let me just say how obsessed I am with this stuff.  It’s like sprinkles.  Addictive.
I actually prefer it over the larger, coarser Belgian pearl sugar, but you could theoretically coat these in the Belgian stuff, although it will add a lot more sweetness and crunch.  
You could also sub regular or turbinado sugar, but you’ll get less crunch.
I’m starting to think you could also coat these in sprinkles and then you’d have sprinkle Biscoff cookies and whaaa that’s a trap I’m getting out okay bye.)


Biscoff Cookies
adapted from Baking Bites
makes 6 large sandwich cookies
4 ounces (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch each cinnamon, ground cloves, and ginger
scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Biscoff (make your own!)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
swedish pearl sugar, or turbinado sugar, for rolling
for the ganache:
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Beat butter on high until fluffy and soft, about 1 minute.  
Add in the sugars, spices, and the salt and beat on high until all of sugar is dissolved and mixture is very light in color and shiny and not-gritty in texture, about 3 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the egg and vanilla extract.  
Beat for 3 more minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the Biscoff and beat for 1 minute.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Mix just until homogeneous, about 1 minute.
Using a large cookie scoop, or an ice cream scoop, scoop out 12 cookies. 
Gently roll them in the pearl sugar, making sure to coat all parts of the cookie.
Bake for 9-10 minutes, until puffy.  
They will look very underdone and will still be extremely soft in the middle; they will look somewhat uncooked in the very center.
Allow to cool on the sheet pans; the cookies will decompress and retain their softness, but the residual heat will ensure that they are not raw.
Once cooled, make the ganache.
Microwave the chocolate chips and cream together until the chips are mostly melted; do this in 30 second bursts.  
Stir to combine and finish melting the chocolate.
Spread between two cookies and sandwich them!


Have you spent much time on the (food) blogosphere in the past, oh, say, year?

If you answered yes, you can pretty much skip down to the recipe.

Because you’ll want to make it.  I just know it.
Okay, I made some Biscoff spread.
AKA speculoos spread, AKA cookie butter.
But… I made it from scratch.
Starting with the cookies.

Speculoos (speculaas) cookies are lightly spiced, buttery, brown sugar cookies that are typically found in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, where they are important while celebrating Sinterklaas’ (Sint Nikolaas, St. Nicholas) feast.
They’re tinged with nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, ginger, and cardamom, but much less so than other gingerbread cookies.
The brown sugar really shines through the gentle spices.

Speculoos spread is basically ground up cookies with oil.  
And people love that s&!#.
Obsessive love.  To the extent that Trader Joe’s speculoos nearly went extinct.
Probably because people shove this stuff in EVERYTHING.
Pies, cookies, brownies, candies, their mouths.
Basically, spread it on bread or crackers or cookies or a spoon, then

Obviously, I had to make some myself.
(By the way, you can’t taste the peanuts or nutella at all; the tahini adds a certain richness and spiciness that is very difficult to pinpoint or detect.  These three spreads keep the cookie butter emulsified with a proper texture.)
Then, I had to stick it in EVERYTHING.
Look out ahead, because everything in the foreseeable future is speculoos-related.


Faux-Speculoos Spread
cookie portion from Eat the Love
for the cookies:
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 g) white granulated sugar
3/4 cup (165 g) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup (235 g) all purpose flour
to assemble spread:
pinch of cinnamon and cloves
scant 1/4 cup (50 g) coconut oil
6 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons nutella
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3 cup tahini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter on high until softened and fluffy.  Add in the sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices, and cream for at least 3 minutes, until fluffy, lightened in color, shiny, and completely smooth.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the egg.
Beat on high until fully combined and fluffy, 2 more minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl. 
Add in the flour and mix until homogeneous, about 1 more minute.
Pinch off balls of dough and flatten them- they’re going to be crushed up, so don’t bother making them perfectly evenly sized or shaped.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Place all cookies into a food processor and process with extra cinnamon and cloves until finely pulverized.
Add the coconut oil, half and half, and canola oil, and process until mixture is wet.
Add in the nut butters and nutella and process until mixture is a very smooth paste.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.