The strangest thing happened.
A few days ago, The.Boy. (who has been staying at my apartment since Sunday because getting back to Brooklyn from Manhattan right now requires either a very expensive cab ride, a very very long walk, or a very very very long bus ride on a very crowded bus) thanked me.
For what, you ask? For letting him stay with me? For feeding him three AWESOME meals a day? For cuddling with him every night?
Um, no. To all of the above.
He thanked me...for letting him clean my kitchen floor and my recycling bin while I was at work.
I know, right?!?
He's been cooped up in this apartment for so long that I've obviously somehow brainwashed/hypnotized/telepathically manipulated him without even realizing it.
To apologize/thank him...I made him dessert. Twice.
Once disguised as a Thanksgiving-esque veggie side dish and once as, well. An actual dessert.
That's some serious positive reinforcement right there.
The hasselback sweet potato crumbles are reminiscent of everyone's favorite ooey gooey marshmallow sweet potato bake...but better.
First of all...they're single portion-sized. And everyone knows that getting your OWN delectably delicious cinnamon sugar potato is way more awesome than having to scoop a portion out of a pan that you have to share with your weird aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Second of all...since the cinnamon sugar compound butter/spread is stuffed INTO the hasselback slices, there is literally cinnamon sugar buttery heaven in every crevice of these babies. With an oatmeal crumble on top. Hellz yeah.
And then, to top it all off is the fact that I made these with Country Crock spread, which has all the delicious flavor of butter but without a single gram of transfat, no hydrogenated oils, 70% less saturated fat than butter, 30% fewer calories than butter, and no cholesterol (check out countrycrock.com for more info!). I call that a win.
Plus did I mention that Country Crock has offered to giveaway a fabulous Thanksgiving kit that includes - Harvest Pumpkin Tiny Taper Holders, Italian Scalloped Bakers and a 13" Wire Baker Rack. To enter the giveaway, check out all of the great Thanksgiving veggie recipes on the Country Crock site and let me know which one you'd most want to grace your holiday table. The winner will be announced next Friday, November 9th!
And then...after I made dessert-for-dinner...I made actual dessert.
And really, I use that term loosely, because I've been sneaking pieces of this coconut semolina cake pretty much hourly. So it's also breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every snack in between. With a fabulous, dense texture from the semolina flour and coconut batter, and the insane amount of moistness from the scented sugar syrup soaking...it's majorly amazing.
Also, just a side note before I let you all go off on your merry ways...in case you don't remember after all of my incessant babble about it...the NYC Marathon is THIS SUNDAY. For real. If you guys want to track me during the race and get text message updates to your phone about when I pass certain mile markers, you can go to this site to sign up. My number is 39312, name - Joanne Bruno.
Also ALSO...I am participating in a blogger bake sale being held over at Veronica's Cornucopia today (opens at 8AM CST) to help raise money so that Suzie, a fellow blogger, can have a surgery that she so desperately needs to live. I have donated my pumpkin swirl brownies and I know there are lots of other amazing treats up for grabs, so definitely head on over and check it out!
Check out these other blogs to see how their coconut semolina cake turned out!
Brandy – Nutmeg Nanny
Amanda – Fake Ginger
Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Gina – Running to the Kitchen
Joanne – Eats Well With Others
Heather – Girlichef
Natasha – Five Star Foodie
Megan – What’s Megan Making
Rachel – Baked by Rachel
Hasselback Sweet Potato Crumble
Serves 8, adapted from How Sweet Eats
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup Country Crock spread (or regular butter), divided, softened
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the Country Crock spread with 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt, combining well until thoroughly mixed. Place the butter on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a small rectangle or square. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.
- Slice the sweet potatoes every 1/8th to 1/4-inch and only 3/4 of the way down the potato. Remove the butter from the freezer and, slicing very thing pieces, insert a butter slice into every 3rd or 4th sweet potato slit. Place sweet potatoes in a baking dish with slits upright.
- To make the oatmeal crumble, combine the oats, 2/3 cup brown sugar, flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Using your hands, crumble in the remaining 1/4 cup of Country Crock spread and mix until the whole thing is moistened and comes together. Place an equal amount of crumble on top of each potato, pressing firmly and gently. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes. To serve, cut in half.
Coconut Semolina Cake
Serves 10-12, adapted from An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair
- 2 batches of Scented Sugar Syrup (recipe below)
- 2 cups (305 g) fine semolina flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup desiccated, unsweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 10-inch round baking pan.
- Whisk together the semolina flour, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and then the milk until combined. Fold in the coconut.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Score the batter into 1-inch square or diamond shapes with a sharp knife, periodically dipping the knife in hot water and drying it off before continuing. Place one almond in the center of each diamond.
- Bake until the sides and top are brown, about 30 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, cut the cake along the scored lines. Slowly pour the cooled Scented Sugar Syrup onto the cake. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours to absorb the syrup before serving.
Scented Sugar Syrup
Yields 1 cup thin syrup or 2/3 cup thick syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp rose water
- Add the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl.
- Turn heat down slightly and boil - 2 minutes for thin syrup and 5 minutes for thick syrup, swirling the pan on occasion. The syrup will thicken more as it cools.
- Turn off heat and stir in the rose water. Let cool to room temperature.