confetti cookies

Stop what you're doing. Seriously, put it down and grab the butter and the sugar. You need these incredible sour cream confetti cookies in your life. They're everything you'd want in a birthday-cake-turned-cookie, light and pillowy. There's nothing dense nor crunchy about these cookies, they're soft as sugar clouds on your tongue.

If you haven't noticed - the Spoontang Kitchen's actual space looks a little different these days. We moved from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side of Manhattan a little over three weeks ago. I'm slow to unpack, still living half out of boxes and my terrible memory of where I've placed the whisks. So it's a birthday of sorts, even if mine is still half a year away on the other side of summer, it's a time for something new. Something bright. These cookies are exactly what you need for spring, for that time of reset and renewal. Bright and celebratory and impossibly soft. 

recipe adapted from milk bar life. 

6 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar together in mixer until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and add to mixture, beating until well combined. Add sprinkles and beat until throughly distributed. 

On a silpat-lined baking tray, scoop dough into 1 tbsp size balls. You can even them out or leave them relatively unformed, as I did. Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes for small cookies and 10-11 minutes for larger cookies. Remove when tops begin to take on a golden brown color. Cookie should still be soft to the touch. Allow to cool completely before attempting to remove from silpat.

limoncello olive oil cake with preserved lemon buttercream

Lemon has always been my favorite. Sure, there are dalliances with mango and almond, pistachio and miso - but in the end it's lemon's bright clean flavor that I always seek out. Lemon sorbets, lemon curd, lemon shaker pie. Here, we're celebrating limoncello (which I keep on hand next to ice and cream for a crema di limoncello, basically a lemon-flavored orangsicle on (citrus) acid.

This is a play on a French yogurt cake. I read somewhere, once upon a time, that this is the first cake French children learn to make and I understand why. It's incredibly moist and forgiving, airy and none-too-sweet. Here, I've added lemon zest and limoncello to bring out that bold flavor and paired it with my favorite buttercream - Italian meringue. 

Buttercreams are not made equally. I can't stand the sickly sweet mixture of American buttercream, frequently seen on store-bought cupcakes. No, this buttercream is glossy and airy as a cloud, with the gentle backdrop of rich butter and high notes of gently sweet simple syrup. If angels sing, they sing about Italian buttercream.  


limoncello olive oil cake

1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 oz limoncello
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour an 11" cake pan. Combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, limoncello, and lemon zest in a mixer and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients together and slowly add to mixer on medium-low speed, working in batches.  Once fully incorporated, pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Tap slightly to even mixture and release any trapped air.

Bake 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for approximately ten minutes before flipping onto cooling rack. Place in freezer for one hour before icing.

preserved lemon italian buttercream

4 egg whites
1.25 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup cubed and room temperature butter
1 tbsp preserved lemon syrup (or 1 tsp lemon extract + 1/4 tsp salt)

In a stand mixer, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, dissolving completely. Bring syrup to 235 degrees and remove from heat. Slowly pour into the mixer, keeping the mixer on  low speed (to prevent scrambling eggs). Continue to mix until glossy and bowl has cooled. Add butter one cube at a time, beating to incorporate. Add lemon syrup and food coloring if desired. 

sweet corn semifreddo with berry compote

semifreddo, the most perfect of desserts. it's deceptively complicated sounding - and is actually incredibly simple to make. this dessert is, in essence, a whipped cream and frothy yolks folded together with a flavoring and then frozen semi-solid. (in fact, in italian, semifreddo means half-frozen). the fun comes in the fact that this takes flavors incredibly well and we're able to extract and infuse this with the flavor of fresh corn kernels by pureeing them and then straining the liquid. It's this liquid, the corn juice, that we add to the semifreddo for flavor. 

when it comes to berry compote - i'm a classicist. a purist. berries with some sugar and lemon juice. heated till boiling. you don't need anything else because the classic is already perfect and anything else detracts from it. 

I did this recipe for my dinner party out in denver last week. the fantastic thing about it is that it's a make ahead by necessity - so I made it on thursday night and brought it out for friday's party, all ready and perfectly frozen to go. the key to constructing a successful dinner party is knowing how to prep - what can you make in advance and what do you have to do that day? I recommend writing each step out and ignoring complete recipes. You can do certain steps. You can pre-cut veggies. You can make broths and soups and stocks the night before. Most soups and non-leaf salads get better with a day to allow flavors to meld. Get a notebook and write your attack plan down. Mental mise en place.

sweet corn semifreddo

100 grams heavy cream
100 grams granulated sugar
100 grams water
3 ears fresh corn
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

whip cream until it forms soft peaks. set aside. in a mixing bowl, add yolks and cream of tartar. 

cut the kernels off of the corncobs. place in a food processor and puree until mostly smooth. drain through a chinois or cheesecloth and save the liquid. 

in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add sugar to water and, using a candy thermometer, watch until it reaches 230 degrees. do not stir. once it hits 230, begin whipping egg yolks. at 240, remove the sugar water and slowly (very slowly) add in a thin stream to the egg yolks. allow to mix until pale yellow and ribboning when you dip a spoon in. 

remove the eggs. gently fold in the whipped cream and the corn liquid. pour into greased dishes (if you plan to turn it out) or directly into serving dishes. freeze 24 hours.

berry compote

1/2 lb mixed berries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

combine all in a small saucepan. bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 5-7 minutes. remove and cool. spoon over top of semifreddo. serve.