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Behold: a baking concoction I didn’t mess up from start to finish. I made these for the Super Bowl Sunday party Matthew and I attended oh, you know, a month ago. I’m a food blogger slacker, but at least I’m getting this recipe up now. And it’s not as though my memory of these cupcakes has diminished with time. Nope, these are too delicious for that.

The original recipe calls for using real cream cheese in the center of the cupcakes but since we’re a lactose intolerant(ish) household, I used Tofutti Cream Cheese for the middle section. It tasted great! I’m sure regular cream cheese would have tasted even better but my brain never once told me to stop shoving these cupcakes in my mouth.

And actually, my favorite part of this cupcake would have to be the cake part. It was so moist, with the exact amount of chocolate in it. It wasn’t heavy or dense, but fluffy and perfectly sweet without giving me a sugar headache. Yum! Loved it. In fact, I think this will be my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe from now on. Mmm, want some. Right now.

Anyway, I made only minor changes to the recipe I found online, which was to omit the chocolate chips in my cream cheese batter and use Tofutti Cream Cheese instead of regular. Regular works fine, of course.

Black Bottom Cupcakes
slightly adapted from Baking Bites
makes 24 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz. cream cheese (or Tofutti), room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large egg whites, room temperature
2 Tbsp sour cream, room temperature

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cupcake liners in two 12-cup muffin tins. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and salt. Beat until smooth, then beat in egg whites and sour cream. Set aside.

In large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add sour cream, water, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir until just combined, with no remaining bits of flour.

Pour cake batter evenly among the 24 lined muffin tins. Top each with one tablespoon of cream cheese mixture (some may be left over).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion of each cupcake comes out clean. If using two racks, rotate pans halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Remove and place on wire racks until completely cooled. Sink your teeth in and enjoy chocolaty, creamy bliss.

*Note: I find that these are very, very good straight out of the refrigerator once they have cooled all the way!



Typical reaction when hearing I made this dish: “Are you crazy?” “Prunes?! In pasta??!” and the eventual “Ewwww!” Matthew’s response was simply, “That’s just too bad that I’ll be away this week for travel. I’ll be so sorry to miss out.” I sensed sarcasm in there but you know what? He SHOULD be sorry! Because this recipe was amazing!

Delicious, nutritious and cheapalicious. This recipe came from the Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook that my sister got me for Christmas and it’s the first of many recipes I’ll be making from it. Estimated cost for this recipe, which serves four, was $8.75. So if you find your pantry full of prunes and pasta — and you find your family has not run away screaming — then go forth and make this. And if you do find yourself deserted by all the people you love, it just means more pasta for you!

The prunes in the dish end up tasting like little meaty morsels. The ricotta adds a creamy, salty complement to the pasta and the leeks also offset the prunes’ sweet taste. The only thing I adapted in this recipe was to add extra leeks. The recipe, which was inspired by a dish the author ate when in Italy, is quick, healthy and easy on the pocketbook. Also — it’s strangely awesome.

Pasta with Prunes and Ricotta
from Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook
serves 4

1 lb medium-length, thick pasta, such as gemelli
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, washed and sliced, white and light green parts only
12 oz. pitted prunes, quartered
1/2 cup fresh ricotta, plus an additional 1/4 cup for serving
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to its directions, or until the pasta is al dente.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add leeks, cooking until softened (roughly 5 minutes). Add the prunes and cook until softened and heated through (roughly 5-7 minutes).

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Add cooked pasta and 1 cup of cooking water to skillet, stirring to combine. Simmer for one minute. Add 1/2 cup fresh ricotta and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve, topping each serving with a tablespoon or so of fresh ricotta. Now go ahead. Embrace your exotic side.

I love this recipe. Any recipe that allows the batter to sit in the fridge for up to two weeks is fanTASTIC by me. We’ve eaten these muffins dozens of times, and every time I switch it up with great success. The result, every time, has been perfect. The best part about this recipe is that you don’t have to make it all at once. Feels like a warm breakfast kind of morning? Heat up your oven, plop the batter into the desired number of muffin cups, and you’re set!

I discovered this recipe a while ago when reading King Arthur Flour’s awesome blog. My grandfather, who is a big baker, mentioned them to me and I’ve had great success with many of their recipes. This is one I continue coming back to, again and again. I scoured the comments on both the blog and the main recipe site for successful changes people made to the recipe. I wanted a healthier, slightly less sweet version than what they had, but not one that completely crossed over to the “superfood” side.

Feel free to add whatever dried fruits (or none at all!) you prefer to this recipe — I’ve added dried cherries, dried apricots, golden and regular raisins, dried cranberries and even dried figs on top. I’ve also fussed with the types of flour used — sometimes I use all white whole wheat, sometimes I split all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, and sometimes I go with straight all-purpose. Again, up to you. In this version, I cut the sugar and oil down, and added applesauce.

Two Week Bran Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup boiling water
1 cup bran cereal (buds or twigs); or 1 3/4 cups bran flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups cup dried fruit (I used golden raisins and dried cranberries this time)
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups bran cereal (buds or twigs); or 3 1/2 cups bran flakes

In heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over 1 cup bran cereal. Set aside until cool (roughly 30-45 minutes).

While cereal mixture cools, combine flour, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in dried fruit.

Add vegetable oil and applesauce to cooled cereal mixture. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and white/brown sugar. Add this to flour mixture and combine. Stir in remaining dried cereal and, finally, add water/bran/oil mixture to everything and combine well.

Place batter in large plastic container, cover, and let sit overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray or grease muffin cups and fill in as many cups as desired. Batter can sit in fridge for up to two weeks. Fill cups with approximately 1/4 cup batter and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove muffins from oven and extract from cups, allowing them to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Try not to fit whole muffin in your mouth once you realize how delicious they are!

Look at those perfect little nooks and crannies!

A Valentines Day dinner to die for. Or just a regular dinner to die for, as we had this a week ago, but I think this is one of those dishes that should be reserved for a unique night. It’s elegant, decadent and relatively simple.

And kind of expensive. My eyes about bulged out of my head and my heart nearly gave out when I got to the register and I finally looked at the price tag on the salmon steaks — $30?! Oh, crapcrapcrap. Matthew is going to kill me! Not only was the salmon $10 a pound (I bought an extra one that is now sitting in the freezer, waiting to be eaten as another decadent dish), but the lamb stew meat I bought for another dish was $10/lb — making it $30 as well! Attack of an aneurysm. I’m sorry, but that kind of expensive meat buying does not normally happen in this household. Whoopsies. Thankfully Matthew did not kill me, but simply skewered me with one of those looks men perfect when their wives buy something that wasn’t, per se, in the budget.

HOW. EV. ER. This meal was absolutely mind-blowing. Which means I was forgiven! Whew. The salmon steaks were perfectly done, and the peppery, lemony, hint-of-mustardy lemon sauce that is drizzled on top is perfectly simple and utterly amazing. Put all of that on top of the wild mushroom risotto (which I had never made before and will definitely make again!) and you’ve got love on a plate.

I added these fantastic lemon/mustard Brussels sprouts to the dish (it is my favorite Brussels sprout recipe and always will be — for now) and the whole thing felt like we were at the classiest restaurant in Bloomington. Or New York City, for that matter! That’s right. It was that good. Make it for your special person tonight! Or on Valentines Day, whichever works.

Fresh Salmon with Tricolored Peppercorn Sauce
from “More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden”
serves 4

1/2 lemon
salmon steaks or fillets to serve 4
2 1/2 Tbsp butter (don’t substitute)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely crushed tricolored peppercorns

Squeeze juice from lemon half over salmon and barbecue or broil salmon until cooked all the way through (anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon steak). Do not overcook!

Melt butter, then add mustard and lemon juice. Remove cooked salmon and top with finely crushed peppercorns. Drizzle melted butter sauce over salmon and serve immediately over top risotto.

Wild Mushroom Risotto
minimally adapted from Three Many Cooks
serves 6

1 cup dried mushrooms (I used chanterelle because that’s what I had but feel free to use any kind)
1 quart plus 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, more if needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-large onion, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp tricolored peppercorns, ground
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or up to 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Put dried mushrooms in heatproof bowl and add 3 cups boiling water. Let steep until hydrated and soft (roughly 30 minutes). Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid, and roughly chop.

Heat broth and 2 cups mushroom liquid in pot over medium heat and simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and keep liquid simmering during risotto process.

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed pot, over medium high heat, then add onions. Sprinkle with salt and sauté until translucent (roughly 5-7 minutes). Add garlic, cook for one minute. Add pepper and rice, stirring often to toast the rice (roughly one minute). Add white wine and stir continuously until liquid is nearly absorbed.

Add ladleful of simmering stock to rice and stir until mostly absorbed, or when you drag your wooden spoon across bottom of pot, you see no excess liquid. Add another ladleful of stock and stir until absorbed, repeating the process until rice is tender and creamy (roughly 20-30 minutes). Make sure to stir continuously so that rice does not stick or burn on the bottom of the pan.

Most likely you will use all of the stock, though more or less may be needed. Stock added to the risotto must be hot for it to cook correctly.

When risotto has finished cooking, add chopped mushrooms, Parmigiano and butter, stirring to combine. Spoon onto plate, then place salmon on top and add butter sauce to top everything off. And try not to preen and prance about when said special person asks you to become their personal chef (because most likely you already are).

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet (except to say this post is for you, Patri!). The proof is in the pictures, after all. It’s closing in on 2 a.m. here and I am so wishing I had some of this dish leftover to eat right now. Eat at 2 a.m.?! Who does that! Oh, um, me. I’m not afraid to eat at this hour, oh no. A muffin held off most of my hunger but what I really wanted was Ma-Po Tofu.

Bits of beef and soft pieces of tofu have simmered in a salty, spicy red sauce that absolutely screams EAT ME!! And so we did. And it was good. I’m not sure what originally drew me to this recipe — probably the promise of a spicy kick on a cold night — but I’m so glad I made the effort.

Not that it takes much effort to make it. This recipe moves quickly, once you have everything chopped and combined in various bowls. Plate it over a bowl of hot rice and let the flavors scream in your ear (and mouth), too.

Ma-Po Tofu
slightly adapted from Epicurious
serves 4

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (I used regular, freshly-cracked pepper)
1 1/2 pounds soft (not silken) tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons Szechuan chili sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese black-bean paste
4 Tbsp Hoisin sauce, split
2 Tbsp Asian chili powder (I used 3/4 Tbsp red pepper flakes)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut oil
8 ounces ground beef
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), washed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup rice wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Hot rice

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add tofu, remove from heat, and steep (uncovered) for five minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine chili sauce, black bean paste, 2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine cornstarch and 3 Tbsp water. Set aside.

Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat, then add peanut oil until hot. Add beef, ginger, garlic, scallions and leeks, cooking until meat is fully browned (roughly 3-4 minutes). Add rice wine, cook until mostly evaporated (roughly 1-2 minutes). Add hot bean paste mixture and cook until mixture is incorporated (roughly 1 minute).

Add tofu, broth, soy sauce and remaining 2 Tbsp of Hoisin sauce and bring to a boil. Whisk cornstarch if it has begun to separate, and add to pan. Cook for roughly one minute, or until mixture thickens slightly.

Serve over hot rice, garnishing with chopped cilantro. Enjoy with unabashed ardor.

Whoa, a SIDE DISH, people! The first one on here (finally). The barrage of posts on soups, stews and other soup/stew-related dishes were getting a bit out of hand. This recipe has been lying in wait, patiently sitting on my camera’s memory card until it could be revealed in all its glory. Its delicious, healthy, addictive glory. Crisp green beans, sweet dried figs and crunchy pita chips tossed in a nutty tahini dressing. I need more now.

I bookmarked this recipe a while ago and cannot believe it took me so long to make it. Umm, yummm. It has been forever since I’ve eaten dried figs, ever since my addiction to fig newtons dwindled and died. What a yummy reintroduction to that delicious fruit! After I photographed the last bit of this dish, I tried to quietly and surreptitiously SCARF IT ALL DOWN. Then Matthew showed up and plopped down beside me with a fork. Thwarted!

But that’s OK, because sharing is a good thing. This recipe is very simple and, since I knew I wanted leftovers, I made sure to keep the green beans/figs separate from the pita chips and tahini dressing. You could easily make parts of this ahead (cook the green beans and make the dressing) and throw together when it’s time to serve.

Tahini Green Bean Salad with Figs
serves 3-4
from Honest Fare

1 cup pita chips (or pita bread, toasted in the oven and broken into pieces)
1/2- 3/4 lbs green beans
6 dried figs
handful curly parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
4 Tbsp tahini
salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vegetable oil
3-4 Tbsp water

Remove stems on green beans. Bring medium-large pot of water to boiling and add beans. Cook for 3-5 few minutes, checking to make sure beans remain crisp. Drain and place beans in prepared ice bath to prevent cooking further. Once chilled, remove from ice water and pat dry. Chop beans in half or thirds.

Slice figs and chop parsley; set aside with pita chips.

Create dressing by combining lemon, tahini, honey, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Thin the dressing out to desired consistency with water and stir. In a bowl, combine figs, parsley, pita chips and green beans. Toss with desired amount of dressing, and serve. And try not to scarf it all before you share it, because this recipe improves with company (according to me).

Maybe I should have called this blog “soups, stews and other soup/stew-related dishes” because it’s true that I post quite a bit of those kinds of recipes. I never used to be a big soup eater, especially the brothy variety. I never felt completely satisfied after finishing a bowl, and Matthew felt the same way. Lately, however, that seems to be a lot of what we eat and they always end up hitting the spot.

I’m also big on making (and subsequently photographing and blogging about) meals that don’t require multiple side dishes to complete the perfect dinner trifecta — grains, veggies, protein. I prefer all three of those things to come together in one meal, be it a stew over rice/polenta or a soup. So that’s probably the main reason for the overload of the latter on this blog.

But that’s OK because they are all YUMMY! Like this soup, for example. When I saw the original recipe online, I immediately thought “Oh, that would be so good with shrimp. And added veggies. And extra spiciness.” So I wrote down all of my changes and voila, delicious! It’s spicy, but still is packed with flavor from the vegetables and shrimp. Feel free to make any changes you’d like — add more or less of your favorite vegetables or experiment with different spices. You could even switch out the shrimp for tofu, chicken or leave it out altogether for a perfect vegetarian meal. This recipe is very versatile.

Spicy Asian Noodle Soup
inspired by The Daily Spud
serves 6

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, juice of
1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp sriracha sauce
2 tsp Thai chili garlic paste
1 Tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth, +/- 1 cup water
6 oz. thin rice noodles
2 cups cauliflower
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 cups packed kale leaves, shredded
3-4 cups napa cabbage, shredded
1 lb raw shrimp, deshelled (I used the 31-40 size)
cilantro, for garnish

In a bowl, mix together first eight ingredients (soy sauce through minced garlic) and set aside. In a large pot, add 6 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add rice noodles, cauliflower, carrot, kale and soy sauce mixture. Lower heat to medium and cook until carrots begin to soften (roughly 5-8 minutes). Add napa cabbage and raw shrimp; cook until shrimp is pink (3-4 minutes). Add extra 1 cup water if necessary. Garnish with cilantro. Consume with abandon (and try not to lick the bowl).

Otherwise known as Brazilian fish stew, consisting of mostly slurpy, rich, fresh-tasting stuff. Oh, you wanted real ingredients? Fresh white fish couples with coconut milk, cilantro, garlic, bell peppers and (my addition) zucchini in this amazing stew. Yeah, there’s the zucchini again. I can’t seem to stop myself from adding zucchini to nearly every dish. It’s a disorder, I tell you!

But it works here, luckily. I got this recipe from one of the first cooking blogs I started reading, Simply Recipes. Great blog, great recipes. The author, Elise, posted this Moqueca recipe a while ago and I fell in love with it, despite despising (for real) onions and bell peppers at the time. I have since gotten over my fear of both. This is big, for those who know me. I actually took a bite of a RAW red bell pepper the other day and…. and…. found that it tasted…. it tasted… good. How weird.

Anyway! Great recipe, with a few changes to fit my need to shove a few more vegetables into every dish. Enjoy!

minimally adapted from Simply Recipes
serves 4

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod (I’ve also used fresh tilapia with success), rinsed, bones removed if needed, cut into large portions
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)
2 small-medium zucchini, halved and sliced
2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes
1/4 cup green onion greens (scallions), chopped
1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika (I used regular because that’s all I had)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
hot rice

In bowl, add fish and coat well with garlic and lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

In large pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Then add bell pepper, zucchini, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft (roughly 5-8 minutes). Add chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in chopped cilantro.

Remove half of vegetables to bowl, then spread remaining vegetables in pan to make a bed for fish. Place fish on top of vegetables, then add back previously removed vegetables to cover fish. Pour coconut milk over fish and bring to simmer. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve atop hot rice and let the comforting flavors seep into your very being.

Isn’t it appropriate for traditions to begin as a newly-married couple? I didn’t set out for that to happen, but after sinking my teeth into this fragrant, yeasty pastry, I decided right then that stollen would become mine and Matthew’s Christmas tradition. Stollen is a popular Christmas bread in Europe, where rum-soaked dried cherries and raisins combine with lemon zest, cardamom seeds and almond paste to form a sweet-scented bread. My family’s dinner tradition (hopefully to be posted soon) is something I look forward to every year — Cornish game hens in a brandied shiitake mushroom sauce with pancetta wild rice. Yum? But now — NOW, my friends — I have an amazing dessert to look forward to as well (and some hilarious memories).

I made this one with my mom, who came up with my stepdad to visit us for our first Christmas. We had a blast as we muddled our way through the recipe for the first time, giggling and cracking jokes every now and then. Who knew cardamom seeds looked so funny once they pop out from their pods? And who knew how far those little pellets can fly? We had our own rendition of “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” with the “precious” pellets.  I’m laughing just remembering it.

And, as with EVERY dessert I make, this one came with the inevitable mistakes. I really can’t say what happens to me when I make desserts, but it seems as if I’m handicapped against making them the way they were meant to be made. I must have handicapped my mom, too. Refrigerate dough overnight? Oops! Cool dough before putting browned butter on top? Cool again before sprinkling powdered sugar?? Heh…heh.. oops, oops and oh well! Improvise!

So we did, multiple times — and no one was the wiser when we all dived in and enjoyed the first slice of a new tradition.

*Note: The final, baked product freezes well. Also, try to go the extra mile and find cardamom pods for this recipe instead of ground cardamom. The pods can often be found in bulk bins, allowing you to pick out only as many as you need.

slightly adapted from Relish Magazine

8 cardamom pods
1 cup soy milk (or 2% reduced-fat milk), scalded
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried cherries
3 tbsp dark rum or orange juice
2 (.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar, divided
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 eggs
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
5 ounces almond paste

½ cup butter
powdered sugar

Put cardamom pods in bowl and add hot milk. Let stand for 10 minutes. In separate bowl, combine dried cherries and raisins and add the rum. Let stand. Combine yeast, warm water and 1 tsp sugar in another bowl and set aside until mixture foams (roughly 10 minutes).

Remove cardamom pods from milk and squeeze each softened pod open until black seeds come out. Scrape seeds into milk. Discard the pods. In large bowl, stir yeast into milk mixture. Add 1 cup flour and beat well. Cover mixture (called “sponge”) with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

Place 2 cups flour and butter in food processor (or use pastry cutter) and pulse until combined. Add salt and remaining sugar and pulse a bit more. Drain fruits, reserving liquid. When sponge is ready, add to flour/butter mixture. Add lemon zest, eggs and soaking liquid from fruits. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Now, add fruit, toasted almonds and remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix. Scrape dough into large, oiled bowl and set aside. At this point you can refrigerate the dough overnight or, as I did, let rise for four or five hours.

After dough has risen, punch down and divide in half. On heavily floured surface, gently pull dough into large, oval shape (each of mine were a bit bigger than a sheet of paper). Divide almond paste in half and dot half of oval, the long way, with pieces of almond paste. Fold other half of dough over almond paste and gently close seams. Repeat with second piece of dough.

Transfer to silpat or parchment paper and let rise until dough is puffy or nearly doubled in size (roughly one hour). Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Before end of baking time, begin browning butter. Put 1/2 cup butter in saucepan over medium heat; when butter melts, lower heat and cook until browned (roughly 8 minutes). Once dough has cooled a bit on racks, pour browned butter over top of loaves. After butter has soaked in a bit, generously sift powdered sugar over top.

Let cool (roughly 10-20 minutes, depending on self-control) and cut into thin slices and serve warm, making sure to lick your fruity, buttery and sugary fingertips afterward.