baking

Cinnamon Clove Coffee Cake, for those breezy fall mornings

Cinnamon Clove Coffee Cake, for those breezy fall mornings

Hello, fall! Even though you don’t exist in Florida the same falling-leaves-cute-scarves way you do in other states, I know you’re still there. And you’re on your way. I can feel it.

This recipe is aimed squarely at those mornings in October when you walk outside and catch your first whiff of crisp, 70-degree air.

It’s a warm and cozy coffee cake made with warm and cozy spices like cinnamon and cloves. It’s also got tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, and toasted sesame seeds, crucial additions from the ever-inventive food blogger Molly Yeh. If you don’t have tahini, peanut butter works great, too. I love the deep flavor and fragrance of cloves and cardamom especially here - they give this crumbly coffee cake a little extra something.

Orange ricotta bars with fresh mint

Orange ricotta bars with fresh mint

It was one of those serene kitchen days when everything just kind of works out.  

My husband and I were home on a Sunday, tending to our new puppy (!) as storm clouds gathered outside, and I set out to prep for dinner. Two of our friends were coming over, and we had decided to make potstickers from scratch. We would get the food ready and they would bring the cocktails. (More on that later because wow they were good.)

At the last minute, I decided we needed a homemade dessert, because I am nothing if not Very Extra when it comes to menu planning.

Fruit pie or nut pie? Make one of each for Thanksgiving: Salted Caramel Chocolate and Cranberry-Strawberry Crumb

Fruit pie or nut pie? Make one of each for Thanksgiving: Salted Caramel Chocolate and Cranberry-Strawberry Crumb

Sometimes you want a fruit pie: squishy and jammy and best eaten when still warm, dollop of whipped cream slowly sliding off the hot pie (more on that below). But sometimes you want something richer, sturdier, chocolatey-er. I was determined to find a great pie in that category this year, maybe a nut pie like pecan, perhaps an all-chocolate French silk number,  or something full-on coconut.

What I discovered was a loaded pie that sounds like it should be Way Too Extra, full of (deep breath) coconut and caramel and chocolate and pecans. But it works, and it's exactly what I was looking for. It's also really easy to whip up at the last minute, for Thanksgiving or any time of year.