With a pound cake-like texture and zippy lemon flavor, this tender treat is loaded with grated citrus zest and topped with a sweet, mellow coconut frosting. Like many snacking cakes, it’s easily whisked together without a mixer, and quick to bake. Perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up, it goes as well with a glass of milk as it does with mugs of coffee, tea or hot cocoa.
This moist, darkly bittersweet snacking cake is easily mixed with a whisk. Using a neutral oil rather than butter allows the chocolate flavor to shine, and gives the crumb an especially velvety texture under a sweet-tart glaze. You can use any kind of orange for the topping. Tangerines and mandarins (including clementines) are bright and spicy, but regular navel or juice oranges work just as well. Or if you can find blood oranges, the glaze will take on a pinkish hue and a sweeter, richer flavor.
This buttery snacking cake is a bit like banana bread, but richer, and topped with a sticky caramel frosting that is dotted with crunchy flakes of sea salt. The frosting, made from brown sugar and heavy cream, is easier than a classic caramel, but just as compelling, with the sea salt contrasting perfectly with its sweetness. It’s important to use ripe bananas here. Soft, spotty ones with dark yellow skins will be the sweetest and most complex. Firm, pale yellow bananas just don’t have enough intensity to flavor the cake.
This is candied bacon, essentially, on corn tortillas with a creamy, smoke-flecked sauce that tastes of scallion and lime. I like it with pineapple salsa as well, and a salad of cilantro, mint and soft lettuce. You could make it with your standard sliced bacon from the market, but it’s far superior with the thick-cut variety or, best of all, with a chunk of uncut bacon that you can slice as thick as you like.
The year: 1983. The place: Williamsburg, Va., where representatives from across the globe — and “some of the biggest and brightest names on the American culinary scene” — gathered. The Times’s own Craig Claiborne planned the menus; Paul Prudhomme, Wolfgang Puck and Zarela Martinez cooked; and Maida Heatter provided dessert. Among her offerings were these, chocolate cheesecake brownies, “a formidable new creation” for the time. Here, a layer of pecan-studded brownie meets a sheet of chocolate cheesecake. Make them for a group — or for yourself to eat over time. They freeze well, and can just as well be served frozen.
Benjamin Wicks, proprietor of Mahony’s Po-Boy Shop on Magazine Street in New Orleans, which opened in the summer of 2008, is a raver and ranter with the heart of an old-timer. “Why don’t people care about making great po’ boys?” he asked The Times, rhetorically, a year later. And then he gave us a terrific recipe that will take a little time to pull off, but results in a beef Po' Boy sandwich of uncommon excellence. Think of it as project food for a festive weekend lunch, and your guests will thank you. Add cheese and French fries for added pow.
This famous egg salad sandwich comes from Konbi, the tiny Los Angeles cafe run by co-chefs Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery. It’s not always the case that sensational, Instagram-famous dishes are carefully calibrated to taste so good, but this one breaks the mold: It’s as pretty as it is delicious. The egg salad is brightened with a touch of rice wine vinegar and mustard and bound with Kewpie mayonnaise. When making it at home, be careful not to undercook the eggs or you’ll cross that fine line between jammy and runny. At the heart of the sandwich is a perfect hard-boiled egg, and we suggest cooking a couple extra in case they break or you have trouble peeling them. Extra eggs, still warm, with a touch of salt and pepper, make for a great snack while you're assembling.
This Carnival cake is more like a brioche, with a bitingly sweet frosting and sugared pecans for crunch. Browse the baby shower section of a party supply store for the Mardi Gras king cake baby, where plastic babies are often sold by the dozen. A large dried bean works too. Tradition dictates that whoever finds the baby is king or queen of the party (and also has to bring the king cake to the next Carnival celebration).
The galette des rois, celebrating Epiphany, the day the Three Kings (les rois) visited the infant Jesus, is baked throughout January in France. Composed of two circles of puff pastry sandwiching a frangipani filling, each comes with a crown and always has a trinket, called a fève, or bean, baked into it. It’s an invitation to gather, as much party game as pastry – if your slice has the fève, you get the crown and the right to be king or queen for the day. Happily, the galette can be made to fit your schedule. The pastry circles can be cut, covered and refrigerated ahead of time as can the almond filling (it will keep for up to 3 days). And the whole construction can be made early in the day and baked when you’re ready for it. Tuck a bean or whole almond into the filling — warn your guests! — and, if there are children in the house, put them to work crafting a crown.
The pizza authority Anthony Falco, once czar of the oven at Roberta’s in Brooklyn and now (literally!) an international pizza consultant, grew up in Austin, Tex., eating his great-grandmother’s Sicilian grandma pies, which he liked a great deal, and personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut, which he loved unreservedly. This recipe, he told me in 2018, pays homage to that buttery, high-lofted pie, with a crisp bottom crust, a slightly sweet sauce and an enormous amount of cheese. Slices of pepperoni make a beautiful topping, cupping in the heat of the oven and drizzling crimson oil across the edges of the pie. The dough takes a long time to proof and the recipe delivers a lot of it, so making the recipe is a great excuse for planning a pizza party. Cast-iron pans are best for the baking, but square or rectangular baking pans with high sides will do nicely in a pinch.
Decadence is what makes eggs Benedict a star of the brunch table. To get there, order and timing are key. First, you'll want to make your hollandaise. While intimidating in theory, the process is a lot like making mayonnaise. If the emulsion is stable, it won't break, even when held at room temperature. Next, poach your eggs, and toast the English muffins while you crisp up the Canadian bacon. From there, it's as simple as stacking your ingredients and sprinkling them with herbs, salt and pepper. Once you’ve mastered this basic version, you can explore its variations: Add sliced avocado, or even swap in some smoked salmon (eggs Hemingway) or wilted greens for the Canadian bacon (eggs Florentine).