Colekaidos Experiment

Yields about 1 1/2 dozen


1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (45 grams) powdered sugar
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
1/2 teaspoon lavender buds, ground or chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2) In large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, lavender, vanilla, salt , and zest of 1 lemon until the mixture looks like a coarse sand. Mix in the flour until the dough comes together.

3) In a small bowl, mix together the remaining lemon zest and granulated sugar with your ngers until fragrant. Set aside.

4) On a lightly oured surface, roll out shortbread until 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle on the lemon scented sugar and lightly press it into the shortbread with the rolling pin. Cut out shapes and transfer to a baking sheet.

5) Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Yields about 5 dozen cookies
These take at least 11 hours from beginning to end, most of it inactive, but make sure you have a good 2 to 3 hour window.


4 large eggs separated
1 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) can almond paste
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 drops red food colouring
25 drops green food colouring
1 (12 oz) jar apricot or raspberry preserves, heated and strained
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped


1) Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and line bottom with wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 ends, then butter paper.

2) Beat whites in mixer fitted with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed until whites hold stiff, slightly glossy peaks. Transfer to another bowl.

3) Switch to paddle attachment, then beat together almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add margarine (or butter) and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until just combined.

4) Fold half of egg white mixture into almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

5) Divide batter among 3 bowls. Use a food scale to make sure the batters are even. Leave one bowl plain for the white bowl. Set the white batter bowl aside. Stir red food coloring into one and green food coloring into another. Chill green and white batters, covered. Pour red batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with offset spatula (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick).

6) Bake red layer 8 to 10 minutes, until just set. (It is important to undercook. They’ll look like they’re not done, but a tester does come out clean.)

7) Using extra parchment paper overhang as “handles”, transfer layer to a rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Clean pan, then line with parchment or wax paper and butter paper in same manner as above. Bake white layer in prepared pan until just set. As white layer bakes, bring green batter to room temperature. Transfer white layer to a rack. Prepare pan as above, then bake green layer in same manner as before. Transfer to a rack to cool.

8) When all layers are cool, invert green onto a parchment or wax-paper-lined large baking sheet. Discard paper from layer and spread with half of preserves. Heat up the jam in a a small bowl in the microwave (or in a sauce pan if you don’t have a microwave like me) for one minute to help it to spread easier. Spread half of the jam over the green layer. The jam should be a very thin layer. Invert white on top of green layer, discarding paper. Spread with remaining preserves. Invert red layer on top of white layer and discard wax or parchment paper.

9) Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a large baking sheet. Chill at least 8 hours.

10) Remove baking sheet and whatever you used to weigh it down and plastic wrap. Bring layers to room temperature.

11) Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Keep chocolate over water. (Alternately, melt the chocolate about 3.5 ounces at a time just to make sure it doesn’t firm up between steps).

12) Trim edges of assembled layers with a long serrated knife. Quickly spread half of chocolate in a thin layer on top of cake. Chill, uncovered, until chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and place another baking sheet on top, then invert cake onto sheet and remove paper. Quickly spread with remaining chocolate. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

13) With a serrated knife cut the cake into rows, then cut the rows into squares or rectangles. Be sure to use a wet towel to clean knife after each slice. Try to cut while they are still very cold. If you notice the chocolate melting too quickly after first slices, place in the refrigerator again to let it chill some more and then cut again. You could cut into 4 portions or cut into more. The cookies should be cut about 3/4 inch wide. If you have the patience and the time, do freeze the cake before slicing.

Serves about 12 to 16


3 sticks (12 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
2 large lemons, divided
2 cups fresh or unthawed frozen blueberries (about 10 ounces), divided
8 ounces cream cheese
6 large eggs
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cake Instructions:

1) Place 3 sticks of the unsalted butter, 8 ounces cream cheese, and 6 large eggs on the counter. Let everything sit at room temperature until the butter and cream cheese are softened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

2) About 30 minutes before the butter is ready, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

3) Place the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 20 to 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose flour and mix to form a smooth paste. Brush the paste on the inside of a 10-cup Bundt cake pan, making sure to thoroughly coat the tube and all the crevices.

4) Place the remaining 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

5) Finely grate the zest from 1 of the large lemons (about 1 tablespoon). Juice the lemon until you have 4 tablespoons; remove and reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice for the glaze. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract to the remaining lemon juice.

6) Place 2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and the lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer) and rub together with your fingers until combined and fragrant.

7) Add the butter and cream cheese. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, using a flexible spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

8) Add the lemon juice-vanilla mixture, beating well and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn off the mixer, add the flour mixture, then mix on the lowest speed until the batter is smooth and combined, 1 to 2 minutes.

9) Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the batter into the pan and spread into an even layer. Add 1 cup of the blueberries into the remaining batter and fold until combined, then transfer into the pan. Scatter the remaining 1 cup blueberries evenly on the top of the batter, then smooth out the top.

10) Bake until the top is golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then invert the cake out of the pan and onto the rack. Let cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Glaze Instructions:

1) Use a zesting tool to zest the remaining 1 large lemon for garnish. (Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to cut a 1 1/2-inch-long strip of zest, then julienne the zest.)

2) Place 1 tablespoon of the reserved lemon juice in a small bowl, add 1 cup powdered sugar, and stir until thick, smooth, and just barely pourable, adding more lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time as needed. You may not use all of the lemon juice. Spoon the glaze over the cake and sprinkle with the zest. Let sit until the glaze is set, at least 15 minutes, before slicing and serving.


Yields 6 servings


1 pound baby spinach, rinsed
Salt to taste
12 ounces giant pasta shells
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
10 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 ounces Parmesan, grated about 1/2 cup
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups marinara sauce


1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Fill a bowl with ice water. Blanch the spinach for no more than 20 seconds, just until wilted, and transfer to the ice water, then drain. Squeeze out excess water. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta shells. Cook al dente, about 10 minutes, and drain and toss with the olive oil. Set aside.

2) Chop spinach finely. Mix in garlic. Add the ricotta and the egg and process until well blended. Add 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, the chives, and salt and pepper to taste. You can do this in a food processor for a more well-blended filling.

3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a large baking dish or two 2-quart dishes. The shells should fit into the dish in one layer. Fill each shell with a scant tablespoon of the filling. Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. Top with the tomato sauce and cover the dish with foil

4) Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the heat, sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan, and serve.