Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cookies

After making between five and six dozen Grand Marnier Chocolate Covered Cherries, I wasn’t sure I had much energy left in me to bake for work gifts and a cookie exchange beyond Pillsbury. But as photos of red and green food-colored sugar cookies in the shapes of stars and Christmas trees started popping up on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, it reminded me that they aren’t up to par in my recipe book. Now I know I might be coming across as sassy as my former roommate would say, but even if I’ve lost my Christmas spirit this year, I’m not going to be known as the person who baked sugar cookies. I have a reputation to uphold!

I recently saw a recipe on Annie’s Eats for Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies. I loved the idea, but, eh, not so much a pecan pie fan. Bourbon caramel apple pecan pie – yes. Traditional pecan pie – no. Then I remembered a Cherry-Bourbon Pie recipe I found in Bon Appetit that I had planned to bake to accompany red wine braised short ribs for a welcome home dinner in October that never happened. Better late to try than never, right?

I made a few substitutions, including replacing the pecans in the dough with almonds to reflect the original pie topping. These might be hands-down one of the best cookies I have ever made. The verdict is still out – final judgement day won’t happen until the cookie exchange tonight. But at the very least, my boss immediately thanked me for baking “something other than a sugar cookie cutout.”

Add nine dozen cookies to the list I said I wasn’t going to be cooking or baking back on Thanksgiving Eve.

Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cookies

Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cookies

Adapted from Annie’s Eats and Bon Appetit

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

For the filling:
1 24.7-oz. jar pitted sour cherries in syrup, drained well (I used Trader Joe’s Dark Morello Cherries)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

For the dough:
1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the crumble topping:
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Combine the cherry filling ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or longer before baking.

To make the dough, combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, and then mix in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the almonds, salt and flour. Kneed the dough and cover the bowl. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the crumble topping, microwave the butter for 15 seconds to soften. Add quick oats and brown sugar and stir with a fork to incorporate.

Spray baking sheets with Pam or line with parchment paper. Scooping about one tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls. Place the dough balls on the baking sheets, and using your thumb (or I used a wine cork as suggested!), make an indentation in the center of each dough ball. Fill each indentation with about two cherries and their juices from the filling. Add crumble topping to each cookie.

Bake for approximately 16-18 minutes. I recommend removing cookies immediately from baking sheets and cooling on parchment paper or cookie racks. The baked juices from the cherries tend to make them a bit sticky until they’re cooled.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Covered Cherries

I haven’t been sleeping lately. I’ve always been a solid 8- to 9-hour sleeper. I chalk it up to too many thoughts and anxiety around one situation. So I’ve been asked what am I doing at the wee hour of 3 a.m.? Well, here’s what I’ve been up to.

1. Zoning out on Pinterest.
2. Writing One Line a Day.
3. Staring at the pile of Christmas presents that need to be wrapped, wishing them to wrap themselves.
4. Drinking wine, pretending my wine rack is an Advent calendar.
5. Praying, praying and more praying.
6. Midnight cleaning sprees, including the stove, microwave and refrigerator.
7. Painting my nails in glitter.
8. Watching mindless reality shows.
9. Midnight grocery shopping trips – no one is there!
10. Speed reading through every book in my Kindle queue.
11. Laying in bed, staring at the dark, counting down until the alarm will ring.
12. Making these chocolate covered cherries.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Covered Cherries

Grand Marnier Chocolate Covered Cherries

2 jars maraschino cherries, drained (about 4 1/2 dozen)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 bags milk chocolate chips
1 bag dark or white chocolate chips

Start by draining the cherries and placing in a shallow dish. Pour Grand Marnier over cherries to marinate overnight or longer – depends on how boozy you want your cherries!

Remove cherries from Grand Marnier and place on a baking pan lined with foil. Freeze for at least an hour.

Start by mixing 2 cups powdered sugar, margarine, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt. Knead into a dough-like mixture. If sticky, gradually add remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate until firm for at least an hour.

Begin by taking approximately 1 teaspoon of the sugar mixture, rolling into a ball and flattening it in the palm of your hand to the size of a silver dollar. Wrap the sugar mixture around your cherry to form a ball. Place back on the cold baking pan you removed from the freezer. Once all cherries are wrapped, refreeze for at least 30 minutes.

In a double boiler, gradually melt milk chocolate chips. When melted, dip frozen cherries in chocolate to coat and return to baking pan. Refrigerate until cooled and solid.

In a double boiler, melt dark or white chocolate chips and drizzle over chocolate covered cherries. Refrigerate (one last time!) until cooled and solid. Store in an air tight container in a cool place up to one month. Cherries are best served after two weeks once the juices have had time to set.

M is for May and Margarita Cupcakes

May has been a whirlwind and here we are already at Memorial Day weekend! Between Cinco de Mayo, Gold Cup, softball and bocce leagues, a fabulous wedding in Marco Island, FL, my birthday celebration  dinner and an O’s game, and my sister’s graduation in Connecticut after a 3-hour power nap… I’ve been on the go non-stop when I’m not at work. This weekend has many social plans booked on the calendar, but I’m at least glad to be spending it at home and not out of a suitcase for the third weekend in a row.

I made these cupcakes at the beginning of the month for Cinco de Mayo – now you understand why it’s taken me until now to post the recipe. I pinned my inspiration on Pinterest last summer and have been waiting all year to make them. I’ve made many homemade buttercream frostings before, but this Swiss meringue buttercream recipe is probably my most favorite – it has the buttery sweetness of buttercream, but the light, fluffy texture of meringue. How can you go wrong?

Well, a lot can go wrong when you’re trying to make meringue. And it did when I was making this frosting – it just wouldn’t fluff! But after reading these tips on how to fix Swiss meringue buttercream and popping it in the fridge for 30 minutes, I was good to go. If you have a stand mixer, I’d highly recommend using it. Don’t be like me and have to stand with a hand mixer on high for 25 minutes if you know what’s good for you.

Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila-Lime Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Candied Key Limes 

Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Tequila-Lime Swiss Meringue Buttercream

2 cups sugar
8 egg whites
3 sticks butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons lime juice
3-4 tablespoons tequila

Candied Key Limes

Key limes
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cupcake tins with paper liners or baking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy.

Add eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lime zest and lime juice. Turn mixer to the low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Add tequila and orange liqueur. Mix only until just combined. Fill each cupcake cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.

Slice key  limes into thin rounds, and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. In the same pot, combine water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer and add lime slices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until white pith of limes looks translucent. Drain and spread limes on a cooling rack to dry for at least 1 hour. Put 2 tablespoons sugar in shallow bowl or saucer. When limes are dry, coat both sides of the lime slices by pressing them into the sugar. Store in an airtight container and layer between parchment paper or plastic wrap until ready to use, and refrigerate.

To make the frosting, place the stand mixer bowl or a stainless steel bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160 degrees with a candy thermometer.

Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks, approximately 10 minutes. Beat in one tablespoon of butter at a time on medium. Add lime juice and 1 tablespoon of tequila. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy. Beat in remaining tequila as desired.

Vodka Gimlet Cake

Vodka Gimlet Cake

A few months ago, I tasted one of the best vodka gimlet’s mixed when I was treated to drinks at The Majestic. It tasted like cool key lime pie. The secret: powdered sugar, not simple syrup. When I made this lemon lime cake not too long after, my thoughts immediately went back to the vodka gimlet. Many desserts are infused with liqueurs and I wanted to recreate this drink in a cake.

To make my vodka gimlet cake a bit more fancy, I infused strawberries with lime and made homemade vodka infused whipped cream (none of this new fangled stuff out of a can for me!).

Vodka Gimlet Cake

Vodka Gimlet Cake

Inspired by How Sweet It Is

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons key lime zest
1 1/2 cups baking flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup vodka
3 tablespoons key lime juice

Vodka Infused Whipped Cream

1 pint cold whipping cream
3 tablespoons vodka
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon key lime zest
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Strawberries for topping
1 key lime, juiced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together until fluffy. Add vanilla and zest and combine until mixed.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the key lime juice and vodka, and thoroughly mix. Once mixed, add milk and beat until combined.

Pour into a greased 9″ round baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes and let cool completely.

Cut strawberries in a bowl and mix with juice of one key lime. Refrigerate.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add cream, vodka, vanilla, sugar and key lime zest. Beat on medium-high speed until cream stiffens, about 7-8 minutes. Frost cake, add strawberries and refrigerate.

P.S. Since I made vodka gimlet cake (and shared with co-workers… don’t worry I didn’t eat it by myself!) I accepted a new job that starts tomorrow and I’m moving at the end of the month. Hopefully this is the universe tossing a few crumbs my way…

Peach Baked Alaska

Peach Baked Alaska

Oh, meringue, how you continue to make a fool of me. Meringue and I have a love/hate relationship dating back to my French cooking class in 2008 with Chef Francois. He taught us how to make delicately light and crisp (and let’s not forget “easy!”) Pavlova meringues with passion fruit. When it came time for me to replicate this marshmallow-y sweetness at home, I was left with a burnt pan of flat liquid egg whites. Hmmf! Two more failed attempts at tweaking the recipe, I broke up with meringue and wrote it off forever.

When I found this recipe in Real Simple this month, I decided to give meringue a second chance. Maybe it was my craving for ice cream. Or summer peaches. Or Francois’ cooking. I don’t normally give second chances… I mean, it’s a break up for a reason… but I thought the recipe looked simpler.

Then I quickly learned my dating mantra was yet again true when my roommate described my first attempt at Peach Baked Alaska as “melted Eggs Benedict.” Fail.

But if you personally know me, I don’t give up on something I believe in. I believed in this Peach Baked Alaska. I researched tips for making meringue and Baked Alaska. And with my last peach, I succeeded!

So follow my tips included in the recipe. It will keep it from looking like melted Eggs Benedict.

Peach Baked Alaska

Peach Baked Alaska

Adapted from Real Simple

2 peaches, halved and pitted
Vanilla ice cream
2 large egg whites at room temperature
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Approximately an hour before you’re ready to serve the Peach Baked Alaska, place a baking sheet in the freezer. Wash, cut in half and pit the peaches. Put a large scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center of each peach like a bowl. Put peaches filled with ice cream in the freezer.

Tip 1: Freezing the pan and the peaches will keep the meringue from melting instantly off of the ice cream when baking. This will also give you the combination of frozen fruit, smooth ice cream and crispy, warm meringue when finished.

When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven on broil at 450 degrees.

Tip 2: Broiling will cook the meringue a lot quicker than baking. If you wait for it to bake, the ice cream is going to melt. If you have a mini torch for creme brulee, you could also lightly torch the meringue. If you choose to use this method, I would skip the step of freezing the pan, peaches and ice cream since that is strictly needed for the oven!

Separate the egg whites into a metal or glass bowl. Add a pinch of salt and beat with an electric mixer until foamy. Next, add the cream of tartar, and beating on medium-high speed, slowly add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time over 2-3 minutes until meringue becomes smooth, glossy and stiff. 

Tip 3: It is best to use a metal or glass bowl when making meringue. Plastic bowls are more porous and tend to keep oils or grease even when clean. The slightest trace of oils can keep meringue from stiffening.

Place frozen peaches on the pan from the freezer. Cover the ice cream with the meringue. Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes until meringue lightly browns and becomes slightly crispy. Generously serves four!

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Here comes another delicious summer recipe full of antioxidants as I sit on my balcony in the beautiful 76 degree weather… sun setting… drinking wine (I ran out of green tea, that’s my excuse this evening).

I made it for a cookout two weekends ago with all the leftover blueberries I had from my limoncello panna cotta. Although my blueberry crumb cake didn’t turn out looking quite like Pioneer Woman’s, I’m sure it is equally delicious, if not better.

Roomie and I licked the bowl and beaters clean like kids (I also got yelled at for being a “mom” and scraping too much out of the bowl with the spatula).

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

1/2 stick + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
2 cups fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir and set aside.

Cream 1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter with cinnamon and sugar. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until totally incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stir in blueberries until evenly distributed.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Pour in batter.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients and cut together using two knives or a pastry cutter. Crumble over the top of the cake.

Bake cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Peach Shortbread

White Peach Shortbread

I hope everyone enjoyed the long 3-day holiday weekend. The weather was beautiful and marked the end of summer, but a welcome of cool, fall evenings. I enjoyed reading by the pool and on the balcony, dinner and outdoor drinks with friends, and baking the last of summer’s fruit before fall hits full force with football Sundays, chili, pumpkins, apple crisp, and turkey.

This week’s posts will all be an ode to summer with some of my favorite seasonal recipes I’ve made over the last few weeks. You still have a few weeks to enjoy them, too!

When I found today’s recipe for peach shortbread over at Smitten Kitchen last week (you have to check out her pictures, they are so lovely!), I just knew I had to make it immediately. I often find recipes I want to try and they sit in my queue for weeks or months.

If you check out the pictures of the peach shortbread over at Smitten Kitchen, you will notice the beautiful yellow and red colors from the peaches. Yellow peaches have higher natural acidity, so while they’re sweet, you also have a tangy taste with each bite. When I went on my hunt for peaches, I found beautiful, large white peaches for my shortbread. White peaches are lower in acidity. You’ll taste no tartness, only a floral sweetness. I thought this was perfect for such a sweet dessert.

I also added water to the recipe based on the comments from the original recipe. When you “brown” butter, it evaporates the water. Adding water back into the recipe helps make the shortbread more moist.

Peach Shortbread

White Peach Shortbread

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
4 teaspoons water
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick) 

First begin by browning your butter. The extra time spent browning the butter is definitely worth it and adds a nutty flavor to the shortbread (my taste-tester even agreed the butter made this recipe complete). To brown butter, melt butter in a small or medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty (this took approximately 30 minutes).

Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. As it begins to brown, you will see brown particles at the bottom of the saucepan. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with a non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg with a whisk. Using a fork or your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter, egg and water into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly.

Layered Peach Shortbread

Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly to create a crust. Layer the  peach slices over crumb base. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches.

Bake for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.

Limoncello Panna Cotta with Blueberries

Limoncello Panna Cotta with Blueberries

Oh, limoncello. How I have a love/hate relationship with you! When limoncello and I were first introduced at a small hideaway on the streets of Florence, I quickly learned (four “shots” later) that Italians sip limoncello as an after-dinner drink… not take it as a shot as it is presented. Stupid Americans.

When I found this recipe I knew I had to try it. For all of my friends that complain all of my recipes are complicated, this one is for you. There is barely any cooking involved, and only five ingredients, one of which is water!

This is great for entertaining because you can make it a day in advance, refrigerate and serve immediately. All you need are ramekins, custard cups or you can even serve the panna cotta in small champagne glasses.

I also highly suggest making the limoncello glaze to accompany the panna cotta and blueberries. The girls thought the glaze made it extra-limoncello-y… I personally didn’t think it was that strong. Then again, I had already downed three filled-to-the-brim glasses of wine on a nearly empty stomach (I had been preparing myself for this amazing dinner I made!). I’m also thinking this blueberry sauce made by Jessica over at How Sweet It Is could be equally amazing.

Limoncello Panna Cotta with Blueberries

Limoncello Panna Cotta with Blueberries

Adapted from Bell’Alimento

1 pint heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Limoncello
.25 oz. (1 packet) Knox gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water

3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Limoncello
1 pint fresh blueberries

In a medium size bowl, add the cold water and sprinkle the Knox gelatin on top. Do not stir, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, place whipping cream and sugar over medium heat. Stirring frequently with a spoon or whisk until well combined, cook until it nears boiling. Remove from heat, add Limoncello and stir well to combine.

If you are using custard cups or ramekins, spray lightly with cooking spray as you will be inverting the panna cotta onto plates to serve. If you are using small champagne glasses, you can skip this step!

Slowly pour the cream mixture over the gelatin mixture and stir well until combined. Divide among your custard cups and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours or until firm. Serve with blueberries, limoncello glaze or blueberry sauce, or a combination of your favorite fresh fruits!

Decadent Homemade Oreos

Thanks to a re-post last month from My First Kitchen, I found this recipe for homemade Oreos made by Smitten Kitchen.

I was never a die-hard Oreo fan growing up as a kid. They were just a little too hard of a cookie and not enough cream. You also have to eat at least 10 of them to feel fully satisfied. These are decadent enough you only need one… that is, if you can finish one. While the cookies come out of the oven soft, they do harden slightly while cooling like an Oreo, and you can put as much cream in between as you want!

And if you feed these to small children, be prepared for them to be covered in chocolate! I found this out when I made them for a 2-year-old birthday party this past weekend.

Note: I’ve been doubling this recipe and have been consistently making about 20 Oreos (40 cookies total to “sandwich”).

Homemade Oreos

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 egg

Cream Filling

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar.  Now add the butter and egg, and mix until it’s combined. The mixture will come together as a dough, but the texture is a bit coarse.

Use a food scoop (or a tablespoon measuring spoon), and scoop the dough on to a cookie sheet. You’re looking for no bigger than golf ball size. Lightly wet your hand or a glass with a flat bottom and gently press down on the dough balls until they’re a bit flat.

Bake the cookies for 9 minutes. Let them cool on a rack.

For the filling, just mix the butter, shortening, and vanilla until combined and then gradually add the powdered sugar. You can use the same food scoop to scoop the filling on half the cookies, or you can put the filling in a plastic bag, cut off the tip, and pipe the cream filling out.

Blackberry Pound Cake

Father’s Day Blackberry Pound Cake

I went to visit my dad and pop-pop on Sunday for Father’s Day. We did the Maryland thing and had a crab feast — Maryland steamed crabs, Maryland crab soup, crabcakes, corn on the cob and hot dogs (the hot dogs were just an added bonus).

I was in charge of dessert. My dad always says he doesn’t like dessert, but he’s usually the one eating the biggest slice. I can say though he’s not one to like his desserts piled on with icing. When I came across a recipe for blackberry pound cake, I knew it would be a hit.

I recently read Orangette’s (Molly Wizenberg) book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table. In the book she shares her mother’s go-to pound cake recipe for nearly the last 20-some years. It also seemed fitting since a lot of her of recipes and stories are inspired by her father.

While the original recipe called for raspberries, blueberries and kirsch, I took Wizenberg’s suggestion to substitute blackberries instead for my pound cake. You can find the original recipe at Orangette, or you can follow my recipe with the blackberry substitution. I served this cake alongside a dollop of whipped cream for Father’s Day, but it was also eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (hello, leftovers!). It also preserves well for several days wrapped tightly in saran wrap, so you can make it ahead of time, and according to Wizenberg, it also freezes nicely as well.

Blackberry Pound Cake

Blackberry Pound Cake

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life

2 cups, plus 8 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-cup bundt pan, or if using non-stick, spray with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together with an electric mixer the eggs and sugar until smooth and thick, about 1 minute. Add the butter and blend until fluffy, about an additional 1 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and orange and lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the sugar, eggs and butter, and blend until just combined. Do not over mix.

Add the fresh blackberries and fold into cake batter gently using a spatula. Pour cake batter into bundt pan and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.