Pastry chef, television show host and author Gesine Bullock-Prado is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share a few of her favorite Spring recipes from her new cookbook, "My Vermont Table: Recipes for All (Six) Seasons." She shows us how to make deeply flavorful banana bread, veggie-filled pasta with goat cheese and brown butter sugar cookies.
TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY.
My nephew Louis is a keen cook. My sister, at all times, seems to be in possession of brown bananas. Together, Louis and I took it upon ourselves to do something with the surfeit of brown beasts while being tasked by his mom with making a super moist bread. We came up with a recipe that we all loved and that he could easily replicate when I was gone. By the way, to this day, Louis hasn't told his mom what our secret ingredient is (it's mayonnaise).
In late summer, when my garden is busting at the gut with so many tomatoes that I’m scrambling to harvest, eat and process them all, this dish reminds me to slow down and relish the beauty in those small orbs of bursting sweetness. It’s really easy to go from garden excitement at the beginning of the season, when it’s all about planning and imagining the bounty, to resentment at dealing with bumper crops coming to peak ripeness all at once. But one bite of this pasta puts me in place, reminding me that there’s nothing more special than a sun-ripened tomato, plucked warm from the vine on a beautiful Vermont summer evening.
This recipe is a bona fide hit. I developed it from my mother's traditional Butterzeug (butter cookie), replacing the granulated sugar with brown sugar and substituting brown butter for the clarified butter that's traditional in Butterzeug. I also added a bit more salt and added sweetened condensed milk to help round out the flavors and give the dough a lovely texture. The dough is easy to roll out and keeps its shape beautifully as a cutout cookie (get your piping tips out because this baby is ready to be decorated). But what it really has going for it is great flavor, something most cutout butter or sugar cookies don't possess. I promise you this will be a regular on your cookie plate for years to come.