The Blotter Cookbook

In the midst of this global COVID-19 crisis, it seems almost everyone has found a new passion: cooking. While restaurants are closed and grocery stores are almost empty, we’ve all turned to our own pantries in hopes of satisfying our hunger. While cereal and grilled cheese are go-to easy staples of everybody’s kitchen, they can get old after a while, and every now and then it’s fun to spice things up and try something you might not normally have the time for. Here are some quarantine recipes that you can make, submitted by the BC community. I’ve categorized the recipes into sweet and savory.




Cream Scones – NYTimes Cooking

Difficulty: Easy

Submitted by Mac F. (’22)

Photo Credit: Mac F. (‘22)

This delicious dessert is fun and quick to make. The scones are perfect for any time of day, whether you have them for brunch or as a midnight snack. Mac F. (‘22) explains, “If done right, they taste fluffy and creamy,” adding that they’re “sweet, but not overdone.”









Ingredients (Serves 8-10 scones):

2 cups flours

⅓ cup of sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones


  1. Preheat oven to 400℉
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together thoroughly
  3. Make a well in the middle of the mixture
  4. Add 1 ¼ cups of cream into the well
  5. Using a fork, incorporate the dry ingredients into the cream until a soft, shaggy dough forms.
    1. Be sure not to overwork the mixture or stir too much
    2. If the mixture seems too dry, add more cream a tablespoon at a time
  6. Optionally, add chocolate chips or dried cherries into the bowl and incorporate them into the dough
  7. Drop the dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing each scone two inches apart
  8. Brush the tops with heavy cream 
  9. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Use a spatula to scrape the scones off the baking sheet and allow to cool


Cinnamon Rolls – Allrecipes

Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced

Submitted by Annika S. (‘22)

Photo Credit: Annika S. (‘22)

I can’t think of anything nicer than waking up to the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. While many generally associate cinnamon rolls with winter, I say that any season is cinnamon rolls season. They’re a great thing to bake if you have some time on your hands. Annika S. (‘22) writes, “this dessert was definitely one of the most difficult I have ever made […] I don’t usually make homemade dough, [but these cinnamon rolls] were yummy and fun to make.”




Ingredients (Serves 18 cinnamon rolls):

Dough –

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons softened butter

¾ cup milk

1 egg

Filling –

½ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Icing –

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Milk as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients for the dough together thoroughly.
  3. Work the butter into the dough with hands until fully incorporated
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the milk and eggs until mixed evenly. Pour into the flour mixture and stir in until a loose dough forms
  5. Lay the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to about ¼ thick. Spread softened butter onto the dough until the entire dough has a thin coating of butter
  6. Whisk together the white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the entire rectangle of dough.
  7. Roll the dough up lengthwise so that it resembles a log. Cut into rolls as thick as desired.
  8. Lay onto a created baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  9. While the rolls are baking, pour the 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add the melted butter and vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and mix loosely with a fork. Slowly add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time) until the icing is the desired thickness
  10. Allow cinnamon rolls to cool for 15 minutes and then pour over the icing.


Snickerdoodles – Allrecipes (

Difficulty: Easy

Submitted by Yazan B. (‘22)

Photo Credit: Allrecipes

These snickerdoodle cookies are both easy to make and delicious. This recipe from proves that with just a few ingredients, you can make a bakery-level dessert in less than half an hour. Yazan B. (‘22) says the cookies were “really good,” and that his family “ate them all within a day.”







Ingredients (Serves 24 cookies)

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup shortening

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups and all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon baking soda

⅛ teaspoon salt

¾ cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Cream together the butter, shortening, ¾ cups sugar, egg, and vanilla. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the tablespoon of sugar and cinnamon together. Roll balls of dough in mixture.
  4. Place each ball 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheet
  6. Let cool 10 minutes


Chocolate Layer Cake – Food Network

Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced

Submitted by Sophie G. (‘21)

Photo Credit: Sophie G. (‘21)

What better way to spend a Saturday than to make an enormous chocolate cake. This delicious dessert is sure to test your baking skills as well as your willpower to not finish the entire thing in one day.










Ingredients (Serves one 3-layer cake):


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3 cups light brown sugar, packed

4 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 ⅓  cups sour cream

1 ½ cups hot coffee


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

16 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

½ cup cooled coffee

4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

6 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Cut 3 circles of parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans, then press them in.
  3. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix. Add ½ of the flour, then ½ of the sour cream and mix. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream.
  5. Drizzle in the hot coffee and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin.
  6. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
    1. Halfway through the baking, quickly rotate the pans in the oven to ensure even baking, but otherwise try not to open the oven.
  7. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth (using a hand mixer). Drizzle in the melted chocolate and mix. Add the coffee and vanilla and mix.
  9. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix until well blended and fluffy.
  10. To frost the cake, use a spatula to cover 2 of the cake layers with frosting. Stack them together. Flip the third cake layer over and rest it on the top to create a very flat top for the cake. Frost on the sides and top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.




Avocado Toast

Difficulty: Super Easy

Submitted by Joseph G (‘22)

Photo Credit: Joseph G. (‘22)

Avocado toast is a staple of trendy millennial foods. It’s super easy to make (and healthy, too).











Ingredients (1-2 slices of toast):

1 avocado

1 slice of bread



Lemon Juice

Olive Oil


  1. Lightly toast a slice of bread
  2. De-pit the avocado and scoop into a bowl
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste
  4. Using a fork, mash the avocado against the sides of the bowl until they have reached the desired texture
  5. Add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and incorporate
  6. Spread avocado onto the toast
  7. Optionally, top with olive oil or more salt and pepper


Garlic-Butter Steak

Difficulty: Intermediate

Submitted by Joseph G. (‘22)

Photo Credit: Joseph G. (‘22)

Steak: seemingly the peak of fine dining. Although not many steakhouses are open during these times, with a little practice, you can cook your own perfect steak. While it may seem intimidating at first, you can make an amazing steak dinner in less than an hour. 

P.S. Since a lot of people are freezing steaks, here’s a really effective defrosting technique: first, completely submerge steak in a bowl filled with cold water. Then, place the bowl in the sink and let the faucet trickle cold water into the bowl.

Ingredients (Serves 1 steak):

1 cut of steak

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons butter (¼ stick)

Canola/vegetable oil




  1. Preheat oven to 250℉
  2. Grease baking sheet with nonstick spray or oil
  3. Lay steak on the baking sheet, season with salt and pepper on all sides
  4. Bake for 35 minutes
  5. Drizzle vegetable oil into a stainless steel pan and put over a medium-high flame
  6. Wait for the oil to heat until barely smoking, then, using tongs, gently place the steak onto the pan. Let the steak sear for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn steak over and place the garlic cloves and butter in the pan. Tilt pan slightly and baste the steak with the garlic and butter
  8. Once the steak has reached the desired temperature and doneness, remove from the pan
  9. Let rest 5 minutes, top with some of the leftover oil, and enjoy


Crispy Rice and Egg Bowls with Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette – Smitten Kitchen (

Difficulty: Intermediate

Submitted by Ms. Clapps

Photo Credit: Smitten Kitchen

For Ms. Clapps, “one of the few joys of quarantine is making a delicious lunch and taking the time to eat it.” These crispy rice and egg bowls allow her to do just that. “It’s like making a simplified bibimbap,” Ms. Clapps explains. “The trick is to prep everything ahead of time: make a big batch of rice and the dressing, marinate the carrots, slice the cucumbers. Then, during your lunchtime, all you have to do is fry up the rice to make it crunchy and sticky (mmm) and fry the perfect egg—with a runny yolk, of course.”

Ingredients (Serves four people):

1 ¼ cups minced scallions, both green and white parts (from a 4-ounce bundle)

2 tablespoons minced or finely grated fresh ginger

Neutral oil (such as grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower)

¼ cup sherry or rice wine vinegar

Fine sea salt

About 1 heaped cup julienned or coarsely grated carrots (from about 8 ounces fresh)

8 ounces small (Persian-style, about 2) cucumbers, thinly sliced

3 cups cooked, cooled rice (my favorite here is short-grain brown or white)

4 eggs

Soy sauce or tamari (to serve)

Toasted sesame oil (to serve)

Sriracha, gochujang or another hot sauce of your choice (to serve)


  1. Mix scallions, ginger, 1/4 cup oil, and the sherry or rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt to taste
  2. Over medium-high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons oil to thinly coat the entire bottom surface of a large frying pan. Leave until oil is hot, then scatter half the rice over the surface
  3. Season lightly with salt and do not touch. Wait 3-5 minutes or until the underside of the rice becomes golden brown and crisp
  4. Using a spatula, flip it in sections and fry on the other side until the rice is evenly crisp on both sides. Divide between two bowls and repeat with remaining rice, dividing it between two remaining bowls
  5. Add another tablespoon of oil (if there is none left) and heat on high heat. Add eggs one at a time and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn heat down slightly and cook until brown, lacy, and crisp underneath. The egg whites should be opaque and mostly solid. Place one egg on each bowl of rice.
  7. Arrange cucumbers and carrots (or whatever toppings are desired) to each bowl. Spoon 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette into each bowl. Drizzle each egg with a half-teaspoon of tamari and toasted sesame oil, letting it roll onto the other ingredients, plus hot sauce to taste. Eat immediately.


Baked Mac and Cheese – NYTimes Cooking (

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Submitted by Sophie G. (‘21)

Photo Credit: Sophie G. (‘21)

Let me present you with a nightmare scenario: you go to your kitchen, starving and craving an easy, delicious mac and cheese. To your dismay, you’ve run out of Kraft Mac and Cheese! You’re terribly disappointed, and you think of giving up. But don’t you worry. Homemade mac and cheese is relatively easy and super fun to make, and let’s be honest…it tastes better too.


Ingredients (Serves 4-6 servings):

1 pound elbow pasta or pasta of choice

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

4 cups whole milk

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 teaspoon smoked or hot paprika

 Freshly ground pepper

12 ounces sharp or white Cheddar cheese, grated

12 ounces fontina or Gruyère, grated

1 cup coarse bread crumbs or panko

4 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just al dente. Once done, drain the pasta water.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is foamy and changes color to a light golden brown. This should take roughly 4 minutes
  4. Slowly whisk in milk into the flour and butter mixture. Add the clove of garlic, the teaspoon of paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring contents of pot to a simmer, whisking frequently
  5. Add the grated cheeses (not including the parmesan) and whisk until everything is incorporated. Season again with salt and pepper and add the cooked pasta. Stir the mixture to give the pasta an even coating of cheese.
  6. In a separate bowl off of the heat, combine the bread crumbs, 4 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil, and parmesan in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  7. Move the pasta to a baking dish or oven-safe bowl and evenly layer the breadcrumbs on top.
  8. Place the baking dish/bowl on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. (This is to catch any cheese that may spill over the bowl.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the mac and cheese is bubbly, thick, and creamy.
  10. Allow to cool slightly before eating.