Posts tagged ‘baked’

November 14, 2011

Banana Bread, sans Egg

Banana bread is a tricky, slippery, mysterious enigma. I’ve basically kept with the same “recipe” for several years now, but because it isn’t perfect yet, I keep tweaking slightly to discover entirely new worlds when it comes to banana bread. It’s an exciting endeavor, unless I don’t use enough butter or forget an ingredient. This time, I didn’t forget anything (except the fact that I didn’t have any eggs in my house); I adventured into the world of banana bread with an open mouth and ready heart; and I was greatly rewarded for my experimentation. I give you They’ll Never Know You Were Out of Eggs but Wanted to Bake Anyway Banana Bread.

Going into this attempt, I thought my house contained eggs. Those elusive scrambleable necessities for breakfast and baking went for all they were worth, apparently. And more quickly than I anticipated. So, I did a bit of research. Dear internet, what is a good egg substitute other than Egg Substitute? You know, internet, something I can use from my cabinet or fridge, so I don’t actually have to leave my house or my pre-heating oven?

Banana Bread, sans eggs
Inspired by Mark Bittman

1 stick butter, softened
1 c A-P flour (I used white wheat.)
1 c cake flour
1 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 c light brown sugar
5 banananananananas, smushed (Did you know bananas act as a perfectly acceptable and delicious egg substitute? Isn’t that perfect for banana bread??? I added a little bit of yogurt just ’cause and was thankful for the baking powder in this recipe to help the leavening.)
1/8 c plain yogurt
2 t vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Ready a dozen muffin cups and a small loaf pan.

Whisk dry ingredients together. Cream brown sugar and butter together. Beat in bananas. Add yogurt. Mix until incorporated. Add vanilla extract.

Pour batter into tins. I did it six at a time then the loaf. The muffins took about 12 minutes each. The loaf took a bit longer. Just bake until golden brown and they pass the toothpick test. Really, a good measure is to watch until the edges of the muffins begin pulling away from the tin. But not any longer than that. They’ll get dry.


Cool on rack or whatever (see above for my very and professional cooling method) before removing. Enjoy. Share. Love.

Advertisements
September 25, 2011

Pie Top Cookies

I made cookies. They looked like pie tops. What to call them? Well, the most obvious answer, of course. I like learning new techniques. I adore cute things. I can’t help it usually. I just get really excited when something is adorable, feel exuberant around the sorts of creatures or crafty or cookery things that make people talk in a slightly higher pitched voice or at a faster pace than typical.

It just so happened that I had two pie’s worth of dough in my freezer. Not in as much luck?? You can whip up a fresh batch. Here‘s a perfectly useful link in a time like this.

So that’s the actual recipe. This is a tutorial, a run-down if you will, of how to make the cookies themselves so as not to needlessly repeat myself on how to make awesome pie crust. The important step for this bit (if you’re making from frozen and not from fresh) is to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. I apologize, as this recipe does call for forethought. Unless you make from scratch! There are always loopholes to stumble through and around!

First step is to make sure your surfaces are well-floured. You can wear an apron if you don’t like flour handprints. I always seem to leave traces wherever I work.

Flatten your pie crusts out, rolling evenly from the middle out in all directions.

Cut strips of the equal width. Leave intact. Begin lattice work work by folding every other strip of one pie crust down to the middle. See picture.

See? Easy. Now take the middle strip from the other pie crust and lay it across your opening. Fold up the ones folded down. Fold down the ones that were previously up and you’re ready to lay down your next longest strop of pie crust from that other one.

Once you have gone all the way to the top. Start from folding up from the bottom again starting from the middle then working down this time until you finish your latticing work.

Now you may get a biscuit or cookie cutter or whatever you might have on hand. I used a tiny mug.

I liked the shape, and with the help of a butter knife, it was perfect. Make sure you pull the dough away from the cookies and don’t try to move the cookies just yet.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

I found that I easily got four cookies at a time. I took the whole sheet of wax paper, carried it like a tray to the fridge and let the cookies hang out in there while I balled up the left over dough, stuck it in the freezer for a couple of minutes (in a plastic bag or plastic wrap) to rechill, so that I could make a new lattice and make four more cookies, pull the dough away, take the four new cookies on their wax paper tray to the fridge to chill, take the left over dough to the freezer for a couple of minutes, then lattice up my third and last batch of pie crust to get my final four cookies, put those in the fridge on their wax paper tray while I mixed up my sugary topping and egg wash.

I simply mixed a tablespoon of raw sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon in one bowl (or cute, tiny mug) and one egg with one tablespoon of water in another bowl.

First brush the tops of each cookie with the egg wash then top with a pinch or two of cinnamony sugary goodness. Bake six at a time for 15 minutes then turn on the broiler to high for a nice, golden brown top. While the first six bake, keep the others in the fridge.

Top the cooled cookies with local honey for added sweetness. Although alone gives them a nice savory/sweet flavor that might be up or alley. I highly recommend playing with toppings or fillings. But alone is absolutely devine. My favorite topping was the honey though.

This recipe was inspired largely by not martha. Check her out. I’m just learning about her.

September 4, 2011

Chocolate + Pear Cake

I wasn’t sure how this combination would work or if it would or if it could. I love the individual ingredients. So much. Juicy pear. Dark chocolate chips. They’ve never even crossed my mind as a combination. Never. And that is saying a lot.

So, of course, when I read about this cake over here at a LOVELY blog written by an incredibly witty and inspiring lady named Deb, I had to have it.

Chocolate and Pear Cake
inspired by smitten kitchen

1 c white whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
3 eggs, room temperature
8 T (1 stick) butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 lb (about 3 medium or 2 large) pears, peeled and diced
3/4 c bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F.

Prepare pan (I used a 9 in round cake pan. The original recipe called for a springform pan.) by swiping butter all over the bottom and sides. Then, sprinkle a little flour and powdered sugar into the pan, tipping, turning, and tapping to cover the entirety of the pan.

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Beat the three eggs with the whisk attachment on high for a really long time. But have no fear, during this time, I’ll give you something exciting to do! Ten minutes should get the eggs to go from eggs…

… to lightly colored and pretty thick froth.

Then, beat a little longer until it’s custard consistency.

(Next time, I’ll actually use the whisk attachment instead of my regular beaters. It turned out fine. So you should be relieved to know that this is a forgiving recipe.)

As promised, something exciting:: Browning butter!!

What’s better than butter? Browned butter. And even though I was pretty frightened of this process when I first heard of it, I love it. It adds a richness, nuttiness, and depth of deliciousness. Oh, man. Okay. So. Put your stick of butter in a medium sauce pan and leave it on medium-ish heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally especially a lot in the last couple of minutes so the browning happens all over not just for the first bits to be browned. And yes, those bits are okay. They’re good and welcome, even. Once the butter’s browned, take it off the heat, but keep it in a pretty warm place.

Now, that your eggs are fluffed and your butter browned, add the brown sugar to your egg mixture. Mix until incorporated.

Add flour mixture to egg fluff mixture. Now, get a spatula and fold the flour into the eggs to try to maintain the fluffiness. Add browned butter; fold.

Pour into prepared pan.

Add peeled and diced pears and chocolate chips.

Bake for about 40 minutes. Don’t take the cake out of the oven until your doneness tester comes out completely batter-free. I used my Doneness Tester (butter knife) to go around the edge of the cake just inside the pan to make sure it was separated before turning it out on a cooling rack.

Let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

If I can wait that long, you can, too. It’s possible.

And enjoy.

Every single bite.

May 17, 2011

Easter Cupcakes

If you give a nine-year-old, six-year-old, and four-year-old a lot of pretty sprinkles and a lot of very tasty frosting, after letting them help make the frosting and therefore taste the frosting (a lot of it), you might have a good time. I did. I love my nieces.

Easter Cupcakes

This part I made aforehand, so that we, as a group, didn’t have to wait around while the cupcakes baked. We started with the fun stuff. So, here’s the “aforehand” stuff for you.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Inspired by: Smitten Kitchen

2 c + 2 T cake flour
2 c whole white wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt, small grained
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c sugar (I used demerara sugar and pulsed it in a spice grinder until finely grained.)
2 t vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
4 eggs, large, at room temperature
2 c buttermilk (which I didn’t have, so I used milk + lemon juice. Because I used too much lemon juice, these cupcakes tasted a little bit like lemon, but not in a bad way.)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add vanilla.

Add eggs one at a time. Beat until incorporated.

Add buttermilk or milk mixture. Mix. Incorporate.

Then, add the flour mixture.

There it is. The flour mixture. Now, add it in three batches to the batter. Mixing after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake cups.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack.

Use your favorite frosting recipe. Go to town. Have at it.

Why, yes, I did put plastic wrap on the counter to ease in clean-up. What’s that? Applause? Applause for brilliance? Oh, thanks. Thanks.

We washed our hands a bunch of times.

A lot of sprinkles were used in the making of these Easter Cupcakes.

Tada.

April 26, 2011

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies are textured, tasty, and, most importantly, chocolatey.

I needed cookies. I needed chocolate. This is more than a solution. This is the beginning of a problem. A delicious, wonderful problem in which I eat too many cookies then need to sit down and think about what I’ve done.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c Demerara sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t vanilla bean paste (or extract. I actually found out I had no vanilla extract when trying to create these cookies, but the vanilla bean paste was awesome.)
1 1/2 c AP flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 1/2 c milk chocolate and 1/2 c semi-sweet or 1 c milk chocolate)

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla. Mix.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

With the mixer on low, add flour mixture to butter mixture incrementally. Mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Form 1 1/2 inch balls of dough. Place on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake until the tops crack, about 12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for five minutes then remove to cooling racks.

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. After that the cookies get sad and hard, and you’ll miss out on the good thing you had.

March 3, 2011

Simply Chocolate Cake

This cake is great and simple. Chocolatey but not overly sweet. Delicious and not long lasting at all. It gets gone. Quickly.

Simple Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 c buttermilk (or regular milk plus lemon juice or vinegar equalling 1 c. Do you know this trick? It’s great.)
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c A-P flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/4 c Ovaltine (because I ran out of cocoa powder. If you have enough cocoa powder, use 3/4 c and no Ovaltine, unless you want to found out how it ended up. [Pretty darn good.])
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk, or a combination)

Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Butter and lightly flour 9 x 9 pan.

Cream the butter until smooth with an electric mixer on medium.

Add the sugars and continue to beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the egg. Mix to incorporate. Then, add the buttermilk and vanilla. The batter will look a little… off. Too runny. Too clumpy. That’ll be correctly shortly. Leave it be for now.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, Ovaltine (if using), baking soda, baking powder, and salt). If you want this to be a one bowl dish, just sift the dry right into the wet ingredients! So great. Don’t overmix; just stir until combined, scraping down the sides. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a loaf pan or a 9 x 9 pan. You know; that one you buttered earlier. Bake for 65 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then plop out and let it completely cool.

Enjoy it while you can. Like I said, this cake magically disappears.

 

February 17, 2011

Pear Bread

Pear bread. Pear cake. It’s in the shape of a bundt cake, but if the food doesn’t have a coffee in front of it, I don’t think we’re allowed to eat it for breakfast. Hence, bread. Also, it’s very, very similar to banana bread.

I have a feeling I should keep playing around with this recipe a bit. But it was fun making it the first time. So, allow me to tell you about it.

Pear Bread
inspired by Smitten Kitchen

3 c A-P flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 T ground cinnamon
3/4 c butter, softened
3 eggs
2 c sugar
3 pears, firm
2 t vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon).

Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.

Peel and grate the pears.

Add eggs, grated pears, and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Once completely combined together, mix into the flour mixture.

Butter the bundt pan.

And pour batter in evenly.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Cool bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. The cool it completely on a plate. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Slice. Enjoy.

Advisory:: Be aware. Cutting yourself a slice of this bread even after a week, topping it with a tablespoon of honey, heating it up in the microwave for 22 seconds, then topping that with French Vanilla organic yogurt is INCREDIBLE!!! It’ll make you sing, make you feel giddy, and make you want at least one more slice.

February 9, 2011

Gingery Molasses Cookies

These ginger cookies are incredible!!! Yes, I must be in the cookie spirit, because I can’t turn down a good cookie recipe right now. I’m not sure what it is– random cravings, the time of year, butter, sweet, delicious, soft, chewy, warm out of the oven, magnificent. I love cookies lately. And not all, mind you. I’ve still retained my sense of standard and decorum. I don’t jump onto every cookie I see. I consider it carefully before I tell the good ones how much I love them.

These are some mighty good ones. Let me tell you. Actually, allow me to show you. And encourage you to make these right this very moment. Yes. Now.

Gingery Molasses Cookies
Inspired by Rosie at Sweetapolita

2 1/4 c unbleached white-wheat flour
1/2 t ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 large egg
1 pkg crystalized ginger
Demerara sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift all dry ingredients together. Set bowl aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy and much lighter. At least beat for 2 minutes. Add egg, mix; add molasses, mix for another minute.

Blend. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Chop up crystalized ginger.

Add and mix in on low.

Make balls of dough then roll in demerara sugar to completely coat. Place on Silpated cookie sheet.

Lightly flatten cookie. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or as soon as cookies begin to crack. Let cookies cool on sheet then on a cooling rack.

These are incredibly chewy and absolutely perfect.

January 19, 2011

Simply Great Vanilla Whipping Cream Pound Cake


I was stumped for cakes. We had an important birthday to celebrate, but I came up empty for any and all ideas. Last year for this friend I made a caramel cake. This year, his sister made him a Tres Leches Cake. But I wanted to make him one. Who doesn’t love multiple cakes for a birthday?? Who?

Simply Amazing, Utterly Devine Whipping Cream Pound Cake

3 c cake flour
3 c sugar
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
6 eggs
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 t vanilla
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Sift flour.

 

It’s a mountain. A great and mighty mountain that needs to be set aside for the time being.

In another bowl, put the sugar in then the butter.

Cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Keep going. Even at this stage, it’s not quite done. When very light and very creamy, add one egg at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition.

Mix, egg, mix, egg, mix, egg, mix.

Now, begin to add the flour. Just add 1/4 of the flour. Mix until incorporated.

Then add about 1/3 of whipping cream. Mix until incorporated.

Flour, mix, cream, mix, flour, mix, cream, mix, flour mix.

Now, add the vanilla. Mix.

Prepare a 9″ fluted tube ban with butter and flour. Then add the batter.

Bake for between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool.

Serve by itself or with a simple glaze.

Simple Glaze

1 c powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice
2 T milk

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Add more milk if too thick. Add more powdered sugar if too thin.

I didn’t drizzle over the whole cake. But drizzled over individual slices. You can drizzle or not. It’s your choice. Isn’t it great to have delicious decisions to make?

January 11, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

The snow!!! The majestic snow. The world is icy and bright and fluffy. There was no work and no driving, which made a perfect day for cupcake creating. Today, I made snow day cupcakes. I must say, these are the best cupcakes I have ever made ever. They were perfect.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
Inspired by Amy Wisniewski

1 c A-P flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t fine salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste, or the insides of 1 vanilla bean
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
6 T lowfat vanilla drinkable yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the rack in the middle position.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In order to bring the butter to room temperature, you can put it in the microwave for nine seconds.

Beat on medium-high speed until light for about 3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until combined….

…and vanilla bean paste. Oh, the good stuff.

Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the egg white. Mix until combined.

Add the egg and mix well.

Add the drinkable yogurt in three installments. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides.

Put the beater on low. Add flour mixture in three installments. Mix well and completely incorporate.

Dollop batter into muffin tin (fill about halfway for each).

 

Bake until a fork or toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/4 c granulated sugar
2 T water
1/4 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
6 T (or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 t kosher salt
1 c powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, stir sugar and water together. Boil over medium-high heat.

Cook about 6 minutes until light amber in color. Remove from heat. Slowly add cream and stir with wooden spoon until smooth.

Let the caramel cool for about 25 minutes until it’s cool to the touch. Add vanilla extract. While cooling, mix the rest of the frosting.

Put room temperature butter into mixing bowl with salt.

Beat on medium-high speed when light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar.

Mix on low until completely incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add the beautiful, beautiful caramel.

Mix until combined.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled…

…completely,

(And you can choose how to ensure they are completely cooled. If you have a handy winter wonderland, use that, or just let time do its trick.)

…frost them with the oh so magnificent salted caramel delight. When frosting the cupcakes, watch out. That frosting is sneaky.

Sleeve frosting.

But… delicious. So good. So perfect.

**Please note, these were baked in the new house. I was so excited about these. SO excited that I posted these before the first official recipe in the new house. Please forgive me. But enjoy this. And try to understand how perfect these are:: A cake that can stand up on its own and be absolutely, not-too-sweet delicious and is paired with a perfect match. You cannot get better than fluffy icing that’s strong enough for a muffin but made for a cupcake. Ugh. Scratch that last part and just enjoy!