Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Cake:
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Toffee Sauce:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8x8" dish and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer dates in 1 cup water until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Let stand while making batter.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth and combined. In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix to combined followed by date mixture and mix well. Pour batter into cake pan and bake 28-30 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. 
4. For the toffee sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, mix together evaporated milk, brown sugar, and butter. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 1-2 minutes.
5. Poke holes through entire cake then pour over half of the toffee sauce and let stand for cake to absorb the sauce. When ready to serve, pour over additonal sauce. Enjoy!


Pudding, soaked with half of sauce, can stand at room temperature up to 2 hours. Reheat in pan in a 300°F oven 10 minutes. Warm remaining sauce before pouring over pudding.



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine, cooled
Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line 9x13" pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang to remove bars easily.
2. In a large bowl mix together rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, sugar, raisins and cinnamon. In another whisk egg then add vanilla and melted butter. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until crumbly mixture forms.
3. Press mixture evenly across the bottom of prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Let bars cool completely at room temperature.
4. Remove bars from pan and slice into 15 bars (divide rectangle into 3 sections then cut each section into 5). In a small bowl mix together icing sugar and water until smooth. Drizzle each bar with icing and let stand 5 minutes for icing to set. Serve & enjoy!

Customize these granola bars by adding other dried fruits, seeds, and nuts!



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Biscotti

1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup white chocolate, melted (I used white chocolate flavored blue candy melts)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, blend together butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Blend in eggs and orange zest until well combined, mixture will look curdled. Gradually stir in flour until soft dough forms.
3. Form dough into a ball, divide in half, placing each half on a baking sheet. For each piece, form a 9 1/2" long, 2" wide, 3/4" tall rectangle. Smooth tops and sides with a wet knife or other flat utensil.
4. Bake for 25 minutes until just lightly browned on top. Let cool 15-20 minutes.
5. Brush tops and sides with water before slicing to prevent crumbling. Use a serrated knife and slice 3/4" thick slices, you can slice straight or on a diagonal, however you like.
6. Stand slices up on baking sheet and bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes until firm and dry. Cool completely, then dip or drizzle with melted chocolate. Once chocolate has set, serve & enjoy!

Makes approximately 20-25 biscotti. For helpful pictures, click here.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Strawberry Loaf

2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 9x5" loaf pan.
2. Place strawberries and vegetable oil into a blender. Puree until mixture is smooth and pour into a bowl along with eggs and whisk until combined.
3. In another bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add strawberry mixture and stir until combined. Pour into loaf pan.
4. Bake 50-60 minutes until golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean. Cool loaf to room temperature then slice & serve!


Makes 1 loaf. Great way to use up ripe strawberries!







Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jaffa Cakes

Is it a cake? Is it a cookie? It's a Jaffa Cake!

Cake:
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
Filling:
4 tablespoons jam (orange marmalade, raspberry jam, blackcurrant jam, strawberry jam, etc.)
Topping:
1 cup dark chocolate pieces, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pan wells.
2. In a large bowl place eggs and sugar, using a hand held mixer or machine, whisk mixture until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Beat in flour until batter is smooth and creamy.
3. Divide batter among muffin wells, filling about 1/3 full. Bake cakes 10-12 minutes until toothpick comes out clean, cakes will appear pale on top. Turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.
4. To assemble jaffa cakes: (A) Place a teaspoon of jam on top of cake, leaving an edge. (B) Spoon melted chocolate over jam to cover completely and let chocolate drip down sides of cake. (C) Let chocolate set then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Cinnamon Buns

Adapted from Joy of Baking

4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
Filling:
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon cream, for brushing
Glaze:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons cream

1. In a large bowl place 2 1/4 cups flour and yeast (fit mixer with dough hooks). Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat place milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Heat until mixture is warm, about 110°F. Remove from heat and stir until butter is completely melted.
2. With mixer on low, slowly pour warm milk mixture into flour mixture, increase speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time. until smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in remaining flour until dough forms.
3. Turn out dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed. Place dough into oiled bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area until doubled in bulk, about an hour. (I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on).
4. Place dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down. Roll into 12x12" square and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle over cinnamon sugar followed by walnuts and raisins. Brush edges with cream and roll up like a jelly roll.
5. Slice log into 8 pieces, about 1.5" thick. Place pieces into greased 9x13" pan, cut side up. Cover losely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour. Brush tops with cream.
6. Bake buns at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top, brown on the bottom, and hollow sounding when tapped. Cover with tin foil if over-browning occurs during the last 10 minutes of baking. In a small bowl mix together icing sugar and cream until smooth. Drizzle over warm buns then serve & enjoy!

Makes 8 large cinnamon buns. Perfect for a rainy day!



Friday, May 18, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

2 large lemons will provide all the juice and zest needed for this recipe!

one 9" baked pie shell

3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup boiling water
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 and 1/2 lemons
2 teaspoons butter

1. In saucepan over medium heat, mix together cornstarch, flour, and 1 cup sugar. Add boiling water slowly, stirring constantly and cook for 2 minutes until thick and bubbly. Add lemon juice, zest, and butter, whisking until smooth and reduce heat to low.

2. Slowly add 1/3 of the hot mixture to egg yolks, mixing well. Add egg mixture back to saucepan and cook on low heat for 1 minute. Pour mixture into pie shell.
3. In a large bowl whisk egg whites until foamy and gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. 
4. Spread meringue over the pie covering the crust. Bake at 400°F about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and hollow sounding when gently tapped on top.
5. Let pie cool completely at room temperature then chill until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes. Serve & enjoy!
Serves 6-8.







Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baked Doughnuts II

3/4 cup milk
3/4 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Glaze:
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450°F and grease doughnut pan. In a small bowl mix together milk and vinegar.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until the size of small peas.
3. Stir in milk mixture just until lumpy batter forms, do not over mix. Pour batter into a large ziploc bag and cut the corner off to make filling the doughnut molds easier. Fill doughnut molds 1/2 way full and brush batter with melted butter.
4. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown on the bottom and a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out doughnuts onto wire rack to cool. For the glaze, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the whipping cream and vanilla. Turn off heat and sift in icing sugar and whisk until smooth.
5. Glaze doughnuts and place back onto wire rack for glaze to set, about 5 minutes. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 8 doughnuts. This is my favorite baked doughnut as it doesn't taste like a cupcake in the shape of a doughnut. These are fluffy and delicious!





Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups blueberries (I used frozen wild blueberries)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
2. In another bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg yolks, and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
3. In a large bowl whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter along with blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.
4. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool a few minutes in the pan then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!


Makes 1 dozen.



Friday, May 11, 2012

Funny Cake

1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie shell
Butterscotch Sauce:
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Cake:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Topping:
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped


1. In a small saucepan over low heat, place butter, brown sugar, along with corn syrup and bring to a boil. Stir constantly and let mixture boil for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool while preparing cake batter.
2. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla until combined. Add flour in three additions alternating with milk.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F and place pie shell onto baking sheet. Pour batter into pie shell then drizzle butterscotch sauce over top of batter to cover. Sprinkle chopped nuts over top.
4.  Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool to room temperature then slice & serve!


Serves 6-8. Why the "funny" in funny cake? Because the sauce you drizzle over top of the batter before baking, ends up between the cake and the crust after baking! 



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Homemade Fruit Bagels

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup warm water (110°F)
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (120g) dried mix fruit (I used this)
For Boiling:
12 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. In a large bowl combined water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt followed by 1 cup flour and dried fruit until smooth and combined.
2. Stir in another 1 cup flour until dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until no longer sticky, smooth, and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add flour as needed.
3. Place dough into oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on).
4. Punch down dough and divide into 6 equal pieces, forming each piece into a ball. Press hole through center of the ball and gently stretch, making a hole about 1" wide. The hole will shrink when bagels rise. Place them onto a greased baking sheet and cover losely with plastic wrap and let rise, about 20-30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a clean baking sheet.
6. In a large pot, bring water and sugars to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low for a slower boiling water. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil them for 30 seconds on each side (if you have a stop watch, nows the time to use it!). Remove bagels from water using a slotted spoon and place onto wire rack to drain.
7. Place bagels onto baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
8. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving!

Makes 6. Great toasted with cream cheese or butter and jam!





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Madeleines

Adapted from Laura In The Kitchen

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour madeleine pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until thickened and pale in colour, about 3-4 minutes on high speed.
3. Reduce speed and add the vanilla, lemon zest, flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly drizzle in melted butter and mix until everything is combined.
4. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into molds, filling about two-thirds full. Bake 8-12 minutes until edges are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
5. Turn out madelines and let cool completely. Serve & enjoy!


Makes about 20.



Friday, May 4, 2012

Coffee Cake Ring

1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
1/3 cup warm water (110°F)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups flour
Filling:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water


1. In a microwavable safe bowl, place milk and butter. Mircowave mixture until milk is hot and butter is melted, about 45 seconds. Cool mixture until warm, about 110°F.
2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Add cooled milk mixture to yeast along with extracts and flavorings. Whisk in egg, remaining sugar, and salt. Stir in 2 cups of flour then add 1/4 cup at a time until dough forms.
4. When dough pulls together, turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes, adding flour as needed.
5. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap then let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour. (I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on).
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down. Roll into 10x20" rectangle. For filling, in a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Add melted butter and stir until combined.
7. Sprinkle filling over dough then starting from the long side, roll up like a jelly roll. Form into an oval shape then place onto baking sheet. With a knife make cuts a third of the way through the dough in 1" intervals then turn cut sides facing up.
8. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375°F for about 25-30 minutes until brown on top, browned on the bottom, and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
9. For the glaze, in a saucepan over high heat, mix together sugar and water. Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved then remove from heat. Brush syrup over cake. Let cool a few minutes then slice & serve!


Serves 8-10



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Applesauce Oatmeal Banana Muffins

Adapted from All Recipes

1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce (I used homemade)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping:
2 tablespoons rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl whisk together egg, banana, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Divide batter among muffin cups filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle rolled oats over top. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
4. Let muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!


Makes 1 dozen.