Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mini Banana Loaves with Walnut Topping

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF then line your mini loaf pan or muffin pan with liners.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl cream together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in mashed banana and sour cream.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until smooth batter forms. Divide batter among loaf molds, filling three-quarters full.
4. For the topping, in a small bowl mix together flour, dark brown sugar, and walnuts. Cut in butter until crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle some of the topping over each.
5. Bake mini loaves for 25-30 minutes until browned on top and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Best served with a cup of tea!

Makes 10.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Pumpkin Harvest Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease and flour your pumpkin muffin pan or regular muffin pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
2. In another large bowl whisk together eggs, canola oil, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in pumpkin puree until smooth. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake 20-23 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
4. If using a pumpkin pan, turn out muffins immediately onto a wire rack to prevent sticking. Let muffins cool a few minutes then serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Adapted from Joy of Baking

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (one 15 ounce can)
Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
2. In another large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until smooth and combined. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin puree until combined.
3. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until smooth and thick batter forms. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake whoopie pies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the bottom and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool a couple minutes on the pan before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. For the filling, in a large bowl cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually blend in icing sugar. Spoon into piping bag fitted with #12 tip or into sandwich bag with corner cut off.
6. Squeeze some filling onto the bottom center of one cooled cookie then sandwich together with another to make your whoopie pies! Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 30 assembled whoopie pies. For best keeping, store whoopie pies in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. 



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cheese & Chive Bread

Adapted from Baking with Dorie

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used 3/4 cup of Tex Mex mix and 3/4 cup mozzarella)
1/2 cup minced chives (get out those kitchen scissors!)

1. Grease 9x5" loaf pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper for easy removal. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
2. In another bowl whisk eggs until foamy then whisk in milk and olive oil. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened then stir in cheese and chives. Batter will be thick.
3. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan and bake bread at 350°F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. Let bread cool in pan then remove from pan and slice. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blueberry Scones

Adapted from Joy of Baking

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup salted butter*, cold
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Topping:
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Cut in butter until the size of small peas then stir in blueberries.
2. In a small bowl whisk together egg, vanilla, and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until dough forms. Press dough into a 7" wide circle, about 1" thick.
3. Cut circle into 8 triangles then brush tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place onto prepared baking sheet, then bake until golden brown on top and brown on the bottom, about 18-22 minutes.
4. Let scones cool then serve & enjoy!

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients. Makes 8.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Adapted from Cupcake Project

1 cup sugar
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups self rising cake and pastry flour (I used this product)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a small bowl mix together the vanilla bean seeds and sugar, break up any clumps of seeds.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour and baking soda. On low speed, blend in vanilla sugar until well combined. Add butter and blend about 3 minutes until butter has formed fine crumbs.
3. In another bowl whisk together eggs, sour cream, canola oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and blend until combined then slowly drizzle in milk, continue blending until smooth batter forms.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake cupcakes 14-16 minutes until pale on top, golden brown on the bottom, and toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cupcakes cool 10 minutes in the pan before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost as desired then serve & enjoy!

Makes about 20 cupcakes. Wondering what to do with that used vanilla bean? Make Vanilla Bean Sugar!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheese Scones

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a Tex Mex mix)
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup milk
Topping:
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1/3 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cheese. Cut in butter until the size of peas. Stir in milk using a fork to form a soft dough.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and press into a 6" wide circle, about 1" thick. Cut circle into 4 wedges then place onto baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter then sprinkle some shredded cheese over top.
4. Bake scones 12-14 minutes until browned on the bottom. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking for 5 minutes until the tops are browned. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 4 large scones.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Skolebrød

 "(English: School Bread) is the Norwegian name for a type of bun that consists of regular dough of yeast, custard and icing with grated coconut. It was usually put in school lunches as a dessert or sold at bake sales, hence the name."

Dough:
1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
1 teaspoon dry quick rise yeast
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 1/2 cups flour
Custard:
1 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten (reserve 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
2-3 teaspoons cream
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1. In a large bowl mix together water and yeast. Stir in milk, butter, sugar, salt, and cardamom. Add 1 cup flour and mix well. Add remaining flour until soft dough forms.
2. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place into greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes. I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on.
3. While dough is rising, prepare custard filling. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl whisk together sugar, butter, flour, and beaten egg until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the warm milk then gradually add mixture back into the milk in the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside and let cool until ready to use.
4. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and cut into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a disc then create large dimples in the center of each and place onto a greased baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill each dimple with about 1/8 cup of cooled custard and then brush the dough with the reserved 1 tablespoon of beaten egg. Bake Skolebrød for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely before icing.
6. In a small bowl mix together icing sugar and cream to form a thick, glossy, smooth glaze. Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the Skolebrod, but not the custard center. Press the icing into coconut then let the icing set. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 6.


Shaped and ready to rise!

Risen, filled with custard, and brushed with eggwash. Ready to bake.
Baked and cooling before icing.



Icing and coconut time!













Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Garlic Herb Bread

Adapted from Taste of Home

4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) quick rise yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried italian herbs (I used this)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 egg
eggwhite, for brushing

1. In a large bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, herbs, and garlic powder. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, place milk, water, and butter. Warm mixture until butter has just started to melt and  is about 110-120°F, stir in grated garlic. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined, along with the egg.
3. Add more flour until soft dough forms, about another 2 cups. Turn out onto floured surface and knead, 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
4. Cover dough with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 3 sections, and roll each section in a 15" long rope. Place ropes onto greased baking sheet and braid them together.
5. Cover braid with tea towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk. I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on.
6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush braid with eggwhite and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when gently tapped. Slice & enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf, about 16 Slices.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apple Blackberry Pocket Pies


I made these adorable and delicious pocket pies using an apple shaped pie press I found at Superstore. Alternatively, you could use cookie cutters or just free hand it with a knife. Click here for the pastry recipe, and click here for the apple blackberry pie filling recipe I used. Happy September everyone!