Browsing Tag

baking

Crumbly Apple Cake

August 9, 2014

Recently my parent’s brought me a huge bag of apples from the tree in their backyard. They are small and tart…not really the kind that you want to munch on, but they’re perfect for baking with! They hold their shape, and sweeten as they bake, and best of all – they’re local and organic! I wanted to make something a little special with them, and stumbled upon this recipe for an apple crumble cake. It seems a little labor intensive, but really it just bakes in three 20 minute phases, and as these layers bake, they combine to create a really interesting and delicious texture- all at once flaky, creamy and crunchy. It’s absolutely worth the work! I changed it pretty significantly by using alternative flours instead of white flour. It was kind of amazing. Continue Reading…

Brown Butter Cookies with Coconut and Dark Chocolate

February 21, 2014

Have you guys ever baked with brown butter before? It’s definitely something special. It elevates the taste of the good ol’ chocolate chip cookie to a whole new place. Add in coconut and a healthy dose of dark chocolate and you have yourself a party-worthy cookie. Another great thing about this recipe is that you only dirty one bowl and one spoon…no heavy duty mixer required! I’m always looking for easy (but delicious!) recipes that don’t require too much clean up, and this one wins on so many levels.

Brown Butter Cookies with Oats, Coconut and Dark Chocolate { makes about 2 dozen }

1/2  cup unsalted butter
1/2  cup sugar
1/2  cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2  cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow butter to melt, and then cook, stirring constantly, until tiny brown bits appear at the bottom of the pan, and the butter is a medium brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

While the butter is cooling, mix together flour, oats, salt, coconut and chocolate. Set aside.

Once butter is cool to the touch, stir the butter into the sugars until thoroughly combined. Stir in egg and vanilla until creamy, and then add in the flour mixture, stirring just until all the ingredients come together. If the batter is too dry, you can add 1-2 Tbsp half and half or milk to help it come together. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon dough onto cookie sheets* using your hands or a cookie scoop. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before enjoying.

*because the dough is a thick consistency these cookies don’t change shape much, so it’s ok to place them a little closer together than other choc chip cookies. These also freeze really well, so feel free to make a double batch and freeze half for later!

 

* recipe derived from this one *

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 3, 2013

Nothing can brighten my day quite like a freshly baked cookie. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies just because my day was feeling dreary….but sometimes a chocolate chip cookie just isn’t want you want, and that’s where these come in. While they’re similar in form to chocolate chip cookies, they’re closer in consistency to a muffin or cake, which makes them shamefully easy to eat. They make the whole house smell amazing, and would be the perfect thing to snack on while addressing Christmas cards, decorating the tree, or maybe even watching Elf (my personal favorite Christmas movie). I love this time of year, and while pumpkin is an ingredient more reminiscent of Fall, I’m not done enjoying it just yet.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies     { makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size }

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp milk
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine butter, pumpkin, sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy and slightly lighter in color. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and milk. Slowly add the milk mixture to the pumpkin. In a medium bowl, combine cinnamon, baking powder, salt and flour. Whisk to combine, and slowly add to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just until combined. Remove bowl from standing mixer, and fold in chocolate chips. Place cookies 2″ apart on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to sit for a minute or two before moving cookies to a cooling rack. These are most definitely best eaten while the chocolate is still warm and melty. Enjoy!

* Original recipe is from Two Twenty One. I used butter instead of oil, and was really happy with the result *

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake

November 25, 2013

There’s something so fancy about an upside-down cake, though they seem to be slightly out-of-trend at the moment…that may be due to the unfortunate popularity of the pineapple upside down cake in the 60s, which I think is really disgusting. However, when you use fresh pears, honey, and spices instead of canned ring pineapple and maraschino cherries, it takes this cake from kitcshy to chic (can food be chic?). This would be an instantly stunning dessert to serve at your Thanksgiving table, or even post-Christmas dinner! We served it with coffee and ice cream for a dessert night with friends. It’s definitely best still slightly warm, topped with a heaping dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

The original recipe is from Bon Appetit,  and I’ll admit that I tried three times to make the caramel for the pears using their seemingly simple instructions, but all three times something completely different but equally terrible happened. This is a fairly atypical event in my kitchen…I’m good at following instructions, and can usually figure out a technique in one or two tries. Unfortunately, the complexity of making caramel eluded me. Instead, I used a mixture of butter, honey and spice. And it turned out beautifully. I don’t think I would have used the caramel even if I could have figured it out. However, that experience gave me an intense desire to master the art of caramel-making, so that’s a post for another time! Do any of you have any good caramel-making tips?

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake     { serves 8-10 }

Honey Glaze:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Cake:
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 medium Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced into 1/8″ thick slices
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a cake pan (I used an 8″ round), place a parchment round in the center, and butter the top of that as well. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add honey and spices. Whisk to combine, and spread evenly over the parchment in the cake pan. Layer pear slices in a circular pattern over the honey glaze, slightly overlapping each one. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix until lighter in color and smooth in consistency – about 2-3 minutes. Add yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and milk in 3 separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir just until combined.

In a different bowl, beat egg whites on medium low until soft peaks begin to form. In two additions, gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, mixing just until blended. Pour cake batter over the pears, and smooth the top. Bake for 45 min to an hour. Once the cake is finished cooking, allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. To release the cake, run a knife around the edge. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and remove parchment. Serve while still warm. Enjoy!

* Original recipe from Bon Appetit *

Martha’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 25, 2013

I know, I know. There are about two bazillion recipes out there for chocolate chip cookies, and everyone says theirs is the best. I’m not gonna claim that about these cookies…they probably aren’t ‘the best’. But they are really, really good. It isn’t my recipe either; It’s Martha Stewart’s. And I’ll just supply you with the link, because their recipe format is awesome! You can check ingredients off! It’s so smart, and if I’m being honest, probably a lot easier to use in the kitchen than my blog.

Perhaps a re-design is around the corner 😉

In any event, these cookies would be great to have on hand the week of Thanksgiving while friends and family are around, and they also freeze really well if you want to bake them now and eat them later. There’s no better time to bake a batch of cookies than a chilly Autumn day! Have fun!