Monday, January 18, 2016

Bon Appetit Desserts: Pineapple Upside-Down Pumpkin Gingerbread

Well goodness me, it's 2016! In honor of the new year, I bequeath this recipe to you! May the new year be filled with more joy than sorrow. May it also be filled with cake, lots and lots of cake! I wish the best for you and yours!

Not my best photo!

Pineapple Upside-Down Pumpkin Gingerbread
10 servings


Topping

             Nonstick vegetable oil spray

2/3        cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2        cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2           tablespoons frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

1           teaspoon mild-flavored (light) molasses

1           ripe pineapple, peeled


Cake

2           cups unbleached all purpose flour

2           teaspoons baking soda

2           teaspoons baking powder

1-1/4    teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4       teaspoon groung ginger

1/2       teaspoon salt

1/2       cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1          cup sugar

2          large eggs

1/2       cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

1/2       cup canned pure pumpkin

1/2       cup boiling water


            Whipped cream


TOPPING: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Combine sugar, butter, pineapple juice concentrate, and molasses in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves and syrup is smooth; boil 1 minute. Pour evenly into prepared pan.

Cut off 1/3-inch-thick round from pineapple; cut out core. Place round in syrup in pan. Stand pineapple on end. Cut lengthwise into 1-3-inch-thick slices. Using 3 round cutters of different sizes, cut out rounds from pineapple slices, avoiding core. Arrange rounds close together in single ayer in free-form design in syrup. (I did not have round cutters of various sizes, so I just did what I wanted.)


CAKE: Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in medium bowl. beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in molasses, then pumpkin. Beat in dry ingredients just until blended, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in 1/2 cup boiling water. Pour batter evenly into pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan 45 minutes. Place platter over pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders as aid, firmly grasp pan and platter together and turn over. Let stand 5 minutes, then gently lift pan off cake. Serve cake warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Baking 2015

Hello! I finished up my Christmas baking today, which is pretty good, since I started yesterday. The bad news is that I only made a few things. The good thing is, you may find the recipes here!

I am going to post links for cookies that I have made in the past, as well.

So, what did I make this year?


Czech Pernicky
In the Czech Republic, you can buy these treats at all of the Christmas markets. They are puffy and delicious. Originally made with rye flour, I believe. They don the most beautiful and intricate icing designs. Pronounced per-knit-ski.



Butterscotch Fingers
These are a simple recipe to bring together and they taste wonderful!

Iced Oatmeal Cookies



We can all thank my best friend's little sister for this recipe. She brought them to  my cookie exchange last week. They are so good, that I had to make them myself! (Origin of recipe unknown at this time.)


2          cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2          cups all-purpose flour

1          tablespoon baking powder

1/2       teaspoon baking soda

1/2       teaspoon salt

2          teaspoons cinnamon

1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg

1          cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1          cup light brown sugar

1/2       cup sugar

2          large eggs

1          teaspoon vanilla extract


Glaze

2          cups confectioner's sugar

3          tablespoons milk (I used more to thin icing to my liking, don't be afraid to do the same.)


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix oats with flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars.

Add in eggs one at a time, then vanilla.

Gradually add in flour mixture until combined.

Roll dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10- 12 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.

Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Glaze once the cookies are cool.


Glaze:

Mix confectioner's sugar and milk together in a medium bowl.

Quickly dip tops of cookies into glaze and let excess drip back into bowl.

Place on wire rack until glaze sets.

Store cookies in an airtight container.


Cranberry Swirl Bread  From Stiers Aesthetic
Makes one loaf

      


INGREDIENTS

Bread:

1/3             cup sugar

1                package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast (or  equivalent 2-1/4 teaspoons)

1/2             teaspoon salt

3-1/2         cups all-purpose flour

1/2            cup water

1/2            cup milk

1/3            cup butter


Filling:

1-1/2        cups chopped cranberries, fresh or frozen

1/4           cup packed brown sugar

1              teaspoon cornstarch

1/4           cup water

1              tablespoon butter

1              tablespoon lemon juice

Confectioner's sugar for dusting



1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough attachment, mix sugar, yeast, salt, and 1 cup flour (you'll use the other 2-1/2 cups later). If you do not have a stand mixer you can simply use a large bowl and mix sugar, yeast, salt, and flour together.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat water, milk, and butter, until butter is melted. Let cool until mixture is lukewarm.

3. Once cooled, add mixture to dry ingredients in stand mixer and mix on speed 1.

4. Stir in flour, one cup at a time, until a smooth dough is formed, increasing speed to 2.

5. Mix together until dough comes together in a clean ball. Shape dough into a smooth ball, transfer to a large lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Baker's note: If your dough is too sticky add more flour, one spoon at a time. If you dough is too dry, add a little olive oil.)

6. While you're waiting on your bread to rise, combine cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to cover slightly as your cranberries will start to burst.

7. Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon juice; cool.

8. Punch down dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface.

9. Roll into a 10x20-inch rectangle. Spread the cranberry sauce out 1/2-inch from the edges. Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, pinching sides as you go. With the seam facing down, use a sharp knife and carefully slice completely through the dough, lengthwise down the center, end to end.

10. Braid dough (with cranberry sauce facing up), and transfer to lightly greased 10-inch loaf pan.

11. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 30- 40 minutes.

12. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bale loaf for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

13. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

14. Dust with confectioner's sugar and top with fresh cranberries (optional), for a pop of color.




Previous Treats:

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Gingerbread Men Cookies

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Melt Aways

Spiked Eggnog Chews

Spicy Apple Pancakes with Cider Sauce

Snickerdoodles and Pepprakakor



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pumpkin Sugar Buns

I just discovered this recipe from The Candid Appetite. They looked so good, I had to give them a go!





This is what the buns look like, when you run out of cinnamon and cannot make the cinnamon sugar coating and are forced to ice them instead.




Pumpkin Sugar Buns Makes 24


Dough

1/2          cup warm water (about 105ºF to 115ºF)

2             (1/4 ounce) packets active dry yeast (or 4-1/2 teaspoons worth)

1/2          cup milk

1/2         cup sugar

1            teaspoon salt

1/4         unsalted butter, melted

1            cup pumpkin, purée

2            large eggs, lightly whisked

2-1/2      teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

5 to 5-1/2   cups all-purpose flour


Filling

4            tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2            tablespoons granulated sugar

2            teaspoons ground cinnamon


Coating

6            tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2         cup granulated sugar

1            tablespoon ground cinnamon


Instructions

1. Dissolve the water and yeast in a medium bowl. Let rest in warm spot until frothy and foamy,a bout 10 minutes.

2. Warm the milk, butter, and sugar in small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Set aside to slightly cool. In a large bowl, stir together the milk mixture, salt, pumpkin purée, eggs, and water/yeast mixture, until evenly combined. Add the pumpkin pie spice and half of the flour in batches, mixing until well incorporated. Add as much of the remaining flour as needed to form a smooth and somewhat sticky dough. It should pull away from the bowl while mixing. Knead on high for about 8 to 10 minutes to form a soft dough. Transfer to well oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and damp kitchen towel. Set in warm spot and allow the dough to rest until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

3. To make the filling, in small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and then roll each half into rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Brush with half the melted butter and sprinkle with half the sugar mixture. Roll into a tight log, lengthwise. Cut into 12 even pieces and place in well oiled muffin tin. Cover both muffin tins with plastic wrap and let rest in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake the buns until golden brown and puffed up, about 20 to 25 minutes. make sure your oven racks are spaced far enough apart as buns tend to rise high while baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on cooling racks.

5. Meanwhile, make the coating by mixing together the cinnamon and sugar. Brush or dip the cooled buns in melted butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately or or cover tightly with plastic wrap. Will keep at room temperature for 2 days. You can also freeze the baked buns and then thaw and roll around in butter and sugar when you are ready to serve and eat.




Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Best Persimmon Cookies I've Ever Had!

These also happen to be the only persimmon cookies that I have ever had. I had never tasted a persimmon before and I was curious about what they tasted like. On Halloween, I got into a conversation about persimmons with my friend's mother -in-law and it just so happens that my new apartment has a persimmon tree just outside... so, I decided to whip up a batch of cookies.  I found this recipe on Pinterest. It seems old, but who knows these days.

I hope that you try these out. The are truly scrumptious. I took some on a road trip to the Hoover Dam this weekend and my friends loved them. My friend's mother-in-law also received a few and she begged for the recipe.

So, without further ado...


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bon Appetit Desserts: Caramel-Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake

This is definitely caramely, walnutty, and bananay cake! It is also quite tasty!



Caramel-Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake
6 to 8 servings

Topping

              Nonstick vegetable spray

1/2         cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1            cup (packed) golden brown sugar

3            tablespoons dark corn syrup

3/4         cup walnut halves or pieces


Cake

1-3/4      cups cake flour

1            teaspoon baking powder

3/4         teaspoon baking soda

1/2         teaspoon salt

1/2         cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2         cup sugar

1/2         cup (packed) golden brown sugar

2            large eggs

1            cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)

3            tablespoons sour cream

1            tablespoon dark rum

1            teaspoon vanilla extract

              Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

TOPPING: Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Bring butter, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil in medium saucepan, stirring constantly until butter melts. Boil syrup 1 minute. Stir in nuts. Spread topping in prepared pan. Let topping cool completely.

CAKE: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, the mashed bananas, sour cream, rum, and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions just until combined. Spoon batter into pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Run small knife around pan sides to loosed cake. Place platter over pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders as aid, firmly grasp pan and platter together, then turn over. Let stand 5 minutes, then gently lift pan off cake. Cool at least 15 minutes for topping to set. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Blue Blueberry Muffins

My mom is a huge fan of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson Mysteries. Over the years I have purchased a few of these books for her. If you do not know, Hannah Swenson runs The Cookie Jar, a popular bakery in this mystery series, and she also solves crimes! Each book comes with a few recipes.

While one could turn to each book for their recipes, it's much easier just to find your favorite treat in the Lake Eden Cookbook, like my mom does.

One of our favorite recipes is the Blue Blueberry Muffins. My mom makes them often and I get happy when she sends some home with me. I am currently making a double batch of these muffins for my students.

I hope that you will try this recipe out. They are sure to please!

Blue Blueberry Muffins

3/4          cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)

1             cup sugar

2             eggs, beaten

2             teaspoons baking powder

1/2          teaspoon salt

1             cup fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw)

2             plus 1 tablespoon flour

1/2          cup milk

1/2          cup blueberry pie filling

CRUMB TOPPING:

1/2         cup sugar

1/3         cup flour

1/4         cup butter, softened



Muffins:

Grease of muffin tin only.

Melt butter and pour into large bowl. Mix in sugar. Add beaten eggs, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Put blueberries in medium bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over berries and mix gently until berries are covered; set aside.

Add one cup flour and half of the milk to the butter mixture. Add rest of flour and milk, mix thoroughly.

Add pie filling. Mix well. Fold in blueberries. (Mixture will probably turn blue and that is okay!)

Fill the muffin tine 3/4 full, set aside.


Crumb topping:

Mix flour and sugar in bowl. Add butter and cut in until crumbly. Fill in remaining space of muffin tins with crumb topping. Bake at 375ºF for 25-30 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes in tin before removing.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bon Appetit Desserts: Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

It is beginning to feel a lot like fall in Southern California... psych! It is still pretty warm, but I have got to believe that cooler weather is on its way.

This is the perfect recipe to set the stage for all of those cool autumn evenings!

Simple and delicious... simply delicious!



Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Serves 6 to 8

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

8             tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

1/2          cup plus 2/3 cup sugar

3             7- to 8-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into eighths, cored

1             cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4          cup yellow cornmeal

1/2          teaspoon baking soda

1/4          teaspoon salt

1             large egg

1/2          cup buttermilk

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Generously spray 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until sugar melts and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add apples and sauté over medium heat until apples are just tender and coated with caramel, shaking pan occasionally, about 12 minutes. Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan; distribute apples and caramel evenly over bottom of pan.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add half of flour mixture; stir in buttermilk. Add remaining flour mixture and mix well. Drop batter by spoonfuls evenly over apples and spread gently with offset spatula.

Bake until cake is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter over pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders as aid, firmly grasp pan and platter together and turn over. Gently lift pan off cake. Serve warm.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bon Appetit Desserts: Cranberry-Maple Pudding Cake



Cranberry-Maple Pudding Cake


Pudding cakes form two wonderful layers all on their own as they bake- the pudding layer settles on the bottom, and a spongy cake forms on top. Serve this warm for breakfast or dessert.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2             cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1             cup pure maple syrup (Grade B or Grade A dark amber)

2/3          cup heavy whipping cream

3/4          teaspoon finely grated orange peel

               Pinch of salt plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3          cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/3          cup yellow cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)

1-1/2      teaspoons baking powder

1             large egg

3             tablespoons sugar

1/2          cup whole milk

1/2          cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1             teaspoon vanilla extract

               Creme fraîche, softly whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream

Postion rack in center of oven and preheat to 400ºF. Combine cranberries, maple syrup, cream, orange peel, and pinch of salt in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk egg and sugar in another medium bowl. Whisk milk, melted butter, and vanilla into egg mixture. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; whisk to blend.

Pour warm cranberry mixture into 11x7x2-inch or 8x8x2-inch glass or ceramic dish. Pour batter over. Bake cake until golden and cranberry mixture bubbles at edges, about 28 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm cake with cranberry mixture onto plates. Serve cake topped with creme fraîche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.


Florence and the Machine!



About a month ago, I won tickets to see Florence and the Machine, at the Hollywood Bowl. Well, last night, my mom and I went to enjoy the show. It was great. What a powerful voice Florence has. Did you know that she is a dancing machine??! She spins, runs and dances across the stage for the entire concert. She's wild! And she never seems to be out of breath!

You wouldn't get this from Florence's singing voice, because it is so forceful, but her speaking voice is quiet and delicate. I think that if she was born a few decades ago, she would have fit perfectly in the 70s. I mean, at the end of the concert, she told everyone to take their clothes off (some people actually listened to her) and then she tore her shirt off and ran through the audience. She's very free. Ha, ha.

It was enjoyable to look around and see people enjoying the music, in a common space. Music and the arts are a great unifier. One young man in particular LOVED Florence. He did a lot of first pumps and he also shouted 'I love her', 'She's so good', and 'She's perfect', a few times. I always embrace the love of the arts and how they bring joy to lives.

My mom and I had a good time! I've been a fan of Florence and the Machine for a while, but only had one of their albums. Their new album, 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' is lovely. Check it out!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Moved!

Over the last month, I have moved and I am mostly unpacked. I just got internet and TV set up at the end of September. Not much has been going on here and because of that, it is my hope to get back to baking!

It is my wish to get some new Bon Appetit recipes posted post haste!

Until I get new recipes up, just know that I am enjoying much more free time in my life, as I only have to drive 30 minutes to and from work instead of an hour and a half both ways. I love it!

Also, tomorrow, I bring home two kittens! I am overwhelmed with excitement. I have been waiting for this moment for over fours years now. I am rejoicing over the fact that my new landlords allow small pets. I love animals!

I shall leave you with one more random piece of information. The city that I now live in has a lot of peacocks that roam the streets. So, I get to see them as I drive to and fro. A bunch of the birds like to gather near my apartment. I was able to capture two of them the other night, via photograph.

Due to the fact that peacocks are rampant in these parts, I decided to learn a little about these birds.

Males are Peacocks.
Females are Peahens.
A grouping of both sexes is called Peafowl.
Despite their large tail feathers, these birds are still able to fly!

And now that you know, here are two of my newest friends!


Aren't they lovely?! If only they sounded as great as they look! They sure do make some horrible sounds!

Thank you for reading this random post! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and may you have a glorious week!