Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category
After Tuesday’s confessions I forgot to add one more: I’ve hardly been cooking at all lately. True, we made some chilaquiles for Cinco de Mayo (which looked like dog food but tasted amazing) and I did make some homemade granola (which practically burnt), but I haven’t made anything really blog worthy…until last weekend.
On a whim I decided to bake after looking at some spotty bananas. Of course I could have made my trusty banana bread, but I was all breaded out after using my birthday coupons from the Breadsmith (If you sign up for their email newsletters they send you a free coupon for dessert bread during the month of your birthday. Since I subscribe to two different locations, I got two coupons :)
Instead I adapted the flavor of banana bread into an oatmeal cookie – my favorite. These cookies are definitely on the softer side, which makes them even more bread-like. So in other words, if you’re looking for a crispy cookie, these are definitely not it. But if you love oatmeal and bananas, these babies are for you.
Banana Bread Cookies
Makes 4 dozen cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried currants
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda and nutmeg; gradually add to the creamed butter mixture. Add the bananas. Stir in oats, walnuts, white chocolate chips and currants.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Question: What’s your favorite cookie? It’s a toss up for me. I love a good old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookie and those thick sugar cookies from Panera. Yum!
I know. I know. You’ve never seen me post a vegan recipe. Ever. To be honest, whenever anyone bakes vegan, I immediately think whatever I’m about to eat will taste terrible. Why is that?! For some reason, cooking without any animal products has a stigma of being hard-as-a-rock, tasteless and sub-par to the real thing.
Well, my friends, these muffins will convert you. I promise.
I don’t know if I’ve ever shared my journey into cooking and baking on the blog, but one of the first things I started making by myself in college were quickbreads. I’d make banana bread constantly and learned a lot about baking (like the correct way to measure flour and the importance of letting the bread cool before you wrap it up in plastic and give it to a guy you like, instead of giving him a hot, sticky mess. Yes, this really happened).
After banana bread, I found a recipe for Pumpkin Flax Quickbread that seemed really healthy. It used ingredients like whole wheat flour, canned pumpkin and flaxseed. It didn’t even occur to me that there were no eggs in the recipe. I didn’t know at the time but vegans make eggs using flax and water. It just so happened when I made these that I didn’t even have eggs in the house. I guess it was fate!
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
2 tablespoons ground flax
6 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup diced prunes
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped small
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 18 muffin cups.
Whisk together flax and water. Mix in sugar, pumpkin and applesauce. In a large bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt, baking powder and spices. Add prunes and walnuts.
Fill muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 22 minutes or until golden on top.
Tell me: Are you a fan of vegan cooking/baking? What’s your favorite recipe? Links welcome!
Until we hit the 50s in Wisconsin, I’m milking winter baking season for as long as I can. There’s nothing like the aroma of warm, fresh bread wafting through your home when there’s a foot of snow on the ground (like today). Plus, the athlete in me says I need the carbs to continue my running streak. I’ve got five days under my belt so far, with two more to go until I hit a week. So far the only thing that’s sore is my left bicep (huh!?).
While I’m still hunting for the perfect cinnamon raisin swirl bread, I have found its sweeter cousin, cranberry swirl bread. The bread is so light and airy, which is the perfect vessel for ribbons of sweet cranberries and walnuts. On top is a flaky, buttery streusel topping that will convince you to make a loaf of this homemade goodness yourself.
I made this loaf using my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment. When it comes to using this kitchen appliance or our 20-year-old bread maker, the KitchenAid is a little hard to beat. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to use.
Making Pumpkin Pie Dip in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Cranberry Swirl Bread
From Taste of Home
Makes 1 loaf
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, divided
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat the water, milk and butter. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Place in your stand mixer with dough hook attachment and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, lemon juice and walnuts. Cool.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 20-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place in a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.
For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in 1 tablespoon butter until crumbly. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with topping. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Thanks to everyone who entered my Edgeware Grater and Zester Giveaway! The Winner is:
Congrats, Carol! Please send your address to me at Alysha@Shesontherun.com and your zesters will be on their way! For those of you who didn’t win, I have my biggest giveaway ever coming up tomorrow. Here’s a little hint.
Question: What’s your favorite thing you’ll miss about winter? Besides baking, I’ll miss the soup :)
Happy President’s Day! Don’t forget, you still have until Tuesday to enter my Dreamfarm Giveaway! This weekend I actually had some time to bake and watch TV (neither of which I’ve been able to do lately!). For me, that means catching up on Nashville, American Idol, Smash and America’s Test Kitchen :)
Fresh Valentine’s Day flowers make TV watching that much more enjoyable.
Yesterday I FINALLY made it to Trader Joe’s by Bayshore Mall. In addition to stocking up on produce like organic gala apples, kale, spinach, carrots and broccoli, I had to pick up a jar of their Crunchy Cookie Butter. I actually stopped myself from picking up a jar of smooth cookie butter because I figured one jar was enough!
One reason I especially love weekends is that I actually have time to bake for fun. As a kid, I remember learning to bake with Gold Medal Flour’s Alpha Bakery Children’s Cookbook.
Although I only remember us making one recipe, I would constantly flip through the pages because I thought the illustrations made the food look delicious and fun. Because this book meant so much to me, I grabbed in when I rediscovered it from my parent’s house about a year ago. I didn’t want it getting lost or, god forbid, thrown away.
One of the first things I ever remember making with my dad was banana bread. And when I rediscovered cooking and baking in college, this was what I made, loaf upon loaf.
Instead of sticking to our tried and true recipe, I decided to bump up the health factor and make substitutions. I swapped out much of the oil for applesauce, I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and I added Navitas Natural Cacao Nibs instead of chocolate chips.
Alpha Bakery Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf
3/4 cup sugar
3 small mashed bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan, either 9×5 or 8 1/2×4 1/2, with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix sugar, bananas, oil, applesauce and eggs in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before letting cool completely on a wire rack.
In addition to this healthy banana bread, I’ve also created a version of a guilt-free Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread.
Question: What types of foods did you make as a child? Did you ever have a childhood cookbook?
I could live on baked oatmeal. Seriously. I’ll take it over regular oatmeal or oats in a jar any day of the week.
Although I’ve been making these for breakfast for years, I’ve never even mentioned them until a few days ago in my Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay recap.
Brenton’s mom was the first person to introduce me to baked oatmeal. Before then, I didn’t know such a thing existed. The recipe she used was from AllRecipes.com. I’ve adapted it heavily over the years to make it healthier (I cut the sugar in half, substituted the butter and added some fun extras, like flaxseeds and wheat germ).
This dish is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast during the week or a special treat on weekends. The best part? It’s guaranteed to keep you full until lunch. Feel free to substitute any dried fruit you like. Dried cherries and cranberries are my favorites, but use whatever you have on hand.
Baked Oatmeal with Dried Fruit
3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup dried cherries
1/3 cup flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, flaxseed, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together milk, eggs, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract (Note: the coconut oil may clump up, just keep beating). Stir in dried cherries and flaked coconut. Spread into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve warm.
Question: What’s your favorite quick and easy breakfast? What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal?
Happy Hump Day! Yes, half the week may be over but we’re finally seeing a break in this Wisconsin cold. The high is 22 today (it’s been in the single digits all week). I am more than ready for winter to be over and April to be here, because we are going to FLORIDA!
Personally, I liked the book until the end. Psycho people like Amy don’t sit well with me. True, Nick was a cheating dog, but Amy was manipulative, insane and a ying character. My main gripe with this book was there wasn’t a character I liked or gravitated toward.
I just finished our next book club book last night, “Matched” by Ally Condie. This one was a much faster read for me. I’ve even moved onto the second book, “Crossed.”
Anwyay, back to Sunday’s book club.
Each of us brought something to Laurie’s house for brunch, and I made pumpkin doughnuts using a Doughnut Pan Kit from Stonewall Kitchen.
I’ve wanted a doughnut pan for the longest time. I’m so glad I finally buckled down and bought it! Baked doughnuts are so much healthier than fried. Karis made some AWESOME Maple Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts for brunch once, so those are my next project. I also added some homemade coffee/chocolate cookies to the platter.
Laurie made these delicious mimosas using almond champagne. BEST mimosas ever! By the way, we finally got to see Laurie and James’s new house. I’m so jealous of all the space they have and their huge backyard! Milo, Murphy and Oliver had a blast running around.
Brittney and Ryan brought homemade cinnamon bread and qunioa cups. I asked Brittney where they got the bread recipe from and she said we gave it to her! HAHA. We did loan them our bread machine and gave them a copy of recipes we use for it. #BlondeMoment
Laurie totally blew me away with her Sausage and Egg Bake with Green Peppers. This is the perfect brunch casserole to make for out-of-town guests. I love dishes they are easy to make but feed a lot of people. She also made Strawberry Bruchetta, which she originally made for her sister’s bridal shower. Delish.
Three words to describe Sunday: Book Club Rocks!
Question: Are you or have you ever been in a book club?
This is my forth book club. From my experience, they’re more fun when you have fewer people (I was in a club that had 14 people once!) and everyone has similar taste in books, which Brittney, Laurie and I definitely do.
Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)
Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.
#12) Coffee Rum Chata
#9) Tamale Pie
#1) Shrimp and Grits
Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!