Tags: baking, cake
I hate to admit it, but I didn’t think this Date-Nut Loaf seemed like much when it came out of the oven. It was kind of pale, and when I sliced into it, I thought it looked a little dry. Boy, I was wrong! This was a great cake with a cup of coffee for breakfast. It’s actually really soft and has a tender crumb. My husband was pumped for this, because he loves dates. They taste like soft brown sugar nuggets in the cake.
I made a half recipe in my little loaf pan, so I shortened the baking time to under an hour (and didn’t bother to foil tent it). Because it sounded like a good candidate for a little whole grain flour swapping, I subbed about a quarter of the AP for whole wheat pastry flour. I haven’t yet tried Dorie’s suggestion of toasting left over slices, but if there’s any remaining tomorrow morning, I might give it a shot.
Tags: baking, breakfast, cake
A trip to up Boston for my Wellesley reunion this past weekend meant that I wasn’t able to make this Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake until this morning. Glad I got around to it though, because it is just plain good. It has a hint of cinnamon, a kiss of brown sugar and a big whomp of blueberries. With almost as much fruit as batter, I think it should stay moist for a good long time…although I won’t find out, because we’ll be polishing it off for breakfast tomorrow! (Hey–don’t judge–I only made half a recipe…we can’t eat that much cake in two days!)
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Culinate) or read Everyday Insanity, as it was Cindy’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
P.S.: I forgot to mention that I swapped out some of the AP for spelt flour, one of my favorite flours to use in muffins and fruity cakes like this. Also, I think this cake would be tasty with raspberries, and I may try that out later in the season.
Tags: baking, breakfast, scones
I think I have finally found my scone mojo. Maybe I shouldn’t speak too soon, but these Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones are the second batch to come out just as I’d hoped (now I need to revisit the Apple Cheddar ones to see if I can get something with a bit more height). My two scone “secrets” (although I wouldn’t be surprised if these aren’t secrets at all, but just things I took forever to catch on to!)…first, I grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients. I find that this way, I don’t have to do as much rubbing and working to get the two incorporated…just toss the butter around a bit with my fingertips. Second, I pat the scones out a little fatter than I used to. Tricky, right? Of course I don’t get as many per batch, but that’s fine by me.
Yes, these scones have oatmeal in them, but they have a load of butter as well, so I’d be lying to you if I said they were a healthy breakfast. I did try to up the whole-graininess a bit by swapping 2/3 cup of the AP flour for whole wheat pastry flour. They are really hearty and good…only as sweet as they need to be and no more, which I appreciate in the morning…espeically when I’m slathering jam all over them anyway.
Tags: baking, biscuits, breakfast
The weekend before last, my husband and I managed to briefly (or should I say too briefly) escape Brooklyn to meet up with my parents in Santa Fe. Lots of sun during the day, lots of stars out at night (wow–I forget how breathtaking a sky full of stars is), lots of enchiladas and tamales. On Saturday, I insisted that we go to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market to pick up some edible souvenirs. In my suitcase, I brought back chile powder, honey and a bag of blue cornmeal. Thankfully no glass broke and no bags burst…I would have had quite a mess!
That blue cornmeal is what gives the funky color to my Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits. These were easy to make for breakfast…even half asleep, like I was. No rolling or cutting required, although I do think using an ice cream scoop to portion the sticky dough makes things easier than messy spoons. And you can make bigger, rounder biscuits that way, too! They are slightly sweet and have that nice little gritty corn crunch, especially on their crispy tops. They were delish with strawberry jam (mine was NYC-made), and I’m sure would have been just as tasty with yellow cornmeal as with blue.
Tags: baking, breakfast, muffins
Muffins– two weeks in a row! I actually made and ate last week’s muffins two+ years ago, so I was glad to have another batch pop up this week. These may look as sunny and yellow as last Tuesday’s, but that’s because of orange and lemon instead of corn. A good citrus kick keeps these muffins from being too sweet, so you don’t feel so guilty having them for brekkie. I swapped out spelt flour for about a third of the AP, just to health them up a bit more. And if my currants look a little purple, it’s because they’re actually dried wild blueberries. I would have used currants if I had them, but blueberries go well with the citrus anyway.
And, in case you missed it, Olive Oil Citrus Cake is another good way to brighten your day with Vitamin C.
Boy howdy, did I ever jump the gun on this recipe. I made these Corniest Corn Muffins all the way back in 2008. We were still living in Sydeny…sheesh. But I do remember them. Even remember that we ate them with turkey chili instead of for breakfast (I reduced the sugar to 4 tablespoons for that reason).
Corn muffins are really little cornbreads. I’m well aware of the North vs South cornbread rivalry that divides a large chunk of our nation. I, however, did not grow up in a home with fierce opinions about “proper” cornbread. My parents were raised in the Midwest, and I don’t think this debate ever even crossed their minds, so, as a result, I, too, am a bit of an agnostic when it comes to cornbread. I’ll tell you what I liked about these muffins, though. I liked the kernels of fresh corn that gave them extra texture and craggy, golden tops. I liked their crumbly, grainy crumb and their little bit of sweetness. I’ve inherited my Grandpa W’s old cornstick molds (like these only vintage!)…perhaps I should see if these muffins make good sticks, too?
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Diner’s Journal) or read My Next Life, as it was Jill’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
A warm scone and a hot cup of coffee (and a giant bowl of fruit salad!) sounds great to me on a chilly morning. Good call on the Toasted Almond Scones, Mike! These scones, with their trifecta of almond flavor (ground, chopped and extract), sounded so appealing to me that instead of making my usual half-batch, I went nuts and did a whole thing. Freezer food is oh-so conveinent.
I haven’t had the best luck getting my scones and biscuits to rise mightily (in fact, some could be mistaken for pancakes), so I patted these out a little bigger and fatter than Dorie suggests. As a result, I didn’t get the full twelve the recipe yields, but I did get my most successful batch of scones to date! Flaky and tall. These are sooo much better than the coffee shop variety. They are barely sweet, and we ate ours with blueberry jam.
Tags: breakfast, muffins
Usually, when I make muffins, I’m trying to sneak a little whole wheat flour into the mix and hoping my husband won’t care. Well, here’s a muffin that’s supposed to be full of grains…whole wheat, corn and oats. Good for you stuff, but with a little AP flour so it doesn’t feel like a brick. I did sneak something else in, though….a tablespoon of ground flaxseed (although wheat germ would be good, too). For dried fruit, I used blueberries and apricots. These aren’t big, high-doming muffins, but I’d be happy to wake up to them anytime. In the book, they’re pictured with a big hunk of cheese, but I think they’re pretty good with a little jam.
Tags: breakfast, waffles
Since we moved back to Brooklyn, I’ve been going out for a lot of Sunday brunches with my BFF, who handily lives about a twenty minute walk away. I like having breakfast made for me, and a spicy bloody Mary in my hand while I catch up with a friend. But, truth be told, most of what I shell out hard-earned $$ for at brunch, I could make just as well (and sometimes better) at home. When it’s too cold out and the snowbanks are too high to scramble over, I do just that.
I don’t take my waffle maker out of its box very often (in fact, the last time I did, it was to make these apple ones), but sometimes the urge strikes to switch things up from eggs or pancakes. I always have yogurt in the fridge, so I wanted to give this recipe a try. The warm spices and pecans also sounded pretty good to me on a chilly morning. I read that some folks thought they didn’t turn out crispy enough, so I gave mine a few extra seconds in the iron to make sure that wasn’t an issue. Bring on the maple syrup, and I think I just may keep the waffle maker out for another week!!
Spiced Yogurt Waffles with Toasted-Pecan Maple Syrup- makes about 10 waffles
adapted from Fine Cooking, Issue 108
Steph’s Note: The number of waffles you get will depend upon the size of your maker. This recipe halves well, but I like to wrap up extra waffles individually and freeze them. They can then be re-heated and crisped-up in the toaster or oven.
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 cups plain full-fat or low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, separated
3 Tbs. vegetable oil; more for the waffle iron
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
-Heat the oven to 200°F and heat a waffle iron, preferably a Belgian waffle iron. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, egg yolks, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
-In a medium bowl, with a wire whisk or electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
-With a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture until just combined (the batter should be a little lumpy). Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until just incorporated.
-Brush the waffle iron with a little vegetable oil. Working in batches, cook the batter in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions until crisp and golden. Set the waffles directly on the oven rack to keep warm. Do not stack them.
-Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, warm the maple syrup over medium heat. Stir in the pecans and keep warm.
-Serve the waffles with the syrup.
I made these muffins– oh, wow– more than a year ago, and have been waiting patently for someone, like Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness, to choose them for TWD. Lemons and poppy seeds are one of the classic combos of the muffin world, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a cup of coffee and a little lemon cake? In addition to super-cuteness, poppy seeds give a little crunch. Dorie’s recipe has a lemon glaze that is sweet and puckery at the same time…and I was generous with it. I have the world’s biggest jar of poppy seeds (seriously, it’s like PB jar sized!), so I’ll make these again, and when I do, I’m going to try the jam-filled variation.