Tags: baking, breakfast
An earthquake and a hurricane in the span of a few days– what a weird weather week for New York City! If it weren’t for Irene cancelling work this weekend and keeping me housebound, I would not have gotten to make this Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf. Something about baking at home helps calm my nerves if I’m feeling anxious, and wondering if our house would make it through the big storm without any major damage was making me fret (more than just a bit). Thankfully, a little water in the basement was the extent of it for us. If you are on the East Coast, I hope you managed to stay safe.
Whether you are baking to take your mind off something, or just because you want a tasty breakfast treat, this loaf works. It’s totally made by hand…theraputic, quiet and easy. And it’s hearty and satisfying to eat…cornmeal and apples (fresh and dried) give it great texture. It’s not too sweet, so it definitely leans more towards a comforting breakfast or snack than dessert.
Tags: baking, breakfast, muffins
“Muffin” is a weird word. And I just realized that I totally spelled it wrong in the titles of my last two muffin posts. How dumb, and obvious now that I look at those posts again. (OK, I’ve just gone back and corrected that, so it’s as if it never happened).
These Carrot Spice Muffins are something of a substitute for when your tummy really wants a piece of Bill’s Big Carrot Cake (wow, that cake was awesome…I think about it all the time) for breakfast, but your head just won’t let you. Like a good carrot cake, they have lots of add-ins beyond carrots…walnuts, coconut, raisins and, of course, a gentle amount of warm spices. Unlike carrot cake, though, they are sans that decadent cream cheese frosting (but now that I think about it, a thinned out cream cheese glaze would have been fabulous!), and they are a bit dialed down in the oil department. These seemed like they could be a vehicle for a little fiber boost as well, so I swapped about 25% of the flour with whole wheat. I also used unsweetened desiccated coconut instead of the sweet stuff. Then I ate two.
Tags: baking, breakfast, scones
It’s steamy hot out…hot and gross…but these Cream Scones were sooo worth turning the oven on for. Butter and cream…they are a combo to be reckoned with. I don’t know how two things that are so rich can make something that is so light, crumbly and almost melt-in-your-mouth, but there you have it. I’ll be making these again when it’s cooler out and I can stand a proper cuppa to go along with them.
After many attempts at scones and biscuits that wound up looking annoyingly like pancakes (sad!), I think that with my last few batches, I’ve finally gotten it down. I already told you all this stuff with the last one, but….now I grate my cold butter, and then pop it into the freezer while I assemble my dry ingredients. Then I just give a quick, fingertippy toss of the butter and dry stuff. I find that this way, I don’t have to do as much rubbing and working to get the two incorporated. Also, I pat the scones out a little fatter than Dorie says to ensure a tall rise (which I don’t think the angle on this photo shows, but I assure you, they were nice and high). Of course I get one or two fewer scones per batch, but that’s fine by me.
I skipped the currants here (I didn’t have any), but they aren’t really necessary anyway…especially when there’s jam. Also not strictly necessary (but crazy delicious!), one of my favorite things about British-style tea service is the thick cream you spread on along with jam. I found some of that Luxury Clotted Cream in a local shop, and shelled out for it in anticipation of these guys.
Tags: baking, breakfast, muffins
Will you think less of me if I admit to you that I don’t really “do” chocolate for breakfast? I eat sweet stuff for brekkie all the time–usually pancakes or waffles drowned in syrup– but chocolate for some reason feels a bit too indulgent. I made a little exception this past weekend (since it was a holiday and all) for these Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins. OK, these really are great with coffee. They’re not too sweet at all, and I did follow suggestions to add more chocolate chunks by doubling the amount of chips I folded into the batter at the end. Hey– if your gonna have chocolate for breakfast, you may as well really have chocolate for breakfast.
And, if chocolate in the a.m. isn’t really your thing either, I can assure you that they are also fab for dessert with a scoop of ice cream (may I suggest something like Strawberry- Sour Cream Ice Cream?).
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Epicurious) or read The Way the Cookie Crumbles, as Bridget got to pick again this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
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!