Tags: baking, cake
I nominated Spiced Honey Cake a couple of times, and then when it was chosen, I skipped it! Nice, right? I will admit to feeling guilty about that, but now Rewind Week is here to redeem me. So, here it is…
This might not be what you have in mind when you hear the word “cake.” It’s a take on pain d’epices, and is more like a quick bread than a moist, spongey cake. Dorie flavors it with honey (obvi) and also an orange/spice infusion. She uses lavender, Sichuan peppercorns and fresh ginger as her spices, but when I rooted through the cupboard (a chore, let me assure you), I saw don’t have the lavender or the peppercorns. I do have a really nice chai mix with lots of coarse bits of black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fennel. It doesn’t contain any actually tea leaves, just the spices, so I thought it sounded like a perfect choice to go with the orange and honey flavors, as well as the almonds and dried cherries. Because the cake is purposefully on the dry side, it toasts up really nicely (I will thank my fellow TWDers who made the recipe on-schedule for pointing this out to me!). In fact, it’s better as cake toast than as non-toast. And it’s perfect with tea or coffee, so I’m glad to have gotten around to making it!
Tags: baking, breakfast, fruit, muffins
Yesterday was the first Labor Day in many years where I myself did not have to labor. Any holiday is typically an extra busy, extra intense day for those who work in the food biz. It was sort of odd then that I chose to celebrate by getting up a little early to make Rick Katz’s Blueberry Muffins for breakfast. Baked goods for breakfast are a bit of a treat around here, as they should be, I guess. Not only are they an indulgence, but OMG, the wait for prep, baking and cool down is almost too much!
Really, though, blueberry muffins are no big deal (they’re not like sticky buns, or anything), and I’ve made them here before. This particular recipe is unusual in that it uses cake flour and calls for creaming the butter and sugar (instead of the “muffin-method’s” usual melted butter or oil). The results are more like little tea cakes than sturdy coffee shop muffins. They aren’t too sweet and they are loaded with the last-of-season blueberries. They look sort of dainty and unassuming from the outside, but inside they are basically blueberry jam!
Tags: baking, breakfast, muffins
What a weird week last week was. Weird and scary…and not just because of wacky Halloween costumes. We count ourselves very lucky at our house, and if you live on the East coast, I hope the same is true at yours. Some minor disruptions and inconveniences were all that Sandy really dealt us and our neighborhood. Still, it was nice to have something comforting to bake after just emerging from the supposed storm of the century.
Like the name says, Marion Cunningham’s Buttermilk Crumb Muffins are made with buttermilk and have a little crumb on top. They also have some warm spices and brown sugar. They were tasty, simple and homey. Nothing that will knock your socks off, but we ate them all just a few minutes out of the oven. Maybe you don’t always need your socks knocked off at breakfast anyway, right? The original recipe makes sixteen muffins and uses all shortening as the fat. When I said we ate them all, I should clarify (so you don’t think my husband and I are complete pigs) that I made one-quarter recipe for just four muffins, using 2 tablespoons of butter and one whole egg. I went a little heavy on the spices and a little scant on the sugar.
For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or read easier than pie (it’s also here). And there’s even a video of Julia and Marion making these together. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!
Tags: baking, breakfast, cake
This Apple Nut Muffin Cake is quintessential fall baking…apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts and raisins…all things that make your house smell great. Rolled oats (and swapping a little whole grain flour for AP) make this easy breakfast cake feel even more wholesome. It is just like a muffin in terms of technique and texture, but, not that I would ever really call muffin-making fussy, you simply slap the batter into a cake pan and go….ready for coffee in about 35 minutes.
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, 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, 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!
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.