Search This Blog

Loading...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vanilla & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts




















Just last week I was telling a friend that I was done blogging. I explained to her that I hadn't felt inspired recently and didn't feel like taking pictures of food anymore. And then, 36 hours later, I made these. Silly me. I guess all it took was one bite of these cinnamon-sugar-vanilla-butter-donuts to get me back in the game.

DONUT INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/14 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

VANILLA-CINNAMON-SUGAR-TOPPING INGREDIENTS
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients. Fold together and do not over-mix.

Pour into donut pan and fill each mold approximately 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for ~10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then remove donuts from mold and let cool.

Once cool enough to handle, prepare the topping by blending together the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean seeds. Dip each donut in the melted butter (on all sides) and then coat with the cinnamon vanilla sugar. Let the topping set, then serve and enjoy!




Sunday, May 5, 2013

Raspberry Coconut Oatmeal Bars



























I haven't really been blogging much in the past 5 months.

Or at all.

This is, in part, due to the fact that I have been lacking in inspiration. The rest is due the recent influx of busy and exciting new things happening in both my personal and professional life, including applying to and matching at a predoctoral internship, finishing graduate school, and prepping for my move to NYC in 6 weeks!

I've been so busy that I rarely spend Sundays in my kitchen like I used to. But, today I had just that kind of day. I've missed these Sundays and have decided to make them a priority in the future. I made these raspberry coconut oatmeal bars to bring to my very last meeting on campus tomorrow, and thought I'd snap a photo and post it. The best thing about these bars is that they are sweet enough to be dessert, but have a distinct oatmeal/jam flavor, so they can also pass for a breakfast-on-the-go. I plan on eating them for both breakfast and dessert tomorrow. I hope you enjoy them as much as I already have! Recipe from http://amandeleine.com/.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided in half
12 oz. seedless raspberry jam/jelly

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take half of the coconut and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven, stirring every 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

Using a food processor, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add in the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture forms a dough. Pour into a large bowl and mix in the oats and toasted coconut with your hands. Remove 3/4 cup of the dough and set aside. Press the rest into the bottom of a parchment-lined and greased 9x13 pan. Next, spread the raspberry jam in an even layer on top. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the jam then sprinkle the rest of the coconut (untoasted) on top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bars are golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then cut into squares. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Apple Cider Caramels

I spent my weekend getting ready for the holidays by wrapping presents and making candy. In addition to my favorite holiday candy (Peppermint Bark), I made these apple cider caramels. Wowza, these have some serious flavor. They taste like a bite-sized caramel apple with tiny bits of sea salt that you notice as you chew on them. Goodness, they are good. And as far as candy making goes, these were really simple and are jam-packed full of flavor. Make them! Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups apple cider (not juice)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 candy thermometer

Pour the apple cider into a 3 quart saucepan and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and let reduce until the liquid measures about 1/2-1/3 cup (this will likely take 30-45 minutes). 

Meanwhile, measure out the sugars, butter, and cream and set aside. In a small bowl stir together the salt and cinnamon and set aside. Prepare an 8x8 inch baking pan by lining two strips of parchment paper on the bottom, leaving extra hanging off the top for easy removal once the caramel hardens. Set aside.

Once the apple cider has reduced, remove from heat and add the sugars, butter, and cream and stir to combine. Put back on the burner on medium-high heat and bring to a boil until the mixture reaches a temperature of 252 degrees F (about 5 minutes). Promptly remove from heat, stir in the cinnamon/salt mixture and pour into the parchment paper-lined pan. Let cool/harden on the counter (~2 hours) or in the fridge (faster). 

Once hardened, remove the caramel by pulling up on the sides of the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Using a well oiled sharp knife, cut into 1-inch squares and wrap in parchment/wax paper, twisting the sides to keep the caramel sealed. These will keep fresh for approximately 2 weeks on the counter. You can store them in the fridge, but I found them to be too hard when cold and just perfect when room temperature. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Cocoa Mix

Every year around this time I try to find some type of edible DIY gift. Last year I made vanilla extract and used it as stocking stuffers for my family. This year I stumbled upon this Hot Cocoa Mix that looked delicious and decided to make good use of a work-from-home day and made a bunch of these jars to give away (but not before trying a cup of hot cocoa first!). Its a very rich and chocolatey cocoa. Top notch!

INGREDIENTS
4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 pound milk chocolate, chopped
2 cups cocoa powder

In a food processor pulse together the sugar and vanilla until combined and smooth. Pour into the bottom of a very large bowl. Add half the chocolate to the food processor and process until completely ground (do not pulse too long, or else the oils will be released and it will start to clump together). Once all the chocolate is pulsed/ground, pour it into the bowl with the sugar. Finally add the cocoa powder and whisk to combine all ingredients. You may need to break up any small clumps of cocoa or ground chocolate as you whisk. 

Pour into jars and close tightly. Attach a note with directions on how to make each cup of cocoa. Directions are as follows: Warm 1 cup (8 oz.) of milk in a microwave or on the stove. Add 3-4 tablespoons of cocoa mix and stir together to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Will last approximately 10 months. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Thanksgiving is just around the corner... it snuck up on me! As always, I am spending the holiday with my grandparents in Michigan, where I will get my fill of fresh apple cider, chili-dogs, and midwestern charm. Our Thanksgiving dinner menu never changes, but in case your does, here are a few of my favorite fall/winter side dishes that could go well with your Thanksgiving turkey this year. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque 





















Arugula and Grapefruit Salad

















My Grandma's Thanksgiving Stuffing



















Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie



















Pumpkin Pumpkin Pie






















Chewy Molasses Cookies

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk pie is one of the greatest desserts. I ate it often growing up because my childhood friend's mother made the best buttermilk pie in the world. I haven't had it in years (not for lack of trying, though... there was one buttermilk pie failure with friends in NYC a few years ago), but I stumbled upon this recipe a few days ago and brought it to a friend's house for dessert this weekend. It was delicious. The vanilla bean in this recipe definitely added another layer of flavor and this pie hit the spot. A southern classic! Make sure you don't overcook the pie- you want it to be just barely set so that its still custardy when you serve it. *Adapted from Karen Barker's Sweet Stuff.

INGREDIENTS
1 9-inch raw pie crust (store bought or homemade)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pre-bake the pie crust for 10 minutes with parchment paper lining the crust and pie weights or beans on top of the parchment paper. Remove crust from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds, cornstarch, and salt. The mixture will be very thick. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk and cream until well incorporated. Slowly stream in the melted butter and whisk well. Pour into the bottom of the (slightly) pre-baked crust and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 325 and bake another 30 minutes, until pie is just set in the middle but still jiggly. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature. Serve slightly chilled.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rustic Plum Tart

This is hands down the easiest dessert I have ever made. It took 5 minutes to put together, 40 to bake, 15 to cool, and 2 to devour. It was so tasty, even my non-dessert eating friend ended up finishing his first, and then tilted his plate toward his mouth to sip the last few drops of ice creamy-plum syrup. Serves 6 with 1 scoop of ice cream on each plate. *Adapted from Sunny Anderson's recipe on Food Network.

INGREDIENTS 
1 raw and chilled pie crust, homemade or not (enough for a 9-inch pie)
1 lb. ripe plums
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 egg, plus 1 tablespoon of water (egg wash)
1 teaspoon sugar

Take the pie crust out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Meanwhile, pit and slice the plums into 1/4-inch wedges. Place in a medium bowl and sprinkle with flour. Toss with your hands to coat. This will help thicken the tart as it cooks so you're not left with a goopy soggy mess. Not that a goopy soggy mess wouldn't still be delicious... because it would.

Next, roll out the pie crust into a thin circle, measuring about 12-inches in diameter and place on the cookie sheet. Spoon the apricot jam on the bottom of the crust in a circle, ending about 2-inches from the edge. Pour the plums on top of the jam and spread in an even layer. Fold the edges of the crust over the plums, leaving the center exposed and press lightly to seal. Brush the edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until deep golden brown and bubbly. 

Let cool 15 minutes, slice into 6 pieces (like a pizza) and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!