Fall means baking! I love summer (salads, garden veggies, tomatoes, sunshine), but fall is my favorite season because I get to start baking again. Turning on the stove in the summer is something I am loathe to do, so come fall, it is baking time!
Using my trusty donut pan, I used this very easy recipe—with modifications (used olive oil and regular dairy). You can really dress these up with just about anything. Get creative! Our toppings included:
- melted chocolate mixed with a bit of bourbon and topped with chopped dried figs
- apple butter with homemade granola sprinkled on top
- cinnamon & sugar
We had some yogurt that was nearing its expiration date in the fridge and I remembered the amazing Gâteau au yaourt from Chocolate & Zucchini. An oldie, but a goodie, this cake is easy, delicious and extremely adaptable. I used nonfat plain yogurt, used bourbon instead of rum and glazed the top with some apple cider and sprinkled toasted coconut flakes on the top of it for the last 10 minutes of baking. You could throw some jam in between the layers, top with whipped cream, glaze with chocolate and sprinkle with hazelnuts….the possibilities are endless for this moist and tangy base. You could also eat it plain, with a cup of coffee, for breakfast. Cake for breakfast may help dieters. Seriously!
Happy new year’s everyone! We’re still trying to decide which way we want the site to skew and are working on the new layout, so bear with us as we try and sort it all out. I know a lot of people who have vowed to eat better in the new year, and while donuts might not exactly be on their plate – these donuts could be! Made from whole wheat pastry flour, ground flax-seeds and a minimum of amount of sugar, these are a great treat and probably not too bad for breakfast either. It also helps that they’re baked, not fried. I got a doughnut tin for Christmas and CANNOT wait to start concocting some ideas. The six doughnut option allows for a lot of mini experimentation. I topped the basic dough recipe with a mixture of apple cider syrup (graciously given by Phil, who found it in his stocking) that I blended with some confectioners sugar to make it thicker. Two other donuts were filled with peach preserves and then topped with some of the preserves and toasted almonds.
Basic Doughnut Dough
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light buttermilk or milk mixed with vinegar to sour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 325F and grease your doughnut tin.
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Mix all of the other ingredients in a large measuring cup or a smaller bowl.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet and stir until combined.
- Pour into a big ziplock baggie, snip the end off and pipe into your donut tins – about 2/3 full.
- Bake for about 12-14 minutes, until the tops of the donuts are golden and spring back when you touch them.
- Top with whatever you want while they’re warm – turbinado sugar and cinnamon, powder sugar, preserves, a sugar/water glaze with sprinkles – fool around, the options are endless!
- Let cool and then store in an airtight container and eat.
This certainly was not in our budget, BUT it is Christmas and I needed a baking challenge. Behold, our Bûche de Noël!
It was actually not that hard to do, just a bit time consuming. Utterly worth it – I plan on making one for the family’s Christmas Eve party. I used this recipe from Saveur and just winged it with the coffee buttercream frosting as I was not in the mood to use up a ton of egg whites. A showstopper and delicious to boot.
Just a picture – no recipe…sorry! It was a crazy adaptation of a Bittman basic muffin recipe that I added figs, coconut flakes and oats too.
We spent it in Costa Rica, hence the lack of posting. Phil’s going to do a recap on the trip and the many delicious things we ate, but I bring you a recipe for scones as it is freezing outside and we needed something to go with hot tea.
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter (the colder the better, we usually keep a stick in the freezer)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk (we had some half and half from a houseguest that we used, came out fine)
- ADD INS: crystallized ginger, toasted coconut and currants (feel free to use any nuts or dried fruit you like)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Mix all of the dried ingredients and scatter bits of butter over all of it. Use your hands and blend the butter into the dry mixture until it comes together in pea sized crumbles. Alternatively, and the $30/Week method, pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor, scatter the butter and pulse until just combined.
- Lightly beat the egg and cream together and mix into the dry mixture. Use a spoon for this and don’t overmix. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more cream.
- Stir in the add-ins. I split up the dough and used crystallized ginger and coconut (in honor of Costa Rica) in one batch and plain currants in the other.
- Knead the dough (if you make different scones, place the dough your not using under a dishcloth) a few times on a lightly floured surface and then roll out to about an inch thick. Stamp out rounds with a large cookie cutter or use a knife to cut into triangles. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Brush the top of the scones with the egg and sprinkle some sugar on top. Place in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Serve with tea and clotted cream or jam if you have them around.