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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

No kneading, no waiting for it to rise – just mix it in a bowl, and pop it in the oven!  You don’t even need to break out the stand mixer for this one.  I doubled this recipe, and am very glad that I did!  It was a big hit with the coworkers and the husband.  Delicious the day after as well, as I felt like the flavor intensified and the topping still stayed crisp.  Check out the picture of the crispy crumbly goodness that is the topping in the picture below.  Mmmmmmm

I bought the cinnamon chips from King Arthur Flour, which is my new favorite website.  Tons of great recipes and unique products!  I have heard from the blogosphere that Hershey’s makes a cinnamon chip too, which is probably available in some stores.  But check out King Arthur’s website – you’ll probably find a bunch of other things you want to buy!

Banana Cinnamon Chip Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Topping, courtesy of Two Peas and their Pod

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cinnamon chips

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray. Dust it lightly with flour and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix the bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add in the flour mixture and carefully stir. Don’t over mix. Add in the cinnamon chips and gently stir.
  4. In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon.
  5. Add the batter to the loaf pan and smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar topping generously over the batter.
  6. Bake bread  for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack.
  7. Let bread cool for 1o minutes and then remove from pan. Cool, slice, and enjoy

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This coffee cake is both sweet and tart, and in my opinion, has the perfect crumble on top.  Big, buttery, cinnamon-sugargy crumbs.   I think I might actually use this crumb topping for every crumb cake or crisp I make going forward.  Keeping in theme with me and  Betsy‘s seasonal potluck, I decided to make this coffee cake, which is actually a recipe I have already made several times.   Given that I generally don’t like a lot of sweets laying around the house, I made this the night before I was going into the office for a meeting.  Gave me a good opportunity to give it away, as well as a good opportunity to get some feedback!  Just in case you were wondering – the feedback was good. 🙂

Rhubarb Coffee Cake, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I’ve used all purpose before and it still worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream (I substituted plain non-fat yogurt)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (again, all-purpose works just fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

2. To make crumbs in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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Snow day!  Stuck at home with nowhere to go, so I decided to make something nice for breakfast.  This post is for my brother in law, Anthony, who is a vegan and needs to branch out from his daily Chipotle routine.  This is a quick, easy, recipe that is great for a weekend breakfast or a snow day like today!  I added some caramelized bananas as a topping, which tasted great with maple syrup and the spice of the cardamom.

Coconut Cardamom French Toast, adapted from www.shareable.net 

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • a loaf of bread – I prefer Challah or brioche for French toast
  • some oil (olive, canola, coconut) or non-hydrogenated margarine for the pan

Combine all the ingredients except the bread and the oil in a casserole or large, shallow bowl and mix well.

Heat a skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat and add some fat.

Dip slices of bread into the mixture; make sure they are soaked through.

Put them in your hot skillet. Check them after a few minutes, and every minute or so after that. Flip them when they’re browned to your liking.

Serve with any combination of maple syrup, fruit compote, margarine, coconut butter, or chopped nuts that suit your fancy.

I topped the French toast with a drizzling of maple syrup and caramelized bananas.  To caramelize the bananas, and keep it vegan, use margarine.  For us non-vegans – butter is best!  🙂  For one banana, heat about 1 tablespoon of margarine in a pan, add 1 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar and heat until sugar starts to melt.  Add sliced banana and saute until browned.  Top French toast immediately.

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The husband and I are on a healthy kick like everyone else in January, so my options for baking feel kind of limited at the moment.  With that being said, I still need to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I found this recipe for granola bars on www.allrecipes.com, and I modified it a bit with the ingredients I had on hand.  I also wanted to make this recipe a bit healthier, so I cut down on the sugar and used canola oil instead of vegetable oil.  You can use this recipe and make a number of modifications to suit your taste buds or what you have in your pantry.

Cranberry Almond Granola Bars, yields 20 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, cranberries, almonds and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

You can wrap these up individually in plastic wrap, or keep in a plastic bag so they will stay chewy.  They make a great snack or even breakfast.  Enjoy!

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The smell of baking bread in the house is nothing short of amazing.  The taste and smell is even more amazing though when you’ve prepared this treat with your own two hands, and not just popped open that Pillsbury can.  This treat can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator too, so you don’t have to get up at 4am to enjoy these as a breakfast treat!  They do require a bit of time and effort, so it is definitely a recipe worthy of a special occasion or company.  I made them for company with the thought that I would want something easy to pop in the oven that morning.

This recipe is from the cookbook, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart.  It uses the SAF instant yeast, which I have found that I prefer to the dry active yeast because there is less room for error.  It is fermented with sugar, so there is no need to dissolve into warm water.  I store mine in an airtight container in the freezer, and it should last at least a year.

Cinnamon Buns, makes about 12 large rolls

15 minutes mixing, 3 ½ hours fermentation, shaping and proofing; 15-20 minutes baking

6 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon lemon extract

3 ½ cups bread or all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 1/8 to 1 ¼ cups buttermilk or whole milk

½ cup cinnamon sugar (6 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon)

  1.  Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand).  Whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth.  Then add the flour, yeast, and milk.  Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball.  Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes ), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.  You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture.  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  2. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  3. Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin.  Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns.  Don’t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump.
  4. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll.  With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 even pieces each about 1 ¾ inches thick for larger buns; or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 ¼ inch thick for smaller buns.

     5.  Line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment.  Place the buns approximately ½ inch apart so that they aren’t touching but are close to one another.

     6.Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.  After this proofing, you can place the buns in the refrigerator for up to two days before baking.

     7.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

      8.  Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops while the buns are warm but not too hot. 

White Fondant Glaze

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a large bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and between 6 tablespoons to ½ cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved.  Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.  When the buns have cooled, but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops.

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We had a couple of friends over this weekend for  breakfast, so I wanted to prepare a few things that I could prep the night before.  I decided on an egg casserole with Italian sausage and sun-dried tomatoes, with cranberry muffins.  Both turned out wonderful.  I was a bit unsure about the muffins because the batter looked a little dry, but they were a big hit!  They also called for fresh cranberries, which was a nice change from most recipes out there.  I also made a cranberry-maple butter to accompany the muffins.  This would also be great on pancakes, waffles, even toast.  Just warm it up in the microwave and voila!  Delicious.  Below are the recipes, with my small changes.  Originals can be found in the links in the titles.

Fresh Cranberry Muffins

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2/3  cup  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  chopped fresh cranberries
  • 2/3  cup  skim milk
  • 1/4  cup  butter, melted
  • 1  teaspoon  dried orange peel, grated
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract (I prefer Nielsen Massey brand)
  • 1  large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in cranberries; make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, butter, rind, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

Note: These muffins freeze well. Bake them ahead, cool completely, and store in freezer bags. To serve, thaw at room temperature. Reheat in aluminum foil at 300º for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Cranberry Maple Butter

Yield: 1 3/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 1  (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2  cup  maple syrup
  • 6  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract

Preparation

Combine the water and cranberries in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Place cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.

Combine cranberry mixture, maple syrup, sugar, and cinnamon in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla. Cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 months.

Sausage and Egg Casserole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella

  • 1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 1 cup light whipping cream
  • 2 cups grated lo-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sauté sausage in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of fork into small pieces, about 10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons parsley; stir 1 minute. Spread sausage mixture in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, half and half, whipping cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and salt in large bowl to blend well. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture in dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley over. Bake until top of casserole is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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I picked up a peck of “windfallen” apples the other day for 5 bucks.  They’re not the prettiest apples for eating, but they’re great for baking.  So I set off on Saturday to use a bunch (I still have a large bowl full I need to figure out something to do) with a few fall recipes.  The first was applesauce made in the slow-cooker, then an apple cake for breakfast the next day, and also an apple-pear crisp for dessert that night.  I ended up with granny smith, red & golden delicious, and braeburn.  The assortment of flavors complemented all of these recipes.

David Lebovitz’s recipe for the apple-pear crisp called for grappa-soaked raisins.  Since I did not have any grappa in the house, I used red wine, and I think the taste turned out well.  It wasn’t my favorite crisp, but it was tasty and the husband enjoyed it.  I think I just prefer what I grew up with – an apple crisp with an oat streusel topping.  This recipe is adapted from Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes.

Apple-Pear Crisp with Wine-Soaked Raisins and Polenta Topping

Filling:

¾ cup raisins

3 T red wine

6 medium apples

4 medium ripe pears

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup walnuts, almonds, or pecans, toasted

½ cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup polenta or stone-ground cornmeal

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled

To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the raisins and wine and let stand until most of the wine has been absorbed, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and core the apples* and pears and cut them into 1/3 inch slices.  Add the apples and pear slices to the wine-soaked raisins along with the granulated sugar and vanilla.  Toss well, then pack the mixture firmly into a 2-quart baking dish.

To make the topping, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, nuts, brown sugar, polenta or cornmeal, and cinnamon a few times to combine.  Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is finely broken up.  Continue to pulse until the mixture just begins to clump together.

Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.  Bake until the topping is nicely browned and the fruit is tenders, about 50 minutes.

*Note:  I like to use an apple peeler and corer, like the one pictured here: Progressive International Apple Peeler and Corer  It makes preparing dishes like crisps, pies, applesauce so much easier!

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