Breads

Build Your Own Muffin: Carrot Muffin

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Breads |


I realize I have a lot of muffin and bread recipes on here. Coincidence? I think not. They are easy to make, super versatile and absolutely delicious. With that being said, why wouldn’t you make them over and over again just adding new flavors? Exactly.

On weekend mornings I still wake up early like I do during the week. Which gives me lots of time to bake, blog, catch up on recorded T.V. shows and drink plenty of coffee. I make a quick trip to the grocery store most Fridays just to ensure I have enough supplies to get me through the weekend: flour, butter, sugar, eggs. The basics. Last weekend I almost freaked out. It was Sunday morning and all I had in the house for baking was 3 eggs, a couple cups of flour and a little brown sugar. No butter. Shoot. I really wanted to make shortbread, and well, that just wasn’t going to happen. So I quickly decided I would make a muffin of some kind. I am not a huge blueberry muffin fan. Yes, they are good. But I don’t love them. You know what I LOVE? Carrot Cake. I was going for an 8 mile run that morning, so a muffin would be the perfect pre-run and post-run quick snack. I was pumped to make my mock carrot cake muffin.

Side thought: I throw around the word love and hate too much. No, I do not love carrot cake like I love my husband. And no, I don’t hate escargot like I hate rape and murder. Okay, just so we are on the same page.

I quickly did a google search for carrot muffins. I looked up from my computer (I was sitting at the kitchen table) into the kitchen and could see I also had 1 banana that was the perfect brown speckle color for bread. Now I wanted something will carrot and banana. And while I am being particular, I also wanted it to have walnuts, whole wheat flour and be low fat. Hmm, I might be a little too finicky. But I am going for it, I am going to be finicky dang it. In my search, this is the recipe I came across, by none other then Martha Stewart herself. I used it as my reference but heavily modified it.

After I modified it I realized this is a great base for a muffin recipe. You could substitute many ingredients for the ones I used and ‘build your own muffin.’

Carrots –> zucchini, shredded raw sweet potato
Banana –> cooked and mashed: pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, avocado
Walnuts –> pecans, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts (pretty much any nuts)
Currants –> chocolate chips, any dried fruit: craisins, blueberries, apricot, dates

I think the variety I might go for next is: Zucchini, Butternut Squash, Pecan,and Date. All together in 1 muffin. Random, I know.

Makes 12 muffins or 1 loaf

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups plain non fat yogurt
4 tablespoons applesauce
1 large egg
2 cups peeled, shredded carrots (about 5 medium)
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Line 12 cups (each 2 1/2 inches wide) of a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
*Or you can spray non stick spray int he muffin tins instead of using liners, that’s what I did.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, pumpkin-pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, applesauce, banana and egg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add yogurt mixture. Stir until just combined. Fold in carrots, currants, and walnuts.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


These would be great spread with butter, peanut butter, apple butter, pumpkin butter. Pretty much anything that has ‘butter’ in it would be great spread on the muffins.

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Hot Cross Buns- First Edition

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Breads, Holidays |

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday. They are a spiced bun and each bun is marked with the shape of a cross (made from flour and water) to symbolize Christ’s suffering and crucifixion (this is just one of the many reasons I read about behind the ‘cross’ on the bun). In the United States we add candied citron, raisins and currants (and other varieties of dried fruit).

I have never eaten hot cross buns. I had never even heard of them. And no, I don’t even know the song (I was home schooled, and I guess we missed that day). So I could venture to say these are the best hot cross buns I have ever had. Which would not be a lie. But I have nothing to compare them to.
*In one week I made 2 batches of hot cross buns, both different recipes. This is the first batch. The second batch will be coming soon. So now I have something to compare these too. I decided if I ever open a restaurant or bakery, hot cross buns will be my signature roll. That is how much I love them.

The dough reminds me of a very flavorful cinnamon roll dough. The cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg flavor the dough perfectly. You bite into the roll and it is such a smooth combination of the flavors together. And the sweetness of the dried fruit compliments the spices. The glaze adds a very slight bit of extra sweetness to the roll that it just delicious.

Hot Cross Buns
makes 12 large buns
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (2 packets)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (I used 1%)
3 cups plain flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used 1 cup raisins and 1 cup dried apricots, chopped)

Crosses
¼ cup plain flour
3 tablespoons water

Glaze
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp water

Place the yeast, two teaspoons of the sugar and milk in a stand mixer bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating the yeast is active.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices and remaining sugar then add it to the yeast mixture. Add the butter and egg to the dough.

Knead the dough in the mixer for 5-7 minutes until dough is elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and allow to stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
*If you kitchen isn’t hot, turn on the oven to around 300 and place the bowl on top or right next to the oven.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.

Grease a 9 inch square cake tin and line with spray with non stick spray. Place the dough balls in the pan, cover with a towel and set aside for 30 -60 minutes or until they rise and almost double in size.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

For the crosses, combine the flour and water in a small bowl. Using a piping bag, pipe crosses on the buns.
*The cross mixture will be sticky.

Bake for 35 minutes or until well browned and springy to touch.

Prepare the glaze right before the buns are done baking by mixing the sugar and water in a bowl with a fork.
Brush the warm glaze over the buns while they are hot.

Enjoy while warm. Oh, and you WILL enjoy them. They are dense, flavorful and wonderful!

I recently read this, from an unknown author: “Hot Cross Buns, and other forms of Good Friday bread, were considered blessed, and were believed to provide powerful protection against disease and danger.”

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English Breakfast Scones

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Breads, Breakfast |

I don’t eat very many scones, confession. Honestly, they are good, but not To-DIE-FOR, so I don’t like to waste my calories on them. I try them occasionally to see if my opinion has changed, nope, not yet. I have even made some to see if my opinion has changed. Yes, homemade is for sure better then any store bought, but still hasn’t completely won me over.

The exception: English Breakfast Scones! I could eat many, many of these. They are moist, flaky, delicate, and delicious.

As a culture we are accustomed to the nasty dry ‘things’ that we buy at chain coffee shops that they call scones. Really, they should be called over cooked flavored dough lumps. That name just rolls right off your tongue, which is why I’m sure they didn’t choose it.

I might also like these a lot because English Breakfast tea with a little cream and sugar, mmm, what a treat. It is smooth and just delightful. I could drink it in the am or pm and be so content. And drinking some tea with a good pastry, not too shabby. Some lemon glaze would also be delish on these. I chose to keep it simple this time though. But next time, lemon, it’s on! The little specks in the scone, not poppy seed. That’s the tea. See, it’s baked right into the scone. I will say, the scone doesn’t really taste like english breakfast. Maybe an Earl Grey would flavor it more. Don’t get me wrong, it is still super god (especially right out of the oven) but just not strong on the english breakfast flavor. Try making these using your favorite flavor of tea.

makes 12 small scones
1 cup AP flour
1 cup WW flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp (about 2 tea bags) English Breakfast tea leaves, minced (if they are too course, mince them in a food processor or spice grinder)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.

Using a food processor, add the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it has the consistency of coarse corn meal.

In a separate bowl, whisk the half and half, milk and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until just combined, don’t overwork the dough!
*the dough should be sticky, but not sopping wet.

Press the mixture into 2 – 6 inch wide by 1-inch high rounds. Be careful not to knead or over-work the dough.

Cut the each dough round into 8 wedges and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature with some raspberry preserves and devonshire cream along side a cup of tea.

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Banana Peanut Butter Bread

Posted on March 7, 2010. Filed under: Breads, Peanut Butter |

One of the hardest parts about giving up dessert for lent is figuring out alternative ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. Oh, that sweet tooth still rears it’s ugly head QUITE OFTEN. Peanut butter, just spoonfuls right from the jar and bananas with yogurt drizzled on top seem to be some things that really satisfy my sweet tooth. I had 2 bananas that were brown and speckled. You know, the perfect bananas for banana bread. I have made a few versions of banana bread; with nuts, granola, chunks of banana, and chocolate chips. But never with peanut butter. BAM, done and done.

I found inspiration for this bread from Visions of Sugar Plum. But I wanted to lower the sugar content so it wasn’t like a dessert, but more like a muffin (and not the sweet ‘mini cake’ muffins, but the hearty ‘good for you’ muffins). So that is exactly what I did. I lowered the sugar, added whole wheat flour, and eliminated the oil and replaced it with applesauce. Next time I will add some oats as well.

The verdict: the muffins have subtle banana and peanut butter flavors. Neither flavor overpowers the other. Because they don’t have extra oil (there’s plenty of fat in the peanut butter), some might think they are slightly dry. But I don’t think they are dry, they just aren’t leaking with oil that sticks to your lips after each bite.

As you can see, I cut the bread into slices and spread even more peanut butter and added sliced bananas on top. Wow, that was good!!!! This would be super yummy bread for french toast too.

Makes 12 muffins, 1 loaf or 3 mini loaves
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium banana, mashed
1 medium banana, diced
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, peanut butter, brown sugar and applesauce until creamy – about 1-2 minutes; beat in vanilla and egg until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Fold in the chopped peanuts and diced banana.

Fill the baking pan of your choice (muffin tins, loaf an, mini loaf pan) with the batter.

Muffins: 20-22 minutes
Mini Loaf: 30 minutes
Loaf: 40-45 minutes

Cool 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

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Sweet Potato Bacon Corn Muffins

Posted on March 5, 2010. Filed under: Breads |


We don’t have kids yet, but we will one day. And when we do I plan on making their baby food. I love when people roll their eyes at me as if I won’t be able to. Sure, I won’t ALWAYS be able to. But the reality is, I already make baby food. It is basically steamed or roasted veggies that you puree or mash. I had 3 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes in the freezer. I bake them, mash them, measure them by the cup full, and put them in ziplock bags and freeze them for a later use. It really is so easy. And then you always have a vegetable puree on hand to add to sauces, muffins, or even cakes to add some nutritional value. My husband sometimes has no idea that he is actually eating carrots or spinach in his spaghetti sauce. SHHHHH, don’t tell 😉 He hates onions and the other day I snuck pureed onions into raviolis, score!

I wanted to bake, go figure. But I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a week. Soooo, I surveyed the kitchen. Well, I actually surveyed the fridge. Bacon, sage, thawed mashed sweet potato. Hmmm, those flavors would be perfect together. Now to make a muffin or a biscuit? Muffin because it won’t require me to throw flour all over my counter tops and roll out dough. So that is the story of how these little gems were invented.

The taste: Holy Bacon. Just 1 little bite and the aroma and taste of bacon permeates your senses. These would be unreal with a bowl of chili. Or just spread a little butter on them. Or even, top them with some cheddar cheese during the last 5 minutes of baking. MMMM, delicious. these are a treat, not an everyday staple.

Makes 12 muffins
Heavily Modified from Vegetables Matter
1 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp bacon grease (or melted butter)
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 egg
1 cup milk, 1%
3 bacon strips, cooked and chopped (I used full fat pork, but you could use turkey)
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage (optional, could sub basil)

Peheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In another bowl combine the egg and milk and whisk. Add the mashed sweet potato and bacon grease.

Yes, I am pouring the bacon grease straight from the pan into the dough. What, I don’t want to waste it.
*I used applewood bacon, and the 3 strips created 2 tbsp of grease exactly, just enough for the recipe.

Then add the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped bacon and chopped sage.

Fill the muffin tins and cook the muffins for 18-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. OR don’t let them cool and just gobble them up.



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Basil Garlic Bread

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Breads |


I haven’t made any fresh bread in months. Which is so disappointing because I think homemade fresh bread is absolutely one of the best things in the world. I am not a huge bread person either (I am a pasta girl though). But homemade, FRESH bread, that will get me every time.

I sometimes wonder why people choose the recipes they do. Do you ever wonder that?

Q. Why did I choose a basil garlic bread with COTTAGE CHEESE?

A. I had about 1 cup of cottage cheese in the house that was about to go bad. And I was sort of over eating it. So I decided to see what kind of breads could be made with cottage cheese. Originally I was thinking that I would just do a quick bread, like banana bread with cottage cheese. But when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to go for it. I had also bought a huge bunch of basil the day before, but didn’t know what I was going to do with it.

The aroma of this bread is overwhelming. From the first rise all the way through the baking, your entire house will smell like fresh basil and garlic. It is unreal how good it smells. And because the process of making this takes about 4 hours, you get the FABULOUS smell that entire time, which makes the waiting time totally worth it.

As soon as the bread came out of the oven it was lunch time. PERFECT. Turkey sandwich on Basil Garlic Bread. Wow, what a treat. My husband said it was the best turkey sandwich he has ever had. He is a sucker for homemade fresh bread too 🙂

Makes 2 loaves (total of about 30 slices of bread)
Recipe Adapted from Annie-Eats

Ingredients
2 tbsp. instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 cup cottage cheese, at room temperature (I used non fat)
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 heaping tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. fresh basil, minced
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. olive oil
3-4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Directions
Combine the yeast and the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add all remaining ingredients, except flours, to the bowl and mix until a dough has formed. Switch over to the dough hook and stir at low speed. Add flour 1 cup at a time until you have a soft dough that clears the sides of the bowl. Continue kneading on low speed for 5-6 minutes.

Transfer the dough ball to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place. (I preheat my oven to 150 degrees F, turn it off as soon as it reaches this temp, and then put the dough in.) Let rise until the dough has doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
*If the kitchen isn’t warm, turn on the oven to 200 degrees and set the bowl with the dough by the oven. The dough needs some warmth to help it rise.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and shape into a log the size of a loaf pan. Place into a lightly greased loaf pan and press down gently so that the dough touches all sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again in a warm place, 30-60 minutes.

*I formed 2 loaves and placed them side by side in a 8×8 inch square silicone cake pan. This is dumb, but I saw and episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives where the featured diner made their bread side by side and broke it in 2 when it was done. I think I started drooling. So that was my inspiration for baking them in the same pan. but you could just as well bake them in 2 loaf pans.

When the loaf has risen, remove the plastic wrap and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning and bake another 15-20 minutes longer. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

For dinner that night I made some artichoke bruschetta and toasted the bread. Delicious. This bread has so many amazing uses!!!!!

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Banana Crunch Bread

Posted on February 23, 2010. Filed under: Breads |

Whenever I meet someone who doesn’t love bananas, my jaw drops. I just can’t even comprehend it because I love them so much. I love bananas when they start to get speckled with brown dots. That’s when they are so sweet and perfectly mushy. That is also when they turn into the perfect bananas for bread. How many banana bread recipes can one person have? A LOT! And I am trying to achieve that ‘a lot’ number. Since it is my favorite bread and all.

I think my next batch will be saved and used for banana bread french toast. I know, how freaking good does that sound? With some maple roasted bananas on top.

The crunchiness of the pecans combined with the moistness of the banana chunks, MMMMM. It’s hard to say which one is my favorite banana bread recipe, but this one might be at the top…

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Tropical Banana Bread
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Banana Pecan Bread

This recipe can make:
6 mini loafs
or
18 large muffins
or
1 normal size loaf (4×9 inch pan) and a couple dozen mini muffins.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (You could sub brown sugar too, for a deeper flavor)
1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not the fake Aunt Jemima crap)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup granola (any flavor you like)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and applesauce and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well, just until incorporated.

Fold the diced bananas, pecans, and granola into the batter. Spoon the batter into the pans you are using.
Muffins: filling each 1 to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Loafs: full 3/4 of the way to the top. bake for 35-45 minutes.


Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.


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Maple Pecan Bread

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Breads |


This past weekend I was having a baking extravaganza. Since I haven’t been in the kitchen very much lately, my intention was to make up for lost time. Some people bake and keep the treats at home for their family to eat. But since there’s only 2 of us at home, I always try to give away my baked goods. That is our diet plan; bake them, but don’t eat them all. It is the only way to not become a fat girl trapped in a fat body. Of course we try a bite or 2, but generally that is all I let us scarf down before the treats are out the door and gifted to someone else. Well this bread was intended to be a gift to one of my closest friends. She moved last weekend so I wanted to bring her some homemade bread as a treat.

Well, I had every intention of bringing her this bread. But unfortunately about 2 hours before I was going to drive it over I came down with the stomach flu. Right, as if these last 2 months haven’t been filled with enough of a variety of illnesses. So, long story short, my friend never go the bread. How sad, because she LOVES maple and pecans. I was so excited to give it to her. Instead, the work peeps got it. It was a mighty tasty bread too. So I will have to make another loaf soon and bring it to her.

I was curious about how this bread would turn out since there was such a high amount of baking powder, but not a lot of eggs. But I wanted to try it and see. The half and half made it extra rich and creamy and the baking powder made it rise perfectly. It was a good combination!

Makes 1 loaf
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp maple flavoring
3 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp milk
1 tsp maple flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the chopped pecans.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

In a small bowl mix the glaze ingredients. Pour the glaze over the cooled loaf. I topped it with a few candied whole pecans.

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Blueberry Muffins

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Breads, Breakfast |

New Years morning I woke up with a craving for a nice breakfast at a restaurant. Mainly I wanted some eggs, potatoes and a muffin. But I knew it would take some interesting convincing on my part to get my husband to want to go. He doesn’t really like to eat breakfast out. He sees it as a waste of money. I get it. But, I had a craving. I thought to myself, well Julia, you do know how to cook. And you do have enough food in the house to whip something up. Okay okay, I’ll make us breakfast. He was still asleep anyway, and to pass the time and distract my growling stomach, I got in the kitchen. And this is what came out:

Makes 12 muffins
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cups sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 half-pint fresh blueberries, picked through for stems

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 paper liners in muffin pans.

In a medium bowl, mix the oil and sugar. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup to the top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

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Old Fashioned Gingerbread- with Chocolate Chips

Posted on December 9, 2009. Filed under: Breads, Chocolate, Desserts |

This Christmas season I have been loving gingerbread. This is my 3rd recipe based around gingerbread this season but the first one with chocolate. And of course it goes well together. I don’t have too much to say about it. It’s gingerbread, period.

It is a great bread for brunches, appetizers or for dessert. It also makes a great gift.

Makes 1 cake(8×8 pan) or 4 mini loafs
Adapted from Ina Garten
Cake
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, optional
3 tbsp coco powder
2 tablespoons milk
*add more milk to reach desired consistency

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Place the butter and molasses in a small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cool for 5 minutes, then mix in the sour cream.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix only until smooth. Add the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

When the cake has cooled, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, coco powder and milk and pour it onto the gingerbread, allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow the glaze to set. Cut the gingerbread into 9 squares.

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