Quick Apple Galette

apple galette (640x424)If you are someone who loves the smell of apples baking and the taste of homemade apple pie, here is a very easy recipe for a rustic apple galette.

Easy Apple Galette

1 circle of refrigerated pie crust, room temperature

2 large baking apples (I like Golden Delicious but choose your favorite variety)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cream

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up or spray with non-stick spray. Unroll pastry into a full circle. Set aside as you prepare the filling.
  2. Slice the peeled, cored apples in half, then slice evenly into thin 1/8 inch slices.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the apple slices with the granulated and brown sugars, flour, salt, lemon juice and cinnamon until the apple slices are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.
  4. Spoon all of the apple filling into the middle of the pie crust, leaving about two inches of space around the edge of the circle.
  5. Carefully fold the edges of the crust over (it will cover 2-3 inches of the apple filling). You will have some overlap of the crust as you fold, so just pinch together. Try not to tear a hole in the crust where the filling could leak out.
  6. Brush the outside of the crust with cream, then sprinkle with the coarse sugar over the crust. Dot with the butter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the apple slices are tender.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

blueberry breakfast cake (640x424)The blueberries are abundant this time of the year and picking is plentiful at the local orchard. Here is a simple blueberry cake that is good for breakfast or as a snack.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour; set aside. Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and ¾ cup plus one tablespoon of the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Spread batter into greased baking dish and sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until top is slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

Whole Wheat Flax Seed No-Knead Bread

WW Flax No Knead resizedAnother variation of the wonderful no-knead bread. This version uses ground flax seeds and whole wheat flour to create a denser bread with a chewy crust. This recipe also uses the “quicker” version of making no-knead bread which uses warm water and more yeast to create the sponge.

Whole Wheat Flax Seed No-Knead Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup ground flax seeds (I used a blender to grind flax seeds)

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and let set for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all flour is mixed and a shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too stiff, add a little more water.
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.
As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Please cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Lightly sprinkle the dough ball with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 60 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Sprinkle with more flax seeds if desired. Slash top of dough with a sharp knife. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and remove cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

10 Grain Honey Wheat Bread

10 grain bread (640x424)I love the smell of break baking and it is a great activity for a cold, snowy day. This recipe is unusual in that after the bread rises, you knead in honey. I changed to original to cook the bread in a hot cast-iron pot rather than regular bread pan and it worked great. Give it a try if you enjoy bread making too!
10 grain sliced (640x424)
10 Grain Honey Wheat Bread

½ cup 10 grain cereal

½ cup warm water water

½ teaspoon yeast

1 cup whole wheat flour

1½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup honey

1/4 cup oats, approximately

  1. In a small bowl, let the cereal soak in about ½ cup cool water for 30 minutes. In another bowl, dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water and let it sit until it starts to foam (about 10-15 minutes.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, put flour, sugar, and salt and mix well. Using a wooden spoon, make a small well in the center of this mixture. Add the yeast, eggs, oil, and cereal to the well, and stir together until it starts to form into a bowl and becomes too difficult to mix with wooden spoon. If using stand mixer, add dough hook and knead 8 minutes. Remove from bowl and place on floured surface and knead by hand for another 10 minutes. Add small amounts of flour as needed until no longer sticky.
  3. Put a tablespoon of oil in a bowl and rub it around the entire bowl. Place the dough ball into the bowl, and flip a few times to coat in oil. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes in a warm place, or until doubled in size. (My house was not very warm and I doubled rising time).
  4. Once dough has doubled, punch the dough down and place on kneading surface again. Pour ½ cup of honey on top. The dough will be very sticky, but knead it for about five minutes, until the honey has been incorporated and it is in a nice, round ball again.
  5. Place ball on a large piece of parchment paper which has been lightly floured. Cover and let rise until doubled for about 45 minutes (or longer). While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat.
  6. Once dough has doubled in size, spray lightly with water, and sprinkle with oats. Remove hot pot from oven and sit on heat-proof surface. Pick up the ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in hot pot. Quickly cut excess parchment paper and place hot lid on pot. Return to oven.
  7. With the lid on the pot, bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until nicely browned.
  8. Remove from oven slide the hot bread from the pots and allow to cool. Enjoy!

10 grain honey wheat bread (640x403)

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

yogurt cake (640x423)I had an excess of Greek yogurt in the refrigerator so went looking for a coffee cake using yogurt rather than sour cream. This makes a moist cake with a sweet cinnamon center and topping.

Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the streusel:
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

For the cream cheese glaze:
3 ounces softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk, or enough to make it a glazing consistency

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and Greek yogurt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined.

3. For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and cut together with a pastry blender or two knives until it forms a crumble.

4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

5. Let cool on a wire rack. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. To make the cream cheese glaze, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Beat until smooth and until you have a glaze consistency. Drizzle cream cheese glaze over cooled cake and serve.

yogurt cake sliced (640x422)

Quick Multi-Grain No Knead Bread

multigrain no knead (640x424)Here is another variation of a quicker version of no-knead bread. This bread uses whole wheat flour, oats and flax seeds to make a chewy bread with a wonderful crusty outside.

Quick Multi-Grain No-Knead Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup steel cut oats

2 tablespoons flax seeds

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all flour is mixed and a shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too stiff, add a little more water.
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.
As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Please cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 – 30 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Sprinkle with more flax seeds if desired. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and remove cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

multigrain no knead sliced (640x424)

Chewy Cherry Almond Bars

cherry bars (640x424)
Use your favorite preserves to make a chewy bar full of oats and almonds. Enjoy!
Chewy Cherry Almond Bars
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 12 ounce jar (1 cup) cherry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined. Add flour and mix until blended.  Stir in the oats and almonds.

3. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough and set aside. Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread with preserves. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over preserves layer.

4. Bake in the preheated oven about 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Quick Cranberry-Nut No-Knead Bread

cranberry nut sliced (640x424)Here is another adaptation of the no-knead bread that is quicker that the traditional method where the dough rises overnight. The “quicker” versions use more yeast and start with warm water for the sponge. The bread is like the traditional bakery bread with a crusty outside and soft, tender interior. Yum!

Quick Cranberry-Nut No-Knead  Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Sprinkle of ground cinnamon

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until the flour and other ingredients are mixed and a shaggy dough forms (You may need to add one or two additional tablespoons of warm water if the dough is too stiff – or use a little less flour).
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour (It is okay if it sits longer than an hour). As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and slide the cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

quick cranberry nut break (640x424)

Apple Butter Doughnuts

apple butter cake (640x424)

I ran across this recipe for baked doughnuts this past week. I have already fried doughnuts so this was my first time to bake them so I had to run to the kitchen store to purchase doughnut pans. I also found out that if you fill the pans too full, the hole at the top of the doughnut will close. This recipe uses fresh apples and apple butter to make a wonderful doughnut full of spice topped with cinnamon sugar.

Baked Apple Butter Doughnuts

2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped apples
2 eggs
2 tablespoon butter, melted
Topping
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add in the apple butter, milk, melted butter and eggs. Mix well and then fold in the chopped apples.
3. Pour the batter into each doughnut cup of the pan about 2/3 full. Bake 7-9 minutes or until the tops of the donuts spring back when touched.
4. Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
 5. Once cool enough to handle, melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl.In another small shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Quickly dip the top of one of the doughnuts in the melted butter and then twist immediately into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat this for each doughnut.

Quick No-Knead Cheese Bread

cheese no-knead (640x424)“Quick” is a relative term when talking about no-knead bread but this is a shorter version than the traditional 12-15 hour no-knead process. This bread comes out with the crusty exterior and soft inside. The cheese adds a nice flavor for Italian food or casseroles. Give it a try and enjoy!

Quick Crusty No-Knead Cheese Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup shredded cheese

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all of the flour and cheese is mixed and a shaggy dough forms (You may need to add one or two additional tablespoons of warm water if the dough is too stiff).
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour (It is okay if it sits longer than an hour). As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and slide the cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

sliced cheese bread (640x424)

Quick Crusty No-Knead Bread

quick crusty bread (640x424)We love no-knead bread made in a hot cast iron pot. It tastes like bread from the bakery with a soft interior with a crunchy crust on the outside. “Quick” is rather a relative term but this method is faster than the traditional no-knead recipes. I have always used the method of mixing the sponge and allowing it to rise overnight or 12-18 hours. That method works great but sometimes you do not have 12 or more hours to wait for the bread to be ready to cook.

I have been experimenting with some directions for a quicker version and this yielded bread with a soft inside and a crusty exterior. You make the sponge and allow it to sit for one hour. Then you form it into a ball, let rest for 15 minutes and then place in the hot cast iron pot and hot oven. The bread comes out a beautiful brown with wonderful crust. Give it a try if you want a shorter version of great no-knead bread.

quick no knead cut (640x424)Quick Crusty No-Knead Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all flour is mixed and a shaggy dough forms.
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.
As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and remove cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

Applesauce Cake

applesauce cake (640x424)As I was cleaning closets this weekend, I found a box of my mother-in-law’s recipe. My mother-in-law immigrated from Germany after World War I when her aunt, who was already in America sent her a ticket for passage on a boat to America. She eventually married another German immigrant and they settled in the Hudson River Valley. This is a recipe that one of her friends gave her in 1952. It combines applesauce, nuts and raisins to make a tasty dessert or snack. Add a dollop of whipped cream for additional delight!

Applesauce Cake

1 cups all-purpose for

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Sift together all of the above dry ingredients. Then blend:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup raisins mixed with 1 tablespoon of the sifted dry ingredients

Cream together:

1/2 cup shortening

12 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Blend in:

1 egg and mix thoroughly

Add alternately sifted dry ingredients and 1 1/4 cups applesauce

Blend in floured nuts and raisins. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into lightly greased, floured, 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan.

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool and enjoy! You can also add a powdered sugar glaze. I used 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk.

 

Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls (640x417)Love the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven? If you enjoy working with yeast dough, here is a great recipe to try.

Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

1 package dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup scalded milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

1/2 cup meted butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup raisins or pecans

Glaze (optional)

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 to 6 tablespoons ht water

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar melted butter, salt and egg. Ad 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead 5-10 minutes. Please in a well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

2. When doubled in size punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with raisins or nuts, if desired. Beginning with the 15 inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of the baking an with butter. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled (about 45 minutes). Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

4. If you want to add a glaze to the finished rolls, mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

peanut blossom (640x424)This is a classic cookie recipe that combines the flavor of peanut butter with chocolate. It makes a very pretty addition to any tray of cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1  3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and peanut butter until blended. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Place the 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. Immediately press a chocolate Kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to wire rack; cool.

Mississippi Mud Cake

mississippi mud (640x424)I was not able to make a photo of the cake until there was only one piece left after a Death By Chocolate snack party at where I work so the photo is not great. Mississippi Mud is a traditional cake in the south and every year a family friend prepares one for my brother for his Christmas gift. There is lots of chocolate, nuts, coconut and marshmallow cream so it is definitely not for the faint of heart!

Mississippi Mud Cake

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup cake flour

1 (3 1/2 ounce) can coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 large jar of marshmallow cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter, sugar and cocoa. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and beat well, around 3 minutes. Fold in coconut and pecans.

2. Bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan for 30 minutes. After removing cake from oven, immediately spread marshmallow cream over the top. Let cool.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth Spread over cake. Freezes well.

Plum Cake

plum cake (640x424)The first plums to ripen in our area are small, juicy plums called sugar plums. I went a little crazy at the u-pick orchard and ended up with 19 pounds of sugar plums. The weekend was spent making jelly, jam and here is a new recipe for plum cake. It is a nice combination of the plum tartness with a buttery crust and strudel topping.

Plum Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 teaspoon salt

3 cups sliced fresh plums

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cold butter

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (chopped)

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Spread in a greased 9-inch square baking dish. Top with plums. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over plums.

3. For topping combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts if desired. Sprinkle over top.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until topping is golden brown and plums are tender (I baked a little longer as my plums were very juicy). Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Rustic Blueberry Tart

blueberry tart (640x419)The blueberries are fresh and abundant at area stands and markets. At the local u-pick, the bushes are loaded with berries and it seems like you can fill a bucket on a single bush. I was looking for a new dessert to make with the berries and combined two recipes I found online. Makes a delightful blueberry dessert – it would be good also with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!

Rustic Blueberry Tart

!/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup half and half or light cream

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 large egg white

1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Pastry

1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the egg and beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Gradually beat half and half on low speed. Stir in flour and 1/4 cup sugar until well combined. Remove dough from bowl; flatten dough into a 6 inch disc. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Unwrap and place dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough into a 15 inch circle. Place dough and parchment on a baking sheet.

4. To prepare filling, combine berries, 1/2 cup sugar, flour and lemon juice; toss gently to coat. Arrange berry mixture in center of dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover berry mixture).

5. Combine milk and egg white in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Brush dough with milk mixture; sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over dough.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until pastry is golden brown. Let stand 30 minutes cut into wedges.

 

Fresh Raspberry Almond Tart

raspberry almond tart (640x424)Here is a  great dessert using fresh raspberries. You make a buttery crust in a spring form pan, add a filling that is similar to chess pie filling (eggs and butter), bake and top with fresh raspberries. I did not have a tart pan so used my round spring form pan. A very nice summery dessert!

Fresh Raspberry Almond Tart

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar, divided

1 cup cold butter, divided

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup raspberry jam

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 cup fresh raspberries

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar; cut in 1/2 cup butter until crumbly. Beat 1 egg; add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Spread jam over dough and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

2. Cream remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy; stir in almond extract. Add remaining eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; spoon filling over jam/almonds. Place tart pan on a baking sheet (I was very glad I had a cookie sheet under my pan as butter came out the bottom of my spring form pan and would have been a mess without the baking sheet to catch the drips.)

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove sides from pan. Place fresh raspberries on top and sprinkle with a small amount of sugar.

Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon No Knead Bread

apple loaf (640x424)Combine the smell of bread baking and apples baking and you have Apple-Cinnamon No-Knead Bread. Here is a version of the no-knead bread baked in cast iron that includes chopped dried apples, cinnamon and apple cider. More variations on the No-Knead theme can be found here.

apple sliced (640x424)Apple Cinnamon No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup chopped dried apples (cutting with kitchen scissors works well)

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the cinnamon, sugar chopped apple and mix together. Add cider and water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then cool on a rack.

cutting apples (640x424)Using scissors to chop the dried apples

mixing apple (640x424)Mix the dough and then let set 12-18 hours

apple ball 2 (640x422)After setting for 12- 18 hours form into a ball and let set 30 minutes while pot and lid heat

apple sliced (640x424)Bake, slice and enjoy!

Blueberry Pound Cake

blueberry pound (640x424)The best thing to do during cold weather is bake something good. Sunday afternoon was one of those days and I wanted to do use some of my frozen blueberries from last summer’s days of picking. This recipe uses blueberries with a traditional pound cake yielding a rich buttery blueberry cake. I thawed the frozen blueberries and drained the extra juice or you can use fresh blueberries. A great recipe for dessert or to take to a pot-luck dinner and will add some sweetness to a cold winter day.

Blueberry Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour (2 cups in batter, 1 cup to dredge blueberries)

2 cups blueberries

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix in baking powder, salt and 2 cups of flour. Fold in blueberries that have been dredged in 1 cup flour

Pour into 10 inch tube pan which has been buttered and sprinkled with sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then turn out of pan.

Enjoy!