Tag Archives: brown sugar

Apple Pie Dessert Panini with Salted Caramel

A few week-ends ago I borrowed a Panini press to experiment a little.  I’ve had some good café lunches and wanted to try some of these recipes at home.  As a result, we Panini-d our way through the entire week-end and this Apple Pie Dessert Panini with Salted Caramel was born.

Apple Pie Panini1

I don’t have very many kitchen appliances and I don’t follow too many food fads and now I know why.  I become slightly obsessed with a new toy or idea, and I make a ridiculous amount of food with it for a while.  Remember the cupcake craze?  I didn’t just make cupcakes for every acquaintance I knew, I opened a cupcake shop and made thousands!  That cupcake craze nearly did me in.  And when I bought our first deep fryer?  This place smelled like a fish and chip shop for weeks.   Our arteries are still recovering.  So yup, when I borrowed that Panini press, I dashed to the grocery store and bought all kinds of breads, meats and cheeses and melt-y things to put inside.  I became a bit of a freak about it, grilling something, and then wiping it down and trying something new.   I’m not kidding when I say, I made something in it for every meal.  As you know, I have teenagers, so when I started making grilled sandwiches again for dinner, a lot of eye rolling ensued.  It was getting to be time to back away from that Panini press, before I started planning my next sandwich shop.  I’m not even kidding.

But I lured those teenagers back with dessert (I’ll take any small victory with my teens at this point)!  I presented them with some golden raisin bread, oozing with brown sugar cream cheese, cinnamon sugar and apple slices.  I topped it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce while still warm.  All melt-y and sweet and gooey, this Panini dessert was a real winner.  It was a fitting end to a week-end of Panini’s, and a super quick dessert to throw together.

Apple Pie Dessert Panini via SweetRevelations

Just to prove to you how over the top I can be, we ate this insanely good treat, and then I packed the press up to return it to its rightful owner.  I had to get it out of here, before the next days meals rolled around.  But not before I made a batch of homemade cherry pie filling, and showed up at their door with a bag of fresh egg bread, and ice cream.  Then I proceeded to invade their kitchen and make dessert Panini’s for them.

True story.

Salted Caramel via SweetRevelations

Happy week-end everyone!

Apple Pie Dessert Panini with Salted Caramel

  • 2 raisin bread slices
  • butter to spread on bread
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar cream cheese (store-bought)
  • very thinly sliced apple (you will only use 1/4 of it)
  • cinnamon sugar (mix 1/4 tsp cinnamon with tsp sugar)
  • vanilla ice cream

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Make the salted caramel sauce first.   You will have leftovers, so cut the recipe in half if you need to.  But seriously, why would you?  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.   Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
  2. While the Panini press is heating up, butter one side of each slice of raisin bread.   Flip the bread over, so the buttered sides are on the bottom.  Spread the cream cheese on one piece of bread.  Layer some apples slices on top of that.  Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon sugar, and top with the last piece of bread, buttered side out.  Place on the press and grill for 3-4 minutes, until the bread is golden and crispy.  Remove, slice the sandwich in half and top with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce.

 

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Filed under Ice Cream, Sauces and Syrups, Scones and Breads

Ugly Maple Syrup Pie

Well guys, I’ve gone from a post here about Bright and Beautiful Recipes To Make Us Happy, to pie.  Ugly pie at that.  I’ve tortured myself over this pie post.  In fact, I was so mad at the filling for cracking and the pastry for shrinking, that I left the pie to sit for two days.  Uneaten for two whole days!  After which, I seriously got ahold of myself, and realized that this world has far bigger problems than an ugly pie.

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

And guess what?  I make mistakes too.  And this blog is a great place to learn about them.  And from them.  I bet Ree, Nigella, and Ina have had a whole mess of ugly pies.  That doesn’t mean we’re idiots, it just means that in the kitchen, we’re…well…we’re human!

So here it is….my Ugly Maple Syrup Pie.  And friends I have to say, that this was a pretty tasty ugly pie.  The cracking and shrinking didn’t compromise the taste one bit.  As a matter of fact, I was slightly miffed at myself because we let it sit so long, because we love Maple Syrup Pie!   I seriously can’t make up my mind.  I’m mad at the pie, then I’m happy with the pie.  What gives?!

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

I’ve written posts, like this one here, on making the perfect pastry.  And when I had the bake shop, my mom was chief pastry maker, because she’s seriously good at it.  It’s golden and tender and oh so flaky.  I’ve also made more pie fillings, than I can shake a stick at.  But some days, I’m just a complete distracted mess in the kitchen, and things don’t turn out picture perfect.  Oh man, I’ve had some doozies.  It happens to all of us.

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

Case in point, the ugly pie.  I think I’m doing a public service here really, as I tell you and show you all of the things you shouldn’t be doing with a custard pie.  First off, you should chill the pastry well before baking.  You shouldn’t take pictures of your gorgeous pie crust, as I did here, until the pastry is nice and warm for your #PiDay2016 Instagram photo.  And then, don’t overbake that sweet Maple Syrup custard.  Because if it poofs up like a soufflé, well, you’ve gone too far.

And you’re well on your way to ugly pie.

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

Now if mom was here, she would tell me not to fret.  “There’s nothing better than a scratch baked pie!” she always said.  Even in the bake shop, as I worried over fillings that may have oozed slightly, mom would assure me that people were going to be thrilled with their authentic, homemade pie.  And she was right.

So, ugly and all, I’m going to share my recipe for this sweet Maple Syrup Pie, using local Maple Syrup, that is the essence of spring around here when the maple sap is flowing.   It’s a custard pie with pure dark Maple Syrup, brown sugar and butter, that will satisfy any sweet tooth.  It’s a springtime favourite!  Our family all agree’s that the side of unsweetened whipped cream is essential with this dessert, to balance out the sweetness in the pie.

I hope you make this.  Because if you simply pay a little more attention than me, you’ll see how locally produced sweet Maple Syrup can bake into a beautiful, rich and smooth, sweet treat.

Just because I’m nosy and it would make me feel better, I would love to hear about your kitchen disasters in the comments below!

Happy Pie Baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Maple Syrup Pie

  • unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup pure dark Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tsp flour

Unsweetened Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°

  1.  Whisk together the sugar, eggs and cream until well combined.  Whisk in the Maple Syrup, butter and flour.
  2. Pour filling into pastry shell and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Filling should still slightly jiggle in the center when moved.   Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.
  3. Whisk cream by hand or with a mixer until soft peaks form.  Serve the pie with the whipped cream.  Refrigerate any left over pie.

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Filed under Pie

Coffee Shop Worthy Date Squares

My girlfriend and I have a serious appreciation for good coffee.  We’ve visited some of the best coffee shops and cafes within our area, and talked with those who make a living roasting beans from around the world.   Undoubtedly, we settle in with a good cup of caffeinated bliss, share a pastry or two and get caught up about our busy lives.  I don’t know why, but often times I choose a date square with my coffee.  It’s something I rarely bake at home, but I love to enjoy a nice big serving when in a coffee shop.  You might say I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur about these dense, date filled, oat bars.

Date Squares via SweetRevelations

I have no idea where my love for these classic homemade bars came from.   Just thinking about them makes me think of old-school recipes that are hardly made at home anymore.  I mean, with all of the salted this and caramel that options we have these days, the date square is hardly at the top of the list for the newest generation of home bakers.  Even though they keep well, travel well, freeze well, and are fairly fuss-free, they’ve kind of disappeared from potluck menus and home kitchens.  Years ago, a sweet relative of mine used to bring them with her to pretty much every family function.  They were thick and sweet and had the best crumble on top.  She passed away a long time ago, and unfortunately her recipe was never passed on.  Since then, I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect one.  As a result, I’m often comparing the servings I’ve had from one coffee shop to the next.  Too dense, too crumbly, too thin, too sweet.

Date Square via SweetRevelations

This week-end, after another coffee shop visit, I decided to make my own.  I already knew what some of my requirements would be.  A thick bottom layer is a must, with a slightly sweet date filling, and a golden crumbly oat top.  Classic date square recipes require that you boil the chopped dates for a few minutes in water, to soften the dates and thicken the filling.  As I was pitting and chopping the dates, I had an epiphany!  Instead of adding water to my date filling, I brewed a cup of my favorite coffee and used that instead.   The results were just as I had hoped.  A thick filling, that was slightly sweet and only made richer tasting with the addition of coffee.  Don’t be alarmed, the coffee taste doesn’t exist at all, it just enhances the date flavor.  The buttery, crumbly topping was pretty simple, but the last-minute addition of pumpkin seeds has made these a little more, well, glamorous I’d say.

I’m voting for a date square comeback every one!

Date Squares via SweetRevelations

I must confess that these were pretty satisfying.  Coffee shop worthy in fact.  The filling to base ratio was spot on and they didn’t crumble in my hands.  And they made a hearty breakfast treat this morning (by the way, they qualify as a breakfast option on account of the fruit and oats in my books).   My friends can expect them to be making an appearance at our next pot luck!

Date Square via SweetRevelations

Have you got a family date square recipe?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy coffee shop lingering and baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Date Squares

Preheat oven to 350°

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups Medjool dates, chopped and pitted
  • 1 cup hot black coffee
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Base:

  • 1 1/2 cups large flake oats
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and slightly soft but still cool
  1.  Line an 8 x 8 square pan with parchment paper and set aside.  Make the filling first by combining the coffee, dates, sugar and lemon juice in a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add the baking soda and stir mixture continuously for approx. 4 minutes, until filling is thick and dates are soft.  Set aside to cool while you prepare the base.
  2. Combine the first 6 ingredients of the base recipe in a medium-sized bowl and mix to combine.   Add the butter and use your hands or a fork to coat the flour mixture with the butter until crumbly in texture.   Press 3 1/4 cups of oat mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Spread on the layer of date filling.  Top with remaining oat mixture and press down slightly.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until topping is golden.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.

 

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Filed under Bars, Breakfast

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Guys, this pie.

So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I’m completely, utterly nuts over it.   The idea came to me last week-end while still tidying up from the holidays.  What on earth were we to do with all of those in-shell nuts I bought?  And why, for heaven’s sake, did I buy so many to begin with?!  I say this, but I know why.  It’s the same reason I buy those stuck together, hard as a rock, assorted Christmas candies.  When I was growing up, there was always a bowl of mixed nuts sitting out during the holidays.   It was tradition at our house, and at my grandparents.  With the same old-school nutcracker that my mom had for years, the bowl of nuts came out and stayed out for the duration of the winter.  As kids, we cracked them simply for entertainment purposes, nut pieces and shells flying across the room.  We were so convinced that if we just squeezed hard enough, we could crack them open with our bare hands (never happened I can assure you).  But growing up, I certainly began to appreciate the value of shelled whole nuts a little more.  My husband often cracks a few for a quick snack just before dinner.  Sometimes we are catching up about our day, and we’re both just absent mindedly cracking and eating amongst the chatter.  When the kitchen is busy with guests and family, someone is undoubtedly cracking open a meaty walnut or a crunchy filbert, while usually the brazil nuts are largely ignored.

So there I was, holidays over, company dwindling, and hoards of mixed nuts left.  I knew without a doubt that I would be using the walnuts for a pie.  A warm pie to me is the ultimate comfort food.  A sweet, nutty winter pie seemed just right.  And adding chocolate and sea salt was a logical step.  Crunchy walnuts, dark chocolate and sea salt amongst a tender, flaky pastry?  Count me in!

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I knew I would be using a recipe similar to pecan pie for my base.  I took a few recipes I currently have, and adjusted them until I found something that I was happy with.  The sea salt just takes this pie over the top.  It’s only a subtle salt flavor, but one that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.  So perfectly in fact, I’ve made it two more times since then.  So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

I love baking pies in the winter.  I usually keep lots of local summer fruit frozen just for that reason.  However, a nutty, decadent Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie is not only an appropriate alternative to fruit, I guarantee you that it will warm up your house and chase those winter blues away!

So I think I’ve given that ages old tradition of whole nuts during the holidays a new twist.  And when my children are in their own houses, and questioning their own winter bowl of nuts, “why do I put these out?” and “why on earth did I buy so many?!”, they’ll think back to these days in our kitchen.  And they’ll do it just the same, after all, its tradition.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients

  • 9″ unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup Hershey’s dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt (more to taste if desired)
  1. Scatter the cup of chocolate chips on the bottom of the unbaked shell, set the shell aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.  Add the flour, eggs and corn syrup. Mix well.  Mix in the walnut pieces.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell, on top of the chocolate chips, and bake for 45 mins to an hour.  The filling will be puffed up and set at the sides, but still slightly jiggly in the center.  Don’t hesitate to leave it in longer if need be, the filling should be slightly jiggly but not sloshing around or it won’t set.  Cool completely and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

Walnuts via SweetRevelations

 

 

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Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

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Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

There are a few things some of us take seriously in this country.

Hockey.  The weather.  Politics.  Poutine.  Back Bacon.  Maple Syrup.  Nanaimo Bars (we made these first!).  Good beer.

And Butter Tarts.

buttertart/sweetrevelations

It’s a classic Canadian treat, that is beloved for its flaky pastry filled with brown sugar, melted butter and syrup.   Most people have a preference about how they should be filled.  Raisins or no raisins.  Nuts or no nuts.  Made with maple syrup or corn syrup.  Runny or firm.  Some use currants or cranberries.  Perhaps a splash of Whiskey or Maple Whiskey.

There’s also the popular Butter Tart Bars, that have that gorgeous buttery, tender shortbread crust with all of that gooey Butter Tart goodness on top.  They are very easy to make, great for serving at parties and potlucks, and on the Christmas holiday baking list of moms all across this country.

Everyone, we have got this Butter Tart thing down to a science.

sweetrevelations

I for one, am a complete sucker for a warm Butter Tart Bar, slightly runny, filled with raisins and walnuts, with a splash of Maple Whiskey, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  So baking a full on Butter Tart Bar in a skillet is only natural.  I  haven’t met anyone yet, who doesn’t swoon over the warm, buttery piece that comes out.  The scoop of ice cream, just pretty much takes it over the top.  Insanely, buttery, gooey, good.

sweetrevelations

I think most families have a recipe that’s been passed down.  Aside from all of the additions, the base recipe of Butter Tart Squares is essentially the same.  Instead of powdered sugar in my shortbread base, I use brown sugar.  I saw it used in another recipe for bars and have made shortbread crust that way ever since.

Do you love Butter Tarts as much as me?  What are your filling preferences?

Happy finger licking, slightly runny, full of raisins and walnuts, Butter Tart baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

  1.  In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust, using a fork or pastry blender.  Press into the bottom of a well seasoned skillet (I did a quick swipe of shortening around the sides first, very little) or baking pan lined with parchment.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients for the filling and mix until well combined.  Stir in the raisins, walnuts and whisky.  Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Serve slightly warm with ice cream!

Notes:

  1. This recipe can also be made in an 8 x 8 pan.
  2. Butter Tart Squares freeze very well.   If making ahead, bake in an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment.  Freeze when cool.

 

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Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

chocchip

I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

cookie

All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

splash

Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

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Apple Coffee Cake

This cake is kind of confusing….

It’s a coffee cake, made with a sweet buttery brioche dough, full of apple slices, and topped with an oat streusal topping.

It’s kind of like an apple crisp.

It’s kind of like a coffee cake.

It’s kind of like a sweet bread.

It’s kind of awesome!

cake

If you’ve been following me for a while you know about my love affair with bread (this is awkward because I believe I’m also having an affair with chocolate, cake and frosting…but let’s carry on).  I started making bread several years ago and it’s something I still love to do.  There’s nothing quite as gratifying.  Honestly, don’t let  yeast scare you.

I’ve made this several times and I’ve never made the same cake twice.  It’s made with Brioche Dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.  These folks aren’t lying, they’ve really created some masterpiece yeasted doughs that literally take only five minutes prep.  This is one of my books that is completely dog-eared and never leaves the kitchen.   The dough can be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated.  At a moments notice you have a rich, buttery Brioche Dough ready for this Apple Coffee Cake, sticky buns or doughnuts.   The options are endless!

 

slice

I added pepitas, dried cranberries and walnuts along with the apple to the cake this time.  My last one had blueberries and pecans.  Both were sensational.   The cake is fully assembled and then left on the counter to rest for a little over an hour.  Then it’s into the oven and done in an hour.  Nothing to do after but wait for it to cool so you can cut it and enjoy it.

That’s my kinda cake.  Uh bread.  Umm Apple Crisp?!  You get the idea.

I’m sharing the link here to the BreadIn5 website,  for their Brioche Dough.   You will not find a simpler recipe for Brioche Dough anywhere.  Just mix it and leave it, literally.   The following is the recipe for the cake.

Apple Streusal Coffee Cake

*adapted from BreadIn5

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  To make the streusel, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.  Set aside.

For the Cake:

  • 1 pound of the chilled Brioche Dough
  • 2 1/2 small apples thinly sliced – I used honey crisp apples
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • streusel topping (above)

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour an 8 x 3 inch cake pan or springform pan.

1.  Mix the apple slices, cranberries and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

 

2. Split your pound of brioche dough into two equal pieces.   Roll out each piece to be a circle slightly larger than the cake pan.  Place one dough circle in the bottom of the pan.  Top with half of the apples and 3/4 cup of streusel.   Place the remaining dough circle on top and layer again with apples and the remaining streusel.

3.    Let the cake rest, uncovered, for an hour and 20 minutes.  Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

4.  If you used a cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate and then quickly invert back to a cake plate.

 

Enjoy!

Renee

 

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Peach Fritters

My dad is a great story-teller.   It’s something that I love about him and a bond that we share.  I love to hear the stories of his childhood in a small fishing village.  I love to hear stories about my ancestors and my heritage.  And I appreciate every one of them because they make the generations past seem real to me.

This year for my birthday he gave me the best gift.

He gave me an old cookbook that was my great-grandfathers.  My father is named after him and he died in 1927 in an accident.  He was a cook on a tug boat and my grandmother got this book when they went to retrieve his body and belongings.   It just made me feel so much more that cooking must be in my genes.   That I’m doing the right thing.

I decided to try the recipe for Fruit Fritters that was in there.  I love how some of the pages are marked with pencil and some have drops of  whatever on them.

I wonder, did he make the Fruit Fritters?

On my card my dad said that my great-grandfather would have been proud of the work I have done in the kitchen.

Gosh, that is just the best gift isn’t it?

For my fritters I used peaches.  It’s peach season around here and they are big and juicy and so sweet.  Apples would be good too.

Peach Fritters

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 medium peaches, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
  • powdered sugar for dusting

1.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Add milk and eggs and mix until smooth.

2.  Heat canola oil to 350° in a deep pan or fryer.  Batter peach slices and gently drop into oil.  Fry for 3-5 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Best eaten warm.

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Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special, Scones and Breads

Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Sugared Cranberries

I am not a huge beet fan.

This week I asked a lady I work with whether she ate beets.  She rattled off a few ways that she likes to cook them and  proclaimed that she loved them.  The only thing that kept circling through my tiny brain was “Ewwwwww….”

But this week-end beets and I have had a new beginning.   A re-awakening!  A moist, chocolatey, gloriously decadent new beginning.  Are you with me??

I simply could not get over how amazing this cake tasted.  I was pretty skeptical last night as I was boiling the beets in preparation for this morning.  I mean, how can a cake that tastes this awesome be chalk full of antioxidants and nutrients?   And, not even a hint that there are beets in here.  Just a deep chocolatey, moist, earthy cake.   If I didn’t have beet stained fingertips, no one would believe me.

A simple ganache and some sugared cranberries is all that is needed for garnish.  Even a slight dusting of powdered sugar would do.  It’s so elegant and so simple.  Very impressive.  I’m not kidding.  Put beets on your grocery list.  You will not be disappointed!

I think my husband did a wonderful job on these photos.  I stood there watching with my finger in the ganache bowl.  Afterwards, we shared this piece.  We’re a good team.  A good food blogging, photo taking, cake eating team.

Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cake

*recipe adapted from Always Order Dessert

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup quality Belgian semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups beet puree (about 6-7 small-medium beets roasted, peeled, and processed until smooth)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

For the ganache:
1 cup quality Belgian bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream

Grease and flour your bundt pan.

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and sift until evenly distributed. Set aside.

2. Cream 3/4 cup butter and the sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time and beat until well incorporated.

3. Combine the chocolate with the remaining butter and microwave 20 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until melted. Stir in espresso powder and set aside.

4.  Add the vanilla extract to the eggs, followed by the chocolate, and the beet puree and mix until well combined.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the beet mixture and mix just until completely and evenly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting on a wire rack.

6. While the cake is cooling, make the ganache by combining the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream through gently just until it starts to bubble and pour over the chocolate. Stir slowly until the chocolate melts and the ganache becomes smooth and glossy.

7. Pour the ganache over the cooled cake and let set 15-20 minutes before serving.

Garnish with sugared cranberries.

Note:  If you taste the cake while warm you will taste the beets.  Strange, I know, but if you wait until the cake is completely cool, you will taste nothing but rich chocolate!

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