Cinnamon Crunch Bread

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There‘s something to be said about a bowl of rising yeast dough snugly tucked away in a warm corner of the kitchen.

Placing a little ball of dough into a bowl to rise and coming back to something twice or triple its original size ready to be transformed into something delicious brings a certain satisfaction that can’t be explained.  You must experience it for yourself.

Some warm water and a little sugar is all it takes to wake up the dormant yeast making it ready to help the rest of the ingredients rise to any occasion.

Crusty Artisan Bread has become the norm coming out of my oven once or twice a week depending on what’s for dinner or if company is coming.  Going back to store bought bread is no longer an option.

Today The dough rising in the covered bowl will not make a rustic loaf.  Instead, the yeast is rising a silky smooth, slightly sweet dough ready to be transformed into fragrant Cinnamon Crunch Bread.

Just when you think nothing could be more aromatic than rustic bread baking in the oven this recipe will prove you wrong.

Cinnamon Crunch Bread

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon sugar (for yeast)

1 1/4 teaspoons yeast

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/4 cup butter (softened)

Sugar Cinnamon Coating

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons melted butter

  1. Add yeast to warm water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and allow to activate until mixture foams.
  2. Stir together flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Add egg, softened butter and yeast.
  4. Stir until dough starts coming together.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 7 to10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  6. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 3 pieces.
  8. Roll each piece into a 15 inch log and brush with melted butter.
  9. Roll logs in cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated.
  10. Place logs on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Pinch the tops of the 3 logs together, braid and pinch the ends when done.  Tuck both ends under.
  12. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture over the braid.  Lightly cover and allow to rise 1 hour.
  13. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 23 to 25 minutes until golden.
  14. Cool loaf on wire rack.
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Combine granulated and brown sugars and cinnamon

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Mix yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water until activated and foamy.

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Mix together flour, sugar and salt.

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Stir in yeast mixture, softened butter and egg…

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…and mix until the dough starts coming together.  Place on a lightly covered surface and…

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…knead for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover…

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…and allow to rise for 1 hour.

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Cut dough into 3 pieces.

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Roll into logs 15 inches in length.

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Brush logs with melted butter.

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Roll logs in sugar cinnamon mixture.

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Place logs on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet, pinch the ends together.

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Braid the logs, pinch the ends and tuck them under.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

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Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 23 to 25 minutes until golden.  Cool on wire rack.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • The quantity of sugar cinnamon mixture was too much therefore it was saved for making cinnamon toast.
  • When making this loaf next time, after brushing with butter and rolling the logs in sugar mixture I will give it a second coat of butter and roll again in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

 

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Chocolate Ice Cream

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February is usually not the month that inspires trying a new ice cream recipe but the 500 ml. carton of whipping cream with a best before date quickly approaching prompted me to find a recipe in which to use it.

I suppose it didn’t have to be ice cream but a recipe saved a while back for Chocolate Ice Cream came to mind and the quantity of whipping cream required was the exact amount I needed to use up.

I always had my doubts about this recipe since it seemed too easy to produce a smooth, creamy ice cream.  The usual heating of ingredients or making a custard was not required so I was expecting something a little less than creamy.  And yet it was time to give it a try.

On the contrary, this was one of the creamiest ice creams I have ever made!

Home made ice cream is not hard to make and with the ice cream freezer bowl always ready in the freezer to churn another batch it makes you think twice about picking some up at the grocery store.

Enjoying homemade Chocolate Ice Cream in February… a sweet reminder that summer is on the way!

Chocolate Ice Cream

1 !/2 cups whole milk

2 cups whipping cream 35%

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 teaspoons espresso instant espresso powder (optional)

  1. Combine cocoa powder and sugar.
  2. Stir together until well mixed.
  3. Gradually add milk stirring  until blended.
  4. Gradually blend in whipping  cream.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold.  Keeping it longer in the fridge allows the cocoa to become fully hydrated by the milk and cream improving the texture and flavour.
  7. Gently stir the ice cream mixture again before freezing according to the directions of your ice cream freezer.
  8. Churn until thick and creamy.  ( It will depend on your ice cream freezer. Mine took about 20 minutes.)
  9. Place ice cream in a cold container, cover and place in freezer.
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Combine sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder if using.

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Stir until well mixed.

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Gradually stir in milk then cream…

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…until mixed

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Cover and refrigerate until very cold several hours or overnight.

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Churn until thick and creamy.

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Store in the freezer in a covered container freezing until firm.

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Scoop!!

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder intensifies the chocolate flavour.
  • Make sure to use the best cocoa available it will make all the difference.
  • I used the milk on hand which was 2%.  Using whole milk just might take this ice cream over the top!

More Ice Cream!

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/strawberry-cheesecake-ice-cream/

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Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/apple-cinnamon-ice-cream/

apple-ice

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/peanut-butter-ice-cream/

pyes

Coffee Ice Cream

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.ca/search?q=ice+cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.ca/search?q=vanilla+ice+cream

Lemon Ice Cream

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.ca/search?q=lemon+ice+cream

Peach Ice Cream

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.ca/search?q=peach+ice+cream

 

Sugar Donuts (baked)

 

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After about fifteen years the donut pans I purchased on clearance have come out of the box and made their first donuts.

I don’t usually wait that long to use any new baking pan, my intentions were good but those pans remained in the box, made the move with us to our new house and were put on another shelf for an additional seven years.

Today I went looking for them.  The time had come.

Baking with my grandchildren is an activity we all enjoy.  After making everything from cookies, cupcakes, yeast rolls, focaccia and pizza together as well as homemade pasta I needed something new and exciting to make with them.  It turned out to be new and exciting for me as well.

Since I had never made these donuts before, a trial run today was necessary just to make sure of successful results.  Very much to my surprise six soft, fluffy, tasty, good looking donuts popped out of that pan!

I’m ready for another great baking event!

Easier to put together than a batch of muffins and only 25 minutes to make from start to finish including baking time they are really worth making.

These pans won’t be going back into the box!

Sugar Donuts (baked)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

3/4 sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Sugar Coating

1/4 cup granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray donut pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs and sugar until well mixed.
  5. Stir wet ingredients into dry mixing until smooth.
  6. Fill donut pans about 3/4 of the way.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until toothpick inserted into donut comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, remove from pan, cool on rack and while still slightly warm roll donuts in sugar.
  9. Makes 6 regular size or 12 mini donuts.
  10. Best eaten same day or store in covered container up to 2 days.
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Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg if using.

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Whisk together butter milk, oil, eggs sugar and vanilla…

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…until well blended.

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Add wet ingredients to dry and…

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…whisk until smooth.

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Spray donut pan with non stick spray.

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Fill until 3/4 full.

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Bake for 15 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove and cool on rack.

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While still slightly warm roll in granulated sugar.

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Yum!

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • The original recipe did not call for nutmeg but nutmeg is a classic donut spice and works well in these donuts.
  • Recipe was for 12 mini donuts but I made 6 regular size instead.  Interesting that they were done in the same time that was stated for the mini donuts.  Every oven is different, make sure a tooth pick inserted in the donut comes out clean before taking them out of the oven.
  • Using a piping bag with a round tip makes filling the donut cavities super easy as well as helping distribute the batter more evenly.
  • Donuts are best eaten the same day as they’re made, don’t worry, there won’t be any left for tomorrow!
  • A 6 cavity donut pan is definitely not enough, will have to get another pan.
  • Please note:  The 6 cavity donut pan I used making donuts for this post was purchased many years ago and makes donuts a little larger than the Wilton brand I recently purchased.  If using a Wilton pan I would suggest making 8 instead of 6 donuts.

Now, don’t ever say I didn’t give you anything for Valentines Day!

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And here is where you’ll find the recipe…

https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/baked-chocolate-donuts/

 

 

Poor Man’s Panzerotti

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I’m not sure if an authentic recipe for Poor Man’s Panzerotti exists, if it does I have yet to come across it.

Panzerotti were not every day fare at our house when we were kids and you could be sure it was a special occasion whenever my mother made them for us.

The tradition continued when I had children of my own and enjoyed panzerotti at our table as well.  Accompanied by a crisp green salad or nutritious vegetable this meal covered the basic food groups in a very delicious way.

As special as panzerotti are it was the scraps of leftover dough tossed in the frying pan at the end that were the coveted morsels. The size and shapes of these leftover pieces were random, just whatever was left after the panzerotti were cut out.  These were the last to go into the frying pan but disappeared well before the panzerotti ever did.

I’m not sure when it actually occurred to use the whole batch of dough to make what became known in our home as Poor Man’s Panzerotti.  Being named such was due to the fact that although the same dough for Panzerotti is used there’s no filling.

My fondest memory of these is whipping up a batch of dough before we went to church on Sunday nights and coming home to a fluffy, soft dough ready for frying.  By the time the kids went upstairs to change out of their Sunday best the oil was hot enough to drop in the pieces of dough.

End of a long day, everyone at the table, a large platter of Poor Man”s Panzerotti in the center and absolutely nothing poor about it!

Dough

1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt

  1. Dissolve sugar in warm water and let stand about 10 minutes or until yeast foams.
  2. Place 2 cups of the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture oil and salt.
  3. Beat with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth and elastic.
  4. Stir in remaining flour gradually adding enough flour to make a stiff dough.
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 7 minutes or until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
  6. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  7. Cut the dough in half and using one portion at a time roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. With knife or pastry cutter cut into strips or different shapes.  Place on clean towel lined pan.
  9. Fry in medium hot vegetable or corn oil just until golden flipping over to brown other side.  Do not overcook, fry just until golden.
  10. Remove from frying pan and drain on paper towel.  Lightly salt.
  11. Repeat with second piece of dough.

 

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Dissolve sugar in warm water and let stand about 10 minutes or until yeast foams.

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Place 2 cups of the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture oil and salt.

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Beat with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth and elastic.

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Stir in remaining flour gradually adding enough flour…

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…to make a stiff dough.

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Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 7 minutes or  until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

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Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until…

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…nearly doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

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Cut the dough in half and using one portion at a time…

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…roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. With knife or pastry cutter cut into strips or different shapes.

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Place on clean towel lined pan.

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Fry in medium hot vegetable or corn oil just until golden flipping over to brown other side.  Do not overcook, fry just until golden.

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Remove from frying pan and drain on paper towel.  Lightly salt..

Notes Tips and Suggestions

  • These are delicious just plain but great served with a cheddar cheese or marinara dipping sauce.
  • For something on the sweet side roll while still warm in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Clementine Buttermilk Scones

 

this scone

The little crate of Clementine I purchased this week were especially delicious.  Sweet, fragrant and juicy, everything a clementine should be.

I make it a point to try a new recipe with seasonal produce as it appears throughout the year but today these clementine reminded me how quickly the season was winding down and the opportunity of trying a new recipe was escaping me.

I wasn’t looking for a complicated recipe nor one with too much sugar, instead something simple was on my mind as long as the fragrance and flavour of clementine came through in an unforgettable way.

It’s interesting to know how versatile Clementine can be.  From cakes to breads, cookies, muffins and more but this time all the clementine goodness ended up in a delicious, flaky scone.

Simple ingredients, minimal sugar, uncomplicated recipe and the perfect vehicle in which to capture that special essence of Clementine,  just what I was looking for.

Lightly glazed, flaky, zest speckled and bursting with Clementine flavour.  One more scone recipe for my collection.

Clementine Buttermilk Scones

1/2 cup cold butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Clementine juice (it’s easier to zest Clementine before juicing it.)

1 tablespoon Clementine zest

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Glaze

1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Clementine juice

2 to 3 teaspoons Clementine zest

Additional Clementine zest to sprinkle on top (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together flour ,sugar, salt and baking powder, add Clementine zest.
  3. Cube then cut the butter into the dry ingredients with pastry blender or grate butter instead and add to the dry ingredients. (Freezing the butter first before grating works best.)
  4. Blend together buttermilk. egg and tablespoon of Clementine juice.
  5. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and with a fork stir just until mixture starts coming together.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and with hands press mixture down until it sticks together then fold dough over itself several times until all the dry bits are mixed in.  (This process ensures a flakier scone. Kneading compacts and toughens the dough.)
  7. Shape into an 8 or 9 inch round and cut into 8 wedges. Brush tops with milk or cream.
  8. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Mix together glaze ingredients and brush over warm scones.
  10. Sprinkle tops with additional zest if desired. (Before glaze hardens.)

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  •   The minimal amount of 3 tablespoons of sugar in the recipe gives room for a little extra sweetness.  I found the glaze amount to be excessive unless you pour a very thick layer over the scones.  A light brushing of glaze tops them perfectly. (1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar and enough juice to make a smooth glaze should be enough.)
  • With only 1 tablespoon of juice in the recipe it’s important to add the full amount of zest called for since this is is where all the flavour will come from.
  • Sprinkling additional zest on top of the scones is optional but adds a little more flavour.
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Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

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Zest and juice 3 to 4  Clementine.

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Add zest to dry ingredients.

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Blend together buttermilk, egg and 1 tablespoon Clementine juice.

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Grate butter and mix into dry ingredients.  (Or cube butter and cut into dry ingredients with pastry blender.)

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Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a fork until dough starts coming together.

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Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and with hands press mixture down until it sticks together then fold dough over itself several times until all the dry bits are mixed in.

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Shape into an 8 or 9 inch round and brush top with milk or cream.

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Cut into 8 wedges.

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Place on prepared baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Mix together glaze ingredients until smooth.

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Brush on tops of warm scones.  Sprinkle additional Clementine zest if desired.

 

More Clementine recipes…

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.ca/search?q=clementine+chiffon+cake

 

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.ca/search?q=clementine+muffins

Cinnamon Quick Bread

 

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Good Muffin, Scone and Quick Bread recipes should be in everyone’s repertoire of baked goods.

These recipes are like good friends, easy to reach, totally dependable and truly enjoyable.

The number of times I’ve reached for a recipe in one of these three categories is  countless. Easy to put together and most times made with staple pantry and fridge ingredients but not limited to additions or modifications of ingredients as well as method of preparation.  After all, good friends are flexible!

It’s interesting though that when you think you’ve found the best recipe ever another one piques your curiosity and you are compelled to try it.

That is exactly why I’m posting this recipe for Cinnamon Quick Bread.  Although the recipe I’ve used for many years is very, very good this one is very, very, very good!

It’s like making a new friend…exciting!

Cinnamon Quick Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1/2 cup corn or vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted  (measure then melt)

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon powder

3/4 cups packed brown sugar

  1. Grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan and line bottom of pan with parchment paper for easier removal of loaf.  Set aside.
  2. Mix together cinnamon sugar ingredients until well mixed, set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda.
  4. In a separate bowl beat together eggs, oil, sour cream and vanilla.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients mixing until just combined and well mixed.
  6. Spoon about 1/4  of the batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth top then dollop half of the cinnamon mixture over surface.
  7. Top with half of the remaining batter and dollop remaining cinnamon mixture.
  8. Top with remaining batter then drag a butter knife lengthwise and crosswise to make the swirls inside the loaf.
  9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes then tent with foil if top getting too dark and bake an additional 20 minutes until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan and place on rack to cool completely.
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In a small bowl mix together melted butter, cinnamon and brown sugar for the filling and set aside.

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Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda.

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Combine eggs, oil,  sour cream, and vanilla.

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Beat together until smooth.

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Stir in dry ingredients until well mixed.

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Place 1/4 of the batter in a greased loaf pan in which the bottom has been lined with a piece of parchment paper.  Place dollops of cinnamon filling over top.  Add 1/2 of the remaining batter adding more dollops of filling over the surface.

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Add remaining batter then drag a butter knife lengthwise and crosswise through the batter to swirl the filling.

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Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes then tent top of loaf with foil paper if top is getting too dark  and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Allow to rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan placing it on wire rack to cool completely.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  •  Full fat unsweetened plain yogurt can be substituted for sour cream.
  • As always an 11 1/2 x 4 inch loaf pan is my favourite size giving a more slender, longer loaf which seems to bake more evenly.  (Usually in an 8 x 4 inch pan the ends tend to bake faster than the center making them drier than the center of the loaf.)
  • The cinnamon filling in this recipe is delicious, the addition of melted butter to the cinnamon and brown sugar adds moisture to the loaf and surprisingly is not too sweet.
  • When a recipe instructs to stir in in the dry ingredients, after stirring I like to use a hand beater for about 30 seconds to make sure it is completely mixed and no pockets of flour are left.

 

 

The Sparkles of Life

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Through the front door she rushed, winter coat, hat and two rosy cheeks at the ends of a huge, happy smile.  So anxious today to rid herself of the warm, bulky coat which was hiding all her excitement!  One by one popping open the clasps of her coat she revealed the reason for her joy!

A pink tutu bursting with a million sparkles emerged from beneath that coat as she tossed it to the floor and ran joyfully down the hall.  All dressed up for her first school winter concert and she was going to be the star of the show this time, not her big sissy!

After she went home later that day I noticed all the sparkles showered by the pink tutu so straight for the vacuum I went hoping to capture all those sparkly flecks.  Quite satisfied with my clean up efforts I put the vacuum cleaner away not giving it another thought.

In the dim light of the following morning I made my way to the kitchen as a pathway of sparkles lit my path.  They were everywhere, bedroom, washroom, kitchen, hallway and anywhere else a happy little two year old could venture in a few hours.

This time the sparkles looked different to me.  Not as something to be swept up, instead something to remember the sweet happiness and joy of that day.

It’s been over a week since but traces of sparkles still linger throughout the house.

I wish they would last forever!

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year and lots and lots of Sparkles!

Fig and Toasted Walnut Biscotti

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Fig and Toasted Walnut was the last recipe of ten on my holiday biscotti baking list.  It’s one of three new biscotti recipes I’ve added to my collection this year.

Don’t know why I left making these until last and even hesitated in making them right up to the very end.  It could be because of a few questions about the recipe itself but as usual a couple of minor changes and I was ready to give it a try.

After successfully baking nine double batches of flavourful biscotti and a kitchen ready for major cleanup I hoped for one last double batch good enough to complete my baking.

All done!  And a perfect finale.  Fragrant with warm spices, toasted walnuts and sweet sun-dried figs in a crisp, crunchy biscotti…absolutely delicious.

Sweet success!

Fig and Toasted Walnut Biscotti

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup dried figs finely chopped (stem removed before chopping)

3/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

  1. Remove stem from figs and chop them into a 1/4 inch dice. Dust with flour to prevent figs from sticking together then shake off as much flour as possible
  2. Coarsely chop walnuts.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  6. Add orange zest and vanilla until blended in.
  7. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  8. Stir in figs and walnuts.
  9. Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 40 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  11. Roll each piece of dough into a 2 inch diameter roll.  (Make 2 to 3 rolls depending on size of baking sheet.)
  12. Bake until lightly golden 25 to 30 minutes.
  13. Take logs out of the oven and when cool enough to handle cut logs on the bias into ½ to ¾ inch slices.
  14. Place slices on their side and bake for 6 minutes.
  15. Turn slices over and bake an additional 6 minutes
  16. Cool biscotti on rack.
  17. Makes approximately 28 biscotti.
f1

Remove stems  from figs and cut into a 1/4 inch dice.  Lightly dust with flour to prevent pieces from sticking together.   Shake off excess flour.

f2

Toast and coarsely chop walnuts.

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Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda salt, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.

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Beat butter until creamy, add granulated sugar and brown sugar blending until smooth.

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Add eggs one at a time until well mixed.

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Add grated orange zest and vanilla.

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Beat in flour mixture just until mixed in.

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Stir in walnuts and figs.

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Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

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Cut dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 40 minutes.

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Unwrap dough and roll into 2 inch diameter rolls.

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Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly golden.

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When cool enough to handle slice diagonally into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.  Turn cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes then flip over and continue baking for an additional 6 minutes.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Although the recipe didn’t instruct,  I found it necessary to dust the fig pieces with a little flour.  This kept the pieces from sticking together making big clumps of figs in the dough. Make sure to shake off excess flour.
  • This is the first biscotti recipe I’ve made requiring the dough to be refrigerated before rolling.  Even though the dough was not sticky and would have rolled out well I followed the recipe and refrigerated it as instructed with good results.  I wasn’t going to take any chances with my last batch of biscotti!
  • Fancy nutcracker?  One of the best wedding favors ever!

 

Cappuccino Biscotti

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This will once again be the year of bountiful biscotti baking.

Although the shortbread collection of cookies made for holiday giving last year were very well received, memories of biscotti are still on the minds of those who received them two years ago.

Most biscotti need no embellishment and stand up very well on their own, but off course dressing them up a little if desired makes them extra special.

Along with the all-time favourites, a few new and interesting biscotti recipes have been added to my collection this year.

Unsuccessful at finding a good cappuccino biscotti recipe, the combination of two different recipes worked well in producing the visual effect I was looking for.  Vanilla biscotti dough layered on top of espresso flavoured dough gave the ever-popular look of cappuccino.

A little creativity goes a long way when baking biscotti, a basic recipe becomes a blank canvas with possibilities reaching as far as the imagination.

Earl Grey and Walnut Fig Biscotti… two more products of someone’s imagination and best of all the recipes shared for all to enjoy!  Can’t wait to try them.

Cappuccino Biscotti

Not to make this a super lengthy post I have provided the recipes for both the Vanilla and Espresso Biscotti but not the method or pictures.  Biscotti recipes are generally easy to follow including the recipes used on this post.  If needed, search “biscotti” on this blog for basic method of preparation on other biscotti posts.  Directions on how to put together the Vanilla and Espresso dough for Cappuccino Biscotti begin at the point of both dough flavours already made.

Vanilla Biscotti

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl beat butter until creamy, blend in sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
  5. With mixer on low speed add flour until well mixed.
  6. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces.

Espresso Biscotti

4 tablespoons instant espresso

3 tablespoons hot water

2 3/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

  1. Dissolve espresso flour in hot water, set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt into a bowl.
  3. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Add espresso mixture blend in until well mixed.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time and beat until it becomes too thick for beater then stir in remaining flour with spatula.
  7. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces.

Assembly

  1. Roll Espresso dough into a roll on a lightly floured surface until about 18 inches long.  *see note below.
  2. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Roll the 4 pieces of vanilla dough to the same length.
  4. With a pastry brush dipped in water brush tops of Espresso rolls until moist.  (This is to make it easier for the vanilla dough to adhere to the Espresso dough.)
  5. Place vanilla logs on top of the Espresso logs and pat down gently making sure they are sticking together.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for about 25 minutes and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes then cut into 3/4 inch slices (for longer biscotti cut on the diagonal)
  8. Turn biscotti cut side down on baking sheet and bake 6 to 7 minutes then turn biscotti over on other side and bake an additional 6 to 7 minutes until crisp and dry.
  9. Transfer biscotti onto rack to cool.
b1

Make Vanilla and Espresso biscotti dough as per above recipes.

b2

Divide each flavour of dough into 4 equal pieces.

b3

Roll espresso dough as well as the Vanilla dough int rolls.  Place espresso rolls on baking sheet.

b4

Brush tops of Espresso rolls with water to moisten and place vanilla rolls on to of espresso rolls patting down gently making sure they are sticking together.

b5

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for about 25 minutes until tooth pick inserted in center of roll comes out clean.  Cut into about 3/4 inch slices.

b6

Place biscotti on their sides and bake for about 6 to 7 minutes then turn over and bake for an additional 6 to 7 minutes until crisp and dry.  Transfer to cooling rack.

DSC03241

Notes,Tips and Suggestions

  • I use a large baking sheet when making biscotti and am able to make the rolls very long.  If using a standard size cookie sheet make the rolls to fit your sheet and of course you will have to make more rolls.
  • Original recipe instructed to add 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder to 3 tablespoons hot coffee.  After a trial run I didn’t think the coffee flavour came through strong enough.
  • In my next batch I omitted the coffee which I think really doesn’t give much flavour and added 4 tablespoons espresso powder to 3 tablespoons hot water giving a more intense coffee flavour.
  • If you don’t have instant espresso powder regular instant coffee will work as well.
  • You don’t want Cappuccino?  Then just make Espresso Biscotti instead.

 

Bacon and Cheddar Scones

sconesa

I have officially entered into the wonderful world of savoury scones!

Although there are several savoury scone recipes in my forever growing collection this is the one I chose to make first.

When it came to cutting the prepared dough I hesitated.  Somehow, I didn’t think the classic triangle was going to be the appropriate shape for these.

I also decided against cutting scones into rounds since re-rolling the scraps never produces scones as light and flaky as those from the first rolling.

Squaring off the dough I had originally rolled out into a round, I decided to cut it into six long strips, the perfect shape for serving with a steaming bowl of soup or crisp tossed salad.

Why did I wait so long to try these!

Although a savoury scone, these tasty, cheesy, bacon studded scones would certainly be welcomed at any breakfast or brunch table as well!

Bacon and Cheddar Scones

about 6 strips low sodium bacon

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup grated old cheddar

2/3 cup buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop bacon and cook over medium heat until crisp.
  3. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside to cool.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
  5. With a pastry blender cut in butter or grate butter and add into flour mixture.
  6. Stir in bacon and cheddar.
  7. Add buttermilk and stir in with a fork.
  8. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together by pressing down with palm of hand then folding dough over itself until well mixed and flour is fully incorporated.
  9. Pat or roll into a round and cut into 8 wedges or form into a square and cut into 6 equal strips.
  10. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and brush tops with milk or cream,
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
bac1

Chop about 6 strips low sodium bacon.

bac3

Cook until crisp, drain off fat and place bacon on a paper towel to cool, set aside.

bac2

Grate enough cheddar to measure 1/2 cup.

bac4

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

bac6

Cut butter into flour mixture or coarsely grate butter, mix thoroughly into flour.

bac7

Stir in cheddar and bacon.

bac8

Add buttermilk stirring in with a fork until dough starts coming together.

bac9

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface then with palm of hand press mixture down then keep folding dough over itself until it comes together and flour is totally incorporated.

bac10

Pat or roll into about an 8 inch square and cut into six equal strips or form into a circle and cut into 8 wedges.

bac11

Place on parchment lined baking sheet, brush tops with milk or cream.

bac12

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and baked through.

sconesa

Enjoy!

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • If grating butter, place in freezer for a while for easier grating.