whole wheat pear cinnamon dutch baby.

Great for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert, you need a Dutch Baby in your life. Especially one topped with warm cinnamon pears!

IMG_5003

A dutch baby is essentially a slightly fluffy pancake that puffs up in the oven while it bakes with crisp, dark edges. The key to achieving the ‘pouf’ in the oven is room temperature eggs and milk, so set them out about 30 minutes before you plan to cook.

IMG_5002

The batter comes together quickly with just a bowl and a whisk, and you can make it while the pears are sizzling away in the skillet. I used pears because I had some in my fridge and I love their slight sweetness, enhanced by the cinnamon and vanilla, but go ahead and use apples if you prefer.

I topped the fruit with some powdered sugar, but that’s completely optional. Dutch babies are great for entertaining, especially for brunch because they actually require less effort than regular pancakes! Who doesn’t love that??

IMG_5011

pear dutch baby.
adapted from cooking light.

ingredients
2 tablespoons grassfed butter
2 medium pears, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk/non-dairy milk (room temperature)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

directions
Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and lightly sizzling, add the sliced pears, cinnamon and teaspoon of sugar and stir together, cooking together for 3-4 minutes or until lightly softened and fragrant. Remove to a plate and set aside.

While the pears are cooking, mix together the milk, eggs, vanilla, remaining sugar and flour and whisk well to combine. In the same skillet you cooked the pears in, add the batter and place immediately in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove skillet from oven, top with pear mixture, cut into four pieces and serve immediately.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

Advertisements

meyer lemon poppyseed loaf.

I’ve been ALL about meyer lemons this winter. Normally quite expensive, I’ve been finding bags of them for $2 at Trader Joe’s. So affordable, that they’ve currently replaced regular lemons in my morning warm water and lemon juice routine! I’m sure that’ll stop once they fall back out of season, but I’ve been relishing their sweet, bright, charming flavor as much as I can. One way I’ve done that is use them in this spin on lemon poppyseed bread.

img_3286

If you’ve never had meyer lemons, well, you’re in for a real treat! They are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin, and have a lovely, bright yet sweet lemon flavor. If you cannot find them, you can certainly just use regular lemons, and maybe swap up some of the lemon zest and juice for orange. That would be divine!

IMG_3289

As with most quick breads, this is definitely better the next day. To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Enjoy a slice with your coffee or tea!

IMG_3287

meyer lemon poppyseed loaf.
slightly adapted from NY Times Cooking. 

ingredients
1 cup coconut palm sugar
3 tablespoons zest; two-three meyer lemons
1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub in 2% yogurt)
3 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon poppyseed
2/3 cup grapeseed oil

directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into the batter, then whisk in oil and poppy seeds.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 45-1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. If top begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool in pan until warm to the touch, then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up, and let cool completely before slicing.

Best when served 1-2 days after making.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

chocolate almond yogurt loaf cake.

I was in the rare mood to bake recently, and since I’m trying to eat healthy, I decided to make this as a gift. You see, my aunt recently passed away unexpectedly, so I thought I would make something to take over to my grandparents. Food is such a comfort to many of us, and since I know my grandparents (my grandmother in particular) are dessert people, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Hello, chocolate almond cake.

image

Although it is 2016, I STILL bake with all manual tools; i.e., no fancy mixer for this girl! Give me a bowl, a spatula, and my arms, and I’m good to go! A mixer would probably make my life easier, but because I don’t do a whole lot of baking, I just can’t justify. Yet.

image

If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while or have perused the (admittedly skimpy) desserts sections, you’ll know how much I love a pound-inspired cake. I say pound-inspired because I rarely if ever cook a true pound cake. That would be a super special indulgence! This cake is rich and have an unexpected flavor boost from the addition of the almond extract. If you don’t like or can’t eat almonds, simply swap out for vanilla or a flavoring extract of your choice! Peppermint, raspberry… let your imagine run wild! You could even add in nuts to the batter of this cake if you wanted, I just decided to keep it simple this time. Serve with an espresso and a good book. Delectable!

chocolate almond yogurt loaf cake.
adapted from epicurious.com. 

image

ingredients
1 3/4 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (white is also fine)
1 cup plain 2% greek style yogurt
1/3 cup brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup blanched, sliced almonds – optional

directions
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray, then dust with cocoa powder, shaking to remove excess.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk yogurt with coffee and almond extract in another bowl and set aside. Beat butter with sugar in a large bowl using a whisk (or an electric mixer at medium speed) until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, whisking or beating after each addition. Add half of flour mixture. Add yogurt mixture, then remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Batter will be very thick.

Transfer batter to pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Makes one loaf. Serves 6.

**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible** 

carrot pound cake with olive oil + cider.

I’ve said it before, but I’m not one for desserts. I like a good sweet bread, maybe a slice of pie here and there, but that’s pretty much it. You’ll rarely if ever see me joining in on the office birthday cake or ice cream. Just not my thing. However, I love pound cake. It’s like this delicious cross between bread and a cake, and can be made with just about anything. They are also pretty hard to screw up, if you use the classic ratio of 1:1:1 (eggs, flour, butter). As tempting as that classic recipe is, I still want to fit into my clothes, so lucky for me there are tons of recipes out there that lighten up the pound cake. This particular recipe turns carrot cake on its head and make it a pound/loaf cake. Carrot cake reminds me of my mom; there is bakery here in town, Cheesy Eddie’s that makes the most fantastically decadent carrot cake EVER. She used to buy me a small, personal sized one for holidays – a little heart shaped cake for my birthday or for Valentine’s Day. That cake is so moist, perfectly spiced, not too sweet, and that tangy cream cheese frosting… I am salivating just thinking about it! Of course I can go there whenever I’d like, but my waistline and purse would hate me for it.

image

Enter this alternative. This recipe enticed me because it’s devoid of the ‘extras’ that many people put in their carrot cakes: raisins, walnuts, pineapple (in carrot cake?? shudder.) and the like. I like carrots and spices, thank you very much. I was also intrigued because this cake replaces the butter or neutral cooking oil with olive oil and uses only brown sugar. Of course, I have so much apple cider in my house (I really went wild with the fall/apple activities this year!) that any recipe with ‘cider’ is going to capture my attention.

This recipe is courtesy of Deb over at Smitten Kitchen. Her recipe archives are ridiculous, both in their thoroughness and their organization. She had a link to it one of her recent recipes, and it sounded so good, I just knew I had to make it. Thankfully, I was NOT disappointed. It is chock full of carrots and the combination of cider, cinnamon and olive oil provide a slightly sweet and moist cake. I upped the amount of cinnamon the second time I made it and the change is reflected in the recipe below. This is definitely a dessert that is best enjoyed the day after baking; it allows the flavors time to meld and intensify. I like it plain, but toasted with butter and honey? FORGET ABOUT IT.

image

carrot pound cake with olive oil + cider.
barely adapted from smitten kitchen. 

image

ingredients

2 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup cloudy apple cider
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray or olive oil. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together until well blended.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with olive oil, cider, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in grated carrots. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing together until just combined and no flour bits remain.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Let rest in the pan for 20 minutes after baking. Remove from pan, and cool on a cooling rack until room temperature. Wrap in foil and keep in a plastic bag. Will keep for a few days, freezes well.

Serve plain or with honey and butter.

Notes: This bakes for about 60-70 minutes, so I like to make it on the lower rack in my oven to prevent too much browning on the top.