Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mocha Ice Cream

Summer is here in full swing, and to help you beat the heat, I suggest whipping up this delicious frozen treat.

(The sun peaking through the clouds en route to the Florida Theater.)

Mocha Ice Cream

Inspired by Tasty Kitchen
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup strong coffee (or 1/4 cup milk + 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Pour through a strainer. Freeze in ice cream maker. (This recipe can easily be doubled if your ice cream maker holds more). Enjoy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Cake

During the peak of blueberry season, the refrigerator somehow becomes overrun with packages of the fresh berries. While they are delicious plain and by themselves, they also make for some yummy desserts. Like this crumb cake.

Though especially yummy fresh out of the oven, this can be enjoyed for breakfast even if you made it the night before.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Serves 16

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 10 oz Soft White wheat flour)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

For the topping:
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix and set aside.

Cream 1/4 cup butter, sugar and cinnamon. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Add flour alternately with milk until combined. Do not overmix. Stir in blueberries until evenly dispersed.

Grease 8x8 baking dish (or 13x9 for thinner cake). Spread batter in dish.

Combine topping ingredients in a separate bowl. Cut together using pastry cutter or two knives. Sprinkle mixture over cake.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Optional: Sprinkle cake with some sugar a few minutes before its done baking.

Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Orange-Cinnamon Honey Sticky Buns

If you are not already wanting to make these just from hearing the name, I can assure you that these are absolutely DELICIOUS! I'm talking go back for seconds delicious, (or thirds, if you're like me and go back for seconds for most desserts, ha ha!)

I wouldn't call these quick to make, but they are worth the time they take. Yummers!

Before rising...

After rising...

Golden brown and beautiful...

Orange-Cinnamon Honey Sticky Buns

Adapted from 17 and Baking
Makes 12 sticky buns

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup warm water (105ºF to 115ºF)
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar, divided (or honey sucanat)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 egg yolk
2 heaping tablespoons freshly grated orange zest (about 1 medium orange)
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature
4 1/4 cups flour, divided (or 20 oz Soft White wheat flour)

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (about 1/2 medium orange)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoons salt

To make the dough: Lightly butter a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer bowl combine water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and let stand about 5 minutes, or until foamy.

Add remaining sugar, salt, butter, egg, egg yolk, orange zest, milk, and 3 cups of the flour. On low speed, mix until combined. Switch to dough hook, and slowly add reaming flour, with mixer on low, 1/4 cup at a time. Once all the flour is in, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, but not too sticky. If the dough is too wet, add 1-2 tablespoons more flour. Continue mixing for 3-4 minutes. Turn off mixer and shape dough into a ball.

Put dough in greased bowl, and turn so that it gets lightly covered in butter. Cover with plastic wrap so that it will not be exposed to much air. Allow to rise in a warm place until double (about 2 hours). After it has doubled, punch down, and turn out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 18 by 9 in. rectangle, using a floured rolling pin.

To make the filling: Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon until mixed. Brush dough with melted butter, and sprinkle brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over surface. Roll up the dough from one long end, so it forms a log. Place log seam side down, and slice into 12 equal pieces.

To make the glaze: In a small saucepan combine all glaze ingredients. Heat, stirring, until just melted. Pour glaze into a 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Arrange sticky buns in pan on top of glaze, spaced so they will have room to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Or allow to rise one additional hour at room temperature.)

The next morning, preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. (I baked mine for closer to 45 minutes). Allow buns to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto a large baking sheet. Cool an additional 10 minutes before serving. (I ate them right away, and didn't turn them out, just used a spatula to pull out the buns, and spooned the glaze over the top... Yum!)


Friday, July 16, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Rich, dense, and delicious, I don't think you'll mind that there is no flour in this fudge cake.

I think I preferred this cake strait from the refrigerator, rather than room temperature, but it is yummy both ways.

The recipe calls for dark chocolate, but I actually used semi-sweet chocolate because it was what I had on hand. I'm sure it would be scrumptious with the dark chocolate though, so feel free to use whichever strikes your fancy. Either way, it is extremely chocolaty...yummm!

Ottolenghi's Chocolate Fudge Cake

Adapted from Ottolenghi's Cookbook via Not So Humble Pie
Serves 8-10

240g (I used 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
265g dark chocolate (52% cocoa), chopped (can use semi-sweet)
95g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped (can use semi-sweet)
290g (about 1 1/2 cups) light muscovado sugar (can use light brown sugar or honey sucanat)
4 tablespoons water
5 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Butter an 8" (or 9") springform pan. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper.

Combine chopped chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour boiling syrup over the butter and chocolates. Stir until melted. Add egg yolks one at a time to chocolate mixture. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and salt to a firm (but not dry) meringue.

Using a rubber spatula, fold a third of meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture. Once combined, fold in another third of the meringue, and then fold in the remaining meringue, until just combined.

Pour two-thirds of the batter into pan (about 800g) reserving the rest for later. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, flatten the cake with an offset spatula, spoon, or hands. (Don't worry about breaking the surface crust). Pour remaining cake batter on top and spread level on surface. Return cake to the oven, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. When tested, the toothpick should have moist crumbs clinging to it.

Allow to cool completely before attempting to unmold the cake from the springform pan. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. (I stored the cake in the refrigerator, but this is optional).


Monday, July 12, 2010

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

"How can something be so yummy that was so easy to make?" That is the question I ask myself as I go to grab yet another one of these delicious cookies.

Quick, easy, and oh so scrumptious.

If you prefer to use raisins rather than their cranberry cousins, feel free!

And now for the recipe:

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

Adapted from
Makes about 3 dozen large cookies

Whisk together and set aside:

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 10 oz. Soft White wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream wet ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (or honey sucanat)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir in:

3 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
2 cups craisins (or raisins)

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low (or stand mixer). Increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.

Stir flour mixture into the creamed mixture until just combined (do not overmix).

Add oats and craisins; stir to incorporate. Drop 2 tablespoon sized dough balls onto greased cookie sheet several inches apart. (They work fine as 1 tablespoon sized cookies too, just reduce bake time slightly). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown, but still moist beneath cracks on top of cookies.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rainier Cherry Pie

After opening the refrigerator and noticing that there was an abundance of Rainier cherries, I felt compelled to make (at least some of them) into a pie. And so that is exactly what I did.

This was actually the first cherry pie I had ever made, though not the first I've eaten : )

Rainier Cherry Pie

Adapted from this recipe
Serves 8-10

1 butter pie crust (recipe follows)
5 cups fresh Rainier cherries, pitted and chopped in half
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Crumb topping (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Roll out crust on lightly floured surface and place in 9" pie dish. Freeze for 15 minutes.

In a bowl combine cherries, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix and set aside to juice for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Stir into cherry mixture. Pour cherries into pie crust. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over cherries.

Bake 30 mintues. Then reduce oven temperature to 375ºF and turn pie 180º. Bake for an additional 35-40 mintues, or until golden brown. Allow pie to cool for several hours before serving.

*Butter Pie Crust*

Adapted from

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2-4 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter cubes using a pastry cutter, or two knives. Add water until dough forms. Flatten into disk shape and fully cover with plastic wrap. Chill until firm.

*Crumb Topping*

1 cup all-purpose flour (or 5 oz Soft White wheat flour)
3/4 cups brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients. Stir until mixed. Add melted butter. Stir until mixture is crumbly. Set aside until ready to use.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy your pie!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

If you are in the mood for something warm, buttery, and cinnamon-flecked, with a gooey yet crunchy topping, have I got a recipe for you.

Easy to make, and well worth the time investment, this coffeecake is a delicious way to start the day...or end the day : )

So, without further ado - the recipe:

Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 16

Cake ingredients:

1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
2 cups sugar (or honey sucanat)
3 cups flour, sifted (or 15 oz. Soft White wheat flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup whole milk
3 egg whites, beaten until stiff

Topping ingredients:

1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened (or melted)
3/4 cup flour (or 3 oz. Soft White wheat flour)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold beaten egg whites into mixture using a rubber spatula. Spread into a greased 9 X 13 baking dish (preferably one with high sides).

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. If using softened butter, cut it in with a pastry cutter. If using melted butter, stir it in until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over cake.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it no longer jiggles. Serve warm, and enjoy!