Grapefruit and olive oil poundcake

From the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

DSC_0604

January means all things citrus, so of course that includes putting it into bread. While orange or lemon quick breads are more prevalent, I really enjoy the twist to this bread, which utilizes one of my favorite January fruits – grapefruit. This bread is super moist – probably because after it comes out of the oven, you pour a grapefruit syrup on top and then follow that with a luscious glaze that drizzles down the sides. This makes a great brunch addition, a decadent afternoon snack, or a light and refreshing dessert. If you’re looking for something slightly sweet and hinting of citrus, this cake is for you.

Make the cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips.

DSC_0569

Whisk in the oil.

DSC_0575

Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

DSC_0579

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second bowl.

DSC_0573

In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and buttermilk/or yogurt.

DSC_0581

Add the flour and buttermilk/or yogurt mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

DSC_0585

DSC_0582

Spread the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped.

DSC_0589

Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

DSC_0593 2

Make the grapefruit syrup

Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

DSC_0590

When the cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert it onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick, then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup.

DSC_0597

Make the glaze

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, grapefruit juice, and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of cooled cake, and allow glaze to drizzle decoratively down the sides.

DSC_0600

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

Cake

Butter for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest (from 1-2 large grapefruits)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup raw or turbinado sugar (or granulated if you don’t have raw)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoons table salt

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

Syrup

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/3 cup grapefruit juice

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

pinch of table salt

Directions

Make the cake
Heat the over to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips. This will bruise it and help release as much grapefruit essence as possible. Whisk in the oil until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and buttermilk/or yogurt. Add the flour and buttermilk/or yogurt mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Spread the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Make the grapefruit syrup

Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

When the cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert it onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick, then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup.

Make the glaze

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, grapefruit juice, and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of cooled cake, and allow glaze to drizzle decoratively down the sides.

Advertisements

Cream biscuits

From Smells Like Home

DSC_0537 3.JPG

I’ve been making these biscuits consistently for the last two months. Please accept my apologies for waiting so long to share this recipe, and then go and make these biscuits. They turn into fluffy layered clouds in the oven, super soft and golden brown. Absolutely perfect with a dab of butter and your favorite jam. Or as a side for breakfast. Or layered with eggs and cheese (spinach and mushrooms, too?). Or as an accompaniment with soup.

And did I tell you the best part? They are so so so easy. Seriously, you can’t mess these up. These are the biscuits that you can make now and eat 30 minutes later. Plus, no yeast involved! I have tried those quick biscuit types and any yeasted bread or biscuit that claims you can make them from start to finish in an hour is doing your tastebuds a disservice. Yeasted things take time to develop flavor and I’m sorry to report that there are no short cuts. But luckily you don’t need a shortcut – you can just make these instead!

To make these biscuits even better, if that’s possible, is the fact that while you are making a mess (and be warned – these are messy to make!) you can double the recipe and freeze any uncooked biscuits for later. Just place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, flash freeze for 4-12 hours, and then toss them in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag. Then grab whatever you need from the freezer, bake for 15 minutes, and you’ll have fresh from scratch biscuits ready to be devoured. Right now, you are only thirty minutes away from easy, pillowy, layered, jam filled biscuits. Fantastic.

DSC_0551

Yield: 8 biscuits, or more if you use a smaller biscuit cutter

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions

Place oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of cream with a wooden spoon until a dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, leaving behind any flour left in the bottom of the bowl. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of cream to moisten any flour left in the bowl and add to the dough. Gather into a ball and knead for about 30 seconds or until smooth.

Using your hands, shape the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Using a 2 1/2-inch floured cutter, cut the biscuits into rounds and place on prepared baking sheet. Reshape the dough once to cut additional biscuits. If desired, the baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking. Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 15 minutes, making sure to rotate halfway through baking.

Cinnamon breakfast buns

From the Smitten Kitchen

DSC_0547

Nothing says Saturday (or Sunday, or Monday, or…) morning comfort like warm cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. Gooey frosting and a cold glass of milk are delightful additions to these soft and tender rolls. Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices, so these rolls are hard to resist (I don’t really try to, anyway!). The great thing is that you do all the work the day before (with your toddler assistant), and the next morning all that is left to do is pull hot breakfast buns from the oven and slather them with frosting. And then share them with anyone fortunate enough to be nearby. 

Myla helped me with the initial measuring and mixing, so I didn’t interrupt the process to take photos. She has become a great helper lately and I love that she wants to be involved when I bake. Here we go!

Make the dough: In the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.

DSC_0517

Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

DSC_0526

Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, which will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

DSC_0528

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set it aside.

Assemble the buns: Butter a heavy (glass or ceramic) 9×13-inch baking dish. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner.)

DSC_0531

Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

DSC_0538

Roll the dough into a tight, 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections; you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.

DSC_0544

The next morning, bake the buns: Take your buns out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F), approximately 30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. Make the icing by whisking the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.

DSC_0555

Yield: 12 breakfast buns

Ingredients*

Dough:
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus additional to grease pan
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon oil for bowl

Filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Icing:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Make the dough: In the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, which will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set it aside.

Assemble the buns: Butter a heavy (glass or ceramic) 9×13-inch baking dish. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner.) Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

Roll the dough into a tight, 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections; you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.

The next morning, bake the buns: Take your buns out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F), approximately 30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. Make the icing by whisking the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.

*Check Smitten Kitchen for a variation of these buns, remade as (amazlingly delicious) cranberry orange breakfast buns – you won’t be sorry

Pumpkin bread

From Alexandra’s Kitchen

DSC_0560

Nothing says Fall like the warmth of the oven cozying up the kitchen, perfuming the air with that magical scent of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin. This pumpkin bread is as delightful while baking as it is while eating. Really, I wish you could have been in my kitchen this morning to enjoy how wonderful this bread smelled. And it gets even better when you eat a slice, hot from the oven with a nice pat of butter. This bread is perfectly soft and tender, full of fall pumpkin flavor, and all the delightful spices that go with it – plus, it’s a snap to whip up! A definite winner and perfect welcome into the fall season.

DSC_0541

Here we go! Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter or non-stick spray.

Using a stand mixer or by hand, beat sugar and oil together until blended.

DSC_0506

Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.

DSC_0509

Add pumpkin purée and water and mix until blended.

DSC_0511

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice.

DSC_0504

Add to the mixer and mix only until just incorporated.

DSC_0513

Pour batter into prepared pans.

DSC_0517

Bake for about an hour (if using standard loaf pans) but start checking for doneness after 45 minutes — the loaves are done when center springs back when touched. Note: You can also use mini loaf pans. When using the small pans, the loaves should be done in 30-45 minutes.

DSC_0524

Yield: 2 standard sized loaves

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
15-16 oz. canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
3/4 cup water
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter or non-stick spray.

Using a stand mixer or by hand, beat sugar and oil together until blended. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Add pumpkin purée and water and mix until blended.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Add to the mixer and mix only until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for about an hour (if using standard loaf pans) but start checking for doneness after 45 minutes — the loaves are done when center springs back when touched. Note: You can also use mini loaf pans. When using the small pans, the loaves should be done in 30-45 minutes.

Whole wheat applesauce bread

From Kim’s Cravings

DSC_0568

Apples have been falling from our trees for weeks now. A chill is in the wind. This dip in temperature made me want (need?) to bake something. This summer has been busy and it has been nice to stay inside and bake, the heat from the oven being a welcome presence in the kitchen. I spent the previous week making and canning applesauce using apples picked fresh from our big, old trees. Apples large, small, yellow, red, tart, mild – we have them all. These trees haven’t been sprayed, pruned, or even disturbed for years and they produce like crazy. We picked so, so many (ahem…I still have a large bowl full on my counter), so I decided to make something good for the taste buds and good for the soul. In other words, bread. I decided to make bread. 

This bread is super moist and tastes like fall. Cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of allspice, and tons of fresh apple flavor. It uses a scant amount of sugar and only whole wheat flour, so it’s good for you, too. Fill your kitchen with the scent of autumn with this bread. Mmmmmmm…

Here we go! This is a quick bread, so no yeast!

Prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine grated apple, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp. honey and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

DSC_0541

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl…

DSC_0547

…and combine all wet ingredients and sugar in a medium bowl and beat together.

DSC_0544

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend on low. Don’t overmix.

DSC_0549

Fold in apples.

DSC_0551

Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

DSC_0554

Cool for about 20 mins before slicing.

DSC_0564

Ingredients

1 large (1 cup) apple, peeled, cored and grated

1 teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon

½ teaspoon lemon juice

¼ cup honey + 1 tablespoon

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (use homemade if you have it!)

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used white whole wheat flour)

½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of all spice

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions 

Prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine grated apple, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp. honey and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine all wet ingredients and sugar in a medium bowl and beat together.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend on low. Don’t overmix. Fold in apples.

Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Cool for about 20 mins before slicing.

James Beard’s shortcake

From The James Beard Foundation

“There can be no dessert better, only fancier” believes James Beard. I wholeheartedly agree.

DSC_0546

James Beard had an astounding influence on the food culture of America. He was one of the first foodies, led the way for American cuisine, appeared on the first food program on television in the 1940’s, and was a believer in local cuisine, among many many other things. And his recipe for strawberry shortcakes happens to be my very favorite.

As a lover of all things strawberry shortcake, I have made many shortcake recipes over the years. Most are dense, lacking in shape, and serve little purpose to enhance the dish. But not these. These shortcakes are cut out into beautiful rounds, slathered with butter, and coated in sugar that while in the oven, turns into a crackly, crunchy, sugary lid. Besides the sugar on top, these are not too sweet, which makes them the perfect accompaniment to summers naturally sweet, ripe strawberries (and a little homemade whipped cream, of course). They have butter mixed in, cold butter, as in flakey like a pie crust butter. And these are not dense at all, but richly layered. The secret? Using cold butter in the dough, and working quickly to make sure the butter doesn’t melt. The cold butter puffs and expands, creating flakey layers while in the oven. Yes, please.

DSC_0550

Here we go!

Sift together the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the baking powder into a bowl.

DSC_0500

Add 6 tablespoons of the chilled butter pieces and, using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mix until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs.

DSC_0507

DSC_0511

Add the sieved hard-boiled egg yolks and the cream; gently mix until it the dough just comes together.

DSC_0512

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and gently knead to make a smooth dough (about two or three turns).

DSC_0518 2

Pat down the dough to make a 1-inch-thick round. Using a lightly floured 2 1/2-inch-round cookie cutter, cut out 6 shortcakes.

DSC_0520

Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the reserved tablespoon of sugar. Place the shortcakes on a plate lined with waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

DSC_0525

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Transfer the chilled shortcakes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

DSC_0528

While the shortcakes cool, prepare the fruit filling and whipped cream: place the strawberries in a glass bowl and add the sugar. Gently stir and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Whip the cream and sugar together in a medium bowl until the cream just begins to thicken.

Using a fork or serrated knife, cut the shortcakes in half lengthwise. Place the bottom halves on 6 plates and generously spoon the macerated fruit and juices over them. Top with a heaping dollop of lightly whipped sweetened cream. Top with the top halves of the shortcakes.

DSC_0541
Yield: 6 shortcakes

Ingredients

Shortcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes

2 hard-boiled egg yolks, pushed through a small mesh sieve

3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Fruit Filling:

3 pints fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved or quartered, depending on size

2 tablespoons sugar

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

Directions

Sift together the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the baking powder into a bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of the chilled butter pieces and, using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mix until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Add the sieved hard-boiled egg yolks and the cream; gently mix until it the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and gently knead to make a smooth dough (about two or three turns). Pat down the dough to make a 1-inch-thick round. Using a lightly floured 2 1/2-inch-round cookie cutter, cut out 6 shortcakes. Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the reserved tablespoon of sugar. Place the shortcakes on a plate lined with waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Transfer the chilled shortcakes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While the shortcakes cool, prepare the fruit filling and whipped cream: place the strawberries in a glass bowl and add the sugar. Gently stir and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Whip the cream and sugar together in a medium bowl until the cream just begins to thicken.

Using a fork or serrated knife, cut the shortcakes in half lengthwise. Place the bottom halves on 6 plates and generously spoon the macerated fruit and juices over them. Top with a heaping dollop of lightly whipped sweetened cream. Top with the top halves of the shortcakes.

Mango coconut muffins (gluten free, dairy free)

Adapted from Snappy Gourmet 

DSC_0510

Besides being completely smitten with mangos, I am equally obsessed with coconut, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. These muffins are great for breakfast or as an easy snack, and they freeze well (so stock up!). There is very little sugar involved (just a bit of honey), which I increased from the original recipe. I also added an entire chopped mango to the dough, as they add a little more sweetness and the extra bits of melted mango swirled throughout the dough are heavenly. There is no yeast involved, so these come together fast. They seem to be disappearing from the cooling rack just as fast… anyone else have a bread loving toddler at home?

DSC_0505

Here we go! Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan(s) with nonstick spray, brush with melted butter or shortening, or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut, baking soda, and salt.

DSC_0475

Stir in coconut milk, egg yolks, honey, melted butter (or oil), lime juice, and mango until just combined.

DSC_0479

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until peaks form.

DSC_0484

Fold into muffin batter.

DSC_0492

DSC_0480

Spoon batter into muffin pan(s).

DSC_0495

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

DSC_0517

Yield: about 2 dozen mini muffins

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour

¼ cup unsweetened finely flaked coconut

½ teaspoon baking soda

⅛ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 eggs, whites & yolks separated

4 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter*

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 finely chopped fresh mango

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan(s) with nonstick spray, brush with melted butter or shortening, or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut, baking soda, and salt. Stir in coconut milk, egg yolks, honey, melted butter (or oil), lime juice, and mango until just combined. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until peaks form. Fold into muffin batter. Spoon batter into muffin pan(s). Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

*Note: you can make these dairy free by using your favorite oil instead of butter.