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Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

Just Five: Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

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There is a distinct lack of crust-less sandwiches, petit fours and sugar lumps in the world today. Channel your inner Dowager Countess and invite someone over for a spot of tea and these aromatic cookies. Culinary-grade dried lavender flowers are available at Penzeys Spices in Maplewood and its new location in Chesterfield. When you crush them with sugar and citrus, the smell transports you to tea party in a field of flowers under a blue sky.

 
Lavender Shortbread Cookies
24 cookies

½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dried lavender*
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the sugar, lavender and lemon zest 8 to 10 times until the mixture is well blended. Set aside 1 tablespoon lavender sugar for sprinkling.
• In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the all but the reserved lavender sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until just incorporated.
• On medium speed, beat the flour in 1 large spoonful at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the flour is just incorporated. The dough will be a bit dry. Form the dough into 2 2-inch-thick discs, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
• Preheat the oven to 325. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
• Roll out a disc ½-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut the cookies out with a glass or cookie cutter and place them onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle the cookies with the reserved lavender sugar.
• Bake 10 to 14 minutes, until the edges are light brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Cookies will keep covered up to 1 week.

*Available at Penzeys Spices in Maplewood and Chesterfield

 

 

Baked: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

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This was my first time baking whoopie pies, but it definitely won’t be my last. I opted for a simple chocolate dough to create a pillowy, cake-like cookie that paired perfectly with peanut butter-cream cheese frosting. A note on the batter: It should be a bit stiff and not spread too much when piped. If it’s too runny, add another tablespoon or two of flour.

This cookie sandwich is pure heaven for chocolate and peanut butter enthusiasts. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
12 servings

3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup plain full-fat yogurt
1/3 cup walnut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
Sprinkles
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2¾ cups powdered sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. milk or cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, yogurt, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until just combined. Do not over-mix.
• Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and pipe 12 circles, leaving 1½-inches between each round. Repeat with the other baking sheet. Dust some of all of the tops with sprinkles, if desired.
• Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter, milk and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract on medium-high speed until fluffy and spreadable.
• Spread a layer of frosting on 12 cookies and sandwich together with the remaining 12 cookies to make whoopie pies.
• Pour a layer of sprinkles in shallow dish. Roll the edges of the whoopie pies in the sprinkles so they adhere to the frosting. Whoopie pies will keep, refrigerated or frozen, up to 1 week in an airtight container.

 

 

Baked: Summer Berry Cake

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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This irresistible berry cake is the epitome of summer desserts. I intended to write a blog post about it a few years ago, but it was devoured at a Fourth of July party before I could get a photo. When I found some wonderfully fresh berries at the farmers market last weekend, I was inspired to make it again.

The berry-studded cake can be served without frosting as a simple snack for an everyday treat. It works for any occasion, using in whatever fresh (or even frozen) fruit is available. For special occasions, I stack three of these beautiful cakes and seal them together with a smooth, brown sugar-cream cheese frosting. The cake is best eaten within a couple of days, but that’s never been a problem for us. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Summer Berry Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup blueberries, plus more for garnish
Brown Sugar Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans and line each with parchment paper.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub the lemon zest and the sugar together to release the oils. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well until incorporated.
• Reduce the speed to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, then ½ cup buttermilk. Repeat until all the ingredients are just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans and smooth the tops. Scatter the strawberries evenly atop the first cake, the raspberries evenly atop the second cake, and the blueberries evenly atop the third cake.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes, then invert each cake onto a rack and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled.
• Place a 10-inch cardboard circle on a cake stand and place 1 chilled cake layer on the cardboard. Add a one-quarter of the frosting atop the cake and spread in an even layer with an offset spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat. Add the final cake layer, top with the remaining frosting and spread evenly across the top and down the sides of the cake. Decorate with remaining berries and serve.

 

Brown Sugar Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese
1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
Heavy pinch kosher salt
1¼ cup whipping cream

• Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy and there are no lumps remaining. With the mixer running, add the cream and beat until the mixture is firm and fluffy. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before frosting.

 

 

By the Book: Carla Kelly’s Strawberry Basil Scones

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

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I used to be an avid baker, but things changed a few years ago after I started a small kitchen fire with an errant kitchen towel. Since that not so holly-jolly Christmas, I’ve taken an extended hiatus from baking, but after spying this recipe for summery strawberry basil scones, I decided my stomach would overpower my fear.

Carla Kelly’s book, Vegan Al Fresco, is a collection of vegan recipes meant to be consumed at picnics and on patios. They also seem simple to prepare and boast versatility; the strawberries in these scones, Kelly claimed, can be replaced with blueberries.

 

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Strawberry and basil are a classic combo, and both are available in abundance at farmers markets right now. And while the recipe is techincally vegan, the only changes from a traditional scone recipe is soy milk in place of cow’s milk and canola oil in place of butter. All other ingredients are available in any baking aisle, so I didn’t have to hit three different specialty shops hunting down an obscure dairy substitute.

 

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I began the recipe with high hopes and an empty stomach. First, I chopped the strawberries and basil, which smelled divine. Then I combined the soy milk and the apple cider vinegar, a vegan substitute for buttermilk. The soy milk immediately began to bubble, but don’t fret – it’s suppose to do that. The reaction is meant to create the tangy flavor notes buttermilk provides.

 

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Whisking in the jam, sugar, oil and extract was pretty straightforward, and left a pink milky mixture with chunks of jam throughout. Don’t mix the batter too thoroughly; the chunks of strawberries and jam throughout the scones are the tastiest part.

 

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Rather than shaping the dough and then slicing it into triangles, Kelly advocated scooping 1/3-cup portions onto the baking sheet, hence their more freeform shape. They required only 15 minutes in the oven – perfect, since I was hungry now.

 

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The finished product was light and cakey, more like a strawberry bread than a denser, crumbly scone. They also lacked the berry and basil punch I expected, though I quickly remedied that with a thick smear of strawberry jam on top. Next time I make these summer treats, I’ll add more sugar and jam to up their sweetness – even if that loses my outdoor fete a few healthy points.

 

Strawberry & Basil Scones
10 scones

1 cup (250 ml.) plain soy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. strawberry jam
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. strawberry or vanilla extract
2 cups (500 m.) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 m.) whole wheat pastry flour
3½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (125 ml.) finely diced fresh strawberries, about 8 medium
2 heaping tsp. finely chopped fresh basil

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar. Let it thicken for 5 minutes. Stir in the jam, sugar, oil and extract and whisk to combine and eliminate large lumps of jam.
• Sift in the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to just combine. Gently fold in the strawberries and basil.
• Portion the dough into 10 scones with a 1/3 cup (80 ml.) measure. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
• Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to complete cooling, or serve warm.

Reprinted with permission from Arsenal Pump Press

What’s your favorite use for seasonal strawberries? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Vegan Al Fresco.

 

 

By the Book: Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake from ‘Baked Occasions’

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

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I love New York City bakeshop Baked. Granted, I’ve never actually been there, but I’ve tried plenty of its desserts using recipes from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and the follow-up, Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients. Co-owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have provided me with many delicious desserts. Each cake and batch of cookies turned out wonderful, though by far the best – in fact, the best dessert I’ve ever made – was their Sweet and Salty Cake.

 

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However, between the cake, the frosting and the caramel, this dessert takes hours. So when I got my hands on a copy of their latest book, Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays and Informal Celebrations, I decided to go with something a little simpler.

 

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Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake was described as my favorite: yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I’ve made my share of dry cakes, but when a recipe has two fats in the batter, that never happens. This recipe calls for both sour cream and butter. I used Plugra, a European butter with a higher butterfat content. The cake was indeed moist, but the sour cream also made it pretty dense. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in my mind, a birthday cake has a tender, airy crumb, and the hit of cinnamon in the batter took this from birthday cake to breakfast cake status.

 

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The chocolate frosting uses cream cheese, butter, chocolate and confectioners’ sugar, which I really liked. I tend to shy away from buttercream frostings, but this one didn’t disappoint. The cream cheese balanced it out and tempered the sweetness of the other ingredients. Unfortunately, because this dessert had the consistency of a coffee cake, I wanted a sugary glaze instead of birthday cake frosting.

 

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I probably won’t make this recipe again because it wasn’t my taste, but there’s no denying that it was a quality dessert. I would definitely turn to this book again for other ideas.

 

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Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake
Sour cream cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting
1 8-inch two-layer cake
10 to 12 servings

For the sour cream cake:
2½ cups plus 2 Tbsp. (330 g.) cake flour
1 scant Tbsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
7 oz. (1¾ sticks/200 g.) unsalted butter, softened, cut into ½-inch pieces, plus more for the pans
1 cup (200 g.) granulated sugar
¾ cup (165 g.) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ (345 g.) cups sour cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out the excess.
• In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
• In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low; add the flour mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening the sides of the cakes from the pans with a small knife and inverting them onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and turn the cakes right side up; let them cool completely.

For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:
4 oz. (1 stick/115 g.) unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz. /226 g.) package cream cheese, softened
3 to 3½ cups (340 to 395 g.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 oz. (85 g.) dark chocolate, melted and cooled

• Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add only 3 cups (340 g.) confectioner’s sugar and the salt; beat until smooth. Add the chocolate and mix until well combined. If the frosting seems too loose, add additional confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes thicker. Do not overheat. The frosting can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let it soften at room temperature before using.
• Place 1 cooled cake layer on a serving platter. If necessary, trim the top to create a flat surface. Spread about ¾ cup (200 g.) of frosting on top. Add the top layer and trim if you want (some people prefer a domed cake top). Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake (called a crumb coat, this helps to keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake), and place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes to set before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang

What’s your go-to birthday dessert? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Baked Occasions.

Baked: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

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I know it is way past Valentine’s Day, but red velvet never goes out of style. You are warned: These muffins are so delicious, it will be very hard to eat just one. They are incredibly soft and fluffy with a tangy cream cheese center that melts in your mouth. This is an irresistible recipe, even for those who aren’t fans of red velvet. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins
Adapted from Averie Cooks 
12 servings

1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup buttermilk
½ cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp. red food coloring
1¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. coarse salt
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cold butter, diced

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar, the buttermilk, canola oil, egg and food coloring. Add 1¼ cups flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and whisk gently until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Set batter aside.
• In another bowl, mix the cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and vanilla extract together until combined.
• Pour 2/3 cup batter into each muffin cup. Add a small dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each batter-filled cup and use a toothpick to swirl the cream cheese a little. Set aside.
• In another bowl, cut the butter together with the remaining ¼ cup sugar and remaining ¼ cup flour until the mixture is crumbly and the butter forms pea-sized pieces. Divide the crumb mixture evenly over the tops of the muffins.
• Bake 17 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool completely before serving.

 

Baked: Chocolate Cherry Cake

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

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I made this simple cake for a friend who loves chocolate-covered cherries. Though it’s never been my favorite combination, they complement each other well, and this cake tempers the sweetness with strong brewed coffee and tart buttermilk. Frozen cherries add a nice tang to the chocolate, too. This rich cake is ideal paired with a post-dinner glass of red wine and great conversation. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate Cherry Cake
Adapted from Lady and Pups
Makes 1 9-inch cake

1 cup sugar
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
¾ cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. plus a pinch kosher salt, divided
8 oz. frozen, pitted cherries, thawed and roughly chopped
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
Chocolate shavings or sprinkles, for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan or cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the canola oil, coffee, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and ¾ teaspoon salt until just combined, then fold in the cherries. Pour the batter into the pie pan.
• Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, prepare the ganache by bringing the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate chips and the remaining pinch of salt. Remove from heat, cover and let rest 2 minutes. Whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Let cool completely.
• Turn the cake out of the pan and onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the cool ganache and garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles before serving.

The Scoop: Bridge Bread to open a storefront on Cherokee Street

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

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After three years as a delivery-only bakery on South Grand, Bridge Bread has secured a storefront location at 2604 Cherokee St., according to founder Fred Domke. The bakeshop is slated to open doors between mid-May and mid-June, as reported by the Riverfront Times.

Bridge Bread is a nonprofit that provides employment to residents who are struggling with or who are at risk for homelessness in the St. Louis area. The bakers churn out pre-ordered artisanal loaves of sourdough, brioche, cinnamon rolls and other pastries during the week, and volunteers deliver the orders to participating churches from Edwardsville to Wentzville to Belleville on weekends.

Domke said the Cherokee Street storefront will allow customers to get their feel-good carb fix during the week, too. He plans to continue baking operations on South Grand and offer pre-packaged loaves of bread and rolls for purchase at the Cherokee Street shop. While the bake shop won’t have seating, Domke said neighbor Foam has informally agreed to welcome Bridge Bread customers to enjoy a cup of coffee with their roll. The storefront will also serve as a space to test out experimental offerings like the Chocolate Covered Cherry Roll, a cherry pie roll with a chocolate filling.

To start, the retail location will be staffed with volunteers, including Domke, but if the sales volume is high enough, he plants to hire additional staff though the Bridge Bread program. “The mission of Bridge Bread is to provide employment,” he said. “But we’re also dedicated to encouraging conversations about homelessness in our area. This new location will give us more opportunities to engage the community in those conversations and build relationship between people who otherwise may not have met.”

By the Book: Erin McKenna’s Carrot Bread

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

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As fellow gluten-free and dairy-free diners can attest, eating with dietary restrictions is easier said than done. At restaurants, we must ignore our friends’ barely-concealed cringes as we deconstruct an entree to conform to our needs. At home, we spend hours scouring niche food blogs for our next meal. Perhaps the biggest test of my willpower, though, is when an unknowing waiter places an overflowing bread basket in front of me. After years of coveting that basket of forbidden gluten, I was thrilled when my editor Catherine Klene dropped a copy of Bread & Butter: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes to Fill Your Bread Basket by my desk.

Sauce interns get to try a lot of food on the job, and my editors always search for something I can eat among the loot, usually only to be foiled — a slice of cake might be gluten-free, but not dairy-free, or vice versa. That’s why McKenna’s book, featuring indulgent recipes that are gluten-free and vegan, seemed the perfect end to a semester-long quest for “something Tori can eat.”

McKenna, who also passed on the bread basket for two decades due to a gluten sensitivity, now runs BabyCakes, a gluten-free vegan bakery with locations in New York City, Los Angeles and Orlando. Based on recipes pioneered in her bakery, her new cookbook begins with a break down of basic ingredients and baking tips invaluable to those new to specialty baking. From there, her book is broken up into chapters by category: morning treats, breads (of course), sandwiches, pizza and focaccia, kids’ recipes, international cuisine, puff pastries and tarts, snacks, dips and dressings (including vegan butter!), and desserts. While the pain au chocolate looked tempting, I chose the carrot bread because it looked both doable and delicious.

 

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McKenna’s recipes are straightforward and concise throughout, usually taking no more than a page of text punctuated with beautiful photos and colorful design. Her carrot bread calls for walnut oil or coconut oil, vegan sugar, gluten-free baking flour (we used Cup 4 Cup), arrowroot, xanthan gum, shredded carrots and optional chopped walnuts. Gluten-free home cooks already have most of these items in our kitchen pantries.

As an amateur baker, I found McKenna’s instructions easy to follow. The only painstaking part of the baking process was shredding all those carrots. Next time, I’ll do this the night before or use the shredder attachment on a food processor. Also be aware that this recipe takes some time – as a yeast bread, the dough needs an hour to rise, and then requires another 35 minutes in the oven. Keep a good book on hand or start trolling the Internet for more niche foodie blogs.

Despite these few bumps, I found the finished product to be well worth the wait. For someone who hasn’t eaten bread, much less homemade bread, in quite some time, McKenna’s carrot bread truly was a treat. I found the bread to be spongy and light, with a slight texture and crunch from the walnuts. Though the book claims that even non gluten-free and vegan people will love this recipe, my Sauce coworkers claim they could tell the difference. Still, for those gluten-free and vegan among us, this carrot bread is a real indulgence.

 

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Carrot Bread
Makes 1 7-by-4-by-3-inch loaf

3 Tbsp. walnut oil or melted unscented coconut oil, plus more for the pan
1½ cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
4 Tbsp. vegan sugar
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
2 Tbsp. arrowroot
½ tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1½ tsp. salt
2 cups firmly packed shredded carrots
¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

• Lightly grease a 7-by-4-by-3-inch loaf pan with oil.
• In a small bowl, combine the oil, warm water, sugar and yeast. Stir once and set aside to proof until it bubbles, about 10 minutes.
• In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir until it is the consistency of cake batter. If the dough is too thick, add additional warm water one splash at a time. Fold in the carrots and the walnuts (if using). Pour the dough into the prepared loaf pan, cover with a dish towel, and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Bake the bread for 20 minutes, and then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Bake until the crust is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
• Let the bread cool in the pan for 1 hour before slicing.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter

What’s the most creative recipe you’ve used to accommodate someone’s dietary restrictions? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Erin McKenna’s Bread & Butter.

Baked: Green Tea Nun’s Puffs

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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The moment I read about Nun’s Puffs, I knew I had to make them. Also known as Pets de Nonne or Nun’s Farts (yes, really), they practically melt in your mouth and look like individual Dutch babies: soft, fluffy and egg-y.

Typically these are served as a savory breakfast treat with jams or honey. I wanted to try them as a dessert, though, so I added some sugar to the dough. Since these were served after an Asian-inspired meal, I carried that influence to dessert by adding matcha powder and sprinkling it with black sesame seeds. A final flourish of pearl sugar added the best crunch.

You could very easily eat all of these in one sitting. They are that addictive. The dough is essentially a pâte à choux – the same dough for cream puffs and éclairs – only five or so ingredients. Feel free to omit the sugar and smear some honey instead for breakfast instead of dessert. These delightful little puffs are best eaten still warm from the oven. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Matcha Nun’s Puffs
Adapted from Olga’s Flavor Factory
Makes 12

½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup milk
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup minus 1 Tbsp. flour, sifted
1 Tbsp. matcha powder, sifted
4 eggs
Coarse or pearl sugar for sprinkling
Black sesame seeds for sprinkling

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
• In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the butter, milk and sugar until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the flour and matcha powder until a dough forms.
• Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat in the eggs 1 at a time until the dough is smooth and lighter.
• Divide the dough evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and black sesame seeds. Bake 30 minutes, until puffed and golden on the edges.
• Let cool slightly (they will deflate as they cool) and serve warm.

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