Flaky Blueberry Scones

 

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If a flaky biscuit and a muffin had a baby, I think it would taste like this blueberry scone. Adding a few quick folds in this dough adds a bit more rise and a little more puff to the finished product.  This makes for a party in your mouth!  You may even break out in the “happy food dance”.   It’s a real dance, just ask any foodie out there!

That being said, these scones are a little more involved than most scone recipes I’ve made, but the end result is way better… Trust me!

I am going to walk you through the process from start to finish with step by step photos.   Did I mention I received a new camera for Christmas from my husband?  Thanks Babe…you just made my life a whole lot easier!!

Now let’s get started!

First you are going to want to put ½ cup (one stick) of unsalted butter in the freezer. You are going to be grating this so it will be easier to mix into the flour mixture.  Gently folding the grated butter into the flour and folding a couple of times is going to give these scones a nice rise and flaky texture.

It is very important not to overwork the dough. If you do your scones will be tough instead of tender.  You will only want to knead and fold the dough the number of times called for in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (frozen) 113 grams
  • 1 ½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries (255 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted) this will be brushed on top of the scones before baking.
  • ½ cup whole milk (122 grams)
  • ½ cup sour cream (57 grams)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinato sugar- to sprinkle on top before baking (13 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (8 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (3 grams)
  • Zest from one lemon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use silicone pad. Rinse blueberries and pat dry.  Place in the freezer until ready to use.

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Grate one stick of butter. Place butter in the freezer until ready to use.

Whisk the sour cream and milk together and place in the refrigerator until needed.

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Place flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest in bowl and whisk until combined. Add the frozen butter to this mixture and gently toss with the flour mixture just until the butter is coated. Add the milk mixture and fold with a spatula until combined.  Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough 6-8 times with floured hands.  The dough should come together in a ragged ball.  Add flour to the surface and to your hands as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.

Now roll the dough into a 12” square. Fold the dough into thirds (like a business letter).  I used my large bench scraper to help me with this process.  Fold into thirds again, starting with the short ends and bringing them towards the middle forming a 4” square.  Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.  (I put mine on a floured plate).

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a 12” square again. Place blueberries on top of the dough and gently press into the dough.

Roll the dough into a log. With seam side down, gently roll and press into a 12” X 4” rectangle.

Using a sharp (and floured) knife, cut dough into four equal squares. Cut each square on a diagonal (making 8 triangles).  Place them on a prepared baking sheet, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the Turbinato sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until tops and bottoms are golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack.  Wait approximately 15 minutes and serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herb No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

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Happy New Year!!

As we begin a new year, I am looking forward to stepping outside the box with some recipes I’ve never tried before.  I also want to talk about some of my favorite recipes to make (and why they’re my favorites).

Some of my recipes will be sweet, and some will be savory.  I want to dig a little deeper into the science of baking.  What makes a recipe successful and what can cause them to fail.

That brings us to this bread recipe that you bake in a Dutch oven.  Whaaat?!!! Yes, you heard me right.  But, what I found even more fascinating, is the fact that you don’t have to knead this bread.  All you have to do is mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until it is combined, cover it with plastic, and let it sit for 12 hours (or up to 18 hours) at room temperature.  This recipe is time consuming, so you will want to plan accordingly, but it is the easiest bread to make!!

You will place the dough into a very hot Dutch oven, and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  As the dough heats it gives off steam creating a humid environment inside the Dutch oven.  The condensation on the surface of the loaf keeps the crust soft.  This allows the the loaf to expand until the crust dries (a dry crust is harder to expand). Steam also causes the starches to form a thin covering that will eventually dry out, giving the loaf a shiny crust that will stay crisp! Yum!!  Once the crust dries out and gets very hot, the sugar molecules caramelize.  This reacts with proteins to form the amazing golden brown color and wonderful flavor that make a delicious crusty bread.  Because of it’s thick sides, heavy lid, and small internal volume, the Dutch oven is the perfect environment to trap and create steam.

After the bread bakes for 30 minutes with the lid on and you take it off…oh dear!!  The look and the smell are out of this world!!  As you close the oven door and wait for this delicious loaf of yumminess to finish baking, the anticipation is off the charts!!

Then it happens; the timer goes off…it’s done!!!!!  I removed this golden bit of goodness from the oven…Oh, the aroma wafting through the house.

I was so happy my sister,  Kathy,  and BIL stopped by not long after the bread came out of the oven.  I was so happy to share this loaf of bread with them.  Mind you, my sister is an amazing cook and baker, so I was very happy that she approved!  We are going to their house tomorrow and will be bringing a fresh loaf to share with our nephew Gil (who apparently wasn’t very happy he missed out on our little bread snack…sorry Gil).

So, as I am sitting here writing this blog, I am anticipating the bread I will be sharing with family tomorrow!

I hope you try this recipe, and if you do, please post a picture and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi !

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 ¼ cups room temperature water
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

In a large bowl,  whisk the flour, kosher salt, rosemary, thyme and yeast together. Mix in the water and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to combine; making sure to fold the flour up from the bottom of the bowl, forming a shaggy ball.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for at least 12 hours (or up to 18).

Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Place your Dutch Oven in the oven to heat up. While the Dutch oven is heating, uncover the dough and press down with your fingers. Put dough onto a lightly flowered surface. You do not have to knead the dough. You can turn the dough over itself a couple of times and shape into a round ball (or desired shape).   Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper brushed with olive oil. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with a towel and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.

Take the towel off the dough and with a sharp knife gently score the top of the dough. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees.  Don’t forget this step…your bread will burn if you don’t!!

Remove pot from the oven and remove the lid (be careful…the Dutch oven will be VERY hot!!). Gently lift the parchment paper and place in the Dutch oven. Place the lid back on and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the Dutch oven and bake for twenty minutes. The crust should be a nice golden brown color (see picture).  If you’re not sure, an internal temperature of 190 degrees will tell you your bread is done.  Also, it will sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack (if you can wait that long). Enjoy!!

Marinated Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

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You may be wondering if there is a difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans (I know I was).  And a little research showed me that they are indeed one in the same. The reason why they’re sometimes referred to by different names is “chickpeas” refers to the English name,  and “garbanzo” is the Spanish name for them. But, they are indeed the same food. They are high in nutritional value too!  They contain a high amount of proteins, dietary fiber, folate,  iron, and phosphorus.

Chickpeas are important in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines as well.  They are the main ingredient in hummus, and in addition, ground chickpea flour can be used to make falafel (that’s a whole other blog my friends).  Chickpeas can also be used for salads and soups.

These marinated chickpeas are so good (the longer they marinate, the better they taste…yum!).  I love to add these to grain bowls, but they are delicious all by themselves too!!  I hope you try this simple and tasty recipe. You will not be disappointed!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes (one large pinch)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Drain and rinse one can of garbanzo beans and place in medium size bowl.

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Chop garlic clove, cilantro and parsley and add to beans.  Whisk lemon juice, honey, olive oil and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl until combined.  Add to garbanzo beans, garlic and herb mixture.  Stir until combined and add salt and pepper to taste.  You can eat immediately, but it will taste better the longer it marinates.  This will keep well,  covered,  and in the refrigerator for several days.  Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Easy Green Tahini Sauce

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I don’t know about you, but my body has been craving something besides cookies, and desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed all the Christmas goodies, but this girl needs to get back on track. I’m all about balance when it comes to diet and exercise, but let’s face it, that’s harder to do when you throw all the extra things that come along with the holiday season!!

This delicious green tahini sauce is a wonderful addition to most grain bowls (and tacos too!). It’s so easy to make. Just put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend…that’s it!! C’mon, it doesn’t get any easier than that!

This recipe makes enough for four grain bowls. Enjoy!!

 Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (45 grams)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (20 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • 1 cup tahini (230 grams)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (61 grams)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • *Water

 

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until combined. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Continue to blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy.  *Drizzle in 1/4 – 1/2 cup water into the food processor until your sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Soooo easy!!

 

Macarons

 

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A few years ago I tried my hand at Macarons for the first time. I watched tutorials and YouTube videos.  Quite frankly,  I was scared me to attempt these tricky cookies, but I was also very determined.  I had never even eaten a macaron up until this point,  but  I was hosting a baby “sprinkle” for my daughter and I wanted these persnickety little gems gracing the dessert table that day.

Every single video and tutorial was telling me that these cookies do NOT like humidity. Well, I live in South Jersey (like, as far South as you can go before landing in the water!), and we have a ton of humidity around here in the summer.  Did I forget to mention the sprinkle was in June?!!  Well, that wasn’t going stop me.  Macarons can be made ahead of time. They keep really well in the freezer.  I freeze mine unfilled in airtight containers.  I remove them from the freezer the day before I plan to serve them.  Let them come to room temperature before filling them. After  filling them, place them in the refrigerator overnight so they can mature (or bloom).   This allows the flavors to develop, and if you overcook your macarons, it softens them right up!

I would like to share some tips that have helped me make uniform, delicious macaroons. They are a tricky cookie to make, but once you get the hang of making them, you will be happy that you have them in your cookie arsenal.  I love making them for friends as presents or just letting them show up on a special dessert table every now and then.

  1. You don’t need to “age” your egg whites. Just use egg whites that are at room temperature. You can help this process by putting eggs right from the refrigerator in warm water for about 15 minutes.
  2. I use cream of tartar in my egg whites to stabilize them.   This will make your meringue results consistent every time. You don’t want to overbeat your egg whites. You want a stiff meringue, but not too dry. This can result in your meringue deflating, causing a hollow shell.
  3. Using a kitchen scale to measure ingredients will help with consistency in your baking also. If you don’t have one I highly recommend you invest in one PRONTO!!
  4. Sift the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and salt 4-5 times. This makes for a really smooth macaron. Please don’t skip this step…you’ll thank me laterJ.
  5. Don’t over mix your batter. Stop mixing once it reaches the ribbon stage and you can make a figure eight while lifting your batter with a spatula (refer to video).  The batter should be slow flowing and thick. Over mixing will cause cracks on the top, spreading, and no feet. It’s better to under mix than to over mix your batter.
  6. You need to allow your macarons to dry. I allow mine to dry for 30-60 minutes. The longer, the better. You will know it is dry once you can run your finger across the top of your cookie, and if the skin is dry, your macarons are ready. This step is VERY important and neglecting to do so will result in cracked macarons. The top needs to form a skin. If the skin isn’t thick enough, the air from the meringue will expand in the oven causing cracks to form on top, instead of forming feet.
  7. Everybody’s oven is different, but I like to bake my macarons in a 300 degree oven for 17-19 minutes. It is better to over bake than under bake your macarons. If they are under baked, the feet will stick to the parchment paper (or silicone pad) and the shell will peel away from the feet. If they are over baked they will be hard and crunchy, but they will become soft once you fill them and refrigerate (mature) them for 24 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (198 grams)
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour (96 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ( or flavoring of choice)
  • gel food coloring

Buttercream Filling

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (226 grams)
  • 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar  (340 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk (46 grams)

Instructions:

Line baking pans with parchment paper or silicone mats.  Wipe bowl down you will be mixing egg whites in with lemon juice so they are totally grease free (this helps the egg whites to whip properly).

Put the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and salt in a bowl.  Sift 4-5 times to make sure this mixture is lump free.  This is going to make for a smooth macaron.  Trust me, you do not want to skip this step! It really makes for a bit of “Wow” factor.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the mixing bowl that you wiped down with lemon juice. Mix until soft peaks form and then gradually add  the granulated sugar until it is completely incorporated and you have stiff (but not dry).  You know you have achieved this if you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue does not fall out.  Add your flavoring and food coloring and mix until incorporated.

Gently fold the confectioners’ sugar/almond flour mixture into the meringue mixture 1/3 at a time.  Continue to fold until the batter falls into ribbons and you can make the figure 8 (see video).

Place the batter in a decorating bag with a large circle tip and pipe 1 1/2 inch circles on the prepared baking pans.  The macarons should be at least 3/4″ apart.  “Drop” the baking sheets on a hard, flat surface at least five times to remove any air bubbles.  I pop any visible air bubbles with a toothpick.

At this point the macarons need to dry for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.  This will allow a good skin to form on top. While they are drying, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Bake for 17-19 minutes.  You should have good feet and the macarons should be dry.  Remove the macarons and allow them completely cool on the baking sheets.  The macarons will release easily at this point.

Make buttercream filling by placing the butter in a mixing bowl and beating until light and fluffy (about two minutes).  Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and milk and beat until fully incorporated.  Place in piping bag and add a medium size dollop in the center of one of the macarons and top with another macaron to make a “sandwich”.  Repeat with the remaining shells.

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Place your macarons in an airtight container.  If you can wait (that’s a big “IF”), allow your macarons to set for 24 hours so they can bloom.  This will not be an easy task, but trust me, it makes a difference.

These little gems make a great gift or special dessert.  They are going to go fast!!  Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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I think the invention of peanut butter and chocolate together is genius, and these chocolate peanut butter calls are a prime example of this!

As I was putting my Christmas cookie list together (by the way, this is NO easy task), I found this recipe. I usually make my go to peanut butter cookie recipe with a chocolate kiss placed on the top after it comes out of the oven.   Being a favorite with my family, they have always made the list.

The addition of mini M&M’s is the “icing on the cake”, so to speak. I added 1 cup of peanut butter, as opposed to the ¾ cup called for in the recipe.  After I added the confectioners’ sugar it seemed like it needed more, and the extra ¼ seemed to do the trick.

I used my 1 tablespoon scoop for the dough and it made 30 cookies. I dipped the balls in Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with extra chocolate after they set.  I placed mine in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill.

I served these at my son’s “100 days of storms” reveal party at his art gallery. If you get a chance, go to his Instagram page @davidmacomber_dotcom and check out his artwork.  I’m a very proud Mom, I know, but his work is amazing and you are in for treat!

My daughter-in-love said they are her new favorite cookie. You have to love compliments like that…I know I do!

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Ingredients:

  •  ½ cup unsalted butter (115 grams) room temperature
  • 1 cup * creamy peanut butter (185 grams)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)
  • ½ cup mini M&M’s (100 grams)
  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I used Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate)

Directions:

Beat the butter on medium speed in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy (about two minutes).

Add the peanut butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix until everything is combined and creamy.  With your mixer on low speed, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until combined.  It will be a little crumbly,

but will come together when you add the M&M’s. Work the dough with your hands.  As you mix them in and the dough will become soft and easier to work with.

Scoop into one inch round balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. While the balls are chilling chop the chocolate and place in a double boiler until the chocolate has melted, and smooth and creamy.

After the peanut butter balls are chilled, dip them in the chocolate one at a time. Tap off the excess chocolate and place on the parchment lined sheet pans.  Put the extra chocolate in a squeeze bottle and work the bottle back and forth over the dipped chocolate balls, making a design on the top (shown in the above pictures).

You really need to make these, and I think they will be your new favorite too (or at least on the top five of your list)!!

These cookies were inspired by Sally McKenney’s Peanut Butter M&M’s truffles. Check out her Instagram page @Sallysbakeblog (you’ll be glad you did!)

Italian Cranberry Orange Biscotti

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Recently, as I was looking through some old cookie recipes, I came across this biscotti recipe. A co-worker (and friend) gave me this recipe 15 years ago.  This was an old family recipe, and I was very excited and priviledged that she was sharing it with me…Thanks Ann!

If you haven’t already guessed, her family is from Italy.  I have a niece that lives in Italy too!  She is an amazing cook and baker!!! I am hoping to visit her in Italy in the near future.

Now, back to these delicious cookies (or are they biscuits? Hmmm). The definition of biscotti is “twice baked” cookies that originated in Italy, and are not as sweet as traditional cookies.  They are dry and crunchy (not your typical description for a cookie), but they are made to be dunked.

Since they are very dry, biscotti traditionally are served with a drink for dunking. In Italy, they are typically served as an after-dinner dessert with a Tuscan fortified wine called Vin Santo.

Outside of Italy, they are more frequently eaten with coffee, (including cappuccinos and lattes), or tea.

I love the taste that the orange zest gives to these cookies. Combined with the dried cranberries and white chocolate, the taste is out of this world!! Do yourself a favor and make these gems.  Don’t wait 15 years like I did….oh my!  These cookies are back on the top of my list and should be on the top of yours too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I use Bertolli extra light tasting)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 eggs-room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (120 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of one medium orange (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (roughly chopped)
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone pad.
  • Zest one medium sized orange and set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the olive oil and sugar until well combined (one minute). Scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Add the extracts and the eggs and beat to combine.
  • In smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture until combined. Fold in the cranberries, nuts, chips and orange zest. Dough will be a little sticky. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into 3 logs (approximately 6 x 2 inches). Place the logs on the lined cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until logs are light brown.
  • Remove the logs from the oven, and set aside to cool for approximately 10-15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees.
  • Cut the logs into 1/2- 3/4 inch slices.  Lay slices cut side up on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Move cookies to a wire rack to cool and dry completely before serving.  Makes 20-24 cookies Enjoy!!!

 

If desired, cookies can be drizzled with white chocolate. They can be stored in an airtight container or they can be frozen and brought to room temperature to eat.

Zucchini Pancakes

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I have always been a lover of all things pancake!  I like banana pancakes ( and Jack Johnson music too)!!  Because I am a huge fan of chocolate, it is safe to say that chocolate chip pancakes are in my top three:).  I didn’t really want a savory pancake when I made these zucchini pancakes, and I succeeded.  Not saying a savory pancake wouldn’t be delicious because I’m sure it would, but I was in the mood for sweet and these hit the spot!  The buttermilk mixing with the baking powder made these oh so fluffy.  I’m kinda drooling right now just thinking about it! Yum, Yum! Topped with butter and maple syrup, these puffy bits of deliciousness practically melt in your mouth.  These are definitely a treat, so don’t skimp on the toppings.  Everything in moderation (wink, wink).  Please enjoy these pancakes and also, the fun pancake facts I found while searching the origin of pancakes.

Fun Pancake Facts:

  • Pancake Day is real! Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) is the holiday of feasting before Lent.
  • During Lent, people were once not allowed to eat animal products like milk, butter, and eggs. To prevent them from going to waste these ingredients were cooked into tall stacks of pancakes. They were consumed in such large amounts that this day earned the rightful name of Pancake Day.
  • Pancakes have been around for centuries as a favorite staple in many cultures’ diets. They began over 30,000 years ago during the Stone Age. Researchers have found pancakes in the stomach of Otzi the Iceman, human remains dating back 5,300 years.
  • Pancakes are found almost in every culture. It is a thin flat cake made from batter and fried in a pan or on a griddle. Batter is usually made from eggs, flour, milk or water, oil or melted butter. Sometimes batter can be made from buttermilk.
  • January 28th is National Blueberry Pancake Day.
  • September 26th is National Pancake Day.
  • Maple syrup which is often used as a topping was originally a sweet drink which was discovered by the Algonquin Indians.
  • The first ready-mix food which was sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour. It was invented in 1889 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
  • It is common in France to touch the handle of the frying pan and to make a wish while the pancake is turned, holding a coin in one hand.
  • The first pancake recipe appeared in an English cookbook in the fifteenth century.
  • World’s biggest pancake was cooked in Rochdale (Greater Manchester) in 1994, which was 15 meters in diameter, weighted three tons, and had an estimated two million calories.
  • In 2005, Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli set the world record for the highest pancake toss of 329 cm.
  • The French crêpe is thin and crispy. It is folded or rolled and heated in a sauce of sugar, butter, citrus juice and liqueur.
  • One pancake fan ran a marathon while continually tossing a pancake for three hours, two minutes and twenty seven seconds.
  • The first ready-mix food to be sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour. It was invented in St. Joseph, Missouri, in the year 1889.

Reference: Wikipedia: Fun Facts about Pancakes.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini
  • Maple syrup and butter for serving

 

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla bean extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in the zucchini.
  • Heat a griddle or pan to medium heat. Add butter (or you can us cooking spray). Pour about a 1/2 cup of batter onto heated skillet. Cook until the surface of the pancake has some bubbles and a few have burst (see photos) about 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Continue making pancakes until the batter is gone. Serve pancakes with butter and maple syrup…Yum!!

If you have any left pancakes left over, these freeze really well.  Wrap in plastic wrap after they are cooled.  Place in a plastic zip bag and place in the freezer.  To reheat the pancakes, microwave for approximately 20 seconds or heat in a toaster.  Enjoy!! xoxo

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Have you ever been on a date and the other person orders dessert and when it comes, you think to yourself, “Oh man, I wish I would have ordered that!”.  And then they say, “Would you like to taste it?”.   You taste it, and well, you know what I’m talking about.  Well, it happened to me, and it was an amazing flourless cake!  When I found a recipe that only had three ingredients I knew I had to make it.  It has to be one of the easiest (and most delicious) desserts I have ever made!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chocolate (I used Guiradelli 60 percent bittersweet baking chocolate)
  • 8 large (cold) eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into 16 pieces)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the inside of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper. Cover the outside of the spring form pan with aluminum foil.  Place covered pan in a slightly larger pan. Fill outer pan with one cup of boiling water right before the cake is ready to be placed in the oven.

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave just until melted. Set aside to cool while you whip the eggs.

In a large bowl, using a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed for about 5-7 minutes (or until double in volume).  Gently (and I do mean GENTLY!) fold  the whipped eggs into the melted chocolate and butter mixture.  Start with 1/3 of the whipped eggs.  Fold until incorporated.  Continue two more times in 1/3 increments until the egg mixture and chocolate are fully incorporated.  Be very gentle with this process.  You do not want to knock all the air out of the eggs.

Pour this mixture into the prepared pan.  Place in the preheated oven.  Be careful not to get burned by the boiling water!

Bake the cake for 22-25 minutes. There will be a thin crust on top when finished. Carefully remove cake from oven (again, being careful not to get burned by the water). Completely cool in pan on wire rack.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  Remove spring form from pan before serving.  Remove the parchment paper and place on serving platter.  Dust with confectioners sugar and berries if desired.  I also served mine with a small scoop of my homemade ice cream…Yum!!!! You need to make this cake SOON!  Enjoy! xoxo

This recipe is inspired by Ali @gimmesomeoven.  Thanks Ali!!

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Cran-raspberry Crumble

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I did it! I made the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. Yup, that’s right! Look no more. It’s the most incredible crumble EVER!!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a firm believer that cheesecake, pumpkin and apple pies should still be on the dessert table, but this will be a delicious new addition…YUMMM!

I don’t think cranberries get the respect they deserve. They are perfect when they are paired with apples, raspberries and oranges (and a little lemon zest too!).  I am a lover of anything raspberry too, so putting these two together with some sugar, citrus zests and extracts, makes for a bowl of goodness!  I made some homemade vanilla ice cream to have with mine, but whipped cream would work too🤗.

Cran-raspberry Filling

  • 3½ cups (350 grams) cranberries
  • 2½ cups (375 grams) raspberries
  • ¼ cup (45 ml) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1¼ cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour (30 grams)

Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (about 158 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375º degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish. Put the cranberries and raspberries in the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl whisk the orange juice and extracts together and drizzle over berries. In a small mixing bowl, add the sugar and zests and mix until well combined. Work the zest into the sugar to release the essential oils for maximum flavor. Add the spices and tapioca flour; whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the fruit.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into flour mixture until it resembles small pea-sized pieces. Whisk the extracts and egg together. With a fork, gently toss the beaten egg and extracts into the flour mixture until moist and the dough starts to hold together. Continue to gently blend your with fingertips until combined.

Be careful not to overwork the dough. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit filling. Sprinkle topping with sugar.

Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 50 to 55 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh whipped cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings