breakfast

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast | 0 comments

I’m presenting many wonderful matcha baked goods this month, but this one, dear readers, is the most delicious. The most divine. The most appropriate way to celebrate the release of Call of Fire.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

My husband takes most all of my baked goods to work. These Matcha Cheesecake Bars earned a rare and vociferous response.

To directly quote, with expletives replaced Mad Lib style to make this work-safe and kid-safe:
“She needs to laminate that [noun for excrement].”
“Those were [verb for copulation, -ing] on point.”

Yeah. This recipe is a winner.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Plus, these bars are ridiculously easy to make. You make a crust. Mix up some green cheesecake. Do some layering and swirling.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Mind you, I’m not a big cheesecake person, but thanks to the cookie-like crust, these are not rich like standard cheesecakes. You really get the best of everything here, and the matcha powder adds a wonderful fresh flavor and a lovely green tint.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Do note that the type of green tea you use may produce different results. I used a Rishi sweet green tea blend that includes sugar, making it ideal for lattes or baked goods. [Addendum: Readers have baked this recipe using standard matcha powder and have been delighted with the results! So use whatever green tea you have handy. If you want it sweeter, just add a touch more sugar.]

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

I plan on re-making this with a variety of teas. Look for another version of this recipe in the coming months!

Adapted from Every Day Dishes.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

This incredible recipe will please cheesecake lovers and convert non-cheesecake eaters as well. Note that different green teas may produce different results in taste and tint; sweet matcha powder will obviously contain more natural sweetness, but the recipe turns out well when standard matcha is used, too.

  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake layer
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tb all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tb matcha (sweet or regular)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and the vanilla extract, followed by the combined dry ingredients.

Use an uneven spatula to smooth out HALF of the batter in the prepared pan. Place the other half in another bowl for now. Clean the mixing bowl before the next stage, if desired.

To make the cheesecake layer, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, butter, flour, and matcha powder. Mix in the egg and vanilla until it is mostly smooth.

Pour about HALF of the cream cheese mix on top of the batter in the pan and smooth it out. Dollop the remaining crust and cheesecake batters over the top, and use a butter knife to swirl them together.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then place in fridge to continue chill and set for another hour or two.

Lift it up by the aluminum foil and place on a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a lidded container in fridge, with waxed paper or parchment between stacked layers.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

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Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake | 0 comments

During my book release months, I typically follow a theme of cakes and pies. This time around, we’re doing something different: baked goods featuring matcha powder, aka green tea!

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

My first recipe can’t help but follow the traditional cake theme, though: Matcha Bundt Cake.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

The America in my books Breath of Earth and Call of Fire is heavily influenced by Japanese culture. That’s evident in architecture, nickel cinemas, the vernacular–and in baked goods, too.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

Of course, in our timeline, the phenomenon of green tea in leavened sweets is a contemporary innovation.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

The type of green tea you use may produce different results. I used a Rishi sweet green tea blend that includes sugar, making it ideal for lattes or baked goods.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

This bundt cake naturally baked up with a lovely light green tint, but as you’ll see, in some of the forthcoming cookie recipes, the green is barely visible. If you want things to turn out VERY green, just add some food dye.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

This is essentially a tender pound cake in both taste and texture, with a unique fresh flavor from the tea.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

In other words, DELICIOUS.

Modified from Week of Menus.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

This bundt cake with green tea has the texture and taste of a pound cake, and would be lovely for breakfast, brunch, or dessert! Note that different blends of matcha will produce different results with taste and green tint; it’s recommended to use a sweet matcha here, which has added sugar.

  • Cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sweet matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet matcha powder, sifted

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 10-or 12-inch bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, matcha powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter creamy. Gradually add sugar; continue to mix until it is light in texture and color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, followed by the vanilla extract.

Gradually add the dry mix and sour cream into the big bowl, going back and forth between the two, until everything is combined. Scoop batter into the ready pan.

Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle. Cool the cake for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto a rack to completely cool.

Sift the powdered sugar on top of the cake, followed by the matcha. Slice and serve. Keep covered on counter.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

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Bready or Not: Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast | 0 comments

I first posted this recipe over three years ago. I’m sharing it again because 1) biscuits are timeless and awesome, and 2) I have much better photographs this time around.

Buttermilk Biscuits

I failed at buttermilk biscuits for years. This grieved me. This recipe, finally, is the one that has repeatedly produced lofty, flaky, perfect biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

The trick is to keep small chunks of butter throughout the dough. That’s what makes flaky layers. Most of the pieces should be pea-sized, and somewhat flat. For that reason, I will start mixing everything together with a big spoon or pastry cutter, but by the end I use my fingers.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits are important within my family. My dad’s from Alabama. My husband’s family has Arkansas roots. Most meals come with a side of bread, and you can’t get more southern than baking soda-leavened biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

I never keep buttermilk around, but instead rely on sour milk. I have also made these using buttermilk powder and water. The biscuits taste the same with every method–DELICIOUS.

Bready or Not: Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

These easy biscuits are perfect for morning or night! For the buttermilk, you can substitute sour milk (add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk or half & half, let sit about 10 minutes until it curdles) or buttermilk powder (follow package directions). This will produce a large baking sheet of biscuits. Baked biscuits can also be frozen.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 cubes) cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk [or sour milk]
  • 1/4 cup extra milk, to brush on tops BEFORE baking
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted, to brush on tops AFTER baking

Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lightly greasing or using parchment or baking mats.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually cut the butter into the flour mix, using a pastry blender or forks until it's down to pea size.

Add the buttermilk and combine until it just comes together. Don't overwork it! The butter needs to stay in small lumps; that creates the flaky layers. It's often best to use fingers to mix at the end.

Lightly flour about a square foot of counter. Press the dough out to be about an even 3/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round biscuit cutter to punch out shapes and place on baking sheets. Brush a little bit of milk on the biscuits.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush melted butter on the tops.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

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Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, cookies, maple | 0 comments

Back in May, I posted my Snickerdoodle Biscotti recipe. This is the next installment: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti, modified from a King Arthur Flour recipe.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

I first made this following the original version pretty closely. I received feedback that it was good, but it was also way too nutty.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Clearly, I needed to rewrite the recipe and make it work. I decided to halve the walnuts, and replace that half with white chocolate chips. This time, I received feedback that they were the most awesome biscotti ever.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

In a single bite, it’s easy to see why. The maple flavor is great, the walnuts add a wonderful crunch within the already-crunchy dough, and the white chocolate adds sublime sweetness to bring everything together.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Since these are biscotti, they will keep well, sealed, for weeks. That makes these great for mailing (though perhaps not in the middle of summer, as there is some chocolate in these) or presenting as gifts.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

As I noted before, homemade biscotti cannot be compared to the store versions, which could be used as billy clubs to defend households against burglars. Homemade biscotti are crunchy but still chewy… and, of course, taste best if dipped into coffee or tea.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

These twice-baked cookies bring together maple, walnuts, and white chocolate in glorious cookie-stick form. Eat these dipped into your hot beverage of choice. Biscotti will keep well for weeks. Adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe.

  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon maple sugar or turbinado sugar for topping, optional

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Toast the walnuts for about 8 minutes, until they're light golden brown and smell toasty. Set them aside in a bowl to cool, but keep the parchment on the pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugars, maple syrup, and maple flavor. Add the melted butter, and beat until smooth.

Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the walnuts next, followed by the white chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half on the prepared baking sheet. Form each into a log about 4 inches wide and 10 inches long; make sure there is space between the two logs, as they'll grow in the oven.

Sprinkle maple sugar or turbinado sugar over the tops of both logs.

Bake about 30 minutes, until the biscotti is lightly browned with small cracks forming across the top. Remove the baking sheet, but be sure to leave the oven on.

Let the biscotti cool for 10 minutes. Use a large knife, such as a bread knife, to diagonally slice the logs 1/2-inch apart. Use a straight-down motion to cut; don't saw.

Arrange the biscotti spaced out on the baking sheet. Stand them up if possible, or lay them on their sides. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway if necessary, to equally crisp both sides.

Cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container as long as a few weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, lemon | 0 comments

Blueberries are in season, so let’s get baking!

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

This cake is sheer perfection. This has the tender texture of a pound cake, with added sweetness from dapples of blueberries.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Oh yeah, and then there’s the glaze. When I was meddling with the base recipe, that version felt so… naked.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

The lemon glaze adds a bit more sweetness, and a tartness that contrasts perfectly with the blueberries.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

The glaze looks gorgeous, too!

This cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Whenever the heck you want it, really.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Modified from Through Her Looking Glass.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Use your bundt pan to create a luscious blueberry-studded pound cake. The thick lemon glaze adds some lovely, delicious oomph.

  • Cake
  • 6 ounces blueberries, washed, drained, and patted dry
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1+ Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Prepare a 10 or 12-cup bundt pan by applying Pam with Flour or buttering well and dusting with flour.

In a small bowl, gently stir the blueberries with 1/4 cup flour. This will keep the blueberries from sinking in the batter as it bakes. Set bowl aside.

In a medium bowl, stir the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Beat it until fluffy again.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Follow that by gently folding in the blueberries.

Use a rubber spatula to pour the batter into the ready pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until it passes the toothpick test.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto a rack to completely cool. Once the cake is at room temperature, mix the glaze. Add enough milk to give it the desired pourable consistency. Drizzle it over cake.

Store cake in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

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Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier | 0 comments

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola is delicious and oh-so-much cheaper than buying the pre-made stuff from the store.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

My son is autistic and has a very limited diet. With the help of feeding therapy, we have gradually introduced him to new foods and new combinations of textures. He has eaten yogurt for years, and it turned out he really liked the addition of granola on top.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Me being me, I saw the prices of granola at the store and decided I’d start making it myself. My son loves peanut butter and chocolate, so I knew that it’d be a great combo for him.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

When I didn’t see an existing recipe that I liked, I decided to make my own. This is the result.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

This granola is quick to mix together and quick to bake, too. Just be careful to NOT overbake. It’s easy to do, since it’s hard to tell how crisp the granola will get after you remove it from the oven.

If you eat gluten-free, use GF oats and check your other ingredients!

Bready or Not Original: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

A Bready or Not Original! Make your own granola for cheap with a few basic ingredients. Eat by itself, with milk, or as a topping for yogurt or pudding. This is an easy recipe to make gluten-free, too.

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled (old fashioned) oats
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 275-degrees. Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and rub with butter or apply nonstick spray.

Place the oats in a large bowl. In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter and honey for 30 seconds; the peanut butter should be starting to melt. Stir them together, then add vanilla extract.

Pour the peanut butter mix over the oats; stir until the oats are completely coated. Spread the granola on the foil-lined sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, then set out to cool. Note that it will continue to crisp up as it cools, so don't overbake!

Once the granola is cool, mix in the chocolate chips. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

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