breakfast

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, mint | 0 comments

In recent months, I have shared recipes for Snickerdoodle Biscotti and Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti. Now we’re gearing up for the holidays with Peppermint Biscotti.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

I found this recipe in a Food Network Magazine from December 2015. I made it following their instructions, wasn’t pleased with the results, and made it again with numerous changes. This one worked.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

I love how white chocolate chips work in biscotti. Since they bake up to be extra crispy, the chips add just the right touch of sweetness to complement the crunchiness.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

The topping is what makes these scream “Holiday season!” I love the goopy drizzles atop these sticks, with generous amounts of crushed peppermints on top.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

As these are biscotti, they keep well for days and weeks. If you’re mailing these, of course, be wary of the temperatures the package may encounter in transit. That’s something I always must consider here in Arizona!

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

Eat these biscotti on their own, or totally bliss-out and dip them in coffee or tea.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

These Peppermint Biscotti are infused with peppermint flavor from the flecked drizzle on through the cookies themselves. They look and taste like the holiday season!

  • biscotti
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • topping
  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • drizzle of oil, if needed
  • 2 candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In medium bowl, measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a big bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and peppermint extract. Slowly stir in the dry mix until just incorporated, then add 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.

Bake about 25 minutes, until the biscotti is lightly browned. 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 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway if necessary, to equally crisp both sides.

Cool completely on the baking sheet. Crush the candy canes.

Melt the white chocolate on the stovetop or in the microwave; if necessary, stir in a drizzle of coconut oil or vegetable oil to make the chocolate loose enough to dribble.

Drizzle the chocolate all over the biscotti, then immediately sprinkle peppermint chunks over them. Let them set for a few hours at room temperature or in the fridge.

Store in an airtight container as long as a few weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

 

 

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

Posted by on Oct 25, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, pumpkin | 0 comments

I first featured these Pumpkin Poppers on my LiveJournal four years ago. It’s time to revisit them, because these things are SO GOOD.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

My husband’s co-workers like to snicker and call them “pumpkin balls.”

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

You could also call them “pumpkin donut holes.” That’s what they are, really. You can make them in a donut hole or a mini muffin pan–I use the latter.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

This makes 24 of these tender balls of joy. Once they are baked, set up an assembly line with bowls of melted butter, and cinnamon and sugar. Slather those balls with butter, and roll’em in the sweet stuff!

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

Hey, I never claimed this was health food.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

The end result is an orange puff that is light and fluffy, and pretty much melts in your mouth.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

Make these to share, or they might prove dangerous.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Poppers

These Pumpkin Poppers are like light, fluffy donuts holes, bathed in butter and coated in cinnamon and sugar. The recipe makes 24 in a mini muffin pan or donut hole pan.

  • Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree [not organic]
  • 1/2 cup milk [almond milk works]
  • Coating
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (or more), melted
  • 2/3 cup (or more) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (or more) cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Use nonstick spray on a mini muffin or donut hole pan.

Combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Fill the pan cavities about 2/3 full; the dough will poof up a lot in the oven.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. In the meantime, melt the butter in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the topping sugar and cinnamon.

Remove poppers from oven. Give them a few minutes to cool, then start the assembly line. Use a spoon to roll them in the melted butter, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. (Note: topping bowls may run low near the end, but it's easy to melt an extra tablespoon of butter or mix up some more sugar and cinnamon.)

Store in a sealed container at room temperature. The cinnamon-sugar mix will absorb into the balls over time and make them darker, but they taste great for several days.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, muffin, pumpkin | 0 comments

I continue to revisit old favorite pumpkin recipes to incorporate more experience and better photography. This week’s recipe is for Pumpkin Pucks.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

These happen to be gluten-free and paleo, if you follow those diets. More to my needs, they are high-protein, avoid processed flours, and are DELICIOUS.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

They are rather like mini pumpkin pie custards with a slightly nutty taste. Do note that this can be made with whole wheat and/or all-purpose flour, if you don’t care about it being gluten-free… but I by far prefer the taste with almond flour.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I have also used different nut butters. Almond butter tastes the strongest–in a very good way–though cashew butter was fantastic, too.

Once, I only had 3/4 cup of pumpkin, so I made up for the difference with applesauce. I found no major difference in taste or texture.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I find that two of these make for a delicious breakfast. The size makes them very kid-friendly. I have kept them in the fridge for upwards of a week. Also, these are fantastic to freeze. Just be sure to remove the muffin cup liners and use waxed paper between layers.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

You can alter the flavor with different toppings, too. Mini chocolate chips are my favorite! Pepitas and dried cranberries work well, too; note that the cranberries are tart but mellow after time in the fridge.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Enjoy this healthy recipe, and be warned that next week takes a decidedly sugary turn with a recipe for Pumpkin Roll!

Modified from Paleo Parents.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

This delicious recipe makes a kind of gluten free, paleo-friendly dense pumpkin custard in a muffin pan. Store these in the fridge for upward of a week; they can also be frozen, with the muffin liners removed, and kept between waxed paper.

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree [canned, NOT organic]
  • 1 cup almond or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup almond flour [or wheat or all-purpose flour]
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Topping choice: 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, OR chopped nuts or pepitas, or dried cranberries

Place muffin cup liners in pan, then spray the insides with nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

If your almond butter is very stiff, measure it out, place in a microwave-safe bowl, then zap it for 15 seconds or so to soften it. Mix pumpkin puree and the almond butter together.

Add honey and maple syrup. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients until everything is just combined.

Fill the muffin cups to 3/4 full; a tablespoon scoop makes this easy, as it's almost exactly 2 tablespoons to fill the cups. Top with mini chocolate chips or nuts or cranberries, if desired.

Bake at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. Pumpkin pucks will not rise much. The tops of some may start to crack. Remove them from pan and allow to cool, then store in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

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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 | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Bundt Cake

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 | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

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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