breakfast

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Posted by on Sep 26, 2018 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | 0 comments

Welcome to MACADAMIA NUT MONTH! Why is this Macadamia Nut Month? Because next month on the 23rd, the final book in my Blood of Earth trilogy comes out! Macadamia nuts are a big product of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a major setting in Roar of Sky. Plus, macadamia nuts are awesome.

If you love these nuts, get ready to bliss out. This month includes recipes for:
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Lemony Macadamia Nut Bars
Mini Fruit Cake Loaves to make now for the holidays (macadamia nuts optional) (today)

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Fruitcake is one of the most maligned holiday foods out there, but people do love it. My dad sure does. I wanted to make him a fruitcake that proved how awesome they could be.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

The recipe you see today is one I’ve been experimenting with for a few years now. One problem that I had with a lot of existing recipes is that they make a ton of fruitcakes. Therefore, I wanted to find the right recipe to cut in half for easier fridge storage and eventual transportation to California.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

I used a highly-rated King Arthur Flour recipe and tweaked it a ton. I printed out guides of fruitcake-making advice and incorporated that information, too.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

My dad doesn’t like fruitcakes that are heavy on nuts. Therefore, I place more emphasis on the fruit. Customize the kinds of fruits and nuts to your preference. I often use a combination of pre-made “fruitcake mixes” from the grocery store along with dried golden raisins, chopped apricots and dates, etc. Whatever I have in my cupboard or can grab on sale.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

The same with the nuts. If you hate walnuts, don’t use walnuts. Include just one nut or use a wide variety, just make sure they are chopped up. You don’t want huge pieces.

The use of cocoa powder seems odd, but it’s there to add color. That’s a holdover from the original King Arthur Flour recipe. I was afraid that it would add a chocolate flavor, but it doesn’t at all. There are so many other complex flavors going on, it doesn’t stand out.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

The liquid to macerate the fruit can be alcohol or standard fruit juice. My preference is to get some help from good old Captain Morgan. In the simple syrup, you can also omit the rum, if you so choose.

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

If you have any questions about this fruitcake recipe, feel free to comment on this page or reach out via social media. Just don’t wait too long–if you want these loaves ready for the holidays, you’ll need to bake them soon!

 

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

I advise using disposable mini loaf pans for this recipe. Measurements for these pans vary widely; this recipe was tested with pans that measured 7″ x 2.5″ width, 1.8″ high, and the batter filled three pans. If you’re making these loaves as a holiday gift, plan to bake at least 6 weeks before the gift-giving date. The loaves will need to be basted with a simple sugar glaze each week for those 6 weeks in order to “ripen” the fruitcakes. After the glazing is done, the loaves can be removed from their pans to be frozen indefinitely, or well-wrapped and stored in a cool, dark location for months.

  • Fruit:
  • 1 lb 4 ounces dried and/or candied fruit
  • (including fruitcake mixes, raisins, chopped dates, cherries, apricots, crystallized ginger, etc)
  • 6 Tablespoons rum, brandy, apple juice, or cranberry juice
  • Batter:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa; optional, for color
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or water
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (one kind or a variety: almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc)
  • Simple Syrup Glaze:
  • 1 cup sugar (granulated, caster, or for deeper flavor, turbinado)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon rum (optional)

Prepare the fruit:

Combine the fruit with the liquid of choice in a non-reactive bowl; cover and let rest overnight, at minimum.

Prepare simple syrup:

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the liquor, if using. Cool completely. Keep stored in jar in fridge to brush the loaves over the coming weeks.

Preheat oven at 300-degrees. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together, followed by the salt, spices, and baking powder.

Beat in the eggs, scraping the bowl after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa.

Add the flour mixture and the corn syrup to the butter mix. Scrape bowl well, then add the juice, the fruit with its liquid, and the nuts.

Apply nonstick spray to the mini loaf pans; pan measurements vary, but this recipe should use 3 to 4 pans. Spoon batter into the pans, filling them about 3/4 full.

Bake for about 1 hour to an 15 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. If desired, poke the cakes throughout with a skewer to allow more liquid to seep in. Brush tops with simple syrup for the first time.

Allow loaves to completely cool, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge or in a cool, dark location.

Once a week for the next six weeks, unwrap loaves to brush with more simple syrup (making more in needed).

After 6 weeks of ripening, the cakes can be eaten, stored in fridge longer, or frozen.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, gluten-free, healthier, no-bake dessert | 0 comments

I present to you my recipe for Nutty Bites. These are a fantastic snack or breakfast.

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

Plus, they are super-healthy, loaded with nuts and seeds, totally gluten-free, with honey as the sweetener and binding agent.

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

This is an easy recipe to customize, too. Keep the amounts of nuts and seeds the same, but switch in peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, wheat germ, sunflower kernels… whatever you like!

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

You can toast the nuts first, if you choose. I actually preferred it untoasted. Do note that some smaller add-ins like pepitas can burn quickly, and burned pepitas don’t taste that great. (Voice of experience here.)

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

I can report that these keep well in the freezer for at least a month, too. Just make sure to have something like waxed paper between the layers–and even then, in a few spots with heavy honey, the bars might stick.

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

Oh, and did I mention that this is entirely made on stovetop? No need to heat up the house by turning on the oven! Whip out your candy thermometer and you’ll have Nutty Bites ready in no time flat.

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

 

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

Bready or Not Original: Nutty Bites

Toast the nuts first if you choose (though watch out, pepitas can burn fast), but untoasted, unsalted nuts offer a nice clean flavor here. Feel free to substitute other nuts or other add-ins (like wheat germ for chia seeds or flaxseed). A candy thermometer is necessary for this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sprinkle salt

Mix the nuts and seeds together in a large glass or metal bowl. Prepare an 8x8 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and grease well.

Heat the honey and water in a medium saucepan on medium-high. Use a candy thermometer to track the temperature as it rises to 275-degrees (soft crack stage). Stay close to the pan at all times! Once the honey starts boiling, it will bubble excessively, so keep stirring and use great caution.

As soon as it reaches 275-degrees, pour the honey mix over the nuts and seeds. Stir to coat. It will harden quickly, so move fast! Pour everything into the ready pan and press out evenly.

Let set out for an hour. Use a knife or bench knife to chop into squares. Store at room temperature in a sealed container between wax paper layers; they can also be frozen.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake | 0 comments

Bourbon. Glazed. Pound. Cake. This thing is easy to make and tastes like a boozy version of a cruller.

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

Yes, a cruller. Those yummy braided-style glazed donuts. Slathered in bourbon.

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

Do I have your attention now?

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

I based this recipe on one in Bake From Scratch Magazine (Holiday 2016) but I altered it a good bit, especially in regards to the glaze.

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

When I use a thin, sugary glaze on a bundt cake, I like to use a method I learned from the Great British Bake Off. I use the pan to help me make sure the glaze soaks into the entire cake.

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

I’ve had too many cakes where the bottom middle of the cake ends up devoid of glaze. Not so with this technique!

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

Yes, you can taste the bourbon in the end result. No, I have no substitutions to offer. I don’t know what this recipe would be without that particular reinforcement.

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

Bready or Not: Bourbon-Glazed Pound Cake (Tube/Bundt Cake)

This glorious cake tastes like a boozy cruller! The inside is soft and tender like a pound cake, with the glaze creates a crunchy crust. This cake is great warm or cold, and slices can be frozen for later enjoyment, too.

  • Cake:
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or half & half
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Bourbon Glaze:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch-or-larger tube pan or bundt pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, and beat until fluffy and white, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, nutmeg, and salt. Gradually add it to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Follow up with the zest and vanilla. Pour into the ready pan.

Bake until it passes the toothpick test, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then upend onto wire rack. Set aside the pan--don't wash it! Let the cake completely cool for a few hours.

To make the glaze, combine the sugar, bourbon, and butter in a small saucepan. Constantly whisk at a low heat until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. Take off heat. It will look like a lot of liquid, but the cake will soak it up.

Place the cake back in the pan. Poke holes all over the base with a chopstick or skewer. Spoon about half the glaze over holes and sides of cake. Let sit a minute. Upend cake onto a serving platter or plate. Poke more holes all over top. Spoon rest of glaze into holes and over sides. Use a basting brush to mop up drippings and make sure cake is fully glazed.

Store under a cake dome at room temperature or in fridge. Can also be cut into slices and individually frozen. Eat cold, at room temperature, or warmed in microwave.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Posted by on Aug 8, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate | 0 comments

I’d like to thank my past self for setting me up to re-discover this Oatmeal Caramel Bars recipe.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

When I was home last Thanksgiving, my mom gave me a stack of her old recipes and food magazines to go through. A lot of the material dated to the 1970s and ’80s and went straight in the recycle pile.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Mixed in with everything else, though, I found some little food magazines I had bought back in 1999 as I looked toward getting married. One of them highlighted favorite recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

This recipe, originally titled Oatmeal Carmelitas, dated from the 1960s. I knew I had to make it.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

The recipe essentially makes a big, fat candy bar. Oatmeal forms the crust, while the middle consists of chocolate chips and gooey caramel.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Yeah. This isn’t a health recipe, but wow, is it good. This was worth being published again in 1999–and again now, with some new tweaks.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

 

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

These bars are like big, delicious candy bars loaded with oats, chocolate, and caramel! Note that they should be well-chilled before slicing into bars and will be more cohesive if stored in the fridge as well. Modified from magazine Best From 50 Years of Bake-Off, May 1999.

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Filling:
  • 1 14-ounce caramel ice cream topping
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all crust ingredients until crumbly. Reserve half, about 3 cups, for the topping, and press the rest into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the caramel and 4 Tablespoons of flour.

When the crust is done baking, sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over the top, then drizzle evenly with the caramel mixture. Add the reserved crumb mixture on top.

Return to the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for an hour or so, then set in fridge to completely chill for several hours or overnight. To cut, use the foil to lift contents to a cutting board. Slice into bars.

Store in sealed container in fridge with layers between pieces of parchment or wax paper. Bars will stay more cohesive if chilled; they are gooier at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

Posted by on Jul 4, 2018 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

If you’re looking for a delicious way to use up summer blueberries, oh, do I have a recipe for you.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

These Blueberry Hand Cake Bars are really easy to make. Seriously, there are only 6 ingredients!

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

That said, this is a recipe for a stand mixer or hand blender will come in handy. Eggs are the leavening agent, so they need to be beaten with the sugar for an extended period of time.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

So if you make this by hand, consider this your arm workout for the day.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

The baked bars are just downright summery and fresh. Cakey, light, perfectly sweet. I could come up with more adjectives, I’m sure.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

If you want more of my blueberry recipes, be sure to check out:
Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze
Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles
Guest Post: Pat Esden with Old Fashioned Blueberry Cake

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

 

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

This simple recipe results in blueberry hand cake that is great for breakfast or snacks.

  • 12 ounces fresh blueberries (two pints)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.

Gently rinse the blueberries, removing any stems or smashed ones, and set the clean berries in a small bowl.

Using a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for about 5 to 7 minutes, until pale in color and almost doubled in volume. The eggs are the leavening agent in this recipe, so it's important they are beaten until thickened, with the batter forming a ribbon as the beaters lift up.

Add the butter and vanilla, and mix for another two minutes. Measure out 1/2 cup of flour and carefully stir it into the blueberries to coat them, which will reduce sinking into the batter during the baking process. Slowly stir the remaining 1 1/2 cup of flour into the batter. By hand, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

Pour batter into the ready pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned and the center passes the toothpick test. Let cool completely before lifting up contents by the foil to slice into bars. Eat within two days, or freeze for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, healthier, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

These High Fiber Muffins are a delicious way to start your day!

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

When I was challenged to make high-fiber muffins, this turned out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. I wanted them to be delicious but to include ingredients I already had in the kitchen.

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

In other words, I didn’t want to order some fancy high fiber mix-ins that I would never use again.

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

I found a good base recipe from King Arthur Flour and set to work modifying it. Instead of Hi-Maize Fiber, I tried almond flour. I switched in white whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

When the topping portion of the recipe made way, way too much, I tested out reduced amounts in my next attempt. I judged how well the muffins held up after being frozen for weeks.

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

The end result in a higher-fiber muffin recipe that’s light, cakey and delicious.

Note that the muffin tops will get soggy after about two days at room temperature. Make them last a lot longer by freezing them! Remove the paper liners and set muffins on waxed paper to freeze, then store them in a gallon bag or other freezer-safe container.

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

Modified from King Arthur Flour.

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

Bready or Not: High Fiber Muffins

These high-fiber muffins are light and cakey and packed with good things! Store them at room temperature for a day or two, or freeze to make them last longer.

  • Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon King Arthur Flour Cake Enhancer, optional
  • 1/3 cup milk or half & half
  • 3/4 cup (one standard single cup) Greek vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt (not nonfat)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup dried fruit such as golden raisins
  • Topping:
  • 2 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted softened butter

Preheat oven at 400-degrees. Place muffin liners in pan and apply nonstick spray.

In a big bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and cake enhancer (if using). Mix in the milk, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla, followed by the melted butter. Stir in the dried fruit until just distributed.

Using a muffin scoop or heaping spoonfuls, fill muffin cups until mostly full.

Combine topping ingredients. Spoon onto the top of each muffin and lightly press in with fingertips.

Bake muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until lightly domed and center muffin passes the toothpick test. Immediately remove them from the pan to cool on a rack.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two days; after that, tops will start to get soggy, though muffins will still taste good. To freeze, remove paper liners and place on a wax-paper lined pan in freezer. Then place in gallon freezer bag or plastic container to store in freezer up to several weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More