Posts by Beth

Bready or Not: Double Apple Spice Cake

Posted by on Feb 1, 2023 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, cake | 0 comments

This Double Apple Spice Cake includes chopped apples in the batter and sliced apples prettily arranged on top. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get apple in every bite!

Bready or Not: Double Apple Spice Cake

I came across a version of this recipe promoted by Kerrygold Irish Butter. I thought it looked amazing, but I wanted to change it to a square pan for easier slicing and freezing and make a number of other little changes, too.

Double Apple Spice Cake

Instead of dusting the top with confectioners’ sugar, I decided to use a technique I also use for my Calvados Apple Galette: brushing honey across the top near the end of baking to add some sweetness and glisten.

Double Apple Spice Cake

This is really such a pretty cake. The spices are gentle, but present enough to boost the flavor of the apples.

Modified from Kerrygold.

Bready or Not: Double Apple Spice Cake

This cake has a chopped apple in the batter and sliced apples beautifully arranged across the top. The perfect cake for apple-lovers! Modified from Kerrygold Butter.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 8×8 or 9×9 square pan
  • aluminum foil
  • nonstick spray
  • basting brush

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces Kerrygold Salted Butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 medium baking apples like Pink Lady, Envy, Granny Smith, etc
  • 2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick cooking spray.
  • Prepare the apples. Peel then dice up one of the apples. The other two, peel and slice thinly.
  • To a large bowl, add the brown sugar and eggs. Whisk for about a minute until thoroughly combined and creamy.
  • Add the sour cream/yogurt, pure vanilla extract, and melted butter. Whisk well.
  • In a separate medium size bowl, combine flour, kosher salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and allspice.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Before the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, add the diced apples. Continue to fold in until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, then use an offset spatula to smooth it out. Shingle the thinly sliced apples on top. The sprinkle turbinado sugar all over the slices.
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Pull out the cake and brush on the honey across all of the nooks and crannies. Place the cake back in oven to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the top is turning golden brown. The apples on top should be fork-tender with the center cake passing the toothpick test.
  • Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing in. Store covered in the fridge. Cake can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

    Posted by on Jan 25, 2023 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, nutty | 0 comments

    I’ve used almonds in many cookie and bar recipes, but these Marcona Almond Bars are especially decadent and good.

    Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

    First of all, the base recipe starts with browned butter. Almond butter is also mixed in, which adds to the taste and texture. There’s just a touch of spice involved. These bars are really about the almonds.

    Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

    What makes Marcona almonds different? They are from Spain, for one, and have the skin removed. They have a high standard of quality, a buttery, clean, crispness to them that is especially nice in contrast to chocolate. (They are also great on a Spanish-themed cheeseboard with things like Manchego cheese and membrillo paste.)

    Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

    These bars are delicious for a snack or dessert, and they look especially pretty in their simplicity.

    Modified from February 2014 issue of Food & Wine Magazine.

    Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

    These are, dare we say, elevated almond bars thanks the combination of browned butter, chocolate chips, and salty Marcona almonds. Modified from February 2014 issue of Food & Wine Magazine.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: almond, bars, cookies
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • large saucepan
    • 9×13 pan
    • offset spatula

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
    • 3 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed
    • 5 large eggs lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup roasted almond butter
    • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups Marcona almonds 9 ounces
    • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips 11 ounces (1 bag)

    Instructions

    • In a large saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set off-heat to cool for about 30 minutes.
    • Start oven preheating at 325-degrees. Place a large strip of aluminum foil in a 9×13 pan and apply nonstick spray or butter.
    • Add the sugar, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon to the cooled browned butter. Mix until smooth. Add the flour. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the almonds and 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to even out dough. Scatter the remaining almonds and chocolate chips over the top and lightly press in.
    • Bake for 60 minutes. The middle should pass the toothpick test. Cool at room temperature, speeding process in the fridge, if desired. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      New Publications for January

      Posted by on Jan 23, 2023 in anthology:poem, anthology:story, Blog | 0 comments

      New year, new month, and finally a chance to update my bibliography with my new releases. Here’s what is new!

      Short Story

      “Family Get-Together,” Nature (Dec 16 2022)

      Poetry

      “Birthday Cake,” co-written with Rhonda Parrish, Dreams & Nightmares (issue 123 January 2023)
      “The Deal” and “Lucky Shot,” co-written with Rhonda Parrish, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (Jan/Feb 2023)
      “That Monster Beneath the Bed,” Haven Spec
      “Following the White Horse,” Daikaijuzine

      #SFWAPro

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      Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

      Posted by on Jan 18, 2023 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

      How do you make Chocolate Chip Cookies better? More chocolate, of course–in this case, a chocolate disc inside these Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate makes them extra delicious.

      Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

      Fun fact up front: this is a modification of my most reliable, most-baked cookie recipe. The differences: add another cup of chocolate chips, and remove the chocolate discs. These Soft Batch-esque cookies are the ones I make whenever I go home to California. I usually have a round or two frozen in case of urgent cookie needs at home, too.

      Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

      This new take on my old favorite adds a luscious chocolate layer right in the middle. If you can’t find the Ghirardelli version of these discs, seek out another one, or even use a pinch of chocolate chips! A Hershey’s Kiss or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup would work, too, though you might need to add some extra dough to seal them inside.

      Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

      Even better, these cookies will keep for weeks, if you have the fortitude to make them last. That makes these great for gift-giving, cookie exchanges, and mailing (if you’re not someplace hellishly hot).

      Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

      Delicious, reliable chocolate chip cookies–made even more chocolaty by being stuffed with extra chocolate. Since these are stuffed, they are large cookies, a real treat! Can't find the Ghirardelli Wafers? Use a pinch of chocolate chips, chunked chocolate, or a candy like Hershey's Kisses or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: chocolate, cookies
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • tablespoon scoop
      • cookie sheet

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
      • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 large eggs room temperature
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
      • 2 teaspoons baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 2 cups chocolate chips
      • 10- ounces Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers
      • flaked salt or coarse sugar to sprinkle on top, optional

      Instructions

      • Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, which takes several minutes in a mixer. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.
      • The cookies can be made right away, but texture is thicker if the dough is chilled for several hours or overnight. Cover with plastic wrap if it will be in for a while.
      • When it’s time to bake, preheat oven at 350-degrees. Use a tablespoon scoop to form a ball of dough. Make a deep imprint and shove a chocolate wafer inside. Fold and press the dough to completely encase. Repeat, spacing them out to allow for spread on the pan. If desired, sprinkle some flaked salt or coarse sugar atop each to provide extra texture and flavor.
      • Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until the cookies look golden and set. Let them continue to rest on pan for 5 to 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
      • Store in a sealed container at room temperature. These cookies can keep for weeks.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

        Posted by on Jan 11, 2023 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, nutty | 0 comments

        The second week of 2023, and we’re beginning in proper form with a cake. An Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake.

        Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

        This cake isn’t as super-sweet as many. Instead, the olive oil and almonds are what comes through beautifully in the crumb. The glaze finishes things off, and the crunch of slices almonds adds a nice textural contrast.

        Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

        This is the kind of bundt cake that works well for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. It also works for any season of the year.

        Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

        Modified from a Pompeiian Olive Oil ad.

        Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

        This Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake isn’t as super-sweet as some bundt cakes, so the glaze adds a wonderful touch. Modified from a Pompeiian Olive Oil ad.
        Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: Italian
        Keyword: almond, bundt cake, cake
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 10 or 12 cup bundt pan
        • cooking spray with flour
        • cooling rack

        Ingredients

        Cake

        • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 3/4 cup almond flour sifted
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
        • 4 large eggs room temperature
        • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
        • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
        • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
        • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or plain almond milk

        Glaze

        • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
        • 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk or half & half
        • sliced almonds optional

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Apply baking spray with flour on the interior of the bundt pan.
        • In a small bowl, combine flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
        • In a big mixing bowl, beat together sugar and eggs until they are thick and yellow, about three minutes. Slowly mix in olive oil until smooth, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. Mix in the dry ingredients alternatively with the almond milk, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
        • Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, about 50 to 60 minutes.
        • Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert cake onto the rack to completely cool.
        • Make the glaze. Beat together the confectioners' sugar and milk to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over the top so it oozes down the sides. If desired, top with a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Let glaze set for about 20 minutes. Slice in and enjoy!

        OM NOM NOM!

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