Posts by Beth

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

Posted by on Sep 30, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, pumpkin | 0 comments

Welcome to an annual tradition at Bready or Not–the autumn pumpkin theme! We begin with Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

This recipe makes a small batch (about 30 1-inch cookies) of delicious pumpkin shortbread cookies. I crusted the top with turbinado shortbread to make them extra pretty.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are not as dry as some shortbread can be, likely because of the pumpkin.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

Pumpkin can make some baked cookies quite tacky; that’s not a problem here, in part, because the puree is actually dried a bit prior to being mixed into the dough.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

The end result is a cookie that is just moist enough, perfect to go with tea, coffee, or perhaps some cider or cocoa. The orange color of the cookies makes them even more perfectly fall.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

In Arizona, hot as it is, it’s important to enjoy some fall traditions like pumpkin goodies, even if it’s 100-degrees out and no trees are dropping leaves!

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

This small batch of pumpkin shortbread embodies fall flavors and colors, all with a lovely sugary crunch on top!
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, pumpkin, shortbread
Servings: 30 cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 1 to 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter
  • parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • turbinado or other coarse sugar, optional, for tops

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Measure out pumpkin puree onto a couple of layered paper towels. Gently pat dry, turning over puree to sop moisture from different angles.
  • In a medium sauce pan, brown the butter, carefully heating it until it smells nutty. Remove from heat. Whisk in the pumpkin puree until well combined. Note that it might bubble and pop, so take care.
  • In a large bowl, combined the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to mix in the saucepan items.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pan to make the dough an even 1/4-inch thickness. Place it in fridge to chill for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Set dough on counter and remove top parchment. Use cookie cutter to portion out cookies. Transfer to baking sheet, spaced out a bit. Mix leftover dough together again, adding a tiny bit of water if needed to make it cohesive, and cut out more cookies.
  • If desired, sprinkle turbinado sugar all over the tops of the cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are set. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, quick bread | 0 comments

    This Snickerdoodle Loaf Cake is proof, yet again, that snickerdoodles are awesome in any form.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    I made this based on a recipe in Bake from Scratch and had to modify it significantly to make it more snickerdoodly (that is totally a word) and work overall.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    The foremost issue on my first bake is that, despite the toothpick test, my loaf wasn’t fully baked. It ended up collapsing as it cooled. I had to gut the middle of the cake, but the majority of it was edible.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    Not only was it edible, but my husband loved it. Therefore, he was happy when I baked it again, with more modifications–including a longer bake time.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    This cake is a great keeper, too. It tasted great for a full five days. It might last even longer than that.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    I guess I’d need to bake it again to test that theory. Oh darn.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Swirl Loaf

    This Snickerdoodle Loaf Cake features a moist, delicious crumb and layers of cinnamon-sugar deliciousness. The optional nuts add a fantastic crunch.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: loaf cake, pecans, pistachios, quick bread, snickerdoodle
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9x5 loaf pan
    • parchment paper

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar divided
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 cup whole milk or half & half
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup pecans or pistachios, divided, optional

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Cut parchment paper to fit long-ways in a loaf pan, sticking up on either side as a sling. Apply nonstick spray into pan, place paper, then spray again. Set aside.
    • In a big bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, 1 cup white sugar, and salt. Gradually mix in the milk, vanilla extract, oil, and egg, until just combined.
    • In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon.
    • Spread about half the batter in the loaf pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar on top, followed by about half the nuts (if using). Add rest of the batter. Use a knife to swirl batter, bringing the blade up and down a bit, to marble the layers together. Sprinkle rest of the cinnamon-sugar across the top followed by the nuts (if using). Swirl the batter again.
    • Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick stuck deep in the middle comes out clean. About halfway through the bake, add foil over the top to prevent overbrowning.
    • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then use parchment sling to lift loaf onto a rack to fully cool.
    • Well-wrapped loaf keeps at room temperature as long as 5 days. Slices can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      Posted by on Sep 16, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, cracker, French | 0 comments

      Cheese is divine to eat straight-up, but it can also be baked into delicious things such as these Homemade Cheese Crackers.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      These crackers can be as fancy as you want. Use an import cheese like Gruyere or Comte, or stick with a basic American cheddar.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      Whatever cheese you choose, be sure you have a food processor to, well, process the dough. The cheese needs to be at one with the flour and spices.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      The dough can be frozen, but do be aware that the finished crackers have a definite shelf life.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      After about 3 days, the crackers become softer and crumblier. They still taste okay, but the structural integrity won’t be very good if you want to carry them in a baggy.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      But then, these crackers are so good, you might have them inhaled so quickly that this is not a problem at all.

      Modified from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      These homemade crackers use few ingredients to make delicious crackers. Pair with white wine or Champagne, or serve to kids or company! These crackers are as fancy as you want them to be, based on the cheese used. Makes about 55 1-inch crackers.
      Course: Appetizer, Snack
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: cheese, cracker
      Servings: 55 crackers
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • food processor
      • baking sheet
      • parchment paper
      • 1-inch cookie cutter

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, cut into small pieces
      • 4 ounces Comte grated, or Gruyere or Emmenthal or good old cheddar
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
      • pinch cayenne pepper optional
      • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • Maldon sea salt or other flaky gourmet salt, optional

      Instructions

      • Place the butter, cheese, salt, white pepper, and cayenne (if using) in the food processor. Pulse until the butter is broken into uneven pieces and the mixture begins to form small curds. Add the flour and mix until it looks like larger curds. If the dough is stubborn, pulse a bit more to distribute ingredients.
      • Dump dough onto a flat surface and gently knead with hands to make cohesive. Divvy dough in half, forming each piece into a flat disk, and wrap in plastic. Tuck into fridge to chill for at least an hour or a couple days; it can also be frozen at this stage.
      • When time to bake, preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick mats.
      • Pull out a dough disk. Use two sheets of parchment to roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness; if the dough is too hard to roll, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before trying again. Use a small cookie cutter (about 1-inch) to cut dough into crackers. Place them spaced out on parchment on pan. Gather the scraps to form more crackers, using a touch of water, if needed, to make it cohesive again.
      • If desired, sprinkle some Maldon sea salt atop crackers; only a few flakes are needed to add extra flavor.
      • Bake for about 10 minutes. Rotate pan. Bake for another 4 to 7 minutes, until crackers are lightly golden and firm to the touch. Let cool on pan or on a rack.
      • Crackers are great warm or at room temperature. They are best eaten within 3 days. After that, they soften and become more crumbly, but they are still tasty.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        Posted by on Sep 9, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

        Espresso-flavored chocolate chips are a new fad in American grocery stores, and I use them in this original recipe for Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies!

        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        I’ve tried two kinds of espresso chocolate chips. My favorite of the two was Tollhouse, which had a nice, clean coffee flavor that stayed nice and strong in the baked cookies, too.

        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        I also mixed in cocoa nibs. Nibs are VERY strong in flavor, so you don’t need much to add a boost of flavor and crunch.

        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        The flavor in these cookies is up-front when they are fresh from the oven, but after a day, I found the flavors deepened a good deal.

        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        These make for a perfect snack paired with coffee or tea, and remember, they contain some caffeine! Perhaps eat them for breakfast rather than as a midnight snack.

        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        Bready or Not Original: Chewy Coffee-Cocoa Nib Cookies

        Espresso-flavored chocolate chips and cocoa nibs add a fantastic wallop to this original cookie recipe! Note that the dough needs to be chilled for at least a couple of hours prior to baking. Makes about 50 teaspoon-sized cookies.
        Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
        Keyword: chocolate, coffee, cookies
        Author: Beth Cato

        Ingredients

        • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks, softened
        • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
        • 1/2 cup white sugar
        • 2 Tablespoons honey
        • 1 large egg room temperature
        • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
        • 1 cup bread flour
        • 1 cup all-purpose flour
        • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
        • 1 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1 cup espresso-flavored chocolate chips Tollhouse recommended
        • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs

        Instructions

        • In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and honey and beat until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
        • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: bread flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Sift together.
        • Slowly stir together the wet ingredients and flour mix until just combined. Sprinkle in the chocolate chips and nibs. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stash in the fridge for several hours or days; dough can also be frozen at this stage.
        • When ready to bake, preheat the oven at 350-degrees. Use greased stoneware, parchment paper, or silpat mats. The cookie dough, even straight from the fridge, has a soft Play-Doh-like consistency, and will spread when it bakes; keep this in mind when spacing cookie dough.
        • Teaspoon-sized cookies need to bake 9 to 12 minutes; Tablespoon-sized take 11 to 13 minutes. Let set on cookie sheets for 10 to 15 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
        • Store cookies will keep in a sealed container, between waxed paper or parchment layers. Coffee and chocolate flavors will likely deepen after a day,.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          West Valley View piece on my newest Chicken Soup for the Soul story

          Posted by on Sep 8, 2020 in anthology:nonfiction, Blog | 0 comments

          My local paper the West Valley View did a story about my nonfiction tale in the new release Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Cats. Read that here!

          Finn and Snake
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