Posts by Beth

Listen to my story “Headspace” in The Overcast

Posted by on Jul 23, 2021 in anthology:story, Blog, online publication, podcast | 0 comments

Space travel is cool. Cats traveling in space is even cooler, right? My story “Headspace,” originally published years ago in the themed anthology Cats in Space, is now available in podcast form! The narrator, Steve Quinn, did a great job. Please take a listen–you can even download it to listen on the go!

Listen to “Headspace” over at The Overcast.

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

Posted by on Jul 21, 2021 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cookies | 0 comments

These Apple-Oat Cookies are like a cross between apple oatmeal and apple pie, in a convenient portable form.

Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

Really, these cookies feel homey. They take like comfort, with the apples and oats a little dense but not too heavy. The glaze on top adds a touch of sweetness that is just right.

Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

As I have a husband who loves apple oatmeal AND apple pie, he enjoyed these cookies greatly. They are a perfect breakfast cookie!

Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

I found that they kept for at least three days at room temperature. Even better–as these were all for my husband to enjoy–I found they froze and thawed without a problem. I actually froze most of the batch straight away. Portion control is a good thing, especially with over thirty cookies offering temptation!

Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

I used a Gala apple, but I say any sweet baking apple would work well.

Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies

These soft cookies are like a combination of apple-cinnamon oatmeal and apple pie! The glaze adds just the right touch of sweetness. These make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. Makes about 35 cookies with a tablespoon scoop.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, cookies, oats
Servings: 35 cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • tablespoon cookie scoop
  • parchment paper
  • waxed paper

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats also called rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large baking apple peeled and finely chopped; Gala and Fuji are ideal

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar plus more if needed
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or half & half, plus more if needed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice.
  • In a big mixing bowl, combine the soft butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Follow up with the eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the apple pieces.
  • Use a tablespoon scoop or spoon to dole out dough spaced an inch apart on the cookie sheet. Bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let set on rack for 10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack. Continue with the next batch.
  • Once all of the cookies are cool, make the glaze. Stir together the confectioners’ sugar and milk to form a thick but oozy consistency. Spoon over the cookies.
  • Store in a sealed container at room temperature, with waxed paper between the stacked layers. They will keep for at least three days. Cookies will freeze and thaw without issue.

OM NOM NOM!

    Bready or Not Original: Apple-Oat Cookies
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    New poem in Fantasy Magazine: “How to Find Yourself Again”

    Posted by on Jul 16, 2021 in anthology:poem, Blog | 0 comments

    fantasy magazine july 2021

    I’m thrilled to have achieved a long-time goal to have something published in Fantasy Magazine. For a few years there, it looked like it wouldn’t be possible at all, as the magazine was no more… but now it’s back, I had my second chance, and I’m in with a very appropriate poem!

    Read “How to Find Yourself Again” in Fantasy Magazine.

    #SFWAPro

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    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    Posted by on Jul 14, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, cheese galore, nutty | 0 comments

    This Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake is more cake than cheesecake, and is all sweet, fruity goodness.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    If you need a showstopper cake for a brunch or dessert, this one is perfect. It’s great to make ahead of time, too–slices can even be frozen for later, no prob!

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    I used Murray’s Spiced Cherry Preserves; that little kick of spice was fantastic in the cake. Other bold preserves would be great in this cake, too–raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, even tropical flavors.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    This is a thick, rich cake. It tastes best when you get a bit of all the layers in a single bite: the sliced almonds, crumb topping, fruit, cream cheese, sponge.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    My husband liked the cake cold but he liked it even more when warmed a bit–and not in the microwave, either, but gently brought to room temperature by letting a slice sit out for 30 to 45 minutes.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    Don’t forget a slice on the counter, though. This does contain cream cheese and shouldn’t be left out for hours!

    Modified from Taste of Home Magazine December 2015.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    This is more cake than cheesecake, but it includes cream cheese, too, plus luscious layers of fruit and crumb topping. Feel free to experiment with different quality preserves--this would be delicious in a multitude of variations.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: almond, cake, cheese, cherries, cream cheese, springform pan
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9-inch springform pan
    • parchment paper

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup white sugar divided
    • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter cubed
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup vanilla yogurt or sour cream, 8 ounces
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 8 ounces cream cheese 1 box, softened
    • 1 cup cherry preserves
    • 1/2 cup slices almonds

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Cut a parchment round to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Apply nonstick spray or butter on bottom of sides of pan, add the parchment, then grease it as well.
    • In a big bowl, mix flour with 3/4 cup of sugar. Cut in butter until it is crumbly. Measure out 1/2 cup crumb mixture for topping; set aside.
    • To the bulk of the flour mix, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in yogurt, 1 egg, and almond extract, until blended. Spread batter onto bottom of the springform pan.
    • In a small bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and egg, to make it as smooth as possible. It's okay if it still has some clumps. Pour it onto the pan and smooth out. Spoon the preserves all across the top. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb topping and the sliced almonds.
    • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The middle should no longer be jiggly, the top a nice golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes then unlatch and life away the pan's ring to let the cake cool for another hour. Then place cake in fridge to complete set and cool for a few hours.
    • Cake can be eaten cold or after slices are brought to room temperature after about 30 to 45 minutes. Do remember to store cake in the fridge, as it does contain cream cheese! Slices can also be individually wrapped and frozen, and will thaw in the fridge with no issue.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas

      Posted by on Jul 7, 2021 in biscoff spread, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, yeast bread | 0 comments

      I hope it gets your attention when I say that these Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas are among the best things I have ever made.

      Really, these have it all going on. A tender enriched dough. Gooey chocolate. The sweet joy of cookie butter. Plus, the presentation is stunning with the dough coiled to reveal the layers of goodness.

      Bready or Not Original: Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas

      Even better, this recipe is great about portion control. You don’t have a babka loaf to worry about. Each babka is muffin-sized. This makes it easy to take on the go, and they are also convenient to freeze.

      Bready or Not Original: Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas

      If you’re unsure what cookie butter is, it is essentially sliced cookies pureed with oil to be the same consistency as peanut butter. It tastes like cookie dough in its purest form minus the risk of salmonella poisoning from raw eggs or flour. Find it near the peanut butter in a lot of stores; Biscoff is the most common brand, and it’s called Speculoos at Trader Joe’s.

      Bready or Not Original: Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas

      You can, of course, substitute a smooth peanut butter in this recipe–which is what the original recipe in Bake from Scratch was all about. But me, nah, I’m a rebel. And my husband doesn’t like peanut butter, and he’s the one who needs to eat these things.

      Bready or Not Original: Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas

      Modified greatly from Bake from Scratch Magazine July/August 2019; also online.

      Bready or Not Original: Mini Cookie Butter-Chocolate Babkas

      This recipe makes 12 miniature babkas within the convenience of a muffin pan! Cookie butter and chocolate chips are swirled together to create a decadent treat.
      Course: Breakfast, Dessert
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: chocolate, cookie butter, yeast bread
      Servings: 12
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 12-cup muffin pan
      • nonstick spray
      • pastry brush

      Ingredients

      • 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast or one store-bought packet
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
      • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon water divided
      • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted and divided
      • 2 large eggs room temperature and divided
      • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
      • 1 cup creamy cookie butter
      • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips plus extra

      Instructions

      • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together 4 cups flour, white sugar, yeast, and salt.
      • Using a saucepan or the microwave, heat 1 cup water and 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter until it is 120 to 130-degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add one egg and egg yolk, and beat for another 2 minutes. Beat in a 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour until a soft, sticky dough forms.
      • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is soft, smooth, and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes.
      • Add nonstick spray to a large bowl. Shape dough into a smooth ball, and place in bowl. Roll it briefly to coat in oil. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
      • Use nonstick spray on a 12-cup muffin pan.
      • In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add to it the cookie butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
      • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into roughly a 20x12-inch rectangle. Spread cookie butter mixture onto dough. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Fold rectangle crosswise into thirds as if folding a sheet of paper for an envelope, forming a smaller rectangle, about 12x6 inches.
      • Cut rectangle crosswise into 12 (about 1 inch) dough strips. Gently stretch and twist one to coil it inside a prepared muffin cup, tucking the end inside edge of cup to create a rounded top. Repeat 12 times. If desired, press a couple of additional chocolate chips into the top of each babka, but try to place them so they won't melt off the pan during baking.
      • Cover and let rise in a warm spot until they are puffed, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325-degrees.
      • In a small bowl, whisk together the last egg with 1 Tablespoon water. Brush tops of dough with egg wash.
      • Bake until babkas are golden brown, about 17 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in center should register 190-degrees.
      • Babkas are much better served warm--eat them fresh, or heat up later with a 20-30 burst in the microwave! This makes the dough soft and the chocolate gooey. They keep well sealed at room temperature for up to 3 days, but can also be frozen and thawed later.

      OM NOM NOM!

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