cheese galore

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Posted by on Oct 21, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, cupcakes, pumpkin | 0 comments

Pumpkin pairs with cream cheese in this delicious Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

No need for extra sugar or frosting on top. These are delicious all on their own!

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

It seems that my pumpkin theme most years needs at least one cream cheese and pumpkin pairing. This one fulfills that requirement this year, and in a delicious way.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

These cupcakes are light and airy with a bright flavor of pumpkin and spice, with the cream cheese adding wonderful sweetness.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This recipe makes two dozen. It’s certainly faster to bake up if you have two pans, but that is by no means required. One pan will do the job.

One warning about these things: they are so light and airy, it is easy to eat several at once. But because they are pumpkin, that makes them healthy, right? Just, uh, ignore that sugar and oil…

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

These light, airy pumpkin cupcakes includes luscious pockets of cream cheese in the middle! Recipe makes 2 dozen.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese, cupcake, pumpkin
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 1 or 2 cupcake/muffin pans
  • paper cupcake liners

Ingredients

Pumpkin batter

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • nonstick spray

Cream cheese filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg room temperature

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
  • In a big bowl, beat together pumpkin puree, sugar, and oil. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Gradually blend into the pumpkin mix.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, carefully warm the cream cheese a touch, just to make it soft enough to mash. Stir in the white sugar and egg until it is cohesive; it's okay if there are still some small chunks of cream cheese.
  • Place paper liners in the muffin pan (or two pans, if available). Apply nonstick spray in each liner. Add pumpkin to fill each liner about 1/3; a teaspoon scoop is useful for this. Add some dollops of cream cheese into each. Add layers of pumpkin batter to cover.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a middle cupcake passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then gingerly use two forks to pry out each cupcake to set on a rack to cool more. Place in sealed container in fridge to store.

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: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cheese galore, French, yeast bread | 0 comments

      This Jam and Cream Brioche Tart is probably among the most extraordinary things I’ve ever baked, and that is saying something.

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      First of all, the end result is gorgeous. Golden, thick crust freckled by pearl sugar. Marbled cream cheese and contrasting jam, with flecks of vanilla bean throughout.

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      The tart is as delicious as it looks, too. The enriched dough is sweet and soft, providing a luscious base for the different kind of sweet-and-soft offered by the filling.

      This is a showstopper of a dessert or breakfast.

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      The only unusual ingredient involved is the Swedish pearl sugar. I bought it on Amazon. I consider it a worthwhile investment, as there are a number of other pastry recipes I want to try that also use it. Plus, heck, you could even throw them on waffles or fruit or whatever.

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      Another not-quite-so-obscure ingredients I suggest you use is vanilla bean paste. This is VERY useful if you’re making fancy desserts because you get the flecks of vanilla beans without the high cost of using actual vanilla beans.

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      In a cream cheese filling or frosting, those flecks really stand out, and they add a lot to the WOW factor. Which this tart already has, many times over.

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      Recipe modified from Bake from Scratch, Sep/Oct 2019.

       

      Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

      Don't be intimidated by the lengthy instructions! The actual process is fairly straightforward, and the result is gorgeous. Use vanilla bean paste for the filling, if possible, as the flecks of bean add a lot to the prettiness of the finished tart. Modified from Bake from Scratch, Sep/Oct 2019.
      Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: cream cheese, french, yeast bread
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9x9-inch pan
      • parchment paper

      Ingredients

      For Brioche

      • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk or half & half
      • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
      • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
      • 3 large eggs room temperature and divided
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

      For Cream Cheese Filling

      • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
      • 1/3 cup white sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or substitute vanilla extract
      • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
      • 1 large egg room temperature
      • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

      To Finish

      • 2 Tablespoons fruit preserves use good quality stuff with nice chunks
      • 1 Tablespoon water
      • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar

      Instructions

      • Using the microwave and a safe dish, heat the milk to between 120 and 130 degrees. Set aside.
      • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the flour, white sugar, yeast, and salt at very low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
      • Slowly add the warm milk to incorporate. Add 2 of the eggs along with the vanilla, and beat for about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
      • Add butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next, about 8 minutes total. (If it refuses to incorporate, switch back to the paddle for this stage.) Beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 6 minutes.
      • Lightly flour a stretch of counter or tabletop and dump the dough there. Knead it for a minute or so and form it into a smooth round.
      • Apply cooking spray inside a large bowl. Place the dough inside and give it a spray, too, to prevent sticking. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap in a warm spot to rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
      • Cut parchment paper to line pan going up all four sides. Apply nonstick spray to pan, then lay both strips inside the pan and spray the top-most sides.
      • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11-inch square. Score a 9-inch square in center of dough (using the pan as a reference, if needed). Fold outside 2 inches over score mark, creating a crust around edges.
      • Place dough in the prepared pan, making sure it is even and fills corners of pan. Cover and let rise until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
      • Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla bean paste (or extract), and salt until well combined. Gradually add cream cheese, beating until smooth. Add egg to incorporate, followed by the flour.
      • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Using your fingertips to dimple the center of dough back down, leaving outside crust as is. Pour the cream cheese mix into the center of dough. Make small indentations in the cream cheese then add dollops of the preserves. Use a knife to swirl the fruit in a bit more.
      • In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 tablespoon water and remaining egg. Brush the crust with the egg wash, then finish by sprinkling the pearl sugar all over the edge.
      • Bake until the crust is golden brown with the filling set around outside edges, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If desired, check the temp: an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of filling should register 175°F.)
      • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then use the parchment sling to lift up the tart onto a serving plate or rack. Eat fresh, or let cool.
      • Tart keeps for days well-wrapped in fridge. Eat slices cold, or make pieces even more delicious with a short zap in the microwave.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        Posted by on Jul 22, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, French, quick bread, side dish | 0 comments

        Eat your cheese in delicious, airy form in Gougeres, aka French cheese puffs!

        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        This is a savory version of pate a choux, the dough used for cream puffs and eclairs. In this case, though, you fold in a generous amount of grated cheese.

        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        What kind of cheese? Go for ones that grate and melt. Traditional choices would include Gruyere or Comte, or be a rebel like me and use English cheddar. (Scandalous, I know.)

        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        I modified this recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s version in her lovely tome Around My French Table. I felt like I learned something new every time I baked up a serving of these puffs, and I wanted to include all that info to prevent people from repeating my mistakes.

        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        Such as, see the aluminum foil in these pictures? Don’t use that. Do parchment instead. I didn’t take pictures of how I mangled these gougeres, which were hopelessly stuck to the foil despite a spray of Pam.

        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        The recipe results in about 30 puffs. These things keep well, unbaked and frozen, but only for about a month. After that, the puff declines and an eggy taste is more pronounced.

        Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

        This recipe, modified from Dorie Greenspan's version in Around My French Table, combines grated cheese and pate a choux dough. The puffs bake up light, airy, and delightfully cheesy! Do the full recipe at once (it makes 30, using a tablespoon scoop) or freeze unbaked choux for later.
        Course: Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish
        Cuisine: French
        Keyword: cheese, quick bread
        Servings: 30 puffs
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • baking sheets
        • parchment paper
        • tablespoon scoop
        • mixer

        Ingredients

        • 1/2 cup whole milk or half & half
        • 1/2 cup water
        • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) cut into 4 pieces
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1 cup all-purpose four
        • 5 large eggs room temperature
        • 1 1/2 cups coarsely-grated cheese (6 ounces) such as Gruyere, Comte, Emmenthal, or cheddar

        Instructions

        • If baking now, position racks in oven to be at the top and bottom. Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Line two large baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper; do not use aluminum foil.
        • If preparing the gougeres now, with plans to freeze and bake later, line a pan with waxed paper and clear some space in the freezer so the puffs can set.
        • Place milk, water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a fast boil. Add flour all at once, then lower heat. Promptly start stirring batter with a wooden spoon or sturdy whisk. The dough will come together, but keep stirring with vigor for another couple minutes until the dough is very smooth and looks dryer.
        • Drop the dough into the big bowl of a stand-mixer or a bowl where a hand mixer can be used. (Or, if mixing by hand, be ready for an arm work-out.) Let the dough set for a couple minutes, then add the eggs one by one. Beat, beat, beat that batter, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. If it separates, that's okay--keep beating it! It needs to reach a stage where it is thick and shiny. Beat in the grated cheese.
        • The batter must be immediately doled out onto pans to either bake or freeze. Use a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized scoop to measure out the batter; if baking, space out about two inches apart.
        • Slide baking sheets into oven. Immediately lower temperature to 375-degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate pans from front to back, top to bottom. Continue baking another 12 to 15 minutes, until gougeres are golden and firm. Note that they will not puff until the end of the bake. Serve promptly.
        • If freezing some or all of the gougeres, freeze on waxed paper, then place in a freezer bag or lidded container. Bake straight from the freezer--do not thaw them! Place on parchment or a greased surface to cook, with gougeres in a central location in the oven. Eat frozen gougeres within a month, as they will otherwise taste increasingly eggy and have less rise.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          Posted by on Jul 1, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, cracker, gluten-free, healthier | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          These Scottish Oatcakes are like a thick, wholesome, chewy cracker, and they are the perfect platform for cheese and charcuterie.

          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          When I was on my UK trip last year, I made a pilgrimage to the Victoria Street location of I.J. Mellis Cheesemongers. Oh, bliss! I bought stuff for a personal picnic: cheeses I could never find in America, plus port chutney and Scottish oatcakes.

          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          I loved everything. The oatcakes, basic as they were, really impressed me. They were oaty and fresh with a tiny hint of salt, and were ideal platforms for the cheese and chutney.

          Upon getting home, I found no acceptable imported options for oatcakes, so I resolved to make them myself. I didn’t want to use processed flour or sugar. In the end, I ended up finagling my own recipe.

          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          These oatcakes are basic and wholesome, and delicious in their simplicity. Get the consistency right, and these oatcakes are durable enough to handle smears of a soft-ripened cheese or cream cheese, and won’t crumble when you bite in.

          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          Store these oatcakes for days at room temperature, or freeze them for ages. By ages, I mean as long as six months. That’s right, I forget I had some tucked in my freezer, and lo and behold they were fine half a year later.

          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          Pair oatcakes with cheese, sausage, and mayhap a nip of scotch.

          Bready or Not Original: Scottish Oatcakes

          These easy-to-make oatcakes act as wholesome platforms for cheese and charcuterie. If you need gluten-free food, use GF old-fashioned oats. Makes about 20 oatcakes using a 2.5-inch cutter.
          Course: Appetizer, Main Course
          Cuisine: Scottish
          Keyword: cheese, cracker
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • food processor
          • large cookie sheet
          • cookie cutter

          Ingredients

          • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
          • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
          • 1 teaspoon sea salt
          • 1/2 cup hot water

          Instructions

          • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
          • Place oats in a food processor and chop on HIGH for about 15 seconds, long enough to make them slightly less coarse.
          • Melt butter in a large bowl. Pour oats into the bowl. Stir to coat. Sprinkle salt over the top, then pour in water. Stir again to form a stiff dough that is just cohesive. If the mix won't come together, add more water in small increments.
          • Sprinkle flour (gluten-free flour, if necessary) on an even stretch of counter. Use palms of hands or a rolling pins to press oats into a flat, cohesive layer. Note that the oatcakes will not expand or grow when baking. Use a round cookie cutter to slice into discs.
          • Bake for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to gently flip them over. Bake for another 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then pack into sealed container.
          • Store at room temperature. Oatcakes can also be frozen, with wax paper or parchment between the layers, for as long as six months, and thaw quickly.

          OM NOM NOM!

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            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, cake mix, cheese galore, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            This is a simple-yet-fancy recipe that uses 1) cake mix, 2) a bundt pan, and 3) ends up tasting like a giant lemon Twinkie. YUM.

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            This is one of those cakes that looks like it requires tons of works, but it really doesn’t. Because of the addition of fresh lemon and lemon curd, the chemical taste of cake mix is completely masked, too.

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            The filling is an easy step, too. I hate piping, but it was not prob here. I used a gallon Ziploc, snipped off the corner, ta-da!

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            This cake would be great for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. Whenever, really.

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            Make this when you have numerous people to share with. It’s just so, so tempting and delicious. Like Twinkies. BUT BETTER.

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            This recipe is over halfway through my April of lemon recipes!
            Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake
            Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars
            Cranberry Lemon Biscotti
            Cream Cheese Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [today]
            Lemon Frangipane

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake [cake mix]

            Bready or Not Original: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake

            This Bready or Not Original recipe is super-easy with a fancy result that tastes like a giant lemon Twinkie!
            Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
            Keyword: bundt cake, cake, cream cheese, lemon
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • large bundt pan

            Ingredients

            Filling

            • 8 ounce cream cheese 1 box, softened
            • 1/4 cup white sugar
            • 1 large lemon zested and juiced

            Cake

            • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
            • 3 eggs room temperature
            • 1 box yellow cake mix
            • 3/4 cup lemon curd

            Glaze

            • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
            • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
            • 1 Tablespoon lemon curd

            Instructions

            Make the filling

            • In a small bowl, mash together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice; reserve the remaining juice for the glaze. Once the filling is combined, spoon it into a piping bag with large tip or a gallon Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.

            Make the cake

            • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Apply nonstick spray to a large bundt pan.
            • In a big bowl, cream together the butter and eggs. Add the cake mix, scraping bottom of bowl as needed. Add the lemon curd, beating until mix turns fluffy.
            • Spoon about half the cake mix into the prepared pan. Pipe the filling in a circle around the top of the batter. Try to keep the filling from touching the sides. Add the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out.
            • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test.
            • Cool on a wire rack about 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack to completely cool.

            Make the glaze

            • Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 Tablespoon lemon curd to form a thick yet oozy glaze. If necessary, add more juice or water to thin, or more confectioners' sugar to thicken. Drizzle atop cake.
            • Store under a cake dome or plastic wrap in fridge.

            OM NOM NOM!

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