Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD—Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies (Giveaway Reminder)

Hey, if you haven’t heard, I’m having a giveaway for an EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale.  Entries to US residents only until midnight tonight, Tuesday, August 31.  Head over to my giveaway post and enter to win.

One thing I’m really horrible at is remembering to take pictures of the boys at times when I really wish I had taken pictures.  I see moms all excited taking pictures of their kids as they head out for their first day of school and I really wish I’d remember, but I almost always forget.  Besides that, my boys won’t pose for pictures like that.  So the boys all started the new school year last week.  Scott is in 7th grade, woohoo.  Parker started 3rd grade, Taylor is in 1st grade and Sam is even in preschool now.  We are all going through quite the adjustment with the new EARLY schedule.  In Kansas, the boys started school at 8:45 a.m.  We only lived minutes from the school, so they often didn’t leave until after 8:30.

They get to ride the bus now and I’m happy to not have to drive them to and from school every day.  Since school starts at 8:00, they catch the bus at 7:15, which means we are getting them up by 6:30, which after the summer break is really early.  To top that off, in Kansas, Kevin’s schedule was such that he most often was home in the morning until all the boys were off to school, now here, he is teaching pretty early M-W-F and is gone before the kids get up.  Ah, fun times. 

Well, I actually did grab the camera as I was trying to spray down Sam’s hair and comb if for the first day of school.  So here’s my first day of school photo.  (He’s going to school M-W-F, 9:00-11:15.)


Sam is also doing GREAT with potty training right now.  He’s not quite there yet, but doing much better than I thought he would.  He was sitting on the potty the other day, trying to go, he was getting frustrated, put his elbows on his legs and his hands on his chin and very sadly said, “It just not working”.  He could not be one drop cuter.   That’s enough potty talk.

Let’s talk cookies.  Tuesday’s With Dorie cookies, which are on page 125 in .  Donna at Life's too short not to eat dessert first chose Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.  I don’t “do” espresso, so I decided to use some hazelnut flavoring.  I wish I’d have had some chopped hazelnuts to add to the cookies as well, but I didn’t.  I made half a recipe and added two ounces of Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt.  That is some good chocolate and I love the extra little zing from the salt.  These shortbread cookies are so easy to make, had great flavor with the chocolate and hazelnut and are perfectly delicate and crumbly, like a shortbread should be.  I’m so glad I made half a recipe because I ate way too many of those cookies.  I made 11 star cutouts and two big cookies from the rest of the dough I put in some four inch tart pans. 



I think the cookies looked better without powdered sugar, so I kind of wish I’d have just left them that way, but I did dust them all with some.


I chilled the dough for at least four hours, it might have been five or six.  The half recipe fit perfectly in a quart sized plastic bag.  The dough was perfect for cutting shapes with cookie cutters and then pressing ther rest into the tart pans.


These cookies would be great to stack up and wrap up to give to someone, if you can bear to give them away.

Thanks, Donna, great pick.  I was going to make a half batch of the Oatmeal Spice Cookies from the playing around section, but after liking the other so much, I decided I just couldn’t risk eating that many more cookies, but the idea of a totally different kind of shortbread with oats and spices sounds really good and I’m sure I’ll make them someday.  You can get this super easy recipe on Donna’s blog.

Or you can just sit and play Game Boy games.  But don’t let all the blood rush to your head.


Silly Parker was just hanging out like that playing his game.

Had a fun little hail storm Monday morning.  It was fast and furious, but only lasted about ten minutes.



There was a rainbow.


It was quite windy, so the hail made a nice little drift up to the garage door.  Sam was having fun scooping up the piles and playing with it, once it stopped coming down.


And happy end of August to you!


Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the EatSmart Digital Kitchen Scale!

Monday, August 30, 2010

August Cookie Carnival—Zucchini Carrot Bars and Coconut Cherry Bars

Giveaway reminder at the bottom of this post!

Cookie Carnival  Wanna join the carnival?  Bake along with us once a month. 

Quick post here for this month’s Cookie Carnival.  I made both recipes a couple weeks ago.  First up—the Betty Crocker Coconut Cherry Bars.

I made the crust in the food processor.  Pulsing until crumbly and the butter was mixed in.  I pressed that into an 8x8 inch square pan.  The recipe is quite simple.  I used chopped almonds, the recipe just calls for nuts, but coconut and almonds are meant to be. 

Kevin doesn’t like maraschino cherries.  So I just dotted a few halved cherries over half the pan.  These bars baked just fine.  They taste good—coconutty.


With the other half of the bars, I cut them, then drizzled each piece with some melted chocolate.  (Almond Joy!) 


We thought these were pretty good.  I just had a few bites.  Knowing what was in these (a lot of fat and calories), I chose not to eat much.  Kevin said they were pretty good. 



Next up—the Zucchini Carrot Bars from Kelloggs.  These bars were simple to make, though I did not enlist the help of any of the boys.  (They would not have liked knowing we were putting vegetables in something yummy.)  When they saw the finished bars and asked what they were, I told them they were spice bars.  I left the cloves out of the recipe, I sure thought I had some, but cannot find any.  I used freshly grated nutmeg and for the egg whites, I used powdered egg whites.  Worked great.

I liked these, but did think the lemon glaze on top overpowered any other flavors.   I would rather have had a vanilla glaze to have the spices stand out more.  And I wished there would have been nuts in the bars for some crunch.  I might make these again and use coconut oil and whole wheat flour, maybe even try agave instead of some of the sugar.


These bars worked great for using up a little more of that zucchini.  The recipe from Kelloggs says to use Raisin Bran cereal in the bars, I kicked it up a bit and used some Raisin Bran Extra with cranberries, raisins, yogurty clusters, sliced almonds.  Good stuff, love that cereal. 

And that’s all I have for you today.  Oh wait—have you entered the giveaway I’m having to win an EatSmart kitchen scale?  Leave me a comment on the giveaway post.  You have until Tuesday, August 31 to enter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chocolate Sorbet, Mango Sorbet, Peach Mango Sorbet and A GIVEAWAY!!

It’s still summer and still hot (even though the boys went back to school yesterday.  Yippee.  Shh, don’t tell them I said that.)  Therefore, I’ve still been putting my ice cream makers to good use.  But I don’t always just make fattening, rich ice creams.   I’ve also been kicking it up with some great sorbets.

The Apricot Sorbet I posted recently was one of my favorites. 

I made a heavenly Mango Sorbet a few weeks ago.  (Photo taken right after churning.)


This one was adapted from a recipe I found at Food Reference.com.  It was so creamy and I loved the taste of it more than I thought I would (mango is not my favorite fruit, but I do like it okay). 

Mango Sorbet, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from www.foodreference.com

2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced

6 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons agave nectar (you could use sugar or honey)

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.

Chill the mixture until very cold.  (I like using an ice bath, put ice and water in a big bowl.  With your mixture in a smaller bowl, set the bowl with the mixture into the bigger bowl.  Let sit 15-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  It gets cold really fast!)

Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  It’s perfect served right away or just as great frozen for a few hours.  Once frozen, let sit in airtight container on counter for a few minutes to soften for easier scooping.   (Photo below taken after freezing—still so creamy!)


Well, I’ve come into a bunch of mangoes lately.  So I decided to whip up more sorbet after the first batch was all gone.  But sitting on the counter was also a couple of almost overripe peaches that weren’t going to get eaten fresh.  So I pitted them and cut them into chunks to go along with a couple more mangoes I had.  I actually blended the mangoes first in my blender with some agave nectar, water and lime juice.  It was after that I thought of adding the peaches, so I blended the peaches separately, but you could probably do everything together.  To the peaches I added a little more agave and some more lime juice.  I strained the peach nectar through a fine mesh strainer to remove the skin.  I whisked the two blended fruits together, chilled them for a while, then churned them in an ice cream maker.

Peach Mango Sorbet


Peach Mango Sorbet, by Katrina at Baking and Boys!, adapted from David Lebovitz’s Mango Sorbet

2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced

2 large peaches, pitted and diced

1/3 cup agave nectar plus 1/4 cup agave (you really can add however much you’d like, I would even use less next time) Sugar or honey would work, too.

1/3 cup water

4 teaspoons lime juice

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the peach skins.  Chill the mixture until very cold.  Churn according to manufacturer’s instruction in ice cream maker.  Serve immediately or freeze for a few hours in an airtight container.  Let sit on counter for a few minutes before serving to make scooping easier.


One more sorbet I’ve made recently, before I tell you about this awesome giveaway is a Chocolate Sorbet.  We can’t leave chocolate out of a post, now can we? ;)  See here it is---


Ooh, yum, chocolaty!  I’m stalling here.

You see, I’m not always perfectly diligent about marking a recipe I’ve made with the date.  I’m also not very diligent about marking the container with WHAT is in it.  So I have chocolate sorbet and I THINK it’s David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Sorbet from his book The Perfect Scoop, but I don’t know for sure.  It’s not marked in the book that I made it that day.  I HAVE made it before, a couple times.  And I love it.  But rack my brains, I really don’t remember if that is this chocolate sorbet.  See, I’ve tried others.  They’re all good.  They’re chocolate.

See, as I write this, I’m thinking, it has to be David’s recipe.  Then I look at the recipe and I really don’t remember doing that.  His recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa, which I don’t have right now.  But I could have made my own Dutch-process cocoa, I just cannot remember.  (Homemade Dutch process cocoa is 3 tablespoons cocoa plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda.)  Sigh.  Anyone know how to fix this problem with my brain?

I’ll wait.

Nope.  No one.  Sigh.  I think I need some chocolate sorbet to help me out here. 

Ok, quick look here and I’m not finding DL’s Chocolate Sorbet recipe available online (I didn’t look extensively), so I’m not going to repost it.

BUT I think if you like making your own ice creams, sorbets and the like, that you should just buy the book.  I’ve left you an Amazon link to do so.  The chocolate sorbet is great.  I actually haven’t made a single recipe from The Perfect Scoop that I didn’t like.  It’s ice cream, People, what’s not to like.  Ok, I’ll shut up now.

What?  You say I said something about a giveaway.  Well, the people at EatSmart asked me if I wanted to do a review for one of their kitchen scales.  It’s the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale to be precise.


I have been loving it, using it from everything to making these sorbets recipes, to cookies, to pretty much everything I can weigh.  I already had and use most often a digital kitchen scale for precise measuring.  What I love about this EatSmart scale is that you can measure in four ways—grams, ounces, kilograms or pounds.  I also love that you can set a bowl on the scale and measure one ingredient, then leave the bowl there, zero out the scale, measure something else, and so on.  I love the zeroing out feature, called tare.  You’d love it, too.

Want one?  EatSmart would love to give one to one of my lucky readers as well.  All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what one thing you would love to be able to measure most.  Besides flour, I love being able to measure peanut butter (No more messy measuring cups, just plop it in a bowl on the scale!).  Since I just made and posted those fantastic Butterfinger Cookies, I was SO excited to measure the peanut butter with this scale.  These are the things that truly make me happy.  (I know, get a life, Katrina, right?)

So leave me a comment on this post, (don’t forget to tell me what one thing you would love to be able to measure), I will randomly pick one winner to get one of these EatSmart food scales.  (Sorry, winners are limited to the United States.)  Make sure your comment has a way for me to get a hold of you if you are the chosen winner.  Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at midnight, MST.  A winner will be chosen and posted Wednesday (Sept. 1) morning.  Thanks, EatSmart.  Good luck!


This post has been added to the BSI Mango Round Up at Nutmeg Nanny 4-10-11!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Butterfinger Cookies

I need to tell you about these cookies right away.  I consider myself a chocolate chip cookie fanatic.  They are my cookie of choice.  The end.

Except when a GREAT peanut butter cookie comes along.  There’s a little competition there for the ol’ chocolate chipper.  I’ve probably tried as many different peanut butter cookie recipes as I have chocolate chip.  And I’m often not satisfied.  The problem is usually that they get too crispy by the next day.  I want a peanut butter cookie that stays soft, but has some chew.


When I saw these cookies on Steph’s blog, Plain Chicken, I KNEW I had to try them.  When you’re done with me here, you must go see Steph’s cookies and her blog.  I just think it is one of the cutest blogs out there and I love that she does “Meow Monday” and always posts pictures of her three orange tabby cats livin’ the life.  I get my sweet fill of cats (since I love them but am allergic) as well as some dang good lookin’ meals (a lot of them involving chicken) and the best looking cookies and desserts.  Steph found this cookie recipe on Food.com. 

Dadgum it, these cookies are de-licious!  I know someone specifically who will really like them (I tucked a few away in the freezer for you, Bob, and will make them again for sure.)  The only small minor change I made was instead of five Butterfinger Candy Bars chopped up, I only added three and added some chopped Dove milk chocolates.  (This was really only because that’s all I had, not quite enough Butterfinger that the recipe called for.)  I actually loved the extra chocolate, so I will probably do it this way from now on.  Those Butterfingers add an amazing chew to these peanut butter cookies, but they have stayed soft the next day.  No hard crumbly peanut butter cookies here.  They ARE a tad on the sweeter side, they would have to be with the added candy bars, but I think they are just great.  I will probably try the recipe again sometime without the candy just to see if it’s a peanut butter cookie recipe I’ll enjoy as well.

If you love peanut butter and you love adding chocolate to your peanut butter, you need to make these cookies.  That’s all.


Butterfinger Cookies, by Katrina, adapted from Steph at Plain Chicken who adapted from Food.com

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 large egg whites (I used powdered egg white mixed with water—worked great!)

1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter (smooth would be fine)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 (2.1 ounce) Butterfinger Candy Bars, chopped

4.2 ounces chopped milk chocolate (I used Dove Promises, chips would be fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars.  Add egg whites and beat well.  Blend in peanut butter and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in candy bars and chocolate.  Using a one ounce cookie scoop, place dough on baking sheet.

Bake for 9-10 minutes (do not overbake), just intl the start to brown.  Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen.


TWD—Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart


Another Tuesday, another recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours.  Rachel at Sweet Tarte picked the Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart.  I don’t know why I dread and don’t really enjoy making tarts.  I suppose it’s just too many steps and sometimes maybe a little confusing.  I’m not complaining and saying I didn’t like this recipe.  I’m super glad I made it and it tasted really good.  But I will probably not ever make it again.  Give me cookie dough to scoop and I am one happy baker.  Put an already made delicious, beautiful slice of a tart in front of me and I will love it.  Know what I mean?

I made the sweet tart dough (page 444) with almonds.  Put it in the freezer for a few days.  It looked great.  Does the tin foil always stick when you make a tart dough?  I had to scrap the partially baked dough off the foil and place in back on the crust.  Wasn’t happy.  But it pieced back together just fine. 

The rest of the steps came together just fine.  I prepped the streusel the day I made the tart dough.  Peaches were peeled and sliced, no problem.  Custard—easy as can be.  Even assembling it all was fine.  Just more than I really wanted to do.  (By the way, I only have an 11 inch tart pan, so I made everything one and a half times the recipe.  It was actually a super easy recipe to do that with.)  I added the streusel at the wrong time during baking, but it seems to have baked just fine.  Maybe I’ll find that some others’ tarts have a lot more crumble on top, while mine just baked in with the custard. 


Another thing I have found with every partially baked crust I have made into a tart, I think the crust gets too overbaked.   I don’t like it that dark.  I’ve seen many tarts throughout this TWD baking that don’t get that dark.  I only tasted a little sliver of this and it was good.  But I would much rather make a peach crisp instead.


I’m always glad when I play along and make some of these things that are way out of my comfort zone, so thanks, Rachel.  You can find this recipe on her blog.

***Disclaimer—I don’t want you to think in any way I don’t like this tart.  I think it tastes great.  Dorie said she likes it cooled from the oven and chilled.  I think it is even more fantastic chilled!  (I may have sampled another little sliver for breakfast. ;)


We had dinner at Cindy’s house tonight (Monday), Frank was in town (from DC) to bring his son, Tyler out to BYU, so we had dinner together, including Kristy.  Scott fell from the bench he was sitting on eating dinner on the deck and hit his head on a brick wall.  He ended up with a nice gash in his head.  So Kevin and I took off and got him to an urgent care for some stitches.   (Sorry we didn’t get to visit with Frank longer!)  Scott was a trooper as they put staples in his head.  Just the thought makes me cringe.  He starts junior high tomorrow (Tuesday).  Hopefully he won’t have to keep a bandage on it through his first day of school tomorrow.

Sam got to go meet his preschool teacher today.  He seems really excited to start school on Wednesday.  The teacher gave him a little gift of a pencil and some crayons.  This is how he looked a while after we sharpened the pencil and he’d been drawing with it.


“Sam, did you have the pencil in your mouth?”

“No,” shaking head shyly.  Uh, okay, Sam.  Could he be any cuter?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

So, one of my favorite bloggers out there, Anna at Cookie Madness, made ice cream over the weekend!  Who cares?  Me!  Anna hardly ever makes ice cream.  In fact, I don’t recall in the more than 2 years I’ve been reading her blog her ever posting ice cream before.  So I loved her post about her favorite mint chocolate ice cream.  And me being on the big ice cream kick I have been lately decided I just had to make THAT ice cream—today.

We love mint chocolate chip ice cream ‘round here.  I’m always up for trying new recipes.  And what I liked about this recipe that Anna made, which is a recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, is that it doesn’t have a BUNCH of egg yolks, but it’s still a super creamy custard based ice cream.  It uses two whole eggs as well as cream and whole milk.  This might be the best mint ice cream I’ve ever made.  (Though I do also really like the Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I made a few months ago.)

I plan to try some other flavors with this same recipe for the custard/cream because I really liked the creaminess and texture of it.  I’ll start with just a vanilla.  Sam is begging for Root Beer Floats.


I don’t like how the pictures turned out, since it was dark by the time I took them.  I need some photography lighting equipment.

Don’t let the photos scare you away from making this ice cream if you are a mint chocolate chip ice cream lover.  It’s worth it!  Check out Anna’s post for this great recipe.  Get this—I followed the recipe exactly!  (I only had imitation peppermint extract, but it seems to have worked just fine.)

Thanks, Anna!  I’ll have to add that book to my wish list.



We had a huge wind storm here tonight, they’re saying micro bursts with some wind rotation, all over Salt Lake and Utah County.  The news showed tons of uprooted trees and all kinds of damage.  We saw someone’s small blue kiddie pool flying by in the sagebrush out back.  (I thought we left that weather behind in Kansas?)



You can barely see the pool out there a little to the left center.  Of course, it was just rolling away, until I got the camera, then it stopped.  Sigh.  Apparently there were winds over 75 mph, the airport was closed and power lines down over I-80 West of SLC.

Here’s Taylor and Sam playing with my camera.



This is a really cute shot Taylor took of Sam, posing in the “window” to the play room.



(A little glimpse into our front door/entryway and living room.  The stairs go up to an area for our someday dream grand piano.  Our pretty-nice electric piano doesn’t look too bad up there. 


School starts for the boys this week.  Scott starts on Tuesday and the others start on Wednesday.  Wouldn’t you know it, Sam’s had a cold for a few days now.  Taylor woke up in the night with cold/nose issues as well.  The three of us stayed home from church today.  They WILL be better by Wednesday. ;)

We went to This Is The Place Monument Park last week with Grandpa Smith and a few other cousins and Aunt Debbie.  It was pretty fun with lots of things to do and see in remembrance of what it was like back in the days when the pioneers came and settled in the Salt Lake valley.  There was a little, tiny one room house that we were told a family with 10 kids lived in.  Oh my goodness—we are SO blessed!  There was a petting zoo.  Parker really liked the sheep.


Here’s how exciting Scott thought it was---


Parker and Sam rode on some horses.  Taylor and Scott didn’t want to.  There was a huge cloud burst with pouring rain right at that time.  I stood there watching them and trying to take some pictures while getting soaked.  Didn’t even compare to what the pioneers when through to cross the plains and get here!



We had a lot of fun.  Thanks, Grandpa!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker Review from CSN Stores and Lots of Ice Cream! (Apricot Sorbet)

This review is a little overdue.  You’ll remember (I’m sure you all remember.  Hello?) it’s been almost a month since I posted about an upcoming review from CSN Stores.  They were so kind to ask me if I wanted to review one of their products.  I jumped at the chance to try out a Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker.


CSN Stores shipped this right out after I ordered it and it arrived in just a few days, sooner than I thought it would!  Boy, have I had fun with this thing!

I sort of feel bad that I already have an ice cream maker (sort of bad, but well, not really).  It’s smaller, like only half the size of this 2 quart one.  Do you realize how much fun it’s been to churn two different kinds of ice cream at one time?  I made all kinds of ice cream and we had some friends that were visiting Utah (or moved back like us) from Kansas over for an ice cream feast.  So fun to see our Kansas friends (Yes, I know, we haven’t even been gone for two months!) 

The first ice cream I made in the new ice cream maker was the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I made to go with my recent favorite Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies.


The ice cream maker churned away making a couple batches of my TWD pick for Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream.  Darn that stuff was good!



I love that the ice cream maker is so lightweight (minus the frozen bowl).  It also churns ice cream faster than my smaller one (which I do also like). 


Remember all the apricots I had recently?  With some of them, I made Apricot Sorbet.  I went with the recipe in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop ice cream recipe book, but adapted it by using less sugar and some agave nectar.  This sorbet is SO good and perfectly refreshing for those hot August days and nights.

Two pounds of apricots, pitted and chopped.


They are cooked in a saucepan with one cup of water and sugar (I used 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup agave nectar).  After they cook for ten minutes or so, with intermittent stirring, cool to room temperature.


Puree the mixture in a blender (or food processor) until smooth.  Press the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove any small fibers.  Oh, this is so worth every little step.  Stir in 3 drops of almond extract (or vanilla).  Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Realize at this point that you stupidly forgot to take any nice pictures of a beautiful scoop of this delicious Apricot Sorbet.  Sigh.  I’ll have to make it again!


I’ve also churned a few batches of my favorite Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream by David Lebovitz.  Although I have made it with vanilla bean, I usually just use vanilla extract.


When I made the Apricot and Cherry Crisp AND Apple Crisp a few weeks ago, I invited some family over to help eat it and got out all the ice creams I’d recently made.  There’s others I’ll post soon.

It’s all about the fantastic Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker I received from CSN Stores.  I’m happy they allowed me to review it and am excited to do more shopping with them.  With over 200 online stores and millions of products, you can certainly do “one stop” shopping with them.  They have hassle free returns and free shipping on almost all items.  I really was surprised at how fast they got my order shipped out.

Thank you so much, CSN Stores!

(Bluberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Sorbet, Nutella Ice Cream, Mango Sorbet—all to be featured soon!)

HEY ALL—Fallon over at Fallon's Cucina is having a CSN Stores $60 giveaway right now.  Head over there and leave her a comment to be entered!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TWD—Oatmeal Breakfast Bread (Applesauce or Banana/Chocolate Chip)


This breakfast “bread” is really just coffee cake in disguise.  Kinda like this picture of Taylor with a mustache.  (hehe)  That’s a really expensive mustache.  Three dentist visits and too many cavities filled and this is the prize—a mustache.  Gotta get these boys brushing better.  (But I know me and my siblings had lots of cavities as kids and I have great teeth now that the dentist/hygenists are always surprised at how great and plaque free they are.  I have hope for my boys.)

Natalie from Oven Love picked our recipe this week.  Oatmeal Breakfast Bread (page 44 of Baking From My Home to Yours) was the choice.  I love the tastes and idea of quick breads, but I just don’t love baking them in bread pans.  They take too long to bake and I don’t like when they are sometimes not done in the center and/or sink a little (I know it’s my own incompetent  issues).  So I knew I was going to make muffins.  Or so I thought.

As I was reading through the recipe, it struck me as something that would work perfectly as a coffee cake.  So I went ahead and baked it in an 8x8 inch square pan.  The only changes to it that I made was that I did not add any dried fruit, so in place of the fruit, I added 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts.  I love a little crunch and I knew that would be okay since there was a streusel-like topping on this.  I didn’t add the ground cloves.


Perfect applesauce oat coffee cake.  The boys liked this one night when I made it.  I froze the rest and served it at a family function Sunday night and those who had some LOVED it. 


This was perfectly moist, had great flavor and I loved the nutty crunch and probably wouldn’t have loved fruit bits, even though I usually love dried fruit in things, so I’m glad I didn’t add them.  (I mostly did it because I knew the boys wouldn’t like it and by boys I mostly mean Kevin. ;)



While I was looking through the ingredients in this breakfast bread, it hit me that this is VERY similar to my favorite banana chocolate chip coffee cake.  The biggest difference is the oats.  Well, that and the bananas instead of applesauce.  I knew it would work and I knew I had to make it as well.  So two coffee cakes it was!

I used whole wheat flour just for fun.  Four small bananas made 1 1/4 cups of banana puree.  I used cinnamon for the spice and no nutmeg or cloves.  And I doubled the topping ingredients (plus 3 1/2 ounces of chopped Lindt dark chocolate!) so I could put half of it in the middle for the streusel-ripple effect, just like my favorite coffee cake again--made as a bundt cake—which I’ve made almost too many times to count.  This was MY favorite version of Dorie’s Oatmeal Breakfast Bread, but the applesauce version is also very good.  Are you surprised I like the one with chocolate and bananas?  Well, you shouldn’t be.  This is one of my favorite flavor combinations ever.


Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Oatmeal Breakfast Bread, Baking From My Home to Yours

For the topping:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (mini chips work, too)

For the cake:

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups banana pureed, about 4 small bananas

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup low fat buttermilk

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (all purpose would work fine)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8x8 inch square pan with foil (non-stick is my favorite).  Spray the foil with cooking spray. 

Make the topping:  In a medium sized bowl, combine the sugar, nuts, chocolate and cinnamon.  Toss together with your fingers.  Set aside.

Make the cake:  Whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil and buttermilk until well blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in the oats.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and stir with a rubber spatula just until everything is evenly moistened.  Do not overmix.  Scrape half the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle half the topping mixture over the batter.  Spread the rest of the batter over that.  Then sprinkle the remaining topping over the second layer of batter and press it down lightly with your fingers.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (it will have some melted chocolate on it).  Transfer the cake to a rack to cool.  Remove from pan by lifting the edges of the foil.  Cut into pieces.


This is so good.  A little different from my favorite cake, the oats add a nice little dimension.  Thanks for the fun pick, Natalie.  I enjoyed playing around with this one.  You can get the recipe for the Oatmeal Breakfast Bread on Natalie’s blog.  You can also check out all the other TWD blogs to see how their “bread” turned out.

Love me some sleeping baby.