Triple Berry Cake

Ingredients

1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract
3 large eggs
1 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 heaping cup fresh mixed berries (I chose blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray a 9″ square pan with cooking spray
  • Combine melted butter and sugar and mix well
  • Add extracts and eggs and beat until well combined
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and add to wet ingredients
  • Mix until just combined
  • Gently fold in mixed berries
  • Spread smoothly in prepared pan
  • Bake at 350°F for 35 – 40 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Let cool

This cake is best served warm and I prefer it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  But it’s good cold too.  Keep any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Beer Bread

Ingredients

3/4 C whole wheat flour
2 – 4 C unbleached bread flour
1/2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter
12 oz oatmeal stout

Directions

  • Whisk together 2 cups bread flour, wheat flour, salt, yeast, and sugars
  • Add butter, and stout and stir to combine
  • Knead with a dough hook in stand mixer or by hand until dough is smooth, elastic, and tacky but not overly sticky (add more of the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time, as necessary, to achieve the right consistency)
  • Shape dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl
  • Flip dough once and cover with plastic wrap
  • Let rise about 1 – 2 hours, until at least doubled in size
  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Carefully slide dough ball out of bowl and onto the prepared baking pan, handling the dough as little as possible
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F
  • Reduce oven temperature to 375°F
  • Bake an additional 25 minutes at 375°F
  • Let cool on wire rack

Makes one round loaf

Notes:

*If you need to proof your yeast before use, combine the active dry yeast with one teaspoon of granulated sugar and about 1/2 C warm water first.  Wait about 10 minutes to see if yeast mixture becomes bubbly and foamy.  If the yeast proves to be good, add the remaining dry ingredients to the yeast mixture and stir to combine then add the butter and stout and proceed with the recipe.  You will most likely need to add more bread flour to compensate for the extra liquid from the proofing water.

* You can brush the dough with melted butter just before baking, if desired

IMG_20180216_161755-01

This bread has a crunchy crust with a dense, chewy interior.  It’s very hearty, and is great served warm with butter.

Enjoy!

God bless

St. Valentine’s Day Cake (Chocolate Chip Cake)

Ingredients

2 1/2 C. All-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C. chocolate chips
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 C. Granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C. whole milk

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray one 9″ square baking pan and one 9″ round baking pan with cooking spray
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Add chocolate chips to dry ingredients and stir until chips are coated
  • Heat butter in microwave until just beginning to melt
  • Cream together butter and sugars
  • Add eggs and vanilla to butter/sugar mixture
  • Slowly add milk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients while stirring
  • Stir batter until just combined
  • Spread batter evenly in prepared pans
  • Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • Cool in pans about 10 minutes
  • Cool completely on wire rack
  • Cut round cake in half and place on either side of square cake to form a heart shape
  • Trim round cakes as necessary to align with square cake, as seen below
  • Top with frosting or icing as desired

This chocolate chip cake has the texture and taste of a yellow cake, not white. It could be frosted with vanilla or chocolate frosting, or you could just leave it naked and serve it dusted with powdered sugar and berries (that’s how I prefer it). If you’re not making a heart shaped cake, you can use the same recipe to make a two layer round cake, or one 13×9, although cook time may vary slightly. It’s a good, simple cake for any occasion.

God bless

Easy Homemade Brownies

Ingredients

1/2 C. All-purpose flour
1/3 C. Cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt
  • In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, and vanilla
  • Add eggs to wet ingredients and beat by hand until well mixed
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix slowly until just combined
  • Spread smoothly in prepared pan
  • Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Let cool in pan

I don’t know if I’m the only person who feels this way, but I don’t really like dense, fudgy brownies very much.  They’re just too rich for me.  I like brownies that are light and more cake-like.  That’s why I started making this recipe.  These brownies are light, moist, and delicious by themselves or served with whipped cream, berries, or ice cream!  They’re perfect when you want something chocolate but don’t want a heavy, dense, frosted brownie.  I hope you like them as much as I do!  Enjoy!

God bless

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients

1 stale loaf of pumpernickel bread
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 C. whole milk
1-2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray
  • Slice or tear loaf of pumpernickel bread into about 1 to 2 inch pieces and arrange into prepared dish
  • Combine beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon in mixing bowl
  • Add milk and whisk until combined
  • Pour mixture over bread coating all bread pieces
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips over bread pudding as desired
  • Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes
  • Let cool in pan about 10 minutes
  • Serve warm

I used my homemade pumpernickel bread recipe as the base for this bread pudding, but any leftover stale bread will do.  This is a great dessert for a crowd.  It’s best served warm, and I recommend having it with whipped cream or ice cream.

Enjoy!

God bless

 

 

 

 

Homemade Bagels

Ingredients

To proof the yeast:
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 C. lukewarm water

For the dough:
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 – 4 C. Unbleached Bread Flour

For boiling water bath:
Boiling water
2 – 3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt

Directions

  • Add the yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and warm water to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer
  • Let the yeast mixture stand until foamy and bubbly (typically about 10 minutes)
  • Add the Tbsp sugar, salt and 2 cups bread flour to the yeast mixture and stir until combined
  • Add remaining cups of bread flour 1/4 cup at a time and mix until the dough reaches a shaggy consistency that is not wet at all
  • Knead dough either by hand or with a dough hook in a stand mixer for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to achieve the right consistency (what you are looking for is a consistency that is soft and elastic while being only slightly tacky but not overly sticky, it should hold the shape of a ball, this is when you are done kneading)
  • Roll the dough into a ball and place in an oiled stainless steel bowl, flip once in the bowl
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour)
  • Punch down the dough, gently
  • Place on a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin to get all the air bubbles out (the more air bubbles you can get out, the better the bagels will rise during the second rise)
  • Using a bench scraper or a butter knife, cut into four separate pieces (see images below)
  • Form four bagels, one from each piece*
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray
  • Place shaped bagels onto prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap
  • Let rise one hour
  • Remove plastic wrap and let the bagels sit while you prepare the boiling water bath
  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Fill a saucepan with around 4 inches of water and set to boil on the stove
  • Add salt and stir in honey to the hot water
  • Once water just begins to boil, add bagels, one at a time to the boiling water
  • Boil for 30 seconds, then flip the bagel over and boil another 30 seconds, then place back on the baking sheet
  • Once all four bagels have been boiled, top with whatever toppings you desire while still wet
  • Bake at 450°F for about 6 minutes
  • Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake about 20-22 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack

Makes 4 large bagels

Notes:

*Method 1 for forming bagels: Roll each piece into a ball with your hands and then stick your thumb in the center of the ball to create a hole and form the bagel
*‎Method 2 for forming bagels (this is my preferred method): Roll each piece into a long rope and then wrap around two fingers and shape the bagel
*‎After the bagels are boiled, it’s normal for them to look wrinkly
*‎These bagels are best stored in a paper bag at room temperature once completely cooled and should keep for about 2 days
*‎These bagels are quite large, you could also use the same amount of dough and make 8 small bagels instead of 4 large

I moved to Ohio from NJ a few years ago and couldn’t find a bagel that was quite the same as what I could get back in NJ, so I decided to make my own!  These are pretty large and very chewy with a crunchy exterior and a soft interior.  I topped mine with sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

What I like about this recipe is you really can use just the basic dough recipe and then make the bagels your own way to suit your preference.  You can make them whatever size you want, top them with whatever you want, you can also boil them longer for a chewier interior, or bake them for a shorter time if you don’t want them as dark.  Make them your own!

God bless

Baked Mocha Doughnuts

Ingredients

1 C. All-purpose flour
1/4 C. Brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp instant coffee granules
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C. Cocoa powder

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 – 3/4 C. Buttermilk

Powdered sugar, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Sift together the dry ingredients
  • Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl (start with 1/2 cup of buttermilk and add more later as needed)
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine
  • Batter should be thick and sticky, if too dry, add buttermilk until you reach the right consistency
  • Lightly grease a doughnut baking pan
  • Spoon batter into a piping bag and pipe into pan
  • Smooth out batter in pan with a spoon or clean finger as necessary
  • Bake at 375° F for 5 minutes
  • Lower oven temperature to 350° F and bake for about 8 minutes
  • Remove doughnuts from pan immediately and cool on a wire rack
  • May be topped with sifted powdered sugar, if desired

Makes 6 baked doughnuts

These baked doughnuts come together quickly and are good for breakfast or a dessert.  I strongly recommend topping them with sifted powdered sugar or making a quick glaze with powdered sugar and whole milk.

I hope you enjoy my first recipe post and come back to find more recipes soon!

God bless