Delicious Bites

March 28, 2010

A lot of my baking tends to be lower calorie, fat-free goodies.  I believe whole-heartedly in enjoying a sinfully rich chocolate ice cream sundae or decadent brownies, but I can’t eat like that all the time.  As a dancer, I have to be uber-aware of what I’m putting in my mouth.  Sometimes that really sucks, but it helps me to challenge myself in the kitchen.  What can I make that’s healthy, yet still tastes good?

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Star Bread

December 27, 2009

This beautiful bread is actually from Thanksgiving.  Yes, I am horribly behind on blogging.  What with Nutcracker, Thanksgiving, Nutcracker, homework, make-up work, Christmas shopping, Christmas baking, Christmas, and cleaning my room (hey, that was quite an accomplishment!), I haven’t had time for much else!

I love these pictures, because I didn’t take them!  My mom, realizing how important it is to me to get a nice picture for my blog, sprinkled powdered sugar on this and took it outside in the natural light to photograph it.  She wanted to eat it for breakfast, and was awake long before I was!  I would have to say, she and my grandma did a beautiful job with the photography.

I was excited about this bread because of its unique shape.  The baking pan I used was 50 cents at a Columbus Day yard sale in my town.  I love deals!

And speaking of baking pans, I have a brand new tart pan and six new ramekins from Santa.  Souffles, lemon tarts, and chocolate lava cakes, here I come!

One more note from the past holiday.  For Thanksgiving dinner I made sweet potato pie from Smitten Kitchen and dutch apple pie from Steadfast Cooking.  The sweet potato pie was not very good.  I was surprised, as usually I love Smitten Kitchen’s recipes.  It could have been something I did (I used handmade buttermilk, not storebought), but it wasn’t nearly sweet or flavorful enough for me.  Maybe my sweet potatoes just weren’t that good.  The apple pie, on the other hand, was a gigantic hit.  It was unique enough to separate itself from the other pies on the table, and classic enough to please the crowd.  I strongly, strongly recommend it, and will be making it again and again.

I hope everybody’s holiday baking is going well.  I’m off to bake some goodies for Share Our Strength’s bake sale.  Baked goods for a good cause!

Shoot, I wish I had the recipe for that bread.  It was delicious!  Maybe I’ll find it in one of my cupboards and be able to post it.  Boo!

Busy

October 25, 2009

I miss my blog!  It’s a good thing I have Daring Bakers challenges that will assure that I complete at least one post per month.  With school, homework, and dance there just is absolutely no extra time for uploading pictures and writing on here.  I have a post from September that I still want to add.  Gosh, I’ll get around to it sometime, I promise!

In the meantime, here’s some of what I’ve been baking in my very limited free time.

Oh, and also, I just used my ice cream maker for the first time.  I didn’t take any pictures, unfortunately, but it was delicious.  I used David Lebovitz’s chocolate ice cream recipe and added cookie dough chunks (homemade!) and chocolate chips.  That definitely required a glass of water to wash it down.  Yummm.

Peach Streusel Muffins

recipe

I just made them low-fat by replacing the vegetable oil with applesauce.

DSCN3468

Hearty Apple Raisin Pecan Fall Bread

My own recipe; whole wheat quick bread, apples, raisins, toasted pecans

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Lower Fat (But Just As Delicious) Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe

DSCN3485

Actually, I liked these better than some versions that use more butter; they didn’t spread as thin and weren’t greasy.

DSCN3481

cinnamonoverview

Sometimes on a rainy, dreary day, all you want to do is bake.  Okay, maybe that’s just me.  I had a yoga class today, and all I could think of was cinnamon buns.  Clearly, I’m not that great at yoga.  You’re supposed to clear your mind and not plan, think, or worry for an hour.  I try, really, but the thought of cinnamon buns was just so appealing!

I saw the recipe for these from maplencornbread.  It was so enticing because the dough has no yeast (which equals fast) and there isn’t too much butter.  Plus, if you look at the original post you’ll notice how beautiful that cinnamon bun looks.  Really, it’s perfect!  I did not have the same experience.  Not even remotely.

First of all, I only made half of the batch.  (I experimented with the other half, trying to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  They were decent, but need some tweaking before sharing.)  Anyways, halving the recipe really shouldn’t have made the dough transform into a sticky mess!  Everything went well, until I read that I was supposed to roll the dough.  At that point it looked more like a muffin batter than a dough.  I bravely decided to forge ahead regardless.  I dumped 1/4 cup of flour onto the counter, plopped the dough on top, and then covered it in another 1/4 cup of flour to made it handleable.  I patted it out and spread the filling on top.  And then I tried to roll it.

Attempting to roll up the rolls was not successful in the slightest.  The dough tore and wouldn’t hold a shape because it was so sticky and soft.  I ended up forming a giant ball of floury dough with some cinnamon filling dispersed throughout.  But I couldn’t give up!  I pulled off pieces of the dough, rolled them into balls, and threw them into the baking pan.

cinnamon closeup

When they came out of the oven they were nothing close to the picturesque cinnamon bun I had aspired to.  I had to cut them like bar cookies.  But all the mess was completely worth it! These were still delicious.  My brother ate them, which always means it’s worth keeping the recipe around.  If you’re in for an adventure, try it for yourself!

Not Really Cinnamon Buns

Adapted from maplencornbread.

Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

Filling:
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a nonstick 9×9 inch square or round baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla extract, maple syrup and butter. Fold into the flour mixture until moistened.

In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon filling ingredients until crumbly.

Turn dough onto a very well floured counter (I would use about 1/4 cup). Pat into a square (not too large) and cover with the cinnamon filling.  Attempt to roll, and then smoosh into a ball.  Tear off golfball sized pieces, roll, and place in baking dish.  Your hands will have to stay pretty well-floured throughout this.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.  This makes a 9×9 pan full, and you can cut them into however many pieces you like, although they’ll pull apart into the balls you rolled them into.

I didn’t ice them this time, but if I make them again, I definitely will.  While these on their own cheered up my rainy day, these + icing could negate a whole thunderstorm!

Icing:

1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled.
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together and drizzle over pan while still warm.