Tag Archives: cinnamon

Apple Bundt Cake

5 Dec

This post will be short, sweet, and to the point.  Just like the cake I made for you.

I’ve been a terrible blogger the past few weeks.  Sorry about that.  But now that it’s dead week, and I have finals to study for, papers to write, and pots to glaze, I’ve decided to start up again.  So here you go, eat your heart out, and to all my fellow students, may you not perish in the fiery inferno that is dead week.

APPLE BUNDT CAKE (adapted from this recipe)

  • 4 medium apples, shredded (I shredded 3 and finely chopped 1 just to get larger chunks of apple in the cake)
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1c. applesauce
  • 4 tbsp. ground flax seeds + 12 tbsp. water, mixed
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In another bowl, combine the apples, applesauce, flax mixture, sugar, vanilla, and milk.  Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined.  Pour into the bundt pan and bake for about 1 hour, until it passes the toothpick test.  Once cool, dust with some powdered sugar.

Humble Pie

18 Nov

I feel like pie is a dessert that doesn’t get enough credit.

People love it.

People eat it.

No one bakes it.

Why?

Because making the crust scares the s**t out of them.

Here’s the thing.

You don’t need a food processor.

You don’t need a special recipe.

You don’t need super-specific measurements.

You don’t need to freak out about over-mixing your dough.

You’re ingredients don’t even need to be cold.

Here’s my story.

I have a recipe for the ‘perfect pie crust.’

I tried it today.

I (almost) totally fudged it.

People tell you to put all of your ingredients (even the flour and sugar) in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you start your crust.

My margarine was fridge-temperature.  My shortening sat in the fridge for about an hour.

I had some ice water.

Everything else was room temperature.

I even kneaded the dough until it turned into a nice, cohesive ball, even though they tell you to just smush it until it comes together.

My crust was perfect.  Flaky.  Buttery.  Crispy.

Yum.

PIE CRUST (makes enough for one double-crust pie, or two single-crust pies)

  • 3 1/2 c. AP flour
  • 1 c. chilled margarine
  • 1/4 c. vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp. sugar (the recipe calls for 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar, but I just did 1 tsp. and it was fine)
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. ice water

To start, it helps if your margarine and shortening are cut up into cubes.  Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl.  Cut in the margarine and butter with a pastry blender.  Slowly add in the water.  Note:  you won’t need all of the water, just enough to bring the dough together.  As soon as the dough starts to clump, smush it together, even knead it a little so that it doesn’t crumble when you roll it out.  Stick the dough in the fridge for a while.  The recipe says it needs to be in the fridge for at least an hour, I just stuck it in there while I got the filling put together.

APPLE PIE FILLING

  • 5 or 6 apples (I used granny smith)
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar (I did 1/4 c. white sugar, 1/4 c. brown sugar because I ran out of the white sugar)
  • 2 tbsp. AP flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. margarine, cut up

Slice your apples into 1/2 inch slices (the recipe says 1/4 inch slices, but mine all but fell apart after baking for 75 minutes).  Toss with the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour into your pie crust, then dot the apples with pieces of margarine.  Then, either by folding the top crust or rolling it onto your rolling pin, put the top crust on your pie.

Now, this is where we practice humility.  This is where we learn that perfection isn’t everything.  Do you hear this?  This is coming from me, little miss perfectionist, OCD, whatever you want to call me.  My crust was far from perfect.  But!  It still tasted great.

Bake your pie in a 350°F oven for 60 – 80 minutes (mine ended up taking about 75 minutes to get the crust browned).

Cool in a windowsill and serve it up with ice cream, whipped cream, or all by itself.

Pumpkin Bread

27 Oct

My boss recently turned me onto a wonderful online resource.  It’s called Pinterest.

They put a little button in your bookmarks bar so that whenever you see something fun on the interwebs you can pin it onto one of your cyber-boards.

You can also waste a gagillion hours looking through what other people have pinned.

How do I know?

Because I’ve done it.

I’ve been hooked on this thing for the past few weeks, and due to my endless browsing I can tell you what’s in style.

Pay attention, this is important.

Cake pops are in style.

Yellow and  gray are freaking everywhere:  on people, in rooms, on giraffes in baby shower invites.  Everywhere.

Stuff made from paint samples are totally hip.  Like lamps and bookmarks and name tags.  I don’t get it either.

S’mores everything is the next big fad.  S’mores cakes, s’mores cupcakes, s’mores cookies, s’mores cheesecake, s’mores Halloween costumes.  For the record,  I think s’mores are nasty.

Chalkboard paint and flowers made out of old t-shirts are most definitely in style.

Dressing your baby up like a piece of candy corn is cute, apparently…

Pumpkin bread isn’t in style yet.

But it will be after this.

PUMPKIN BREAD (based on the recipe in the NYT cookbook – that’s how you know it’s good)

  • 1 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. no sugar added applesauce
  • 3 c. pumpkin
  • 1 c. craisins (and/or 1 c. walnuts if that’s more your cup of tea)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. wheat germ
  • 3/4 – 1 c. soy milk
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine the sugars, applesauce, pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, cloves,  craisins, and baking soda in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Pour into loaf pans and/or muffin tins and bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until done (muffins bake for about 30 minutes).
Makes 3 loaves or 2 loaves and 12 muffins

Pumpkin French Toast

14 Oct

What is the measure of the crud-factor of a week?

The number of times you’ve smacked your head against a door jamb?  Number of bruises you have on your arms from running into bathroom stalls?  Number of frustrating emails you have in your inbox?  Or how many drafts you’ve discarded trying to sound calm, cool-headed, and tactful in your reply?

Maybe it’s the number of naps you had to take… or how many you weren’t able to take.  Maybe it’s the poundage of clay pots you threw away in the ceramic studio because you messed them up so bad; or the number of times you’ve dissolved into uncontrollable, unexplainable tears.

Classes you skipped?  Hours of sleep you were conned out of?  Meals replaced by LUNA bars while working in the studio?  Dozens of cupcakes you did not bake?  Crazy first-years protesting quiet hours? Recipes you’d like to blog but can’t because the food wasn’t photo-worthy?

Yep, I’d say that just about sums up the crud-factor of my week.

But that’s okay.

Why?

Because I made french toast.

Pumpkin french toast.

Pumpkin french toast with ‘butter,’ powdered sugar, and maple syrup.

In the same sentence?  On the same plate?

Need a visual?

There you go…

(Side note:  Yes, I had this for dinner.  Sometimes it’s good to have breakfast for dinner, especially when your week’s been such a mess.)

So, whip up some french toast, sit back, and let the rest of your week melt into buttery pumpkiny syrupy oblivion.

PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST

  • 1/2 c. pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. – 1 c. vanilla soy milk (enough to thin out your batter to the right consistency)
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • dash of salt
  • about 6 slices of bread (I used potato bread)
Mix together the pumpkin, milk, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl (make sure it’s big enough to dip your bread slices into).  Lightly grease a pan with earth balance or whatever your preferred butter replacement is.  Dip the bread into the batter and let any excess run off – you don’t want too much batter on your bread, most of it should be soaked into the bread – and fry until golden brown.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with butter, drizzle with maple syrup, or just eat them right off the pan.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

4 Dec

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Nothing says Saturday morning like homemade pancakes.  Especially when it leaves the smell of cinnamon and maple syrup floating in the lounge for the rest of the morning.

My roommate and I had planned on making pancakes at some point for about a month. Then, we woke up this morning and the internet was down on campus.  Meaning neither of us could start on our four page Spanish essays due on Wednesday.  Oh, well.  We took that as a sign to whip up a batch of panqueques.

So we got out of bed and made pancakes in our brand new pajama onesies that we bought at Target yesterday.  Morning well spent.

I got this recipe out of my go-to vegan baking guide, The Joy of Vegan Baking, and added a few little touches to make them my own.

APPLE CINNAMON PANCAKES

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 c. nondairy milk
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 to a whole apple, sliced super thin

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon (just enough so you can smell the cinnamon and see the color in your batter), and salt in a bowl (I usually whisk my dry ingredients together to lighten up the batter).  In a separate bowl or a 2- or 3-cup measuring cup, mix the milk, oil, and maple syrup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until combined.  Add in the apple slices.  Be sure not to overmix your batter so that your pancakes don’t get tough.

Heat your non-stick skillet or pan over medium heat (add some oil or nondairy margarine).  Pour the batter onto your pan, and cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes.  You can tell your pancakes are ready when the pancakes start to bubble on top and the edges start to pull away from the pan.  Flip your pancakes and cook just until the bottoms are golden brown.

Serve with maple syrup, peanut butter, or any of your other favorite pancake toppings (though you really don’t need anything because the pancakes are so flavorful), and enjoy!