Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe Review - Glazed Cinnamon Apples

Taste of Home

This recipe is from Taste of Home. Check out their website, magazines, and cookbooks.

Here's what you'll need:
Tart Apples, Lemon Juice, Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, & Butter

Wash apples. These are "Cripps Pink" and "Granny Smith." I chose 2 different types because of concern about how they might break down after cooking. 

Peel apples.

Core and then cut each apple into 8 slices. Pour lemon juice over slices then stir gently to coat each slice (this prevents the apples from turning brown).

Transfer apple slices to slow cooker.

Add flour, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg to medium bowl and whisk together.

Pour the flour mixture over the apple slices.

Pour melted butter over apples and stir gently to thoroughly coat apples.

Cook apples in slow cooker set on low for approximately 3 to 4 hours until softened to your liking. Depending on the apples you choose, this time can vary greatly.

Of course, you may want a scoop (or two) of this topped with your cooked apples.

So very yummy! Lots of juice with the softened apples
Serve over ice cream, pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal. Tastes great with just a spoon too!
I'm glad I used 2 different types of broke down into the juice and the other was firmer; a great combination.

RECIPE: Glazed Cinnamon Apples

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recipe Review - Soft Pumpkin Pretzels with Cinnamon Sugar

ALASKA from Scratch

This recipe is from Maya at ALASKA from Scratch, and it is my first attempt at soft pretzels. Don't they look scrumptious?

Here's what you'll need:
Yeast, Sugar, Water, Pumpkin Puree, Oil, Salt, Flour, Baking Soda, Butter, & Cinnamon

Combine yeast and sugar in mixing bowl.

Add warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F.) to yeast mixture and stir.

Let mixture stand for 10 minutes until slightly puffy. If yeast is not puffy, either your yeast is dead or your water was too warm or too cold.

Add pumpkin puree.

Add oil.

Stir together.

Add sugar and salt.

Stir mixture.

Gradually add flour (just enough until dough forms ball). You may have leftover flour...I did.

I opted to gently knead dough by hand for 5 minutes. Here it is after kneading.

Allow dough to rise in bowl covered with kitchen towel for at least 1 hour.

Here is the risen dough.

Preheat oven and line baking sheet with parchment or grease baking sheet 

Add hot water and baking soda to a shallow bowl.

Divide risen dough into approximately 8 equal balls and roll each ball into a rope. 

Twist each rope into pretzel shape, and using a slotted spoon, quickly dip pretzels, one at a time, in hot water/baking soda mixture.

Place each pretzel on prepared baking sheet.

Bake pretzels.

Brush pretzels with melted butter.

Sprinkle pretzels with cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

Thank you, Maya!

I look forward to trying additional pretzel recipes. 

My results were more like rolls than pretzels
These are not sweet except for the sugar coating. 
I baked mine for approximately 8 minutes

Next time, In order to produce the chewiness I want, I will:
  1)  reduce my oven temperature by 5 degrees,
*2)  bring the water and baking soda to a full boil in a
       saucepan and dip each pretzel in the boiling water for a
       full 30 seconds
 *3)  bake the pretzels until dark golden brown.

*per Alton Brown 
RECIPE: Soft Pumpkin Pretzels with Cinnamon Sugar


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recipe Review - Red Velvet Cake (Vegan)

Vegan Red Velvet Cake Recipe - Zoe Bakes
Buttercream Frosting/Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe - Whispers of Thyme

Zoe at Zoe Bakes did a review of this cake recipe from Eileen Goudge's cookbook, "Something Warm from the Oven: Baking Memories, Making Memories." This is my review of the same recipe. This cake contains no eggs, no milk, and no butter, but is still amazingly moist and dense. The frosting, on the other hand, is Not vegan.

Here is what you'll need for the cake:
All-Purpose Flour, Sugar, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (NOT dutch process), Baking Soda, Salt, Oil, Vanilla Extract, Red Food Coloring, Water, and Lemon Juice.

The original recipe calls for a food processor to mix the ingredients, but I used a whisk and electric mixer instead. 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. 

Whisk together.

Add in cocoa, and continue whisking until blended.

Place the combined dry mixture in mixer bowl...or better yet, just start the recipe in a mixer bowl!

In a separate bowl, whisk together cold water, oil, vanilla, food coloring, and lemon juice.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Pour batter into pans 

Bake and cool cake in pans on rack before removing from pan.

Continue to cool cakes on racks.

While cakes are cooking or cooling, prepare frosting (NOT vegan).
Here is what you'll need:
Powdered Sugar, Shortening, Butter, Vanilla Extract, Butter Flavoring, Meringue Powder (optional), and Milk or Cream (and Hershey's Chocolate Bars, if making Chocolate Buttercream Frosting).

Cream together butter, shortening, and salt. Add in vanilla extract and butter flavoring (not pictured).

Mix in meringue powder, if using, along with additional powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.

Melt chocolate bars in microwave and stir, then let cool.

Add melted and cooled chocolate to frosting and mix well.

Add in milk or cream until desired consistency. (not pictured).

Frost cooled cake.

My decorating skills need some work, no?

Good thing for me, the taste was unaffected!

Dig in! 

Although the cake and icing together are tasty, this cake might be better with a lighter frosting, such as whipped topping.  

But, please check out Zoe's beautiful basket weave design on her frosting...simply gorgeous!

RECIPE: Red Velvet Cake (Vegan) - Zoe Bakes

Buttercream Frosting or *Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
(yield: enough to frost a layer cake)

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup Crisco Shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons meringue powder (optional)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 to 2 Tablespoons milk or cream, for desired consistency

Mix the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and butter flavoring, then continue to mix until thoroughly blended. Stop mixer and add meringue powder, if using, along with 1 cup powdered sugar. Start mixer on the lowest speed and add the remaining powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the sugar is thoroughly blended. Add milk or cream, 1 Tablespoon at a time, if needed for desired consistency. Turn mixer to medium speed and continue to beat for an additional 5 minutes.

*Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
(yield: enough to frost a layer cake)

Prepared Buttercream Frosting (see above).
Four (4) Hershey Chocolate Bars (1.55 ounces each)

Prepare Buttercream Frosting recipe as specified above. Microwave four (4) Hershey chocolate bars on medium power until melted. Stir and then set aside to cool. Once cooled, add the melted chocolate to the Buttercream Frosting and blend with mixer until fully incorporated and smooth.