#44 Blueberry Crumb Cake

Let me just say, I’m so excited to share this post with you guys! I bought this giant case of blueberries the other day when my brother and sister-in-law were in town with the baby. My intention was to make some blueberry muffins for the fam, but baking with an adorable little toddler running around dosent work for me. She’s just too cute!

I’ve already made blueberry muffins a bunch of time so I figured I would try something new with blueberries. Whenever I go to coffee shops, I get crumb cake with my coffee (or Madelines, which I made a few weeks ago!) This crumb cake definitely gives Starbucks and Coffee Bean a run for their money.

I found this recipe over on Bake or Break. This blog is full of stunning, simplistic pictures of food and inspires me to take better pictures myself.

I hope you’ll give these a try. You could package them up and bring them in your purse to the coffee shop, show them who is boss :).

Blueberry Crumb Cake

For the Cake
1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9″x 13″baking pan with foil and butter the foil by melting butter and using a brush.
2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until soft and light (about 5 minutes). Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
4. On low speed, add half the flour mixture and mix well. Add yolks, mixing well, then add remaining flour mixture.
5. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top. Sprinkle blueberries over the batter.

For the Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1.Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in melted butter and combine with your fingers until the mixture is coarse crumbs. Scatter the crumbs evenly over the berries.
2.Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is firm. Cool cake in pan on wire rack.

Adapted from Bake or Break.

Enjoy!

Madeline

#43 Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies

YOU SHOULD LIKE THURSDAY NIGHT BAKING ON FACEBOOK! CLICK HERE 🙂

Back to food…

It’s funny how your tastes for things can change so quickly. I find myself craving things I used to hate, despise really. For example, guacamole. I hated guacamole. I can’t even explain to you how bothersome it was to me when I would go and get tacos, which happens often, and they would put a giant glob of guacamole on it. It kept happening, and I would be all disappointed each time. Then I found my stomach craving it, but my head being like “Do not go and get guacamole. You don’t like it! Remember?” That silly little voice is far, far away now and I find myself ordering a side of guacamole when I go to Chipotle now. I know, its embarrassing.


The reason I say all of this is because I had the same issue with White Chocolate. First of all, its not even chocolate! Did you know that? According to the FDA (who knew chocolate was so official?), to be considered chocolate it has to contain cocoa solids, which are what makes up chocolate liquor, which is in milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I felt like white chocolate was the weird traitor of the chocolate family and I refused to enjoy it. Then, once again, white chocolate appeared in things like cookies and on top of cakes and now I can’t help but like it!

These cookies are amazing. They are now on my Top 5 Cookie list. They were originally supposed to be White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies but man are Macadamia nuts expensive! So I switched them out for Pecans, who doesn’t love Pecans? (If you feel like shelling out the big bucks for some Macadamia nuts, it would be the same recipe just swap them out.) Obviously my family liked these too because the cookies were devoured in less than 24 hours. Made them at 6pm in the evening and they were gone by 11am the next day.

It was really hard to control ourselves (Torey and I) from eating this batter.

I use too large soup spoons for dishing out cookies, and an ice cream scoop for cupcakes.

Set all your ingredients out 30 minutes before you start baking. I’m sure you’ve heard this 5 million times as you creep through the food blogosphere, and trust me I thought it was stupid before too, but it makes a difference! Your butter will cream effortlessly and everything just comes together beautifully. It’s easy, really. Take everything out, put it on the counter, watch an episode of The Office (or if you’re bad Teen Mom/Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it’s okay I don’t judge), and then come back and get to it!

Vivi came to visit for a sleepover. Pure happiness.

Special thanks to Torey who was the official taste tester and took the baking action shots! 🙂

Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the pecans and white chocolate.
3. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Adapted from Allrecipe.com

 

Enjoy!

Madeline

#42 Sticky Buns

For my birthday my two amazing friends/coworkers got me two classes to this adorable little cooking school in Santa Monica called The Gourmandise  School. It is run by these two young and passionate woman who teach classes in things such as Cupcakes, Rustic French Desserts, and Vegetarian cooking. With such a wide variety of classes, I wanted to try something that I have never done before so I found this class in Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns.For me, Cinnamon Rolls always sounded intimidating because I’ve never worked with dough that has active yeast that required proofing.

Gourmandise Kitchen

Their classes are small, about 20 or so people, and for this class we buddied up and worked together at a mixer to make a basic dough. After we mixed the dough together,  we let them rise and then split the dough in half so we both could make our own variations of the cinnamon rolls. I made two different types: traditional cinnamon rolls (with some chocolate chips in it) with a cream cheese frosting and sticky buns, which has the same dough as cinnamon rolls, except the filling is a brown sugar/spice mixture which are then baked with a maple pecan syrup on top.

Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

Rolling out the dough

All of those little sushi looking rolls cut into pieces are actually my first roll of Cinnamon Rolls that I made. Key to cinnamon rolls is not loading them up too much on filling, and rolling them up just tight enough so that the layers can breathe. After you roll them up, turn them on their butts and stick them in a pan smaller than the one you will be seeing below. When you bake them closer together they become more like a pull apart sticky buns instead of flopping over ones…like mine kind of turned out.

Sticky Buns with a Maple Pecan Glaze

If you decide that you want to take on the challenge of making Cinnamon Rolls or Sticky Buns for your friends/family for breakfast one fine weekend, I give you this tip. Do all of the prep and dough making for this ahead of time, even multiple days/week ahead of time if you want.

Sticky Buns

When I say that these are a “challenge” to make, the challenge is really the waiting. Since there is yeast in the dough you have to wait for it to rise, and then you have to proof it once you’ve put the cinnamon rolls together. What was suggested is that you do all of the steps, right up until you would proof the cinnamon rolls before baking. At this point, you put them into the freezer where the proofing process is put on hold because of the cold temperature. Then, when Sunday morning comes around, all you have to do is get up about 2 hours before you want to make them, set them out on the counter and let them proof for about an hour and a half, then pop them in the oven!

Other than that, Cinnamon Rolls/Sticky Buns really are not that difficult to make at all, and can lead to a lot of different creative variations. I encourage you to give it a try and impress your friends. Cinnabon is amazing and all, but not quite as awesome as making your own sans the 500 different types of preservatives and partially hydrogenated what-nots.

If you live in the LA area and are looking for a little kitchen inspiration, I highly recommend signing up for a class here. It’s a fun and friendly atmosphere that caters to the kitchen novice that doesn’t know how to turn a mixer on, but also to someone like me who has been around kitchen appliance for a while. You meet some nice people and eat some great food, that you made!

Sticky Buns

Printable Version of Recipe Here

Basic Yeast Dough:

3 eggs                                                         ¾ cup buttermilk

2 tbsps heavy cream                                ¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt                                                     1 pouch yeast

4 cups flour                                                6 tbsps (3/4 stick) butter, melted

1) Place the eggs and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until the eggs come together (when the yolks and whites are unified).  Whisk in buttermilk.

2) Switch to the paddle attachment and add heavy cream, butter, sugar, salt and yeast and mix with paddle until combined.

3) Add 2 cups of flour and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour and mix for 5 minutes. Take the dough out and kneed it a few times by hand to make sure it is nicely combined.

4) Spread a thin coat (a few drops) of oil in a large bowl and place the dough inside.

5) Wrap the bowl in plastic and place in a warm area.  Let the dough double in size, about 2 hours.

6) Coat your rolling surface with a thin coat of flour.  Roll out the dough in a 18×14” rectangle.

7) Spread desired filling on the dough, leaving a little less than an inch up top to seal.

8) Roll up the dough from bottom to top and seal on top by pinching the seam.

9) Cut rolls in desired thickness with a sharp knife or scissors and place at least 1” apart in baking pan.

(If you are making this ahead of time, this is the part where you would stop and put it in the freezer. Then continue these instructions when you take them out of the freezer.)

10) Wrap baking pan in plastic and let rise for another 1 ½ hours.

11) Bake at 350 until puffy and golden around the edges.

12) Top with desired glaze 10 minutes after removing buns from the oven.

Glaze for Sticky Buns:

1 ½ sticks butter                                    1 1/4 cups brown sugar

½ cup heavy cream                              ¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla                                               ¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup chopped pecans

1) Place all ingredients in a saucepot.  Cook over medium heat until very warm, but do not boil.

2) Pour 2/3 of the glaze on the bottom of the pan and on top of sticky buns. Place the pecans on top of sticky buns.  Reserve the remainder of the glaze to pour over the buns once they are baked.

Filling for Sticky Buns:

¾ cup brown sugar                              1 tbsps melted butter

1 tsp cinnamon                                      1 tsp ginger

pinch of salt

1) Melt the butter.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a fork.

2) Spread the filling over the dough and roll up as directed.

 

Source: The Gourmandise School. Santa Monica, CA

 

 

Just check it out 🙂

www.thegourmandiseschool.com
Located in the Santa Monica Place Mall
Level 3 : The Market

 

Enjoy!

Madeline

Featured Food: Stan’s Donuts

This post is going to be a little bit different than the others, but I promise you’ll like it. I’ve been coming across yummy foods that are absolutely amazing and I feel like I must share with you guys! I’ve decided that this donut is so delicious that you all must know about it.

There is this little donut shop in Westwood Village, CA called Stan’s Donuts. You would never know that it’s delicious unless you’re from the area or you’ve heard about it from a friend. Guess what,  I’m going to be that friend!

My boyfriend had been raving about these Chocolate donuts with a Peanut Butter filling for a while and I was finally privileged enough to eat one. Let me tell you friends, best donut of my life, and soon to be yours. I’m sure this donut without the Peanut Butter filling would be fabulous, but the peanut butter filling takes the donut to a whole different level. Usually, when ever I have donuts I feel overwhelmed by sugar for a while, but that Peanut Butter fixes the problem. I dont know if I want to eat any  other donut again!

So delicious...

So, next time you are on the Westside, stuck in traffic on the 405, you have to go try this donut.

Stan’s Donuts
10948 Weyburn Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Enjoy,

Madeline

#41 Lamington Cupcakes

When its a baking day, I end up going to the grocery store multiple times that day. It’s embarrassing really. I read through the entire recipe, I make a list, and then I forget the eggs/sugar/something. I of course don’t realize I am missing these things until ingredients are opened and poured already. Tip: I suggest always using the self check out to spare yourself from ultimate embarrasement of going to the same check out guy twice in a 1 hour span of time, multiple times a month…

With that said, I forgot to buy eggs.

These cupcakes are on the front cover of “The Craft of Baking” cook book by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox and are absolutely delicious. They kind of taste like a cupcake donut, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in toasted coconut. Awesome, I know. I love these cupcakes because they are a little different than the normal cupcake. Aside from the fact that it is steering away from the traditional swirl of luscious frosting on top, the cake itself is a little denser, which gives it more of an old fashion donut taste. They’re delicious, don’t worry.

Toast the coconut first, let it cool, and then smash it up so its in small pieces and not the long strands

Since you will be dipping these in chocolate after they have cooled, there is no need to waste your cupcake liners. Melt some butter and use a brush to butter each pan. Then, dust with flour. The trick with that is to spoon a little flour into each cupcake well and then shake the pan around. You can tap out any excess flour in the sink.

Use a knife to scrape around the edges and flip the cupcakes out of the pan. Don't try and turn the pan over, it wont work the way you imagine it should.

Dipped and Rolled waiting to be eaten

Mini Lamingtons

I hope you enjoy!

Lamington Cupcakes

Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
1 tbs vanilla
¼ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
½ cup whole milk
4 large egg whites

¼ cup 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups confectioners sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Set oven to 300° F.

Spread coconut on baking sheet and put in oven until golden, 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. After cooled, crumble up the coconut and put into a wide shallow bowl.

Increase oven temp to 350. Butter and flour muffin tins.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds on medium-high until light and fluffy, 5 mins. Scrape down sides of bowl.

With mixer on medium speed, add milk and flour mix, alternating in 3 additions.

Transfer to another bowl. Clean the bowl to the electric mixer (I know, what a pain), and add the egg whites to it. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, 4 mins. In 3 additions, fold into batter.

Divide batter among muffin cups, ¾ full.

Bake for 20 mins, rotate halfway. Use knife to separate cupcake from tin and flip them out of the pan. Let cool completely

In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder,confectioners sugar, and salt. Add ¼ cup plus 2 tablspoons water and the vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Dip cupcake into glaze, coating entire cupcake. Immediately roll the cupcake in the toasted coconut. Transfer to a wire rack placed on top of a cookie sheet to catch the drippings.

Enjoy!

 

Madeline