Category Archives: Baking

Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

Serves: Yields around 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar for 10 minutes, until slightly fluffy. Add in the egg, salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 5 minutes before adding in the mashed pumpkin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat until just mixed.
  4. Spoon the dough onto cookie sheets in walnut sized portions. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a golden orange shade.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/gotta-gotta.html

These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

Walk it

Sweet Potato Biscuits

sweet_potato_biscuits

I’ve posted before about how much I love the Farmer’s Market at my office, the market which will be ending for the season in two weeks – eek!  I’ve tried out so many different varieties of tomatoes, apples, and random greens that withdrawal is rather likely at this point.   A few weeks ago, Mark at Chocolates and Tomatoes (yep, still obsessed with the awesomeness of the name) tossed me the LARGEST sweet potato ever.  Not even joking, this beast was the size of my arm from wrist to elbow – total insanity.  He also challenged me to do something different with it, which really got me thinking.  It also had me asking around the office for ideas as I’ve already done a lot with sweet potatoes.  In the end, it was a suggestion from a coworker to do a sweet potato bread that had me thinking about drop biscuits.  Some quick googling gave me great information about all the different types of biscuits and with I decided to go with a quick rise drop biscuit – mostly because rolling dough is just never a good idea for me.

Walk it

Serves: Yields around 12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb sweet potato, quartered and peeled
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil along with the quartered sweet potato. Cook until potato is soft, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 425
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, cut in the sweet potato using two knives. The dough should form pea sized balls.
  4. Form a well in the middle, and pour the milk in to the well quickly mixing in the dry ingredients until just wet.
  5. Drop a walnut sized amount of dough on to cookie sheet and repeat to form 12 biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/walk-it.html

The sweet potato I was gifted actually produced three times what I needed for this recipe, so the rest of the puree was frozen and used to make sweet potato gnocci.   As for the milk in the recipe, if using dairy based be sure to use whole or 2% – while for non-dairy a full fat coconut or almond milk marked “plain” will work the best.  I hesitate to suggest soy milk due the lack of fat, which is the same reason I would avoid a 1% or skim milk.

ABC

Apple Basil Cake

Apple Basil Cake

Welcome to my Secret Recipe Club post for October!  This month I was sent over to LeAndra’s Love and Flour  – a blogger with a taste for the sweeter things in life.  For a hot moment I debated trying one of her many savory treats, but then realized that would be cheating and so I happily went off to explore all the potential treats.  I was immediately drawn to her Apple Basil Cake, featuring seasonal apples and fresh basil it was an easy pick.  Though her cheescake muffins with homemade vanilla wafers deserves an honorable mention as they look insanely delicious and easy – after all she calls them a “cheatcake” which is one of the best nicknames ever.   The only change I made to the recipe was switching the Granny Smiths for Crispins as that’s what my farmer’s market had, which is a taste preference as either apple (or my usual favorite Pink Lady) would be perfect for this cake.

ABC

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp packed basil (used a mix of sweet and Italian)
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups Pink Lady apples, diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and basil in a medium-size bowl and set aside. Beat the oil and sugar together on low speed until mixed.
  3. Increase to medium speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 7 minutes.
  4. Return to low speed and slowly add the flour mixture until blended, then fold in the apples.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 10-inch bundt pan and bake for 65-75 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the middle of the ring.

Notes

I've been switching to longer beating times following a recipe of "Mind of the Chef" and so far it seems to result in a lighter batter!

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/abc.html

I brought this cake over to a family lunch gathering where it was a MASSIVE hit with only one slice making it back to our house.  I skipped the glaze for fear of it not traveling well and simply topped it with some powdered sugar as an easy cheat.  The apples were crisp and the basil provided the perfect contrast to the sweetness resulting in perfection.   We served the cake as dessert, but would also make a great treat for a brunch or tea as the sweetness is  (thankfully) not the dominant feature of the cake.  All of the apples came from Pong’s Orchard which is owned and operated by one of the sweetest families ever – I’m going to be beyond sad when our market ends in a few weeks.

I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their apple challenge as a replacement for the mulligatawny soup that I made and never photographed.  This is a cake that deserves to be shared and loved by as many people as possible – but what do you expect when it comes from a blog named LOVE and Flour!

Out in the Rain

Peach Dutch Baby

Peach Dutch Pancake

There is nothing like a good rain storm to make everything seem fresh and new and wonderful.  There is also nothing like waking up on a rainy day to the smell of peaches and cinnamon – or baking something that smells like cinnamon and peaches!  Hurricane Arthur decided to chill off the coast a few days ago and while I waited for the heavier bands to go away I decided to make my hubby a delicious (and not so nutritious) breakfast featuring fresh peaches.   I’ve had dutch babies before and while I thought I made them before apparently that was not the case – so husband was quite surprised by the fluffy breakfast item.

Out in the Rain

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place the butter on a 10 inch tart pan and preheat in the oven.
  2. Whisk the eggs until foamy in a large bowl before adding the milk, set aside. Blend the dry ingredients together in a small bowl then quickly blend with the wet ingredients until just mixed.
  3. Toss the sliced peaches in the cinnamon and nutmeg, once the tart pan has been preheated align the peaches on the bottom. Pour the dough over top and then bake for 20-25 minutes or until the outer rim is golden brown.
  4. Remove and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/out-in-the-rain.html

I enjoyed mine “naked” but powdered sugar would be a great addition to this treat for those who like things on the sweeter side.   I’m sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their pit fruit challenge – and as a bonus this recipe would also work fantastically with cherries and other pit fruits.  In fact I might give a cherry version a try this weekend – regardless of weather!

Dance Magic

Peruvian Corn Pie

Peruvian Corn Pie

Nothing like a cooking challenge to get me out of my funk, and in this case it’s a cooking challenge from /52weeksofcooking featuring Peruvian cuisine.  My experience with Peruvian food is limited to one night back in middle school at the Girl Scout house Our Cabana.  While the house is in Mexico, they do regional dishes to reflect the Girl Guides/Scouts staying there and for my visit that included a night filled with Peruvian treats!  While most of them were not vegetarian friendly, something that mattered even then, there was this one corn dish that was fantastic: Pastel de Choclo.  The closest translation I got was Corn Pie, and thanks to Google it was rather easy to find a few variations of this tasty treat!   From there I just replaced the meat with some beans and increased the vegetables – which is about as easy as it gets.

Dance Magic

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, diced and pitted
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 2 tomatillos, diced
  • 2 cups pinto beans, presoaked
  • 1 cup black beans, presoaked
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn off the cob
  • 2 cups of your favorite cornbread recipe

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep saute dish and add the spices. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and then add the garlic and onion. Cook for an additional 7 minutes, allowing the garlic to brown and the onion to turn golden.
  2. Add the peppers, tomatoes, olives and tomatillos and continue cooking for another 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the corn and beans, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish
  4. Prepare 2 cups of your favorite cornbread recipe, pouring half in to the bottom of the baking dish. Gently pour the cooked vegetables on top, and then finish with the remaining cornbread batter.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until top is golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/05/dance-magic.html

The best part about this dish is that it changes every time I make it, primarily based on what’s in season.   It can also be easily adapted for Gluten Free or Vegan dining by using a GF or Vegan friendly cornbread recipe.   While this probably takes away from some of the authenticity of the dish, it always brings back some awesome memories – and there’s nothing wrong with that!