Johnny’s Crumb Cake

Johnny's crumb cake

I think the first time I saw or even heard of Johnny Iuzzini was when he was a judge on Top Chef.  To me, there isn’t anything much cooler than a motorcycle riding, modern-day Elvis looking guy with tattoos who also happens to be a pastry chef.  Super cool!  I saw Johnny wrote a new book, Sugar Rush, but unfortunately, I was not able to cross it off my Christmas wish list. Luckily I came across this crumb cake recipe from his book, so I thought I would try a recipe before I bought it.  Since it will probably be a long time before I get to taste one of his actual desserts, making one of Johnny’s recipes is the next best thing. And, crumb cake is a perfect place to start because everyone in my family loves coffee cake. What I love about this recipe is that as a pastry chef, besides the traditional measurements, all the ingredients are given by weight. Baking is about being precise and if you say you aren’t a baker, this is the way to get good results every time as long as you have a good, reliable recipe. No measuring cups are needed, you just keep adding ingredients and zeroing out the scale for each new ingredient. I had my scale for like a year before I used it because for some reason, even as a pharmacist, using it was intimidating probably because it was just different from what I was used to. But now, if there are weight measurements, I use them.  You won’t believe the difference.

A few notes about this recipe. First, the batter barely covers the pan. I checked the pan size like five times, but it is 13×9.  I was worried that I would have a really short cake. Second, the crumb is very wet and heavy and there is a ton of it compared to the cake. Given those two things, I didn’t think there was any way this recipe would work out. But, I knew I measured everything correctly, so I put it in the oven and crossed my fingers.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how much the cake rose. The cake is really fluffy and light, compared to some crumb cakes that can be a little dense. The crumb gets really crunchy on top, providing a perfect texture contrast to the cake.  Honestly, no joke, this one of the best crumb cakes I ever had.

Johnny Iuzzini’s Crumb Cake
Yield: 13×9 cake
Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
5½ tablespoons (1/3 cup) unsalted butter (75g)
½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature (60g)
⅔ cup milk, at room temperature (160g)
1 tablespoon vanilla (15g)
1 tablespoon baking powder (12g)
pinch of kosher salt
Crumb topping
2¼ cups all-purpose flour (280g)
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar (290g)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (6g)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (226g)
Instructions:
Take out and measure the ingredients that need to be at room temperature: sour cream, milk, eggs and butter.
Make sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 350ºF.
Spray a 9×13-inch glass baking pan (I used a metal pan) with Pam. Lightly dust with flour and tap out any excess
In the bowl of your KitchenAid, beat the butter and sugar with the paddle until light and fluffy, ~ 3 minutes.
Add in the egg and sour cream. Mix until combined.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk and the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Sprinkle in the pinch of salt
With the mixer on low, alternately add the wet and dry ingredients. Start and finish with the dry ingredients. Make sure to stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, unless you a have a beater blade that does this for you
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Note: this barely covers the bottom of the pan.
Now, for the crumb topping:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon until uniform.
Pour in the melted butter. Stir until completely moistened. This will be heavy, wet and lots of it. Make sure to use it all.
Roll the mixture between the tips of your fingers to make small balls of crumb
Scatter the topping evenly over the top of the batter in the pan, right from your hands as you roll it. Completely cover the cake batter. It will be about half cake to half crumb.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center of the cake is firm to the touch and it springs back lightly when pressed.
Note: If the cake is not done in 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 325ºF and continue to bake until done- checking frequently
Remove the cake from the oven. Lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar.
Allow the cake to cool completely and give it a generous dusting of powdered sugar
Source: Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini, as seen on Taste and Tell

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Chocolate chip sour cream muffins

 

As I have mentioned before, my kids love those Hostess mini muffins. They are so expensive and I know, not so good for you. I am always on the look out for some muffins I can make that the kids will eat and I can pronounce all the ingredients. I came across these a while back, I’m sure while browsing Pinterest, and knew they would fit the bill.  One of my favorite recipes, one step pound cake, contains sour cream that gives it a wonderful texture and richness. So, I guess that’s what drew me to this recipe.  This muffin batter is so super fast to put together that I can make it, hop in the shower, get dressed, take them out of the oven and give them to the kids for breakfast before school.  My 7-year-old daughter, Sammie, is not a morning person and absolutely hates to get out of bed for school.  But, when I tell her I made these muffins, she jumps out of bed and runs upstairs to get some. These are just perfect for Monday mornings when no one wants to get up and they are a great way to start the week off with happy kids with big chocolate covered lip smiles.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Yield: 12 standard muffins or 36 mini muffins or 24 mini muffins + 5 standard muffins

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup sour cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit

1 teaspoon vanilla extract   I used vanilla bean paste

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips   I use ~3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chips with 1/4 cup finely chopped milk chocolate bar  (plus extra chips for the tops)

Coarse sugar crystals  optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Place muffin liners in your cupcake tin (how many depends on the size muffins you are making; see yield)

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients: the egg, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla extract (or paste).  Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.  If you stir too much, you will get dense muffins.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips (and chocolate pieces if you are using)  until just combined through.

With an ice cream scoop. fill each muffin liner about 3/4 full.

Add some decorative chocolate chips to the top of each muffin.   I like to sprinkle coarse sugar crystals on top for sparkle and crunch.

Bake until a toothpick in the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 14-18 minutes.  For the minis, it took about 14 min and the large muffins more like 18 min.

Allow them to cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. If you can..

Source:  The Curvy Carrot

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Blueberry streusel muffins

Ever since I saw these delicious looking blueberry muffins, I have been wanting to make them. But, blueberries have been expensive, so I haven’t.  When I went to the grocery store the other day though, they were $4 for a pint. Not too bad, so I bought them. I was excited to finally make these muffins. But, then I did what I usually do and didn’t read the whole recipe.  Damn. I realized I didn’t have any Sugar in the Raw and I wanted to follow the recipe as written. So, alas, I had to wait another day to go to the store AGAIN. But, actually it is okay because I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookie sandwiches filled with marshmallow fluff frosting that I want to make…so I grabbed some Fluff too. I haven’t made the cookies yet, but I cannot imagine them to be anything short of amazing. Of course, I will share. Anyways, back to the muffins. They were easy to put together and baked up beautifully with perfect rounded tops.  The cake part is fluffy and not too sweet, the blueberries are juicy, and the raw sugar gives the buttery streusel a wonderful crunch.  Oh, the muffins were just as I hoped they would be.

My picky family won’t eat these muffins as they don’t like cooked fruit. But, they sure tear the heck out of any kind of raw fruit, so I can’t complain.  As much as I love blueberry muffins, I can’t shouldn’t eat all 12 muffins myself. So, I will be bringing them to work tomorrow. Too bad there are only 12 though. Actually, make that 11 because I ate one for quality control. I mean, how else could I tell you about them? But, 11 muffins and about 30 coworkers?  Those are bad odds.  I know it will be Monday morning, but they better move fast 🙂

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Yield: 12 standard size muffins

Crumb Topping

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar     I used vanilla bean sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp chilled butter, diced into small cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw

In the bowl of your food processor: Add 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar and the cold butter cubes.

Pulse for a few seconds, just until the butter is evenly distributed throughout and the crumbs just come together in tiny crumbles. Note: The crumb mixture should still be fluffy. If you pulse too much, the crumbs become heavy and sink.

Pour the crumb mixture into a small bowl. Mix in 1 1/2 Tbsp raw sugar lightly with your fingers. Set crumb mixture aside.

Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
7 Tbsp vegetable oil     (you can measure 1/2 cup, then remove 1 Tbsp)
1/4 cup buttermilk   shake well
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large egg eggs
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries    Washed, dried, and all stems removed

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a wire whisk, mix for ~30 seconds or so. Set the dry ingredients aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup granulated sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, sour cream and eggs. With a wire whisk, mix until well blended, ~30 seconds. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined. Note: the batter should still be a bit lumpy. If you over mix, you will not have fluffy, tender muffins. Who wants that?

Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.

With a large ice cream scoop, divide muffin batter evenly into 12 paper lined muffin cups. Take the the crumb topping, fluff it a bit with your fingers and sprinkle the entire top of each muffin (about 1 tbsp per muffin).

Bake muffins about 18 – 22 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through the baking time, until they are lightly golden and pass the toothpick test.

Cool the muffins several minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack to cool.

Source: Cooking Classy

Blueberry lemon cream cheese coffee cake

Blueberry lemon cream cheese coffee cake

Cream cheese coffee cake has been the most popular recipe on Just Baked, by far.  Again, thank you Mother Thyme for a wonderful recipe.  Every time I make this cake, everyone says it is the best coffee cake they ever had and asks for the recipe. It really is delicious with the buttery cake, cheesecake-like filling, streusel and sweet glaze.  As good as it is, I decided to change it up this time by adding lemon and blueberries.  Don’t you just love how lemon brightens the flavor of blueberries?  The changes were simple. I added lemon extract to the cream cheese filling, subbed lemon juice for milk in the glaze  and added lemon zest to the cake.  I pressed about 1/2 pint of blueberries into the cream cheese layer. With a great, basic recipe like this, the flavor possibilities are endless.  I brought the cake to work as a treat for my coworkers and came home with an empty pan.  Empty pan = success.

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Yield: 13 x 9 cake

For the filling:

Two 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened (light or regular)   I used regular

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/4 tsp lemon extract  optional

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

1 cup sour cream (light or regular)

For the streusel topping:

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

3 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed

For the glaze:

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 to 1 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease/flour or spray a 9 x 13 cake pan. Set aside.

Make the filling:  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla and lemon extract (if using) on medium-low speed until creamy.  Set aside for the filling.  (If you have 1 bowl and paddle, you will need to put this mixture in a separate bowl, and wash them to use to make the cake batter)

Make the cake batter:  In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Slowly pour in the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream until it is all combined.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared cake pan with a spatula.  Spread the cream cheese filling evenly on top. Arrange as many blueberries as you like, I did about 1/2 pint, on top of the filling. Top with remaining cake batter and smooth with a spatula.  Using a butter knife, gently swirl in the batter.

Make the topping:  Add the sugar, flour and chilled butter in a small bowl.  Stir using a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle the streusel on top of cake batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack.

To make the glaze:  In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until it is the right consistency for drizzling.  Drizzle over cake.

Source: Mother Thyme; Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Ahhh…cinnamon rolls. One of my most favorite breakfasts.  But, I don’t make them too often mostly because of the time they take to prepare. You know, all the waiting for the rising, makes cinnamon rolls more of a brunch fare. We usually have a light breakfast, while waiting for the cinnamon rolls. But, when I do make them, the time we wait is always worth it.  These rolls are the big, Cinnabon-at-the-mall-style cinnamon rolls.  I  always have a hard time passing them up, but they are so expensive usually I leave with just the Mochalatta chill.  I mean, one can only have so much willpower. Besides, I need the caffeine. So I tell myself anyways.

So, I started these rolls at 7:30am and we sat down to eat them at 10:30am.  This explains why the photo is of a half pan of rolls. NO ONE was going to wait any longer for photos. My husband, Justin, and I loved them.  But, my kids wouldn’t eat them.  They only eat the ones in the blue can, but with my homemade frosting only.  Even they have standards.  I’ll admit, I like those too. I’m no food snob. They are great in a pinch and something I know everyone will eat when I don’t feel like fighting the please-eat-something fight.  Ugh, oh well, more for me.  I ate one for breakfast everyday that week and they were delicious, just 1 minute in the microwave.   These cinnamon rolls bake up tall, with a crisp exterior and tender interior.  The cream cheese frosting is just plain amazing.  It is really thick and cheesecake-like. In fact, my daughter Sammie, after not eating her cinnamon roll, took the frosting bowl and was about to eat it like oatmeal before I grabbed it from her.  This is the same kid who only eats the frosting off her doughnut. Who does that?

Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 large rolls

1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Warm the milk in a small saucepan until ~105 degrees F.   I used the microwave

Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.   Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar.   Stir into the milk.   Let stand until foamy, ~5 minutes.

Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour.  Mix well.  Knead with the dough hook on medium for ~4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl.  Cover with a damp towel.  Let rise in a warm place ~1 hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Mix well with a spoon, spatula or even your hands.

Lightly flour your work surface (I used a pastry mat) and rolling-pin.  Roll the dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle,  ~1/4 inch thick.

Brush the dough with 1/3 cup melted butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter.

Roll the dough up starting with the longer side.  Cut into 12 rolls.   I cut the log in half, then each half in half.  Then you have 4 even pieces to cut into 3.  This way you get even sized rolls.

Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with Pam. Arrange the 12 rolls in the dish.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

While the rolls rise, pre-heat the oven to 350F. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.

While the rolls bake, make the frosting.  Beat together the cream cheese, soft butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the frosting on the rolls while they are still warm.

Source:  Cate’s World Kitchen; originally from All-Recipes

Funfetti mini pancake muffins

My kids love those little Hostess chocolate chip muffins that come 5 packs to a box for over $4.00.  My son will eat 2 packs each morning for breakfast and that gets expensive.  So, I only buy them when they are buy 1 get 1 free and then I buy like 8 boxes.  But, when I run out, these pancake muffins are the perfect replacement.  I think they taste very similar to the Hostess muffins, but better of course because they are homemade.  Usually I make them with mini chocolate chips because they are Jack’s favorite.  But, I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit and replace the chips with sprinkles to make Funfetti mini muffins.

I decided to surprise my daughter with breakfast for lunch with these muffins.  But, of course Sammie didn’t want muffins.  She wanted turkey.  No bread, just turkey.  Okay then.  So the baby and I ate the muffins, dusted with powdered sugar and dipped in maple syrup.  Alex tore them up.  After Sammie finished her turkey, she decided she would try a muffin…then another and another and another.  She had to make sure they were okay, quality control you know. 😀   I love these muffins too.  They are fluffy, a bit sweet from the maple syrup and sugar, and they really taste like pancakes without all the work.  And now, not only do they taste great, but they are super fun, Funfetti.  Sprinkles makes everything better.  Don’t you think?

Funfetti mini pancake muffins

Yield: 24 mini muffins

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup of sprinkles- jimmies (you can adjust depending on how many you like)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a mini muffin pan really well with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  Whisk together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter just until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula just until combined.

Stir in the sprinkles.  Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.

Let cool slightly in the pan.  You may need to use a spoon around the edges to separate the pancake muffins from the pan.

Serve immediately dusted with powder sugar or with just maple syrup.

Source:  Bakerella

Flour Bakery’s Famous Banana Bread

It’s that time again where I have a bunch of brown bananas sitting on my counter, seemingly growing browner by the minute if I don’t finally go and bake something with them.  On most days I would look for a bar or cake recipe, you know, something different.  But, there is something comforting about plain old banana bread and I felt like I could use that today.  Hmmm…what recipe to try is always the question.  I have heard that Flour Bakery makes a mean banana bread.  After all, it must be called Famous Banana Bread for a reason, right?  Everything I have made from the Flour Bakery cookbook has been delicious, so I decided to go with it.

I love to make quick breads because, I guess as the name implies, they are quick. 😀 No yeast and no waiting for dough to rise.  Nope, you just mix your batter, pour it into the pan and pop it into the oven.  It is so easy, that I had the batter mixed and the bread baked while Alex took his morning nap.  Heck, I even had time to take pictures before he was woken up by our dog, who apparently decided Alex had slept enough and plowed through his bedroom door.  I mean, what the heck Walter?  You don’t even like the baby, unless he is eating and dropping food as you wait impatiently below his high chair.  Sorry to get off track, but I am still not happy about that.  Back to the bread. What you end up with is a delicious, moist (Ugh. I hate that word, but I can’t think of another word to describe it) bread packed with banana flavor, just waiting to be slathered with butter and sprinkled with sugar.  Delicious. I can see why it is famous. ;D

Flour Bakery’s Famous Banana Bread

Yield: one 9 x 5 loaf

1 1/2 cups  (210 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (230 grams) sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup (100 grams) canola oil

3 1/2 very ripe, medium bananas, peeled and mashed (1 1/2 cups mashed/340 grams)

2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream   I used sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup (75 grams) walnut halves, toasted and chopped   I omitted

Position rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 325 F.  Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat sugar and eggs on medium x 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

On low, slowly drizzle in oil.  Don’t pour it all in at once. You want to pour it in over 1 minute, to keep all the air you just beat into the egg-sugar mixture.  Add the mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Continue to mix on low just until combined.

Using a spatula, fold in dry ingredients and nuts (if using) just until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible and the nuts evenly distributed.  Pour into the greased loaf pan and smooth top. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until golden on top and the center springs back when pressed.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then pop out of the pan to finish cooling.

The banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temp up to 3 days.  Or, it can be well wrapped and frozen up to 2 weeks.

Source: Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery and Cafe

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread

My husband isn’t a sweet breakfast sort of guy.  I mean if I make French toast or pancakes, he wouldn’t turn them down or anything.  But, he would much rather have a savory breakfast sandwich any day.  Justin’s first choice of bread for his sandwich would be a pretzel roll, with an English muffin as a close second.  But, it can’t be just any English muffin. Nope, it has to be Bays, definitely not a Thomas.  Now, I know I cannot be the only one who hates the Bays’ packaging.  If you remove a few muffins, you can roll the end of the package over to sort of seal it.  Or, you can do as I usually do and throw them all in a Ziploc bag.  I don’t know why, but this drives me so crazy every time I open a package! 😀  Anyways, to surprise my husband, I wanted to try my hand at making homemade English muffins. But, then I saw this bread recipe.  Perfect. I get the same taste and texture of English muffins, while omitting the shaping and frying steps.

I, like many bakers, get a bit intimidated by yeast. But, I have gotten better with practice, a digital scale for flour and a thermometer to measure water temperature.  Looking at the recipe, it didn’t look too much harder than a quick bread, except you need to allot time for 2 rises.  It wasn’t hard at all.  Really. This is a great bread to tackle your fear of yeast!  The bread bakes up with a beautiful crispy crust, which envelopes the chewy interior of nooks and crannies, just waiting to be filled with melted butter.  I enjoyed my bread toasted with butter (real please) and some strawberry jelly.  My husband had his favorite egg, cheese and bacon breakfast sandwich and ate some more as toast.  I think he ate a whole loaf by himself.  It’s a good thing this recipe makes two!

English Muffin Bread

Yield:  2 loaves

Cornmeal  (for dusting)

5 cups (27 1/2 ounces) bread flour

4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups whole milk, heated to 120 degrees

Grease two 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan. Dust with cornmeal.  Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Stir in hot milk until combined, ~1 minute. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 30 minutes, or until dough is bubbly and has doubled.

Stir dough and divide between prepared loaf pans.  Push the dough into the corners with greased rubber spatula. The pans should be about two-thirds full. Cover the pans with greased plastic.  Let the dough rise in warm place until it reaches edge of pans, ~ 30 minutes. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Discard plastic and put the pans in the oven. Bake until bread is well browned and registers 200 degrees, ~ 30 minutes, rotating and switching pans halfway through baking. Turn bread out onto wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Slice, toast, and serve.

Source: Cook’s Country April/May 2012

Cookies and Cream Donut Muffins

I wanted to make donut muffins for breakfast this morning, but I didn’t really feel like cinnamon.  Crazy, I know.  I’ve done chocolate frosted, vanilla frosted and powdered sugar donut muffins.   They were all delicious.  But, what could I do to make these different?  Ooo, how about cookies and cream?  Don’t Oreos make just about everything better?  I decided to use the recipe for donut muffins from Back in the Day Bakery as the starting point, omit the spices, and fold in crushed Oreos.  Then I added a thick vanilla frosting and some crushed Oreos on top for garnish.  Okay, so maybe these look like cupcakes.  But, they really do have the texture of cake donuts and those are considered breakfast.  So, I am going to go ahead, take it upon myself and declare these perfectly acceptable for breakfast.  I mean, definitely not for everyday, but as a special treat when you want to see your kids eyes light up like it was Christmas.  If you ever wondered why I bake, this is it. ♥

Cookies and Cream Donut Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins (I would have gotten 13, but I wasn’t going to bake 1 extra muffin)

For the muffins:

3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons buttermilk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

8 Oreos, coarsely chopped

To make the muffins:

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350◦F. Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and buttermilk.

In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes. I used my Kitchen Aid.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth. Fold in the chopped Oreos.  Do not overmix or your muffins will be dense.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full. I had a bit of leftover batter.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden.  Let the donuts cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting or glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp whole milk   I used heavy cream, but I had to add almost 3 tbsp to get it to the consistency I wanted.  If you want more of a glaze, add more cream or milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 crushed Oreos to sprinkle on top

In small bowl, stir together sugar, milk (or heavy cream- start with 1Tbsp) and vanilla extract.  Add more cream or milk, a bit at a time, and whisk until incorporated.  Continue to add more milk or cream until you get the consistency you want. Use immediately to frost/glaze the doughnuts.  Sprinkle the Oreos on top of the frosting before it sets.

Source: the donut muffin is adapted from Back in the Day Bakery.  The frosting is adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

I was looking on Pinterest (where else?) for a recipe to use up some blueberries and I came across this blueberry cream cheese coffee cake.  I really love anything with crumb topping and then you one up a coffee cake with cream cheese?  Now we’re talking.  The cake batter is easy enough to put together.  Then you fold in the blueberries and chunks of cream cheese to complete the batter.  The crumb topping is made by just mashing together sugar, flour and cold butter.  I have tried the two fork method and I even have a pastry blender, but I find that nothing works better than mushing it with your hands.   The cake is so pretty after it is baked with all the bright purple blueberries poking out from beneath the golden crumb topping.  When you taste it, the cake itself is moist and buttery.   Then you bite into a blueberry and it’s sweet and juicy.  Then you hit a pocket of cream cheese and it’s well, as you can imagine, creamy.  I love all the different texture and taste contrasts in this cake.  Another thing I love about coffeecake?  It is one of the few times where it is completely acceptable to eat cake and call it breakfast.  Although, that’s not to say that I haven’t eaten chocolate chip cookies in the morning and called it breakfast.  But that was only me, hiding in the kitchen, stuffing them in my mouth before my kids woke up and wanted cookies for breakfast too. 😀

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Yield:  an 8 x 8 cake.  I used a 9 inch round cake pan.

For the cake:

1/4 cup (4 Tbs) butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla   (my addition)

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all- purpose flour, DIVIDED

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, washed, dried and picked over for stems    I used fresh

3 oz cold cream cheese, cut into small cubes

For the crumb topping:

4 Tablespoons flour

4 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 375F.  Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,  cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla (if using).  Combine 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk.  Start and end with the flour mixture.

Toss the blueberries with remaining 2 Tbs flour.  With a spatula, fold the blueberries and cream cheese cubes into the batter.  Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch baking pan.  I used a 9in round.  I wish I would have put a parchment circle on the bottom so the cake would have been easier to remove and put on my cake stand.

Prepare the crumb topping:  In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the batter.  Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Mine took about 35 minutes.

Helpful Hints:

  • If you use frozen berries, do not thaw before using or they will bleed into the cake.  It will still taste good, but it won’t look as pretty.
  • When making the crumb topping, I find just using my hands to work better than two forks or a pastry blender.

Source: Slightly adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, originally from Taste of Home magazine

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