Tag Archives: Baked goods

bread

Beer Bread

This is one of the easiest and most delicious breads I have ever made, and as a former baker that’s certainly saying something. It has very few ingredients, and is really quick to make. And it’s fun! Because it’s made with beer! It goes really well with chili (which you’ll learn about tomorrow, and also contains beer), and probably with a lot of other meals as well.

sliced bread

The flavor isn’t super beer-y, but you do taste it. I don’t know if I’m explaining that very well, you’ll just have to make it and try it for yourself. I also have no idea what kind of beer would be best; I just used what was in my fridge. Play with the recipe, it’s fun!  I first thought of trying it when I found this recipe , and after reading the comments decided to try it with some of the suggestions that people made. And if you don’t feel like buying self-rising flour, you could easily make it yourself.

Check it:

recipe

This is how I write recipes

 

3 cups self-rising flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 (12oz) beer

1 Tbsp butter

 

 

 

mixing

 

Mix flour and sugar. Add beer and mix until everything is just combined.

 

 

 

 

proof

 

Pour into greased 9×5 pan. Let sit for 30 minutes, then pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350° for 40-55mins, or until lightly browned.

 

 

 

 

 

Let cool on wire rack about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool.

Slice and eat. Preferably with chili.

bread

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Poptarts

Remember that time I promised you a Valentine’s inspired chocolate post? Well, here it is! Yay! Obviously V Day is over, however, as everyone knows that means this is a great time to buy good chocolate at discount prices. And so I celebrate the ending of V Day by buying cheap chocolate and having fun.

This year I decided to try making chocolate poptarts. I got the idea from this article about what to do with leftover chocolate. My plan was to just get pie crust, get discount Ghiradelli chocolate squares (you can try these with some other kind of chocolate if it pleases you), and make deliciousness happen. Did it work? Definitely. Check it out:

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Doesn’t that look fantastic?  I made one with regular milk chocolate squares, and the other 2 with peanut butter filled chocolate squares.  1 pie crust makes 3 pop tarts if you do it this way. You could probably do smaller ones and get 6 out of 1 pie crust if it makes you happy.

start

Preheat oven to 425°

 

Thaw the pie crust and spread it out. Then place chocolate square like they are in the picture, making sure there’s space to fold the crust over and completely cover the chocolate.

 

 

 

 

before bake

 

Then fold the crust over, press to seal, and cut around edges with a pizza cutter, leaving about 1/4 inch of dough around each poptart. Crimp the edges together with a fork.

 

 

oven

 

 

 

 

 Bake at 425° for 8-10 minutes,

or until lightly browned.undecorated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place on a cooling rack, and once they are cooled, decorate them all fancy. Then eat them all!

decorated

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Black Bean Brownies

When I first learned of the possibility of using black beans in a brownie recipe I was first confused, then disgusted, then intrigued. I made a batch of them in my Nutrition class at school and thought they were fantastic. And then promptly forgot about them. As I continue with my diet I’m looking for healthier ways to give in to my cravings without ruining all of my hard work. First I made those cheesecake bars (they do freeze well, btw) and now I’m moving on to chocolatey treats.

For this recipe I looked at tons of different black bean brownie recipes all over the internet, and then as I was putting the info into the myfitnesspal.com recipe calculator I tried my best to keep the calorie and fat content as low as possible. Hence the unsweetened apple sauce in place of any potential oils or butter and the low amount of sugar. Did these come out tasting like brownies? Hell yeah they did! And I even managed to sprinkle them with chocolate chips and keep each brownie to only 84 calories (112 calories if you cut them into 12 pieces instead of 16). I’m just awesome like that.

Before I give you the recipe, here’s a warning: the blend of beans, applesauce, and eggs will smell kind of gross, but once you add everything else it’ll be fine. Trust me. As a tip when buying applesauce, get one of those packs of 4oz cup so that you can set aside the rest for baking with later on.

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Black Bean Brownies

Yield: 16 Brownies

Ingredients:

1 15.5oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
½ cup (4oz) unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350

Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan.

In a blender puree beans, eggs, and applesauce. Add cocoa powder, sugar, coffee, baking powder, salt, and vanilla and blend until mixed. Pour into baking dish, sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips, and bake for 30 minutes or until set. Let cool before cutting.

Nutrition info per brownie: Calories 84, Fat 2g, Carbs 12g, Protein 3g

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Low-Calorie Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I don’t make desserts for this site all that often, but I decided that in honor of my diet I needed to develop a low-calorie dessert to help me satisfy my rare craving for sweets. This is my first real attempt at making cheesecake and I think I did pretty well! There are a few changes I plan on making next time (don’t worry, I’ll let you know how it goes) because there’s a lot of potential for awesomeness here.

See! They actually worked!

I got the idea for making Lemon Cheesecake bars when I saw this recipe on Pinterest. It looked divine and got me craving lemon cheesecake, however they were a bit too high-calorie for me. So first I decided to change the crust. I went with a crust from a Low-Fat Cheesecake recipe on Food Network’s website. After that, I wanted the filling to be lower in calories as well, and used some measurements from a recipe I found on yummly.com. I made some of my own special changes, and a recipe was developed!

These came out absolutely delicious, especially at only 100 calories a piece. They were a little softer than I wanted them, so I didn’t try making a creme brulee top. Maybe I’ll take one of the ones I put in the freezer (for when the craving hits again) and see if it works better when frozen. Next time, to make them firmer, maybe I’ll try adding some egg whites and less lemon juice.

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For the Crust:
9 whole low-fat Cinnamon Graham Crackers
2 Tbsp. unsalted Butter, melted
2 Tbsp. water
Cooking Spray

For the Filling:
8 oz. Neufchâtel Cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1 egg
1 Lemon, zested
¼ cup Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until crumbled. Add butter, and 1-2 Tbsp water as needed until crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan lightly with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray again. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and bake for 8 minutes, or until browned. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the Neufchatel cheese and sugar until smooth. Add milk, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice and thoroughly mix, scraping the sides. Pour onto graham cracker crust, and bake 20-25 minutes, or until completely set. Let cool, then refrigerate. Cut into 16 pieces, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

I know, I really need a new camera, but I did the best I could!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutritional info per bar: Calories 100, Fat 5g, Carbs 10g, Protein 2g

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Curry Buns and Greek Buns

I’ve mentioned these before, in a post a long time ago, but I thought it would be nice to actually keep track of what goes into my version of this recipe and then share it with the world. I got the idea from a Cooks Country magazine about traditional recipes. The recipe in the magazine is for Beef and Cabbage Buns (Runsas), and when I made them exactly as the recipe said I was amazed at how incredibly delightful they are.

The dough is made with a little bit of sweetened condensed milk, so it has a very slight sweetness to it, and then you place a slice a cheese into the rolled out dough, put the filling on top, close it up, flip it over and bake it so that the cheese melts down into the meat and creates a cheesy, meaty, savory flavor that is complimented by the sweet dough encasing it.

Look at the melted cheese in the Curry Bun, so gooey and fantastic

Of course, being me, I had to play with the recipe. When I was in Japan, one of my favorite things to eat was curry bread, which is buns filled with dry curry seasoned meat and vegetables. I was eager to try it with this dough, and sure enough it worked! I still used the slice of cheese even though curry doesn’t traditionally have cheese in it, but it was still quite satisfying.

This time, I decided to make them again as a bribe to get my brother to visit me. He wanted to learn how to make them, so he made one batch by hand, and I made a batch with my stand mixer. For his, we tried using ground turkey, spinach, and a Mediterranean herb seasoned feta (from Trader Joe’s). Mine was curry. Both were amazing. You can use pretty much any combination of ingredients you want as a filling, just make sure it’s dry enough. We put the meat and spinach, for example, into paper towel lined bowls after they cooked to get some of the excess moisture out.

Try this out with any flavor you want! In the recipe I gave directions for both of the fillings my brother and I made. I highly suggest making two batches of the dough so you can try both of the fillings (or just making one batch of dough and halving the amounts in the fillings so you can try both). They are delicious! The recipe may seem stupidly long, but that’s only because I added both filling choices to it.

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Donut Muffins

That’s right. Donut muffins. Are the donuts in the shape of muffins, or are they muffins that taste like donuts? You know what, it doesn’t even matter. I’m just glad I found this recipe. In the past I have tried various donut recipes. One was for baked donuts, which ended up tasting and having the texture of bagels. Another was for deep fried donuts, which were quite delicious but still a little off-putting when you realize how much oil you’re eating later on. And then I found these.

These are fantastic. They are cakey donuts, like a plain donut, except they have flavor and are baked instead of fried. I didn’t mess with the recipe this time, but I’m getting ideas already for different flavors I can make with this. It’s incredibly easy, and only makes 12 donuts so I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed and thinking “oh crap, now I have to eat ALL of these?” like I did last time when I made a batch of about 30.  At least both times I had roommates to help :)

I won’t go into a whole spiel about how I created these and what was going through my mind, because I didn’t create the recipe and all I was thinking was how it’s a cold night and I wanted to bake something to make the house warm. Mission accomplished.

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Rosemary and Sage Peasant Bread

There’s this bread that I sometimes make, it’s ridiculously easy and versatile, and very quick. None of that waiting 12 hours crap. Plus you can mess with it all you like with a good chance of it resulting in genius. I first came across it through Sarah, who found it here. You don’t need to use all the equipment in that post though, I just use a bowl and wooden spoon.

Here it is with ham and cheese! A most delicious combination

We played with it and made many different versions, besides just the rosemary one. For example, we made it with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Fantastic! And we also made it in muffin tins and used it as sandwich bread. Trust me, it was awesome.

The thing about this bread, other than the different ways in which you can play with it, is the fact that you don’t have to knead it at all. Not even a little. All you have to do is stir the dough. I hate kneading, and I try to avoid it. This recipe was a godsend. I’m not even joking, all there is to do is stir. Don’t be deceived, these are not biscuits! It does take some patience since it is a yeast dough, but when it’s done it has a much sturdier and more satisfying bite to it than most biscuits.

Another thing that scares people off the bread making train is the use of yeast. Yes, there is yeast in this one. Here’s the thing, it’s recommended that the water you use is between 100-110 degrees (it even says it on the packets or jar). One way to go about this is to do what I do and use a little thermometer. You could also just try using water that feels warm but not painfully hot to touch. Or you can cheat and use fast rise yeast. I’m pretty sure that type has you just add it straight to the flour and not worry about dissolving it. There are many things to try, but don’t be scared. Adding the sugar the way this recipe tells you to is a huge help in making the yeast dance. And you’ll know it’s working if the yeast gets kind of foamy. Just give it a few minutes and don’t freak out.

The reason I chose both rosemary and sage for this version of the bread is simply because I have come to the conclusion that these two herbs are glorious together. Also, I have an abundance of them in my garden. Adding them into this dough makes the bread savory with a flavor all on its own, but not so overpowering that you can’t eat it with other food, such as in a sandwich or with soup. Enjoy it as is, or eat it with other food. Either way I promise deliciousness.

Ham and Cheese, Eggplant, Chili

I chose to make this bread last week (I was lazy in posting this) because I was thinking of all the great herb breads I can make when I get my bread machine in a week (which I now have and have used at least 4 times and love it!), and then I remembered that I know this classic recipe that I can use to tide me over until then. And so bread was made.

This time I made it into little sandwiches, but sometimes I make this recipe into loaves. For your culinary enjoyment I made sure to include instructions for both ways.

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Simple Mozzarella-Steak Pinwheel

Using pizza dough the way it’s used in this recipe is a very simple, yet very impressive, technique. It’s the most basic stuffed bread, but when your guests have a piece they’ll think you spent forever making it because it is just that awesome.

Once again my parents had their friends over and I agreed to make a few snacks for them. These are good opportunities for me to practice cooking since I can pick whatever I want to make and then have them pay for the ingredients! I have made pinwheels before; I used a recipe out of one of Giada’s cookbooks and have since altered it a little. Her recipe had the bread stuffed with mozzarella, spinach, and prosciutto. I made it that way, and it was fantastic. When I made it again this time, I took out the prosciutto since my mom’s friend is a vegetarian. And it was still fantastic.

But then I was thinking, what about everyone else? Surely they would like a stuffed bread with meat in it too (mostly I was thinking of me). So I decided to make an entirely different recipe, using steak. And what goes with steak and bread better than pepper, onions, mushrooms, and cheese? That’s right, nothing. And so this recipe was born. And then devoured.

Seriously, it was delicious. And so easy to make. Especially if you just buy the pizza dough like I do. You can make it from scratch, but the would negate the point of this recipe being quick and easy. It’s also very versatile, so it’s easy to substitute whatever you want. But you’ll want to try this one, trust me.

Remember, the thinner the cut of steak you can buy, the better it will roll in the bread! So try your best, ok?
Also, props to Mark for seasoning the steak and helping me make this.

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