Tag Archives: baking

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss

There are all kind of kisses , the universal symbol of love. Every kiss, they say,  is the talk of the soul. These little bites of chocolate and bourbon are a perfect kiss for your Valentine !

From by the bay, wishing you little chocolate kiss food memories!

Maryann

blog bourbon kiss

 

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss
Makes approximately 30 cookies

Cookies
3 cups vanilla wafers
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 cup bourbon
coarse sanding sugar for rolling or granulated sugar

Directions

In a food processor, process wafers until finely ground. In a large pot over low heat melt chocolate chips stirring to help melt. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, syrup and bourbon until smooth. Add the ground wafers and pecans and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and let dry . Store in a airtight container for up to 1 week.

Pumpkin Cider Bread

Here is another great treat made not only with pumpkin but also apple cider for the perfect autumn food pairing. This easy pumpkin bread taste perfect just as it is moist and spicy or kick the taste up another notch by slathering some cider cream cheese frosting on top. It’s wickedly good!

From by the bay wishing you cider and pumpkin food memories!

Maryann

blog cider pumpkin cake

Pumpkin Cider Bread 

Makes 1 Loaf or 4 mini loaves

Adapted from Gourmet October 1991

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions

In a saucepan boil the cider until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup, add raisins and let it cool. In a bowl whisk together well the pumpkin purée, the eggs, the oil, the brown sugar, and the reduced cider. Into the bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves and stir the batter until it is just combined. Transfer the batter to a well-buttered 8 1/2-by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and bake the bread in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan.

blog cider pumpkin cake with icing

Cider Cream Cheese Icing

For the icing
1/2 cup apple cider
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Make the icing:
In a saucepan boil the cider until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, the confectioners’ sugar, the reduced cider, and a pinch of salt until the icing is smooth.

Lemon Pound Cake

One of my grandmother’s favorite recipes  was this delicious pound cake.  My grandmother always had her homemade baked goods in the house just waiting for a beloved guest to show up at her door to share a cup of coffee and a little something sweet along with it. Grandma’s pound cake is light and airy since it prepared similar to a sponge cake. The eggs are separately and the egg whites are whipped into soft peaks and then gently folded into the batter. This is definitely one a family favorite. Thank you Grandma!!

From by the bay, wishing you light pound cake food memories!

Maryann

blog pound cake

Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredient

  • 1/2 pound butter , at room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Grease and flour one 10 inch tube pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and  sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs yolks, lemon juice and zest scraping down the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the whites until fluffy, continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold some of the flour mixture into the yolk mixture, then some of the whites, and continue alternating this way until you have a well-combined, smooth, fluffy batter. Pour the batter into the tube pan. Make sure to avoid air pockets. Place on baking sheet in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remove and cool for 10 minutes then invert on rack to finish cooling. Once cool remove from pan and place on tray and serve.

Ricotta Strawberry Muffins

 

 

 

 

blog straw muf

My grandparents farm had lots of fresh strawberries to pick. The strawberries would rarely last long enough to bake . I would say the same holds true today. But if you do find yourself with some berries this is the perfect morning treat.  A moist muffin that is not too sweet. It’s the perfect start to a nice relaxing weekend morning!

From by the bay , wishing you berry food memories!

Maryann

Ricotta Strawberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, plus extra tablespoon to sprinkle on top of muffins
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F. Take a 12 muffin pan and line with paper baking cups. Put tin to the side. In a bowl combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest. Add melted butter, ricotta cheese and stir. Add the eggs to the buttermilk , mix and pour into the flour mixture and combine. Add strawberries, mix and then fill each muffin liner about 3/4 filled. sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining sugar. Place tin on baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 20 to 25 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes then remove muffins to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or room temperature.

blog straw muf 2

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Focaccia

A onion fennel focaccia 012

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Focaccia

 

Dough:

  • 1 tablespoon fine sugar
  • 1 ½ cups very hot water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 cups flour plus flour for kneading ( ½- 1 cup)
  • Spray cooking oil

 

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fennel thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ cup grated gruyere cheese
  •  ½ teaspoon Grey sea salt to top bread

 

Directions to make dough:

 

In a bowl dissolve sugar in 1 ½ cup hot water, then add the yeast cover with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture should start to foam. Add 3 cups of flour mix and turn dough onto floured surface. Put some flour on top of the dough and on your hands and knead for about 5 minutes. As you work the dough add enough flour to make the dough less tacky. After kneading, spray a bowl with cooking oil. Place dough into bowl. Spray the top of dough with more cooking oil spray. Cover the bowl with a moist dishtowel and place to the side to rise for 1 1/2hr. The dough should be double in size. Punch the dough down. Take a non stick rimmed cooking sheet 9” x 13”, spray lightly with cooking oil and spread dough out to the size of the pan. Cover with damp dishtowel and let rise again for 30 minutes.

 

Directions to make topping:

 

Take a sauté pan to medium flame add butter. To melted butter add the sliced onions and fennel, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and cook until brown and caramelized stirring frequently not to burn, approximately 15 minutes. Add the fennel seed and let cool.

 

Directions to bake bread:

 

Preheat over to 425F , take the cooking sheet with dough and using finger tips press into the dough making dimples. Spread the onion fennel mixture over the top leaving 1 inch not covered around the perimeter of the pan. Next added the grated cheese and the grey sea salt. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.

Basil Zucchini Corn Bread

blog zuc bread
I can get so caught up shopping at the farm stand this time of year. This past weekend I did just that and found myself staring at a few too many zucchini on my kitchen counter.  As a result I grated the zucchini and added to my favorite cornbread recipe with some fresh basil and result was a moist and fresh tasting bread. Which tastes great the next day if you have any leftover.
This bread  is a big hit here by the bay!
From by the bay wishing you yummy zucchini food memories!
Maryann
blog zuc bread 2

Basil Zucchini Corn Bread 

Serves 8


Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 zucchini

8 fresh basil leaves


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter  1 medium loaf pan. Fill a small bowl with ice water. Bring a small pan of water to a boil, add the basil leaves into boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove leaves and plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Remove leaves from ice water, dry and chop. Set aside.  Take the zucchini, cut off each end. Cut three rounds 1/8 inch thick from one end of zucchini and set aside. Grate the zucchini coarsely, using a box grater, until you have 1 cup of grated zucchini. In a large bowl combine well the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine and beat buttermilk, eggs and butter. Fold into this the chopped basil and grated zucchini. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Top batter with the 3 zucchini rounds. Place pan onto baking sheet and bake for about 55 minutes until the tester comes out clean. Cool on metal rack for 10 minutes. When cool remove bread from pan. Serve warm or room temperature.

Peach Basil Hand Pies

blog peach basil
Sometimes all you need is just a little bit of pie. Pie that can be held in the hand and eaten on the go, at a picnic or just taking a walk. We’ve reached that glorious time that arrives each summer when fruit is plentiful and your “big” decision is which fruit should you get for your dessert. Peaches definitely come to mind for me. I decided to make little hand pies over the weekend, filled with peaches and a touch of  sweet basil from the garden to add a slightly spicy undertone to the filling. It’s the perfect little summer treat!
From by the bay wishing you, tasty little peach pie food memories!
Maryann
blog peach hand pie 2
Peach Basil Hand Pies
Makes 6 pies

Ingredients
1 recipe flaky pie dough ( see recipe below)
2 cups fresh chopped peaches, stoned and skinned
2 teaspoons sweet basil, chopped
3 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. To make the filling add into a medium bowl the peaches, basil, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, pepper, salt, cinnamon and rice wine vinegar. Mix well and set aside. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out your pie crust into a 20 inch square. Cut the dough into eight 5 inch squares. Working with each square individually, place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center. Brush the two connecting edges with egg and fold in half making a triangle.  Press the ends together to seal. Place onto the parchment line tray. Use knife to trim uneven edges. Repeat with remaining squares. Brush the top of each pie with remaining egg wash and sprinkle the remaining sugar on top. Make a small slit on the top of each pie fro steam to escape. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is pies golden brown. Remove from oven.  Cool and serve.
blog peach hand pie

Recipe: Flaky pie dough for hand pies

October 20, 2012 from Los Angeles Times

2 1/4 cups (9.6 ounces) flour

Generous 1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup cold shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

2 1/4 teaspoons cider vinegar

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, more if needed

To make the dough using a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the shortening and pulse until incorporated (the dough will look like moist sand). Add the butter and pulse just until the butter is reduced to pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the vinegar and 4 tablespoons water over the mixture, and pulse a few times to form the dough, then a few more times just until the dough begins to clump together to form a cohesive dough. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, pulse in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and mold it into a disk roughly 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cover the disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Raisin Pound Cake

blog raisin cake
As I was thinking about what to write for my Mother’s Day blog, I decided to look through my Grandmother’s recipes. I love looking at the tattered, fragile pieces of paper, remembering the recipe, the family gathered for some occasion or just an ordinary day made special with the love that comes along with the food. The recipes are all hand written, many of them just a list of ingredients mostly for baking. I figured this is all Grandma needed if that, it’s in baking that you need the precise measurements. Most of Grandma’s recipes were committed to memory. Each time I try a recipe it’s requires a bit of work for me to figure out the technique to transform the ingredients in the recipe. So as I was looking through the recipes, I found this recipe for raisin cake. I have no idea the origin of the recipe, but what I do know that making the cake for my sister and mother while working on this blog, we not only enjoyed the cake but all the memories that came along with it.
From by the bay , wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day making your own special memories.
Maryann
blog raisin cake slice
Raisin Pound Cake
Ingredients
Unsalted butter and unbleached all-purpose flour or baking spray for the tube pan
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound raisins
1 cup (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
confectioner’s sugar, to dust on top of cake

Directions

Thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of a tube cake pan then coat the sides of the pan with flour, shaking out the excess or spray the sides of the pan with a baking spray.


Make the cake: In a saucepan add raisins and water until the raisins are just covered and bring to a boil. Strain raisins, discarding liquid and cool in a bowl.  After raisins have cooled, add 2 tablespoons of flour to coat the raisins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. In an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the lemon and orange zest. Alternately, add the flour and milk , then the raisins. Pour batter into the greased tube pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake cake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a tester comes out of the cake clean. Place tube on baking rack until cool. Use a knife to loosen sides and remove outer rim. Loosen cake around the tube. Take a sheet of parchment paper slightly larger then the cake and cut a hole in the middle to place tube through. Flip cake over into the parchment paper carefully.  Place on top of cake stand. Put the confectioner’s sugar in a sieve and dust the surface of the cake lightly with it. Serve.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

I was shopping at the local farm stand and bakery this weekend and found a delicious treat added to their baked good selection, cinnamon sugar donut muffins. I remember seeing these featured on the Food Network not long ago , so I picked up a few muffins to sample with the family.  It was so fantastic I knew I needed to figure out how to make them. After some internet research, I found that the bake shop featured on the Food Network was the Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsburg, California in Sonoma Valley. They are kind enough to share their recipe which I have below. Although, baked these muffins do taste just like a fried cinnamon sugar donut. The muffin is  easy to make and eating one or two will make your morning and day, if not your week!
From by the bay, wishing you cinnamon sugar food memories!
Maryann
blog donut muffin
Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
Recipe from Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsburg, California
12 standard size muffins
Ingredients for batter
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup fine granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
Ingredients for Topping
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 Degree F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating to combine.  Using a wooden spoon to mix, alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk and buttermilk. Make sure everthing is throughly combined, try not to over mix. Pour the batter evenly, into each muffin tin, filling the cup almost to the top. Bake muffins in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly, and remove muffins from the tin. In a bowl mix the sugar and ground cinnamon together. Use a pastry brush to brush each muffin allover with the melted butter and then roll into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm or cooled at room temperature.

Lemon Poppyseed Plum Muffins

blog plum muf 1

My grandparents would grow italian plums on their small weekend farm. We always looked forward to early fall when we would have a short but sweet time to enjoy these little purple treats. When I found them at the local farm stand, I bought a big basket of plums and tasked myself with the best way to enjoy them. This weekend, the plums were worked into a delicious lemon and poppyseed muffin. It was a delicious combination and one I’m sure you would enjoy too! Hurry and buy some italian plums before they are gone for the year.
blog plum muf 2
Lemon Poppyseed Plum Muffins
12 standard size muffins
Ingredients for batter
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup fine granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppyseed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups plums, pitted and chopped, preferably italian plums

Preheat oven to 350 Degree F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin or use paper liner. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in poppy seeds and set aside. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating to combine.  Using a wooden spoon to mix, alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Add plums and combine, try not to over mix. Pour the batter evenly, into each muffin tin, filling the cup almost to the top. Bake muffins in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly, and remove muffins from the tin. Serve warm or cooled at room temperature.