Grapefruit Teacake

I’ve learned over the years that there are generally two kinds of people in this world: those who love grapefruit and those who hate grapefruit. I am the former, my husband is the latter.

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When I was in my first quarter of pastry school, we made all sorts of different cakes and quick-breads and my ultimate favorite was Lemon Teacake. I’ve been meaning to make it again for a while now but when I glanced at the uneaten grapefruit in my fridge, it got me thinking. Why not mix one of my favorites treats with one of my favorite fruits?! So I did, and thus we have Grapefruit Teacake.

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I’ll have you know that even though my hubby hates grapefruit, which is insane, he loved this teacake. And I mean loved, as in he practically ate the whole thing in one bite.

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Grapefruit Teacake

4 ounces (1 stick) of butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups pastry (or all-purpose) flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces milk
1 grapefruit, zested (and juiced)

Glaze:
3/4 cup sugar
juice from 1 grapefruit

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and grapefruit zest on medium speed until it is nice and fluffy and has an ivory color to it.

Mix and sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

When butter and sugar are creamed, turn the mixer down to low speed and add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl of the mixer in between each egg.

Alternately add the four mixture and the milk in 2 portions and mix until combined.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350-375 for about an hour, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the teacake.

When the teacake is almost finished baking, make a glaze by mixing together the 3/4 cup sugar and grapefruit juice in a small sauce pan. Heat on high just until it starts to boil then turn it off.

When teacake is done, remove it from the oven and poke deep holes with a wooden skewer (or thin knife) all over the teacake, making sure that the holes go all the way to the bottom of the cake. Immediately pour the hot glaze over the teacake.

Let the teacake sit for about 15 minutes then remove from the loaf pan. Let cool and enjoy!

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*Don’t skip the glaze! Without it, the teacake will be dry and the grapefruit flavor will be too subtle to taste.

Cinnamon Sugar Cake Doughnuts

There’s a local doughnut chain here in Seattle called Top Pot Doughnuts. I happen to live directly behind one. It’s a curse and a blessing and sometimes you just have to give in and go buy yourself a dozen doughnuts doughnut or two. Other times, you just have to make them!

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I try to use coconut oil as much as possible instead of other fats, so why not try frying doughnuts in it? Let me say, it works like a charm.

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I got the inspiration for this recipe on Pinterest, obviously. You can find the original recipe here.donut2

Cinnamon Sugar Cake Doughnuts
*makes about 8 doughnuts 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 egg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

coconut oil for frying (I used about 1 pound)
cinnamon-sugar for dredging

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla. Pour the liquid into the dry and mix together until just combined, don’t over mix. The dough will be sticky.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. While your dough is resting, make a cinnamon-sugar mixture — I did 2 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup cinnamon — and set it aside.

Heat your coconut oil to 350-375 degrees F. Make sure to keep and eye on your oil so it doesn’t get too hot, nobody likes burnt doughnuts! After 1 hour, scrape that dough puppy out onto a floured surface, sprinkle generously with more flour and roll out to a thickness of about 1/2 an inch.

Cut your doughnuts out with a round cookie cutter and use a significantly smaller cookie cutter to make the center hole. You can smash together and roll out the left over dough one more time but no more than that (it will become too tough and taste gross). Save the smaller center circles for doughnut holes!

Drop the doughnuts in the oil one at a time. The dough will sink at first then rise to the top of the oil. Fry on each side for about 3 minutes, or until it is a nice dark-golden brown. Remove doughnut from oil and place directly into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, dredging completely, and place on a metal cookie rack to cool. Repeat the process until all doughnuts are done. Don’t forget the doughnut holes!

Enjoy with a huge cup of joe.

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Breakfast for Two: Croissant French Toast

The only thing better than a buttery, flakey croissant is when you dip it in eggs, fry it up and smother it in syrup. Valentine’s day is right around the corner and what better way to say those three little words than with a mouth full of…sugar?

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French toast is by far one of my favorite foods and if you know anything about me, so are pastries so why not mix ‘em together?

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If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try making Homemade Croissants, and don’t forget to add the homemade strawberry compote.

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Croissant French Toast

2 croissants
3 eggs
splash of milk
splash of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
cinnamon

1 12 oz bag frozen strawberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar

For the compote: add the thawed strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar to small sauce pan and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries have turned to mush and the mixture is slightly thick.

For the french toast: heat a skillet (or frying pan) over medium heat and spray with coconut oil cooking spray, you can also use melted butter.

Slice the croissants in half, lengthwise.

Whisk together the eggs, splash of milk, splash of vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Dip each croissant piece in the eggs mixture, add to skillet/frying pan and sprinkle each slice with cinnamon.

Flip the croissants and cook until they are a dark-golden brown on both sides.

Serve with strawberry compote and maple syrup. I also whipped up some fresh whipped cream which you can find a recipe for here.

Copycat Tagalongs

It’s that time of year again. Every time I go into the kitchen at work, there it is…haunting me. The Girl Scout cookie order form. Normally Thin Mints are my favorite, but after making gallons upon gallons of Thin Mint ice cream last summer, well, let’s just say I’ve had my fill. My number 2 choice GS cookie is definitely the Tagalong.

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Crunchy shortbread cookie smothered in rich, creamy peanut butter and dunked in chocolate, can’t get much better than that. Well, it can if you make them without all of those artery-clogging hydrogenated oils. Not to mention that those precious treats are laced with loads of palm oil and palm oil companies are singlehandedly ruining the lives of millions of people and animals around the world and causing major deforestation…but that’s a whole other subject!

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Copycat Tagalongs

6 ounces unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup raw, organic sugar
1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt

good quality salted, creamy peanut butter (like Trader Joe’s or Adams)
1 bag semi sweet Trader Joe’s chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium until the sugar and butter are combined. Add vanilla and salt.

Remove bowl from mixer and sift the flour directly into the bowl. Return to mixer and mix on medium/low until just combined, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as needed.

Turn the dough onto a flour surface and shape into a round disc. It will be very crumbly.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, return dough to flour surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1/2 an inch.

Cut out cookies using a round cookie cutter and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make an indent with your thumb on each cookie (this is where you will put the peanut butter later). Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, it will make anywhere from 10-30 cookies (I got 20).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are a nice, golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Add a small dollop of peanut butter to the top of each cookie and freeze for 20 minutes so the peanut butter does not melt when you dip the cookies in the chocolate.

While cookies are freezing, melt the chocolate: in a small sauce pan on low heat, add a little bit of chocolate at a time and stir constantly until it is melted. You may want to occasionally remove the sauce pan from the heat while melting to prevent the chocolate from burning. Keep adding more chocolate until the whole bag is melted.

Drop the cookies into the chocolate, one at a time, peanut butter side first. Turn them over with a fork and shake off the excess chocolate. You can use the side of the sauce pan to scrape off extra chocolate on the bottom of the cookie.

Place the chocolate covered cookies on parchment paper and allow the chocolate to set up completely. I recommend enjoying these puppies with a huge glass of milk!

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Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread

We’re pushing February and with that, the seasonal fruits and veggies start to look a little boring. I feel like I’ve been eating clementines and brussels sprouts for months on end. I wanted to do something different with one of the seasonal fruits, and what better way to do that than by mixing it with cheese and throwing it on a pizza!

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The inspiration for this flatbread came from CPK’s Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza, but I switched a few things around and I have to say, it is pretty darn tasty.

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The only thing missing was a huge small glass of Riesling…but I made this flatbread at 10am so there’s that.

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Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread
*I recommend making the dough the day before 

For the Dough (makes 2 flatbreads)

3 ounces bread flour
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 a packet of active dry yeast (1/4 ounce packet)
6 ounces warm water (110 degrees)

7 ounces bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ounce olive oil
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

To make the dough, first make a sponge with the 3oz flour, honey, yeast and water: dissolve the honey in the warm water and mix the yeast and flour together with a whisk in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you don’t have a stand mixer, just use a medium sized bowl). Add the honey/water mixture to flour/yeast mixture and whisk together. It will be lumpy.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 45 minutes at room temp.

Once sponge is ready, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment and mix on medium/low speed for 6-8 minutes until you have a nice dough ball. If it is too dry, add a tiny bit of water.

Cut the dough into two balls, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight to proof. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can kneed the dough by hand.
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For the Flatbread

2 pears, washed and sliced
1 gorgonzola cheese wedge, crumbled (about 6-8 ounces)
1/2 cup raw, chopped pecans
Parmesan cheese
Arugula
Olive oil

Slap the dough balls on a floured surface a few times to remove any air bubbles, then press the dough down so it is nice and flat. You can stretch the dough by holding it at one end and slowly turning it in a curricular motion, letting gravity do the trick. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also toss it up in the air.

Place the doughs on two large pieces of parchment paper. Cover them with parmesan cheese and divide the rest of the ingredients between the two. I like to put half of the blue cheese under the arugula and half of it on top. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese if desired.

Place parchment paper directly on oven rack and bake at 475 for 8-12 minutes or until the the crust is a nice golden brown and the blue cheese is bubbling.

Remove from oven and brush the crust of the flatbread with olive oil. Enjoy!

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Coconut Oil

Ahh January, a time to make resolutions: new year, new you! Well in my case, new year, same me and I love food. So instead of making some New Year’s resolution to lose five pounds and work out six days a week, I made chocolate chip banana bread, but I used whole wheat flour and coconut oil, so that has to count for something, right?

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I try to use organic, unrefined versions of all of my ingredients so I can justify devouring a whole loaf of banana bread occasionally nibbling on sweets, but at the end of the day, sugar is sugar and it is damn delicious!

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Coconut Oil

1 + 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil (any oil will work)
3 extremely ripe bananas
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (extract works too)
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with coconut oil cooking spray (or other cooking spray) and set aside.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until completely combined.

If your coconut oil is solid, melt it over the stove and whisk into egg mixture, making sure to mix continuously as you pour so the oil does not solidify when it meets the cold eggs.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas together with the sour cream and vanilla, then add to egg mixture.

Measure the flour, baking soda and salt together directly into a sifter over the egg/banana mixture and sift. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, making sure not to over mix. When there is only a little bit of dry flour visible, add the chocolate chips and fold a few more times until batter is uniform.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour (if you have a crappy oven like me, it may be closer to the hour mark). Remove banana bread when an inserted knife comes out slightly tacky with crumbs (you want a few crumbs on the knife so the bread is moist).

Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with a White Chocolate Dribble

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Buying chocolate covered strawberries from a store or bakery is just as pricey as they’re tasty. Below you will find a foolproof plan on how to make delicious and visually appealing chocolate covered strawberries with a white chocolate dribble.

 

Ingredients:

– One Package of Strawberries

For the Chocolate Layer:  

– 2 Tbsp of Shortening

– 8 Ounces of Your Favorite Semi-Sweet Baking Chips

For the White Chocolate Layer:  

– 1 Cookies and Cream Hersey Bar

– 3/4 of a Tsp Shortening

 

Directions on how to make this much thought after dessert:

  1. Rinse and dry one package of strawberries with the steams attached. (Water Will Cause Chocolate to Bead.)
  2. Place chocolate in a metal bowl large enough to sit on a sauce pan and create a seal.
  3. Bowl half a sauce pan full of water until it reaches a rapid boil, turn off the heat.
  4. Add the metal bowl of chocolate on top of the sauce pan (the steam will melt the chocolate and keep it hot for about 7-10 minutes.)
  5. Using the stems on the strawberries, twirl them in the semi-sweet chocolate.
  6. Lastly, dribble melted white chocolate on top as best as your artistic abilities allow.