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By Heather Harris Brady
I’ve featured a carrot cake before, with coconut and crushed pineapple, but when I saw this one in Cooking Light I had to give it a try. The browned butter adds a nice depth, and it does get better over the second and third days. I made some adjustments to the original recipe.
Make sure you use larger carrots for this recipe, the ones they typically sell in the bulk section for juicing work well. The small baby carrots just don’t have enough flavor.
If you have a pretty fluted bundt pan now’s the time to use it! I apologize for the weird capitalization, my iPad always gets fussy with blogging.
Carrot Cake with Browned Butter, Makes one 12″ bundt cake
1 stick of butter
1/3 c. Olive oil
1 c. Granulated sugar
2 t. Vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1-1/2 t. Cinnamon
2-1/2 t. Baking powder
1/2 t. Baking soda
1/2 t. Fresh ground cardamom
2 c. Carrots, finely grated
2 c. White whole wheat flour
1 c. Un bleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c. Milk
3 T. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
2-1/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar
1 t. Milk
1/2 t. Vanilla
Put the butter in a saucepan on medium heat and stir. It will melt, bubble and eventually foam up. As soon as it starts to turn brown (the milk solids in the butter are what will be browning), take it off the heat. Let it cool to room temperature and then preheat the oven to 350.
Put the browned butter in a mixing bowl. Beat in the oil, sugar and vanilla. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. I used a wooden spoon but you can do it with a mixer if you like. Stir in the white whole wheat flour, then half the yogurt, the cinnamon and the cardamom.
Add the rest of the flour, the rest of the yogurt, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the milk.
You should have a thick batter. It might seem a little too thick to you, but that’s okay! We’re adding a lot of moisture with the carrots.
Fold in the carrots.
Spread the batter in a greased baking pan.
Check it at 40 minutes. Your tester should have moist crumbs.
While the cake is cooling make the glaze. Combine the sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a bowl.
Drizzle in the milk and whisk until you have the desired glazing consistency.
Put the cake on a serving plate and pour the glaze over the top.
I garnished this one with some flakes of coconut and chopped candied pecans.
Store the cake in the refrigerator, loosely covered.
by Heather Harris Brady
I’ve been experimenting a lot with whole grain flours lately, because I don’t want to settle for “wow, this is good for something healthy”. I’m going for “this is amazing”. So when I manage to hit that magical point I will share the recipes – like this one for whole grain pancakes. It’s based on a recipe from Cooking Light magazine, but I’ve tinkered with it so it uses ingredients I’m more likely to have onhand.
One thing I’ve learned over the course of my trials is that you need to allow time for the grains to hydrate in order to get maximum fluffiness in the finished product. I hope you enjoy these pancakes as much as we do, they’ve become my new standard recipe. If you’d like to play around with this recipe I think grated apple would be a great addition to try.
Whole Grain Pancakes, Makes about 12 4″ pancakes
- 2/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1-1/2 c. low-fat milk + 1 t. apple cider vinegar
- 2 T. maple syrup
- 1 T. light olive oil
- 3/4 c. white whole-wheat flour
- 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c. spelt flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 large egg
Combine milk and oats in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
Pour the soaked oats and milk into a larger bowl. Add the egg, olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well-combined.
The final texture should be close to very heavy cream.
Heat a griddle and grease it lightly with olive oil. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle and watch for bubbles to appear all over the surface.
Flip the cakes and brown the other side. I usually poke the middle of each one with my finger, when they are springy they’re done.
I stack them so they stay warm.
Serve warm with butter, more syrup and fruit.
They cook up light and fluffy.
Put any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate.
by Heather Harris Brady
This recipe was inspired by the oat bran muffin recipe I have that I like so much. While these scones are whole grain, they are lighter and fluffier than many a coffeeshop scone. They are also very light on sugar.
Feel free to make substitutions or additions to the mix-ins, that’s part of the fun!
Everything Scones, Makes about 9 5″ scones
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1 c. oat flour
- 3/4 c. spelt flour
- 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. regular all-purpose flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal soaked in 1/3 c. milk
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 t. almond extract
- 2/3 c. whipping (heavy) cream
- 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 mashed banana
- 1/2 c. shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the flours, baking powder and sugar in a food processor bowl. Add the butter.
Process to crumbs. (You can cut this in if you don’t have a food processor.)
Add the soaked oatmeal and all but 2 T. of the cream and process for 10 seconds. Let this mixture sit for five minutes, so the flour can absorb the liquid.
Add the rest of the cream, vanilla and almond extract. The mixture will be sticky.
Turn the dough into a bowl and fold in the chips, coconut and banana.
Pat the dough into nine dollops on a greased baking pan. Sprinkle them with coconut if you like.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown.
Remove the baked scones to a rack to cool.
See, light fluffy whole grain goodness!
Goodness smeared with butter 😉
These are large scones, so you can cut them in half to serve if you like. They keep nicely for a few days at room temperature, wrap and freeze for longer storage.
by Heather Harris Brady
At this point we know there’s no escape. This next week is going to be miles of rough road, it’s going to call for coddling and coddling by definition calls for butter and cinnamon. Buckets of butter and cinnamon.
These cinnamon danish are based on one of my old guilty pleasures, the McDonald’s cinnamon danish. I don’t even think they sell them anymore and I haven’t had one in years. So I rebuilt it from memory and it’s pretty close! The pastry is flaky, the filling is loaded with cinnamon and the icing adds vanilla to the mix. I’m cutting some photos below to save length, but if you’re new to bread dough you can find mixing instructions and photos in one of my other bread recipes.
This does need to rise overnight, so start them the day before. you can cut this recipe in half if you like.
Cinnamon Danish, Makes about 30 3″ x 4″ Danish
For the dough
- 4-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 c. milk
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 egg
- 3 T. butter
- 1 pkt. fast-rising yeast
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 12 T. butter (reserved, at room temp)
For the filling
- 4 T. cinnamon
- 1 c. fine bread crumbs
- 1-1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2/3 c. white sugar
- 5 T. butter
For the glaze
- 3 c. confectioner’s sugar
- 4 t. vanilla
- 2-4 t. water
Make the dough:
Scald the water and milk together in a saucepan, stir in the sugar and 3 T. butter. Cool to lukewarm and stir in the egg, flour and yeast. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough and knead it well, adding flour if necessary to keep it from sticking, until the dough is satiny and elastic. Wash and grease the bowl, put the dough back in, cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge overnight.
On baking day:
Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
We’ll work with one half at a time. Roll one ball of dough out to 1/4″ thickness. Slice the reserved 12 T. of butter in half, and then take one half and cut it into halves lengthwise. Put it in the middle of the dough.
Fold the dough over the butter, bringing the bottom up and the top down to flop over it.
Yay! We’re laminating! Roll this back out to 1/3″ thick. Repeat the fold, bottom up, top down.
Repeat one more time: roll this back out to 1/3″ thick. Repeat the fold, bottom up, top down. Wrap your now-laminated dough in plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge and repeat the process for the other dough ball.
Preheat the oven to 375. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix to fine crumbs.
Get the first ball of dough back out of the fridge. Roll it out to 1/4″ thick.
Let it rest for a few minutes and then cut it into squares. (This waiting period keeps them from shrinking.)
If you want to be proper make an egg wash by beating an egg with 1 T. of water. We’ll use this to seal the edges as we fill. Take a square and add a tablespoon of filling to the center.
Bring opposite corners up to the middle and seal them with egg wash or press them.
Turn the danish seam side down onto a greased cookie sheet. Keep going until you’re done! It will be worth it, trust me.
When the danish have nearly doubled in bulk take a sharp knife and make three slits across the top to show off that pretty filling.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until flaky and golden brown.
Make the glaze while the danish are baking. Stir together the sugar and vanilla, and drizzle in water as needed for the proper pouring consistency.
Lay the baked danish on a cooling rack and drizzle glaze over them contentedly, taking in deep healing breaths of the cinnamon steam as you go. You will immediately feel better.
You will feel better yet when you take a bite.