You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘brunch’ tag.

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.


Four years ago: Cream Scones
Three years ago: Key Lime Pie
Two years ago: Mixed Berry Pie
One year ago: Kerrygold Croissants


cinnamondanish21_little-house-dunes

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.

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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.

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Fold the dough over the butter, bringing the bottom up and the top down to flop over it.

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Yay! We’re laminating! Roll this back out to 1/3″ thick. Repeat the fold, bottom up, top down.

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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.

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Get the first ball of dough back out of the fridge. Roll it out to 1/4″ thick.

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Let it rest for a few minutes and then cut it into squares. (This waiting period keeps them from shrinking.)

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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.

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Bring opposite corners up to the middle and seal them with egg wash or press them.

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Turn the danish seam side down onto a greased cookie sheet. Keep going until you’re done! It will be worth it, trust me.

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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.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes, until flaky and golden brown.

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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.

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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.

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You will feel better yet when you take a bite.

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Four years ago: Calzones
Three years ago: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Two years ago: Chocolate Sheet Cake
One year ago: Sugarfree Apple Butter


peachcrepes9_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

You might think that you need a special pan or one of those spectacular large griddles to make crepes – you don’t. You just need a really good non-stick pan with rounded sides and flat bottom – and some patience. Because no matter what, the first few crepes are going to be something less than perfect.

But keep going! A couple crepes in, things will get better. By the end you’ll feel like a pro. In my experience it’s the same story, every time. The good news is, even the ones that aren’t as pretty are still delicious. Just roll them up, cover them in fruit and add a dollop of cream if you feel fancy.

This recipe (my stand-by from The Joy of Cooking 1975 Ed.) doubles easily, and while I used peaches because they are in-season and gorgeous, any fruit will work. If you can start this batter three hours ahead and let it sit in the fridge, so much the better – but in the pics below I only let it side for 30 minutes.

Peach Crepes, Makes four servings

  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. double acting baking powder
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/2 t. vanilla or 1/2 t. grated lemon rind
  • 4 c. chopped sugared fruit
  • Cream topping
    • 1 pint heavy cream
    • 1 T. sugar
    • 2 T. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
    • 1 t. vanilla

Break the eggs in a bowl and beat well. Beat in the milk, water, and vanilla.

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Add the dry ingredients and beat. If there are lumps just leave them be. Set the batter aside. (Refrigerate if you’re going to let it sit for longer than 30 minutes.)

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While you’re waiting you can prep the cream topping. (I forgot to take pictures of this part.) Beat the heavy cream to soft peaks, beat in the sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese until smooth and whipped. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to plate.

When you’re ready to cook the crepes put your pan on to medium heat and lightly grease it with olive oil. Measure out 1/4 c. of batter.

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Pour it in the pan and quickly swirl it around to cover the bottom in a very thin layer.

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When the edges start too look dry flip it over.

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Stack the cooked crepes on a plate as you go.

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To plate, roll two crepes up on each plate.

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Top each set with a cup of fruit and a nice dollop of the cream.

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These are nice for brunch or dessert. If you make the crepes ahead of time it would only take a few minutes to plate it all up.

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Three years ago: Fresh Peach Pie
Two years ago: Apricot Crostata
One year ago: No-Bake Chocolate Torte


applecoffeecake_little-house-dunes14

by Heather Harris Brady

This is a great recipe from The Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas. I made a small change, adding a cinnamon swirl batter under the apples. It’s quick and easy to make but it looks very finished, it would be great to take to a brunch or tea. It also keeps well, if you like to bake things ahead for company.

You can use a deep-dish pie pan or a deep springform pan. Look for well-flavored baking apples to use in this recipe. I used Jonamacs.

Danish Apple Cake, Makes one 9″ cake – eight generous servings

  • 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 3 baking apples, peeled, split in half and cored (let stand in acidulated water)
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream well.

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Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

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Then alternately add the milk and the flour in two parts, beating well between each addition.

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Spread 3/4 of the batter in a greased, 9″ deep dish pie dish.

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Stir the cinnamon in the remaining batter and spread it across the top. Slice each apple half not quite through in 1/4″ slices (Hasselbeck-style).

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Press the apples cut side down on top of the batter.

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Brush them with the entire surface with the melted butter, then evenly sprinkle it with the sugar.

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Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked through.

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This has a great flavor and a texture that is somewhere between a dessert cake and a coffeecake.

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It keeps well at room temperature and slices nicely for serving.

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Three years ago: Chocolate Pudding
Two years ago: Austrian Carnival Doughnuts
One year ago: Bran Muffins


puffs16_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve had this recipe in the back of my mind for years. When I first read it, in my vintage 1959 copy of The Blueberry Hill cookbook by Elsie Masterston, it jumped out at me. The ingredient list was simple, which leaves space for magic to happen – as writer types say. And magic they are – rising triple or even quadruple in size to puffs of buttery crumb under a veil of more butter and cinnamon sugar.

I made these last Sunday morning for my valentines, and I spread the batter in cute little mini-doughnut pans. If you don’t have those mini-muffin pans would work.

French Breakfast Puffs Blueberry Hill, Makes about 24 mini puffs

  • 1/3 c. soft butter (softened to the consistency of mayo)
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 6 T. melted butter
  • Cinnamon sugar: 1/2 c. granulated sugar mixed with 1 t. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter, sugar and egg in a mixer bowl.

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Stir the flour and baking powder together.

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Beat the egg, butter and sugar together well.

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Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, 1/3 of each at a time. Beat well after each addition, until its all incorporated.

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Add the vanilla and beat for another minute to a thick creamy batter.

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Grease your baking tin and add the batter. As you can see these little muffin tins are barely 1/2 full.

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Put them in the oven and bake about 20-25 minutes. You might want to watch because it’s pretty amazing – this tin below is the baked version of the above!

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Have your butter and sugar standing by when you take them out of the oven. Loosen the cakes and dunk them, one side at a time, in the butter and then in the sugar.

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Take them straight to the table for a few minutes of silent bliss. The outside is buttery and slightly crunchy from the sugar, while the inside is light and velvety.

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I covered a few in chocolate just to see what would happen. They were, as one might expect, good that way too.

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These aren’t meant to keep, so make them close to breakfast or teatime and invite some friends if you need someone to save you from eating them all. I have teenagers, so… there wasn’t a crumb to be had even 10 minutes later.

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Three years ago: Champagne Sabayon
Two years ago: Chard Quiche
One year ago: Buttermilk Cupcakes


blintzsouffle13_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Since you may be thinking about entertaining now as we head into the holidays I’m going to put up a few recipes in that line. Brunch is my go-to, pretty much anything goes food-wise and such a nice, casual way to have people over.

This is sort of a beginner’s souffle, in that it doesn’t call for all of that whipped egg-white/white sauce business. You do have to time it so you can whisk it out of the oven and serve it hot, because it will fall some as it cools. For the blintz flavoring, I added some orange to accent the cream cheese filling. I put powdered sugar over the top and served it with sausage and fresh fruit, but a fruit sauce would be nice too – especially strawberry or raspberry. This recipe is based on one from a slim little Pillsbury paperback cookbook.

Blintz Souffle, Makes an 8″ square pan – 12 3″ squares

For the batter:

  • 3/4 c. dairy sour cream
  • 3/4 c. greek yogurt
  • Three eggs
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 t. orange bakery emulsion or 1 T. orange zest

For the filling:

  • 1 8-oz pkg 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine all the batter ingredients in the food processor.

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Blend until smooth. Transfer the batter to another bowl.

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Put the filling ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Note: I didn’t wash the food processor bowl, I just put the filling ingredients in.

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Grease an 8″ square baking pan. Put two-thirds of the batter into the pan and then spoon the filling over the top.

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Cover the filling with the rest of the batter. At this point you can refrigerate the pan if you like (for up to overnight), or move ahead and put it in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until well-browned and domed in the center.

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Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

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Cut in squares and serve.

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Promptly refrigerate any leftovers and use them within two days.

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Three years ago: Ginger Thins
Two years ago: Fruitcake
One year ago: Tagine


appledumpling13_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

There may be times in life when you want something fancier than pie, when you want to give your inner Martha Stewart free rein in all its place-card-and-individual-dessert glory. Apple dumplings are for those times – humble enough to seem homey yet, if you seek out antique apples and make your own caramel sauce, there is plenty of opportunity for pretension. I kid, I love Martha, without her lots of people probably would never have discovered their love of hand-rolled beeswax.

Regardless, apple dumplings are basically self-contained apple pies, and very cute to boot. They would make a great fall brunch/dinner party dessert or something to wow people with at Thanksgiving. You can serve them with a caramel sauce like I did, or a scoop of ice cream. Even with small apples they are rather large, so if you aren’t feeding a table of pie-lovers and teenage boys, you might want to slice them in half and serve them that way.

Apple Dumplings, Makes five large servings

  • 1/2 recipe pie crust (under Basics, above)
  • 1 c. 1-2-3-4 streusel (under Basics, above)
  • Five well-shaped baking apples
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • One egg
  • 2 T. water

Fill a mixing bowl with water and add the lemon juice. Peel your apples and cut them in half, remove the cores with a melon baller or metal measuring spoon.

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Drop them into the acidulated water, core down. When they are all prepared set them aside.

Preheat the oven to 375. Divide your crust into five equal portions. Roll out the first portion.

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Pick two matching apple halves out of the bowl and pack a tablespoon of streusel into one center, then fit the other apple half over it so the apple is back together again.

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Set it on the pastry and fold the sides up over it.

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You’ll have a little gob in the center of extra dough you need to trim off. You can roll it back out and cut out a couple leaves for decoration if you like.

When the apples are all wrapped up place them on a baking sheet.

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Whip the egg and the water together to make an egg wash. Paint it over all the dumplings. It will help seal any cracks in the pastry as they bake.

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Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. My oven went psycho and switched itself to broil in the middle of baking, so I apologize for the scorching.

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Serve the dumplings warm or at room temperature.

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Three years ago: Weeknight Lasagne
Two years ago: Chocolate Almond Torte
One year ago: Brioche Coffeecake

mapleovenbake9_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It is one of the great joys in life to come across people with whom you are immediately simpatico – as if you’d known each other your whole lives. That has been our good luck these past two weeks and even better, this new young friend of ours is someone who appreciates good cooking. He is, in fact, a “good eater” – which was always one of my grandparents’ highest compliments. In light of this I made this dish for Sunday brunch, when my table included four teenagers and one with her thirteenth birthday on the horizon.

This recipe comes by way of my mother-in-law. I’m not sure of it’s exact origin but it may have once been on the Bisquick packages. Regardless, it is makes a lovely large dish for a crowd and leftovers heat up perfectly. If Bisquick is not available in your area, here is an approximate substitution:

  • 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. baking powder
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter

Mix the dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or process in a food processor to fine crumbs.

Maple Oven Pancake, Makes one 9 x 13 pan

  • 2-1/2 c. Bisquick (or substitute above)
  • 1-1/2 T. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 c. milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the Bisquick and sugar.

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Whisk the milk, eggs and syrup together, stir into the Bisquick.

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Then stir in half the cheese.

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Pour it into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

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Bake for about 20 minutes. When the center is nearly firm, top the dish with the rest of the cheese and the bacon.

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Return to the oven until the cheese melts and the bacon is heated through, about five-six minutes. Serve warm with extra syrup to pour over the top.

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Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, wrapped. This reheats nicely in either the oven or the microwave.


Three years ago: Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Two years ago: Dobos Torte
One year ago: Peach Upside Down Cake

almondcoffeecake1_littlehousedunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Sorry for missing last week, we have had a houseguest and gorgeous weather so we’ve been out making the most of it. Speaking of houseguests, this is a great recipe to make when you have visitors and you’d like to wake them up with something warm and delicious. It makes the house smell great and it keeps well.

Almond Coffee Cake, Makes one 8″ cake

Topping

  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. agave syrup
  • 1 t. almond extract

Cake

  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. almond extract
  • 1 t. vanilla

Combine the topping ingredients and pour them into a greased 8″ square baking dish.

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Combine the butter and milk, microwave for one minute. Add the sugar and let cool to lukewarm.

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Stir in everything but the flour. When it’s well combined, stir in the flour.

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You’ll have a thick batter that’s quite heavy.

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Spread it in the dish over the topping. Preheat the oven to 375.

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When it’s doubled in bulk it’s ready for the oven.

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Bake for about 25 minutes. I rub the top with butter when it comes out of the oven.

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Immediately turn it out onto a plate.

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Serve warm or at room temperature. You may store the leftovers at room temperature, well wrapped. If your house is warm you may want to refrigerate it if you’re going to keep it for several days.

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Three years ago: French Toast, Diner Style
Two years ago: Peach Melba Pie, Lattice Crust
One year ago: Oatmeal Apple Cookie Slices

blueberrycheesepancakes1_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

The first of our in-state blueberries are here and they are awesome! To show them off I made these pancakes for brunch, accenting them with lemon and ricotta. You can make them with blueberries in or without, I’ll show you both. Either way they are light, fluffy and delicious, perfect to soak up syrup or a fresh lemon glaze like we used here.

Blueberry Lemon Pancakes, Makes about 20 4″ pancakes

  • 1-1/2 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. fresh ricotta or farmer’s cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 t. lemon extract
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 qts. fresh blueberries, washed

Combine the milk and cheese, whisk well with the eggs and sugar.

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Add the lemon zest, oil, extract and baking powder.

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Then stir in the flour.

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Your batter should be the consistency of very heavy cream.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a griddle. Cook on one side until bubbly, when the sides start to stand up by themselves they’re ready to turn.

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When they’re brown on both sides, and the center’s firm to the touch, they’re ready!

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If you want to make them with blueberries stir 1-1/2 c. of fresh blueberries into the batter. Make sure the berries are completely coated, then cook them as above.

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I usually check the middles in between the berries before I take them off the pan, to make sure they’re REALLY cooked all the way through.

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Top with the rest of fresh blueberries, butter and syrup.

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Two years ago: Candied Rose Petals
One year ago: Angel Dinner Rolls


 

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