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everythingscones08_little-house-dunes

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.

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Process to crumbs. (You can cut this in if you don’t have a food processor.)

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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.

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Add the rest of the cream, vanilla and almond extract. The mixture will be sticky.

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Turn the dough into a bowl and fold in the chips, coconut and banana.

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Pat the dough into nine dollops on a greased baking pan. Sprinkle them with coconut if you like.

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Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown.

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Remove the baked scones to a rack to cool.

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See, light fluffy whole grain goodness!

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Goodness smeared with butter đŸ˜‰

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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.

snowballs16_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Believe it or not, I woke up a few days ago thinking about coconut snowballs. Now mind you, the last time I actually had a Hostess snoball I was probably also gazing dreamily at my Duran Duran poster and Nick’s purple eyeshadow. I knew I wasn’t after an actual duplicate, but rather the experience of cutting down through that pristine exterior to find amazing chocolate cake underneath.

Dorie Greenspan, because she is my spirit baker (like a spirit animal, but you know, a baker), understands such things. So much so that she has almost exactly that on the cover of her Baking cookbook. I’ve adapted her cake recipe here, covered it in an old-fashioned seven-minute frosting, and then coating the whole thing in coconut.

Unlike their inspirational counterparts these aren’t for keeping, you have to make them and eat them up shortly thereafter because the icing can get sticky in humidity. You’ll want to eat them right away anyway, the chocolate cake is meltingly delicious inside the fluffy frosting.

Coconut Snowballs, Makes six individual desserts

  • 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 5 T. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. hot strong coffee
  • 1/3 c. mini chips
  • Frosting (recipe below)
  • 2-1/2 c. fine shredded coconut

Combine the first four ingredients together and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350. Put the sugars and butter in a mixing bowl, cream well.

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Add the egg and beat well, until very light and fluffy, about three minutes.

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Beat in the melted chocolate, then add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Beating well after each addition.

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Lastly, fold in the coffee, followed by the mini chips.

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Spoon the batter into six ramekins. (I had to bake mine in two batches.)

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Bake for about 10 minutes, until puffed and just firm to the touch in the center.

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Turn them out to cool. They will fall slightly but that’s okay!

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While the cakes are cooling make the icing.

Frosting (from King Arthur Flour)

  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. cold water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 t. light corn syrup or 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine the sugar, water, egg whites, corn syrup or cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer set at low speed for 30 seconds, then set the pan over boiling water (the pan shouldn’t touch the water).

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Beating at high speed, cook the frosting for about 7 minutes, or until it’s stiff and glossy. Remove it from the heat, add the vanilla, and beat an additional 2 minutes.

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Put each cake right side up on a plate and cover it with frosting, mounding it on top to get a half-spherical shape.

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Sprinkle coconut on to cover and put the finished cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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snowballs16_little-house-dunes


Three years ago: Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Two years ago: Cream Cheese Coffeecake
One year ago: Sandwich Bread


burmesechickensoup8_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

We have a new Asian market in town and I went a bit crazy, so in order to use up all the ingredients you’ll be seeing quite a few Asian-theme posts leading up to Chinese New Year next week! This soup is sunshine in a bowl, and if you like Thai curries you’ll like this one. You can adjust the amount of heat to your liking by changing the amount of chili paste. Either way there’s lots of layers of flavors with lemon, lime, coconut milk and chicken.

This recipe is a compilation of several I found online. The only special-special ingredient is the fresh tumeric, which I found at my local mega-grocery. And if I can find it here in the wilds of the northern Michigan woods I bet you have it somewhere nearby too! It’s a strange looking ingredient:

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When you peel it you see the bright orange inside, which makes the bright yellow.

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Tumeric is rumored to be very good for you, but if you have a sensitivity to it then of course you’ll want to leave it out.

Burmese Chicken Soup, Makes about six generous servings

  • One pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 t. ground tumeric
  • 2 T. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 2 t. garlic, minced
  • 1 t. chili paste, or to taste
  • One can of coconut milk
  • 2-1/2 c. chicken stock
  • One stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • One fresh tumeric root, grated
  • 2 t. fresh ground gingerroot
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 2 T. cornstarch or chickpea flour
  • One package of udon noodles

Garnishes, optional:

  • Deep-fried onion
  • Boiled egg
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Wedges of fresh lime
  • Chili paste
  • Strips of roasted red pepper

The day before you want to make the soup marinate the chicken. Combine the first three ingredients in a plastic bag, knead them together well and refrigerate overnight.

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The next day, remove the chicken from the marinade and lay it in a greased baking dish. Bake the chicken at 325 for about 35 minutes, or until firm and no longer pink in the center. Chop the cooked chicken and set aside.

To make the soup, add two teaspoons of peanut oil (if you have it, if not use any lightly flavored oil) in a large saucepan. Saute the onion, chili paste, ginger and garlic until fragrant.

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Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, tumeric and the chopped chicken. Simmer 10 minutes.

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Add the chicken stock. Stir the cornstarch into the fish sauce and whisk it into the soup.

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I used ready-to-eat udon noodles, like so. Add them to the pan and taste the soup.

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I decided to pump up the chicken flavor a little bit so I stirred in a tablespoon of this chicken stock base.

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Simmer for another five minutes and serve.

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Refrigerate any leftovers.

Two years ago: Ono Butter Mochi
One year ago: Chocolate Souffle

butter mochi little house dunes

Happy Chinese New Year! Since we’re heading into the Year of the Snake this coming Sunday I thought I would post something celebratory. Mochi is a generic term for different types of asian sweets based on rice flour. This particular recipe is more of an asian-hawaiian fusion so it would be equally at home at a luau!

We’re learning to love asian sweets, especially cookies in packages like these:

pandas and koalas japanese cookies

They are so adorable with their little individual panda and koala cartoons! These are from my last foray downstate to the Japanese supermarket. But I digress. Sources say traditional nian gao (sticky cake) is considered a lucky food on new year’s day, to encourage the kitchen god to give a good report on the family to heaven. Its long baking time caramelizes the sugar to give it the customary dark, chewy texture. I have used some brown sugar in this recipe for a hint of the caramel taste and color without the long cooking time.

Ono Butter Mochi, Makes 10 generous servings

1-1/2 c. sweet rice flour

3/4 c. white sugar

1/3 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. shredded coconut

1 t. baking powder

1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. almond extract

1/3 c. butter, melted

2 eggs

1-1/3 c. milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

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Whisk to combine.

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Combine the wet ingredients and whisk will until combined.

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Stir the wet and dry ingredients together.

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Preheat the oven to 350. Grease cupcake tins (I used the mini-muffin pans). Fill each with the mixture.

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The mochi will puff and then fall. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Run a knife around the outside of each one and remove it to cool.

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They remind me of a custardy coconut macaroon. Gung hay fat choy!

 

parfait_little_house_dunes

This recipe is a little bit of kitchen serendipity. I was developing a recipe for a contest sponsored by Scharffenberger that included a number of exotic ingredients. I got distracted and didn’t notice that my adzuki beans were al dente as opposed to soft and mashable. I continued on, covered them in chocolate, chopped them up and added them to the ice cream anyway.

Adzuki beans play a key role in Asian sweets as fillings and frostings. They are remarkably similar to almonds in this recipe! In fact, this ice cream tastes just like an Almond Joy. It’s not very sweet at all, and it would be lovely way to end an Asian-theme meal.

Asian-style ice creams typically have a base with some other thickener besides eggs, in contrast to the custard-style bases. In this recipe, I am substituting whipped coconut milk for the melon in my melon peach ice. When it comes out of the ice cream freezer swirl in the chopped chocolate. If you don’t have an ice cream freezer you can do it old-school, follow the freezing directions here.

Coconut Crunch Ice Cream, Makes six generous servings

Two large cans of full-fat coconut milk, very cold

1/2 c. sugar

1 packet of unflavored gelatin, softened in 1/4 c. cold water

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 T. shortening
1/2 c. adzuki beans, cooked al dente

1 t. almond extract

Whip the coconut milk to soft peaks, then whip in the sugar and gelatin mixture. Pour the whip into your ice cream freezer and follow the recommended directions (or see my note above).
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Cover your adzuki beans with water and boil until they are al dente, about one hour. (You can pre-soak to shorten the cooking time.) Let them cool and dry them off as best you can with paper towels.

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Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a bowl and microwave for one minute or until the chips begin to get glossy. Stir until smooth. Stir in the adzuki beans and pour the chocolate out onto a piece of parchment. When it has hardened, chop it into small pieces.
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Pour your frozen coconut cream out.

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Swirl in the chocolate crunch and the almond extract.

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The gelatin does help keep this softer but like most homemade ice creams it gets harder the longer it sits. You can add a few tablespoons of vodka or an almond liqueur to help keep it softer.

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