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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
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.
Blend until smooth. Transfer the batter to another bowl.
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.
Grease an 8″ square baking pan. Put two-thirds of the batter into the pan and then spoon the filling over the top.
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.
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
Cut in squares and serve.
Promptly refrigerate any leftovers and use them within two days.
by Heather Harris Brady
This is a guest post from my aunt’s kitchen! This pie is one of her go-to award-winning go-to recipes, and since it’s a no-bake it’s a great choice for a busy/humid holiday weekend. If you’re a beginning baker or you want a “sure-thing” for a party this is it.
You can substitute a chocolate crust for the graham crackers, and you can also double the recipe by lining a 13×9 pan with a crumb crust then cutting it into squares.
N0-Bake Raspberry Pie, Makes eight servings
- One small box raspberry gelatin
- One small box cook & serve vanilla pudding (not instant!)
- One cup water
- 2 pints fresh raspberries, cleaned and washed
- 3 T. cream cheese
- One cup whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- One graham cracker crust (or gluten free crumb crust of your choice)
Combine the gelatin, pudding mix and water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once at a boil, cook for one minute and cool it to lukewarm.
While the gelatin is cooling make the cream filling. Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and whipped cream.
Spread it in the bottom of the pie shell.
Fold the raspberries into the gelatin.
Then pile them on top of the cream filling. Cool for at least two hours, until the pie is set.
You could even toss a few blueberries on top before the filling sets for a little red-white-blue action.
One year ago: Strawberry Cookie Cones
by Heather Harris Brady
Well, due to a bad head cold my scholoktoberfest kickoff is going to have to wait for later in the week. I’m just not up to turnin’ out torten at the moment. But because I couldn’t let a nice batch of raspberries go bad, I did manage to put this coffeecake together for Sunday brunch. It’s delicious and so easy you can stir it up under the influence of cold medicine.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake, Makes one 9″ cake
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 c. sugar
2-3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. plain yogurt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. vanilla or almond extract
1/2 pint fresh raspberries, washed
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
Combine the 2/3 c. sugar and the flour, cut in the butter until you have coarse crumbs. Set aside one cup of crumbs.
Add the next five ingredients to the crumbs in the bowl and stir until well-combined. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9″ springform pan.
Spoon the dough into the pan and spread it around. Use a spoon to push it up the sides of the pan, you need to leave a large shallow well in the middle for the cream cheese filling.
Stir together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth. Pour it into the pan.
Scatter the raspberries on top.
Then sprinkle the cup of crumbs over everything. You could also put some sliced almonds on top here if you like.
Bake about 45-50 minutes, until the center is set and the outside is golden brown. Remove the outside ring of the pan so it can cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.
One year ago: Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
by Heather Harris Brady
I know. Bagels in the middle of summer? To which I can only say – it’s what you do if you have the better part of 25 lbs in high-gluten flour waiting on your countertop. So my gluten free friends, you’ll want to grab some fresh fruit and hang out here today! This is a good weekend project, because the longer you can let them rise the more flavor they’re going to have.
One of the most important things I learned during this venture was the importance of maintaining an unbroken envelope (or “skin”) around your formed bagels. You do this by kneading each one in turn before you form it. This keeps your bagel shapely during the boiling and baking process. You’ll see what I mean as we go. If you haven’t worked with high-gluten flour before you should know that it’s somewhat harder to clean up. I bought mine at a local foodservice supply, $8 for a 25-lb bag. You can make bagels with regular flour but you’re never going to get that distinctive chewiness without the high gluten content.
Bagels, Makes about 18 4″ bagels
1-3/4 c. water
2 T. brown sugar
1-1/2 t. yeast
1 c. regular all-purpose flour
4-1/2 c. high-gluten flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
Water, brown sugar and kosher salt for boiling
Combine the yeast, sugar, water and the cup of regular flour. Let it rise for at least a couple hours.
When you’re ready for the next step, stir the high-gluten flour and wheat germ into your sponge. It should be really stiff and somewhat dry, if it’s not add a bit more flour. Bagels have a very low moisture ratio in the dough.
Set the dough aside and let it double in bulk. You could leave it overnight in the refrigerator too if you want. Now knead it for five-10 minutes. It’s going to tough going, but it’s got to be done. As you can see, I separated mine into three sections because it was easier to knead smaller pieces than dealing with the whole mass of dough. Instead of soft and pliable the texture is going to more like a car tire. Let rise again until doubled.
Punch the dough down and sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Cut the dough into pieces for your bagels.
Knead each piece making sure to have an unbroken skin around the outside as a wrapper. Either poke a hole in the middle of your kneaded ball or push it out into a rope and connect the ends firmly. Place them on the cornstarch and let rise until doubled.
See how this one in the corner is smooth all over and the one next to it is bumpy with a little bit tucked underneath? Smooth = good. It doesn’t do anything to the taste of course but they’ll look a lot nicer.
When they’ve doubled put a large pot of water on to boil and add 1 T. salt and 2 T. brown sugar. After it’s boiling lower in the bagels a few at a time.
Let them boil a minute or two on each side, depending on how chewy you want the outside to be. The longer the boil the more chewier the outside will be. Scoop them out and lay them wet on a greased baking sheet. Now is the time to sprinkle them with salt or whatever toppings you want.
Preheat the oven to 375 convection. If you don’t have convection go with 425. Slide the tray into the hot oven and turn the heat down to 375. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are as brown as you’d like. Remove to racks to cool.
They’re ready for slicing, toasting and topping with butter, peanut butter, cream cheese, smoked salmon. . .If you start the sponge tonight you can have fresh bagels for Sunday brunch.
I’ve had a pumpkin streusel sweet roll recipe for while which I like because they are moist, it makes a lot and they are good keepers. As I contemplated how to use up the rest of the pumpkin a little voice inside my head started speaking.
This little voice first piped up when I read the Milk Bar cookbook. If you read that post you know that means trouble. The little voice said, “So you’re making these because you like pumpkin but they don’t taste that much like pumpkin? weeee-iiiirrrrdddd.” So I took measures and after the pumpkin butter, the cream cheese and the streusel the little voice went quiet. Just to be sure I topped things off with dulce de leche, lightly salted.
These rolls could be the result of a cinnamon roll honeymooning in Cabo with a pumpkin cream roll – such is the fantasy life of a baker! Start out with a large can of pumpkin puree (29 oz.).
Pumpkin Sticky Buns Recipe, Makes about 22 large rolls
1 batch of cinnamon roll dough, reducing the liquid by 1/2 cup and adding 1 c. pumpkin puree to the hot liquid
1 batch of 1-2-3-4 streusel
1 batch of pumpkin butter (recipe follows)
1 batch of dulce cheesecake filling (recipe follows), if desired
So as your lovely orange dough is rising off to the side, make the pumpkin butter:
Pumpkin butter recipe, makes about 1-1/2 cups
Put the remaining pumpkin puree in a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/3 c. sugar and 2 t. pumpkin pie spice. Stir well and microwave on high for three minutes. Stir well and microwave for another two minutes. The pumpkin puree will cook down and darken into pumpkin butter. Let cool.
Dulce Cheesecake Filling Recipe
1 8 oz. package 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. dulce de leche
Stir everything together well in a bowl and set aside.
Once the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and knead it for five minutes. Depending on your flour you may have to knead some additional flour, whatever it takes to get to a soft dough. Divide the dough in half. Take one half and roll it out on a floured board until it is 1/4″ thick.
Spread it with half of the pumpkin butter.
I sprinkled the pumpkin butter with some spiced nuts here I had left over from Christmas.
Spread half of the cheesecake filling on the dough if you’re using it.
Then top everything with 1/2 the streusel.
Roll the dough up and slice it into 1/2″ thick slices. Lay them into greased pans and let them rise until doubled in bulk. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
Take the rolls out of the pans and let cool slightly on a rack. Drizzle the tops with the rest of the dulce de leche. I sprinkled them lightly with sea salt.
Serve them slightly warm and store any leftover baked rolls in the refrigerator.
I love county 4-H fairs with the intensity of a mountain gorilla freed from an illegal bush meat market and released on a game preserve. For a few hours I can forget that outside the gates there is no natural habitat left for me while I wander among the green barns. I have heard that in some areas these last bastions are beginning to fall. Disregarding the midway entirely, when we see our last county 4-H fair our society as a whole will be the poorer for it.
Growing up, our fair was always in mid-July just after cherry season and the second cutting of hay, depending on the weather. Farm kids got a reprieve from chores and haying with a week’s encampment “in town”. This level of summer social activity was rare with farms so spread out and the happy light of bright childish faces was not shaded by their wide hat brims.
Now, as then, there are youngsters bustling here and there as they fetch water and bedding for their prize wards. Farm kids know better than to mix emotional attachment up with a down payment on a car or a future college education. This seems particularly true of the poultry barn, where ribbons dangle in the breeze of slow-moving fans over “Nugget” (Black Australorp, 6.5 lbs), “Delicious” (Orpington, 8 lbs), and “Fry Daddy” (Jersey Giant, 9 lbs).
I was what you might call an active spectator in the fairs of my youth, trying to be helpful and supportive to my cousins doing the heavy lifting. Maybe we were soft but my cousin’s animals tended to be more pet and less petty cash – in particular the Guernsey milk cows. If you’ve never had the privilege of living in close proximity to a herd of cows, you might not know that in many ways they are like extremely large dogs. They may not bring you your pipe and slippers but they will watch for you to come home, greet you with overwhelming, potentially inconvenient affection and do what they can to protect you if they feel you are in harm’s way. Their other talent, of course, is milk – heavy with cream – that magical ingredient that can become so many things, including the french cream cheese below.
Since I unfortunately no longer have such direct access, I look for cold-pasturized milk when I can find it. If you’ve never made cheese before you might be surprised how easy it really is. With the first batch I could completely understand how easily a farmwife could fit it into her day. After the initial heating, which takes about 30 minutes, it stands for a day. The next morning, you drain it and you’re pretty much there!
In this photo I’ve added dried tart cherries, pecans and cinnamon. But it’s delicious any way you use it. Another bonus – it makes a lot and freezes beautifully. You do need a few special items, but once you buy them they will last you through many batches. In addition to the milk mentioned earlier, you need mesophilic cultures and rennet (I use the vegetable rennet). Both are available from most cheese-making suppliers, including Leener‘s and New England Cheesemaking Supply. Make sure all your tools are super clean and santized before you start.
French Cream Cheese, Basic Recipe
1 gal. cold-pasturized whole milk
1/4 t. direct set mesophilic culture
2 T. diluted rennet (follow dilution directions on package)
In a large heavy pot heat the milk to 80 degrees and stir in the mesophilic culture well. Then stir in the rennet. Let stand 12-18 hours, covered with a clean cotton cloth. The time can vary depending on the air temperature. If things have gone well, you should have something that looks like yogurt jell-o in your pan.
Since I don’t have a lot of fancy cheesemaking equipment, I line my colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Ladle the set milk into the colander and let it drain for another 6-8 hours depending, again, on the air temperature. I rest mine on top of another large pot to drain so I don’t tie up the sink. If you’re uncomfortable about leaving it out the whole time, you can put the whole shebang in the refrigerator to drain. When you’ve achieved the consistency you like, work 2 T. kosher salt into the cheese. Pack it into clean containers (I save butter tubs for this purpose) and store it in the refrigerator. Seriously, that’s it. It’s that easy. You can use goat’s milk too, same method.