Now that it’s Fall, I’m back in the baking mood, mostly baking with pumpkin. But two sad, black bananas on the counter prompted this recipe today. It’s delicious and moist! Especially when still warm from the oven.
Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Add the two ripe bananas and beat until frothy. Add the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated, but don't over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
My Mother’s Day surprise included a new Ninja Blender today, so to break it in, I made my favorite smoothie.
This blender is amazing. We also made a smoothie with extra ice and it came out like gelato. The blades are so powerful that it can pulverize the ice without melting it, and basically make ice cream (or gelato, or sorbet) in one minute.
I also recently discovered White Cranberry-Peach juice, which is to-die-for. I can’t wait to try it with cocktails once summer gets underway. This sweet juice makes any additional sweetener totally unnecessary for the smoothie. You might also like my favorite peach smoothie.
Now that it almost October, I’m starting to go pumpkin crazy again. This month’s issue of Fine Cooking features Holiday Pumpkin Desserts on the cover, and I was inspired by a Bundt cake featured inside. I adapted this recipe from that one, pumping up the spice a bit and making other little tweaks. The result is a moist flavorful pumpkin cake that was a hit at the church coffee hour this morning. Bundt cakes are so rewarding because they always come out looking great and aren’t that difficult to pull off. Powdered sugar is the perfect finish and a lot easier than frosting!
The filling includes crystallized ginger mixed in with the cream cheese and sour cream. Don’t skip it. It makes it have real zing. To finely chop it, I just dumped it in this MiniPrep:
And to grind the nutmeg, I used a microplane grater, like this one:
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake With Peekaboo Cream Cheese Filling
I have been having so much fun baking with yeast this month. Today is no exception. I decided I wanted to make a coffee cake type pastry with icing and filling that would feature fall pumpkin flavors. I grew up with Entenmann’s pastries from the grocery store, and I was looking to emulate their various Danish rings with this recipe.
I ended up constructing this wreath in two ways. One way was a traditional circle. For the other, I cut little slits all the way around before baking it, and the wring came out a little more decorative – though less tidy. Totally up to you for how to make yours, but the recipe does make 2 loaves, so play with it!
The recipe calls for 2 rises. One for the dough and then another one once the dough is stuffed. If you want to refrigerate your dough after stuffing it, you can refrigerate it overnight, then pull it out, let it come to room temperature, rise and then bake it so it comes out of the oven warm just in time for brunch.
I kept this dish nut free because of allergy concerns, but sliced almonds or pecans are a great addition to the topping.
5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Coffee Cake Wreath with Pumpkin-Spiced Cream Cheese Filling
Fall pumpkin flavors infuse this danish ring with yumminess
Author: Amy Wilson
Recipe type: Dessert, Brunch Pastry
1 package dry yeast (2¼ tsp)
¼ cup warm water
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups canned pure pumpkin
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
1¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 8oz packages cream cheese
½ cup canned pure pumpkin
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter softened
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
¼ tsp vanilla
Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a mug and cover with a plate. Set aside for 5 minutes. When you lift the plate, it should be foamy. If it's not foamy, it means that the yeast is no longer active and you'll have to start over with new yeast.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the dough hook, combine 3 cups of the flour, the pumpkin, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Once it has taken on a crumbly texture, add the water and yeast mixture and continue mixing with the dough hook until a ball forms. Scrape the sides as necessary to ensure complete mixing. If the dough is sticky and not well-formed, add a Tbsp or so of flour and continue kneading with the dough hook. Knead for 3 minutes on medium speed, adding flour to ensure a springy, well-formed ball.
Add a tsp of oil to the bowl and knead for 30 seconds. Remove bowl and cover with towel. Set in a warm place and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour until doubled.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut in half.
To prepare the filling, go back to your stand mixer (wash that bowl), but this time you will use the wire whisk to beat at high speed, the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Beat for 2 minutes until fluffy.
Now roll out one ball of dough into a flat rectangle that is about 10x12 inches in size. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough leaving space around the edges. The cream cheese will be about ¼ inch thick. Now roll the long side of the dough up to make a tube. Bend the tube into a circle and press the ends together firmly. If you'd like to try cutting slits in the wreath, go ahead and do so. Repeat with the other ball of dough. You will have left over cream cheese mixture. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and used as icing on cupcakes.
Transfer the rings to a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place. Allow them to rise for 45 minutes. (Alternatively, you could cover them in plastic and refrigerate them over night before allowing them to come to room temperature and to rise the next morning)
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Using a spoon, spread melted butter over the tops of both rings. Use the back of the spoon to coat them evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of each ring. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet before transferring them to platters.
Once the rings are cooled, make the icing by stirring together the sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl with a fork or a wire whisk. If the icing is not going to hold the shape of its drizzle, add more sugar to thicken. Drizzle onto the rings and allow the icing to set for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The basis for these Pumpkin Pull-Apart Cinnamon Buns comes from a recipe I did during an earlier Pumpkin recipe marathon, when I featured Pumpkin Yeast Rolls. For this recipe, you start by making the dough for the Pumpkin Yeast Rolls and then form smaller balls to dip in melted butter and a sugary cinnamon mixture. Then you mush them into a bundt cake pan for baking. It’s a day’s project, but no one part of the recipe is that difficult, particularly if you have a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, which does most of the work. These are truly to-die-for. I took them into work and everyone went crazy for them! The pumpkin flavor in the rolls is subtle, so you could make them this way all year long.
In a coffee cup, mix the brown sugar, yeast and warm milk. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes white becomes foamy and you prepare the flour.
In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with the wire whip attached, add 5 cups of the flour and the salt. Set the mixer on Level 2 and add the pieces of butter, one at a time, mixing all the time. Mix until the flour becomes course.
Add the egg and continue mixing until well blended.
Change the attachment to the flat beater and add the pumpkin and spices, mixing gently until incorporated.
Change the attachment again, now to the dough hook. Dump in the cup full of yeast, milk, and brown sugar. Kneading on Level 2 for about 8 minutes, watch as a ball of dough forms. Have a cup of flour at the ready to add 1-2 Tbsp at a time until dough takes on a smooth, springy form that's not sticky. After you've added enough of the flour, let the dough hook continue kneading until the 8 minutes is done.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. From the dough into a big ball and place in the bowl. Brush melted butter over the ball of the dough. Cover with a dish towel and let rise for about an hour. The dough should double in size.
In the meantime, make your cinnamon-sugar dip by mixing together in a medium bowl, the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and spray a Bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and set aside.
Turn the dough out onto a large cutting board and cut the big ball in half. Continue cutting the balls in half until you get down to a size that is about the size of a golf ball. Roll the dough between your fingers so that it forms a little perfect ball. Dip into the melted butter, then roll in the sugar mixture and place in the bottom of a bundt cake pan. Continue rolling, dipping and dredging until all of the little sugar-coated balls of dough are pressed into the bundt cake pan.
Bake at 350˚F for about 35 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before turning the bundt cake out onto your serving plate.
With a fork, mix together the confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Keep adding sugar until mixture coats the back of a spoon and just drips down slowly. Drizzle over the top of the sticky buns and allows to drip down the sides.
The most popular post on this blog, hands down, is My Ultimate Pumpkin Bread post, and one of my personal favorites is my Zucchini Bread post, so now that it’s October, I thought, why not do a mashup? The spices for pumpkin and zucchini bread are so similar, it seems like a marriage made in heaven. And, I’ve been getting a lot of zucchini in my weekly produce box from Full Circle lately.
This version came out perfectly moist. Make sure you squeeze the excess water out of your shredded zucchini. Just press between paper towels before adding to the mixture. I used this kind of grater to prepare the zucchini:
Play with the sugar to meet your tastes. I’ve tried it with 2 cups and it’s perfect for folks who don’t like their quick breads too sweet. I prefer it with 2 1/2 or even 3 cups of sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and spray 2 9-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (including the sugar).
In the bowl of a large standup mixer, cream the butter. Then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated. Add the milk and beat until mixed. Add the pumpkin and zucchini and mix on medium until blended.
Take bowl away from standup mixer. Add bowl of dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all is moistened. Do not overmix.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
With summer in full swing, I am enjoying the spoils of California produce, namely avocados and heirloom tomatoes. They are put to good use in this, my version of an egg McMuffin.
I used a egg ring to contain my egg while it was cooking, but it was only a modest success. I sprayed the egg ring and pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray, but the egg still stuck to the ring. All the same, it did reign in the cooked egg, making a prettier sandwich, but if you don’t want to fool with it, no worries!
Heirloom tomatoes and avocado boost this morning treat.
Author: Amy Wilson
Recipe type: Breakfast
1 Oroweat Sandwich thin
2 large eggs, beaten with a tsp of water
¼ of an avocado, sliced thinly
¼ of a medium tomato, sliced
1 slice of Tilamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Put the sandwich thin in the toaster just as you are about to add the eggs to the pan. Add the eggs to the pan and scramble them, stirring constantly. Before they are cooked through, add the cheese to the top and cover to allow the cheese to melt.
To assemble, place the egg and cheese mixture on top of the bottom half of the sandwich thin. Garnish with avocado, tomato and cilantro. Salt and Pepper to taste. Top with the other slice of sandwich thin. Eat immediately!
There’s nothing likely whipping up a little quick bread (muffin, cupcake, bread, whatever) to satisfy the baking need. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients. Put them together without overmixing, bake and voila! A sweet, sumptuous little treat in no time.
October = pumpkin for me, in case you didn’t know. Psst. There are like 40 pumpkin recipes in this blog. I’ve done pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies before, but never pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (or cupcakes as the case may be). Some people love the combo, and I am one of them. These are equally good with or without the icing, I think. So if you can’t be bothered with the icing, don’t be!
The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes - perfect for a Halloween party.
Recipe type: Dessert
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 cups canned pure pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare muffin tins by either spraying them with cooking spray or lining them with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
In three batches, add the flour to the wet ingredients and stir to incorporate. Don't overmix, but incorporate thoroughly.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups at least ¾ of the way full. I like to create a big muffin top, so I fill them almost all the way.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and a knife inserted comes out clean. If you have to have two layers of tins in your oven, rotate them halfway through the cooking time for even baking.
To make the icing:
While the muffins are baking, you can make the icing. With an electric hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and confectioner's sugar until completely smooth, Allow to chill if need be.
To ice the cupcakes:
Once the cupcakes come out of the oven, they will need to cool before you can ice them. Once they are cooled, you can fill a pastry bag with your icing and pipe it out into large concentric circles.
At our house, we go through phases where we make smoothies every morning. When bananas start to turn brown, we throw them in the freezer, so we can use them in a smoothie later. We have an entire shelf in the freezer devoted to frozen fruit. There are the bananas we’ve rescued, bags of frozen fruit, and even bags of frozen spinach. There are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and… peaches.
Of all of the smoothies we make, this one is my favorite.
Peach Smoothie Serves One
1/2 container peach yogurt
1/2 10 oz bag of frozen peaches
1/2 cup orange juice
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
On a recent trip to Spain, I had the chance to sample, once again, one of my favorite Spanish dishes: Tortilla Española, or Spanish tortilla. Here in the US, we associate the word tortilla with that a round flatbread that wraps up a burrito, but in Spain, it refers to an omelette-type dish, eaten in bars, at room temperature during the early-evening snack (tapas) time. I like Spanish Tortilla any time of the day: at brunch, for an afternoon snack, or even for a simple dinner. Cooking it just right can be difficult, though, so I have spent the last few months perfecting mine and now I am ready to share it with all of you.
The Spanish Tortilla enjoys a long history. Throughout the Mediterranean and the Near-East, there are countless variations of what one might call an omelette. It is believed that the dish originated in Persia as the kookoo sabzi and then gradually moved west. In Turkey, it became the kaygana. In Italy, it evolved into the frittata. In France, it became the omelette and in Spain, it is the Tortilla Española or at times, the Tortilla de Patata.
Spanish tortilla is one of those ubiquitous national dishes that inspires strong views on how to make it perfectly and authentically. Of course, because it varies throughout Spain, there is no right answer. I like to make it with a relatively high ratio of eggs to potatoes. I also slice the potatoes thinly using a Mandoline rather than cutting them into cubes. Most recipes you’ll see for Tortilla Española will include onion, and in this version, I have used the more subtle shallot, but I like it with yellow onions as well.
Of course, the biggest question surrounding the preparation of a Spanish Tortilla is whether to flip it or broil it to finish cooking the top side. Traditionalists insist that you must do the flip: slide the tortilla onto a plate, flip it over and slide it back into the pan. But, if you have an ovenproof skillet, you can simply insert the skillet under the broiler and watch carefully while the top finishes.
All of the ingredients below are “to taste.” Do you want the potatoes to crisp up before cooking them in the eggs? Use more oil and crank up the heat for the last few minutes of potato-cooking time. Do you want a heftier dish? Reduce the number of eggs and let the potatoes dominate. Do you want to incorporate more onions into the dish? Finely chop a couple of tablespoons of onions, or shallots, or even leeks, and fry them with the potatoes. The important thing is to experiment until you’ve found your perfect tortilla and then you can have a strong opinion too.
Spanish Tortilla Serves 8
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (the low starch content keeps them from getting mushy)
¼ cup olive oil (more or less)
½ cup shallots, minced finely
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
10-12 eggs, beaten
1. Peel potatoes and slice them thinly using a Mandoline if you have one, or a good sharp knife. Sprinkle the potatoes with half of the salt. Over a medium-high flame, heat the oil in a 12-inch sautée pan, preferably one that has sloped sides. Sautée the potatoes and shallots gently until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 25 minutes. Don’t allow them to get too brown. Be patient. It’s important that the potatoes are completely cooked. Remove from heat.
2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and shallots and toss to coat with the eggs. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Wipe out or clean your sautée pan. Add a little bit more oil and heat the pan until very hot. Pour in the egg and potato mixture and let set for about 1-2 minutes. The high heat will help create a layer of cooked egg that will make it easy for the tortilla to slide out of the pan. Once the edges have set, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture cook for 8-12 minutes.
3. When the tortilla is ready to be cooked on the other side, it will be firm on the bottom and still a little runny on top. Slide the pan under a pre-heated broiler and cook until the top has set and just started to brown, about 3 minutes, checking often. If you would like to try the flip instead, invert a plate into the pan, flip it over and then slide the tortilla back into the pan. It’s not as hard as it sounds as long as you have created that cooked egg layer and your pan is not too heavy. Let it cook on the second side for about 3-5 minutes. Then flip back out onto a plate for serving.
4. Once the tortilla has been removed to a serving plate, allow it to cool to room temperature, as it is traditionally served that way. It’s a great dish for parties. To add it to a buffet table, cut it into squares and insert a toothpick to make it easy for guests to enjoy. Yours will look just like the Spanish Tortilla in a tapas bar in Madrid.