Bread

Five Minute Crusty Bread

No-Knead-Dutch-Oven-Bread-resizedI recently won a cooking class at our local kitchen store and the class I chose to attend was a five minute bread and butter class. Now, if you are like me you will see this name and think you can whip together the dough and in five minutes put delicious bread in the oven. That unfortunately is not the case, but the dough does come together very quickly. Just be prepared to mix it in the morning, and then you will be ready to bake delicious bread when you get home later that day. The recipe is very simple and forgiving, so even if working with yeast makes you nervous, give this recipe a chance.

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water, room temp or slightly warm
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast

To Make the Dough:

Put all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix together with a fork until all the flour is incorporated. Cover with a clean cotton towel and let rise for 8-12 hours. When you are ready to bake put your Dutch oven, with the lid ON, in your oven and preheat to 450. Get a bowl big enough to shape a round loaf and line it with parchment paper, then generously dust with flour. Remove your bread from the original bowl with floured hands by making a scooping motion with your hand, moving around the whole bowl. As you are doing this, grab a small section of dough and stretch and fold it over the rest of the dough. Do this about 4 times, then move the prepared round of dough to your parchment lined bowl. Cover with a clean, lightweight, slightly damp towel and let it rise for 30 minutes while your Dutch oven is heating in the oven. After 30 minutes, slash the top of your round of dough with a very sharp knife in any pattern you want. Remove the Dutch oven from the preheated oven and quickly transfer your parchment paper with the loaf on it into the Dutch oven. Replace the lid quickly and return the Dutch oven to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. At the end of the 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for 7-10 more minutes, until you have a dark golden crust. Carefully remove the bread from the Dutch oven and enjoy.

Bars, Dessert, Uncategorized

Iced Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini-Brownies-1-of-6wAs I mentioned in my previous post, I was gifted two huge zucchini’s that were only fit for a delicious baked good. The first item I made was iced zucchini bread and the other recipe I made were these brownies. My youngest son could not get enough. Recipe and photo courtesy of crazyforcrust.com.

Brownies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, 1 large or 2 small zucchinis
  • 3-5 tablespoons water

Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  •  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the batter can absorb the moisture from the zucchini. Then, if your mixture is still very powdery, add up to 5 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon and work up from there, stirring well after each addition). The batter will be very thick but shouldn’t be powdery. (It partially depends on how wet your zucchini is!) Add walnuts, if desired. You may need to use your hands to work the water in instead of a spoon. The dough is super thick, like cookie dough. Do not add too much water! Spread in prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched.

To make the frosting: Whisk butter, cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into squares and chill to semi-set. The frosting hardens slightly on the top but stays wet and gooey underneath.

These brownies are best stored in an airtight container and eaten within 2 days. Chill them to make them last an extra day. They’re what I call “fork” brownies because they are so gooey. It is also key to not add too much extra water to the mixture. I had zucchini’s with enough moisture that I didn’t have to add any additional water so the batter should be very thick.

Dessert, Uncategorized

Iced Lemon Zucchini Bread

Delicious-Glazed-Lemon-Zucchini-Bread-Recipe-on-lilluna.com-I was gifted two huge zucchini’s and went on the hunt for a deliciously sweet way to use them up. After perusing Pinterest I found two good contenders, one of them being this lemon bread. The thing I liked about this was that is as different from most of the zucchini recipes out there. Recipe and photo by lilluna.com.

Bread

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined. Pour batter into greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.

Breakfast, Dessert, Uncategorized

Blueberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffeecake Cinnamon Swirl Brown Sugar Crumb (6 of 1)Recently my husband asked me for a blueberry dessert and then coffee cake so I found this recipe for the best of both worlds! This recipe is so delicious and would be a wonderful item to serve on a Sunday morning. Recipe and photo courtesy of serenabakessimplyfromscratch.com.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb Topping:

  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Blueberry Cake

  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″x13″ and line with parchment paper, butter parchment paper. For the crumb topping, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in using a pastry cutter or mix in using a mixer 6 tablespoons cubed butter until crumbly. Set aside. For the cake, add 3/4 cup cold butter to mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Slowly add sugar while beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl between each egg. Then add vanilla and mix well. Batter should look light and fluffy. Add baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl. Stir in flour 1 cup at a time alternating with 1/2 cup sour cream mixing on low speed until just combined being careful not to over mix. Continue until all of flour and sour cream is added. Hand stir in blueberries until evenly distributed. Spread half of the cake batter into the bottom of prepared pan and spread to the edge. Swirl cinnamon crumb topping with a knife into cake batter. Spread 1/3 of of the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumb over the batter and cover with remaining blueberry cake batter. Press brown sugar crumb topping between fingers to form crumbs and distribute evenly over the top of the cake. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before serving.

Dessert, Pie

Triple Layer Key Lime Pie

This key lime pie is the ultimate in key lime decadence. It was just the right balance of tart and sweet and the crust was so so good. As this recipe calls for almost 2 cups of key lime juice, I would really recommend buying a bottle of key lime juice. I found mine at my local Kroger in the juice section and it really made a difference. This recipe has a LOT of steps, but please don’t be intimidated by that. No step is difficult, and I actually made my crust and the no bake/chilled layer the day before and finished it the day I wanted to serve it.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons egg whites, room temp

The Baked Layer

  • 2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of key lime juice
  • 8 egg yolks, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temp

The Chilled Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

The Whipped Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice

To prepare the pan, place parchment paper on the bottom of the spring form pan. Set the “ring” of the spring form on top of the parchment paper and close to seal around the bottom of the spring form. Trim the parchment paper on the outside as close to the pan as you can get. This will ensure that you can lift the pie off the bottom of the spring from pan with ease. Wrap the outside of the spring from pan in aluminum foil to prevent any leakage during baking.

Next, in a very large bowl, combine and toss the graham crackers, dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture. Start adding the melted butter into the well and with either a wooden spoon or by hand incorporate the melted butter into the dry mixture. Add butter until you can pinch the dry mix together and it will hold together. Add the egg whites to the mixture and mix well. Once the egg whites are added, you need to work quickly to move the prepared crust mixture in to the spring form and form the crust or the mixture will start to dry out. Working from the bottom of the spring form, move the crust mixture around to cover the bottom first. Work the crust mixture up the sides of the spring form all the way to the edge of the ring. Use either the bottom of a glass or dry measure cup to press down on the bottom, sides and especially where the bottom of the pan and sides come together. This will help you achieve a nice even and packed crust. Move to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, add the 8 egg yolks to a large glass bowl. Using a wire whisk, whisk the yolks for about a minute. You will want the yolks nice and creamy with some air incorporated into them. No need to break out the mixer for this step. Just some good ole whisking by hand will do. Add the 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk to the mixture and continue to whisk until well blended. Add the room temperature sour cream (1/2 cup) to the mixture and whisk. The sour cream, if not at room temperature will clump, so make sure this and all ingredients are at room temp. Pour the key lime juice into the mixture and continue to whisk. You will notice that the mixture will begin to slightly thicken. This is the reaction of the acid in the key lime juice and the sweetened condensed milk. Whisk the mixture until well blended. You will see lots of air bubbles and that’s okay too. Pour this mixture into the crust that is just coming out of the oven and with either a spatula or the back of a spoon spread evenly over the bottom of the spring form. Bake in the 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. The baked layer will set up and be set all the way thru to the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely before adding the chilled layer. Do Not refrigerate until the baked layer has completely cooled or you will introduce moisture to the crust and cause it to separate.

To make the no bake, chilled layer, cream the 8 ounces of cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the room temperature 1/4 cup of sour cream. Remember cold sour cream will make lumps! Mix well. Add the 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Add the 1/4 cup of key lime juice and mix well. Move to the completely baked and cooled baked layer. Use a spatula or spoon to smooth over layer one. Be sure to leave room for the key lime whipped topping, the chilled layer should only come up to about 3/4 to the top. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the key lime whipped cream.

The final layer is the key lime whipped cream. Add the whipping cream to a clean and preferably chilled bowl for mixing. I chill both the bowl and the beaters when making whipped cream. Add sugar and whip until you have soft to medium soft peaks. Do not whip to stiff peaks. Begin adding the key lime juice, this will cause the mixture to thicken.  Add the key lime juice a little at a time to get the consistency you prefer.

Dessert, Pie

Sawdust Pie

Now I know that this pie has a rather unappetizing name, but take a chance and make it. It is anything but dry and crumbly and is so incredibly simple to make.  I feel like it is pecan pie’s crazy country cousin.

  • 1 unbaked 9″ pie crust, enough for a deep dish pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, graham cracker crumbs, pecans, and sugar. Mix in the egg whites (do not beat them first). Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the middle is slightly jiggly. The middle will set as it cools out of the oven. Cover the edges only with foil if needed to prevent overbrowning. Cool on a wire rack or windowsill until the pie is firm, about 45 minutes.

Some recipes I have seen recommend serving with slices of fresh banana and whipped cream. I served mine with vanilla ice cream, so it’s really your preference. I also think this would be delicious with chocolate chips mixed in.

Dessert, Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie

The final pie I made this past week was a chocolate cream pie. To me, it is the quintessential cream pie, and this one was perfect. I think store-bought pudding mixes have a odd aftertaste to them, but this one is made from scratch and tasted amazing. I also used my stabilized whipped cream to help it last until I could serve it. Recipe and photo courtesy of tastesbetterfromscratch.com.

Crust:

  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 5 Tablespoons butter

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter , chopped into pieces
  • 8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate , chopped (I like Ghirardelli’s)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar , or granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the crust, preheat oven to 350°F. Add Oreo cookies to a food processor and pulse into a fine crumb. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and stir in melted butter until combined.  Press mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool. For the filling, heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the sugar, and milk and whisk well to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently.  Meanwhile, add the egg yolks and cornstarch to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Once the saucepan mixture is simmering, add a few spoonfuls of the hot liquid into the egg yolks and whisk to temper the eggs. Add a few more spoonfuls of the hot liquid into the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the remaining mixture in the saucepan. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a very gently boil (big bubbles begin to break the surface). Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, chopped chocolate, and vanilla extract. Stir well until completely smooth. Pour filling into the cooled cookie crust and smooth into an even layer. Place a piece of plastic wrap gently on top and refrigerate until filling is set, about 4–6 hours or overnight, if desired. Just before serving, make the topping by adding the cream to a mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixers on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Spread whipped cream over pie and garnish with curled chocolate, if desired. (I use this method for making chocolate curls)