bread and baking Archive

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for a few months. Pregnancy doesn’t seem to be terribly conducive to productivity, and it certainly isn’t conducive to food blogging. I just feel so tired all the time. I’ve had zero energy and cooking has lost some of it’s appeal. Honestly, for awhile there, I didn’t want to eat anything except for cereal, grapes, and toast. Such is life during the first trimester.

But, I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again. Real food (meaning: something other than grapes and toast) actually sounds good. I’ve started cooking again. It feels good to be back.

In my opinion, a good piece of coffee cake is one of life’s simple pleasures. Coffee cake isn’t particularly pretty or inventive, but it’s just so good. I’ve made this recipe a number of times, and it never fails. The cake is so moist and flavorful, layered with chunks of tangy rhubarb on the bottom and giant spiced buttery crumbs on top.

If there was anything that was going to lure me back into the kitchen, it was this recipe. It’s just that good.

rhubarb coffee cake | rosemarried.com

RHUBARB COFFEE CAKE
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the cake:
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ chunks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (room temperature), cut into 8 pieces.

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, toss chopped rhubarb with 1/4 cup of sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Set aside.

3. To make the crumb topping, whisk together the sugars, spices, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Next, stir in the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. (The mixture will resemble a solid dough.) Press the dough firmly in the bottom of the bowl, and set aside.

4. To make the cake filling, stir together the yogurt (or sour cream), egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces and a spoonful of yogurt into the mixture, and mix on medium speed until moistened. Increase the speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the yogurt in two batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

5. Scrape most of the batter into the prepared pan (reserving about 1/2 a cup). Spoon the rhubarb over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the rhubarb. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t evenly cover the rhubarb, it can just be scattered dollops of batter!)

6. Using your fingers, break the topping mixture into big crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up long before the sun comes up and I will drag my sleepy self to the airport. Clad in borrowed snow boots and a down coat, I’ll board a plane to Minneapolis.

It was -26 in Minneapolis earlier this week. I can’t even imagine what that kind of cold feels like, honestly. I certainly don’t have the clothing for such temperatures. I’ve cobbled together a borrowed wardrobe of snow clothing and I’m hoping for the best. I may just hole up in the Mall of America for the week. (I can subsist on Cinnabon and roller coasters!)

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake | Rosemarried.com

It should go without saying that Minnesota in March is not my dream vacation. But, my middle sister now lives in Minneapolis and she’s turning the big 3-0 this week. She insisted that she had to have both of her sisters with her on her 30th, and so we agreed to make the trek to the frigid Midwest.

Since there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of sunshine in my immediate future, I decided to make my own sunshine in the kitchen. One of the best things about winter is the abundance of citrus. Even on the darkest and gloomiest of days, the mere scent of citrus brightens my spirits.

This cake is the perfect remedy for wintertime blues. It’s decidedly simple, and the Meyer lemons truly shine through the batter. If you need a little sunshine in your life, I suggest you give this cake a try.

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake | Rosemarried.com

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 large cage-free eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon zest (approximately 2 Meyer lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Next, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it is combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine 1 tablespoon of sugar, the remaining lemon juice, and the vanilla bean seeds. Heat over med-low, until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear. Remove from heat.
  5. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Remove from pan and place on a baking rack. Pour the glaze over the cake and allow it to soak in. Allow to cool before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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http://rosemarried.com/2014/03/04/meyer-lemon-yogurt-cake/

Apple & Thyme Custard Tart

A couple of weeks ago, I went apple picking in Hood River with my friend Adriana.

Long before we picked our buckets apples, we had grand plans for them. Adriana wanted to try her hand at apple butter for the first time. I was determined to make a simple and unsweetened rustic applesauce. There would be cakes and pies and galettes galore.

apples

When I got home, I realized that I had picked a never-ending supply of apples. I successfully made (and canned) a batch of unsweetened chunky applesauce (and it was delicious). I made rosemary apple butter. I made butternut squash and apple soup (twice!).

After all of that, I still had apples.

I knew what I had to do with the rest of the apples — they needed to be baked into delicious treats — but I was a little hesitant. Truth be told, I’m a little terrified of baking desserts. It’s not that I don’t like dessert. On the contrary, I really, really like dessert. I just didn’t do a whole lot of baking in my younger years. You see, my sisters are the bakers in my family. I’m the cook. (I make Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and they make all the pies. It’s tradition.)

All of that to say, I’m a little bit rusty in the baking department. It had been awhile since I’d made a proper tart dough, and I was a little bit nervous for how it would turn out. Thankfully, it turned out beautifully. It’s such a simple tart, and it really highlights the beauty of perfectly ripe apples. It’s simple, seasonal, and it might be my new favorite dessert. I’m not so sure what I was afraid of, but I’m glad I rolled up my sleeves and dove into a little seasonal baking.

I should do this more often.

Apple Custard Tart | Rosemarried

Apple & Thyme Custard Tart

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

  • TART FILLING:
  • 4 crisp apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ***********************************************
  • TART DOUGH:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, flour, and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the egg and dry ingredients, and beat until the mixture comes together as an evenly formed mass. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Dough can be made one day ahead of time.)
  3. Once the dough is chilled, roll dough into a thin circle (slightly larger than your tart pan). Working quickly, line the tart pan with the dough. Trim off any excess dough that hangs over the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
  4. Toss apple slices with lemon juice, nutmeg, and half of the thyme. Working from the outside toward the center, lay the apple slices in the tart shell in a circular pattern, overlapping them slightly.
  5. Gently whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, and vanilla, until just combined. Pour the custard mixture over the apple slices. Sprinkle the rest of the thyme over the custard and apples.
  6. Bake tart at 375 F until the crust is golden and center is set, 30 to 40 minutes. (Note: if you find your crust is browning too quickly, cover the tart with aluminum foil for the duration of baking.) Allow the tart to cool before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Joanne Chen’s recipe on Gothamist.com

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http://rosemarried.com/2013/10/25/apple-thyme-custard-tart/

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Oh, you fancy!)

As I was baking these cookies, I had Drake’s song, “Fancy, ” stuck in my head. The words kept running through my mind, over and over: “Oh, you fancy, huh?”

Why yes, Drake, I am fancy.

(Truth be told, I’m not all that fancy. But these cookies? They’re pretty darn fancy.)

I took a relatively simple recipe for Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and I fancied them up a bit. I am not going to post a full recipe here, rather, I’ll just share my edits and changes to this classic chocolate chunk cookie:

*I used a combination of Mast Brothers Crown Maple Chocolate and Woodblock Venezuelan Dark Chocolate. (The whole reason I decided to make these cookies is because I had odd ends and bits of a few different specialty chocolate bars, so I decided to chop them up and make the best cookies ever.)

*I used a coarse and flaky sea salt from a local Oregon salt producer, Jacobsen’s Salt Co.

*I used duck eggs instead of chicken eggs!

*I skipped the powdered sugar and upped the brown sugar, plus I added a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses.

*Lastly, I added in 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves into the batter.

And that, my friends, is how I made fancy cookies. I was really pleased with the end result — they were chewy and chocolaty with just a touch of salt. (Next time, I might add a bit more thyme as the flavor got a bit lost next to the dark chocolate and sea salt).

I encourage you to play with the recipe and come up with your own fancy alterations. When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, it’s hard to go wrong. Stick with the basic sugar, flour, egg, and butter proportions — but the rest is up to you, my friends. Be fancy.

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Rosemarried

On Planting Fruit Trees (and a recipe for Blackberry-Blueberry Crisp).

Two weeks ago, I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my 31st birthday. My mom and sister were particularly excited for me to open my gifts, as they had already informed me that they’d chosen the perfect gift. As I unwrapped the presents, a theme began to unfold before me: a beautiful vintage cobbler pan, a cookbook for rustic fruit desserts. And lastly, a gift certificate to a local nursery. Specifically, a gift certificate for fruit trees.

I didn’t get it at first. Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit trees and I was very excited at the prospect of having my very own. But I wasn’t sure why they were so excited to give me fruit trees. And then they explained it: they gave me the gift of fruit trees because I’m the one that’s staying.

I am a planter.

I am rooted here in Portland.

As I mentioned previously, my sister and her husband and daughter are moving to Minneapolis to work with the urban poor. Specifically, they will working with the large population of Somalian refugees that have settled in Minneapolis. (To read more about what they’ll be doing in Minneapolis, check out their blog.)

On Friday, my sister and I will pack all of her earthly belongings into a Subaru wagon and we will then drive halfway across the country. We’ll see a lot of Montana and North Dakota, and eventually we’ll land in Minneapolis. My mom, brother-in-law, and niece will fly out a few days later and will join us, as we attempt to settle them into their new life in Minnesota.

To be completely honest, I’m a little bit of a wreck. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to them. Selfishly, I want them to stay here, but, in my heart I know that it’s their time to go. I know that this is what they are supposed to be doing. I’m heartbroken, and yet so proud.

And while they are off in Minneapolis doing amazing things, I’m going to plant some fruit trees and put down roots. I’m going to do everything I can to provide them with love and support them from afar.

That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to bake another cobbler or crisp without getting a little bit sappy. I definitely blubbered a bit while baking this crisp (and also while writing this post).

So without further delay, I’d like to share this recipe for you. It’s quite lovely.

(Note: I’m still undecided as to what fruit trees I want. I’m currently thinking I’d like a Meyer lemon tree and a blueberry bush. What do you think I should plant?)

Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp
(Adapted from Savory Sweet Life)

Note: The original recipe calls for 6 cups of blueberries (and does not use blackberries), which fills a 9×13 pan. I made less filling (4 cups of berries), and filled a 9×5 pan and a small ramekin. I did make the same amount of crumble as the original recipe called for, as I like to have a lot of crumble!

Ingredients
For the berry filling:
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
Juice from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried basil

For the crumble topping:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed in 1/2-inch squares
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease your baking pan (with oil, butter, or nonstick spray) and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash the berries a bit (with a fork or spoon), and season with nutmeg and dried basil. Transfer the berry mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together the butter, flour, and brown sugar. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Once combined, add in the pecans and process for a couple of seconds – until the pecans are chopped and incorporated into the mixture.

In a small bowl, gently toss the butter/flour/pecan mixture with the oats, cinnamon and salt. When combined, sprinkle this mixture over the berries in the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crumb top is golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The crisp is great hot or cold, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

**Funny side note: I tried to make fresh basil whipped cream to go atop this lovely crisp. I made it two different ways, and each time it was a dismal failure. That being said, I scrapped the idea of basil whipped cream and topped the crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. It was super delicious.

Raspberry & Rosemary Cornbread

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. It is simply too nice outside to spend my day inside, staring at my computer screen. I would much rather be outdoors, lounging in the sunshine (preferably with a margarita in my hand).

So that, my friends, is precisely what I plan to do.

I’m going to walk away from the computer and go enjoy the great outdoors.

However, before I do that, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts about this raspberry cornbread. First of all, I should mention that this cornbread is not intended to be a dessert. It just isn’t very sweet. You could always add a little extra sugar to the batter if you’d like it to function as a dessert, but I highly recommend this cornbread for breakfast (with just a touch of butter and honey). Similarly, it would be a great salad accompaniment for a light summer lunch.

And let us not forget that we are in the middle of raspberry season in the Northwest. This season is short and sweet, so get some raspberries while you can. (I have a ton of them growing in my backyard. Want to come over and pick some?) Since I have an abundance of raspberries growing in my yard, I’ve tried a lot of raspberry recipes over the past couple years. This cornbread is easily one of the best raspberry recipes I’ve tried. It’s so good that it might convince you to turn on your oven in the middle of July.

And that’s all I’ll say about that. It’s a beautiful day and I’m going outside to enjoy it!

RASPBERRY & ROSEMARY CORNBREAD
(Slightly adapted from Easy Peasy Organic)

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter (or canola oil)
1 cup fresh raspberries

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with butter or oil and set aside.

Mix together dry ingredients (including herbs) in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and melted butter (or oil). Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir just to combine (it’s ok if there are some clumps).

Using a pastry blender (or 2 forks), gently mash the raspberries into the batter. Give the mixture one more stir, and then pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow the cornbread to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into it. The cornbread is particularly good with a bit of butter and honey.

Strawberry & Mint Shortcakes: Recipe Swap

When life hands you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade. When life hands you a neck injury, however, it seems that you can’t make much of anything.

I’ve been stuck on the couch for three days. It hurts to move, it hurts to sit, it hurts to sleep. I’ve got my routine down: a glass of water, ibuprofen, ice (frozen peas) and heat (homemade sock rice pack). I watched an entire season of Project Runway yesterday. I’m going a little bit stir crazy. And while there’s never a good time to get injured, this weekend seemed like particularly bad timing. The Montavilla Farmer’s Market opened for its 6th season today. In addition, today is the deadline for the June Recipe Swap.

I’ve been planning this post for weeks. When Christianna (from Burwell General Store) emailed us the recipe for ‘Mint Pie‘, I knew that I was going to take the recipe in an entirely different direction.

You see, I’m one of the few people on the planet that doesn’t like the combination of chocolate and mint. I love chocolate. I love fresh mint. For whatever reason, I just don’t like them together. (Please don’t hate me!) Since it’s strawberry season in the Northwest – and since my mint plant is growing like crazy and threatening to take over the backyard – I decided to combine these two ingredients instead.

My apologies to all of the chocolate-and-mint lovers out there, but I’m officially on Team Strawberries-and-Mint. The combination is incredible! This dessert is a slight variation of a classic strawberry shortcake, but it’s the subtleties that make this recipe truly special. Perfectly ripe strawberries, purchased at the farmer’s market this morning. Fresh mint, plucked from my backyard. Hints of lemon, mint, black pepper, and cream. It all works together to create a light and airy spring treat that isn’t overly sweet or complicated. It’s just perfect.

STRAWBERRY & MINT SHORTCAKES WITH LEMONY WHIPPED CREAM
Adapted from Bite by Michelle
(Makes 10-12 shorcakes)

For the shortcakes:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely diced
1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled salted butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk
Optional: Egg wash & raw sugar

For the strawberry topping:
1 pint strawberries
1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white sugar
A couple grinds of black pepper

For the lemony whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Method:
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender (or knives, fingers, food processor, etc) cut in butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in mint and buttermilk, and mix until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a couple of times and pat into a circle (with a 1″ thickness). Using a biscuit cutter (or juice glass), cut out the shortcakes. Place on a lined baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart. Optional: brush each cake with an egg wash and sprinkle with raw (or coarse grain) sugar before baking.

Place baking sheet in the oven on bottom rack and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and de-stem the strawberries. Slice strawberries and place in a bowl. Toss with fresh mint, black pepper, lemon juice, and black pepper.

Mix the whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and lemon zest together. Whip, using a whisk or electric mixer for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and billowy. (Be careful not to overwhip! You want soft peaks.)

When the shortcakes have cooled, arrange each cake on a plate with a generous dollop of whipped cream and strawberries. Enjoy!