Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Friands

Fall is my favorite season, even though I do not get to experience the beautiful colors of the changing leaves were I live.  I know that I am very fortunate to have a tropical setting to live in, but looking at the beautiful fall colors always makes me a little wishful.  This is also my favorite time of year because I get to bake quite regularly with one of my favorite ingredients, pumpkin.




A few days ago I realized that I hadn't made friands in a long time. They are very popular in Australia, and you will find a version of them in almost every cafe.  They are a little like a muffin, but lighter. The main ingredients in a friand are almond meal, powdered sugar, flour, and egg whites, and chocolate or fruit is a popular additional flavoring.  Most friands are made in an oval-shaped friand pan.  However, you can easily substitute a muffins tin like I did - mine was square.

My choice of flavoring last time was raspberry and I used a recipe from an Australian cookbook.  I searched for a recipe that was pumpkin-flavored but could not find one, so used a basic recipe by Donna Hay and created my own.




Friands are such a nice treat to enjoy because they are not heavy, and the almond meal gives them a nice nutty flavor. As usual the hardest part is waiting for them to cool down so I can dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy them with a cup of coffee.  Next time I am going to make a double batch because 10 friands just don't last very long.



Pumpkin Friands
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1⅔ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • 5 eggs whites
  • 4½ oz butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • powdered sugar to sift over the top
 
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease 10 friand molds (alternatively, use regular muffin pans).
  2. Place the almond meal, powdered sugar, flour, and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Place egg whites in a bowl and and whisk until slightly frothy. Add butter and pumpkin and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into prepared pans and bake for 20–25 minutes or until the friands are golden and cooked through.
  6. Using a knife, loosen the edges and remove the friands from the tins immediately.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving. 
  8. Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 10.



Recipe by All That's Left Are The Crumbs (adapted from a recipe by Donna Hay).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tate's Bake Shop: Baking For Friends, Apple Crumb Muffins & a Giveaway!

Winner Update - The winner of the Tate's Bake Shop Cookie and Bar Tower
is Carolsue.  Congratulations!  Please check your email and reply within 48 hours to confirm your mailing address and prize will be mailed by Tate's Bake Shop.  Thanks for visiting my blog and entering my giveaway.


I have a confession to make - I been stalking my mailman (actually lady).  Waiting not so patiently for a package to arrive, and wondering each day if today would be the lucky day?  What was I waiting for you may ask? It was the latest book by Kathleen King, the founder and owner of Tate's Bake Shop - Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends.  I was like a kid at Christmas when it arrived, ripping the package open and flipping through the pages - and this was before I even got through my front door.  And I am doing a giveaway too!



   Tate's Cookbook


A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to win a copy of her first cookbook Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook and some amazing cookies.  The book was wonderful and the cookies were gone in a few days. I even kept the box that the cookies came in because it was so pretty.  I think that the cookies were so good because of the philosophy of Kathleen King, which is use the freshest, preservative-free ingredients possible - real butter, all-natural chocolate, farm-fresh eggs. With her no-nonsense approach to baking it is no wonder that she has won numerous awards and her store is regarded as a "must-visit" when in the area.  And seriously, how cute is the bakery itself; how could you not feel welcomed when visiting and enjoying a cookie, brownie, or any of their other delicious treats?

Once I opened the package I just knew I was in for a treat.  The cover looks so inviting and I couldn't wait to sit down and enjoy reading it with a good cup of coffee.  I am like that - I read cookbooks like they are a novel.  Reading the introduction usually gives me a good insight into the person behind the book.  As I read through it I found myself nodding in agreement with things like "I loved to see the joy on people's faces as they bit into those cookies", "life can get hectic", and "don't be too concerned about making a picture-perfect dessert".  My favorite quote is at the end of the introduction - "...it's also about sharing - connecting with the people in your life.  Let them inspire you, and enjoy the process."  There are also some great tips when it comes to baking the recipes themselves.

The book is divided into seven chapters and has over 120 recipes for amazing muffins, scones, quick breads, pies, cookies, and so much more.  There were so many recipes that caught my eye whilst reading through the book that I kept wondering how I was going to choose my first one to try.  In the end I decided that there is no better place than to begin than at the beginning, and chose the first recipe in the book, Apple Crumb Muffins.  I decided that I am going to work my way through the recipes in the book from start to end.  It may take a while, but I have a feeling that it is going to be very enjoyable.




As mentioned at the beginning of the recipe the ingredient list may seem a little long, but I found that there were a few common ingredients between the topping and the muffins, so measuring didn't take long, and the rest came together very quickly.  I loved the consistency of the crumb topping.  To me it seemed a little more moist than usual but it made an outstanding crunch on the top of the muffins. Do make sure you measure your chopped apple because you may need more than one.  My apples - Granny Smith's - were a little small and I needed two of them to get the right amount required for the recipe.  I followed the recipe exactly as written and it did make 10 beautifully plump muffins. 

The smell from the oven as these were baking was intoxicating, and I was glad that they were ready in 20 minutes.  The hard part was waiting for them to cool.  I couldn't resist picking the topping off of one of the muffins to try.  It was crunchy, crumbly, cinnmony and oh-so-good but I don't know if that was the best idea since it made the wait for the rest of the muffin even harder.  I have to be truthful and tell you that I only waited a few minutes for it to cool so I wouldn't burn my fingers too much. It was a little hard to get out of the pan and that is why you should wait.  Just call me Mrs. Impatient but that muffin was worth it.  As I was enjoying it I was thinking that these would be an excellent muffin on Thanksgiving morning, especially with a handful of cranberries thrown in to the batter.



The recipes in the book are very well set out and easy to follow. Some of the names are really cute - who could resist Chubby Tates or "Church Lady" Vanilla Icing, and there is such a great variety of recipes including some for health & lifestyle baking.  I also loved the photographs in this book taken by Alexandra Rowley.  There are very few props in the photos making the baked goods the star.  She highlights the goodies in a way that makes you want to reach out and grab one to enjoy.  Tate's Bake Shop is offering readers of this blog $5.00 off Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends - and it is an autographed copy!  All you have to do is visit TatesBakeShop.com and enter the discount code BAKEOFF.  Also, check out the Baking for Friends Bake-Off contest on Facebook.  The Grand Prize is $1000, and 5 winners will receive a KitchenAid stand mixer and a copy of Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends.

And it gets even better.  I am doing a giveaway with a great prize!

Main Entry
To enter the giveaway all you have to do is visit Tate's Bake Shop and then come back and leave a comment telling me what you item you would order if you were to visit the store - please try to be specific and don't just say a muffin or a cookie.

Additional Entries
Even more chances to win - you can receive up to two additional entries by doing the following:
  1. Following All That's Left Are The Crumbs on Facebook - leave an additional comment to let me know that you are following.
  2. Following Tate's Bake Shop on Facebook - leave an additional comment to let me know that you are following.
The Fine Print
  • Deadline for entry is Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 6:00PM HST.
  • This giveaway is open only to US addresses.
  • One winner will be chosen at random using Random.org.  I will announce the winner at the top of this post and send them an email.  If I do not have a response within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
  • The winner will receive a Tate's Bake Shop Cookie and Bar Tower - which is an assortment of goodies including blondies, brownies, and a selection of their famous cookies (prize supplied directly to the winner by Tate's Bake Shop).






Disclaimer:  I received a free review copy of Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends, but this is my honest opinion of the book and I was not compensated for my review. Tate's Bake Shop is also providing a prize for the winner of my giveaway.


Apple Crumb Muffins
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
  • softened butter for the muffins cups
Crumb Topping
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold salted butter - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned (rolled) oats
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Muffins
  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large apple - peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch dice (1¾ cups)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preparation
  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400℉.  Butter ten 3-by-1½- inch muffins cups.
  2. To make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, work together the flour, butter, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon with your fingertips until the  mixture is crumbly.
  3. To make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt,  and nutmeg.  Stir in the apple.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, applesauce, vegetable oil, egg, yolk, and vanilla well. Pour over the apple mixture and stir until just combined.  Do not over-mix.
  5. Using a ⅓-cup food portion scoop or a spoon, transfer equal amounts of the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  The cups will be full.  Sprinkle the crumbs evenly on the muffins
  6. Bake until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a muffin, about 20 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on the rack.
Makes 10 muffins.

Recipe by Kathleen King - Tate's Bake Shop: Baking with Friends








Thursday, October 4, 2012

Say hello to my little friend, and ANZAC biscuits.






This little guy was so patient while I was taking his picture.  He hung around for a while, and then kind of looked up as if to say 'this has been fun but I gotta go'.  I wonder if he knew that I had to go too since I wanted to make some ANZAC biscuits?

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Armed Corps, and ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, and is now a day of remembrance for all who have served and died for their country and occurs on April 25.  It is thought that ANZAC biscuits came into being when family members wanted to send something to their loved ones but needed something that would not spoil during their long journey overseas.  Eggs were omitted from the recipe, mainly because they were very hard to come by at the time, and also for the longevity of the biscuit. According to both Australian and New Zealand law they are never to be referred to as cookies - I didn't know this.

Once you add the baking soda mixture to the butter/syrup mixture it will bubble up.


I love making these biscuits throughout the year. On my last visit to Australia I brought back golden syrup with me so I would have it on hand to make these - well not just these since I love it on toast too.  I do love the brand from Australia because it is a little stronger (which you can buy online but it is expensive), but you can also get Lyle's Golden Syrup from Whole Foods, King Arthur Flour, and World Market.  These biscuits are delicious, super easy and as mentioned above keep very well.  



 


  
ANZAC Biscuits
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients
  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar

Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉.
  2. Place butter and syrup in a small saucepan and heat gently until butter and syrup melt.
  3. Combine baking soda and water in a small bowl and stir into melted butter mixture.
  4. Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over warm butter mixture and stir well to combine.
  5. Roll rounded teaspoons of mixture into balls. Place about 1½ inches apart on Silpat or baking paper lined baking trays and flatten slightly.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 
  7. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes on baking trays; transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
 Recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To Try Tuesday - Alfajores

A few days ago I was amazed to discover that I have a magic cupboard in my kitchen.  How cool is that?  All I have to do is put a can of condensed milk in there and when I get it back out a few days later, it has turned into dulce de leche.  This is so convenient since I haven't been able to buy a tin of it here. On the other hand it also shows how hot my kitchen has been, which is not so fun.





The condensed milk was to be used in a passion fruit cheesecake, so the fact that it was caramelized was not going to work in that recipe.  I quickly went out and got a new tin so I could make my cheesecake but then I was left with a can of dulce de leche.  After a quick search I found a couple of recipes for alfajores which are a soft shortbread-like cookie that has caramel sandwiched in the middle and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. They are very popular in Latin America and some areas of Spain.  I thought they would be very popular in my household too.





The first recipe that caught my attention during my search was at one of my favorite blogs, Brown Eyed Baker.  Michelle always has great recipes and amazing photos.  I did a little more research and kept seeing that some people like to add cornstarch to their alfajores, so I decided to base my recipe on the one I saw on Brown Eyed Baker, but replace a little of the flour with cornstarch.

These definitely get my seal of approval.  I would definitely describe them as moreish - the more you eat the more you want.  They are just the perfect couple of bites with a cup of coffee.  I am going to have to send them to school with my girls tomorrow or they are going to be calling out to me all day.





Alfajores
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • ½ cup cold water
  • dulce de leche, chilled
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Preparation
  1. Sift together the flour and powdered sugar. 
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and sugar mixture with the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 
  3. With the machine running, pour in the water in a slow stream, and process just until the dough comes together, about.
  4. Form the dough into two flattened disks, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line two baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  6. On a well-floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to just under a ¼-inch in thickness.
  7. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds from the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. 
  8. Repeat with the other disk of dough. Gather up all the scraps and re-roll and cut.
  9. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Spread 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche on the bottom of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies to make a sandwich, and dust with powdered sugar to finish. 
  11. Finished cookies should be eaten the same day they are assembled. Unfilled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about days.
  12. Makes approximately 20-25 filled cookies. 
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.




Monday, October 1, 2012

Cocoa Roasted Almond-Coffee Oatmeal Cookies

I had good intentions of getting this post up on Sunday - still a little late, but not unforgivable.  My computer had other ideas and kept showing me the swirl of death.  It was a battle and I decided that we needed some time apart.  I don't even want to think about having to replace it, but I have had it to the genius bar twice, and they tell me there is nothing wrong with it.  Secretly I think they are not geniuses because this keeps happening.  I decided to post this even though it is late, because to me every day is National Coffee Day.




In honor of National Coffee Day I decided to make some coffee-infused oatmeal cookies.  Those who are familiar with my blog probably remember that I kind of have a thing for a particular brand of coffee from here in Hawaii - to the point where I don't want to drink anything else.  As someone who grew up as a tea-only drinker I am amazed at how much I have grown to love coffee.  Who knew that a strictly tea-drinker could become such a coffee snob?

I also wanted to add a little crunch to the cookies.  I love almonds, and recently found some cocoa roasted almonds - talk about a delicious snack that is good for you too!  I decided that these would give the perfect crunch, as well as compliment the coffee flavor.




These cookies smelled so good as they were baking.  I was afraid that there might be some burned fingers when they came out of the oven as my family did not want to wait for them to cool down before trying them.  Once they were at least able to be held everyone dug in.  They had a great flavor and just the right amount of crispness to softness a cookie should have, if you know what I mean.  I kept thinking that these would be amazing sandwiched around some coffee ice cream.  In fact that is what they will become tomorrow, if there are any left by then.




Cocoa Roasted Almond-Coffee Oatmeal Cookies  
Printer Friendly Recipe 
  
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 cups cocoa roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground
Preparation
  1. Heat oven to 350℉.
  2. Line baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of a large mixer beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until creamy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fully combined.
  5. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
  6. Add oats, coffee, and almonds; mix until combined.
  7. Place mixture into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to chill.
  8. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets.
  9. Bake for approximately 10 - 13 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Disclosure - This blog is not sponsored in any way by Coffees of Hawaii.  IMHO it is just the best coffee I have tried, and I am a regular drinker of it, and that is why I recommend it on my blog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To Try Tuesday - Getting Figgy


It seems that every time Mr. Hairy Legs and I go out to dinner he always orders something I wish I had ordered. He has this theory about ordering in a restaurant - always go with fresh fish first, then if you don't like the sound of that go with steak, then chicken, and finally pork.  It sounds unbelievable, but 99% of the time he orders the best dish.  I know it seems a little old-fashioned but I am thinking that for all future dinners I am just going to let him order for me.  It will be a "win" situation for him too since he will then be able to enjoy his meal in peace, rather than having me ask for another bite. 



On a visit to 12th Avenue Grill, one of my favorite restaurants on Oahu, he ordered figs that had been stuffed with cinnamon goat cheese and wrapped with prosciutto, then grilled.  They were delicious and, needless to say, he generously shared them with me.  I had never had figs before, and was taken with how good they were.  I really meant to buy some and try making this recipe, but for some reason I never got around to it.

Costco had figs over the summer and I kept eying them every time I passed by them. I kept thinking that I could try and replicate the dish we had tried.  I did pick up a tray but then I saw a recipe for Vanilla Balsamic Fig Jam on La Dolce Pita and I couldn't resist.  This is such an easy recipe with delicious results.






Vanilla Balsamic Fig Jam

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb. fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon aged Balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Preparation
  1. In a small pot over medium-low heat, bring the honey to a simmer. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 15-20 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until figs have considerably broken down and liquid has reduced a bit. 
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and let cool completely before serving. 
  4. Jam will thicken upon cooling and makes approximately 3/4 cup.
Original recipe by  La Dolce Pita

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Passion Fruit Curd

My love affair with passionfruit continues.  We had a vine in our backyard when I was younger and I loved grabbing a passionfruit and scooping the pulp over vanilla ice cream.  One of my favorite summer treats when I was growing up was going to get an ice cream cone.  Our corner milk bar always had a choice of three flavors of ice cream - vanilla, chocolate, and passion fruit.  They didn't even bother asking which flavor I wanted as it was always passion fruit.  Later they added strawberry to the roster but it made no difference to my choice.  Having passion fruit as a choice seems strange now that I think back, but it has always been a popular flavor in Australia.





The pulp of a passionfruit has a tart-sweet taste and lots of crunchy black seeds.  It is commonly known here in Hawaii as lilikoi and there are a couple of different varieties - a yellow skinned and a light purple skinned (the purple tends to be slightly sweeter).  It is lilikoi time right now so I suspect there may be a few posts that include them in the near future :) .

Surprisingly, passion fruit can be hard to find here in Oahu, but if you are lucky you can buy it at the Farmers' Market, or sometimes you are fortunate and find a vine growing wild.  When Whole Foods first opened in Kahala they sold it, but unfortunately I haven't seen it there since that time. Lucky for me I was able to find some recently and decided I really wanted to make some passion fruit curd.  I love it on my toast on the morning, but it also makes a wonderful filling for cakes, a delicious topping for ice cream, and can be enjoyed with scones rather than using jam.






Passion Fruit Curd
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs
  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of passion fruit pulp (strained of seeds, whole, or a mix) 

Preparation
  1. Heat the juice, butter and sugar in a heavy based pot until the sugar has dissolved and it reaches boiling point. 
  2. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly for about 4 minutes. At this point I actually strained the mixture into a separate bowl, reserving about 3 tablespoons of the seeds which I added back in - this is optional.  Place back into the pot and allow to cool.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl,  add a small amount of the hot juice mixture to temper the eggs (and prevent curdling), making sure you continue to whisk.  Add this mixture back into the pot.
  4. Place the pot back on the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Cool the mixture in the pot which allows it to thicken a little more, then transfer to a sterilized jar(s) and store in the refrigerator. 
This recipe makes approximately three 8 oz jars.

Recipe adapted from Drizzle and Dip.