October 15, 2018

Bagel Bread

No one loves a bagel more than I do so how excited was I when I saw this recipe for Bagel Bread in the Oct/Nov 2018 issue of Cook's Country magazine?  Pure genius!  This was one of those things where you ask yourself, "how come I never thought of it before?"  Even better, I had a small bottle of Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel seasoning blend lying around and thought it would be perfect to use for this recipe.

I ended up making a double batch of this recipe twice, four loaves in total!, over the span of one weekend.  Trust me, I didn't intend on doing this but I found that the first batch of loaves I made were way too salty for my taste.  Back to the drawing board it was!  So for the second batch I cut the amount of kosher salt from the recipe by half the resulting bread came out perfect!

Sliced and toasted and the bagel bread was absolutely delicious.  I think I might be a total convert to the loaf shape!

October 7, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

September/October rolls around and all that people seem to talk about is the "PSL," or pumpkin spice latte.  Me, not so much.  Don't get me wrong, I love pumpkin in many forms but coffee is not one of them.  I'm much more on board the "PSM" train, aka Pumpkin Spice Muffin.

I have a go-to pumpkin bread recipe that I've been making for years and to this day still remains a favorite in my repertoire.  But after seeing these Cook's Country pumpkin spice muffins posted on America's Test Kitchen's Instagram account recently I was convinced to try something new.  Plus, I'm always a sucker for streusel topping!  For an additional crunch I sprinkled the muffins with pumpkin seeds to finish them off. 

I was very pleasantly surprised with how yummy these muffins were.  Granted, I did have my concerns about their sweetness after noting the two cups of sugar in the recipe but I couldn't have been more wrong.  The muffins were really delicious with just the right hint of sugar.  I highly recommend you make them for breakfast or your next brunch.  

September 8, 2018

Three-Layer Pound Cake

This was me thumbing through the September 2018 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and an image of this Three-Layer Pound Cake immediately stopped me in my tracks.  It was so visually stunning with its multiple layers that I knew I was going to make it.  As I read through the recipe I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cake was made using the reverse-creaming method.

Don't be scared off!  Basically this just means that the dry ingredients and sugar are mixed together first.  Then you add in pieces of butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  Half of the liquid is then added and mixed in followed by the remaining liquids.  I find this method produces a very tender cake with a beautiful crumb.

The recipe is very straightforward and easy to follow.  My only revision would be to divide the batter evenly in to thirds to achieve even layers.  The recipe said to use 1 1/2 cups of batter each for the bottom two chocolate layers which left a thinner layer of vanilla batter on top.  Also, I wouldn't be so diligent about smoothing out the top of each layer.  I actually prefer the jagged look.

The baked cake is seriously good.  I had two slices straight away because it was so delicious.  I gave away the remaining slices to my siblings because I didn't want to be tempted!

September 3, 2018

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

San Francisco has no shortage of excellent bakeries and I love sampling as many of them as possible.  Recently Jane The Bakery was awarded the 2018 winner of best croissant and pain au chocolat in the city by French Morning website.  This accolade pretty much guaranteed a visit to the bakery from the likes of me.  While Jane's viennoiserie were delicious and deserving of the title what actually caught my attention were the Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies.  I'm a sucker for citrus flavored desserts so I put my detective hat on to see if I could replicate these cookies myself

I was first introduced to these cake-like cookies many years ago by my friend Jill's family friend Patti.  Patti was known for her Patti Cakes which were cookies made using boxed cake mix.  It was love at first sight when I tried them back then, but the thought never crossed my mind to make them from scratch.  Tasting Jane The Bakery's cookies motivated me to give it a try.  

A Google search resulted in quite a few recipes and I ended up trying this one from West via Midwest.   The results turned out fantastic and tasted just like the ones from Jane's.  Score!

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