Waffle Donuts

Yummy little bites that look like waffles and taste like donuts. Win win.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour

for the topping (I had to make this twice for one batch of waffle donuts):

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, and melted butter and beat well.
  3. Stir in the 3 cups of flour, mixing well until it is thoroughly combined. You will have thick, sticky batter.
  4. Pre-heat your waffle iron.
  5. Place a teaspoon of batter in the middle of each waffle part (my waffle iron has 4).
  6. Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the donuts and place on a cooling rack.
  8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping.
  9. Dip the waffles in butter, shake off, then dip into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
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Saffron Buns for St. Lucia’s Day

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I made these saffron buns (original recipe here) for our impromptu St. Lucia’s Day celebration this year. They were fairly easy to make (setting the alarm to get out of bed and let the dough rise was the worst part), and they were very tasty. I was pleased to read that although they are traditionally served on St. Lucia’s Day (December 13), they are also served throughout the Advent season. Perhaps in years to come, we can make the celebration more authentic by having Clara serve us the buns in bed.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or 1 package)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or quark if available)
  • 2 large eggs
  • raisins

Glaze

  • 1 egg, beaten
Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, saffron threads, and 1 teaspoon sugar until the milk begins to steam. Remove from heat and let cool until it’s still warm to the touch but no longer hot (about 3 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk in the saucepan and let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk mixture, eggs, butter, and sour cream or quark. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Knead the dough. You can do this by hand, but the dough hook of a stand mixer works well. Slowly add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, kneading to incorporate after each addition. Do this until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands when you handle it.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. (Note: if you are going to let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, this is when it goes in.)
  7. (Take the dough out of the refrigerator and) Let the dough sit in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  8. When the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down and knead it a couple of times. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide (about the size of a golf ball). Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long. Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  9. Let the dough sit for a second rise. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes to an hour.
  10. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the beaten egg over the tops and sides of the uncooked buns, and place the raisins in the center of the spirals.
  11. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes until the buns are golden brown.

Simple Irish Soda Bread

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we made Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is super simple — no kneading involved. (It is not, however, authentic–true soda bread has only flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.) Ian (age 5) helped me mix it up. Each time I added an ingredient and asked him to stir it in, he said, “You want me to put it under the flour too?”

My kids (and husband) are iffy on the add-ins. Sometimes they are a hit, but mostly not so much. I had some unsweetened dried cherries that I stirred into half the loaf after it was in the loaf pan. I read somewhere that the dried fruit makes it Spotted Bread (and not traditional Irish Soda Bread). I liked the addition, but I was right to make it to only part of the loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions:

1. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda) together in a large bowl.

3. Add the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter and put them under the flour (erm, stir until all the ingredients are moist).

4. Add raisins or dried fruit if you’re using them and stir just until blended.

5. Pour batter/dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins with Browned Butter and Bourbon

This may be my favorite thing I’ve ever baked. I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin something something, so today inspired by my friend Lindsey’s Facebook status (that she was making banana bread with browned butter and bourbon), I combined several recipes, including the pumpkin spice latte, and came up with something new — and pretty great, if I do say so myself. 

  • 1/2 cup butter (browned)
  • splash bourbon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (generous) cup pumpkin puree (1/2 can)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (1/2 bag) cinnamon chips (Hersey’s brand are the only ones I’ve ever found)

Directions:

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the splash of whiskey to the browned butter and allow the alcohol to burn off (< 1 minute).
  4. Beat sugars and browned butter in large bowl to blend.
  5. Mix in egg and pumpkin.
  6. Mix in flours, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, garam masala, cloves, baking soda, salt, and baking powder, just until combined.
  7. Add cinnamon chips.
  8. Bake as mini muffins (about 24), about 12 minutes. (You could also make regular-sized muffins or a loaf.)

Better-Than-the-Average Banana Bread

Truth be told, I don’t like banana bread. It’s a sad reality of my family that I can make a loaf and no one will eat it. However, I made some bread yesterday for church and oh my, the smell in my house was amazing. This, my friends, is a banana bread worth making, smelling AND eating. Can’t beat that. The following recipe is altered from Janet’s Rich Banana Bread.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 medium bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

**I made the entire recipe in my Kitchen Aid mixer and it turned out just fine. When using a stand mixer, make sure not to be beat the ingredients too hard. Use the 1st level/basic stir setting more often to gently incorporate the ingredients without beating the life out of them. Also, I rarely ever dirty two bowls with wet and dry ingredients. I add dry to the wet as I go and it usually works out well in the end.

Low Fat Blueberry Banana Bread

I found this yummy recipe on epicurious.com and tweaked a little by making it more low fat, using whole wheat flour, and adding blueberries.  It’s outstanding.

** (Renae here): I have been making this regularly since Brook first posted it. I much prefer her version with the blueberries, but I make it with chocolate chips as a treat for the kiddos (pictured here). I also add 2-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and up the applesauce to 2 tablespoons — you know, to even out the health factor with the chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup smashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or kefir)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Lightly grease 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2-inch pan; dust with flour.
  3. Using electric mixer; beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and light, about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in smashed bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over mixture; beat until just blended.
  6. Fold in blueberries.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  8. Bake bread until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  9. Turn bread out onto rack and cool.

Cranberry Anything Muffins

One of the reasons I generally like cooking better than baking is that cooking tends to be a little more forgiving when it comes to experimentation and substitutions. Lately, though, I’ve been playing with quickbreads. For this recipe, I took elements from three or four recipes and hoped for the best. These muffins were good enough that I wanted to remember and repeat.

I specifically wanted these to be low fat and low sugar.  They ended up being vegan too.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (you could use some wheat flour — I didn’t have any)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (you could use any kind of milk)
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (you could use brown or white sugar)
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 cup cranberries (I gave mine a little whir in the food  processor)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda,  cinnamon, and coconut in a large mixing bowl and stir. In a second bowl, mix the applesauce with the milk, squash puree, agave, and bananas with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mix slowly, stirring just until moistened. Carefully stir in the cranberries. Do not overmix — the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes.