BANANA RAISIN NUT BREAD OR CAKE

BANANA RAISIN NUT BREAD OR CAKE
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, 1/2 soft & 1/2 melted
2 jumbo eggs
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup golden raisins, currants or craisins
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
2 large, RIPE bananas
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Combine the melted butter, brown sugar and bananas in a sauce pan.
  • Cook until smooth and then add nuts and raisins.
  • Stir until well coated & set aside to cool.
  • Cream softened butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  • Add this to the creamed mixture gradually until well blended.
  • Add cooled banana mixture.
  • Pour into greased and floured pan(s)*
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45+ minutes.

*This recipe will make 2 large loaves or 1 cake. If making bread, skip the frosting.

FROSTING (optional)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.

GINGER PUMPKIN BREAD & MAPLE BROWN BUTTER GLAZE

GINGER PUMPKIN BREAD & MAPLE BROWN BUTTER GLAZE
adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
12 tablespoons {1 1/2 sticks} unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
3 large eggs
**2/3 cup golden raisins
**1/2 cup chopped walnuts
**these were my additions and we loved them!!!
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a 8×5 loaf pan; lightly butter or spray with baking spray and then dust wit flour (tap out any excess flour and discard), set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs. Next add in the flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester is inserted into the center and comes out with only a smidgen coating it, which is about 60 to 70 minutes.
  • Let cool 10 minutes; invert pan and transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE GLAZE:
1/4 cup Real Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon Heavy Cream
A pinch of Kosher Salt

  • Heat a small skillet over medium/medium-high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, add in the two tablespoons of unsalted butter. The butter should instantly start to melt and turn golden.
  • Once melted and a deep golden, turn off the heat and add in the maple syrup and vanilla, whisking constantly {it should bubble up}.
  • Once the bubbles have subsided a bit, whisk in the powdered sugar.
  • Keep whisking while adding the tablespoon of heavy creamy and a pinch of kosher salt.
  • Drizzle warm icing over cooled cake. Slice and serve!

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VAMPIRE SLAYER GARLIC BREAD

OMG This appetizer replaces any entree – it’s ooey, gooey, cheesy and literally melts in your mouth all the while tantalizing your taste buds from the very first bite!

VAMPIRE SLAYER ARTICHOKE BREAD Adapted from Crumb
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced fine

14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained REALLY WELL and chopped small
1 cup shredded Face Rock Vampire Slayer Cheddar cheese
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
1 package Seattle Sourdough Ciabatta rolls
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat broiler, and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foamy.
  • Add garlic and green onions sauteing until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in artichoke hearts, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan and sour cream until combined.
  • Slice the bread lengthwise.
  • Place the bread halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and spoon the cooled cheese and artichoke mixture over top.
  • Lightly salt and pepper to taste.
  • Broil until cheese is melted and bread is hot.
  • Cut each half into pieces and serve right away, while the cheese is still nice and melted.

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APPLE RUM RAISIN CINNAMON ROLLS

These are inspired by and adapted from a secret family recipe for cinnamon rolls that my aunt made for many years.  Since I’ve been making these recipes I have adapted a good and easy to follow plan kinda like changing the batteries in your smoke detector at New Years.  At Christmas time I replace my yeast, baking powder and baking soda supply so they are always fresh.

DOUGH
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
4-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 package Active Dry Yeast
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
FILLING
4 large honey crisp** apples, finely diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup spiced rum
3/4 cup real butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
CARAMEL ICING
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Starbucks vanilla powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

**Honey Crisp are my favorite apple full of flavor and coincidentally only available during Christmas time.

•In a small bowl pour the rum over the raisins and set side to allow the raisins to plump. The rum is the first secret ingredient and is only to plump the raisins.  Remember to pour off the rum before adding them to the apples.
•Combine the milk, canola oil, and sugar in a large saucepan or small pot.
•Heat it until is is just about to boil, but don’t allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool until warm…but not too warm!
•Add 4 cups of the flour and the yeast, and stir to combine. The dough will be very sticky at this point.
•Cover the pot and let the dough rise for an hour.
While the dough is rising, prep the filling. 
•Saute’ the apples in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour apples into a colander to drain off excess moisture and set aside.
•In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar continually stirring it until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
•Add cream slowly constantly stirring until it bubbles and begins to thicken. •Lower the heat and add the apples back into the skillet.
•Add the drained raisins.
•Sprinkle with the cinnamon and vanilla.   The vanilla is the second secret ingredient that make these rolls so yummy. Cook a few more minutes to allow thickening.
•Spoon it into a bowl to cool. (If mixture is too thin once again use the colander to remove excess moisture. Remember apples are full of water depending on their ripeness.)•Add the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to your pot of dough stirring to combine.
At this point you can make the rolls or refrigerate the dough until you’re ready.

•Preheat the oven to 375˚.
•Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle about 10 x 30 inches.  I use Press-N-Seal to coat my counter – easy to roll out dough and easy to clean up that way.
•Spoon the apple raisin mixture all over the dough and spread it out evenly.
•Roll the dough toward you into a long, tight roll pinching the seam to seal the roll at the end. Roll it over so that the seam is on the bottom.
•Slice each roll 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick placing them into prepped cake pans.
•Set the rolls aside and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
•Bake rolls for 15 to 18 minutes or until they’re nice and golden.
While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
•Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
•Add the brown sugar stirring to dissolve until it starts to bubble.
•Add the cream, cooking for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
•Whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar until well blended. Add up to 2 more cups of powdered sugar to get to the consistency you want. Ice the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
•Serve warm or cool completely to freeze.  If freezing, wrap in several layers of saran, sealing all the edges well.

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CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER STICKY BUNS/SPIRAL CAKE

This recipe can easily be made into one larger cake or individual sticky buns.  It’s YUMMY both ways!!!! 
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER STICKY BUNS/SPIRAL CAKE
adapted from The Galley Gourmet
Dough
2 1/2 + cup KING ARTHUR all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk and butter just until the butter melts.
  • Add the water and set aside until warmed to 120º F-130º, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after addition.
  • Add the vanilla.
  • Add 1/2 cup more flour and continue to mix on low speed until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of additional flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, but slightly sticky.
  • Sprinkle you work surface with flour.
  • Knead the dough gently on the floured work surface until it is smooth and no longer sticky, adding an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour if needed.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm, draft free place until it has doubled in bulk, about 45-60 minutes.

Butterscotch Glaze
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 cup (2-ounces) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon WHITE CHRISTMAS (RUM & BRANDY)

  • Meanwhile, lightly coat a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the brown sugar, sugar, molasses, butter, and water and heat until the butter is completely melted.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the WHITE CHRISTMAS.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom evenly; set aside.

Cinnamon-Butter Filling
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips, chopped small
1/4 scant cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup golden raisins (soaked in White Christmas for an hour and then drained VERY well)

  • In a small bowl, stir together the butter and cinnamon.
  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350º.
  • Press down slightly on the dough to relieve the gas build-up.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle.
  • Using a pastry brush, spread the cinnamon-butter evenly over the dough.
  • Sprinkle the dough with the chopped chips.
  • Cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips.
  • VERY loosely (so the dough has some give as it expands in the oven) roll up one strip and place it in the center of the prepared pan on top of the glaze.
  • Continue coiling the remaining dough strips around the center strip (cinnamon-butter side facing towards the inside) one at a time, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make a single large spiral.
  • Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the cake rise in a warm, draft free place until it is almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake the cake until the top is deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Loosely tent with foil and continue baking 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Gently tilt the pan and tap the side on a counter to release the sides of the cake.
  • Invert a serving platter on top of the cake, then invert the pan and the plate.
  • Leave the pan on the cake for 1 minute so the glaze transfers to the cake, then gently lift off the pan.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape out any glaze remaining in the pan and spread it over the warm surface of the coffee cake.
  • Serve the cake warm or at room.

BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE

BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE also makes great muffins

CAKE
1/4 cup organic butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 JUMBO egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups small wild blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 10 inch spring form pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl cream butter with sugar.
  • Add egg, blending well.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beating until well blended.
  • Fold in lemon zest and blueberries.
  • Spread into prepared pan.

TOPPING
1/4 cup organic butter, softened
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter, sliced thin

  • In a medium bowl mix together softened butter, flour, oats, white sugar and cinnamon until well blended.
  • Sprinkle on top of cake.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar on top evenly.
  • Place chilled butter slices randomly around.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until cake tester comes out clean from middle of cake.

CINNAMON PUMPKIN PULL APART BREAD

I wish I could tell you where or who I got this recipe from because I would LOVE to thank them for this incredible bread and it is the PERFECT bread FOR FALL!  I modified it slightly, but we think t is even better. This is like a sideways monkey bread.

CINNAMON PUMPKIN PULL APART BREAD
Bread
2 + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground GOOD QUALITY cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup spiced rum

Buttered Rum Glaze
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon SPICED rum

  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of the butter until it is a dark golden brown. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the milk.
  • Return the pan to the burner and heat through, whisking regularly.
  • Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with a dough hook and allow it to cool to lukewarm (about 100-110 degrees F). 
  • Add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar. Allow to proof until it is foamy and the liquid cloudy – about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of the flour.
  • Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic and just slightly sticky.
  • If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean  cheesecloth towel.
  • Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Pour rum over raisins and set aside to soak while bread rises.

  • While dough is rising, brown the other 2 tablespoons of butter. 
  • Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mixing well.
  • Set aside.
  • Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with your hands for 1-2 minutes.
  • Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle.
  • Drain raisins well.
  • Evenly sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with the palms of your hands. 
  • Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. 
  • Top with rum soaked golden raisins.
  • Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds).
  • Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan.
  • Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
  • In the meantime preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is a very deep golden brown. 

  • To prepare the glaze, heat the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum and powdered sugar.
  • Drizzle over cake. 
  • Serve with a dollop of fresh whip cream.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread on Facebook, you know one of those that they show you in video form in 30 seconds or less AND looks really scrumptious?  I was thinking of making it as an appetizer when our son and family are here at Christmas time, but needed to test it first.

Well, this recipe did not disappoint.  I made some of my homemade Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing to go with it and the combination was addicting! Instead of an appetizer we added a salad and made it a meal.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD
2 packages Pillsbury pizza dough (I used 1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough)
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I used original recipe Costco Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used more, about double – we like onions)
2 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (I used regular jack cheese)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 jalapeno, sliced (OPTIONAL – I didn’t use)
Ranch dressing for dipping (I used a batch of Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a bowl toss together the chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions and half the cheese.
  • Roll out dough and cut into 3×3 inch squares (about 30 squares total). **SEE NOTE
  • Brush each square with the melted butter.
  • Top each square with a spoonful of chicken mixtures and then a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  • Brush loaf pan with butter.
  • Stack each square on top of each other in your loaf pan with the chicken side up.
  • Brush top of bread with remaining butter. 
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and set.

NOTE:  The original recipe had you doing each square one at a time, but I found it much easier to do them all at once and then stack for a more even and less messy build.

PROPOSED EASTER MENU

Things are moving along well, so well that we decided to host Easter. I’m really excited about being far enough along host Easter and being able to really bake and cook again. This is my proposed menu. Any other ideas?

TROPICAL GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

2-3 pound pork tenderloin
1 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Whisk together brown sugar and pineapple juice.
  • Blend in preserves.
  • generously salt and pepper the pork loin.
  • Spread a small layer of the glaze on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Lay the pork loin on top and spread the remaining glaze on top and along the sides.
  • Baste as necessary
  • Bake 45-60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.
DEVILED EGGS

8 hard boiled Eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
paprika

  • Cut eggs in half and scoop out yolks. 
  • In a mixing bowl mash the yolks to a fine consistency. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the paprika and mix well until smooth and creamy. 
  •  Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. I have a Tupperware egg keeper that fits 8 eggs perfectly. I like to do these a day before serving also to allow the flavors to meld.

HOLIDAY APRICOT CARROT CASSEROLE

2 pounds carrots**
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cans apricot pineapple nectar
1 pound dried apricots
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

  • Clean and bake carrots until slightly mushy.
  • Cool, Slice lengthwise and set aside.
  • While carrots are baking, put dried apricots in a dutch oven and cover with nectar.
  • Simmer apricots until mushy – about an hour.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and walnuts to apricot mixture.
  • In a 13×9 greased baking dish layer carrots and apricot mixture twice.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes at 350°.

**Yams or sweet potatoes or a combination of can be substituted easily.

CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

CHOCOLATE BERRY BASKETS 
Chocolate 
Strawberries
Blackberries
Blueberries 

ROLLS OF SHARON aka CINNAMON RAISIN BUNS
ROLLS
2 packages Fleischman’s Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup WARM water
1 cup scalded milk (2 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 cup Crisco stick
5 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a small bowl combine the warm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and both packages of yeast until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the scalded milk, Crisco stick, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Blend well.
  • Add yeast mixture and blend well.
  • Add the well beaten eggs and half the flour. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the remaining flour (a little more if too sticky) and mix well until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is elastic.
  • With vegetable oil, wipe the inside of another bowl.
  • Place dough in bowl and turn once.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rest in a warm place until double in size.

 

  • Punch down and divide into 2 balls.
  • Put one on the pastry board and one back in the bowl.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • While resting prepare the filling ingredients.

 

  • Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness in a rectangle about 18×24 inches.
  • Spread half the melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.
  • Spread half the raisins over that.
  • Roll tightly jelly roll style and cut into 18 rolls.
  • Place rolls in greased pans 1/4 to 1/2 inches apart.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rise again until double in size.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • While baking prepare the icing.

 

  • When rolls come out the oven, put globs of icing on each one. Return to the oven for a minute or two to melt icing all over the rolls.

FILLING
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins

  • Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well blended.

ICING
1 stick butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
4-6 tablespoons milk

  • Mix all together until smooth.

When re-heating rolls, put a pad of butter on top of roll before microwaving.
These freeze really well. 

MOSCATO STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
1 bottle pink moscato
6 cups lemonade
1/4 cup strawberry vodka
Frozen Strawberry Slices
Lemon slices

  • Blend together well.
  • Enjoy!   

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HARVEST MUFFINS

I LOVE these muffins for a snack or a meal.  Every bite is moist and flavorful!

HARVEST MUFFINS yields 24 muffins
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
*2 cups finely shredded carrots
*1 cup finely shredded apples
1/2 cup golden raisins#
3 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1 recipe Coconut Streusel (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice and salt.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk. 
  • Fold in carrots, apples, raisins and walnuts..
  • Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture, stirring JUST to combine.
  • Spoon mixture into cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  • Sprinkle with coconut streusel.
  • Bake 22-25 minutes or until golden and plump.
  • Cool 10-15 minutes before frosting.

COCONUT STREUSEL
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup COLD butter, diced
1/2 cup shredded coconut

  • Combine flour and brown sugar.
  • Add butter using a pastry blender until coarse crumbs.
  • Add coconut and blend well.

ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended, smooth and desired consistency.

*or any combination of your choosing
NOTE: # On a personal note I like to soak golden raisins in Malibu rum before making this recipe.  Be sure to drain them well before adding to the batter.

BUTTERMILK CARROT BRAN MUFFINS

Thanks to my friend I have a new favorite recipe. Hoping she doesn’t mind my changes and additions.

BUTTERMILK CARROT BRAN MUFFINS makes 3-4 dozen
1 1/2 cups ALL BRAN Original
1 1/2 cups ALL BRAN Buds
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3-4 tablespoons Grandma’s molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups golden raisins

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the bran buds and and bran original.
  • Pour buttermilk over bran mixture and set aside.

  • Sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat muffin tins or fill with muffin papers.

  • In your mixer bowl cream together sugar, coconut oil, butter and eggs until fluffy.
  • Add molasses.
  • Alternately add in bran mixture and flour mixture, blending well as you go.
  • Fold in carrots and raisins.
  • Fill muffins 2/3 full.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes.
  • Batter will keep in refrigerator several weeks.

ORANGE BLOSSOM BRIOCHE ROLLS – BAKING PARTNERS

This month Baking Partners are making Brioche from this adapted recipe from the book by famous pastry chef Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes

Brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread with a high egg and butter content giving it a rich feel and taste.  It is light and slightly puffy.  It has a dark, golden, and flaky outer crust heightened by an egg wash. Brioche is made in the same basic way as bread, but has the richer aspect of a pastry because of the extra addition of eggs, butter, liquid (milk, water, cream, and, sometimes, brandy) and occasionally a bit of sugar.  Brioche is served as a pastry or as the basis of a dessert with local variations of added ingredients, fillings or toppings. 

ORANGE BLOSSOM BRIOCHE ROLLS  
Makes around 20-25 rolls

2 cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoon of  instant yeast
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon whole milk
11 tablespoon unsalted cold butter small dice
¼ teaspoon Orange extract
Grated orange zest of one orange
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
Non stick spray as needed for greasing
All purpose flour for dusting

  • In a bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast and eggs and mix well using hands or if using kitchen aid stand mixer use dough hook. Mix until well combined, kneading well so that it develop gluten (may take 10 -15 minutes). When it develops gluten the dough will leave the sides and  it will pass the window pane test – when you pull a piece of dough you can extend the dough without breaking it, also you  can make a see through sheet that is called window pane test. 
  • Then add the cold diced butter, and mix again until all the butter is incorporated well. 
  • Then add orange extract, orange zest, orange blossom water and mix until everything is fully incorporated. The finished dough should be smooth, shiny and sticky. 
  • Lightly grease a medium bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on to the surface of the dough to prevent a skin from forming. Proof the dough at room temperature for doubled in size. It will take  about 1 ½ hours. 
  • Remove the plastic warp and punch down the dough by folding. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface. Refrigerate overnight to relax the gluten.
Next day
  • When you are ready to bake, transfer the dough to lightly floured area and divide the dough into small pieces and shape it into balls/rolls or any shape you want. 
  • If you using muffin tin grease them well and transfer the shaped balls, set aside for 45 minutes or 1 hour until the rolls puff up well. As you can see I proofed mine in a really warm kitchen and the kind of grew together.
  • While the shaped rolls are proofing preheat oven to 400 F.
  • After 1 hour, brush the brioche rolls with egg wash and  bake them for 10 minutes or until they become golden brown in color. 
  • Leave the brioche for 5 minutes in the pan and carefully remove them and enjoy as much you want. 
  • Brush them with little jam or Nutella if you like.