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Category Archives: breakfast

Green is the New Biscuit.

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For the first time since I started writing the blog, I have more posts than I have time to write them. The backlog of ideas is getting bigger and bigger, and I really can’t complain – it’s great to have a wealth of material to draw from! For instance, I recently got the idea in my head that I wanted to make biscuits. I honestly couldn’t remember if I had ever made biscuits from scratch before – we may have in pastry school, but I was drawing a complete blank. I know I’ve made those ones in the cardboard tube, where you twist it and it pops open, exposing tube-shaped dough to be cut into equal parts and baked. But I’m talking from scratch. I started looking up recipes online. I found three that were very similar, and also rather simple, which I liked – that meant this was a good base for plenty of experimenting! I decided to start with this recipe from allrecipes.com as a guide, but made a few adjustments and additions (which I’ve included at the end of this post for your baking pleasure) to make it more personal.

a dough like no other.

a dough like no other.

I rolled the dough, and cut it into biscuits with a circle cutter.

a cut above.

a cut above.

I baked them, and shared them with friends.

just grab 'em in the biscuit.

just grab ‘em in the biscuit.

As you may have noticed, I also added swirls of green to these biscuits. The day I was making them also just so happened to be St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to add a little Irish flair to the fun. These really are great for any day of the year though, and as a breakfast, lunch or dinner item. The beauty of biscuits is that they are extremely versatile.

As promised, here’s the recipe. It’s so simple and delicious. you’re going to wonder why you haven’t been baking biscuits all along.

Green Biscuits.

What you’ll need

2 cups flour (sifted)

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup fat-free half and half

a few drops green food coloring

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until it reaches a mealy texture.  Stir in the half and half with a fork. As soon all the liquid is mixed in, Add a few drops of green food coloring. Knead the dough about 10 times, until it forms a ball. Do not over-knead – it will become too tough! Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface, about 1/2″ thick. Using a circle cutter, cut dough into biscuits, and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let rest for about 5 minutes, than bake for about 12 – 15 minutes. They’re best when they are warm, but they can always be reheated later on. Makes about 15 – 20 biscuits, depending on the size of the cutter.

 
 

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Recipe (Super Bowl) Sunday: Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes.

No, I didn’t make a Super Bowl themed dessert. The marketer in me was angry at the rest of me for not taking advantage of this timely social event and making something football-related. The rest of me justified it by saying… “meh.” The Super Bowl just ain’t my scene. Maybe if the Eagles were playing, I’d pay it some attention, but, full disclosure here, I tuned in to watch Madonna, and then went into the kitchen and started baking another un-football-related treat. And now I shall share said treat with you.

For some reason, it seemed like everywhere I went this week, I wound up in a conversation about coffee. A new flavor to try, where to get the best cup, here’s a coffee cheesecake, someone loves coffee ice cream, etc. So, with coffee already on my mind, I figured why not get it on yours, too. What I love most about this recipe, is that it can be made with any type of coffee you desire. I’m a huge fan of the flavored varieties, so I opted for a Creme Brulee coffee. However there are no rules here. Dowhatchalike. :)

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

3/4 cups cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup strongly brewed and cooled coffee

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add cream, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Slowly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well incorporated. Grease or line muffin tins, and fill evenly with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes,  or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 18-24 cupcakes.

Vanilla Coffee Frosting.

What you’ll need:

1 cup shortening

2 ½ tablespoons strongly brewed and cooled coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners sugar

What you’ll do:

Cream together shortening, coffee, and vanilla. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each.

Sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings. Enjoy with your morning….coffee.

 

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The Magic Pan.

So I was having dinner at my cousin’s house tonight, and she told of an old crêperie that used to be in Philadelphia called “The Magic Pan.” I’d never heard of this place (apparently it’s been gone for quite some time), but I just adore the name. So from henceforth, my crêpe-making pan will also be known by this charming moniker.

where the magic happens.

Yes. I did it. I made crêpes for the first time. I altered the recipe slightly (I’ll post it this coming Recipe Sunday, for all you crêpe fans, so be sure to tune in). Anyway, I was really careful to keep the layers thin, as two people mentioned that when they tried making them for the first time, they wound up looking more like pancakes.

not pancakes.

So, the hardest part was actually deciding what to fill them with! Often when presented with too many choices, one loses the ability to choose. So I knew I had to use the mini pears, that was a given. And the first crêpe I ever had was from a street vendor in Paris, and it had Nutella in it and that was heavenly, so I busted that out too, and noticed while doing so, an unopened jar of Marshmallow Fluff – this was going really well. After some careful consideration, I settled on two combinations: Nutella and banana for half of them; and Fluff, mini pear and caramel for the other half.

pretty maids, all in a row.

When they were all filled, I gave them a final dusting of powdered sugar.

crepes are the new cupcake.

This was so much fun – I love the fact that you can fill them with anything! I see much more experimenting in the near future. This may even wind up being a crêpe Christmas.The Magic Pan will definitely be gettin’ a lot of action. Now if I could just find a magic man… ;)

 

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in breakfast, crepes, Indulgences, pancake

 

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cakes in a pan.

Pancakes are awesome. everyone loves them. they remind you of being a kid, when eating whatever you wanted was fun. Well, you know what, pancakes can still be fun, and actually even good for you – if you spend the time to make them as such.

Recently, I was tasked with making enough pancakes to feed my entire class. I was handed a “healthy” pancake recipe. My first thought was “yuck.” My second thought was “I better find a giant pan.” The recipe was for banana oatbran pancakes. Ok, I like bananas, and I like oatmeal too. A banana oatbran muffin is something I would eat, and when it comes down to it, a pancake is really just the same basic batter, fried in a skillet rather than baked in a muffin tin – it’s just a cake in pan, baby.

a pan full of cakes.

 

In the end, these healthy pancakes wound up tasting better than the bland variety you have to slather in syrup. These tasted great on their own – no syrup required!

In conclusion, the beauty of the pancake is that you have complete control of the portion size. Make them tiny, and enjoy them as a small “breakfast” indulgence!  Most people think of that premade Bisquick junk when they think of pancakes – but no more! Take control of your breakfast destiny! Make your own personal pancakes – your tastebuds and waistline will thank you for it. :D

have your pancake and eat it too.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in breakfast, nutrition, pancake

 

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The perfect cupcake of coffee.

I love coffee. I would not consider myself a coffee snob – I don’t turn up nose at the less than stellar free coffee they offer in the office and invest in an overpriced unpronounceable cup of java latte grande super americano with a shot of whole beans. But i do drink it every day, and I go into a state of serious withdrawal without it (headaches, crankiness, confusion – oh, it’s ugly). Although I may not be a coffee snob, I am a cake snob. I’ve worked hard over the years to achieve cake perfection myself (of course i know there is always room for improvement though), and I eat every cake with a critical tongue.

Recently, it was a colleague’s birthday and this person is a known coffee connoisseur (addict). So, what better way to celebrate the birth of a coffee-lover than with coffee-infused cupcakes!?

have your cake and drink it too.

 

Topped with a very slightly coffee flavored buttercream (just enough to bring out the coffee in the cake), and sprinkled with semi-sweet dark chocolate shavings, these java gems were the bells of the breakfast ball. Cake & Coffee – perfect together.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2011 in breakfast, coffee, cupcakes

 

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Mini Croissants: the rising star of the breakfast pastry world.

I’ve often wondered why the croissant is not more popular. Granted, it’s not obscure either, but it’s not an American breakfast staple so much as, say, the bagel, or english muffin. When faced with the three, most people will not choose the croissant. I have a theory on why. It’s not “enough.” As Americans, we are raised with the idea that more is better, and to get as much for our money whenever possible. The croissant doesn’t fit the bill. It’s a light, laminated puff pastry dough, flakey and filled with air holes (insert “blonde joke” here). Pick up a croissant in one hand, and a bagel in the other, and for most people, it’s no contest. the bagel’s 3 times as heavy, the price is the same so it’s a no-brainer. The average calories for each is about the same as well. The croissant never claimed to be a diet food.

When I started thinking about small indulgences, the croissant was one of the first things to come to mind. A large croissant may not seem worth it’s weight in dollars or calories; but a mini-croissant? Well, that’s a whole different story! Instead of being a failed breakfast sandwich option, the petit croissant is a win as a breakfast snack – small, light, fluffy, not-so-filling…all the characteristics one looks for in an optimal snacking choice. Add some homemade jam (from a mini jar, of course), and your golden. The croissant will no longer be the unwanted step-child of the breakfast pastry world. As a small indulgence, it will become a star.

Les petit croissants pour le petit déjeuner.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2011 in breakfast, croissant, french, jam

 

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