Beer Bread

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “oh huh, it’s 10pm but if only I could make the house smell like magical little elves were slaving away on 50 loaves of bread all day wouldn’t that be great,” here’s your answer.

omnomIf you haven’t made beer bread before, you should do it. It gives you delicious bread without all the waiting-for-it-to-rise crap that accompanies traditional bread, since the yeast in the beer replaces the need for additional yeast in the bread. Not that there’s anything wrong with normal breadmaking (pretty fun to productively punch something i.e. a lil dough ball i.e. they call that kneading I guess) but waiting just sucks sometimes. Plus, you can create endless subtle flavors just based off the beer that you use. Pumpkin beer makes for a fun fall-flavored loaf, stout for a deep/strong flavored one–I’ve also made it with PBR though and the result is pretty fantastic.

For this one, I was going to use Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre. Or, I did use that, originally. But I forgot to add the sugar the first time, and even though it definitely resulted in a loaf of bread, it kind of just tasted like slightly glorified cardboard. Usually I don’t mind messing up (happens a lot actually, ask the weird pancakes sitting in my trash can) but this time I was just so sure that remembering sugar would have completely fixed the cardboard situation. Proved it to myself by simultaneous-fisting a piece of bread and a spoonful of sugar. There were only some regrets after that.

dat flowI couldn’t just start over though, because we were out of flour. And it was the very last beer. And it was midnight. And I was going to make some kind of joke about “Raison d’etre!! This bread is the reason to exist!!!1!!” So I mentally added beer to my mom’s current shopping list which reads “Irish whiskey, vodka, flour.” Today though, the supermarket was out of raison d’etre (yes, I exclusively buy beer at Shop Rite) so I picked up Sam Adams’ springtime Cold Snap. Look at that healthy-lookin’, springlike stream it’s got going on. This whole incident proved fortuitous primarily because I didn’t have to make that joke I had threatened about, but also because it’s fitting for the first day of spring! So happy spring. Eat some bread.

Team playersLook!! Only 5 ingredients! That’s less than my fingers. Amazing. I know this is secretly a total lie because I’m about to tell you that I used three different flours to make it fun and exciting-ish but STILL it totally works with using just normal flour soo it counts. Plus just focus on that totally-legit salt container instead. Or the equally-applicable springtime tablecloth that my mom busted out for today.

Dis mah handSince I made it in a 9-inch loaf pan, you can see that it was a bit shorter than if it were made in an 8-inch pan. So yes, the height is about the size of my thumb. And yes, I’m wearing one of those thumbhole shirts because you never know when your sleeves are gonna slide right off your arm and fall off. This has also been a learning experience in that I’m now 100% sure beer is spelled as such, and not b-e-a-r. Because that looked weird when I typed it. No bears were harmed in the making of this product.


Beer Bread

Makes one 9″ x 5″ loaf

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oat flour [OR feel free to sub 3 cups AP flour]

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar (lol don’t forget)

12 oz beer of your choosing (look at all that power you have)

2 Tbsp salted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Or, use an 8″ x 4″ pan and just increase baking time by a bit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour the beer in, feel free to say “oOoOo bubbles,” and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out. Melt the butter and pour on top, using your fingers to spread it evenly to coat the surface. I guess you could also use a brush for this but it’s kind of fun to do by hand. The butter is technically optional, but it’s what gives that nice, brown, crunchy crust and I super recommend it.

Bake for 45-55 minutes (towards the longer end for a smaller pan, for me it was 45 on the dot), until golden brown and firm. Let sit on a cooling rack for 15 minutes in the pan, and then invert on the rack to either cool some more or dig in. Enjoy!


artsy angles r usMmmm. I just want to curl up in one of those lil nooks and take a warm, carb-y nap.

Homemade English Muffins

I have a HUGE obsession with Thomas’ corn english muffins. Like, gigantic. When the blizzard came, the only thing I stocked up on were multiple packages of them. My suitemates and I then went through 2 packages in 1.5 days and it was awesome. I think they are quite possibly the best food in the entire universe that comes out of a package.

Cornmuffin

They are perfect just lightly toasted, no topping needed. I DID THOUGH recently realize that if you toast it and then melt a bit of cheese on top it’s like a poor man’s arepa. Too good. I’ve never had a real arepa though so don’t take my word for it.

So due to the fact that I 100% at all time desire to be eating one of these, I felt like having one this afternoon. But we were all out and I was sad for approx. 25 seconds and then remembered I was standing in a kitchen and it has things like flour and stoves. Not too much later, muffins existed!!

piled on a plate

I never knew that English muffins are made on a griddle, which was cool. It all made sense why one side is flat and the other is mound-like. Also it turned out that the corn taste in these is more subdued than the packaged kind and what I was maybe intending, so I would just call these normal english muffins. But though they aren’t corn, they’re much better than the kind you would buy in the store! And have the same nooks and crannies that you would expect in a store-bought muffin. Two days in a row of a surprise result but since it’s only been 5 hours and just a few of these remain…I would say I don’t hate it.

split in da middle


English Muffins

Makes 9 muffins

1 package (~2 1/4 tsp) yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

3/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup barley flour

3/4 cup cornmeal (+ extra for pan)

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup almond milk

Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar in a small bowl and let sit for ~8 minutes, until it’s foamy and bubbly and such. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the yeast mixture and the milk, and mix on low til just combined. Then turn it up to medium speed and mix until a dough forms, about 6 minutes. It’ll be pretty damp still, but if it’s toooo moist, add a bit more cornmeal. 

Coat a cookie sheet with cornmeal and place round lumps of dough (should make about 9) on the pan. Spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with more cornmeal. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes (not gonna lie, sort of guessing because I by accident fell asleep for 2 hours), or until doubled in size. 

Heat stovetop to medium-low heat, and arrange the dough in a skillet. Cook for about 6 minutes, flip, and cook for 6 more minutes, until browned and firm but not burnt. Bite into it whole or split with a fork with butter or jam or egg or anything. Enjoy! 


fluffy and yummu

Oh also, went to get ice cream out of the freezer tonight (classic) and found TWO FROZEN PACKAGES OF CORN MUFFINS!!!! I dedicate the elation I felt to my mom for being prudent and stocking up. I also dedicate these muffins to her for forgetting.

Pineapple Upside-Down Not-Cake

Here’s what I tried to make. A gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake for Memorial Day, to accomodate one of our gluten-intolerant family friends and because pineapple rocks. Here’s what happened– not that.

birds eye cake

Maybe it had to do with the coconut flour being expired (not sorry, it smelled fine). Maybe I didn’t let it bake long enough (not sorry, it’s vegan there are no eggs). Maybe (/probably/definitely) I messed up the liquid to dry ingredient ratio. Whatever happened, it just can’t be called a cake. It didn’t really “cake up” and was only about half an inch thick, still liquidy in places when I took it out of the oven. Coconut flour was the only alternative flour I had in the house, so I figured I would try that. I read beforehand about how to work with it, but simultaneously playing around to make it vegan probably added other problems.

But I’m a big fan of not letting anything go to waste, even if it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing or what I intended to come out of the oven. And it just goes to show that not everything in the kitchen will be a success, so sometimes you have to make the best of a (literally) sticky situation. If I were diligently trying to make a gluten-free/vegan pineapple upside-down cake, I would go back, try again, and work to better the recipe before posting. But I am quite pleased with whatever this is, because it was surprisingly delicious and everyone at dinner enjoyed it and I don’t think they were just saying it to be nice. So while it may not be cake, it’s a sweet, caramelized, pineapple-y dessert with hints of warm cinnamon and is a rockstar with ice cream or fruit salad or licked from the pan. To help with clean-up, obviously.


Pineapple Upside-Down Not-Cake

Makes 9 or 10-inch round cake

~1/2 (or a bit more) of a medium pineapple, cut into small sections

3 Tbsp rum

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tsp lime juice

1/4 cup applesauce

1/2 cup oil

2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax meal + 5 Tbsp water)

1/2 cup almond milk

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger

Start by preparing the pineapple! Combine the pineapple, brown sugar, and rum in a skillet and toss together on medium heat until it smells delicious and is kind of bubbly and the pineapple is shiny. As you can probably tell…not too precise of a science. When they’re done, brush the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with olive oil and lay the pineapple down. Drizzle with the lime juice.

Prepare the flax eggs in a smaller bowl. Combine the flax meal and water and let sit for 5 minutes. In the mean time, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Coconut flour can be clumpy, so whisk extra well.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the flax eggs and whisk together. This is amusing because the oil doesn’t play nicely with others so you get a cool swirl! Which I was going to post a picture of but in retrospect it’s not super attractive so I’ll let you discover that one on your own.

Put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. Pour into the pan over the pineapples, and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for a while, then undo the springform and let cool even more. Enjoy!


omnomnomIce cream. No one is surprised.

Avocado Hummus

I bought a lot of avocados the other day. Well, just four. But they came in a pack and were all rock hard and I figured they would each magically ripen in consecutive days. Not the case– they all became perfect at the same exact time. Probably should’ve stuck a few in a the fridge before to clockstopper them. Instead though it’s TO THE TILT-A-WHIRL aka food processor.

chopchop

I’d been recently wanting to make hummus to use up the GIANT cans of chickpeas in my cupboard. And I’m always into different hummus flavors, so I figured to try this one out. I thought I was being cool but I googled and apparently this is actually a thing. Wutevr, allll the more reason/proof to consume it! On anything and everything, too. Some possible suggestions:

• Goldfish (one guy went for a swim and never made it out)fishies

• Chocolate cookies/anything chocolate (is this a preview for tomorrow WHO KNOWS)cooookie

• Bread (a modified avocado toast/superior alternative to butter)breddy

…And not gonna lie, I put some on yesterday’s leftover waffles and did not hate it one bit.

I think I decided that it tastes more like a smooth guacamole than like hummus. Until you think about it, and then it tastes more like creamy hummus than like guacamole. And then you stop thinking about it and it tastes like thick, churned butter. All three are delicious options though, so it’s up to you. This recipe is super adaptable to spice/flavor preferences, so play around with it! This one isn’t too spicy, but if you like it spicier you could add even a dash of sriracha or hot sauce. There’s also no added salt because the chickpeas were salty enough on their own, but if you have lower sodium chickpeas you may want to add a bit of salt.

bowl of funz


Avocado Hummus

Makes ~1.5 cups hummus

1 1/4 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed (a little bit of their juice in there too won’t hurt)

1/2 medium avocado

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp plain/honey/vanilla/whatever Greek yogurt

Super easy instructions about to come at you– Put the garlic in a food processor, and process until tiny and coating the bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients, tasting as you go to adjust for however you like it. Garnish with sprinkled cumin or cilantro. Enjoy!


Important side note- scooped-out avocados seriously look like little boats. Minus the sails and deck and pirates but still. Cool.

boatie

Raspberry Coconut Oat Bars

These cookies are from the One Girl Cookies cookbook, which I received as a birthday gift last fall from one of my dear friends Amanda. She’s the friend who will pick ice cubes out of pitchers with you using just chopsticks because really who can even pour from pitchers anyway. She’s the friend who shows up outside your door at 2am when you’re stressed about a paper just to give you a hug and tell you things will be okay. She’s the friend that will stand with you while you treadmill to keep you company (and incidentally probably annoy the rest of the gym with you). She’s the friend that accepts and enjoys, or pretends to enjoy, constant texts regarding the state of your bladder. And she’s the friend who says things like this: “I think that sometimes we expect life to be a little more dramatic and event-worthy than it actually is. That does not mean that YOU are boring. It just means that soap operas lie.” This was so prolific and she didn’t have to try. It was even over Facebook chat. What even.

nom

So anyway, these cookies. They have coconut in and around them. And I am generally not a fan of coconut. But I figured I would make these anyway because a) the world is not my minion and there are other mouths in it and b) it shows how there are some differences that make Amanda and I such great friends! For example, she is rational and I am not. Someone’s gotta do it. That someone is never me.

stax

I have to say though– something MAGICAL happens when you toast coconut. It’s like everything you’ve ever smelled before it never existed, and you discover smell receptors you never knew you had. And you’re suddenly on a floatie with a pina colada in the Caribbean Sea. Then you open your eyes and oh it’s 60 degrees and has been raining for 4 days but that’s cool, world, I have toasted coconut, so go ahead with your rain. Now I know why Bath and Body Works makes bank off this type of thing.

coocoo for coconuts

And then another thing. I THINK I AM A CONVERT on the coconut front because these are absolutely amazing. The coconut taste is subtler than expected, and while I was initially worried that I had crispied the base layer too much, it had the perfect amount of crunch to complement the soft, warm raspberry gooey insides. Just ask my mom. She’s already using the “I’m-gonna-cut-this-in-half-so-I’m-eating-less-but-oh-lookie-who-left-just-a-half-there-what-a-shame-might-as-well-eat-it” tactic. Clearly I get all my best tricks from her. I also employed the “add ice cream to everything” trick…and a lil more raspberry preserves and chocolate syrup for good measure. Kind of a hot mess, but a tasty one.

a la mOdE


Raspberry Coconut Oat Bars from One Girl Cookies

Makes 24 bars

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used sweetened though and no regrets)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350℉. Sprinkle the coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven for ~3 minutes. Let cool, and leave the oven on. Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugars, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low to combine. Add the butter pieces and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Add toasted coconut and oats. Mix on low for 1 minute, until the dough looks like little crumbles. 

Put ~1/4 (or a bit more as needed) of the dough to the prepared pan and use your fingers to press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the edges are golden. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then spread the raspberry preserves over it, leaving 1/2 inch of border. 

Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the preserves, until it’s completely coated- you may have a bit left over. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the preserves are bubbling through. 

Let bars cool completely. Then, loosen the edges and transfer to a flat pan (or just cut them in the pan) into squares. Enjoy!


sittin on a plate

Happy birthday, Amanda! You’re the best and thank you for being such a wonderful friend. I made you these cookies and they’re only 22 days late. Now figure out a way to apparate and come eat them. At least your mouth and stomach. Or maybe your whole GI tract come to think of it.

Caramelized Cherry Waffles (Vegan!)

Summer is just around the corner (as I type this during a freezing rainstorm) which means that cherry season is almost here, too. It has indeed already arrived on my cutting board, in multiple shapes and sizes.Cherriez

I was never properly introduced to cherries until the summer before my freshman year of college, when I was hiking with my dad in preparation for my pre-orientation backpacking trip. We brought PB sandwiches and cherries for snacks, and when we got to a cliff he taught me how to get the pit out and we spent a good amount of time spitting them as far over the cliff as possible. Ever since then, I am an educated human being and now know how to consume a cherry. Before this monumental life event, I just assumed all cherries were maraschino cherries and thus all cherries were ick. But now I love them! And am putting them in waffles! I’ve come so far in life.

The bag of cherries in my fridge was begging to be somehow used in breakfast this morning. Plus, I’ve vowed to use my waffle maker more, and thus– these were born. I didn’t want them to be too chunky though, so I threw them over the stovetop for a bit to soften and sweeten them up. “Caramelized” might not actually be the right word choice. Probably “sauteed” is more apt. But alliteration!!! So we’re going with it. Either way, they are delicious and nutritious (no added sugar!!) (besides the sugar added to the cherries) (doesn’t count) and I hear that if you eat enough cherries you turn into George Washington. Or something. breakfast!


Caramelized Cherry Waffles

Makes 4 waffles

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 2.5 Tbsp water)

1 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract (separated)

In a small bowl, prepare the flax egg by adding the water to the ground flaxseed, stirring until combined, and letting it sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine the first four dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt) in a bowl.

Chop the cherries and put them in a pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla, stirring until dissolved. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and let the cherries juice up for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

Add the almond milk and other tsp vanilla to the flax egg, stirring until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk them all together. Then take the warm cherries and dump them in, juice and everything, and stir until incorporated. The batter will turn a cool/bizarre light purple color which is sort of fun.

Let the batter sit while the waffle maker heats up. Once heated, spray it with non-stick spray, add ~1/2-3/4 cup batter, and cook as instructed by your waffle maker manual. Enjoy!


ooozinOh boy. Click that photo to make it full size- cherries oozing ALL OVER THE PLACE!! Omnomnom. Someone get this waffle a band-aid. And yes, shoving into your mouth is an acceptable form of band-aid.

Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Filling

IMG_5047This entire holiday season, I’ve been dreaming of a particular type of ginger cookie. The soft, pillowy kind that you could take a nap in. Or just eat a lot of. I found a recipe for “Soft Vegan Ginger Cookies” on Joy the Baker and since I trust everything she does, I knew these had to be great. I also believe that all desserts should be as close to a molten lava cake as possible, so these happen to have an ooey gooey chocolate surprise waiting for you at the center! They’re also vegan and relatively healthy, as well as tasty. So you can eat a billion! Sweet.

The easy part is making the dough. The hard part is waiting an hour for the dough to firm up in the refrigerator. The fun part is stuffing them with chocolate…
steps to cookie…and rolling them in sugar.steps to cookie2It’s like stuffing a turkey at Thanksgiving, but people expect there to be stuffing in there, whereas here, they don’t see it coming. They don’t really change shape, so make sure you flatten them out before popping into the oven. Kind of like giving them a slow, horizontal high five. You could easily make these in the original version without the chocolate in the middle, but I think it adds a nice touch, and the chocolate and ginger flavors play nicely together.

They harden up a bit after cooling, so make sure not to overbake. And when you’ve gotten over feeling full from the first 5 cookies and want more, stick them in the microwave for just a short bit (13 seconds worked perfectly for me) and they taste just like they did when they first came out of the oven- which is soft, perfectly gingery, and so delicious.
IMG_5051


Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Filling adapted from Organic and Chic Cookbook via Joy the Baker

Makes ~28 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup crushed ginger snaps

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ginger

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar to roll the cookie balls in

approx. 1/4 cup chocolate chips (use vegan ones if you’re sticking with the vegan theme

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the sugar and flaxseed (flour x2, crushed ginger snaps, baking powder and baking soda, salt, ginger). In a separate bowl, combine the ground flaxseed, sugar, oil, applesauce, and lemon juice.

Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Started off with a spoon, but eventually turned to using my hands for optimal squishiness and mixing. Highly recommended. When dough forms, wrap it in plastic wrap in a disc-like shape and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When the dough is chilled, remove it and preheat the oven to 350℉, lining 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Break off little pieces of the dough and roll into walnut-sized balls. Poke a hole in the middle and fill with 4-5 chocolate chips. Form the balls back into shape and roll in granulated sugar. Place on baking sheet and use your palm to slightly flatten the dough ball.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden but the cookies are still a bit soft in the middle. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before nomming. Enjoy!


IMG_5057 …I sat at my kitchen table with the entire plate of cookies and went through about 7 to get a good picture of the gooey chocolate innards. Oops but nom.

Individual Pumpkin Pie Crisps

Look at that guy. He is being a tease. He’s saying, “take off my crumb topping!!! Find out what lies beneath!” Here’s what lies beneath: pumpkin. I have a real problem, and I’m embracing it. Fair warning for the onslaught of pumpkin/sweet potato/anything round-and-squashlike recipes coming up. I had half of a can of pumpkin and a cup of crumb topping left from various baking adventures, so I decided to find a way to combine them. Some random fiddling and throwing of ingredients into a pretty bowl- and 30 minutes later, these. (There were 4. One was already empty and sitting in the sink. Oops)
I made them individual size because sometimes you just want a whole pie to yourself. Totally natural. I encourage that. If this were the real size of pies, then I would have consumed two whole pies today. Tis the season! Also, these are ramekins. I include that because I had no idea until about a year ago, I just called them “those little pudding holders,” and still am not exactly sure how to say it. What a weird, weird word. But a beautiful mechanism for pie-eating glory! They have a ginger snap crust that gets nice and dark when cooked up, a pumpkin middle that’s somewhere between the consistency of pie and cake, and an addictive crumb topping. My kind of afternoon.


Individual Pumpkin Pie Crisps

makes enough for 4 ramekins

1/3 cup crushed ginger snaps

1/4 tsp cinnamon

dash of cloves

1 Tbsp butter

1 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 tsp cinnamon (separate from before)

1/4 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 cup of this crumb topping

Whoa. That looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s really not, I promise! There’s just a lot of autumn in there. Aka spices. First, preheat the oven to 350°F and spray the ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the ginger snap crumbs, butter, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl, and press into the bottom of the ramekins.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and mix until combined. Divide into four even portions and scoop on top of the ginger snap crust, smoothing out the top. Put a hearty layer of crumb topping over it, and they’re all set for the oven!

Put the ramekins on a cookie sheet, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are a bit bubbly. Let cool for about 10 minutes, and then consume entire pie by yourself. Enjoy!


I just don’t think I could live in a world without pumpkin. Especially the pumpkin that gets put on a fork and goes into my mouth. But the visual kind and the stuffed animal kind (wow I don’t have one of those, all I want for Christmas now) and the kind that are on socks and the kind that sit decoratively in cornucopias. If it’s not obvious…I have a serious crush.

Cranberry Pear Crumble

After a billion year long hiatus, being home on Thanksgiving break means it’s definitely time to get back on top of this blog thang. The past 3 months have included undocumented noms such as gluten-free ginger cookies, gluten-free vanilla cupcakes, PBR cupcakes, fall-flavored rice pudding, pumpkin applesauce, and more. One day they shall be engrained in HTML (high technology memory lane amirite) but for now, use your imagination.

Due to the fact that it is mid-fall and all I want to do is take a bath in mashed sweet potato, it’s a bit weird that this crumble is the first thing I’m posting. Especially because in the 48 hours I’ve been home so far, I’ve made pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pancakes, apple cider glazed sweet potatoes, sweet potato pizza, and pumpkin/craisin/choco chip cookies. I don’t have a problem, I swear. In my mind, pear + cranberries = total winter foods. I mean, I guess cranberry sauce is a thing on Thanksgiving, but still. They’re even red and green! Or…magenta and fern-colored. (Disclaimer- yes, the pear in the picture is red but that’s because I was too eager beaver and didn’t take a picture of the green ones). But despite all that, I made this for my mom and I the other night and here is what it looks like now.
…No shame.

This comes together really easily- you just toss the pears and cranberries together with some delicious things, add a ton of crumb topping, and stick it in the oven. The one thing is that the recipe called for a TON of crumb, so there was about a cup left over. I’m working on some way to use it up because everyone knows that’s the best part- butter, brown sugar, cinnamon…I melt. And it gets all crispy crunchy in the oven and smells like someone cut open an elm tree in October somewhere on a farm in Massachusetts. Also, this can easily be made vegan by using the topping from the Summer Berry Crumble I posted a while ago.


Cranberry Pear Crumble adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 1 8×8-inch dish

For the filling

4 ripe but firm pears (I used d’anjou)

1 cup fresh cranberries

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the crumb topping

1 1/3 cup flour

1 1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup oats

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temp


 


Preheat the oven to 350°F and set aside an 8×8 baking dish. First, peel and cut the pears into large chunks and place in baking dish. Then, pour the cranberries on top. Top with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, mix together, and set aside white you make the topping.

To make the topping, first whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and oats. Add the chunks of butter and mix in with your fingers or pastry cutter until it’s well incorporated and the butter bits are the size of coarse breadcrumbs. Add about 3/4 cup of the topping mixture to the filling and toss together. Place more crumb topping over it until you can see no fruit and it looks like a fluffy bed of brown sugar crumble.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and you just can’t take it any longer. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then eat up! Ice cream and/or whipped cream not necessary, but encouraged. Enjoy!


So good. If you need a break from all the pumpkin things around, (I do not, but I accept that some people may be more sane than I am) make this right away! The supermarkets are brimming with bags of fresh cranberries. Here’s a picture of the final product- a day later, though. Ate too quickly to take a picture the first time. This is a theme in my life.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

I have returned to the United States!! Greece was absolutely amazing. Again, if you want to read about it all, visit this blog for what I ate, bladder anecdotes, and everything in between. As much fun as I had, I really missed my kitchen when I was away. Specifically in regards to kitchen-related acts like cooking and baking, but sometimes kitchen is just a companion and we hang out. I figured the first thing I made should involve homage to where I spent the last 6 weeks! Also I was inspired by this adorable little flag that I once got as a cupcake topper a couple years ago and saved. So I made cookies.

Had to.

There are lemons in Greece so I decided between that and decorating them with the flag, they can be called Greek cookies. Although if I were really doing this Greek style I would have tried using olive oil instead of butter. Or maybe lamb grease (slightly kidding). But I thought of that as I was rolling out the dough so perhaps next time. Also they aren’t too lemony, so if you’re into that then up the dosage of lemon extract or add some lemon juice/lemon zest.

Fun fact is that this is actually just my favorite ever roll out Christmas cookie recipe but with lemon extract. So to make those, just subtract the lemon extract! And by subtract I mean just don’t add. It would be maybe painstaking to extract extract (ha!) from a ball of dough. When I was little this was always my favorite cookie because I loved decorating them. We have a GIANT bag of cookie cutters, because just one type of santa cookie cutter is frankly NOT enough, and it was always so much fun to go through them and pick out our favorite shapes. But I am not going to start waxing poetic on Christmas when it’s the beginning of August so I’ll leave it at that. Although while we have 4 different gingerbread men we do not have a plain rectangle cutter, so I just free handed it with a knife. You could probably also make a cookie cutter with tinfoil or something, but it’s not really necessary since it’s so easy to cut out! Even though straight lines are hard. It’s okay, flags generally wave in the wind anyways.


Lemon Sugar Cookies

adapted from Joy of Cooking (I think, but more so just a family recipe)

makes about 40 2″ cookies

For the cookies

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon extract

For the glaze

2 Tbsp milk (I used almond milk)

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus some

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp lemon extract

 

 

 

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, flour, baking powder, and extracts. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before rolling.

When ready, preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to around 1/8″ thickness, cut shapes, and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 7-12 minutes, until slightly golden on the edges. While they’re cooling, make the glaze- whisk together the milk and sugar, adding sugar until you have the desired consistency. Decorate and enjoy!


Not exactly the most beautiful paint job in the world BUT that’s okay. I think there’s probably a direct relationship between quantity made and straightness of lines. But I only have so much patience. These are Greek flag themed, and as exciting as rectangles are they can be cut into any shape your heart desires. Maybe we should all make Euro shaped cookies and mail them across the Atlantic! …sorry Greece, too soon.