Archive for the ‘Baked’ Category

Plum Streusel Coffeecake

I was at the farmer’s market the other day and found the most beautiful, gigantic looking plums.  They must have weighed a pound at least.  So I got about 5 of them and decided that’s what I was going to take to my life group at church on Sunday.  I only got a small taste of this light and flavorful cake, but I guess it’s a good sign when you turn around to go for seconds and it’s gone.  This recipe is from a 1995 Gourmet magazine.  It makes two coffeecakes, which makes it perfect for this season- just freeze away one for Christmas morning!

Plum Streusel Coffeecake

For streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For cake batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound plums (4 to 5 medium), sliced
confectioners’ sugar for sifting over cake


Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a 9-inch round or square baking pan at least 2 inches deep.

Make streusel:
In a food processor pulse together streusel ingredients until combined well and crumbly.

Make cake batter:
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and vanilla. Sift in flour with baking powder and salt and beat until just combined.

Spread cake batter in pan, smoothing top, and arrange plum slices over it in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle streusel over plum slices and bake cake in middle of oven 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Coffeecake may be made 1 week ahead: Cool cake completely in pan on a rack and freeze, wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil. Reheat cake, unwrapped but not thawed, in a preheated 350°F. oven until heated through, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly on a rack and sift confectioners’ sugar over it. Serve coffeecake warm or at room temperature.


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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend was great!  This post is much later than I anticipated, but the weekend was filled with a lot of (good) appointments, so I didn’t have much time to get on the computer.  The good news is that I can’t wait to share some of the things that were cooked up in my kitchen (and my friend’s kitchen as well)! 

Have you ever heard of a whoopie pie?  I personally had never even tried one until after making this recipe, but I had heard of them.  I was surprised to find out a lot of people don’t actually know what they are.  I came across the recipe on my friend Kristen’s blog, notsodomesticated.com.  Kristen is a newlywed and blogs about the adventures of perfecting her “wifely duties” and I enjoy her trials and errors, successes, and her transparency and humor along the way.  But more than that she is a great friend and I love reading her blog so I can be up-to-date with her life and feel like we’re still close (distance-wise that is).  So.. on to the whoopie pie!  I realize this is a funny name, my husband laughed every time I offered him one.  This is basically a soft cookie that sandwiches a cream filling.  It is actually very reminiscing of a snack cake, but of course much better… and mothers, better to give one of these to our children than a Hostess or Little Debbie cake filled with trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup..;)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie

For the cookies:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                                                                                       Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  cup powdered sugar


Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine your dry ingredients (1-6 on ingredients list).  Beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Next add your pumpkin and vanilla and beat until smooth.








Stir in flour mixture until combined.







Drop by heaping spoonfuls or by cookie dough scoop (as pictured) onto your baking sheets.  *I would say this is one of my most valuable tools, and sure speeds things along in the kitchen.  Bake for 10-13 minutes or until springy to the touch. 







For your cream cheese filling beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.







Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.  Makes about 18 whoopie pies.  Store in covered container in refrigerator.







In my opinion, these are the best when freshly baked.  The cream filling is light and airy when at room temperature, so if you don’t serve these right away, maybe take them out a half hour before eating to take off the chill a little.  These are the perfect little fall snacks, enjoy!


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These last few weeks have been busy as I have been preparing to make all kinds of food for a bazaar at my church.  I have been wanting to sell a few items I feel I make especially good, like homemade granola, a few preserves, pumpkin butter, and salsa.  I have been researching canning lately and was extremely excited to take a class at my local Williams & Sonoma.  Now feeling prepared, I just finished making my first batch of jarred pickles!  These, I expect, will be far better than the store ones with a million preservatives.  And you know I added my own gourmet touches to them :). 

Anyway, back on track.  This morning for breakfast I knew I wanted to use up a bag of different breads that we had from our barbecue last week.  We had portuguese and french-style rolls that had slightly hardened, but I knew would be good for something.  Does anyone else have that issue?  You buy good bread at your local bakery and two days later it’s hard?!  Well, you don’t have to throw it away!  Save it, or freeze it if you think it could go bad, and then when you are ready, this is the recipe for you!  My dad has always made our family a savory french toast.  Goodness, I love this french toast for breakfast.  But this will not be the exact recipe,  it is a derivative of it, because I cubed the bread more like for a bread pudding.  And I used the ingredients I had on hand.  I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it right out of the oven…amazing!  You can make this recipe the night before and leave it in your fridge until the morning, then throw it in the oven- or you can make it the morning of, like me. 

Savory Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding

4-5 cups of cubed day-old (or week-old) bread  (or enough to fill 2/3’s of a 8×11 pan)
8 large eggs
1 cup of heavy cream or milk (i only used cream because I had just run out of milk!)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
6 slices of ham
1 ½ cups of shredded cheese (I used a combination of fontina and sharp cheddar)
1 tbsp fresh chopped italian flat leaf parsley


Preheat your oven to 350°

Cube your bread and place in an 8×11″ rectangular dish.  Next, beat your eight eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

 Add your cream or milk and 1/2 cup of water and whisk together. 







Slowly pour your egg mixture over your bread, allowing every bread to be soaked in egg mixture.  Then with your hand or a fork, press bread down slightly, so that the cubes on top also absorb the egg mixture.  Do this again in about five minutes. 







Meanwhile, dice your ham, and shred your cheese.  Then use almost all of it, reserving just a few tablespoons for later, and lightly mix it in with the bread cubes.  Then press down again on the mixture to soak up some more. 










Sprinkle the top with the remaining ham and then cheese, and finally the chopped parsley.  Put into the oven for 40 minutes, or until it is golden, puffy, and springs back when touched. 

Goes into oven at 350

Comes out smelling of fontina and freshly baked bread...

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It’s been difficult to get back into gear after our mini-vacation. But here is a recipe that will make your entire house smell wonderfully. This recipe is so good that I make it several times in the Fall and also a few other times of the year.  It is a slightly altered pumpkin bread recipe that I go-to, but since it makes two pans I decided to stir chocolate chips into one….oh, heaven.  I think this was the first time I had that combo, and I loved it.  It’s a great recipe to make, you can make one and give the other one away, or freeze it and keep it on hand for unexpected guests! 

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into pumpkin mixture. 

Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions.

 Mix in chocolate chips.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

I only decided to leave one with chocolate in case anyone has allergies.

I did not get a picture of the bread after it baked- it went too fast- sorry!  I will get one next time..  this is very easy, enjoy!

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