When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Banana Bread September 11, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Quick Breads,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 8:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My daughter LOVES bananas for some reason she has trouble saying banana which I imagine most two year olds would. I finally figured out her name for bananas awhile back and it just strikes me as funny. She calls it a me me. I always try to say banana so that she will eventually try to use the word, but sometimes I slip up and say me me.

Every once in awhile she decides that bananas aren’t a snack she wants and then I forget we have them. Recently, I have probably made banana bread every other week. I actually had the idea to take a picture of the bread from the other week. Which probably doesn’t matter because it looks like I will be making banana bread again in a couple of days. Funny thing about the bread, the first day I make it she will be all about eating the banana bread and then the next day wants nothing to do with it. I guess that is the life of a two year old.


I use the Lowfat Banana Bread recipe in Veganomicon and then I add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of walnuts to the recipe depending on how nutty I want to be that day. To make the bread pretty, I sprinkled sparkling/decorating sugar on top, sugar in the raw would work perfectly fine too.


Tuesdays With Dorie Vegan Style: Sweet Berry Fougasse September 3, 2013

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was a choose your own adventure of recipes. It was between Blueberry Muffins and Sweet Berry Fougasse. These recipes cane be found in Baking With Julia on pages 208 and 194, respectively.

I decided on the Sweet Berry Fougasse because it was the simpliest recipe to make vegan. Granted I could have pulled of doing the Blueberry Muffins, but I already has some focaccia dough ready to go in the freezer. So, it was a very easy decision. Also, the only thing I changed in the recipe was the crumb topping. I substituted vegetable shortening for the butter. I know I could have just used vegan butter, but sometimes it leaves that not so nice soy taste in baked goods that I don’t really care for.

I am sure you are asking what is a Fougasse. With regard to this recipe it is a pastry made with a base of foccacia dough, which is slashed, filled with blueberries, and then topped with a crumb topping. Very easy to make, but after eating one of the pastries it was very bready. So next time I will roll/press the dough out thinner. My 2 year old loved the topping and insisted on eating the berries and the crumb topping off of a very small piece. She did eventually eat a small piece of the bread and answered with a resounding, “YUM, YUM.”



Tuesdays With Dorie: Buttermilk Crumb Muffins November 6, 2012


This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is being represented by Alisa of Easier Than Pie with the recipe for Buttermilk Crumb Muffins, which is located on page 207 in Baking With Julia.

I was reading a lot of peoples aversion to shortening aka Crisco this week on the P & Q. I thought it was pretty interesting since most traditional icing recipes like Wilton’s Buttercream recipe is pretty much all shortening. Personally for icing I find that recipe too sickly sweet so I always stick with an Italian Buttercream. But I just thought it was pretty funny that a lot of people were disgusted with the amount of shortening and either swapped it out with a healthy alternative (apple sauce) or just used butter. I understand the health alternative, but REALLY butter isn’t that much of a better alternative. Although, I was that person that ate these warm with butter, and they were yummy.

To each their own.

This recipe was actually really straight forward and I ended up making 12 standard size muffins plus 2 large muffins aka Texas size. So ideally the recipe makes 16 standard size muffins. The only thing I changed about the recipe was to increase the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon because I love the flavor of cinnamon. With the weather getting cold and the leaves turning, cinnamon is one of those spices that I love having in baked goods. It reminds me of Fall and Christmas.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Cream Scones July 12, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Scones,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:56 am
Tags: , , , ,

The Tuesdays With Dorie recipe for July 12th was picked by Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu.  She picked Dorie’s Cream Scones which are located on page 27 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I actually made these the week after the challenge and then never posted, opps.  That is currently the story of my life because of Emma (my zombie baby…one of the many nicknames she has acquired).  She is currently sleep contently in my arms while I type this 🙂

For the Cream Scones, I decided to mix it up a bit and add a little flavor to them.  I stuck with the base of the recipe, but then I made the following additions/deletions:

1) Instead of currants I used chopped pecans

2) Added 3 tbsp of pumpkin puree and 1/4 tsp of pecan extract to the wet ingredients – I had some pumpkin leftover in the fridge 🙂

3) To add that traditional pumpkin pie flavor, I used 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger to the dry ingredients.

I knew this dough was going to be sticky so instead of added extra flour, I decided to use Dorie’s trick for shortbread.  I put the scone dough in a 1-gallon plastic bag, then I rolled it  inside the bag so that it was a even thickness.  I placed the bag in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that it would firm up and be easier to cut into 12 pieces.  Once the dough was firm, I sliced the bag open on the seams, cut it in half and cut each half into thirds (fat rectangles).  Then I cut eat rectangle on the diagonal, to form triangles.

After the scones were done in the oven, I drizzled them with two icing: vanilla and cinnamon.  The vanilla icing was just 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, splash of vanilla extract, and 1-3 tbsp cream.  You mix them together until you get the desired consistency.  For the cinnamon icing, I just added about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon to the left over vanilla icing.

The scones turned out fantastic.  I was going for the flavor of Starbucks’s Pumpkin Scones and I think I might have hit it on the nose with this one.  I think next time, to make the scones thicker that I won’t roll them out as thin 🙂


Daring Bakers’: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake March 28, 2011

Filed under: Baking,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 8:46 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Coffee Cake is a favorite anytime food in my house, so I was very happy to make this.  I only made a few modifications to the recipe, which just involved the filling.  I increased the amount of granulated sugar and cinnamon, added brown sugar, and omitted the chocolate.  The recipe for the filling below is what I used and not what was originally in the recipe.  I also only made half a recipe because there is no way that the two of us could have finished two coffee cakes.  We are having trouble finishing one and that is why Mike is taking it into work tomorrow 🙂

The flavor reminded me of a cross between a cinnamon roll and monkey bread, which makes this recipe extra yummy. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Oatmeal Drop February 16, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 6:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

Why is it that I will make the recipe, eat a few, and then not post?

I guess part of it was that I still haven’t taken a picture, which I will get around to and just add to the post.

So, this weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Caroline and Claire of Bake With Us.  They picked Dorie’s Chocolate Oatmeal Drops which are located on page 75 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I loved this recipe for 2 reasons: 1) VERY easy to make, and 2) It had chocolate 🙂

These cookies came together very easily.  I decided to only make 1/2 a recipe because I was being greedy with my butter.  I knew a full batch would sit around the house way too long since we are still working on two cakes and other sweet items from my birthday on Monday 🙂  These cookies are definitely a winner.  The first thing that I noticed while they were baking is the hint of cinnamon amongst the chocolate.  Which is exactly how they taste.  When you first bite into the cookie you get that hint of cinnamon then you taste a deep chocolate flavor.  At the end of the cookie you get a slight nuttiness from the oats and then get a nice salt bite.  Mike’s reaction was that they were good and you need a glass of milk with them 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Nutty Swirly Chocolatey Sour Cream Bundt Cake January 25, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 1:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort.  She picked Dorie’s Nutty Swirly Chocolatey Sour Cream Bundt Cake, which is located on page 182 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

To pass the time yesterday on my day off, I decided that I would bake up this recipe only to discover yet again that I was out of butter.  I called Mike at work to see if he could pick me up some butter on his way home, because at that moment I decided that I had no energy to leave the house.  It probably had something to do with working 6 days straight and being pregnant…it kinda takes its toll on you.  I was actually suppose to work 7 but someone graciously offered to take my shift 🙂  Thanks Mallory. (more…)