Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lemon Muffins with Poppy Seed Streusel

I had some lemon zest that needed to be used up and thought a lemon muffin would be the perfect way to use it. These muffins are fantastic. Light and fluffy with just the right amount of lemony goodness.

I am a huge fan of lemon poppy seed muffins but I love how these muffins have the poppy seed streusel on top as opposed to the poppy seeds being mixed in.

A delicious way to start the day!

Lemon Muffins with Poppy Seed Streusel
3 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 TBSP lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine streusel ingredients in small bowl; set aside.
For muffins, combine flour through salt in large bowl. Make a well in the center. Combine cream through sour cream in another bowl and pour into flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo (Nah-nye-moh) Bars are a 3 layer dessert created in Nanaimo, Canada. The base layer consists of cocoa, graham crackers, coconut, and almonds. The middle is a custard layer and the whole thing is topped off with a layer of chocolate.

You may be thinking that this doesn't seem like it would a Daring Baker challenge by itself so that is why the hosts have challenged us to make our own graham crackers for the base layer.

It was a fun task to make graham crackers. I never would have thought to make my own but these were simple and delicious! They spread a lot in the oven so they weren't perfect looking, but they tasted great!

The Nanaimo Bars were easy to put together. The only difficult part was all the dishes from the 3 different layers! :)

Overall, the Nanaimo Bars were good, but too rich for me. Nathan and the kids loved them and didn't think they were too rich, so I guess it just depends on your tastes.

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

Nanaimo Bars

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TWD: Cocoa-Nana Bread

I have been debating what to say about this bread. It is a chocolate banana bread, or at least that is what the name is telling me. If I didn't know anything about this bread or what it was "supposed" to be, I think things would be different. It is very tasty and I do like it. I thought it was delicious. The problem comes from my brain.

See, for me, if you tell me there are bananas in someting, I want to taste the bananas. I want them to be a lead ingredient. The banana was more of an afterthought. This was more a chocolate bread with some bananas thrown in to make us all feel better about eating it! Which, make no mistake, this bread (cake... who are we kidding?) WILL get eaten!

I probably won't make this again in the future, though. Not because it isn't good, because like I said, it was quite tasty. The reason is because if I want banana bread, I will probably just make banana bread, and if I want chocolate, I would prefer a fudgy brownie!

Thanks to Steph of Obsessed with Baking for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SMS: Black Bottom Brownies

Mmmmmm.... Black Bottom Brownies. Fudgy, chocolatey brownie on bottom. Yummy, creamy cheesecake on top. Does life get better than this?

Thanks to Cynthia of Bakingtherapist for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Banana Walnut Brunch Squares

Oh my gosh... I was looking through my posts and saw this in my drafts folder. Not too weird, right? Well, how about I tell you what date it was added? July 24, 2009! How it remained hidden there without me noticing is beyond me.

So, after a LONG wait, I present to you an easy and delicious breakfast. I actually do remember it and it was yummy. I just don't know what happened to the post. :)

Banana Walnut Brunch Squares
Pillsbury Bake-Off Recipes

3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
3 TBSP sugar
1 can (17.5 oz) Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls with frosting
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup maple syrup
Banana slices, if desired

Heat oven to 350. Spray 8" square pan wih cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat eggs, bananas, and sugar.

Seperate dough into 5 rolls. Cut each roll into 8 pieces and coat in egg mixture. Spoon into baking dish; spread evenly.

In medium bowl, mix flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle mixture over dough.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is puffed and set and edges are deep golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix frosting and syrup.

To serve, cut into squares and drizzle with icing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

SMS: Lemon Walnut Sour Cream Pound Cake

I am back with Sweet Melissa Sundays today and boy is it a great recipe to come back with. The recipe choice was Lemon Walnut Sour Cream Pound Cake and it is delicious! Plus it smells AMAZING!

The cake itself has just the right amount of lemon and is so moist. I love the walnut chunks throughout the cake and the crunch they provide. I am not used to nuts in my pound cakes but I was pleasantly surprised. The cake is finished off with a lemon and sugar glaze that adds just a little more lemon. I really enjoyed this cake!

Thanks to Raeann of Basically, Baby Boots for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

We had company over the weekend and it gave me the opportunity to make some food that I don't usually make that often. One of those foods were these cinnamon rolls.

Before the rise

The only problem with this recipe is that it makes 12 massive rolls and there is no way we are going to eat all of them. Even if I cut the recipe in half, we still would have to eat cinnamon rolls twice. Not saying that is a bad thing, but for some reason I wait to make cinnamon rolls until we have company.

After the rise

These rolls are SO good! My favorite things about them? The lemon extract in the frosting. It just gives it a little something extra that I LOVE!


Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup warm water
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TBSP yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.Place yeast and hot water in mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add butter, eggs, salt, sugar, and flour. Mix until combined. Knead until smooth and elastic, 6-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover with towel, and let rise until doubled.

2.After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

3.Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight (bring to room temperature before baking) or bake right away.

4.Preheat oven to 400. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I mentioned this on a SMS post last week, but I will only be participating in 2 TWD and 2 SMS recipes a month to cut back on all the food that gets made and can never be consumed in this house. I was originally planning on making Mrs Vogel's Scherben but couldn't find the time this week. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend were visiting and we spent a lot of time in the kitchen but with homemade croissants and cinnamon rolls and lots of yummy dinners and lunches, scherben wasn't in the stars.

Now to decide which of the two remaining TWD recipes will be made.... :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Done!

I have spent the better part of this week re-labeling ALL the posts on my blog. That is 373 posts! It was definately an undertaking, but I am thrilled to be finished with it. Plus, now you will be able to browse recipes much easier here. That is always a good thing!

Hmmm... what to look at first?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary Tuesdays with Dorie!!!

Today is the 2nd anniversary for TWD. I have been baking along with the group since August 2008 and love, love, love Dorie Greenspan. Baking From My Home To Yours is an amazing cookbook that I think EVERY home baker should have. Out of all the recipes I have made from this book in the last 18 months there have only been a couple that I didn't care for. And let's be honest... It's not like the recipes failed, they just weren't my cup of tea.

For the anniversary, we were given two recipes and were allowed to choose which to make. The recipe choices were Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake or Tarte Tatin. I am not one to ever turn down chocolate cake but there was just no way we were going to eat an entire cake and I didn't really feel like making cupcakes or cutting the recipe. So I opted for Tarte Tatin.

Tarte Tatin in kind of like an upside down apple pie without any of the spices. You cook the apples in a cast iron pan with butter and sugar. Oh yeah.... butter and sugar. YUM! Once the butter and sugar has carmelized around the apples you cover the apples with either pie dough, sweet tart dough, or puff pastry then finish it off in the oven.

I choose to use Dorie's sweet tart dough because I love it. It is amazing. The only problem is that I am pretty sure Dorie must've used puff pastry for the picture in her book because her dough is visible through the apples where mine is kinda flat. Now, don't let the pictures discourage you. This was one yummy treat and I hope that I will be making it again!

Thank you to Laurie for starting this amazing group 2 years ago and for hosting this week! The recipes can be found at her blog.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Work in Progress

I am currently reorganizing the labels on my posts but with 370 posts it is going to take a while! Thanks for your patience and I hope to have everything re-labeled by the end of the week.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No SMS... New Plan!

No SMS here this week.

I have decided to pick 2 SMS recipes and 2 TWD recipes each month to make sure that I am keeping up with my commitment to the groups. This way I still can stay in the groups and enjoy trying new things but I won't have to waste food. Between you and me, I need my Germany girls back so I can give them all my cooking! :)

So I will be back with SMS in two weeks. See you then!

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