Archive for the Category ◊ Breakfast & Brunch ◊

12 Oct 2019 Coconut-Banana Muffins
A whole pan full of Coconut Banana Muffins! What better way to start a day? Leftovers keep well, too!

I love muffins and I love all things coconut. I can’t think of anything better on a cool Sunday morning than a warm coconut muffin, a hot latte, some social media, an old fashioned magazine or newspaper, jammies, fluffy slippers…

This recipe makes 12 delicious muffins. The muffins are dense and sweet, the top is crunchy, the banana and coconut combination is heavenly. These muffins keep well on the counter for a few day. Warm muffins today, room temperature muffins tomorrow. Yes, please.

Coconut-Banana muffin for one.

Coconut-Banana Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (probably about 3 small/2 large bananas)
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional, but a nice to have. Rather than running around all over town for coconut extract, I order on-line)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (divided use)
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated or coarse sugar
  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cup liners.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. In another bowl whisk together mashed bananas, melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, optional coconut extract, and ¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut.
  5. By hand, fold flour mixture into mashed banana mixture and stir until just combined and all flour has been moistened. Don’t overmix.
  6. Portion batter into the 12 prepared muffin tin.
  7. Sprinkle each muffin with a bit of the remaining ¼ cup coconut and a sprinkle of granulated or coarse sugar.
  8. Bake muffins at 375 degrees until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly before serving.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. See you again soon!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
09 Sep 2019 Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Bread
Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Bread

Bread baking is my Everest, meaning I haven’t conquered it yet.  I’m not even at base camp so the bread recipes that appeal to me are easy and pretty much foolproof.  Here’s one of them! The recipe is easy… I see you shaking your head. Is it because you’ve already noticed the 22 steps? Granted, that seems like a lot, but there are 22 because I broke each step down into tiny increments. You can do this! You can have a loaf of Sweet Apple Bread ready to eat in about two hours! For a fancy, fruit-filled, yeasted bread, that’s a pretty quick turnaround time! The two hours is not all hands-on work either, that time includes two periods of rest for the dough to rise AND the baking time! The resulting product is delicious and impressive. Around here the aroma of this bread baking reliably gets sleepyheads out of bed and ready to face the day with a smile on their faces!

The bread is not burned! Darned filter!
I bake better than the I take pictures.

I didn’t create this recipe; I am not nearly that smart. I found it in Better Homes and Garden, Fall Baking at the same time as my daughter, who found it online. Then I googled it, and the recipe is all over the Internet, so I don’t know who or where it first came from first, but it’s a good one, a keeper, and almost infallible.  I did have it fail once, though. I didn’t measure the apples.  I wanted more apples and more apples, so I probably ended up with double the apples and one soggy, flat, never-did-bake loaf, so don’t do that! Measure the apples! I have made this bread with both cinnamon and Apple Pie Spice and I prefer it with Apple Pie Spice. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, order it from Penzey’s Spices.

My daughter’s first loaf of Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Bread

While looking for this recipe on line, my daughter came across an almost identical recipe made with pumpkin. Unbeknownst to each other, we both made it, on the same afternoon, and we both thought it needed some upgrading, so we’ll work on that. Look for an enhanced pumpkin bread soon but until then, make this one! It’s a winner!

Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Loaf

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (divided use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup melted or very, very soft butter
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apple (usually one very large apple)
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or Cinnamon

For the icing:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In the microwave, heat milk until just until lukewarm, approx. 105°F to 115°F, about 30-60 seconds, depending on the wattage of your microwave.
  2. Combine warm milk, yeast, and ½ tsp of sugar in small bowl. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer combine egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, the rest of the granulated sugar, and salt. Beat for 30 seconds.
  4. Add yeast mixture to egg/butter mixture. Beat with mixer on medium until combined.
  5. Add half the flour to mixture in bowl. Beat on low 30 seconds, scraping bowl as needed, then beat for 3 minutes on medium.
  6. Stir in remaining flour. Beat for another 2 minutes or so.
  7. Shape dough into ball (dough will not be smooth).
  8. Place dough in greased bowl; turn once to completely grease surface of dough.

Note: To make ahead: prepare as directed up to this step. Do not let dough rise. Cover bowl and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  • Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until nearly double in size 45 to 60 minutes (longer if dough has been refrigerated).
  • Grease 9×5-inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.

Note: Here comes the tricky part but it just sounds as if it’s tricky. Don’t stress it at all. The measurements are just approximate. Even the number of slices in the stacks are approximate. Eyeball everything! Have fun with it! Do. Not. Stress! This is a free-form bread. You can’t make a mistake. Go for it!

  1. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 20×12-inch rectangle (approximately, jagged edges are no problem).
  2. Brush dough with 1/4 cup melted or very soft butter then sprinkle with 1 tsp. white sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, combine chopped apples, brown sugar, and apple pie spice or cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture equidistantly over the dough.
  4. Cut the dough rectangle in half lengthwise to make two 20×6-inch strips (approximately)
  5. Cut each strip vertically into five 6×4-inch strips.
  6. Carefully make 2 stacks of 5 strips each. Cut each stack lengthwise into three 4×2-inch pieces.
  7. Now lift the stacks, and loosely stagger stacks in pan, cut sides up. You’ll have to push and pull to make all stacks fit. This is not a problem.  Lightly push down on dough to fill corners and level the top of the loaf.
  8. Cover loaf with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until nearly double in size (40 to 45 minutes).
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaf for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted near center registers 200°F.
  10. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
  11. In a medium mixer bowl combine ingredients for icing: room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Beat in enough milk to make a glaze of drizzling consistency. (NOTE: I usually make the icing without the cream cheese)
  12. Remove loaf from pan and drizzle with icing. Cool at least 20 minutes more before eating (but bread will keep well for a few days).

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Happy baking!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
19 Aug 2019 Grandma’s Buttermilk Cornbread
Grandma’s Buttermilk Cornbread
(on my brand new cutting board, a birthday gift from my daughter!)

As a young kid, Jiffy brand cornbread was my favorite and because it was cheap, I think it was fifteen cents a box, it fit into my family’s budget.  The mix only required one egg and a ¼ cup of milk or water to make six muffins.  As I got older, I tried many cornbread recipes and I tried to get fancy by adding in corn kernels or topping with cheese or stirring in sour cream.  I never settled on a recipe until I tried the Albers cornmeal no frills, back-of-the-box recipe baked in an 8″ x 8″ square pan. I was VERY happy with that recipe, until I found this recipe. The recipe is a bit odd, not so much in the ingredients, but in the mixing method. The resulting cornbread can’t be beat though, not by Jiffy, not by Albers, and not by adding in corn, cheese, and sour cream.

Cornbread is not just for chili or soup! In one of Ruth Reichl’s books, I learned how to elevate day old cornbread and now leftover cornbread is a favorite breakfast treat.  Cut the square slice of cornbread, or the muffin, in half lengthwise—across the middle so you have a top and a bottom not a left side and right side!  Butter the cut edges.  Lay the buttered side down in a hot frying pan.  Let the cornbread sizzle until the buttered sides are slightly browned and the cornbread is warmed through. Eat. Delicious!

This recipe was posted in All Recipes in 2006 by Bethany Weathersby. I’ve rewritten the steps to make the recipe easier to follow, but I have not changed any ingredients. Don’t use a mixer for this, cornbread needs to be combined by hand.

I am not going to get into the whole southern vs northern cornbread recipe debate. This is sweet cornbread, and I like it. I live in South San Jose in Northern California, and this recipe works for me and since I am posting it, I don’t see how anyone will not like it!

Can’t wait to try it with my Ham Bone Bean Soup or Gringo Grandma’s Chili
and then I’ll skillet toast another slice for breakfast 🙂

Grandma’s Buttermilk Cornbread

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup of white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal (yes, I use Albers)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125 g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (add ¼ teaspoon more if using unsalted butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Butter an 8×8 inch square casserole dish
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet or medium saucepan
  4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sugar
  5. Quickly add beaten eggs into butter-sugar mixture and beat until well blended
  6. Stir the baking soda into the buttermilk
  7. Add the buttermilk mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture in the pan
  8. Combine the flour, cornmeal and salt, whisk to evenly distribute
  9. Add the flour mixture into the pan with the butter-sugar-eggs-buttermilk mixture
  10. Stir until well blended, a few small lumps should remain
  11. Pour batter into the prepared 8×8 inch pan
  12. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  13. Let cool a few minutes
  14. Serve and share

NOTES: According to the originator of this recipe, the baked cornbread freezes well. She also states that it’s OK to sub whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour, but baking time will increase about 10 minutes. I haven’t tried this.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, what shall we make tomorrow?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
25 Jun 2019 Raspberry-Ricotta Snack Cake

This cake is simply delicious, light and moist, unassuming and satisfying. It’s good for breakfast, it’s good for a light dessert, and it’s good for an afternoon tea or snack. It’s good for company, it’s good for a family treat, and it’s good for just honoring the fact that you are alive, it’s Summer, and having something completely homemade with fresh fruit is the right thing to do.

The original recipe is from Epicurious, which called for using frozen berries. I’ve only ever made this with fresh raspberries, so that is reflected in the recipe below. Others have made this cake with blackberries, blueberries, pitted and halved cherries, diced mango, and *gasp* chocolate chips.

Not being a ricotta lover, I wouldn’t have made this cake if weren’t made for me at a Cookbook Club retreat a few years ago. I loved it, the ricotta wasn’t overwhelming and is important to the character of this cake. The ricotta keeps the cake moist and light, and allows it to stay moist for two days or more.

If there are any leftover slices, wrap and freeze for an on-demand treat later on.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (188 grams)

1 cup sugar (198 grams)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

15 oz carton ricotta

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup raspberries (6 oz carton) divided use (can substitute blueberries, cherries, blackberries, small chunks of mango, or even, *gasp*, chocolate chips) Ok to add a few extra berries on top of batter.

Zest of 1 small lemon (OK to sub lime or orange zest)

Approx. 1 teaspoon white sugar, vanilla sugar, coarse sugar, or raw sugar, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a 9″-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients, whisk just until blended.
  6. Stir in butter just until combined.
  7. By hand, fold 3/4 cup raspberries (or other fruit), taking care not to crush berries.
  8. Fold in zest.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining 1/4 cup raspberries (or other fruit) over top (OK to add more berries to make a pleasing design on top.)
  10. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar, vanilla sugar, or raw sugar on top of cake.
  11. Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.
  12. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Do ahead: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email