Category Archives: brunch

Peach Crisp

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I’ll admit right off the bat, I’m not the biggest fan of peaches.  Let’s call it a texture thing.  I have an even bigger issue with bananas (don’t even get me started on that one!)  Strange part is, I love the flavor of these fruits, but you’d be hard pressed to get me to eat either of them in their raw form.  Add them to a muffin, cake, etc. though and you have a deal.  My husband thinks I’m a weirdo with my texture issues, but, hey, not everyone can be perfect, right? 🙂  I used fresh peaches (tis the season) in this recipe, but you can used canned if you really feel the urge.

The recipe can be made in a cast iron skillet, which would have been great…if I owned one…I, myself, opted for a square baking dish in defeat.  Don’t let me forget to a skillet one to my ever-growing baking wish list 🙂

peach crisp

The Recipe:

5 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (or 1 can unsweetened peach slices)

2 tablespoons tapioca

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

2-3 tablespoons white sugar (my addition to the original recipe, it was entirely too tart without it, in my opinion)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if using a dark or glass baking pan in shame, like me)

2.  Place the peach slices, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and tapioca in a bowl.  Gently stir to coat the peaches.  Scrape the peaches into the skillet (or pan…sigh…)

3.  Place the butter in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Heat the butter until it’s mostly melted.  Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a heatproof surface.

4.  Add the brown sugar to the butter and stir until smooth.  Add the flour, oatmeal, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and stir together.  Spoon the topping over the peaches and press it lightly with your hands to even it out.

5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

6.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.  Makes for a great weekend brunch idea!

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Walnut Breakfast Bread with Honey Oatmeal Streusel

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Walnut Breakfast Bread with Honey Oatmeal Streusel

This bread is so good, drool worthy in fact.  Just a hint of sweetness, amazing texture from the walnuts and the oatmeal.  And the streusel is to die for – sweet, crunchy, nutty – you get where I’m going 🙂  Perfect on the go breakfast, or snack – or for that Mother’s Day Brunch you’re planning!  I can tell we’ll be making this a lot in our house.  Good luck trying to keep this around yours for long!

Walnut Breakfast bread with honey oatmeal streusel

Can’t you just taste that crunch?!? Yum, yum…

The Recipe (makes 1 loaf):

Topping:

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Bread:

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature.  Plus extra for buttering the pan.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup oatmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped walnuts

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 if using a dark pan)

2.  Make the honey oatmeal streusel.  Beat the honey and butter with a mixer until smooth.  Add the oatmeal, walnuts and cinnamon and mix on low speed until blended.  Set aside.

3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.

4.  Place the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to incorporate.  Set aside.

5.  In your mixer, place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.

6.  Break the egg into the butter mixture and beat until combined.

7.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until smooth.  Add the milk and mix again.

8.  Add the walnuts into the batter and mix until they are distributed throughout the batter.

9.  Scrape the batter into the buttered loaf pan.  Sprinkle the streusel over top.

10.  Place in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (mine was honestly closer to 40 minutes).

11.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Banana Coconut Scones

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In my newbie travels as a blogger, I’ve come across some really amazing blogs (and some not so amazing, but I digress…).  Edibles & Travels is one of my new faves (I envy the peaks on her muffins 😉 ), and she recently posted a recipe for Banana Coconut Muffins.  Had a nice Caribbean-sounding vibe, brought be back to my honeymoon…you get my drift.  So I thought, hey, I have coconut.  I have a borderline overly ripe banana that’s looking lonely!  And thus, these Banana Coconut Scones were born.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be sipping a Rum Punch, my toes in the sand, enjoying a scone – well maybe not really, but a girl can dream, right?!? 🙂

Banana Coconut Scones

The Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, cold

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sweetened coconut (plus additional for garnish)

1 ripe banana, mashed

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2.  Place the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Work the butter into the flour with your hands until the butter disappears into the flour and it yellows a bit.

4.  Add the honey, milk, and egg to the flour mixture and stir until mixed well.  Add the coconut and mashed banana and mix again until all incorporated.

5.  Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet about an inch apart.  Sprinkle with a little additional coconut, if desired.

6.  Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are slightly golden on top.

7.  Remove the scones and place them on a cooling rack.  They are best when served warm and drizzled with a little honey.  Yum, yum 🙂

Honey Lemon Bars

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Honey Lemon Bars

I’m a huge fan of anything lemon when it comes to baking.  These are amazing, and super simple to put together.  The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering.  A perfectly light, warm-weather dessert 🙂

honey lemon bars

 

The Recipe:

Dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest (my addition, but a little more lemon flavor never hurts in my opinion!!)

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

The Process:

1.  Heat oven to 350 F (325 F if using glass or dark metal pans)

2.  To make the dough, place the flour and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the cold butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture.  Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until all the butter disappears and the dough starts to hold together a bit.

4.  Place the dough in an 8″x8″ baking pan and press into the bottom in an even layer.

5.  Place in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes to bake.

6.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.  Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the honey and lemon juice.  Whisk together until completely blended.  Add the flour and baking powder and whisk again until smooth.

7.  Remove crust from the oven and pour the lemon filling into the pan.

8.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  The filling should not move when you slightly shake the pan.  If it does, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

9.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow 10 minutes for cooling before cutting into squares.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy the lemony goodness!

Apple Almond Tea Cake

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Apple Almond Tea Cake

I couldn’t wait to get cracking in the kitchen after receiving the new book (My First Baking Book).  So here’s the first round…Apple Almond Tea Cake.  Super good.  Nice dense cake with just a touch of sweetness.  Love the flavor (and slight crunch) from the sliced almonds in the cake, and the apples on top pair perfectly of course.  Top it all off with an apricot glaze, and you have the perfect brunch (or breakfast…or dessert…) snack!

apple almond tea cake

The Recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (plus extra for buttering the pan)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup sliced almonds

2 medium apples

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:

3 tablespoons apricot jam

1 tablespoon water

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if using a glass or dark pan).

2.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan.

3.  Put the flour, baking powder and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to combine.

4.  Place the 1/2 cup of butter and the granulated sugar in the mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy (around 4 minutes).

5.  Break the eggs into the bowl and beat again until blended.

6.  Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until smooth.

7.  Pour in the milk and mix again.

8.  Stir the sliced almonds into the batter until combined.

9.  Pour the batter into the greased 9×13 baking pan and spread evenly.

10.  Peel and core the apples.  Cut in half and then cut the halves into thin, even slices.

11.  Here’s where I took a detour from the original recipe…I placed the apple slices in a bowl and tossed them with a squeeze of lemon, the brown sugar and cinnamon.  The original recipe has you place the apples on top of the batter and then sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over.  I wanted a more “even” coating, but you can choose your method 🙂

12.  Place the apple slices in 3 long lines, overlapping, on top of the batter down the length of the pan (makes for easier cutting this way).

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13.  Place in oven and bake until the cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan and a cake tester comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes (Again, with my oven it was close to 35 minutes, so I would check yours frequently after 35).

14.  Remove from oven and while cake is cooling prepare the apricot glaze.

15.  Place the jam in a saucepan and add the water, stir over medium heat until the jam melts and begins to bubble.

16.  Using a pastry brush (or spoon), spread the glaze over the top of the cake.  Cut into squares and marvel in the apple-y goodness!

Breakfast Sausage Pockets

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I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure I would ever make these again.  Might partially be me though, I’m not a huge fan of that much bread for breakfast (how un-American of me, I know 😉 )  The dough almost tastes biscuit-like, so it’s a nice compliment to the sausage.  I would say they might take on a new life if some herbs like rosemary or thyme were added to the dough.  So maybe there will be a round 2 after all…

breakfast sausage pockets

The Recipe (makes 8 sausage pockets):

2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup for rolling)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter (the original recipe calls for room temperature, I always find i prefer to work with cold butter in a dough to up the flakiness factor)

2/3 cup milk

2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

8 breakfast sausage links (the recipe doesn’t state whether you need to use fully cooked, I erred on the side of caution and did)

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F

2.  Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and the salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Add the butter (if using cold, cut into small pieces to make it easier to mix in).  Using your fingers (again, why I love this cookbook 😉 ) rub the butter into the dough until it disappears.  The mixture will appear somewhat lumpy.

4.  Add the milk and stir until the dough is thick and blended.

5.  Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface.  Scoop out the dough from the bowl and place on floured work surface.  Sprinkle top of dough with a  little more flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about 1/4″ thick.

6.  Using a 4″-6″ biscuit cutter (or wide mouth glass if you don’t have one), cut as many circles as you can out of the dough.  Flatten the scraps and re-roll to make the remaining dough circles.  You should have 8 total in the end.

7.  Break the egg into the bowl and add the 1 tablespoon of water.  Gently beat with a fork to combine.

8.  Place 1 breakfast sausage link in the center of each circle and sprinkle a little cheese over top.  Fold the dough circle over the sausage and press the edges together to seal.

9.  Place the sausage pockets on a cookie sheet.  Brush the tops with the egg wash.  Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes (I found I only needed 20 minutes, but you know my oven issues…)

10.  When the tops are golden brown, remove pockets and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Dreamy Hot Chocolate

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Hot chocolate can’t be beat – no matter what the temperature is outside.  I’ll admit, I’m not one for making it from scratch too often (the convenience of those little packages calls to me…).  This recipe is super simple and the method is pretty smart.  The touch of honey and cinnamon make it extra tasty.  Will definitely be making this often!  Warm and fuzzy thoughts to all! 🙂

hot chocolate cinnamon

The Recipe (makes 4 cups):

6 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

8 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons honey

4 cups milk

The Process:

1.  Measure 1-1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon honey into 4 individual mugs.  Stir with a spoon to make a paste.  Add 1 tablespoon milk into each mug and stir until dissolved.

2.  Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the milk begins to steam and you can see tiny bubbles form at the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat.

3.  Ladle the warm milk into the mugs (about 1 cup each) and stir.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.