Archive for February, 2011

February 27, 2011

Adventures in Bread: Anadama Bread

Hi trusty readers.

I have neglected you a little these past few months. I’m sorry. I wish I could say I won’t do it again, but I probably will, at least for the next few months.

But today, I am not neglecting you. I am bringing you the first real installment of my Adventures in Bread. My brother and I are baking through every recipe in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. You may have heard of something similar where a bunch of bloggers got together for this exact purpose. Well, we missed the boat, but we will do it Lane family style. A little late and with lots of fun and love.

So first I bring you Anadama bread. Anadama is a traditional New England bread made with flour, corn meal, and molasses… with a great little story about how it got it’s name:

“A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna, for serving him nothing but cornmeal and molasses, one day adds flour and yeast to his porridge and eats the resultant bread, while cursing, “Anna, damn her.”

What a lovely little bread this turned out to be! I was pleasantly surprised at the success of the loaves for my first real try at yeasted bread. It is sweet and has a great texture from the cornmeal and is simply perfect toasted with some butter and tea.

Next up? Cinnamon Raisin Walnut bread!!

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February 18, 2011

Darlin’, it ain’t over yet!

Sorry guys, I can’t help but celebrate Valentine’s Day all week long.

Oh…Valentine’s Day. Ya either love it or ya hate it. Some people delight in wearing every item of pink and red clothing they own and parading around with candy and cards and gushing about their hunky hunky boyfriends. Some people might feel like Valentine’s Day is like rubbing salt in the wound if you aren’t currently glued to the hip of your very own sweetie. I say leave all that to Hallmark. Personally, any holiday that centers around flowers, chocolate, homemade cards, and sweet sweet love is fine by me.

I used to make individual homemade valentines for every single kid in my class when I was little. I would spend hours making each one individualized. I was never a fan of those punch out cards with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wishing you a COWABUNGA VALENTINES!

 

I like a little personal touch. I was short on heart stickers this year though, so I decided to make edible valentines this year. What better way to say “I love you” than with sugar, butter, and a whole lot of chocolate? I can’t think of any!

These little guys were incredibly easy to make and have a very nice presentation value. They look like candies and then SURPRISE! They have a fudgy brownie base. Then can be personalized and sprinkled and dolled up to your hearts delight.

So forget about all the baggage that comes along with Valentine’s Day . Whether or not you have a special someone, you too can spread some love. Love yourself. Love your friends.

Love these brownie bites.

V-Day Brownie Bites

adapted from My Baking Addiction

makes 30 bites

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

½ pound of candy wafers (available at AC Moore)

Decorations as desired

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line mini muffin tin with mini liners.

3. In a medium bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved.

4. Add sugar and mix well.

5. Add eggs one at a time and stir until well combined.

6. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt until you no longer see any flour (do not over-mix).

7. Spoon into muffin tin, filling 1/2-3/4 of the way. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool

8. Melt candy wafers according to the package instructions. Using a spoon or plastic squeeze bottle, fill the tops of the brownie bites with the melted chocolate.

9. Decorate immediately with sprinkles or other toppings. Let cool.

10. Share with someone you love.

February 14, 2011

Will you be my Valentine?

 

My dad always told me the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

 

Girls. It’s true.

 

Here is what you do.

Step 1: Make homemade fortune cookies. Make them nice and big because boys like to eat a lot. Write lovey-dovey notes and stick them inside. Dip them in chocolate and sprinkles and arrange them in a pretty little box.

Step 2: Take a pound of chocolate and melt it into a heart shape. It’s the best because it’s a heart but it’s also a POUND of chocolate. Write a lovey-dovey note on top.

Step 3: Package it all up and give it to the cutest boy you know.

 

I’m lucky. I know this reeeeeeally cute boy.

 

Oh and just to be clear…. the way to a girl’s heart? Can also be through her stomach. Just saying. Girls eat too.

 

Homemade Fortune Cookies
adapted from Cooking Light

1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well – no lumps. Place in a container and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw circles on paper. Turn paper over. If you don’t have parchment paper, simply grease a baking sheet and use flour to outline the circle. I took a small bowl that was the size of the circle I needed, dipped it in flour, and tapped it down onto the greased sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon batter into center of each of the drawn circles (may need a little more depending on size); spread evenly to fill circle. Bake at 400° for 5-6 minutes or until the cookies are brown just around the edges and a little toward the centers. Remove from the oven. Let sit for a few seconds before removing from pan. Working quickly, loosen edges of cookies with a spatula, and turn over.

Place fortune along the center of 1 cookie. Fold cookie over so the edges meet ; press edges together. Gently pull the ends of the cookie down over the rim of a small bowl (or jar); hold for a few seconds or until set. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

February 3, 2011

Snow Day Cinnamon Rolls

Snow days rock.

Especially when you are in college.

This is what I did on my snow day.

 

Now if only they would bring back nap time.

 

 

Snow Day Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Big Red Kitchen

Makes 7 rolls

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 T. white sugar
1 1/4 T. baking powder
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or milk

1/4 cup butter (very soft)
3/4 cup brown sugar
cinnamon to taste
white chocolate chips (optional)

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 oz cream cheese (softened)
3 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

 

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients then cut in butter and mix until the dough is crumbly. Add buttermilk or milk and mix until a nice dough forms. Place dough on a floured surface, knead a little, and roll into a big rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the butter all over the dough, and sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon, and chips all over. Starting at the long end, carefully roll up the dough, keeping it relatively tight and pinching the edge to seal. Cut into 7 even rolls, and arrange in a greased round cake pan or 9″ square baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Remove and ice immediately.

While baking, whisk together softened cream cheese and 3 T of milk until smooth. Stir in vanilla and then add sugar. Spread on top of warm buns. Eat warm buns on a cold winter day. Giggle about eating warm buns on a cold winter day. Yum.