My daughter and I made these mini cakes as a birthday surprise for her friend. ❤ Sprinkles=Birthday over here. Using red, white, and blue sprinkles would make these cakes a fun and patriotic Fourth of July treat.
The recipe was adapted from thebittersideofsweet.com. They can be served for breakfast or dessert! 🙂
Yield: 4 mini cakes
For the Mini Bundt Cakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used whole milk Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon milk (I used whole milk)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup Confectioners’ sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (I used 1 1/2 T whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
gel food coloring, optional
Preheat the oven to 325° F, preferably on convection. (My pan has a dark, non-stick interior finish. Set the oven to 350° F if using a pan with a light interior finish.)
Spray 4 wells of a mini bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, and eggs. Stir in melted butter and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Slowly stir until just combined.
Fold in sprinkles. Avoid over stirring.
Using a cookie scoop, distribute the batter into the 4 prepared wells of a mini bundt pan.
Bake for 17 minutes in a convection oven, or for 20-25 minutes in a standard oven, or until edges are golden. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Remove from oven, leave cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Remove cakes from pan and allow to completely cool on wire rack.
Once cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl add milk, Confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
My entire family looks forward to my husband’s birthday feast. It typically involves a lot of comfort food like fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. 🙂 We always have his favorite Vanilla Bean Cheesecake as our celebratory dessert.
When my food blog friend Jess@Cooking is My Sport posted Cornmeal Sage Chicken Biscuits, I knew that my husband would absolutely love them. My first thought was to serve them on Valentine’s Day but then I realized that they would be perfect for his birthday dinner. Jess is an amazing cook and baker but most of all I must say that she is a complete master of biscuits. I learned many new techniques from her post in order to make biscuits thick enough to create a sandwich. Flaky and amazing! I also loved that she incorporated cornmeal in both the biscuits and the seasoned flour that is used to coat the fried chicken. This recipe also made all of us fans of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.
I served these fried chicken biscuits with classic macaroni and cheese and green salad dressed with Icebox Buttermilk Dressing. The chicken biscuit recipe was adapted from CookingisMySport.com. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, modified the proportions, cut the biscuits into squares, and omitted the topping. My daughter declared it was the best birthday feast ever. 🙂
Yield: Serves 12 to 14
For the Cornmeal & Sage Biscuits:
Yield: approximately 14 2-inch biscuits
5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp coarse salt
2 T baking powder
2 tsp ground sage
1 T savory spice mix (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus more if necessary
For the Fried Chicken Thighs:
Yield: about 16 to 18 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 heaping tsp savory spice mix (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups buttermilk
8 to 9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds), trimmed, halved crosswise, patted dry
8 cups vegetable oil
hot sauce, for serving, optional (we used Chipotle Cholula)
bread and butter pickles, for serving, optional
To Make the Cornmeal & Sage Biscuits:
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, coarse salt, baking powder, sugar, ground sage and the seasoning mix.
Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter directly into the dry ingredients; stir with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add the sour cream. Using a fork, incorporated it into the dry ingredients until it forms thick clumps.
Make another well in the center of the dry ingredients; add the buttermilk. Use a large fork and a large rubber spatula to stir the mixture together. If it seems a little dry you may add the additional buttermilk, just until it forms a shaggy dough. (I added 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk.)
Sprinkle a pastry mat, wooden cutting board, or a clean, smooth countertop with flour. (I used a silpat baking mat.)
Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and pat a few times with your hands until it loosely holds together. (Don’t knead it too much or the warmth in your palms will melt the butter and cause the biscuits to be tough.)
Use a bench scraper (or a large sharp knife) to divide the dough in half. Roughly shape each half into a square.
Stack one of the halves on top of the other and use a rolling pin to roll it together into one mass. Repeat this process 4-5 more times before patting it into one final rectangle. (This is a process of layering so that the biscuits will bake flaky.) (I formed a 9×7-inch rectangle, about 2-inches thick.)
Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°. (I set my oven to convection.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour and unwrap the biscuit dough out onto it.
Using a bench scraper (or very sharp knife), trim the edges of the rectangle. (I trimmed it to form a 6×8-inch rectangle.)
Using a biscuit cutter or a knife, cut the dough into rounds or squares about 2″ each. You can recut the leftover dough into new biscuits, just try not to handle it too much. (I cut my dough into 12 2-inch squares and reformed the trimmed edges into 2 additional 2-inch squares.)
Place the cut biscuits on the parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet, placing them close to each other (it will help them rise higher).
Place the tray into the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Spray the top of the biscuits with cooking spray.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 22 minutes, covering them with foil if they brown too quickly. (I baked mine for 22 minutes total, covering them with foil after 20 minutes.)
To Make the Fried Chicken Thighs:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper, foil, or plastic wrap on the bottom; place a wire rack on top.
Line a second rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels; place a wire rack on top.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cayenne, spice mix, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.
Pour buttermilk into a separate bowl.
Working with one piece at a time, toss chicken in flour mixture, dip in buttermilk, then toss again in flour mixture. Transfer to the wire rack over the wax paper/foil/plastic wrap-lined baking sheet to allow batter to set, about 2-3 minutes.
Repeat dipping process until all of the chicken is double-coated.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. (I used a large stainless steel Dutch oven fitted with a thermometer. I found it much easier to control the temperature of the oil in this pot versus using a cast iron skillet as I have in the past.)
Working in batches of no more than 3 or 4 pieces at a time, use tongs to place the chicken in the hot oil. Using a slotted spoon, turn it occasionally and cook until each piece is golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side. (I tried to cook pieces similar in size at the same time.)
Using a slotted spoon or clean tongs, remove chicken to the wire rack over the paper towel-lined sheet pan. At this point, use an instant read thermometer to confirm that the chicken is cooked, having an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
To assemble: Split a biscuit in half (it will have a natural breaking point) and assemble the sandwich with chicken topped with pickles, as desired. Serve with hot sauce to pass at the table, as desired.
Much to my husband’s displeasure, another birthday tradition is to document the many seasonal feathered visitors who arrive to celebrate with us. Like clockwork, the night heron arrived on his birthday morning while I was making pancakes. 🙂
My kids haven’t had a snow day in a couple of years, but today we had our second snow day of the season. We were very happy for the break from reality. 🙂 Everyone slept in this morning and then my daughter made this special breakfast. ❤
These baked donuts were quite a treat- I had to post them right away. The recipe was adapted from bunsinmyoven.com. They were very light, tender, and moist. The batter would also be great to bake in mini-bundt pans. Next time!
I’m looking forward to another indulgent breakfast tomorrow morning… We just found out that my kids have another snow day! 🙂
Yield: 12 mini donuts
For the Donuts:
1cup all-purpose flour
1/2cup granulated sugar
1/4cupcocoa powder, sifted
1/4cupmini chocolate chips
1/4teaspoon coarse salt
1/2teaspoon purevanilla extract
6tablespoonssour cream or Greek yogurt
1/4cupmilk (preferably whole milk)
For the Glaze:
1 1/2cupspowdered sugar
1/4cupmilk (preferably whole milk)
1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of coarse salt
To Make the Donuts:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection. Coat two mini-donut pans with cooking oil spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Whisk in the mini chocolate chips.
In a small bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat together the vanilla, egg, sour cream, milk, and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, distribute the dough into two greased mini-donut pans.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until the tops spring back when you touch them and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
Let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
Let the donuts cool completely before glazing.
To Make the Glaze:
Place a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper, or newspaper under a wire rack to catch drips of glaze.
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Dunk the donuts in the glaze to fully coat and place on the wire rack to set, about 5 minutes.
These New York crumb cake muffins have a few qualities that elevate them a step above others. They not only incorporate lemon zest and browned butter, they also have additional crunchy crumbs hidden inside each muffin. Genius.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used the zest of an entire lemon and modified the baking time for a convection oven. They were quite large but baked perfectly in a standard muffin tin. Great.
Yield: 12 muffins
For the Topping:
1/2cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 1/3cups/165 grams all-purpose flour
1/2cup/110 grams dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon ground allspice or cardamom
1/4teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Batter:
3/4cup/180 milliliters sour cream
2teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4teaspoon almond extract
1/2teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I used the zest of 1 large lemon)
1 1/2cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
2/3cup/135 grams granulated sugar
3/4teaspoon baking soda
3/4teaspoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1-inch slices and softened
Heat oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection, and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
Make the Topping:
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter, then let it simmer until the foam on top falls to the bottom of the pot and turns brown, 4 to 6 minutes. It will smell nutty when it’s ready. Immediately pour butter into a small bowl to keep it from getting any browner, and let cool for 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour, sugar, spices and salt in a medium bowl.
Pour in the brown butter and stir, pinching the mixture together, until crumbs form. Set aside.
Make the Batter:
Whisk together sour cream, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest in a mixing bowl.
In a large bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined, about 10 seconds.
Add softened butter and beat for 20 seconds to work it into the flour.
Add egg mixture and continue beating until the batter is very smooth, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle a scant tablespoon of the topping crumbs into the bottom of each muffin liner. (I used a cookie scoop.)
Spoon the batter on top of the crumbs, dividing it evenly. (I used a large cookie scoop- plus a little bit extra- per well.
Bake muffins for 5 minutes to firm up the tops so the crumbs don’t sink into the batter. Remove muffin pan from the oven and lower heat to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top of each muffin. (I used 1 tablespoon per muffin, rationed with a cookie scoop.)
Continue to bake until the muffins are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 17 on convection or up to 30 minutes longer.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.
Use an offset spatula or butter knife to lift the muffins out of the pan. Finish cooling muffins on a rack.
I do have a favorite pumpkin loafbut I can’t resist trying another recipe- especially if it involves cinnamon-sugar. 🙂 This one incorporated lovely spices as well.
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com. I increased the amount of cinnamon-sugar topping and baked the batter as muffins rather than a loaf. I love the portion control of a muffin.
Makes: 18 standard muffins or 1 large 9×5-inch loaf
For the Batter:
1 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable or another neutral cooking oil or melted butter (115 grams)
3 large eggs
1 2/3 (330 grams) cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
heaped 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
heaped 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
two pinches of ground cloves
2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:
2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar (use 1 T for a loaf)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (use 1 tsp for a loaf)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection.
Butter 18 muffins wells or a 6-cup loaf pan or coat it with nonstick spray. (I used 8 outer wells in one pan and 10 in another.)
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, butter or oil, eggs and sugar until smooth.
Sprinkle baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinanmon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves over batter and whisk until well-combined.
Add flour and stir with a spoon or rubber spatula, just until mixed.
Using a 3 tablespoon scoop, ration the batter into prepared muffin wells, or scrape into a loaf pan, and smooth the top(s).
In a small dish, whisk or stir sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over top of batter. (I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon over each muffin top.)
Bake muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, and a loaf for 55 to 75 minutes, or until a tester poked into all parts of cake (both the top and center will want to hide pockets of uncooked batter) come out batter-free, rotating the pans once during the baking time for even coloring. (I rotated the oven racks between the two muffin pans as well.
Cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes and then remove, or cool completely in the pan(s). The latter provides the advantage of letting more of the loose cinnamon sugar on top adhere before being knocked off.
Note: The muffins (or loaf) keep well at room temperature. The original recipe recommends covering the cut edge of the loaf with a piece of foil or plastic and leaving the top exposed to best keep the lid crisp as long as possible.
I am going to take a break from my quick weeknight dinner posts (I have several more) to post a few sweet treats. Back to school treats are very important in our house. 🙂
This cake can be served for dessert or as a very special snack or breakfast. We ate it for breakfast. I recommend eating it as soon as possible 😉 , but, it should keep fresh for several days in an airtight container at room temperature. I made it in a standard loaf pan this time, but I plan to make it in my fluted loaf pan on the next occasion.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I weighed the dry ingredients and reduced the baking time. Just as yummy as a farmstand apple cider doughnut!
Yield: One 9-inch loaf
For the Cake:
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 2 T (172 g) all-purpose flour (can substitute 63 g with whole wheat flour)
2 T (15 g) cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
For the Topping:
big pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T reserved reduced apple cider (from above)
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°, preferably on convection.
Lightly butter an 8½ x 4½” or 9×5″ loaf pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on both long sides. Lightly butter the parchment. (I used cooking oil spray and a metal loaf pan.)
Bring cider to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cider is reduced to ¾ cup, 8–10 minutes.
Pour ¼ cup reduced cider into a small measuring glass or bowl and set aside.
Transfer remaining reduced cider to a small bowl or glass measuring cup and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla and set aside.
Melt 8 tablespoons of butter in same saucepan (no need to clean) over low heat. Let cool slightly.
Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a medium bowl to combine.
Vigorously whisk eggs and 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar in a large bowl until pale, voluminous, and frothy, about 2 minutes. (I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.)
Whisking constantly (with the mixer on low-speed), gradually add melted butter in a steady stream; continue to whisk until fully combined and emulsified (no spots of fat should remain). Reserve saucepan (no need to clean).
Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture in 3 additions, alternating with reserved sour cream mixture in 2 additions; whisk just until no lumps remain. Batter will be thin.
Scrape into pan and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until deep golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–80 minutes. (I baked mine for 55 minutes.)
Transfer pan to a wire rack and poke top of cake all over with a toothpick.
Spoon 3 tablespoons of the reserved reduced cider over; let cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping: Mix a big pinch of salt, remaining 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a small bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in reserved saucepan and mix into remaining 1 tablespoon reduced cider.
Using parchment paper, lift cake onto rack and set rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Peel away parchment from sides.
Brush warm butter-cider mixture over top and sides of cake.
Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture to coat every surface (use parchment to help rotate cake and collect any excess sugar).
Remove parchment and let cool completely before slicing.
Do ahead: Cake can be made 4 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped or in an airtight container at room temperature.
As a big fan of English muffins, I tried a few sourdough versions before finally finding this successful one. It was worth it!
This recipe is from Emilie Raffa’s book, Artisan Dough Made Simple, via thelemonapron.com. I may need this book. 🙂 I cooked the muffins in a large cast iron skillet but may try to expedite the process by using a griddle next time. They were equally delicious with mustard egg and cheese as with butter and jam.
Yield: 12 to 14 muffins
245grams (1 cup plus 1 tsp) milk, whole or 2%
120grams(1/2 cup) water
56grams(4 tbsp) unsalted butter,cubed
75grams(heaped 1/2 cup) bubbly active starter
24grams (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
500grams(4 cups plus 2 tbsp) all purpose flour
9grams(1 1/2 tsp) salt
Cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting
To Make the Dough:
In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water and butter together over low heat, or in the microwave. Cool slightly before adding to the dough.
Add the starter and sugar to a large bowl. Slowly pour in the warm milk mixture, while whisking to combine.
Add the flour and salt. Mix with a fork to form a rough dough, then finish by hand to fully incorporate the flour. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile replenish your starter and store according to preference.
After the dough has rested, work the mass into a semi-smooth ball, about 15-20 seconds. (I did this on a lightly floured piece of plastic wrap.)
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover the bowl with the damp towel and let rise until double is size, about 8-10 hours at 70 degrees F. (21C) (I let the dough rise for about 5 hours in a proofing oven.)
Once fully risen, cover the dough in lightly oiled plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight.
In the morning, remove the cold dough from the fridge onto a floured surface. Let it rest 10 minutes.
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal all over them. This will prevent the dough from sticking.
With floured hands, pat the dough into a rectangle or oval, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
Cut rounds about 3 inches in diameter (you can use the rim of a drinking glass: use a rim that isn’t too thick) You should get 10-12 rounds. (I used a Bonne Maman jam jar.)
Place them onto the cornmeal on the baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with more cornmeal.
For the Second Rise:
Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest till puffy, about 1 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (I used a proofing oven.)
To Cook the Muffins:
Warm a large cast iron or non-stick skillet (you can also use a cast iron griddle) over low to medium-low heat.
Place a few rounds of dough into the pan to fit comfortably. Don’t worry, they really won’t spread.
Cook on one side for about 8 to 10 minutes, checking at the halfway mark for even browning. Adjust the heat if necessary. Flip the muffins over and continue to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. When ready, the muffins should feel lightweight and the sides should spring back when pressed gently.
Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Continue cooking the remaining rounds.
When ready to eat, split them open using a fork piercing into the equator of each all the way around and gently prying open.
Muffins will stay fresh 2 days, stored in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature.
The tip to cooking English muffins is to find balanced heat. If the flame is too high, the outside will brown too quickly leaving the center undercooked. If you find this has happened, finish baking the muffins in a low heat oven (about 250F) until cooked through.
You can avoid this by doing a test run with one or two muffins to begin with to help guide your stove top heat.
You can make the dough Friday morning before you leave the house for the day, put it in the fridge at the end of the day, and then bake them on Saturday morning for a great treat.