Monday, July 17, 2006

cupcakes galore

This weekend was spent in Pittsburgh, and to celebrate (and because I
try to bring Anthony's dad ridiculous foods whenever I visit) I made
two kinds of cupcakes - humming bird and chocolate zucchini.

The only modifications I made to the recipes were to use whole wheat pastry flour
and slightly less sugar than called for, but nothing significant. I bet the
hummingbird cupcakes could be made without the eggs as the bananas are a binder,
or perhaps adding an extra banana or some flax would work. I'll try that out.

Baking with so much more butter and oil than usual made me a bit uneasy. It's not
like I eat this every day, but still. It was worth it though - the chocolate
cupcakes were great (although not sweet enough for a five year old palate, the adults
liked them) and the hummingbird cupcakes have a hint of pineapple and a subtle
sweetness. I froze half of the chocolate cupcakes - we'll see how well they do.

Also, if someone could clarify muffin vs cupcake for me that'd be great. As of now
I've decided that cupcakes have frosting, muffins don't. But I guess a bran muffin
with frosting would still be a muffin? I am just trying to rationalize my breakfast
of a hummingbird cupcake (without frosting!)...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

buckwheat and blueberry cake

My grandmother made me eat a lot of kasha when I was growing up, so buckwheat
is something that I have come to love. The flavor is quite potent in this cake,
so if you are not a buckwheat fan you probably want nothing to do with this. This
is great for breakfast!

I got the recipe from Orangette and
made a few subs - I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of the all-purpose flour, used 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar instead of the 3/4 cup of light brown sugar and added three dried slices of navel oranges (Trader Joes sells this - I have never seen it anywhere else before), which I think was key. The orange slices made the cake slightly sweet and fruity, but the orange wasn't overpowering. If you can't find dried orange slices, I'd up the orange zest to the zest from one whole orange. Some nuts would probably also be a nice addition - maybe pecans or walnuts.

Buckwheat and blueberry cake:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 tsp baking powder
3 slices dried orange, chopped
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the baking instructions just go to the Orangette link above. I don't have a bundt
pan so I used a large springform pan instead. The cake is excellent but is not a light cake, and is really great toasted with some butter.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

banana oatmeal cookies

I modified this recipe and it turned out pretty well.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t sea salt
2 T butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (I used unrefined)
1 mashed banana
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups oats (quick cooking, but not instant)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

- preheat oven to 350 and get a baking sheet ready (I've been using
a baking spray from Trader Joe's)
- mix together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt
- cream together the butter and sugar, then add the banana and egg, followed
by the vanilla
- gradually add in the flour
- stir in the oats, chocolate chips and walnuts
- spoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 11 min

The cookies taste great - the banana stands out a lot. The cookies didn't spread out, so the ones that I made into nice little balls stayed nice little balls, and the ones
I pressed down on spread out a little and looked more cookie-like. I think that
perhaps the whole wheat flour was too much and maybe I should try again with whole wheat pastry flour or a mix of the two. I'd also add more walnuts and instead of more chocolate chips (OK maybe a little bit more) break up the chocolate chips instead. Overall, pretty good cookie!