Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin Biscotti

 

Pumpkin Biscotti
Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin seems to be the flavour of Fall here in Canada.  The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove combine beautifully to flavour pies, cupcakes and, of course, the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

If you love PSL’s and biscotti then you will love this crisp, Fall flavoured treat which can be eaten as is or dipped in your PSL.   And if you don’t bake maybe a little subtle hinting to your friends who do will result in you being their taste tester!

A couple of years ago I tested out several pumpkin biscotti recipes and after a little trial and error this has become my go-to recipe.  This biscotti has pumpkin pie spice for the flavour and NO pumpkin puree.  I found the spice gives the biscotti the flavour required but leaving out puree allows the cookie to crisp up nicely.  I save the pumpkin puree for things like muffins and cakes (check out other pumpkin recipes on my blog).

Like all biscotti these will last in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and freeze well.  Keep these in mind for holiday and Christmas gifts.  They travel well and look pretty in festive cello bags.

No pumpkin pie spice in your cupboard?  Just combine 4 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.  Make sure your spices are fresh for the best flavour.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a large cookie sheet or 2 small cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time beating after each until incorporated and beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour in 3 additions on low or by hand until mixed in.  Add in nuts and mix well.  You may find using your hands to combine the nuts into the batter works well.

Divide batter into 2 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch by 3/4-inch log.  Place on baking sheets.  If using one sheet space about 3-inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown around edges (top will still look fairly light in colour).  Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes until cool and easy to handle.

TURN OVEN DOWN TO 275F WHILE BISCOTTI COOLS.

perfect-pumpkin-biscotti-bakingUse a serrated or bread knife and cut into 1/2-inch slices.  Lay slices on cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8 minutes and then turn and lay on other side and bake for another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown.  Remove and cool completely.

For an extra hit of sweet, melt a little white chocolate (over low heat, of course, so you don’t burn it!) and drizzle over cooled biscotti.

Whether you dip or not is up to you but I think you’ll have to agree store bought biscotti cannot compare with these!

 

 

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Once per year we have a statutory holiday to give thanks, spend time with family and/or friends and expand our waistlines.  I do hope everyone reading this has an opportunity to hug or be hugged by someone they care about whether it’s a friend, co-worker, family member or a loved pet.

For me, baking is my hug to everyone.  Hopefully you will pass on a hug by giving today’s recipe a try and sharing it!

Use real lemons not bottled lemon juice for this recipe for the freshest flavours.  Room temperature lemons will provide more juice than those straight from the fridge.  When zesting make sure to only grate the yellow not the bitter white (the pith) underneath.  If you have lemons you won’t use up quickly, zest them and put the zest in a ziploc bag in the freezer and squeeze out the juice for future use.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

 Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes 2 9×5-inch loaf pans.  Grease and flour loaf pans and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

Lemon Glaze:

Mix approximately 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1 cup of icing sugar until pourable consistency.  Add a bit more lemon juice or icing sugar until desired consistency reached. Drizzle over cooled loafs.

Method:

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each.

Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, using 3 flour additions and 2 buttermilk additions.  Don’t overmix just beat on low until smooth and combined.

 

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops.  Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted centre comes out clean.  Cool cakes about 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely on a rack.

If desired, when cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.

Caramel Pecan Cake

Caramel Pecan Cake

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Caramel Pecan Cake – Getting Started!

In the brilliant book BakeClass they refer to today’s recipe as a ‘cake’, perhaps becuase it is so light and airy, but I’d classify it as more of a loaf or bread.  Mostly because it bakes in a loaf pan and has a drizzling of icing not a layer of icing piled on top.

Looking for quick, easy and minimal dishes plus light, moist and sweet, here is a winner.  No mixer required and you can make it at the last minute and not worry about room temperature butter since you use a saucepan!  Yup, a saucepan!

If you have self-rising flour in your pantry you won’t even need a measuring spoon.  No self-rising flour??  No worries, measure 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a dry 1-cup measure and top with all-purpose flour.  Make sure to give a good mix before adding to the recipe.

This comes together quickly so make sure your oven is preheated to 325F and your 9×5-inch loaf pan is greased and lined with parchment paper (with an overhang for easy removal).

Pecans would be my first preference for this loaf but walnuts would work great or a combination of pecans and walnuts.  Just bake it up next time you require a simple tea cake or a suppliment with your afternoon coffee.  Oven’s on you say?!  Then let’s get started!

Caramel Pecan Cake
Caramel Pecan Cake – sweetenuf.ca

 

Caramel Pecan Cake

Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and line 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 3/4 ounces butter, cubed

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, room temperature

3/4 cup, rough chopped pecans

1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 toasted whole pecans – for garnish

1 tbsp golden corn syrup – for garnish to drizzle

Caramel Icing:

Mix together: 1 tbsp water, 2 tbsp golden corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar until thick but pourable.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Set aside for cooled cake.

Method:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter, brown sugar and milk, until the butter just melts.  Make sure it is not too hot.  Remove from heat and let cool if necessary.

With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir in the egg and pecans.  Add the flour and stir until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface with offset spatula or back of spoon  Bake approximatley 35 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Once cool, spoon on with Caramel Icing then drizzle on syrup and garnish with remaining pecans.

 

 

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

orange carrots on table
Carrots – the star of the show

Summer brings us wonderful fresh produce here in Ontario.  Roasting or cooking up a bunch of sweet carrots is a wonderful addition with any meal but baking them into a classic dessert is an even better use of this veg.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake

Today’s recipe for a moist sweet carrot cake with coconut and walnuts topped with a light Cream Cheese Icing will be a pleasant treat after any meal and an impressive dessert to take along to your next bbq!

This recipe is a perfect size as it bakes up in a 3-inch high 8-inch round cake pan in about 40-45 minutes.  You could also use 2 x 8-inch pans or use the larger height pan like I did and split the cake for an extra layer of icing.   Remember, if using 2 pans your baking time will be reduced.

Miette baking book is where I found this simple recipe and basically the only change I made was using the flat beater for all steps; Miette uses the whisk attachment for the first step of mixing the eggs, sugar and oil. Miette’s recipe also calls for using currents, walnuts and coconut but I opted for only walnuts and coconut as my add-ins.

I normally don’t add coconut to my baked items but in this cake with the carrots and walnuts it added another layer of flavour that blended together deliciously.  You could leave out the cocont and add in some dried currents or some raisins.  I toasted an additional 1/4 cup of coconut to sprinkle on top of the iced cake.

If possible pick up some fresh carrots at the farmers market as they truly are sweet and crunchy this time of the year and will make this cakes wonderful flavour just that much brighter.

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes until well combined and light in colour.  Slow the mixer down, drizzle in the oil and then beat on high speed to emulsify the oi.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 3 additions mixing on medium after each until smooth.

Add in the carrots, walnuts and coconut and beat just until combined.  Remove from mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl to ensure everything is folded together well.

Scrape into prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool completely and ice with Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows).

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese IcingCream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature

4 cups icing sugar

1-3 tsp. milk or cream

Beat butter and cream cheese together for several miutes until very well blended and smooth.  Add in icing sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on low to combine until spreadable consistency.  You many need a bit more or less icing sugar and if it’s too stiff beat in a teaspoon or two of milk.

Spread between layers and on top of cake.  Garnish with toasted walnuts or coconut.

Refrigerate uneaten portion and bring to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

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Cookie Brittle – Sweetenuf.ca

Today’s recipe share is from Shauna Sever’s wonderful book ‘Real Sweet’.  This simple recipe uses turbinado sugar to give the brittle some brown sugar flavour but keeps the cookie nice and crisp.  If you swapped in granulated sugar you defeat the purpose of the ‘brittle’ as the cookie wouldn’t have the same texture.

The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate chips but I used a combo of bittersweet and semi-sweet in my batch and I liked the extra hit of sweet…but I’m sure no one is surprised by my sweeter preference.

I definitely should have taken a few more minutes and pressed by dough a little thinner per Shauna’s instructions but patience is sometimes not my virtue!  Flattening the dough to cover the pan is probably the most difficult part of this simple but addictive recipe.

I will be baking up more recipes from this book which features all types of sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, frozen unsweetened apple juice, etc.  so don’t forget to subscribe to sweetenuf.ca or follow on Instagram (sweet_enuf) to see what’s baking up!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line a 12 x 17-inch baking sheet.

Ingredients:

14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1 cup turbinado sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate

Method:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together until melted BUT NOT boiling.  Remove from stove and whisk together until the butter is completely melted.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Whisk again continuously for 1 minute, or until mixture is thickened and smooth and no longer appears separated.  Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour until well incorporated (no white streaks of flour remain and no flour on bottom or sides of saucepan).  Stir in 1/2 of the nuts.

Turn dough out onto prepared pan and pat it very thin.  (It helps to break the dough up into mounds and place all over sheet pan and then work to pat it all together.)  Just keep working to spread dough over all of cookie sheet.  When complete lightly smooth with an offset spatula to even it all out.

Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and the remaining nuts and press then lightly into the dough with your hands.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.  Rotate pans every 7-8 minutes for even baking.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes then using another parcment lined sheet FLIP the brittle onto it and remove the parchment.  Carefully invert again onto a cooling rack to firm up.

Cool completely and break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container.  This will keep for about 5 days but I don’t think it will hang around for that long!

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Cookie Brittle Sweetenuf.ca

White Chocolate Orange Scones

White Chocolate Orange Scones

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White Chocolate Orange Scones

White Chocolate Orange Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into small pieces

4 ounces white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 2nd baking sheet under lined sheet.  (This helps to prevent the bottom from over baking.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, orange juice, vanilla and egg.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the cold butter in.  Pieces should be the size of peas OR use a box grater and grate the butter into the flour mixture and toss lightly until butter pieces are coated with the flour mixture.

Add the wet ingredients and fold in until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead (adding flour as necessary) until it comes together.  Pat dough into a square and then roll it out to a 12-inch square.  Now fold it together in thirds (it will resemble a letter) and then fold into thirds again, (now it will look like a nice little square pacakge) adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking.  Put on alightly floured plate and freeze for about 10 minutes.

Put dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to a large circle about 1/2 thick and score into 8 portions.

If desired, brush to tops with a little cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 18-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom.

Best eaten day of baking but wrap well and microwave for 5-10 seconds on the second day IF there are any leftovers.

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Butterscotch Cupcakes

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Butterscotch Cupcakes…sweetenuf.ca

The butterscotch flavour comes from the brown sugar and butter in these moist sweet cupcakes.  Did you know both butterscotch and toffee are part of the caramel family.  Butterscotch tastes similar to caramel but is sweeter and more butterty in taste which is most likely why I thought they were fantastic.

It is amazing the baking books I discover when I go on the hunt for a particular recipe!  I start looking for one thing and suddenly come across a recipe book or magazine tucked away (usually under several other baking related books or papers) and most often several pages are flagged with post-it notes awaiting a ‘bake-up’.

I’ve probably had this particular book “Caramel” by Carole Bloom for about 5 years and I guess this week it was time for Butterscotch Cupcakes so here you go!

Oh, a couple of things….this recipe calls for Cake & Pastry Flour which I didn’t have on hand.  You can substitite all-purpose flour BUT for every cup of all-purpose flour you use REMOVE 2 tbsp.  Alternately, if you had a recipe calling for all-purpose flour and you only had cake and pastry flour you would need to ADD 2 tbsp for each cup used.  For the batch I made I got 21 cupcakes not 16.  And I used my regular icing recipe and added some already prepared butterscotch sauce to it.  You could add some Dulce de Leche or use a plain vanilla icing.  These are definitely sweet treats but I bet you’ll be adding this to your recipe file.  Happy baking!

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line or grease 2 12-cup muffin tins.  Yield: approx. 16

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher or fine-grained sea salt

2/3 cup sour cream

Method:

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the brown sugar and beat until creamy.

In a small bowl, using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together.  Add to the butter mixture in 2 stages, beating well after each addition. Stop and scrap down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure well mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt to blend.  Add half of this dry mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixure and combine thoroughly.  Add the sour cream and blend until smooth and then add the remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

Fill prepared cups 2/3 full and bake about 22 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for about 5-10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.  Now share!!

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Fill muffin cups
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Sprinkle topped Butterscotch Cupcakes…recipe on sweetenuf.ca