Monday, July 13, 2015

Brown Butter Granola Breakfast Cookies

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For the last few months, I've only been blogging once a month with my Secret Recipe Club group. I hate that I am not posting regularly (owing to many reasons), but I am grateful to SRC for keeping me posting at least once a month. But I have to take a break even from SRC because it just isn't fair to the other members when I'm not posting regularly. August will be my last SRC post. I will be applying for a break from the group. I hope to be back to blogging in a few months.

This month, I just LOVED the blog I was assigned to. Not only did I find some awesome, mouth-watering recipes, but I also found so much that built me up in my spirit. Jessie Weaver is a gorgeous woman of faith, an awesome mom, wife and cook and I don't think you will be disappointed with the range of posts you will discover on her amazing blog. Thank you for everything, Jessie. I love what you write, and you have a regular reader in me!

If you've visited my blog before, you probably know all my love for breakfast baking. It's more like an obsession. Muffins, scones, rolls, quick breads - I've done it all and I do it waaaaay more often than I care to admit. I found a few awesome recipes in these categories on Jessie's blog - the gingerbread white chocolate muffins, the chai spice scones (another SRC recipe) and a few more, but there was one that grabbed my attention. I saw the words 'brown butter' in the title, and I was sold.
Brown Butter Granola Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from this recipe on jessieweaver.net
Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly whisked
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used 2 cups wheat and 1 cup all-purpose)
1 cup granola (I used an unsweetened chunky one with slivered almonds, walnuts, raisins and oat clusters)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup oatmeal
3 tbsp coarse flaxseed meal

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and prepare a cookie sheet by lining with greaseproof paper or Silpat.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter on low heat stirring until it is all melted. Allow it to keep cooking on low heat until the butter browns and gives off a heady, nutty aroma. This could take 10-12 minutes, and while it doesn't need stirring, you will need to watch it the whole time. It can go from browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.
3. Set the brown butter aside for 10 minutes to cool.
4. Stir in the honey, salt, baking soda, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract.
5. Add the eggs and buttermilk and stir well to combine.
6. Stir in the flour, granola, chocolate chips, oatmeal and flaxseed meal. Mix well.
7. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookie dough onto your prepared baking sheet. Allow some space between each cookie and the next. If you're shaping them by hand, form 2 inch sized balls and slightly flatten on the baking sheet. I got about 30 large cookies from this recipe.
8. Bake in batches, allowing each batch to bake 15-18 minutes. The cookies will be golden brown on the bottom and slightly risen.
9. Allow to cool on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Serve fresh if possible. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
I didn't make many changes to this recipes. Just added some oatmeal instead of the oat bran she recommends (I didn't have oat bran at hand), and some flaxseed meal. And I just mixed everything in the same saucepan in which I made the brown butter. It really is an amazing one-bowl recipe!

All of us absolutely loved this recipe! The cookies are not too sweet, have an amazing aroma and flavor and texture - crispy on the outside with a soft center, studded with nuts, raisins and chocolate chips. How could breakfast get any better! Thank you, Jessie! We LOVED this recipe :)

I will be back in August for one last SRC post. See you all then!


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Berries & Cream Scones

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It's Secret Recipe Club time again! If not for SRC, my blog would be already dead and gone. After two more months of SRC, I will be taking a few months off though. I need some time away from the blog to focus on the family and while I will miss blogging, I know I will be back.

This month, I was super excited to be assigned the fabulous blog Camilla's Culinary Adventures! Oh man - Camilla really is a star. She manages a fabulously loaded blog on which she posts amazing recipes very regularly, she runs a beautiful family and she is also our Group B moderator here at SRC. I need lessons from this lady on time management! Hats off to you, Camilla. You're an inspiration!
I honestly had such a hard time picking a recipe this time around. She has so many recipes in almost every style of cooking. I was tempted to pick a bread recipe, or a Madeleine recipe (I adore Madeleines) or one of her amazing cupcake recipes since my daughter has been nagging me for cupcakes. Finally, I ended up with a breakfast recipe when i needed to make a quick batch of scones for someone. I remembered seeing this recipe on Camilla's site and went back to it. 

The recipe is originally strawberries and cream but I didn't have strawberries in the house at the time, and so I made it with blueberries instead. I'm sure it would have been amazing with strawberries though! Next time! 

Berries and Cream Scones
Adapted from Camilla's Culinary Adventures
Ingredients 
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
2/3 cup double cream 
1 large egg 
1/2-3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries 
1 tbsp double cream (for the top)

Method 
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Stir well to combine. 
3. Add the butter and using either a pastry cutter or just the tips of your finger, work the butter into the dry mixture until the mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs. You could even do this in the food processor. 
4. Add the cream and egg and gently bring the dough together. 
5. Once the dough is formed, add the blueberries and be very gentle to disperse the berries. Take care not to bruise the berries too much. 
6. Transfer the dough onto your prepared baking sheet and pat into a circle that's about 1/2 inch thick. Slice into wedges and drizzle the top with the reserved cream. 
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the scones are lightly golden and raised. 
8. Serve warm drizzled with a glaze of your choice or with cream and jam. 

These scones were different from the ones I've made before and we all loved them - especially my husband! The base and edges had a crispy cookie like texture that we couldn't get enough of, and the middle was soft and crumbly, and as Camilla mentioned that her son noticed, - the flavour was intensely buttery and delicious!

Thank you for this amazing base recipe for scones Camilla. You can bet I'll be using this to make many amazing combinations for years to come! Please go check out Camilla's blog and I promise you a treasure trove of recipes that you can't stop bookmarking! 

Don't forget to check out the other awesome SRC recipes below!

Until next time :)



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Monday, May 11, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Cranberry Orange Yoghurt Bread

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Yes. I know. It has been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since my last post here on the blog. I apologise for the long silence. It has been a crazy time for me. And I've been feeling really sick and out of it. The good thing is that I am starting to feel a lot better and I hope to be blogging regularly again.

I was glad to get back into the kitchen earlier this month to try out my recipe for this month's Secret Recipe Club post. 

This month I was assigned an awesome blog called A Spoonful of Thyme. I am no stranger to this blog and I have visited it before and even cooked from it! You guys know I don't usually blog about cooking recipes - mostly baking. But let me tell you - this rice recipe is awesome! So you won't be surprised when I say that I was thrilled to find I was assigned Kate's blog. Kate comes from a family of cooks and with cooking in her DNA, I'm not surprised that there are so many incredible recipes on her site! I loved cooking from your site, Kate!

I've bookmarked a ton of recipes to try - especially the fabulous pie recipes which you remember your mom and grandma for! I absolutely intend to try this Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb ASAP. Who cares if it is the middle of a blazing hot summer where I live. This will get made! 
The recipe I chose to make and share with you today is this absolutely flavourful, moist divine quick bread that my family and I LOVED. I am sure you will too!

Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread
Adapted from this recipe on A Spoonful of Thyme
Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 2 oranges
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
1 cup lightly toasted pecans

Method
1. Prepare your loaf tin by lightly greasing and flouring it. Kate recommends a 6-cup capacity loaf tin. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Stir together the yogurt and orange juice. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until creamy and light.
5. Beat the eggs in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and creamy.
6. Beat in the orange zest and extract.
7. Add the flour mixture in small quantities, alternating with the yogurt mixture. Make sure you finish by adding the last of the flour mixture.
NOTE: This mixing should be done on low speed so that you don't end up working the gluten in the flour. Do not over-mix. Stop mixing as soon as the flour has been incorporated in each addition. If you mix too much at this stage, you won't have a bread with a tender crumb.
8. Add the cranberries and pecans and fold them in by hand until evenly distributed.
9. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Do not over-bake. Keep in mind that if you are using a smaller sized loaf tin, the baking time will decrease. Keep an eye on the bread and remove as soon as it is done.
10. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing and serving.
I made double this recipe because I had gut feeling that this was going to be very popular around here - and I am so glad I did this! I ended up with two loaves (baked in 5 cup capacity loaf tins), plus 6 muffins with this recipe and I am enjoying the coveted last slice right now as I write this post. The texture was just divine - moist and melting and don't get me started on the flavor! My only change to the recipe was the addition of a dash of ground cinnamon - a flavor I love in combination with orange! I had to skip the orange oil since I didn't have it in my pantry, but I used a splash of orange extract instead, and I increased the amount of orange zest in my recipe.

I made one loaf with the pecans and the rest without because my kids don't really enjoy nuts in their bread. My husband adores pecans and so he ate the pecan loaf almost entirely by himself. Personally, my favourite part of the loaves was the ruby red cranberries. It is amazing how the cranberries are almost inedible when raw and fresh but taste SO good when baked into something like this. Just amazingly yummy!

If you're looking for good ways to use cranberries, this bread is a winner! And if you still have tons of cranberries left, please please please make this Cranberry Hazelnut Coffee Cake. You will not regret it! There are a few more yummy cranberry recipes in my recipe index, if you want them!

Until next time… 

Check out the other posts below for more Secret Recipe Club recipes from the group I bake with!


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