a little of each

A family's cookbook

Sweet and Rich Banana Muffins April 25, 2014

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:57 pm
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Sweet and rich banana muffins. A Little of Each.com

A little like cake, a little like a muffin, a lot of yum.

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Muffins, Infinite Ways recipe.

If only all produce, upon ripening too fast and becoming mushy, spotty, and gross, could be turned into deliciousness like bananas.  It goes a long way in making up for their Hobbit hole-sized window of perfect ripeness (Eddie Izzard, anyone?).  There are an infinite number of fabulous banana bread recipes (a few here even), and they can range from healthy and hearty to decadent and chocolate-filled.  This recipe, which can be made as muffins or a bread, is a wonderful middle ground, pairing not-too-sweet with a  moist yet light cake texture.  Of course, either form is best warmish with a smidge of butter and strawberry jam.

 

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour or substitute up to 1 cup with white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

6 Tbl butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup mashed bananas, about 2 bananas worth

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/3 brown sugar

1-2 tsp Penzeys Cake Spice

 

Directions

Heat the oven to 375. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or loaf pan.

Mix together the first three dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) in a bowl. In a second bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  In another bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and mashed banana. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, then moisten with a little of the milk. Repeat until all of the ingredients are used up, taking care not to overmix.  The batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but quite moist; add a little more milk if necessary.

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Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about 2/3 full, or into a loaf pan. My small assistant and I used silicone molds with nice results.

 

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Spoon a generous bit of brown sugar mixed with Penzeys Cake Spice over the top.

 

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Bake for 20 minutes for muffins or 40-50 minutes for the bread.  The results are light in color, fluffy, and the brown sugar on top adds a hint of crunch.  Now to figure out if these are breakfast or dessert…

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The Best Scones May 20, 2013

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:44 pm
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From Smitten Kitchen and America’s Test Kitchen.

Scone

I am not a baker, but if there is one thing I feel like I should inherently be able to bake, it is a good scone.  I am partly Scottish – from my freckled, white skin to my love of its terriers, ponies, and cats, not to mention those kilts.  Yes, those kilts….  Anyway, I’ve made tough scones, chewy scones, crumbly and dry scones.  My MacBeth ancestors (no joke) were crying, “Ach!”  And then came the Smitten Kitchen, a Brooklyn Jew who loves to cook and does it so darn well, and she inspired me to try scones one more time.   And would you, and my MacBeth clansmen and -women, believe that I can now confidently make a light, fluffy, not-too-sweet scone that is worthy of clotted cream and lemon curd?  These quickly became a Sunday evening tradition during the airing of Downton Abbey on PBS.

Downton Abbey

Tell me there’s not a better way to enjoy period dramas than with a delicious scone and a great big cuppa.

 

Ingredients

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants (I used dried cranberries, and chopped them into smaller bits)
1 cup heavy cream (I have used whole milk with wonderful results.)
juice and zest from one lemon
a few tablespoons of confectioners sugar

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper.

6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Combine lemon juice, zest, and enough confectioners sugar to form a drizzle-able liquid.  Drizzle over the warmish scones.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Blueberry Scones

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:13 am
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blueberry scone.2

 
Ingredients
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2-3 Tbl raw sugar for sprinkling on scones

 

 

blueberry scone

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Freeze, then grate one stick of butter.  Put blueberries into the freezer until needed.  Whisk the milk and sour cream together and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Blend flour, sugar, lemon rind, baking powder, salt and baking soda together.  Add frozen grated butter and gently toss with your hands until thoroughly coated.  Fold in the chilled milk with a spatula until just combined.
  3. Turn the dough mixture onto a well-floured surface.  Flour your hands and the dough, knead gently until six to eight times until it barely holds together.  Add flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Roll dough out to approximately a 12″ square.
  5. Sprinkle the cold blueberries evenly over the dough, pressing lightly into the dough.  Roll the dough into a log shape, then press with a roller until about 4″ wide by 12″ long.
  6. Cut into four equal rectangles, and then each rectangle into triangles.
  7. Place scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Melt the remaining 1/4 stick butter, and brush each scone with butter and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  8. Bake until lightly golden brown, 18 to 24 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature. Makes 8 scones.
 

Blueberry Muffins March 29, 2013

Filed under: Breads — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:52 am
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Ingredients

1 egg

½ cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

 

Directions

Beat egg with fork. Continue beating and stir in milk and oil. In a separate bowl, blend the dry ingredients; stir the wet and dry mixtures together until flour is moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Carefully fold in the berries. Bake in greased muffin cups at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes one dozen.

 

Brunch Casserole January 9, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:45 pm
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14 slices white bread, cubed
2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb sausage, sautéed until cooked
1 lb bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, mixed with the sausage
9 eggs
4 cups milk
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

Grease bottom of an 11 x 14 baking dish. Place half of the bread cubes in dish. Add half of the cheese and all of the bacon and sausage mixture. Then add remaining bread and cheese. Beat eggs and add to them the milk, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Pour egg mixture over ingredients in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let dish sit at room temperature for a bit to bring the temperature up and then bake it uncovered at 325 for 45 minutes or until it is brown and bubbly.

 

Puffed Apple Pancake

Filed under: Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:45 pm
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1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbl unsalted butter
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 Tbl golden brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour, and whisk until batter is smooth. Place butter in 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Place dish in oven until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Place apple slices in overlapping rows atop melted butter in baking dish. Return to oven and continue to bake until apples begin to soften slightly and butter is bubbling and beginning to brown around edges of dish, about 10 minutes. Pour batter over apples in dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake pancake until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm.

From Bon Appetit, September 2002.

 

Lemon Souffle Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Filed under: Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:44 pm
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These were a traditional Christmas Morning breakfast at the Yellen house. The sauce can be prepared the night before to speed things up.

1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
grated zest of 5 lemons
¾ cup ricotta cheese
6 Tablespoons buttermilk
6 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated

In large bowl, stir flour, one Tbl of sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and lemon zest. In small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, buttermilk, melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract and egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Batter will be quite dense. In a bowl, use mixer on medium speed to beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add two Tbl sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Using spatula, fold about ¼ of egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining egg whites. Don’t attempt to make batter completely uniform; streaks of egg white are fine. Cover and refrigerate for up to one hour. Lightly coat griddle with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat for two to three minutes. For each pancake, spoon about ¾ cup of batter into pan to form pancakes about five inches in diameter. Cook until large bubbles form (three to four minutes), turn with spatula and cook on second side. Place on warmed individual serving dishes and top with raspberry sauce. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Enjoy.

Raspberry sauce:
1 ½ cups corn syrup
1 ½ cups raspberries
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

To make the raspberry sauce: combine raspberries, corn syrup and lemon juice in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring slowly to boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer until light, crimson colored syrup forms, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through fine-mesh sieve into bowl. Press berry pulp with spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.