Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

I’m all about the citrus lately … in case that wasn’t already blatantly obvious.  Which even surprises me, considering about two years ago I hated (like with a serious passion) any type of citrus in baked goods.  Sure, I have always loved fruit but in cookies or cake and the like?  I don’t think so jack.  Clearly the times have changed.

So today I have for you an orange chocolate chip quick bread.  No mixer required.  Just some bowls, a whisk and a spatula.  And a quick bread means you can eat it for breakfast right?

That may have been the case if I didn’t go right ahead and smother it in a brown butter glaze.  And oh goodness gracious this glaze.  I would just drizzle it straight into my mouth all the time if that wouldn’t give my dentist a heart attack.

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

And I have the best dentist so I wouldn’t want to do that.  So side story – the first time I went to this dentist after we moved here they were asking all about me and what I did and I mentioned this blog.  It has become a huge conversation topic during each visit and a few weeks ago while I was having two old cavities replaced I mentioned the lemon poppy seed cupcakes.  Within seconds, some of the other staff materialized in the room and wanted to know why I didn’t bring any for them to sample.  It was pretty entertaining.  But really, is it a good idea to bring cupcakes to your dentist??  That are made of lots of sugar??

Anyway, my husband went in for his check-up a week later and all they wanted to talk about was the cupcakes.  Ha!  Who’s more popular?  This girl, that’s for sure.  Why I care that my dentist likes me more than my husband I don’t know.  Let’s just go with it.

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

So make a loaf of this bread for yourself or maybe for Easter brunch, yes?  And if you find yourself licking some of the glaze with a spoon just let it happen (but don’t tell your dentist it was my idea).

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Yield: 1 (8 ½ by 4 ½ inch) loaf

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Ingredients

    For the bread:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil*
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • For the glaze:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • about 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.**
  2. To make the bread - in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and egg until well combined (it will clump together at first but just keep whisking and it will smooth out). Add in the vanilla, coconut oil, milk and orange zest and whisk again to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
  3. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until a tester inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil. Once the bread is cool enough to handle, gently run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the glaze - add the butter chunks to a small skillet. Let the butter melt over medium heat and then continue to cook, whisking frequently, until it begins to brown (this takes several minutes). You should see brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once you see those bits, turn off the heat and continue to whisk constantly for about 30 seconds, until the butter is golden brown. Be careful not to burn the butter - those bits can turn black quickly.
  5. Transfer the browned butter to a small bowl (make sure you get all those caramel bits in the pan!). Let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt and whisk to combine. Add more milk or confectioners’ sugar to achieve the consistency that you want. Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake. Let set before slicing to serve.

Notes

*Make sure that you melt the coconut oil first and then measure out the correct amount (otherwise you may use too much). Alternatively, you can also substitute in canola or vegetable oil - they should both work fine here.

**If you only have a 9x5 inch loaf pan, you can go ahead and use it. However, be sure to check the loaf while baking about 5 minutes earlier than noted in the recipe above.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/04/11/orange-chocolate-chip-bread-brown-butter-glaze/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Orange Poppy Seed Scones

Orange Poppy Seed Scones | cookiemonstercooking.com

Orange Poppy Seed Scones | cookiemonstercooking.com

Surprise!  Today is a very special day as we are inviting you to a virtual baby shower honoring Kelly from Life Made Sweeter and Hilary from My Own Blog Review.  To celebrate these two lovely ladies, we are sharing 11 recipes and crafts that are ready to “pop.”  So fun, right?  Be sure to “pop” over and check out everyone’s posts!  And a big congratulations to Kelly and Hilary!

Baby Shower Invitation

Now let’s get to the food and chat about this delicious breakfast treat that I whipped up for the special occasion.  I’ve been wanting to experiment with orange poppy seed scones for a while now and this baby shower was the perfect excuse to give them a try.  After quite a bit of fiddling (and plenty of taste testing later), I am finally happy with the way they turned out.

Buttery and tender but not cloyingly sweet, these scones are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.  The orange flavor is definitely there but not overpoweringly so.  I may have enjoyed a few too many … all in the name of quality control.  Yes, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Orange Poppy Seed Scones | cookiemonstercooking.com

And now so you can explore all the other fun treats that were made to celebrate:

  1. Key Lime Pie Popsicles – Spoonful of Flavor
  2. Cheddar Bacon Crescent Poppers – A Little Claireification
  3. Sweet Indulgence Popcorn mix – It Bakes Me Happy
  4. “Pop”ular Tiramisu Blondies – Frugal Foodie Mama
  5. Lollipop Centerpiece – The Mandatory Mooch
  6. Buttered Popcorn Creme Brulee – Baking a Moment
  7. Orange Poppy Seed Scones – Cookie Monster Cooking
  8. Lemon Poppyseed Baked Donuts – Blahnik Baker
  9. Candy Popcorn Pops – Little Miss Celebration
  10. Lemon Drizzle Iced Poppyseed Cakes – What Jessica Baked Next
  11. Lemon Cheesecake Pops – What’s Cooking Love?

Baby Shower Round-Up

Congratulations again Kelly and Hilary!  We are so excited for you both!

Orange Poppy Seed Scones

Yield: about 8 to 10 scones

Orange Poppy Seed Scones

Ingredients

    For the scones:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • For the glaze:
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions

  1. To make the scones - preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds in a large bowl. Using your fingers, two knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. Continue until the mixture resembles even-sized crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix (the mixture will be on the drier side but stop when it comes together - if needed add additional buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time).
  3. Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet (I used my muffin-sized dough scoop – which holds about ¼ cup of batter). Alternatively you can pat the dough into a circle on a floured surface and then cut into triangles. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until the scones just start to turn golden brown.
  4. To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice in a small bowl (add more or less of the orange juice to get it to the consistency that you want). Drizzle the glaze over the scones (let the scones cool if you don’t want the glaze to melt into the scones!).
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/31/orange-poppy-seed-scones/

Source:
Adapted from my cranberry orange white chocolate scones.

 

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Let me introduce you to my new favorite weekend breakfast.  I made this on a whim one morning when I was trying to use up some leftover sweet potatoes I had laying around.  We loved it so much that I made it for the next several weeks straight.  And then I clearly had to make it again to grab photos and share here with you.  Twist my arm.

But one try and I bet that you’ll be hooked too.  And … and … it’s really easy.  Like maybe a little too easy to be sharing but whatevs.  We all love simple recipes right?

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Plus there are eggs involved.  I would probably put eggs on just about everything if I could … runny yolks, I mean come on.  How can you resist?

And then combine them with sweet potatoes spiced up with my other favs (hello cumin and smoked paprika … are you sick of me talking about them yet?) and you have one heck of a breakfast.  Or breakfast for dinner?  I would totally go there except my husband likes to throw a bit of a hissy fit when I try to pull the breakfast for dinner thing.  Correction – a super manly hissy fit since I know he’s not going to like that term.

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Awesomeness that only dirties one skillet.  That’s a win right there friends.

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Yield: about 4 servings

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ⅓ cup low-sodium vegetable broth, plus extra as needed
  • ½ cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • salsa, for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the potatoes and then sprinkle with the cumin, paprika, salt and cayenne. Give it a good stir then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add in the vegetable broth, give it another good stir then re-cover and let cook for about 10 more minutes, until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. If the skillet starts to get too dry (i.e. the potatoes are sticking to the bottom, add in a little more vegetable broth, a tablespoon or two at a time - especially right before you add the cheese/eggs).
  2. When the potatoes are tender, sprinkle the pepper jack cheese evenly over the top. Next, make four small wells in the sweet potatoes (leaving a few sweet potatoes at the bottom of each well) and then break the eggs into the wells. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to medium low / low and let cook until the eggs are set and the yolks are to your desired doneness (for me this was about 6 minutes).
  3. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the cilantro and green onions. Serve with salsa and hot sauce, if desired.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/26/southwest-sweet-potato-breakfast-skillet/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Is it breakfast?  Or dessert?  Both??  I say eat it for whichever your heart desires.  For me, that was breakfast … and I enjoyed every last bite.  But seriously, I’ve been staring at my computer screen for about 10 minutes trying to decide which category this bowl of creamy polenta goodness fits into best … and I still haven’t made a decision.  I can be very indecisive. Just ask my husband, he’ll gladly verify that fact.

But polenta, let’s get back to the polenta.  Last year I made breakfast polenta for the first time and totally fell in love.  So I decided I should make some more … and really jazz it up.  Make it super snazzy.  You know, lots of dark chocolate, pistachios (because they are pretty) and to make it even more fun a mascarpone drizzle.  Yeah, that’s right, a mascarpone drizzle.  Awesome.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

So this dish isn’t quite as in-your-face sweet as a piece of cake, making it perfectly acceptable for breakfast (at least that’s what I told myself).  The dark chocolate melts into the warm, slightly sweet creamy polenta and then you get some crunch from the pistachios … and for the grand finale you finish it off with a mascarpone drizzle, which also sort of melts into the mixture.  Perfection.

But don’t drizzle the mascarpone sauce onto a super hot bowl of polenta and expect it to stay for pictures – that whole melting thing.  That’s what I get for being impatient and refusing to wait for it to cool down a bit to take photos … because I wanted it in my belly as soon as possible.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Dark chocolate. Pistachios. Mascarpone.  Go make it happen.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Yield: about 4 servings

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Ingredients

    For the polenta:
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse polenta (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the mascarpone drizzle:
  • 2 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For topping:
  • dark chocolate chunks (or chopped dark chocolate)
  • shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the polenta - add the milk, water and salt to a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a low simmer. Slowly pour in the polenta in an even stream, whisking constantly the entire time. Turn the heat down to low and partially cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, whisking every few minutes to get out any lumps (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan). You want the polenta to thicken and have a creamy consistency. If it starts getting too thick, you can add in a little more milk (a tablespoon or so at a time).
  2. Meanwhile, to make the mascarpone drizzle - add the mascarpone, milk, maple syrup and vanilla to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  3. When the polenta is done cooking, remove from the heat and add in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  4. Ladle the polenta into bowls. Top with some of the chocolate and pistachios. Drizzle with some of the mascarpone mixture. Serve immediately.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/21/pistachio-dark-chocolate-polenta-mascarpone-drizzle/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

It’s Monday morning and we’re talking cookies.  Because cookies make everything better.  They will cheer you up from those Monday-morning-start-of-the-week blues.  If we’re being technical, it’s actually Sunday night as I’m writing this.  When that storm cloud settles in and you realize that the fun of the weekend is coming to a close.

You know, how you blew off all the work you should have done over the last two days to watch episode after episode of Chuck.  Seriously, I’m obsessed.  And because Netflix can be oh so bad for you.  Like how at the end of an episode you get that little timer thing that a new one will automatically start in 15 seconds.  And you have 15 seconds to decide that even though you should turn off the TV, instead you’ll just watch “one more.”  But one more, well, turns into more than one.  And so on.

I blame the automatic next episode feature.  Clearly it’s not my fault that they suck me in every single time and I don’t even have to touch my remote.

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

But I digress.  Cookies.  Healthier cookies!  Healthier carrot cake cookies!  That you can eat while watching way too many episodes of a new favorite show and not feel guilty about!  I mean, that’s a huge win right there.

These are basically just a slight twist on my healthier chocolate chip cookies that I made a few months back.  I tweaked the base recipe just a tad by altering the ratio of honey to maple syrup, making these a bit sturdier than the chocolate chip ones.  Because I’m a perfectionist and that always bothered me about my original recipe.

And then I went ahead and stuffed these with the good stuff – shredded carrots, plenty of juicy raisins, lots of coconut and a nice amount of spice.

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

So go ahead and enjoy one of these bad boys warm straight from the oven – with no guilt.  They will help beat even the worst of the Monday blues.

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies

Yield: about 15 to 18 cookies

Healthier Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour OR 1 cup almond meal*
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil**
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour (or almond meal), oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, honey, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the raisins, coconut, pecans and shredded carrot.
  3. Scoop about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of dough and drop onto the prepared cookie sheet (I used my large cookie scoop). Gently flatten the cookies slightly. You can space them pretty close together as they won’t really spread while baking. Bake for about 11 to 13 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool directly on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

*Make sure that you use either the whole wheat pastry flour OR the almond meal (do not use both!). It works great either way but the dough will be slightly wetter with the almond meal (again, it still works fine, just make sure you measure everything correctly).

**Melt the coconut oil first and then measure out the 3 tablespoons (otherwise you may use too much).

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/03/healthier-carrot-cake-cookies/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel | cookiemonstercooking.com

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel | cookiemonstercooking.com

This recipe has been in the works for a long time.  We’re talking all the way back in September.  My best friend from college was getting married and all the girls were getting ready with the bride.  Her mom picked up a loaf of pear bread from the local farmers’ market and we pretty much demolished the thing – it was that good.  I vowed then that I needed to recreate this delicious hunk of bread as soon as possible and filed it away in my brain as a must-make for the blog.

And here we are at the end of February.  This is one of those times that I kind of want to kick myself for not doing it sooner.  Or writing down the idea in the first place.  That would have been smart.  But I was a bridesmaid and had more important duties that day.  I’ll give myself a pass for this one.

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel | cookiemonstercooking.com

So better late than never?  We’re talking a quick and easy bread here – filled with lots of fresh chopped pear and plenty of cinnamon.  Now the bread we had at the wedding didn’t have a streusel but I couldn’t help myself.  Streusel, nay oatmeal streusel, makes everything better.  Am I right or am I right?

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel | cookiemonstercooking.com

No mixer needed, just a super moist and easy bread that I guarantee you’ll demolish in no time as well.  Or burn your finger when you try to pull off a piece of streusel the second it comes out of the oven.  Not my finest decision.

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel

Yield: 1 (8 ½ by 4 ½ inch) loaf

Pear Bread with Oatmeal Streusel

Ingredients

    For the streusel:
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the bread:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil*
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup cinnamon chips
  • 1 pear, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.**
  2. To make the streusel - in a small bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and salt until well combined (breaking up any clumps). Add in the melted butter and mix until combined and evenly moistened. Set aside.
  3. To make the bread - in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and egg until well combined (it will clump together at first but just keep whisking and it will smooth out). Add in the vanilla, coconut oil and milk and whisk again to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the cinnamon chips and chopped pear. It will be a nice and thick batter.
  4. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, until a tester inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil. Once the bread is cool enough to handle, gently run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen (a few crumbs on the edges may fall away but that’s okay!). Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

*Make sure that you melt the coconut oil first and then measure out the ⅓ cup (otherwise you may use too much). Alternatively, you can also substitute in canola or vegetable oil - they should both work fine here.

**If you only have a 9x5 inch loaf pan, you can go ahead and use it. However, be sure to check the loaf while baking about 5 minutes earlier than noted in the recipe above.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/02/26/pear-bread-oatmeal-streusel/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread | cookiemonstercooking.com

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread | cookiemonstercooking.com

So it figures that the day I posted an ice cream recipe is the day that we had a freak snow / ice storm here in North Carolina.   You guys – it was crazy.  I grew up in the Northeast but honestly never expected to see this type of snow down south.  Several inches topped with a layer of ice.  And then more snow.

I tried to take Emma out to do her “business” when it stopped for a few hours and she literally slid down our driveway.  She’s fine, don’t worry, but the look on her face was kinda priceless.  She absolutely loves going outside for walks but she was not having any of that ice / snow business.  I’ve never seen her try to get back inside so fast.

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread | cookiemonstercooking.com

We’ve been staying hunkered down inside, snuggled under lots of blankets.  Not that there’s any chance I’m going anywhere anytime soon since they still haven’t touched our street and it’s so icy that I can’t even walk outside our front door.

So instead of doing any of the work that I should be doing, I made another loaf of this quicker cinnamon raisin bread.  Because homemade bread makes me all warm and fuzzy inside and that’s exactly what I need in this weather.

This recipe is nice and fast – well, at least relative to most homemade yeast breads.  The dough comes together at warp speed and then there’s only one 45 minute-ish rise.  So you can have delicious bread coming out of your oven in no time.

And then please go pop a few slices in the toaster.  It toasts beautifully – so just trust me and do it.

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread | cookiemonstercooking.com

Then slather on a good bit of butter and sit with a cup of coffee in front of the fireplace.  Heaven I tell you, cinnamony delicious homemade bread heaven.

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Quicker Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, 120 to 130 degrees
  • ⅓ cup water, 120 to 130 degrees
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9 by 5 (or an 8 ½ by 4 ½) inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the bottom and sides of the pan with cornmeal and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add both kinds of flour, the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda and yeast. Mix on low for a few seconds to combine. Add in the milk, water and olive oil. Beat on high speed for 45 seconds. Add in the raisins and beat on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds. The dough will be on the stickier side and will be really soft.
  3. Use a spatula to help scrape / transfer the dough into the prepared pan and spread evenly in the pan. Spray one side of a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray and use it to cover the pan (greased side down). Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the dough just barely clears the top of the pan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature is 190 degrees. If the top starts to brown too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil (I usually do this about halfway through).
  5. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/02/14/quicker-cinnamon-raisin-bread/

Source:
Adapted from A Kitchen Addiction. Originally from King Arthur Flour.

 

Homemade Strawberry Milk

Homemade Strawberry Milk | cookiemonstercooking.com

Homemade Strawberry Milk | cookiemonstercooking.com

Growing up I was always a sucker for strawberry milk.  Don’t get me wrong I loved chocolate milk too, but there was just something about strawberry.  Probably the pretty pink color.  I’ve always been a girly girl at heart.  Pretty things make me super happy.

These days I don’t buy containers of strawberry or chocolate milk at the cafeteria for lunch.  But, I do still enjoy a big glass of chocolate milk sometimes at night – kinda like a pseudo dessert.

{Side note – does anyone else remember the bags of milk at school?  My elementary school switched to bags – yes bags – for a short period of time.  Worst decision ever on their part – you can easily imagine the gigantic mess this made.}

Homemade Strawberry Milk | cookiemonstercooking.com

So anyway, a few weeks ago it hit me – homemade strawberry milk.  I was convinced it would blow the fake stuff from my childhood out of the water.  And man oh man, it does not disappoint.  Strawberry milk with real strawberries!  I mean, c’mon.  You just can’t go wrong with that.

I’ve been waiting to share this recipe with you until now.  Because you know, pink = Valentine’s Day.

Homemade Strawberry Milk | cookiemonstercooking.com

So make a big glass, stick a pink straw in it and then blow bubbles like you’re five years old again.  It’s fun stuff I tell you.

Homemade Strawberry Milk

Yield: about 1 ¼ cups of strawberry syrup

Homemade Strawberry Milk

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • milk, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add the strawberries to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Strain the strawberry puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds (using a wooden spoon to help push it through). Set aside.
  2. Add the water and both kinds of sugar to a small saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Add in the strained strawberry puree and salt. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer. Turn down the heat just a bit and continue to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently (don’t wander away as the mixture will rise up and spill over very quickly if you’re not stirring frequently!). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Let cool completely and then store the syrup in the refrigerator. The mixture will thicken slightly as it cools. To serve, add a few tablespoons (or to taste) of the strawberry syrup to a glass of milk and stir until combined.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/02/10/homemade-strawberry-milk/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins | cookiemonstercooking.com

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins | cookiemonstercooking.com

Prepare yourself, I have some strawberry recipes coming your way in the immediate future.  Because I have a problem and can’t stop buying them like they are going out of style.  They sit there all innocent in their little containers, looking all pretty and bright red and delicious.  And they know … seriously they know … that I have been missing them since the summer when berries were in season and all that.  But lately … lately they have been looking mighty good.

I’ve also started going to the grocery store during off hours.  Let’s talk about the fact that the workers all know me and I chat it up each week with the produce guy (and the butcher … and the cashier … we’re bffs now too).  And even he started talking about the strawberries last week.  See, it’s totally not all my fault.

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins | cookiemonstercooking.com

So muffins.  Delicious strawberry vanilla muffins.  That pack a nice little strawberry punch since I have my beloved berry in these two ways – fresh strawberry puree and strawberry jam.  Go big or go home, right?  I can’t believe I just said that.  Moving on…

The muffins … they are super moist and have crunchy tops from the coarse sugar.  Which I love.  And you (or well really I) can eat a few too many in one sitting

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins | cookiemonstercooking.com

Enjoy one with a cup of coffee for a nice afternoon treat.  Or you can down a few for breakfast.  I may have done just that this morning.

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins

Yield: about 12 muffins

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins

Ingredients

    For the puree:
  • 4 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • For the muffins:
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup strawberry jam or preserves
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners and set aside.
  2. To make the puree - add the strawberries and granulated sugar to a food processor and process until smooth. Measure out ¼ cup and set aside (any extra you can discard).
  3. To make the muffins - whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make sure that you break up any clumps of the brown sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup of strawberry puree, egg, milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add in the strawberry jam (drop it in dollops into the batter) and mix just a few times - you don’t want it all the way incorporated into the batter.
  4. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin tin, filling each about ⅔ of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with the coarse sugar.
  5. Bake for about 14 to 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

*Make sure that you melt the coconut oil first and then measure out the ¼ cup (otherwise you may use too much). Alternatively, you can also substitute in canola or vegetable oil - they should both work fine here.

I’ve also made these using ¾ cup all-purpose and ¾ cup whole wheat flour. While still really moist, the strawberry flavor doesn’t come through quite as much. But they are still delicious!

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/02/05/strawberry-vanilla-muffins/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking