Monday, September 30, 2013

Lemon Pound Cake from Penzeys

I know it looks awful because it fell apart on the way out of the bundt pan, but it tasted delicious.  The recipe is from another Penzeys Catalog, and I've had this recipe on my fridge all summer, but only got to it a couple of weekends ago.  I baked it for my friends' housewarming party, and everybody ignored how it looked and thought it was quite tasty.

Here's what you'll need for the cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely grated lemon peel, or 2 teaspoons of Penzeys' Minced Lemon Peel covered in 2 tablespoons warm water for 5 minutes (I used Penzeys)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Here's what you'll need for the glaze:
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
First, move your oven racks around so you have one in the middle.  Next, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a 2 quart plain or fluted tube pan and set aside.  
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt (if using) in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon peel at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat well.  
In 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, add the flour alternately with milk and lemon juice and beat just until combined.  Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched and/or a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes and then remove from pan (ever so carefully!) onto a rack to cool completely.

To prepare the glaze, stir the powdered sugar into the lemon juice and keep stirring until smooth and thick.  When the cake is completely cool, set the rack over a baking sheet or waxed paper.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Annie's Granola with Coconut from Penzeys

Today is another Penzeys recipe and it was submitted by a woman named Ann W.  I've never made my own granola before and honestly never really knew what was in it.  I knew some things were in it, but not how it's made or how it gets stuck together.  This recipe was a little time consuming but the end result was delicious.  Ann W. suggests sprinkling it on some vanilla yogurt with some fresh in-season fruit or dried fruit.  As you can see, I topped my Greek yogurt with it.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 3/4 cup safflower or olive oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 2 teaspoons of Penzeys Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (don't worry if you only have one, you can use it in place of the other)
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (I used shredded coconut, and if you use sweetened coconut cut the honey by 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashew halves (I think I used walnuts in place of the cashews since I didn't have any cashews lying around)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and honey and mix well.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix thoroughly.  Add the oats, coconut, and nuts and mix on the lowest setting of your mixer or by hand until combined.

Spread the mixture onto a jellyroll pan or an 11"x17" baking pan with sides (or use 2 smaller pans).
Bake for 10 minutes then stir, especially getting the mixture in the corners.  Continue to bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes so as not to burn.  Remove from oven after 40-45 minutes so the mixture is browned but not burned.  Cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour.  Keep in an airtight container.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

St. James Coffee Cake from Penzeys

I made this coffee cake Labor Day weekend to bring to my aunt's house, who was hosting a small get together at the Jersey shore.  It's from a Penzeys catalog, so you know it's going to be good.  :)

Here's what you'll need:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Penzeys Cinnamon (best cinnamon ever!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup raisins (or currants)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, I believe I used hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and spices.  Cut or rub in the butter until the mixture resembles corn meal.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture.  In a second bowl, combine buttermilk and baking soda.  Pour this into the remaining crumb mixture in halves, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Stir in the raisins and nuts.  Spread the batter into a greased and floured 9"x13" pan.  Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until brown and springy when touched or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Healthy Smoothies and Salad

Hey all!  So classes started right after Labor Day and since I'm a full time student I've been doing a lot of homework and studying and less baking. :-( I also just recently started a part time job, so my social life and personal time will be extremely limited.  I'll bake and cook whenever I can find the time, and I will find time because this is the best season for baking!  Pumpkins, apples, and holidays galore!

So for this post, I have three smoothies to share and my go-to salad recipe.  The next few posts will be baking because I did manage to get some time in a few weeks ago.  So expect to see a granola recipe, a coffee cake, and pound cake.  :-)

The first smoothie is a berry one, here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 container of Fage fat-Free Greek Yogurt, or 3/4 cup of your favorite yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh berries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 packet of Stevia in the Raw
Blend until smooth.
The second smoothie is a green smoothie, here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup milk, I used non-sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh)
Blend until smooth.
And lastly, another green smoothie, you'll need:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2-1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Blend until smooth.

For the salad, I got the idea from those Eat This Not That! books as well as a local restaurant's menu. You will need:
  • Spinach or Romaine lettuce 
  • Strips of cooked chicken
  • 1 apple cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cheese, feta or goat works well