Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

Peach Pancakes

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

I love hippies. I always wanted to be one. My children think I was, and I do nothing to dispel that notion… So naturally, health food places and local sustainable farming is my thing… (That part, at least, is true.)

There is a certain restaurant in Austin (probably the hippie capital of Texas, or maybe the entire Southwest even…) where they serve local produce, embrace all manner of vegetarians, remain eternally chill and operate 24 hours a day. If you have been to Austin, someone has told you to go to Kerbey Lane, and heaven help you if you did not go!

The pancakes have a cult following, and let me tell you, once you have eaten their peach pancakes in the summer, they will haunt you… In a good way…  In a come-back-for-more kinda way… So go. I will not judge you.  And sister… neither will they!

Gather Up:
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
4 tablespoons oil
2 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
2 cups ripe, peeled, diced peaches

Blend egg, milk and oil. In a separate bowl blend dry ingredients together.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in peaches. Let sit 5 minutes. Batter will be lumpy.

Heat griddle until drops of water sizzle. Grease lightly if needed.

Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto hot grill and smooth out slightly. Flip pancakes once pancakes puff and bubbles have formed, but before bubbles break.

Turn and brown on the other side, pressing down gently to make sure batter cooks evenly around the fruit.

Serve immediately with powdered sugar, butter, warm syrup, peach butter, or topping of your choice.

Inspired by Kerbey Lane Café, Austin

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Monday, December 6th, 2010

First and foremost, THANK YOU. Seriously. Thank you so much to all of you who voted for us in the Austin Blogger Awards. It meant so much to us that you all were willing to take the time to cast a vote on our behalf. Really. You made our whole week! We didn’t win, but that’s not really what this is all about anyways. I work in social media, so I know that “community” is what’s really important. Sometimes that seems like flip consulting speak, but last week I saw that it’s actually very real. It has been so fun to get to know all of you over the course of the last 8 months or so, and we’re so very thankful to be a part of such a great community of people. So really, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And now for one of the magical recipes we promised as tangible thanks…

It was a very Martha Stewart kind of weekend at our house, and if Martha has taught me one thing, it’s that there are not enough hours in the day. I mean really. How does the woman manage to sugar pears, string popcorn, create tissue-paper poinsettias and cook a holiday feast in less than 24 hours?! SHE’S the Christmas miracle! (I’m kidding. I know that she’s not the REAL Christmas miracle, but her stamina is amazing nonetheless.)

All this to say…we had grandiose plans this weekend. Those plans involved decorating our gorgeous Frasier Fir, putting up the Snow Village and unloading the other 18 boxes of Christmas décor, but what you’re looking at on this blog post is about the extent of what we actually accomplished. But, we promised you magical recipes, and we were going to deliver.

Oh – and what’s that in the background of our picture? Just some fun dessert-inspired Christmas décor. That candy cake is probably one of the best craft projects I’ve ever embarked on – I LOVE that thing. It’s so cute and so festive. And the bonus is…you have to buy LOTS of candy. LOTS of leftovers. (To clarify – this is not a Martha craft. This is pure Ellen Reynolds…with a little inspiration from the former Candylicious in Houston.)

But don’t let the candy cake distract you. The real star of this post is Martha’s Chocolate Ginger Cookies. Like all things Martha, they’re a tad time consuming, but they are SO worth it in the end. The ginger flavor isn’t overwhelming at all – it adds just a bit of spice, which is offset perfectly by the addition of cocoa and chocolate chips. The baking sugar adds sweetness and crunch. These are by far our favorite Christmas cookies, and they’re also the best. If you’re going to make one “blow you away, never forget about it for the rest of your life” cookie recipe, this is it. Seriously, these cookies will change your holiday season.

Gather Up:
7 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, pulverized or 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons boiling water
¼ cup white sparkling sugar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and crystallized ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add molasses, and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat in the baking soda mixture, then the remaining half of the flour mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Turn dough out onto a piece of wax paper. Pat the dough out to about 1-inch thick, seal with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in sparkling sugar.

Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 9-11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies and is from an old Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Texas Pecan Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Updated (again): We’ve been nominated in the Austin Blogger Awards in two categories – Best New Blog and Best Food Blog for Recipes! We’re very excited and we would love to ask for your votes! Voting runs through 5pm CST on Friday, 12/3…soooo…if you like what you see here, please go here to vote. We’ll come up with some magical recipes to say thank you! :)

When I stop to think about what I was doing at this time last year, it’s kind of crazy. Lots of things have changed. For starters, I wasn’t engaged: I wasn’t planning a wedding, dress shopping or signing up for premarital counseling. Needless to say, the past few months have been very exciting!

But, my personal life isn’t the only thing that has changed. Last year at this time, my work life was completely different, too. Our organization was smaller at the time, and I was in a corporate support role rather than the client-facing consulting role I’m in today. At about this exact time, I was probably addressing hundreds of holiday cards. A task that I in no way loathed. I’ll say it now, and I’ll probably say it again…I LOVE Christmas. It is my favorite holiday, and I am always beside myself for the whole month of December. I could hand-address holiday cards all day without complaining. (And I did.)

So although I love the position I’m in now, I’ve been secretly wishing I could contribute *something* to my company’s holiday planning. And then my boss emailed me. As it turns out, our holiday card this year will be an electronic cookbook featuring a seasonal recipe from each of the cities where we have an office, and he asked if I would like to submit one of my personal faves. Ummmm, YES. Yes I would.

I wanted to pick a recipe that is true to Austin and the Texas Hill Country. This cake is perfect because it just so happens that Texas’ state tree is the Pecan Tree. We’re usually right on Georgia’s heels for the top-producing pecan state. An average crop in Texas yields 60 million pounds!

The cake batter is made with local, homegrown butternut squash and seasonal spices, but Texas pecans are the real star of this dessert. Both the cake batter and the glaze are chock-full of them. They’re part of the 2lb. bag of “fresh crop” I picked up in Fredericksburg a couple weeks ago, and when they’re toasted, the flavor is unrivaled.

Gather Up:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ cups roasted and pureed butternut squash
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup freshly grated coconut
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped

For the Butter Pecan Glaze:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup cream + 1 tablespoon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In an electric mixer beat the butter at medium high speed until light and creamy, scraping down the bowl often.

Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, again scraping down the bowl often.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the butternut squash and the vanilla until combined.

Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until just blended.

Remove from mixer and fold in coconut and pecans.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the sides of the cake have just started to pull away from the pan.

Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.

To make the glaze, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan until bubbling. Add the pecans and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Mix in the brown sugar and the cream. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool until thickened. Drizzle over the cake.

Ur Mom’s Favorite Apple Pie

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

A hundred years ago, even before Ur Mom was born, American cooks turned out a dozen or more fruit pies a week! (Hence the expression, “Those were the good old days…”) Today many of us never make a fruit pie and that is a darn shame… Few dishes are more comforting, more rewarding, more aromatic, more welcoming or more delicious than pie.

Maybe we make the mistake of judging our pies against the picture-perfect specimens shown in cookbooks or on magazine covers! In your real kitchen and in your real oven pies bubble over during baking, they brown unevenly, they stick to the pan and sometimes the first slice falls apart completely!

None of this should deter you. Fruit pies are a mouth-watering amalgamation of pastry and soft fruity wonderment and they are meant for eating, not displaying. I propose to you the festive month of December as a perfect time to commit to the baking and sharing of your very own pie masterpiece!

This recipe uses a bottom crust from the Joy of Cooking – it turns out perfectly and it tastes scrumptious! The cooked apple filling (also from Joy of Cooking) becomes naturally thick on its own, and helps you avoid the excess liquid and shrinkage that can occur with raw apples. (Try Golden Delicious, Gala or Fuji apples. These varieties tend to survive the pre-cooking and retain their texture.) Finally we finish it off with a streusel topping from Julia Child.

This pie is good warm…it is good cold…it is good with ice cream…it is good with whipped cream…it is good at any time with any meal…it is unbelievably delicious! We make this pie all through the fall and winter at our house – in fact you can keep a package of chilled pie dough and a container of streusel in your refrigerator at the ready for when the pie mood strikes!

So come on into the world of homemade apple pie – I predict that a big bag of orchard apples will never be safe in your hands again!

Gather Up:
For the crust:
1 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup shortening
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
4 – 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
3 – 4 pounds Golden, Gala or Fuji apples (because you will eat some filling…)
3 tablespoons butter
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup flour
¾ cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
½ cup rolled oats

To prepare the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Break the shortening into large chunks and cut the butter into small pieces. Add to the flour mixture.

Cut the fat into the dry ingredients by chopping with a pastry blender or by cutting in opposite directions with two knives. As you work, stir the dry flour up from the bottom and periodically scrape down the pastry blender or knives.

At the finish, some of the fat will still be in pea-sized pieces and the rest will be reduced to coarse crumbs. The mix should be dry and powdery, not greasy.

Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water over the mixture. Use a rubber spatula to cut through the mixture until it is evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press on the dough with the flat side of the spatula. If the balls of dough stick together you have added enough water. If they do not, drizzle a little more.

Cut in the water again using the blade of the spatula. Press with your hand until the dough coheres. The dough should look rough, not smooth.

Press the dough into a round flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as 2 days before proceeding.

Once chilled, flour your rolling surface and your rolling pin. Roll the dough into a 13 inch round and fit it into a 9 inch pie pan. Trim the overhanging dough to about an inch. Creatively tuck and pinch your edge and then refrigerate your crust!

Now begin your filling! Peel, core and slice your apples.

In a large skillet heat the butter over high heat until it is sizzling and fragrant. Add the apples and toss until glazed with butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cover tightly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened on the outside but still slightly crunchy, 5–7 minutes.

Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Increase the heat to high and cook the apples at a rapid boil until the juices are thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Spread the apples in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet and let them cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

To prepare the streusel, process the flour, brown sugar, salt and butter in a food processor with several pulses until it looks like coarse meal.

Add the oat flakes and pulse several more times to break them up roughly.

To assemble your pie, pour the cooled apple mixture into your chilled crust. Bake the pie for 20 minutes (without streusel topping).

Add a thick layer of streusel to the pie and return to the oven for approximately 20 more minutes. Bake until the pastry crust edge is richly browned and the filling has begun to bubble. (If the streusel browns too quickly cover with a disk of foil.)

Remove to a rack and let cool completely, 3 to 4 hours. If you want to serve the pie warm, place it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with optional vanilla ice cream and grated fresh nutmeg.

Pumpkin Bars

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I’m going to go ahead and admit something: I’m still not used to this whole “work thing.” Remember how you felt at the end of the semester? Like you were barely hanging on? Like your world was crumbling around you? Like one more late night would literally be your breaking point? You were always able to push through because you knew that Christmas break was waiting for you on the other side: 2 magical months of rest, relaxation and holiday frolicking. And Thanksgiving was always the first glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel: just one more week of class after Thanksgiving, finals and DONE. You were SO close.

And then, BAM…you’re in the real world. No winter break. Thanksgiving isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel – it’s just a long weekend, and life is waiting for you on the other end. Are you depressed yet? I’m sorry…it’s not really that bad. (Seriously, I’m not usually this dramatic.) I just had a WEEK this week, if you know what I mean. By Friday, I’m pretty sure that most of the people close to me were more than a little concerned about my mental health. But this weekend, somewhere in between the Container Store’s Gift Wrap Wonderland and Michael Buble’s “Let it Snow,” I realized something.

This year especially, Thanksgiving IS the light at the end of the tunnel – it’s not only a much-needed long weekend but also a much-needed reminder of everything I have to be thankful for: a home, family, friends, a job to stress over…Sometimes, in the thick of it, it’s a little too easy to lose perspective.

And so, to get in the holiday spirit, I started to go through my favorite holiday recipes. These pumpkin bars have been one of my absolute favorites for as long as I can remember. They’re dense, perfectly spiced and iced in a thick layer of fluffy cream cheese frosting. They also happen to be a perfect mid-season fall pick-me-up. Trust me.

Gather Up:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup minus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups solid-pack pumpkin
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pecans, for garnish

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 cups (about) confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a 12×17-inch baking pan. (We use a jellyroll pan.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.

Beat the sugar and oil in a mixer until blended.

Add the pumpkin and mix well.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix well.

Pour the batter into your buttered pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges pull from the sides of the pan.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until the frosting reaches spreading consistency and is light and fluffy. (Tip: to get fluffy frosting, stop the mixer and scrape the edges of your bowl down every 30-45 seconds!)

Spread the cooled pan of pumpkin bars with the cream cheese frosting and let stand until set. Cut into bars. Garnish with chopped pecans, or place a pecan half in the center of each bar. (We didn’t garnish this time, but the pecans look beautiful and add a nice crunch!)

We hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend. That this weekend is just what you/I need – a time of rest and relaxation and time spent with family and friends. We hope that you have as much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as we do. Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!! We’ll see you on the other side…for a full month of Christmas meals and sweets!!

Welcome to Like Mother Like gal, stay at home mom, college student. Just 3 girls who love to eat and are dedicated to doing it the old-fashioned way! Plan, shop, cook, bake, clean, sleep, repeat. Hope you enjoy - we are so glad you are here!
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