Somehow another year has slipped by again. Many of us are winding down our holiday preparations, and we are packing up ornaments, changing our diets, and erasing holiday playlists from our iPods. However, there is one day left to celebrate with good cheer; one door left open to a little decadence and indulgence. This would, of course, be New Years, and we are ready to ring it in.
Thanksgiving has come and gone too quickly yet again. We have finished eating our Thanksgiving Leftovers Torta, but we’ll continue to hold on to our reasons to stop and give thanks, especially as the holiday madness begins in earnest. We’ve come up with a great way to celebrate the season with you–and they don’t involve turkey or long lines of shoppers–a decadent chocolate bread, laced with coffee, cardamom, and more chocolate!
It is that time of year again in Minnesota, when the weather goes from 90°F one day, to 48°F the next. It is bittersweet to lose summer, but we enthusiastically head into baking season. This time of year also brings the apples, glorious apples. This week alone I have made pie, fritters, waffles and these baked doughnuts with all the apple varieties I found at the farmers market (or your favorite orchard). Baked Doughnuts? Many of you have requested a doughnut recipe that is not fried. I admit I was hesitant, since I am a doughnut fanatic and was afraid the baked version would be a poor substitute. I am, once again, thrilled to announce YOU WERE RIGHT! The baked apple doughnuts are tender, sweet and studded with pieces of tart apples. The trick is to coat the dough in lots of cinnamon sugar, then bake them so they are still soft on the inside and have a wonderful sugar crust on the outside. The Maple Glaze gives them an even more decadent feel, even though they are the healthy version of our favorite treat. You may never miss the fried version again, but if you are like me, you’ll make both.
We decided to miniaturize a recipe, just in time for the Minnesota State Fair. Here in Minnesota we are crazy about our Fair, and we celebrate with much eating: mostly fried foods, of course, and anything on a stick. So today we bring you mini-doughnuts, a delicious treat made easy with our dough. This particular version is made with our whole wheat brioche, which takes away a little bit of the guilt. (It could also be made with whole wheat brioche with stevia, easing your conscience even more.) The doughnuts are coated in sugar while they’re still warm, and then devoured immediately. (more…)
Brioche is one of our favorite breads, and our recipe in Healthy Bread in Five has been a great choice for sneaking some whole wheat into our diet. But some of our readers who really need to limit their sugar and carbs have asked about sugar substitutes. After some research and tinkering this past week, I was happy to discover that stevia extract can be swapped into our brioche recipe–in place of honey. So this is a no-sugar way to sweeten this loaf– and I’m guessing that it will work in any of our sweet recipes. (more…)
1/2 cup softened cream cheese or substitute almond cream (blend 1/2 cup almond paste with 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract in a food processor; freeze excess)
1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jam or preserves
1 cup fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
Sugar for dusting the top
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Roll out the dough into a narrow rectangle 1/8-inch thick.
Place the dough onto the lined cookie sheet. Cover the center third of the dough with the cream, jam, and berries as in the video.
Use a pizza wheel to cut about 12 strips down each side; each strip should be about 1/2-inch wide. Fold the strips, left over right, crisscrossing the filling. Allow to rest for 40 minutes (20 in a pinch).
Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Place cookie sheet in center of the oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Can serve slightly warm.
I have to admit that I have never made Monkey Bread before. My brother’s used to make it when they were younger, but I’d already left the house for college. My husband has even made it for my boys, but always when I am out of town, a father/son tradition. In both cases it was made with a dough or biscuits that come in a pop-open-tube from the grocery store. You know just what I am talking about. This is perhaps why my husband only made them when I wasn’t around. Trust me, I love anything made with cinnamon sugar and caramel, so the concept appeals to me. When I found myself with a bucket of brioche and wanting to make the boys a treat, I thought Monkey Bread. Now I wonder how come it took me so long to figure this out? It is simple, fun and absolutely delicious. Only make them when you have people to share them with, or you will find yourself nibbling at them all day like I did. Luckily, my boys and their friends came home and saved me from eating the entire pan. (more…)