Posts Tagged ‘Nutmeg’

Francijn of Koken in de Brouwerij was our January 2013 Daring Bakers’ Hostess and she challenged us to make the traditional Dutch pastry, Gevulde Speculaas from scratch! That includes making our own spice mix, almond paste and dough! Delicious!

Come the 1st of every month, I am like a little kid at Christmas time. That is the day in which we find out our next Daring Bakers’ challenge!  I really enjoy these challenges. Most of them have been desserts that I have never heard of, or never made, and that is exciting. This month was no different!

The spices that are used in speculaas, remind me of spices that go into pfeffernuesse cookies or gingerbread; cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Then for a surprise, white pepper, cardamom, and corriander. Note: the recipe provided also included mace, but it is a spice I have never used, so I omitted it from my spice mixture. Francijn has wonderful directions on how to make this delicious pastry so I am going to direct you here, in order to get the recipe.

003 Gevulde Speculaas

Gevulde Speculaas

One Year Ago: Daring Bakers’ Basic Biscuits

Made with love, not calories!

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The other day I applied to join a new group. It is called the Improv Cooking Challenge, and each month participants are assigned 2 ingredients to use in any way they wish (sweet or savory). Well, I was accepted! I was talking to Nick about this group and that I would be starting it next month, as January’s posting date is the 17th (today). I told him that the ingredients for this month are “Banana and Nutmeg”. He asked if I had any ideas and I said yes. He then asked if we already had all the ingredients here at home, and again I said yes. So, I went into the kitchen and baked!

Using the 2 ingredients for this month, I decided to make banana bread cookies with a streusel topping. When I make banana bread, I always mash some of the bananas and then cut some into bite-sized pieces. I like the little punch of banana this gives the bread, so I did the same thing with the cookies. Now, I normally always add chocolate chips to my banana bread, but I left them out of the cookies. I really wanted the banana and nutmeg flavors to come through. If you like banana bread, I really think you will like these cookies!

008 Banana Bread Cookies with Streusel Topping/ Bake, Run, Live

Banana Bread Cookies with Streusel Topping

Cookie dough:
4 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 bananas, peeled (1 mashed, 1 cut into small pieces)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup quick oats
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cookie dough:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, and sugars. Add in the mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Add in the salt, nutmeg, and baking soda. Stir in the flour and oats, then add in the banana pieces and walnuts (if using).

To make the streusel topping:
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out the dough and place it onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Leave 3 inches between each cookie. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven (the cookies will not be done- the tops of the cookies should still look wet/uncooked), then sprinkle on a heaping teaspoon of the streusel topping. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5-6 minutes, or until the edges are a light golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, move the cookies onto cooling racks and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Banana Bread Cookies with Streusel Topping/Bake, Run, Live

Made with love, not calories!

I’m linked at: Taste and Tell, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Sweet Bella Roos, City of Motherly Love, Chocolate, Chocolate, and More, Addicted to Recipes.

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November 21st is National Gingerbread Day!

Gingerbread is a sweet food product flavored with ginger and typically using honey or molasses (treacle) rather than just sugar. Gingerbread foods vary, ranging from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger biscuit. The different types likely share a common origin.
The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 16th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers’ markets. One hundred years later the town of Market Drayton in ShropshireUK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town’s welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates back to 1793; however, it was probably made earlier, as ginger was stocked in high street businesses from the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.” (Source)

While my first thought of gingerbread went to gingerbread men and gingerbread houses, I knew I wanted to make a soft gingerbread dessert. Note: I have never made a gingerbread house. I need to make a gingerbread house! I did some searching and found a recipe for gingerbread cupcakes. Ok, now what kind of frosting? I knew a cream cheese frosting would be really good, but that wasn’t thrilling me. I decided on a salted caramel frosting. The combination is wonderful! The cupcakes are a delight- rich with molasses and spices, while the frosting has a little hint of salt that hits your tongue, followed by the sweetness of the caramel. Don’t be too surprised when I post this combination in other recipes!

One Year Ago: Apple Cider Bread Pudding

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart
Makes 18 cupcakes

1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Salted Caramel:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
3 tablespoons milk
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 18 muffin cups with liners. Set aside.

In a small heat-safe bowl, whisk together the boiling water and baking soda. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, spices, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the molasses and the water/baking soda mixture, and mix well. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add in the flour mixture. Add in the eggs and mix until well combined. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the pan onto cooling racks and let cool completely.

To make the salted caramel sauce:
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, or is a medium brown color. Note: you will usually see the color start to change in the center of the pan. Once you see that happening, start to carefully swirl the pan the make sure the sugar mixture doesn’t burn in the center.
Once the mixture has turned medium brown, remove from the heat and add in the butter. Carefully stir until the butter has melted, then add in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble and boil when the cream is added, so be careful and don’t lean directly over the pan. Return the pan to the heat, this time over low, and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Once it is smooth, remove from the heat and add in the vanilla bean paste and sea salt. Let cool completely before using it in the frosting. Note: The caramel sauce can be refrigerated until needed. Use any leftover sauce over ice cream or apple pie!

To make the frosting:
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter and salted caramel sauce. Add in the powdered sugar, alternating it with the milk. Mix until you have the frosting consistency you like (adding more powdered sugar or milk to get the consistency you prefer).

To finish the cupcakes:
Once the cupcakes are cool, frost the cupcakes. Note: I used a pastry bag with a star tip. Once the cupcakes are frosted, drizzle on additional salted caramel sauce, if desired. Enjoy!

I’m linked to: Chocolate, Chocolate & More!, Taste and Tell.

I’m featured at Taste and Tell!!

Made with love, not calories!

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It’s been a while since I have posted a brownie recipe. Which is a shame, because I really, really like brownies!!

Pumpkin and chocolate go well together. Add in some cheesecake and I will say that you have a tasty brownie! These are simple to put together, as I took a little help from the store and used a box brownie mix. However, you can use your own homemade brownie recipe if you like. The pumpkin cheesecake mixture is creamy with just the right amount of pumpkin and spices. As an added Fall touch, I added leaf sprinkles to the tops of the brownies, but they aren’t necessary!

One year ago: Apple Cider Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

1- 19.5 oz. box brownie mix
3 eggs, divided
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1- 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13 x 9 baking pan, by either greasing it or lining it with aluminum foil and then greasing the foil. Note: I use aluminum foil and cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix with 2 eggs, the water, and vegetable oil. Mix until everything is well combined. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Set aside.

In the same bowl (no need to wash it!), and using a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, remaining egg, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once the mixture is well combined and is smooth, spread it evenly over the brownie batter. Using a dinner knife or a small spatula, swirl the 2 mixtures together. Note: I accomplish this by doing an up and over motion with the brownie batter, all the way around the pan. Then drag the knife back and forth, width-wise and length-wise (you can see in the picture below, the drag marks made length-wise).

Bake in a preheated oven for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

One additional note: another way to accomplish the marble effect would be to layer the 2 batters. Put half of the brownie batter in the pan, top it with all of the pumpkin cheesecake batter, then add the remaining brownie batter by little spoonfuls. Then use your knife to drag through the circles. There really isn’t a wrong way, so have fun with it!!

Made with love, not calories!

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I wasn’t going to make this.

For some reason, the idea of pumpkin ice cream seems weird to me. However, it keeps taunting me. Pumpkin Pie Blizzard is on the sign at Dairy Queen, and I drive past it every day, and I look at that sign every day. Taunting me.

I’m going off topic here for a moment. Do you do that? Do you notice looking at the same things when you drive a certain route or road everyday? I do. I try not to, but it’s like I can’t help myself. There is a house that I drive past, that has a manikin head on the front porch. Don’t ask me why, but it’s been there for months (so I know it isn’t just a Halloween decoration). Everyday I drive past this house, I look for the manikin head. Yes, I am weird.

Ok- let’s move on to the ice cream!

I gave in and made pumpkin pie ice cream. However, instead of just adding pie crust pieces to the ice cream, I did something just a little different. Whenever I make pie crust and have extra crust, I do what my grandmother used to do. I roll it out, smear on some softened butter, sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar, then roll it up and bake it. So, that is what I added to the ice cream.

Ok, I will admit that I really like this ice cream. While I can’t see myself buying it at the store or at Dairy Queen (chocolate still rules!), I am glad that I made it! I have a feeling that I will be making this ice cream every Fall!!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Ice cream:
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
7 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Pie crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. divided
8 tablespoons butter, (4 tablespoons cold, 4 tablespoons softened)
4 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold water

To make the ice cream base:
In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream and half and half. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, until the mixture is well combined.

Once the cream mixture comes to a simmer, pour 1/3 of the cream mixture into the pumpkin mixture and whisk quickly to combine. Repeat this step 2 more times, until all the cream has been incorporated into the pumpkin mixture. Pour this combined mixture back into the saucepan. Over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and continuously, let the mixture come up to 175 degrees (using a candy thermometer). Once the ice cream base has come up to temperature, remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a heat-safe bowl. Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To make the pie crust rolls:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Add in the 4 tablespoons cold butter and shortening, and with a pastry cutter or a fork, combine the mixture until it resembles small pebbles. Add in the cold water and mix until the dough comes together. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times, then cut the dough in half and set one piece aside. Roll the other piece out until it is thin (you want to roll this thinner than you normally would if making a pie). Smear on 2 tablespoons of the softened butter and sprinkle on half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting at one end, roll the dough up. Pinch the ends and place this, seam side down, on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process with the 2nd piece of dough. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, chop into small pieces. Set aside.

To finish the ice cream:
After 4 hours, process the ice cream according to your ice cream machine manufacturers instructions. Once the ice cream is ready, scoop (or pour- the ice cream should be a thick milkshake consistency) into a freezer-safe container. Stir in the chopped pie crust pieces then cover and freeze for 4 hours. Serve and enjoy!

*Notes: I don’t fill my ice cream machine’s canister the whole way- I only like to fill it 1/2 to 3/4 of the way, so I did my ice cream in 2 batches (and only added half of the pie crust pieces to each batch).
Made with love, not calories!

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I buy my pumpkin in the large cans (29 oz.), so sometimes I have pumpkin left over from a recipe. I was able to use this can of pumpkin for 3 recipes! That means lots of yummy pumpkin treats!

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Apple Gingerbread Cake and I thought it sounded like a nice Fall dessert. However, I made a few changes. I don’t have pumpkin pie spice, so I added the individual spices (yeah, I would much rather have 4 jars of spices, instead of 1!!). Also, I was too lazy to peel and grate an apple, so I left that out. And I changed the hard sauce for a ginger glaze. (Just a few changes!)

I really enjoyed the taste of this. I think the pumpkin and gingerbread works well together- neither one over-powered the other. This would be great for dessert or at a brunch. You can serve this while it is still warm, or serve it after it has cooled completely. I let it cool just long enough to take pictures, then I dove right in (breakfast!)!!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Bundt Cake
Adapted from Very Best Baking
Prep time: 12 minutes     Bake time: 55-60 minutes

3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
15 oz. can of pumpkin (not quite 2 cups)
4 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1/4 cup whipping cream

Ginger Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan*. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry cake ingredients. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, molasses, butter, and whipping cream. Stir until everything is well combined. Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the toothpick test comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the ginger glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and ginger. Slowly stir in the heavy cream, starting with 2 tablespoons. Add additional heavy cream to get the spreading/pouring consistency you prefer (I left mine a little thick and spread it on the cake before it cooled).

After 10 minutes, invert the cake onto a serving plate and spread/pour on the ginger glaze. Serve while warm or let cool completely. Enjoy!

*Note: the original recipe calls for a 12 cup bundt pan. Mine is a 10 cup- it works, the baked cake will just dome up a little instead of having a flat bottom. If you have a 10 cup bundt pan and want a flat bottom to the cake, I suggest filling it only two-thirds of the way full and use the extra batter for cupcakes (just make sure to adjust your baking time- both for the bundt cake and the cupcakes!).


I’m linked at Chocolate, Chocolate & More!

Made with love, not calories!

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The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.

Our challenge for this month was to make one of the items that Jason shared with us. However, after reading through the recipes, both of them were intriguing and I had all the ingredients on hand- so I made both recipes! Today I am sharing the recipe for the nutmeg cake, and on Sunday I’ll share the Nazook!

The nutmeg cake is really easy to put together. The mixture that you make for the crust actually gets double-duty. Half is used for the crust and the other half is used for the cake! You can play around with the spices, depending on what you prefer (I backed off a little on the nutmeg and added some cinnamon). Also, Jason’s recipe calls for nuts on top of the cake- I left those off, but some of the other pictures I saw had anything from pecans, to sliced almonds!

Armenian Nutmeg Cake
Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes     Bake time: Recommended: 30-40 minutes (mine went to 45 minutes)

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon nutmeg*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the brown sugar. Add in the butter and using a fork or pastry cutter, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Take 1/2 of this mixture and press it into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the egg, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Whisk until frothy (about 2 minutes by hand). Add in the milk/baking soda mixture that you made earlier. Whisk until it is well incorporated. Pour this egg/milk mixture into the large bowl (that contains the remaining half of the crumb mixture). Whisk until everything is well combined. Pour this over the crust. Sprinkle on the nuts (if you are using).

Bake for 30-40 minutes (though I had to take mine to 45 minutes), or until the top is set and the toothpick test comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool. Note: after 10 minutes, run a knife along the inside of the springform pan. This will help it to release better once the cake has cooled completely. (I did not do this and my crust gave me a little hassle once I tried to remove it from the springform pan!) Cool the cake completely, and enjoy!

*Original recipe note: Jason’s directions call for 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg. I’m not used to nutmeg being the primary spice in baked goods, so that’s why I went 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.


Batter poured on top of the crust.

Missing a few slices!

Stay tuned…Sunday I will be sharing the Nazook recipe with you!

Made with love, not calories!

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