Monday, January 28, 2013

Spicy Honey Roasted Almonds

   One of the things my husband and I missed when we moved to The Netherlands,was flavored mixed nuts! You don't find that here..only the over the top salty variety. I started looking online a few years back for recipes and started printing them out. Then I totally forgot about it. Then I remember around christmas time and start printing our recipes again..and then I usually forget once more!

I'm happy to say that the instant I remembered about them, I went into the kitchen and made one of the recipes. What we loved about this one was that the sugar amount was low and loved how the cayenne pepper left a gentle hum in your mouth after eating a few. They are super addictive,crunchy,sweet and perfect. I used a lower amount of cayenne pepper only because I have one kid and myself included who isn't a big fan of the super spicy.

Spicy Honey Roasted Almonds

2-2 1/2 cups Raw Almonds
1/8 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Honey
1/2-3/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 325 or 160 celcius. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil it.

In a large enough bowl to accomodate the almonds,combine the sugar and salt.

Melt the honey in a large skillet over low to medium heat. Add cayenne and the almonds and stir until all of the nuts are coated with the honey and spice.

Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool slightly and toss then in the sugar-salt mixture. Remove the parchment paper from the baking sheet and spread out the almonds on it again and let them cool completely.

Once cooled,transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!

Yield: 2-1/2 cups 
Source: Lemons and Anchovies        


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Applesauce Cinnamon-Raisin Loaves


        I'm on a cinnamon-raisin kick. That combination just screams winter to me. I love it in cookie form aswell as bread and can't seem to get enough of it. I love the way it fills your house up with the most incredible scent and everyone just naturally comes into the kitchen to see whats baking.


     This is an easy recipe to follow and the bread is so incredibly pillowy-soft..and it makes two loaves! one for eating and one for sharing..or hog it all to yourself and freeze one loaf for later on. Thats what I did :)

Some tips on the bread: I needed waaaaay more flour than called for so don't be alarmed if you do aswell. The original recipe called for caraway seeds but I replaced it with cinnamon. I added in one teaspoon but will add in 2 next time. I think I will also replace some of the flour with whole wheat next time to see how that goes.

Applesauce Cinnamon-Raisin Loaves

1 package (1/4 ounce) Active Dry Yeast..2-1/4 tsp
1/4 cup Warm Water
1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/2 cup Warm Fat-free Milk
2 TBS Sugar
2 TBS Butter,softened
1 tsp. Salt
1-2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Egg,seperated
4- 4-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup Raisins
1 TBS Cold Water

In a large bowl,dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Add the applesauce,milk,sugar,butter,salt,cinnamon and egg yolk and 2 cups of flour;  mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Stir in the raisins.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface;knead until smooth and elastic,about 6-8 minutes. Place dough in  a bowl with a small amount of olive oil in the bottom and turn the dough to coat the top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled,about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface;divide in half. Shape each portion into a ball. Place 4 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or non stick spray. Pat into 6-inch round loaves. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non stick spray and allow to rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. In a small bowl,beat egg white and cold water;brush over loaves. 

Bake for 3-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 Loaves
Source: Taste of Home             

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Buttermilk Muffins


           Happy Monday from snowy Holland! This has been the view out of my kitchen window for almost a week now. We stayed close to home this weekend and I spent it baking and doing some house hunting online! 


     My wonderful neighbor and I have been exchanging baked goods for years now. She is a Turkish grandmother and  uses a walker now that has wheels on it. She has some hip problems and needs some assistance when walking..but seriously, that does not stop this woman from doing anything. She came over a few days ago with a plate of homemade dutch apple beignets. You take an apple and peel it,core it, and slice it into thick rounds. It's then dipped into a batter and fried and topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It's so delicious. 

As soon as I thanked her and closed the door, the wheels started turning as to what I was going to send back with her plate. From what I know of her she prefers lemon flavored items that are not overly sweet. I instantly started thinking of a lemon muffin and naturally poppy seeds came into mind right after that. So this weekend I whipped up a batch of these and took a few over to her. They have just the right amount of lemon flavor and for myself I will bump the amount of lemon extract up next always I need that extra boost of lemon flavoring since I love it so much. They muffins are light and moist and perfect to give to your neighbor or as a treat for yourself :)

Lemon Poppy Seed Buttermilk Muffins

2 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 TBS Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Egg,beaten
2 TBS Butter,melted
1 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 TBS Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 tsp. Lemon Extact
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 TBS Poppy Seeds

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Grease a muffin tin with non stick spray;set aside.

In a alrge bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, combine the egg,melted butter,buttermilk,oil,lemon zest,lemon juice and both the lmeon and vanilla extracts. Stir the wet into the dry,add the poppy seeds and mix until thoroughly combined..but make sure not to overmix! you don't want a tough muffin.

Spoon the batter evenly among the muffin tins. Bake 15-20 mins or until lightly golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 2 mins before removing to wire rack to cool completely. ** If you wanted to bump these up a notch, you could make a simple powdered sugar glaze with enough fresh lemon juice to make a drizzle consistency**

Yield: 12 Muffins
Source: My Gourmet Connection          

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sour Cream Cinnamon Scones


         It's friday,it's cold and it's dark out! we've still got snow on the ground but everyone has managed to stay safe out there and make it home in one piece. The flu has taken over this country by storm but thankfully we have gone another week with our health intact!

I've been busy in the kitchen baking bread and other items to keep the house warm and smiles on the faces of the ones I hold dear. I can honestly say that I live a pretty decent life..I know that not everyone is able to stay home and bake the day away. There was a time when it was different for me aswell..working a job that was all hours and it never left me enough time to bake anything..or cook for that matter. So I'm extra grateful for the time I do have now and try my best not to waste it.

I woke up early last sunday morning and baked scones! these babies have some whole wheat flour in there,raisins,cinnamon..and the best part is..they are not full in fat and can be enjoyed with a bowl of yogurt and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Im new to baking scones and think my first attempt went very well.'The mixture was rather crumbly but read thats how it needed to be. They puffed up nicely in the oven and we really enjoyed these!

Sour Cream Cinnamon Scones

1-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Reduced-fat Sour Cream
3 TBS Butter,melted and cooled
1 Large Egg White
1/3 cup dried Currants or Raisins
1 TBS Sugar
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees or 200 celcius. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl,combine the flours,brown sugar,baking powder,baking soda,cinnamon, and salt; stir well with a whisk.

In a small bowl,comgine the sour cream, butter and egg white. Add the wet mixture to flour mixture,stirring just until moist. Stir in the currants or raisins.

turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface;knead lightly 6-12 times with floured hands. ( the dough will be crumbly but just do your best to bring it all together.) Divide dough in half. Pat each half into a 6-inch circle on the prepared baking sheet. Cut each circle into 6 wedges;do not seperate. 

Combine the 1 tablespoon of sugar and cinnamon. Lightly coat the top of dough with either non stick cooking spray or milk. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the top of the dough evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Yield: 12 Scones
Source: My Recipes