Category Archives: Baked Goods

Baked French Toast — all time best

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DSCN4294I posted this originally back in October 2011 for Yom Kippur break fast. It is truly one of the best French toast recipes I’ve ever made.  I include it every year since my friend Ilene Stern gave it to me. I never have a single piece left. Delicious and decadent, perfect brunch and breakfast food. I almost always include it in my Mother’s Day Brunch as well. Once you’ve made this recipe there is no turning back, your whole family will love it and you’ll have to make it every time.

The only downside is that you must prepare and refrigerate the night before without cooking it, you cannot cook this dish till you’re ready to eat it, the bottom will get hard like a caramel candy would. So cook right before you’re going to serve. Enjoy!

*recipe as is should serve 6- 8 if you have more people make 2 trays!

Ingredients:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

2 tbsp. corn syrup ( I use Karo Original light corn syrup)

5 eggs (room temperature please)

1 1/2 cups milk ( you can use low-fat, I use Skim Plus)

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 package of sliced cinnamon bread. ( Pepperidge Farm is fine) if you can get thick slices it’s great , but the thin kind will work just double stack them it will be fine) You probably will use 12 slices of bread per tray. You will have 6 stacks of 2 slices each, 12 slices total, or 6 thick slices of cinnamon bread. If you can’t find just cinnamon bread use raisin cinnamon bread it’s easier to find .

Directions:

Melt butter, add brown sugar and corn syrup and combine well. Spray a 9×13 baking dish, Pyrex works well here. Pour butter mixture into baking dish and arrange bread slices flat in the mixture ( you will double stack the thin sliced bread) Unless the bread is 1″thick you will be doubling the standard sliced bread. Squeeze the bread to fit–it should hold 12 slices ( 6 double stacks), 3 on each side of a 9×13 baking dish.

In a blender mix the eggs, milk and vanilla and pour over the bread slices, covering them completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all the liquid by the morning, so if you need to travel with it will be fine.

Uncover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven you can dust with powdered sugar, but not necessary. Serve right from the baking dish.

*if you let this sit out too long before serving, the bottom may get hard like a praline candy. It never ever lasts long enough for this to happen at my table.

Look at my original recipe post on October 5 2011. More Break Fast: the all-time best Baked French Toast, I swear.

Passover Popovers

Super easy , super light and delicious. Give this one a try. These are delicious during Passover with some preserves for Breakfast as well as with your Seder Meal. Enjoy and Happy Passover Cooking from my kitchen to yours. I used a muffin tin and it worked out perfectly. Bake these light airy treats for your Seder to rave reviews. One per person is perfect , this recipe yielded 9 popovers. photo20130321-113701.jpg photo

Ingredients:

1 cup cake meal

4 eggs — always work with room temperature eggs unless otherwise stated for best results

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup peanut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the cake meal, salt and sugar in a bowl.

Bring oil and water to a boil, add cake meal mixture and remove from stove.

Beat in one egg at a time and mix a lot. It will be thick.

Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Drop into a well-greased muffin or popover tin using a tablespoon to 3/4 full. I spray with cooking spray . I used a Canola Oil baking spray, or lightly grease pan with canola oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes till medium golden brown. I placed pan in the center of the oven .

Warm before serving if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passover Cobbler

photo 1 (65)photo 3 (51)photo 1photo 4 (2) It is 2 weeks before Passover and I am trying to get out to you as many recipes as I can . This one is a very nice light fruit cobbler for dessert it is very easy to make and small prep time. It’s nice to make this with a few different fruits , I used apples, pears and strawberries. Use whatever fruits you like, but I will say that the strawberries added the zing it needed, I wouldn’t omit them. I used a whole pint of strawberries and sliced them thinly. Pretty tasty for a Pesach cobbler.

Ingredients:

3 large eggs (room temperature)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Vegetable oil

3/4 cup matzo meal

2 tablespoons potato starch

6-8 cups fruit, peeled and sliced like apples, pears, and strawberries ( I used a whole pint of strawberries, 2 apples and 2 pears)

1/8 cup cinnamon sugar ( you can just make this yourself, 1/8 cup of sugar mixed with a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×9 square baking pan.

Beat eggs with sugar until well blended. Add the oil, matzo meal and potato starch and blend well. I used an electric mixer.

Put all the fruit in the pan and sprinkle with most of the cinnamon sugar, reserving a little for the top. Spoon the batter over the fruit, covering as much of the fruit as you can. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake until the topping is set and just turning a tan like color, about 45 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

*If you let the fruit sit for a while with cinnamon sugar mixture the flavors really soak in. So if you have the time I would do this. If not , it’s fine as well.

This will freeze perfectly . Just let it completely cool down before freezing. I cut into squares for freezing.

 

Happy Valentines Day Brownies – Chocolatey and Fudgey

 

This is a delicious easy to make Chocolate Fudgy Brownie. Perfect for Valentines Day , as it is such a Chocolatey Holiday. I have always had a  rather large sweet tooth and  Valentines Day always meant candy, chocolate, dessert of one kind or another and it was always up there with my other favorite , Halloween for pretty much the same reasons. How can you not like a holiday that has so much sweetness?  Make this brownie  anytime and  top with ice cream and chocolate sauce for an incredibly killer dessert. I personally cut them up into small pieces and don’t feel as guilty when I eat them. I came in today from being out all day and saw them on the cake stand and because I had cut them up so small, I indulged in two pieces and it just hit the spot!!! Make no mistake these are the real deal, and I never really understand why anyone would use a mix when this is so easy and all the ingredients are so readily available.  And you have bragging rights for Homemade. Just make sure you use an 8 x 8 baking dish, this really does make a difference. Enjoy and Happy V-Day!!!!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped ( when you buy the box, the chocolate comes in squares, each square is an ounce)

1/8 tsp. salt (regular table salt)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup Cake flour (make sure you use Cake Flour not regular Flour)

1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used chopped pecans , but chopped walnuts are good as well)

*extra unsalted butter for greasing the pan, I admit to using butter but you can spray with baking spray. (Pam)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish with unsalted butter ( or spray with Baking Pam)  In a saucepan melt the stick of butter and then when it is melted add the chopped unsweetened chocolate on low heat. Stir often until all the chocolate has been melted. Add the sugar in and let cool for at least 10 minutes.  Once it has sufficiently cooled off , take out another bowl and add beaten eggs and vanilla, and mix well and stir in chocolate mixture. Blend in cake flour ,salt and mix, do not  over mix, just mix till blended. Then add in chocolate chips, and nuts if you’re using them.

Pour batter into greased baking dish and spread evenly. Tap the pan on countertop to get rid of any air bubbles, about 3 or 4 times ought to do it.

Bake the Brownies for 30 minutes ( it’s exactly how long I did)  insert a cake tester or toothpick and it should come out almost clean. Be careful not to over bake.

Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing into squares.

I actually took out of oven and let it sit out covered almost all day, so by the time I cut into them they were completely cool. I used a knife and wet it, so it would cut cleanly.

So yummy!:) Served with an ice cold glass of milk, perfection.

Also can sprinkle a little sifted confectioners sugar on top of cooled brownies before serving if you’d like.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting–Fall Treats

photo (4)photo (16) photo (17) photo (18) photo (19)There are a few things I really love to eat. Mostly anything sweet and mostly dessert. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an incredible sweet tooth. Funny that my name is Candi and I love candy, cookies, cakes and ice cream so very much. I would probably pass on most entrees and just cut to dessert if I had my way . When I was a kid I would gladly trade a sandwich for dessert any day of the week. Some things never change. I’d like to believe that my tastes in dessert have changed a wee bit and that I have a bit more of a sophisticated palate now but not when it comes to candy,  I still love junky candy as much as I did when I was 6. However my taste in cake has definitely improved with age. I don’t think I would have enjoyed pumpkin cake as a kid but I really love it now. Anything baked with pumpkin gets high marks in my book and if you put cream cheese frosting on it it’s off the charts.   It’s just the right amount of sugar and spice! Perfect Fall Cake and it may just find its way to my Thanksgiving Table. It really is a very easy recipe to follow ,  I made cupcakes but you can easily make this in a Pyrex 9 x13 inch pan as a sheet cake and frost it and decorate with candy corn or those little candy pumpkins!

Now you can make these without frosting and just eat like muffins with a little smear of cream cheese which wouldn’t be too bad either.

Shopping List:

1 can Pumpkin ( not pumpkin pie filling just Pumpkin) 15 oz. size

cream cheese  and paper liners for cupcakes

Staples: (things you should have in your Pantry and fridge all the time)

all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, vegetable oil, eggs, confectioner’s sugar, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and milk

Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves if no ground cloves you can substitute with pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg. I prefer cloves.

1 tsp. salt (regular table salt)

1 cup vegetable oil

1 can Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) Pure Pumpkin

4 eggs ( room temperature please)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1/3 cup softened butter ( unsalted)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 oz. softened cream cheese ( soften in microwave) not melted just softened or you can leave it out for a bit and it will soften up.  I actually used light cream cheese not fat free please. I mean the amount of calories is staggering, but you’re only going to eat 1 cupcake right? how many calories can possibly be in that????? Don’t tell me , I don’t want to know.

1 Tbsp. Milk ( I used skim plus)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I mixed all dry ingredients together then mixed in eggs ( one at a time) and can of pumpkin and vegetable oil. Mix till combined, don’t overmix. No need to sift, just put dry ingredients in a bowl first and whisk together with a whisk , get some air in there.

Pour into a greased muffin pan about 3/4 full.  I always use little paper liners and bake at 35o degrees for 20 – 30 minutes . Be careful not to over bake so the cake stays moist.  I baked for 26 minutes. I started checking on them after 20 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. I made my frosting in my electric mixer while cupcakes were cooling.

Frost Cupcakes / Cake  and if you’d like decorate with some of those little Halloween Candies like candy corn or those little pumpkin shaped candies sold this time of year. Enjoy!

*should make about 16 cupcakes , I made 12 and a mini loaf.

Baked French Toast — all time best

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DSCN4294I posted this originally back in October 2011 for Yom Kippur break fast. It is truly one of the best French toast recipes I’ve ever made.  I include it every year since my friend Ilene Stern gave it to me. I never have a single piece left. Delicious and decadent, perfect brunch and breakfast food. I almost always include it in my Mother’s Day Brunch as well. Once you’ve made this recipe there is no turning back, your whole family will love it and you’ll have to make it every time.

The only downside is that you must prepare and refrigerate the night before without cooking it, you cannot cook this dish till you’re ready to eat it, the bottom will get hard like a caramel candy would. So cook right before you’re going to serve. Enjoy!

*recipe as is should serve 6- 8 if you have more people make 2 trays!

Ingredients:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

2 tbsp. corn syrup ( I use Karo Original light corn syrup)

5 eggs (room temperature please)

1 1/2 cups milk ( you can use low-fat, I use Skim Plus)

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 package of sliced cinnamon bread. ( Pepperidge Farm is fine) if you can get thick slices it’s great , but the thin kind will work just double stack them it will be fine) You probably will use 12 slices of bread per tray. You will have 6 stacks of 2 slices each, 12 slices total, or 6 thick slices of cinnamon bread. If you can’t find just cinnamon bread use raisin cinnamon bread it’s easier to find .

Directions:

Melt butter, add brown sugar and corn syrup and combine well. Spray a 9×13 baking dish, Pyrex works well here. Pour butter mixture into baking dish and arrange bread slices flat in the mixture ( you will double stack the thin sliced bread) Unless the bread is 1″thick you will be doubling the standard sliced bread. Squeeze the bread to fit–it should hold 12 slices ( 6 double stacks), 3 on each side of a 9×13 baking dish.

In a blender mix the eggs, milk and vanilla and pour over the bread slices, covering them completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all the liquid by the morning, so if you need to travel with it will be fine.

Uncover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven you can dust with powdered sugar, but not necessary. Serve right from the baking dish.

*if you let this sit out too long before serving, the bottom may get hard like a praline candy. It never ever lasts long enough for this to happen at my table.

Look at my original recipe post on October 5 2011. More Break Fast: the all-time best Baked French Toast, I swear.

Plum Torte

photoDSCN4225 DSCN4214 DSCN4216My friend Ellen sent me this recipe in the spring of last year and I couldn’t find these plums anywhere. She re-sent it to me and I think it’s a most perfect dessert, and I was thinking it would be so perfect for Jewish Holidays but the plums will no longer be available soon.  You can make two and freeze one or freeze both of them for the holidays.  Ellen is an awesome cook so I totally trust her on this.  So here you go. It’s best made with the small italian plums that are out end of August and early September and you know how much I love using seasonal fruits and veggies. Thanks Ellen.

These plums can be called Italian Prunes as well, and try and use them because they are beyond delish!

Perfect for freezing.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup sweet butter softened (room temp. or I soften for a few seconds in microwave , but don’t melt)

1 cup flour, sifted

1 tsp. baking powder

pinch salt

2 eggs ( always bake with room temp. eggs unless otherwise stated)

12  pitted purple italian plums, halved*  ( often called Italian Prunes) If you can’t find the Italian Prune type you can use regular plums, but try and make this now while they are in the store and freeze this.

lemon juice and sugar for topping

Directions:

cream sugar and butter, add flour , baking powder, salt and eggs, beat well. Cut a round piece of parchment paper and line a 9 inch springform pan. Spoon the batter into pan ( it will be thick so you’ll need to spread it a bit). Place plum halves skin side up. Sprinkle plums lightly with lemon juice and then sprinkle sugar all over. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool, invert and gently peel off paper then invert again – plum side up.

This is a keeper.

Don’t Let the Apples Go Bad Cake

Apples are the kind of fruit we eat all year round. They are always in the fridge and if they don’t get eaten, I  feel guilty that they’re just sitting there and going to go bad.  I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and decided since we were leaving for Colorado and I was not ditching perfectly good apples, I would make it and freeze it for when we come back.  (The cake would freeze well…the apples, not so much.) You’ll need a tube pan. You don’t need an electric mixer, so it’s pretty easy on the special equipment. Use those leftover apples–dont’ let them go bad. No butter in this recipe, lots of sugar though.  My house smelled divine.

I also love this recipe for the Jewish Holidays which are just around the corner…..just saying. I’m not ready to start posting for the Holidays yet but this makes a lovely dessert.

*you can see in photos that I use a melon baller to get the pits out of the middle of the apple. I prefer this technique over the corer thingys which never really work. The melon baller works perfectly: first cut apple in half, then scoop out just the pits.

www.smittenkitchen

Ingredients:

6 apples (I used what I had in the house: a combo of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp. Good old Macintosh will work, too.)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

5 tablespoons sugar

2 3/4 cups flour, sifted

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup orange juice (try to use fresh but if not, Tropicana will do)

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

1 cup walnuts, chopped (this is optional; I didn’t use them this time out)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core, and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside (I sprayed with a baking spray. There’s no need to add any butter here.)

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. This mixture will be rather thick.  Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to get it all out of the bowl.

Pour 1/2 the batter into prepared tube pan. Spread 1/2 the apples over this. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Use your eye to halve  batter and apples (don’t worry if it’s not perfectly halved.) Bake for about 90 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean. I would check cake after 1 hour 20 minutes. I baked for the full 90 minutes; it’s a rather thick cake.

Triple Berry Crisp–Gluten Free

IMG_7716 IMG_7709 (2) IMG_7702 IMG_7698 I love sugar as much if not more than the next guy but this was an opportunity to make a berry crisp without any white sugar or flour.  I stumbled upon this recipe on one of the million blogs, sites and posts I see spouting Paleo and Gluten Free recipes. I am not a paleo eater nor am I gluten free but it can’t hurt to have a recipe that is light on the sugar and fairly healthy to boot. If you would like it a little bit sweeter you can add a tablespoon of coconut sugar or a packet of stevia, I didn’t and I liked it just the way it was.  It intrigued me since I love a crisp but hate the amounts of sugar that go into it, even though I do love eating it.

I had some fresh blueberries, some fresh blackberries and a few random raspberries that were going to go uneaten . What better time to try this? You can make this with just blueberries, or any berry or fruit you like. Berries are in abundance now and super delicious. This recipe took me all of 1/2 hour to put together. Use cooking spray on ramekins and baking sheet or use parchment paper for easier clean-up.  I used 4 ramekins but you can stretch this to 6 for sure.

I just sampled and can say that while they are not cloyingly sweet they have a bit of sweetness and crunch and you can really taste the tartness of the berries. I wouldn’t mind topping with some  ice cream or yogurt but I guess that would be defeating the purpose. There are some wonderful dairy-free ice creams out there and I suppose they would work just fine.

Just an addition– I ate it for breakfast this morning!!! with a little greek yogurt!

Ingredients:

app. 2 pints of berries — as I said you can mix them or use any one you like best. I used black, blue and raspberries. This can be made with apples, peaches, strawberries , nectarines and any combination of the above. I like making them in individual ramekins as a way of having portions already prepared which I think is very nice for dessert but equally nice made in a larger baking dish and you may need to double up on ingredients.

Ingredients:

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup almond flour–available in most supermarkets today ( Whole Foods)

*1/2 cup slivered almonds–obviously can be made without nuts but I love the crunch

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp. maple syrup ( use pure maple not the artificial one)

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

In a bowl, mix together the berries with the lemon juice. Divide between the ramekins ( spray ramekins first) you can also bake this in one large baking dish of course.

You can use the same bowl or a new one, and mix together remaining ingredients until combined. Spoon the almond mixture over the berries. Bake for app. 30 minutes , until bubbly and golden brown. Mine were done in 25 minutes so check your oven after 20 minutes to see where they’re at.

Let it cool slightly before serving.

OMG Apricot Bars

OMG Apricot Bars out of oven

OMG Apricot Bars pre cooked

These bars are nothing short of a-mazing! They are the most perfect, delicious treats–great to take on a hike, great for after a ride on your bike…ok, enough Dr. Seuss. Just go ahead and bake them–it is not difficult. I woke up early this morning and decided to bake them and one hour later, they were finished and out of the oven. They remind me of a yummy, soft granola bar. If you don’t like apricots, substitute cherries and cherry preserves, blueberries and blueberry preserves, etc. (I’m not sure if I would use fresh blueberries. Just stick with the dry version of the fruit and the matching preserves.) Thanks to Giada for the inspiration on this one!

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

1 large jar of apricot preserves (I used an 18 oz jar of apricot/pineapple preserves because that’s what I had in the house. You can use a 13 oz jar of apricot preserves. I like it very gooey so I used a large jar of preserves.)

8 dried apricots, chopped up into small pieces

Crust:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats (not the instant or 1-minute kind)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 egg (room temperature), beaten

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure oven rack is in the center of the oven.

Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper (see picture) on the bottom and the sides and then spray the paper with cooking spray (I use Pam).

In a bowl, mix together the jam and the dried apricots and set aside.

In a large, separate bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and walnuts. Add the melted butter, egg and vanilla and mix very well. Using a utensil or your clean hands, lightly press half of the crush mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a knife or spatula, spread the apricot filling (use it all) over the first layer of crust. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press the crust mixture to flatten. Bake for about 35 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for at least one hour. Cut into bars. They will lift right out of pan with the paper and cleanup is a snap with parchment paper.

These will stay in an airtight container for at least three days. I will freeze them for the next time we want them, because they are too dangerous to have around.

* Yields about 24 bars