Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Daring Bakers: Doughnuts!!!

I am happy to announce that I am an official daring baker!!! The October 2010 Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up.  Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts.  She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

When it comes to doughnuts I am definitely partial to the yeast variety…my favorite being glazed and jelly filled.  The only cake doughnut I enjoy is blueberry.  I waited in anticipation for the Daring Bakers October challenge to be announced.  I was excited and nervous at the same time as this was going to be my first time baking along with the group.  Once I found out I was being challenged to make doughnuts the anxiety took over and I was no longer so filled with excitement.  Daring bakers is most definitely an appropriate name because in my opinion you have to be quite daring to want to venture out and make something like homemade doughnuts!

Now that I have made them I realized there was no reason for me to be nervous.  It was much easier than expected as the dough was very quick to put together.  The only part that didn’t work out all too well for me was actually filling the doughnuts.  I fit a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch tip as the recipe stated but my preserves oozed out between the tip and the pastry bag making it a bit difficult to fill the doughnuts.  If I make these again I will definitely use the other suggested method….a squeeze bottle.  Regardless of the issues with filling my doughnuts I was very happy with this recipe and so were my co-workers!

Recipe by Kate Neumann


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp lukewarm water
  • 1  1/2 envelopes of active dry yeast (3  1/4 tsp)
  • 1  1/2 tbsp honey
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups canola oil for frying ( I didn’t need this much)
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (just realized I skipped this part)

1.  In the bowl of a standing electric mixer mix, mix the water, yeast, honey and 1 cup plus 2 tbsp of the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hr.

2.  Return the bowl to the mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add the remaining 1 and 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp of the flour, milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup of sugar and the salt.  Mix at low-speed until blended then add the butter and knead at medium speed until silky but sticky, about 5 minutes (the dough will not pull away from the side of the bowl).  Using an oiled spatula scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

*Recipe states the dough will not rise but mine did.  I also left it in the fridge two nights without a problem.

3.  In a large saucepan heat the canola oil to 360 degrees.  Line a rack with paper towels and fill a shallow bowl with 1/2 inch of granulated sugar.  On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough a scant 1/2 inch thick.  Using a 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter stamp out 32 rounds.  Fry the rounds 8 at a time until they are browned.  Be sure to keep the oil between 360 and 375 degrees.  Drain the bomboloni on the paper towels and then roll them in the granulated sugar.  Continue frying and rolling the remaining bomboloni.

* Recipe states not to re-roll the dough but I did so without a problem.  I also used a 2″ cutter as it is all I had available.

4.  Fit a pastry bag with a plain doughnut tip (or a 1/4 inch tip) and fill with the preserves (you can also use a squeeze bottle).  Poke the tip three-fourths of the way into the bomboloni and squeeze in the preserves, pulling the tip out slightly as you squeeze to fill them as much as possible.  Dust the bomboloni with the confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.


Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


Coconuty Carmelitas

I came across this recipe on Thursday when browsing through Lulu the Baker, a fabulous blog full of yummy treats.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it.  That same day I bought the needed ingredients and made them to take to my new Bible study group. Let me tell you these bars are beyond amazing.  I took one to a friend at work yesterday and she could hardly get the words out to express how delicious it was.  The lovely ladies at my group last night also thought they were great.  Some even took extras home and I got an email today requesting the recipe.  The only bad news that resulted from these carmelitas is that I ended up breaking my one piece rule….I had 3 carmelitas!!!  If you give these a try might as well go all the way and serve it topped with some vanilla ice cream as my friend at work suggested.

*Prepare the carmelitas the night before you plan to serve them.


  • 50 caramel squares, unwrapped (or use a jar of prepared dulce de leche…which I’ll be doing next time)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 1  1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Combine caramel squares and cream in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until completely smooth; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, oats, sugar and melted butter. Pat half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish (sprayed w/ non-stick cooking spray) and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and layer chocolate chips, coconut and caramel mixture.  Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top and return to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let the bars cool overnight at room temperature before cutting into squares.

Adapted from this recipe found on Lulu the Baker.


Posted by on October 23, 2010 in Bars


The Cake Slice Bakers: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

I am so excited to be posting about this cake because it was absolutely delicious and it was my first time baking along with The Cake Slice Bakers.  I really like how everyone gets to vote on a selection of recipes for the month and then we bake the winning recipe.  It is a nice way for everyone to be part of the decision-making versus having one person get to choose the recipe.  Anyways, on to the this wonderful pumpkin cake studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts.  I kept on calling it pumpkin chocolate walnut loaf instead of its actual name.  For some reason I don’t see this is a pound cake so I guess that’s why the name didn’t stick in my head!  Regardless of the name it was absolutely delicious.

I made two loaves because I would have been left with extra chips and walnuts.  I sent one loaf off with a friend to my old job and brought the other one in to work.  I got great reviews from both offices along with some “threatening” text messages from my friends at my old job!  LOL  It is my way of staying close to them….I baked for them frequently when I use to work there.  I see it as love but they on the other hand think I am trying to make them have to add another notch to their belts!  All this baking is tempting for me as well!  I use to bake a lot to begin with but now that I joined three baking groups it seems to be more frequent.  I had to establish a rule…I am only allowed one piece/slice of what I bake.  I haven’t quite followed my rule for this loaf as I have had a slice for breakfast two days this week.  Well, I didn’t have any of my Hummingbird cake with coconut walnut frosting from SMS that I posted at the beginning of the month so I guess it all evens out!  Please go and check out the other bakers here to read about their experience with this yummy cake.

Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman


  • 1  3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1  1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used skim since it’s what I had @ home)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat the inside of a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high-speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

  • My batter was looking quite unappealing at this time (curdled would be the accurate term) but it was fine after adding the flour so don’t worry!

With the mixer on medium low-speed add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Stir in the pumpkin puree, the vanilla and the milk.  Turn the mixer to low-speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Stir in the chocolate chips and the walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; 55 minutes to 1 hr.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then place on wire rack to cool completely.

Store cake at room temperature in a cake keeper for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week.


Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Cakes


SMS: Hummingbird Cake With Coconut Walnut Frosting

This week’s wonderful recipe is brought to us by Eliana from A Chica Bakes.  I was excited that she gave us the freedom to be able to pair the frosting with whatever tickled our fancy.  The frosting is supposed to be coconut pecan but I am not a huge fan of pecans and quite honestly the walnuts were less expensive so it was an easy choice for me.  I know when people think of this delicious frosting they instantly think of German chocolate cake but I wanted to pair it with something other than chocolate.  Not only am I not a huge fan of chocolate desserts but I figured many of my fellow bakers would likely pair it with something chocolatey.

My taste buds seem to feel that bananas, pineapple and coconut make for a wonderful tropical combination so this cake was the perfect choice for me.  I have never tasted coconut pecan frosting nor made a “cooked” frosting so this was a lot of fun for me.  The frosting was everything I imagined it to be and it was very easy to make.  I didn’t cut myself a slice yet but I did taste the frosting along with the piece of cake I cut off the bottom layer when leveling it off.  The combination definitely did not dissapoint…..forget about the cream cheese frosting typically paired with hummingbird cake!

The recipe I used is from Joy of Baking and although I am posting it below you can find it here.

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped (I left them out)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cups safflower, corn or canola oil ( I used canola)
  • 1  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 – 8oz can crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of the oven.  Butter or spray two 9×2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with a circle of parchment paper (I don’t think the paper is necessary).

Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.  Let cool and then chop finely.

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients (expect pecans).  In another large bowl mix together all the wet ingredients and the finely chopped pecans.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until combined.  Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine baked for 40 min).

Don’t forget to check out Eliana’s blog here for the coconut pecan frosting recipe.  Also check out all the other SMS bakers here to see what they came up with!


Posted by on October 3, 2010 in Cakes


Breakfast for dinner

Again, I found myself trying to get rid of this buttermilk this evening.  Luckily I love breakfast for dinner so I decided to make some buttermilk pancakes.  I looked to my May 2010 issue of Food Network magazine which included a booklet of 50 pancake and waffle recipes!  The recipe was very quick to pull together and made some delicious fluffy pancakes.  The few times I have made pancakes at home I use my electric griddle.  This time I decided to use a skillet and I will definitely not be doing that again! It just takes too much time compared to the griddle.

  • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.  In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla extract.  Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined. Ladle 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot buttered skillet and cook until bubbly. Flip and cook until golden on the bottom.

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Posted by on October 1, 2010 in Uncategorized