Travel to Italy

Travel to Italy
Travel to Italy

Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Blackberry Buns #TwelveLoaves


Blackberry Buns
Do any of you find a recipe and stare at it for weeks..whether you printed it out or have it bookmarked on your computer or phone? Maybe weeks go into months and you still haven't made said recipe because you're missing one ingredient. That happened with these blackberry buns. I had the recipe opened on my phone for about 2 months.

I found it in Kinfolk magazine. A really gorgeous magazine that I've found at Anthropologie.

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Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Bacon Tart


Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Bacon Tart
There are days that I plan ahead and I feel I'm on top of what is being made here during the week for dinner. Then there are days where it is getting close to the end of the day and I haven't put much thought into dinner plans.

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
How could it have been almost 2 years since I've shared a chocolate chip cookie recipe here with all of you. A couple of years back I shared a browned butter and molasses chocolate chip cookie recipe. It was the cookie of the summer. It was a recipe that was baked over and over again.

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Tangerine Garlic Chicken

Tangerine Garlic Chicken
People sometimes ask me what we eat for dinner. They assume it's only pasta every day. And that's not far from the truth. There are some days we have fish and some days a stir-fry. The rest of the days there may be pizza or a really fun chicken dish. Like this recipe. The rest of the evenings will probably include pasta.

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Strawberry Marshmallow and Cracker Cake

Strawberry Marshmallow and Cracker Cake
Did you make your mom a cake this past Mother's Day? If you didn't and you want to make it up to her, make her this fun strawberry marshmallow and cracker cake! Did I mention it's fun? It's fun! It's fun because it involves marshmallow fluff.

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Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins

Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins
These are what I call REALLY great muffins. Every time I go to get a coffee somewhere, I always crave a blueberry muffin. I have to say that they aren't as good as muffins you can make at home. Most of the times they don't have a streusel topping. A great muffin has got to have a streusel topping! What is a blueberry banana muffin without one? It's a pretty mediocre muffin.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake is an absolute favorite! Brainstorming for a cake idea is always fun. Having a general theme is helpful in some ways. When I know what the main focus of the cake will be about I think I've got the recipe I will make. And the same thing happens every time. Like it did with this blueberry buttermilk cake.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake


some notes on this bundt: I mentioned in the beginning of this post that I did think I knew exactly what I'd bake for this berry theme for our bundt group. I knew it would be with strawberries. It actually was the cake I found in the latest Cooking Light magazine. A lighter pound cake in a bundt pan with stunning strawberries adorning the top of it. I couldn't wait to bake it and had my berries ready. Then everyone got a hold of my strawberries and they were no longer available. My next idea was to use the blueberries I've had on hand and loved this cake from Smitten Kitchen. I wanted to stay a little lighter and skip a topping.  I'm so glad I did. I had a few blackberries around and tossed them in with the blueberries. My mom said the cake was light and not dense. She said many bundts end up being dense and that this was so moist. It's true! This cake was moist and had the perfect sweetness from the incredible berries (I cut back the original recipe's sugar just a little bit). Who knows, I just may end up making the other two bundts sometime this summer.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
A moist buttermilk bundt cake packed with juicy and sweet blueberries.
Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
by Savoring Italy
Keywords: bake dessert blueberries cake

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used Limoncello)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries (or you could use more blueberries)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your bundt pan (regular 10 cup bundt pan). I personally prefer to use baking spray for bundt pans.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating until incorporated. Stir in vanilla, lemon rind, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or limoncello).

In a large bowl, combine flours, powder, soda, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, gently combine the blueberries (and blackberries if you're using them) with the extra 2 Tablespoons flour. Combine buttermilk and sour cream. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Toss the blueberries in the remaining 2 Tablespoons flour (and blackberries if you are using them). Gently fold in the berries.

Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes.

Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Dust on confectioner's sugar. Enjoy!
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Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies

Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies
If I had to decide if I were a brownie girl or a blondie girl, I'd have to vote brownie. I never really got into blondies. They remind me of chocolate chip cookie bars. And I do really like chocolate chip cookies, so why bother with a blondie.

I treat myself sometimes to the NY Times on Wednesdays. If I happen to be grocery shopping that day, I'll pick up a copy. I love to read their food section and sometimes come across a great recipe I must try. Of course, I'll save that section of the paper and it gets added to my pile of "must-make very soon" recipes from magazines and various things I print out. It will inevitably get lost or thrown out and most likely, never made.

When I saw this recipe a couple weeks ago I made sure that it would never get lost and made it immediately. Because I always have ripe bananas just begging to baked into something. That something is usually banana bread or banana muffins. Occasionally they will be a lovely addition to our pancakes. On this fine day that I had to make a recipe from the NY Times immediately, they were added into blondies.
Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies


I know...I know...two chocolate recipes from me in a short matter of time. What is going on? I really wasn't sure what to use for the crust. I found some chocolate bear cookies that the kids asked for and of course, never finished. They worked splendidly for this crust. Browned butter. Oh yeah. It's incredible.
Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies

The sugar in the batter was a little too high for my liking. I cut it by a cup. I figured the bananas add so much natural sweetness. I know it wasn't as sweet as it probably should be. Nobody here complained. Hubby kept walking by and taking a sample. The kids loved them. I loved them! If you prefer it a little sweeter, keep the sugar as the original recipe had it at 2 1/2 cups. If you aren't into baking with rum, you could substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. So if you're like me and happen to always have some ripe bananas around and aren't throwing them into a smoothie or a quick bread, try this fantastic blondie recipe...

Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies
Chocolate crust with a filling packed with bananas.
Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies
by Savoring Italy
Keywords: bake dessert bananas bars

Ingredients (24 bars)
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups)
  • chocolate wafer cookies (to make about 3 cups crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a pinch
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment, and grease with butter (I sprayed with baking spray)

Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Add the chocolate wafer cookies to the bowl of a food processor and process to make fine crumbs.

Add the light brown sugar, melted butter and a pinch of salt.

Process until the mixture is the consistency of damp sand.

Dump the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the surface is firm.

Remove the pan from oven and set aside.

Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Brown the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

When the butter has browned (about 3 minutes), set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, dark brown sugar and rum.

Whisk in brown butter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and fine salt.

Pour the mixture over the prepared crust and spread evenly.

Transfer pan to oven and bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with a few crumbs attached; 45 to 55 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack; cut into 24 bars.

-slightly adapted from NY Times

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread #TwelveLoaves

Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread

The scent of chocolate wafting through the kitchen on a relaxing Sunday morning. It doesn't get much better than that. And I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate in my baking.

I know, it doesn't seem possible.  I've mentioned a few times here that I tend to prefer fruit desserts...particularly apple desserts. At this juncture in my life, I am swaying slightly towards becoming a bigger fan of chocolate and baking. I thought it would be nice to just ease into a little baking with chocolate. The perfect moment to do that was with another #TwelveLoaves bread baking challenge.

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since this bread baking group was put together last May. So many wonderful breads have been shared by our all of the very talented and creative bread bakers. The group and I decided to leave the May 2013 challenge up to everyone's imagination...bake whatever bread (yeast or quick bread) you like! I went with a very, very chocolate theme. I saw a bread in the latest Food Network magazine and my imagination got the best of me. I was dreaming of eating hot pain au chocolat just out of the oven with my coffee. I was imagining this same scenario every morning until I finally made it happen this past weekend. It was completely and utterly delightful.


Mexican Hot Chocolate BreadMexican Hot Chocolate Bread



#TwelveLoaves May: Bake any bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual. This #TwelveLoaves May 2013 is all about May is all about celebrating bread and the one year anniversary of #TwelveLoaves. Do you have a favorite bread? We would love to see it.  Think luscious quick loaves, sinful scones, delightful Danishes. Any bread recipe you'd like to bake, share it with us!  Let’s get baking!

You must see what our very talented #TwelveLoaves bakers have created May!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread



Look at what we've baked this past year!

May theme: Focaccia
June theme: Corn Rolls
July theme: Challah
August theme: Summer Fruit
September: Say CHEESE!
October: Seeds, nuts and grains
November: Autumn Fruits: Apples and Pears
December: Boozy Bread
January: Clean Slate
February: Open Challenge
March: Holiday Breads.

April: Berries



some bread notes: ( Please bear with me as I figure out my new blog and "ziplist" feature.) If you have a question about the recipe, please pop me an email. With the dough I love and use for most every sweet recipe, I ended up with enough  bread to fit into to regular loaf pans and also 3 small rolls. I baked my rolls in a mini loaf pan. You can see some of the photos above on how I made it. This Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread method is very similar to this Estonian Kringle bread I posted here recently. You could also some directions on how to cut the bread in that post.  I did find this recipe in the latest FoodNetwork magazine. There was something about the filling in their recipe that I couldn't quite figure out. It seemed to be an error, or maybe it was the way I was reading it. I thought about spreading the Nutella and not adding cocoa to the dough. For my taste, the bread was incredible with the cocoa-sugar sprinkled on top of the dreamy Nutella. If you don't like spicy sweets, you can leave out the cayenne. I happened to like the little kick it gave the bread. Even my daughter said it has a "very interesting flavor, mom". The smell while it's baking is OUT OF THIS WORLD incredible. Slight warning, this is not a light bread. There is Nutella and sugar. A little bit of butter, too. It's not something that will be good for those that are watching their weight, but it will definitely make your neighbors very happy if you decide to share a little with them. :)


My baking assistant went a little overboard with the cocoa-sugar on one of the breads...not that that was a bad thing.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread
A yeast bread with a cinnamon and chocolate filling and a touch of spice from cayenne.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread
by Savoring Italy
Keywords: bake bread

Ingredients (two loaves and 2-3 rolls)
    Dough:
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 (1/2 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Filling:
    • 3/4 cup Nutella
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • pinch of cayenne (you can adjust spice to your liking)
    • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    Instructions
    Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

    Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.

    Add 1 T of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

    Beat in the remaining 2 T sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms.

    Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.

    Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Line a regular and mini size loaf pan with parchment paper. (if you don't have a mini loaf pan, you can use a muffin tin) .

    In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne; set aside.
    Punch down the dough.

    Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10-by-18-inch rectangle.
    Spread the Nutella over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on the sides.

    Brush the borders with water. Tightly roll the dough into an 18-inch log, rolling toward the clean border; pinch the seam to seal.

    Cut the ends off.

    Place the ends in a small loaf pan or (muffin tins that have been sprayed with baking spray.)

    Place roll seam-side down on the baking sheet. Cut the log in half so you now have two logs to work with. Cut the first half of the log in half lengthwise with a chef's knife.

    Twist the two halves together, crossing one over the other a few times. Pinch the end together, then tuck both pinched ends under the loaf slightly.

    Carefully place in the first parchment lined loaf pan.

    Repeat with the second log and place in the other parchment lined loaf pan (if you don't have two loaf pans, you could bake the other log on a parchment lined baking sheet)

    Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until plump, 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Uncover the loaf and brush butter on the loaf (and the rolls).

    Sprinkle on the cocoa-sugar mixture.

    Bake the bread, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the middle should register 170 degrees F to 175 degrees F), 30 to 35 minutes. (check the rolls as they may be done a few minutes before)If you have any butter left, brush some on the bread hot of the oven and sprinkle a little more of the cocoa-sugar mixture.
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