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Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Cuccidati-Sicilian Fig Cookies - #foodmemory

Cuccidati-Sicilian Fig Cookies

There are many cookies we like to bake here at Christmas time. There is one that is my most favorite: i cuccidati! They are Sicilian Christmas cookies also known as ‘buccellati’.

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Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake


There was a period of time that my neighbors were vegan. They sort of surprised us and when they made their decision; it happened when we had more time and were dining almost every weekend together. Or maybe it was just summertime and we had more opportunities to hang out and feast. Either way, it became an interesting and delicious challenge figuring out what to prepare for them.  This cranberry coffee cake is the sort of dessert I would make for them whenever we would be dining together.

When they became vegan, I began to read every book that was out there about veganism. I explored every single website that I could find. I scoured them for the best cakes and cookies. I tried my hand at vegan baking and fell in love n with it. I still bake a vegan dessert here and there and my kids love them. Actually, everyone loves them. There really is no differentiation in the flavor. If I didn't say, "hey, this is a vegan dessert!" it would be practically impossible to discern from a non-vegan dessert. A note on the sugar: be sure to use vegan sugar to make this truly vegan. That is the most frequent email I get when I post a vegan dessert. As I mentioned, I have read up on vegan baking and know that conventional sugar is not considered vegan. So be sure to research the ingredients you use if you'd like to make it truly vegan.
Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake



I stumbled upon an apple cake on Vegan Yum Yum. It became a huge hit. I love the cake batter and used it for this cranberry cake. It's a simple coffee cake that is really lovely. It's so easy to put together. The batter is a great recipe for the kids to make with you. The filling gets a little dangerous with cranberries popping so don't let the little ones do that part.

I know Thanksgiving has gone in a flash, as well as the entire month of December. But I'm still fixated on recipes made with cranberries. I still can find them at my market, so it's ok to post another cranberry recipe, right? Or maybe you planned ahead and froze some bags? If you can't get a hold of cranberries, make the apple version.






But, hey! Guess what? My neighbors are vegan again. It seems to have been decided to try again at least for a month. This is what I baked for them during our most recent dinner together. With all the decadent holiday baking and feasts that are happening these coming weeks, something a little lighter is just what I prefer to have a bite of when I am craving something sweet. It became my daughter's favorite cake and it was the most requested cake the month of November in the Cake Duchess kitchen. Soon the cookie baking madness will get very intense. I have already started my biscotti baking! Love biscotti!! For now, I share with you this delicious and wonderful cranberry cake.  

a note on the sugar: be sure to use vegan sugar to make this truly vegan. That is the most frequent email I get when I post a vegan dessert explaining to me about sugar. As I mentioned, I have read up on vegan baking and know that conventional sugar is not considered vegan. So be sure to research the ingredients you use if you'd like to make it truly vegan.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope your holiday planning is going well. I appreciate your support!!


Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes
Cook Time: approx 60-80 minutes

Ingredients (1 8-inch round cake)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
  • 2/3 cup rice milk (or regular milk) + 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
cranberry filling
  • 16 ounces of fresh cranberries (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • one navel orange (add the juice of 1/2 and cut the other 1/2 in chunks and add to the cranberry mixture in the pan)
  • 1 sliver of fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
for topping
  • 2 Tbs sugar mixed with 2 tsp Cinnamon, for topping
Instructions
prep the cranberry filling: In a medium sized bowl, rinse the cranberries with cool water, and remove any stems or blemished berries. Drain the cranberries in a colander.

Heat water and sugar to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.. Continue boiling 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cranberries. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling about 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to pop. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 

Don’t worry if every single cranberry does not completely pop. When the sauce is cooked, spoon out the orange pieces and the ginger sliver. Pour sauce into bowl or container.

Chill in the refrigerator for about one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

prep cake batter:
In a small bowl, add the milk and vinegar and give it a whirl. Let sit a minute. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients of the cake and whisk together. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oil, milk, water/cornstarch mixture, and vanilla. Mix well. Incorporate the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl with your spatula.

Spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of a 9×11 greased baking dish. (I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet)

Spoon on the cranberry filling evenly over the top.

Spoon the rest of the batter over the top in clumps, leaving some of the cranberry filling showing through.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for about 60-80 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Check the cake after 45 minutes. Cover with foil for the last portion of baking to prevent over-browning. Remove cake from oven and good luck letting it cool before serving. The cinnamon sugar smell will have you hypnotized with desire before it cools.

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Holiday Breakfast Wreath-#twelveloaves


Holiday Breakfast Wreath

Whoa! Where did 2013 go? I don't know about you…but I'm not ready for any thing that has to do with the holidays. I'm not the best planner and most often work best under pressure. But when it comes to baking sweets for the holidays, I start my planning early! I couldn't wait to bake this holiday breakfast wreath for our #TwelveLoaves December.

My favorite time of year is baking at Christmas time. The kids really love to participate; especially with the Christmas cookies.

#TwelveLoaves December is dedicated to the Holidays!! Last December I shared this Christmas Stollen. Which is not a typical stollen. But delicious, nonetheless.  Some other Christmas breads I've baked and shared here:

Pandolce Genovese


Daring Baking's Challenge: Christmas Stollen

Finnish Pulla

and my Bundt Panettone (ok, it's not the traditional panettone...but it was wonderful and fun in a bundt pan!)


Holiday Breakfast Wreath

This bread is a recipe I found on the kitchn.  I love that site! I used my dough recipe that I use in many sweet bread recipes. The technique for this wreath is the same one used in this Estonian Kringle . I also used a similar technique for my Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread .I changed the filling around a little.  I used cherries (the kitchn uses cranberries in theirs). Next time I will use dried cranberries instead. It was the first thing my daughter asked when she took a bite..."mom, why didn't you use cranberries?"


Holiday Breakfast Wreath

*some baking notes: When I roll it out into a log, I then transfer it onto the parchment lined pan. I slice it in the middle and form my wreath. It really could use another set of hands to make it go a little smoother. It is not that neat while you are moving the pieces one over the other in a sort of twist. It may seem like all hope is lost when some filling parts fall out. You may throw up your hands and want to toss it out the window...but don't! It doesn't have to look completely perfect.

And somehow, when you feel you haven't done your best job...it turns out beautifully. The bread is rustic and gorgeous.



It's delicious and completely addictive. It's big enough to share some with your neighbors. I think the next time I bake it I will divide the dough in 1/2 and make two wreaths.





Looking for holiday bread inspirations? Here are some delicious ideas from the #TwelveLoaves bakers:

#TwelveLoaves-Holiday Breads. November was a delightful month of spice breads. December #TwelveLoaves is here and we are celebrating Holidays! Share your  December Holiday Bread (yeast or quick bread). Let's get baking!


#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy.

Holiday Breakfast Wreath

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: approx 2 hours
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients (1 wreath)
  • For the 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
  • For the Cherry-Almond Filling:
  • 1 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries), soaked in 1/2 cup brandy or other liqueur
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • To add on before baking:
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon-sugar
  • For the Sugar Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
dough directions:
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 Tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of 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 baking pan with parchment paper and spray a muffin tin with baking spray; set aside.
Drain the cherries from the liqueur. In a food processor, pulse together the fillings ingredients (except for the cherries). When finished pulsing, dump ingredients into a bowl. Stir gently the cherries into the filling; set aside.

Punch down the dough.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9- by 30-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough to leaving a 1-inch border on all the sides.

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

Cut the ends of (I ended up with 5 small rolls).

Place the ends in the muffin tin (or a small loaf pan sprayed with baking spray).
Place roll seam-side down on the baking sheet. Cut 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. From the twists into a wreath.

Cover the wreath loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until plump, 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Uncover the wreath and brush with melted butter (do same with the small rolls).
Toss on the almond slivers and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar.

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 on more cinnamon-sugar mixture. While the bread is baking, combine the glaze ingredients; set aside.

Carefully transfer the wreath to a serving plate. Drizzle on the glaze.

*This can be prepared 2 days ahead of time (if you can resist eating it!). After baking wreath, cool completely and wrap it tightly and carefully in foil paper. Store at room temperature then re-heat at 350° for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle on the glaze…enjoy!
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