Sunday, August 24, 2008

Orange Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Umm..yogurt cakes are so easy to put together that I keep going to back to this basic recipe. No mixer needed! And very moist and tasty. Today I opted for an orange flavored cake with blueberries. Yum! Continue for recipe.

Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup canola oil


Plum Almond:
1/2 t almond extract + sliced plums--overlap on top (pack them in)
can sub ground almonds for part of the flour if wanted; sprinkle top with brown sugar

Lemon/Orange Blueberry:
2 tsp. grated lemon/orange zest (from 1-2 lemons/oranges)rubbed into the sugar + 2 cups blueberries tossed in a T of flour

For the glaze:
Juice from 2 lemons/oranges
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 9x2 round cake pan (or use a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan).
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, rub the zest(if using) into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla to the sugar and mix until well blended.
Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Add the oil, and stir until smooth.
Add fruit, if using.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.
When the cake is cooled, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.




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I really love cornbread! I'm a Northern fan--I like a sweet cornbread, slathered in butter and then drizzled with honey. So good with soups and chilis, but equally satisfying for breakfast. This is just a basic recipe--but good! Recipe coming soon!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cookies

Ok, I know I just made carrot raisin muffins, but I really wanted a chewy raisin spice cookie today and I noticed this recipe on Baking Bites that sounded good. I made several modifications--used oil instead of butter and added applesauce for some of the fat. I also cut out the mixer, combining the ingredients by hand like a quick bread. I also used old-fashioned oats, pulsed briefly in my mini-chopper, as opposed to the quick variety.

The cookies are lovely looking and I really like the cakey consistency. Like many spice cakes, they are definitely better the second and third days. So plan ahead, and make these the day before--giving the spices time to develop. They are only slightly sweet and have a nice texture from the oatmeal. Great breakfast cookies. When I make them again, I will up the spices a bit and add a touch more sugar (if I'm wanting a "cookie" not a breakfast treat). Half brown sugar might be nice as well. These grew on me each day that I ate them and by the time they were gone, I was ready to make another batch! Continue for recipe.

Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce (generous)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, mix together oil, applesauce, sugar, egg, vanilla and spices.
Stir in flour mixture. Once no streaks of flour remain, stir in carrots, oats and raisins.
Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until cookies are set and lightly browned on the edges. Cool for 3 or 4 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


Basic Muffin Recipe: Blueberry Lemon and Carrot Raisin

I'm always searching for good muffin recipes. It's so nice to have a delicious muffin ready and waiting to grab for a breakfast-on-the-go. I got this basic recipe from Pam Anderson's The Perfect Recipe, a great little cookbook that gives simple instructions and lots of variations for each recipe. As the former editor of Cook's Illustrated, Anderson really is a wonderful resource.

These muffins are good! I love the slight tang that the yogurt gives to them and the moistness. The carrot-raisin muffins are really good but plain--not carrot-cake like, as they only have a little cinnamon in them and not other spices. I think the raspberry-almond or the cranberry-orange would be great too. Continue for the recipe.

Basic Muffins
from The Perfect Recipe by Pam Anderson

3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
10 T butter, at room temp.
1 cup minus 1 T sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 375.
Line 18 muffin tins or coat with cooking spray.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 min.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Beat in 1/2 dry ingredients.
Beat in 1/3 of yogurt.
Beat in half of remaining dry ingredients, alternating with 1/3 of remaining yogurt, and repeat into fully incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
Cool slightly on wire rack, about 5 min. then remove and serve.

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping (optional):

1/2 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon
4 T melted butter

Mix sugar and cinn in small bowl. Dip each warm muffin in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar and serve.


Lemon Blueberry: Add 1 t lemon zest to sugar and rub between fingers until fragrant. Combine 1 T flour with 1 1/2 cups blueberries and fold into finished batter.

Carrot-Cinnamon Raisin: Add 1 t cinnamon to dry ingredients and fold in 1 1/2 cups grated carrots and 3/4 cups raisins into the finished batter.

Cranberry-Walnut-Orange: Add 1 t orange zest to sugar. Fold in 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries (or 3/4 cup dried) and 3/4 cup walnuts into finished batter.

Lemon Poppy Seed: Add 3 T poppy seeds to dry ingredients and 1 t lemon zest to sugar.

Raspberry Almond: Cream 1oz almond paste with the butter and sugar. When batter is finished, spoon half portion of batter into each muffin cup. Spoon 1 1/2 t raspberry jam into each cup and fill with remaining batter.

Mocha chip: Dissolve 3 T instant coffee granules in yogurt and fold 1 cup chocolate chips (or miniatures) into finished batter. Yum!!