Apple Twist Bread

My favorite season is autumn, and I’m so happy that it is upon us! Living in the Midwest, we really learn to appreciate the changing of the seasons. Nature provides us with the most spectacular show- the changing colors of the trees! At the moment, our front and back yard is littered with literally hundreds of dead leaves, but I would be lying if I said that it bothered me.

With autumn comes it’s wonderful produce- apples and pumpkins! I love baking with both, and I truly look forward to it once the weather changes. We went apple picking recently, and these Apple Twist Breads were the result of said harvest. I made these last year as well and they were a hit. I got the recipe from King Arthur Flour, and it was a part of their September Bakealong Challenge as well. These are amazing as is, but their amazingness is elevated when you warm them up a bit…Speaking from experience, you know 😉

 

 

Apple Twist Bread

Yield: 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

For Dough:

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Filling:

  • 1 cup peeled and grated apple
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Make Dough:

In the bowl of a mixer, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, add egg, milk, butter, and vanilla. Once the dough comes together, increase speed to medium and knead until the soft and smooth, but still a bit sticky, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, about 2 hours.

Make Filling:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apple begins to release its juices. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Cook, while stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Assemble Bread:

Set aside a parchment lined baking sheet.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two portions, and work with one portion at a time. Roll each portion out into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the apple filling evenly over both rectangles, leaving a ½-inch margin along the edges.

Starting with the long side, roll up the rectangles into logs, pinching the ends together to seal.   Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half lengthwise. Place two of the half-logs, cut-side facing upwards, on prepared baking sheet. Keeping the filling-side face up braid the two logs together, pinching the ends together. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping several inches space between both loaves. Cover lightly and set aside until puffy, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake loaves until lightly browned, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour before applying glaze.

Make Glaze:

Combine all ingredients (start with 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, and add more as needed) in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over the loaves.

 

Note: Leftover bread can be stored loosely wrapped at room temperature.

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Chicken Pitas With Spicy Garlic Sauce

It’s reveal day for the monthly Muslim Food Blogger Challenge! This month’s challenge was to try a fellow Muslimah blogger’s recipe. To be very honest, this was hard for me. I follow a large number of amazing and creative Muslimah bloggers, and I had the hardest time narrowing them all down to one. Whose recipe do I share, or whose do I exclude? Do I share a recipe that I make often, or do I share something that was made for a special occasion?

The truth is that the Muslimah blogging community is a large community, and it is ever growing. Our community spans across the globe, and is full of wonderful, creative, and supportive women. We are a patchwork quilt, made up of different colors and fabrics and various textures and grains. I have leaned on this wonderful community for support, and they have not only supported me, but have lifted me up. Each of you hold a special place in heart, and I pray that The Almighty raises you in His ranks.

 

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Today I am sharing a recipe from This Muslim Girl Bakes. It is a chicken pita with spicy garlic sauce. I’ve made this multiple times, and each time it is a hit. The first time I made it, I made homemade pitas (!!!) to serve with them, and omg, so so good! The times I’ve made it after, I just used store-bought pita due to time constraints. If you have the means and time to do so, I would highly recommend making you own pita bread. It’s so easy, and tastes infinite times better than store bought.

Back to recipe- the marinade on the chicken is amazing! Obviously the longer you allow it to marinate, the better, but if you’re pressed for time it tastes good even with a 20 minute stand. I must add that the spicy garlic sauce is phenomenal! It’s so good in these pitas, and I imagine it would be amazing used as a burger sauce as well!

As always, I look forward to these challenges each month. I’m excited to see what everyone is sharing for this month’s challenge, and if you also would like to take a look, just click on the button below:

 

 

Chicken Pitas With Spicy Garlic Sauce

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Chicken:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Spicy Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce or chili garlic paste (sambal oelek)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For Pitas:

  • Pocket pita bread, lightly toasted, as needed
  • Tomatoes, sliced, as needed
  • Lettuce, shredded, as needed

Directions:

Prepare Chicken:

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken, until smooth. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight; if marinating longer than a few hours, refrigerate marinated chicken.).

Heat a large vessel over medium high heat. Add chicken and remaining marinade. Cover and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes on each side. Once chicken is cooked through, increase heat and cook off as much of the marinade as possible without burning the mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare Spicy Garlic Sauce:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Set aside.

Assemble Pitas:

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or slice into desired size pieces.

Place chicken, tomatoes, and lettuce inside the pita. Top generously with spicy garlic sauce.

Carrot Cardamom Cake (aka Gajar Ka Halwa Cake!)

I love having some type of loaf cake (or quick bread) on hand at home. It’s nice having something to munch alongside a cup of tea, and it seems as if my son has inherited his momma’s love for these types of baked goods as well 🙂

I have made this cake (recipe from Playful Cooking) several times, and it is always well received. It is a carrot loaf, infused with cardamom flavor. I like to think that it is the cake version of Gajar Ka Halwa (carrot halwa)!

 

 

Carrot Cardamom Cake

(Gajar Ka Halwa Cake)

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Add oil and whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until it just comes together. Fold in shredded carrots.

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, between 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Fresh Strawberry Milk

I know it’s September and technically strawberry season is over, but my local grocery stores have been stocking the juiciest and most ripe berries I’ve seen! They’re so ripe that they ooze ruby-red juices in the containers themselves! Berries like that must be revered, so I did what any sane person does- I stocked up 😉

We’ve been munching on them as is, but along with a host of bakes I’d like to try, I blended some up into delicious homemade fresh strawberry milk! The recipe is via Smitten Kitchen, and although the addition of buttermilk sounds strange, it just works. The milk is amazing consumed right away, and tastes like the bottled red stuff (except totally natural!), and once you let it sit overnight, it almost takes on a lassi- flavor! So good!

Fresh Strawberry Milk

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Allow the strawberries to macerate and accumulate their juices for at least one hour. Use an immersion blender (or regular blender) and blitz until completely smooth.

Add milk and buttermilk. Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

 

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

So these cookies have kind of become famous.

We made them for Eid, and literally everyone raved about them! It’s so funny how the most successful things we made come from hilarious circumstances. The reason I made this particular cookie (Recipe from Hungry Girl Por Vida) was because I had 2 jars of almond butter just hanging out in my pantry, and this was my attempt at putting some of it to use.

I’ve still got a bunch leftover, so it looks like almond butter chocolate chip cookies are in our near future 😉

 

 

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Approximately 30 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside two parchment lined baking sheets.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and almond butter and beat just until combined. Add eggs, one at time, whisking until thoroughly combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Whisk in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the cookie dough out using a cookie scoop or about 2 tablespoons worth of dough onto the baking sheet, placed 2-inches apart. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.