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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Lemon Pound Cake

Oh hey, lemon again? To be honest, I’m not a fan of lemon flavored things.  Actually, let me correct that; I’m not a fan of overly lemon flavored treats.  I don’t mind mild lemon flavor, but I’m not a fan of the body-distorting-mouth-puckering-in-your-face-lemon flavor. This pound cake takes a ride on the milder side, and is refreshing and perfect for the ongoing gorgeous spring season.

Fun fact- these lemons were actually grown in my mother’s backyard! When she was visiting in December, she filled her luggage with these lemons (her tree only produces harvest in the winter months) to share with us 🙂

 (Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

lemonpoundcakepic

 

Lemon Pound Cake

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons (1 whole lemon) lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

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

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

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and oil and beat on high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time. Add yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined, making sure to scrape the bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, tent with a piece of aluminum foil.

Allow cake to cool for 1 hour, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make Glaze:

In a bowl, whisk together sugar and 1 tablespoon milk, adding more milk if needed to thin it out. Pour over cake while it is still slightly warm, and cool completely before serving.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Thanksgiving came and went, and I’m sitting here asking myself where the year went? We’re about one month away from ringing in 2017. 20-17. Let that sink in.

 

Sweet potatoes are in season every season, but we find ourselves loading up on them especially during the cooler months.  I stumbled upon this fabulous recipe by Grandbaby Cakes for Sweet Potato Pound Cake, and I was sold. I had one lonesome sweet potato hanging out in my pantry, and I just knew that it was destined for greatness.

sweetpotatopoundcakepic

 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Yield: One 9”x5” Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

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

In the bowl of a mixer, combine mashed sweet potato, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and oil. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined. Add cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger. Mix on low speed until completely combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

 

Note: Cake can be kept at room temperature for a few days.

Instructions on roasting sweet potatoes: Wash and pat dry potatoes. Place each potato on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a tiny bit of neutral flavored oil. Wrap loosely with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 60 minutes. Potatoes will be ready when they can pricked with a fork easily. Cool slightly before using.

Chicken Quesadillas and Eid Eats 2016!

Salam and Hello friends!

I come bearing exciting news! Ramadan is right around the corner (less than 2 weeks remaining! Eeeks!), and Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, Sarah of Flour and Spice, and I are hosting Eid Eats (2016) again! What is Eid Eats, you ask. Consider it a virtual potluck in which you “bring” (ie., blog about) a food item which is reminiscent of Eid (the holiday marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan). What you decide to share can be something traditional that’s made in your home/family, or you can get creative and share something completely out of the ordinary. The choice is yours, as long as it screams Eid festivities to you 🙂

EidEats5

Here are a few guidelines in order to participate:

  • Prepare and blog about your food item on July 3rd, 2016.   You can prepare your blog post beforehand, just be sure to have it go live on the above-mentioned date. The link party will be open and accepting submissions until July 6th, 2016.
  • Be sure to use the hashtag #EidEats2016 in your post and on any social media.
  • New recipes and posts will only be accepted. Unfortunately we cannot accept links to past blog posts.
  • Link your post to the party hosts blogs (Flour and SpiceChocolate and Chillies, and My Ninja Naan) and be sure to include the party button/graphic (the one you see above) in your post.
  • Visit the aforementioned blogs on July 3rd and be sure to submit your post via the link party (will be set up that day).
  • Check out what our fellow bloggers have submitted, and be sure to head on over to their space and leave them some love in their comments section!

 

To get this party started, I made a batch of zesty and delicious Chicken Quesadillas whose recipe Asiya had shared. To say these are yummy is an understatement. These are freaking fantastic! They’re zippy and packed with flavor! Serve them with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream (or all three!), and you’re on your way to Flavor City 🙂

 

ChickenQuesadillasPic

Chicken Quesadillas

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless chicken breast, butterflied
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 8 to 10 medium flour tortillas
  • Cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or Colby), as needed

Directions:

In a small dish, combine lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, chili powder, cumin powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and salt. Add chicken and coat well.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer raw, keeping in mind that this can take several minutes. Transfer chicken (along with any juices that may have accumulated) to a plate and shred. In the same skillet, add onion and cook until softened, just a few minutes. Add onion and tomato to shredded chicken, mix well, and set aside.

Heat a lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Lay tortillas flat and place approximately ¼ to 1/3-cup on one half. Top with cheese and fold. Transfer to heated skillet, cover, and cook until the cheese has melted, just a few minutes. Flip the quesadilla and cook until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and serve immediately.

Tortillas

Several months ago, I attempted to make my own tortillas. I figured that since I’ve gotten the hang of homemade roti (Indian/Pakistani unleavened flatbread), that tortillas shouldn’t be too difficult. The verdict? Even easier!

These tortillas are so wonderful! They’re soft yet pliable (meaning you can go hard with piling up those tacos to your heart’s content), and so quick and easy to make! I don’t see myself going back to store bought tortillas, and I’m sure you won’t go back either 😉

(Recipe courtesy of Annie’s Eats.)

TortillasPic

Tortillas (Flour)

Yield: 12 to 15 Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ – 1 cup water

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, butter, baking powder, and salt. Pulse until crumbly, about 5 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the water until a cohesive ball of dough is formed. Knead for 30 seconds more, until the dough is tacky. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Transfer dough to a surface lightly dusted with flour. Divide into 12 to 15 balls, cover, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet (or fry pan) over medium-high heat. Working with one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust with flour and roll into a large and thin circle, approximately 8 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the tortilla to the heated skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds, until small bubbles form on the surface and lightly browned. Flip and cook for an additional 10 to 20 seconds. Do not overcook, as this will result in stiff tortillas.

Use as needed, or store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator or freezer.