As I’m going to Brazil for the holidays, I didn’t bother decorating our place for Christmas this year. But this created a little issue for the blog, as I had kinda forgotten to start the edible gifts series here! 😀
To correct this error, there’s nothing easier than a quick recipe: muffins – in 40 minutes, you go from random ingredients in your pantry to a delicious treat! Patricia’s original recipe is more subtle than mine: in total, she used 1 tsp of spices. As we like bolder flavors around here, and I wanted something that screamed “Christmas!,” I tripled that amount!
For 12 muffins, you will need:
180 g (1 ½ cup) flour
1 ¼ tsp baking poder
3 tsp of your favorite spices – I used cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice, and pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
100 g (½ cup) sugar
44 g (¼ cup) brown sugar – as usual, if you are using measuring cups, press the sugar while measuring
120 g honey
75 g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, melted
100 ml whole milk, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ Tbsp whisky – I got carried away and used about 3 Tbsp
confectioner’s sugar, to dust
The good thing about muffins is that they are super quick: why grease a tin if you can just line it with paper cups? Just remember to pre-heat the oven at 180C/350F.
In a small pan, melt the butter and let it cool.
In a big bowl that fits all ingredients, put the flour, baking powder, spices, baking soda, and salt, and whisk well, to make sure there are no lumps. Add the sugars and whisk a little bit more.
The original recipe mentioned making a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, but honestly, I just poured the honey, butter, milk, egg, vanilla, and whisky right over them! With a silicone spatula, mix the batter until just combined – don’t overwork it!
Now all that is left to do is to divide the batter evenly over the muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean. Let them cool completely over a wire rack – well, let 11 of them cool completely while you eat that other one.
Dust the muffins with confectioner’s sugar, place them in a nice box, and go make someone’s day a lot better!
FREEZER: If one of your 2019 goals is to be a more organized person, one that plans ahead and all that, you can bake these muffins in November, cool completely, place them in a Ziploc bag, and freeze! In December, thaw them outside the fridge and dust with confectioner’s sugar. 😉
It has been a bit quiet over here, hasn’t it? August was a tough month, but it ended brilliantly, and now we’re back!
When I first read this recipe, I thought I’d make just a tiny change, using honey instead of corn syrup. I went to the grocery store to buy pecans, but I forgot that the recipe called for three cups, so I only bought a small packet! So that was another thing I had to adapt – I used only two cups of nuts (pecans and walnuts). Then, when I was sorting the ingredients for the picture, I realized I was out of chocolate chips and did not have enough coconut flakes – so I used a chocolate bar, chopped, and some shredded coconut! 😀 Even with all these adaptations, the bars turned out great! 🙂
For a 9 x 13 inch pan, you’ll need:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
Tasty chocolate layer
1 ½ cup chocolate chips – I chopped a 70% cacao chocolate bar
3 large eggs
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup honey
¼ cup (60 g) melted butter – yes, we’re using butter again in this recipe! 😀
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes – I used a mix of unsweetened coconut flakes and shredded coconut
2 cups pecans – I mixed pecans and walnuts, but I think it’d be pretty tasty using hazelnuts!
As most bar recipes, start by preparing the pan: butter a 9 x 13 inch pan and cover it with aluminum foil, leaving a “handle” to help remove the bars from the pan. Butter the aluminum foil WELL, being careful not to tear it. I feel I need to stress the concept of buttering the foil WELL: I didn’t do it (I’m starting to believe August is really a messed-up month), and a big piece of the bar STUCK to the pan in a way that I had never seen! 😦
Spread the nuts evenly over another baking sheet. Toast the nuts for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Set aside
In a bowl, whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa powder. Add the cold butter, and use your fingertips to crush it until the mix resembles coarse meal – or you can be traditional and use a pastry blender! I just don’t care much for pastry blenders 😀 Press this mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Immediately after removing the base from the oven, spread the chocolate chips evenly over the entire surface – the chocolate will melt quickly, creating a very tasty layer 😀
Let it cool over a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the brown sugar, the honey, and the melted butter. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined. Add the coconut and the nuts.
Pour this mixture over the cooled base and bake on a pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the filling has set and the edges are golden-brown. Let it cool over a wire rack for about 1 hour, and then place it in the fridge for another hour.
Use the foil “handles” to remove the bars from the baking sheet. Place them over a cutting board, cut them with a sharp knife and serve!
When I lived in Brasília, my friends from work and I would just say “screw this!” and have a nice long lunch at Texas Roadhouse Grill, where they had these lovely rolls. I would threaten to just eat the bread rolls (and drink beer, obviously) instead of ordering lunch! I’ve never got around to actually doing that, though. But I will someday!
To continue the Dinner Roll Tertulias, I decided to bake a recipe I had pinned on Pinterest. It didn’t look like a big deal: a soft roll, the end. Easy. When they came out of the oven, I brushed the honey butter over the top, grabbed a roll and gave one to Sky. We tried it and said, almost at the same time: “it’s the bread roll from Roadhouse!” 😀
240 mL (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
80 g (1/4 cup) honey
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
60 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 tsp salt
450 g (3 1/2 cups) bread flour – I used half bread flour, half all-purpose flour. I ended up adding another ¼ cup, because the weather was very humid. Start with the amount on the recipe and, if necessary, add more.
For the non-optional topping:
60 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp honey
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or simply in a big bowl), place the milk, yeast, and sugar. Mix and set aside. After five to ten minutes, the mix should be foamy, just like the top of a thick beer. If not, it means something went wrong: either your yeast is bad or the milk was too hot. In any case, discard the mixture and start over!
Add the honey, egg and egg yolk, melted butter, salt, and flour, and knead with the dough hook attachment (or with your hands) for about five minutes, until the dough is not-too-sticky and you can shape it into a ball. If you need to, add more flour, but beware: the dough is a little sticky, and we want to add as little flour as possible, so the rolls don’t get tough! 🙂 I ended up adding a ¼ cup one Tbsp at a time.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Here, it took 1 hour.
When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it to deflate and transfer to a floured surface. I divided my dough in 32 pieces, to make mini rolls, but you can divide it into 12-16 portions for conventional-sized rolls. Shape the portions into balls and place them on a buttered (or simply covered with a Silpat) 9 x 13 inch baking sheet. This video shows the technique I use – it looks time-consuming, but when you get the hang of it, it’s pretty quick!
Loosely cover the pan with a plastic wrap or dish cloth (don’t use terrycloth!), and let them rise again, until they are doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping: mix the butter and honey thoroughly, and set aside at room temperature, so it doesn’t harden.
Bake the rolls in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and you hear a hollow sound when you tap the surface.
As soon as they come out of the oven, GENEROUSLY brush the sides and the top with the honey butter (I used over half of the mixture). Let them cool for a few minutes and serve with the leftover honey butter!
FREEZER: If you manage to have leftovers, place them in a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
I did some serious thinking before deciding on the theme for May: “I want to do chocolate, but then again, right after Easter, is it worth it?, etc…” until I realized: who gets sick of chocolate? 😀
To start off the Chocolate Tertulias, I decided to finally photograph my second favorite chocolate cake! My very favorite chocolate cake is the one my mom makes, but that is for another series 😛 Devil’s food loaf is similar to that cake, but the frosting is very different – and the best part of it!
45g unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking soda
100 ml boiling water
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
233g brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
60 g dark chocolate, chopped
14g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp whole milk
½ Tbsp honey
Start by preparing your loaf pan (mine was 8.5 x 9.5 inches): butter it, line it with parchment paper, making sure there’s an excess of paper so it’s easy to take the cake out of the pan, and then butter the parchment paper!
In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa with the boiling water. Mix in the baking soda and let it cool for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the stand mixer, mix the eggs, sugar, and oil, until you get a smooth cream. Add the vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture – at this stage, I prefer to use a rubber spatula, but that’s just me. Add the cocoa/water mix and combine well.
Pour the batter into the pan. Now, something different: tap the pan on the counter a few times, to remove air bubbles from the batter. I don’t know what horrible thing happens if you skip this step; I never did! 😀
Bake in a pre-heated oven until it passes the toothpick test – here, it took about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it – you’ll see how the parchment paper trick makes the process easy! Let the cake cool completely.
When it’s completely cooled, it’s time to make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small pan, over a water bath. While the chocolate melts, mix the cocoa powder, milk, and honey in another small pan, stirring constantly over high heat until it simmers. Pass the contents of this second pan through a sieve over the chocolate and butter mixture, stirring well (I must confess: I sometimes just mix the contents of both pans, without fussing with the sieve). Spread the frosting over the cake – do this immediately, as it dries quickly.
Test your willpower by letting the frost set for a couple hours before serving!
This is the 100th recipe of Tertúlias de Forno e Fogão! Nothing goes better with the cold weather than a nice hot cinnamon roll! This is a wonderful recipe for Valentine’s Day’s brunch (which, in Brazil, we celebrate on June 12, for some crazy reason).
A while back, I tested a wonderful recipe by Technicolor Kitchen: raspberry jam rolls. It was my first attempt at “rolls,” and it was a major hit. After eating about four rolls, Sky asked me: “when are you making cinnamon rolls?”
I looked for a recipe, but I didn’t seem to like any! So I finally decided to do the obvious: I combined the jam rolls dough with a filling of my own creation. It was fantastic!
For the dough, you’ll need:
1 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
2/3 cup (160ml) whole milk, lukewarm
55 g granulated sugar
450 g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling, you’ll need:
120 g butter
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ Tbsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts – optional.
For the (very optional) frosting, you’ll need
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Naturally, we’ll start with the dough. In a big bowl, mix the yeast, the milk, and 1 Tbsp of the sugar. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. When the mixture has bubbled, with a layer that looks like beer foam, it’s time to add the rest of the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Mix with a silicon spatula until all ingredients are incorporated.
Now it’s time to put your gym membership to a good use: knead! (Or just use a stand mixer with a hook attachment). Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. When this happens, shape it into a ball, and place it back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
While the dough rises, you can prepare the filling: melt the butter and mix the honey, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Chop the walnuts and set aside.
If, like me, you don’t have a nice counter to work with, cover a table with plastic wrap, so it’s easier to roll out the dough and clean up! 😀
Butter a baking pan – mine was 8 x 12 inches, and it was just right.
Now that the dough has risen, it’s time to roll it out. Lightly flour your work surface and use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 24 x 10-inch rectangle.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 0.5-inch border uncovered. It may seem like you won’t have enough filling, but spread it nicely and it will cover everything. Sprinkle the walnuts.
Starting from the widest side, roll the dough firmly. You might think this is scary, but just go slowly. When you’re done rolling, admire your work for a minute, thinking “wow, I’m good at this stuff!” Slice the roll into 12 pieces and place them with the cut side up on the prepared baking pan.
Cover the baking pan and let the rolls rise for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven, do the dishes, etc…
Bake the rolls for 25-30, or until they are golden. Let them cool in the baking pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully place them on a cooling rack.
If you want to, make the frosting. Place the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice, 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing well until you reach the consistency shown in the picture. Drizzle the frosting over the cooled rolls. If you want, you can simply dust some confectioner’s sugar over the rolls, it’s pretty!
As this is a time-consuming recipe, don’t bother making half. Freeze the cooled unfrosted rolls in a Ziploc bag. To serve, thaw them completely, then spray a bit of water over them and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, to warm up! 🙂