Breakfast

Cardamom Easter Bread

Right now as I write this post I am snacking on some of this bread warm from the toaster with my afternoon coffee.  It’s such a treat and I want you to experience the same pleasure.  So do yourself a favor and go make this bread for the weekend!

Easter Bread-11

Sometimes I hit a wall when I’m writing a blog post.  I am having that experience now with this post.  Big time.  My mind is just a big foggy mess and when I sit down at the computer my hands freeze.  For some reason I feel like I should have something to say other than, “I made this.  It was delicious.  Here is the recipe.”  But that’s all I have!

So.

I made this.

Easter Bread

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It was delicious.

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Here is the recipe.

Hope you all have a very Happy Easter celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Cardamom Easter Bread

Makes 2 loaves, 1 loaf and 4 buns, or 8 buns

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 envelopes (4 1/2 teaspoons) dry active yeast
  • 8-9 cups all purpose flour
  • eggs, one for each bun you plan to make (colored with egg coloring and RAW) and one for the egg wash
  • sprinkles

Directions

  1. Heat milk over medium-low heat until bubbles form on the edges of the pan and the milk is steaming.  Turn off the heat. Stir in melted butter, sugar, salt, ground cardamom and nutmeg.  Let mixture cool until lukewarm, 100-110°F. Stir in the yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes until foamy. Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add 2 cups of flour and mix on low with the dough hook until flour is mixed in.  Add 2 more cups, mix, and repeat until you’ve added 8 cups total.  Turn the mixer up to medium and mix for 3-4 minutes.  If the dough does not pull away from the sides of the bowl add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it does.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead a bit, then place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  4. Punch dough down and place on a floured surface.  Divide in half.  For Bread: Divide a half into thirds and roll each third into a rope about 14 inches long.  Pinch ends together and then braid the ropes together, pinch the ends together and tuck the ends under.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rise for an hour.  For Buns: Divide the half into 4 pieces, then each piece in half.  Take those pieces and roll them into ropes about 10 inches long.  Pinch the ends together and twist the pieces together, then pinch the ends and connect the ends by pinching them together.  Repeat with the rest and place all 4 buns on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rise for about an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Beat an egg and brush onto buns or loaves.  Sprinkle with colored sprinkles if desired.  Place egg in the center of each bun.  Bake for 20-25 minutes for buns and 25-30 minutes for bread.

 

Almond Heart Danish with Browned Butter Glaze

Grand plans were made to post some lovely pink hued macarons in honor of Valentine’s Day!  In my mind they were beautiful and delicious and enviable.  How hard could macarons be, anyway?  I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to baking.  I’d say I’m an advanced amateur.  And I’m seeing macarons everywhere.  If all of those people can make them, then I can.  You know what happens when you start thinking like that?  You get humbled.  Big time.  I overestimated my kitchen abilities and wound up with some cracked and foot-less macarons.  Apparently macaron baking is a skill that requires practice.  Hats off to those of you who make them well.  You have my respect forever and always.  So I will keep working on my macaron making.  Maybe some day you’ll see a post on them!  That is if I don’t get too discouraged and give up.  Sometimes I do that…

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Instead of finicky macarons I went with something I am more comfortable and familiar with, pastry!  This would make a lovely Valentine’s breakfast.  You can bake it the day before and then just warm it up in the oven briefly before glazing.  You could also let it do the second rise overnight in the fridge and bake it in the morning.

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Daring Bakers: Dutch Sweet Bread

I am pleased to say that I have successfully completed an entire year of The Daring Bakers!  Wahoo!  It ended with this Dutch sweet bread that I got to bring to our family Christmas.

Dutch Sweet Bread | Hottie Biscotti

For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread.

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This bread has nice flavor.  It was chewy and is most delicious eaten toasted with a spread of butter.

I’m keeping this post short since I’m currently sitting at the kitchen table at my parents house.  So I’m off to spend some more time with them and laugh uncontrollably at silly things with my sisters.  Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Dutch Sweet Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 cup less 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon ground gingerbread spices
  • 1¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used all purpose)
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking powder

Gingerbread Spice Blend

  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and sugar a loaf pan.
  2. Put the egg, syrup, water, spices and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk until everything is dissolved.
  3. Add the flour and the baking powder into the bowl and mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the flour is wet. Some lumps are ok.
  4. Pour into the pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sausage and Cheddar Waffles

On the weekends I have been known to sometimes whip up pancakes or waffles for the kids instead of our typical dry cereal and bananas.  My husband is a ritualistic cereal eater, but if I’ve gone to the trouble to make something special he’ll be a good sport and eat what I’ve made.

Cheddar and Sausage Waffles | Hottie Biscotti

When I saw this recipe for savory waffles I added what I needed to my grocery list almost immediately and planned to make them the coming weekend.  When I told Ben I was making waffles he was not expecting these to grace his plate.  He was a little bothered by them at first but came around and admitted that he’d gladly eat them again as long as he had a heads up that they would not be a plain waffle.

Cheddar and Sausage Waffles | Hottie Biscotti

I love the idea of a savory waffle topped with sweet syrup.  In fact, I welcome any chance to have maple syrup and bacon or sausage mingle on my breakfast plate.  If you are also someone who “accidentally” finds that your breakfast meat somehow becomes covered in syrup, then you are going to love these waffles.

The recipe comes from Fine Cooking.  The only changes I made were to use regular breakfast sausage instead of the chicken-apple sausage, and a full cup of buttermilk.  I also used fewer green onions.  It calls for 6, but I found 2 to be just fine.  I used a standard waffle iron with great results, but would love to see how these turn out in a Belgian waffle maker.  Maybe I will have to go get one…

Cheddar and Sausage Waffles | Hottie Biscotti

Be careful not to overfill your waffle iron!  This is good advice to heed when making any type of waffle, and I almost always screw up.  I under fill my first couple waffles and then overfill the next ones.  Cleaning that mess up is no fun.  One of these days I’ll learn my lesson, or measure my batter better.

I hope you make and enjoy these!  Also, if you have a Belgian waffle maker let me know your thoughts.  Is it worth having one?  And if so, what brand do you like?  Thanks!

Cheddar and Sausage Waffles | Hottie Biscotti

Sausage and Cheddar Waffles

From Fine Cooking

Makes 2 to 3 waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 6 ounces cooked breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
  • 2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Maple syrup and butter for serving

Directions

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl whisk the buttermilk, milk, and egg together well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in the cheese, sausage, and scallions, then stir in the butter.
  5. Spray a waffle iron with cooking spray, and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  6. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Daring Bakers: Ensaimadas

Cooking and baking and then blogging about it have not come easy for the last 2 months.  A new baby complicates things, in the most precious way possible of course.  During the baking and photographing of these tasty treats I was struggling to keep my older two from hurting each other and the little guy from getting too fussy.  Thankfully I was able to pull this challenge off!  Being a mom is a tough job, y’all.  Whew.

Daring Bakers: Ensaimadas | Hottie Biscotti

The August Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by Kurtoskalacs, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!

While a part of me really wanted to try the wedding pastry I just didn’t feel up to the challenge, so I chose the less daring challenge and made these lovely rolled breads.  They seemed so simple that I wasn’t sure if they’d be anything special.  They were in fact simple, but in a really special way.

Daring Bakers: Ensaimadas | Hottie Biscotti Daring Bakers: Ensaimadas | Hottie Biscotti

The dough is basic yeast dough, not too sweet.  After the first rise you divide the dough into four parts.  You roll each ball of dough into a long rectangle, spread it will softened butter and stretch it out very thin.  You roll that up into a long rope and then wind each rope into a spiral.  Let those rise again, then bake.

The original recipe calls for sprinkling these with powdered sugar after baking, but I was out of powdered sugar.  How this happened I do not know.  So I brushed the breads with egg wash and sprinkled them with raw sugar.  I really liked the textural difference this gave these breads.

As always, I am glad to have been introduced to something I otherwise would never have heard of.  Thanks, Swathi!

And thanks to this little guy who got out his play camera to help me take pictures.

Daring Bakers: Ensaimadas | Hottie Biscotti

Ensaimadas

Makes 4 large breads

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1/2 teaspoon for yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • raw sugar

Directions

  1. Mix together warm water, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes, until it blooms.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine egg, olive oil, salt and sugar and stir.
  3. Add in flour and yeast mixture and knead for about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove from bowl and transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for about 2 hours.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  6. Flour a clean work surface and turn dough out.  Divide into 4 equal parts.
  7. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out into a rectangle, 4 by 8 inches.  Spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter and then stretch the dough out to about 8 by 14 inches.
  8. Roll the dough from the long end into a tight rope.  Take the rope in your hands and try to get it into an even thickness and stretch it just a bit longer.
  9. Coil the rope into a loose snail shape onto the parchment lined sheet, so that there is some room for the dough to rise.  Repeat with the other dough balls.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  11. Beat the egg with a splash of water.  Brush onto each roll then sprinkle generously with sugar.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  13. Let cool slightly before serving.

Toasted Oat Scones

After having a baby (2 weeks and 3 days ago) I am anxious to have a semi-predictable life again and get back to some of the things I was doing before he was born, like baking, cooking and blogging.  And sleeping, that’d be nice.  However, I have been consistently reminded that life with kids, and especially life with a newborn, is anything but predictable.  I tried and failed to make some coffee cake muffins earlier this week.  I blame sleep depravity, the speed at which I tried to put everything together, not totally thinking through my plan, and holding a screaming baby while filling muffin cups with batter and streusel!  Thankfully they only looked ugly but tasted delicious!

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I was frustrated with myself.  But I realize my expectations for getting back to blogging were set a little high.  It’s just not going to happen like it used to, at least not for now.  I am no longer guaranteed a time in the afternoon where all the sweet children are tucked away in their beds and I can cook, bake, take pictures and type away.  So I’m going to be a little more realistic with blogging and be happy with whatever I can manage for the next couple of months!  And remember to cherish this time with the babies, like so many people who have kids that are now grown, tell me to.  After all, the days are long but the years are short.

This morning I found myself up at 7am with my two older kids while the little man slept in until almost 9:30!  I took advantage of the time and baked up some super simple scones.  This recipe sits right next to the coffee cake recipe I attempted yesterday and is in the ATK Family Cookbook.  I figured it was a sign.

Toasted Oat Scones | Hottie Biscotti

It took me less than 20 minutes to mix these up and get them in the oven.  They’re done baking in 15 minutes and ready to eat in 10.  The ingredient list couldn’t be simpler which yields a simple and satisfying scone with nothing extra to take away from the hearty oats and rich butter.

Toasted Oat Scones | Hottie Biscotti

Eat these plain, warm or at room temperature.  Spread with a little extra butter and jam.  Have one for breakfast, one for mid-morning snack and one in the afternoon with some tea or coffee for a little pick-me-up.  The scones aren’t too sweet, which is nice.  They’re almost like a biscuit, just with more texture and a bit more dense.

Toasted Oat Scones | Hottie Biscotti

I am so glad I stumbled across this recipe, and thankful for the cooperative children who made this blog post possible!

Toasted Oat Scones

From ATK Family Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
  • 1/2 cup half and half (plus 1 tablespoon for brushing on the scones)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (plus extra for sprinkling on the scones)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread oats out onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment.  Toast the oats for about 8 minutes, just as they begin to brown.  Let cool.
  3. Increase oven to 450°F.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk half and half, the egg and vanilla together and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and pulse a few times.
  6. Add in the butter and pulse until butter is in pieces no larger than the size of a pea.
  7. Pour flour mixture into a large bowl and fold in the milk mixture until it just comes together.  Flour your hands and bring the dough together in the bowl.
  8. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat into a round about 1 inch thick.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and cut into 8 wedges.
  9. Brush the tops with half and half, then sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden.  Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Cake

With the birth of our 3rd baby fast approaching I’m finding myself trying everyday to accomplish things that will make the transition easier.  Having all the laundry cleaned and put away, keeping the kitchen well stocked (and relatively clean) for our older kids for when we’re in the hospital and someone else is watching them, washing newborn clothes for a girl and a boy, checking my hospital bag daily to be sure I haven’t forgotten anything, and going through my lists of baby names to narrow it down.  But what do I decide is the most important?  Making this coffee cake, of course.  Baking is a great way to procrastinate, don’t you think?

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Cake | Hottie Biscotti

I saw this recipe for cream cheese coffee cake from Shugary Sweets on Pinterest and immediately knew I needed to make it.  With a pint of beautiful blueberries in the fridge it became blueberry cream cheese coffee cake because there was just no other option.

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Cake | Hottie Biscotti

So I put this together, baked it, and let it cool.  No big deal.  And I had a little corner of it in the evening before I went to bed.  It was delicious.  In the morning I cut myself another square for breakfast.  Something wasn’t right.  It seemed a little underbaked.  I had baked it 5 minutes longer than instructed, so I was surprised.  As I cut a little more into the center I saw that it was mostly raw goo.  I was real bummed about it.  I tried to save what I could around the edges, but then I had to do one of the hardest things a sweets loving girl can do.  I had to scrape all of that goodness right into the trashcan.  Heartbreaking.

Later in the day I restocked on blueberries, cream cheese, and butter and came home and did it all over again.  Because I’d originally misread the ingredients and messed up the streusel topping I was glad to have a second chance at it.  So I guess it was kind of a good thing that I underbaked it the first time?  Regardless, I wound up with this lovely cake when all was said and done and that makes it all worth it.

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Cake | Hottie Biscotti

This breakfast dish is delicious and quite decadent, but the blueberries make it good for you!  It’s fruit!  The berries also add a nice pop of color and a lovely tartness to each bite.  The cream cheese filling is amazing, and the crunchy streusel topping is the perfect counterpart to the smooth cake and creamy filling.  Enjoy!

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Cake | Hottie Biscotti

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Cake

Ever so slightly adapted from Shugary Sweets

Serves 12-16

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 2 packages cream cheese, room temperature (low fat is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pint of blueberries, rinsed and dried and tossed with a tablespoon of four (the flour keeps them from sinking all the way down in the batter)

Streusel Topping

  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour

Directions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F
  2. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  3. Beat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt with the softened butter until combined.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
  5. Add in buttermilk and vanilla.  Cream for 3-4 minutes until mixture lightens in color and is fluffy.
  6. Spread half of the batter in to the prepared pan.

Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese, sugar and egg together until creamy.
  2. Spread evenly over the cake batter.
  3. Sprinkle the berries over the cream cheese layer.
  4. Spread the remaining cake batter over the berries.

Streusel

  1. Combine both sugars and cinnamon.
  2. Add in the butter and mix to combine.
  3. Add in a cup of the flour and, using clean hands, mix together until crumbly.  Add in up to 1/2 cup more flour if it seems too wet.
  4. Spread evenly over the batter.

Bake

  1. Bake for 1 hour, until toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  2. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.

 

Huevos Motuleños

Easter Sunday left us with a huge amount of leftover ham that is going to be in all of our meals for the rest of this week and likely into the weekend.  I scoured the internet for some creative ideas on how to use it.  Here is the first meal I made to use up some of the ham.  It’s either a weekend breakfast or a breakfast-for-dinner meal but really can be eaten for any meal of the day and you can use any meat you have around.

Huevos Motuleños | Hottie Biscotti

This breakfast dish originated in the town of Motul in the Yucatan and in my recent search I’ve seen many different variations.  The things that seem to remain constant are the fried tortillas, black bean mash, salsa, egg, some kind of meat, and the fried plantains.

I prepped the beans and the salsa earlier in the day and reheated them at dinner.  But even if you’re making this and serving it immediately, you may need to heat things up, or at least keep them warm while you’re doing the other parts since this dish does have a few components and it takes some time to get everything together.  I found that getting everything else ready, then frying the tortillas and bananas and cooking the eggs last was a good way to get it all done.

Huevos Motuleños | Hottie Biscotti

My grocery store did not have ripe plantains so I used bananas.  A nice ripe plantain would’ve been better, but the bananas worked out ok.  If the idea of bananas with everything else is just a little too adventurous for you, then leave them out.  This is a great dish with or without them.  I used the smoked gouda cheese called for in the recipe I used, but other cheeses would work well.  I tried my best to make a nice egg over easy, but isn’t wasn’t pretty (as you can see).  Fix your eggs the way you like them.  I think next time I’ll scramble mine because as much as I want to like a runny yolk it’s tough for me to handle.  This recipe also calls for peas, which I found to be weird, but I used them anyway.  You can’t really taste them with all the other flavors going on, and they’re a fun addition to the plate, so use them or don’t.

I can see myself making these again, and I can definitely see myself making the beans and salsa again and using them for a quick dinner on tortillas with some shredded chicken, lettuce and sour cream.  The flavors in both the beans and the salsa are really nice and fresh.

Once you have everything together, assemble them and enjoy!

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While some of the ingredients sound weird together, try them anyway!  Unless you have an allergy of course or peas make you gag.  When they’re all together this dish is deliciously different.  And it’s good to try new things.

Huevos Motuleños

Adapted slightly from Saveur

Ingredients

Beans

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (reserve 1 pepper for the salsa)
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered (reserve 3 quarters for the salsa)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • kosher salt

Salsa

  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • Reserved poblano pepper, roughly chopped
  • Reserved onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • kosher salt

Base and Toppings

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 ripe plantain, sliced into thick, 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
  • oil for frying
  • 4 eggs
  • 8-10 ounces cooked ham, chopped (or other meat)
  • 4 slices of smoked gouda cheese, optional
  • crumbled queso fresco
  • green peas
  • fresh cilantro

Directions

Beans

  1. Puree the beans, 1/4 of the onion, the cilantro, 1 poblano pepper and 1/4 cup of water in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add in the bean puree, stir and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm or refrigerate if using later.

Salsa

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add in the tomatoes, poblano and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and there is some color on the onion, about 10 minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  3. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet and return the pureed vegetables to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens slightly, and taste and season with salt.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm or refrigerate if using later.

Base and Toppings

  1. Heat  an inch or two of oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven to 360°F.
  2. Fry corn tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time depending on the size of your pan, for a minute on each side.  DO NOT undercook them.  They’ll be chewy instead of crispy if you don’t fry them enough or if the oil isn’t hot enough. Remove from the oil to paper towels to drain.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas, making sure oil is at the correct temperature before frying.  This may require turning the heat up and down to regulate the temp and keep it between 360 and 375.
  3. Fry the plantains (or banana) for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  4. Cook the eggs, fry, over easy, scramble.

Assemble

  1. Heat everything if it hasn’t been kept warm, including the ham and peas.
  2. Place one tortilla on a plate.
  3. Top with 1/4 of the bean mixture, then your egg.
  4. Top with some of the ham pieces and one piece of gouda cheese torn into pieces.  Top with the other fried tortilla.
  5. Spread some of the salsa on top of the tortilla then sprinkle with queso fresco, peas and cilantro.  Place a few of the plantain (or banana) slices on top and serve.

 

 

Hot Cross Buns

It’s Good Friday, and while I have never personally associated hot cross buns with today, a lot of people in the UK, Australia and other countries with British ties do.  And The Pioneer Woman.  So of course she has an incredible recipe for them.  That’s just what she does.

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I can see this becoming a tradition in our house.  My kids are too young to understand what Good Friday really means, but I did talk to Carson this morning about Jesus dying on the cross today after he ate (picked at) his hot cross bun.  As they get older I can see us starting the day on Good Friday eating these and talking about the importance and the meaning of the coming weekend.

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I followed the recipe, found here, exactly.  The only thing I think I would do differently is to tear the dough into larger pieces.  The recipe says golf ball/ping pong ball sized, and that the recipe yields 18 buns.  When I was tearing them that small I was going to get more than 18.  I’d say make them a little bigger, maybe tennis ball size.  Also, watch them as they bake.  The smaller dough balls do not need 20 minutes in the oven.  Check them after 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and then keep an eye on them.  At 400°F they go from nicely browned to too dark very quickly.  The ones I overcooked were not as good at the ones I pulled from the oven before they got too dark.

The flavor of these buns is incredible.  I baked these last night and I just had to try one warm from the oven.  I was planning to have a pinch, but I stood there in the kitchen taking pinch after pinch until that bun was gone.  The frosting on top makes them extra beautiful, makes the name fit them, and adds a nice bit of extra sweetness.

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I hope you try these, if not on Good Friday, just as a nice breakfast bread anytime.  If you lived back in the days of Elizabeth I you wouldn’t be allowed to enjoy these on any days but Good Friday, burials and Christmas!  Enjoy celebrating Easter this weekend!

Hot Cross Buns

From The Pioneer Woman

Makes 18-24 depending on size

Ingredients

Buns

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup (additional) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Filling

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  Spices: cardamom, nutmeg, allspice (I used 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I accidentally used 1 cup, and they were still great)

Glaze

  • 1 egg white
  • splash of milk

Frosting

  • 1 egg white
  • powdered sugar
  • milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Buns

  1. Heat milk, oil and sugar over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.  Remove from the heat and let cool until warm, between 100 and 115°F.
  2. Transfer milk mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top, followed by 4 cups of flour.  Mix it all together well, then put a towel over the bowl and let it rest for 1 hour.
  3. Stir the sugar and spices together and set aside.
  4. Mix in the extra 1/2 cup flour along with the salt, baking powder and baking soda.  After it is combined, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and flatten the dough evenly.
  5. Sprinkle some of the sugar over the dough, then sprinkle with some raisins.  Fold the dough over it self, flatten it out again and repeat with the sugar and raisins.  Fold over again, flatten, sprinkle with sugar and raisins, then fold once more and flatten slightly.
  6. Pull off pieces of dough, about tennis ball sized for larger buns, golf ball sized for smaller buns, roll into balls, pull the edges of the dough down and underneath the dough ball, and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Repeat for all the dough, leaving buns enough room to spread and rise in the oven.
  7. Place a clean towel over the buns and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  9. Whisk egg white and a little milk for glaze and brush on the buns before putting them in the oven.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, then check buns and rotate the pans.  Bake until buns are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes for smaller buns, 13-18 for larger buns.
  11. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Frosting

  1. Mix egg white with powdered sugar until it is smooth and thick.  Add a little milk to thin it out slightly, but still at a consistency that will not run off the buns.
  2. Put frosting in a piping bag or a ziploc, cut the tip and pipe a cross onto each bun.  Let harden (or not!) and enjoy.

 

Dried Cherry, Almond and White Chocolate Cream Scones

Scones.  Glorious scones!  Way better than muffins and not much more work.  In some ways I think they’re actually easier than muffins, I never liked cleaning muffin tins.  Scones are also easily adaptable.  These scones are full of goodies, but a simple scone with nothing in it is amazing when spread with a little jam or truly and simply plain.  If you’ve never tried to make scones, please do yourself a favor and make a batch of these!  You’ll be amazed at how easy they are and how amazing they taste. cherry-almond-scones-1 This is yet another recipe courtesy of my current favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  I took the basic recipe and added in dried cherries, sliced almonds and white chocolate chips.  I also brushed the tops with a little cream and sprinkled them with a little sugar.  I would’ve liked to have used coarse sugar but couldn’t seem to find mine, probably a sign I need to do some pantry organizing. cherry-almond-scones-4 In the recipe they recommend forming the circle in a cake pan, then turning it out before slicing into wedges.  What a wonderful idea!  It keeps it perfectly shaped and makes for beautiful scones.  But you can achieve equally tasty and lovely scones by free forming your disc.  I like to use a pizza cutter to cut the scones, but a bench scraper or large knife will do just fine. Like I said before, make these with what you like or have on hand to make them your own and experiment to find a combination that you really love.  Replace the cherries with your favorite dried fruit, the almonds with pecans, or walnuts, and leave out the chocolate altogether or use dark or milk chocolate chips.  Be careful not to load too much into these, though.  I used a total of 1 cup of additional ingredients and I wouldn’t go much heavier on the mix-ins than that.  As with biscuits, don’t over mix or over work the dough.  Mix and knead just until it holds together.  Overworking will yield a dense scone that doesn’t rise as well. cherry-almond-scones-2 I do have to warn you about these.  I photographed them while they were still warm and had a few bites of this one.  A few bites turned into me eating the entire thing.  And I loved every minute of it.  So make sure to exercise some self control and don’t eat all of them yourself!  Or do.  Just call it “research” or “quality control”. cherry-almond-scones-3

Dried Cherry, Almond and White Chocolate Cream Scones

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Ingredients

Makes 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour, plus more for the counter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar. plus a little for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cold,  cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for brushing
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add the butter chunks and pulse until the mixture is coarse like sand with some larger pieces of butter.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips, then add the cream and the almond extract.  Mix with a rubber spatula until the mixture just comes together.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it comes together.  Press into 9-inch cake pan or free form the dough into a 9-inch disk.
  6. Turn dough out again (if you used a cake pan) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. With a pizza cutter or other cutting tool, cut the disk into 8 triangles, separating them from each other a little.
  8. Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with a little sugar (or coarse sugar if you have some).
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are light brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.