Monday, November 3, 2014

ABC - Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls

I can't help but love Fall. The changing of the colors around us, brisk weather but not too cold (except for late last week where the temps dipped below freezing, brrr), and of course baking with apples, pumpkins and lots of spices. Last month's Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread was a big hit with the ABC bakers. This month we moved on to another Fall favorite: pumpkin. Although pumpkin played a big role in these dinner rolls, let's not underestimate the other side kicks: craisins (and for some of us, golden raisins too), and lots of warm spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I'm talking about this month's Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls. They're soooooo good! Thanks to a tip from my ABC buddy, Paula, I doubled the spices in the recipe, which transformed these dinner rolls into something even more fabulous.

They may look humble but these babies pack a big flavor punch!

This is making me feel a bit sentimental. All (well, mostKing Arthur Flour recipes have been so good to us these past two years. But, as the song goes, "every new beginning comes from another beginning's end". I'm sure this won't be our last time baking KAF recipes in our kitchens. But for right now, I won't say goodbye yet. I'm very much looking forward to making next month's Chocolate Eclair recipe. Are you?

With that, I have an announcement to make. Starting in January 2015, we will be baking recipes from the wonderful blog, Scientifically Sweet, written by food scientist Christina Marsigliese. Her recipes are awesome, and I really dig her scientific approach to baking (yes, I'm a nerd, if you didn't know already).

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ghriyba - Moroccan shortbread cookie

Ghriyba is a childhood favorite cookie of mine. This Moroccan version of a shortbread cookie has a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth texture which I really love. It's typically enjoyed with a glass of hot Moroccan mint tea :o)

There are many version of this Moroccan cookie. The kind I will be sharing with you today is made with finely ground almonds and golden flax seeds. Traditionally, this kind is made with almonds and sesame seeds, but since I'm allergic to sesame seeds, I used flax seeds instead, which works great.

I challenge you to "go Moroccan" and give these cookies a try. You won't be disappointed :o) If you do, I would love to hear how you liked it.

Nice crackly top!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

World Bread Day 2014 - Aniseed Braid

It's been exactly two years this month since I started baking our bread. No more chemical-laden store bread. Of course, I had to practice a lot. The road from "door knob" to edible/soft/fluffy bread was not an easy one and there are no shortcuts, however, the reward for perseverance is there, waiting for you, every time you bake a successful loaf of bread. I still beam with pride every time I bake a perfect loaf of bread :o)

A slice of billowy soft enriched bread with licorice-y aroma. Yum!

In support of World Bread Day 2014, an event to "honor our daily" bread, hosted by Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka kochtopf, I contribute this Aniseed Braid. I served it with a homemade Minestrone soup, slathered with butter. It was a big hit with my guests.

World Bread Day 2014 (submit your loaf on October 16, 2014)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ABC - Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread

Whether we like it or not, summer is over and fall is here. I love baking in the fall. Apples and pumpkin everywhere. The smell of warm spices wafting through the air in the kitchen. While perusing through King Arthur Flour's recipes, I came to a screeching halt when I saw this recipe and knew it would have to be a Fall recipe choice for us ABC bakers.

So this month's ABC recipe for Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread is like one big braided cinnamon roll with the addition of apples. It looks so beautiful when it comes out of the oven, trumped only by the wonderful taste. For me, and others who tasted it, it was love at first bite :o)

Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread slices (loaf #2). Yum!

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ABC - Almond Tarts

I love almonds. Blanched, unblanched, roasted, spicy, plain, salted, it doesn't matter. The fact that I'm allergic to most other nuts probably also plays a role in that affinity. This month's ABC baking project is uber almond-y: Almond Tarts from King Arthur Flour. The recipe uses almonds in the crust, and almonds in the filling. It looked fairly straightforward and you didn't have to buy special ingredients like almond paste. If you don't have almond meal/flour, you could certainly make your own by grinding up almonds in a spice grinder (which I find does a better job than a food processor, although it takes longer because you can only do one small batch at a time).

One large Almond Tart. Yum!

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.