Fall Has Arrived – Pumpkin Style!

Well it is officially Fall! Get ready for holiday foods, winter boots, family get togethers and…. of course pumpkin products at almost every grocery store! I’ve never baked pumpkin bread before and decided to give it a go the other day since I remembered I had a can of pumpkin purée in my pantry from the time I attempted (but did not execute very well) pumpkin cinnamon rolls. All the other ingredients in pumpkin bread are pretty much staple products most frequent bakers would have. You can find this original recipe at: cupcakesforbreakfast.com


I’m happy to report that my first attempt at pumpkin bread turned out amazing. I heard great reviews from family members and coworkers. I baked two loaves and 6 muffins. The only thing I’d do differently next time is to wait a little longer for the bread to cool so the powdered sugar doesn’t melt. I sprinkled it on the top of the bread and muffins a bit too early, so next time I’ll be more patient, and wait a bit longer. I really love this recipe because the bread is not too sweet, it’s subtle and so it the pumpkin flavor. You know it’s pumpkin bread but the taste is not overwhelming artificial (you know what I’m talking about). Also, this bread came out so moist! Oh my goodness, it taste so delicious. It was hard for me to give it away, but it’s important to share the wealth (and get others peoples opinions). Here is the recipe, enjoy and share it with the people you love.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
Bake time 60 min
Oven Temp 350 degrees

3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of nutmeg & cinnamon)
1 (16oz) can of pumpkin purée
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs

Line both pans with parchment paper or coat with cookie spray or butter. I greased the bottom of the loaf pans with butter and then put parchment paper on top. With the muffins I just greased it with butter.
First in a bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and pie spice). If you don’t have a sifter you can always use a whisk to get the lumps out. Set this bowl aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Then in a large mixing bowl add in all the wet ingredients. In no specific order. I think I added the purée first and the eggs last. Mix together with mixer or use spoon however if you use a spoon make sure all the ingredients marry together. Once all the wet ingredients are fully mixed together, go ahead and add in the dry ingredients 1/2 a cup at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm the mixture with too much flour too quickly. Once you have added in all dry ingredients, and mixture is well combined you can pour into two separate loaf pans. Or in my case 2 loaf pans and a 6 tray muffin pan. I made muffins for myself because it’s quicker in the morning to grab a muffin rather than cut into a loaf. Not much quicker but when you wake up at 5am and have to be out the door by 6:15-6:30am it’s just easier to grab and go rather than cut, grab and go… You get my drift. 🙂

Anyways, bake loaves for 60 min, check on it 45 min to see the progress. After 60 min stick fork in the middle of the loaf and if it comes out clean, it’s done! The muffins only took 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 25-30 minutes then sprinkle powdered sugar on top… So delicious. Eat and enjoy my friend, watch out though because this is a crowd pleaser!photo 2

Cake Batter Oreo Cookies

Cake Batter Cookies

 

HAPPY LABOR DAY! And happy first of September! Let me start by saying if you are a fan of Oreos and cake then this is the cookie recipe for you. As my friend Sarah said, this is a cookie in a cookie. I originally made these a month or so ago and gave some to my friend Eric for his birthday and my Uncle Renzo because he loves cookies. They were a huge hit, and this time around I made some for my girlfriends to go along with other snacks before we went wine tasting in Livermore for my birthday! All in all, wine tasting was pretty spectacular, everyone had a great time and we got to see another piece of the Bay Area that I am pretty sure, a lot of us had no idea wineries existed there. Thankfully my cousin Diana is a fabulous party planner and set a whole day of tasting up. Livermore has over 50 wineries, who knew? We hit up three of them, Rios Lovell, McGrail Vineyards and Wineries, and Fenestra, all located in Livermore, CA and reasonably close to one another. I feel so blessed to have such great friends and family around me, who support me. A lot of my friends I have known since I was in 4th or 5th grade, some younger. I will never forget this weekend and the shenanigans we got into. Here are couple pictures from the wine tasting/birthday celebration (YAY I am 25!).

Rios Lovell Winery

Rios Lovell Winery

McGrail Vineyards and Winery

McGrail Vineyards and Winery

Fenestra Vineyards and Winery

Fenestra Vineyards and Winery

Fenestra

Beautiful ladies at Fenestra Vineyards and Winery

 

 Anyways, back to this cookie recipe. I originally found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog and you can find the original recipe here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/03/01/cake-batter-oreo-cookies/

 

Cake Batter Cookies  

Ingredients:

1 and ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 and ¼ cups yellow or funfetti boxed cake mix

½ teaspoon baking soda

34 cup unsalted butter, room temp

½ cup sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 egg, room temp

1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

½ cup sprinkles

10-12 Oreos, crushed (you can use any flavor)

 Cake Batter Cookies

Instructions:

In a bowl combine all wet ingredients – flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set this bowl aside until later. In a mixing bowl start by creaming your butter on the lowest mixing speed. Cream your butter for about a minute and then add in your sugars. Mix on medium speed for a couple minutes then add in one egg. Mix until well combine on low and then add vanilla. Make sure the batter is all mixed together before adding in the chocolate chips, sprinkles and Oreos. You can add in the chocolate chips, and sprinkles and crushed Oreos, mix with a mixer or baking spatula just until well combined.

Seal the bowl with plastic wrap or foil. *Now refrigerate your dough for 2 hours* This is crucial to the baking process. Refrigerating your dough will help the cookies keep their shape when baking, rather than melting all over the pan and becoming lifeless shapeless cookies (which I have made before, they still taste good but look terrible). I think it is better for the overall goodness of the world if you do this step, it just requires a little planning head. Plus you can do a lot in the 2 hours the dough is chilling. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and start scooping your dough out and making small cookie shapes. The bake time can vary from 8 – 12 minutes depending on your oven. My cookies took exactly 10 minutes, they were light brown when they came out of the oven. Remember they will continue to bake once they come out. Let them cool for 10 minutes or so, then eat and enjoy!

Cake Batter Cookies 5

Cake Batter Cookies

Pineapple Banana Bread (made with coconut oil!)


 This recipe is so simple and easy to make, I love recipes that only require one mixing bowl. It is also different from you regular banana bread. The pineapple elevates the flavor and adds that extra sweetness to it. I baked the bread in one loaf pan and then with the remaining batter, I made a dozen muffins. I didn’t get to cut into the bread because it was a gift for my dear friend Valeria, who currently lives about 2 hours away.

Valeria has been a friend of mine since I was in 1st grade, we have known each other our whole childhood and grew up in the same small town. Since I was not able to attend her party, I sent up the bread, muffins and other treats with a friend who did go to the birthday soiree. When I got the phone call the next day about how happy she was with the gift and how the delicious everything was, I knew I did something right. Happy Birthday Valeria!

This recipe is from Averie Cooks, I love her blog! All the sweet treats you could think of! Link below.

http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/03/pineapple-coconut-oil-banana-bread.html

 

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 ¼ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

½ cup coconut oil (you can also use vegetable oil or butter)

A pinch of salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 ¼ cup of ripe smashed bananas (I used 3 medium sized bananas)

1 cup diced pineapples (canned pinepples)

Instructions:

In one large mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, buttermilk, eggs, sugars and vanilla. Whisk all ingredients.

Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and stir. Mix well enough so all ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix, or else the gluten will overdevelop and the bread will come out tough.

Stir in bananas. Before you stir in the pineapple make sure they are not carrying too much liquid. I squeezed the pineapple with my fingers to remove the excess liquid. Careful not to over mix the batter.

Use cooking spray (I use Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil spray) to coat the loaf pan. Then pour batter until loaf pan is a little over half way full. You can bake this using two loaf pans or bake one loaf and a dozen muffins. The muffins are also excellent! They are a yummy on the go breakfast when in a rush.

Preheat over to 350 degrees and bake the loaf for about 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

I baked the muffins for about 20 minutes at the same temperature.

Allow the bread to cool for about 20 minutes before removing from pan. I used a mix of powdered sugar and whole milk for the glaze. It was just to add a little extra sweetness.

Store in a airtight container or foil. Bread is delicious with tea, or coffee in the morning. Enjoy!

Dreamy & Delicious Nutella Rolls

Dough w Sugar Spice

Oh My Goodness! If only you could smell the scent that is coming out of my oven right now. Some of you may know but I have been on a cinnamon roll baking binge lately. I finally feel like i have gotten the dough recipe down, the recipe I love and that is also vegan, is from Minimalistbaker.com if you are interested. Yes that is right, vegan dough, no eggs, no milk, in replacement of eggs, the recipe uses almond milk and vegan butter, Earth Balance. I recently ventured outside of cinnamon rolls because my sister was going on a post graduation road trip from California to North Carolina with a group of her college buddies. So what better way to send them off than with a belly full of Nutella Cinnamon Rolls. The dough recipe is still the same as my previous recipe for cinnamon rolls, but I will briefly go over it here.

photo 1-5

What You’ll Need for the DOUGH:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

3 tablespoons of butter

3 cups of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 packet instant active yeast

1/4 tablespoon of salt

FILLING:

1/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of brown sugar

2 table spoons of cinnamon

4 tablespoons of Nutella

2 tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

After you melt butter and almond milk in a saucepan without brining it to a boil, let cool down to the temp of bath water. Pour mixture in big mixing bowl and add in packet of instant yeast. Let the yeast active for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes is up, add in 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 tablespoon of salt. Mix together. Then 1/2 a cup at a time, add in the all purpose flour. After you’ve added all 3 cups of flour, begin to knead for 1 minute. Also, if my dough is not sticky enough I will add a little bit of water into the bowl. Knead your dough into a ball and then let sit at room temp for 1 hour to let the dough rise. After dough has risen, it should look like Step 1 in the picture below.

Image

 

Then roll out your dough into a round edged rectangle, which you see in the image labeled Step 2. Then melt your 2 remaining tablespoons of butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Brush melted butter onto dough lightly, do not soak the dough. Then add in the 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, which you see in Step 3. Then melt 4 tablespoons of Nutella in microwave for 30 seconds (can use less if you don’t want your rolls too chocolate-y) shown in Step 4. Then roll your dough from the side closest to you, until it become a log looking roll of dough. Cut dough 1 or 1 1/2 inch thick, and place in a pre-coated baking pan. I use Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray. Then using the remaining melted butter, coat the top of the rolls. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and then let cool. If you’d like you can serve the rolls warm, or let them cool completely and ice them with a mix of powdered sugar and almond milk. If you frost them too soon, which I have done, the powdered sugar will melt on top the rolls. It is still delicious, just not as pretty and presentable. Enjoy!

Nutella Rolls Before Baking