Monday, August 10, 2009

Belated Baking

Okay, so I've been a little negligent of the ol' blog lately. Sorry! This means that TWO Saturday markets have passed since I last wrote, so this blog will be a little long what with the double dose of recipes. Here we go!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maple Muffins

This week's naturally-sweetened recipe is adapted from a recipe for Maple Breakfast Cake from the Michigan Maple Syrup Association. Instead of baking in a cake pan, I put the batter in muffin cups...the recipe made exactly twelve regular-sized muffins. The syrup was courtesy of a friend who recently visited his home in New England...I would rather have had Michigan maple syrup, but hey, as long as it's the real deal, I'll take what I can get.

This was also originally a cake recipe, but for ease of dispersal, I made it into twelve cupcakes. They baked up with beautiful round domes, but soon fell to create a little depression right in the center of each cupcake. This was perfect though, because it created a great little spot to drizzle the chocolate glaze without having it pour all over the sides of the cupcakes.

I've tried gluten-free brownies before, and they're usually very thin and gooey...these were still gooey, but thicker and overall more...brownie-like, I guess. Instead of almonds, as the original recipe calls for, I used hazelnuts, because I had some leftover from the chocolate cupcakes.

Three ingredients. That's all that goes into this simple recipe. Okay, four, if you count the blueberries, but the original recipe doesn't include them, so neither do I. If you don't have self-rising flour, check your all-purpose flour package for a "recipe" for homemade self-rising flour using baking powder and salt. I've also used fresh chopped strawberries in these with great results.

Chocolate Chunk Banana Breads

Banana bread is kind of my thing, but for some reason, I waited until now to make it for market. I chopped up some milk chocolate to mix in and baked it in a mini loaf pan (the kind that's a single pan with 8 depressions). I got the pan from my aunt as a Christmas gift about ten years ago and never used it until this summer, so I'm glad it's finally getting some use.

The recipe was originally from the back of a bag of walnuts I purchased, so I don't have a link for it. I'll post it here with my modifications. Ironically, my adapted recipe doesn't include walnuts.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. milk
1 cup milk chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and bananas and mix, using an electric mixer, until bananas are well-mashed. Add flour, milk, and baking soda. Blend thoroughly just until well-combined. Fold in chocolate. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans (8 1/2"x4 1/2"x2") or 8 mini loaf pans (about 4"x2" each). Bake for 45 minutes for large loaves or 30 minutes for mini loaves, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

Oh, and here's a picture of the beautiful eggs from Miss Effie's that I used in many of the above recipes:

Alright, on to last Saturday's Market:

This cake turned out perfectly moist. Instead of gluten-free baking mix, I used equal parts white rice flour, brown rice flour, and sorghum flour. I didn't use the raisins or nuts as suggested in the recipe. I also didn't use nuts in the frosting recipe. Store this cake in the fridge if it's summer, because warm temperatures make the frosting run a lot.

The original recipe for these scones calls for cranberries, but I'd already made this version, so I decided to go more of the cinnamon-raisin route. However, I didn't have raisins, so I had to settle for dried currants, which are pretty much the same thing but smaller. The oatmeal gives these a really interesting texture. Sorry about the picture; I had already wrapped the scones before I got the camera out. To make these, simply add a little cinnamon and substitute raisins or currants for the cranberries.

I adapted a recipe for a Spicy Chocolate Cake to make this recipe. I omitted the jalapenos because I actually wanted to sell some of this (although I plan to make the original recipe soon and serve it to unsuspecting family members--it will kind of be a test to see who actually reads this...those who do will be rewarded by knowing enough to stay away from any chocolate cake I offer them in the near future). I also used milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate because I had the former and not the latter. Anyway, my modified version must have been pretty good, because it sold out!

This was my naturally-sweetened recipe for the week. I wouldn't recommend trying these unless you really like molasses. They're good, but the molasses definitely steals the show in this recipe. I omitted the coconut because I didn't have any, and used quinoa flakes instead of bran cereal.

The homemade marshmallow frosting takes a while, but it's definitely worth it. It's one of those amazing kitchen start with about a cup of runny, almost-clear liquid, and after (just) fifteen minutes of beating with an electric mixer, you have your very own version of something very similar to marshmallow fluff--except it doesn't melt out like the store-bought kind. And it's sooo shiny.

Laura's been begging me to make bagels since pretty much the beginning of summer, and this weekend I finally caved in. I added baking soda to the water bath from the original recipe to aid in browning. After brushing the bagels with egg wash, I sprinkled them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and a steak seasoning that included mustard seeds, pepper, salt, garlic, and onion flakes.

I goofed a bit on these. The recipe warns not to cook them until brown, lest they get too hard. So I did what I was told and baked them until set. However, they were too soft and all ended up sticking to each other so that I could only get three of them out to sell at market. Those three sold out though, and I'm sure this is a great recipe so long as you bake the cookies long enough.

Sadly, next week will be my last market post. I'm going home for a couple of weeks before returning to school for my sophomore year of college at the beginning of September. Don't worry though, I'll still keep you posted (no pun intended) on what I'm up dorm has a full kitchen so I'm sure I'll be doing a fair amount of cooking, especially in the first couple weeks as I try to bribe people into becoming friends with me.

I'll leave you with a picture I took at the Great Mississippi Valley Fair on Friday. I hope someday my pantry looks like this!

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