Spicy Healthy Crackers*

Cheddar-Cracker-3-800I love cheese and nuts and fruit as snack. But you need crackers and crackers are usually white flour and thus not so good for lo-carb folks.

Good crackers are hard to come by. A lot of them are really awful.

Actually there is one commercial one that isn’t too bad, Wasa crackers have a lot of fiber and you subtract the fiber from the actual carbs, and it comes out decent. They are pretty tasteless though.

This recipe isn’t terrific but it does the job, and the spices do help a lot.

Next time around I’m going to cut the oven temperature down quite significantly and try to cook them longer to get a crispier cracker. These were fairly fragile  but as long as you were careful they withstood being spread with goat cheese pretty well.

Give them a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup of flax seed
  • ¼ cup of coconut flour
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter (can use salted but the chip will be more salty)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp of chili pepper spice (use more if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • ½ tsp of cumin
  • ½ tsp of paprika
  • ½ tsp of salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. (Next time I’m going for about 275°)
  2. Mix all ingredients together either with a food processor or mixer.
  3. Divide in half.
  4. Place half between 2 sheets of parchment and roll out very thin to a cracker thinness. (Try to do this as best you can to fit a cookie sheet. but I wasn’t fussy about the edges. You can be as anal as you want here about making it square and then cutting with a pizza cutter. I did neither.
  5. Peel off the top parchment and transfer to a cookie sheet.
  6. Do the same to the other half.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, removing when brown but before the edges start to get real dark.
  8. Cool completely on the cookie sheets on a rack.
  9. When cool, break apart into chunks and store uncovered in a container to ensure that they stay dried out.

SERVES: 30 or so chips

NOTES: You can vary the spices as suit you. cinnamon would be an alternative to make a sweet chip. Make hot or mild. Or make Italian. Could add cheese as well. If I did cheese I think I might shred it and then let it dry out a good bit and then process it in the food processor to make it quite fine and not as likely to turn the cracker too moist.

SOURCE: Ditch the Wheat

Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits

cheddarbaybiscuitsThis is a spot-on recipe, closest to any that I have seen. In most places, the rolls and biscuits are pretty much ignored, but not at Red Lobster. Heck I always wrap up the leftovers and bring them home. They are that good.

Since we seldom frequent Red Lobster, I have always been willing to try a good knock-off recipe.

This one fits the bill.

It’s easy to make and worth it.

So what are you waiting for? Get busy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
For the topping
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.
  • In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead just until it all comes together (just a few turns) Pat into a circle about 1/4 inch high. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits and place barely touching on the baking sheet.   Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • For the topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture.

SERVES: 9-10 biscuits

NOTES: Be careful not to overwork the dough. The tenderness depends on just working it until it is one homogenous piece. More will make the biscuits tough.

SOURCE: Adapted from Damn Delicious (who also adapted it)

 

Sweet Strawberry Scones

strawberrysconesScones are so civilized. Don’t you think?

I mean they aren’t puffy airy sugar cubes.

They aren’t dried up old bran muffiny things

They are scones.

They have dignity.

So have a dignified breakfast.

Make some scones.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • Milk or heavy cream, for brushing the scones
  •   sugar, for sprinkling on scones

INSTRUCTIONS:

     1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the ricotta cheese and whisk until combined. There will still be a few lumps. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon sugar mixture. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and toss with a fork just until the butter is coated with flour. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour until you have a mixture of pea-sized or slightly larger clumps of butter and flour.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined. Don’t overmix the dough. Gently fold in the strawberries. Turn out the dough onto a well floured space and gently and shortly knead the dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little bit of flour as you knead. Pat the dough down into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges or cut into rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter.

5. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet and brush with milk or heavy cream. Sprinkle scones with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 15-20 mins, or until the scones are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack and serve.

Note-the dough is sticky due to the ricotta cheese. You might have to add more flour when kneading. Just try to be gentle and not overwork the dough.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: Try not to overwork this dough. Just bring it together, pat it out into a circular shape and cut. Could be used with other fruits. but ones with high liquid contents will probably not work well.

SOURCE: Two Peas and their Pod

Cinnamon Sweet Bread

CinnamonBread2This is so good.

I mean bounce in your chair good.

Old-fashioned cinnamon good.

Easy too.

Did I say easy?

Then you have no excuse not to make this for tomorrow’s breakfast.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using a loaf pan, grease with shortening and flour. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, mix and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and let cool briefly. Add the wet ingredients, the sugar and then the egg. Whisk until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, add  the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, optional salt, and whisk until distributed evenly.
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix just until incorporated. There will be lumps.
  6. Pour half the batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle about 3/4 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture  over the surface of the batter.
  7. Top with remaining half of the batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture, distributed evenly over the surface.
  8. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until top is set and firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting.
  9. Invert bread over the sink or a paper towel to catch some of the non-adhered cinnamon-sugar and sprinkle it back on the bread. Place bread on wire rack to cool completely. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or may be frozen for up to 3 months.

SERVES: 12 slices

NOTES: This is nice topped with butter or not as you wish. Some great apple butter would be fantastic.

SOURCE: Averie Cooks

OVEN TEMP: 350-375° depending on your stove. I find that 350 is almost always too cool for baking.

OVEN TIME: 50-55 minutes

Grammercy Tavern’s Monkey Bread

monkeybreadThis is one of those famous recipes from the restaurants very own cookbook. That said, as the recipe is reported at Serious Eats, it’s utterly wrong.

That said, it’s one great recipe and worth your time.

Makes for utterly great breakfast fare.

But it makes three times what it claims to. Dough wise that is. The rest of the recipe seems correct for one pan.

I’m giving you the original recipe. I took 2/3 of the dough, divided that in half and wrapped it and put it in the freezer after it has passed through the first rising, and before I made the actual dough rounds. I’ll let you know if that doesn’t work when I make it again, otherwise it’s a bonus that will speed up the next two batches quite a bit.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Toffee Sauce
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  •  
  • Brioche Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the brioche: Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.

  2. Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated. Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.

  3. Make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup of the cream, the brown sugar, corn syrup, the 6 tablespoons butter, and the salt. With the tip of a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, then add the bean itself. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 cup cream. Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the toffee sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

  5. Divide the brioche into 20 golf ball–sized pieces and roll. Put the melted butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Dip each ball in the butter, roll in the sugar mixture, and arrange in the baking pan so you end up with 4 rows of 5 balls each.

  6. To proof the dough, loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough is light and has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. (The dough is very forgiving, so don’t worry if it rises longer. You can even leave it out overnight.)

  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle position.

  8. Bake the monkey bread until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve the bread straight from the pan. It’s so much more fun to pull it apart by hand instead of cutting it. The bread will keep, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.

    SERVES: 20

    NOTES: I would use a deep baking dish, and maybe a size larger than the  9 x 13. I had more like softball size. Seriously you might divide this dough into 4ths and have 4 batches of 20. I don’t know they made such a mistake. It sounds about right for a restaurant recipe but this is supposed to come straight from their cookbook for home chefs. That said, the taste was terrific.

    SOURCE: GRAMMERCY TAVERN COOKBOOK

    OVEN TEMP: 350°

    OVEN TIME: 30-40 min.

Cheesecake Coffeecake

cheeseIf you have a sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast, well, I have a solution.

This is an interesting coffeecake. It really surprises you I think.

I’m tempted to think of all the neat things you could add to it, like lemons and blueberries, or strawberries, or chocolate chips.

And you can do that, very easily for sure.

But somehow it has this integrity of its own. A distinctive, not slap-you-in-the-face kinda taste that is somehow endearing and wonderful with a great cup of coffee. And it is COFFEE cake after all.

So try it on its own once, and then go ahead and fuss with it if you desire.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
    • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) softened butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • pinch of salt
For the cheesecake swirl:
    • 1 (8 oz) package Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
For the streusel:
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First make the streusel by “forking” all the ingredients together until crumbly. Put in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, make the cheesecake swirl by beating together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla, buttermilk, and eggs.
  5. Gently mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture on top, using a knife to swirl. Repeat with the rest of the batters.
  7. Evenly distribute the streusel topping on top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

SERVES: 12

NOTES: As I said, you could add a bit of lemon juice or zest. You could add some fresh blueberries or strawberries sliced. Little dabs of blackberry jam dropped in the middle layer is possible. Or a layer of chocolate chips.

SOURCE: LovintheOven

OVEN TEMP: 350°

OVEN TIME: 35-40 min.

Pumpkiny Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls-1So you like Cinnamon rolls?

I know that you do.

And so do I.

And so it’s fall and all.

And pumpkins are in the air.

Well, actually they aren’t, but we are sure thinking about them.

And carving them.

And finding new ways to eat them.

So, make these babies and sit back and watch the leaves fall.

And eat them.

INGREDIENTS:

For the filling:
    • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
    • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
For the dough:
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided), melted and cooled
For the icing:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
For the filling:
    1. Combine pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set aside.
To make your dough:
    1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter to the buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth. This took about 10 kneads for me.
    2. Using your hands, pat the dough into a 12 x 9 rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, then spoon the pumpkin filling mixture on top, leaving 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle nuts over the top, if desired. Press the filling down lightly so it will stick to your dough.
    3. Starting with the long side of your dough, roll dough to form a tight cylinder. Pinch the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife or dental floss, cut the dough into 8 equal segments. Slightly flatten each bun to seal your open edges and keep your filling inside. Put one roll in the center of a 9-inch cake pan. Place the remaining 7 buns around the perimeter of the pan. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
    4. Bake until the edges of the buns are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. If desired, remove buns from pan to a wire rack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before icing.
To make the icing:
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute, then add in vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk until well blended. If needed, whisk in additional powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Remove from heat and drizzle over buns.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: This dough is really great and very quick to run up, so I would use this dough recipe and vary the fillings as you desire. Just start out with the butter and then add whatever else you might get a desire for. I can imagine even using apple butter, jam of any kind, and then nuts that go with your innards. You can get these together in a jiffy, so do try them. Make a double batch and freeze one!

SOURCE: Kitchen Meets Girl

OVEN: 425°

OVEN TIME: 23-25 minutes