Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Honey Graham Crackers

 G1 ed

I've come to realize that I really enjoy preparing homemade versions of what's typically processed food.  My goal is to quit buying processed foods that contain ingredients I wouldn't normally cook with in my kitchen - primarily whole wheat bread, canned beans and tomatoes, and Autumn's "puffs".

These graham crackers were high on my list of recipes to try.  I wanted something I could substitute for Autumn's typical "puffs" and an added bonus would be using the leftover graham pieces in a s'more ice cream recipe. 

The recipe is simple to pull together, just make sure you leave enough time to chill the dough before rolling and then again before baking.  Whenever I make a recipe that requires a good amount of chilling time (I'm one impatient gal!) I usually double the batch and freeze half (or in this case, just freeze half since it makes quite a few crackers).  I love using my freezer for recipes like this because I can whip up a batch of graham crackers in no time if we spend an impromptu late summer night with friends around the campfire.

Honey Graham Crackers
Makes about 4 dozen crackers


2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. (300 grams) all-purpose lour
1/2 cup (75 grams) whole wheat flour or wheat pastry flour
1 cup (176 grams) brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp. (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 tsp. (4 grams) kosher salt
7 Tbsp. (100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen (at least 20-30 minutes)
1/3 cup (114 grams) honey
5 Tbsp. (77 grams) milk, whole preferred
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:
3 Tbsp. (43 grams) sugar
1 tsp. (5 grams) ground cinnamon


To make the dough, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse to blend.  Add in the butter and pulse in short bursts until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal (this can also be done in a stand mixer or with a pastry cutter).

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the honey, milk, and vanilla.  Whisk to blend.  Add the liquid to the four mixture and process just until a dough has come together.  The mixture will be fairly sticky.  Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap, form into a saucer, cover tightly, and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake the crackers, line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  Generously flour a work surface.  Place the dough on the work surface, flour the dough, and roll out into an even layer about 1/8 inch thick.  Re-flour as needed since the dough is quite sticky.  Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into your desired shape.  Transfer the cut outs to the prepared baking sheets, spacing at least an inch apart.  Re-roll (and re-chill) additional dough scraps as needed.  Chill the cut outs once more until firm, about 15-20 minutes in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl and whisk to blend.  Bake until evenly browned and just crisp, about 15-17 minutes total.  About 2 minutes before the crackers are done baking, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar topping.  Let the crackers cool on the pans briefly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Smitten Kitchen

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Whole Grain Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes
On Saturdays I try to make something outside of our normal routine which typically means pancakes or waffles of some sort.  I've made these pancakes a few times now.  They are quick to pull together and the texture is light and fluffy.

It's hard to believe the whole recipe only includes a limited amount of flour, but the end result is a soft, soufflĂ©-like pancake.  Rather than topping these pancakes with the traditional pure maple syrup this morning, I opted to use the leftover Fresh Blueberry Sauce from the Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes I made earlier this week.

Whole Grain Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce
Makes about 8 pancakes


1 cup sour cream
7 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter, for frying and serving
Fresh blueberry sauce, for serving


In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.  Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Add the sour cream and stir until the ingredients are just barely combined.  Whisk in the egg mixture until just combined.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and melt some butter in a pan.  Drop the batter by 1/4 cup servings onto the griddle.  Cook on the first side until bubbles start to form on the surface and edges are starting to brown.  Flip to the other side and cook until the pancakes are cooked through (about a half minute or so).  Serve with warmed fresh blueberry sauce.

Source: Pancakes slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman, Fresh Blueberry Sauce from Annie's Eats

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes

BC-1 ed

It's been awhile since I've baked cupcakes.  I used to bake a new cupcake recipe monthly, but this year has been crazy to say the least.  Running after a toddler and carrying a little guy who is due in the Fall can have that effect on you I suppose.

I looked at my calendar a couple of weeks back and noticed it was one of my co-worker's birthdays today.  I asked her what flavor of cupcakes she typically likes and she mentioned fruit or chocolate.  With the abundance of fresh blueberries in our fridge from my in-laws backyard I decided to bake these Blueberry Pancake cupcakes.

BC-2 ed

This recipe includes a buttermilk cupcake batter that is infused with pure maple syrup.  The cupcakes are brushed with more maple syrup while they are still warm and once cooled they are topped with home made whipped cream and blueberry sauce.  These cupcakes taste just like blueberry pancakes and are the perfect excuse to justify eating them at breakfast.

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, plus more for brushing
1 3/4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar

To finish:
Fresh blueberry sauce
Pure maple syrup


To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk to blend, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and maple syrup and whisk to blend.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition only until just incorporated.  Gently fold in the blueberries with a spatula.  Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two thirds full (I used a 2.25 inch ice cream scoop and it worked great).  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool briefly in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack.  Brush the still warm cupcakes lightly with additional maple syrup.  Let cool completely.

To frost the cupcakes, combine the cream and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.  Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag filled with a decorative tip.  Pipe a swirl of whipped cream on top of each cupcake.  Use the back of a spoon to scoop out a small dip in the whipped cream.  Fill each dip with a spoonful of blueberry sauce.  Drizzle with a small amount of additional maple syrup on top of the finished cupcakes.

Source: Annie's Eats