Tag Archives: nuts

Hummingbird muffins (pineapple loaf)

30 Mar

Last Christmas was the first time I met a lot of my fiance’s extended family, and I wanted to make a good impression, so I brought one of those delicious fruitcakes from my very first blog post.  Turns out people don’t like fruitcake much (why?!  It’s SO GOOD!!!).  This year I brought a loaf of hummingbird cake, which is essentially banana-pineapple cake with some nuts.  Turns out you should refrigerate it, so keep that in mind if you make this.  It is still quite tasty and moist, though not as good as the fruitcake (but not nearly as labor and time-intensive).

I don't have my Ph.D. yet, but you could still call me doctor for doctoring this cake mix!

I don’t have my Ph.D. yet, but you could still call me doctor for doctoring this cake mix!

The bananas look a little beat up in the picture above, but they aren’t actually that ripe.  So I cheated and threw them in the oven to roast to get a riper flavor.

P1010702 P1010711

We're GOING (roasted) BANANAS IN HERE!

We’re GOING (roasted) BANANAS IN HERE!

Another reason this was not time-intensive: it’s semi-homemade!  I used a box of “supermoist” yellow cake mix instead of measuring out flour etc.  I didn’t have instant pudding on hand (the only time I can recall buying instant pudding was in the future, for my barely-semi-homemade banana pudding), so I subbed in some powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mixed in some cinnamon, then made a little yolk-y picture.

If John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were in my kitchen, I bet they'd race to pull the eggs out of this bowl.  It'd be a Face/Off.

If John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were in my kitchen, I bet they’d race to pull the eggs out of this bowl. It’d be a Face/Off.

This all happened while the bananas were roasting.  I also drained a can of crushed pineapple, so I could put the juice into the egg-cake mix-sugar batter.

Our dog was standing in the kitchen and looking at this and kept saying "fruit roof!"  But since he's a dog, we thought he was saying "Fruit Loops!" and gave him a handful of cereal. That story is ridiculous.  You know we have two cats, we certainly couldn't also fit a dog in the apartment.  Much less a talking one.

Our dog was standing in the kitchen and looking at this and kept saying “fruit roof!” But since he’s a dog, we thought he was saying “Fruit Loops!” and gave him a handful of cereal.
That story is ridiculous. You know we have two cats, we certainly couldn’t also fit a dog in the apartment. Much less a talking one.

While the iced teas are popular, sometimes Snapple likes to make wacky promotional flavors, like pie.  Pie Snapple, however, was a dud, and Mr. S. decided to pull out his support.  Pi-napple was a huge hit!

While the iced teas are popular, sometimes Snapple likes to make wacky promotional flavors, like pie. Pie Snapple, however, was a dud, and Mr. S. decided to pull out his support. Pi-napple was a huge hit!

Once those are mixed with the yogurt, you can mash the bananas.  I love doing this with super ripe bananas because they yield so easily under your fork!  Also, I appear to use banana a LOT when baking (I love bananas!)  Mix in the pecans and pineapple with the banana, and then mix those with the cake mix.

P1010714

This guy used to mix up letters and numbers.  So when his girlfriend asked him to pick up some home decor items at this one store, he was very confused to find himself at a historic pier.  Though he messed up in that direction, he'd never do the converse: for instance, look at this bowl and say it's a pur-one.

This guy used to mix up letters and numbers. So when his girlfriend asked him to pick up some home decor items at this one store, he was very confused to find himself at a historic pier. Though he messed up in that direction, he’d never do the converse: for instance, look at this bowl and say it’s a pur-one.

Batter batter batter SWING!  Actually don't, please, you'll get cake all over the floor.

Batter batter batter SWING! Actually don’t, please, you’ll get cake all over the floor.

I initially meant to make this time and labor-intensive cake (just how labor-intensive?  You crush the pineapple by hand instead of buying the can), but went with these little muffins and a mini-loaf instead.

No pun: I suddenly wonder why they don't sell cake batter the way they sell cookie dough: just pour and bake.  It seems like something people might use... maybe not.

No pun: I suddenly wonder why they don’t sell cake batter the way they sell cookie dough: just pour and bake. It seems like something people might use… maybe not.

P1010723

 

Bake til done!  While it’s cooling, make a quick icing drizzle with cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar:

P1010726

Even if something REALLY SAD just happened, you probably shouldn't cry over this.  You'd get saltwater in your icing

Even if something REALLY SAD just happened, you probably shouldn’t cry over this. You’d get saltwater in your icing

P1010724 P1010727

If you’re talented/pinterest-y, you can make a pretty drizzle.  If you’re me, just chuck it on.

P1010730 P1010732

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a picture of me eating, so here’s one!

P1010731

Hummingbird loaf: adapted from this recipe, who took it from Dole (the company)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 1/4 c powdered sugar, divided

4 eggs

1/4 c full-fat yogurt (I use greek)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple

2 bananas

1/2 c chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla

1 TB milk

2 oz cream cheese

 

First, roast the bananas: put on a cookie sheet, in their peels, and throw in the oven.  Set oven to 350.

Drain pineapple, reserving 1 c juice.

Mix cake mix, 3/4 c powdered sugar, cinnamon.  Mix in eggs, pineapple juice, yogurt until smooth.

Do something else for a few minutes (I emptied the dishwasher)

Remove bananas from oven.  Peels will hopefully be black by now (about 10 minutes).  Carefully peel, then mash.  Add pecans and pineapple to bananas, then fold the mixture into the cake mix.

Pour into greased mini loaf pans or muffin tins (I made 12 muffins + 1 loaf out of this).  Bake in that 350 oven for 30 minutes, check the muffins.  If toothpick comes out clean, they’re done.  Loaf should be done around 40 minutes.

While they cool, smash cream cheese with remaining 1/2 c powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Drizzle icing over loaves/muffins.  Store in fridge if they last more than two days.

 

 

Advertisements

Fractions are hard, or way too many brown butter cookies

8 Feb

Sometimes I have parties at my house.  I enjoy hosting people, and I especially enjoy feeding people.  There usually comes some time between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. when there’s no more food but still plenty of people, and I get bored of my friends antsy to bake.  I threw a party to celebrate moving out, so of course at some point I stopped what I was doing and made brown butter cookies.

I bet Fall Out Boy would love these cookies.  We're going brown, brown... sugar we're going brown baking

I bet Fall Out Boy would love these cookies. We’re going brown, brown… sugar we’re going brown baking

I love brown butter with some sage leaves, tossed over gnocchi or pasta, so I wondered if brown butter cookies would work out.  I didn’t have a lot of people over, which meant I didn’t want to make 5 dozen cookies, so I decided to divide the recipe by four.  Totally reasonable.

Start by melting your butter: two cups divided by four is half a cup, or one stick.

Foam, foam on the range, where the butter and the pots play, where seldom is heard, a discouraging burn, and the skies are the ceiling all day

Foam, foam on the range, where the butter and the pots play, where seldom is heard, a discouraging burn, and the skies are the ceiling all day

It’ll foam up and then die down, and you just let it cook for a few minutes until it turns a beautiful brown.

There used to be some loose tea in this bowl, but it vacated when the butter moved in.  If I look into these patterns, can I read how tea leaves?

There used to be some loose tea in this bowl, but it vacated when the butter moved in. If I look into these patterns, can I read how tea leaves?

While the butter is browning, toast up some pecans, either on the stove in a hot pan with nothing in it (stir every thirty seconds or so) or in the oven.  I went with oven.  Takes a few minutes in either case.

Hear hear, a toast!  We didn't think P. could, but yes, P. Can!

Hear hear, a toast! We didn’t think P. could, but yes, P. Can!

Set aside about two tablespoons of the butter for icing, then mix all your ingredients except for flour together with the butter, starting with the brown sugar.

Brown butter-brown sugar.  I can't remember if I used brown eggs- guess I browned out. (This is a double entendre but not a sexual one).

Brown butter-brown sugar. I can’t remember if I used brown eggs- guess I browned out. (This is a double entendre but not a sexual one).

Then add the flour.  Here’s what I did: the original recipe called for 3 cups of flour.  I looked at it and thought, oh, 3/4.  Inexplicably, I then multiplied 3 by 3/4 to get 9/4, or 2 and a 1/4 cups of flour, which I then dumped in.

Hippies need to leave- there's way too much flour power going on here

Hippies need to leave- there’s way too much flour power going on here

“That’s weird…” I thought.  These cookies are WAY too floury to hold together.  It took me another few minutes to figure out what had gone wrong.  Frankly, I was amazed I’d done something so bone-headed.  (This is funny because there’s a really big bone in our heads, and I’d be concerned if someone didn’t have a skull.)

Of course I wasn’t going to give up on these cookies now.  So I halved the recipe and did everything again (because 1/4 + 1/2 = 3/4, a fact that I triple checked before I restarted).

2014-01-17_20-25-22_869 2014-01-17_20-33-50_279 2014-01-17_20-37-31_407 2014-01-17_20-25-04_263

Now the dough was a reasonable texture, and a dropped tablespoon at a time baked for ten minutes resulted in beautiful, buttery, brown cookies.  Mix the set aside butter (now there should be about 6 tablespoons) with some powdered sugar (I used around 3/4 cup) and a dash of vanilla, and use it to frost the cookies.  Apparently you were supposed to mix hot water in there too, which I didn’t realize until now.  Given how well I’d done earlier in the night with reading comprehension, I shouldn’t be surprised I messed up another step.

Anyways.  These cookies are super delicious and ridiculously rich and buttery.

 

2014-01-17_21-15-41_741

Brown butter cookies, recipe poorly followed but turned out great from all recipes:

To make 45 cookies

3 sticks of butter (1 and 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 1/4 cups flour

handful of chopped pecans (I used the rest of a bag in my freezer)

1 cup confectioners sugar

 

Melt butter and let foam and die down until it’s a rich brown color, then pour into a big bowl.  Take out 3/4 cup or so and put in a small bowl, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350, toast pecans if you want them.

Mix the butter with the brown sugar, then add the rest of the ingredients except for flour, pecans, and powdered sugar.  I like putting in a liberal amount of vanilla- maybe 1/2 TB.

Stir in the flour and pecans.  Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes to get a slightly crisp outside and soft middle.

Mix the powdered sugar with the set-aside brown butter and another dash of vanilla until frosting-like.  Recipe says to add hot water, which would make it easier to spread and icing-like.  If you need more powdered sugar, do so.  If it’s too sugary, add some water.  Use to frost cooled cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

Candied almonds

10 Nov

These are very fast and quite tasty.  You just throw raw almonds + sugar in a pot, let it boil, and then roast them for awhile.  I messed up a bit and made almond brittle, essentially, but it was still really tasty.

I wonder if Doc and Marty had to carry a lot of stuff with them in a murse or something in that movie... it'd be a bag to the future

I wonder if Doc and Marty had to carry a lot of stuff with them in a murse or something in that movie… it’d be a bag to the future

Measure out the brown sugar, and let it boil in a pot with the salt, cinnamon, and some water.

I see the light!  It's the least important word on the bag!

I see the light! It’s the least important word on the bag!

This view makes the tsp of cinnamon look HUGE.  Good to keep spice in perspective: otherwise you'll just have a messed up privet and who wants that plant?

This view makes the tsp of cinnamon look HUGE. Good to keep spice in perspective: otherwise you’ll just have a messed up privet and who wants that plant?

You may worry, but don’t.  It’s a little bit energetic, the boiling, but everything will be okay, just stir in the almonds.

Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and pot of sugar bubble

Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and pot of sugar bubble

OK everyone in the pool!  All (m) in!

OK everyone in the pool! All (m) in!

I just sat here and watched, ranking the almonds.  You could say I was SATuRATING

I just sat here and watched, ranking the almonds. You could say I was SATuRATING

Also I didn’t read the recipe and apparently I was supposed to stir these constantly.  Oh well!  Cook until the liquid is absorbed/evaporated.

If Doc and Marty brought this along, it'd be a hot tub time machine for the almonds.

If Doc and Marty brought this along, it’d be a hot tub time machine for the almonds.

Then dump them out onto a silpat or a sheet of parchment paper (NOT DIRECTLY ON THE BAKING SHEET), and spread those guys out.

This one almond has no equal... because every other one is better.  OOH ROASTED!

This one almond has no equal… because every other one is better. OOH ROASTED!

Bake for 10-15 minutes.  I sprinkled them with salt before throwing them in.

Brittle me this: are almonds all they're cracked up to be?

Brittle me this: are almonds all they’re cracked up to be?

Let that cool (I let them sit out overnight), and then break up the brittle.  If you cooked them long enough and stirred them which I did not, they’ll probably end up looking more like the original blogger’s:

Candied almonds from Barbara Bakes:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt (I like lots of it!)
  • 2 cups almonds

Boil brown sugar, water, cinnamon, salt.  Once boiling, stir in the almonds.  Stir constantly until liquid is evaporated (5-10 minutes).  Spread out onto a baking sheet lined with something (foil, parchment, silpat, anything!), and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

%d bloggers like this: