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Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries

I started thinking about blueberries after my 6th friend posted on Facebook that they were blueberry picking. No joke. Who knew that all the cool kids go blueberry picking in August? Actually, come to think of it, a few weeks ago when my sister watched my munchkins, she took them out to harvest some blueberries from a local farm. I totally should have though of doing that! Man! When did I become such an un-fun mom? Gotta work on that! It seems to me that with all this berry picking going on, folks might appreciate a recipe (or seven) to use up some of that abundant fruit. So here’s the great big Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries post!

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Glazed Caramel Apple Bread

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Crisco. Funny story. Last week I was enjoying the cooling evening breeze wafting thru my open window with a beverage in my hand and my love by my side when I heard frantic calls of “Tonya! Tonya!” coming from over the fence. My adorable neighbor (and her daughter) were beckoning me to come over. “Quick! Baking emergency! Come over!” they hollered and then disappeared back into their house. So, off I darted to the house next door to see what was up. I’m embarrassed to say that I brought my drink with me. It was hot out, the drink was fresh and far be it from me to let a perfectly cold cocktail go to waste. “Baking emergency” could mean anything from a massive grease fire in the oven, to salt being used liberally as a seasoning in a batch of cookies. I had no idea what I was walking in to…but, with my beverage in hand I was ready for anything.

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Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

I’m not sure if this is really a secret or not. Let me pretend that I’m the first person to ever tell you this anyway. You can make breadsticks that taste just like your favorite unlimited basket at the Olive Garden. It’s true. And, it is not hard. Really, it is too easy. Cause, I love love love the Olive Garden’s breadsticks. And now I can make them at home. Which I’ve done three times in the past week. Bad. Very bad.

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Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

I simply adore the bright fresh flavor of lemon. It just makes for happy food. I’m not really sure what the right label for this treat is. It’s too sweet to be a bread, too light to be a true pound cake and too bread-like to be a cake. It’s fabulous, whatever it is. Filled with cheery tart lemon and sweet succulent blueberries, this pseudo-pound cake is a taste explosion. It’s double glazed and is absolutely delicious.

I pulled portions from several different recipes to create a version of pound cake that was flavorful without the traditional heaps of butter in it. This version gets its dense richness from non-fat greek yogurt and a little bit of oil. It is perfectly balanced between sweet/tart and rich/light.

You will love it. Eat it for breakfast, a snack or for dessert. Or, all three! Yum!

Print Recipe for Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh or *frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

    Lemon Sugar

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

    Lemon Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  • In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with greek yogurt, beating well after each addition. Toss the blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour and fold the blueberries and lemon peel into the batter.
  • Transfer to a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan lined at the bottom with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  • While bread is cooling (in the pan), combine lemon sugar ingredients in a saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved. Cook 2 minutes longer. After removing from pan, poke holes in warm bread and brush lemon sugar on tops and sides. Allow to sink in, then brush again.
  • Combine ingredients for lemon glaze; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely. Brush with glaze again after cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).

* If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter.

Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Baked goods involving zucchini are considered a vegetable in my book. I’ve been exercising like a crazy person lately and watching my calories, so more vegetables is exactly what I need. This amazingly moist absolutely decadent tasting chocolate bread fit the bill perfectly. I don’t feel too badly about it since it’s reasonably low-calorie and very low-fat. Unless I eat the whole loaf. Hmmmm. Not gonna lie. That might happen.

Start by shredding some zucchini. You’ll need about one medium-sized courgette (yes, I just used the fancy-pants term).

Mix up some sugars and applesauce. You can use oil if you’d like, but I was going the uber healthy route with this. Then, stir in some eggs and zucchini.

Some dry ingredients get stirred in. Those little hands belong to my son, who loves helping me bake. I don’t want any of you to think I have freakishly t.i.n.y. mitts.

Then the final touch to this yummy bread. Chocolate chips. Ok, so it just ceased to be a bread and became a cake. I know.

Bake, slice and enjoy.

Rich chocolate. And I’ve convinced myself it is actually a vegetable. Yes. I am in heaven. Please don’t wake me from this dream.

You will be too. There are little pockets of melty chocolate chips in every bite and the bread is all gorgeous and moist. Enjoy!

Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread
adapted from Slice of Feist

1 & 1/2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup high quality Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash of salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

In a large bowl, combine your applesauce, sugars and vanilla. Mix in your eggs and shredded zucchini. In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture into your wet mixture. Stir until combined. Mix in your chocolate chips.

Scrape your batter into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan (I always do a little parchment paper action on the bottom too), and bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.

Monkey Bites

No monkeys were harmed in the making of this dessert. I guess it’s called monkey bites because it has bananas in it, but really it should be called moist-delicious-awesomeness-banana-bites. Yeah, I guess Monkey Bites rolls off the tongue a little easier. I prefer my baked goods as ladies, not gentlemen. As in, no nuts. But if you dig a little crunch in your sweet soft bread, feel free to add some walnuts to these babies.
Gorgeous bite sized squares have all the goodness of warm banana bread, topped with a layer of brown butter frosting. Oh yeah. I said brown butter. You can’t go wrong there.

Since these made in a jelly roll pan, be sure you’ve got somewhere to bring them/ other people to help you devour them. Otherwise, I guarantee you’ll take down the pan yourself…and then you’ll be mad at me. We can’t have that.

I originally cut these into bars, but then cut the bars in half because they were so delightfully soft and delicate that they needed to be a bit smaller. Perfect for a little nosh.

These morsels of banana heaven were amazing warm out of the oven, and equally good after they’d cooled. I’ll admit…the bite size made me feel a lot less guilty about having one every time I passed by the pan.

Monkey Bites
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 10×15 jelly roll pan. Beat first four ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend one minute. Stir in nuts and spread in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool and frost with Browned Butter Frosting (recipe below).

Banana bread option: instead of spreading into jelly roll pan, this recipe will make about two regular loaves of banana bread, or about four small loaves. Regular loaves bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Small loaves will bake about 25 minutes on 350.

Browned Butter Frosting

½ cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 3 tablespoons milk or half and half

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it boiling, and a delicate brown. Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients. This should be thicker than a glaze and thinner than frosting. Using a spatula smooth over the top of the Monkey Squares immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it’s on the warm bread.

Snickerdoodle Bread

A few weeks ago my grandmother gave me four mini loaf pans. She knows me so well. I’ve been trying to use them ever since so I can bring her something delicious as a thank you. Yes, that’s what happens when you give me a baking item as a gift. I use it to make something awesome for you. The problem is, I got fixated on this snickerdoodle bread recipe I found. You may wonder why that’s an issue…and I’ll tell you. It’s because the recipe calls for cinnamon chips which (apparently) are seasonal. Not the season we’re currently in. But it was too late. I wanted to make a cinnamon sugary bread version of one of the best cookies ever. Nothing else would be good enough for the maiden voyage of my new pans. What to do, what to do?

I took some time reading the comments on the original recipe to find that people had substituted white chocolate chips as well as toffee chips in the bread and liked the results. Somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to spoil all that delicious cinnamon sugar goodness with a different flavor. I had just about given up and resigned myself to making some other kind of bread until cinnamon chips were back in stock, but then, a miracle!!

My wonderful cousin came up with a solution for me without even knowing it. She made some cookies today that included a cinnamon butter inside. Basically like a cinnamon sugar caramel kind of deal. As soon as I saw her recipe I knew it was the answer to my dilemma. I could make the bread per the recipe, but instead of using the cinnamon chips, I’d swirl the cinnamon butter through the batter. Genius!

We start by making our cinnamon butter swirl. Some butter and brown sugar are melted together and boiled briefly.

Add a little cream and some cinnamon then set aside to cool while we make our bread batter. Try not to eat with a spoon.

Cream butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Add some eggs, sour cream and dry ingredients. Until it looks like this. It’s very thick.

Spoon into your pans until about a third full.

Then swirl your cinnamon butter around. I did about a tablespoon straight down the center, then swished a butter knife back and forth thru it.

Top with remaining batter and another swish and swirl of the cinnamon butter. Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread is golden with a crusty top.

(worst part of baking) Allow to cool, then slice and enjoy. Lightly spiced sweet bread and that amazing buttery surprise in the middle topped with a craggy cinnamony crust. Yuuuum!

Three of these loaves are headed out the door as gifts. Otherwise I’m at risk of palming one and just walking around all day munching on it.

Have a slice (or a loaf) of this with breakfast. It’s not a cookie. It’s bread. That’s allowed. Just look at that gorgeous ribbon of buttery cinnamon goodness!

Snickerdoodle Bread   
adapted from Rumbly In My Tumbly and Lil Luna

Bread:
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sour cream

Topping:
3 T. sugar
3 t. cinnamon

Cinnamon Butter Swirl:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2-3 tablespoons cream
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

For the cinnamon butter swirl:
In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and whisk, bringing it up to a boil. Let it boil for about one minute, remove from heat, and whisk in the cream. Add the baking soda and cinnamon and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool.

For the bread:

Cream butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well.
Add vanilla and sour cream and mix well.
Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to wet ingredients and mix until all combined.

Spoon batter into 4 mini loaf pans until about 1/3 full. Dollup and swirl the cinnamon butter around in the batter. Add more batter on top til 2/3 full. Dollup some more filling and swirl again.
Mix 3 T. sugar and 3 t. cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the batter in each loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 38-43 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan.

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Cinnamon Toast Twists

Morning people, I salute you. However, I will never truly join your ranks. Mornings are just not my thing. I remembered that today as I dragged my sleepy self out of bed for a 6am yoga class. I’m hitting my stride with my couch-to-5K program and my muscles need a little extra stretching out. Since I already use up the maximum time my kids can be at the Y child-care, the early morning class is my only option. I’m not generally a coordinated person, so yoga has always been a challenge for me. I fall over most classes. Thankfully, the instructor says that’s proof I’m pushing my limits – but I think she’s just being nice.  Trying to force my body into a pretzel at an (in my opinion) ungodly hour of the day was a special treat. The only positive was that I was home and bursting with energy after class. I had enough pep in my step to whip together these tasty little twists for my kids.

These Cinnamon Toast Twists are crisp on the outside, full of buttery-sugary goodness on the inside. They melt in your mouth and are the perfect size for little fingers. My husband called them little cinnamony burritos. My kids simply devoured them. They are far easier than cinnamon buns, but with a lot of the same flavor and deliciousness.

Start with good white bread. Cut the crusts off.

Then roll the bread very thinly.

Spread both sides with melted butter. Yes, both sides. Yes, your counter is going to get a little messy.

Then sprinkle one side with cinnamon sugar. My daughter helped me starting with this step.

Fold both sides in towards the middle. Then roll up tightly and place in a mini-muffin tin.

Repeat with the remaining pieces of flattened bread. These are so easy, even a 5-year-old can do it – aren’t her little hands adorable?

Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar and bake.

The tops get all golden and the bottoms caramelize up a little with the butter/cinnamon/sugar. Mmmmm. So delightful.

They pull apart in gorgeous golden buttery goodness. Yuuuum!

These take just minutes to make and I’ll bet you have everything you need just sitting on your counter. Beware though, they are HIGHLY addictive.

Cinnamon Toast Twists
from Circle B Kitchen

a dozen or so slices of very soft, fresh white bread
melted butter
cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar and 1 T cinnamon)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the crusts from a slice of bread and roll until very thin. Spread both sides of the bread with melted butter and then sprinkle one side with the cinnamon sugar, making sure to cover very well.  Fold each side into the middle and then gently roll up and place in a buttered mini muffin tin.  Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar.

When all of the rolls are made, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are just starting to turn golden brown and get a little crisp.  Remove from the muffin tin to cool slightly before serving.

These freeze really well.  To reheat, place briefly in a microwave to thaw and then bake in a low oven (250 or 300 until warm and slightly crisp.  Alternately, you can reheat them in foil in the oven.

Hot Cross Buns

These light, gently spiced buns are one of my favorite Easter week traditions. I make them every Good Friday, always bringing them to my mom for sharing with a  cup of tea. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a little time intensive, but not difficult and, it has never failed me.  You get big, beautifully golden rolls that are a perfect breakfast or brunch treat. Although they are a traditional Easter delight, these buns are delectable (my daughter’s new favorite word) all year round.

I love bread. It’s so gorgeous.

And, it kinda makes me happy in my heart.

I’m sure food shouldn’t do that, but these buns just have that effect on me. Mmmmm.

Hot Cross Buns

* 3/4 C buttermilk, warm (110 degrees)
* 6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 3 large eggs
* 4 1/4 C all purpose flour
* 1/4 C sugar
* 1 envelope instant or rapid-rise yeast
* 1 1/4 t salt
* 1 t ground cinnamon
* 1 C  raisins
* 1 large egg
* 1 T water
Glaze:
* 3/4 C powdered sugar
* 1 t milk
* 1/2 t vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1. For the buns: Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 C of the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
2. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 C flour, 1 T at a time until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, add the raisins and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball with evenly distributed raisins. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place  until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
4. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, divide it into 12 even pieces. round the pieces of dough into small taut rolls. Arrange the rolls in the prepared baking pan and wrap tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size and are pressed against on another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg and water together and brush over the buns. Then, using a sharp knife, cut an X through the top 1/4 inch of each bun. Bake until golden and puffed, 25-30 minutes.
6. For the glaze: Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together then drizzle in an X into the cut groves of the buns. Serve warm.

Bread Pudding with Bailey’s Custard

Warning! This is quite possibly the best, most decadent, delicious and amazing food item I’ve ever created. It is over-the-top rich. I have convinced myself that if I only eat it once a year or so, I don’t have to feel guilty about it. Sort of. I’m already dreaming of when I can make this again. It was heavenly. Here’s the thing about bread pudding. It’s bread. Lots of bread. Soaking with cream and sugar. And butter. Then served with a cream sauce. And, in this case – that cream sauce is drunken with Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqour. Absolutely NOT a diet food. But worth every single incredible calorie. As fancy as bread pudding seems, it’s really easy to throw together. Takes some time, but most of that it’s just sitting there drinking up the delicious creamy goodness or baking in the oven. The time you actually have to spend on creating it is minimal. [Read more…]

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