Caramel Apple Bread

This recipe took a bit of changing, but it was SO WORTH IT. It’s magically delicious inside, and wonderfully crunchy outside. Very glad I gave this one another try!

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 1/2 cups apple, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups cool water
  • 3/4 cup salted caramel chips

The night before (or early morning, depending on how you want to time this), preheat your oven to 425 degrees while you cut your apple. Small pieces will bake more, drying out somewhat, which is what you’re going for to reduce the amount of liquid that the apple will later put into the dough.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, then toss the apples in the mixture. Grease a baking sheet and spread the cinnamon sugar apple pieces on it. Bake 10-15 minutes, until fork-tender but not mushy. Set aside to cool, and turn the oven off for now. Once cooled, you can throw the cooked apple in a small container until later.

I actually did a tiny bit smaller and cooked a bit further second time around, but didn’t manage to get a picture of it. You’ll see it later on, dumped on the dough.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, the salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir together until mostly combined, then knead just until all the remaining loose dry flour has been incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in a warm place (your oven with the light on is a good choice). Let rise at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Grease a large dutch oven well – can’t hurt to do the inside of the lid as well.

Turn your risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten as much as you can just by patting flat by hand, without using a rolling pin.

Spread the baked apple pieces and the caramel chips over the dough, leaving a clear space around the edge.

You can see little apple bits here somewhat, they’re quite small, and cooked until lightly caramelized.

Pinch the edges of the dough together, creating a large log. Curl the log into a spiral and press it together. Gently transfer the spiral of dough into the greased dutch oven and press down gently on the surface to press it together a bit more. Put the lid on the dutch oven, then place back in the oven with the light on to rise an additional 2 hours.

After the 2 hour rise, turn your oven, with the dough still in it, to 425 degrees. Bake 40-45 minutes, then take the lid off your dutch oven and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, until it’s a nice brown.

Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Thanks to MaryKate for the french toast suggestion!

Caramel Apple Bread

Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

  • 1 1/2 cups apple, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups cool water
  • 3/4 cup salted caramel chips

The night before (or early morning, depending on how you want to time this), preheat your oven to 425 degrees while you cut your apple.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, then toss the apples in the mixture. Grease a baking sheet and spread the cinnamon sugar apple pieces on it. Bake 10-15 minutes, until fork-tender but not mushy. Set aside to cool, and turn the oven off for now. Once cooled, you can throw the cooked apple in a small container until later.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, the salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir together until mostly combined, then knead just until all the remaining loose dry flour has been incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in your oven with the oven light on. Let rise at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Grease a large dutch oven well – can’t hurt to do the inside of the lid as well.

Turn your risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten as much as you can just by patting flat by hand, without using a rolling pin. Spread the baked apple pieces and the caramel chips over the dough, leaving a clear space around the edge. Pinch the edges of the dough together, creating a large log. Curl the log into a spiral and press it together. Gently transfer the spiral of dough into the greased dutch oven and press down gently on the surface to press it together a bit more. Put the lid on the dutch oven, then place back in the oven with the light on to rise an additional 2 hours.

After the 2 hour rise, turn your oven, with the dough still in it, to 425 degrees. Bake 40-45 minutes, then take the lid off your dutch oven and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, until it’s a nice brown. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

 

 

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Posted in Bread | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

And the (kitchen?) crowd goes mild…

Y’ever have things just fail to go right? For ages? Well, here’s what’s been going on/going wrong in my kitchen the last few weeks, and why I’ve got nothing much to share until next week.

If you’ve ever noticed, any recipe you’ll ever find for caramel cake is actually vanilla or yellow cake, with caramel frosting. No one ever makes a caramel flavored cake! I thought maybe I’d found the solution in this way to caramelize sugar without melting it. After 5 hours of baking the sugar, it had a caramel-y smell, and a noticeable caramel flavor, so I was sure I was golden.

I put the sugar in a yellow cake and paired my hopefully-caramel cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. Couple hours of making/baking/cooling later, and I had…a cake that’s entirely fine but in no way caramel. Disappointing.

After that, I thought maybe using the sugar in sugar cookies, and specifically ones that get rolled in sugar, would get the flavor right out there on your tongue and be unavoidable. Well, consider it avoided. The cookies have no noticeable caramel flavor. This used up the rest of the sugar I’d spent 5 hours baking, and I don’t hugely recommend the experiment to anyone else.

In the last week I also made this squash/chickpea/pasta dish that I enjoyed, but not enough to probably ever bother making again, and considering I’ve already made the stir-fried gochujang dish again… eh this doesn’t rate its own post.

Finally, I made a huge, overnight apple bread that totally is worth sharing, but only once I’ve changed the recipe enough to reflect how it actually works, and gotten pictures to match how I think it’ll work better. I’ve got the first loaf of bread the size of my head to get through before I start the improvement, so… that’s what-all has been going on in my kitchen lately. Hope more noteworthy things have been developing in all of yours!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Yak Gochujang (Stir-Fried Gochujang)

You may have noticed over the months/years, but I super love gochujang. Mary Kate sent me this recipe a while ago, for just that reason! This makes a sauce that is ~50% gochujang, which means it’s borderline hotter than I can deal with, but it also has a really great flavor, so I keep shoveling it in… You can use this sauce on fried rice, plain rice, bibimbap, or anywhere else that will help you slightly moderate the heat of all that gochujang! The sauce keeps for up to a month, so you can make it once and then just make some rice to top when you get home too late to cook a fancy dinner a few weeks later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 7 ounces minced beef or pork
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup gochujang
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon honey*
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts or other nut of choice (optional – obvs I skipped this)

*You can adjust the honey to taste to help calm the heat. I actually misread and thought it went up to 3 tablespoons, and even then it was still very hot for me, but I did like the hint of sweetness under the warmth.

To start off, in a medium bowl combine the soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and pepper, and stir together.

Add the minced meat and combine, then let sit for 5 minutes. When I do this again in the future, I will mix it together by hand, rather than just chopping up the meat with a spoon and stirring it together, as I was never able through the rest of the cooking to get the ground pork into super small bits, and I think breaking it up better earlier would have helped.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sesame oil and spread it around the pan. Add the marinated meat, and cook, stirring the meat to break it up/prevent it from clumping.

Once the meat is mostly cooked, add the gochujang and water.

Cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer an additional 8 minutes.

Stir in the honey and pine nuts, if using, and simmer another 2 minutes.

Use immediately, or cool and store in an air tight container up to one month.

Some very basic fried rice, so that I would be eating SOME amount of vegetable…

Stir-Fried Gochujang

From My Korean Kitchen.

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 7 ounces minced beef or pork
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup gochujang
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon honey, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts or other nut of choice (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and pepper, and stir together. Add the minced meat and combine by hand, then let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sesame oil and spread it around the pan. Add the marinated meat, and cook, stirring the meat to break it up/prevent it from clumping. Once the meat is mostly cooked, add the gochujang and water. Cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer an additional 8 minutes. Stir in the honey and pine nuts, if using, and simmer another 2 minutes.

Use immediately, or cool and store in an air tight container up to one month.

Posted in Dinner | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Crock Pot Cookie

A big, thick cookie in which the sugars caramelize a bit, giving an extra richness to the flavors. Even the white chocolate chips I used browned and, even if only because the color got in my head, tasted more like butterscotch chips.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 cups brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, any flavor (even if you’re using a combination of chips, a total of 1 cup is enough for a pretty solid covering)

Line your crock pot with a large piece of foil.

In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar into the melted butter until well mixed.

Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk again until well combined.

Add the salt and flour and whisk a final time.

Transfer to the crock pot and spread evenly.

Spread the chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Cover the crock pot with paper towel, and then put on the lid to hold it down. This will catch any condensation and prevent it from falling back on the cookie.

Cook on high 2 1/2-3 hours. At 2 3/4 mine had started to burn at once edge, so for my crock pot anyway, 2 1/2 would be good.

Using the foil, remove from the crock pot and let cool in the foil 1 hour before eating.

No scooping and shaping, no baking multiple trays, just one huge delicious cookie!

Crock Pot Cookie

From The Stay at Home Chef.

  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 cups brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, any flavor

Line your crock pot with a large piece of foil.

In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar into the melted butter until well mixed. Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk again until well combined. Add the salt and flour and whisk a final time, then transfer to the crock pot and spread evenly. Spread the chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Cover the crock pot with paper towel, and then put on the lid to hold it down. Cook on high 2 1/2-3 hours. Using the foil, remove from the crock pot and let cool in the foil 1 hour before eating.

Posted in Dessert | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower

So, even if there’s no way you’re ever going to eat a cauliflower-based food, stick with this one for the sauce, which would go equally wonderfully on chicken nuggets or fried whatever-meat. The sauce is so wonderful, though, that even cauliflower tastes great, so why not do something healthy for a change?

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • cooking oil spray
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced (for garnish, so if you’re totally going to forget to use them, like I did, don’t bother)

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (put it in EVERYTHING!)

To begin, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment, and set one aside. Spread the panko crumbs in an even layer in the other sheet, and spray with cooking oil.

Bake 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. (If using gluten free bread crumbs, remember that most of them somehow never brown, so you’ll just have to pull them after a few minutes anyway.)

While the panko browns, whisk your eggs well in a small bowl and finish any chopping for the cauliflower. Once the panko is done, dip each piece of cauliflower into the egg, shake off excess, then roll in the panko and place on the other lined sheet pan. This actually took kind of a while, just because there were so many pieces.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked and the crumbs are a darker brown.

While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. First combine the water and cornstarch in a small dish and stir until completely dissolved. Combine the honey, garlic, soy sauce, and gochujang in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer.

Add the cornstarch mixture and stir it in. Let simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly to thicken further.

Drizzle the sauce over the baked cauliflower, and garnish with sliced scallions.

whoops, invisible scallions

The sauce is sweet, savory, and just warm (not hot) from this amount of gochujang – it’s really great! As expected with breaded things, the leftovers get less great with refrigeration, but not bad after one day, and that sauce makes up for A LOT.

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower

Slightly adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings.

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • cooking oil spray
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment, and set one aside. Spread the panko crumbs in an even layer in the other sheet, and spray with cooking oil. Bake 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.

While the panko browns, whisk your eggs well in a small bowl and finish any chopping for the cauliflower. Once the panko is done, dip each piece of cauliflower into the egg, shake off excess, then roll in the panko and place on the other lined sheet pan. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked and the crumbs are a darker brown.

While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. First combine the water and cornstarch in a small dish and stir until completely dissolved. Combine the honey, garlic, soy sauce, and gochujang in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir it in. Let simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly to thicken further. Drizzle the sauce over the baked cauliflower, and garnish with sliced scallions.

Posted in Dinner | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chocolate Chip Craisin Breakfast Cookies

A cheery way to star the day, these are very soft (flourless) cookies that work in a variety of good flavors to give you the energy to get through the day. I brought these to my weekly 7:30 Monday meeting, and Tuesday was given salt water taffy in return, so…they paid off, as well as making people at the meeting happy at the time? Nice.

packed for work

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup craisins (I used cherry juice flavored ones, but do whatever you like)
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (been so long since I swapped chocolate in for nuts in something!)

Preheat your oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, bananas, salt, and cinnamon, beating until well mixed.

Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips and mix again until evenly combined.

Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of dough onto the prepared sheets, flattening slightly. The cookies don’t expand much while baking, so you don’t need to space them widely.

yeah clearly this isn’t parchment…

Bake 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Craisin Breakfast Cookies

Slightly adapted from Just a Taste.

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, bananas, salt, and cinnamon, beating until well mixed. Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips and mix again until evenly combined. Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of dough onto the prepared sheets, flattening slightly. The cookies don’t expand much while baking, so you don’t need to space them widely.

Bake 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Black Bean Burgers

I am really super pleased with how these came out, and am quite pleased to have almost a week’s worth of them to eat. Gochujang is really just my go-to for everything now, I think! I didn’t even put ketchup on them, because I wanted to taste the burger more, and I LOVE ketchup!

Ingredients:

  • 2 14 ounce cans black beans, divided, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs, divided (gf if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheetpan with parchment, or foil and grease.

Combine 1 can of the black beans, the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, gochujang, and salt in a food processor, and process until smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl, then stir in the remaining can of beans, the eggs, and 1 cup of the breadcrumb, until combined.

Add the remaining bread crumbs, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture holds together and forms patties.

This is actually just over a cup, to finish off an open container I had.

Form the mixture into large 6 patties and place on the prepared pan.

These are large burgers!

Bake 20-25 minutes, until the surface looks browned and dry, and the patties are firm.

Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and then freeze. Thawed patties can be reheated in a skillet, on a grill, or in the oven.

Black Bean Burgers

Adapted from Half Cup Habit.

  • 2 14 ounce cans black beans, divided, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs, divided (gf if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheetpan with parchment, or foil and grease.

Combine 1 can of the black beans, the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, gochujang, and salt in a food processor, and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, then stir in the remaining can of beans, the eggs, and 1 cup of the breadcrumb, until combined. Add the remaining bread crumbs, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture holds together and forms patties.

Form the mixture into large 6 patties and place on the prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the surface looks browned and dry, and the patties are firm. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and then freeze. Thawed patties can be reheated in a skillet, on a grill, or in the oven.

Posted in Dinner, Lunch | Tagged , | 3 Comments