Saturday, January 15, 2011

{Recipe} Butternut Squash Bread Braid

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I’ve gotta say…there is nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread. Wouldn’t you agree?  This recipe is sooooo good, and don’t be intimidated by the braid…it’s easy!!

Butternut Squash Bread Braid

  • 2 Tbsp. dry yeast
  • ¼ c. warm water
  • 2 c. mashed and cooked butternut squash*
  • 2/3 c. warm milk
  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 6 c. flour

*Any yellow squash may be substituted.

Glaze:

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 Tbsp. water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a mixing bowl, combine squash, milk, butter, eggs, brown sugar, and salt; mix well. Add yeast mixture and 2 ½ to 3 cups flour; mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled—about 1 hour. Punch dough down; divide into 2 loaves. Divide both into thirds; roll each third into an 18 inch rope.

(This picture is courtesy of the Prepared Pantry.  I forgot to take pictures of the braiding process!)

Braid into 2 loaves. Let rise again about 30 minutes. Brush glaze over braids. Bake @ 350 for 20 – 25 minutes.

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You’re going to LOVE this!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

{Recipe}Banana Maple Oat Scone

Banana Maple Oat Scone

I've always loved the idea of brunch; spending time with family and friends over a leisurely late breakfast. And to me nothing says "brunch" like a delicious scone. Seeing as they have been around for centuries, its no wonder there are numerous flavors and recipes for this wonderful quick bread. I'm also a huge Ina Garten fan, so I decided to let her take on scones inspire me. But of course I did my own spin on them, because everyone loves a personal touch. And among the changes, I added banana. Instead of mashing them up however, I diced them so you would have a nice warm chunk of maple flavored banana as ate your scone (take that banana bread!). And unlike many scone recipes you'll find, these are neither dry nor lacking in flavor. Give these a try, they make the perfect on-the-go breakfast.


Banana Maple Oat Scones:
(This recipe can easily be doubled)
Scones:
1 and 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Quick-Cooking Oats, plus some for sprinkling
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Sticks Cold, Unsalted Butter diced. (you want this really cold. I put mine in the fridge while gathering other ingredients)
1/4 cup Buttermilk
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
2 Medium Ripe Bananas, diced in small pieces (the riper the better)
2 Extra- Large eggs, plus one for egg wash(1 egg beaten with 1 Tb. milk)


Glaze:
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar(use pure confectioner's sugar, other brands have cornstarch added and can change the flavor)
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the first six ingredients. Add the diced, cold butter and mix on the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs together and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Add diced bananas and mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough about 1 inch thick into a circle shape. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut like you would a pizza and make eight pieces. Carefully place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.

To make the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 10 to 15 minutes and drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of the glaze. I like to sprinkle some uncooked oats on the top, for garnish. The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.


Enjoy and Happy Baking

Thursday, January 6, 2011

{Recipe} Nutella Puffs

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One of my favorite memories is strolling the streets of Paris with my sweet husband, sharing a chocolate croissant, and taking in the Parisian joy de vivre (joy of life).  Since I can’t live in Paris and I can’t make croissants (yet), the next best thing…Nutella and marshmallow crème wrapped in a lovely puff pastry.   

You only need 5 ingredients…

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  • Nutella
  • Marshmallow Crème
  • Frozen Puff Pastry
  • One Egg
  • Sugar

First, you will need to thaw the puff pastry.  Once thawed, unfold and cut into four squares.

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Put a spoonful of Nutella and marshmallow crème on the puff pastry.  Oh, it’s looking good already!!

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Fold the square into a triangle and crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork. 

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Brush the pastry with an egg wash {one egg, beaten} and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned.  Take out of oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes and then ENJOY!!

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