Archives for category: Baked Goodies

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I don’t think we’ve mentioned before where the inspiration for the name of our blog, Milk & Sugar comes from. Throughout our entire lives, and to this day, a very simple ritual we both share is the drinking of tea–traditionally for the Stroebe sisters the tea of choice is Earl Grey or Constant Comment– with milk and sugar.

Nothing but coffee will do in the mornings, but the rest of the day I consume vast quantities of tea. As I’ve gotten more into baking (and hosting tea parties) I’ve started incorporating tea into my treats. This cake is my most recent creation. I don’t actually use the tea in this recipe, but I’ve borrowed that unique flavor combination of orange and clove that will always be Constant Comment to me. Tasty , but not too sweet or overwhelming in flavor, this cake is perfect eaten for dessert, breakfast, or in the afternoon nice cup of tea. Enjoy!

Constant Comment Cake

Ingredients
2 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour ( I don’t recommend using whole wheat flour for this recipe)

3/4 cup  sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon  salt

3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk or almond milk

2 tablespoons fresh orange zest (from about 2 whole oranges)

2 teaspoons ground cloves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In one bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, add milk and olive oil, then blend with wet ingredients. Stir in zest and cloves.

Pour into a greased pan–any you like, I used a large loaf pan here. Sprinkle the top with a few pinches of sugar, and just a dash of clove.

Bake until golden brown, and when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack and enjoy with a cup of tea.

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pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

My favorite 5-year-old gave me his uncarved sugar pumpkin after Halloween with the agreement that I’d make pumpkin bread/muffins with it (one of his favorites!).  Although it took me a few weeks to fulfill the promise, I made sure his pumpkin went to good use with these cranberry pumpkin muffins!  Of course, this would be fabulous in loaf form, but I really just love the portability of the muffin so I’ve stuck with it.pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

I used both Suzanne’s Pumpkin Gingerbread and Alton Brown’s pumpkin bread recipes as inspiration for these muffins.  I decided to make these 100% whole grain with whole wheat flour and oatmeal.  I also went very light on the sugar, as I don’t want the sweetness to overpower the wonderful flavors of the fresh pumpkin and/or cranberries.  I added the low-fat vanilla yogurt to give the muffins a great fluffy texture and to reduce the amount of added oil.

Roasting the pumpkin to make the “puree” (really more like mashed pumpkin) took about 30 mins, but it’s so worth the extra effort!  Enjoy!

pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 sugar pumpkin, roasted & “pureed” (equals about 2+ cups)

1 egg + 3 Tbsp flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup water (or, use 2 eggs)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)

1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup white sugar

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp each, cinnamon & ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds, and roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes until soft.  Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, scoop out flesh and mash with a fork or pastry knife until smooth (alternatively, puree with a food processor).

Preheat oven to 375.  Place pumpkin mash/puree into a large bowl and add egg, vanilla, oil, and yogurt.  Stir well.  In a medium bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until incorporated (don’t over mix!). The batter will be thicker than you may be used to, but the pumpkin will add moisture while baking.

Spoon into muffin tins or loaf pan.  Bake muffins 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.  Bake loaf 30-40 minutes, or until a knife/toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

pumpkin muffins, cranberry pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bead, cranberry bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Here are a few things I’ve made recently that would be good additions to any holiday meal: an extra spicy, whole wheat gingerbread, a delicate and moist persimmon cake recipe that doubled as  persimmon chocolate chip muffins, lots of kabocha pumpkin simply roasted in olive oil and salt until super tender and caramelized, and an autumn salad with spinach, red quinoa, pumpkin seeds, apple, and feta.

spicy gingerbread

ingredients

1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 ts. baking soda

1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground if desired

1 tablespoon orange rind

3/4 ts. salt

1 egg beaten (or 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed in 1/4 cup warm water)*

1/2 c. turbinado sugar + extra for topping

1/2 c. molasses (use a fuller flavored  “robust,” un-sulfered or unfiltered molasses if you can)

1/2 c. boiling water

1/2 c. olive oil

directions

preheat 350 degrees

combine dry ingredients into one bowl. in a separate bowl, mix wet in ingredients. combine, then add boiling water last, stirring until smooth.

cook in a loaf pan, cake pan, or whatever you prefer. Bake until golden, coming away slightly from the sides of a pan, and when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Serve alone, or with lemon curd, lemon or vanilla ice cream, or fresh whipped cream. Also wonderful lightly toasted with coffee or tea and sliced oranges for breakfast.

*note: substituting flax seed for egg will make this recipe vegan. the result is just as delicious, but does not hold together as well

persimmon cake/ persimmon chocolate-chip muffins

adapted from bon apetit

note: this recipe results in a lightly sweet cake or muffin. If you would like a sweeter result, use 1 cup of sugar and/or top with a delicately flavored icing, glaze, or sweetened whipped cream (vanilla, orange zest, and/or nutmeg would be wonderful additions)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
  • 4 large, very ripe Hachiya persimmons
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • chocolate chips (optional)
  • chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour muffin tin or loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • Scoop persimmon flesh from skins into a blender. Purée until smooth. Mix with wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips or nuts if using
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, cake pan, or muffin tins.  Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  • Let bread cool in pan for 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack.

caramelized kabocha pumpkin

ingredients

  • kabocha pumpkin
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

directions

preheat oven to 400 degrees

cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and cut in thin slices or small chunks (more cuts means more caramelized edges!) drizzle generously with olive oil (about 1/4 cup for an entire small pumpkin) and salt. toss to coat.

roast until very tender and edges are lightly browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes

optional additions: sliced onions, fresh black pepper, hot chile flakes, a couple teaspoons of maple syrup and/or french mustard drizzled over squash for the last 5 minutes

Autumn Salad

makes one large salad

ingredients:

6 cups baby spinach, or mixed greens

one firm, sweet/tart apple, like a Pink Lady or Gala, cored and sliced thinly

pumpkin or squash seeds, roasted with olive oil and salt at 400 degrees until golden brown

1/2 cup crumbled feta (or ricotta salata, or fresh goat cheese)

1 cup leftover quinoa (any variety, I like red the best for salads)

your favorite vinaigrette or mix together 1 tablespoon french mustard, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of your favorite vinegar, black pepper, and a tiny pinch of sugar until emulsified

Toss greens with most of the dressing, leaving a couple tablespoons to drizzle on top. Arrange quinoa, apple slices, seeds, and cheese on top on dressed greens. Drizzle with remaining  dressing and serve.

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Late fall, I love ending up with a ton of apples in my CSA – often more than I can consume during the week with all the other awesome produce included each week.  I wanted to use some of them to make a delicious breakfast bread, with flavors reminiscent of both fall and winter.  I absolutely love the combination of apples and cinnamon, so I decided these would be the primary flavors in this baked good.  The oatmeal gave the bread a heartiness that I also associate with fall and winter.

I diced the apples and sprinkled with the teaspoon of vinegar and a tiny bit of the sugar (after it was measured into the 1/3 cup, so as not to add more sugar).  I let them sit about 5 minutes, similar to how one would prepare an apple pie.  This helps soften the apples a bit before putting them in the oven.

I made the bread with 1/3 cup white sugar + 1 Tbsp brown sugar and it turned out great, but a little on the sweet side for me (though it was perfect for the other people who tried it; so, you may want to stick with the original recipe at first).  I personally like my breakfast breads/muffins on the less sweet side so next time I’ll make with 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, but, again, this is dependent on how sweet you like your breads.  The bread will keep ~3 days in an air-tight container, and is amazing slightly toasted in the morning!  Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Bread

2 carrots, shredded

3-4 medium or small apples, de-cored and diced (ends up to be about 2 cups when diced)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar will also work, but apple cider is preferable)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup oatmeal (old fashioned)

1/3 cup white sugar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp each – ground ginger & nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup low fat milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a standard loaf pan (~9 x 5 x 7) with cooking spray.  Add the diced apples to a medium bowl and sprinkle with a small amount (~1 tsp) of the pre-measured sugar and add the vinegar.  Mix well and let sit 5 minutes.

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.  Shred the carrots into a medium bowl and add the wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir.  Add the apples and mix until well incorporated (but, try not to over mix! Just mix until all ingredients are incorporated).  Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife/toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

low fat brownies, decadent brownies, light brownies, brownies cayenne, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Brownies + wine = the perfect combination for a great night with a great friend (or friends).  For years now it has been a tradition with one of my best friends to have a girls’ night as often as possible, and it always, always includes brownies + wine.  I’ve struggled over the years to find the perfect less-guilt brownie recipe, and have thrown away many, many batches in the process.  I finally succeeded and was so pleased with the results that I had to share!  I love the combination of a little spice and chocolate, so I added the cayenne to give the brownies a little kick.  The spice was very mild, but feel free to omit or add your own flavor kick to the brownies.  (I bet Suzanne will have some good suggestions!) Enjoy!!

Decadent Less-Guilt Brownies

Adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne (optional; but adds a great flavor without too much heat!)

3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided

1/4 cup brewed coffee (cold or hot)

1/3 cup non-fat milk (or almond milk)

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cayenne) in a large bowl and  mix well. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, coffee, and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in melted butter, oil, and vanilla. Let cool 2 minutes, then add the eggs. Mix well until well combined.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until smooth & glossy.  Add remaining chocolate chips and stir just a few more times until combined.  Pour batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a knife/toothpick comes out clean (be sure not to overcook!). Cool in the pan on a rack and enjoy!

low fat brownies, decadent brownies, light brownies, brownies cayenne, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

low fat brownies, decadent brownies, light brownies, brownies cayenne, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

The beginning of fall weather and a trip to Half Moon Bay resulted in the idea to alter my favorite gingerbread recipe to include roasted pumpkin puree. The puree not only adds nutrients and fiber, it also creates a wonderfully moist, almost silky texture. Three kinds of ginger and a good amount of cinnamon make the bread nice and warming, perfect for dessert on a cool night with whipped cream, ice cream, or–as our Grannie always served gingerbread–with lemon curd, but also delicious lightly toasted for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

1 small pumpkin (or your favorite winter squash, except spaghetti squash) roasted until very tender-results in about 2 cups pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 ts. baking soda

1  tablespoon each ground ginger, and fresh grated ginger

1/4 cup candied ginger, finely diced

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated if at all possible)

1 ts. salt

1 egg or 1 tablespoon of flax meal in 1/4 cup warm water

1/2  cup brown or turbinado sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 c. olive oil

2+ tablespoons sugar for topping (optional)

2+ tablespoons rolled oats for topping (optional)

Directions

Cut your pumpkin into large chunks and roast face-down on a baking sheet or aluminum foil at 350 degrees until very tender (save the seeds and roast them too!) Allow to cool before you begin to mix your batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine roasted pumpkin flesh (omitting skin), egg, sugar, and oil in a food processor and blend until smooth

Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients. Add molasses and gingers. When all ingredients are combined, add the boiling water and stir until combined.

Pour batter into pan of your choice (I made mini-loafs and a larger loaf, but muffins or a cake pan would work well)

Sprinkle with sugar and oats before baking, to create a caramelized crust, if desired.

Bake about 30 minutes for a loaf or cake, 10 minutes for muffins. Watch for the sides to turn dark brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, and test with a toothpick–insert into the middle of the cake/muffin and wait for it to come out almost completely clean.

If using the topping, set oven to broil for 2-3 minutes at the end to caramelize sugar.

Cool on a rack.

 

 

 

 

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Everyone has their own coping mechanism to deal with stress.  Me?  I bake.  A lot.  There’s something about being in the kitchen that just melts away the stress.  As is expected for my last semester of grad school, things are a bit stressful… so, today I decided to take a much needed break from my MNT homework and make my absolute favorite cookies of all time – oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!  Growing up, Suzanne and I loved oatmeal cookies, but only after each and every raisin was picked out of the cookies.  This recipe is a perfect combination of a hearty oatmeal cookie with the gooey chocolate of a traditional chocolate chip cookie.  The sugar has been reduced from the traditional recipe but without any loss of flavor and they’ll more than satisfy your sweet tooth.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 stick butter, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 egg (or 1 Tbsp flax seed meal + 3 Tbsp water)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup old fashioned oats (oatmeal)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4-1 cup chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies!)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebeoatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebeoatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe