Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

The Meyer lemon journey continues with Strawberry Lemonade Muffins. I decided to make them as minis simply because I love it when things come in little bites. Okay, I admit that the other reason is because I only have mini muffin pans. The pans, by the way, were a wonderful find. My sister and I had been helping to clean out my grandmother's closets and we found all these wonderful muffin tins. She let me have them and now I can bake muffins to my heart's content. Thanks grandma!

But, returning to these muffins, they were awesome. Each one was so fluffy and full of yummy sweetness from the strawberries. Although the lemon flavor was once again subtle, they were still so tasty that I couldn't stop popping them into my mouth. And, at about 40-50 calories per muffin, there's certainly no need to feel guilty about eating several at one time. It's definitely a breakfast that says, "Goodbye winter, and hello spring!"

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins
(adapted from Baking Bites)

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon zest (I would suggest doubling the zest)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 500F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease 48 mini muffin cups.

Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Cream the lemon sugar with the butter. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the lemon juice.

Combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the chopped strawberries quickly.

Spoon batter out into prepared muffin cups (if using mini muffin tins, it's about 1 Tbsp. batter per cup). The muffin cups should be fairly full.

Bake for 5 min. at 500F, then immediately lower the temperature to 350F. Continue baking until muffins test done about 5 min. (for mini muffins) and possibly 10 min. for regular sized muffins. Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins or 48 mini muffins

This recipe is linked to:
Made it on Monday
Muffin Monday
Delicious Dishes
Made from Scratch Tuesday
Mangia Mondays
Full Plate Thursdays
Themed Bakers Sunday

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lemon Cranberry Bread

A while ago, I won a whole boxful of Meyer lemons. It was like a dream come true to have that much zest and juice just needing to be used. The only question was, "What to make first?" Since I also had some frozen cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, I decided to make this Meyer Lemon Cranberry Bread that I found on Baking Bites.

The only thing I noticed while making this is that the batter is extremely dense. I think I might add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice next time to thin it out just a bit more. But, other than that, it bakes up beautifully to yield some wonderful loaves of bread. I did use my 500F trick again. I'm not sure if it made a whole lot of difference though, so feel free to simply bake your bread at 350-375F if you want.

The resulting breads, alas, did not slice pretty, hence the reason why there's no picture of any cut slices. Of course, that does not affect my ability to eat and enjoy them in the slightest (and boy did I ever enjoy them). The cranberries are just perfect in this bread, adding yummy bursts of tartness in every bite. The lemon flavor was a little more subtle than I would have liked, so I might increase the lemon zest next time. But, regardless, these breads were just fantastic. I was planning on giving one of the mini loaves away (since I made two), but somehow I don't think that loaf will ever make it out my door. It just might find its way into my stomach instead. Oh well, guess that means I'll just have to make another batch. Ah, sacrifices, sacrifices.

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Bread
(adapted from Baking Bites)

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
3 Tbsp. canola oiil
1 egg
1 1/4 c. fresh or frozen (unthawed cranberries)

Preheat oven to 500F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans.

Rub the lemon zest into the sugar until it is moistened and fragrant. Combine the lemon sugar with the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Combine the lemon juice, oil, and egg. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the cranberries, then pour the batter into the prepared pan(s).

Bake at 500F for 5 min., then immediately lower the heat to 350F. Bake for 25 min. more or until loaves test done. Cool on a rack for 15 min. Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.

This recipe is linked to:
My Meatless Mondays
Just Another Meatless Monday
Midnight Maniac's Meatless Monday
Make it Sweet Monday
Make a Food "e" Friend Monday
Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Delectable Tuesday
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesdays
Rook 17 - A Little Birdie Told Me
Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays
Let's Break Bread Together
Sweet Tooth Friday
What's Cookin' in the Kitchen
Themed Bakers Sunday

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweets for a Saturday #10

Wow, I can't believe this is the 10th Sweets for a Saturday. I estimate that there must have been at least 2000 sweet treats linked up in the past weeks. That is a lot! But, there is always room for more. So, here's your Top 5 from last week (or rather Top 6 since there was a tie for 5th place) and, after that, you know what to do - bring on the sugar rush.

1. Knock-off Tagalongs - Sweet Streets

2. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes - A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock n' Roll

3. Macaroon Brownies - Kimmy's Kitchen

4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls - Let's Get Cookin'

5. Quick Cinnamon Buns - This Chick Cooks

5. Nisu - Arctic Garden Studio

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Herbed Irish Soda Bread

I just love Irish soda bread. There's nothing like it when it comes straight out of the oven all crusty on the outside and warm and tender on the inside. It always makes for a delicious breakfast.

Lately, however, I've been playing around with different versions of the recipe. I've used cinnamon, blueberries, and even pumpkin. But, this time, I wanted a savory bread. So, after a little experimentation, this is what I came up with - an Herbed Irish Soda Bread. To get the flavor I wanted, I used some no-salt all-purpose seasoning (ex: Mrs. Dash). I also added some red pepper flakes for a little heat.

The resulting bread was fantastic. It was almost like eating an herbed biscuit and would probably go great with a bowl of soup. I will definitely make this again and again.

Herbed Irish Soda Bread
(created by Lisa of Sweet as Sugar Cookies)

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose and half bread flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. no-salt herb seasoning (ex: Mrs. Dash)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or less if you don't want it too spicy)
1 1/4 c. buttermilk (or milk + 1 Tbsp. vinegar)

Preheat the oven to 500F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Add the milk gradually and mix until a nice dough has formed. Turn it out onto a lightly floured baking sheet and form into a round loaf. Using a knife, cut an "x" in the top.

Bake at 500F for 5 min. After the 5 min. are up, immediately lower the heat to 375F and continue baking for 20-25 min. more.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Orange Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

I absolutely love baking bread. I suppose I'm a little odd, but I take great delight when I see my yeast bubble and foam or a beautiful lump of dough all doubled in size. All these things just hint at the yummy bread that will soon be baking up in my oven.

This time, I decided to try a sweet bread and boy what a sweet bread it was. I've been seeing a recipe for Lemon Pull-Apart Bread and really wanted to try it, but lemons are not exactly on sale right now. I soon got to thinking that an orange version might work. Then, to my absolute glee, that is exactly what appeared on Lizzy's blog, "That Skinny Chick Can Bake." Her pictures were all I needed to see and I decided to proceed, full steam ahead.

I will tell you in advance that this recipe does take a lot of time, effort, and preparation. It also caused me a little stress because I once again decided to try rolling it out on waxed paper. You would think I'd have learned my lesson from when I made cinnamon rolls. Word to the wise, it doesn't matter how much you flour the waxed paper, in the end it will still STICK. A cookie sheet or your counter is probably a much better idea. I also forgot to grease my bread pan, so halfway through the second rising, I began sticking an oiled knife into the sides, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best. Luckily, the bread still popped out in the end.

But, is all of this worth it? Of course it is!!! In the end, you will be rewarded with this soft brioche type bread in which every piece is infused with a delicious orange flavor. And do not even think about skipping the cream cheese icing on top. It is an absolute must!!! It takes everything up to the next level and will truly make your bread the piece de resistance of any table.

Believe me, this is one of the ultimate breads. One bite and you will swoon. You may want to shout about it from the rooftops. Okay, maybe not cause then you'd have to share. But, your tastebuds will definitely do a little happy dance

Orange Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

(adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake)

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/3 c. fat-free milk
1/4 c. salted butter
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. grated orange zest
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (I just used all orange zest)

Cream Cheese Icing:
3 oz. cream cheese (I used 4 oz. cream cheese)
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. orange juice

Grease a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 inches).

Heat milk and butter just in microwave or on stove until butter melts. Add water, then allow to cool till just warm (110-115F). Add the yeast and 2 tsp. sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 5 min. Add the vanilla.

Combine the flour and the rest of the sugar. Add to the yeast mixture and mix till flour is just moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, beating till incorporated. Add 1/2 c. flour and mix till dough is smooth. Add 2 Tbsp. flour and mix till smooth.

Lightly flour a work surface and knead dough for about a minute. Add the last 2 Tbsp. flour if dough is too sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat, cover, and let rise in a warm place till doubled, about 1 hour.

Rub the orange zest into the sugar until it is orange and fragrant. Combine with the melted butter and set aside.

Punch down the dough and roll into a 12x20 inch rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the filling on the dough. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 5 strips, each 12x4 inches (use a ruler to get this as accurate as possible). Carefully stack the strips on top of each other, so you have a stack of five 12x4 inch rectangles.

Cut this stack into 6 equal rectangles, each 2 inches wide. Carefully place each of these smaller stacks into the loaf pan, cut side up. Cover and let rise in a warm spot till doubled, about 45 min.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 30-45 min. (mine took 30 min.). Cool on rack about 10-15 min., then remove from pan to rack to continue cooling.

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar till smooth. Add the milk and juice and mix till combined. Ice warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This recipe is linked to:
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
Rook 17
Full Plate Thursday
Fat Camp Friday
Sweet Tooth Friday
What's Cookin' in the Kitchen
Your Recipes My Kitchen
Let's Break Bread Together
Themed Bakers' Sunday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sweets for a Saturday #9

As always, a big thank you to all those who linked up last week. Your treats were all amazing and I loved looking through them. Of course, there can only be 5 who make it to the top of the list, and these were the ones that caught your attention. Here they are:

Pretzel Chocolate Chip and Caramel Cookies - The Alchemist

2. Caramello Bars - Making Memories with Your Kids

3. Rainbow Cookies - Munchkin Munchies

4. Elmo Cupcakes - An A For Effort

5. Krispy Kreme Brownies - The Traveling Spoon

Now it's your turn once again to show your stuff and make others swoon.

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

French Bread

Suddenly I'm on a bread baking kick and this time, I decided to finally try my hand at French Bread. I have to admit, my loaf is not as pretty as I would have liked it to be. Somehow, it got a little crooked. I also realized that I should have made the slashes longer, if only for that great popped open effect on the top.

But, once it was sliced, it was a different story. The crust was thick, chewy, and crunchy, the bread inside was soft and fluffy, and boy did it ever taste good.

If I had known it was this easy to make, I would have done it long ago. Oh well, at least now I'll have a future full of yummy bread, and that's not a bad thing at all.

French Bread (adapted from Allrecipes)

6 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. warm water (110F)
1 tsp. sugar (I added this)
1 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. water

Combine the yeast with the 2 c. warm water and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 min. Combine 2 cups flour with the salt. Add this to the yeast mixture. Beat until well blended using a mixer or a spoon. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (I ended up using 5-5 1/2 c. flour total). Knead for about 8-10 min. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 min. Roll each half tightly into a large rectangle. Roll up from the long side. Moisten edges with water and seal. Taper ends.

Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 Tbsp. water. Brush onto the loaves. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, about 35-40 min.

With a very sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts about 1/4" deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 20 min. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15-20 min., or until bread tests done (mine took about 15 min.). If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is linked to:
What's Cooking Wednesday

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sugar Donut Muffins (aka Poofs) and CSN Winner

These little breakfast treats are usually found under a variety of names. Some call them Donut Muffins, others call them French Breakfast Puffs. But, I hereby rename mine as Breakfast Poofs due to their domed hi-hat shape.

I suppose you're wondering how they got that way. Well, I learned this trick from another blogger where you preheat your oven to 500F and then bake your muffins at that temperature for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes are up, you immediately lower the temperature to 350F and continue baking until the muffins are done. Baking them at the higher temperature immediately causes the tops of the muffins to rise super high, leading to the little domed shape (or as my sister described them, "they look like little mushrooms").

Of course, I did notice that other bloggers' breakfast puffs did not look like this. Theirs were nice and even on the tops. I began to think that maybe theirs was the better and more correct way to go about this recipe, but well, my family likes them like this, so Poofs they will stay now and forever.

In the end, the way it looks doesn't really matter because they tasted awesome. Soft, cakey, moist and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness. I took Reeni's advice and used a cinnamon-sugar mixture for some and a plain sugar mixture for the others. Both versions were equally delicious and have now become a family favorite of ours.

So, whether you call them donut muffins, puffs, or "poofs," I'm sure you'll enjoy them either way. After all, "what's in a name?"

CSN Giveaway Winner!!! Congratulations to Jenn of Eat Cake for Dinner who won my $45 CSN gift certificate giveaway.

Donut Muffins (adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 500F. Lightly grease mini muffin tins with cooking spray, vegetable oil, or butter.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and egg until light in color. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and add to the egg mixture. Stir to combine. Add the vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla.

Fill each mini muffin cup with a tablespoon of batter (about 3/4 full). Bake for 5 min. After the 5 min. are up, immediately lower the temperature to 350F and continue baking until the muffins test done, about 5-7 min. more.

While muffins are baking, melt the butter and pour the 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl. When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter (or you can lightly dip them into the butter) and roll in the sugar.

For the cinnamon-sugar version: Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1 Tbsp. cinnamon.

Makes about 32 mini muffins

Note: If you'd rather not have the little "poof" at the top, simply bake the muffins at 350F until they test done. I will say that they would probably be easier to coat in the sugar mixture if they were flatter at the top.

This recipe is linked to:
Meatless Mondays
Midnight Maniac's Meatless Mondays
Just Another Meatless Monday
Made It On Monday
Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Hearth and Soul Hop
Tasty Tuesdays
Rook 17

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweets for a Saturday #8

Well, this has certainly been one of those hectic weeks. I've been searching and applying for jobs every day. Then, on Thursday night, there was a tsunami warning here in Hawaii so we had to evacuate. This time, the tsunami actually did come. Thankfully, although the water came inland, it stopped about a block away from our house.

At least there's the weekend when I can have a sweet reprieve browsing through the delicious goodies that all of you make. And to kick this week's Sweets for a Saturday off, I bring you last week's Top 5:

1. Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake - A Well-Seasoned Life

2. Luck O' The Irish Brownies - Let's Get Cookin'

3. How to Make an Ice Cream Cake - Julie's Sweet Shack

4. The Best Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake - Nancy Creative

5. Penuche Fudge - Dreaming of White Chocolate

Aren't they all just yummy? But, that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's now time for all of you to share your stuff. And, judging from what I've already seen on your blogs this week, it's gonna be one scrumptious weekend.

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies

Get a load of this!!!

Mmm, peanut butter and chocolate. Can there really be a better combination than this? Not if you ask my sister. She can't get enough of it. So, I went on a search for a great treat that she'd love.

I went immediately to Katrina's site, Baking and Boys. She has so many scrumpdiddlyumptious treats on her blog that I literally wanted to make them all. Of course, that's not possible. But, I did have all the ingredients to make the Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies, so that rose to the top of the list.

Now, I've had peanut butter swirled brownies before, but this tops them all. The peanut butter mixture that's dolloped and swirled on top just melds with the brownies underneath giving you these delicious bites of peanut buttery goodness along with all that yummy fudginess (and by golly, I am a fudgy brownie person). After eating one of these, my sister she said that she doesn't think she can ever go back to eating "plain" old brownies after this. Yeah, they're that good.

If you haven't already, there's still time to enter my giveaway for a $45 CSN gift certificate. Click HERE to enter.

Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies (from Baking and Boys and Betty Crocker)

Peanut Butter Mixture:
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. flour
2 eggs

1 box brownie mix (9x13 family size)
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. water
2 eggs
1/2 c. peanut butter chips (I left these out)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 pan with nonstick foil, or spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine sugar, peanut butter, flour, and eggs. Mix on medium speed 2 min. and set aside.

Stir together the brownie mix, water, oil, and eggs. Spread evenly in baking pan. Drop peanut butter mixture by tablespoonfuls onto brownie batter. Sprinkle peanut butter chips around as well (if desired). Swirl through batter with knife. Bake for 40 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min., remove from baking pan using edges of foil, and cool completely on wire rack.

This recipe is linked to:

Friday Potluck

Recipes I Can't Wait to Try

Monday, March 7, 2011

Honeybear Brownies

I saw this recipe for Honeybear Brownies on Anna's Cookie Madness website and thought it sounded really interesting. After all, it's not every day that you see "honey" listed as an ingredient in brownies. I decided to give them a try.

The brownies are definitely unlike any other brownie I've ever tasted. They're cakey and the honey flavor was quite strong on the first day. It then mellowed out the day after and blended better with the chocolate. Still, I'm not sure that I'd make these again. Although they were tasty, the honey made them seem a little too sweet for me and I guess I'm just more of a fudgy brownie type of person. But, if you're looking for something different, then maybe these are just the thing for you.

Honeybear Brownies
(adapted from Cookie Madness)

1/3 c. salted butter
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. honey
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch metal pan with foil and grease foil or line with parchment.

Beat butter and sugar together in a small bowl using an electric mixer. Beat in the honey and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg.

Combine flour and cocoa. By hand (so as not to overbeat), stir the flour mixture into the batter.

Spread the batter in the pan going all the way to the edges. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until brownies test done.

Let cool completely in pan before slicing.

This recipe is linked to:

My Sweet and Savory's Meatless Mondays

Just Another Meatless Monday

Midnight Maniac's Meatless Mondays

Hearth and Soul Hop

Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesdays

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays

Tuesdays at the Table

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sweets for a Saturday #7

Hope you're all having a great weekend. I promise you that things are about to get a whole lot sweeter with this week's Sweets for a Saturday #7.

By the way, I'm holding a giveaway for a $45 CSN gift certificate and you won't want to miss out on this. Click HERE to enter.

And now . . . here are your Top 5 from last week:

1. Caramel Butter Bars - Domestic Sugar

2. The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever - The Boys Made Me Do It

3. Vanilla Blueberry Cupcakes - Big Mama's Home Kitchen

4. Cowboy Cake - Adventures of a Wanna Be Country Girl

5. Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake - Big Mama's Home Kitchen

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

$45 CSN Giveaway

I'm so excited. I have now passed the 500 followers mark and, to celebrate, I have another great CSN giveaway for all of you!

If you haven't heard of CSN yet, you really should check them out. They have an incredible selection of things for your kitchen, including all sorts of cookware by Le Creuset.


One lucky Sweet as Sugar Cookies reader will win a $45 CSN Gift Certificate to spend on anything they choose at ANY of CSN's 200+ stores!

Open to residents of U.S. and Canada (sorry, no international entries due to shipping constraints). Winner will be chosen by and announced soon after the contest ends. Winner will be notified by e-mail. Winner then has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. If your e-mail address is not included in your Google profile, please make sure to include it in each of your entries. Any entry that does not follow these rules will be deleted.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit CSN Stores and tell me something you might buy if you win this giveaway. If you do not complete the mandatory entry first, all your other entries will not count.

EXTRA ENTRIES: To qualify for extra entries, you must complete the Mandatory entry. Please leave a comment for each one.
  • Follow my blog on Google reader (1 entry - old followers count too, just say so in your comment)
  • "Like" Sweet as Sugar Cookies on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Subscribe to my blog (1 entry)
  • Tweet about this contest. Please leave the tweet status in your comment. (can be done daily)
  • Link up to Sweets for a Saturday this weekend and tell me what you linked up. (1 entry)
Contest ends Sunday March 13 at 11:59pm PST. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No-Knead Bread

I have finally jumped on the no-knead bread wagon and am loving the ride. It's almost like magic how you can use so little yeast, leave the dough on your counter, and then wind up with a loaf of bread that looks like it came from a bakery. Crusty on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, I guarantee you will fall in love with this bread. My family consumed slice after slice and then proceeded to "order" several more loaves from me. I feel like a bakery already.

No-Knead Bread (from the New York Times)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. bread flour
1/4 tsp. yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 5/8 c. water

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 min.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel an dust with more flour, bran, or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 400F. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot or ceramic baking dish in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove it from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is okay. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15-30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

This recipe is linked to:
Rook 17
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
Recipe Swap Thursday
Friday Potluck
Fat Camp Fridays

Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent
What's Cookin' in the Kitchen