Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Double Yum

Last week I had to bring snacks for Sunday School. I couldn't decide what I wanted to make and a single recipe usually isn't enough to feed everyone anyway, so I stopped trying to narrow it down and just went ahead and made two new recipes that I had been wanting to try.

I made Cinnamon Cappuccino Squares, a recipe I found at Brown Eyed Baker, and Pumpkin Ripple Bread, which I found at 17 and Baking. I highly recommend both of these recipes and these blogs.

Brown Eyed Baker is crammed full of wonderful recipes. Bagels, coffee cakes, cookies, muffins, cakes, you name it. If you can bake it you can find a recipe for it (not to mention pretty pictures) at Brown Eyed Baker.

17 and Baking is the amazing blog of a high school senior in Washington state. Not only are her recipes totally delicious, and ambitious for such a young baker, but her photography and especially her writing are totally incredible. You'll be so impressed after just one visit to her blog that you'll be hooked. If you have a teenager you should definitely turn them on to 17 and Baking. Elissa writes so eloquently about the struggles of teenage life and the lessons she's learned about working hard, loving her parents, trying new things and the struggle for independence and the fear of freedom.

Now....on to the recipes. I didn't have time to take any pictures Sunday morning before church so these are from the original posts. Credit has been given to the baker/photographers.

Cinnamon Cappuccino Squares

Photo courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cake:
1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
¾ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or ½ cup mini chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet and set aside.

2. Stir 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2½ teaspoons of the cinnamon and 1½ teaspoons of the espresso powder together in a small bowl.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1¼ cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of the espresso powder into the milk and warm the milk in a microwave until it is hot enough to dissolve the coffee. Cool the milk. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a homogeneous batter. Now, using the whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch, just until the butter is absorbed. You’ll have a smooth, satiny batter.

4. Scrape half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate over the batter and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top again.

5. Back for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan; a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes before unmolding it onto another rack. Peel off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.

6. To make the frosting, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring gently and often, just until they melt. Be careful not to overheat the mixture so much that it things out; the chocolate should be smooth, very shiny, thick and spreadable. 9If it thins, leave the frosting at room temperature for a bit, until it thickens a little.)

7. Using an offset metal icing spatula or a table knife, spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Allow the frosting to set at room temperature, then cut the cake into 9 squares, each about 2½ inches on a side. Wrapped in plastic, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days.

Pumpkin Ripple Bread

Photo courtesy of 17 and Baking

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounce package (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Pumpkin Bread
1 cup (110 grams) toasted pecans or walnuts [optional, I leave them out]
3 1/2 cups (450 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 – 15 ounce (425 grams) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9″x5″ pans.

For the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat the cream cheese just until smooth in a stand mixer or food processor. Add the sugar and process just until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing just until incorporated. Do not over process. Stir in the flour. Set aside.

For the Pumpkin Bread: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs until lightly beaten. Whisk in the sugar and melted butter, then stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla extract, and (optionally) nuts.

Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, being careful not to over mix. A few streaks of flour are fine. Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it between the two pans. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into each pan, then top with the remaining half of batter. Smooth the tops and bake an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool loaves to room temperature.

This post is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.


Mrs. P. said...

I'm sure you got lots of compliments on those tasty looking treats. Either would be perfect with a big cup of coffee :)


jsprik said...

these both look divine!! i am inclined to agree with mrs. p about the big cup of coffee, too!! :)