Posted in Breakfast, Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts, Muffins, Scones, and other Pastries, tagged Breakfast, cake, orange, pecans on January 2, 2013 |
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Are you one to make New Year’s resolutions? I like to look at the new year as an opportunity to reflect on goals that I have for myself, rather than making strict resolutions. This year, when I think about what I’d like to accomplish, the theme is consistency. I’d like to consistently exercise at least 3 (well preferably 5 but I’m trying to be realistic ) times each week. I’d like to be more consistent with devoting time to this blog and posting regularly. Most importantly, I want to remember to enjoy each day, because although the individual moments of the day have their ups and downs, we need to cherish the time we spend with family and friends.
What do I not plan to do once 2013 is here? Stop baking delicious treats, because consistency also means balance and enjoying a little something sweet each day. This pecan-sour cream coffee cake was a great way to ring in the new year with something sweet. The pecans are toasted, finely ground, and then mixed into both the cake batter and a streusel layer throughout the middle of the cake. An orange glaze adds just the right touch of sweetness to finish off the coffee cake.
Pecan-Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Orange Glaze
Makes 12 to 16 servings
For the streusel:
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and ground fine*
For the cake:
- 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups sour cream
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and ground fine
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Zest of one orange
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
- Make the streusel: Combine the flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a small bowl and set aside.
- Make the cake: Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray or grease with softened butter.
- Whisk the eggs, sour cream, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pecans until combined. Add the butter pieces and half of the egg mixture and carefully beat on low speed until the mixture begins to come together, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining egg mixture, and beat on medium speed until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes (scrape down the sides of the bowl again as needed).
- Pour 5 cups of the batter into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth the surface. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter and then cover with the remaining batter, spreading it evenly.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 50-60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and orange juice together in a medium bowl. Using a fork or small whisk, drizzle the glaze over the cake. Enjoy!
*Note: You’ll also need 1/2 cup toasted, cooled, finely ground pecans for the cake batter. Be sure to toast them and grind them all at once to save time. A food processor works well for grinding the pecans; grind them until they are sandy and fine, but do not overprocess or they will form a paste and clump together.
**Make ahead note: The unglazed cake can be cooled completely, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw the cake, still wrapped, at room temperature, then remove the plastic wrap and glaze.
Source: Slightly adapted from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen, 2007.
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This pound cake was my first baking project after William was born. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen, especially since I wasn’t able to enjoy sweets while pregnant (and therefore didn’t bake much). The other day, William was fed and napping and I was feeling up to it, so I made this ricotta orange pound cake.
I’ve enjoyed a couple of slices of this cake with a morning cup of coffee, but it’s actually more of a dessert treat than a breakfast treat. It’s incredibly rich and buttery, with a delicious orange flavor. The cake would make a great dessert topped with some fresh strawberries. I’d recommend macerating the strawberries to bring out their juices, by sprinkling them with a little sugar and then letting them sit for a few hours so that they become sweet and syrupy. Or do what I’ve been doing the past few days and just grab a small slice here and there to snack on.
One year ago: Blueberry Smoothie
Ricotta Orange Pound Cake
Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf
For the pound cake:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract or 2 tbsp. Amaretto
- Zest of 1 orange
For the orange syrup:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, almond extract (or Amaretto), and orange zest and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack. Place a sheet of parchment paper below the rack.
- While the loaf is cooling, make the orange syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the orange juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with orange syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
Source: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, originally adapted from Food Network.
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Cranberry Orange Muffins
Lately Julia has really gotten excited about helping me in the kitchen. This week we decided to bake some cranberry orange muffins. Julia loves to help scoop the flour and sugar into the measuring cups, and give her a spoon or whisk and she is an expert mixer.
These muffins were especially fun to bake together because they required us to make freshly squeezed orange juice. Ever since she was little, my plastic hand juicer has been one of her favorite “toys.” That little orange and yellow juicer has provided her with hours of fun, taking it apart, putting it back together, so you can imagine how much she enjoyed using it to juice some real oranges. (Funny how random things around the house are always much more fun than the toys we buy for our kids!)
These muffins are a delicious way to use the fresh cranberries available this time of year. They have a sweetness that is nicely balanced by the tart cranberries, and just a hint of orange flavor. If you want, you can add some toasted walnuts to the batter, or glaze the baked muffins with a mixture of orange juice, powdered sugar, and orange zest. I, however, loved them just the way they are.
One year ago: Chewy, Chunky Blondies
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Makes about 2 dozen muffins
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/2-2 cups cranberries, halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two muffin tins with non-stick spray of muffin liners.
- Whisk together the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl.
- Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until the flour is incorporated.
- Fold the cranberries into the batter.
- Spoon batter into the muffin pans, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
- Bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with moist crumbs attached.
- Cool muffins in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally adapted from The Pastry Queen.
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I have a hard time resisting a good breakfast pastry, and scones are high up on my list of favorite breakfast treats. I have found that you are either a scone person or you are not. Some complain of scones being dry, and while that can be the case, it is not always true. (And, I don’t even mind the dry ones.)
These cranberry scones are some of the best scones I’ve had. They have a light, buttery texture with just the right amount of tartness from the cranberries. They are dusted with a little extra sugar before baking, giving the top crust of the scones a bit of extra sweetness. I like to enjoy one of these cranberry scones with a cup of coffee as a morning snack. It just brings a little sunshine into my day. Enjoy!
Makes 8-10 scones
- 1½ tablespoons freshly grated lemon or orange zest (I used orange)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 3 tbsp. sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1¼ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Additional sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the orange zest, flour, ½ cup of sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend. Add in the cold butter pieces and use a pastry blender to work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter pieces are no larger than peas. (Alternatively, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor to work in the butter.)
- In a small bowl, toss together the chopped cranberries and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir this into the flour-butter mixture.
- In another small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine the egg, egg yolk and heavy cream; whisk to blend. Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Knead gently to be sure the dough is evenly mixed, being careful not to overwork the dough.
- Place a 2½- or 3-inch round biscuit cutter on the lined baking sheet. Scoop some of the dough inside the cutter and pat down gently to form a 1-inch thick round. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the rounds 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet. (I do not have a biscuit cutter, so I just spooned mounds of dough onto the baking sheet and gently flattened them a bit.) Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven until light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Make-ahead note: You can freeze the scones before baking by placing the unbaked scones on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe zip-top bag and store in the freezer until ready to bake. You will only have to increase the baking time by a few minutes. Alternatively, you can freeze the baked scones and defrost at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from Smitten Kitchen
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