Archive | November, 2012

Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Icing

22 Nov

I could lie right now and try selling you on these doughnuts by talking about how they’re baked doughnuts.

I won’t.

They’re baked…that is a cold hard fact.

The fact that they’re baked, however, should not completely cancel out any guilt or shame post consumption.

It’s the icing.

There’s some hardcore icing on these guys…

Browned butter: have you ever smelled anything better than that? It makes me want to live in it. Bathe in it.

Hey, it could be worse. They COULD also be deep fried.

There’s also a healthy dose of grated milk chocolate on top.

I ate one and my head exploded. Ok that’s a lie. The truth is I ate one and my mind was blown.

These are so good.

These are addictive.

These are dangerous.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe.

You’ll thank me. Or hate me. But you can’t lie and tell me they’re not mind bogglingly good.

If you don’t have a doughnut pan, these will easily work in muffin tins! You’re welcome.

Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Icing.

adapted from Shutterbean

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3ish bananas)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla and the oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon the batter about three-quarters full into two greased doughnut pans. Bake at 350F until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out dry, 14 to 16 minutes; let cool completely on a rack.

Brown Butter Icing

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
2 cups icing sugar
4 to 5 teaspoons boiling hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the butter is lightly browned (you will see little flecks of brown throughout the melted butter when it is properly browned). Remove it from the stove and pour it into a bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add 3 teaspoons of the water and the vanilla. Whisk in more powdered sugar a little at a time until it thick but still pourable (add a teaspoon or two of additional water, if needed). Place paper towels under the cooling rack and proceed to dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze. Let the excess drip off and place back on the cooling rack. Be sure to grate milk chocolate on top for good measure


Flourless Walnut Date Cake

14 Nov

Gluten-free desserts seem to be less of a specialty and more of a commodity; there are so many people with a gluten intolerance and Celiac’s disease is more prevalent in our society. Restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries are all taking initiative and offering gluten-free options for those leading a gluten-free lifestyle: progress!

Don’t get me started on why I think there are more and more people who are sensitive to wheat products. I feel that it has a lot to do with how our food is processed and the quality of product coming from our farms. Our food isn’t what it used to be: there are so many preservatives and unnatural ingredients that are being incorporated into what we consume, it’s no wonder our bodies are having difficulty digesting what we eat.


I happened to have bought a big bag of walnuts on a whim. They’ve been sitting in my freezer just aching to be dealt with. I threw a few into some oatmeal cookies (stay tuned), but I was still left with a substantial amount.

As a Jew (I use the term as loosely as I can considering I’m not a very good one) I grew up eating flourless cakes during passover where the use of flour (among other things) is forbidden. I remember them being light and nutty, and rather scrumptious!

This is why I decided that it was time to make a walnut date cake. I’m sure that’s the conclusion any normal individual would come to…

It’s the eggs in this recipe that help the cake rise. Ground walnuts give it body. The dates are there just because they were invited. There’s a chocolate glaze on top for good measure.

Gluten free dieter? Bake this cake. Are you a gluten eater? So am I. You should still bake and consume this cake. It’s delicious and there is very little sugar, no butter or oil….unless you count the glaze but that can easily be omitted or substituted.

It’s a winner. I might even say that I’m NUTS about it. (I’m sorry)

Just make sure you like walnuts! Other nuts can be substituted.

Flourless Walnut Date Cake

3 cups walnut halves

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

For the glaze

2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoon unsalted butter (or coconut oil)

1 teaspoon honey

Toasted walnuts, for topping


Put the walnuts, cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely ground but not powdery.

Whisk the egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl until foamy. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until soft peaks form for about 8 minutes. Fold in the yolk mixture and dates, then fold in the ground walnut mixture. Scrape the batter into a 9 inch greased spring form pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

Put the chocolate, butter and honey in a saucepan until butter is melted. Whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, then pour over the cake. Top with walnuts.

Cranberry Pound Cake

9 Nov

This one time, I decided I was going to be true to the origin of pound cakes and make a pound cake:

A pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. No leavening agents (bakers relied on the air incorporated into the batter for rising).

If you do a little research into the history of pound cakes, you will discover that pound cakes were geared towards making a recipe easy to remember. Equal parts of each ingredient? Yes, easy to make!

Traditional pound cakes were also very large and dense…enough to share with several families.

I didn’t have to read anything to acquire that information. There was a lot of cake. It was very large. It was very dense. Did I mention there was a lot of cake? I ate cake for a long time. I thrust containers of cake into the arms of everyone I knew.

That was years ago. I’ve since learned, that modern day pound cakes are the way to go. Modern day pound cake for modern day people.

I used brown sugar goodness in this particular recipe, along with almond extract and cranberries for good measure….what with the season being appropriate for cranberries and all things winter related.

You should make this pound cake. And then eat said pound cake. That’s what I did, anyway.

Cranberry Pound Cake

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 tsp almond extract

8 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cups cranberries , fresh or frozen

Cream together butter and sugar. Add almond extract. Add eggs one at a time, then slowly add dry ingredients. Carefully fold in cranberries.Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.