Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Every year, come autumn, my obsession with apples hits me like a ton of bricks. Last fall, my friends knew that if they came over, they would be greeted with apples in some form of baked good - apple chai cake, apple pie cookies, apple pear crisps, apple oat muffins...my experimentations were endless. More often than not, though, I fell back on apple chai cake and made it for every potluck, party, and holiday celebration I went to. While I will always love apple chai cake and I have very fond memories of our time together, I felt suffocated in our monogomous relationship and decided that I wanted to play the field a little bit. Don't worry - apple chai cake let me know that it will always be around if I need something reliable I can depend on.
But enough about apple chai cake. This cake involves a cake batter made with brown butter and infused with maple syrup, layered in a loaf pan with chunks of cinnamon-coated apples. It has the most amazingly tender crumb, and a deep, toasty flavor, thanks to the brown butter (and for all my talk about my apple obsession, probably 25% of my posts involve brown butter. How's that for an obsession?).
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups flour, sifted (sift before measuring!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
Brown the butter in a small saucepan - click here for a tutorial. Set aside to cool.
Peel, core, and chop apples into 1-inch chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk together the brown butter, sugar, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in eggs one at a time.
Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Scatter half of the apples over the batter. Pour the rest of the batter over the apples, and top with the rest of the apples - drizzle the juices from the apples over the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, white sugar, and vegetable oil together. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Scoop the dough with a tablespoon, and roll into balls with your palms. It helps to lightly oil your palms with vegetable oil, so that the dough doesn't stick to your hands so much. Word to the wise - do not spray your hands with Pam, because you'll definitely be able to taste it in the finished product. Roll each ball of dough in powdered sugar before placing them onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.