Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Buttermilk Biscuits

Everyone needs an easy, go-to biscuit recipe. I've made several biscuit recipes for the blog (Type "biscuit" in the search bar to see them all!) And, I keep coming back to this one.
It's classic, it's easy, it's flaky, and it's delicious.
All the things a good biscuit should be. 
I tend to use butter for my biscuits but you can sub shortening for an even flakier biscuit. 
Give them a try - you'll see why I use this as my go-to. I still attempt other recipes just out of curiosity BUT I'm saving this one forever, 
and ever...
and ever...
P.S. - this makes a fairly large batch but is easily halved. 

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup butter, cold (or shortening will work)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 
In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cream of tartar. 
Cut in the cold butter (or shortening) using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives. (NOTE - You can also pulse the dry ingredients and butter briefly in a food processor/blender) Mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. 
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.
Roll or pat out dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Fold the dough in half and gently press to 1 inch thickness. (Folding the dough will result in the lovely split in the biscuit so it is easy to pull apart.)
Cut out dough using a sharp edged cookie or biscuit cutter.
Re-roll the scraps to 1 inch thickness and cut out as many more biscuits as you can get. (If you re-roll more than once your biscuits will start to get tough!)

Place on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake at 450 until biscuits are risen and tops are golden brown, about 10 - 15 minutes. 
Remove from oven and serve warm or room temp.

Biscuits can be frozen and reheated and are almost as good as fresh out of the oven!

Don't forget the melty butter on top.
*so gooooood*
I got about 2 dozen biscuits out of this recipe using a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Maple Bacon Bites

Wow. It has been a long time since we've done a blog. 
Life just gets a little crazy sometimes!
Anyway.... we thought we would come back and share these crazy maple bacon treats and try to get back in the swing of things! 
Why should you try these pretty little bad boys? Well.... bacon for one. And maple for two.
I think I've made my point. 
Make these in a tiny pan for the bite sized version - or in a tart pan for a slice-able version.

Either way... you win.

Maple Bacon Bites
(Ever-so-slightly adapted from Shugary Sweets

1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, room temp
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp milk

Bacon, cooked and broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a miniature tart muffin pan with cooking spray (or tart pan - or 9 inch pan) Set aside.
Prepare base - In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla and maple. Lastly, mix in salt and flour until well combined. 
Drop evenly into mini muffin pan OR spread into prepared tart/8 inch pan. 

Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean and top is lightly brown.

Let cool 10 minutes then gently remove to completely cool on wire rack.

Let cool to room temp before preparing frosting.

Prepare frosting - In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Slowly beat in icing sugar a little at a time, maple extract, and milk. If too thick - add a little more milk. If too thin - add a little more icing sugar to get to spreadable consistency. 
Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the base.

You can make it as fancy as you like....

Now either crumble the bacon on top...

Or press a larger piece into each bite...

To fancy it up a little more (but also make it sweeter - FYI) you can drizzle a little maple syrup on top.

Totally not necessary though. It just adds a little somethin' somethin'.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you are going to make them ahead and freeze them - just leave the bacon off  and freeze them frosted. When ready to serve, top with the cooked bacon after you thaw the bites and you are good to go. 

Update - We served these adorable mini maple bacon bites at our nephew's fiance's bridal shower along with some mini scones and they were a big hit. Perfect for so many occasions! 

We're sharing at these fun linky parties - Adventures of Mel, Dizzy. Busy & Hungry, Carole's Chatter

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Eggless Honey Cake (Indian Bakery Style)

I love trying new recipes when they lead to delicious and super pretty results.
I was searching for an Indian dessert to make for a birthday at my office and a coworker found this one for me at Rak's Kitchen (HERE). 
It is a dense, yet light, sweet, but not too sweet, wonderful combinations of orange and honey and coconut. It will have you breaking out your jazz hands multiple times. 
In case I haven't convinced you to try it yet, let me just add - it is also perfect for those times you wants something a little different, plus it is super easy to make, and holds in the fridge for a couple of days very well. 

Eggless Honey Cake
(Indian Bakery Style)

2 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp orange zest
2 cans condensed milk
1 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup jam
fine coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 X 13 dish with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray, set aside. 
Prepare cake - In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and orange zest. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together condensed milk, oil, orange juice, icing sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. 
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean - about 30 or so minutes. Top will be golden brown.
Remove from oven and let completely cool. You can place it in the fridge to speed the process. 
When cool, remove the cake from the pan and place on a flat surface. Cut into squares. 

Prepare the syrup - In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together water and sugar. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes, stir very infrequently - maybe only 2 or 3 times. 
After 5 minutes, remove from heat and let sit until syrup is warm. Whisk in honey until smooth. (Don't whisk the honey into hot syrup - do it only when the syrup has cooled to warm.) 
Spoon the syrup over the cake.
Turn each piece of cake to one side and spoon more syrup over it. 
Turn each piece to the other side and, once again, spoon on a little more syrup. Repeat until all pieces have been done. 
Prepare topping - Briefly heat jam in the microwave for 20 - 30 seconds, just enough to melt it a bit. (You can also do this in a small saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes)
Using the back of a spoon (or basting brush), spread the jam over the top of the cake pieces until well coated.

Pour the finely shredded coconut into a shallow dish. Take a piece of cake and gently roll it in the coconut to coat each side.

When all pieces are coated you can serve the cake or chill, covered, until ready to serve. (I prefer it chilled)

I used plum jam but you can use whichever flavor is your favorite!

Isn't it sooooo purdy....

It tastes as good as it looks too.

You can visit Rak's Kitchen for the original version of this cake (HERE). I made some very small changes to make it a 9 X 13 and, as I studied a few videos online, I followed some of those instructions to make this version. 

Now that I have made this once I can guarantee that it will be made again and again. 
Definitely destined to become a favorite around here. 

Be sure to visit Carole's Chatter for tons of great links!!