Orange Date Pecan Loaf

Friday, February 17, 2017

I used whole-wheat flour rather then all-purpose flour in this recipe and it turned out wonderfully! This recipe also works well with dryer dates as they soak in the water and rehydrate.  

Orange Date Pecan Loaf adapted from Barefoot Contessa

2 cups dates, chopped
1/3 cup water
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Add the dates and water to a small bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Line a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. 

In a another bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar with an electric beater until smooth. About 1 minute. Add in the egg, vanilla and zest. Combine.

Gradually, add the dry ingredients alternating with the orange juice. Do not overmix. Fold in the pecans and dates with the soaking water. 

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Jam Filled Almond Cookies

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My valentine has a certain weakness for butter cookies. More often then not when I ask him what I should bake next his reply is always "butter cookies"! Since Valentine's Day is only a few days away I thought I could satisfy my valentine's love for butter cookies with this easy almond butter cookie recipe.

Almond Cookies adapted from Mat Riley Bakes

200g all-purpose flour
150 unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
100g icing sugar
1 tsp almond extract

In a small bowl, sift together the flour and icing sugar. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter for 30 seconds and add the egg yolk and extract and combine. This is best done with an electric mixer. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until it comes together and can be formed into a ball.

Transfer dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment on top and roll out to a 1/4' thickness. Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat over to 350 F. Take the dough from the fridge and cut out the bottoms and tops for the cookies. I used a linzer cookie cutter from Amazon. 
Place the cookies onto a lined cookie tray and put back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookies. Cool.
Once cooled spoon 1/2 tsp raspberry jam into the centre of the cookie base. Dust the heart cookie with icing sugar before placing on top of jam base.

These cookies soften once filled with jam so best to store them in the fridge.

Lemon Yogurt Loaf

Friday, February 10, 2017

With the snow behind us, I am turning my attention to spring! I can see my tulips starting to come up and hopefully the daffodils are not too far behind!

The bright burst of lemon in this loaf is perfect way to welcome spring!

Lemon Yogurt Cake adapted from Barefoot Contessa

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 C. 

Line a 8 1/2 by 4/1/2 by 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides with butter. 

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs and lemon zest. Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry. Combine. Fold in the oil until fully incorporated. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the loaf is baking, in a small saucepan combine the lemon juice and icing sugar. Cook until the mixture is clear. 

Once the loaf is done, let it cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Poke holes with a toothpick on the top and drizzle lemon and sugar mixture over the loaf.