Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

fuyu-persimmon-crumble2

Recently, one of my customers gave me a bunch of Fuyu persimmons from her tree. Best tip ever. Fuyu Persimmons are delicious!

There are basically two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons must be very, very ripe before they can be consumed. Non-astringent persimmons can be eaten when firm. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent. They have a taste and texture similar to pears and apples. They are  great eaten raw, in salads, and in salsas. They are also delicious baked into pies or crumbles.  

persimmons

Cinnamon and pistachios compliment the flavor of persimmons, so I wanted to incorporate them into this recipe. The persimmons I had were very sweet, so I didn’t have to add much sugar. Feel free to adjust the sweetness level based on how your fruit tastes. I served this crumble with some whipped cream. So good.

fuyu-persimmon-crumble

Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

6 Fuyu persimmons,
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut off the stem end of the persimmons. Peel and cut each in half. Slice each half and place pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the persimmons and mix well. Place in a small oiled baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, chopped pistachios, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Hard Root Beer Bread

Hard Root Beer Bread 2

I bought some hard root beer not too long ago and wasn’t crazy about it. I still had some left over and didn’t want it to go to waste. I had success making a quick bread with hard apple cider, so I thought I would give making bread with the hard root beer a try. It turned out great! It smelled and tasted just like root beer and didn’t have the funky beer aftertaste. It was a big hit with the family.

Root Beer Bread

Hard Root Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1  12 oz. bottle hard root beer (I used Not Your Father’s Root Beer) at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the hard root beer and stir until just combined.

Spray a bread loaf pan with cooking spray, then pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 375º for 45 minutes. Cool completely before removing the loaf from the bread pan to slice.

Hard Root Beer Bread 3


Easy Dinner Rolls

Easy Dinner Rolls

Many years ago, I got some free samples of Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe cards in the mail and this recipe was included. I have been making these rolls ever since.

These rolls are super easy to make, especially since you don’t have to knead the dough. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 4 days, so it is easy enough to bake just enough for the night’s dinner and use the remaining dough to bake fresh rolls for the next few nights.

Easy Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
2 packages active dry yeast (do not use quick rising yeast)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Let the mixture stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Stir in melted butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Mix in flour one cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be used). Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.

Grease a 13 X 9-inch baking pan. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball; place balls in even rows in the prepared pan. Cover and let dough balls rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Easy Dinner Rolls Rising 2

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.


Chocolate Yellow Squash Cake

Chocolate Yellow Squash Cake 2

I might have been slightly delirious when I came up with the idea to hide some yellow squash in chocolate cake. At the time, I was knee deep in squash from my CSA. I was a little desperate to find new ways to use it. I had success using yellow squash in Yellow Squash Cornbread and in Summer Squash Bread, so I was pretty sure I could pull it off in chocolate cake.

Chocolate Yellow Squash Cake

Oh my gosh, it was so good, y’all! I was super happy with the result. It was moist and chocolatety. So delicious! You could not tell the cake had squash in it aside from the little flecks of yellow squash on top of the cake after it was baked. The frosting totally covered it up, so problem solved. My 4 year old had no idea. He loved it. My 14 year old son wouldn’t try it (extremely picky eater) because he heard me telling my husband of my plans to use squash in the cake. His loss. The Yellow Squash Cake was awesome!

RECIPE UPDATE: I had someone comment that I must have forgotten the eggs in this recipe since her batter was very dry. There are no eggs in this recipe. The squash releases it’s moisture and it should come together in the end. My cake turned out very moist, although a little more dense than most cakes. I’m sure several factors (humidity, moisture content of the squash, etc…) could make this cake dry.  Make sure you firmly pack the squash into the measuring cup to ensure you get enough squash in the batter to make it moist. Do not decrease the amount of oil or sugar. The batter should not be dry and crumbly or super thick (as in, if you have to press the batter into the pan, something is wrong). If you felt like you need to add 2 eggs, go ahead. The result would probably be a lighter cake.  If you still have a problem with dry, crumbly batter, then try mixing in a liquid (milk or water) a tablespoon at a time until the batter is at a thick, but pourable (with the help of a spatula) consistency.

Chocolate Yellow Squash Cake 3

Chocolate Yellow Squash Cake

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 firmly packed cups shredded yellow squash

1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan

In a large bow, mix together the oil, sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the oil and sugar mixture. Fold in the shredded yellow squash. Your batter should be thick, but pourable with the help of a spatula. If your batter is dry and crumbly, try adding a little milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the batter comes together. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream the butter in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat until it all comes together and is a spreadable consistency. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

 


Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake Piece

This cake makes me homesick for Texas. It’s a classic. And no, you cannot substitute any other nuts for the pecans. : ) My kids won’t eat anything with nuts, so if I’m feeling nice I will make the cake and only put the pecans on half the cake. The cake still tastes good, but it is not the same.

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 butter
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 2 teaspoons lemon juice and enough milk to make 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Spray a 13 X 9-inch pan with cooking spray and dust with 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Combine the water, butter, and cocoa in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Add to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs; beating well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool.

For the frosting, combine the butter, milk, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Spread over the hot cake. Sprinkle the cake with the chopped pecans. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

You can bake this cake on a 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Just cut the baking time to about 17 minutes.


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Yesterday, my 4 year old kept asking me to make a chocolate cake. He loves getting in the kitchen with me and whipping up baked goods. I am still on a low iodine diet (LID) for an upcoming medical treatment and cannot have dairy products or whole eggs. Fortunately, I have a little knowledge about vegan baking. We made these cupcakes that not only were vegan, but also acceptable for LID. Win!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 cup water

Chocolate Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
warm water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 tins with baking cups.

Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Divide the batter between the 12 baking cup-lined tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze. Combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of warm water at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. I used about 4 tablespoons of water.

When the cupcakes are cooled, top them with the chocolate glaze. I used about a tablespoon of glaze on each cupcake.


Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

This is another dangerous (in a good way) recipe because I almost always have the ingredient to make these gluten-free cookies on hand. Luckily, this makes a small batch so I don’t have to feel guilty about baking cookies.

Coconut Macaroons (2)

Coconut Macaroons

1 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Drop by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Variation: Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (or similar dried fruit) to the ingredients before baking.

Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cranberries (640x480)