Smaller is always better – Cinnamon brioche bites

Cinnamon brioche bites

Most bakers love bite-sized things. They’re just irresistible to make. There’s something about seeing a small army of pastries, all properly lined up on baking sheets waiting for their time in the oven. And when dressing, rolling, cutting or stuffing, there’s a strange pleasure to be found in doing the same thing for each one of the small baked goods, trying to get them as even as possible. (Or maybe I’m slightly obsessive and find this satisfying…). But who can deny the appeal of a basket filled with bite-sized treats? No one. And I’ll tell you why; if you had a basket of regular-sized croissants sitting on your breakfast table, the most you could grab in one sitting, without losing face in front of your breakfasting companions, is one lonely piece. And pushing it,  you could eat half of this piece with one topping and the other with a different one. But if you have a basket full of mini-croissants… the possibilities are endless! Because no one will judge you if you spread nutella on one, take another one and smear some butter and marmalade on it, take a third one and dip it in your milk, or even if you take a fourth one to accompany a little bit of ham and cheese you had left over on your plate. That’s the beauty of bite sized. Small pastries just keep telling you to eat them because they know they’re so small that what could be the harm in just one more?  And they’re absolutely right. Such is the case with these fluffy, buttery, cinnamon stuffed mini-brioches. It’s like just eating the center of a brioche-a-tete several times over. Because once you have one you will have to have a second one and quite possibly a third one. And that’s ok. No one will judge you.
Read more for the recipe!
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Quick Treats – Baked cinnamon donuts

cinnamondonuts

If you’re a foodie like me you might relate to the both terrible and awesome experience that is visiting a cooking/gourmet store. Endless shelves of stuff that you dream of having in endless supply, molds to bake any cookie or cake imaginable, all sorts of decorations, appliances that keep you from crying as you dice onions (Ok that one doesn’t exist, but what are you waiting for inventors??) shiny new knives, bowls of every size, and every kind of spice under the sun. It’s sheer torture. The truth is you’d need a kitchen the size of a soccer stadium and a wallet the size of Bill Gates’ to be fully satisfied at such a place… but still, every time I walk out of there with even just a little bag, I feel like a kid with a brand new toy. And that’s exactly what I got, a brand new toy for making baked donuts, which are way better than regular donuts….only because they’re not fried. Its strange, but I’ve never been a fan of donuts. I think they’re just too oily, or maybe too thick…or something else entirely which I can’t exactly pinpoint. But what’s great about my new toy is that it makes medium sized donuts that don’t require tons of oil… and baked donut recipes abound in the blog-pinterest-foodgawkersphere! So the very next day from getting my toy, I found this awesome recipe at The Chic life, which will give you freshly baked donuts in under half an hour. Yup, that’s right. You can bake them pre-breakfast! Because nothing compares to having a just baked, quick, easy delicious treat to accompany your morning coffee. Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

Your cup of tea – Pear-cinnamon muffins

pearmuffins1

It’s rainy season (or hurricane season if you count the last three days) around here. Which means it’s tea time with a book season. Which in turn means it’s muffin, pound cake, cookies, crumpets and any other pastry you like to have with your tea season. (I’m actually lying. Cookie season is year round) And when you add to the weather tons of gifts of fruit because your friends who own fruit trees have way too much of it, you end up with muffins everyday. Assorted, too. Apple, banana, figs, or in this case, pears. This recipe will give you a simple, homey, spice-y and full of pear little cake. Made all the better by a creamy vanilla glaze, which has become my favorite when glazing fluffy baked goods. (like here) So, if you’re feeling like a quick treat to accompany you rainy afternoon, go and read more for the recipe!

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Peace and quiet – Apple cinnamon pound cake

Apple and cinnamon pound cake

I can’t remember when I was little and I came home tired from school to find that delicious smell of apple pie in the oven and finding my mom in an apron with a tall glass of cold milk and a big smile on her face. Mainly because my mom never baked apple pie, doesn’t like milk and she was rarely around when I came home from school (she did wear aprons though, and she cooked a lot, hence the me). So whenever I have apple pie-cake/chocolate cookies/glasses of cold milk, I pretend I do have that nonexistent memory, simply because it appears to be something that everyone has in spite of rarely anyone actually having a mom who did any such things. And pretending that makes me find so much peace and comfort in those classic flavors. Because even though it’s not something I learned when I was little, there’s something undeniable warm and homey about apple baked goods. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s embedded somewhere in our unconscious, but there’s something about that smell, fresh from the oven, that makes me feel like I live right next to the orchard where those apples where lovingly hand picked and placed in an immaculate wicker basket, covered with a red and white checkered cloth and then brought inside, waiting eagerly to become a cake. It’s a pleasant image, and one not to hard to keep in mind as you munch away on your cake. This pound cake isn’t too sweet, so you can have it with your morning coffee or as mid-afternoon treat, and you won’t feel like you’re over-indulging. It’s not the kind of cake that will disappear in an instant but that will see you through three-four days, just sitting on your pantry, homey, familiar and warm. Ready to help you feel that comfort of fake memories, or if you’re lucky, real ones. Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

The classics – whole wheat banana and cream crumble

Whole wheat banana and cream crumble

After an eon of not posting anything (and I do have stuff to post! like pan seared artichokes and honey mustard glazed salmon with a wilted spinach and goat cheese salad…I just haven’t had the time to get to the actual posting part) I’m coming back with one of the absolute classics in my sweet stuff repertoire. And it’s just as good as it sounds in the title….. Yep. Just what you read. Bananas in sweet caramelised cream with a topping of crumble that melts in your mouth and golden sliced almonds. And no, I am not talking about something you can only try in heaven. Oh no…this dessert (or breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or snack) is as easy to make as it is to commit sin. You’ll bake it in 5 minutes and watch as it disappears in 2.

I’m not exaggerating. In fact, I even doubted posting this recipe for the sake of everyone’s health. But hey, when have I ever concerned myself with that? (ok…..I have…but this is whole wheat, and brown sugar! I know…I know) But enough with singing it praises, go make it!

Making the whole wheat and brown sugar crumble Continue reading

Bake-a-lot-‘of-em – Banana and chia muffins

Banana and chia muffins

You know when you’re craving something sweet, but hearty, and fluffy, and full of flavor and wholesome and filling and incredibly delicious? And possibly also cute? ok, maybe you don’t crave cute. But these muffins certainly fall into all of those categories. They’re so good that when you start sharing them you’re going to regret not having made more. That’s why I’m telling you from the beginning; bake a whole lot of ’em because people are going to be asking for more. Or you are. Bring them to work, to school, to your friends at the gym and tell them they lie don’t have butter lie so they’ll too have some. And then you’ll be loved by everyone and be declared queen or king of the world. Ok, I also lied about that last part. But some of your friends might consider it, since on top of being so good by themselves, they’re covered with an incredibly good cream-vanilla glaze, courtesy of  Jessica at How Sweet It Is. Read more for the recipe.

Banana, eggs, chia, flour

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Baking frenzy Part 1 – Cinnamon pull-apart bread

Last week I had a baking frenzy – not out of sheer boredom, of course (because I’m never bored…..yeah right) but because we were throwing a bachelorette weekend party for a friend who for certain health reasons, can’t drink, and consequently couldn’t spend her weekend time jumping around like a monkey on steroids as drunken 20-something girls do on bachelorette parties. Hence, with the options of drinking, jumping around, or any other form of physical exertion out the window, we were left with only one activity left; eating. Not that any of us were complaining. You try sticking 12 girls, most of them single, in a house with sun, a pool, and great food for a whole weekend and you’ll see for yourself that no one will be missing the booze. (You might, though, need a pair of earmuffs. Girls are LOUD. Specially when stuck together in large groups without boys.) Anyway, since I’m the cook-baker of the group, it was my task to provide all the pastries for the brunch, dinner and teatime. I baked everything on friday, because I wanted it as fresh as possible for saturday, and that is the reason of my baking frenzy; I spent the whole day in the kitchen. Tiring, but happy! Part 1, is Joy the baker’s recipe for cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread, which I must confess, is every bit as good as described in her post. Mine turned out to be rather uncooked in the middle (because my oven does seem to be permanently on steroids) but that turned out to be a good thing; everyone wanted more of the “sneaky cinnamon dough”.  Part 2 and 3, which will be coming soon, are banana nutella muffins and blueberry scones. Pictures here, and you can find the recipe at Joy’s really cool site.

Cinnamon dough rolled out

Cinnamon bread squares

A truly delicious bread. I only added a bit more cinnamon, and next time I’ll be cooking it in a slightly less hot oven, but you absolutely can’t stop eating it.