I Am Baker

pumpkin french toast

In all the times I have made this fabulous version of french toast, I have never once made it for breakfast.  My kids adore it (and all the pumpkin treats that fall brings) but they always seem to request it for dinner.

Which is fine with me!

Pumpkin French Toast

My husband’s brother shared some freshly made maple syrup and that is what we used on the french toast.  If you can ever splurge and use real maple syrup (no high fructose corn syrup allowed) I recommend it.

I also use a 12 grain bread in this recipe.  The main reason being that it is what we prefer to keep in the house.  But I also like how well it stands up to the pumpkin seasoning and that the small grains add some texture to the egg soaked bread.

Pumpkin French Toast

pumpkin french toast

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs
  • 16-20 pieces bread

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin and pie spice until smooth.
  2. Dip each side of the bread and cook on a hot, greased griddle or skillet. I have mine set to 300 degrees F.
  3. Flip the bread over after approximately 2 minutes.
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Adapted from 5 Dollar Dinners.

Pumpkin French Toast

If you prefer you can use all whole milk or even skim milk.  After we started drinking raw milk a few years ago, I feel like I am drinking water when I drink skim.  That is totally a matter of preference and you are welcome to make an adjustment that fits your likes.

We are a “one loaf” family, meaning that we can can easily polish off an entire loaf in one meal.  This recipe is designed to accommodate that!  If you need to halve the recipe it can be done with success.

I Am Baker

pumpkin puff pastry

I have officially jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I am so excited about it!  This faux Toaster Strudel® recipe is absolutely amazing, and the perfect way to start any day!

Pumpkin Puff Pastry!

It all started with a homemade puff pastry.  I have made it three times in the last couple days and love it more and more each time.

Puff Pastry Dough

The great thing about this puff pastry is that it takes just minutes to pull together!  I was shocked at just how easy and fool proof it is.  Every single time I have made it, the dough has been perfect.

A word of caution:  This dough feels like silk.  I wanted to keep kneading, to let my hands linger in the velvety soft exquisiteness, but you must resist!  Over kneading is a no-no. ;)

pumpkin puff pastry

Ingredients

    Pastry
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

    Pastry
  1. Measure water and add salt; stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. Put flour and cinnamon into food processor.
  3. Coarsely dice all butter and place in food processor on top of flour. Pulse for about 3 seconds four or five times.
  4. Drizzle water into food processor on low speed. Watch closely as dough will start to pull together very quickly. Once the dough forms a ball stop the processor.
  5. Flour work surface and scrape dough from work bowl.
  6. Roll dough into a rough rectangle, dusting with more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
  7. Fold the dough in half, then in half again, then in half again. If you are able fold it over one more time, then wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.
  8. Filling
  9. Put pumpkin puree in a bowl and mix well with sugar and vanilla.
  10. Cream Cheese Glaze
  11. Beat cream cheese with handheld mixer until creamy.
  12. Add in remaining ingredients and mix on slow until fully combined. (You may add more or less milk to reach desired consistency.)
  13. When you are ready to assemble to Pumpkin Puff Pastries:
  14. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to be thin, only about 1/8 inch thick.
  15. Using a pizza cutter, trim off the rough edges and then cut into small sections, about 4 inches by 5 inches.  I divided the dough into thirds lengthwise, and then halves width wise.  You can see that my rectangles are not perfect and that is just fine.  
  16. Beat egg in a bowl and grab a pastry brush.  Brush the edges of the pieces of dough lightly with the egg.
  17. Add about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to half of the rectangles, spreading to about half an inch from the edges.
  18. Top with the remaining pieces of dough.  
  19. Use a fork to press the edges together going in about 1/2 inch from the edge. (The first couple times I made this I just barely made marks with the fork and when they baked you could not tell.  I prefer the look of a larger fork impression.)   
  20. Generously brush the entire top of the pastry with the egg.
  21. Place strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  When done pastries should be golden brown and puffed up.
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Puff Pastry recipe barely adapted from Food Network.

Puff Pastry Dough

I think that I ended up liking the ‘rustic’ look best.  Sure, you can get out your ruler and make a perfect rectangle and measure each perfect little pocket of pumpkin loveliness OR you can eyeball it and enjoy it just the same.

For the delectable frosting drizzle: Place cream cheese in a pastry bag and snip off a very small portion.  Apply pressure to bag and drizzle over each pastry while it is still warm.

This recipe makes roughly 10 pumpkin pastries.  I had about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture left over, and that will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Toaster Strudel

Just look at those flakey layers of buttery deliciousness!  My third attempt at these is when I decided to add cinnamon to the dough.  I have to tell you… it is incredible.

Homemade Pumpkin Toaster Strudel!  (from scratch puff pastry)

The slight cinnamon flavor in the buttery pastry paired with the barely sweetened pumpkin filling seriously creates something magical.

Here is another plus, without the frosting these pastries have just 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe!  If you use a small amount of frosting you can actually feel good about giving them to your family for breakfast. :)  (Note, I was not able to use a sparse amount of frosting.  I mean, cream cheese.  Obvi.)

If you are a pumpkin fan, a breakfast pastry fan, a butter fan, a fan of food in general, you will want to try these!

I Am Baker

blueberry banana banana bread cake with brown butter glaze

If you read here you may know this already, but I am a huge fan of banana bread and blueberries.  Like, HUGE.  It would probably be my request for last meal should I ever end up on death row.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

And if that should ever happen, please, someone teach my children that its ok to use shortening in buttercream and still call it buttercream.

And also, if that should ever happen, please take a picture of me because I am sure I will be skinny.  I heard that people who don’t eat a cake everyday weigh less than people who do.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

But anyway.

Since I am still legally allowed to eat a cake a day I will start with this bad boy.

But before I show you the recipe, I need to talk about the star of this show.

Brown Butter Glaze!

Brown. Butter. Glaze.

I um… well… it has left me speechless on more than one occasion but that doesn’t translate well for a blog post for I will try to describe it.

Its yummy.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

I had a hard time not pouring it ever EVERYTHING.  Mostly because I ran out so quickly, but thankfully it is easy to make so yippee!

brown butter glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Its best to use an aluminum pan or pan that does not have a black bottom. You will want the butter to smell nutty and be a dark brown color.
  2. In a medium bowl, add sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth that has been doubled over.
  3. Carefully pour butter over the sugar mixture. The cheesecloth should catch the very dark and burnt bits.
  4. Stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. Use immediately.
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This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart.

In the small, teeny-tiny, microscopic chance that you want to make this without the glaze, I will not be mad.  ONLY because the cake in itself is quite delicious.

blueberry banana banana bread cake

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Put bananas in a large bowl and shmush with a fork. Melt butter, then pour over bananas and incorporate with fork.
  2. Add in sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Pour flour, cinnamon, baking soda and pinch of salt over banana mixture. Add blueberries over flour and stir all ingredients until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into a prepared 8-inch round pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. (At the 30 minute mark, I have covered the cake with foil to prevent the edges from burning.)
  5. Can be served immediately.
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Recipe adapted from the always amazing Simply Recipes.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze!

 

If you want, you may simply omit the blueberries.

Just don’t tell me.

I Am Baker

Banana Bread {And Some News}

I have another Banana Bread recipe on this blog.  Its perfect and amazing and I have made it no less then fifty times.

Bestbananabread2

But then my dear hubby brought some other woman’s banana bread home from work.  And then he said… get this…

“I like this better.”

I Faint.

I Sob.

I Throw myself on the floor in a fit of justified hysteria.

And then I decided to see if I could replicate it. Cause he was right, it was fabulous.

Bestbananabread

I found a recipe that was a bit different, tweaked it a bit, and boy am I happy.

Its amazing.  Delicious.  Moist. Full of wonderful banana flavor.  I would never have known this banana bread bliss had another woman’s baked goods not threatened to capture my hubbies heart.

But remember I have some news?

Well, turns out that a fabulous publisher thinks I have a book in me.

I will be writing a book based on the creations like you see here on iambaker.  Most of the book will be new ideas, but there will also be some revamped old favorites. (Like the Rose Cake.  Its probably my favorite cake ever!)

So I had this big “surprise” moment planned out in my head.  A year or so from now I would announce, “I’ve written a book!  Here it is!”

But something just didnt feel right about that.

See, this blog wouldn’t be much without you.

Without your feedback and comments and participation.

We have teamed up nicely to do Cake Challenges.

We have succeeded in making baked goods for people across the country.

We have brainstormed ways to give baked gifts to people in need.

Did you catch the important word in all those things?

We.

I would not be writing a book if it weren’t for us.

So, dear friends, it just doesn’t seem right to not have you be a part of this process.

I want to include you and share secrets and behind the scenes happenings with you.  I want you, my friends, to get more then the person who just picks up a copy of the book on a bookshelf.  (Right now I am just hoping that someone gets the opportunity to pick one up on a bookshelf!  It still seems like an impossible dream!)

We have come this far.  Now lets take it to the next level.

You may have noticed that my blog posting has slowed down considerably and that I have started a “Baking With” feature.  This is because I have been busy with  (having four kids and a husband whom are my first priority!) book stuff and just cant bake three treats a week like I used too.

Its a bummer to me that I cant post as often right now, but it is my hope that you will understand.  That you will embrace the people that have graciously agreed to join the iambaker baking family through guest posts.  That you will do what friends do… tell me if an idea needs work or if I buttercream frosting in my hair or if I am just nuts.

Bestbananabread1

And now for the recipe: (Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Perfect Banana Bread

2 eggs

1/3 cup vanilla yogurt

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup ripe mashed bananas

1 ½ cups white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½  tsp salt

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare chosen pan.

Blend together the eggs, yogurt, oil, extract and bananas in mixer with low speed.

Add in sugars and fully incorporate.  Then add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I have doubled this recipe with great success.

(Be sure to start checking your banana bread at 45 minutes.  I have had it be done in 50 minutes or heard that it can take as much as 75 minutes.  It just depends on the accuracy of your oven.)

Enjoy!

In case I forgot to mention, I am hoping for a fall release for the book, which means I will need to get it done very early on in 2012.  This tight deadline is tough, but good.  I am excited!  Nervous.  But mostly just grateful for this amazing opportunity.

I hope you know how thankful I am that you are willing to come along for the ride.

 

I Am Baker

Banana Cake

IMG_3807.bbread

Or, if you want to get technical, banana bread. But every time I make banana bread I think, "Isn't this basically the ingredients for cake?"

Is it just me?

Anywho… I had some pretty unrecognizable old brown banana's laying around so I figured I better make some bread now that hubby got the stove all fixed. *my hero*

My MIL picked up these cute mini loaf pans for me. I heart them.

IMG_3772.bbread

I made three different kinds.

IMG_3852.bbreadwords.

And used a fantastic base recipe. (below)

I separated it into three batches… kept one plain, added white chocolate chips to another, then heath chips to the last.

IMG_3830.bbread

Here is the best base banana bread recipe I have ever tried. (say that three times fast)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups mashed overripe bananas

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional:

1/2 cup white chocolate chips (for mini loafs)

1/4 to 1/2 cup heath chips (for mini loafs)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate
bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs,mashed
bananas, and vanilla until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture;
stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 350
in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes for mini loafs (60-65 for regular size pan), until a toothpick inserted into
center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10
minutes, then place on a wire rack.

IMG_3781.bbread

We could not get enough of the white chocolate chip version. For some reason (long baking time?) the chips melted almost completely and dispersed themselves evenly throughout the loaf… so there was the subtle smooth banana flavor then a little hit of sweet light chocolate.

Amazing.

Seriously amazing. I cannot recommend it enough.

Make it for mom. Ya know. For Mothers Day. :)

IMG_3785.bbread

*Stop by and win a Creative's Vado HD Pocket Video Cam. Its seriously cool.