Pumpkin Gingerbread with Orange Glaze

Cake

  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter or vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup mini diced ginger
  • 1/2 cup diced pecans or 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) pumpkin purée

Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil OR 1 tablespoon orange zest (grated orange rind)
  • 2 tablespoons water or milk

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans for loaves; if you’re making muffins, grease 24 muffin cups, or line them with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the butter (or shortening) and brown sugar until well blended.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, ginger, and nuts or chips, if you’re using them. Mix well — the batter will look crumbly.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Stir in the molasses and pumpkin, combining well.
  6. Scoop the batter into the greased loaf pans or the muffin cups, filling the cups about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned on the edges and the middle springs back when touched. Bake the loaves for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan(s). Let it cool a bit, then glaze if desired.
  9. To make the glaze: Whisk together all the ingredients, adding extra liquid until the glaze is smooth and the consistency of molasses.
  10. For a shiny finish, brush the glaze over the bread or muffins while they’re still warm; for a thick white finish, cool the bread completely before glazing.
  11. Store well wrapped on the counter for 3 to 4 days; or freeze for up to 3 months.
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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 2/3 cup (10 2/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 cups chocolate chips; or a combination of different flavored chips, or chips and nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Melt the butter, and stir in the brown sugar. Add the salt, vanilla, and flavor, stirring until well combined.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool slightly (if it’s very hot to the touch), then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl midway through this process.
  4. Add the baking powder, espresso powder, and flour, stirring to combine.
  5. Stir in the chips or other additions of your choice.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges with a wet spatula (or your wet fingers). Smooth the top as best you can.
  7. Bake the bars for 30 to 32 minutes, until they’ve risen, and their top is shiny and golden. Bake for the shorter amount of time in a darker pan; the longer time in a light/shiny pan. A cake tester inserted into the center won’t come out clean; in fact, the center of the very middle of the pan may look quite molten when you dig into it. But so long as no wet batter is showing farther out towards the edges, the bars are done. As they cool, the center will solidify.
  8. Remove the bars from the oven, and use a heatproof spatula to press down the risen edges; this will make bars with flat, rather than humped tops. Let the bars cool completely before cutting; overnight is best. Once bars are cool, wrap airtight. Store wrapped bars at room temperature for a couple of days.

Easy Pizza Sauce

Adapted from Cat Cora

Ingredients

  • One 4-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

Directions

Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Mix well and let stand several hours to let flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on dough.

Braised Italian Chicken Thighs

Adapted from GOOP

  • 6 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. Season the chicken thighs with salt.

3. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat.

4. Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, turning after about four minutes. Cook for another few minutes until evenly browned on both sides (you don’t have to worry about cooking them through at this point). Once browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

5. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion and garlic in the rendered chicken fat. Once the onion is caramelized, add the tomato paste, rosemary, and red wine. Stir to combine and let simmer for a few minutes (just enough to cook off some of the alcohol).

6. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock, and return the browned chicken thighs. Cover the dutch oven with its lid and place in the oven. Let it cook for two hours.

7. After two hours, remove the pot from the oven. Place it on a burner, and remove the chicken to a plate.

8. Over low heat, add the balsamic vinegar to the tomato sauce, and cook for a few minutes to reduce.

9. Top the chicken with the reduced sauce or return the chicken to the pot to serve.

Lemon-Glazed Pound Cake

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Cake

Glaze

Directions

  1. To make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans or one tube or bundt-style pan.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add the salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder, and beat for 5 minutes; the batter will be stiff.
  3. Add the vanilla and lemon oil, and 1 egg. Beat well. Continue to add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. When done, the batter will be very fluffy. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s).
  4. Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes (for the tube or bundt-style pans) or 35 to 40 minutes (for the two loaf pans), or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. To make the glaze: Just before the cake is done, combine the lemon juice and sugar and heat over low heat (or in the microwave) until the sugar is dissolved; don’t let the mixture boil.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven; allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Turn it out onto a rack or serving platter.
  7. Poke the top of the cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick, and gradually drizzle the glaze over it, pausing occasionally to let 

Chocolate and Coconut Milk Pots de Crème

Chocolate and Coconut Milk Pots de Crème

Adapted from The Bojon Gourmet

Makes 6 small yet rich servings (about 4 ounces each)

For the pots de crèmes:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (1 3/4 cups)
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum

For serving:
3/4 cup (175 mL) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
splash dark rum, to taste
flaky salt, such as Maldon

Make the Pots de Crème:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300ºF . Place six four-ounce ramekins in a baking dish with 2-inch high sides.

In a medium saucepan, gently warm the coconut milk with the vanilla bean paste until the coconut milk is steamy-hot, swirling occasionally. Cover and let steep 10 minutes. Whisk in the salt, chocolate, and cocoa powder until completely smooth.

Whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth, then whisk in the rum.

Carefully divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins in their baking pan. Pour enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Transfer the pan to the oven.

Bake the custards until they are mostly set and wiggle like Jell-o when you give the pan a gentle shake, 30-45 minutes. Let the custards cool slightly, remove from the pan, and let cool to room temperature. Chill the custards until set, about 3 hours (or cover and chill for up to 3 days).

Make the whipped cream:
Whip the cream with the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and rum until it holds soft peaks. Serve the pots de crème dolloped with the whipped cream and topped with a few cacao nibs and flakes of salt.