Chai Chocolate Quick Bread

When I think of fall, I think of baking. Once those leaves start ever so slightly turning colors and the nights get a little bit longer and a tad bit cooler, I’m ready to break out my mixer and crank up the oven. I love making pies from scratch or exploring fun new soup or side dishes, but my weakness during the fall leading into the holidays will always be bread. I’ve definitely been known to set aside a whole day (sometimes two!) dedicated solely to bread making. But I know that life oftentimes makes it to where setting aside that much time just isn’t realistic.

Enter…quick breads. Unlike yeast breads, quick breads do not contain any yeast at all in the dough and use Clabber Girl Baking Powder and/or Clabber Girl Baking Soda as a leavening agent. Because we’re omitting the yeast and using a chemical leavening agent instead, we’re able to cut out all the time needed for yeast breads to rise. The end result is usually a very tasty bread that took a faction of the time to make. So though I love yeast breads, I always end up making A LOT of quick breads this time of year.

Generally made a little on the sweet side, quick breads are great because of their versatility. You can make savory breads (Rosemary, Thyme & Asiago Cheese sounds good to me!) perfect as a side for dinner slathered with butter or sliced and toasted to dunk in your favorite fall soup. The ever popular Banana Bread or Pumpkin Bread are always amazing recipes to have in your recipe box. You can even go crazy and indulge with a Chocolate Quick Bread Drizzled with Dark & White Chocolate with Toasted Nuts sprinkled on top. The possibilities are endless and perfect for you to make it your own for your family to enjoy.

As you can probably tell, I have been thinking a lot lately about quick bread flavors. I wanted to find something unique and different, that still had all my favorite fall flavors in it (and chocolate, everything is better with chocolate, right?). That’s when I decided on Chai Chocolate Quick Bread. I love the warm spice notes you get when drinking a Chai latte, so they go perfect in this fall bread.

You’ll need two bowls to make this bread, one for your dry ingredients and one for your wet ingredients. Because we’re using baking powder (which reacts to liquid) to leaven our bread you want to keep your dry ingredients separated from your wet until you’re ready to mix and immediately go into your dish and bake. This bread is tasty all on its own, but you can always kick it up a notch and serve it with a maple-cinnamon compound butter. Plus they make great gifts during the holidays and are perfect as mini loaves as well (you’d get 3 from this recipe). I hope when all is said and done and you’re taking your first bite you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Chai Chocolate Quick Bread

Makes: 1 loaf
Ingredients:
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
1 c. chai concentrate
¼ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. coconut oil, melted & slightly cooled
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper.

Line Bread Pan with Parchment Paper
In a large bowl mix flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, spices and salt. Set aside.

Dry Ingredients Chai Chocolate Bread
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, chia concentrate, sugar, and coconut oil. Set aside.

Liquid Ingredients Chai Chocolate Bread
Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds. If needed, microwave for an additional 15-30 seconds and stir until smooth.

Melted Chocolate
Slowly pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredient bowl and stir until just combined.

Mixing Chai Chocolate Bread

Pour batter into your prepared bread loaf pan. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top and using a butter knife gently swirl the chocolate on top, just barely mixing it in with the batter.

Marble Chai Chocolate Bread
Bake in a 350° F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan and slicing.

Chai Chocolate Quick Bread Hero 2

Salted Vanilla Marshmallow Cream S’mores

S'mores Hero

It’s perfect camping weather! That time of year when the days are warm and the nights are cool. It’s perfect for a bowl of chili and perfect for that all-American messy treat . . . S’mores! But, if you are anything like me, I don’t want to wait for a camping trip to have S’mores. I may make S’mores on a random Tuesday afternoon or enjoy one on the couch as a midnight snack.

I love the elements of a S’more and how they work together to make that perfect treat. Crunchy graham crackers, chocolate, and gooey toasty marshmallows. Each ingredient brings an important element to the table. But, of course, I can’t help but play with it a little bit!

This recipe is my version of a S’more. The Biscoff cookie is an elevated version of a graham cracker. It’s crispy and crunchy like a graham cracker but, has notes of ginger and more complexity. The marshmallows are replaced with a home-made salted vanilla marshmallow cream. It’s creamy and sweet and salty and messy and delicious. For the chocolate, I used a high-quality European chocolate. And, to top it off, I added candied orange peel. It pairs so well with the Biscoff cookie and adds a slight note of sweet-bitter that plays really well with the chocolate.

This recipe is designed so that you can make it indoors. But, all the ingredients travel well so, they could easily go outdoors with you to be assembled by the fire. Enjoy!

S’mores Recipe

Candied Orange Peel

3 medium oranges
2 cups sugar + ½ cup sugar for dusting
1 cup water

Combine the 2 cups of sugar and water in a medium pot. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of skin from the oranges being careful not to get the white pith.
Add the orange peel to the simple syrup and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Drain the orange peel and toss in the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Lay candied orange strips out on a wire rack and allow to cool and air dry. Orange peel can be stored in dusting sugar in airtight container for up to two weeks.

Salted Vanilla Marshmallow Cream

1/3 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3 egg whites
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt

Combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer the mixture, not stirring, until it reaches 240F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

When the sugar mixture reaches 240F take off of heat. With the stand mixture running on low, drizzle the hot liquid into the egg whites. Once all the liquid is incorporated, add the vanilla and salt. Beat the mixture for another minute or so until smooth and shiny.

Marshmallow cream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 

S’mores Assembly

Biscoff Cookies
High – quality dark or milk chocolate
Salted Vanilla Marshmallow Cream
Candied Orange Peel

S'mores Ingredients

Spread a small spoonful of marshmallow cream on a Biscoff cookie. Top with broken pieces of chocolate.
Spread a small spoonful of marshmallow cream on a second Biscoff cookie and place on top of first Biscoff cookie.
With a kitchen torch, burn the exposed marshmallow on the top and on the sides.
Top with a candied orange peel. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Sticks – A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

oatmeal sticks 2It’s back to school here in our town! The boys have been back for about 3 weeks! We had a great summer and looking forward to Fall. Looking through the Rumford Complete Cookbook this month, I was looking for something that could work for the kids’ lunches or a snack and I came across this Oatmeal Sticks recipe.

I like to try to make up a variety of snacks for the kids homemade here and there. This recipe is super easy and doesn’t take long to put together and bake. Double or triple the batch to have more made up.

The Oatmeal Sticks recipe is on page 120 of the Rumford Complete Cookbook. Below is a photo of the recipe.

oatmealsticks recipe

Here is my version of this recipe.

Oatmeal Sticks

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter – softened
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup oatmeal or rolled oats
3 tsp Rumford Baking Powder

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder and mix together. Add the butter and blend in with the dry mixture. Scald the milk and then add to the oatmeal in a separate bowl and stir. Add the oatmeal/milk mixture to the dry mix and butter and mix together until well blended and smooth. Use hands and roll dough into sticks. I did about the thickness of a pencil, but a little shorter. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 425° F. I got 60 sticks out of one batch!

I did have a small bowl of flour to add a little to the dough as I was rolling out the sticks that prevented it from sticking to my hands.

Apple Cream Pie….my most favorite pie

apple cream pie 4I love pie, especially fruit pies! Today I am sharing my MOST favorite pie of all pies. Flavors of apple and cinnamon with a creamy texture all in one with this Apple Cream Pie. Definitely one of my favorite flavors of Fall.

When I tell people I’m making an apple cream pie, most say they have never heard of it.

This is my Grandma’s recipe. It is a recipe that has been passed down and made for several generations and I have always enjoyed it. I remember the day I asked her to teach me the recipe and she was so happy to show me. We got the ingredients and I learned how to make my most favorite pie of all! I even asked her for permission to share the recipe on my blog. It is super easy and DELICIOUS!! Plus I am so happy that I have learned one of my Grandma’s recipes (along with a few others).

I especially like this pie during the holidays and in the fall when apples are in season. You can use any variety of apple, although there are specific apples that are better for baking. My favorite apple to use is Cortland or Gala. I prefer more of a tart apple.

So here is the recipe:

Apple Cream Pie

makes 2 pies

Ingredients:
3 lbs of apples
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
Deep Dish pie crust – package of 2 or use homemade recipe below
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
Cinnamon

Homemade pie crust rather than pre-made crust
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all- purpose flour
1/4 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks
4 oz. cold water

Directions for homemade pie crust:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chunks of cold butter and mix the butter into the flour using a pastry blender. Continue to do this until the mixture looks like bread crumbs or small pieces of butter. Add the cold water and stir into the mixture so that it all sticks together. Clump the dough all together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. You want the dough chilled and cool, but not hard. This will make it easier to work. Roll out the dough to a circle on a lightly floured surface. Lay the circle of crust dough in your greased pie pan. Then do the directions below to fill your pie crust.

Directions:
-Place your pie crusts on a cookie sheet, one that has a rim (Do this before filling your pie crusts, to prevent spillage once you pour in the cream)
-Peel, core, and slice your apples into thin slices
-Mix 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar together in bowl

Filling the pie crusts is simply an alternating and layering process.
This is how I do mine.

-Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture on bottom – just enough to cover the bottom
-Layer of apples
-Flour/sugar mixture
-Sprinkle cinnamon – more or less for your taste
-Layer of Apples
-Flour/sugar mixture
-Sprinkle cinnamon
-Layer of Apples
-Flour/sugar mixture
-Sprinkle cinnamon

Once your pie crusts are filled, divide the 1 pint of whipping cream between the two pies, half pint on each. Pour it all around the top of each pie. Be sure to not get too close to the brim of the pie crust. When baking, the cream will rise up and may spill over (hence the cookie sheet underneath for baking).

Place in the oven at 425° F for 15 minutes. Then bake at 400° F for 45 minutes.

Cool until pie is slightly warm before serving.