So rabbits molt. Apparently, (aka according to the Internet) rabbits do not shed with the seasons like cats and dogs, but rather go through a handful of molting periods a year. My, I am learning so much about these crazy little critters.
I mention this because Izzy has hit one of these periods, strewing little black hairs across the floor and everything she comes into contact with. So I decided to brush her. She didn’t mind the brush, but when she caught sight of it, all she wanted to do was chew on it. Typical Izzy.
I’ve started feeding her little bits of dried papaya to help pass fur she ingests through her system. Needless to say, she’s thrilled by the introduction of a new treat. And no, I don’t mean the brush.
And now I’m going to introduce this treat. Well, it’s a breakfast treat. The treat is that you can eat them freely, knowing these yummy donuts are much healthier than their deep fried cousins, and still tasty-licious.
These guys are a little bit chewier than the other baked donuts I’ve made, and I liked that extra bit of body.
Cinnamon and vanilla are my go to flavors, so this recipe was perfect in my book.
Add on an eggnog glaze (last eggnog recipe this season, I promise!) and some turbinado sugar, and you’ve got one killer most-important-meal-of-the-day.
Cinnamon Vanilla Donuts w/ Eggnog Glaze
Adapted from What Katie’s Baking
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 F. Whisk flour and baking powder in a medium bowl, then combine with sugar.
Beat egg one at a time with milk, oil, applesauce, cinnamon, and vanilla extract until well blended. Then combine with flour mixture. Mix vigorously until well blended.
Lightly spray donut pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into molds up to 2/3 full.
Bake 10 -15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched and donuts are golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool down before glazing.
3 tbsp eggnog
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix the eggnog and sugar together until well blended. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, add a little bit of eggnog and stir again. If too thin, add more powdered sugar and stir. Drizzle on glaze, or dip in donuts. Let glaze set on a baking rack with something underneath to catch runoff. Top with turbinado sugar if desired.
I am happy to report that Izzy’s trip to the vet was a success, and her spay has been scheduled for next week. I wish I had brought my camera with me though, as there were two amazing Kodak moments. First, they weighed her using a scale smaller than the one I use in the kitchen, and they put her in a little bowl to do it.
Second, after she had been poked and prodded, the vet somehow got her snug in the crook of his arm on her back, her little paws sitting on her belly. The vet tech and I couldn’t stop squealing. I wonder if she held that position because she was so afraid of the high pitched noises we were making.
After the vet put her down, she hopped over to me and jumped into my arms. Not the open pet carrier. My arms. Score one for me.
Score one for you = making this coffee cake. I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes at yet another eggnog recipe. This is the last one, for this season, I promise. There’s a reason I saved this one for last though.
I don’t make coffee cake too often, which is odd because it’s quite delicious. I think this is only the second coffee cake I’ve made in my life (the first being my mom’s blueberry coffee cake, which I will assuredly share with you someday soon) and so far I’d say I’m two for two.
This coffee cake is moist and tender, composed of three different layers, all combining together into a fabulously tasty breakfast. Or dessert. Or lunch. Ok, maybe I didn’t eat it for lunch….all the time.
Eggnog Crumble Coffee Cake
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used all all-purpose)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + an extra 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar + and extra 1/3 cup
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup eggnog
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In another small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, then whisk to combine.
In a large bowl, add butter and sugars and whisk until smooth. Whisk in eggs one a time, mixing until completely combined, then stir in vanilla extract. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing until a batter forms, then whisk in eggnog until smooth. Pour half of the batter in the baking dish, then sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over top. Cover with remaining batter, gently using a spatula to spread over sugar if needed. Don’t worry if some of the sugar peeks through. Top with the crumble below.
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over cake, then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake is set in the middle. While cake is baking, make glaze below. After removing cake from oven, immediately poke holes all throughout the cake with a toothpick, then drizzle glaze over top.
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of nutmeg
Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat, and allow to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit until cake is finished.
2011 has been quite a year for me. I graduated from college, moved into an apartment with my boyfriend, got engaged, got my first pet as an “adult.” I think this calls for a photo montage.
Me and my BFF Diego at my graduation.
Anyway, I think 2012 is going to be even better. It’ll be the year I get married and hopefully land the job of my dreams. But I’m getting ahead of myself, there’s still today to enjoy!
And you thought I was done with eggnog. Guess, what? It never stops…ever. The last time we came down to Connecticut just after Thanksgiving, I brought half a loaf of this bread to my Dad, and he loved it.
Before leaving this time around, he asked if I’d be bringing it again. I say no, I had other treats up my sleeve for this trip. And I was out of eggnog. At first he insisted that I go out and get some in order to make this bread again. After convincing him that what I was bringing this time was wayyy better, he finally dropped it. I guess that means it was a good recipe, right?
So if you’ve got some nog leftover from Christmas, here’s another idea for you. May your 2012 be full of delicious treats, joy, and fulfilled resolutions. Happy New Year!
Eggnog Quick Bread
Adapted from Recipe Girl
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground)
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup eggnog (low fat is fine)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rum extract, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, eggnog, melted butter, vanilla, and rum extract (if using). Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf — it should come out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
Christmas traditions are a funny thing. Some are so fitting and logical, like making spicy gingerbread cookies to fire up your taste buds, or bringing a part of the winter world into your home in the form of an aromatic, highly ornamented evergreen tree. Some people open presents on Christmas Eve, some wait until Christmas morning. You leave out cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer…what, only I did that? Those reindeer are working just as hard, if not harder.
I apologize for the poor lighting in these photos. I’m really trying to take pics during the daytime only.
And then there are those weird, bizarre traditions that you don’t question, even though there’s always a small part of you that wants to. That says, “where in the world did this come from?” My family had one of those. Every year my mom would hide a pickle in the Christmas tree for my brother and me to find. The first one to find it was rewarded with a surprise.
My brother and I were competitive. Like, Mom had to write our names on our Easter eggs to keep us from wailing on each other to collect the most eggs. Anyway, let’s get back to the holiday at hand. A pickle…in the Christmas tree. What??!!!?? Where in the world did that come from? Because they’re both green? There are plenty of other more holiday-related objects that could be hidden in the tree. But ours was a pickle. Go figure.
Still, when I think back to getting covered in tree sap searching for that pickle, I always smile. It’s those weird traditions that stay with us, that we look forward too, even if we don’t understand why.
An obvious tradition of mine will always be to bake with eggnog to excess during the holiday season. I have to make as many different things as possible, to savor that eggnog in as many different forms as I can before it’s gone from the shelves. I had never thought of making a yeast bread with eggnog before, but hey, why not? The result is a fantastic loaf of sweet bread that makes awesome toast, and would no doubt make some killer bread pudding or french toast. The flavors of the eggnog are very subtle and lend just a hint of spice, while the tang and texture of the cranberries waiting inside the soft bread are a wonderful surprise. This could definitely turn into a tradition for me.
Eggnog Cranberry Loaf
Adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 1 loaf
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups eggnog
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Glaze: (I did not make the glaze because I knew I’d be freezing this bread)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons eggnog
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and nutmeg; set aside. In a saucepan, heat eggnog and butter to 120°-130° (the butter does not need to melt); add to flour mixture. Beat on low until moistened; beat on medium for 3 minutes.
Stir in cranberries and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; divide into thirds. Shape each third into a 16-in. rope. Braid ropes on a greased baking sheet; seal ends. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine the first three glaze ingredients; drizzle over braid. Dust with nutmeg.
December. It’s here already, and I can’t believe it. Part of me is excited for winter. It happens every year right on the cusp of serious winter weather (I’m not counting the freak snow storm on Halloween) as I begin to romanticize winter activities. Perhaps it’s how I deal with the cold…I do hate heat and humidity, but I have poor circulation, and am thus always cold, so though I love the idea of winter, even if the reality is not so pretty.
I think about watching the snow fall while reading a good book and drinking hot tea next to a roaring fire while listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas. This fantasy keeps me occupied, and not thinking about the fact that we can’t use our fireplace or the ridiculousness that is our heating bill.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite “winter time” foods were pancakes. My mom would make huge blueberry buttermilk ones, while my dad’s specialty was banana chocolate chip. In college, I would eat those things with nothing on them, like a big, sweet, floppy cracker.
Today, you’ll find me hard pressed to pour maple syrup on my pancakes. I know…I’m weird. I prefer them covered with jam, peanut butter or nutella, and eat them throughout the day. Pancakes are one of my favorite can-eat-at-anytime foods. And these eggnog pancakes are awesome. I’ve made a lot of different pancake recipe to try and experiment with flavor combinations. A lot of “non-traditional” pancake flavors like French silk chocolate, matcha (green tea) produce thin batters that spread out on the griddle, and turn into flimsy, dry sad, pancakes. Of course I eat them anyway, but these pancakes are different.
They are fluffy, soft, moist and delicious. Definitely one of my favorite pancake recipes to date. So if you’ve got extra eggnog, try these. Please. Because they chase away winter blues. And are so amazingly easy to make.
Adapted from Being Suzy Homemaker
2 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 cups eggnog
1/2 tsp nutmeg (cinnamon would work too)
some butter to grease the skillet (I use Pam)
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the eggnog and melted butter.
Using a spatula, combine the dry and wet ingredients to make a thick, lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix.
In a non-stick skillet, melt some butter (or spray skillet with Pam) over medium heat. Ladle 1/3 cup batter into hot skillet. Do not overcrowd the skillet because the pancakes will puff up and out as they cook.
When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, and the edges begin to brown, flip the pancakes and cook the other side.
I halve this recipe and get about 10-12 decent size pancakes.
Yep, that’s right. It’s eggnog time already and I couldn’t be happier. I wish they sold the stuff all year round. After scouring the Internet for an answer as to why eggnog is seasonal, the only reasonable answer is that sales drop off so steeply after the holidays that it’s not economically feasible to keep it on the shelf. Sigh Truth be told, I can’t actually drink too much at one time because of how thick and rich it is, but I love its flavors in baked goods, especially breakfast foods.
In this recipe, eggnog takes the place of heavy cream, and creates a tender, moist scone full of holiday flavor. I always worry that my scones will come out dry, but these babies didn’t disappoint.
P.S. The brevity of this post is due to the fact that I’m taking the MTEL (Massachusetts Test for Education Licensing) this afternoon, and I didn’t want to go the whole weekend without posting.
adapted from Flamingobear via King Arthur Flour
makes 12 scones
2¾ cups (11½ ounces) flour
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, cold and diced
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup (6¾ ounces) cold eggnog
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
Using your fingertips, pastry blender, paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or food processor – whatever floats your boat (I like to use my fingertips – less cleanup!), work in the butter just until the butter is the size of peas.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and eggnog.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface; a Silpat works well here. Divide the dough in half. Roll and pat each half into a 6½” circle about ¾” thick.
Using a large knife or pizza wheel slice each circle into 6 wedges. Transfer the circles of wedges to a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about ½” space between them, at their outer edges. This ensures that their sides will bake up soft and tender.
For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. This half-hour in the freezer relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones taller and more tender. Plus, chilling the fat makes the scones flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
(You can skip this step, if you’re in a hurry, but watch your scones carefully in the oven as you may need to bake them a few minutes less. Alternatively, you can even make them ahead up to this point and freeze until needed. You may have to add a few minutes to the baking time.)
Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.