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French Waffles for Mother’s Day

15 May Fresh French Waffles, a Chef Sarah original!

Mother’s Day was last Sunday and I was lucky enough to get to spend it with my mom back home. I didn’t make plans of what to cook, so on Sunday morning I asked my mom what she wanted and she said, “You’re not suppose to ask, just do.” So I said I would make French Toast. Except they had run out of bread. WHAT?! I was a little perplexed that my parents were out of bread. But my dad said there were waffles in the freezer. So I said I would make French Waffles. (It made perfect sense in my head.) My mom looked at me like I was a little crazy and then tried hard not to laugh. She was utterly confused, but I now had a great breakfast idea and nothing was going to stop me. The secret to great French Toast is really good bread. Brioche is the best, so I figured using waffles would be an interesting substitute. And it was. We gobbled them up! Happy Mother’s Day Momma!

Helen Bauer, Mother's Day, amazing moms

My AMAZING mom, aka Mama Bauer

FRENCH WAFFLES (serves 3)

  • 6 Waffles
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • About 3 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Allspice
  • Butter
  • Toppings of Your Choice

In a baking dish crack your eggs, add in your milk and whisk together. Add in your cinnamon and allspice and whisk again. Soak three waffles in the mixture. Make sure you coat both sides. Let them sit for about a minute or so. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick pan and add about a tablespoon of butter. My mom had lemon butter she had made so I used that. (We also used it on the finished product-yum!)

Once the pan is hot add in your soaked waffles. Let cook for a few minutes then flip over and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Repeat for each waffle you have. If you have extra egg mixture then cook it up to serve with the rest of your breakfast. (Trust me, they’re really good!)

Serve hot with your choice of toppings. We used more of the lemon butter and topped with what my mom called Baklava Honey. Honey that has been infused with cinnamon, cloves and allspice that she uses when she makes baklava (a Greek dessert). What do you like on your French Toast (or waffles)?

Fresh French Waffles, a Chef Sarah original!

Fresh French Waffles with Lemon Butter and Baklava Honey, a Chef Sarah original!

Secret Kisses Cookies

6 Feb Secret Kisses Cookies cooling on the wire rack after rolling in powdered sugar.

I have a love affair with Hershey’s. Actually, I’ve always had a love affair with chocolate, ever since I was a little girl, but it wasn’t until near the end of my junior year, March 20o2 to be exact, that Hershey’s and I became inseparable. I was appointed to a state office in the California Rainbow for Girls, the Grand Representative to Ohio and Pennsylvania, and since Hershey’s was founded in Pennsylvania, my life was immediately filled with all things Hershey’s and all things chocolate. To this day I see something Hershey and I just have to have it. Earrings, necklace, hoodie, old candy tins, and of course, cookbooks. And so every year during my holiday baking I always use a recipe from these books that uses a whole Hershey’s Kiss. Last year it was chocolate thumbprint cookies and this year it is Secret Kisses Cookies from Hershey’s Kisses Brand Recipes (that is in the shape of a kiss, lol).

33911_A_01_Kisses_EBUI thought I would be clever and use not just regular kisses, but caramel filled ones too. Well…it kind of backfired on me, and while they were baking the caramel proceeded to melt and seep from the cookies. Well drat. Upon eating one later I discovered that the kisses became hollow. Drat again. While some of the caramel stuck to the bottom of the cookies, some melted to the pan. Oh well, have to try it at least once! I don’t know if I’d make these cookies again, I think I prefer the thumbprint ones better. Tell me in the comments below which one you prefer!

Secret Kisses Cookies Ingredients L-R: Flour, Milk Chocolate Kisses, Crisco Butter Flavor, Vanilla, Sugar, Caramel Kisses, Powdered Sugar

Secret Kisses Cookies Ingredients L-R: Flour, Milk Chocolate Kisses, Crisco Butter Flavor, Vanilla, Sugar, Caramel Kisses, Powdered Sugar

SECRET KISSES COOKIES (makes about 3 dozen)

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Walnuts or Almonds (optional)
  • 36 Hershey’s Kisses (I used Milk Chocolate along with a few Caramel filled ones)
  • Powdered Sugar for sprinkling, about 1/4 cup

DON’T preheat the oven as you will need to refrigerate the dough for an hour or two before baking.

In your stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), cream together your softened butter and sugar until fluffy on high-speed. On a low-speed slowly add in your flour (and nuts if you choose-I did not) and mix until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until the dough is firm.

Secret Kisses Cookies

Creaming together the butter and sugar

Secret Kisses Cookies

Mixing in the flour to form the dough.

Once dough is firm, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and unwrap your kisses. Scoop out about one tablespoon of dough and form a  ball around each kiss. Make sure that the kiss is completely covered by the dough.

Secret Kisses Cookies

Secret Kisses Cookies ready for the oven!

Bake each sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Start at 10 minutes and increase by 1 minute at a time if additional baking time is needed. When done let cool for about 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.

Secret Kisses Cookies fresh from the oven.

Secret Kisses Cookies fresh from the oven.

Before completely cool though, roll in powdered sugar (or sprinkle over cookies). Enjoy!

Secret Kisses Cookies cooling on the wire rack after rolling in powdered sugar.

Secret Kisses Cookies cooling on the wire rack after rolling in powdered sugar. You can see one in the upper right that has caramel leaking, lol.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

4 Feb Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

As I said last week, this year’s holiday baking became a pumpkin year. In addition to the Pumpkin Chutney Bread and Pumpkin Spice Cookies, I also made Pumpkin Spice Biscotti! This was the first time I made biscotti and I got the recipe from another blogger that I follow, at350degrees, who got it from the blog, Skies of Parchment. Last year my dad made biscotti for the holidays and it was really good so when I saw this recipe in November I left it in my inbox contemplating whether I’d make it myself. After I made the Pumpkin Chutney Bread and had leftover pumpkin puree, I checked the biscotti recipe and discovered I had enough so it was an easy decision to add to the holiday baking list.

pumpkin spice all the thingsThere are enough variations of biscotti that you can make a different one every month of the year. And like much of America, I get overly excited when Starbucks brings out their PSL in the fall (that’s Pumpkin Spice Latte for you non-coffee drinkers), so a pumpkin spice biscotti really got me excited.  Biscotti is twice baked, and the second time it’s overnight, so be sure to take that into consideration when you make your own. The next time I make this though I will add more spices as I felt it was a little under spiced. I also chose not to include the almonds. Adding the white chocolate frosting was a lot harder than it was written so I ended up spreading it on the biscotti. Below is the original recipe. Enjoy with your favorite coffee!

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti Ingredients L-R: Flour, Allspice, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Eggs, Salt, Pumpkin Puree, Baking Powder, Sugar, Butter

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti Ingredients L-R: Flour, Allspice, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Eggs, Salt, Pumpkin Puree, Baking Powder, Sugar, Butter

PUMPKIN SPICE BISCOTTI (about 24-36 pieces,depending on size)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped & toasted (optional)
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips (for frosting)
  • 1 Tsp Oil or Crisco (for frosting)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl combine all your dry ingredients and set aside.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti Dry Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti Dry Ingredients

In your stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), cream together your sugar and butter starting at a low-medium speed and speeding up to a higher speed to mix well. Stop your mixer and add in the eggs, vanilla and canned pumpkin and combine at a low-speed so as not to splash. Increase to a higher speed and be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix completely.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Creaming together the sugar and butter.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Mixing in the eggs.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti, pumpkin purree

Pumpkin puree ready to be added in.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti Wet Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti Wet Ingredients

Once all the wet ingredients are combined start adding your dry ingredients about half a cup at a time with your mixer on the lowest speed. If you choose to add almonds, now is the time to add those with the rest of the dry ingredients. (I did not, lol.)

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Mixing all the ingredients in my kitchen aid stand mixer.

Pull out a large baking sheet and a large cutting board (preferably wooden) and some extra flour. Dust the cutting board with flour and your hands and form two logs from the dough, about 11″ long and 5″ wide, give or take an inch. They should both fit comfortably on your baking sheet. Once your oven is hot bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is firm.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Getting ready to bake the biscotti logs.

Once done, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 200 degrees. Then cut logs into about one inch pieces. Once the oven is cooler and you’re ready to head to bed, stick the logs back into the oven and let bake overnight. They should be dry when you remove them from the oven. Let them finish cooling and then place on wax paper or on your baking sheet to frost.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti cut and ready to go back into the oven overnight.

To make the frosting melt the white chocolate chips and oil. If using a microwave, do in 30 second intervals 3 times, being sure to stir well. Be careful if using the microwave so the chocolate doesn’t cook. The recipe says to transfer to a plastic bag, making it airtight, then snipping one of the corners to create a pastry bag to allow for decorating. I had trouble making my biscotti look as pretty as the bloggers, so I ended up just frosting one side of each piece. I ended up with 34 pieces, keeping a few for myself that I enjoyed with a nice cup of Peet’s coffee. I hope you and your friends enjoy too!

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti ready for dunking!

Spiced Apple Bread

30 Jan Spiced Apple Bread

On Sunday evening, after a great Saturday night of making Pumpkin Chutney Bread, I pulled out my bread pans again and made Spiced Apple Bread. About a week ago I thought I didn’t have any photos of this bread, and then over the weekend I found them again! Yay! (Being a blonde can be really stressful sometimes.) This is a bread I made a few years ago and is one of my favorites so I was excited to make this year. I also like having a kid friendly bread for my friends with kids who may not like something like chutney. I was a picky kid once, chutney definitely weirded me out, lol!  And just like with the pumpkin chutney bread, you can make one big loaf or four small ones (or even 2 medium ones!). This is a great bread for anytime of the year too, not just the holidays. Enjoy!

Spiced Apple Bread Ingredients L-R: Flour, Pecans, Butter, Cinnamon, Buttermilk, Eggs, Ginger, Dark Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, Apple, Nutmeg

Spiced Apple Bread Ingredients L-R: Flour, Pecans, Butter, Cinnamon, Buttermilk, Eggs, Ginger, Dark Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, Apple, Nutmeg

SPICED APPLE BREAD

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans (optional)

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Large MacIntosh Apple (or other sweet apple)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep your apple by peeling, coring and chopping into about 1/2″ pieces. In a medium bowl combine all your dry ingredients and stir well. Set aside and start combining your wet ingredients.

Large sweet Pink Lady Apple peeled and diced.

Large sweet Pink Lady Apple peeled and diced.

Spiced Apple Bread Dry Ingredients: Flour, Pecans, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda

Spiced Apple Bread Dry Ingredients: Flour, Pecans, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda

In your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer) combine your butter and dark brown sugar until smooth on medium to high-speed. Stop your mixer and add in the eggs, buttermilk and apple pieces on a lower speed and mix until thoroughly combined. Be sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides and mix again.

Spiced Apple Bread wet ingredients

All the wet ingredients mixed.

Putting your mixer on a low-speed, slowly add in your dry ingredients about half a cup at a time until thoroughly mixed. Grease your loaf pans with either butter or baking spray and pour in your bread mixture evenly into the pans (about halfway to 2/3 full).

Spiced Apple Bread

Spiced Apple Bread mixture ready for the pans.

If making a large loaf then bake for about an hour, small loaves for 35 to 40 minutes. Just like with the Pumpkin Chutney Bread, test the doneness of the bread with a wooden toothpick. Stick it in the middle of the bread and if it’s done it will come out clean, otherwise bake for another 3 to 5 minutes at a time. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pans and finishing cooling on a wire rack. Make sure to label them after wrapping them up. They can be stored in the fridge or tossed in the freezer. Enjoy!

Spiced Apple Bread

Pumpkin Chutney Bread

28 Jan Pumpkin Chutney Bread

I love the holiday season. I love the happy feelings that are prevalent. I love the cold weather, or at least in Los Angeles the chilly weather. But most of all I love all the good food that happens-especially the baking. As I’ve said before, my parents do a lot of baking and cooking. For the Christmas season my dad will literally bake up a storm. When I was younger I’d wake up on Saturday mornings to the smell of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen. My dad would be halfway through a batch of cookies before I finished my breakfast. Everything he baked would be laid out on the dining room table and my mom would carefully assemble baskets or tins for all our friends. And when I had my own apartment I started doing the same. Because I’m a night owl though, I bake into the night rather than wake up early. So on the first Saturday night of December I made my first batch of bread: Pumpkin Chutney Bread.

Sarah Allyn Bauer, Chef SarahThere are a few staples every year: chocolate truffles, 2 different kinds of bread (I also made Spiced Apple), some kind of Hershey Kiss cookies, and for the last 2 years I made Blonde Brownies. And then I like to try new recipes. This year I decided to try my dad’s Pumpkin Chutney Bread recipe. This year actually became a very pumpkin centric baking season. I also made Pumpkin Spice Biscotti (recipe to come) and Pumpkin Spice Cookies (not cut out though, regular balls). For my friend Erin who loves pumpkin she was VERY excited! So if you’re a pumpkin fan here’s a yummy bread recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chutney Bread Ingredients L-R: Flour, Pumpkin Puree, Nutmeg, Dark Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Walnuts, Raisins, Allspice, Cinnamon, Eggs, Butter, Salt, Baking Powder, Buttermilk, Chutney

Pumpkin Chutney Bread Ingredients L-R: Flour, Pumpkin Puree, Nutmeg, Dark Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Walnuts, Raisins, Allspice, Cinnamon, Eggs, Butter, Salt, Baking Powder, Buttermilk, Chutney

PUMPKIN CHUTNEY BREAD (1 large loaf or 4 small ones)

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 Tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts (optional)

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 Cup Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2/3 Cup Chutney

Make sure your oven rack is halfway or the upper third part of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pull out your loaf pans. For the holidays I use small loaf pans, but if you just want a loaf of bread to have use a large pan, 9x5x3 is the standard. Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Pumpkin Chutney Bread Dry Ingredients: Raisins, Flour, Walnuts, Allspice, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt

Pumpkin Chutney Bread Dry Ingredients: Raisins, Flour, Walnuts, Allspice, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt

In your stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, mix together your butter and sugar first. Beat until smooth then add in  your eggs and buttermilk on low-speed until thoroughly mixed. Turn it off and add in the pumpkin puree and chutney and beat on low-speed until completely mixed. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are mixed.

Mixing the wet ingredients. First up the butter and dark brown sugar.

Mixing the wet ingredients. First up the butter and dark brown sugar.

Pumpkin Chutney Bread Wet Ingredients, eggs and buttermilk

Adding in the eggs and buttermilk.

The final wet ingredients added are the pumpkin puree and the chutney.

The final wet ingredients added are the pumpkin puree and the chutney.

Turning the stand mixer to the lowest setting slowly add in your dry ingredients, about a cup at a time, until all mixed in. Again, be sure to stop your mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

All wet and dry ingredients combined. Pumpkin Chutney Bread

All wet and dry ingredients combined.

Pumpkin Chutney Bread

Ready for the oven!

Spray your loaf pans with flour baking spray, or grease with butter or shortening. Pour the bread mixture evenly between the four loaf pans, about halfway into each one. Bake small loaves for about 35-40 minutes and a large loaf for about 70 minutes. To test doneness, insert a wooden toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when bread is done. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. To give as gifts, wrap in aluminum foil and store in your fridge until you give away. Or you can stick in your freezer. Be sure to label them too! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chutney Bread

Fresh from the oven, Pumpkin Chutney Bread!

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