Sunday, January 23, 2011

raspberry cranberry crumb breakfast bar

The other day I saw some good-looking raspberries on sale, so I bought a few pints and was looking up some ideas for how to utilize them. I came upon this recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, and realized I needed to make and eat this, but I didn't have enough raspberries. As soon as my wheels started turning, I remembered I had some frozen cranberries, and I sure do love cranberries mixed with other berries. And I always like a little more tart with my sweet. At first, I wasn't sure I should make it because of the word "breakfast" in the title of the recipe, but in reading the intro, it looks like this bar is good for any time. And that sure came out to be true. These were the perfect texture and consistency, and very much hit the spot. In fact, I'm craving some right now...

Raspberry Cranberry Crumb Breakfast Bar
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

For the crust and crumb:
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the Raspberry Cranberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of 9-by-13 inch pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Make the Raspberry filling:
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and flour together.

Add the raspberries, lemon juice, and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

Assemble and bake the bars:
Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved 1 cup crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

masoor dal

I realize this doesn't fall under the category of baking, but since I'm short on time for a while, I'm putting up stuff I'm making to sustain myself on the weekends that I'm home. I have a very dear friend who is an expert at making this Dal dish, and he made it for me a lot, but now he's back in the dumb ole U.K., so I had to take matters in my own hands when I was craving this super delicious dish. I googled a ton of recipes and this one looked closest to what seemed like my friend's recipe. This is my first try making anything like this, and I really liked it! It takes a lot of spices that aren't readily in your local grocery store, so you might need to venture out to an Indian market, if you have one. Some Asian markets carry some of these spices as well. Also, sorry the picture isn't more legit, I was just trying to eat, you know? So, it's taken from my phone.

2 cups masoor dal (red lentils)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 onions, chopped
1 head garlic, separated, chopped (I used probably about 2 cloves)
1 (1-inch piece) ginger root, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, chopped (I didn't have these so I just added about 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped

• Rinse massor dhal thoroughly, until water is clear. In pot bring1 quart water to boil. Add massor daal.
• Cook half way, about 10 to 15 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and salt. As massor dhal cooks, uncovered, water will evaporate and mixture will thicken.
• Add more water to keep dal loose, like texture of thick cream. When dal is soft, turn off heat. Heat oil in wok. When oil is very hot, add onions and cook until tender and translucent but not browned.
• Add garlic, ginger and chiles. Continue to fry until onions are deep-yellow. Add remaining 1 teaspoon each garam masala and turmeric.
• Do not allow spices to burn. Keep stirring until mixture starts to stick. Add tomatoes and cilantro. Cook until tomato softens.
• Pour in pot of masoor dal and simmer to blend flavors. Taste and add more salt if needed.

**coming soon is a post on raspberry cranberry crumb bars. they were so good!

Monday, January 17, 2011

christmas 2010

Here are some of the best things I ate over the break. When can it be Christmas again??

yummy Cranberry Walnut Pear Salad

 Sauteed Apple Cider Brussel Sprouts
buttery Butterhorns

the whole sha-bang

the miraculous and very secret Chocolate Pecan Torte

one of my very favorite things ever: Coconut Buns from Chinatown

homemade Liege Waffles