Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Back into Baking

This weekend was one of the first weekends in a long time that I was actually at home in Abilene and did not have a plethora of things on my agenda. Add to it the additional hour with the end of daylight savings time. I quickly filled my time with worthy activities like socializing with the friend family, doing laundry, baking with lots of pumpkin and apples, watching football, and eating often with others. 

Friday, after a day filled with teenagers and ceramics quizzes while substitute teaching at Chapman Middle School, I ventured out to the farm for some Lumber Jill moments. I just had a hankering to cut some firewood and throw it so I prodded my father into a trip to the woods for some firewood action. Every now and then I really feel like doing some exercise with a purpose and this was the day. 

I decided that it was time to hit the baking action so I could deliver some goodies to my neighbors. I like to bake and I know that most people like baked goods, so this is my attempt to get inside other's homes and be a real neighbor. It amazes me how most people live right beside people for so long and know nothing about them. I know I didn't move to this town simply to have an Abilene address, I want to get to know these people! Slowly but surely maybe others will knock on my door. You don't even have to bring baked goods, I like any visitor!

First attempt was a whole wheat pumpkin cranberry scone. This recipe I had scribbled down on a piece of scratch paper in my planner for some time. They were super easy to put together and quite healthful as they had no fat added, made with whole grains, and little sugar. They were really good right out of the oven, however, after cooling they lacked a whole lot of greatness. I suppose that scones are intended to be eaten with tea or coffee anyway and they definitely needed this the next day. I didn't get around to delivering them anywhere on baking day so I didn't feel like they would be bit hit with others the next day. 

Enter my dining delicacy Sunday breakfast. Oatmeal with yogurt, pepitas, and crumbled pumpkin WW scone. This was quite tasty.

My second creation with pumpkin included some awesome pumpkin crescent rolls. This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simply in Season. I highly recommend this cookbook as it contains fabulously healthful recipes organized by the seasons. The recipe was a sweet potato crescent roll recipe that I adapted with pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes. These went over well. 
My dough, about half whole wheat.

Given one rise, rolled out and cut into pizza slices.

Rolled up crescent style.

Final product; probably could have used a brushing of
butter to make them shine but I opted not.
A Sunday of baking produced two apple delights. I had a bunch of apples that really needed to be baked with because they weren't lending much appealing tastes to eating fresh and I already have applesauce in the fridge. Both recipes courtesy of King Arthur Flour, Whole Grain Baking cookbook.  This is another one of my go-to baking books. I love to bake with the added nutrition of whole grains and most often tell myself it's healthy if it has whole grains. Never-mind the same amount of butter and sugar as a regular recipe, it is whole grain!

First a Walnut Apple Coffeecake:

It's a super moist explosion of apple in there as it had diced apple in the batter already and I substituted half the butter with applesauce. I can't bring myself to put a whole cup of butter in a coffeecake so I subbed applesauce which makes the final product so very very moist. This would be what I divided up and took to the neighbors. 

Next up was the Apple Brown Betty. This recipe I made because I also wanted to use the kinda lame non-fat scones I had. Apple Brown Betty goes like this: 

Peel apples

Slice apples

Add lots of spices, a little sugar, and lemon juice. 
Mix up your bread crumbles, oats, good amount of sugar and butter. 

Layer your apples and crumble.

Bake to a beauty. 
I think it is definitely better than the brown betty we make once in bake lab. I don't know what that was, but I don't remember being impressed or very interested in it. This, however, is absolutely splendid. That may be due to the fork that I inserted shortly after removing it oven and the bite I enjoyed while still warm.

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