Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘breakfast’

Blueberries: an essential part of a not-so-balanced breakfast.

I have something to say.

It’s very important.

Are you listening?!

Good…

I, Kate, the baketress of Irvine, California…am getting slightly cupcaked-out.

They’re still my favorite. It’s not getting old, at all. But this blog needs a little variety every once in a while. So maybe I should say Sugar Therapy is getting a little cupcaked-out. It really doesn’t matter how I say it, because…

I made cookies! (yay!)

Baking cookies baffles me. They’re so easy. How can something so delicious, so popular, and so sweatpants-stretching be this simple?! It’s a mystery I’ll never solve, I’m sure.

You can go ahead and file these under That’s it? or No no no, there must be more to it…, or…

Cookies for breakfast.

(You have some strange categories…but I like your style.)

These brown sugar blueberry cookies are perfectly acceptable for your morning meal. Why? Because these cookies are basically blueberry muffins in 3-bite form. (Or one bite if you’re feeling like an oinker…and you have a big mouth..)

The cookies are so simple that I’m pretty sure it took longer for me to get the ingredients out than it did to actually put them together. Let’s do some math:

11 ingredients + 1 bowl + 1 oven + maaaybe 45 minutes of your day = bomb.com breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner.

I should have been a math major.

Sometimes life gets complicated, and in a world of ups and downs, the best prescription is a simple recipe that will give you blueberry satisfaction in the blink of an eye. I looked at the ingredients in my cabinet, and voila! Best bfast evah.

Make these cookies and give them to everyone you know. That is, if you can manage not to eat them all before you reach the front door…

Brown Sugar Blueberry Cookies
makes about a dozen cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
2/3 cup blueberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet.

2. Beat butter, sugar, and egg until combined.

3. Add vanilla and combine.

4. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and milk and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

5. Gently fold in blueberries.

6. Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill.

7. Once the cookie balls are on the sheet, sprinkle with granulated sugar.

8. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, and let cool on a wire rack.

9. Eat.

Bon appétit!

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I’m not letting the chips fall where they may.

There are so many things I want to accomplish in this adorable little life I’m living.

Learn how to surf.

Master the art of cooking pasta. (You may think it’s simple, but for me, it’s not. I’m a baker. Not a cook.)

Muster up enough courage to sing at a karaoke bar. (Liquid courage is not out of the question on this one…)

Move to another city, state, town, planet…somewhere. Anywhere.

Learn another language (or six). Italian would be awesome. French would be even cooler. Maybe I’ll master some ancient African language. I can’t imagine it would ever come in handy…but you never know.

Make one of those really awesome melted crayon paintings you see on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. (and you know you want to make one too.)

I want to sew a dress, knit a scarf, patch some jeans…something domestic that would put my dusty sewing machine to good use.

Learn how to swing dance. I can’t imagine that being rhythmically tossed around like a doll is a bad time.

Publish something. Whether it be a cookbook, novel, or a children’s book…I want my words out there, in print. There’s something so official and wonderful about it.

I want to be able to spell “Wednesday” without having to think of it as wed-nes-day.

Same goes for Feb-RU-ary.

And finally, bake a cupcake with chocolate chips that don’t sink to the bottom.

Well wait just a doggone baker’s dozen minute here…I just did that!

I made banana chocolate chip cupcakes. I put some Tiger Butter buttercream on top.

For those of you who don’t know what tiger butter is…it’s my favorite candy in the fudge category. Peanut butter and chocolate. I’m all about it. You should be too.

Fresh out of the oven, they fit the description of a muffin. A perfectly warm, melty, banana scented muffin. I would not judge you if you decided to nix the frosting and try to get away with having these for breakfast. They have bananas! It could work.

Told ya.

That’s something I seriously considered. In fact, I’ll probably whip these up as muffins in the future, but for the sake of the blog and the fact that I do love buttercream and decorating cupcakes, I moved forward. I’m glad I did.

These are seriously the bomb.com. Even when they’ve cooled, you get a perfect amount of banana flavor. Crazy. I was worried they’d come out too…potassium-y. It’s a thing.

Oh and the secret to having the chocolate chips not fall to the bottom? Lightly coat them in flour before you add them to the batter. Who knew?!

Well actually…Google knew.

These week’s theme for the Event Blossom party kits is Jungle Safari! Check out what Kim did with the other great stuff in this wild kit here.

This theme was the main reasoning behind the banana flavor this week. Jungles have animals. One of the animals you can find in the jungle is a monkey. Monkeys eat bananas, and so do I. Hence, this cupcake was born.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Tiger Butter Buttercream

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 ripened bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.

3. Beat butter on high until light and smooth.

4. Beat in sugar until fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

5. Beat in vanilla until combined.

6. Beat in bananas well. Make sure it’s completely incorporated.

7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the half and half. Beat until just combined.

8. Toss the chocolate chips in a little bit of flour. You may use a ziplock bag and shake it around or be fancy and toss ’em around in a bowl.

9. Fold the chips into the batter.

10. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for approx. 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

11. Try one without frosting. I dare you to tell me it isn’t amazing.

Tiger Butter Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
4 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1. Beat butter until fluffy and pale yellow. About 2 minutes.

2. Beat in powdered sugar in increments, until desired consistency begins to form.

3. Add vanilla.

4. Transfer half of the buttercream to another bowl.

5. For one half, add the cocoa powder until completely combined.

6. For the other half, add the peanut butter until completely combined.

To create the swirl effect

3 pastry bags (or ziplock bags)

1. Put a small amount of each frosting in its own bag. Cut the corner off the bottom.

2. Cut the corner off of the third bag, and set up with desired decorating tip.

3. Place both of the frosting bags in the third bag, so the cut-off corners are feeding into the third bag’s tip.

4. Gently squeeze the bag, and do a few test runs to make sure it comes out even.

Voila! Gorgeous decorating that will impress anyone.

Bon appétit!

Saturday mornings: cartoons, PJs, and a pancake for one.

Ahh, Saturday morning.

As a kid, it was all about Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and that show with the sharks? Does anyone know what show I’m talking about? It was that show about 4 guys who were transformed into sharks…and they like, fought crime, or were criminals, or something…?

Okay well that’s going to bother me all day, but for the sake of this blog (and your time) I’ll move on.

My point is, cartoons were the bees knees during childhood. They represented the glory of what is Saturday morning. You could sleep in, stay in your jammies til noon, and then jump on your bike and ride to your friend’s house to see if they could play. Or in my case, run next door where your best friend lives and basically just assume she’s available to play house, or go to the pool, or Rollerblade, or whatever the heck else we did as kids to keep ourselves occupied.

Jessica and I had so much fun. Aww, memories. ❤

But what I’m really leaving out (and what is one of the most important parts of Saturday morning) is breakfast! Duhhh.

Weekdays are about quick, on-the-go breakfasts: Pop-Tarts, a bowl of cereal, toast — things that don’t take a long time to eat. There isn’t an opportunity to really enjoy the meal.

Enter: Saturday morning breakfast! Homemade breakfast. Come on, that’s a highlight of life. You can’t deny that.

Now, please note that I do not like breakfast foods at breakfast time. I’m not sure why. I just don’t. I’d rather have a waffle for dinner than a bowl of pasta any day of the week. But every once in a while, there’s an exception. For example, this morning.

My Saturdays aren’t what they used to be. I have this thing now, where I provide labor in exchange for money. Also known as a job. And I usually work the PM shift on weekends. Therefore, Saturday mornings are incredibly precious to me. When I got home this morning, I had the house to myself. I love having the house to myself. The TV is mine. The couch is mine. And most importantly, the kitchen is mine.

Well I still have to share the house with Kitten, but she’s feel exceptionally lazy today.

So in the midst of this wonderful solitude, I decided today was a breakfast day. And I wanted a pancake.

One giant pancake. Singular. Uno.

So that’s what I made! It’s inspired by Joy the Baker’s “Single Lady Pancake,” but the recipe is all my own. (I love the title of her recipe! So cute.) I’m not considered a “single lady” anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a little selfish “me” time with a pancake and cup of coffee, while watching the episode of New Girl I missed last Tuesday. (Which, by the way…was not funny. I was very disappointed.)

I used to make variations of this for myself last year when I lived in the apartment. It’s a delicious, wonderful, simple way to start the day. I highly recommend it.

I don’t even have a lot of pictures to show you, because I wanted to eat it ASAP.

I dislike cold pancakes. Gnarly.

But on the realz, this hits the spot. It’s like, good for the soul or something. Your inner pancake soul.

It’s a thing. I swear.

Be selfish. Make a pancake.

Pancake for Me, Myself, and I
a Sugar Therapy original – yay!

1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons apple cinnamon instant oatmeal, uncooked (or plain oats)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
5 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp orange juice
3 tsp vanilla extract

1. Whisk all dry ingredients together. That’s flour, oats, sugars, baking powder/soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, vanilla, and oil together.

3. Add orange juice and whisk until combined.

4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, whisking until just combined. The batter should be pretty thick.

5. Heat a griddle or pan on medium heat. (That’s a strange sentence…but just do it.)

6. Pour batter onto the pan and allow the pancake to cook until you see some bubbles form on the top. Flip the pancake. Hopefully it’s a beautiful golden brown. That’s the goal.

Note: I am the WORST pancake flipper in the history of pancake flippers. I get nervous. Sometimes I burn my pancakes because I’m too hesitant. Don’t be like me. Just flip it, you can do it!

7. Add syrup. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Spread some jelly on there. Or be like me, and keep it simple and spread a light layer of non-dairy butter on there. So. good.

The best part about this recipe is you can add and subtract. Not a fan of orange juice? I’d try some apple instead. Want banana pancakes? I like the way you think. Want some crunch? Add walnuts! And of course, you can never go wrong with a handful of blueberries.

Be innovative. Be selfish. Enjoy your Saturday morning.

And let me know if you can remember the name of that shark cartoon.

Bon appétit!

Moseying with madeleines

I’d like to tell you about my day!

Nothing necessarily spectacular happened, but it really was a good day.

After an incredibly lazy Saturday morning, my stomach decided to tell me I wasn’t just hungry, but I was starving. It sounded like an angry polar bear trapped inside my tum.

While sipping my coffee during breakfast at 2:30pm today (Yes, as in 2:30 in the afternoon. I told you I had a lazy morning…) I looked across the table at my breakfast companion and realized something…

I was so happy.

This past week was a nightmare, to say the least. It was one of those “It’s only TUESDAY?!?!” weeks.

But like I said, today, during breakfast, I was happy.

Good company changes everything.

I’ve known this. You know this. It’s not like I’m presenting you with brand new information. I’m just giving you a sweet little reminder that the best medicine is sitting at a diner with someone who will willingly carry on a conversation with you about the word “dollop” and its potential origins, old children’s shows we can’t remember the names of, and why sugar should or should not (which is the right answer, by the way) be added to every beverage.

Ridiculous, random, and slightly (okay…very) odd? To some, perhaps. But it was right up my alley. And I loved every second of it.

Despite my belated breakfast, believe it or not, I did actually have things to do today. But when I walked in the house around 4:30, my eye went straight to my brand-new madeleine pan that my wonderful mother bought for me at Williams-Sonoma yesterday. 🙂 She spoils me.

There was a recipe on the back.

(I think you know where this is headed…)

Yeah, those things I “had” to do? Postponed. The only thought running through my mind at that moment?

Must. Make. MADELEINES!!!!

So, I did. It was that simple. The recipe is even easier, and stuffing your face with them is even easier than that.

Sorry, spring break bod. I’ll start on you next week……maybe.

These madeleines are wonderful. Light, airy, and full of vanilla flavor. Dust them with some powdered sugar and you will be in sweet, delicate, cookie heaven — which, by the way, is an awesome place. You should really check it out.

For the first time in a long time I followed the recipe to a T, because:
a) I had never baked them before and
b) I had no idea how much altering I could do without changing the consistency of the cookie.

Now I know. So you can bet your baking booty I’ll be making these French delights again!

Madeleines
recipe from Williams-Sonoma

Softened unsalted butter for brushing molds
1/2 cup flour plus a little for dusting the molds
2 eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. You can do this next step a few different ways. If your butter is soft enough, brush it into the molds making sure to cover every area and leaving no clumps. The other way, (how I did it) is you can use a paper towel, put some slightly softened butter on it, and spread it in each mold. I find that less frustrating and slightly more time-efficient. After the molds are buttered, lightly sprinkle flour in each mold, making sure each one is covered. Turn the pan upside-down and tap out any excess flour.

3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, and salt using a hand mixer on medium-high speed. Beat for about 5 minutes, or until it is noticeably thicker, fluffy, and pale yellow. (You’ll know it’s fluffy because there will be a lot of air bubbles.)

4. Beat in vanilla.

5. Sift flour into the mixture and either stir or beat on low-speed until incorporated.

6. Fold in half of the melted butter, making sure to incorporate it completely. Repeat with second half.

7. Place a heaping tablespoon full of batter in each mold. This recipe makes a perfect amount for 16 cookies. (one pan’s worth)

8. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the cookie slightly bounces back when you touch it. The edges will also be golden. (Mine only took 8 minutes.)

This is a terrible picture, but this is should give you a general idea of what they look like when they’re done.

9. When baking time is complete, remove the cookies from the oven and flip the pan upside down on a wire rack. If a few cookies don’t fall out, use your finger to aid it.

10. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the powdered sugar.

11. Give them to everyone. Or like, 2 of your friends, because you’ll probably eat 14. (Let’s be real.)

Bon appétit!

Doughnut be sad any longer, I’m back!

Dear Baking Mojo,

You have been a bit of a biotch lately. It has really annoyed me.

It annoys me almost as much as this spellcheck wanting to correct “biotch” to “biotech.”

Really though, what was your issue? You disappeared for a long time. I tried to use you several times, but whatever I made came out so…un-Sugar-Therapyish. You would show your face for a second, but when I would start to whip up some cookies, you were nowhere to be found, and therefore, neither were the cookies. What the eff, man? Even Thanksgiving pies were mediocre at best, thanks to you.

Now, I realize I’m being a little harsh, Mojo. I know we’re not in the amazing kitchen we used to bake in. The oven we loved to hate so much isn’t with us anymore. All the counterspace? Yeah, a pipe dream. My collection of salt and pepper shakers that cheerily graced us as we sang along to whatever playlist I chose aren’t out anymore. That kitchen was mine ours, and I’m just as bummed as you are that I can’t buy dish towels or display my favorite cookie jar.

But you know what, my darling? We need to get over it. Stop hiding behind those cotton candy clouds, and join me in the bright, buttercream world we used to live in. The blog is called Sugar Therapy…hellooooo. I can’t live my life effectively without you! And let’s be honest, you can’t live without me either, because, well, you’re my baking mojo.

You really came through for me yesterday. I mean, we made doughnuts for the first time, and it was wildly successful! When I opened that deep fryer from Santa this past Christmas, I had doughnuts on the mind, hardcore. You seemed pretty hesitant, but the other day I was in such a good mood that I made you comply…and look at what came out of it! Delicious, cakey, yeasty doughnuts.

Let’s keep it up.

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. If you ever disappear like that again, I might have to replace you with basket-weaving.

P.P.S. Just kidding, I would never basket-weave. But seriously don’t ever f&%*$#@ leave me again.

…xoxo.

Homemade Doughnuts
Recipe closely followed from Pioneer Woman.

1 1/4 cup whole milk, warm
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (also known as one package)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan. Make sure it is not too hot.

2. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

3. Pour the dry yeast into a medium-small bowl, and pour the milk mixture over it.

4. Stir it gently, but then walk away! Don’t touch it for 10 minutes and watch how gross it starts to look.

5. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. You may do this in the microwave in small increments of 10-15 seconds. You don’t want the butter to melt all the way, because it will be too hot for the next step. Instead, melt it about 80% of the way and stir it until it melts down. It works the same way that melting chocolate does.

6. Add the eggs to the butter and stir to combine.

I must interject. My beautiful stand mixer was faulty. One day it started sparking, and I feared for my life, so I turned it off. Saddest story of my life. 😦 So I had to use a hand mixer. It is a WORKOUT, so if you have a stand mixer…I beg of you…use it! Because my right arm is comparable to that of Hulk Hogan’s.

7. Set either a stand mixer (wahh) or a hand mixer with a dough hook attachment to medium, and beat the butter/egg mixture while slowly pouring in the yeast mixture.

8. Keep the mixer going for a few minutes until the ingredients are combined.

9. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments, combining well after each addition.

10. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and then beat the dough for 5 minutes.

11. If needed, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl, then beat again for about 30 seconds.

12. Set the bowl of dough aside for 10 minutes. Don’t mess with it, let it be.

13. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours, or if you prefer/if it makes it easier, overnight.

Have some wine, take a breath, and pat yourself on the back for using that wimpy hand mixer for this project.

The next day…..

14. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness.

15. Using a handy-dandy doughnut cutter, cut circles in the dough, and transfer them to a lightly floured baking sheet. Put the doughnut holes on there, too.

16. When you reach the point where you cannot possibly cut another circle, cover the baking sheets with a dish towel and store them in a warm place.

Since this kitchen is a bit of an igloo, I turned the oven on for about 2 minutes, turned it off, let it cool slightly, and placed the sheets in there. Worked perfectly.

17. Allow the doughnuts to rise for an hour. Don’t touch them. Again, just let it be.

Now, like I said, I used a deep fryer. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can use a large pot. But make sure you keep track of the temperature!!

18. Once the oil has reached 375 degrees, gently place the doughnuts, about 3 at a time, in the oil. They cook extremely quickly. It should only take about 45 seconds to a minute for each side.

19. Remove the doughnuts from the hot oil with a slotted spoon, allowing oil to drip off. Place the doughnuts on several layers of paper towels, wait a few seconds, and flip over to a dry part of the towel. You’re just getting rid of the oil that you definitely don’t want in your doughnuts.

20. Continue until all of your doughnuts are fried. Fry the doughnut holes, too, but be aware that they require about half the time to cook.

Now, while these are so good warm and plain, you better do something with them. Powdered sugar? Chocolate? Cinnamon-sugar? Sprinkles? Nuts? Whatever!

If you plan on going the cinnamon-sugar route that I did, put the sugar mixture in a ziplock bag. Place a few slightly warm doughnuts in the bag, and shake. Boom. Instant deliciousness.

If you plan to go the glazed doughnut route, make a simple glaze with confectioners’ sugar, milk, some vanilla, and a sprinkle of salt. Submerge the doughnut in the glaze, and set on a wire rack to set.

The possibilities are endless. They’re freaking doughnuts, for Pete’s sake. Just eat some and pretend your thighs don’t care.

Bon appétit!