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Posts Tagged ‘cloves’

by Sarah Steimer

Why the candles? This was Bill’s choice for a birthday cake this year (back in October) — not a bad choice at all for a fall birthday. I always make single-layer cakes when I’m cooking for a small crowd, but this could clearly be doubled to make a more traditional double-layer cake.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Grease and flour a 9-inch or 8-inch round cake pan (I use butter to grease the pan).

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric beater until fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately at the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three batches, starting and finishing with the flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let finish cooling.

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • about 1 cup powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk. Return to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Let the mixture come down to room temperature.

Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until the frosting comes to your desired consistency.

Once the frosting has cooled completely, ice the cake and serve.

Serves 8-10.

Recipe adapted from: Dramatic Pancake

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by Sarah Steimer

I’ll admit to two issues I had with this pie: the middle sunk in and the apple filling was a little mushier than I had intended. Luckily, neither problem affects how delicious this pie is. To avoid a sinking crust, I should have used my handy little pie bird. The mushiness, however, is sometimes unavoidable because it depends so heavily on the apples themselves, which you have little control over.

Follow this recipe for the cheddar crust (I previously used it to make a blueberry pie — I love it).

For the filling:

  • about 6 Granny Smith apples, or other good pie apples such as Cortland (may need to increase the number), cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1/4 cup good-quality honey
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Cut the refrigerated dough in half. Roll the one half into a 13-inch circle. Place the circle into a 10-inch pie dish, allowing the dough to sink into shape, and refrigerate. Roll out the second half of the dough into another circle and place onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Lay flat in the refrigerator. Both should be chilled for about 30 minutes.

A little sunken, but still a really beautiful pie. There’s not a whole lot that looks prettier to me than a big, fresh pie sitting on a kitchen tea towel. Guess who’s already looking forward to her holiday diet?

When ready, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for a few minutes so they’re a little easier to work with — if the crusts are too hard, the top will break when you try to lay it over the apple mound. When ready, spoon the apples into the bottom pie crust (if you’re using a pie bird, put it in now!). Cover with the top crust and press the edges together to seal. Cut off any excess dough at the edges and crimp (optional). Cut a few slits into the top of the crust so the pie may vent.

Place the pie in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Remove and brush the pie with the egg, being sure not to leave any puddles of egg on the crust.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350 and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Tent the pie with foil and bake for another 45 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling.

Let cool for at least an hour and a half before serving.

*This month we’re featuring classic pies that would be a great dessert at any Thanksgiving table. For the full list of pies, click here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I expected these to taste a bit more Christmas-y, but they just seemed well-spiced to me instead. Which is fine, I'm not exactly thinking about Christmas right now.

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular wheat flour, but pastry flour would likely make the pancakes a little lighter and crispier)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 egg

    Apple topping is clearly optional - I just like the ginger-apple flavor profile.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup milk
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and pour over dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. When skillet is hot, add a tablespoon or so of oil. Make your pancakes just like you would any other time (I think we’ve explained this well enough in our other Lookin’ Hot posts). I would suggest making smaller pancakes with this batter, as larger ones puff up quite a bit and stand the chance of just being mushy. Shoot for teacup-sized pancakes.
Makes about eight-10 (small-ish) pancakes.
Recipe adapted from: Naturally Ella
In March we’ll post our favorite flapjack recipes as part of Lookin’ Hot, Cakes. You can find all of our pancake recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I served this in a slow cooker set on "warm" at a holiday soiree I threw last month. A white sangria is a nice alternative to a red wine sangria at parties - think of which would show up on a couch when it gets spilled.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • zest of 2 lemons, cut into strips (if you have time)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 4 whole star anise*
  • 4 cinnamon sticks*
  • 12 whole cloves*
  • 2 bottles dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange and 1 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker or large saucepan until heated through. If heating in a slow cooker, keep set to “warm” during the party. If using a saucepan, transfer to an insulated container for serving, such as a dutch oven, or sturdy glass bowl. Serve in paper or glass cups, as plastic can give you some problems when using hot liquids.

*Don’t want to purchase a whole jar of spices? Lots of fresh markets and spice stores will offer these ingredients in bulk – meaning you can literally pick out four star anise and not worry about what to do with 30 extra.

Serves 12.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

**For the month of January, we’re offering a few recipes for warm alcoholic drinks to take into cold winter nights. All “Warm and Buzzy” recipes can be found here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I definitely talked this pie up to my family, so let's all hope I don't ruin it for Thanksgiving. Trying to maintain the "best daughter" image I've created.

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree,* or canned
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg for glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • pate brisee pie dough (recipe here)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (can use the rest of the carton for whipped topping – just add a little cinnamon!)

*For the pumpkin puree

Use a pie pumpkin – such as a sugar pumpkin or long pie pumpkin – that is about 1 1/2 pounds. Do not use just any pumpkin, as some are stringier than others.

Using a sharp knife, pierce the skin of the pumpkin, going all the way through. Place in a glass baking dish and fill with about 1 inch of water.

Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until a butter knife can be easily inserted into the pumpkin.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice in half and remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a blender or food processor. Make sure there are no stringy bits and the puree is the same consistency throughout. Keep refrigerated.

Using my excess dough, I cut out leaf shapes with a cookie cutter. I brushed the leaves with the same egg wash used on the crust, sprinkled them with a little cinnamon and baked them on a cookie sheet for about 10 or so minutes.

For the pie

In a large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin puree and 3 eggs. Beat well. Add evaporated milk and combine.

Once your pate brisee has set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (hope you followed directions), roll it out into a 12-inch circle or so. The crust should be about 1/8 of an inch thick. Place the crust in a 9-inch glass pie dish and cut off the excess edges, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang. Pinch edges to form a decorative edge, if you so please.

Beat the remaining egg together with the tablespoon of cream and brush the crust, being sure to get into all the nooks. Fill with the pie mixture.

Place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven (not sure why, but I was afraid to find out). Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes more. When I switched the heat, I took the pie out to let the oven lower its temperature and put foil over the crust edges – because you can never be too safe.

When the pie is done, the very center should still be a bit wiggly. Let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.

Serve with whipped cream.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

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by Sarah Steimer

If I have a choice, I choose loose tea. Allowing your tea to be free releases more of its benefits.

For the bread:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup prepared chai tea*
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour

Cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs, tea, milk and vanilla on low speed until well combined.  Slowly add the baking powder, salt and flour.  Stir until just moistened.  Pour into one prepared loaf pan or three prepared mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack before glazing.

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • – 5 teaspoons prepared chai tea

Combine sugar and vanilla. Stir in the tea until you reach a desired consistency (I went with thick but runny). Pour over loaf.

Makes one regular loaf or three mini loaves.

Recipe adapted from: The Jey of Cooking

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*I used chai tea from Tupelo Honey Teas, based in Pittsburgh. Danielle hand-blends wonderful teas, many of which are organic. I highly recommend stopping to see her at the Pittsburgh Public Market. Otherwise, you can order her tea online — I have now that I’ve moved! Gotta stay loyal.

Chai tea facts

-Good for: Digestion and nausea. Black pepper in chai stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid required for breaking down food, fennel inhibits bacteria that cause gas and cloves refresh the mouth and throat. Black tea (the base for chai) and cinnamon contain antioxidants and ginger is a nausea remedy that soothes the stomach, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

-Origins: Chai is actually the Hindi word for tea and is more accurately called “masala chai” or spiced tea. There are numerous types of chai tea and no set recipe, although it is most commonly steeped in boiling water with steamed milk added. Chai is a very commonly found beverage in India and is traditionally served after meals.

-Taste: It varies, but chai usually has a black tea base with spices that include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn and cloves. Because of the spices, the smell and taste of the tea has an autumn or winter comparison-flavor comparison.

Sources: Livestrong and Tea Genius

**Throughout May, “Strange Brew” will feature tea-based recipes — all of which can be found here.

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