Beach Town Baking

Tag Archives: Lei Shishak

FLOURLESS ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES

These flourless almond butter cookies are my latest indulgence. Really, I can’t stop eating them. Let me tell you how it all began…

I recently decided to try out Costco’s Kirkland brand almond butter. I was so skeptical I let the jar sit on my counter for weeks.  To my surprise, it was pretty darn delicious. Not to mention it was way cheaper than other almond butter brands. But as with most Costco products, it was too large and I was getting tired of eating almond butter on toast so I decided to bake up some almond butter cookies with what was left.

These flourless almond butter cookies bake up slightly crispy on the outside yet gooey and super chewy on the inside. All quite remarkable since there’s no flour in this recipe. The crunchy peanuts and soft chocolate chips give these almond butter cookies great texture while the salt, brown sugar and vanilla make this cookie memorable.

When you make the cookie dough it may be a little oily from the almond butter separating. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal and your cookies will bake up just fine.

Enjoy!

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 cup almond butter (chilled or at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted peanuts (whole or pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet trays with aluminum foil and set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a Kitchen Aid bowl and mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
Portion out with a 1-ounce cookie scoop onto the prepared trays. You should get 16 cookies. Press down slightly with your palm and bake for 11 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let cookies cool completely before removing from trays. Store in an airtight container.

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PORK AND BEANS FROM SCRATCH

Yum! Pork and Beans from Scratch!

It’s a busy summer at the Sugar Blossom so I’ve been using my crockpot a lot more than usual. By the time I get home from the bakery, I’m usually starving so it’s a thrill to open the front door and smell a warm meal that’s ready to be eaten.

In my pork and beans from scratch recipe, I use pork butt and dried black beans. This cut of pork is typically sold in 4 pound portions so I use half and then freeze the remainder for future dishes. This recipe is quick to pull together – the hardest thing is remembering to soak the dried beans overnight!

The pork and beans cook for 3 hours on high and 6 hours on low, resulting in melt in your mouth pork and creamy, soft (but not mushy!) beans. This dish is delicious on its own, but if you’re looking to supplement it with some sides, I’d recommend Parker House rolls and some sautéed haricot verts.

 

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PORK AND BEANS FROM SCRATCH

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans (dried)
  • 2 cups water (for soaking beans)
  • 1/2 Large yellow onion (small diced)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2lb pork butt (cut into small, bite-sized cubes)

Directions

Soak beans in the water overnight.
Add remaining ingredients except pork into crockpot and whisk well. Stir in the pork pieces and drained beans.
Cook on high 3 hours; then low for 6 hours.
Enjoy!

BLACK AND BLUE CROSTATA

With berries making their appearance at the markets, I thought it timely to share my recipe for Black and Blue Crostata. A crostata is a rustic free-form baked tart or pie widely seen in Italy. It may also be baked in a pie plate, which is what I chose to do with my crostata. 

A nice change from a typical pie, this sweet crostata has a wonderfully soft cookie-like crust with a preserve-like filling. My black and blue crostata is filled with a mixture of blackberries and blueberries (get it??).  The berries are first cooked with some sugar to create a tasty, ooey gooey preserve, and then added to the pastry shell and topped with a crust. Don’t be turned off by the lattice top crust – it’s surprisingly easy to create!

Recipe makes one 9-inch crostata

Black and Blue Crostata

Ingredients

  • 6oz unsalted butter (soft)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 16oz blueberries
  • 6oz blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Large egg (whisked)
  • sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Make Crust:
In a Kitchen Aid bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients and mix just until dough is formed. Shape into two discs, wrap each with saran wrap and let chill in refrigerator 30 minutes.
Make Filling:
Combine the berries, sugar, flour and water in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a deep sauté pan over medium heat and add the berry mixture. Cook mixture for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash a third of the berries with a large spoon. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes until thickened. Transfer to a shallow baking pan and let cool in refrigerator. Stir occasionally to speed up cooling.
Make Crostata:
Remove one disc of dough from refrigerator and roll out to a 10-inch round between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Remove top paper and flip dough onto 9-inch pie plate. Trim leaving a ½-inch overhang and flip inward. Press dough into the sides such that it is flush with the top of plate. Poke holes into dough with fork and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Remove second disc from refrigerator and roll out to a 10-inch round between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Remove top paper and cut 10 (1-inch wide) strips. Slide the paper with the strips onto a sheet tray or large plate, and chill for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a baking sheet onto the middle rack. Remove pie shell from refrigerator and fill with the berry mixture (lukewarm is fine). Arrange 5 strips across filling, trim ends flush with crust and press them slightly into the crust. Arrange remaining 5 strips diagonally on top of the other strips. Trims edges flush with crust and again press them slightly into the crust. Brush lattice with whisked egg and generously sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 55 minutes until filling bubbles and crust is golden brown. Let crostata cool completely before cutting.

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Blueberry Pancakes

I woke up this morning with an impossible to ignore blueberry craving. Luckily I had some blueberries on the counter that I picked up over the weekend at the farmer’s market. I thought about making blueberry muffins, but the growls from my stomach convinced me that something more substantial was needed. Something like BLUEBERRY PANCAKES!

I loaded the pancake batter with a bowlful of macerated blueberries. I chose to make them with whole wheat flour, but all purpose would have been fine, too.  I normally like to use buttermilk in this recipe, but sadly didn’t have any. I substituted with whole milk and couldn’t tell a difference. Finally, I added a little baking powder and baking soda to make them super fluffy and light. The end result?  Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes (aka Perfection).

Want more delicious breakfast and brunch recipes?

Purchase my cookbook Beach House Brunch on Amazon here.

BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1.5 cups whole milk or buttermilk
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat or AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • maple syrup for serving

Directions

In a small bowl, use a fork to slightly mash the blueberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, remaining sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir in the blueberries. Mix in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt until just combined. Batter will be thick.
Heat a griddle or a nonstick skillet. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter onto griddle and spread of batter. Cook for a couple minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook for another minute. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with maple syrup.

 

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Barnes and Noble Book Signing this Saturday

Hi everyone,

I’ll be at Barnes and Noble Irvine Spectrum this Saturday (5/6/17) from 2pm to 4pm signing my cookbooks including my latest one, FARM-TO-TABLE DESSERTS.

Hope to see you there!

728 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618

 

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Does your MOM like to bake?

Are you frantically trying to figure out what to get your MOM,  GRANDMOTHER or any SPECIAL WOMAN in your life for Mother’s Day?

THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD GET HER!

 

My latest cookbook FARM TO TABLE DESSERTS hits stores today and it’s full of 80 sweet organic recipes broken down by seasons so you know exactly what to bake and when. Every recipe has a beautiful color photograph that accompanies it, too. It’s a nice gift that anyone will love.

Purchase on Amazon here.

Happy Tuesday!

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Farm to Table Desserts Goodreads Giveaway ends at midnight!

Hi everyone!

Just a quick note to let you know that the Goodreads Giveaway for my upcoming cookbook Farm to Table Desserts ends at midnight today. We have over 1600 entries so far (woohoo!). Click here to enter the Goodreads giveaway. You can also order my cookbook on Amazon here!

Good luck!

 

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The book that started it all…

Big day folks! The book that started it all, Beach House Baking, is released today into the ethereal world of paperback reprint! This newly updated reprint has TEN new recipes that are perfect for the start of summer. Order your fresh copy on Amazon here.

Happy Baking!

 

BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI BREAD

In the mood to bake something delicious today, but don’t have a lot of time? This is the answer: Blueberry Zucchini Bread!

Every time I bake this delicious blueberry zucchini bread, I’m always blown away by how good it is. The sweet blueberry flavor really shines through – so much that people often don’t realize there’s zucchini in it. It’s super moist and keeps well for days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s great any time of the day, morning or night.

Now go, bake, and enjoy!

 

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BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup zucchini (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
Pile the blueberries and half the sugar on a large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, chop the blueberries into small pieces, working the sugar into the blueberries. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining sugar, eggs and oil until incorporated. Stir in the grated zucchini and the chopped blueberries. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour.

Holiday Gift Ideas 2016

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again. I decided to start Holiday gift shopping as soon as possible this year and spent the weekend finding fabulous and affordable gifts that I’m going to get my friends this season. I’ve gathered all my ideas and put together a list of my favorite Holiday Gift Ideas 2016.

1) Bombas Ski and Snowboard Socks

If you’ve never heard of Bombas, take note. Bombas is all about comfortable socks and paying it forward. For every pair of socks purchased, a pair is donated.  Cool, right? They also have an awesome ‘happiness guaranteed’ return policy. I’m in love with these ski and snowboard socks designed by Olympic Gold Medal snowboarder Hannah Teter. They are midweight performance socks made with high-grade merino wool. Buy a pair for your best girlfriend and while you’re at it, pick up one for yourself.

2) J.Jill Textured Wrap Scarf

092761_essThis lightweight fashionable scarf comes in 3 colors to choose from and is sold online at J.Jill. With chunky stitching and an oh so soft texture this scarf will keep you cozy through the winter months.

 

 

 

3) Kate Spade Thermal Mug

Save some paper cups this season and buy your friends this gold stripe thermal mug from Kate Spade. Made with  BPA-, phthalate-, and lead-free construction, this beautiful mug allows you to sip and savor safely. I love that the lid has an open/close feature!

 

 

4) Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale

I think these scales are the most reliable, economical kitchen scales around. I use them at my bakery as well as at the beach loft. They come in a variety of colors and are readily available on amazon.com.

 

 

 

5) Voluspa Spruce Cuttings Candle

This is one of my favorite candles to burn over the Holidays. I love the Spruce Cuttings scent and the two wicks. Not only is it pleasant, but it really permeates nicely throughout my loft.

 

6) Beach House Brunch cookbook

Beach House Brunch 9781510702899

Well of course I had to recommend my cookbook Beach House Brunch! It’s perfect for anytime of the year – whether you’re dreaming of warmer weather or wanting to bake up brunch favorites like Italian Sausage Casserole, Blueberry Pancakes, Omelets, and Cranbery Walnut French Toast. Purchase my book on Amazon.

Oh and while you’re on Amazon, pre-order my third cookbook Farm to Table Desserts!

 

7) Ellie Alexander’s Caught Bread Handed

I recently came across this fantastic bakeshop mystery series by author Ellie Alexander.  Ellie currently has four titles out, Meet Your Baker, A Batter of Life and Death, On Thin Icing, Caught Bread Handed, and soon to be a fifth with Fudge and Jury (January 3, 2017). The story’s protagonist is Baker Jules Capshaw. Looking for some reprieve from a busy career as a cruise ship pastry chef, Jules retreats to her hometown of Ashland, Oregon to help out at her mother’s bakery Torte. But her dream of peace and quiet quickly dissipates into a cloud of murder, mystery, drama and love.

 

8) Chewbacca Slippers with Sound

Okay, okay, I know this one’s a bit silly but gosh it’s fun. These Chewbacca slippers emit two different Wookiee roars when you walk. Stay warm and entertain your friends and family at the same time! These are available on thinkgeek.com.

 

 

9) Alex and Ani Personalized Charm Initial Bracelet

These personalized charm bracelets make such a nice gift because of their distinctive quality.  Offered by Alex and Ani, they are available in gold or silver finishes. The charms are stamped with script lettering giving the bracelet an elegant, timeless look.

 

 

10) Holiday Gingerbread Leggings by ModCloth

 

One of my favorite online clothing shops is ModCloth. I’m a big fan of all their clothes, but especially their leggings. These Holiday leggings have super cute gingerbread printed on them making them perfect Christmas morning attire. Your friends will love them!

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

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