Monday, April 14, 2014

Orange & Vanilla Pinwheels

Over the next few weeks, I am going to be featuring recipes using these beauties:

These my friends are Ballard Extracts, a local company that will soon be offering these wonderful flavorings. I was sent samples of their vanilla, orange, lemon, coffee and chocolate extracts to experiment with.

First up: orange and vanilla.

These pinwheels are a take on one of my favorite Christmas cookies from The Cooky Book. That recipe swirls together vanilla and pink peppermint doughs. Let's make those pinwheels springy (totally a word) by swapping the peppermint for a refreshing orange extract. 

This is a slice and bake situation.

The vanilla extract is warm and well developed and the orange offers a brightness of fresh citrus flavor without being overpowering or medicinal (a problem I have had with lemon and orange extracts in the past.) These flavors work perfectly in these creamsicle inspired cookies.

Orange & Vanilla Pinwheels
makes about 2 dozen 1/4" cookies
**adapted from The Cooky Book (originally a Christmas cookie with swirled vanilla/red peppermint flavored doughs)

Vanilla Dough
1 1/3 c AP flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 stick butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract

Orange Dough
1 1/3 c AP flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 stick butter, softened
1 t orange extract
3(+/-) drops each yellow and red food coloring (depending on what kind of food dye you use you may need more or less than 3 drops each to achieve the color you want... start conservatively and add more if necessary)

granulated sugar (for coating sides)
- - -
1. Make the vanilla dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until smooth; add vanilla extract and egg yolk, mixing until just incorporated; add flour and mix on medium speed until the dough begins to clump together
2. Wrap the vanilla dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the orange dough
3. Make the orange dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until smooth; add orange extract, food coloring and egg yolk, mixing until just incorporated; add flour and mix on medium speed until the dough begins to clump together
4. Wrap orange dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes
5. Dust two cutting boards with flour and roll out each dough into a rectangle about 1/4" thick (try and make the rectangles the same size, measuring if you like)

6. Carefully roll the orange dough around a floured rolling pin and place it on top of the vanilla dough, lining up the edges (if the dough tears or any holes form just patch them with any extra dough)

7. With the longest side of the rectangle facing you, begin to roll the dough away from your body into a tight cylinder
8. Cover the roll of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
9. When you are ready to bake pre-heat the oven to 325F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
10. Cut dough into 1/4" slices, roll the edges in granulated sugar and place 2" apart on the prepared baking sheets
11. Bake at 325F for 18-20 minutes, edges will just begin to brown

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekly Links #6

I am going to keep this list short and sweet because it is sunny and I'm itching to get outside for a run. Let's kick the weekend off right!

I am enjoying this granola I found on Shutterbean... I made a batch using dried blueberries, flax seeds and coconut oil. Just add Greek yogurt.

I need to make this rhubarb crumble ice cream stat.

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream // take a megabite

I discovered this store last week. I wanted to buy everything in it... the clothes were just so summery and pretty.


I am loving this three minute makeup routine from Cupcakes&Cashmere because that's about all the time I have for makeup in the morning.

Jeff and I brunched here last weekend and I am smitten. French toast bundt cake... need I say more? Also, just look at those biscuits and jam.


I want to buy or make a little herb box to put on my kitchen windowsill like this one from Williams-Sonoma.

Herb Pot with Tray

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Honey Wheat Bread

The other evening I decided to do a quick yoga practice while this bread was baking in the oven. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than deep-breathing in honey wheat bread fumes for 40 minutes.

This is my first time making "sandwich bread." I have dabbled in baguettes and have fair experience making quick breads but for some reason the slice-able, sandwich making breads intimidate me. I guess it is one of those things I thought wouldn't be better homemade. Because apparently I am ridiculous.

Making bread at home is a little time consuming, but it is gratifying, tastes damn good and will make your entire house (or tiny apartment) smell wonderful.

This bread has honey in it but is not super sweet. The mixture of regular all purpose (AP) flour and whole wheat flour give this bread a well rounded flavor and keep it from being too dense. It is the perfect canvas for making toast or any sort of sandwich.

I like to let my doughs rise in a pre-warmed oven. Fifteen or so minutes before I make the dough I will turn the oven on low. I will turn the oven off right as I start mixing the dough (keeping the door shut). Then, once my dough is mixed and placed in an oiled bowl I throw a tea towel over the top of the bowl and pop the entire thing into the oven.

This bread gets two rises, one in the bowl and one after being shaped and placed in a loaf pan.

Once baked, the top is brushed with melted butter. I may have been heavy handed during this step.

I wish there was a scented candle that smells like baked bread and melted butter. Until then...

Honey Wheat Bread
makes 1 loaf

1 1/2- 2 c AP flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 c honey
1 egg
- - -
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine 1c AP flour, the whole wheat flour, yeast and salt
2. In a small saucepan gently warm milk, water honey and butter until melted and warm (not hot) about 130F
3. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture; add egg; mix until evenly moistened
4. Add remaining (or most depending on how wet/dry your dough looks) AP flour; when dough is mostly mixed turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth; form into a round
5. Mist a large bowl with baking spray and place dough round into it, turning once to coat the top
6. Cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rise for 1 hr+ (until it has doubled in size)
7. Grease a 9" loaf pan
8. After dough has doubled, press down and gather into a rough loaf shape; place in the prepared loaf pan
9. Cover with the tea towel and allow dough to rise for 40 minutes, the dough should just be peaking over the edge of the pan
10. Pre-heat oven to 375F and bake for 35-45 minutes; the top will be a rich brown color and it will sound hollow when tapped
11. Remove pan from oven, brush the top of the bread with melted butter and cool completely on a rack before slicing

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Running in Seattle

Remember that time I took you on my favorite run? That was back when Jeff and I lived in Kirkland. While I still love that loop, we moved and I have since had to find a new favorite run. So shall we?

We are going to run through four neighborhoods on this jaunt, starting at my front doorstep in Capitol Hill. Instead of going downhill towards the Space Needle, we are going to run up to Broadway and take a left. This road will take us pretty much all the way to the University of Washington! 

We make our way to the U District, running along the east side of Lake Union.

Before we cross that bridge, we will pass this bakery. It smells incredible. Just look at all that dough on the table (far right.)

This is where I have to persuade myself to keep running. I remind myself that running home after eating puff pastry would be a bad life choice. To the bridge!

Just over the bridge we come to the Burke-Gilman trail, a 27 mile rail trail that runs all around Seattle (as far east a Bothell.) We will hop on the trail and head west towards Fremont. 

In between the U District and Fremont we will come to Gasworks Park. We are halfway home! This is my favorite part of the run, the park is so beautiful and you have a great view of Seattle.

View from the top:

Back on the BG trail, we will run under highway 99 then take the Fremont Bridge back into the city.

For a mile we will run along the west side of Lake Union (aka lots of house boats and yachts.) This stretch leads us into the heart of downtown.

At this point I am mentally preparing for The Hill. The Hill is Denny Street. It is my 3/4 mile hill "home stretch." In Kirkland, I had the option of a hill at the end of my loop... not so much now. Home (as you can see) is at the tip-top of this urban mountain (at least that is how it feels sometimes.)

This 7.5 mile loop allows me to see many of the different parts of the city, gets me near the water (which I love) and kicks my butt every time I do it. A new favorite!

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Beer Day!

I have a post about my new favorite run, but that will have to wait until tomorrow because it is National Beer Day. So drink up, or make one of these recipes that I have (sometimes not so subtly) hidden beer in. I could go for a sampler like this right about now...

Add beer to brownie batter.

Make these pork chops.

Add a few scoops of coffee ice cream to a porter for a mocha porter float!

These pretzel macarons have a stout ganache filling. Do it!