Deprecated: trim(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($string) of type string is deprecated in /home/davecampbell/foodwatcher.com/wp-content/plugins/feedwordpress/feedwordpress.php on line 2022

Homemade Blueberry Muffins

What Makes This Blueberry Muffin Recipe Different? My blueberry muffin experience started with a blue boxed mix, complete with tiny dried blueberries. My mom would often make them to accompany dinner, and we would devour them slathered in too much butt…

blueberry muffins on a sheet pan

What Makes This Blueberry Muffin Recipe Different? My blueberry muffin experience started with a blue boxed mix, complete with tiny dried blueberries. My mom would often make them to accompany dinner, and we would devour them slathered in too much butter. I started baking them from scratch while working at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse; I always loved that their recipe added nutmeg and I took that little trick with me when I left. This recipe is revamped from my first book and now included in my latest cookbook, 100 Morning Treats; I found adding almond flour keeps the crumb tender and light, and also adds rich flavor. Bumping up the baking powder and adding another egg helped those muffins dance beautifully over the rim. You’ll find nutmeg incorporated in the perfectly sugary top (please don’t skip this!); the crunch being a perfect contrast to the moist muffin. Why Do You Fill Every Other Muffin Cup? Filling the muffin cups so that every other cup is empty can help the muffins bake higher. Leaving that extra space in between muffins gives them more room to rise, and their tops won’t bake into each other in the pan. This does mean you […]

The post Homemade Blueberry Muffins appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Tender Shortbread Cookies (pan-style)

Shortbread has many aficionados, but like all intense passions, there is a great divide among enthusiasts about principle and purpose. Many fanatics argue over whether to work the butter into the flour toward the end of mixing, or cream butter and suga…

shortbread in a pan

Shortbread has many aficionados, but like all intense passions, there is a great divide among enthusiasts about principle and purpose. Many fanatics argue over whether to work the butter into the flour toward the end of mixing, or cream butter and sugar together initially. In this version I use the latter method, and bake my shortbread in a pan for crisp, golden shortbread rectangles, or fingers as they are sometimes called. How this recipe differs from others: I like my shortbread crisp, so I use a 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking pan. The shortbread bakes up thinner. If you like a thicker shortbread, you can use a 9 by 9 in [23 by 23 cm] square pan. Both ways are delicious.  I bake my shortbread a little longer, so it is golden brown, because I like it crisp, which is why I give a large baking time range in the directions. It does turn dark golden quickly, especially on the edges, so keep an eye on it if you are letting it bake a little longer.  I like to use both granulated and confectioners’ sugar and a good bit of salt, and also add an egg yolk to add both […]

The post Tender Shortbread Cookies (pan-style) appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Almost every coffeehouse I worked at in the late 90’s made sure to offer four kinds of cookies: chocolate chip (of course), peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and the very fancy (at least for suburban Minnesota) white chocolate macadamia nut. Chocola…

white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on plates

Almost every coffeehouse I worked at in the late 90’s made sure to offer four kinds of cookies: chocolate chip (of course), peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and the very fancy (at least for suburban Minnesota) white chocolate macadamia nut. Chocolate chip was my number one pick each time, and I never was a huge fan of the latter: the white chocolate was overly sweet, and the macadamia nuts were left in huge pieces that could crack a tooth. Years later when I was developing cookie recipes I finally found a white chocolate that I liked, and discovered that using that good chocolate and finely chopping the macadamia nuts so they weren’t so overwhelming made for a delicious cookie. I use it often; my Half-n-Half White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies which are another favorite. This cookie is based on my Chocolate Chip Cookie 2.0 recipe, with a small change: I use more brown sugar here than white sugar for a little more rich, caramel-y sugar profile to shine through. I also have a variation (see notes) that includes cacao nibs and orange, which I love equally as much as the original. The bitter complexity of the cacao nibs really balance the sweet […]

The post White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies

These Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies are a variation of both the Pan-Banging Sugar Cookie and the Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookie with Rum Butter Glaze, which are all also off-shoots of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies …

red velvet cookies with glaze on parchment paper

These Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies are a variation of both the Pan-Banging Sugar Cookie and the Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookie with Rum Butter Glaze, which are all also off-shoots of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies have buttery, rippled edges and a chewy center as a result of using the pan-banging cookie technique. They also mimic the famous red velvet cake (like my Red Velvet Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies), with both red food coloring and a little bit of cocoa powder in the dough to create the beautiful burgundy hue, and a partial dip in cream cheese icing to complete the classic “red velvet” flavor combination. These cookies are perfect for the holidays, and have made it onto my Top 24 Holiday Cookie recipes list. What Are Pan-Banging Cookies? Bakers tapping their cookie pans in the oven isn’t new, of course, but the pan-banging technique I use here is unique in that the pan is tapped in the oven every few minutes, creating ripples on the edge of the cookie. This creates two textures in the cookie: a crisp outer edge, and a soft, gooey center. I have a whole chapter of these recipes in my 100 Cookies cookbook. Just […]

The post Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Cranberry Maple Syrup

Growing up, my parents would occasionally take the whole family out to dinner on Friday night. My favorite spot had breakfast for dinner on the menu, which I always made sure to order, and pancakes were usually my item of choice. To my delight, syrup w…

cranberry syrup on waffles with whipped cream

Growing up, my parents would occasionally take the whole family out to dinner on Friday night. My favorite spot had breakfast for dinner on the menu, which I always made sure to order, and pancakes were usually my item of choice. To my delight, syrup was always delivered in a bundle of three: regular maple, apricot, and blueberry. I slathered my short-stack with the blueberry each and every time, and now as an adult, I find prefer the tartness of gently cooked berries mingled with my maple syrup. Raspberry Syrup is now a family favorite when we make our own breakfast-for-dinner (especially in the summer when they are fresh off our bushes), but this winter-y month was calling for cranberries, and they are also quite delicious in syrup. The beautiful red shade of the syrup is very holiday-esque, and served with some whipped cream and sugared cranberries on waffles would make for a lovely Christmas morning. But you don’t need any jingling bells to partake; a regular Wednesday night in February will also work just fine to serve this syrup. Cranberries do have a skin that takes a little longer to break down; I find pulsing them in the food […]

The post Cranberry Maple Syrup appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Homemade Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Both of my children have cold weather birthdays, one in the later days of Autumn, and the other very close to Christmas. While in their early years they begged for chocolate cakes covered in sprinkles, middle school brought on new requests for birthday…

mini cinnamon rolls on pink plates

Both of my children have cold weather birthdays, one in the later days of Autumn, and the other very close to Christmas. While in their early years they begged for chocolate cakes covered in sprinkles, middle school brought on new requests for birthday celebrating, in the form of either Maple Oatmeal Scones or Pillowy Soft Cinnamon Rolls (that are also a reader favorite). But as our family has grown, both with more people and also in size (growing teenagers + grocery shopping = wow), we have discovered that one pan of cinnamon rolls doesn’t cover everyone equally. At our family birthday gatherings, my little nieces eat a couple bites of that giant roll and move on to something else, while uncles and grandpas can eat three giant cinnamon rolls with no problem. Why You’ll Love Mini Cinnamon Rolls So mini cinnamon rolls have now entered the picture. Thirty-six small buns all tucked into a pan, their tender base baking into each other to create pillow-like dough, and their cinnamon centers expanding into beautiful golden-brown spirals. Little ones can grab one and be satisfied, and growing teenagers and grandparents can sneak back and take seconds and thirds with plenty to spare. […]

The post Homemade Mini Cinnamon Rolls appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Pumpkin Caramel Pull-Apart Bread

A lot of you have been making my Apple Cider Pull-Apart Bread, so I decided to come up with a pumpkin flavored one since we have now moved into November. I use a Pumpkin Caramel recipe from my book, 100 Morning Treats, which is incredible paired with t…

pull apart bread with caramel sauce on parchment paper

A lot of you have been making my Apple Cider Pull-Apart Bread, so I decided to come up with a pumpkin flavored one since we have now moved into November. I use a Pumpkin Caramel recipe from my book, 100 Morning Treats, which is incredible paired with the fluffy, soft bread that’s also fun to eat, pulling apart each delicious slice. The sugar filling for the dough has cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg giving it warm flavor throughout. Easy Pumpkin Caramel This caramel topping for the pull-apart bread is easy to make, and there is no thermometer involved! Most of the ingredients are combined together and cooked on the stovetop, including the pumpkin (which is in the caramel, not the dough). I think this caramel tastes best with a nice splash of bourbon, but if you don’t want to use alcohol you can omit it. How To Make Pull-Apart Bread: Although this bread is a little time consuming to make, it is always worth the effort. What can I do to make this recipe ahead? For overnight Pull-Apart bread: Assemble the pull-apart bread in the Pullman pan, but do not let it rise at room temperature. Cover the pan loosely with […]

The post Pumpkin Caramel Pull-Apart Bread appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Half-n-Half Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the Half-n-Half Chocolate Chip Cookies I’ll be making for the Bake a Difference event on Nov. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. with my friend Zoe Francois (I hope you’ll join even if you’re not in the Twin Cities)! They’re part double choco…

chocolate chocolate chip cookies on white parchment

These are the Half-n-Half Chocolate Chip Cookies I’ll be making for the Bake a Difference event on Nov. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. with my friend Zoe Francois (I hope you’ll join even if you’re not in the Twin Cities)! They’re part double chocolate cookies, part gooey chocolate chip cookie, based off my Chocolate Chip Cookie 2.0 recipe that so many of you love. We’ll be baking some amazing desserts( Zoe will be making Basque Cheesecake with Roasted Pumpkin!) and raising money for Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen. From environmental catastrophes to upheaval around the globe, every penny raised helps World Central Kitchen provide meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. GET TICKETS HERE! I hope you’ll join us, and there are three ways to do so: Measuring Flour Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142g. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142g, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. If I am posting a recipe from another cookbook, I will use whatever gram measure of flour used […]

The post Half-n-Half Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Sesame Chocolate Rye Breakfast Cookies

You have my permission to give me any and all side-eye for suggesting cookies for breakfast, but, hear me out: what if sometimes, just occasionally, we had them for that first morning meal? Because while I don’t eat cookies every day first thing,…

sesame rye breakfast cookies on parchment paper

You have my permission to give me any and all side-eye for suggesting cookies for breakfast, but, hear me out: what if sometimes, just occasionally, we had them for that first morning meal? Because while I don’t eat cookies every day first thing, I pretty much want to. And if I was eating cookies for breakfast, these would be the ones I choose. They are included in my cookbook 100 Morning Treats, and are inspired by the the rye-cranberry chocolate chunk cookies in Dorie Greenspan’s excellent book Baking with Dorie (which she graciously allowed me to feature on my website). Her cookie recipe is from Moko Hirayama, who serves them in her popular Paris restaurant, Mokonuts (which I have never been to, but hope to one day!) I am obsessed with the Mokonuts cookie (it is perfect). It’s known for its signature indentation on the top, which I’ve reproduced here, as well as its great flavor. But I couldn’t resist putting my own spin on it in the form of a breakfast cookie. What Makes This a Breakfast Cookie I use oats and whole-wheat flour in addition to rye flour, cut out some of the butter, and use all my […]

The post Sesame Chocolate Rye Breakfast Cookies appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Pumpkin Doughnut Bundt Cake

I have been a fan of Bundt cakes for decades, as their elegant shape and endless flavor possibilities have always been intriguing to me. The first Bundt cake I ever made was at The Blue Heron Coffeehouse in Winona, MN; I was working an evening shift an…

pumpkin bundt cake, sliced

I have been a fan of Bundt cakes for decades, as their elegant shape and endless flavor possibilities have always been intriguing to me. The first Bundt cake I ever made was at The Blue Heron Coffeehouse in Winona, MN; I was working an evening shift and it was painfully slow, so I bopped into the kitchen and decided to get a jump-start on the morning baking. Bundt cakes had always been a big seller in the morning hours, and the fact that they often tasted better the next day made them a good place to start. Two hours and one flip later, my Bundt cake was out of the oven, and even though part of it stuck to the pan (the fault of an inexperienced Bundt-cake-maker) I was enamored with my beautiful creation. I have been making them ever since. I often associate Bundt cakes with breakfast, as I have spent many early mornings nibbling on them (they do, of course, also taste delicious in the afternoon and evening hours.) It may be the result of working in coffeehouses for years, but a sweet treat in the morning, paired with coffee in any form, is my preferred breakfast of […]

The post Pumpkin Doughnut Bundt Cake appeared first on The Vanilla Bean Blog.