Fresh Basil Pesto

This Fresh Basil Pesto is as bright and delicious as it gets. Try it on pasta, in a sandwich, or simply with a loaf of crusty bread.  ‘Tis the season for planting our little garden around here. I usually kill everything – except mint, that stuff grows out of concrete! – but I still try for …

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This Fresh Basil Pesto is as bright and delicious as it gets. Try it on pasta, in a sandwich, or simply with a loaf of crusty bread. 

Small bowl of basil pesto surrounded by slices of baguette

‘Tis the season for planting our little garden around here. I usually kill everything – except mint, that stuff grows out of concrete! – but I still try for a small garden every year.

This year we have some tomatoes, cilantro, and basil. I always plant basil, even though the bugs usually get to it and the leaves end up full of holes. Not very pretty, but perfect for using for pesto.

Elle had never tried pesto before, but since she loves pasta I grabbed a fresh basil plant at Meijer (while we wait for ours in the garden to grow) and whipped up a batch of this homemade Fresh Basil Pesto for an easy pasta dinner.

(more…)

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Healthy Banana Bread

When I make this healthy banana bread recipe, I lose all control. Just knowing that a loaf is sitting in the kitchen keeps me coming back for just one more slice all day long. I slather it with peanut butter and enjoy it for breakfast, pair it with a c…


When I make this healthy banana bread recipe, I lose all control. Just knowing that a loaf is sitting in the kitchen keeps me coming back for just one more slice all day long. I slather it with peanut butter and enjoy it for breakfast, pair it with a cup of coffee for an afternoon snack, and snag another piece (or two) for dessert. It’s moist, lightly sweet, and filled with rich banana flavor. As an added bonus, it makes the house smell like vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg while it bakes. I mean, seriously. What’s not to love? If you […]

Holiday Cheese Board

This post is sponsored by Kroger. The holidays are here and that means it’s time to party! Today, I am going to show you how to make a festive Holiday Cheese Board that will WOW your family and friends. It’s almost too pretty to eat and if …

This post is sponsored by Kroger. The holidays are here and that means it’s time to party! Today, I am going to show you how to make a festive Holiday Cheese Board that will WOW your family and friends. It’s almost too pretty to eat and if you want to be fancy, you can call…

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No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka

This recipe was created as part of a paid collaboration with Lyle’s Golden Syrup on Instagram but I’m posting it here too for ease of access! We all love a babka don’t we? So much more impressive looking than cinnamon rolls AND it’s sliceable (which means you can whack a slice under the grill until toasty and then cover it in butter). Whilst chocolate babka will always be my favourite kind I of course have an affinity to a cinnamony babka. It’s like a fancy cinnamon-swirl loaf! Perfect for turning into French toast when it gets a little bit stale and not too sweet overall. I added pecans to the filling since I always seem to find that they work well with cinnamon and brown sugar. This one is a no-knead boy which means that yes, you do need to make the dough the day before (I leave it for at least 10 hours in the fridge), but it also means that it makes the process seem more manageable since it’s broken up by that waiting period. The dough is one I adapted very slightly from the incredibly clever book by Zoe Francois, Holiday & Celebration Breads in 5 Minutes […]

The post No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

This recipe was created as part of a paid collaboration with Lyle’s Golden Syrup on Instagram but I’m posting it here too for ease of access!

We all love a babka don’t we? So much more impressive looking than cinnamon rolls AND it’s sliceable (which means you can whack a slice under the grill until toasty and then cover it in butter). Whilst chocolate babka will always be my favourite kind I of course have an affinity to a cinnamony babka. It’s like a fancy cinnamon-swirl loaf! Perfect for turning into French toast when it gets a little bit stale and not too sweet overall. I added pecans to the filling since I always seem to find that they work well with cinnamon and brown sugar.

cinnamon pecan babka on a plate

This one is a no-knead boy which means that yes, you do need to make the dough the day before (I leave it for at least 10 hours in the fridge), but it also means that it makes the process seem more manageable since it’s broken up by that waiting period. The dough is one I adapted very slightly from the incredibly clever book by Zoe Francois, Holiday & Celebration Breads in 5 Minutes a Day.

Soaking the baked loaf with a syrup made of diluted golden syrup is also key – the loaf really isn’t that sweet so the syrup does help to boost that but ALSO keeps the loaf moist and soft so don’t skip it!!

No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka

No-Knead Cinnamon-Pecan Babka

Yield: 1 (2lb) loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 100g lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1 tsp easy-bake yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 45g vegetable oil
  • 250g white bread flour
  • ½ tsp fine table salt

Filling:

  • 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 60g muscovado sugar
  • 30g Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 5g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g pecans, roughly chopped

Syrup:

  • 50g Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 50g water

Instructions

For the dough:

  1. Place the water, golden syrup, yeast, egg and oil in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt and stir together until the dough comes together and there are no floury patches remaining (it may be easier near the end of mixing to use your hands to knead it lightly in the bowl).
  2. Drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil on the dough and flip it over a couple of times so the dough is coated in oil. Cover the bowl (I like to use a small, clean bin bag, secured at the side with a food clip) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume – around 2 hours.
  3. Once risen, chill the dough overnight. This will do the ‘kneading’ for us and also makes the dough easier to handle when it’s time to shape.

For the filling:

  1. The next day, combine all of the filling ingredients except the pecans in a small bowl. Set aside.

Shape the babka:

  1. Lightly flour a work surface and tip the chilled dough out onto it. Dust with some more flour on top and roll out into a 25 x 30cm rectangle. Spread all of the filling over the surface of the dough and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
  2. Starting at the long edge, roll the dough up tightly into a log. Pop onto a tray or plate and freeze for 15 minutes – this will keep things neat and easy for the next step.
  3. Remove the dough log from the freezer and cut down the length of the log so you end up with two long strips. Place the cut sides facing up and twist the lengths over each other a few times, pinching the ends to seal.
  4. Carefully transfer the shaped dough to a lined 2lb loaf pan, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until almost doubled in volume.
  5. Around 10 minutes before your dough is ready, preheat the oven to 180C fan. Uncover the babka and bake for 25-35 minutes. It’ll be done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with no dough attached.

For the syrup:

  1. As the babka is baking, warm the golden syrup and water in a small pot just until it starts to gently bubble.
  2. Pour the warm syrup over the hot babka and leave it to soak in and cool before slicing and serving.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are packed with two kinds of peanut butter and plenty of jam. These bars are a delicious way to turn a favorite childhood sandwich into dessert!  I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but it seems like every September, right around back-to-school time, I get a […]

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are packed with two kinds of peanut butter and plenty of jam. These bars are a delicious way to turn a favorite childhood sandwich into dessert! 

Four peanut butter and jelly bars scattered on a white plate next to a knife with peanut butter on the tip

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but it seems like every September, right around back-to-school time, I get a serious craving for these peanut butter and jelly bars.

These bars are a tried and true Ina Garten recipe that I originally shared way back in the early years of my blog and I have made them countless times since then.

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Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze

A few years ago, I was extremely fortunate to meet Gina DePalma, who was (at the time) the pastry chef at Babbo in New York City. Being bakers, we struck up a friendship and she gave me a copy of her gorgeous book, Dolce Italiano. After we had dessert and coffee together, we ambled the streets of New York City for a bit, and made…

A few years ago, I was extremely fortunate to meet Gina DePalma, who was (at the time) the pastry chef at Babbo in New York City. Being bakers, we struck up a friendship and she gave me a copy of her gorgeous book, Dolce Italiano. After we had dessert and coffee together, we ambled the streets of New York City for a bit, and made plans to meet in Rome, where she was moving to work on her second book.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have our Roman holiday, but I often thumb through her book and dream about how much fun we would have had lapping our way through the gelaterias of Rome and eating all those pastries with little sips of Italian espresso in between bites. Before she could plant her roots too firmly in Rome, Gina was diagnosed with cancer and returned to the States.

It’s been noted that her accomplishments were often overshadowed by the owner of Babbo, whose empire eventually fell. Gina was tough and although I never worked alongside her, co-workers noted that she didn’t suffer fools gladly, but she made such masterful desserts, and was such a talent, that you couldn’t help but have the utmost respect for Gina.

Her book, Dolci Italiano, has become a baking classic and is one of those exceptional cookbooks that makes excellent reading (as well as being an entirely enticing collection of recipes), especially the chapter on Italian ingredients, which isn’t just a rote list of what to buy. She discusses the importance of baking ingredients and what they mean to Italians: Olive oil isn’t just to moisten, it’s a flavor. And why citrus figures into Italian desserts more often than vanilla.

I was reminded of Gina recently when a reader alerted me to some links in this post led to the website of an adult film star who shared the same first and last name as Gina. Gina always got a chuckle out of that but after her passing, it seemed that Gina DePalma’s website (the one for the pastry chef and baker) somehow got co-opted by her, uh…racier counterpart. As I was switching out the links, I remembered how much I loved this Zucchini Cake of hers.

Since it’s summer, people with gardens are often bemoaning they have too many zucchini and are always looking for ways to use up their bounty. With a crunchy lemon glaze, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the most delicious way to present a zucchini cake, whether you zucchini comes from your garden, or not.

The genius of the glaze is adding granulated sugar, which gives it an especially lemony, sweet, yet tangy crunch. The glaze is not a looker (which finally made me break out my silicone pastry brush for the first time, and I’m never going back to bristles again) but it tastes amazing with the spicy zucchini cake and I’m happy to let looks step aside to give way to flavor.

Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma This is a substantial (and very good) cake. The crunchy glaze with the tang of fresh lemon juice really makes the cake special. Be sure to grease the cake pan well to make sure it slides out easily (I use a non-stick one) and also make sure the cake is fully baked. Gina recommended olive oil in her original recipe, which is very good, but the cake also works with neutral vegetable oil in its place. The best way to invert the cake is to lay the cooling rack over the top of the cake pan, then grasping both the cake pan and the rack simultaneously (if it’s too hot, wear oven mitts), flip them both over at once. Lift off the cake pan, then liberally brush the glaze over the warm cake.
ServingsServes 12-16
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1cup (135g) almonds,pecans, or walnuts, toasted
  • 2cups (280g) flour
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs,at room temperature
  • 1 3/4cups (350g) sugar
  • 1cup (250ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2cups (300g) grated zucchini
For the lemon glaze:
  • 1/4cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3cup 65g) granulated sugar
  • 1cup (140g) powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a 10 cup (2.5l) bundt or tube cake pan* with non-stick spray (preferably) or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
  2. 2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
  3. 3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, 1 3/4 cup (350g) sugar, and olive oil for 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer, then add the vanilla.
  5. 5. Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  6. 6. Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini.
  7. 7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not underbake the cake.
  8. 8. During the last few minutes of the cake baking, make the glaze by whisking together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar, and powdered sugar.
  9. 9. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush and let the cake cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Storage and Notes:

-This cake is very good served on its own, but it could be accompanied by whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, cherry compote, or honey ice cream.

-The cake can be wrapped (or put under a cake dome) and will keep for a few days. You can freeze the unglazed cake. However to apply the glaze, you’ll need to defrost the cake, then warm it so the glaze will adhere properly.

-If you don’t have a bundt or tube pan, I noticed that both Adam and Sara made the cake in a regular round cake pan with good results.

-I haven't baked it in two loaf pans, which would likely work just fine. You may need to reduce the baking time to compensate for the smaller pans.

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Best Veggie Burger

Say hello to the BEST veggie burger recipe! Of course, that’s just my opinion, but once you try it, I think you’ll agree. For one, these patties are grill-able! And if you’d rather be spending time in the sun than in the kitchen, you …


Say hello to the BEST veggie burger recipe! Of course, that’s just my opinion, but once you try it, I think you’ll agree. For one, these patties are grill-able! And if you’d rather be spending time in the sun than in the kitchen, you can even make them a day or two in advance. But that’s not all. This veggie burger has an amazing meaty texture and savory, smoky flavor. It’ll keep its shape when it’s stuffed inside a bun, and it’s delicious with fancy fixings or with good old ketchup and mustard. Unlike many packaged veggie burgers, its incredible […]

The post Best Veggie Burger appeared first on Love and Lemons.

Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way…

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way in New York City, navigating through boyfriends, parties, careers, and cocktail bars. During their get-togethers, the cocktail of choice was always a round of Cosmos.

Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

The cocktail become somewhat of a cliché and faded from popularity as the craft cocktail movement elbowed in. But everyone once in a while, I still like a Cosmopolitan.

Continue Reading Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary...

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread-super moist banana bread made with brown butter and nuts! Use pecans or walnuts, both are fantastic in this easy quick bread recipe. Banana Nut Bread You guys know I LOVE banana bread. I have several recipes on our blog. Hello, chocola…

Banana Nut Bread-super moist banana bread made with brown butter and nuts! Use pecans or walnuts, both are fantastic in this easy quick bread recipe. Banana Nut Bread You guys know I LOVE banana bread. I have several recipes on our blog. Hello, chocolate chip banana bread, chocolate banana bread, healthy banana bread…the list goes…

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