Tahini Apple Coffee Cake

Okay, so I have SO MANY NEWSES!

·      15 days until Thanksgiving

·      16 days until the Gilmore Girls reunion

·      6 ½ weeks until Christmas (woah…)

·      WE HAVE A NEW FAMILY MEMBER—Mr. Raleigh, the handsome little Chihuahua terrier, is the newest man in my life…and I’m obsessed beyond words with him! He loves walks, playing with his Cat In The Hat toy, peanut butter, puzzle pieces (learned that when I found one in his mouth…).

·      Oh, and hey, here’s a new recipe for you below!

It’s been quite a week if I must say. It all started with last Thursday when I went to the animal shelter to just look, and then I fell in love with Raleigh and adopted him right away! I may have just called Roberto and been like, hey dear...I got a dog...that okay? THANKS! I mean, little Raleigh was hugging my arm, yes hugging my arm. I didn’t know dogs could do that, but he did and I never want him to let go!

Yes. I am one of those dog obsessed people, and this is the first pup I’ve gotten outside of family dogs, so I’m even MORE excited! Prepare for Raleigh to be in every single post, all over Instagram, all over everything! I just can’t get enough of his little face and snuggles.

Okay, well, besides all of that excitement, I start a new job today—hello 4am baking shifts, woo! If ya’ll are ever in Atlanta, check out Little Tart Bakeshop, so jazzed to be a part of this incredible team! Hmm, I also am part of that annoying Puts Christmas Decorations Out on November 1st club. So yeah, what’s up Nutcrackers, Christmas lights, pine tree candles, Christmas Spotify…we’ve got it all here in this apartment! I totally appreciate Thanksgiving and all it has to offer, but I want to enjoy the entire holiday season for 2 months…so I basically throw up holiday music, decorations, food, you name it, until January 1st!

So, my friends, now let’s get to the slightly less exciting part of the post—this coffee cake! I only say less exciting because I want to continue to talk about Raleigh for another 500 pages, please.

This all started when I saw tahini at Trader Joe’s and decided to get over my fear and just buy it. My darling culinary school girlfriend, Alex, is obsessed with this. I mean, maybe it’s because she’s Armenian, or maybe it’s because it’s SO freaking good! I was a hater for years, and then after eating a spoonful of this, I yelled at myself for missing out on it for so long. Next I thought I would spice this up, literally. After receiving my copy of Molly On The Range—her blog, and cookbook, are must reads!—I was inspired beyond belief to make some hawaij and use it in something (the recipe for it below can be found in her cookbook!).

Note: hawaij is a beautiful combination of every good spice that you can imagine! Literally, think of holiday spices, and boom, you've got hawaij! The combination of nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, ginger and cinnamon will make you believe in love.

So, that’s when tahini + hawaij = DING DING coffee cake!

There are also some apples throughout it to add another level of flavor and moistness. This cake is totally different from your typical coffee cake…but it pretty much is a perfect match with coffee (kinda like Raleigh and me!). But don’t worry, there is still that crazy buttery, sugary, yummy crumb that should be in and on every coffee cake ever—I could never leave that out!

Now, as we celebrate all of the exciting things to come in the next 7ish weeks, you have this new recipe to try out as well! It will pair amazingly with any Thanksgiving table, Gilmore Girls party, holiday gift shopping breakfast, brunch…oh I can go on and on! So stop being an idiot like I was so long, get a few jars of tahini, and get to baking!

crumb ingredients

Flour—2 oz, or 1/3 C

Brown Sugar—1.15 oz, or 2 TBL

Salt—1/8 tsp

Hawaij (see below)—1 tsp

Butter—3 oz, or 6 TBL

Oats—1.5 oz, or ½ C

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, hawaij, and oats.

A tablespoon at a time, add the butter.

Mix until the butter is about hazelnut size.

Set aside until ready to use for the cake.

 

hawaij ingredients

Nutmeg—½ tsp

Cardamom—2 TBL

Cloves—½ tsp

Ginger—2 TBL

Cinnamon—½ tsp

 

process

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container until ready to use.

 

cake ingredients

Butter (room temperature)—4 oz, or ½ C

Tahini—3 oz, or 1/3 C

Sugar—6 oz, or ¾ C

Eggs—2

Vanilla Extract—1 tsp

Yogurt—4 oz, or ½ C

Flour—8.25 oz, or 1 ½ C

Baking Soda—¼ tsp

Baking Powder—¾ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Hawaij—½ tsp

Cinnamon—1 tsp

Apples (sliced)—2

 

process

Preheat your oven to 375˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter, tahini and sugar.

Once light and fluffy (after about 5 minutes), add in the eggs and extract.

Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each egg addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, hawaij and cinnamon.

Alternating with the yogurt—I use full-fat—add in the flour.

Once all of the ingredients have been added, spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Put about half of the batter in the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle with some of the crumb that was made before—about ¼ of it.

Lay half of the sliced apples on top of the crumb.

Use whatever your favorites are! I used a Granny Smith and a Gala, a nice contrast of tart and sweet.

Sprinkle about another ¼ of the crumb on top of the apples, followed by the remainder of the batter.

Layer the rest of the apples on top and sprinkle with the rest of the crumb.

Place in your preheated oven for 35 minutes.

After the 35 minutes, cover the pan with aluminum foil so that the top will not brown any more, and just the cake will bake.

Bake for another 25 minutes—test with a toothpick to check doneness.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool completely on a cooling rack, and enjoy with a lovely morning or afternoon cup of coffee!

 

Bon Appétit!

Candy Cookie Cake

Happy Halloween, my friends!

What are your plans?! Trick-or-treating? Passing out candy? Ridiculous parties? Or, if you’re like me, you'll be devouring all of the candy you had to buy, knowing that no one will come up to your apartment door ringing the bell…

Yes. That’s me. I can’t resist the candy aisle for any holiday, and when you can get an assorted bag of all of the best mini-size chocolates, you go for it! As a chocolate-obsessed gal, I just can’t help myself and I’m not ashamed. Funny story—I recently did a small “about me” for my job’s website and had to write about my favorite foods…all I could think of was, well, chocolate…

Yes, Katie’s favorite food is chocolate…who am I?!

ANYWAYS! Back to this glorious cookie cake. As I mentioned in my post here, cookie cakes are just like a dream of mine—and I always am tempted to buy one when walking past Mrs. Fields. So, of course, challenge accepted, and I had to make this, especially since I’m trying to use the pounds of Halloween candy that I bought so I don’t binge eat it every night.

I also feel like, if I was to get actual Trick-or-Treaters and if handing out baked goods was acceptable, this would be the most incredible treat ever!! Like, oh yeah, if you go to Katie’s house, you can get slices of a cookie cake that is stuffed with candy…basically a 2 for 1! Ahh in my wildest dreams…

AND what I love so much about this is that you can put anything you want in it—yum! I mean, Kitkats, Twix and Snickers are the best chocolates to choose, but I won’t judge if you chose something a little less exciting and wonderful. So, if you’re like me and you bought way too much candy, this is a perfect way to use it! Bake up a few of these cakes, invite over some friends, watch Hocus Pocus, or even Saw, drink so wine—really there’s nothing you can do wrong with this candy-filled cake. While I do sometimes miss the weeks of costume making and end up wearing basically a black dress with cat ears, this new tradition I have of putting on big sweats and stuffing my face with candy and wine (maybe “Crazy Dog Lady” is this costume?) is something that I can get on board with!

 

cookie ingredients

Butter—4 oz, or ½ C

Brown Sugar—3 oz, or 1/3 C

Sugar—1 oz, or 2 TBL

Eggs—1

Vanilla—½ tsp

Flour—6 oz, or 1 C

Salt—½ tsp

Baking Soda—½ tsp

Halloween Candy, chopped—3 oz, or ¾+ C

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Add in the egg and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add this into your creamed mixture.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Add in your chopped candy (reserve a small handful)—whatever you like best!

In terms of Halloween candy, I chose chocolate because, to me, that goes yummiest with this cookie cake! From there, pick your favorites. Mine happen to be Twix, Snickers and Kit Kats, but the candy aisle is your oyster!

Spray a spring form pan or a tart pan with nonstick spray.

Press the cookie dough in the pan, leaving about ½ an inch around the edge so that the cookie can spread slightly.

Sprinkle the remaining chopped candy on top of the cookie dough.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so that it will firm up.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

Bake your cookie cake for about 20 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden.

The center may look underbaked, but it will finish baking from the heat of the pan outside of the oven.

Allow to cool completely before decorating!

 

buttercream ingredients

Butter—2 oz, or ¼ C

Shortening—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted—5 oz, or 1 C

Cocoa Powder, sifted—0.5 oz, or 2 TBL

Milk—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

 

process

In the bowl of the your mixer, cream the butter and shortening until smooth and fluffy.

Sift together the confectioner’s sugar and the cocoa powder.

Slowly add this into the mixer, scraping down the sides when necessary.

Add the milk in about a teaspoon at a time—you may need more if you want it a little creamier.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then turn the mixer up to medium-high to give the buttercream a nice, final whip.

 

When your cake is completely cooled, you can begin to decorate with the buttercream!

Put it into a piping bag with whichever tip you’d like to use—a star tip will make nice rosettes or a rope, but it’s whatever look you’re going for.

Pipe around the outside boarder, decorate with some sprinkles or some more candies of your choice, and devour!

 

Bon Appétit!

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Remember when I said that July was crazy? And I promised to never go that long without a recipe again? And then I went missing for two months…

So…hi…

I’m Katie! I love chocolate, dogs and running. I also could go on crunchy leaf walks all day, listen to Christmas music year round, and I thoroughly enjoy eating 4-5 spoonfuls of peanut butter each day.

Did I mention that I have been terrible in this relationship of ours? I promised to give you oodles and oodles of mouthwatering, button popping recipes in return for your love and devotion to my blog. And now we are here, and I am re-introducing myself because I am sure that you have forgotten who I even am!

I’m not going to bother you with long stories of why I was MIA, ohhh just got married, went on a honeymoon, and MOVED...but I am now BACK! And, while it may take some time to get back to my regularly scheduled posting, I promise to never let you down again.

How has your fall been? Full of pumpkins and candy corn and leaves and sweaters and apple picking and warm coffee and cold nights?! Please answer yes to all of those.

If the colors don’t make you obsess about this absolutely incredible season, then I sure hope the fireplaces do, or the fact that you can comfortably wear leggings and huge sweaters because 1. It’s not too cold out and 2. Sometimes a little extra room is needed for all of those Halloween candies that you just had to have.

This is also the time of year that I start to get way too excited for the holidays. I knowwww it’s still October, but sometimes humming a little Jingle Bells gets the best of me. Have no fear! That will all be kept to myself, and I will not start truly decorating and watching Elf on a daily basis until the day after Thanksgiving!

So, my sweet, loving, always-there-for-me friends, I have the perfect fall brunch (or really any day of the week) addition. I threw so many spices and so many apples into the middle of buttery cinnamon rolls, then topped it all with oats, and boom.

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls.

Can we read that one more time?! Apple. Pie. Cinnamon. Rolls.

There is no such thing as too much butter, especially when it’s mixed with a crazy amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. The salivating has begun.

When you stuff these rolls with way more apples than it can handle, I mean HELLO! It’s just gorgeous. Absolutely stunning.

A glaze is optional, but I have not added it to these simply because I want you to taste every single spice covered, butter soaked, apple bite in these!

While I may have been out of your life for a little while, I promise that the couple of pounds I’m giving back to you through these cinnamon rolls will make up for it!

 

dough ingredients

Milk (110˚-115˚F)—4 oz, or ½ C

Molasses—1.5 oz, or 2 TBL

Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Yeast—1 packet

Butter, soft—4 oz, or ½ C

Eggs—2

Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Flour—18-20 oz, or 3 ½-4 C

Cinnamon—2 tsp

Nutmeg—1 tsp

 

process

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the milk (warm), molasses, sugar, and yeast.

Let sit about 10 minutes so that the yeast can begin to activate—you’ll notice the yeast bubbling and thickening.

While the activation process begins, combine the eggs and second milk in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine your flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Start with the 3 ½ C of flour, more may be added later.

After the 10 minutes, with the mixer on low and using the dough hook, stream in your eggs and milk.

Add in the softened butter, a tablespoon or so at a time.

Once all combined, slowly begin to add in your flour/spice mixture.

When all added, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and let the dough hook knead for about 10 minutes.

If you notice that the dough is still sticky about 5 minutes in, you may add more flour, about a tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to hold its shape better.

After mixing the dough for 10 minutes on medium-high speed, transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and allow to rise until it has doubled in size.

 

filling ingredients

Brown Sugar—6 oz, or 1 C

Butter—6 oz, or ¾ C

Cinnamon—2 TBL

Nutmeg—1 tsp

Apples—3 medium, diced

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and spices.

Cut up the apples to a small dice.

Reserve both the apples and the butter mixture until you’re ready to use them in the cinnamon rolls.

 

assembly

When your dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

Knead the dough just slightly with your hands and form it into a ball.

Using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 24”x10”.

Spread the brown sugar/butter mixture all over the rolled dough.

Sprinkle the apples evenly on top.

Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough into a large log.

Cut this into 12 (roughly) even pieces—I like to cut it in half, and then make 6 even slices from each half.

Place these rolls into a well-buttered baking dish.

Allow to rise again, until the cinnamon rolls are all squished together.

Now you have two options—you may either 1. Bake right away, or 2. Put in the refrigerator overnight for the following morning.

If you decide to reserve until the following morning, or at least a few hours, do not let rise a second time and immediately put in the fridge after you put the rolls in the buttered dish.

If you decide to bake them right away, preheat your oven to 375˚ F.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly, and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!

Whole Wheat Spice Bread

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

…Or should I call it Leftover Friday? Was everyone’s Thanksgiving absolutely magical? Was it full of mashed potatoes and love, wine and gossip, five slices of this semifreddo and the parade?! I sure hope so!

Is it just me or does everyone stuff themselves even more with leftovers the day after Thanksgiving? Basically being like oh shoot! There’s 10 more pounds of stuffing and gravy and turkey and brussels sprouts and beans and I need to eat them all RIGHT NOW. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?!

While everyone has their day of Thanksgiving traditions, I feel like the day after is just as special—yes, I am referring to fueling up with a leftover brunch and listening to Christmas music… So, rather than throwing every single food that was so beautifully displayed on the table yesterday—decorated with cute little pumpkins, candles, the nicest dishes—into one massive bowl and mixing it into just a pile of amazing, I was like oh. Man. I. Must. Make. A. Sandwich.

Game changer! A Thanksgiving sandwich?! Hey, I think Ross kind of had the idea going, even throw in a gravy-soaked piece of bread in the middle, “the moist maker” if you will.

Bring in the whole wheat bread.

Yes! Whole wheat! Spices! Molasses! This breads flavor is so full of warm cinnamon and allspice, it is just slightly sweet with natural honey, and so hearty from the whole wheat flour. Who doesn’t love freshly baked bread first of all, but the smell of it baking in the oven is better than any candle I own! It’s also great friends with turkey and gravy, or better yet, a nontraditional leftovers brunch of eggs and some fried prosciutto! Like, what?!

What doesn’t go well on this whole-wheat spice bread? I couldn’t tell you!

So whether you went out at midnight for some shopping, or decided to stay in your PJs all day and eat plate after plate of potatoes, this bread makes for the perfect brunch, lunch, or anytime leftover companion!

ingredients

Dry Active Yeast—0.25 oz, or 1½ tsp

Water—8 oz, or 1 C + 2 TBL (separated)

Honey—1.25 oz, or 2 TBL

Whole Wheat Flour—15 oz, or 2½ C

AP Flour—2.75 oz, or ½ C

Cinnamon—0.1 oz, or 1 tsp

Allspice—0.05 oz, or ½ tsp

Canola Oil—0.25 oz, or 1½ tsp

Molasses—0.5 oz, or 1½ tsp

Salt—0.25 oz, or 1¼ tsp

 

process

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the yeast, honey and ¼ C/1.75 oz water—making sure that the water is between 105˚-115˚ F.

Let sit for 5 minutes, so that the yeast can begin to activate; you’ll notice that it will start to foam a bit.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon and allspice.

Once the yeast has begun to bubble, add in the remaining water (at the correct, warm temperature), oil, molasses and half of the flour/spice mixture.

Mix.

Add the rest of the flour and salt to the mixture.

Mix at medium speed, with the dough hook, for 10-12 minutes, until the dough forms into a ball and is kneading/slapping the sides of your mixer.

If the dough isn’t coming together after a few minutes, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the mixer.

After the 10 minutes, transfer the dough to an oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and a towel.

Allow to rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

After the first rise, put the dough on your floured work surface.

Roll the dough into a rectangle that’s about 9” x 12”, the length of your loaf pans.

Fold the dough into a business letter—taking the top third, folding it down, and then the bottom third and folding it up.

Pinch to seal the seam; pinch in the ends so that it will fit into the pan.

Cover again with plastic wrap and a towel.

Allow to rise, again, until it has doubled in size—anywhere from 1-2 hours, all depending how warm the room is.

When you are ready to bake the bread, preheat your oven to 375˚ F.

Bake the bread for 30 minutes. The bread will become slightly brown when finished.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before taking out of the loaf pan.

Slice and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!

 

 

Ginger Apple Cake with Dulce de Leche Drizzle

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I know that an apple pie is basically a must at any and all fall events, especially at Thanksgiving, but today, I am giving you an addition to an apple pie—a ginger apple bourbon cake. Those three ingredients go together better than a peanut butter & jelly fluffernutter.

Mmm mm mmm.

Come to think of it, I don’t know why all apple pies don’t have the ginger and bourbon in them as well. Although bourbon and I weren’t that great of friends until we met up in Louisville and became besties, now I have the urge to put it in every single thing that I bake with. Whether cookies, cakes, pies, in a glass, we are sort of attached at the hip.

Did I just say that I am best friends with bourbon? I guess it can’t be too far off, seeing as I am basically a cookie in human form—yes, I seem to eat at least a couple a day…

So, when I decided to bake this cake, I figured that I wanted as much flavor as possible, for this to taste more like an apple covered in bourbon and rolled in ginger, which, I believe, is what the final product truly tastes like. By soaking the apples in the alcohol, they really absorb all of the flavor, and then adding the saturated apples as well as remaining liquid into the cake batter, it’s like a delicious punch in the face!

Okay—let’s go for a big hug of flavor instead.

Fresh, minced ginger. Enough said. Covered in some caramel or dulche de leche. I know I have you salivating!

As I sit here and munch on a piece that is bigger than I care to admit, I feel like if I could just hand out a cake to each of my readers, you would be instantly sold and would be saying “this is the bomb”—like Roberto did. Sadly, I can’t see all of you fabulous KBBakers and give out cakes, so you’re going to have to trust my apple-ginger-bourbon trio, knowing that it is to die for, and bake a few cakes yourself!

IMG_5824.JPG

ingredients

Granny Smith Apples—2 medium

Butter—6 oz, or 12 TBL

Brown Sugar—3.75 oz, or ½ C

Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C

Eggs—2

Bourbon—0.75 oz, or 2 TBL

Flour—6.25 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Fresh Ginger, minced—0.35 oz, or 1 TBL

Cinnamon—0.2 oz, or 1 tsp

 

process

Dice the apples into small cubes.

Combine the diced apples along with the bourbon in a small saucepot.

Put on the heat, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit until ready to put in your cake batter.

Preheat your oven to 325˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugars.

Add the eggs.

Once incorporated, add in the sifted flour, cinnamon and minced ginger.

Add in the apples/bourbon mixture.

Only mix until your batter has formed, overmixing will lead to air bubbles in your final product.

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray, and then coat with a light layer of flour so that the cake will come out easier after it has baked and cooled.

Pour your batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before taking it out of the cake pan.

 

to make dulche de leche

Fill up a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

Take a can of sweetened condensed milk and remove its label.

Once your pot is boiling, place the can (I like to make at least 2 cans at once, always a great sauce to have on hand!) on its side, making sure that the water is fully covering the can.

If you do not keep the cans covered with water the entire time, there's a chance that the cans will explode from uneven heat!

Allow the cans to simmer for anywhere between 2 hours 30 minutes and 3 hours.

After the time has passed, very carefully remove the cans from the simmering water (oven mitts and tongs!),

Allow them to cool completely before opening.

Once cool, open and use!

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Bon Appétit!