Salted Caramel Pear Bread With Streusel Topping

Salted Caramel Pear Bread with Steusel Topping

Salted Caramel Pear Bread with Steusel Topping

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions.  Not that I invented pear breads but I did however have to come up with something easy, delicious and “pear involve” since my pear tree was overflowing.  I do not have the time nor the patience at this point to can or freeze 30 some pounds of pears.  So I shared with friends and kept a good amount to use up for my peeps.

My friend Chris was telling me she made Spice Pear Bread before.  That sounded so good.  I love Spice Bread, but I also love caramelized pears and I adore a streusel topping and salted caramel…oh my!….I thought let’s do best of all worlds, hoping I wasn’t creating a mosh pit of a bread!

I think I might be OK with this one!

I think I might be OK with this one!

Ingredients:

For the Salted Caramel Pears:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups pears, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon heavy cream

For the Bread:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon all spice

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

2/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1 egg

1/3 cup brown sugar

For the Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup oats (not quick oats)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

How to:

For the Salted Caramel Pears:

In a large pan melt your butter, add your pears and toss lightly.  Add your brown sugar, salt and heavy cream.  Stir gently until everything is well combined.  Let this cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until reduced lightly golden.  Do not leave this alone or rush this with high heat.  It would burn your pears and they would be bitter.  Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the bread.

already smells amazing in my kitchen!

already smells amazing in my kitchen!

For the Bread:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your melted butter, milk, egg and brown sugar.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix until just combined (do not overmix).  Using a spatula gently fold in your salted caramel pears.  Pour your mixture into your prepared pan.  Set aside.

For the Streusel Topping:

In a medium bowl combine your flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Cut your butter into small pieces and add to your oat mixture.  Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mix everything until you have a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle your mixture over your bread batter.  Put your bread into your preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.

oven ready

oven ready

letting this cool is going to be torture!

letting this cool is going to be torture!

is it me or this bread is utterly gorgeous?

is it me or this bread is utterly gorgeous?

Let cool completely before slicing….and ENJOY!

Have a slice of deliciousness!

Have a slice of deliciousness!

I love this bread and my house smells like Heaven wrapped in Salted Caramel Pears….it’s a good perfume I must say!  The taste is so perfect, a touch of salted caramel, soft pears and a moist spice bread….it really works!

and take a closer look at the inside....oh so pretty!

and take a closer look at the inside….oh so pretty!

Printer Friendly: Salted Caramel Pear Bread with Streusel Topping

Peace and Mosh Pits Are Scary!

Isabelle

 

Apple and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Bribery.  That’s right.  I decided to make this for the ladies in the office of our middle school.  Why?  First off I want to be their favorite sub.  Second, my kid goes to school there….you never know when you might need a favor.  Also they called me in to sub IN the office, meaning not in an actual classroom….I must tell you that I was asked to sub for the ISS….what’s ISS?  In School Suspension.  Meaning I would be the watch dog!

Disturbing fact: I was so thrilled to be THAT person…no kidding.  This made my day when they asked me.  I was beyond excited about the potential of subbing for that position.  So just to make sure they understood my happiness (and hide my craziness) the decision to make them cake was a good one!  Yep that’s how I roll people!

Apple and Sour Cream Coffee Cake (with a little caramel sauce)

This recipe is from my: Everyday Food Magazine (you might remember the initial story on how I hoard them! ) This is from October 2010 #76.  I was planning on making another lovely cake from Mrs Stewart’s collection but I randomly decided to check it online because it was asking for 5 1/2 cups of flour (which in my little crazy head sounded a bit much) turns out the reviews were HORRID…well you win some and you lose some…even for Mrs Stewart!  This Coffee Cake, however, received rave reviews!  Way to save the day!

Ingredients:

For the crumb topping:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the batter:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for cake pan

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for cake pan

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 Winesap or Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and diced medium

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make topping: In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, pecans, oats, cinnamon, and salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, blend until butter is incorporated and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make batter: Butter and flour an angel-food cake pan or 14-cup Bundt cake pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on high, scraping down bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.  Add sour cream and beat to combine.  With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat just until combined.  With a rubber spatula, fold in apples and pecans; transfer batter to pan.  Top with crumb topping and, with a butter knife, gently fold some of topping into batter.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool.

great start!

even better when done!

out of the mold and still in one piece…there is hope for me yet!

Note: after reading the comments on Mrs Stewart’s website I decided to make it in a Bunt Cake Pan.  Let it cool, flip it and then flip it back.  I also make a caramel sauce/drizzle as an extra incentive to love me more 🙂

like my fancy little caramel design? 🙂

I like to serve this with a caramel sauce.  It was not mentioned in the little magazine but I think it made this even more so delicious.  I like to make my own (recipe below) or you could buy your favorite at the store.  Either way it kinds of brings it all together for me.

yummy sticky caramel sauce

My caramel sauce post: my uncle’s famous caramel sauce

Printer Friendly: Apple and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Printer Friendly (caramel sauce): Uncle Andre’s Famous Caramel Sauce

Peace and Bribery,

Isabelle

I shared my recipe on this lovely linky party please go check it out:

                 

Take 5 Cookies

I have been toying around with this recipe in my mind for quite sometime.  I have a wonderful recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I found years ago.  But although the recipe is simply perfect, it doesn’t allow me to simply add a ton of different flavors to turn it into an “imitation” for the Take 5 Candy Bar.  (my favorite chocolate bar!)

I have searched the internet for inspiration and also to see what people have tried.  They all sound delicious just not what I have in mind for my cookies…I thought I should start with a peanut butter cookie, then I could add some caramel and pretzel flavors, finally cover everything with chocolate.  It is still a lot but at least I don’t have to mess with the peanut butter and chocolate chips.  I want to be able to take a bite of cookie and taste everything.

I found the peanut butter cookie recipe here: Simply Recipes, but I can tell you that it is the same recipe from the Jif website only cut in half.  (maybe they should mention it!….just saying)

Here goes!

Take 5 Cookies!

Take 5 Cookies!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 egg

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup caramel “squares” cut into 4 (see pic below)

1 cup broken pretzel sticks

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I gave in and decided to add them in the cookies as well)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted (optional for drizzle on the cookies)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In your mixer, cream your butter and sugars until light and fluffy (2 minutes).  Add your peanut butter and egg, mix well.  Add your flour mixture at once, do not over mix.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula add your caramels, broken pretzel sticks and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  I find it makes a better cookie when you add your fillers by hand.

    Everyone in the "tub" :)

Everyone in the “tub” 🙂

Perfect cookie dough

Perfect cookie dough

Using a medium size scoop drop your cookies on your prepared baking sheet.  Using your (clean) fingers or the back of a spoon press each cookie dough ball a little bit.  Bake in your preheated oven for 12-14 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before you try to remove the cookies.  The caramel will be extremely soft and if you try to lift them the cookies will fall apart.  (I speak from experience)  Let the caramel cool a little but and then it will be easy to remove the cookies.

    Press down on the dough just a little bit to shape the cookies

Press down on the dough just a little bit to shape the cookies

fresh out of the oven, smells deliciously sweet!

fresh out of the oven, smells deliciously sweet!

Drizzle with melted chocolate if you want.  We did, well Bear did and she likes A LOT of chocolate!

YUM!

YUM!

Note: if you eat the cookies right away you will notice a soft caramel inside but if you wait till later to eat them then the caramel will have hardened (which is what I love) going back to its natural state.  You could always pop the cookies in the microwave for a few seconds if you like soft caramel.  I like the chewier bite, like the Take 5 Bar has.

Printer Friendly: Take 5 Cookies

Enjoy

Peace and Chewy,

Isabelle

Find my recipe linked here:

My Uncle’s Famous Caramel Sauce

My Uncle Andre’s Famous Caramel Sauce

Let me tell you that if my mom comes over to visit and the first thing she tells me  about is this caramel sauce…well it really must be something!  I mean she came all the way from Canada to see her favorite daughter (also her only daughter!) to talk caramel??   So I emailed my Uncle Andre (my dad’s brother) and asked if I could have the recipe and permission to share with you my friends!

He replied immediately and gave me his blessings!  Here’s the catch…he said more than once: “you must keep stirring, don’t leave the caramel alone, stir, stir, stir”.  What has my mom been telling him about me?  My lack of focus, the fact that I think I can multi-task well, or maybe it just a family trait that we all share.

Ingredients:

2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup condensed milk

3/4 cup extremely hot water (almost boiling)

How to:

In a medium sauce pan, put your brown sugar, corn syrup and butter.  Starting on medium to low heat, carefully and patiently stir until your butter is melted.  Turning up the heat (ever so slightly) bring to a boil, constantly stirring.  You want to have a very smooth and silky texture (no grainy sugar bits).  Stir your mixture for about 5-7 minutes.

smelling fabulous!

Remove from the heat and add your condensed milk.  Stirring vigorously (my Uncle’s word) in order to mix everything very well.

Add 3/4 cup of very hot water.  Stirring (still) constantly for about 10 minutes to cool your caramel.

The most important thing is not to bring your heat up too quickly, otherwise you will burn your caramel and we all know burnt caramel tastes nasty.  The second important thing is the stirring.  It will help the consistency of your caramel.

feel free to get more creative than me with your little containers!

In my family, we eat this on toast in the morning.  You may also want to drizzle the caramel over your favorite ice cream (quite decadent I must say) or even over a beautiful apple pie! OH MY!

Printer friendly: Uncle Andre’s Famous Caramel Sauce

Peace and stir-stir-stir,

Isabelle

note: I gave 3  jars of caramel sauce to 3 lovely ladies…hopefully the reviews will be good! 🙂

Recipe also featured on Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweet for a Saturday

Everything Sweet and Salty!

I absolutely love everything sweet and salty.  I know it’s a big fad right now but even before I was in adoration of this combination.  You might remember my “hot dogs with peanut butter” moment!  Still has people thinking I am bizarre.

I found this “off-beat” (for lack of a better word) magazine called ReadyMade.  It is about reusing/recycling/reducing…all my favorites!  Sometimes they will have recipes, sometimes crafts, new ideas…etc…

Here is the link: ReadyMade Magazine

I found this magazine on-line at some point, and in the frazzleness (key word) of my brain I am unsure where!

Here is a great recipe from the magazine.  I could not get it out of my head: Salted Caramel Shortbread!  Well, Hello Gorgeous!

Funny thing is: I kept the recipe from the magazine.  I tried to make their recipe for the shortbread and it was an epic fail.  The dough was not forming, it was all crumbly.  Even when I tried to cook it by pressing the dough at the bottom of pan…it wouldn’t hold together once cooked.  I was mad.  I found my recipe for shortbread cookies and remembered my friend Dee’s Heirloom Shortbread recipe.  Success! I went on-line and the folks at ReadyMade had this caption about a “slight” misprint in the shortbread recipe they had in their magazine!  Yes, thank you, I am not crazy or a bad cook/baker!

Ingredients:

Shortbread:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

Salted Caramel:

1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon crushed sea salt (I have coarse sea salt so I just crushed it a little more)

Chocolate topping:

7 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

How to:

Mix the shortbread ingredients together in a food processor.  Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap (by the way, I had this huge fight with my plastic wrap…it was ugly!  But I won!)  Put dough in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 325F

Meanwhile, prepare a 9-inch-square brownie pan, grease your pan and line the base and sides with a single piece of parchment paper (see pic).  Press your dough in your prepared pan.  Poke holes all over your crust using a fork.

Bake in your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until light brown and starting to come away from the edges of the pan.

Cool your baked shortbread for 1 hour prior to making your caramel.

To make the caramel, put the sugar and cream in a heavy-bottom saucepan set over low heat.  Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon as it comes to a boil.  Once it is boiling, add the butter and stir.  Bring the caramel back to a boil and let it bubble gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Take the caramel off the heat, add the salt, and stir vigorously to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed in.  Then, working quickly, pour the caramel on top of the cooled shortbread.  Put the pan in the fridge for at least 1 hour to cool and set.
***a little piece of advice: caramel is extremely HOT…taste at your own risk! (please learn from my mistake!)
Once the caramel has set, melt your chocolate.  Do not over heat your chocolate, you must do this very carefully and slowly.  One easy way to do it is with a double boiler.  Melt only 70% of your chocolate, once melted add the remaining 30% and stir until all melted.
Pour the melted chocolate on top of the caramel and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula.
Allow the chocolate to set before lifting the shortbread out of the pan (using the foil or baking parchment) and cutting into squares with a hot knife. The caramel squares will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This is extremely rich, not your everyday dessert.  I mean I was in sugar overload but I went back for more.  I do feel the chocolate was too thick….maybe a little less would work for me.  Yet the saltiness in the caramel is sooooooo spot on for me.  I can taste it in every bite!
Peace and Sassy Salty,
Isabelle