baking · brunch · cake · dessert · quick breads · Yummy

Cinnamon Bread and Farmer’s Market Update

Last Saturday was my first day as a vendor at a farmer’s market.

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The whole thing still feels surreal. How am I allowed to sell shit at a farmer’s market? It just seems like something that would happen to someone else. Don’t I need a more specialized license for this? Well, yes, but it wasn’t difficult to get. Of course, there are all these fucking regulations about what I can and cannot sell to the public, but I’m still allowed to sell my baked goods to the general public. That blows my fucking mind. And people bought things. That is the really crazy part.

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They bought things despite the fact that I am not a pastry chef, and despite the fact that I used to whisk egg whites into peaks with a fucking fork, and despite the fact that I once thought a head of cabbage was a head of lettuce. These people didn’t care that I learned how to bake without a mixer, or that I once made horrifically tart/disgusting raspberry coconut cookies, or that I used store-bought pie crust until a few years ago, or even that I still don’t have a clue how to properly decorate a cake. I can’t use fondant, I’ve never used a spring-form pan, and I don’t know how to adjust my ratios to properly use cake and pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour. No one cared about any of that bullshit. All they cared about was eating a deliciously moist slice of freshly made rhubarb bread, baked with the rhubarb that’s taking over my friend’s yard, while soaking in a few hours of sunshine with their friends at an outdoor market. They don’t see the mistakes and hesitation behind the scenes – they just see perfectly round chocolate chip cookies with hand-chopped dark chocolate and flecks of glittery sea salt. They bought them all up and chatted with me about the neighborhood, making me feel connected and welcomed into this new space. T looked at me a few hours into the market, having just sold another few oatmeal crisps, my hand resting in my apron pocket and a smile across my face, and said, “You’re radiating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this happy.”

There is something so indescribably satisfying about watching people eat and enjoy the things you’ve made. And then come back to buy more! I still can’t believe I’m allowed to do this after years of wandering markets wondering who you had to be to be apart of them. I love it when something seems like magic, but it’s actually real. That’s how being a market vendor feels to me.

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I made this cinnamon bread during a last baking frenzy in my old apartment. My oven in that place was janky as fuck, and ran cold. This meant it was a guessing game with setting a timer for baking, or the temperature for that matter. I baked this fucker for a good hour and 20 minutes, which ended up drying it out. My current place has a very reliable oven, which is a fucking relief.

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I’m pretty obsessed with quick breads at the moment. They’re so easy and simple, and can be done a million different ways. Rhubarb is the best, but you won’t be getting my recipe for that anytime soon. 😉

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You’ll notice my “swirl” is just a sad line. Turns out, no one cared about that either.

Cinnamon Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking sodaIMG_20190331_172426.jpg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the swirl/topping:

1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for coating the pans

2 tablespoons cinnamon, plus extra for coating the pans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter, and coat with cinnamon sugar mixture. Once the pans are fully coated, dump out excess.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another large bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Mix well before whisking in eggs one at a time.

Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Always avoid over-mixing, as it develops the gluten in the flour and can make your cake dense and chewy. It took me years to learn this. Don’t be like me.

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Take half of the batter, and split it between both loaf pans. Add a layer of the cinnamon sugar mixture (reserving half), then top with remaining batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar mixture through the batter before topping with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Allow to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Run a butter knife along the edges to loosen, then turn it onto a cooling rack. Real talk, I only got a cooling rack in the last few months. Cooling on a counter top or large plate is fine, too. Don’t listen to the snobby bakers that tell you otherwise.

As with any quick bread, slice and cover with butter to serve. Gobble it all up.

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baking · comfort food · Cookies · dessert · vegan · vegetarian

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

I’m not sure what the deal is, but I had horrendous anxiety tonight. Like, I was fine all fucking day, but then this evening hit, and I just lost it. Does this happen to anyone else? I ended up calling Cortney in a panic, and she calmed me right down. I have the best friends in the world, for real. Even when I’m being irrational and frantic, they always reassure me that my feelings are valid, and that it’s important to just let myself feel things. I think that is worth repeating, since it’s only been within the last few years that I have come to accept this…

Regardless of how you are feeling, or how other people might feel in your situation… even if it seems silly or irrational… please know – your feelings are valid. Always. 

It probably doesn’t help that I keep cramming 25 things into my days, instead of just giving myself time to relax. I have 3 separate friends coming to visit in the next week, plus the teacher training, plus work, plus yoga, and trying to fit in time to see my mom once in awhile. It’s a disaster mostly. Seems appropriate, considering I am mostly a disaster all the time. It’ll all work itself out… right?

On a whim, I decided to make these cookies for my Yoga Teacher Training class today. Class started at 11:30am, and I got up a 7:15am to get all my shit done. This meant going cat sitting, stopping at the farmer’s market, doing laundry, and baking these cookies. I was pleasantly surprised with my mad time management skills when everything was done, except the cookies, by 9:45am. I was like, “Fuck yeah! I have so much time to bake! This’ll be done in like 40 minutes.” So I started mixing everything together without reading the full recipe first. I got all the way to the end before I read, “Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.”

W.T.F.

It was like 10:10am at this point, and I needed to leave my apartment by 11:20am. PANIC.

But I’m a fucking pro. So, fuck yeah those cookies made it to class. Maybe they were too hot to have a lid on their Tupperware container, but they fucking made it.

Unrelated: Can someone please fucking help me get my air conditioner unit into my window? I’m fucking melting over here.

Also unrelated: I nailed my fucking headstand this week!

 

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons corn starch

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons flaxseed meal

4 tablespoons almond milk

6 tablespoons cashew butter

6 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Warning: This recipe requires refrigeration of the dough for 1 hour! You need to know that before going in.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, corn starch, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flaxseed meal and almond milk, then add cashew butter, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients. You’ll need to use your hands a little for this one… add about a tablespoon of water if not holding together, and knead with your hands. Once all the ingredients are fully mixed in, and dough can hold together in a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Mix equal parts cinnamon and sugar into a small bowl (I did 3 tablespoons of each). Roll balls of dough (1ish inch in size) in the cinnamon/sugar mixture, and arrange on a cookie sheet. These cookies will not spread, so feel free to cram as many as you can get onto one cookie sheet. Press each one down with a fork, and bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes.

Let cool, then shovel them all into your face. Be shocked that they don’t taste like shit (because they’re vegan).

 

Yummy

Baking Without Pants – Maple Cinnamon Scones

Sometimes I bake when I’m anxious. I made these amazing maple cinnamon scones during one of those moments where I was twitching with energy. I was awaiting test results for my terminally ill cat, Harold. I had several hours to kill, so I did what I do best… I took off my pants and started baking (My cat was dying, and why the fuck should I wear pants in my own kitchen anyway?). There is something therapeutic about mixing ingredients and turning them into something else entirely. It calms the noise in my head, and makes me focus. So I started mixing everything together, kneading the dough, and cutting out lop-sided little triangles. I put everything in the oven, and sat on the floor to wait. Sitting on the floor is a habit leftover from childhood. When I’m sad, I don’t bother with chairs. And I already wasn’t wearing pants, so, I mean, really, who was I trying to impress?

While waiting for the scones to cool, I whisked up the maple glaze. I can never wait for them to cool before drizzling it over the tops, so you shouldn’t either. Be generous, as it is basically frosting, and super delicious. Then you need to eat one immediately, while still warm. Trust me.

There are no fancy rules for this recipe. You can’t possibly fuck it up. And the beautiful thing about it is that you can add whatever you want (blueberries, chocolate chips, nuts, etc). Seriously, go nuts. It is by far the best thing to bake while overwhelmed with anxiety, as almost no skill is required.

I did not get good news that day, but at least I had comfort food.

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Maple Cinnamon Scones

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cold, cut into cubes)

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Glaze

6 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

dash of cinnamon

splash heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in large mixing bowl. Then toss in the cubed butter and mush with your hands (I guess you could use a food processor, if you’re fancy) until mostly mixed, but with coarse crumbs and some butter lumps remaining. Mix the maple syrup with the cream in a small bowl. Pour cream/syrup mixture in with other ingredients, and mix until dough forms. Empty onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 seconds. Break into two equal halves, and roll into balls. Then slightly flatten each ball of dough onto the floured surface and cut into 8 wedges each. Evenly distribute them onto a grease cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through. When they’re done, they will be light golden brown on top.

For the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients and drizzle over slight cooled (or not) scones. Maybe just eat a spoonful out of the bowl. Who is even looking? It’s fine.