Friday, September 23, 2011

Spiced Apple Orchard Bread

Good morning!
I'm off work this today and it's a wonderful day to be off!  

Temps in the low 70's.  

Sunshine breaking up the early morning haze.

I'm enjoying my coffee this morning with a slice of this delicious apple bread!

Anxious to take a country drive into Amish country to visit their general store, bakery and to see if they have any pumpkins for the front porch.

Perhaps stop at a favorite local home decor store.

Baking homemade apple pie.

Dinner and fun times at good friend's home tonight!

I just had to take the time to share with you a recipe I used some of my Jonathan apples, some beautiful golden raisins and pecans.  This is finished with a heavy dusting of cinnamon sugar that just falls in the nooks and cranny's of the top of the bread!

The recipe makes two loaves, but I halved it and made one. I also substituted part of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.  I decided not to add pecans this time, but I will add them the next.  It's tasty, either way!  Bits of apple-y goodness specked this bread, making it moist.  A good contrast from the crisp sugar top and corners --my favorite!

I hope you enjoy this blessed Friday whatever you bake and wherever you go!  :)

Spiced Apple Orchard Bread

  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped apples
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then stir in chopped apples, raisins, and pecans. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Grease 2 9x5-inch loaf pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Greased waxed paper. Pour batter into pans, smoothing the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 20 minutes at 325°. Pull out rack and sprinkle loaves with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
    Cool for 10 minutes; turn out onto a rack. Slice and serve or freeze.

    (I didn't use wax paper, but just sprayed the loaf oan well with Pam for Baking.)

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Jonathan Apples and Fall Tablescape!

    I know that fall is just around the corner when the Jonathan apples are here!  These are my favorite apple, but they're only around for a few short months.  These were actually given to us by Nana, where she got them at a local apple orchard!  She was the one who told me about them, when she gave me her apple pie recipe, and she knows her way around a kitchen!

    They were so beautiful in this big harvest bowl, that I just had to take some pictures!  I love the soft green color at the stem that fades to a beautiful pale red.  These apples are on the sweeter side for baking and have a wonderful texture--Mr. Cozy and I actually like when apples really soften in an apple pie.  Don't get me wrong, I still love Granny Smith's!!  These Jonathan I find are more versatile, because you can snack on them, too!

    Now, to find lots of recipes to for these apples....

    Good thing the latest Southern Living features some yummy looking ones! :)

    I love these baby acorn salt and pepper shakers I got in Hendersonville, NC on our 5th Anniversary trip!

    Here's a bit of my fall table decor this year...

    I haven't bought anything new this year for fall...

    (Shocker, if you knew me!)

    ...trying to be creative and use what I already have.  

    These warm, rich colors make me happy to have around the house.  Here's my simple table arrangement that's comprised of mostly branches and "fallen" leaves.  I've had these candle holders for ages, and still love them.  (Although, I need to find two more tea lights.) 

    Just a peak of fall here at The Cozy Little Kitchen in Kentucky!  Now I'm ready for the trees to show there vivid colors outside and the temperatures to linger in the brisk 60's and 70's!

    Hope you all are getting your home all bundled up for the cool months ahead! 

    I'm linking up with:


    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Cappuccino Muffins with Espresso Vanilla Glaze

    I'm excited to share with you  a new recipe today!  This morning I made cappuccino muffins, a recipe that I found in one of my favorite seasonal cookbooks The Gooseberry Patch, Autumn In The Country.  

     Made with rich flavors of espresso, cocoa powder and chocolate chips , these muffins are (without saying) scrumptious!  I decided to make a glaze for them, too.  I started out with a simple vanilla/powdered sugar/evaporated milk glaze that I poured right after getting the muffins out of the oven.  We decided a thicker coffee glaze to make them over-the-top amazing!!  

    It worked ;)

    {The camera was loving these moist decadent muffins, almost as much as we did!}

    Mr. Cozy took Step 2 of his board exam, for med school, yesterday. (Yay, it's over!)  If you don't know much about Boards, take it from me....they are very important, very difficult and require a whole lot of studying!  So today I took off work to spend some much anticipated quality time with my husband, and decided to make these muffins for a morning treat.  It was a great way to start off the beautiful, fall-like day.
    This high is only about 72 degrees today and the sun is shining!   This is really my kind of day! 

    Frost tall glasses of milk, and surprise your sweeties with these sweet cappuccino muffins on your next morning off! 

    Cappuccino Muffins with Espresso Vanilla Glaze
    Makes 1 Dozen

    2 c. all-purpose flour

    3/4 c. sugar

    2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

    1/2 t. salt

    2 T. baking cocoa

    1 heaping T. instant espresso granules

    1 c. evaporated milk
    (it called for milk, but I used evaporated milk for extra yummies!)

    1 egg, beaten

    1/2 c. butter, melted

    1 t. vanilla extract

    3/4 c. chocolate chips
    (I added a couple more to the batter after putting in the muffin tin.)

    (Directions below for muffins)

    Espresso Glaze

    Powdered sugar, vanilla, espresso powder and evaporated milk.  

    (Of course, I just eye-balled the proportions.  So sorry!  I just forgot to measure it out, because I never have done that with a glaze before.  It's easy to make!!)

    Only, make sure you don't add too much milk because you want it thick, but if you do just add more sugar. Heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave to blend everything together and allow to cool and thicken slightly before pouring over muffins.

    Here's my cozy work station.  I lit my caramel corn candle to set the "baking mood".

    Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

    Mix together milk and egg.  Pour into flour mixture and mix together.

    Stir in melted butter and vanilla.  Mix well.

    Add the beautiful chocolate chips.
    I first tossed them in about 1 Tbsp. flour so they wouldn't sink.

    Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.

    Bake at 375, for 17-20 minutes.  Mine took 18 minutes.

    Pour on the vanilla glaze, right out of the oven: powdered sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla.

    Allow muffins to cool before adding the espresso glaze.

    Add the espresso glaze to the top and allow to slowly drip down the muffin!
    The next part is crucial...

    Eat right away!!! :)

    Here's my reading corner, next to the fireplace.  This is where I drink my morning coffee, and spend time in the Bible.   I find it a very cozy place to snuggle up!

    I'm linking up with:

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Deluxe Toffee Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

    Alright Friends. Here's one amazing cookie!  I've been making oatmeal scotchies every fall for several years, and we have loved them!  

    (But these are a little different:)

    What is it about old fashioned oats, cinnamon, and butterscotch that is reminiscent of cool autumn days?  I guess there is that bit of nostalgia that comes from oatmeal cookies, but this is not just an oatmeal cookie.  It's not even just an oatmeal's an toffee oatmeal  scotchie!  These golden and crispy edged cookies are loaded with not only butterscotch, but buttery Heath bar toffee and (of course!) chocolate chips!!! 

    I am happy to say that I still have a roll of this dough in the refrigerator.

    What joy it is to make a big batch, refrigerate the dough, and bake it in increments as you want it.  The hard part is done, all you have to do is bake them off or just eat the delicious cookie dough!  (Yes, I'm a batter eater. It's problem.)

    Please do try these cookies out if you want something irresistibly delicious to taste and to smell baking in the oven!  What a yummy treat to bring along on the family hayride or to a football game!
     I think I'm off to the finish what I've started :)......

    Deluxe Toffee Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

                  1/2 teaspoon baking soda               

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

    3/4 cup graulated sugar

    3/4 cup packed brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange

    3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

    1 bag Heath chocolate covered toffee bits
    1 c. butterscotch morsels

    1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips


    PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

    COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, toffee bits, butterscotch and chocolate chip morsels.

    Divide in half, make in logs and wrap in cling wrap.  Put in the refrigerator for overnight, if you can wait that long!  (This will intensify the delicious cookie flavor, so I think it's worth it.:)

    Take the dough logs from the fridge and slice or break off evenly.

    Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  These cookies have a tendency to stick, otherwise.

    BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    Today, 9-11-11, is a sobering day.  To the families who have lost loved ones I am incredible sorry and pray for God's peace and comfort to you always.  To all who were very courageous in that day and those days surrounding the attack, THANK YOU for all of your incredible sacrifice and dedication to our country!!!
    Thank the Lord Almighty for His hand on us
    and for his mercy and grace!
    This day will always be remembered.


    I'm linking up with:

    Jam Hands

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Cozy Pumpkin-Spiced Pecan Pancakes

    An overnight stay from my precious sister, a cool September morning, (and a lazy one at that) called for pumpkin spiced pecan pancakes with real maple syrup and a side of crispy bacon!  What a great way to start off our Labor Day!

    I lit a few warm scented candles, including my favorite, 1803's Candle "Pumpkin Cornbread", when I first woke up on Monday.  So happy to have my younger sister come over for some girl time and coziness over the weekend.  Mr. Cozy ground fresh some delicious World Market Peaberry coffee and added some Chai Spices to the beans to infuse the coffee with flavor.  

    Awe, I wish every morning could start off so relaxed and lovely!

    This is a not a complicated recipe at all.  Not much of  "recipe" anyways, but more of a good idea!
    Using one of our favorite pancake box mix...

    Yes,  box mix.

    Maple Farms of Vermont Buttermilk & Honey--it's rather yummy and always lends a fluffy pancake...

    I added some creamy canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
    I say that very loosely here, because I was technically out of the true Pumpkin Pie Spice, so I more or less threw in some cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of allspice.  I was also out of ground cloves.

    Yes, I know, I know!  I am soon going to the grocery for the much anticipated annual trip of buying seasonal spices and baking things! Yay!  I look forward to this every year!

    Back to the pancakes:  Pancake mix, canned pumpkin, spices, and chopped toasted pecans make up easy and delicious pumpkin spiced pecan pancakes.
    Here's a breakfast that should be quite enjoyed on a brisk morning!  This is just a hint of what yummy things lie ahead in my cozy little kitchen in the next couple of months!

    Pumpkin Spiced Pecan Pancakes

    Pancake Mix 
    (and ingredients that are called for)

    Canned Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Pie Spice
    (or Cinnamon
    Nutmeg &
    Ground Cloves)

    Chopped pecans, toasted


    First off over a low heat, toast pecans in a skillet for a few minutes until slightly darkened and fragrant.  Set aside.

    Mix up the pancake mix according to the package's directions.  I like to substitute half of the oil it calls for with melted butter.   

    Stir in the pumpkin.
    I don't have exact proportions for the pumpkin, but I know that I made about 15 medium sized pancakes and used about 3/4 c. pumpkin puree.  I could have used 1cup
     and it would've been perfect!  

    Stir in the spices.
    I also eye-balled them. 
     I used more cinnamon than the other two, but if using actual pumpkin pie spice it would be about 2 tsp.  (I'm almost afraid to guesstimate here....don't hold me accountable for an exuberantly spicy pancake, please!)  

    In a pan over medium heat, swirl enough butter just to coat the bottom.  Carefully pour your beautiful batter into the sizzling butter.  Sprinkle the pecans into the batter pools.  Watch carefully, as the butter will brown your pancakes quickly.

    Remove and repeat until all of the batter and pecans are used up.
    Serve with warm maple syrup and enjoy your blissful breakfast!

     { When taking this picture, I wasn't expecting to put it on the blog, because the table is far from perfect!  This is it we are about to dig into all the goods! }

    I'm linking up with: