Pear Spice Cake

Every year we get so many pears on the pear tree and of course, they’re all ripe at once. So last year I tried to figure out something I could make will all these pears! Well, after some searching, I found this recipe and this one is pretty much the same.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, cored and chopped pears
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Directions:

Step 1

Chop your pears up into 1/2 inch cubes. Combine the pears and the sugar and let stand for an hour. The pears should be broken down pretty well at this point.

  

Step 2

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Slightly beat the egg whites and combine them with the oil, chopped pecans and pear mixture.

Step 3
Stir the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in the pear mixture. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.
 

Step 4
Bake at 325 degrees F  for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing form pan. After it cools, sift some powdered sugar over the top. Enjoy!
 

Ciabatta Pizza

This is a ciabatta-type pizza dough. It makes an airy, chewy crust that’s so good! I got the original recipe from this site. This only makes one pizza so I generally double this recipe.

Crust

1 3/4 cups bread flour (250 g to be exact)
1 cup water
1 tsp yeast (1/2 package)
1/4 teaspoon salt

(gluten-free version)

1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill general purpose flour (250 g to be exact)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp yeast (1/2 package)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Yield: 1 pizza

 

Directions

Step 1.

Mix the flour, yeast, salt & water in your stand mixer with the paddle on high speed, it won’t look like it is doing anything for a while. Then after about 5-10 minutes or so it will start to come together. The dough is done as soon as it stop sticking to the sides and is just coming off the bottom. It has the consistency of rubber but is very sticky.

Step 2.

Oil the sides and bottom of a large bowl (spray oil works good). Scoop out the dough into the bowl. Be quick moving it into the bowl because the dough will still be very soft and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set it in a warm place and let it rise until it triples (about 3 – 4 hours).

Step 3.

Once the dough has tripled, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Get the dough out and if it’s still really sticky on top, sprinkle a little flour on top so you can pull it out. Put the dough on a floured baking sheet or some parchment paper – it’s still going to be really soft and squishy so you’ll probably need to sprinkle some flour on as you’re working it into a pizza shape.

Step 4.

Sprinkle some olive oil (and maybe some truffle oil!) on top and spread it out all over the top of the dough. Now, put on your toppings! I found that right now my favorite cheeses to use are Provolone, Gruyere, Gouda and Fontina or some mixture of a couple of them.

Step 5.

Bake @ 500 degrees for 12 minutes and enjoy!

Gingerbread Boys

This recipe is pretty much taken verbatim from the “Joy of Cooking” – I’ve made a slight modifications, but not many. It’s just about perfection.

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or allspice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

Step 1

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Step 2

Blend together on medium speed until very fluffy the butter and the sugar. Once the sugar and butter are well blended, add the eggs, molasses and water

Step 3

Beat half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until well blended and smooth. Blend in the remaining flour mixture until well blended.

Step 4

Place the dough in a sealable plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap. Set aside the dough in a cool place (I always put it in the fridge even thought the directions say not to) for at least an hour (or for up to 3 days).

Step 5

Heat the oven to 350.
Generously flour your surface and knead the dough a bit to warm and soften it up. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out your shapes. I like to put the cookies on a piece of parchment paper or a cooking mat. Pop them in the oven for about 8 minutes. If you want them crispy, put ’em in for 10 minutes, but I like them chewy so it’s 8 or 8 and a half minutes for me.

Yield: 55 cookies