Chocolate cinnamon bread

Some of my favorite days are the ones I get to take my little girl on a Starbucks date. We usually go in the morning before doing a little shopping. Her normal purchase was the lemon pound cake. But, a couple of weeks ago she tried the cinnamon chocolate bread. It was love at first bite!

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When she was craving it the other day, I thought I would try to find the recipe online. Since the nearest Starbucks is at least a half an hour away. Yes, I am still struggling with that!

I found the recipe and my family loved it. It tastes just like that Starbucks goodness!
Enjoy!
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Starbucks cinnamon chocolate bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups flour
1 ¼ cup dutch processed cocoa
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Cocoa Spice Topping –

¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp dutch processed cocoa
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
¼ cup sparkle sugar (for decorating)
Step 1 – The most obvious yet most forgotten (by me anyway) step, preheat oven to 350 F. Grab two 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

Step 2 – To mix the batter you’ll start with the butter and sugar. Mix these in an electric mixer until light and creamy, around 5 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to get them fully mixed in.

Step 3 – Grab another bowl and sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla. With your mixer on a low speed, begin adding the contents of each bowl to the butter mixture, alternating between the two until your mixture is fully blended, but not overly whipped. Then split your batter between the two pans. If your batter is slightly uneven, you can lightly shake the pan to even out the tops.

Step 4 – My favorite step, and the easiest part of the recipe, make your topping. Just combine the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Then evenly layer the decorating sugar over your batter, followed by the spice mixture.

Step 5 – Finally, bake for 45-50 minutes.

For the ultimate treat, pair a slice with a fresh cup of Guatemala Antigua, Colombia or House Blend, and when you’re finished, let us know how it turned out!
Source

LeeAnn

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Lasagna soup

There is one meal in this house that we all agree on, lasagna soup. I first found it on Pinterest and have modified it to make it my own. I am sure others have done the same. But, in case you haven’t seen it, here is the recipe.

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Lasagna Soup
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

for the soup
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage (I use lean beef)
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I put this in the food processor so there are no chunks)
2 bay leaves (good even without these)
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
additional cheesy yum:
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preparation

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Source:
Afarmgirlsdabbles.com
Also:
Source: Adapted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, as seen in the February-April 2011 edition of At Home with Kowalski’s magazine from Kowalski’s Markets.

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