Cakes, Bars & more, All Recipes, Bananabread & Co

Caramel Waffle Cookie Banana Bread

Stroopwafel Bananenbrood

Caramel Waffle Cookie Banana Bread

Caramel Waffle Cookie Banana Bread – that really is a mouth full. Caramel waffle cookies or ‘Stroopwafels’, literally translated as syrup waffle, are thin crisp waffle cookies, with a gooey layer of soft caramel in between. These Dutch stroopwafels are quite popular worldwide and have found their way to supermarkets across the globe.

United Airlines

In 2015, United Airlines even started serving original Daelmans stroopwafels on their flights. The stroopwafels were so popular, that when United Airlines stopped serving them last year, passengers kept asking on social media to please have them back in their snack rotation. And United Airlines listened. Since January of this year, the stroopwafels are back. read more

Cookies, Gluten-Free, All Recipes

Hazelnut Macaroons

Hazelnut macaroons

While coconut and almond macaroons are well known around here, hazelnut macaroons are quite a rare thing at least outside Germany. And that really is a pity, as they are darn delicious, if I may say so. And easy to make.

Ground hazelnuts

As long as I can remember, well almost that long, you can buy ground hazelnuts in Germany. They can be found in the baking aisle in most supermarkets. Just until fairly recently, it was pretty hard to get them in Belgium and the Netherlands. But also there, they are finding their way into the supermarkets. And you can now order ground hazelnuts or hazelnut meal at most of the online nut and seed shops.

Grinding your own

Grinding your own hazelnut meal in a blender or food processor is also an option. That’s what we used to do when I was a kid, when there were ground nuts at all. I can remember me and my mom grinding almonds and hazelnuts for Christmas cookies.

Easy does it

Anyway, even though I can perfectly do that myself, and it might be a lot cheaper, it’s so easy to simply them already ground. I usually buy them in bulk whenever we’re in Germany, either on holiday or on a shopping trip. Which is so fun to do especially in December, with all the Christmas markets and decorations.

Leftover egg whites

I usually start the Christmas cookies frenzy with other types of cookies for which I mostly need only egg yolks. Which means that I’m stuck with 10 or more egg whites once I’m done. I keep them portioned by 3 or 4 egg whites in containers in the fridge. So, I can just grab a container and start on some macaroons. Just like these hazelnut macaroons that I made with the 4 egg whites I had left after making my Butterplätzchen.

Ingredients

4 egg whites

A few drops of lemon juice

250 g sugar

400 g ground hazelnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 150°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I usually use 2 ro 3 baking sheets to be able to quickly bake them all off.

Beat the egg whites with a few drops of lemon juice until stiff peaks are formed.

Keep beating and slowly add the sugar.

Fold in the ground hazelnuts.

Beslag maken voor de hazelnootmakronen

Using two small spoons, lay small heaps of the batter on the prepared baking sheet. If you use larger spoons, you’ll get larger macaroons. Either is fine. A great tool for portioning are cookie scoops.

Portioneren en afbakken van de hazelnootmakronen

Bake ca. 15-20 minutes in the middle of the oven.

They are still very soft when you take them out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 to 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.

This recipe rendered 16 large and ca. 45 small macaroons.

Heerlijke hazelnootmakronen

They are really utterly delicious. To make them extra special, you could dip them in chocolate.

Enjoy!

Hazelnut Macaroons
Hazelnut Macaroons

Cakes, Bars & more, Cookies, All Recipes

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars, I think these are fairly unknown outside of the US. That is, I have not met a person who was familiar with these. It’s like one giant sheet pan cookie cut into pieces. This is a recipe I have made for several years now. And I’ve made these cookie bars so often, it never occurred to me to actually right everything down and publish the recipe.

Lauren’s Latest

The original recipe is from an American food blog, Lauren’s Latest. It’s one of the first food bloggers I started following, about 6 years ago. When Lauren published this recipe a couple of years ago, I made them right away and it’s been a favourite ever since. In the original recipe, the sugar cookie bars are topped with icing, but I don’t think these cookie bars need that. I leave them plain. And with just a few minor adjustments, this recipe has become a staple in our house.

Popular

So, it’s safe to say that these are quite popular, whenever I make them. Though there is the odd one who doesn’t like them. There is almond extract added, which makes the cookie bars taste like marzipan. If you are not a fan of marzipan, you can still make these bars by simply swapping the almond extract by any other extract of your liking, such as vanilla or lemon.

Easy cookie

It’s just not the taste and texture (soft bite) that I like very much. These bars are so easy to make too. I love cookies, but sometimes it’s just too much hassle. Cooling the rough, rolling it, cutting it out, etc. These sugar cookie bars are way easier and faster. Everything goes into one bowl, all ingredients at once, kneed it together, press it into a baking dish, bake it, cut it, eat it. That’s it, now let’s get baking!

Ingredients

250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

225 g sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

400 g flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking dish with parchment paper. I usually use a brownie tin. You could of course use any other baking dish, like a 13×9”.

Put all ingredients into a bowl and quickly kneed into a dough. I love using my KitchenAid for this, but you can do this by hand as well.

Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. Use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass to smooth out the top.

Sugar Cookie Bars

Bake ca. 25-30 minutes in the middle of the oven.

Let cool completely and cut into pieces.

Enjoy!
Sugar Cookie Bars

 

Bread, Cakes, Bars & more, All Recipes, Bananabread & Co

Banana bread with apple and oats

Bananenbrood met appel en havermout

Banana bread with apple and oats

Autumn seems to keep its schedule this year. As if on cue, right on the 21st of September, the warm weather is gone and it’s rainy and windy outside. Like flipping the switch. And I can’t help it, but I’m immediately in the mood for fall baking. So, I started the season with this delicious banana bread with apple and oats.

Banana

There is so much you can do with banana. I really don’t like eating (over)ripe bananas, but they are a perfect natural sweetener for cake. If any at all, you just need to add a little bit of sugar or other sweetener to your dough and much less fat. From classic banana bread to heavenly chocolate, everything goes. There are already more than 15 recipes using banana on the blog and I’m still bubbling with ideas for more.

Apple and oats

The weather will get better towards the end of the week, but the wind and rain made me long for comfort food. Apple pie is the ultimate comfort food. We still had a full bag of apples in the pantry and I needed to come up with recipes to make use of those. So, I made apple sauce, apple pear sauce and this utterly delicious banana bread with apple and oats. Perfect with a cup of tea and easy as a grab&go breakfast.

Healthy-ish

By using (over)ripe bananas you need much less sugar or other sweeteners. Compared to a regular cake, there is a lot less sugar in this bread. And by using whole wheat instead of white flour and throwing oats into the mix, you’re adding extra fibre. Which is not only healthier, it keeps you full longer. Though I don’t think that food should ever make you feel guilty, if it really does bother you, this banana bread definitely should invoke less guilt ;).

Ingredients

2- 3 sweet-tart apples

1 tbsp light brown sugar

2 bananas (peeled ca. 250 g)

2 eggs (L)

100 ml vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla-extract

50 g light brown sugar

150 g whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

100 g oats

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a cake tin with parchment paper.

Peel the apples and cut into small cubes.

Add 1 tablespoon sugar to the apples and mix.

Mash the bananas and mix with the eggs, oil and vanilla-extract.

Add sugar and mix well.

Bananebrood met appel en havermout

Now add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and mix until no lumps remain.

Fold in the apples and oats.

Pour the batter in the prepared cake tin and bake ca. 50-60 minutes in the middle of the oven.

Bananenbrood met appel en havermoiut

This banana bread / apple cake is delicious in the afternoon with a nice cup of coffee or tea, but it’s also great for breakfast. As is or with good dollop of cookie or peanut butter.

Enjoy!
Banana bread with apple and oats

Appetizers, Miscellanious, All Recipes, Snacks

Hot Cheese Dip

Hot Cheese Dip

Hot Cheese Dip

It’s become a vast classic in our house: Hot Cheese Dip. Not hot as in ‘spicy’ (though that is a possibility of course), but rather as in ‘very warm’. That’s because this dip is served straight form the oven. For those of us who can’t wait (not mentioning any names), this may result in a burnt mouth. I mean, this is really, really good, you won’t be able to wait that it’s cooled down just a tiny bit.

Let’s dig in

Once on the table, everyone digs in. No-one is willing to share just the tiniest bit. That lovely golden brown, bubbly crust, the gooey cheese, it will disappear right before your eyes. There’s never been a dip as popular as this one. Dip those (tortilla) chips, fresh bread or veggies in it. Serving this at a party? Double or triple the recipe and prepare several dishes.

Variations

I used mature cheddar in this dip. Cheddar has quite a strong taste and might not be to everyone’s liking. As the cheese is quite strong, I did not add any salt to the dip. If you’re using a much milder cheese, you might want to consider adding a bit of salt, but most of the times that won’t be necessary. Try Emmenthal, Mozzarella, goat’s cheese, blue cheese or a mix of cheeses. Do you want it hot and spicy? Add chili paste, sriracha or extra chili powder toe or finely dice jalapeño’s or a red chili pepper and mix it in.

Ingredients

200 g cream cheese

150 g grated mature cheddar

75 g mayonnaise

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp chili powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Ingrediënten voor Hot Cheese Dip

Put the mixture into a small baking dish and smooth out the top.

Hot Cheese Dip voordat dat ie de oven in gaat

Bake ca. 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

Hot Cheese Dip

Serve immediately, but watch out: it’s piping hot! And now, dig in.

Enjoy!
Hot Cheese Dip

Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Miscellanious, All Recipes

Blueberry Lemon Curd

Blueberry Lemon Curd

Blueberry Lemon Curd

Do you ever do that, buying way too much if something is on sale, without thinking about what you’ll with all of it? No? Well, I do (unfortunately). Just recently, I bought buckets full of blueberries, just because they were extremely cheap. Yes, buckets, two of them. Way too much of course, because after baking muffins with blueberries and putting loads of blueberries in my yogurt and smoothies, there was still about a bucket left.

I could have made my Blueberry Chia Seed Jam, but we still have quite a few jars with all sorts of jam in the pantry. So, I had to come up with something different, something new. It’s fun, trying new things. And as I also had a whole lot of lemons (same principle), I thought of combining those two and make Blueberry Lemon Curd.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is becoming more and more popular in our region since it’s been ‘imported’ from the UK and the US. A deliciously fresh, tangy yet sweet cream. Wonderful on scones or added to yogurt. Or incorporated in pies and other baked goods. It’s becoming more and more available at supermarkets around here, but it’s so easy to make yourself and it’s much tastier.

With blueberries

And since blueberries and lemon are a match made in heaven, just like in my Lemon Blueberry Crumb Cake, I used both to make this wonderful Blueberry Lemon Curd. And I can safely (and proudly) say: I nailed it. An utterly delicious cream, silky and smooth, sweet and also a bit tangy due to the lemon. Delicious on freshly baked scones with a slather of clotted cream, but also so tasty added to your yogurt for breakfast. Or straight from the jar (I promise I won’t tell). And just as easy to make, like regular lemon curd.

Ingredients

250 g fresh blueberries (it doesn’t have to be exact, a few more or less berries are just fine)

100 ml lemon juice (depending on the size and juiciness of the lemons, you’ll need 2-3)

Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

3 egg yolk

1 egg

175 g sugar

50 g unsalted butter (cold)

Instructions

Put the blueberries, lemon juice and zest in a small pan and bring to a boil.

Let simmer for a couple of minutes until all blueberries are soft.

Strain through a sieve and press all the juice through is. Make sure to scrape the underside of the sieve.

Blueberry Lemon Curd - sap maken

Return the juice to the pan, set aside and let cool.

Beat the egg yolk, egg and sugar until the mixture reaches a light-yellow colour.

Pour the egg-mixture into the blueberry lemon juice and mix well.

Blueberry Lemon Curd - eimengsel maken

Bring slowly to a boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes on low heat, whisking constantly.

Let cook until the mixture starts to thicken. When the ‘sauce’ covers the back of a spoon, it’s ready.

Take the pan off the heat and beat in the butter, a small cube at a time, until all the butter has been incorporated.

Blueberry Lemon Curd - bijna klaar

Pour the curd in clean jars and put the lid on.

Let cool completely.

Well sealed and refrigerated, the curd will keep well for a couple of weeks. Once you’ve opened a jar, it’s best to eat it within a couple of days.

Enjoy!
Blueberry Lemon Curd

Sides, All Recipes

Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fired vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fried vegetables with what? Exactly. That’s the reaction I got when I answered the boys’ daily question ‘what’s for dinner’. Freekeh seemed to gain on popularity a couple of years ago and was even called the ‘new quinoa’. But to me, it seems it’s already losing ground and is disappearing from the shelves in supermarkets. Which is a pity, if you ask me. Fortunately, I still had one box stashed away in the pantry and I made this delicious side with it.

Freekeh

Now what is freekeh? Actually, it’s simply wheat but harvested when it has not ripened yet. It’s dried on the land with the chaff and then set to fire. Might seem a strange process, but due to the high moisture of the unripe kernels, only the chaff and straw are burnt. The kernels remain and get a nicely toasted flavour. Freekeh is chuck full of nutrients and fibre which makes this grain a healthy supplement to your diet.

Freekeh

Preparation

Freekeh is cooked like rice and can then be used in a wide variety of dishes, hot and cold. The cooking time is a bit longer compared to other types of grain and rice. The instructions say 15 minutes, but I usually cook it quite a bit longer. But even after cooking it longer, the texture remains quite chewy. I use stock to cook it in, which gives it even more flavour.

Flat beans

I went even a bit further than this extraordinary grain, by adding a less obvious vegetable to the stir-fry: flat green beans. As it is, I happen to love flat beans, but rarely prepare them. When I spotted fresh flat beans at the store, I had to buy them (without thinking about what I would make). So, when I stood in front of the fridge, contemplating what I would make for dinner, I figured I could use them in a stir-fry. And I think this really is a nice addition.

Middle East

Freekeh finds its origins in the Middle East. It is often added as a filling to soups and stews. But it is also a great addition to salads or stuffed vegetables. As I used it in this stir-fry with peppers and flat beans, I figured that a Middle Eastern spice mix was just fitting: Baharat. With only a handful ingredients, you’ll get this fragrant and delicious side everyone will love.

Ingredients

200 g freekeh

2 chicken stock cubes

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

400 g flat beans

1 à 2 tsp Baharat

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

Put the freekeh with 1 litre water and the chicken stock cubes in a pan and bring to a boil.

Let cook for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Cut the peppers and flat beans into 1-2 cm pieces.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the vegetables with a pinch of salt, pepper and the Baharat spice mix.

Preparing the freekeh and the vegetables

Drain the freekeh and add to the vegetables.

Stir and fry for one more minute.

We served the freekeh with lamb burgers and a fresh salad. I actually saved the cooking liquid as it had become this gorgeous, thick and tasty broth. Would have been a sin to just throw it out. Added a small can of tomato puree and let it reduce a little bit. Then a bit of sugar and pepper to taste and we ended up having a wonderful, rich tasting tomato sauce with our meal.

If you don’t have Baharat at home or you don’t like the taste, simply add your favourite spices. Anything goes, really.

Geroerbakte groente met freekeh

Have you ever tried freekeh?

Enjoy!

Drinks, All Recipes

Lemon Lime Syrup

Citroen-Limoen-Siroop

Staying hydrated

Guys, how hot has it been these past few weeks?! Today, we finally got some cooling air coming in. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed these hot temps. But I know a lot of people are really suffering from the heat. For some, this even means getting sick or not being able to function at all. The most important thing during such heat waves, is staying hydrated. Whether you can easily stand the heat or not, there is always the risk of dehydration, without you even noticing it. With disastrous consequences.

Infused water

Water is by far the best drink, but I know it gets boring and you would like to taste something else as well. Infused water is an easy way to pimp regular tap water. Simply add fresh fruit and/or herbs and let those infuse the water with a subtle flavour. Delicious. But you know what I like best? Homemade lemonade. And making your own syrup for lemonade isn’t hard at all and way better than store-bought syrup. My favourite: lemon-lime syrup.

Lemonade

Once you have the syrup ready, fresh lemonade is made in just seconds. The syrup is made with a lot of sugar, but you can use as much as you want. Personally, I don’t like overly sweet beverages, so I just use a wee bit of syrup. With a good amount of ice cubes, a bit of extra fruit and a twig of fresh mint, you’ll get this wonderfully refreshing, non-alcoholic summer drink.

Ingredients

350 ml freshly squeezed juice (ca. 5 – 6 lemons and ca. 2 – 3 limes)

250 g sugar

Instructions

Squeeze the lemons and limes. The exact amount of fruit you’ll need, depends on the size and juiciness of the lemons and limes.

Put the juice and the sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Pour the syrup through a strainer into a clean bottle.

Seal the bottle and let cool completely.

Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Refrigerated, the syrup will keep well for several weeks (though it never lasts this long on our house).

The syrup is now ready to make a nice refreshing lemonade. Add a few ice cubes to a glass, pour a little bit of syrup into the glass. Start with just a little bit, you can always add more to taste. Fill the glass with cold water (I like to use sparkling water). Add a twig of fresh mint and/or a slice of lemon (or other fruit).

Enjoy!

xoxo

Nicole
Lemon Lime Syrup

Bread, Cakes, Bars & more, All Recipes, Bananabread & Co

Classic Banana Bread

Klassiek Bananenbrood

Classic banana bread

Alright, I know it’s been way too hot the past weeks to even think about turning on the oven. But if you don’t mind or it’s not as hot where you live, I got this wonderful recipe for you: classic banana bread.

Cookbook review

Just recently, I reviewed a new cookbook, called ‘Bananenboek’, the banana book. Unfortunately, it’s only on Dutch. As the title already says, it’s a cookbook all about the banana. Banana a s ingredient for sweet AND savory dishes. Quite interesting. So, for the review, I tried several recipes form the book, but I didn’t try any of the baking recipes. Why? I already have about 15 different banana recipes on my blog and there are still more to come. And then I suddenly realised that there is still one important recipe missing: one for good, old fashioned, plain banana bread.

Anything but plain

Although I wouldn’t want to call it plain, really. But next to all those funny combinations and unexpected ingredients, the most delicious recipe was missing. Of a simple, easy, and tasty banana bread. Banana bread as it is supposed to be. And even though the hot temps are not really inviting me to turn on the oven, this definitely is worth the extra sweat. And it might be a welcome distraction from all those recipes for the BBQ, drinks, ice cream and salads ;-).

Ingredients

3 small bananas (peeled about 250g)

2 eggs

200 g crème fraiche or sour cream

75 g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

100 ml vegetable oil

300 g flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a cake tin or line with a baking sheet.

Mash the bananas.

Mashing bananas for the banana bread

Beat the eggs with the sugar, crème fraiche, oil and vanilla until smooth. You can use a whisk for that.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Mixing wet ingredients

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and fold the two together. You could use a whisk or electric mixer, but down overmix.

Fold in the mashed banana.

Mixing the batter for the banana bread

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for ca. 60 minutes in the middle of the oven.

Beslag is klaar en kan de oven in

Out comes this wonderfully fluffy banana bread. Now you should wait until it’s cooled down, but I have to admit that that is the most difficult part for me. I can’t muster the patience and usually cut off a piece when it’s still warm. It’s so good!

Klassiek bananenbrood

It’s tasty just as is, but I also love to slather it with peanut butter (especially if it’s the salted caramel type).

Enjoy!
Classic Banana Bread

 

Gluten-Free, Sides, All Recipes

Smashed Potatoes – crispy, oven fried potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed potatoes, say what? That’s one of the most common reactions around here, as this dish is fairly unknown outside the UK or the US. But they’re gaining ground as there are quite a few chefs (like Jamie Oliver) are putting smashed potatoes on the world map. And I can tell you, they are a big hit in our house. I’ve never seen potatoes disappear that fast, not even French fries.

New potatoes

A friend brought over some new potatoes, new harvest, straight from the field. My initial thought was to make potato salad, but these gorgeous new potatoes did deserve a more prominent role than that. And as we don’t like boiled potatoes all too much, frying or baking them came to mind.

Smashed potatoes

Smashed potatoes had been on my must-make list for quite a while, since I first saw a recipe online a couple of years ago (yes, it did take me that long, but my must-make list really is quite extensive). So, it was about time. And boy, did they turn out good. Better than good. They were gone in the blink of an eye. Even though I had made more potatoes than I usually did, there wasn’t a teeny tiny crumb left. The wonderful flavour of the new potatoes most likely did play a role here too, but this way of preparing them definitely is a winner. The boys asked, no demanded, that I make them much more often. Luckily, they are a breeze to make.

Ingredients

1,5 kg potatoes (or more/less, depending on how much you would normally make)

Olive oil

Salt/pepper

50 g Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Thoroughly clean the potatoes.

If you have some bigger potatoes, cut them in half or quarters.

Put the potatoes in a bowl, add a tablespoon of olive oil and coat all potatoes.

Divide the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.

Aardappelen wassen en eventueel doorsnijden

Roast in the middle of the oven until the potatoes are cooked and have turned golden brown.

Aardappelen zijn geroosterd

Carefully take the potatoes out of the oven and smash them with the bottom of a glass or cup.

Pletten van de aardappelen

Drizzle a bit of extra olive oil on top, season with salt and pepper and scatter the Parmesan cheese generously on top of the potatoes.

Zout, peper en kaas erover

Put back int the oven for an extra ten minutes or so.

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are delicious with meat or fish, with the BBQ, as part of a buffet… Try some variations by adding herbs or spices, add some bacon or use a different kind of cheese. The possibilities to ‘pimp’ these potatoes are endless.

Smashed Potatoes

Enjoy!
Smashed Potatoes