A few nights ago I found a Youtube video showing me how to make ciabatta bread from scratch that can be baked in an air fryer. So, D-UH, I was into it. Here is my first attempt. This picture shows the bottoms after I finished flipping and baking the loaves. The tops look just as beautiful.
I made the mistake of spraying the loaves instead of brushing them with melted butter. I won’t do that again. I didn’t like the finished tops as much, but I did like them. Another thing this recipe calls for is using a bigger than the basket size of parchment so you can pinch up a segregation wall in the middle so the loaves don’t proof and bake together as one square of bread.
Baked at 400* for 8 mins over parchment paper, and then the parchment came off to finish the flipped over loaves in the bare pan another 6-7 mins. When they came out they felt hard or perhaps a tad overbaked, but after a quick rest on a rack, they soften up nicely. I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂
Using a container of Pillsbury Dough crescent rolls, I made some cute cinna bun bombs that I filled and glazed. The husband ate them up! Here’s how I did it:
Cinna Bun Bombs:
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, in tact
4 tbsp Sugar + 1 tea Ground Cinnamon
Unpack the crescent roll, but don’t unroll the dough. Cut the roll into eight pieces. Turn them on their side and push down on them to flatten them out to about 1 1/2″ discs. Shape the discs so they are round and flattened.
Drop each disc into a bowl of the mixed sugars and roll it around to coat the whole outside. Place the discs into the preheated air fryer basket to bake for 10 mins at 325*F.
When bombs are cooled off, make glaze and pour it over the tops. This is a quick set glaze, so you can pack it up within 20 mins for transporting.
1/8 tea Ground Cinnamon
60 g Powdered Sugar
15 mL Whole Milk (or 18% cream)
Optional: You can fill the bombs by making a deep cavity hole and piping your own pasty cream in.
I made a lot of the same things I’ve already made, and I also went back to try the Chocolate Croissants again because I wanted to play with the times.
Instead of the typical 350-400* bake, I dropped it down to 300-320* for ten mins using a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and a crushed up Flaky chocolate bar. Nailed it!
I also saw this video recipe for Lemon-Pepper Wings and decided I needed to try it since the flavourings were right up our alley. I mean, lemon and pepper? C’mon! So I used frozen chicken parts that I coated in seasonings and then in flour. I dropped them in the basket and flipped once half way, cooking them at 400* the whole time ( 8 mins + 8 mins).
The recipe called for rolling them around in some melted butter with the lemon-pepper blend, and they were fantastic. What I didn’t like was how the butter made the crisp texture straight from the air fryer soggy. :-\ I will definitely make these wings again but I will roll them in the lemon-pepper dry seasonings before I cook them and forgo the butter bath altogether.
And if that doesn’t work, I will dust the crispy wings in the lemon-pepper seasonings as a rub after they come out of the air fryer all hot and crispy.
Yes, I know. I need better lighting for my pictures. I agree. I have a ring light but my kitchen is still largely a mess from the unexpected repairs the husband had to do in there, and my ring light is buried in a corner right now. Oh, well.
I’m a big fan of food hacks. I don’t have a lot of time and mental bandwidth to think of these myself, so when I come across them, I take a screencap for the future when I know I’ll be looking to cut corners. But, a food hack has to be a clever hack. The hack can’t ruin the final product. And it has to make my life easier. Like this one.
Ricotta cheese pies are a favourite pastime of mine to make. If you’re like me, and you can’t stand the chalky taste of cream cheese based cheesecakes, ricotta cheese pie recipes are for you. I made this recipe a few months back and forgot to add the cream cheese. I didn’t realise my mistake till it was done baking, so I was nervous when I served it up at the in-laws. Much to my surprise, not only did it turn out really well, the texture was silky smooth and no one missed the taste of cream cheese!
The secret to this particular presentation is a chocolate readymade pie crust and adding two small handfuls of chocolate chips on top just before you slip it in the oven. The middle is the plain vanilla ricotta filling. It’s based off of the original Danone Cheesecake recipe I found online years ago.
I really love a great cookie that isn’t too heavy or too sweet. Bonus points if it doesn’t take too much work in the process. I have started to gravitate towards recipes that don’t use butter, flour, leavening agents, or sugars. This is a cookie I baked last year for Secret Santa at work. I gave it to Lucia, a lovely older Italian lady at my workplace. She loved these! They were right up her alley, too. Give it a try if you’re struggling to find a nice Christmas gift for neighbours, bosses, or co-workers.
2-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies:
1 C Almond Flour/Meal, superfine powder consistency
2 1/2 tbsp Maple Syrup (the good stuff, not that table crap)
Add the syrup to the almond flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough becomes clumpy but doesn’t form a ball. Adjustments: If it forms a ball, add a teaspoon more almond flour. If the dough isn’t clumping enough, add a teaspoon more syrup.
Roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper to 1/8″ – 1/4″ thickness. Cut into shapes from here. Lay on parchment paper on sheet trays for baking.
Bake at 250 degrees for 25-30 minutes. The cookie tops should not feel soft when fully baked up.
Alt: I used Amaretto liquor in Lucia’s batch. I simply subbed out 1 tbsp of syrup for the booze. It was just a lovely little kiss for her, and it wasn’t overpowering. She could taste it easily without it being overpowering.
I like making café muffins with big, fat dome tops. The secret to achieve this effect is a 3-prong attack:
1. Overfill the muffin tin wells. Trust me!
2. Resist, at all costs, the urge to drop the muffin pan on the counter to burp the batter because you are conditioned to stop filling 2/3rds of the way up. Trust me!
3. Bake the muffins at 425 degrees for the first 5-8 mins, and them drop the temp to 350 degrees for the next 22-25 mins. Trust me!
Bring them out when the tops are no longer soft and gooey to the touch. Let them cool for at least 30 mins before diving in, lest you burn your mouth off. Ask my husband why I put this disclaimer in. He will tell you allllll about the singed skin in his mouth. 🙂
Easy Café Pumpkin Muffins:
1/2 Bag of Oatmeal Muffin mix (of choice, measuring at least 450 grams)
2 tbsp Veg Oil
1 tbsp Maple Syrup (the good kind, not the table version)
1/3 C each: Water / Pumpkin Puree
1 tea Pumpkin Spices, heaping
Mix the batter until all the ingredients are happy with each other. Using a 4oz disher (cookie or ice cream scoop with trigger), place two portions on top of each other per muffin tin well.
Top each muffin batter with a big pinch of pepita seeds in the middle of each top (fear not, the seeds will spread out as the muffin grows in size to distribute them nicely).
Bake at 425 for the first 8 minutes, and at 350 for the next 20-22 minutes. Yield: 6-7.