Baking

Food for the Gods- A Filipino Treat

Food for the Gods contains dates and walnuts. It is rich and decadent. It has the consistency of a brownie with a little bit of a crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside. It is buttery goodness and you can taste the butter in every bite. I’m not sure why it’s called Food for the Gods, but I’m assuming it has to do with the amount of dates and walnuts in it. It tastes like heaven and maybe that’s why it’s called Food for the Gods.

I recently made a batch with the recipe I posted on Food for the Gods, A Filipino Heavenly Treat. I was happy that my cousin and aunt also made some as well. Theirs turned out great! Especially my cousin’s batch. They looked delicious and his squares were cut to perfection. They used to make this treat at his mom and dad’s bakery. That’s actually the first time I tried it. His mom gave me a piece to try and I loved it. He said that when they would make this treat at the bakery, they would trim the edges and give them to him and his twin brother to snack on. What a lovely memory. Those edges are delicious. They are so crispy and they are my favorite part!

I haven’t used this recipe in 10 years! That’s the last time I made Food for the Gods. I remember them being a hit when I brought them to a family Christmas party. My friend, Grace, makes them every year and they are always anticipated. She’s the one who shared the recipe with me. And here it is:

Food for the Gods 

2 eggs

1.125 cups of sugar

1 cup melted butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dates

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2 rectangular pan. Set aside. In a bowl, beat eggs lightly. Add sugar, butter, walnuts and dates. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and fold into batter. Spread on prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 F in a water bath. Remove from water bath and continue to bake for 10 more minutes on rack. Cut into bars while warm.

I recently made a couple of batches to give out for Christmas. It was a lot of chopping of the dates and walnuts, but it felt therapeutic.

It does contain a lot of butter. I used the suggested amount, but you can probably cut that amount if desired. I have also heard of people cutting the amount of sugar used, so I am sure that this recipe can be adapted.

Also, it includes a water bath for the first 50 minutes of baking. This is to add moisture to the oven. After 50 minutes of the water bath, you take the water bath out and bake for another 10 minutes. This is when the crunch happens, at the top. You can omit the water bath, but if you do, you will notice a more crunchy texture.

This is a delicious Filipino treat that seems to be enjoyed by all. Give it a try. Happy baking!

Baking

A Perfect Dessert for Fall: The Caramel Apple Poke Cake

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We have less than one more month of the Fall season left. Try making this Caramel Apple Poke Cake  from Delish.com (a recipe by Lindsay Funston). I tried it and it was definitely delish!

The ingredients that this recipe requires for the cake is butter, flour, Granny Smith apples, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, lemon juice, jarred caramel and one box of spice cake mix. For the frosting, you will need cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract

My dilemma? I couldn’t find spice cake. So I bought a yellow cake mix and added some spices to make it a spice cake. Also, instead of making the cream cheese frosting, I bought ready-made cream cheese frosting.

Here is my adapted recipe for the caramel apple poke cake that I made:

CARAMEL APPLE POKE CAKE- Sweet Monday style

1 box of yellow cake mix, plus ingredients needed for batter (which in my case was 3 eggs, water and vegetable oil)
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/4 tsp. of ground cloves
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. corn starch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
one jar of Smucker’s caramel flavored topping (12.25 oz.)

-Butter a 9-x-13″ baking pan or dish.
-Mix the yellow cake mix, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg together.
-Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions (i.e. add eggs, water and oil) and pour into the prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Let cool, about 20 minutes.
-Prepare the apple layer: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and stir until combined. Add the corn starch and lemon juice and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
-When cake is cooled, poke holes using a thick straw or the end of a wooden spoon, all over the cake.
-Pour the caramel all over the cake, especially over the poked holes.
-Spread the apple mixture on top.
-Spread the cream cheese frosting over apple layer.
-Dust the top of the cake with cinnamon.

I have a great idea on how to adapt this recipe into cupcakes. After the cupcake has cooled,  poke one big hole in each cupcake and fill it with caramel. Instead of spreading a layer of apples and then spreading the cream cheese frosting on top of that, mix the apple mixture and cream cheese frosting together to make it an apple pie cream cheese frosting. Sounds pretty good, right?!

I must admit that I was a little hesitant about this recipe. It sounded like it would be too sweet with all the spices, the caramel, the cream cheese frosting and the sweet apples. But actually, it was the perfect combination together. The spices blended well together with all of the other ingredients and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. It reminded me of an apple pie with caramel on top.

Happy Fall baking!

Baking

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Got a lot of ripe bananas and tired of making banana bread? Got leftover pumpkin puree and want to make something other than pumpkin bars? Those were my dilemmas, so I decided to make pumpkin banana muffins. Just in time for Thanksgiving. Hence the name, Thanksgiving Pumpkin Banana Muffins.

I took my go-to banana muffin recipe and I adapted it to make these delicious pumpkin banana muffins. I thought about mixing in either crushed macadamias or dried cranberries or dried blueberries (I chose those mix ins because it’s what I currently have in my pantry) or adding streusel on top for another layer of sweetness and added crunch, but decided to keep it simple and stick to just pumpkin and banana.

I adapted my go-to banana muffin recipe by adding one 14.5 can of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Banana Muffins

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • one 14.5 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, mash the ripe bananas. Add the pumpkin puree and mix. Add egg, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together which is the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until moistened. Fill the mixture into baking cups in a muffin pan until 3/4 to almost full. Bake at 375° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I like to fill the baking cups until almost full so I had to bake the muffins a little longer at 25 minutes. I took the muffins out at 22 minutes to test with a toothpick and since it was still not ready, I put it in for another 3 minutes and it was perfect!

Happy Thanksgiving, pumpkin and banana!

The muffins tasted great. A little bit of pumpkin flavor and a little bit of banana flavor. Also because of the bananas, pumpkin puree and oil, the muffins came out moist, not dry at all. Try a little bit of butter or jam on top. Don’t forget your cup of coffee or tea.

These muffins are perfect for Thanksgiving morning. Or in our case, the week before Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving baking!