Author Archives: Liz {E2 Bakes Brooklyn}

About Liz {E2 Bakes Brooklyn}

I'm a blogger, freelance baker, and recipe developer in South Brooklyn.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

These Sparkly Applesauce Muffins are so easy and so good! They’re a perfect treat for transitioning from summer to fall, before everything is truly all pumpkin spice all the time…which will be next week on this website and also everywhere.

The batter is made with ingredients you likely already have at your disposal and comes together in a flash. Divide it into a muffin tin, filling each well up to the top, and then sprinkle on a thick (thick!) layer of sugar and pie spices before sliding them into the oven.

While baking, the muffins will dome dramatically. This is because of the baking powder and baking soda, of course, but also because the oven time begins with a blast of 425F heat that jumpstarts the rise. After five minutes, the temperature is reduced to 375F for the remaining time, yielding tender muffins with the most glorious sparkly, crackled tops!

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, dig in! You’ll love the simple balance of pie spices and buttery apple flavor, and that’s to say nothing of the textures! The tops are crisp and crunchy, and the insides are sooo soft. Be forewarned that this perfect combination is fleeting, however, as the topping will start to melt in about a day. If you want to keep your applesauce muffins around for longer, bake them without the sugary flourish. There’s no need to miss out entirely though—you can still have the sparkling effect by painting the tops of the cooled muffins with butter and dipping them into the spiced sugar before serving.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

I’m all about living in the solution, y’all! Especially when it means there’s a sparkling batch of applesauce muffins on my counter and yours.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​
Sparkly Applesauce Muffins
makes 12 muffins

Topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Muffin Batter:
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
~2/3 cup milk of choice, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1 cup (8 ounces) unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 425F. Use muffin liners to line 12 cups in a standard muffin pan (or grease them well). Set aside.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together vinegar and milk. Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes, until curdled.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk eggs into milk mixture one at a time, followed by melted butter and applesauce. Add half the liquid to the dry ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir ingredients together (15 strokes maximum). Add remaining liquid and stir to combine (15 strokes maximum). Batter will be thick.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling to the tops. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the topping mixture onto each well of muffin batter. Tap full pan five times on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Bake muffins 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375F and bake another 15-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to a day. Sugar topping will degrade over time.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are a million way to make a chocolate chip cookie. Soft, chewy, crispy, thin, thick, as a cake, with nuts, whole grain, vegan, gluten-free, or some combination in between—there’s a recipe out there for everyone.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Today’s recipe, made with an almond flour base, is for the soft & chewy, gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie people. And also, everyone (except the people with nut allergies; sorry y’all).

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

These chocolate chip cookies are so delicious, and not in a “delicious for being vegan and gluten-free” sort of way. They’re great, period. They’re pillow-soft, thick & chewy, have a perfect vanilla-brown sugar balance, and are loaded with chocolate chips. In short, they’re magnificent. A triumph, even.

But that’s just the final product—we haven’t even discussed ease of preparation! And I do mean “ease.” Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies are a no-mixer, no-chill recipe, and with the possible exception of almond flour, you likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

The dough comes together in just a few minutes, then gets separated into two-tablespoon increments and flattened into disks before baking. Because this dough doesn’t contain gluten or a particularly high volume of sugar, it doesn’t really spread like a traditional chocolate chip cookie, though it does puff in the most satisfying way.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies bake up in ten minutes, and then it’s just a matter of what you consider too-hot-to-handle when it comes to dessert. I’m a “room temperature, but the chips are still soft” lady myself, but just as there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe for everyone, I’m sure there’s an ideal temperature, too.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 1 dozen cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons vegan butter,* melted & cooled slightly
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted vegan butter, water and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, then use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pinched. Fold in chocolate chips with the silicone spatula or your hand.

Scoop dough in 2 tablespoons increments, roll into balls, and set 2 1/2-inches apart on prepared pans. Use the heel of your hand to press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Smooth edges with your fingers as desired.

Bake cookies 10 minutes, until puffed and starting to turn light golden. Let cool on pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Serve cookies. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Note:

I use Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter (and occasionally Earth Balance) in vegan baked goods. You may use an equal volume of refined coconut oil in its place, or even regular dairy butter (though your cookies will not be vegan).
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

Since first messing with waffle iron a couple of summers ago, I’ve become a bit obsessed with making a perfect waffle. I logically know there’s no such thing—in art and food and the art of food, everything is subjective—but I keep trying.

My cornmeal waffles are pretty good and so are my mix-and-go vegan oatmeal waffles, but my Sour Cream Waffles are outstanding. They’re my favorites of the bunch—super easy, with no whipping of egg whites and perfect ratios of crispness and fluff every time. I am really proud of that recipe and honestly didn’t think I could do better, until I started fiddling with these Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles a year ago. I began with Marion Cunningham’s Yeast-Raised Waffles one day, and then somehow a bag of oats got involved, and many Saturday morning breakfasts later, here we are. These are my new gold standard.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles are fluffy inside, crispy outside, and have a surprisingly complex, borderline-savory flavor profile on their own (but pair incredibly well with maple syrup). They don’t really taste whole grain, which is shocking as oats are the primary ingredient. Oh, and if you use gluten-free rolled oats, they’re naturally gluten-free, too. No unusual flours required—just a blender and some time.

If you’re scratching your head at the “yeasted” part of this recipe, wondering why you’d ever put yeast in waffles when baking powder and baking soda seem to do just fine…well, that’s fair. But the thing is, the yeast doesn’t just do lifting here; it adds flavor, too. By blending the batter up the night before and then letting it rise in the refrigerator, you’re allowing that yeast to start fermenting, and that results in deep, rich, slightly sour, nearly-savory flavor that simply can’t happen with a regular mix-and-go waffle recipe. It’s divine.

After a chilly night’s rest, the batter will have puffed and firmed up a bit in the fridge, just like any other yeast-based overnight recipe. You should know that it won’t look particularly nice, but that’s okay because we’re not after beautiful batter—we’re here for gorgeous waffles! When your iron is hot, whisk some eggs, water and baking soda into the chilled batter, and then get waffling.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

This part, you know how to do. Pour the batter in, close the iron, and let it do its thing until the steam dissipates. Don’t let any built-in green lights tell you what to do; the lack of steam will be your signal that your waffles are perfectly crisp outside and light inside!

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

The recipe is written to make enough waffles for 4-6 people, but…like…good luck sharing them. This is a recipe to double and freeze for a rainy day, when you just need a good waffle. Because these, y’all? They’re good waffles. Easy, whole grain, gluten-free, crispy, fluffy and oh-so-delicious—I’m going to go ahead and say it: they’re my new gold standard. And they just might be yours, too.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​
Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles
about 24 4-inch waffles

The night before:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used whole)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

The next morning:
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup lukewarm water
melted butter or cooking spray, for waffle iron

For serving:
pure maple syrup
butter
fresh seasonal fruit

Special Equipment:
high-powered blender
waffle iron

The night before, proof the yeast. In a small bowl, stir together warm water and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit until bubbly, 5-10 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t foam or bubble, it’s dead. Get new yeast and start again.

Add yeast mixture to a blender, followed by oats, salt, milk and melted butter. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. This takes my blender about 2 minutes.

Pour mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, a minimum of 8 and up to 24 hours. The batter should double in volume, but may collapse slightly when you move the bowl.

The next morning, preheat the waffle iron. Preheat oven to 200F. Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Uncover refrigerated batter. Whisk in baking soda and eggs, followed by water. Batter may have some visible oat bits—this is normal and will not affect texture.

Grease waffle iron with melted butter or cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of the waffle batter into each well of the iron and close the top. Let cook until steam dissipates and the waffles are turning golden, about 6-7 minutes.

Transfer cooked waffles to the prepared rack-over-pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Re-grease the waffle iron and cook remaining batter.

Serve waffles with butter, warmed maple syrup, and seasonal fruit, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Leftovers may be layered with parchment, placed in a freezer bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the toaster.

Best of Summer 2021

This summer has been a doozy! There was the fleeting Hot Vax Summer (Pfizer over here!), a couple of trips to see my family, planning our annual trip to Maine, and a whole lot of baking. People are celebrating again, which means I’ve been busy making layer cakes—that makes me really happy.

I will also say that I am worn out. I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about burnout these days, and while I haven’t said it explicitly up to now, here goes: I’m a little burnt out. I’ve kept up my usual workload, but I am tired, y’all! So today, instead of posting something new, I’m going to give myself the day off. But also? I’m going to list off some of my favorite things I made this summer. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to try one or two before everything is all apples and pumpkins all the time.

So, yes, a day off for ol’ E2. Next week though, I’m going to knock your socks off with a new waffle recipe. Get ready.

Plum Frangipane Galette

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Sherbet {No-Churn}

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Triple Raspberry Icebox Cake

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Berry Whipped Cream

Black & Blueberry Crisp

Espresso Milkshakes

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

Pavlova with Lemon Curd & Berries

Snickerdoodle Squares

Tie-Dye Cupcakes

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Plum Shortbread Bars

Plum Shortbread Bars​

I try to keep a certain level of variety on here, but with 600 recipes there are bound to be some variations on a few really good staples.

Plum Shortbread Bars​

Case in point: shortbread bars. They’re one of the simplest desserts in my baking arsenal, and also one of my very favorites. They’re quick and easy to make and have a short ingredient list. You almost certainly have all the shortbread ingredients right now.

Shortbread bars hit all the same notes as pie, yet require only fractions of the work and time. The shortbread dough doubles as both base and topping, and you don’t need to roll or crimp anything—rustic is the name of the game. You can make them square, or bake them up round and cut them into wedges.

Plum Shortbread Bars​

Perhaps best of all, shortbread bars seamlessly adapt to whatever fruit you have in hand, whether it be apples, cherries, blackberries or an astonishing amount of sweet & tangy late summer plums.

Yep. This recipe’s a keeper.

Plum Shortbread Bars​
Plum Shortbread Bars
makes one 8-inch pan, 8-12 wedges

Filling:
3 cups sliced fresh plums* (1-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoons cornstarch

Shortbread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes

Place oven racks in top and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan, or line with aluminum foil, leaving overhang, and grease with butter. Set aside.

Make plum filling. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sliced plums, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Set aside while you make the shortbread.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold butter. Use your fingertips to rub butter into flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. It will be powdery, but should hold together when pinched. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for topping.

Pour remaining shortbread mixture into prepared pan. Spread it around to cover the bottom of the pan before using your hand to pack it down into an even layer. Prick several times with a fork. Spoon plum filling over the top and arrange into an even layer.

For the topping, use your fingers to pinch together small portions of the reserved shortbread mixture. Scatter them over the top of the blackberry layer.

If your pan is on the shallow side, place it on a rimmed baking sheet to collect any light overflow. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Move bars to the top rack and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until browned. Tent with foil if anything begins to brown too quickly. Let cool in the pan on a rack until they reach room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 90 minutes, or until cold.

Run a thin knife around the edges of the pan. Use parchment overhang to remove to a cutting board. Slice and serve.

Leftover Plum Shortbread Wedges will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. They will soften over time.

Note:

I used 2 medium red plums and a dozen Italian prune plums.