A few delicious sandwiches

So I know the Superbowl was like a month ago now, but I have some pictures from our party preparation ready to share. Because the Superbowl was played in New Orleans, we decided to make muffuletta sandwiches for our party guests. If you’re not familiar, a full size muffuletta sandwich will feed multiple people because it’s prepared on a very large round bun. I’ve never actually seen a muffuletta sandwich bun for sale anywhere, and I’ve been on a bread baking kick lately, so I decided to make two muffuletta buns for our sandwiches.

A giant muffuletta bun that takes up a whole plate.

A giant muffuletta bun that takes up a whole plate.

Cut muffuletta bun

Cut muffuletta bun

I used a recipe from about.com for the muffuletta buns that worked perfectly. We made both a vegetarian and a meat muffuletta for our party, as well as an italian sub and a portobello spinach sandwich. Among the sides, we made this very tasty marinated vegetable salad.

For the muffuletta, we created a very large amount of olive salad (recipe from Nola Cuisine) to top the sandwiches. It was delicious and we ate the left overs on salads for a few days after the party. The vegetarian muffuletta was vaguely based on this recipe, but I used the olive salad that we made. My husband used this recipe to make the meat muffuletta.

Veggie muffuletta

Veggie muffuletta

Start of the meat muffuletta. In the end, it had waaaaay more olive salad on top.

Start of the meat muffuletta. In the end, it had waaaaay more olive salad on top.

While baking beer sugar cookies for the party, I also roasted some garlic that I then used on the portobello and spinach sandwiches. The recipe for those sandwiches was loosely based on this recipe from Vegetarian Times, but I didn’t make the tofu spread. they were my favorite of the night actually.

Portobello, spinach, shallot, roasted garlic and cotija cheese sandwiches.

Portobello, spinach, shallot, roasted garlic and cotija cheese sandwiches.

I’m still experimenting with bread baking, but I’ll have an update soon. Stay tuned!

 

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Surprise sugar cookies

Can you guess the surprise ingredient?

Can you guess the surprise ingredient?

Now that you see the cookies, can you guess the surprise? Actually, they’ve got two surprises. One is that they were made with beer and the second is that I tried a butter substitution to make them healthier. I know that applesauce can be substituted for butter in many baking recipes, but applesauce makes cookies have a more cake-like texture. After reading suggestions, I settled on using mashed avocado to replace half of the butter in the recipe. That’s right, those cookies have avocado! You can almost make out a very faint green tint in the picture. I even served these beauties at our superbowl party and no one caught on to the fact that they had avocado in them. They disappeared like hot cakes. The cookies were pleasingly soft and delicious. Avocado are fruits after all, so their sweetness is a nice addition to baked goods. Even if they add a green tint.

Recipe: Beer Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Bella Online

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bottle malty, fruity style of beer
  • Parchment paper
  • Some sugar and cinnamon mixture to sprinkle on top

Method:

Reduce beer of your choice by simmering on the stove top until consistency resembles syrup. This can take a while. Be careful not to let it boil over (from experience).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together sugar, butter, and mashed avocado until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix together. Gradually mix in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

After all ingredients are combined, add beer syrup and stir it in by hand, the batter will look marbled.

Drop tablespoon sized scoops of cookie dough onto the baking sheets. Flatten down a bit (they don’t flatten out on their own much) and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake for 10 minutes, or until a bit golden and set in the middle. Place on racks to cool.

I used Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing, a winter warmer style.

I used Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing, a winter warmer style.

Reducing the beer to syrup.

Reducing the beer to syrup.

 

Getting ready to beat the butter, sugar, and avocado.

Getting ready to beat the butter, sugar, and avocado.

Wet ingredients all mixed up. Notice the slightly green batter.

Wet ingredients all mixed up. Notice the slightly green batter.

After mixing in the dry ingredients.

After mixing in the dry ingredients.

Adding the beer syrup.

Adding the beer syrup.

Marbled batter after mixing in the beer syrup.

Marbled batter after mixing in the beer syrup.

Mmmm... the final, slightly healthier cookie.

Mmmm… the final, slightly healthier cookie.

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Making fig crumble cake

The end product, amazing fig crumble cake.

The end product, amazing fig crumble cake.

Recently I realized that I had figs from last summer’s huge fig harvest in the freezer. Thank you me, for freezing those figs. I also recently purchased the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and have been enamored with the recipes. A recipe for blueberry cornmeal butter cake caught my eye. I decided to adapt that recipe, using figs and less butter. I really love the simple flavor of the cake, the cornmeal and lemon zest combine with the figs to create pure deliciousness that’s hard to stop eating.

Fig crumble cake, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients – cake:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups thawed, chopped figs (or other fruit)

Ingredients – crumble topping:

  • Reserved liquid from thawed figs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Process:

Butter and flour a cake pan, I used a 9″ round springform. (Edit: I’ve also found that a tube cake pan works well for making sure you get the middle cooked through) Whisk together the dry cake ingredients. Beat together the butter, sugar and applesauce until fluffy, which should take a few minutes. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Add a third of the flour mixture and all of the sour cream. Beat until blended. Add another third of the flour and beat until blended. Mix the remaining flour with the figs (or other fruit) and fold by hand into the batter until the flour mixture is combined into the batter.

Add the batter to the cake pan. Combine the crumble toppings and spread over the batter. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean. The original recipe calls for 35 minutes, but for me it was more like 45 minutes.

Combining the applesauce, butter and sugar.

Combining the applesauce, butter and sugar.

Adding the eggs.

Adding the eggs.

Adding the dry mixture.

Adding the dry mixture.

Adding the figs.

Adding the figs.

Batter in the pan.

Batter in the pan.

Topped with crumble.

Topped with crumble.

Yum!

Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

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