Le Boulangerie (16) Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

I did not have time nor inclination to bake this week. The weather turned warm and it was all I could do to keep my head out of the clouds. So instead of a bread or baked dessert, I thought I’d share one of my favorite decadent smoothie recipes. Actually it’s not even that high in calories – 320 for a 16 oz glass. And it has some nutritional value as well. Smoothies come out best in high powered blenders like the Ninja, the Nutri-bullet or what I use: the Vita-mix. The older blenders tend to leave chunks in your drinks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole bananas cut into chunks and frozen overnight
  • 8 ounces milk (or almond milk – I like for this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (or almonds, actually any nut of your choice)
  • alternatively instead of whole nuts, use 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or other nut butter of choice
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa (only adds 10 calories)

All ingredients go into the blender, blend on high until smooth. In the vitamin, it takes just about 30 seconds. I drink this as a breakfast smoothie and add in a little protein powder for some extra nutrition. But seriously it tastes like dessert! Enjoy!

Le Boulangerie (13) Bailey’s Bread Pudding

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

I love bread pudding. As long as you keep raisins and other dried fruit out of it. Not that I don’t like a raisin now and again, just not in my desserts. Bread pudding was invented to make good use of stale bread. And what better use than to turn it into dessert? I have a couple recipes in my repertoire including one for brunch that I’ll probably post at some point. I came up with this recipe for a friend of mine who is vegan. I used almond milk, thickened with corn starch instead of using eggs and so forth. The vegan version is pretty great, I have to tell you… Nevertheless, I’ve returned the recipe to omnivore status for this post with the vegan instructions in parentheses. And you’ll notice there is no added sugar. The Bailey’s, the chocolate and the potato bread make it sweet enough.

Bailey’s Irish Bread Pudding

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk (1 ¾ cup almond milk)
  • 1/2 c Bailey’s Irish Cream (¼ cup coffee liqueur like Tia Maria)
  • 2 eggs (2 teaspoons cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 loaf potato bread cubed (potato – Irish… get it?)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method:

  • Whisk together milk, Bailey’s Irish Cream, egg and salt. (Or the vegan ingredients, including the cornstarch)
  • Pour over bread cubes and chocolate chips.
  • Bake in greased casserole dish at 350 for 40 min
  • Serve warm with ice cream (vegan ice cream is not horrible) if you like… and maybe an Irish coffee ☘️

Le Boulangerie (12) Cinnamon Swirl Bread

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

I realized after I baked this bread and started preparing this post, that cinnamon bread is more of a mid winter, even holiday-esque kind of bread and here we are at the start of spring. Nevertheless, in my neck of the woods, we had our first real snowfall of any significance last week and the cold returned with a vengeance. Which put me in the mood for this comforting bit of goodness. And while this seems like a decadent loaf, the cinnamon has a positive effect on one’s blood sugar so don’t feel too bad in your indulgence!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Method:

  • In the stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients with the dough hook attachment.
  • After a smooth dough forms, allow to rise in the bowl, covered with a towel, for an hour and a half.
  • After rising is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll (with a pin) into a rectangle 18×24″.
  • Mix together filling ingredients and spread onto the sheet of dough, leaving a one inch border all around.
  • Starting with the short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends closed and fit it, seam side down into a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan.
  • Cover pan and allow bread to rise for about 2 hours (or until the loaf crowns just above the rim of the pan).
  • Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil about halfway through the bake time.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack before slicing.