Ultimate Crumb Brownies

Ultimate Crumb Brownies | Bakewell Junction

Ultimate Crumb Brownies | Bakewell Junction

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day.  My family came over for dinner yesterday and I made these yummy brownies.  I would have had a photo of the entire baked recipe but my brother-in-law grabbed some of the crumbs from one end of brownies.

Since everyone loves cake crumbs (at least I think everyone does), I decided to incorporate them into my favorite brownie mix.  I used half the crumb recipe from my Sour Cream Coffee Ultimate Crumb Cake and it turned out wonderfully.  There is some brownie at the bottom of those crumbs.

What did you do this Mother’s Day?  Did you make or do anything special?

Ultimate Crumb Brownies | Bakewell Junction

Ultimate Crumb Brownies

Yield:  12 brownies                 Cook Time:  45 minutes



  • 1 package of your favorite brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli)


  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 – 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for sprinkling


Step 1:  For the batter:  Prepare the brownie mix as described on the package.  Transfer the batter to an 8 by 8 inch pan lined with parchment paper.  Spread evenly in the pan.  Begin baking in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Step 2:  For the crumbs:  while the brownies are baking, mix together all the ingredients for the crumbs with a fork to start.  Finish mixing with fingers.  There should be large crumbs.  After the brownies bake for 20 minutes, remove the brownie pan from the oven and sprinkle the crumbs evenly across the top of the brownies.  The weight of the crumbs will flatten the brownies somewhat.  Return to the oven.

Step 3:  Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake on a higher rack for another 20 – 25 minutes.  The crumbs will brown ever so slightly.  Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes.  Use the parchment paper to help remove the brownies from the pan and cool completely on a rack.  Transfer the brownies onto a serving tray and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.  Cut into 2 to 2 inch squares and eat.


Crumb recipe from a co-worker.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container.

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Orange and Almond Quick Bread #TwelveLoaves

Orange Almond Quick Bread | Bakewell Junction

Orange Almond Quick Bread | Bakewell Junction

Another busy week and April’s almost gone.  I can’t miss this month’s #TwelveLoaves party but I don’t usually make breads with orange.  I was so happy to find this quick and easy recipe to share with you.

Hope you’re ready for another Italian style recipe.  This recipe is a dense and delicious.  You can have it for breakfast or dessert.

Orange Almond Quick Bread 2 | Bakewell Junction Orange and Almond Quick Bread

Yield:  1 loaf                 Cook Time:  50 minutes



  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar, room temperature or softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup ground blanched almonds (I measured 3/4 cup silvered blanched almonds and then chopped finely in my mini chopper)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (I substituted dried orange peel)
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 6 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange flavoring


Step 1:  For the batter:  Sift together flour baking powder, salt and flour in a medium bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy; about 1 to 2 minutes.  I beat on high using my hand-held mixer.  Add eggs one at a time beating to combine after each one.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.

Step 2:  Mix in the almonds and orange zest until combined.  Fold in half the flour mixture.  Fold in the milk.  Fold in the remaining flour mixture until just combined.  Transfer the batter to a greased or parchment lined 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with a spoon.  I usually like to use parchment paper but this time I used cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50.  Test with a toothpick; toothpick will be clean when done.  Let cool 5 to 10 minutes in the pan.  Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.

Step 3:  For the glaze:  Mix the powdered sugar, orange flavoring and 3 teaspoons water together with a fork.  Add additional water in small increments until desired consistency is reached.  I used all six teaspoons.  Drizzle across the top the loaf.  Slice and serve.


Recipe adapted from Italian Dessert Recipes.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container.

Here is our fantastic April-Oranges breads from the incredible #TwelveLoaves bakers:

#TwelveLoaves April: Oranges. The month of March was filled with gorgeous strawberry breads!  We have chosen ORANGES for our April theme!  Choose a recipe including oranges.  Your bread of choice recipe must include in the recipe:  oranges, orange marmalade, orange zest.  In addition to being in the dough, it could also be added to a glaze.  Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let’s have a delicious month of bread with ORANGES. Let’s get baking!

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts.  Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog.  It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this April, 2014, and posted on your blog by April 30, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and Heather from girlichef.

You are next… Click here to enter

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.


St. Joseph’s Pastry (Sfinge)

St Joseph's Pastry (Sfinge) | Bakewell Junction  Delicious Italian Pastry that's traditionally made March 19th through Easter.

St Joseph’s Pastry (Sfinge) | Bakewell Junction

Happy Easter!  The day is almost over but I wanted to share this lovely recipe with you.  This pastry can be found at any Italian bakery throughout NY city and the surrounding suburbs on beginning on March 19th for the feast of Saint Joseph’s and usually through Easter.

The filling for the sfinge is either Cannoli Cream or a pastry crème that’s similar to a custard.  It can be vanilla or almond flavored but my family and I favor Cannoli Cream, so that’s what I made.  The shells are fried most of the time but I’ve seen them baked and I opted for baking to gain a small amount of health benefit.

At first I wasn’t happy with the results of the shells because they weren’t as tall as I thought they should be but they turned out to be quite delicious when filled.  My instructions will include details about how to get a better result.

For Palm Sunday and Easter this year I made my Easter Bread (one batch for Palm Sunday and one for Easter) and Chocolate Babka in addition to these sfinge.  What special Easter recipes did you make this year?

St Joseph's Pastry (Sfinge) | Bakewell Junction

St. Joseph’s Pastry (Sfinge)

Yield:  48 pastries                 Cook Time:  20 minutes



  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons lard (I used all butter)
  • 6 large eggs

Cannoli Cream Filling:

  • 2 lb container Polly-O ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a 2-ply cheesecloth (it drains best at room temperature, provided it’s cooler than 70 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 c mini chocolate chips; plus some additional for garnish


  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • Maraschino Cherries (optional; I didn’t use these)


Step 1:  For the filling: at least three days before serving, mix drained ricotta, vanilla and sugar together.  Move the mixture to a food processor (I used a small Kitchen Aid chopper) and mix until the filling is smooth and is the right consistency.  Depending on the size of your food processor or chopper, you may need to mix in small batches.

Step 2:  Fold in the mini chocolate chips, cover loosely and store at least overnight (better yet two nights) in the refrigerator.  When ready to fill, transfer the filling to a gallon size Ziploc bag make a 1/2 inch cut on one corner of the Ziploc bag.  Use as a pastry bag to fill the chocolate chip cookie cups.

Step 3:  For the dough:  Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in medium bowl; set aside.  In a large saucepan or small stock pot, heat the water, butter and lard.  Let the mixture come to a boil and then remove the pot from the heat.  Add all the flour mixture at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until incorporated.  Return the pot to a medium to high heat for about 5 minutes while still mixing continuously; this will dry out the mixture and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Remove the dough from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the dough to combine before repeating with the remaining eggs.

Step 4:  Using a pastry bag with a 1/2 plain nozzle (I substitute a Ziploc bag with 1/2 inch snipped off the corner), pipe 2 inch shells in circles onto a parchment lined (or greased and floured) cookie sheet and about 1 inch high, leaving 1/2 inch between each.  Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden.  Repeat with the remaining dough until finished.  Cut a slit in the side of the shells so the insides don’t become soggy.  Transfer the shells to cooling racks.

Step 5:  For the assembly:  cut the tops from the shells and pipe the Cannoli Filling using a Ziploc bag with at least a 1/2 inch opening (so the chocolate chips don’t get stuck) into the center of the shell.  About 2 tablespoons depending on the size of the shell.  Top with the top of the shell and then add a small amount on the top of the shell.  Add a maraschino cherry if using and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with Espresso or coffee.


Recipe adapted from Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito.

Tips:  Store assembled pastries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.  The shells can be frozen in airtight Ziploc bags and then assembled at a later date.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.


Pastaciotti (Italian Custard-filled Tarts)

Pastaciotti (Italian Custard-filled Tarts) | Bakewell Junction

Pastaciotti (Italian Custard-filled Tarts) | Bakewell Junction

Pastaciotti (Italian Custard-filled Tarts) | Bakewell Junction

Have you tried these Italian pastries?  They are a lovely addition to any dessert table and can be found at any Italian bakery throughout NY city and the surrounding suburbs.  Since Easter is just around the corner you may want to impress your family with this lovely recipe.

The filling for the tart is usually almond flavored but I used vanilla instead because I have some family members who won’t eat anything with almond extract.  The almond flavored filling is just as delicious as the vanilla, so feel free to use either based on your preferences.  You don’t even need to have tart pans to make these, you can make them in regular-sized muffin pans or mini muffin pans.

On another note, I’m so glad Spring has finally sprung.  How do I know, you might ask.  Some Crocus finally bloomed in the yard this week, I heard peepers in the distance and the last stubborn snow pile is almost gone – yay!  Are you ready for warmer weather and Easter?



Yield:  12 tarts                 Cook Time:  15 minutes



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (I used the shortening in bar form)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (I substituted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Egg Wash and Sprinkle:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling


Step 1:  For the filling:  Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan with a whisk until all lumps are gone.  Slowly add the milk while continuing to whisk the mixture.  Add the butter to the mixture.  Place the saucepan on medium heat and cook  while stirring with a wooden spoon.  The butter will melt as the mixture heats up.  The mixture will thicken in about 7 to 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Let cool.

Step 2:  For the dough:  In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening into flour mixture until it looks like a coarse cornmeal.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands to combine.  The dough should quickly come together into a smooth ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the filling cools completely.

Step 3:  For assembly:  You can prepare your tart or muffin pans by spraying them with cooking spray or line your muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.  I use the cupcake liners for easier cleanup.  Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour.  Divide the dough in half and transfer the dough onto the floured surface.  I usually flour the rolling pin too.  Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.  If you’re using 3 by 1 1/4 inch tart pans, use a 3 inch round or fluted  biscuit cutter to cut the dough for the tops and bottoms.  If you’re using regular-sized muffin pans, use a 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to cut half the dough for the bottoms and a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter for the remaining dough for the tops.  Reroll dough scraps as needed to cut out all the circles.

Step 4:  For each of the 12 tarts, press the 3+ inch dough into the bottom and up the sides of the tart or muffin wells.  If using the tart shells, place them on a cookie sheet.  Add about 2 tablespoons of the filling in each tart.  When using muffin tins, place the smaller 2 1/2 inch dough circles on top of the tarts and pinch the edges closed.  When using the tart pans, place the remaining 3 inch dough circles on the top of the tarts and pinch the edges closed  Mix the beaten egg and milk and use a pastry brush to spread some of the egg wash on the top of the tarts  Place the tarts in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 5:  Bake the tarts for 12 to 15 minutes in the middle of a preheated 425 degree oven until the tops are golden brown.  Cool on racks.  If making the miniature tarts (mini muffin pans; about 24 tarts), bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and coffee or espresso.

Recipe adapted from Celebrations Italian Style by Mary Ann Esposito.

Tips:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.


Italian Rum Baba #TwelveLoaves May

Italian Rum Baba | Bakewell Junction

Italian Rum Baba | Bakewell Junction

For this month’s #TwelveLoaves linky party, the theme is any bread we wish to share to celebrate the #TwelveLoaves anniversary.  A long time friend of mine loves Rum Baba and she asked me to find an authentic and classic Neapolitan recipe which I’d like to share for #TwelveLoaves May.  I can’t wait to make this recipe again for my friend – she’ll love them.

It was hard to figure out what the end result should be because I don’t like bakery made Rum Baba (it’s the picky thing again).  On the up side, my Mom and a co-worker do like Rum Baba and they were able to help me with deciding which of the recipes I tried worked better.  The first recipe was tasty but it wasn’t what I thought of as authentic Rum Baba.  This recipe turned out to be authentic and, surprise of all surprises, my husband loved them too.  I found the recipe I adapted on You Tube from the Giallo Zafferano kitchen.  There’s a video but you can get the details too.

This is a relatively easy recipe and I recommend you give it a try.  The syrup gives it a lovely sweetness.  If you have brioche pans, you can use them to make these or you can use a cupcake pan like I did.


Italian Rum Baba

Yield:  12 rum baba                  Cook Time:  20 minutes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 9 tablespoons of room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of rum


Step 1:  For the dough:  Heat milk to 110 degrees in a microwave safe small bowl or a 1 cup measure.  I heated the milk in the microwave in small intervals until the thermometer read 110 degrees.  Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and the yeast and mix briefly to combine.  Set aside until the mixture begins to foam.

Step 2:  In the interim, set up your electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Add the flour to the mixer bowl.  In another bowl beat the eggs and then mix in the salt.  Turn on the mixer on low and add in the egg mixture.  Then add in the yeast mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the flour is incorporated.

Step 3:  While the flour is incorporating, in another small bowl mix the softened butter and remaining sugar together.  Turn the mixer to high and add the butter mixture to the dough and knead until the butter is completed incorporated.

Step 4:  Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl.  You can use butter or cooking spray to grease the bowl.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours (see tips).  The dough should double in size.

Step 5:  Flour and butter the baba moulds, brioche moulds or cupcake tins to prepare them.  Deflate the dough with a large spoon and fill the 12 moulds about halfway.  Place the moulds on a baking sheet and let them rest for about 20 minutes in a warm place.

Step 6:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the batter at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Lower the temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake 10 minutes more.  Remove the baba from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes; then depan and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Step 7:  For the syrup:  While the baba bake.  Boil the water in a medium sauce pan.  Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  Let the syrup continue cooking to thicken.  After about 5 minutes add the vanilla and rum and mix to combine.  Continue stirring and cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 8:  Place the rum baba in the plastic container upside down. Prick the bottoms with a toothpick.  Pour about 3/4 of the syrup over the Rum Babas and let them soak it in.  Reserve the remaining syrup and any that’s run out of the babas to pour over the babas when serving.

Tips:  To create a warm environment, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven.  The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well.  In addition, you can garnish with whipped cream but I usually see these plain.

Storing:  Store Rum Babas in a sealed plastic container for a few days.


Recipe adapted from Sonia and Giallo Zafferano on You Tube.

What is baking this May in the TwelveLoaves kitchens?

#TwelveLoaves May:  Bake any bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual.  This #TwelveLoaves May 2013 is all about May is all about celebrating bread and the one year anniversary of #TwelveLoaves.  Do you have a favorite bread?  We would love to see it.   Think luscious quick loaves, sinful scones, delightful Danishes.  Any bread recipe you’d like to bake, share it with us!  Let’s get baking!

Look at what our very talented #TwelveLoaves bakers have created this May!

We would love to have you join our #TwelveLoaves group; it’s easy!
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this May 2013 posted on your blog by May 31, 2013.

You are next… Click here to enter

Lora launched this Twelve Loaves this last May and there have been many wonderful recipes shared since then.  I haven’t participated from the beginning but it’s been fun the past few months that I have participated.
Check out what we have been busy baking!

May theme: Focaccia
June theme: Corn Rolls
July theme: Challah
August theme: Summer Fruit
September: Say CHEESE!
October: Seeds, nuts and grains
November: Autumn Fruits: Apples and Pears
December: Boozy Bread
January: Clean Slate
February: Open Challenge
March: Holiday Breads
April: Berries

Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

See what’s freshly baked for #TwelveLoaves on the growing Pinterest board.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party.  Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

BWS tips buttonSweet 2 Eat Baking

Feeding Big and more

Staying Close to Home

Wonderful Food Wednesday

buttercream Bakehouse
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