Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Pie

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Miss Fats calling it: pie is a breakfast item.

She’s being completely serious.  No eye rolling or outrage.  Pie belongs in the early morning hours.  Fruit pie?  Custard pie?  Cream pie?  Aren’t these all qualifiers associated with breakfast, anyway?  Is a flakey crust and tender fruit filling all that different from your standard danish?  (Well yes.  Miss Fats upholds they are different objects.  However conceptually they are closer than one thinks with regard to food genre.)  But can’t we replace those boring fruit parfaits with a silky banana cream?

The reality is that sweet breakfast treats are almost always glorified dessert items, hiding beneath a whole wheat flour or bran addition.  (Or even just parading its sweet self for all to see.  Miss Fats is talking to you, french toast.)  Miss Fats doesn’t understand why the donut should sit comfortably in the breakfast genre, while pie remains in evening hours.  If anything the deep-fried dough item, perfectly crafted to send you to bed, should be flip-flopped with a bright and tangy slice of fruit pie in early hours.

Why should all the round sliced food objects be confined to the second half one’s day? (Pizza?  Also breakfast.)  Their perfect portability and triangular shape make for an ideal nutrient delivery system during the hours when your brain is still waking up and struggling to organize yourself in the morning rush.  Sure, it’s not the healthiest of breakfasts, but if you’re going to reach for a sweet morning treat, pie at least holds the promise of breakfast flavors.  Plus a pie is almost always waiting for you.  No need to mess with flour or a pesky waffle maker first thing in the morning: a big slice of pie is just sitting there on the counter, waiting to be consumed.  Throw a big dollop of greek yogurt on that apple pie and you’ve basically got a power breakfast.

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Look: Miss Fats realizes she probably hasn’t convinced you of breakfast pie yet.  But she’s sure this recipe makes a strong enough case for itself.  Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Pie combines the chewy oatiness of a granola with the flavors of banana bread.  Welcome to layers of flakey pie crust, silky chocolate, gooey banana custard and toasty oatmeal top; a veritable stratum of flavors and textures.  This pie manages to straddle the line between granola bar and pecan pie: teetering deliciously between breakfast and dessert.  Perhaps it’s actually meant to be consumed at the end of a late night around 3 am: right between the two.  Miss Fats can get on board with that.

This pie started as Four and Twenty Blackbird’s Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie.  Blackbird’s “poor-man’s pecan pie,” received rave reviews from a group of Miss Fats’ dear friends.  The crazy-simple recipe made for the perfect game night pie on a Sunday night: no fuss, just good clean fun.  However, always looking to innovate, Miss Fats’ friend I, suggested a banana cream hybrid.  They all agreed the pie had an air of breakfast and would happily begin any day with a big slice and cup of coffee.  But I was interested in producing the ultimate breakfast pie object.  The custard center seemed to be begging to mate with a banana cream friend, so I tasked Miss Fats with the challenge of melding the two.

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Through some simple substitutions and modifications, Miss Fats created a breakfast dessert monster.  She also simplified the whole thing by throwing all the ingredients into a blender and allowing the machine to do all the work for her.  Reducing the sugar and adding bananas makes for a pie that holds all the power of a pie, banana bread, and granola bars. Topped with chocolate. The custard center is the real revelation here.  Miss Fats upped the salt (as she does)  to highlight the creamy, caramel-y flavor fruit to produce a homey richness akin to a beautifully simple slice of moist banana bread.  Pie crust creates a tender base, followed by a bit of bitter chocolate (again, perfectly salted), then comes the smooth banana custard-y center, topped off with a chewy layer of toasted oats.   The ultimate geological formation: the perfect stratification of discrete breakfast treats that come together in pure mouth harmony.  Morning bliss.

Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Pie:
adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbird’s Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

1 9-inch single pie crust (Miss Fats prefers this one from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream divided
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
5 tbs melted butter
4 eggs
2 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Par bake the crust, rolling out the dough, lining a 9 inch pie pan and crimping the sides.  Puncture the bottom to allow air to escape and line the crust with a piece of parchment or foil. Weigh down the center with beans or fancy pie weights, if you have them.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove weights and foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry.  Set aside to cool. (Can easily be done in advance.)

2. Toast the oats by spreading them evenly on a lined sheet pan and baking for 10-12 minutes.  Toss every few minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

3. Heat 1/4 cup of the heavy cream in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until scalded.  Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and throw in a big pinch of salt. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth.  Pour into the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly.  Allow to cool in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

4.  In a blender, throw in all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.   Stir in the oats with a spoon.  Pour into the prepared pie crust.

5. Bake the pie for 1 hour, rotating once approximately 30 minutes into baking.  The pie is done when the edged have browned a bit and the center is set.  The center should be completely set but have a little give: imagine gently poking a fluffy cake.  Allow to cool fully: about 2-3 hours, or leave that guy sitting out over night to chow down on in the morning.

Miss Fats highly recommends consuming a big slice of this pie with a fresh cup of coffee.  She’s pretty sure a big dollop of full fat yogurt (or whipped cream.  She doesn’t judge early hour whipped cream consumption) would send this over the edge.  Waking up to a slice of this pie just might make you a morning person.  Watch out.

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Recipe Review: Pear Ginger (Walnut) Muffins

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Miss Fats has been lazily loaving around her winter workshop baking.  Friday mornings were once a scheduled place for baking experimentation in sweet breakfast delights.  However the cold and apathy has resulted in a continuous slew of breakfast loaves week after week for her regular Friday meetings.  While Miss Fats is relatively sure folks are satisfied with a blackberry lemon pairing, or carrot cake crumble, there’s something a bit lifeless about the loaf object that doesn’t make for baking blog fodder.  So she apologizes to all of you who came here to today to hear about the variations of spice cake that have come out of Miss Fats kitchen (she knows you’re all incredibly disappointed).

In an effort to liven her baking efforts (and frankly, get her blogging again), Miss Fats finally tried out Food52’s Pear Ginger Walnut Muffins by Ms T.  These little guys have been mocking Miss Fats from her Pinterest for months now.  Every week she goes to browse the bounty of breakfast snacks collected on her board, and each week assumes she’ll give this muffin a try.  But she’s been damn lazy; and the idea of portioning out twelve whole muffins on a Friday morning just seems like too much (see what this damn vortex does to people?  Can’t even scoop muffins anymore #notarealproblem).  But February brought a little break in the weather (high 30s have never felt so good), so she rode that heat wave right to muffin town: time for something shiny and new.

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In order to cut down on morning baking, Miss Fats went ahead and made the pear ginger sauce the night ahead.  Ms. T’s instructions were relatively easy to follow, however she found that she needed to cook the sauce for quite a bit longer than the specified 15-20 minutes.  Maybe Miss Fats was dealing with some juicy pears, but hers sat stewing for a good 30-40 minutes.  This was fine, because she just let them hang out while she went about her business.  The sauce simply sat overnight waiting to be muffined the next morning.

As per usual, Miss Fats refused to use more than one bowl for these baked goods.  She simply began with step three, using a whisk instead of an electric mixer.  The dry were added to the wet and produced a thick thick batter of gingery goodness.  Obviously, after a bit of tasting, she upped the salt by about half a tsp.  Now Miss Fats isn’t rolling in walnut-money so she ended up leaving out the nut action.  The muffins baked up in almost exactly 20 minutes, which combined with the ten minute cook time (thanks to sauce prep) made for the ideal morning baking project.

The real beauty of these muffins is their outsides match their insides: mainly they’re both aesthetically pleasing and truly tasty.  Their plump, slightly crisp muffin tops provide the perfect shell for the tender, moist crumb inside.   The sauce only partially broke down the fruit, leaving tender chunks of spiced pear throughout the muffin.  The ginger flavor is subtle and frankly the pear flavor is nonexistent.  However these muffins are more about the gentle flavor and homey texture of a fresh, moist breakfast treat.  While Miss Fats is usually a fan of bolder flavors, she recognizes that not everyone wants kick in the face first thing in the morning.   These ginger pear muffins are the perfect hit of spice and sweet to sit along side a big cup of coffee on a cold morning.  She will definitely be making these again.

Now the real question is how can Miss Fats mix this thing up?  She wonders if there are variations on this sauce-muffin action that can exploited for future breakfast baking projects.  She supposes that any hearty fruit that lends itself to a fruit butter or mash would be appropriate.  That means apples, peaches, and rhubarb had better watch their backs.  Miss Fats is coming for you.

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stuffed carrot peanut butter muffins

Miss Fats has had a busy back to school month.  That means lots of events, meetings and trying to keep up with coursework, and of course, a ton of baking.  Sunday Sundaes is currently a poor reflection of her efforts since returning to Chicago (and so is, frankly, Miss Fats’ phone), but she’s literally been churning things out too fast to photograph.  Now that she’s fully settled back into the pace of the year, she’s sharing one of her favorite morning baked goods to usher in a whole slew of pastry posts she’s got in the works for you.

IMG_7565Miss Fats’ most regular baking gig includes the bi-monthly workshop she co-coordinates for graduate students, faculty and visiting guests.  This means churning out platters of scones, muffins, loaves and all that bready, breakfasty fun on Friday mornings.  This past week featured one of Miss Fats’ favorite people to bake for, I.  She’s a big fan of any friend who willingly takes seconds and thirds without asking.  I is always game to grab an extra cookie, slice of cake or giant bag of baking bits that Miss Fats shoves into his hands.  So she gave him full license to pick a breakfast item or flavor profile for his workshop.  His choice was the result of a little brainstorming ‘sesh that ended up circulating around the crazy delicious dessert team Miss Fats dined on at Blackbird last spring.  In pure pastry genius nonsense, Blackbird served her up a carrot cake with peanut ice cream that sent Miss Fats over the edge and she’s been dying to try out that flavor combo ever since.  I’s workshop was the perfect place to test out the peanutty waters.  Luckily adores carrot cake and anything peanut butter related, so the challenge was to transform an elegant, James Beard award winning pastry chef’s plate into a bready, handheld breakfast object.  Game on.

The end result was the craziest muffin Miss Fats has ever created: carrot cake stuffed with a cream cheese filling and topped with a peanut streusel and peanut butter drizzle.  But it totally worked.  You got every necessary flavor profile: the sweet spice of the moist carrot cake, the gooey tang of the cream cheese filling, and the salty crumble crunch of the peanut topping.  She might have a new all time favorite muffin.  This muffin boasts the perfect harmony of texture and fall flavors to take your ‘buds to a harmony party (whatever that is).  Though there’s a lot of steps with these suckers, she suspects they could easily be transformed into a lazy loaf or cake as well.  Not to mention, they’re totally worth the muffin work, because who doesn’t love a hand-held object that packs this much flavor and contrast.

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They’re not so pretty, but they’re damn tasty.

Stuffed Carrot and Peanut Butter Muffins:
adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s carrot cake
makes 24 muffins

filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

muffins:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated carrots

topping:
2 tbs natural peanut butter
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs flour
large pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted, or be sure to adjust salt if yours are salted)

glaze:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt (depending on your peanut butter)
water (if needed)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcake pans.  Make the filling: heat the cream cheese in a bowl in the microwave for approximately 1 minute.  Stir in sugar and vanilla and set aside.

2. Prepare the streusel: Melt the peanut butter and butter in the microwave.  Using a fork, mix in the flour, brown sugar and salt, until combined and you have a slightly-moist, crumbly mixture.  Add the chopped peanuts.

3.  Make the muffins: In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs, and sugar.  Mix until will combined.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in the carrots.

4. Assemble the muffins: Distribute approximately 2 tbs of the batter into each cup (filling about half way).  Then follow with about 2 tsps of the cream cheese scooped into the center of your cups.  Top them off with another 2 tbs of muffin batter (Miss Fats actually recommends filling these nearly to the top.  She was disatisfied with how flat her 3/4 filled muffins turned out).  Finally, sprinkle the topping on your filled muffins. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Make the glaze: while the muffins are baking, heat the peanut butter in a small bowl.  Whisk in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla.  If the mixture is proving too thick to drizzle, add a little water (this will depend on the consistency of your peanut butter).

6.  After your muffins have cooled for approximately 10 minutes, drizzle the glaze over top.

Six steps to salt-sweet bliss.  The beauty of this recipe is that all its components are tasty little devils on their own.  To cut back on work, Miss Fats recommends skipping the glaze or filling (though she’s pretty sure you’ll regret it!);  though do not skip that crumble, people: crumble is crack.  These guys will store just fine at room temperature in an air tight container for a couple of days.  Though she doesn’t understand why they’d need to: she dares you to just eat one.  No wait, Miss Fats takes that back: don’t even bother.  Just fill your mouth with the crunch-salt-sweet-creamy-tang that is the perfect morning muffin.

the business of breakfast: Malaysia (recipe included!)

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Miss Fats apologizes for neglecting you all.  It’s been a crazy month back in the U.S. that has mostly consisted of overwhelming work nonsense and persistent cravings for Malaysian cuisine followed by acute stints of post-travel depression.  She is not happy that her life is no longer organized around which dirty alleyway or food cart contains her next meal.  #firstworldproblems

But Miss Fats’ spirits have been successfully raised in the last week.  After the slow accumulation of ingredients, she managed to recreate one of her favorite Malaysian dishes: Nasi Lemak.  This weird little bundle of joy is a very traditional morning meal.  Though it varies across the country, Nasi Lemak is typically coconut rice topped with spicy sambal, ikan bilis (fried anchovies), peanuts, an egg, and chopped cucumber, all wrapped up in a banana leaf or butcher paper for your on-the-go convenience. This breakfast prism can be found at most nasi kandar (Mamak buffet-style) stands, Malaysian food cars/trucks/bikes, or hawker centers.  Miss Fats became obsessed with the spicy sambal “crack sauce” that seeped into that coconut rice, hiding the crunchy bites of peanuts just waiting to be unearthed from beneath the fried fish bites and crispy cucumbers.  She cannot convey just how amazing a perfect bite of nasi lemak can be: you get a little egg, little saucy rice, little fish, and a peanut all in your spoon and you’re in crazy mouth explosion territory.  The best part of this bundle?  Going rate was around 1.50 ringgit (that’s less than 50 cents US). Needless to say, the Malaysians have breakfast figured out.

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Miss Fats has been dying to recreate the experience since returning to the US, and finally, last week, she was able to collect all the necessary ingredients (and substitutions) to make it happen. It wasn’t the same—no banana leaf, no crispy whole mini fish bites—but the flavors of that sauce were close enough to briefly transport her back to the sticky plastic tables of a Malaysian roadside stand.  So in celebration of her relatively successful virtual food-cation, Miss Fats will be running down some of her favorite breakfasts she had abroad, and share her America-friendly recipe with you all.  She hopes by the end you are all converts to the proper way of eating: excessive meat and bread breakfasts for all.

Roti Canai or Pratha

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This might be the breakfast.  Or at least wins Miss Fat and T’s “most consumed” contest.  T was essentially obsessed with this bready breakfast from the first time she laid eyes on it in Singapore.  Walking by the local banana leaf shop, she eyed the crispy naan-looking flat bread on everyone’s plate.  She immediately declared that they would have to stop tomorrow morning to investigate.  The next day, after the usual ordering protocol of pointing and asking for “whatever they are having,” they discovered the simple magic of pratha (or roti canai in Malaysia).  This chewy and crispy flat bread may look similar to naan, but is incredibly different.  After some research, Miss Fats discovered it’s made with standard wheat flour and ghee (no leveners here).

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Unlike naan’s place in a tandoori pot, roti canai is made on a scorching hot flat top where it undergoes a process of stretching and folding, giving its crispy, slightly puffed chewy texture.  She wishes she could count the number of time she just stared at the cooks effortlessly pulling the little balls of dough into paper-think sheets and throwing them down on the stove.  Using two flat spatulas, they’d fold and pull, fold and pull, eventually fluffing the bready pocket, only to beat it down at the last minute, allowing for one last crispy layer to develop on the bottom.  Roti canai are typically served up with two spicy bowls of curry business: one is usually a yellow milder daal, alongside a deep red spicy sauce.  Unlike many other Indian-influenced Malaysian dishes, you actually consume this with a fork and spoon.  Tearing the bread apart, you dunk those bites into both sauces and shovel away into your mouth.  Not to mention you can get these buttery pockets stuffed with a whole range of items, the most common being: egg, onion, butter, sardines, cheese (like American cheese, y’all), and banana.  Miss Fats tended to favor the standard roti canai, served up with a milky teh tarik (pulled tea with sweetened condensed milk), but she was a HUGE fan of the roti kaya variation.  This option featured the roti stuffed with a healthy scoop of kaya (coconut egg jam) and was still served up with the two standard dips.  The sweet coconut jam, bread and spicy curry all melded into the most insane sweet, savory mouth time ever.

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Perhaps the strangest, but most exciting variation was the roti tisu.  This was T’s favorite sweet version of the classic, featuring paper-thin bread, stretched and molded into a towering cone.  The whole thing is then drizzled in honey and you’re left to go at with your fingers, cracking off pieces of flaky, honey-soaked bread.  Unfortunately the tisu doesn’t typically come with those spicy dips, but T was always snagging some of Miss Fats to ensure optimal sweet/spicy/savory flavor action.

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Kaya Toast

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Since Miss Fats has already introduced you to kaya, she thought she should talk a little more about a favorite breakfast that essentially revolves around the magic egg jam.  From the limited research Miss Fats has executed, she believes kaya toast comes from Hong Kong.  However it seems to be a favorite in Malaysia, particularly in areas populated by Chinese immigrants.  This simple breakfast features a thick piece of perfectly toasted egg-y Asian bread (no crusts!) topped with a healthy spread of kaya jam and margarine.  The toast is served up alongside two soft-boiled eggs and spoon full of sugar.  After watching many old men eat this dish, Miss Fats and T discovered that you’re supposed to drizzle a little soy sauce into those eggs and mix them up real good.  Then you dip your toast in sugar and then the eggs, sopping up all that yolky goodness, and again, diving right into the sweet savory breakfast party.

It wasn’t until Miss Fats arrived in Penang that she had the chance to try this dish out, and boy was she pissed that she’d wasted so much time without kaya toast in her life.  Determined to try this dish, she researched the best toast in Georgetown (not an easy task: Google hates Malaysia).  She settled on a little café where an old woman spends four hours slowing cooking the jam and even sells jars of it for all the kaya addicts out there.  Naturally Miss Fats bought a ton and proceeded to carry these strange little jars of coconut jam around with her for the next two weeks, dipping any cracker-like object into the sticky sweet tub permanently sitting on her bedside table.  Why kaya doesn’t exist in the US is beyond Miss Fats; and unfortunately her hoarded supply is dwindling.  She is seriously going to have to work on her egg jam skills, because Miss Fats is fairly certain she will die without it.

Dim Sum

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Alright, this is hardly new.  However Malaysia has a huge Chinese immigrant population, so dim sum breakfast is a standard throughout the country.  Miss Fats and T ‘summed it up a couple of times: indulging in as many pork and leek dumplings, sticky rice and bowls of congee as possible.  She’ll save you the detailed descriptions of each and every little dish, and instead allow the beautiful pictures to do the talking.  Some of Miss Fats’ favorites included the fishcake stuffed Japanese eggplant and peppers, BBQ pork stuffed folded rice sheets, and steamed shrimp dumplings.  Miss Fats and I would load up their table with as many little bowls as possible and pop little dumpling bite after bite.  It’s hard to say how different Malaysian dim sum is from giant restaurants stuffed with people every Sunday in the US: Miss Fats is no dim sum expert.  However she will say that she had some of the best BBQ pork of her life, stuffed in a perfectly steamed hum bow in Penang.  Whatever they’re doing to the pork in that city: keep it up.

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Nasi Kandar

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Nasi kandar has come up a couple of times now, and is hardly specific to breakfast.  In fact, it’s really more of a twenty-four hour buffet of Mamak delights.  However, Miss Fats and T frequently began their day at the kandar (and they were hardly the only ones at it).  The basic premise is a you’re given a heaping plate of rice that you top with as many scoops of Malaysian curry, vegetables or meats as you’d like.

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Now it took a long time for Miss Fats and T to figure this shit out.  And she’s not even entirely sure how it works now.  Typically, you’ve got a wide spread of dishes including various meat curries, stewed vegetables and big trays of crispy friend chicken.  You’re then welcome to scoop (or sometimes there’s someone there to serve them up for you) as many of them as you’d like.  Now it’s the payment part that always confused them.  You are typically charged per scoop, or per hunk of meat; vegetables cost less and the chicken is most expensive.  Now this is a problem if you’re like Miss Fats and T who like to sample absolutely everything.  Coming off their experience at the Indian buffet—where they’d perfected the tiny sample scoop technique to ensure optimal testing—this made for some expensive trips to kandar in the beginning (see above: not how you kandar).  They would often get very confused looks as to why they would waste a scoop on such small portion of curry.

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Kandar is incredibly affordable if you work it like a local, and by the end, Miss Fats getting the hang of things.  Essentially you should pick one meat curry—Miss Fats’ favorite was typically mutton—and go for one big hunk.  With the meat curries you’re allowed additional scoops of all the saucy goodness it’s sitting in, so go ahead and dip back in for some of that meaty curry business.  Then you follow with a good scoop or two of vegetables—typically some sort of cabbage, or if you’re lucky, okra. Then just throw down an egg for good measure. Top that all off with some of the free crushed peanuts and cucumber slices sitting at the end.  Boom: the most hearty meat breakfast of your life.  Good fucking morning.

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Now, what Miss Fats and T could never figure out was the extra sauce scoop action she frequently saw locals indulging in.  Apparently one can ask for just a scoop of a meat sauce to top off their meal mound, but whether there was a charge and how much that would be, is beyond Miss Fats.  She eventually succumbed to just being careful about the number of meat pieces and just paid whatever price she was told at the register.  Who knows: maybe she doesn’t understand kandar at all.  Other than it’s worth any cost because frankly, a good day should begin with a hunk of mutton on bed of fragrant rice. Topped with an egg. Obviously.

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All the rest:

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It’s difficult to say whether some of the dishes they had were standard breakfast fair, however Miss Fats and T found that most cities served up all meals, all day (and all night).  Therefore they were often indulging in giant steaming bowls of noodle-y soup first thing in the morning.  Or consuming piles of “dry” wonton noodles and dumplings with a smattering of duck sauce over top.  They operated under the premise that breakfast was important primer step for their day of eating ahead.  Therefore copious amounts of meats and carbs were meant to both fuel and stretch their bloated bodies and allow for optimal consumption and energy throughout the day.

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So in the spirit of beginning your day with a meaty gut-brick meant to power endless consumption and mindless wandering, Miss Fats would like to share her recipe for nasi lemak with all of you.  The traditional dish has been significantly altered due to missing ingredients stateside (not to mention Miss Fats land-locked geographic location), but she found this recipe to produce satisfying flavors of Malaysia that brought her right back to those banana leaf prism bundles of joy.  She hopes you all will give this a try so you can get a little taste of just how goddamn amazing Malaysian flavors can truly be.  For realz: it’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

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Nasi Lemak
makes 4 servings
adapted from Rasa Malaysia

2 cups basmati rice
1 can coconut milk
good pinch of salt

4 shallots
1 clove garlic
15 dried chili peppers*
1 tsp jeotgal (Korean salted, fermented shrimp) **
1 small can of anchovies in oil
1 half red onion, sliced into thin half rings
1 cup tamarind juice***
1 tbs sugar
salt to taste
water

1 can sardines in water, drained
4 hard boiled or fried eggs
chopped cucumber
crushed, toasted peanuts

*Miss Fats still has no idea what kind of chilies she was supposed to use.  She went with the dried serano peppers that you can find in big bins in the produce section of the grocery store.  Who know if she was right.  She recommends going for whatever is the most red, or the largest if you’re afraid of it being too spicy.

**She substituted the Korean fermented shrimp because there was no damn way she was going to be able to get her hands on Malaysian belacan (traditional salted shrimp paste).  She’s pretty sure you can also use a Chinese version of shrimp paste.  Both should be available in most Asian grocery store and lasts in the fridge for basically forever.

***Supposedly you can soak that boxed tamarind you find in some produce sections and Indian grocery stores.  Miss Fats has no idea how to do this.  She instead dissolved about 1 tsp of tamarind paste in water.  She found the tamarind paste at Whole Foods (vastly overpriced) and eventually was able to pick up some tamarind concentrate at an Indian grocery store.

1. Cook the rice as you typically would, simply substituting the water with coconut milk.

2. In a food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, chilies and shrimp.  Blend until you get a relatively-smooth paste.

3. Heat a saucepan and cook the paste until fragrant.  Stir in the anchovies, red onion, sugar and tamarind juice.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the onion rings become soft and nearly disinegrate into the sauce and you get a thick, dark red gravy.   Salt and sugar to taste.

4. To serve, lay down a bed of rice, top with a healthy scooping of the sauce.  Top with the fish and garnish with a small pile of cucumbers and a sprinkling of peanuts.  Finish it off with the egg.

Miss Fats highly recommends just mixing all that rice and sauce together and then trying to get spoonfulls that perfectly balance the soaked rice with a crispy cucumber and bite of peanut.  She can’t even describe how good that perfect marriage of egg, sauce, peanut, fish can be.  Just eat it now, because there’s no possible way your brain can try to imagine this flavor/texture combination.  It’s something you have to try for yourself and allow your imagination to implode as your entire flavor palate becomes refigured through the flavors of Malaysian cooking.

five minute blueberry scones

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In honor of Miss Fats’ recent house guest, she’s crazy editing the crap out of her photos and sharing the easiest, most impressive 5 minute breakfast recipe.  Never mind the photo nonsense (it’s a dumb joke for her most design-y friend out there).  But definitely pay attention to this quick little scone recipe.  Miss Fats’ blueberry scones are no-fuss heaping piles of flakey pastry goodness.  These guys only require one bowl, five minutes, and can be easily adapted to any ingredients you have on hand.  Feel free to throw down other berries, nuts, chocolate, whatever.  It’s a mini recipe, so it serves up four appropriately massive weekend-coffee-drinking-scones.  No left overs.  Don’t even bother: just embrace your perfect portion of fresh baked goods.

Blueberry Scones:
4 large scones

1 cup flour
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup cold butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
1/2 pint blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 425.  In a large bowl mix together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and spices.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until you form large pea-size pieces.  Add milk and blueberries and stir until just combined (careful not to overwork the dough or mash the blueberries).

2. Spoon 4 heaps of dough on to a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little white sugar if desired.  Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

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Boom. Impressive weekend breakfast that takes minutes.  Miss Fats can tell you that these scones make quite the impression on those sleepy house guests.  You will essentially be Martha fucking Stewart if you serve these up warm with a cup of coffee in a house now filled with delightful pastry smells. The only bummer about this recipe is that they don’t keep super well.  Ok, they’re fine the next day. But let’s get real: there is nothing better than a warm, flakey, fresh-baked scone.  And Miss Fats likes to think that because the recipe is so small, you can handle just eating them all. Get over it.

Recipe Review: Chai and Salted Pistachio Morning Cake

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So Miss Fats has clearly done a terrible job at blogging lately.  She has been seriously MIA for about a month.  But May brings a resolve to return to actually writing about her food, not just consuming it.  Forcing this work wake up call upon herself, Miss Fats has decided to start with a tasty breakfast cake for all you wake and “bake” folks out there.

This Chai and Salted Pistachio Morning Cake comes from The Fromagette, and is an incredibly easy one bowl mini cake, perfect for  4-6 people to quickly consume.  Miss Fats threw this together for a game night when she felt the need to create an impressive dessert for an impressive crowd. Little did they know that it was just about the easiest thing ever.

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Miss Fats ended up making a couple of changes to the recipe, because it was a bit tame for her taste.  She doubled the amount of Chai to two bags, added about a tbs of cinnamon and 1/2 tbs of ground ginger.  This created an incredibly flavorful and spicy cake that would serve up perfectly with a cup of steaming coffee.  However her favorite part of this cake is, of course, the giant pile of salty pistachios mounded on top.  This creates a spicy, nutty and sweet flavor combo that would brighten any morning.

When she first came across this recipe Miss Fats was surprised by it’s categorization as a “breakfast” item.  However after testing this one out, she would actually agree.  It’s not too sweet and the texture of the cake is somewhere between a muffin and a breakfast loaf.  When she makes this cake again, Miss Fats thinks she’ll add a couple of tbs of oil to create a more muffin-like, super-moist texture.  If any of you out there give it a try, holler at Miss Fats.

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Miss Fats encourages all you novice bakers out there to try this recipe out.  It’s one of those incredibly easy cakes that requires almost no work, but creates a truly impressive result.  I mean look at that thing: it’s gorgeous, tasty and simple. It has brunch written all over it. You’d look like a total pro if you showed up for an event with this cake in hand.  Get out there and fool all your friends.

Recipe Review: Chocolate Butterscotch Muffins

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These little guys are incredibly deceptive.  I mean, just look at them: they look completely harmless and could easily be mistaken for a boring healthy bran muffin.  WRONG.  These are basically cupcakes masking as “muffins.”  Only instead of a fluffy, oil-based cake, you’re getting a rich, dense and moist cupcake-muffin hybrid that’s perfectly paired with butterscotch chips.

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Miss Fats got the recipe from the folks over at The Kitchn, who seem to rarely fail her.  The recipe is incredibly easy: no mixer, no melting chocolate, and no sifting.  Since Miss Fats is lazy, and doesn’t have a dishwasher, naturally she adapted this to be done with one bowl.  That’s right, these chocolate delights can be made with minimal clean up.  All she did to omit the “wet ingredient bowl,” was follow the first step for combining the dry ingredients, then she made a well, threw all the wet ingredients in and made a half assed attempt to stir them together a little before combining everything together.  This seemed to work.  No tragic baking failure occurred.  She did find, however, that her muffins took a little bit longer than the original recipe stated: it says between 17-20 minutes, but Miss Fats’ took closer to 22-25.  However, the instructions to wait until the tops are no longer shiny is the best advice: just watch for that glistening top to transform into a rich and crisp chocolate top.

IMG_0224Miss Fats can’t even look at these.  They are so damn unassuming.  Little do people know that these muffins are in fact rich, chocolately butterscottchy flavor parties.  They are perfectly tender and moist on the inside and the muffins tops crisp up just right for a little bite on your way to fudgey breakfast heaven.  These easily top Miss Fats’ favorite muffin recipes.  Many more will be made in the future.

jelly fauxnut muffins

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A reoccurring subject here on Sunday Sundaes is Miss Fats’ obsession with fried dough.  Clearly she has a bit of problem and should seek help.  Part of this fixation seems to stem from the fact that she does not fry or really experiment with yeast doughs; therefore the doughnut has become a treasured treat that she must seek out from others.  But then she found this recipe: pretend jelly doughnut muffins.

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Could this be Miss Fats’ way to wean herself off the hard stuff? Probably not.  But it might curb withdrawals.

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Now, be warned, these really cannot be conflated with a good jelly doughnut (of which Miss Fats is a HUGE fan and believes they get a terrible rep: more on that rant later).  THESE ARE MUFFINS. DO NOT BE MISTAKEN. But these little treats will provide some jam-filled pastry goodness with their crumbly, buttery muffin texture and surprise center.

These little guys can be made with whatever jam you have on hand.  Miss Fats went for variety with raspberry and lemon curd.  She found that the lemon curd did sink to the bottom a bit and didn’t provide the pretty little center, but that sharp citrus flavor may have won the battle between the two.

Jelly Fauxnut Muffins:
adapted from Baked Doughnut Muffins with Blueberry Jam
makes 12 muffins

3/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup yogurt
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 tsp of jam or preserve of choice

1/4 cup sugar (for rolling)
1 tsp cinnamon (for rolling)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cupcake pan.  In a large bowl, mix sugar, yogurt, milk, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.  Mix in butter as best you can.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until just combined.

2. Spoon about 2 tbs of the batter into the bottom of each tin.  Follow with 1 tsp of jam in each.  Top each off with the remaining batter, trying to completely cover the jam dolups.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and fully cooked through.

3.  Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes in pan.  However you should run a knife along the edges to make sure none of the jam seeped out and has stuck to the sides of the pan (this will only make for a sticky mess if you allow it to harden).  In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.  Roll each muffin in the mixture.

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These muffins ended up with a crispy browned, sugar-coated outside, and tender, buttery inside.  Though Miss Fats would never say these live up to real jelly doughnut, they’ll do fine when she needs a filled pastry-object.  Miss Fats highly recommends digging into these while they’re warm with a hot cup of coffee.  Close your eyes and pretend it’s the real deal: these will almost take you there.

buttery lemon cream cheese coffee cake: two ways

IMG_0093Miss Fats has spent the last six months on a breakfast baking experiment.  She’s never been much of a morning sweets baker (except for a scone here or there), but her coordinating duties have called for a plethora of breakfast baked goods.  Each week, she’s been trying out essentially a new recipe (though there’s been a couple of lazy repeats) and in the past week she hit a high: lemon cream cheese coffee cake.

Diptic (1)She tried this recipe out two weeks ago as a muffin and it was a huge hit.  So when last Saturday demanded a breakfast sweet for a brunch crowd, she went for it in giant coffee cake form.  This recipe is adapted from one that’s been making the rounds on pinterest and the original can be found here.  Miss Fats has made a couple of adjustments that are crucial when switching between the cake and muffin.  Just follow these tweaks and soon you’ll be in tasty lemon heaven.

IMG_0079Buttery Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Muffins:
adapted from coffee crumb cake with lemon cheesecake filling
makes 12 large muffins

Filling:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened (must be soft!)
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt

Cake:
1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
healthy pinch of salt

Topping:
1/4 cup butter softened to room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs sugar
1/3 cup flour
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with liners or grease.  Make the filling: cream the cream cheese and sugar on high until they are well incorporated.  Add the egg yolk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.  Mix until well combined.  Note: this step can easily be done ahead of time and the filling stored in the fridge.

2. Make the cake:  cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat until well incorporated (may look a little grainy but it will come together).  Carefully add the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until incorporated.  The batter will be VERY thick.

3. Assemble the muffins: spoon about 2 tbs of cake batter into each muffin tin, doing your best to spread it across the bottom.  Add about 2 tbs of the filling on top.  Finish off the tops with the remaining batter.  This was a little difficult.  Miss Fats had to use her fingers to make sure the cake batter covered the top of the filling (if it doesn’t quite cover and there’s some filling squishing out of the top: do not worry).

4. Make the topping: mix the flour, sugars and salt in a small bowl.  Add the butter and using your fingers, break up the butter into small bits to create a crumb-like texture.  Sprinkle a generous amount of the topping over each muffin.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out relatively (may have a bit of cream cheese filling on it) clean and the tops are crispy and golden.

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So you’ve basically got the recipe for this in coffee cake form, however Miss Fats recommends a couple of changes:

  1. Use the same filling recipe Miss Fat’s has listed above, but double the lemon.  The original recipe makes way too much that can’t really fit in the middle given the thickness of the batter.  Plus eff lemon extract: use a real lemon!
  2. Multiply the cake recipe by 1.5.  You need more cake batter than both the muffin and original call for: 9×13 is a damn big pan!  Plus this makes for a thick and delicious cake.
  3. Follow all the instructions as listed above: the only change is the assembly (which is actually easier in cake form).  Spread half your batter into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan, followed by all your filling (Miss Fats recommends leaving a 2 inch boarder around this spread), and finally the rest of the cake batter.  Use those fingers to cover the delicious filling.  Using the same topping recipe, spread all over top.  Bake for approximately 50 minutes.

IMG_0151Miss Fats was a total failure documenting the filling action, but she hopes you’ll just trust her and go make this crazy tasty recipe.  Plus its a way better surprise when you take that first bite into a hot coffee cake muffin.  Just you wait.

IMG_0098Monster muffin reminded Miss Fats of a creamy blonde kitty.  So here’s a little guy to go with your morning cake:

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super sweet bowl

IMG_1699As icat said, Miss Fats has had a bit of a bad weekend.  However today was Super Bowl Sunday and Miss Fats was determined to buck up an celebrate the ultimate day of bad binge snacking with a playful and inventive dessert.

The challenge: use only what she had on hand.  What did this mean??
ULTIMATE BREAKFAST CUPCAKE ADVENTURE   

This monstrosity consists of a bottom layer of banana bread, followed by creamy baked french toast, topped with granola streusel and a maple syrup drizzle.  Sweet breakfast bomb.

It ended up being quite delicious: just imagine all your sweet breakfast breads on a plate covered in maple syrup.

Unfortunately Miss Fats doesn’t have a recipe for this one (mostly because she had no idea what the hell she was doing), but promises to make some tweaks (add bacon! more butter!), and share later. For now, just imagine some ooey gooey french toast and moist banana bread all up in your mouth.

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