Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonrolls

I wanted to try a new recipe for cinnamon rolls besides our go-to fave. I love the richness of the dough, but it does require 5 eggs and it makes 12 huge rolls. I sent a batch of these with my husband to share with volunteers this weekend; and made this smaller batch with some minor changes just to suit our preferences. Instead of white sugar, I used brown sugar for the filling and significantly less cinnamon. I also swapped the water and milk for buttermilk; and I used less butter in the filling – only two tablespoons. Oh, and instead of making 11 rolls (weird number) I made 8 slightly larger rolls that fit in the baking dish better.

Verdict: These were okay, and I guess good in a pinch if you don’t have lots of eggs on hand. The glaze is missing something too – cream cheese in my opinion. The dough was not nearly as easy to work as the other recipe, and it was actually really frustrating to cut into rolls. The differences were much more obvious because I had just made the overnight rolls…so I was really aware and very picky. I probably won’t bother making these again only because we’ve already found the best recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

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Easy Cinnamon Rolls – heavily adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Rolls-
  • 2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
Filling-
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Directions –

  1. Make the dough: Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss the remaining flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. About 125F-130F degrees. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. I only needed 1/3 cup, but you may need the full 1/2 cup. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk – about an hour.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Add more cinnamon/sugar if desired. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 8 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise overnight in your refrigerator.
  5. In the morning, take the rolls out and allow to rise until they become puffy. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  6. Make the glaze: Right before serving, top your cinnamon rolls with glaze. Mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth and drizzle over rolls. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar and then add salt to cut the sweetness, if desired.

Key Lime Pie

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He is seriously spoiled…I don’t even like key lime pie, but he has been asking for it recently; and lucky for him I stumbled upon two pound bags of these cuties at my fave store.
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Peruvian lime meets baby key lime 😉
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Just when I thought they couldn’t possibly be any cuter, I cut them in half to juice them – I was wrong!
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But those fuzzy feelings quickly disappeared when I proceeded to squeeze 1 3/4 pounds of these to produce the required 3/4 cup…owee. Other than squeezing all those limes, this is a super easy pie to make.

Verdict: This pie is smooth, creamy and the most tart dessert I have ever had. I loved decorating the pie the whipped cream rosettes, key lime slices and zest. I don’t usually break out the piping bag, but any proper key lime pie seems to have them so I went with it.

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Key Lime Pie – adapted from I Wash You Dry

  • 9″ graham cracker pie crust
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Whipped Cream (optional)

Graham Cracker Crust – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 6 1/2 ounces graham crackers (12 crackers), finely ground (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined
  2. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake until crust is fragrant and edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Pie

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Brush the graham cracker pie crust with the lightly beaten egg white, then bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Meanwhile combine the egg yolks, key lime juice, lime peel, sweetened condensed milk, and sour cream in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared crust.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool to room temp.
  6. Chill in fridge for at least three hours, then serve with whipped cream if desired.

Simple Brownies

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Woo! These are rich 🙂 They are thin but so fudgy and perfect with homemade vanilla ice cream, (*I’ll share the ice cream recipe soon*). Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Simple Brownies – adapted from Baked Bree

  • 10 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP cocoa powder (*break out the good stuff for this!*)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

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Directions –

1 Preheat oven to 325°F with rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides to make it easier to lift the brownies out of the pan when they are done.
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2 Combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the butter cocoa mixture from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

3 Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring quickly after each one. When the batter looks shiny, thick, and well mixed, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon. Spread the batter evenly in the lined pan.

4 Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out just slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely on a rack. Lift up the ends of the foil or parchment paper liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Copycat Panera Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I haven’t had any cookies other than homemade for quite some time now, but I make the exception for Panera’s chocolate chip cookies. They are huge and too hard to pass up, especially when the kid at the register asks me if I would like to add one to my order for 99 cents! They are my weakness along with the adult grilled cheese sandwich and the creamy tomato soup!

What did we ever do before Pinterest?? Seriously, I have collected some gems in the past year that I would probably not find if not for the convenient and genius site that is Pinterest! I just stumbled upon this recipe last night and made them today. These are the biggest cookies I have made to date, but there is really no way around the 1/4 cup serving 😉

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(some complimentary cookie close-ups!)

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Verdict: Wow – perfection! I will make these again. I baked off six – for quality control sake, of course 😉 Slightly crispy edges and chewy middles with plenty of sticky, sweet flavor from the dark brown sugar. One is more than enough for this lady! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

*TIP: If you’re like me and you only buy light brown sugar, you can add one tablespoon of molasses per one cup of packed light brown sugar. Not to worry if you only have white sugar on hand; add 1/4 cup of molasses to one cup of white sugar.

*TIP: I use a disher to portion out the dough onto my cookie sheet, and then I use a fork to scrape the dome off the tops of each to flatten. They bake up as pictured – thanks to all the commenters! I hope this helps.

Copycat Panera Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from The Pinning Mama

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (541 grams)
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions –

  1. Mix butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix together.
  4. Mix dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients and blend well.
  5. If the dough is crumbly, stir in water 1 teaspoon at a time until it just holds together. The dough should not be sticky.
  6. Add in chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
  7. Using ¼ cup measure, scoop out dough and form into a ball. Continue until all dough is balled. Approx 24 cookies.
  8. Place dough in the freezer for 2 hours or up to 3 months.
  9. Place frozen cookie onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 min.
  10. Let cool 2 minutes.

Cookies & Cream Muddy Buddies

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The best thing I heard someone say about these last night was: “I can tell without even trying them; they’re good!” And they are, and completely addicting…it’s a good thing that I made them for a big group of people and not for my family of four! The recipe that I found suggested the candy melts, but I didn’t have them. Recently, I found a tip  for melting chocolate with a little bit of coconut oil to replace those, and it worked so well I decided to use the method again. The white chocolate didn’t want to melt as smoothly as the semi-sweet kind, so I just kept adding coconut oil by the teaspoon, and melting the mixture slowly until it became the right consistency. I forgot to add more chopped Oreos to the mix, but these were still so good. Next time I will not skip that step 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddies – adapted from Your Cup of Cake

“Cream”

  • 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 8 Oreos finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp – 3 tsp coconut oil

“Cookies”

  • 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 Oreos finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Directions –

1. “Cream”- Measure out the rice Chex and place in a large bowl. Measure out powdered sugar and crushed Oreos and place in a container with a lid (You’ll need to shake the mixture in this later).

2. Melt white chocolate with the coconut oil, be careful not to burn it! (My microwave has a melt setting that I use) Pour melted chocolate over rice cereal and stir until coated. Transfer the coated cereal to the container with the powdered sugar and cookies. Shake until evenly coated. Dump the mixture on to a cookie sheet to cool.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 using the “Cookies” ingredients. Once cooled, mix the two batches together and fold in more chopped Oreos (I skipped this step – oops!)

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

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Ok, shake! 😉 My husband loves this “smoothie” that you can buy at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and ever since I bought my Vitamix he’s asked me to make him one. I couldn’t find a copy cat version anywhere, but I think this one is a good substitute for the real thing. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie – 

  • 1 banana, cut up and frozen
  • 2-3 cups chocolate frozen yogurt
  • 1 – 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Directions –

Pour the coconut milk into your blender carafe, followed by peanut butter, banana and yogurt. Blend until smooth, adding more coconut milk if necessary.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

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AKA the most expensive homemade cookies ever! Seriously though – the chocolate can cost about 12 dollars, the nuts are $20.00 a pound! Even if my husband knew how much the ingredients cost, I don’t think he’d change his mind about asking for these. Food is definitely his weakness 😉

I bought a quarter pound of nuts which ended up being a cup, but I think the ratio of cookie to add-ins was just right. I weighed these out (cause I’m neurotic like that) and each ball was 4 ounces before I split it in half. I also didn’t have coconut extract, but it probably would have added a nice flavor to these.

To be honest, I didn’t care for the taste the first day…day two is a totally different cookie. The flavors have time to get to know one another; and they’re not so “one note” anymore. These would be amazing as an ice cream sandwich, maybe even with that fancy coconut milk ice cream! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams)
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to blend.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cold butter and the sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and just combined, 1-2 minutes. Blend in the eggs on at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in vanilla extract. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and macadamia nuts with a spatula. Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and with jagged surfaces facing up, place the formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball. (The fussy shaping seems well…fussy – but it gives the cookies nicer appearance after they are baked!)

Bake the cookies, rotating halfway through, until light golden and just set, about 14-16 minutes total. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 24 cookies

 

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

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I made this one at least 7 months ago but haven’t gotten around to posting it; but I remember it because it is a fantastic treat for breakfast. I avoided posting because the pictures (and I took several) didn’t turn out well at all! (Click the link for a more appetizing shot). I sent my camera out a few weeks ago for repairs and it can’t come back soon enough. I’m sure I’ll make this one again soon and take a better picture. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake – adapted from Alexandra Cooks

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar (use vanilla sugar if you have it)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

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These were amazing and everyone loved them! 🙂

Chocolate Mint Brownie Bites – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
50 whole mints, such as Andes
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan generously with baking spray.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Remove from the microwave and stir in 8 mints until all melted. Let cool slightly.

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream 1 stick of the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture slowly, mixing until it’s combined. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add the mint extract and then mix again.

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan. Bake until done, 11 to 13 minutes. Turn upside down out of the pan and allow to cool.

Combine 25 to 30 mints in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Microwave and stir until melted and smooth.

Dip the brownie bites in the chocolate, concentrating on the top “cone” part. Allow to set for a few minutes. Chop the remaining mints and sprinkle them on the top. Set in the freezer for 10 minutes if you need them to set right away. Yum!

Hot Chocolate for One

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post…I made this several weeks ago to remedy a craving for some real hot chocolate. I didn’t want to make a huge batch so late at night, so this was perfect. I tripled it so my kids could enjoy it too – they loved it! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Hot Chocolate – adapted Jeyashri’s Kitchen

  • 1 TBSP good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP vanilla sugar
  • 1 TBSP hot water
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • a pinch of salt

Directions – 

1. Place all the dry ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and pour the hot water over all. Twist lid on and shake vigorously.

2. Pour contents into a small sauce pot over medium-low heat. Pour in the dairy and stir until combined. Heat gently until the desired temperature is reached. Pour into your favorite mug and top with marshmallows or whipped cream.