I remember going to the mall when I was little and splitting one of those gigantic cinnamon buns with my sister. They were huge, delicious, and always oozing with unhealthy amounts of frosting. I haven’t had one of those cinnamon buns in a really long time (this is probably a good thing). But I’ve seen a ton of recipes to bake your own, so I decided to give them a try. They are a little time-consuming because they require active yeast, but nothing too crazy since the majority of the time is spent letting the dough rise. And believe me, that extra TLC that you put into baking them will be well worth the effort. These Cinnamon Rolls w/Cream Cheese Frosting were absolutely mouthwatering! My hubby, who normally doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, loved them so much that when I suggested he bring them to work to share, he responded quite seriously with “I’m not sharing them.” Okay then… enough said!
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine milk and butter in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30-45 seconds. Make sure to not overheat milk and butter. If you do, allow to cool until 120-130 degrees. Pour milk and butter into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 21/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.
- Replace paddle attachment with kneading hook and knead until smooth, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball. Lightly oil a large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
- Punch down dough and transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
- Spray two 9-inch glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40-45 minutes.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes and then turn rolls right side up.
- Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls and serve warm or at room temperature.
*Adapted from Epicurious
I made this Vegetable Strata
several weeks ago for my mother-in-law’s birthday brunch, but I forgot to blog about it! It always makes my life easier when I have several blog posts created and ready to go. I usually try to make several dishes on the weekends so I can have my posts ready for the week. Life gets busy and sometimes the last thing I want to do after I get home from work is mess around in the kitchen when I could be watching episodes of Breaking Bad (my hubby and I are currently obsessed with this show).
This strata was delicious and filling; the veggies, eggs, bread, and potatoes made this course shine, even without meat. You could definitely add bacon or sausage and make this dish even more scrumptious and filling. This strata can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake it. It’s perfect for a fall brunch with family or friends. Enjoy!
- Two 1/2-pound baguettes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 green pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the bread on 2 large baking sheets and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.
- In a large saute pan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, sweet potatoes, celery and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Add the Gruyère, Parmesan and bread to the vegetables. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, stock, and milk and add to the vegetablie and bread mixture; toss until evenly mixed and moistened. Cover the strata with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 4-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Transfer the strata to the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface. Butter a large sheet of foil and cover the baking dish with it. Bake the strata in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until barely set. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until the strata is bubbling and the top is golden and crusty.
- Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 6 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny.
*Adapted from Food & Wine
Can you believe it’s already mid-October? My favorite season will soon be over, so it’s time to take advantage of as much fall produce as I can. Hand-picked apples are perfect to munch on or to bake with. I made this Baked Apple Oatmeal with my favorite baking apple… the Northern Spy. I actually hand-picked 15 pounds of these Spys when I was up in NY visiting my parents. I’ve already made apple pies and applesauce, so it was time to get creative and make some other treats. This Baked Apple Oatmeal is easy to make and is the perfect breakfast treat. Serve it warm with a drizzle of maple syrup and enjoy!
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 3/4 cup diced apple
- 2 cups milk (I used skim)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Maple syrup for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 325 and set rack in the middle of oven. Grease an 8″x8″ baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir the oats, baking powder, and salt. Add the pecans, dried cranberries, and apples.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into dish and bake until top is golden brown, 55-65 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve warm with maple syrup.
*The Apple Lover’s Cookbook
Here’s another delicious fall recipe for you to try: Fall Fruit Salad. This fruit salad is perfect for a nice brunch with friends or a light snack with Greek yogurt and granola. A lot of my favorite fruits are in this salad like fresh figs, Concord grapes, Macoun apples, and red raspberries. I topped this salad with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and a heaping handful of granola. I can finally say that this is a delicious and healthy treat to enjoy this fall or any time of year. Enjoy!
- 2 large pears, diced
- 2 large apples, diced
- 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
- 8 fresh figs, stems removed and quartered
- 1/2 lb. concord grapes
- Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Drizzle of honey
- Granola for sprinkling
- Combine all the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Add fresh lemon juice and cinnamon and mix to combine. Drizzle honey over the top and sprinkle with granola.
It’s September which means it’s my favorite time of year! Even though it’s still 86 degrees outside and the official autumnal equinox isn’t until September 22, it’s fall in my book as soon as Labor Day passes. Fall is my favorite baking season by far; you can’t beat pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, caramel, concord grapes, figs, etc. I love all of those flavors, and I’m obsessed with Yankee candles that come in any of a variety of those flavors. In fact, I just bought a new one this past weekend. I don’t know about you, but I have to smell every single flavor about 3 times before making my final decision. I finally went with Spiced Pumpkin, which smells like Beak and Skiff in a jar (an apple orchard near my parent’s house in Syracuse).
In lieu of my excitement over the start of the fall baking season, I made Morning Glory Muffins
. Morning Glory Muffins have shredded coconut, apples, and carrots. They taste similar to carrot cake and are oh so delicious. I upped the nutritional value by decreasing the amount of sugar and adding flax seed meal. Enjoy!
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup ground flax meal
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 2/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 large apple, grated
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin cups with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flax meal. Add the carrots, pineapple, coconut, and apple and stir to combine. Add the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla and stir to combine.
- With a cookie scoop, divide the batter among two 12-cup muffin tins, 1/2-full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the muffins cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out to cool for another 10 minutes.
*Adapted from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook
I didn’t really have a good reason to bake this Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake besides the fact that I saw it in a magazine and thought it looked scrumptious. The original recipe was for blueberry coffee cake, but the lemon and blueberry combo is too delicious to ever turn down. Most of the time, I bake with a purpose, meaning that I usually bake when there’s an event at work, a birthday party, a brunch, a big game on tv, etc. However, sometimes I just get the urge to bake for the heck of it purely because I like to bake. Maybe that’s crazy, but I think my family and friends appreciate it. 🙂
Baking is definitely one of my stress relievers, as is spending time with my family, working out, reading, drinking wine, etc. And baking does not really require too many expensive ingredients – ok, don’t get me wrong, there are some expensive ingredients that I love to use like almond paste, anything with fig, nuts, etc. But the pillars of baking (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, vegetable oil, shortening, etc.) are all relatively cheap and last for quite a while. Baking is great! Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
- 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 8-oz container plain, Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. milk (or additional for desired consistency)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- To make the topping, combine brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt and baking soda and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and 1/2 of a lemon’s juice and beat until combined.
- In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and lemon zest and add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Beat until combined. Beat in Greek yogurt mixture.
- Pour half of the batter in the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the blueberries and then half of the topping. Pour the remaining batter over the layers and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining topping.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk until drizzling consistency (add more milk if necessary, 1 tsp. at a time). Once cake has completely cooled, drizzle frosting over and enjoy!
*Adapted from Our Best Desserts
Fresh berries are slowly but surely popping up at the markets! While it’s still too early for fresh picked blackberries, I did see these organic blackerries at Trader Joe’s and could not resist. It’s been a while since I’ve made muffins, so I decided the perfect breakfast treat would be Blackberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
. There’s something about brown sugar and blackberries that tastes so delicious when paired together. These muffins are no exception! In other news, Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mamas out there! Happy Mother’s Day to my own mama, my sister (her first Mother’s Day!), Grandma L., Nana, Mama Leone, and all my aunts!!!! Truly blessed to have such amazing women in my life 🙂
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups fresh blackberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blackberries, unthawed
- Preheat an oven to 375°F. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.
- To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the first four ingredients. Set aside.
- To make the muffins, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter, and milk (the batter will be slightly lumpy). Gently fold in the blackberries with a rubber spatula just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Try not to break up the blackberries.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each a bit above the rim of the cup. Top each muffin with the streusel topping, dividing it evenly (the sugar will melt and produce a glaze effect).
- Bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins and serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 12 muffins
*Adapted from William Sonoma