Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

pumpkin-snickerdoodlesLast weekend my friend called to borrow some cream of tartar.  Cream of tartar screams one thing to me: Snickerdoodles.  This call, of course got me thinking about snickerdoodles for the next few days, but I never got around to making them.  Then as I was looking for a recipe for No Bake Pumpkin Cookies I stumbled on a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles on Mom on Timeout.  I, being the pumpkin lover that I am, liked the sound of that and since the universe seemed screaming at me that I needed to make them, I did.  And then I made them again the next day. 🙂

AnneOpinion

Snickerdoodles are a simple cookie with a little tang from the cream of tartar and cinnamon sugar on the outside.  These snickerdoodles stay true to the original.  They are simple with that classic snickerdoodle tang, but the added bonus is that they have a mild pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin is very present, but doesn’t try to take over the cookie. Slightly chewy and a bit puffy, I love these cookies!  They immediately became a fall favorite around here.

I didn’t change anything about the recipe from Trish over at Mom on Timeout.  She gets two thumbs up on this one.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
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Ingredients
Sugar Mix
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar together. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, stirring until well combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove dough and form into small, 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool on sheet for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

browned-butter-chocolate-chChocolate Chip Cookies are favorite around our house.  In fact, I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I’ve asked my husband what I should make for dessert for Sunday dinner and his answer is chocolate chip cookies.  Every. Single. Time.  I used to be bothered by this because I would think, “I could make you any number of fancy desserts and all you want is chocolate chip cookies?”  I’ve gotten past that now and am grateful that something so simple is all that it takes to make him happy. (and if I want to make a fancy dessert, I just don’t ask for his opinion on what I should make.

Nestle Toll House is the standard recipe that I use.  I’ve tried many over the years and I always go back to it.  I think it’s the goto recipe for most people.  I always think of this moment in “Friends” where Monica spends two days trying to figure out Phoebe’s grandmother’s cookies recipe only to realize it was Nestle Toll House all along.

Last week, on my Instagram feed, I saw that America’s Test Kitchen had a link for their best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I decided to check it out and when I found that they had used the Toll House recipe as the basis to start from , I knew that I needed to try it. I wasn’t disappointed.  These cookies look and taste like you picked them up at a local bakery.  They have that wonderful crispy ripple on the outside and the inside is soft and dense.  Perfection!

AnneOpinion

First of all, they start with browned butter.  Browned butter is a bit of an obsession of mine and I’m convinced that it makes all things better.  It gives the dough a softer and greasier texture than a regular dough so don’t be surprised by that.  It also will start bubbling and foaming when you add the additional butter after taking it off the heat.  Don’t be alarmed by this!  I actually think that it’s kind of cool.

Adding the white sugar to the eggs and letting them rest for 10 minutes gives the sugar a chance to dissolve, and helps sugar to caramelize more quickly in the baking process, resulting in a more flavorful cookie.

The use of one egg and one egg yolk helps make the cookies less cakelike and the small amount of cinnamon (which I added) helps to enhance the flavor of the cookie and the chocolate while not standing out as a single flavor.

If you have the time, a variety of cookie experts swear by letting your dough rest, at least overnight.  It really is amazing how much the flavor intensifies and becomes more complex over time.  If you don’t have time for that, don’t worry, they’re still really good right away.  🙂

If you have the option of using a convection oven, I found that I like the spread on the cookies better when I used it vs my regular oven.  Also, give the dough a few minutes to warm up if you have had it in the refrigerator overnight.  The warmer the dough, the more the cookie will spread, so you can decide which you like and make accordingly.

I was so impressed by these cookies I wrapped them up individually in plastic wrap and gave them to my kids’ teachers.  They looked and tasted like I’d picked them up at a gourmet bakery and I wasn’t going to tell them any different. 😉

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Servings
19 cookies
Servings
19 cookies
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
19 cookies
Servings
19 cookies
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small skillet, melt 10 tablespoons of butter 1-2 minutes. Continue cooking until butter turns a light brown color and has a nutty aroma 1-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add additional 4 tablespoons of butter; allow to melt. In a medium bowl, mix white sugar and eggs. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and butter and mix together. Add flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if desired) and mix together. (if you have time, chill overnight) Using a large cookie scoop, place cookie balls on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling wrack.
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Morning Glory Muffins

Carrot-cake-muffinsWe’re going to be talking muffins this week.  With school starting and everyone being more “on the go,” I need to have some things on hand that are healthy and that everyone likes.  Those two things are the requirements for all three of the muffin recipes that I’ll be sharing this week.  My oldest is attending a church class at 6:00am before school and I am not getting up and making him a hot breakfast every day (sorry honey!), but I want to make sure that what he is eating is healthy, filling and most importantly, portable.  My solution has been muffins and so far they are being met with great applause.

AnneOpinion

If you’ve never had a Morning Glory muffin, they are kind of like a carrot cake in muffin form.  They’re very nutritious with carrots, apple, nuts and coconut.

These muffins are great right away, but even better the next day or after freezing.  The flavors get the chance to meld together and really complement each other.

I like to use coconut oil in these, but if that’s not your thing, melted butter or canola oil also work well.

If I’m making these for a brunch or a morning meeting, I put a dollop of frosting on them.  If they’re for my family, I just leave them plain.  They are bursting with so many flavors on their own I don’t feel like they need it and that would undermine the “healthy and nutritious” goal that I have for them.  With the nuts, and the coconut and the cinnamon and the orange, you don’t really need more; but if you add the frosting it’s like you’re eating a really good carrot cake for breakfast and nobody complains about cake for breakfast!

I love the little bit of orange that I added into these.  It’s a wonderful surprise background flavor that adds a fresh taste to the muffin. If you have any fans of carrot cake or spice cake around, you need to give this recipe a try!

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Morning Glory Muffins
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Morning Glory Muffins
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Muffin Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 18 muffin cups. Toast pecans for 5-7 minutes. Let cool and chop. Toast coconut for 3-4 minutes; let cool. Peel and finely grate carrots and apple and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla. Add carrots and apple and fold together. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, orange zest, pecans, and coconut and mix together until just moistened. Evenly divided batter between muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire wrack. Let cool completely. Eat, freeze or frost. Whatever you do, they're going to be good!!
Frosting instructions
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add a dollop to each muffin.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Joy of Baking

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S’more Cookies Please!

smore-cookies2If this seems like deja vu and you swear that you’ve seen S’more Cookies here before, you’re right you have.  I feel the need to share another cookies recipe because August 10 is National S’more Day and you need to be prepared with an awesome s’more recipe.  I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times in the last month and a half and since I was out of town for two of those weeks, you can tell how much we like it.  My friend Misty made them for a Cub Scout Pack Night in June and I was hooked!  I was craving another cookie the next day so I looked on her Pinterest board, found this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings and have been cranking them out ever since then.

AnneOpinion

This is just a good, chewy chocolate chip cookie.  It’s got a nice balance of cookie to chocolate with a touch of sweet, gooeyness from the marshmallows on top

I don’t feel like I can taste the graham in the cookies, but the crumbs give it a texture that I love.  Milk chocolate is the classic one used in s’mores so I always use it in these cookies.  If I’m doubling the batch I add a bag of milk chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chips.  I normally double it because these cookies go so fast at my house.

If you don’t feel like crushing up the graham crackers, you can buy a box of graham crumbs in the baking section of the grocery store.  How cool is that?

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S'more Cookies Please!
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S'more Cookies Please!
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter and sugars; mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips . Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and quickly press 3 marshmallows into each cookie. Return to oven and cook until done, about 1-2 minutes.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion from CarlsbadCravings.com

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Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups

firecracker-cookiesLast fall I was thrilled to hear about my cousin Kristen winning a prize for her Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups at the San Diego County Fair.  I was even more excited when she got to share her recipe on television in Kansas City!  I thought that I would have to wait until next July to make them because Trader Joe’s normally only carries the Firecracker chocolate bar for the Fourth, but when I went into my local store last week they said that they had just gotten another shipment in.  Score!!  I apologize to those of you without a Trader Joe’s close by.  Maybe you could have a friend or relative mail you one?  You can promise to share with them a really good recipe in exchange. 😉

Anne Opinion

If you’ve never had a Fireworks Bar before you are in for a treat!  Trader Joe’s describes the bar this way, “Trader Joe’s Fireworks Bar is crafted for us by a stateside chocolatier known for adding intriguing flavors to high quality chocolate. Here, they start with smooth, rich dark chocolate—always a good beginning. And then come the fireworks, in the form of popping candy. You remember the stuff; it “sparkles” on your tongue, tingling and tantalizing with every bite.  But that’s just the beginning. The bar is also spiced a bit, with chipotle and pasilla chiles, a touch of sea salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. It’s not hot hot, but it’ll definitely give you a warm feeling inside. Just like fireworks.”

I love the way they describe their food.  I know it’s dumb, but I always get excited when I see the Fearless Flyer (Trader Joe’s grocery ad) because every description makes me want to try their food right now.

Now that we’re done with my unsponsored crush on Trader Joe’s, lets talk about the cookies.  This is a very hearty cookie.  It not only has ground oatmeal, but it also has 1 1/2 cups of walnuts that you grind up very fine.  Having both of these ingredients gives these cookies a nice solid shape with a chewy texture and a wonderful nutty flavor.

In addition to the Fireworks chocolate you also use a Symphony bar with toffee that is in the cookie.  This bar needs to be chopped up so you get lots of it’s goodness in every cookie.  Tip: make sure and freeze it for at least 30 minutes.  This will make it easier to chop into pieces.

This cookie is so fun to eat!  The pop and fizzle in your mouth as you chew is truly a one of a kind experience.  Thanks for sharing the recipe Kristen!!

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Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups
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Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend butter with sugars for two minutes to incorporate air, then eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, oatmeal and walnuts. Slowly add to butter mixture, mixing well in between. Stir in the chopped up Symphony Bar. Chill dough for 1 hour minimum. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch round balls (just smaller than a golf ball). Press thumb in center to create deep indentation. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Add square of Fireworks chocolate into indentation and let sit additional 5 minutes. Delicious served warm or chilled.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion Recipe by Kristen Sowell

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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries

grahamcracker-pancakes In case you’ve missed a general pattern around here, I love anything with graham crackers. S’more Cookies, Peanut Butter Smuggies, and Kitchen Sink Pies are just a few examples. When I found this recipe on bitememore.com for Graham Cracker Pancakes with Cheesecake and Glazed Blueberries, I said “Sign me up!” These are a must try. Unfortunately I ended up with some mixed feeling about them.

AnneOpinion

grahamcracker-pancakes2Let’s start with the graham cracker pancakes. These showed such promise. They had graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. I thought they would knock it out of the park. They didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were good, but regular pancakes are good too and the don’t take nearly the effort or the amount of ingredients. Everyone liked them and ate all of them, but on one went crazy for them. Do what you will with that information.

The cheesecake topping was really good. I thinned it out by putting in more cool whip than was originally called for. When I ate it on the pancakes I felt like it overtook the whole thing. I ended up spreading it on very thin and it was perfect. It was a delicious filling and would work well as a frosting. I’m keeping this recipe tucked away to use on a cake or cupcakes in the future. It would be perfect with pumpkin cupcakes, or pumpkin bread, or gingerbread…you get the idea.

I’ve saved the best for last…the glazed fruit. The original recipe called for using blueberries.  I’ve been buying raspberries like crazy this year (yeah for low prices!!) and so I had raspberries on hand. I love that the fruit is not cooked for this glaze. You simply make a lemon syrup and then toss the berries in it. The syrup gives them a wonderful sweet tang that would pair well on any breakfast or dessert that berries would be appropriate for.

So there you have it. The pancakes may not have been all that I was hoping that they would be, but the cheesecake and berries (great surprise!) made up for it.

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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Pancakes
Cheesecake Topping
Raspberries
Servings:
Instructions
  1. For the pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, whole milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Gently stir egg mixture into the dry ingredients do not over mix, lumps are okay. Over medium heat, pour batter onto a hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form, flip pancake and continue to cook until done. Serve with cheesecake topping and glazed raspberries. To make the cheesecake topping, beat cream cheese on medium speed with a handmixer until soft and fluffy. Add brown sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon continue to beat at medium speed until well combined. On low speed, add Cool Whip just until combined. To make the glazed raspberries stir powdered sugar, water and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until mixture boils vigorously, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in berries.
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Homemade Corndogs

corn-dogsJust after I posted about making homemade ketchup (the best!) and I talked about my boys devouring it with corndogs (the frozen kind), my friend Kristy sent me a link to Chef in Training and her recipe for homemade corndogs.  She suggested I should try them.

I have to admit that I was a little bit leery at first.  You see, I tried making homemade corn dogs about 5 years ago and it wasn’t a good experience.  The batter wouldn’t stick to the hot dog.  I have visions of a giant mess with batter all over the counter, flour everywhere and corn dogs with hardly any breading on the outside.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted to try them again but I decided to face my fear and give this recipe a shot.  I read through some reviews on allrecipes.com to see if there were some tips on how to make the batter stick.  I found some helpful things and this time making corndogs was a much better experience.

AnneOpinion

My main concern was having the batter stick to the corndog.  I did two things to help this.  First, I made the batter and then put it in the refrigerator for an hour to chill.  The second thing that I did was to pat each of the hot dogs completely dry with a paper towel.  I was very pleased to find that these tips worked!  I had no problem with having the cornbread batter stick to my hot dog. Whoo-whoo!

The other tip I learned is to pour the batter into a tall slender glass and then dip the hot dogs  (on their sticks) into it.  This is the most effective way to have the coating even over the whole hot dog.

I chose to use honey instead of sugar because I like the flavor that the honey brings to the breading, but sugar would also work just fine.  I also used half regular milk/half buttermilk. This is not necessary but I liked how thick the buttermilk made the batter. Regular milk would work for the whole thing.

These corn dogs were very good and the coating with nice and thick, but not too thick.  The only complaint that I had was that the outside stayed softer than I wanted.  I like it when there is a “shell” or crust on the outside.  This didn’t have that.  Beyond that texture complaint, everything about it was great.  We really liked the flavor.  I think that if you follow the tips that I gave, you can enjoy homemade corndogs too, which my son kept trying to call “nutritious and delicious.”  I told him “you got it half right!” 😉

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Homemade Corndogs
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Homemade Corndogs
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder. Add milk, honey and egg to the bowl and whisk well. Place the batter in the refrigerator for an hour to chill. Fifteen minutes before your hour is up, heat oil in a large pot on stovetop until it reaches 350 degrees F. While oil is heating, pat hot dogs dry with a paper towel and insert wooden skewers into hot dogs. Pour batter into a tall slender cup. Dip a skewered hot dog into batter until completely covered. Cooking 2-3 corn dogs at a time, cook in oil until golden brown in color, about 3 minutes. Set on paper towels once cooked to drain off any excess oil.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Chef in Training and Allrecipes

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

cinnamon-roll-cakeMy friend, Vanessa, asked me to make a Cinnamon Roll Cake for her daughter’s birthday.  Her little girl is not a fan of cake, but adores cinnamon rolls.  Vanessa found this cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction on Pinterest and forwarded the pin to me.  I had seen it before but had never looked into making one.  I decided I’d better try it before the actual “birthday cake” was needed, so I tried making it a couple of times.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make.  Sally had some great tips in her post and I discovered some things that helped me.

AnneOpinion

cinnamon-roll-cake2This is made just like a cinnamon roll until the assembly time begins.  When rolling the dough flat it is very important to use a ruler and measure a 12×15 rectangle.  You will also want to keep the ruler handy (warning: it will be food on it!) for measuring the 2 inch strips.  Having the strips the same size will help with the cinnamon roll looking uniform in height.  That said, I still have never had mine end up looking completely uniform on the top.  Sally suggests taking the cake out during the baking process and pressing raised areas down gently with a spactula to give the top uniformity.  I like the beauty of the imperfectness that mine has so I have not done that.

The first time I made one I left a two inch space at the top where I didn’t put any butter or cinnamon sugar, just like I would do with regular cinnamon rolls.  This turned out to not be necessary and I liked it better the next time when there weren’t spaces where there was less cinnamon sugar.

Sally says to loosely roll up the first strip and she means it.  I even rolled it loosely, then unrolled it and tried it again two more times, rolling it as loose as I could.  You want room for the roll to expand as it rises and if it is rolled too tightly it will rise up instead of out.  If you would like to see step by step pictures, click on this link.

I decided that I liked making this in a 9 inch spring form pan best.  That way you can take off the sides and have a beautiful giant cinnamon roll.  So fun!

I preferred a cream cheese icing on my cake.  I’m sure that the maple/vanilla glaze that Sally used would be amazing too.

I think the thing that I loved the most was the ratio of inner cinnamon roll yumminess to the crust.  On a regular cinnamon roll you have lots of edges (unless you’re the lucky dog that gets the center one) and with this cake there is only a little bit of edge on the outside.  Even better for me, 9 out of ten times when I’m having a piece, a kid will come and ask for some and I pawn the outer edge off on to them.  They’re happy that I gave them some and I’m happy because I only enjoyed the best part.  Don’t you love it when everyone is a winner?

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Cinnamon Roll Cake
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Servings
12 pieces
Servings
12 pieces
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
12 pieces
Servings
12 pieces
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch (30 seconds-1 minute.) About 115-120F degrees. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Form a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover tightly and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough will slightly rise. After 30 minutes, roll the dough out in a 15x12 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Brush a 9-inch spring form pan with melted butter. Set aside. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it in the center of the pan. You're rolling it up loosely so the dough has some give as it rises. Coil the remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large rolled cake. Some of the filling may spill out as you pick up the strips, but I just sprinkled that on top of the cake after I was finished spiraling. Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap or a damp teal towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes. (Mine only took 60 minutes, but I live in Arizona where a warm room is never a problem. 🙂 After the cake's dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the ring of the spring form pan. Cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar together. Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cake. Cake is best enjoyed the same day, but will remain fresh covered tightly for up to 4 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion- from Sally's Baking Addiction with slight changes

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Churro Mini Muffins

churro-muffinsI had a thought last week.  It was a simple thought really.  I thought that I should do a recipe this week for Cinco de Mayo next Tuesday.  It’s big here in Arizona and I think that it might actually be against the law to not eat Mexican food on that day. Just kidding, but in all seriousness, I love holidays that I can center my food around.

I decided that instead of a salsa or dinner recipe, like enchiladas, I wanted to do something for breakfast.  We are huge fans of churros around our house so I thought that a muffin that tasted like a churro would be perfect.  After doing a brief search on Pinterest I found a recipe for Mexican Honey Puffs on Blackjack Bakehouse that looked like they would be exactly what I wanted.  Better yet, the recipe was reposted on 4 other blogs!  Normally I see this as a sign that the recipe is going to be good.  So I got to the grocery store and picked up my club soda (the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand) and got to making my Honey Puffs.  And they were….ok.  The outside was great.  It had a nice crisp shell that the cinnamon sugar clung to, but on the inside, I was not a fan of the texture and it tasted eggy.  I haven’t made anything that tasted that eggy since I received my lifetime ban from making lemon bars from scratch when I was 12 years old.  (After trying the recipe a half a dozen times, my mom forbid me from ever trying again; and I haven’t)  So back to the puffs, I had a couple of ideas on how to make them not taste like a cinnamon covered egg biscuit, but after two more tries, I still was not impressed with the results.

Then inspiration hit me, and when I say inspiration I really do mean that I had said a prayer for help and it came.  I remembered a simple muffin recipe that my friend Amy gave to me many moons ago.  It is a plain muffin that you can add whatever fruit or spices that you want to it.  I decided to combine the two recipes and miracle of miracles, I love the results.  I’m so excited to be able to share with you a recipe that my family and I love and not just tell you about one that didn’t work out.

AnneOpinion

You read the temperature right.  These babies bake at 475 degrees.  You need the temperature that high to get the outside to the right crispness.  The club soda is in the recipe because it also helps the outside get that light, crisp crust that we are looking for.

I wouldn’t make these as full size muffins.  That would throw off the ratio of cinnamon sugar to muffin.  You have been warned.

The original recipe had you dip the muffins into the cinnamon sugar right away and it stuck to the muffin marvelously.  Unfortunately, with my new recipe, I did not have this result.  The muffin had a little bit stick to it, but not a coating, like a churro would have.  That’s when I decided to bring in the melted butter.  My Paula Deen training has taught me that anything can be made better by adding a stick of butter or cup of mayo, or in this case melted butter. 🙂 By quickly covering the muffin in the butter, it then has a thick coat of cinnamon sugar when it comes out of the mixture.  Perfection!

These muffins would be great for breakfast or for dessert, or as an office treat to share, but only if you want everyone talking about what an amazing baker you are!

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Churro Mini Muffins
Print Recipe
Servings
20-24 mini muffins
Servings
20-24 mini muffins
Churro Mini Muffins
Print Recipe
Servings
20-24 mini muffins
Servings
20-24 mini muffins
Ingredients
Servings: mini muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Grease a 24 cup min muffin tray. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and 1/3 cup of sugar. Add oil, egg, and club soda water to the mixture and whisk just until combined (it's ok for there to be lumps). Fill muffin cups to 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Melt butter in a bowl the size of a cereal bowl. Combine second 1/3 cup of sugar with cinnamon in a paper bag or gallon sized Ziploc bag. After 5 minutes is over, dip each muffin quickly in butter and place in cinnamon sugar. After half or all of the muffin are in the cinnamon sugar, seal the bag and shake it so that all muffins are coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Serve with honey, if desired.
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Neapolitan Chocolate Crepes

crepes1I am very excited to finally get this post up today!  It has been in the works since before Valentine’s Day when my husband brought home a recipe from the newspaper for crepes and suggested I do a post on them.(I love how he’s always thinking of me 🙂 )  First I had to try out the recipe and it was perfect!  I love these chocolate crepes.

crepes2 Next, I needed to work out the fillings and that is what has slowed down this post. I now have three different crepe fillings that each are amazing in their own right.  The wonderful thing about all three of the flavored whipped creams is that they all are simple to make.  No using a double boiler or tempering eggs like is required in traditional mousse recipes.

As you know, the strawberry cream took a while for me to figure out.  I’m so happy with the final results of it.  You can click on this link to find the recipe.

The article also had a recipe for a hazelnut mousse that I was super excited to try.  It called for hazelnut paste, which I had never used.  I tracked some down and tried out the recipe and it was good, but the nutella mousse that I made for mini trifles I thought was just as good, a lot easier to make and cost less to make.  So, after all of those points in the original recipe’s favor, I saw no point in using the new recipe.  If you are a fan of hazelnut and chocolate, this is a guaranteed winner.

The final filling in our trifecta is coconut whipped cream.  I really cannot say it enough.  I love this whipped cream!  Coconut+ Chocolate=YUM!  Here’s the details on how to create this sophisticated and impressive dessert that is always a hit.

AnneOpinion

The chocolate flavor in these crepes is very mild.  They are light and tender and perfect for breakfast/brunch, a bridal shower, baby shower, or dinner party.  You can have a fancy “Build your own Crepe” bar with different fillings and toppings.  I used coconut whipped cream, strawberry whipped cream, and nutella mousse. (click on the links to find the recipes)  I garnished the tops with toasted coconut, grated hazelnuts, and powdered sugar.  Chocolate syrup is also great drizzled across the top.

When I first learned to make crepes I would put all of the ingredients in the blender, turn it on, and cook the crepes.  Since then I learned a few things to make my crepes better.  First, I have you strain the ingredients twice when making these crepes.  Once to make sure and get the lumps out of the dry ingredients and once to make sure there are not lumps in the batter.  I have you do the first one because cocoa can have a tendency to have lots of lumps and I want to lose as little cocoa as possible when we strain the batter the second time.

You will want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to let the batter rest for at least 1 hour.  This will give the gluten time to relax and will result in a lighter, more airy crepe.  If you plan on making them for breakfast, making the batter the night before and putting it in the refrigerator will make cooking them in the morning a breeze.

Cooking crepes on both sides is a personal decision.  I grew up cooking crepes on only one side, my husband insists that they be cooked on both.  I now cook ours’ on both sides because the second side only takes about 5 seconds to cook and it’s that important to him.

I’m including a video with a demonstration of “How to cook crepes;”  If you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated.  They really are fairly easy.  Hopefully the video will help you feel comfortable enough to try.

post-closer

 

Chocolate Crepes
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Crepes
Servings
8 Crepes
Chocolate Crepes
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Crepes
Servings
8 Crepes
Ingredients
Servings: Crepes
Instructions
  1. Measure flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt into a strained and sift together into a bowl. Wisk in milk and egg. Pour ingredients through a strainer to remove any lumps. Stir in butter and vanilla. Let rest for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Spray with cooking spray and pour 3 tablespoons of batter into the 11 or 1 o'clock position of the pan. Off heat, rotate the pan until the batter covers the pan. Cook until the edges curl and the batter has turned dark, about 40 seconds. Flip the crepe and cook another 5-10 seconds. Stack cooked crepes between sheets of parchment paper, if not being eaten immediately. Serve with strawberry, Nutella, or coconut cream. Garnish with powdered sugar, grated hazelnuts or powdered sugar. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion, recipe from The Crepe Bar

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