Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cinnamon Bun Cookies


Soft Buttery goodness rolled up with cinnamon deliciousness.
A lovely cookie!


My roll did not turn out as tight as it should have but it still tasted wonderful...it helps if you watch the video on how to make a rolled cookie log. I didn't do it until after the cookies came out of the oven.  That's what I get for being so impatient!  Watch the video! 

cinnamon bun cookies


INGREDIENTS

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE CINNAMON SMEAR

5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE GLAZE

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars, salt, zest, and vanilla together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating well to incorporate.
Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour, mixing until just barely combined.
On a sheet of wax or parchment paper (whatever your preference), roll the dough out to approximately 12" square (or more if you want to get more spirals – see my comment above). When it comes time to roll into a log, the paper makes it easier to lift the edge and handle the dough.

MAKING THE ROLL

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all of the cinnamon smear ingredients and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes.
Spread the cinnamon mixture on top of the rolled out cookie dough.
Roll the dough into a log shape. Once you get an edge started rolling by just folding it over slightly, you can simply lift the paper edge and use it to guide the dough to continue rolling. There's a video here that shows what I mean about lifting the paper edge to create the roll. The ends of the log will likely be a bit gappy, so you can just smoosh them in to form a flat edge. The first slice from each end will not have the pretty spiral, but there won't be any wasted dough.
Wrap the log in plastic wrap or the parchment paper you used to roll it out and gently squeeze the log to ensure there are no air pockets inside. You can then roll the log a few times to smooth it back out if necessary.
Transfer the dough to the freezer for at least 15-20 minutes, until firm.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the dough log from the freezer and using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4" slices. Give the log a quarter roll after each cut so it doesn't develop a flat edge from constantly pressing on the same side.
Transfer the cut slices to your prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 12-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until they’re lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cookies from the pan and allowing them to cool completely.

GLAZING THE COOKIES


Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and whisk together. Add additional water if it seems too thick. Using a pastry brush, apply a thin coat to the top of each cookie. Allow to sit at room temperature to dry completely
Yields approximately 4 dozen cookies

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Baked Sunday Mornings





Okay, okay I know I said I wouldn't be back until May 24th... but I just had to bake something for my coworker who is leaving this Saturday.  
I know she likes chocolate chip cookies, so I think she would like these cupcakes.  This is suppose to be a cake, but when I bring something to work I like to make it into easy and manageable portions...so cupcakes it was!  
I did have some batter left, so I made a small 
cake ( hubby will be happy again!) 


This cake is from the Baked Exlorations cookbook.  I missed this one too for some crazy reason or the other.  They describe it as a coffee cake that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie.  I can't say if it does because I have not tasted this one.  (Still juicing...4 more weeks to go!) It looks like a snack cake to me, very much like a carrot cake texture and crumb.  
It looks damn good!

 
The oatmeal that goes in the cake not put in dry, you hydrate it with boiling water and melted butter....oh my!  I love butter in my oatmeal.  That right there made me more hungry than anything else!  Anyway, the oatmeal is added to an egg mixture with the sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Then the flour is added in.  You put vanilla over the chocolate chips and give it a mix, then sprinkle on a little flour and get them all nice and coated. ( I learned this trick from the Barefoot Contessa with the Outrageous Brownies...it is so the chips don't sink to the bottom!) The coated chips are added to the batter.


These are really easy to make.  I baked my cupcakes for 20 minutes and left the cake in for another 10.  The frosting is just your typical cream cheese frosting.  They say you can opt to not frost the cake if you want, but I can't pass up cream cheese frosting...that's just not how I roll.  I made some chocolate chip cookies for decoration.  
I think they look pretty good!  

Recipe is here

The group is making a buttery pound cake with a salted caramel glaze....Oh my!  The sounds so sinfully good.  


Until next time,
Be sweet and Enjoy!


Everyone loved this cake!  I took a taste and yes, it is a keeper! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones: Baked Sunday Mornings



Every Easter we go to my sisters house for Brunch and I make scones.  The Baked group is scheduled to make a delicious sounding coconut cake this week so I just had to go rogue because cake, as good as it sounds doesn't fill the bill!  So I scoured through the past Baked recipes that I did not get a chance to partake in and I found these scones.  They are from the Baked Elements cookbook and I remember wanting to try them...not sure why I didn't, but it gave me the perfect excuse to bake them up for Easter.  And so I did!  Everyone enjoyed these yummy treats.  I will definitely add them to my favorite scone recipes!


The recipe only makes 8 scones but I made them smaller because I make two or three kinds then everyone can taste them all.  I only made two kinds this year, the other was a lemon blueberry scone which was delish also!



The oatmeal scones were your typical scone recipe with oats, brown sugar, chocolate chips and chunky peanut butter added to it.  Get the recipe here.
You really should try it...so easy and so delicious!

If you are curious to see what the other bakers did with the Coconut Cake...well, just take a peek here

Until next time,

(Which will be awhile....I am on one of my infamous juice fasts and I am taking it all the way into May.  I will be back for the Red Wine Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Glaze....
How good does that sound!!!)

Be sweet and Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fudgy No Butter Brownies: ABC


The Avid Bakers are getting their challenges from Scientifically Sweet a beautiful baking blog by Christina Marsigliese.  This is my second bake from her recipes, while I was disappointed with the lemon loaf, I was very hesitant to try this recipe not only because of my first failed attempt but because this recipe although it has no butter it has a ridiculous amount of sugar!  I was intrigued because these brownies are made with almond flour so they are gluten free but the 2 cups of confectioners sugar really turned me off.  Well, I love brownies so I thought that I would give it a shot.  I really thought that I would add less sugar 
but I decided to follow the recipe as written. 



Yes, these brownies did turn out very dense and fudgy which I liked.  I even liked the little bits of almonds throughout the brownies from the almond flour, but I should have followed my instinct...these are way too sweet!


I won't be making these again. I wasn't as disappointed with this recipe as I was with the lemon loaf but there was way too much sugar and I missed the butter. Sorry...nothing can beat Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies.  

I will try the next recipe...Brown Butter Banana Bread.  Sounds delicious.  
We will see!

Until then
Be sweet and 
Enjoy!


Fudgy No-Butter Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Scientifically Sweet
Makes 16 brownies

2 cups (300 g) icing/confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup (56 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
200 g (about 2 cups) ground almonds/almond meal
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white
2 tbsp water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz (about 2/3 cup) best quality dark chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate, plus extra for topping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges of pan.

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add almond meal and salt and stir to combine. Add whole eggs, egg white, water and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. The batter will be thick. Stir through bittersweet chocolate.

Scrape batter into your prepared pan, smooth the top and scatter extra chocolate over top. Bake until a shiny crust forms and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist sticky bits, about 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool slightly. For neat slices, let cool completely before slicing.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Key Lime Cheesecake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Key Lime Macarons



I can't believe it is my Mom's birthday already.  This year has just flown by and it seems like I just make the decadent chocolate cheesecake for her 86th birthday.  Well here we are again...my Mom's birthday and I always make the cake. She loves cheesecake and I know that she loves key lime pie, so is there a better thing to make than a Key Lime Cheesecake?  
I think not!


This recipe had a wonder key lime glaze on top that really added to the flavor of this cheesecake.  And of course, since I have been trying to perfect my macaronage I made Key Lime Macarons to decorate the top!!  I nestled them in the mascarpone whipped cream.
Heaven!






I used fresh key lime juice...zesting and squeezing those little buggers is time consuming, but I think it tastes better.  I also put almonds in my graham cracker crust...that's just the way I roll.




This cake was hit!  Everyone loved it. 
Happy 87th Birthday Bebe!
Love you to the moon!

Until next time..
Be sweet and enjoy!



Key Lime Cheesecake 
recipe adapted from Food Pusher.com
  

Ingredients:
Crust
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, ground
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Filling
  • 2 1/2 sticks (20 oz. total) cream cheese at room temperature

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons key lime juice
Glaze (adapted from Creative Culinary)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons key lime/lime juice
Topping/Garnish
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • Sliced key limes/limes
Directions:
Crust
Mix graham crackers, melted butter, and sugar in a medium bowl or plastic bag. Pour into a 7-inch spring form pan that's been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully spread crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and press firmly all over.
Filling
Put a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil on the bottom and up the sides of the spring from pan as a protective barrier to keep the water from getting into the cheesecake. I also like to put my pan into an oven-proof plastic turkey bag (top open) and then put it in the water bath, just to ensure I don't get a soggy cheesecake.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large shallow pan filled with 1 inch of water into the oven to create the water bath. 

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer), beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually beat in the sugar, sour cream, flour, and vanilla until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and lime juice and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 

Pour the cheesecake filling into the spring form pan. Place the pan into the water bath in the oven. After 8 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, or until filling is puffed, set, and light brown. Remove from oven and from the water bath, and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled to room temperature, take the foil off, put a paper towel over the pan, and then cover with the foil (you can use a new piece of foil, but reusing is just as good).  Refrigerate overnight.

For the glaze, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, and lime juice in a small pan. Mix until smooth. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes. Cool/chill until cool, but not set. 
Glaze
Pour cooled glaze into the center and spread evenly with an offset or rubber spatula. Refrigerate until glaze is cold and firm. 
Topping
Place the mascarpone cheese in mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attatchment, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar until incorporated.  Add heavy cream and whip on high until stiff peaks form.Pipe whipped cream around the top of the cheesecake, Garnish with lime slices. 
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes about 8 servings


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Light & Lemony Jelly Roll with Raspberry Cream Filling: Baked Sunday Mornings




With the baking luck I have been having lately, I was a bit hesitant to try this recipe.  The last lemon recipe I did was a huge disappointment, but normally, all the Baked recipes I try end up to be a success.  This was no exception.  I have to say that this is the first time I have made a jelly roll.  I was quite surprised with the quick bake time of the cake and how easy it all was to put together.  Yay!  A good recipe and good result!  That makes my heart sing!



The brightness of the lemon complimented the raspberry cream perfectly.  The cream filling is delicious and not overly sweet.  The cake was light and moist and flavorful.  I was a little bit afraid that the zests of 5 lemons would be too much, but it wasn't at all overpowering.  It was just perfect!


Another beautiful dessert that could be used for your Easter 
dinner and one that is not at all hard to prepare.
It looks like Spring time and tastes so fresh and light it would be 
the perfect end to any meal!  This one is going over to my Mom's house.  It is her 87th birthday tomorrow and I am bringing this along with a 
Key Lime Cheesecake.



This one gets 2 big thumbs up from me!  Please take a look to see what the other bakers did here.  And of course you want to make this!  
Get the recipe right here!

Next in the oven for the Baked group is Easter Coconut Sheet Cake.  I probably won't partake in that one...or perhaps I will go rogue 
and make something else!

Until next time...
Enjoy!
Have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

ABC: Lemoniest Little Lemon Loaf....NOT!



Perhaps it was the gluten free flour I used but I this loaf was dry and not lemony at all!  It tasted like cornbread with just a hint of lemon flavor to it.  I was extremely disappointed in this one!   

The Avid Baker Challenge bakers are cooking from Scientifically Sweet, and quite frankly, I have not yet been impressed with the recipes.  But again, I did use gluten free flour instead of just all purpose flour so that might be the reason for the dryness, but I used just as much lemon as the recipe called for and I didn't get a huge lemon flavor at all.  The the other bakers seem to have been pleased with the flavor and this recipe.
All I can say is.....Meh!

Oh well, hopefully the brownies will be better!
Next up is Fudgy No Butter Brownies.

Until next time
Be Sweet!
and Enjoy,