Archive | October, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

29 Oct

Leapin’ lizards, it’s been a while, eh folks?  It’s been busy around these parts lately, especially with preparations for Halloween!  A couple of my friends and I are taking our cue from the Rocky Horror Picture Show for our costumes.  I’ve wanted to do this for YEARS, and it’s finally come to fruition!  Hopefully we’ll get some sweet pictures tonight, then I’ll be sure to post them.  Because Rocky Horror is sort of related to baking/cooking/food?  Meh, when something is that awesome, it’s perpetually relevant to everything.  Moving on…more pumpkin!  As you may remember, one of the first few posts I did was for Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls, another delicious fall breakfast treat.  These are every bit as delicious, although they weren’t quite as pumpkin-y as I had expected.  Ughhh, I guess that means I’ll have to try another recipe and make some more.  Life is so unfair.

So pretty!  So yummy!  I made these on a particularly busy and important day.  That is why, sadly, there is only one picture.  But I think it showcases the awesome-ness quite well.  That day, my mom came to visit, bringing my birthday present (which you will be seeing as soon as I take some pictures and actually use it…) and, drum roll please……..my new wheels!  That’s right people, I bought myself a vehicle!

Now I only have to pay it off for 4 years!  Wheeeee!  Being a grown-up is fun.  It’s a Ford Escape, and I’m having a little trouble naming it (well, “him”).  The first name that came to me was Fernando, but then Alejandro sounded fitting (thanks, Lady G).  Then I thought, “you can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape my love”…uhhhh helloooo, Enrique?  Keeks?  Golly gee, I can’t choose.  Opinions would be appreciated.  Sweet grandmother’s spatula, I need to get back to that recipe!!!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Source: Java Cupcake (this blog rules…wait till you see the ridiculous recipe I’m making for my birfday from this site…)

Yield: 12 rolls

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Rolls:

1/3 cup milk
2 T. butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups flour

Filling:

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 T. melted butter

Caramel Frosting:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 dash salt
3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. In small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter just until warm and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast.

2. Add half of the flour to pumpkin mixture. Beat mixture on low speed 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly.

3. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Spray a surface with cooking spray or turn onto floured surface. Knead a few turns to form a smooth dough, sprinkling with enough additional flour to make dough easy enough to handle. Roll dough into 12×10 inch rectangle.

4. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut roll into 12 1- inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, in greased 11X17 inch square baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan to waxed paper-lined wire rack. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Caramel frosting. Makes 12 rolls.

Caramel Frosting:
In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk.

Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium low heat 1 minute.

Transfer to small mixer bowl and cool mixture. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more confectioners’ sugar for desired consistency.

Butter Queen’s Notes:

  • The dough is super soft, which is a good thing!  Just be careful not too add too much flour when you’re kneading and rolling so it stays soft.
  • I didn’t end up measuring the filling, I just put a crap ton (it’s a technical measurement, look it up) of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in there and rolled it on up.  I know I definitely used more filling than the recipe calls for, but that’s the best part of a cinnamon roll!
  • At the last second, I noticed I had a little leftover cream cheese just hanging out in the fridge (pumpkin and cream cheese are made for each other), so I thought I’d make a cream cheese frosting instead.  Again, no measurements, I just threw together some cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup, mixed it up to the right consistency, and voile!  It was pretty darn good.  I’ll definitely try the caramel frosting next time, though.
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Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze

20 Oct

Didn’t I tell you there would be more pumpkin in your near future?  This was my very first attempt at scones of any kind, and I was surprised at just how simple they were to make!  I finally got myself one of those fancy-pants pastry cutters, and these gave me an opportunity to use it.  I can’t believe I didn’t get one sooner…WAY better than using a fork!

I made these for a lovely fall road trip I took with a couple of my friends last weekend, which included A&W (ughhh), mini bottles of wine (double ughhh), and a trip to a pumpkin patch complete with a hayride.  So much fun!

Anyway, back to these scones!  Being a first time scone baker, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but since they turned out so fabulously, I think I will be trying lots of other versions in the near future.  The only issue I had with the original recipe was the glaze(s).  There is supposed to be a spiced glaze that gets brushed on top of the scones, followed by a drizzle of powdered sugar glaze.  I guess my spiced glaze didn’t have enough milk…it wouldn’t really “brush” onto the scones.  It more or less glopped onto them.  So, since it was late and I’m lazy and didn’t feel like going to the fridge to get the milk and make it work, I just put it in a sandwich bag, snipped off the corner, and drizzled a pretty design on top.  I’m glad I did, because these things looked fancy!  Also, I didn’t have ginger or cloves like the original recipe calls for, so I just used cinnamon and nutmeg.

This is yet another recipe from the always fabulous Brown Eyed Baker.  Love that blog.  Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients:

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 T. granulated sugar
1 T. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
6 T. cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 T. milk
1 large egg

Spiced Glaze:

1 cup + 3 T. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

4. To make the spiced glaze, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).

 

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling and Streusel Topping

17 Oct

Continuing with the fall themed goodies, I present these lovely muffins.  They’re moist, creamy in the middle, crunchy on the top, and, of course, pumpkin-y!  I only made a quarter of a batch (6 muffins) to feed three of us, which left me with three more for me to “taste test” before I gave them to the other two people.  I mean, I can’t serve muffins unless I know they’re perfect and delicious, right?  RIGHT?!

See that beautiful streusel?  The original recipe adds pecans to it.  I am lazy and didn’t feel like going to the store decided the muffins would still be great without pecans.  While I was absolutely right, next time I will definitely use pecans to take it to the next level!  These are pretty quick to make, and you can even prepare the cream cheese filling in advance (well, at least two hours, but I had it ready a few days before I made these).  Next time, in addition to the pecans in the streusel, I will also add a touch of cinnamon to the cream cheese filling to up the pretty factor.

Y’all ready for these???  I hope you can find pumpkin in the stores! It’s been a bit of a hunt for me, but I decided I’d better stock up.  Get ready for more pumpkin recipes coming your way.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling and Streusel Topping

Source: adapted just a teense from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract

Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 T. unsalted butter, melted

Muffins:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup + 2 T. vegetable oil
½ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Make the Cream Cheese Filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and stir to combine. Form the mixture into a 12-inch log on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it, and freeze it for at least two hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

3. Make the Streusel: In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Set aside.

4. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

6. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently combine the batter, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

7. Remove the cream cheese from the freezer, and divide it into 12 1-inch slices.

8. Scoop a small amount of batter into the muffin cups. Place 1 slice of the cream cheese log right in the center of each cup, then fill with the remaining batter.

9. Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin. Press on the streusel lightly to make sure it adheres to the batter.

10. Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let them come to room temperature before serving, or warm briefly in the microwave.

Peanut Butter M&M Chocolate Cookies

11 Oct

Yippeeeeee it’s October!  Boy, do I love fall.  Time for pumpkins, apples, gorgeous leaves, cooler weather, scarves, boots, sweaters, scary movies, corn mazes, obscene amounts of Halloween candy, Halloween itself, costumes, my birthday right around the corner…can you tell it’s my FAVORITE time of year?  To kick it off, I finally got around to baking with Halloween candy.

Now.  We all know that Peanut Butter M&Ms are the mother of all things M&M (although I’ve yet to try the pretzel ones).  Pick out all the non-fall colors, and you’ve got one amazing bag of candy.  Pretty much five minutes after I got back from Target with my goodies, I randomly came across a recipe for chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips.  Then it took about two seconds before I put two and two together: I’ll throw in my M&Ms instead of peanut butter chips.  Best idea of the day.  Apart from actually buying the M&Ms.  And a solo champagne and raspberry picnic under a lovely yellow tree in the park with a good book.  Did I mention how much I love fall?

These things are super yummy.  The only gripe I had is that they didn’t flatten out when I baked them.  If you’re a little OCD like I can sometimes be, shape them into discs instead of scooping them, which will give you a better cookie shape.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter M&M Chocolate Cookies

Source: adapted just a teense from All Recipes

Yield: 24 regular size cookies, 48 mini cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups Peanut Butter M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the Peanut Butter M&Ms. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool on wire racks.
Butter Queen’s Notes:
  • Like I mentioned, if you don’t want ball-shaped cookies, shape the dough into discs.  It doesn’t really spread out like cookies normally do.
  • Mine were done at 8 minutes, almost too done (I like them a little gooey), so keep a close eye on them.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Almond Oatmeal

6 Oct

Is there anything better than a hot, delicious, satisfying breakfast on a cold morning?  Probably not.  The days here have been unseasonably warm and amazing this past week, but I had to purge my fridge of apples before going to the orchard (sooooon!).  Oatmeal was definitely the way to go.

The best part about this recipe is how ridiculously versatile it is.  You can pretty much toss in any fruits (dried or not), nuts, and/or seeds you want.  I’d even like to try a savory version and a peanut butter-chocolate chip version (or pumpkin!).  The original recipe called for apples and raisins, but since I had no raisins and wanted to up the protein content, I added almonds instead.  They added a nice crunch to the oatmeal, and the protein helps keep you full even longer.  Yippee!

Baked Apple Cinnamon Almond Oatmeal

Source: Smells Like Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon, to taste (feel free to use whatever spices you’d like)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving (honey would be good, too)
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 apple (any kind), peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw, unblanched almonds (or other nuts…or leave them out)
  • 2 T. flax seeds (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease or spray a 2-quart casserole dish with either butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, the melted butter, and the vanilla.
  3. Place the diced apples in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the apples, then cover the fruit with the oat mixture.  Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the milk as evenly as possible.  Bake the oatmeal for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the oats have set.
  4. Remove the oatmeal from the oven and serve hot with more maple syrup (or honey).

 

Fluffy, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

3 Oct

Seeing as it’s fall and all, I’ve taken to using the crockpot a lot.  Yipes, there was far too much rhyming going on in that sentence.  Moving on.  So far I’ve made a pot roast with carrots and potatoes and some Irish lamb stew in that amazing little appliance.  Those are almost meals in themselves…allllmost.  I needed something on the side, and let’s face it, a wimpy salad just ain’t gonna cut it.  Oh wait, I know…carbs!

Ah yes, my one true love.  If only carbs would just love me the way I love them, all would be right in the world.  Sigh.  Oh well, let’s get to the recipe.  Just look at those gorgeous flaky layers!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Source: every so slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker (my very first and very favorite food blog!)

Yield: 12 (2-inch) biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
¾ cup cold buttermilk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Place the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Whisk together or process with six 1-second pulses.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips to quickly cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps. If using a food processor, remove the cover and distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with twelve 1-second pulses.

4. If making by hand, stir in the buttermilk with a rubber spatula or fork until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball. If using a food processor, remove the cover and pour the buttermilk evenly over the dough. Process until the dough gathers into moist clumps, about eight 1-second pulses.

5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and quickly form into a rough ball. Be careful not to overmix. Pat the dough into a ¾-inch-thick circle. Cut out the dough rounds with a biscuit cutter. Push together the remaining pieces of dough, pat into a ¾-inch-thick, and cut out several more dough rounds. Discard the remaining scraps. Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake until the biscuit tops are light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

* Note 1: If you don’t have cake flour on hand, substitute an extra cup of all-purpose flour and increase the buttermilk by 2 tablespoons.

* Note 2: Once the unbaked biscuits are placed on the cookie sheet, the sheet can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

Butter Queen’s Notes:

  • The original recipe calls for 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup cake flour, but since I only had all-purpose on hand, that’s what I used.  They were still awesome!
  • I don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter, but I found that the lids (technically called bands) from home-canned goods work quite well, as you can see above.  I’m sure a drinking glass would work as well.
  • Cutting in butter with a fork or a couple knives is a pain, and I would recommend getting a pastry blender/cutter.  I just got one a few days after I made these biscuits.  This could mean trouble.
  • MAKE SURE you roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness and no thinner!