Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

And hello again to you too! I have been a busy bee lately, unfortunately not doing what I love, but here I am. Up at 6am with a sad five year old, and the next thing I know I am piping my batter into the doughnut pan. Thanksgiving is upon us and who would I be if I didn’t take full advantage of my passion for pumpkin?!

I have been trying to make a great tasting doughnut that isn’t too unhealthy and that a glaze will set on. Pumpkin is very oily, which is why it can be a great substitute for oil! BUT, if you plan on baking the doughnuts, you need to make sure you use the right ratio of pumpkin to everything else ūüėČ Otherwise you will have one hell of a time trying to dust or ice your delicious breakfast (or anytime) treat!

For this recipe I baked my doughnuts and made sure to watch them very closely in the oven so they did not bake too long and end up dry and just plain old icky!

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Here is what you will need…

  • 1/2 C. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C. Pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 3/4 C. All Purpose Flour

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 1 C. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. ¬†Milk

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease doughnut pan(s).
  2. In stand up mixer beat together melted butter ( slightly cooled ), eggs, and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add sugars, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix until combined well.
  4. Remove bowl from stand up mixer and fold in baking powder and all-purpose flour. Do not over mix the dough.
  5. Transfer dough from bowl into pastry bag. (If you do not have a pastry bag use a gallon size zip-lock bag and cut the corner off). Pipe the dough into the doughnut pan and smooth tops if necessary.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 – 17 minutes.
  7. While doughnuts are baking prepare glaze. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together and mix until very smooth. If you feel like the glaze is too thick add 1/4 tsp. of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  8. Allow to cool for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, glaze your little heart out! Take each doughnut and dip the top in the glaze. Allow the excess glaze to drip off before returning it to the rack.

These are a greatly delicious treat to enjoy with coffee or milk or with bacon! I am one proud mama today!

Please enjoy, and as always…..

Happy Baking!

Honey Oatmeal Cookies

So…. my poor yet amazing boyfriend has been in the hospital for a week and let me tell you, hospital “food” is not only depressing it is disgusting! After sitting in the ER on a very hard wooden chair for 13 hours, then sleeping on a very hard chair next to his bed in his hospital room, then sleeping on the hard cement floor in the waiting room…. I was hoping for at least a hot cup of joe. Of course, after a week of hell, it would be crazy to have even that. I ended up with a¬†slightly warm cup of sludge and a questionable pastry. It was enough to make me cry. Well, cry more that is.

I stayed by my man, like any good woman would do, but I was suffering too! We finally came home the other day, and I was hungry, sad, happy and worried all at the same time! So… I just wanted to make myself some comfort food. What says comfort like oatmeal in cookie form? I love oatmeal raisin cookies and I love honey. The simple idea of baking them lifted my spirits and gave me the energy to take care of my still very sick boyfriend. It was just what the doctor ordered!

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So, here is what you will need…

  • 1/2 C. Butter, softened
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2¬†C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • I large Egg
  • 3 Tbsp. Honey
  • 3/4 C. All purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C. Old Fashion Oats
  • 1 1/2 C. Raisins

Here was my process…

  1. In your mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until mixture is smooth.
  2. Add spices, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Mix on a low speed until combined.
  3. Beat in Egg and Honey.
  4. Add flour and mix until combined.
  5. Add oats and raisins and mix until your dough forms. About 2 minutes.
  6. Cover tightly and chill for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once the dough has chilled, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment. Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheet. Cookies will spread out, so make sure to leave  2 inches between cookies.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.

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Enjoy these super chewy cookies at breakfast, or lunch or really whenever you feel a little bit down. I’m telling you, after a week in the hospital watching the person you love suffer, these cookies will be like a giant hug for your soul.

Happy Baking!

Mom’s Carrot Cake

Hello all! The miserable humidity of summer has finally given way to the cold crisp air of Winter. I can finally bake without dying in my kitchen, and once again the holiday season is upon us… and I am inspired. Candy, cookies, bread and cakes! This is the best time of year, and the most fun in the kitchen. Tis the season for Butter.

For my comeback recipe I present you with my mothers Carrot Cake. It is simple, moist, delicious and elegant.This is the perfect fall or winter cake with so much flavor packed in it is hard to believe there are no secret ingredients. I do enjoy an element of surprise, but that might be best left in other areas of the house… ūüėČ

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So, what you will need…

  • 2 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1  1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs, well beaten
  • 2 C. Carrots, peeled and finely grated

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 Stick Butter, softened
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 lb Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cake pan and set aside.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add Vegetable Oil, Eggs and Carrots*Make sure to beat the eggs very well and to peel and finely grate the carrots.
  4. Mix all ingredients until very well combined and pour into prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 – 35 minutes or until cake tested comes out clean.
  6.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. Combine all ingredients for the frosting in mixing bowl. For the best and the fluffiest frosting use and electric mixer!

This cake is delicious and addicting. It is great for every occasion and you can dress it up any way you could ever dream of. This cake is as moist as cake could get without falling apart… it is a cake fit for the angels.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a cake. ūüėČ

Happy Baking!

Honey Cinnamon Doughnuts w/ Brown Sugar Glaze (low fat!!!)

I was trying to think of the perfect Father’s day treat, and I had a few ideas, but I wanted to do something special. So, I thought of the things my dad enjoys, and Honey was right at the top of that list. And who doesn’t like a doughnut?! So, I took the ‘love of Honey’ idea and turned it into a delicious baked treat.¬† This is a masculine doughnut with bold flavors, yet light in consistency and low in fat. Win win!

And just like with anything else that is sweet, a little bit of honey goes a long way!

So, you will need…

  • 1 c.¬† Whole Wheat Pastry Flour ( makes a more tender doughnut)
  • 1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey

* I used the cinnamon sugar butter from the popover recipe to “grease” the doughnut pan.Just for a little extra pizzazz.

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease doughnut pan with cinnamon sugar butter.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk, and set aside.
  3. Combine eggs, buttermilk, Canola Oil and honey in another bowl. Whisk until mixture is foamy.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Put dough into a pastry bag and pipe into each doughnut form until half full.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10  minutes.
  7. At 7 minutes, brush tops of doughnuts with cinnamon sugar butter.
  8. Remove from pan and let cool completely before glazing.
  9. While the doughnuts are cooling, you can whip up the glaze. I used 1/4 C. Brown Sugar, 1/4 C. Confectioners Sugar and added 1 tablespoon of Milk at a time until I got the consistency that I wanted.

These are a low fat doughnut so make sure to have at least two! They are light and not too sweet, and sooo easy to make.

Happy Baking!

Popovers w/ Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Finally! I love Popovers and I am always referencing them… so… ta da! Here they are. I stuck to my fail safe version, nothing fancy. The key to any Popover is making sure that the eggs and the milk are at room temperature. Helps keep them all light and fluffy, the way they are meant to be!

We were having grilled¬† BBQ chicken and a green apple, blackberry and spinach salad for dinner. I felt that the lack of carbs would leave a huge hole on my table. Normally I wouldn’t care, but it is just that kind of week ;).

I wanted to eat bread without feeling like I was really “eating bread”. How perfect are Popovers for that feeling?! They are literally hollow. So, I whipped up some cinnamon sugar butter and that was that. Honestly, the cinnamon sugar butter complimented the complex flavors of the BBQ chicken. Really, you ought to try it!

So, you will need…

  • 1 C. All purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 C. Whole Milk, room temperature

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare popover pan or muffin pan. Lightly grease the sides and dust with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together, the eggs, butter and milk until well blended.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a wooden spoon just until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each tin half way full, and bake at 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
  6. At 30 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes until tops are a rich golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven, pierce the side of each popover to allow the steam to escape.
  8. Serve as quickly as possible!

For the cinnamon sugar butter, just let butter reach room temperature and hen add a dash or two of cinnamon and a dash or two of sugar. mix until well blended. I usually take jam or honey with my popovers, but this felt like a fun thing to do. I love eating fun food!

So, next time it is time for a cook out at your house and you want to keep things “light”, take out that popover pan and give it a whirl. You just can’t go wrong!

Happy Baking!

Cinnamon Sugar Bagels

I wanted something kind of different and easy for Easter breakfast, so I thought a play on cinnamon sugar toast would be nice. Maybe classing it up a bit by making bagels…. and they were great. I used my same recipe from before, just added cinnamon and sugar instead of blueberries or herbs. They were so delicious served warm with a little bit of butter on them. They almost tasted like a cinnamon roll with cream cheese! I decided to not do the classic Cinnamon Raisin bagels because I don’t like them, and I feel like they take away from the elegance of the cinnamon sugar bagel. The Cinnamon Sugar bagel is a classy bagel, with poise. It would wear Prada if allowed!

So, you will need…

  • 2 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/4 C.¬† warm water (add more water if needed)
  • 3 1/2 C.¬† bread flour (will need extra for kneading)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar

Here was my process…

  1. First I took 1/2 a  cup of the warm water and poured it into a small mixing bowl. Then I added  in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. I let it sit for 5 minutes,  then I stirred the yeast and sugar mixture until it all dissolved.
  2. In a large bowl, I  mixed the flour and salt. I made a well in the middle of the flour and poured in the yeast and sugar mixture. Then I added half of the remaining warm water into the well. I stirred the ingredients together adding the remaining water as I needed to, and more if necessary. You want the dough to be moist and firm after you have mixed it.
  3. Add Cinnamon and sugar and mix well.
  4. On a floured countertop, I kneaded the dough for exactly 10 minutes until it was smooth and elastic. (Try to work as much flour in as possible while kneading to form a firm and stiff dough).
  5. I  lightly brush a large bowl with olive oil and turned the dough into the bowl making sure to coat the dough with the oil. Then I Covered the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, The dough should in size. I punched down the dough, and let it rest for another10 minutes.
  6. I divided the dough into 8 pieces, relatively the same size. I rolled them into nice, neat balls of dough. Then I put flour on my very clean finger and poked the ball of dough! I made a hole in the center of each adorable ball , hence the bagels shape. I carefully stretched the hole I had made out to about 1/2 and inch or so, again,it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to taste good.
  7. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, I covered them with a damp kitchen towel and allowed them to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I preheated my oven to 425 degrees.
  8. For the next step I brought a large pot of water to a boil and immediately reduced the heat. I used a skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. I put 4 in at a time and turned after 2 minutes and boiled for another 2 minutes. This makes for a chewy delicious bagel. If you prefer a less chewy bagel, boil for 1 minute on each side. Then remove from water and place on slightly oiled baking paper on baking sheet.
  9. I baked them for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.

These are great tasting, and it proves that you can use one recipe a hundred ways. You can have any flavor bagel your little heart desires!

Happy Baking!

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffins with Cinnamon-Vanilla Glaze

This is my own take on the Pumpkin Muffin. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie because of its texture, but I love the flavor. This is a muffin that tastes like a spiced pumpkin pie, and the glaze adds a cupcake feel that is just plain fun! The glaze is optional of course, but my muffins are less sweet than usual so the glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness.You can heat them up and enjoy with vanilla frozen yogurt for dessert, with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or just in the mid afternoon for a nice snack. No matter when and where they are always delicious.

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Here was my process…

I like to roast my own sugar pumpkin to bake with. But a can of pumpkin can be so much easier! If you are roasting the pumpkin set the oven to 350 degrees. Split the pumpkin and scoop the “guts” out. (Roasting the seeds to put on the muffins is always great). Place split, seeded pumpkin cut side down on baking sheet, cover with foil and cook for 90 minutes.Remove pulp of pumpkin and then puree in a blender. You will need about 2 cups of pumpkin puree. If you are using a can, you will need one 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree.

Next I mixed the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl I blended the pumpkin puree, eggs and veggie oil until well blended. Then mix the puree in with the dry mixture until a smooth batter forms.

Once mixed spoon into prepared muffin pans. I personally love to use parchment paper liners. They look great and it is more interesting than the regular cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

While they are in the oven you can start on your glaze. Its simple. Just take 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix it until it is smooth and just like that, you have your glaze.

Once the muffins have mostly cooled, drizzle glaze over muffins. You don’t need much, and there is no right way to glaze these awesome little bites of heaven.

So, you will need…

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin or 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups flour (I use half all-purpose and half whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups white and brown sugar mixture
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
    • Cinnamon Glaze:
    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 Tbsp milk¬†

Happy Baking!

Tasty Banana Bread

If you were to ask me what the perfect breakfast is, I would tell you that it is a warm slice of banana bread and a cup of coffee. Banana bread is one of those classic baked goods that is so easy and tasty, it is hard NOT to make it. There are so many variations of this classic goody, but I stick true to the real ingredients of it… minus my one little spin of adding cinnamon.

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Here was my process…

First I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Next I mashed together 3 ripe bananas. (There is no need for a mixer with this recipe. It’s nice to get back to the roots of cooking every once in awhile!) Melt 1/3 of a cup of butter and mix it into the banana mash. Add in 1 beaten egg and 3/4 of a cup of a mixture of white and brown sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt and mix. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour (any kind you want! I use either all-purpose or banana flour) mix well.

Lastly, pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 loaf pan or into muffin molds. Bake for 1 hour.

That is it! It is literally that easy to make the best breakfast on earth… for me that is! Its rich and delicious, and it melts in your mouth. I serve mine up with a tiny bit of butter, but is just fantastic naked.

So, what you will need…

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

This is truly a MUST try.

Happy Baking!