Kerry’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonroll

 

I’ve tried lots of cinnamon roll recipes, but Kerry’s is the best!! And the easiest!! This is what we eat every Christmas morning.

1 cup boiling water

3/4 cup butter
3/4 sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup warm water

Boil 1 cup of water and add butter, sugar, and salt. Let sit and cool until luke water. In a separate bowl, add yeast and luke warm water. The water needs to be warm enough to activate the yeast but not too hot, which would kill the yeast. Let sit until bubbly. Add eggs and yeast mixture to the cooled water/butter/sugar/salt mixture. Then mix in flour, 3 cups at a time. Dough should be somewhat wet. Refrigerate and cover overnight.

The next morning, roll out dough. Smear generously with softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Roll up and slice. Place rolls in a large baking dish, bake at 350 until golden brown on top.

Cover top with a cream cheese frosting or powdered sugar frosting and serve!

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Kassidy’s Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Kassidy made these cookies for me once – I was hooked! A delicious alternative to regular cookies. These are great because they are vegan, plus gluten & dairy free!

 

Update:  I increased the almond flour by 1/4 cup and added a scoop of pureed pumpkin.  Cookies were much more “cookie” like, meaning they held their shape better and consistency was good!  Pumpkin flavor was very slight and almost unnoticeable.

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 agave nectar (I use a bit less honey)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (73% cacao or higher)
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, cashews, macadamia)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Directions:

Preheat over to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate, nuts, and coconut.

Spoon the dough 1 tbsp at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, pressing down with the palm of your hand to flatten, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then serve warm.

Gluten Free “Paleo” Pumpkin Bread

Fall is in the air! Ok, no, it’s not. Here in the San Francisco bay area, fall is about 2 months away. But we can pretend! I harvested my butternut squash from my garden a few days ago (woohoo!), roasted it, and decided to cook up some fall. This is a fun recipe from Elana’s Pantry because the sugar content is low and there is no refined flours. Gluten and Dairy free!  I found this bread to be light and fluffy – unusual to find for almond flour baking.

Instead of stevia, I used a bit more honey. You don’t need to use a food processor if you don’t have one.  I just mixed by hand!  Cook in a mini loaf pan if you want the bread to form a “loaf” like shape.

Picture Credit thanks to Elana’s Pantry

Pumpkin Bread

  1. In a food processor combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices
  2. Add pumpkin, honey, stevia and eggs and pulse for 2 minutes
  3. Scoop batter into a mini loaf pan
  4. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes
  5. Cool for 1 hour
  6. Serve

Blackberry Mint Popsicles

Andrew made these today from the website It’s Me Charlotte and they were delectably full of flavor! Bonus – coconut water is a great hydrator! Dare I say these are almost good for you?

{Wild Blackberry Mint Popsicles}

Serving size: 10 regular sized popsicles

{Ingredients}

  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2-2.5 TBS raw honey
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1.5 cups coconut water

{Directions}

  1. First mince the mint leaves. I did this with my food processor. They should be finely chopped.
  2. Next, either using your food processor or blender, puree the fresh blackberries with the mint. I just added the blackberries to the food processor and pureed with the mint.
  3. Next, add juice of 1 lime and 2-2.5 TBS raw honey to mixture and blend or process until well combined.
  4. Add 1.5 cups of coconut water and blend again.
  5. Taste mixture in case you want to make any last adjustments.
  6. Pour mixture into popsicles mold and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  7. Enjoy!

Andrew’s Blog Worthy Ultimate Banana Bread

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I’m laughing a bit while I type this, because Andrew has been making this amazing banana bread for years – and for whatever reason I just haven’t found the time to put it on Reliable Recipes. He jabs at me for fun that it isn’t “blog worthy”, but it indeed is! Let it get the acclaim it deserves!

In all honesty though – this is not a healthy good for you recipe. It’s naughty. You’ve been warned.

Makes one 9-inch loaf

Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas in this recipe. This recipe can be made using 5 thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer. Do not use a thawed frozen banana in step 4; it will be too soft to slice. Instead, simply sprinkle the top of the loaf with sugar. The test kitchen’s preferred loaf pan measures 8½ by 4½ inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes earlier than advised in the recipe. The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 3/4cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled (see note)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts , toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  • 2. Place 5 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have ½ to ¾ cup liquid).
  • 3. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  • 4. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Slice remaining banana diagonally into ¼-inch-thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1½-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
  • 5. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

TECHNIQUE

  • DO THE RIPE THING

    Don’t even think of making banana bread with anything less than very ripe, heavily speckled fruit—unless you’re fine with a bland loaf. As bananas ripen, their starch converts to sugar at an exponential rate. In lab tests, we found heavily speckled bananas had nearly three times the amount of fructose (the sweetest of the sugars in fruit) than less spotty bananas. (The exact percentage will vary from fruit to fruit.) But the impact of ripeness only goes so far: We found little difference in sweetness between loaves baked with completely black bananas and those made with heavily speckled ones.

  • SIL_Banana_LightlySpotted_htc.jpgTOO SOON
    1.8% FRUCTOSE
    A lightly speckled banana has only a little fructose, the sweetest sugar in fruit.
  • SIL_Banana_HeavilySpotted_htc.jpgJUST RIGHT
    5.3% FRUCTOSE
    A heavily speckled banana has a lot more fructose.

TECHNIQUE

  • WHO KNEW? BANANAS HAVE JUICE

    Typical banana bread contains just three pieces of fruit. Here’s how we upped the number to five without turning the loaf into pudding.

  • STP_BananaBread_018_htc.jpg1. EXTRACT JUICEMicrowaving ripe bananas for 5 minutes causes them to release “juice.”
  • STP_BananaBread_031_htc.jpg2. STRAIN IT OUTAfter straining the bananas, you should have 1/2 to 3/4 cup of liquid to work with.
  • STP_BananaBread_036_htc.jpg3. REDUCE THE JUICEReducing the banana liquid yields a concentrated liquor, intensifying flavor without making the loaf wet.

TECHNIQUE

  • SHINGLE YOUR LOAF

    ILO_ShingleBananaBread_1of1.jpg

    Layering thin banana slices on either side of the loaf adds even more banana flavor to our bread (and brings the total number of bananas in the recipe to six). To ensure an even rise, leave a 1½-inch-wide space down the center.

 

Laura’s Cocoa Bites

 

 

My friend Laura brought these bites to our play time yesterday and they have been on my mind ever since. She sent me the recipe, so it’s a must have on this site. Great gluten free, protein packed snack. When I make them for myself, I will see what they taste like with less sweetener … will update!

Laura’s Cocoa Bites:

equal parts of the following- i.e. 1 cup each, 1/2 cup each depending on the size batch you desire

peanut butter: (almond butter, or whatever you prefer),
honey: (agave nectar, your preference, a combo of the two is nice too),
Cocoa powder
protein powder (vanilla or chocolate, whatever you have on hand or prefer).

Mix until it makes a play dough like consistency. Add cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips, whatever. Roll into small balls. Roll ball in flax meal, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, whatever to coat and keep from sticking to other balls. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Its a weird and fun recipe because you can basically doctor it and adjust to meet whatever taste you like, more or less of any ingredient as you wish!

Salted Carmel Chocolate Cake

I am usually one to say that a boxed cake really is just as good as a homemade cake. And I can say that, because I’ve made quite a few homemade cakes that take forever to put together and rarely are worth their effort. I was usually right – box cake was better.

UNTIL NOW.

When Andrew and I both took our first bite of this masterpiece that he created for my birthday, we had no words. Our eyes said it all. Gooey homemade carmel. Rich dark chocolate icing. Moist deep dark chocolate layers of cake … oh my. Seriously, we were giddy with excitment. We had to share. We sent cake to the neighbors. We ate more cake.

Yes, this one takes a ridiculous amount of time. Expect hours in the kitchen … but then expect to have a party in your mouth. A rockin’ party where only the cool kids are invited. No boxed cakes allowed.

See Recipe here!
http://www.marthastewart.com/857647/salted-caramel-six-layer-chocolate-cake

Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps

 

 

I made these tonight and they turned out great! Here is why I chose this recipe:

1. I’m not a planned cookie baker, so when every recipe I found for ginger snaps required chilling the dough for 2 hours, I was bummed. But this one allows you to cook immediately!

2. These cookies use butter instead of shortening or oil. I prefer to bake with butter for health reasons.

3. I’ve been wanting to experiment with using whole wheat pastry flour in baking … and voila! A great way to give it a try. Couldn’t tell these were “whole wheat”.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup molasses
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 cup white sugar for decoration

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, and then the molasses. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, heaping the measures if you like a lot of spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture just until blended.

3. Roll the dough into small balls, and dip the top of each ball into the remaining white sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are cracked. Bake longer for crispy cookies, less time for chewy cookies. Cool on wire racks.

Andrew’s Hot Cocoa

 

 

 

Many nights, after the kids are tucked away in bed, you’ll hear this conversation in our home:

Me: Let us sit (collapse) on the couch and watch (Downton Abby/30 Rock/ThatNetflixMovie)! And (added smile and knowing look) won’t you pretty please make your special hot cocoa that I love so much?

Husband: But of course my love.

(isn’t he great?)

Cooks Illustrated Hot Cocoa

Serves 4 in small mugs

Why This Recipe Works
Our ideal hot cocoa recipe would give us serious chocolate flavor and a rich, satisfying consistency. We found that 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder sweetened with 1 tablespoon of sugar added enough chocolate flavor to our hot cocoa recipe without being overpowering. Many recipes recommend mixing cocoa powder and sugar with a little water before adding the milk, and we found this to be worthwhile. Water has the effect of releasing the cocoa powder’s fruit, chocolate, and coffee flavor nuances. We also discovered that heating the mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and water for two minutes before adding milk further deepens the flavor.

If you want to increase or decrease this recipe for hot cocoa, the key ratio to remember is one and one-half tablespoons of cocoa and one heaping tablespoon of sugar per cup of liquid. If you have whole milk on hand rather than low-fat, go ahead and use it, omitting the half-and-half.

Ingredients

6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, measured by dip-and-sweep

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch table salt

1cup water

3 cups low-fat milk (1 or 2 percent)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup half-and-half

Instructions

1. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, whisk together cocoa, sugar, salt, and water over low heat until smooth. Simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes, making sure whisk gets into the edges of pan.

2. Add milk, increase heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally with whisk, until steam rises from surface and tiny bubbles form around edge, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not boil.

3. Add vanilla and half-and-half. For foamy cocoa, beat hot cocoa with hand mixer or transfer to blender and blend until foamy. Divide between four mugs, top with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired, and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Graham Bread

We had some leftover graham flour in our cupboards – back from when Andrew made his own graham crackers (delicious!), so when I saw one of my favorite food blogs post this bread, I had to give it a try. Plus one look at Ashley’s beautiful photos of this treat, and you’ll be scouring your pantry for the ingredients too! I actually think I prefer this pumpkin bread to my previous one, primarily because it has a heartier texture and flavor. The chocolate chip pumpkin bread is awesome too, but with all the white flour it feels a bit processed at times. Either though are an excellent choice!

Pumpkin Graham Bread

Not Without Salt

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup Graham flour (whole wheat flour could be substituted)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch white pepper (optional)
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup olive oil (or other neutral oil)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
¼ cup seeds/nuts (I used sliced almonds and sunflower seeds but you could use anything really)

Preheat your oven to 350*F and butter a loaf pan.
In a bowl combine the flours, salt, brown sugar, baking soda and spices with a whisk.
In another bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, honey and water. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and top with seeds, nuts and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar (regular sugar is fine). Bake about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Turn out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack.