Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pumpkin Roll

AGAIN ANOTHER DELAYED POST. (I've been having issues with blogger, but they seem to be resolved.)

It is finally that time of year again, PUMPKIN TIME!!!! Alone, I do not care for pumpkin flavor all that much, but if you put it in something baked, it is to die for. This roll looks a lot harder to make than it is. It actually was quite easy and you could whip it up fairly quick. The hardest part about this cake is waiting for it to cool before you can eat it, looks so good.
I thought the maple flavor might be too much, but when it is all put together it works really well with the pumpkin flavors and isn't overpowering at all.
Recipe: Pumpkin Roll with Maple Cream Cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup pure pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan and line with parchment or waxed paper. Grease and flour paper and set aside. Lay out a clean, smooth kitchen towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Be generous with the sugar as this will keep the cake from sticking to the towel.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on medium high speed until pale yellow. Add pumpkin and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture on low speed until combined.
  6. Pour cake batter onto prepared jelly roll pan evenly. I gave the pan a few firm taps on the counter to help it level out.
  7. Bake for 11-14 minutes. I used a dark colored pan and my cake was done at 11 minutes. To test for doneness, gently press the center of the cake. If it is done it will spring back.
  8. Remove from the oven and invert the cake onto the prepared kitchen towel. Carefully peel away the wax paper.
  9. Starting from the short end of the cake, gently roll the cake up in the towel and allow to cool while you make the filling.
  1. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, softened butter on low speed until smooth.
  2. Add maple syrup and heavy cream and beat on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Carefully unroll cake and remove towel.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic food wrap.
  5. Refrigerate at least one hour.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. If you cake does happen to have some slight blemishes or cracks, this will cover them right up
Adapted from Lovely Little Kitchen

Snickers Salted Caramel Cake

OK I know, it is a bit of a delayed post seeing that Stuart's birthday was in June. But anyhow, enjoy the post.

I went into today knowing that I needed to start Stuart's birthday cake early because I found a recipe for what could be one of the prettiest and manliest cakes ever. There are a lot of layers to it, so I knew it would take a while to make. I will say, now after having made it, give yourself time.

I am happy to make it though. It is a birthday worthy cake as someone has said and I love trying to show my husband that I care in the little ways and I think this is one of them. It is just a cake, but a lot of love went into it. Happy Birthday to my charming Husband!! Enjoy!

Recipe: Snickers Salted Caramel Cake


For the Cake:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
2 cups sugar
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. course salt

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:
Additional salted caramel sauce
Chopped peanuts


1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Salted Caramel Sauce:Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You'll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that's okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F. (I didn't have a thermometer, but I waited for all the sugar to melt and thought it was a good color. )As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously.Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the course salt and whisk to incorporate. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You will have more then what is needed for this recipe so you can refrigerate the remaining sauce for up to 2 weeks. You'll want to warm the sauce up before using.

7. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it's not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

8. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

9. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

10. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Homemade White Pizza

Ok, sorry about the title. I could not come up with anything better without spelling out all the ingredients. Regardless I do believe the best part of this pizza is the white sauce I created. Toot Toot. :)

For some reason I got a bug up my ass (is that the right term?) to be busy all day. I made homemade strawberry jam, pizza dough, and snickerdoodle blondies. Everything turned out pretty good I must say. And while I was cooking my always busy husband finally took a day to relax. It is usually the opposite, but today was his day. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Pretty easy, a little time consuming, but worth it and rewarding.

Recipe: Homemade White Pizza

* 1/2 cup warm water
* 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)
* 4 cups flour
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 1/4 cup water, at room temperature
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Tbsp butter
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 ounces cream cheese
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 small onions, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 large handfuls spinach
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle the yeast over the top.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend.  Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture.  With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil.  Mix until a cohesive dough is formed.  Switch to the dough hook.  Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours. 

Press down the dough to deflate it.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball.  (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.)  Cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.

About an hour and a half before you plan to eat, thinly slice three small (or 2 medium/large) yellow onions. Saute the onions in a skillet over medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 2-3 minutes. The end result should be deep golden brown, soft, sweet onions. 

While the onions are cooking, slice the mushrooms. Take the caramelized onions out of the skillet and add the mushrooms, along with a pinch of salt and pepper and the dried thyme. There should be some residual oil in the skillet to cook the mushrooms, if not add a tad more. Cook the mushrooms until all of the moisture has evaporated away (about 10 minutes over medium heat).

While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the cream sauce. Mince a clove of garlic and add it to a pot with 1 tablespoon of butter. Saute over medium heat until softened (about 2 minutes). Next, add the cream cheese, sour cream, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Heat and whisk this mixture until a smooth sauce forms (about 5 minutes). 

Once mushrooms are cooked remove from pan and add spinach to pan. Saute for 1-2 minutes or until lightly wilted. Remove from heat.

Adjust the rack in your oven to its highest position and begin to preheat to 500 degrees. The dough at this point should be at least double in volume. Sprinkle it generously with flour and then scrape it out of the bowl and onto a floured surface. Pat the dough down into a circle about ten inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a large pizza stone  and stretch/press it the rest of the way out to the edges of the stone.

Spread the sauce over the surface of the dough with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and spinach over top. Finally, add the shredded mozzarella. Bake the pizza in the fully preheated 500 degree oven for 8-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. About 2 minutes before the pizza is done sprinkle with pine nuts.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cinnamon Twist Bread

This is almost the same as making cinnamon rolls except instead of cutting into rounds you slice and twist. Check it out, it is easy to make. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cinnamon Twist Bread

  •  2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast or 0.6 Oz
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  •  1/4 cup softened butter
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm milk and let it sit a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.
  2. Add the egg yolk, the melted butter, the flour and the salt, then knead the dough and shape into a ball.
  3. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, then cover and place in a warm space and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  4. Preheat oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough out to a thickness of 1cm.
  5. Spread the melted butter across all of the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  6. Roll up the dough, and using a knife, cut the log in half length-wise.

  7. Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed. Give a round shape, then transfer to a baking tray (buttered or covered with cookie sheet).
  8. Top the remaining butter and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit after 5-10 minutes to stop it burning. Top with icing sugar mixed with water if you want, just sprinkle some sugar, or eat it like this.
Tip: I found that the bake time was a little long and made it have a crisp crust. So depending on what you would like you may need to adjust the bake time. 

Cheese and Herb Dinner Bread

Here's to another shot at baking bread. Sometime I do good and sometimes I fail. I have now learned that yeast can go bad and last weekend I tried to make an apple cheese danish and it failed, super dense. I know feel that was due to the yeast not activating, whether that was an error on my part of old yeast, I don't know. This time around I used a different yeast, newer.

This recipe is super easy to make and really easy to work with. I lessened the flour because it seems every time I use the full amount of flour I have WAY too much. I omitted one cup of flour from the original recipe and that was perfect, because when mixing in the wet ingredients  I actually had to add bout 1/4 cup more lukewarm water to make the dough smooth, tacky, but not sticky.

I also feel this is an extremely versatile bread recipe. I have added cheese and thyme to one loaf and in the other loaf I did Parmesan mozzarella with garlic and kalamata olives. I really feel you could add whatever you wanted to this bread or leave it plain too.

So enjoy this starter recipe and get creative and experiment with additions!

Recipe: Cheese and Herb Dinner Bread

  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (can use all purpose, if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tsp. fine salt 
  • 5 Tbsp. white
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, about 95° F. (for even softer bread, use 1 cup water leftover from boiling potatoes, cooled)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. lukewarm buttermilk or milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter or vegetable oil 
Cheddar and Herb
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
    • 2 Tbsp cup minced herbs (I used thyme)
Parmesan, Garlic and Olive
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or about 2 tsp. minced fresh)
    • 1/4 cup diced kalamata olives

  1. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and sugar* together. (Tip: If measuring your flour in cups, without a scale, hold back 1 cup to add as needed later). *If you’re using honey or agave, add with the liquid ingredients instead.
  2. In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the water and buttermilk and whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Add this mixture, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients. Mix by hand or with a dough hook, until the mixture is combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Continue mixing the dough, adding more flour or water, as needed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, then form dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and either refrigerate for up to 4 days, or allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes). (*Tip: I like to use an 8-cup glass measuring cup, so it’s easy to see when it’s doubled by the markings).
  5. Note: If you have refrigerated your dough, remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake, to allow it to come to room temperature.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Dust each with a bit of flour and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 16 inches long.
  7. For the Cheddar and Thyme Bread: spread shredded cheddar and Thyme evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting with the shortest side, roll the dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.
  8. For the Parmesan, Garlic and Olive: spread the ingredients evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting with the shortest side, roll the dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.
  9. Grease two 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans and set aside. (I only had one, so I took one of the jelly rolls and rolled it like a snake and cooked in a cake pan.)
  10. Shaping: The following directions didn't make sense to me. I tried my own version and it didn't end up correct either. Experiment  your loaf doesn't have to look perfect. Directions from the original recipe  Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough down the center  lengthwise. Rotate each piece so that the cut sides are facing upward and place them side-by-side. Pinch together the farthest end. Keeping the cuts sides facing upwards as much as possible, place the right-side piece over the left-side piece. Straighten it up and then repeat, pinching together the end closest to you. If any cheese escapes, just place it back on top. Using a bench scraper or spatula, carefully lift the dough into the greased loaf pan. Repeat with the other dough log, then cover both with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough rises to about 1-inch about the side of the pans in the middle.

  11. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 45-50 minutes total, but after 25 minutes of baking, rotate pans front-to-back in the oven and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil, to prevent the top from over-browning. Bread should reach about 185° F. internal temperature in the center.
  12. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove the loaves to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brie and Jam Pastry Puffs

I am in love with Puff Pastry. This was one I threw together. I've seen similar appetizers and figured, simple as pie, and it was. Looking for a quick app to bring to any event, this is it. We here at the Grand Canyon had another ladies night, thanks to Lindsey. I think some really enjoyed these. I hope you do too.

The recipe I created uses nuts. I would suggest not omitting them because I did for half of the recipe and they didn't turn out the same. For some reason they stuck to the pan and the puff pastry wasn't cooked as well.

Recipe: Brie and Jam Pastry Puffs


1 1/3 sheets Puff Pastry
16 tsp Jam or choice, I used raspberry
16 small tsp sized slices brie
16 tsp chopped pecans
1 egg
1 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut 1 1/3 sheets of puff pastry into 16 equal sized squares.

Press squares into mini muffin tin. Lining the muffin holes. Place one tsp of brie, topped by 1 tsp jam, and 1/2 tsp chopped nuts, into each muffin unit.

Fold Puff Pastry over top and pinch together.
Once all puffs have been pinched closed, prepared egg wash. Mix egg with water. Brush the tops of puffs with egg wash.

Place on middle rack in preheated oven. Cook for approximately 20 min or until tops are golden brown and flaky. Enjoy.

Cinnamon Crown Bundt Cake

Number one of two baking projects this weekend. I chose to go with a Bundt (Pronounced B-oo-nt according to My Big Fat Greek Wedding mother. I love that movie.) This was really quite easy and I partially chose it because I had all the ingredients on hand, so I bet most of you would too.

This cake makes for a nice presentation and it tastes great with coffee. Make this on your next weekend for your lazy Sunday Breakie (Breakfast) or make it for a nice breakfast/brunch for others. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cinnamon Crown Bundt Cake


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • Confectioners sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Alternatively add the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour, mixing after each addition until combined. Do not over-mix. Pour half of the batter into the bundt pan.

In a bowl, stir together the nuts, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and applesauce. Add the mixture to the remaining half of the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.

Bake 55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cook cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert to remove cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired. Transfer to a serving plate, slice, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from