Orange Cardamom Rolls

I have made these for the last couple of years for our New Year’s Day donut party, and they are one of my favorites.

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast

In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over water and allow to dissolve.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom* (grind the cardamom fresh if you can)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt

Heat over medium, stirring occasionally until butter has barely melted. Remove from burner and cool to warm.

When yeast has dissolved, add to mixer:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • Warm butter mixture

Mix on low to combine well, then add

  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour

Mix until dough is able to pull away from sides of mixer. The dough will still be quite sticky; do not add too much flour.

Mix with dough hook on low 4 more minutes. Grease a large bowl and allow dough to rise 1 1/2 hours (should about double in size).

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Make a paste. (It’s really messy, but I use my hands. You could also use a mixer, I would think.)

Split dough in half. Roll first half into a 9- x 20-inch rectangle. Spread half the filling on the dough (it goes farther than it looks like it will), then fold over to form a 9- x 10-inch rectangle. Roll a little flatter, then cut into 12 strips.  Twist the strips into knots (just wing it like I do, or watch a YouTube video. Jason literally tied knots). Set on baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest 15 minutes.  Repeat with second half of dough and filling.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

(Remove plastic wrap, though I hope that’s obvious.) Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (or so) until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest and juice from 1 orange
  • (milk or cream or water)

Mix together and add additional liquid 1 teaspoon at a time to adjust consistency. Brush glaze over rolls.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

cranberry christmas cake

Definitely a recipe to hang on to, this cranberry cake is a winner. Subtle, tart, buttery and sweet, it has a crust on top that makes it a textural delight. Perfect to pair with a cup of coffee at the end of a holiday, or even during a brunch. Delicious.

Ingredients

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
12 oz fresh cranberries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread in a buttered 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting into small slices. I cut mine into fairly small pieces, about 1″x2″, so that they could be easily eaten at a party. Enjoy!

Apple Bread

applebread

This recipe from Genius Kitchen is just what you need for a cozy fall (or winter—it’s snowing here!) day. It’ll warm up your house, your heart, and your belly. Yum. I’ve tweaked the recipe some, so refer back to Genius Kitchen’s page for the original. This yields two loaves, as all good quick bread recipes should.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups diced apples (large dice is nice), no skins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon flour

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, salt and baking powder together.

Beat eggs and add sugar and oil. Add vanilla and dry ingredients. Stir in apples.

Mix walnuts in a tsp of flour and add to batter. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Waffle Donuts

Yummy little bites that look like waffles and taste like donuts. Win win.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour

for the topping (I had to make this twice for one batch of waffle donuts):

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, and melted butter and beat well.
  3. Stir in the 3 cups of flour, mixing well until it is thoroughly combined. You will have thick, sticky batter.
  4. Pre-heat your waffle iron.
  5. Place a teaspoon of batter in the middle of each waffle part (my waffle iron has 4).
  6. Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the donuts and place on a cooling rack.
  8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping.
  9. Dip the waffles in butter, shake off, then dip into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Saffron Buns for St. Lucia’s Day

nmb

I made these saffron buns (original recipe here) for our impromptu St. Lucia’s Day celebration this year. They were fairly easy to make (setting the alarm to get out of bed and let the dough rise was the worst part), and they were very tasty. I was pleased to read that although they are traditionally served on St. Lucia’s Day (December 13), they are also served throughout the Advent season. Perhaps in years to come, we can make the celebration more authentic by having Clara serve us the buns in bed.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or 1 package)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or quark if available)
  • 2 large eggs
  • raisins

Glaze

  • 1 egg, beaten
Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, saffron threads, and 1 teaspoon sugar until the milk begins to steam. Remove from heat and let cool until it’s still warm to the touch but no longer hot (about 3 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk in the saucepan and let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk mixture, eggs, butter, and sour cream or quark. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Knead the dough. You can do this by hand, but the dough hook of a stand mixer works well. Slowly add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, kneading to incorporate after each addition. Do this until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands when you handle it.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. (Note: if you are going to let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, this is when it goes in.)
  7. (Take the dough out of the refrigerator and) Let the dough sit in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  8. When the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down and knead it a couple of times. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide (about the size of a golf ball). Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long. Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  9. Let the dough sit for a second rise. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes to an hour.
  10. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the beaten egg over the tops and sides of the uncooked buns, and place the raisins in the center of the spirals.
  11. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes until the buns are golden brown.

Simple Irish Soda Bread

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we made Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is super simple — no kneading involved. (It is not, however, authentic–true soda bread has only flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.) Ian (age 5) helped me mix it up. Each time I added an ingredient and asked him to stir it in, he said, “You want me to put it under the flour too?”

My kids (and husband) are iffy on the add-ins. Sometimes they are a hit, but mostly not so much. I had some unsweetened dried cherries that I stirred into half the loaf after it was in the loaf pan. I read somewhere that the dried fruit makes it Spotted Bread (and not traditional Irish Soda Bread). I liked the addition, but I was right to make it to only part of the loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions:

1. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda) together in a large bowl.

3. Add the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter and put them under the flour (erm, stir until all the ingredients are moist).

4. Add raisins or dried fruit if you’re using them and stir just until blended.

5. Pour batter/dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins with Browned Butter and Bourbon

This may be my favorite thing I’ve ever baked. I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin something something, so today inspired by my friend Lindsey’s Facebook status (that she was making banana bread with browned butter and bourbon), I combined several recipes, including the pumpkin spice latte, and came up with something new — and pretty great, if I do say so myself. 

  • 1/2 cup butter (browned)
  • splash bourbon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (generous) cup pumpkin puree (1/2 can)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (1/2 bag) cinnamon chips (Hersey’s brand are the only ones I’ve ever found)

Directions:

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the splash of whiskey to the browned butter and allow the alcohol to burn off (< 1 minute).
  4. Beat sugars and browned butter in large bowl to blend.
  5. Mix in egg and pumpkin.
  6. Mix in flours, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, garam masala, cloves, baking soda, salt, and baking powder, just until combined.
  7. Add cinnamon chips.
  8. Bake as mini muffins (about 24), about 12 minutes. (You could also make regular-sized muffins or a loaf.)