Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Bourbon Glaze

Glazed cinnamon rolls

I’ve done something terrible. And by terrible, I mean ridiculously awesome. I’m sorry to torture you with this when there you are (probably), comfortably not thinking about fresh cinnamon rolls, ooey and gooey with their decadent cinnamon filling, slathered with a coffee bourbon glaze, and turning your kitchen into the smell of a heavenly bakery with that beautiful yeasted dough.

Oh boy, I really went off there…can you tell I’m in love? Seriously guys, these came out of the oven around 6PM yesterday and promptly turned into dinner….a three bun dinner. I regret nothing.

Rolled yeast dough

This feels like a “I’m sorry/you’re welcome” kind of recipe. …Keep reading!

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Browned Butter Coffee Cake

It’s been a wonderful start to fall! I hope yours has been equally magical.

I’m finally settled into my new place in Nor Cal. Hooray! I’ve started an amazing job working crazy hours in a bakery. I’ve been exploring my new city, and I’m LOVING being back in California.

…I can’t stress that enough. I’ve lived all over the world, and nowhere makes me feel more at home than this state and the wonderful people here.

Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Also, I’ve made fast friends with my roommate’s cat, Cliff…he’s pretty adorable and very snugly, so he’ll be making the occasional appearance on here. I hope you’re cool with cats. Either way, you’d be cool with Cliff, promise.

In addition to cat, fall has been filled with late night croissants, the glorious return of my yellow bouillabaisse pot out of the depths of packed boxes, a beautiful new kitchen, and browned butter. Butter. Browned. Until it’s nutty and turns into dreams.

Best Coffee Cake recipe

I had a craving for butter coffee cake recently, and decided it would be silly to

Keep reading…

Cheddar Biscuits

Biscuits. Cheddar biscuits.

Cheddar Biscuit Glory

I’ve been on a warpath lately – luckily for you (and my roommates) this warpath is filled with fierce love, cold butter, and lots of shredding on a quest for my perfect cheddar biscuit. Through all my baking adventures, my mom always says, “If you only master good bread and biscuits, you’re set. Everyone will love you.” When it comes to these biscuits, I think I’m well on my way. Man, I hope my future husband isn’t gluten intolerant. That would be a deal breaker huge hurdle. “No bourbon” would also be a problem, but I suppose I can always make an Old Fashioned for one.

Biscuits used to scare me. I don’t know why, but I think it had something to do with all the fuss over the size of the butter and the speed at which you incorporate it into the dry ingredients so your hot little hands don’t melt the dang butter. I’m here to tell you, don’t be a scaredy cat like me – jump in the biscuit dough, the butter’s fine! …or something like that.

Biscuit Dough

Fast to come together and no rest or rise time, biscuits are a dream bread. They successfully masquerade as breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Sweet or savory? It’s a choose your own adventure sort of bread once you’ve mastered the basics. My great aunt made a mean biscuit, but this recipe works as a great base biscuit (just leave out the cheddar…although that seems foolish).

If you have the same fear of

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Bourbon Ginger Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramelized Pears and Sour Cherries

Bourbon Bread Pudding

Is everyone aware of Rusty the red panda? He’s the adorably cheeky redheaded escape artist at the National Zoo – and I’m in love. It all started with the tremendously amusing media coverage he got during his escape, “He left no note, no tracks and no clues. But Smithsonian National Zoo officials believe Rusty the red panda, who decided Monday was a good day to get out and take in the sights, may have used overlapping, rain-heavy tree limbs and tall bamboo as a bridge to the outside world.” (Don’t worry; said limbs have since been cut back.)

Though this online quiz tells me that my spirit animal is a hummingbird (which actually makes sense – apparently the hummingbird generally symbolizes enjoyment of life and playfulness, as well as adaptability), I’ve decided that the red panda is my spirit animal.

Aside from the fact that I take no stock in this sort of thing, it’s fun to have one. Shockingly, You’re wondering how this will relate to bread pudding. Keep reading…

Pancakes, Chocolate Cake, and Biscuits, oh my!

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Coming to you live from a humid back porch in Florida, I have a few of my favorite old blog recipes for you! Since I’m always making one new recipe a week, I rarely remake recipes, so this week provided the perfect opportunity for me to revisit some for my family’s sake….They always look at my blog from afar, so it’s not often that they get to sample my cooking these days. Like these guys – Gpa and mi hermano :)
Gpa and hermano

I did manage to make two new recipes this week: Butter Pecan Cookies and Joy the Baker’s Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. They were a welcome addition to my Christmas cookie line-up for both my family and for Santa – particularly because they come with an ice-cold glass of homemade eggnog (made with four different liquors ;)
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I made my famous Buttermilk Pancakes for our annual Christmas Eve pancake decorating contest. We used to use a boxed mix for the pancakes and we also used to go with basic designs that took maybe ten minutes to put together, tops. Needless to say, we’ve upped our game significantly…
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I also revisited the divine Double Coffee Chocolate Cake recipe for a Christmas dessert show-stopper! This cake is incredibly, seriously, insanely moist and the frosting makes it extra decadent. Hey, why not? It’s Christmas.
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And last, but certainly not least, I whipped up these wonderfully flakey and delicate biscuits for a big family breakfast this mornin! Because guess what!…I got biscuit cutters for Christmas. Woohoo! :D
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Enjoy these quality blog throw-backs! We sure did.

French phrase for fun:
J’ai fait du kayak avec les lamantins cette semaine!
I went kayaking with manatees this week!

P.S.- this is a real Christmas decoration in Florida. ‘Merica!

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

If only I lived in a place where the streets at Christmastime looked like they do in Germany or Strasbourg! Seriously, have you been there? I took a trip up to Strasbourg in December when I was living in France. It had just snowed, so the buildings along the river looked like gingerbread houses dusted with powdered sugar.

Strasbourg

Ornaments

Icicles hung beautifully from the roof; the city was twinkling with Christmas lights; the streets smelled of crisp pine. And then you walk through the Christmas markets – you feel like you’re IN a Christmas movie (my dream), and you get a big cup of mulled wine to warm you up while you peruse the wonderful ornaments and a hot pretzel to fill your belly.

…Don’t stop. Keep reading!

Orange & Toasted Almond Scones

You know what’s kind of rad?

Orange and almond scones

…bringing back “rad” and making these delicious beauties with ingredients purchased last minute at the drug store. Scones are made with basic pantry ingredients, and are easily jazzed up with almost anything you want to toss in there: dried cherries and dark chocolate? Yes. Blueberries and ginger? Absolutely. Bacon and oregano? …yes, but let’s just call that a biscuit.

 

And orange and toasted almond? Definitely. The proof is in the puddin. Well, scone. Side note: as I blog, I’m consistently realizing how many food idioms I use – that’s a good thing, right? This is much like the time I realized how many baseball idioms I use when I was living with a Brit :)  (Thanks Dad!) But I digress.

Orange and almond scones

I’m not always a great planner, and when I’m not super prepared, it’s a recipe like this that really saves the day. And ya know, it’s often the unexpected, last minute things that turn out to be the best :)

 

Here’s what I did:

Orange and almond scones

Orange and Toasted Almond Scones

*Feel free to substitute other ingredients for the orange zest, almonds, and almond extract! Let’s get creative.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Using the grater blade on your food processor or a cheese grater, grate:

-1 stick salted butter, frozen

Then using the basic flat blade on your food processor, pulse until breadcrumb texture is achieved:

-2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

-1 c. whole wheat flour

-3 tsp. baking powder

Pour into a large bowl. Stir in:

-4 Tbs. granulated sugar

-the zest of one orange

-a handful of almonds, chopped and toasted in a dry pan until light brown, cooled

Stir in with a wooden spoon until just mixed:

-1 c. low-fat buttermilk

-1 ¼ tsp. almond extract

Mix to a soft dough. It should be fairly wet and sticky, so you may need to add a little more milk. Turn onto a floured surface and gently roll out or pat down the dough. It’s important not to handle the dough too much so that it stays light and doesn’t get tough. I like to keep it fairly thick, about an inch and a half thick, but you do you. Cut the scones with a biscuit cutter or slice into wedges. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake on a buttered cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes. This varies depending on oven and thickness of scones, so start checking after 11 or 12 minutes. The tops stay quite pale looking. If you check the bottoms they should be lightly browned, so tip one up to check. Enjoy with whipped cream and jam for breakfast or an afternoon treat!

 

French phrase for fun:

Je vais à l’Ecosse et l’Irlande avec trois des meilleurs amis d’une fille pourrait demander de plus! Eeeeeeeeee!

I’m off to Scotland and Ireland with three of the best friends a girl could ask for! Eeeeeeeeee!