Upside-Down Caramel Apple Rolls

So I have an indecent amount of apples in the back of the refrigerator and I have to use them before they get rotten and also to make room in the refrigerator. So with my dislike of apple pie I didn’t want to make another apple pie this year. Instead I wanted to go with something that I find a bit more comforting. Similar to monkey bread, but instead of using biscuit dough I’ve opted for cinnamon roll dough. It already sounds delectable.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 3 cups apple (peeled, cored, and chopped)
  • 2 cans Jumbo cinnamon rolls with icing
  • Optional: 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a bunt pan.

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Step 2: Spread 2 cups of the prepared apples into the bunt pan; set aside.

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Step 3: Separate the dough and cut each piece into quarters.

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Step 4: In a large bowl, add in the cut pieces of dough, remaining apples, and pecan pieces; set aside.

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Step 5: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt until well blended.

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Step 6: Add the sugar mixture into the dough mixture.

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Step 7: Gently toss with hands to combine.

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Step 8: Carefully place the dough mixture into the bunt pan.

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Step 9: Bake for 40-45 minutes or until deep golden brown. (I would have baked it longer but the pan dripped and the kitchen smelt of burnt sugar)

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Step 10: Cool in bunt pan for 10 minutes.

Step 11: Invert onto a serving plate.

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Step 12: Remove the lid from the icing and microwave the icing for 10-15 seconds or until it reaches drizzling consistency.

Step 13: Drizzle the icing over the warm cake and serve warm.

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Pumpkin Pie Bars

Here we go again the yearly event of pumpkin pie making. This year I didn’t want to just make a pumpkin pie. Although I have made variations to the classic pumpkin pie over the years I wanted to try a different approach. So instead of making the classic pie I will be making it into bars. Since I had a horrible experience last year I figured individual pieces are the best way to go about my nightmare event. See what had happened apparently nobody knows how to cut a pie. As in someone decided it was a grand idea to hack off random chunks and that scared me.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 11×7-inches baking pan with parchment paper and leave 2-inches hanging out the sides.

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Step 2: Unroll the dough and place into the bottom of the lined baking pan.

Step 3: Press the dough, with your fingers, to the cover to the sides and bottom of the pan; set aside.

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Step 4: In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until smooth and well combined.

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Step 5: Pour mixture into the prepared pan. (Option: you can swirl in some melted chocolate at the point)

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Step 6: Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Step 7: Completely cool in the pan on a wire rack.

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Step 8: Use the excess parchment that was hanging over the edges to lift the pumpkin pie out of the pan.

Step 9: Cut the bars however you desire.

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Step 10: Garnish with whipped cream and a dusting of pumpkin spice.

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

Well I do love some gingerbread on some very random days. But no more so than during the holidays. I keep seeing an endless array of gingerbread goods and I start craving for something gingerbready. Because of all the advertising and all that jazz I bought a bag of gingerbread men and now I have no idea what to do with them. I have this horrible habit of losing interest in snack foods in a short frame of time. So I think I can use them as a garnish for these gingerbread cupcakes. Although since I will be serving them for Thanksgiving this year there needs to be a kick to them. Because every year I start prepping, with my father, the meal at 10pm and continue that until 5am. Only having a chance to sleep until 11am and guests start coming in at 1pm. So I need a little pick-me-up. COFFEE!!

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee, very hot
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Step 1: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin spice, and salt; set aside.

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Step 2: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Step 3: Add the molasses and egg, beat until smooth; set aside.

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Step 4: In a small bowl, combine the coffee and baking soda, stir until the baking soda is dissolved.

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Step 5: Add the coffee mixture into the molasses mixture. (It will look curdled)

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Step 6: Combine the coffee mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

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Step 7: Line a muffin pan and fill 3/4 full.

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Step 8: Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Step 9: Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

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Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Having made 50 mini snickerdoodle cookies I knew I had to use them for something. So I will be using my batch of snickerdoodle cookies as decoration for snickerdoodle cupcakes.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan; set aside.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

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Step 3: In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until smooth.

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Step 4: Stir in the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until well combined.

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Step 5: Slowly add in the dry ingredients in 3 batches. (Batter will be thick)

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Step 6: In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and ground cinnamon; set aside.

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Step 7: Spoon 2 Tbsp. of batter into each cupcake liner.

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Step 8: Top with 1 tsp. of the cinnamon-sugar mix.

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Step 9: Top with a heaping Tbsp. of batter, and continue this pattern until cups are 3/4 full. (I added a bit more than 3/4 full and you will see what happens when you basically fill the cups.)

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Step 10: Top each cupcake with 1 tsp. more of the cinnamon-sugar.

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Step 11: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. (They came out slightly over the edges of the cupcake liners so I had to run a clean knife around the underside of the overlapping sections to help remove the cupcakes from the pan.)

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Step 12: Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

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Quick Shortbread Cookies

Some time ago I had made Scottish Shortbread Cookies and they took a bit of time to make. I know that I will not have the time to make this for the coming holidays so instead I am going to make an easier version that is great for gift giving and as well as the holiday parties.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • melted chocolate

Step 1: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

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Step 2: In a large bowl, add the butter and whisk until smooth.

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Step 3: Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until light and fluffy.

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Step 4: Add in the flour and fold to combine. (Side Note: should look like sand)

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Step 5: Transfer dough onto a clean surface and knead once (Important Note: knead away and into pieces by pressing down and away.)

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Step 6: Form a ball and flatten slightly.

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Step 7: Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

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Step 8: Place dough onto a baking sheet and roll dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. (the dough was a bit tough so I crumbled the dough and press it together with a rolling pin)

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Step 9: Cut the dough with either a sharp knife or a bench scrapper.

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Step 10: Prick the cookies with a fork.

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Step 11: Bake at 300°F for 45 minutes, or until light golden brown.

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Step 12: Re-cut the cookies once they are out of the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.

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Step 13: Dip one end of the cookie into the melted chocolate and allow the chocolate to harden before serving.

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Snickerdoodle Cookies

An indecent love of cinnamon-sugar will one day be my downfall, but not today. Today I shall be making mini snickerdoodle cookies as a decoration/accompaniment to a lovely set of snickerdoodle cupcakes. All for the preparation of Thanksgiving. The one time of the year where I can’t say no to an array of decadent desserts.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Cinnamon-Sugar

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  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (you may add more cinnamon depending on your taste)

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper; set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl, cream the butter for 1 minute until smooth.

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Step 3: Add the sugar and beat until light in color and fluffy in texture.

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Step 4: Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined; set aside.

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Step 5: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

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Step 6: Slowly ass the dry ingredients in 3 parts into the butter mixture. (Side Note: the dough will become thick and may require being stirred by hand.)

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Step 7: Scoop out 2 tsp. of cookie dough and roll into a ball-shape.

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Step 8: Roll dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and then place onto the prepared baking sheets.

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Step 9: Bake for 7 minutes

Step 10: Lightly press the cookies with the back of a spoon as soon as they come out of the oven.

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Step 11: Allow to cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack. (I was able to get 57 cookies out of this batch)

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Holiday Desserts Galore

Well another year has quickly come to an end and the holidays are just around the corner. Time to break out the new recipes and maybe a few classic ones, but nonetheless treats that will tantalize even the picky of eaters. Now last year I had done a simple set of desserts and a side.

  1. Iced Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
  2. Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes
  3. Pumpkin Cheesecake
  4. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This year I will be bringing back a classic cake that I haven’t made in a while. But most of all the rest of the desserts will be new recipes. So here are the desserts and sides that will be served this year for the holidays.

  1. Dulce de Leche Cake
  2. Upside-Down Caramel Apple Rolls
  3. Pumpkin Pie Bars
  4. Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cookies
  5. Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes
  6. Shortbread Cookies
  7. Mini Pumpkin Bread

(Side Note: Will be adding links to the list after Thanksgiving)

Quick and Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Well it’s that time of the year again. That’s right summer. When fruits are in abundance and the sweltering heat is overabundance. Strawberries galore is happening at my house right now and I need to use them before they go bad. Since I really wanted to skip out on baking and/or cooking because of the oppressing heat of the summer I figured a cold dessert was needed. Something that didn’t require too much time and there was no need to even go near the stove.

So I went to the grocery in the early morning. Wandering around to see what would inspire me. Walking down the frozen dessert aisle I spotted some frozen cakes. Now when I was in elementary school my mother use to buy the Sara Lee Pound Cake and I would have a slice of it with her on the weekends. That always entertained me for the day, as I would savor that one slice while trying to distract myself with a film on television.

Now that got me thinking. The cake was always partially frozen and it kept me cool in the house. So I figured I could get a small loaf. Now from there I was able to think of combining the cake with the massive amount of strawberries that I had just received earlier that week. There was also a bowl full of freshly whipped cream in the refrigerator. That was my ticket to a quick an easy dessert without the hassle of ovens or stoves.

Now that I think about it these would be perfect for Mother’s Day or even Valentine’s Day.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 2 slices of Sara Lee Pound Cake, thawed
  • 1/2 cup whole strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar

Step 1: In a small bowl, gently combine the strawberries and sugar until strawberries are lightly coated in the sugar. Set aside.

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Step 2: Take a cookie cutter and cut out rounds from the pound cake slices. (Optional: I used 1-3/4 inch cutter. I also cut the small disc in half)

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Step 3: Slice the strawberries in a fan-like slices. (How to fan strawberries)

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Step 4: Place one cake round on a plate.

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Step 5: Fan out 1-2 strawberries on top of the cake slice.

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Step 6: Top it with whipped cream and repeat with remaining cake rounds.

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Step 7: Garnish with strawberry fanned out.

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If you didn’t want to cut out the rounds here is the non-cut version:

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Creme Egg Filled Brownie Mug Cake Thing

So Easter is just around the corner and there are rows upon rows of Easter themed candies in the markets now. I decided to pick up some mini creme eggs for old times sake. I used to eat these all the time as a child and I have now noticed that there are many different filled versions as well. I bought the fondant filled and caramel filled ones. Eating them straight up was alright, but I figured I could make them into something even better. I give you Easter Creme Egg Filled Brownie Mug Cake. Make sure you have a microwavable 1 cup container.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. milk, coffee or water
  • 1-2 mini-sized Easter Creme Eggs (or 1 full-sized Creme Egg)

Step 1: In a heatproof mug or ramekin, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until no lumps remain.

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Step 2: Stir in the oil and milk until you have a thick paste. (If you mixed it all in a bowl, spoon it into a ramekin or mug.)

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Step 3: Unwrap the Easter Creme Egg and press it into the middle, pushing it down so that only about the top third is exposed.

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Step 4: Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, checking it after 30 seconds (microwaves vary) – it will be done when it’s springy on top but still a bit gooey – like the very best brownie.

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Step 5: Eat warm. (I like to add a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top or even a small scoop of ice cream)IMG_5864

Simple Crème Brûlée

While rummaging around the refrigerator I noticed the leftover container of heavy whipping cream and the massive amount of eggs. Figuring I could make something with these simple ingredients with the added sugar and maybe vanilla from the cupboards. So a custard was the first thing that came to mind. But no I just had to up the difficulty by wanting to make crème brûlée. It’s a pretty easy recipe and you can substitute the portable kitchen blow torch with a broiler. So an inexpensive, but such a decadent dessert that seems super expensive. I should have done this for Valentine’s Day. Oh well.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • (Optional: 1 tsp. lemon or orange zest, 1 tsp. flavored liqueurs, and etc.)
  • 4 Tbsp. superfine sugar (or Turbinado/raw sugar)

Step 1: Preheat the over to 300°F and boil some water.

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Step 2: In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the cream and vanilla to scalding point. (small bubbles will be forming around the edges) (you can also add the optional ingredient)

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Step 3: Remove the pan from the heat.

Step 4: In a heat-proof bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale.

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Step 5: Gradually pour in the hot cream into the egg mixture, while whisking constantly.

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Step 6: Strain mixture into a large measuring cup or small pitcher.

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Step 7: Evenly pour the mixture into 4 ramekins.

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Step 8: Place the ramekins into a baking dish

Step 9: Place the baking pan in the oven and carefully pour the boiled water into the baking pan without getting any water in the ramekins. (Fill to halfway up the ramekins)

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Step 10: Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custards are set. (There will be a slight wobble when gently moved) (The timing will depend on the amount of custard in the ramekins, how hot the water is, and how thick the ramekins are.)

Step 11: Immediately remove the ramekins onto a cooling rack and allow them to come to room temperature. (1 hour)

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Step 12: Refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours, or until cold and firm. (You can store them for 3 days covered)

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Step 13: To serve, remove custard from the refrigerator, sprinkle 1 Tbsp of superfine sugar evenly over the top of the custard.

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Step 14: Place under a very hot preheated broiler. (Or you could use a portable kitchen torch, just keep it 2-inches, at an angle, over the custard and keep moving the torch around until the sugar melts and caramelizes.)

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Step 15: Caramelize the sugar until golden brown and bubbly. (May need to turn ramekin around to evenly brown.)

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Step 16: Allow custard to sit a few minutes for the sugar to harden, or place into the refrigerator for a couple of seconds.

Step 17: Once sugar has harden serve imminently. (I think I’ll have to allow the custard to bake longer next time it doesn’t look like it set to much and give the broiler a little long to heat up)

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Side Not: After placing in the refrigerator for a few minutes it set right back. So with that in mind I do believe it became all liquidy inside because of the heat from the boiler which caused the ramekin to be way to warm for the delicate custard.

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