Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I love cinnamon. It has a spicy, delicious scent and flavor that are enhanced when it's heated.

When cinnamon is paired with sugar, the greatest invention (after butter), magical things happen. Babies laugh. Fireworks explode. Angels sing.

All of my favorite things come together in this cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread. It's buttery, cinnamony, and sugary. It pairs perfectly with cream cheese glaze. 

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Yields: 1 9x5 loaf

2 3/4 cups flour (I used half bread flour and half AP flour)
1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp butter, melted

***I just put all the dough ingredients in the bread machine and let it mix and rise***

1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. 

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and milk together. Once the butter is all melted together with the milk, remove from heat and add the water, vanilla, and eggs. Let it cool until it is pretty warm to the touch. Add this to the flour mixture and mix. 

3. Place in a greased bowl, covered and in a warm place, for 40-45 minutes. 

4. Mix the cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg in a small bowl. 

5. Once the dough is done rising, roll out on a lightly floured surface to be about 25x20. Spread the melted butter across the dough and then spread the cinnamon sugar mixture across. Cut into six strips then each of those into six squares. 

6. Put these squares in a greased 9x5 pan in small bunches to make it easier. Preheat oven to 350. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. 

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Eat it hot out of the oven! Enjoy with some cream cheese drizzle glaze

Friday, April 26, 2013

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

These have Andes Mints in them

Confession: I have never made a really good chocolate chip cookie. I've found recipes that make perfectly acceptable warm cookies, although admittedly when they would cool down they were usually a little crunchier than I wanted. I've always made cookies that were good with milk and all that... but they just weren't perfect.

But don't worry, because I have made the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

These cookies are unbelievably chewy and they stay that way for days! The only reason they lasted that long is I'm the only person left in my apartment.

The secret to keeping them chewy for days?


Whooda thunk it?

Also, for those of you who have asked, the secret to preventing cookies from sticking is using a silicone baking liner. You can get them just about anywhere. I always leave it in my cookie sheet, because it makes the bottom of everything perfectly golden and never burn!! It's magic. 

This recipe is seriously foolproof. It was so simple. I'm eating one right now and I'll probably eat about 3 more in the process of writing this post. Foodie probs. This recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 3 dozen scrumptious cookies

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, (I put Andes Mints in mine, and I've also done crushed up Oreos)

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until it's light and fluffy. Taste a little. That's the best stuff in the whole world. Mix in the egg and the vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. 

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (don't add the chocolate chips yet). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly until it's incorporated. Add the chocolate chips, or whatever you want, really! 

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (It's worth it-- they come out in better shape and texture). 

Drop in 1 tablespoon scoops on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes and DO NOT BAKE THEM FOR MORE THAN 10 MINUTES or you will regret it and be sad forever. They may look like they're not done, but they are! I promise!

Eat all you can, and if there are any left, store them in an airtight container for up to 10 days. I doubt they'll last that long!

I made a new post about Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Finals Week! The worst and best week of the entire semester. It's the best because at BYU we get two "reading days" where we're supposed to study (I'll let you guess how much studying actually goes on...) I had some raspberries leftover and I wanted to make muffins.

Muffins are really great. Have I ever told you that? They're like little mini cakes you can eat for breakfast without anyone judging you. They're beautiful. They usually have yummy berries or chocolate chips in them. Delectable.

When you eat a cupcake, everyone knows you're eating dessert, but when you have a muffin somehow it becomes more acceptably healthy. Hey, I'm not complaining. These muffins were exactly what I needed to relieve my finals stress.

I also bought a giant thing of bubble wrap at Walmart to relieve the rest of my stress. It's working. I'm essentially stress-free and I only have one final left. What a beautiful finals week!

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Yields: 18 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (1 cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar)
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/4 cups raspberries

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl. 

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk, oil, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Gently fold in the raspberries. 

4. Scoop the batter into 18 muffin papers or sprayed muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. 

5. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice and dip warm muffin tops in the glaze and let it harden slightly for about 3 minutes before eating. 

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

My very first memory of working in the kitchen was how my dad and I made French toast every Saturday out of old cinnamon swirl bread. We would make huge batches so we had enough for the whole week. We always used the Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread. If you've never made french toast using cinnamon swirl bread, you haven't lived!

This week I tried out making cinnamon swirl bread from scratch, and it was so wonderful! I told my mom I'm bringing my bread machine home this summer so I can make this bread all summer for my parents.

You don't by any means have to have a bread machine to make this. I've included the directions for making the bread with and without the bread machine. All the bread machine does for me is knead and give me a warm place to let it rise. A kitchenaid mixer would work just as well, and I'm sure you could even mix it by hand!

I altered this recipe from LilLuna.

Best Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yields: 1 loaf

1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp margarine
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour (the original recipe calls for AP flour but I used bread flour)

3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

1. Mix the salt, brown sugar, margarine, hot water, cold water, and active dry yeast together. Let the yeast proof for about 8 minutes.

2. Add the flour and knead for 6-8 minutes. Put it in a greased bowl and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Roll out the dough to be as wide as the loaf pan you're putting it in and as long as you can reasonably make it. Spray with a little bit of water or spread about 1 tbsp of butter across the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over and roll it up. Put it in a greased pan and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden on top.

Bon appétit!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Auntie Anne's Copycat

As a foodie, some of my fondest memories of going to the mall are of eating the deliciously trashy food only sold at the mall and state fairs. My mom and I always joked that we have to get Cinnamonster cinnamon rolls when we go to the mall because they're calling our names ("Nea...Nea..."). Another favorite of ours is the cinnamon sugar Auntie Anne pretzel, which comes coated in butter, then dipped in cinnamon sugar. My mom and I say, " Okay, we each get half," and then we would both secretly try to get more than half (or at least I did). I do remember that my mom always gave me the last bite, which is why I love her (among other reasons).

As a college student, I don't get to go to the mall often, so I had to find out a way to make these pretzels without having a car to get to the mall. I looked online and found a recipe that I tweaked from The Well-Traveled Wife.

Y'all. I was really worried with the baking soda bath for these that they would end up being like those weirdo bagel-texture soft pretzels, and don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about! Those bagely soft pretzels are icky!

This recipe makes super soft cinnamon sugar pretzels (or you could skip the cinnamon sugar and replace it with coarse salt) and cream cheese dipping sauce. I'm in love with this recipe.

I'm afraid it will bring on the freshman 15 in just the last two weeks of my freshman year.

Auntie Anne's Copycat Soft Pretzels 

Yields 6-8 large pretzels, or you could honestly probably make them HALF the size I did, so it could make about 14-16 small pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour (original recipe calls for 1 cup bread flour + 3 cups AP flour)

2 cups really warm water
2 tsp baking soda

5 tbsp melted butter
about 1/3 cup sugar
about 1 tbsp cinnamon

1. Activate the yeast in the water for 5-10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt and mix. Add the flour and knead until elastic (7 ish minutes). I honestly just threw everything in the bread machine and to knead it for me, then I put it in a bowl in a warm oven (170 degrees fahrenheit) for 30 minutes or until it doubled. While it's rising, mix the warm water with the baking soda and stir until it dissolves. Put it in a dish that's shallow but still has sides so you're not spilling everywhere.

2. Pinch off a fist of dough and roll it into a 1/2 inch thick snake-- don't roll it out! Roll it into snakes! Slithery snakes!

3. Twist it up so it looks somewhat pretzel-like and then dip it in the baking soda water mixture. Put it on a greased or silpat-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with all the dough and let it rise for about 20-30 more minutes in a warm place. I put them on top of my oven while it was heating up.

4. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.

5. Dip the pretzels in butter, then in cinnamon sugar.

Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce

3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Perfect Birthday Cupcakes


My sweet roommate Jenna had a birthday today! She's the big 19. We went to Zupa's for dinner and decorated all cute with balloons, streamers, and posters! We really like holidays around here. 

I decided to bake cupcakes for Jenna's birthday so we could all have something sweet, because what is a birthday without eating way too much and feeling sick afterward?

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields: 18 cupcakes
  • 1 cup flour (I used 1 1/4 cups because I'm at high altitude)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used veggie oil)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet while mixing. That's it! You could even probably do it all in one bowl at once (that's what the original recipe did). I mixed it by hand and it was super easy!

2. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way for sea level or 1/2 way for high altitude. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes for full-sized or 9-11 for mini cupcakes.

White Cupcakes

Yields 18-20 deliciously full-sized cupcakes
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour (I used 1 cup minus 2 tbsp all purpose flour, then added 2 tbsp corn starch. This is my go-to cake flour recipe. Make sure to mix the flour and corn starch together really well.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature (I put my cold eggs soaking in warm water for 3 minutes or so)
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 fahrenheit (If you're at high altitude, preheat to 385). Line cupcake tins with adorable cupcake liners.

2. Mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until incorporated.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, and egg whites. Set aside. 

4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

5. Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture. While the mixer is on low, add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the milk/sour cream mixture. (You'll start and end with flour mixture).

6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (If you make mini cupcakes, they take about 13 minutes.)

Happy Birthday, Jenna!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cinnabon Clone

I love General Conference weekend. This conference, I got to SING IN THE CHOIR for the Saturday afternoon session! It was the most incredible experience. The general authorities were so close, their priesthood was almost tangible.

My close up

Oh, hey. 

Conference is such a special weekend. I wanted to start my own tradition of making a special breakfast on the morning of conference. I asked my roommates what I should make and they all answered at once, "Cinnamon rolls!"

One does not simply say no to making cinnamon rolls. 

These cinnamon rolls are très délicieux!

There's only one cinnamon roll left after 5 hours. All I'm saying here is that there are only 3 of us home this weekend and the recipe made 16... That's all I'm saying. 

I've made a Cinnabon clone recipe before, but I'll admit that this one trumps my old recipe. I love finding new, better recipes! I made this one in my bread machine and it worked out beautifully. The original recipe was made with a stand mixer, I believe.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm kind of in love with my bread machine. Adapted from Lauren's Latest.

Cinnabon Clones

Yields: 16 large rolls

3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup veggie or canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk (room temp)
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cornstarch

3 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


Add dough ingredients into the bread machine in the order prescribed by the bread machine instructions. I added them in the order I listed above. I put it on the dough cycle and it rose on its own.

Take the dough out and put it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to 30x20 inch rectangle.

Beat the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch together until it's light and fluffy. Spread this all over the rectangle of dough. Roll it up so that it's a 30-inch log. Cut it every 2 inches with dental floss.

Put them in a greased pan (I used a 7x11 and a 6 inch round pan to accommodate all the rolls) and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (about an hour) or refrigerate overnight and then take out 3-4 hours before baking to let them rise.

Bake at 350 for 17-18 minutes, or until the tops just start to turn golden. Don't let them over-bake!

Beat all the frosting ingredients together until incorporated.

Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes before frosting.

The last one may or may not have been consumed in the process of writing this blog post. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Double Chocolate Muffins

I've been craving double chocolate muffins. I don't really have any sort of story except just that. I really, really wanted a double chocolate muffin.

These are really rich and moist-- basically exactly what I was craving.

I wanted them to look a certain way, so I looked long and hard for a recipe that was made really round-on-top muffins. I think I found it! Enjoy!

Recipe tweaked from Bake Me More.

1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, melted
1 cup dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl and pour into a well made in the dry ingredients. Mix. Add the chocolate chips and fold in.

3. Using a cookie scoop, divide batter into 12 prepared muffin papers. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they tops spring back up when you touch them.

Enjoy with milk!