Monday, November 30, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Success & New Traditions!

DSC02553 A month or two ago Coleen and Katy set out to help me conquer my fear of yeast and successfully bake cinnamon rolls for my children to have while opening presents on Christmas morning.  Well, they’ve done it!  I am no longer intimidated by yeast and with their “challenge” I’ve  learned a few things.  The first being,  it wasn’t the yeast that was scaring me.  It was the dough!  It was worrying about how much flour to add or not add. Trying to handle the sticky dough and rolling  it out as thin as the recipe required but no, more!  After making these butterhorns and this cinnamon roll recipe I’m comfortable with the (sticky) dough and am no longer concerned about mishandling it.    I also learned I’m much more proficient in the kitchen then I give myself credit and that I need to stop worrying and start baking! :)


This recipe is from Coleen and she wasn’t lying when she said this cinnamon roll recipe was a “real gem”!  Bonus, no yeast involved with these, for those of you who are still yeast-a-phobes.


The Twins LOVED these cinnamon rolls and they’ve already requested them twice since I first made them two weeks ago. They said  they didn’t want to wait until Christmas morning for me to make them again.  The only downside,  Monica was right and Babygirl (The picky pain, she knew I was excited about making these for them!) decided that she preferred this crescent roll version I found on another awesome blog called For the Love of Cooking.  I should have taken photos of the Twins’ astounded faces when Babygirl said she didn’t care for the homemade cinnamon rolls! 


No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

*FILLING, make it first! 
1½ tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice (I left out)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves (I left out)
1 cup chopped pecans (I left out)

Combine all of the filling ingredients. Mix well and set aside.

¾ cup small or large curd cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup white sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 TABLESPOON baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease the sides and bottom of a 9" or 10" springform pan with cooking spray. In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and vanilla; process until smooth about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder & baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together in a ball. Careful not to over-process. The dough will be soft and moist (& very possibly sticky.  Stay calm.  You’re okay.). Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it four or five times with floured hands (This is a beautiful dough, very easy to work with, Coleen’s words.  Breathe, you CAN do this!). Roll dough out to a 12" x 15" rectangle. (Don’t freak out if it isn’t quite rectangular and is more oval-ish or isn’t exactly 12”x15”! This is were I used to run scared if the dough’s stickiness didn’t get me! )

Brush the rectangle (oval-ish shape) with a very light coating of melted butter  & leave a half inch border unbuttered around the edges. (I had a hard time being skimpy with the melted butter.  I used it all.) Sprinkle the filling over the buttered area and pat lightly.

Starting with the long side, roll up the dough into a jelly roll shape and pinch the long seam to seal, leaving the ends open. Cut into twelve equal pieces with a sharp serrated knife. (Next time, I’ll try the dental floss trick.). Set the rolls in the prepared pan, cut side up (I was confused. Except for the two end pieces all the rolls had two cut sides!?). The rolls should touch slightly, but its OK if there are small gaps. Bake at 400 for 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Watch closely at the 20 minute mark to ensure perfectly baked cinnamon rolls!

Set the pan on a cooling rack for five minutes. Make the glaze. Remove the springform ring and drizzle glaze over the rolls.

2/3 cup powdered sugar (I whisked to break up any clumps)
2 to 3 tablespoons of cold milk (I used heavy whipping cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coleen added ½ teaspoon of maple extract

Whisk all ingredients together. If it seems too thick to pour, add a little bit more milk. (Next time I’ll leave the glaze thick because once it hits those hot cinnamon rolls it just about pours off.  If it’s a little thicker it might stay on a little better. And of course, feel free to totally tweak this or use a <YUM!> cream cheese glaze!)


The last thing I learned was, homemade cinnamon rolls are waaaay better than store bought or those pop canned ones!  Thank you Katy and Coleen!  I really appreciate your help!




This is my “traditions” entry for Bake at 350’s Flavor of the Month.


family recipes event


And because this cinnamon roll recipe is starting a new family tradition for us, I’m sending it off to HoneyB’s Family Recipes Event!




Last but not least….don’t forget to enter my Oh Nuts giveaway!  Click here for details on how to enter! Phew!  I don’t know about you but I thought that post would never end! :)

Technorati Tags: ,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh Nuts? Oh, Yeah!

Earlier this week I received an email from Sam at Oh Nuts asking if I was interested in hosting a Holiday Giveaway. My immediate response was, “Heck, Yeah!”  I’d love to give away a $25 gift certificate to Oh Nuts!   So, you guys in, too?  Yes? Yes!  Here’s three ways you can win! 

1. Go to the Oh Nuts Hanukkah gifts page or to the Christmas Nuts Gift page.  Choose your favorite Hanukkah Gift or Christmas Gift and leave me a comment  here  with the name and url of the gift you love the most.

2. Go to the Oh Nuts facebook page  become a fan and post on the wall the url and name of their favorite  Hanukkah Gift or Christmas Gift.  Don’t forget to write "I am here via  3B’s….Baseball,Baking, and Books!"

3. Or Follow @ohnuts and  Tweet

" Win a free Hanukkah Gift from Follow @ohnuts & Retweet to enter.  "

OR you can  Tweet

“ Win a free Christmas Gift from Follow @ohnuts & Retweet to enter.”

I’ve tried several of their products and am confident you will be receiving a quality product once you win and order from their site! 

DSC00761[7]Here’s the Greenies I made last December with the Oh Nuts pistachios that I received.  

Good luck and you have until midnight Friday, December11th to enter.

Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Cobbler

This is one of those recipes that I made  and really liked but wasn’t happy with the photos.  Here’s the thing about this pumpkin cobbler, it was very good and very easy and I feel kinda bad about not sharing it.  DSC02494

My only complaint is that you can’t eat it hot.  It’s  best baked the night before and eaten (in my opinion) at DSC02495room temperature, you bake it in a 9x13 pan so it travels well, and it uses a cake mix.  See what I mean?  It would have been  wrong for me to keep this to myself.  Other than refraining from trying to eat it before it has TOTALLY cooled to room temperature this is a winner.   Seriously, don’t do like I did and try eating it hot.  Like with everything I bake,  we tried eating this bad boy piping hot out of the oven and all we got was a burnt tongue and disappointment.  The pumpkin was “watery” and had not set up as you can kind of see in my photos but the following day it was a whole different dessert.  It was so good the following day that by the time I got home all but a sorry looking corner was left.

Here’s a few more thoughts on this recipe which I found on the blog, Me and My Pink Mixer (Check her out. She has a couple of other pumpkin recipes, like pumpkin cheesecake minis!). Like all my favorite recipes it is easily adapted to suit your taste.  Don’t want to use a box mix?  No problem; make your own cobbler or better yet how about more of a crisp. Don’t like yellow cake mix?  Try a spice.  Don’t hate pecans but love walnuts?  Add them.  You see where I’m going with this? 


On Thursday I’ll be giving thanks for many things (family, health, the Yankees winning the World Series! ) one of which will be for you.  For the hand of friendship you have extended to me and for the time you take out of your busy day to leave me thoughtful and encouraging comments. I appreciate each one and they (you!) make my day.  I hope you have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Technorati Tags: ,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Upside Down Apple Pie


Except for the apple peeling this a fun, easy, and forgiving recipe.   No worrying about perfect crusts or crimping ‘cause after it’s baked you’re gonna flip it over and all the wonderful pecans and caramel that were on the bottom now make a lovely and delicious top. 

I saw this on both Tidy Mom’s and Noble Pig’s blog a month or so ago.   At the time I didn’t realize that their recipes weren’t the same.  It wasn’t until I decided to bake one  and tried printing out the recipes that I noticed.  The recipes are close but there are some differences.   I elected to use what elements from each that suited me best and have posted that recipe here.  (To see their recipes just click on their names under the recipe title.)


I made this Friday evening when my parents came over for dinner and everyone really enjoyed it.  I did learn one thing after baking this pie; crust matters so don’t use the store brand of pie crusts.  It was tolerable but just barely.  Next time I’ll spend the extra dollar and buy Pillsbury. :)

Upside Down Apple Pie

adapted from Noble Pig & Tidy Mom

1 cup chopped pecans (heaping)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 TB of butter
1 box of Pillsbury All Ready Pie Crust *
1 tsp flour
5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & cut into 1/2" slices
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg  (Don’t use much more than this amt.)


Heat oven to 375°F.

In 9" deep pie plate, combine pecans, brown sugar, and butter; spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Prepare the pie crust according to package direction for a two crust pie.  Place bottom crust evenly over the pecan mixture in your pan. Press the crust down around sides of the pan.

In large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Toss gently to coat apples.  Spoon the apple mixture into pie crust lined plate.

Top with the second pie crust.  You can  flute edges but my bottom crust barely met the top so I pinched the two together as best I could.  Cut several slits into the top crust to vent.

Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Mine took about 45 minutes.  I cooked my pie on the middle rack but Noble Pig cooked hers in the lower third of her oven.

Cool pie upright in pan on a rack for 5 minutes.  Place a rimmed serving platter that is larger than your pie over it  and invert.  Your pie is still going to be hot so be careful.  I used a large folded dish towel to hold the hot pie plate. Carefully remove the pie pan. Some nuts may remain stuck to the pan.  simply remove them with a knife and gently replace on the pie.  Allow pie to cool pie to desired temperature.  I cut into it after 35 minutes or so and  it was still very warm.  Top with whipped cream or better yet vanilla ice cream. Maybe even more caramel, mmm!?


Technorati Tags: ,,,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Almond Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake


This pound cake was amazing.  It was so moist and perfectly flavored with hints of almond and lemon!   The kids and I absolutely loved it.  Devon even bartered away one of his precious mechanical pencils for his brother’s last slice.  When I first saw this pound cake on the blog, Mike’s Table I knew it wouldn’t be long before I gave it a try.  He called it lemon and ricotta pound cake but from my title you can see I took a different route.


I did make two slight but big flavor changes to the recipe.  I used almond extract (1/2 tsp) in place of the vanilla and added some lemon extract (1/4 tsp) which Mike has listed as optional. (Hilary, it was all your yummy almond and citrus posts that inspired my changes!  Thx!)I also baked four mini loafs instead of one large one.  (Have you read Peabody’s reasons for using mini loaf pans?  Reason numbers 2 and 8 are right on the money!)  This recipe is definitely a keeper.  I’ve already bought more ricotta  for another try only this time I’m going with orange  and almond.  Mmmmm!


Technorati Tags: ,,,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Peach, But You Could Use Apples or Pears,Cake

DSC02188 I wasn’t going to blog about this recipe as it initially called for nectarines and then when I made it I used peaches.  Both of which are now out of season and I didn’t want to tease you but after thinking about it (a few times) I realized you could easily use pears or apples. 


Though I’m posting this now I actually made it soon after Debbie posted it on her blog,  Mocha Me.  (Have you visited her yet?  I’ve  made many of her recipes. The most recent, Ooey Gooey Toffee Butter Cake which was terrific but sadly I did a horrible job photographing it so you won’t be seeing mine.) 


I did make a few changes to the recipe and added a couple of spices. This was one time I actually I remembered  to write down my changes but of course, now I can’t find the recipe sheet.  (I’m getting better Monica.  At least this time I remembered to tell you I made some changes.  :)  Inside joke?  Yes, and I’m gonna let you in on it.  A few months ago I raved to Monica about this bundt cake that I made.  I really went on and on about how terrific it was and pretty much convinced her to give it a try.  Which wouldn’t have been bad had I told her I made some key changes to the original recipe.  LOL, when she started telling me how hers turned out I realized that I neglected to tell her of my changes.  Ooooops!)

DSC02204Peach, But You Could Use Apples or Pears Cake aka Nectarine Golden Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 Cup plus 1/2 TB sugar, divided (I used turbinado for the 1/2 TB)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (vanilla bean paste)
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (I omitted)
2 nectarines (I used peaches), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (I used fresh!  Duckie your Microplane nutmeg grater is on it’s way!)

My additions: 1/2 tsp cardamom & 1/4 cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle. Lightly butter a 9-in springform pan. (I used a 6 inch & a 4 inch.)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in extracts. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in pan, then scatter nectarines (nicely arrange) over top. Stir together nutmeg and remaining 1/2 Tbsp sugar and sprinkle over top. Bake until cake is golden brown and top is firm but tender when lightly touched (cake will rise over fruit), 45 to 50minutes (adjust  accordingly if using a different size pan.) Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool to warm.


The kids ate their slices dusted with powdered sugar but I ate mine topped with vanilla ice cream. 


I also have to tell you that this is the first time I used cardamom and am kicking myself for waiting so long.  It’s good stuff and I’ve tried to incorporate it where I can.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009



Martha has come through!  If you read my last Martha cupcake post you may recall that I was on the verge of breaking ties with Martha and her cupcake book but these pumpkin cupcakes with its browned butter glaze has put us back on solid ground.  Did you catch that?  Browned butter glaze?  Yes? It’s even better than it sounds but honestly, the pumpkin cupcakes were wonderful on their own.   They were moist and tender but not overly so.  Darn near perfect.


Monica and I have been baking from Martha’s book for a few months now but this go round Babygirl actually whipped these up Friday night pretty much all by herself.  We made four mini bundts and six cupcakes which we left until the morning to glaze. 


No lie. I glazed (Ha, if you can call it that.) them Saturday morning and by that night they were gone.  All gone.  We’re still wondering  were they all.


Looking for the recipe?  Click here.  Double bonus you not only get the recipe but you get to drool over Monica’s stellar photos. 


Oh, yeah, my comment about the “glazing”?  Martha’s “glaze” was more like frosting and even when I added more cream to thin it out it was still thick.  Check out my bundts.  I seriously stink at glazes.  I either make them too thin  or too thick which wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t figure it out until after I poured it on.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Yankee Win! The Yankees Win! The Yankeeees WIN!

How about dem Yankees!? 2009 World Series Champions!
Hope everyone has a wonderful day. It's gonna be a good day here! :)
Psssst, Lisa, Lori? You girls tired?! I'll be glad to get to bed before 12. I don't know if my tired nerves could have handled a game seven.