Sausage Cinnamon Rolls

Who here enjoys a salty/sweet combination? I DO!! You might not know it by just checking out the picture, but those babies are filled with tiny bits of breakfast sausage. Yes…sausage INSIDE the cinnamon rolls. What is this magic I speak of? Read on!

I had the opportunity to be a recipe tester for our local public media station, check out link here – http://www.witf.org/arts-life/2016/10/now-thats-a-mouthful.php Getting to bake something yummy and blab about it is right up my alley!

Out of about a dozen recipes to choose from, I can say these mouth-watering cinnamon rolls were calling my name. I remember as a kid devouring some sausage links after dipping them in REAL maple syrup (must be the genuine thing – sorry Aunt Jemima).

Although I can’t reveal the secret formula to this breakfast of champions, I can say it came from Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day by John Currence. I will have to check out said book and perhaps expand my breakfast repertoire further.

Now on to the nitty-gritty – how do these taste? DELISH. The sausage is crumbled up pretty fine in the rolls, so those who don’t want a mouthful of salty but just want a touch of it will enjoy them. The roll is a nice fluffy yeast dough that came together beautifully, and the cream cheese icing is just tangy enough to let you know it’s in there.

I would make these again, and I know they’d be fabulous minus the sausage too as a just basic cinnamon roll.

I’d love to know – what salty/sweet match made in heaven is your favorite?

Tiffany

 

Baking Fail #234 – Rugelach

Tell me I’m not the only one that has an occasional baking fail?! That sweet-looking rugelach doesn’t appear it, but does in fact qualify as a fail ๐Ÿ™ Allow me to explain.

My first attempt at rugelach went pretty well! I made this recipe – http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/11/29/how-to-make-rugelach-cookies/

I chose chopped cranberries and walnuts for the filling, thinking it would be a nice color contrast to the dough. The pastry came out of the oven nice and crisp and the cranberry and walnut combo was just sweet enough to balance the savory of the crust. At this point I decide I am a master of all things rugelach, of course.

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Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread Cookies)

Leb-a-who?? Lebkuchen, i.e. German gingerbread cookies. The baking theme this week (see https://www.reddit.com/r/52weeksofbaking/) was Germany.ย  I’ve always been interested in all thingsย Deutschland related. With 2 years of German language in high school and a love affair with marzipan, I am almost German, right??

I also happen to have a brand new sister-in-law from the UK that brought my attention to Lebkuchen. According to all-knowing Wikipedia:

Lebkuchen or Pfefferkuchen, is a traditional German baked Christmas treat, somewhat resembling gingerbread.

These lebkuchen are soft when they first come out, but quickly harden and become more crisp as they cool. Eating the cookies plain was a bit underwhelming to me, but the chocolate on top converted me ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a reason most pics of Lebkuchen are smothered in icing and it’s because they are definitely tastier ๐Ÿ™‚ Having something on top adds moisture that seeps into the cookies and softens them up nicely.

Enjoy!

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Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread Cookies)
Spiced German gingerbread cookies iced with either powdered sugar or bittersweet chocolate.
Lebkuchen German gingerbread cookies
Course Desserts
Cuisine German
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Desserts
Cuisine German
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Lebkuchen German gingerbread cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add the molasses and corn syrup to your melted butter and stir. Set aside.
  3. Mix your flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Add your butter mixture to your dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Add your eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop spoonfuls onto your cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them for spreading.
  7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack before icing.
  8. To make your chocolate icing, melt your chocolate and coconut oil together either in the microwave or over a double boiler on low heat.
  9. Add your melted chocolate to a piping bag, snip the tip off, and pipe in a swirl fashion. Start from the inside and work your way out to the edge for half of the cookies.
  10. Decorate with almond slices while chocolate is still wet. You can also take a few almonds and drag them through the excess melted chocolate to set aside for later.
  11. To make your white icing, mix your powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of water to get a flowing icing consistency. Either add a bit more water or a bit more icing to get the thickness you want.
  12. Add your icing to a piping bag, snip the tip off, and pipe in a swirl fashion to the other half of your cookies.
  13. You can either add plain almond slices to the wet icing or use the chocolate dipped almond slices you made earlier for a nice black/white contrast.
Recipe Notes

Recipe inspired by Just Like Oma.

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Peanut Blossom Cookies

Peanut Blossoms need no introduction, right? The match made in Heaven that is chocolate and peanut butter. The horrifying thing is I actually lived a large portion of my life not knowing these existed. My world was forever changed when my cousin made some for Christmas and my eyes were opened ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now I have to make up for lost time by baking these babies periodically. I feel like I have it down to a science now, which means I’m either a genius or bake too much. I especially love this recipe here because it uses all butter for those who aren’t a fan of shortening.

Another epiphany (the only word I know that rhymes with Tiffany!) I had about these: bake time is everything. Really just a minute or 2 longer than needed and they’ll get hard and crispy, and my peanut blossoms must be soft!

You will notice in my pic that I used three mini Hershey Kisses instead of one big one. I found those on sale (hence using them instead) but have made them before with regular sized Hershey Kisses, and you know what? The tiny ones are better! You get THREE bites of chocolate in your cookie instead of one, which sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Enjoy!

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Peanut Blossom Cookies
A soft peanut butter cookie topped with miniature Hershey Kisses.
peanut butter blossom cookies
Course Desserts
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Desserts
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
peanut butter blossom cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and place parchment paper on your cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together your butter, both sugars, and peanut butter.
  3. When smooth, beat in your egg and add the milk and vanilla.
  4. Sift your flour, baking soda, and salt directly over your bowl of batter.
  5. Use your mixer to blend it all together, making a nice soft dough.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or small spoon, shape the dough roughly a little smaller than a golf ball and roll each one in the 1/3 cup white sugar. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  7. I bake these for exactly 10 minutes in my oven. You want a nice puffed up and crackly surface that is lightly browned.
  8. Take them out and immediately press 3 mini Hershey Kisses on top; if you wait too long, your kisses won't stick very well in the cookie.
  9. Remove from cookie sheet and set aside to cool on a wire rack. Attempt to avoid eating right away and most likely fail.
Recipe Notes

You could also use regular sized Hershey Kisses or even a few chocolate chips clustered together on top if that is what you have available.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Are you a cheesecake fan? I think it’s probably one of my top 5 desserts to make and eat. I love the endless flavor combinations and the cold creamy center.ย  Speaking of cold, creamy center…do yourself a favor and resist the urge to try your cheesecake warm out of the oven because you have no self-control. It was kinda gross.

Now onto the recipe! Bars are fabulous if you don’t feel like dealing with your springform pan and want ease of serving. Just cut into huge reasonably sized squares and slap some whipped cream on top. Honestly, is there a recipe that whipped cream doesn’t improve upon?ย  These bars (SPOILER ALERT) have pumpkin in them, which is awesome, and contrary to my children’s claim, pumpkin is NOT just for Thanksgiving and is, in fact, something to be enjoyed from October to December 31 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars with a graham cracker crust.
pumpkin cheesecake bars
Course Desserts
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
Cheesecake Filling
Course Desserts
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
Cheesecake Filling
pumpkin cheesecake bars
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  2. Grease a 13 x 9 pan well, including up the sides.
  3. In a bowl, mix your melted butter and graham cracker crumbs.
  4. Press mixture into bottom of 13 x 9 pan and set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice.
  6. Beat your eggs in one at a time on low speed. When one egg is incorporated, add another and so on. Don't go nuts here with mixing. Beating at a low speed keeps too much air from getting into your batter and causing cracks.
  7. Pour half your mixture onto your crust. If you want more exact and even layers, use a scale to weigh your batter first and halve that amount for your first layer.
  8. Add your spices and canned pumpkin to the other half of your batter. This will look like a light orange/brown color, but will darken after baking and cooling.
  9. Stir until smooth and carefully pour on top of your first cheesecake layer.
  10. Bake about 45 minutes; you want a bit of wobble still in the middle, but just set on top.
  11. Turn off the oven, open the door, but leave your cheesecake in there. Let it sit in place for about 15 minutes.
  12. Take out of oven and cool on wire rack. When completely cool, cover and put in fridge for 3 hours before digging in.
  13. When ready to serve, slice with a sharp knife wiped off between cuts to get a nice look. Garnish with whipped cream.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from A Treats Affair.

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Spiced Gingerbread and Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate + gingerbread = deliciousness. This recipe screams HOLIDAY to me!

Are you a gingerbread fan? There seems to be a love/hate relationship with gingery things out there. I can say I’m now a bigger fan of the combo of chocolate and gingerbread than just plain gingerbread. Speaking of gingerbread, I love to browse cookbooks for the food photography recipes and I came across a fabulous one –ย American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer.ย  Apparently gingerbread has been around a long time, like 13th century long time.

(Also – am I the only one who won’t bother with a cookbook unless it has BEAUTIFUL pictures? I have literally flipped through a book, saw it had little/no pictures, and placed it back on the shelf. Who sells a cookbook filled with only WORDS?? Ok, rant over ๐Ÿ™‚

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Creamy Nutella Pudding

This recipe came about as a result of being out of peanut butter…let’s just say I’m glad I dropped the ball on stockpiling the PB ๐Ÿ˜‰ This Nutella pudding didn’t last long in our house and there weren’t any leftovers.

CAUTION: This isn’t a recipe for those who “kinda” like Nutella – it’s for those of us who eat it straight out of the container with a spoon. Nutella is an awesome substitute in recipes where you don’t mind some chocolate flavor (who would mind that??).ย  Whipped cream dolloped right on top before serving takes this recipe over the edge, and actually cuts back just a bit on the sweetness of the pudding. Make this a few hours before you dive in, as you’ll need to let it firm up and get cold in the fridge first.

This recipe also is a great way to use up egg yolks if you *ahem* have a macaron-making addiction (seeย http://www.weirdlittlefrenchcookie.com/recipe/easy-strawberry-macarons/ ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy! – Tiffany

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Creamy Nutella Pudding
A rich and tasty Nutella pudding that comes together quickly.
Nutella pudding
Course Desserts
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Desserts
Servings
people
Ingredients
Nutella pudding
Instructions
  1. Whisk together your sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Don't put this on the stove top yet!
  2. Slowly whisk in your milk and break up any cornstarch lumps.
  3. Whisk in your egg yolks and Nutella. Don't worry if it's a bit lumpy; it will smooth out while cooking.
  4. Place your pan on medium heat and continue to whisk. You'll be whisking for 5 to 10 minutes. This will begin to thicken and go from runny to pudding consistency pretty quickly. When it starts to bubble up, turn your heat down to low and cook about a minute more while whisking the whole time.
  5. Remove from heat and strain the pudding through a mesh colander. This will get rid of any lumps and make your finished product nice and smooth.
  6. Stir in your butter and vanilla extract while pudding is still hot.
  7. Let sit for about 5 minutes and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top; this will keep your delicious pudding from getting a "skin" on it.
  8. Chill in the fridge for several hours.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from I Wash You Dry peanut butter pudding.

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