Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread

This cinnamon apple twist bread had nothing to do with a bake challenge and everything to do with it looking fabulous!

This bake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Both of my children were big fans of this, which is RARE. The bread is nice and soft with swirls of apple cinnamon flavor throughout. It was tasty already without the icing, but definitely tastier with it. I warmed up a few pieces the next day in our toaster oven and they were still yummy.

I’ve made a few braided breads before and each time they look a little better. The braid looks tighter, less stuff spilling out the sides. Practice makes improved, I suppose.

I appreciate the fact that this doesn’t have chunks of apple. You shred it and really don’t notice the texture in the bake, just the flavor and the moisture from the apples. This recipe makes 2 large loaves, so be prepared to share or halve your ingredients. Now that I think about it, I did neither of those things and we just ate both loaves 😉

Yet another fantastic recipe from King Arthur Flour here.

 

South African Milk Tart

Okay, so technically this milk tart is a pie and was ALMOST a baking fail, but I saved it!

My Reddit bake challenge was South Africa, hence this South African Milk Tart. It has a sweet shortcrust pastry and a vanilla custard-type filling, finished with a liberal dash of cinnamon.

The recipe went swimmingly at first – nicely thickened custard and beautiful crust. I popped it into the fridge to firm up.

Next morning I lift off the parchment to see LIQUID SOUP. No firming whatsoever overnight.

I had the thought of just pitching it, but decided to scrape it out of the pastry and re-cook the filling on the stove. Another 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in water and then added to the boiling custard totally worked!

I took it out of the fridge next day and it was nice and firm. I was able to cut it cleanly, and I’m so glad I didn’t just bag the whole thing and throw it out 🙂

Final verdict – this was a tasty bake. The filling was creamy, cold, and definitely full of vanilla flavor. The heavy dose of cinnamon put this over the top, though. I absolutely wouldn’t leave that out! The shortcrust pastry added a great crunchy texture to an otherwise very smooth pie.

Hopefully the filling will set up for you the first time! I’m going to assume I didn’t cook it long enough the first time, which is why I was able to salvage it the next day.

Original recipe here.

 

 

 

Mardi Gras Macarons

Happy Mardi Gras!

Is that what you are supposed to say? I don’t know – Mardi Gras here in PA is marked mostly by baked goods in grocery stores turning purple, green and gold for a few weeks and then disappearing. Hence these macarons!

This is my favorite go-to mac recipe now. It’s so easy to add some flavoring oils to change it up, but also just makes a yummy plain macaron. Yay for simplicity 🙂

BTW, are you looking for step-by-step mac instructions? LOOK NO FURTHER! Click here for a picture tutorial.

As you can see by the pic, these macs are tri-colored, albeit not very evenly done. I used this Wilton Color Swirl decorating set (affiliate link). I’m still working on my technique! Macs are so little that getting the ‘twist’ color scheme is a challenge. I suspect I’ll have better luck with cupcakes.

Lastly, there’s a yummy cinnamon buttercream inside these colored cuties, which seems to be a common theme in a Mardi Gras king cake.

Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Mardi Gras Macarons
A simple and tasty Mardi Gras themed macaron. Filled with cinnamon buttercream and tri-colored!
Mardi Gras macarons
Course Desserts
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Macaron Shells
Cinnamon Buttercream
Course Desserts
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Macaron Shells
Cinnamon Buttercream
Mardi Gras macarons
Instructions
Make your macaron shells!
  1. Preheat oven to 280 F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat.
  2. Sift together powdered sugar and almond flour. Set aside.
  3. In a very clean bowl and starting on slow, whip up your egg whites. Once they are very foamy, start to slowly add your granulated sugar, a tablespoon or so at a time.
  4. Keep going until you get to stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl over your head and not have a pile of meringue land on your head 😉
  5. When you have stiff peaks, sift your almond flour/powdered sugar a second time directly over your meringue.
  6. Using the mac folding technique (see link to tutorial above or watch some You Tube videos!), fold in your flour/sugar into the meringue. Right before you get your lava consistency, add your gel color to your desired shade. For the tri-color I divided my batter up into 3 bowls and dyed each batch a different color and then used the Wilton Color Swirl coupler to pipe these. You could also still divide up the batter, dye 3 colors, and just make some purple macs, green macs, yellow macs, etc. Or make them plain and brush a little watered-down gel color on top when they are finished.
  7. After adding color, mix to the correct lava consistency appropriate for macs.
  8. Pipe batter into circles on your baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, turn them around, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes for standard size macs. They are done when one can be picked up off the parchment and not come apart.
  10. Let cool and then carefully pluck off parchment.
Make the cinnamon buttercream!
  1. Using a mixer, whip up your butter.
  2. Sift your powdered sugar and cinnamon over the butter and mix well.
  3. Add in your vanilla extract. If buttercream is too thick, add a bit of milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until you get a nice piping consistency, i.e not runny but easily piped.
  4. Taste the buttercream and add more cinnamon if you like, a dash of salt, etc.
  5. Fill the macs with the buttercream.
Recipe Notes

If we aren't going to eat macs within the day, I put them in the fridge and they will last a few days (although I believe taste better room temp!). They also freeze well for longer periods and thaw out quickly.

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