Easy 30-minute soft pretzels with a 3-ingredient cinnamon-Nutella glaze. Perfect treat for date night, or any night!
Hello friends! Now that the football season finale Super Bowl is over, everyone is heading full swing into Valentines Day. Of course, I’ve been in the V-Day state of mind since New Years (In caseyou couldn’ttell).
I’ve always had a love- hate relationship with Valentines Day. On the once hand, I’m like “ugh, stupid made up consumerist holiday,” but on the other hand… “hearts and chocolate and flowers and love and PINK OMG.” I just can’t decide if I like it or not.
But you know what I do know I like? Food that Boyfriend and I both love. His favorite food is pretzels, and I’ve had a love affair with Nutella since I first had it five years ago. I used Sally’s recipe for soft pretzels and turned them into bites. It only takes 30 minutes and five ingredients to make these pretzels! I attempted to make them heart-shaped, but they didn’t quite hold their shape after baking. Here’s a visual of what I did if you want to make them heart shaped as well.
(Pardon the horrible lighting, these photos were taken at 10:00PM.)
The glaze is SO SO easy to make and so, so good. All you do is whisk together Nutella, cinnamon, and milk. I used 2% cows milk, but you may use whatever milk you prefer. I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon, so I kept the cinnamon to only one teaspoon. If you’re a cinnamon lover, you may want to add more.
I’m not including the recipe for the pretzel bites, because a) it’s not my recipe, and b) I’ve posted about it before. You may use whatever pretzel recipe you know and love, but I highly encourage making this glaze- it’s easy and perfect for date night, or any night.
Soft, Buttery crescent rolls with a pumpkin spice filling. Made easy by using pre-made crescents, pumpkin, and fall spices.
Okay, so technically this is a little more than two ingredients- it’s three. I’m sorry if you feel I lied! I developed it with the intention to be two- crescent rolls and pumpkin pie filling. However, my grocery store was out of pumpkin pie filling (lots of food bloggers in this area, perhaps?), so I used pure pumpkin and cinnamon sugar. I’m advising you all, however, to use pumpkin spice (found in the spice aisle) or your favorite blend of fall spices. (Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ect.)
These are super easy. I’m all about the ease these days, given that I live in a dorm room and now do all my baking in a toaster oven. (Granted, a large, powerful kitchen aid toaster oven!) I made these in about 30 minutes, and they are the perfect quick treat- after school snack, breakfast, or side dish for Thanksgiving dinners!
Just crack open a tube of crescent rolls, spread 1 C of pumpkin over top, and sprinkle with spices. Then bake according to package directions- I used Pillsbury, and my baking time was around 15 minutes. Bake until they are golden brown- all ovens are different, so you should use your eyes and not rely 100% on baking times.
These are easy, quick, and perfect for when you need a quick recipe for dinner or your Thanksgiving potluck.
It’s Monday. Treat Yo’Self. (Parks and Rec, anyone?)(I watch too much TV.)
In Northwest Baltimore there’s this restaurant called Miss Shirley’s, and they have amazing food. Like, featured on Food Network good. Last November my parents took my grandparents there, and Brian and I tagged along. They have the best selection of breakfast foods, including cinnamon roll french toast. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and wanting to make a copycat forever. I finally did, and boy am I so glad.
To make it easier, I used a can of pre-made rolls from the grocery store. Frying is fussy enough, let’s make things easier for ourselves. Flatten them with the palm of your hand, dip them in a mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla, and fry. It’s important not to fry more than two at a time- remember, cinnamon rolls are a yeasted bread, and are meant to rise while baking. While we did flatten them before, they will rise in the pan and you will need to flatten them again while cooking.
These are so easy to make, and take no time at all- less than 30 minutes start to finish. I’m cool with that! Crunchy, warm, cinnamon-y, doughy french toast in less than 30 minutes is something I’m kind of in love with.
They’ll freeze well, too. I store them in a gallon freezer bag, and I toss them in the toaster one or two at a time for a quick, decadent breakfast even when I’m short on time.
This month I am participating in the Love and Olive Oil Kitchen Challenge. Each month in 2013, Lindsay is challenging herself and her readers to make something that seems “scary” or that she has always wanted to make. This months challenge is Bagels, and being the Carbohydrate Queen I am, jumped at the opportunity.
Note: This article contains a lot of text. I felt this was necessary to explain why this was a challenge, and to explain how it’s really not hard at all. I also felt it was necessary to explain why I did what I did; how I differed from the original source, and to explain the technique of making and forming bagels. If you would like to skip down to the recipe, feel free to do so. However, it is recommended to read the entire post before baking the bagels.
But I couldn’t just make any old plain bagel. I had to make something new, interesting, and summary. I love Panera and go there frequently when I am at school for bagels, and love all their interesting flavors with different types of crumb toppings. (PS: Pumpkin spice bagels with pumpkin spice lattes are a perfect fall breakfast) So I decided to create a summer ode to the perfection that is Panera Crumb Topping bagels and made a S’mores Bagels. I love bagels, I love S’mores, combining the two was destiny.
Not that making this was easy. It seems easy; a yeasted dough baking at a high temperature and topped with graham crackers, chocolate chips, and marshmallow bits. I love yeasted doughs and make them all the time. However, making bagels is a two day long process that involves two raises, proofing, an overnight rest, and being boiled before you bake them for a mere 16 minutes.
And then there are the ingredients. The original recipe calls for barley malt syrup. What the heck is that? The recipe stated that it can be found in most grocery stores, but I didn’t see it. I opted to use molasses, which didn’t seem to make too much of a difference. (Of course, now I have almost an entire bottle of molasses to use up, which I need to think of ways to do. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.)
Looking back, I can see why this was such a challenge and seems scary!
After letting the dough rise, we shape the bagels, after dividing them into 6-8 parts. I made 6. There are two ways to do this: The easy way, and the way that professionals prefer to use. I did both, and preferred the easy way. The professional way is to roll the mound of dough into a long rope, moisten the ends, wrap the rope around your hand with the ends meeting between your thumb and forefinger, and roll the circle for a bit to close the seam. Confused yet?
The easy way is to make a hole in the mound of dough with your thumbs and to stretch it out to about two inches in diameter. You can see why I preferred this way!
We let them sit overnight on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat that is lightly oiled. Make sure you do this in the fridge, we don’t want the bagels to rise any more! About 60-90 minutes before baking, pull them out and perform a “float test:” fill a small bowl with cold water and dip one of the bagels into it. If the bagel floats, they are ready to bake. If not, put them back in the fridge and pull them out in about an hour.
Next is the boiling. This step is necessary because it creates the tight crumb that bagels are known for. You know how the air pockets in italian or other sandwich breads are much bigger than in bagels or pretzels? That’s what “tight crumb” means. There are less air pockets and the bread as a whole is more dense. This is a result of boiling the bread before baking. Instead of boiling in just plain water, we add some molasses, salt, and baking soda. Technically, you are supposed to add these after bringing the water to a boil, but I added them all at once and my bagels turned out fine.
Turn the heat down to low and dunk the donuts in the water and let them simmer for a minute or so. Flip them over and let them soak for about 15-30 more seconds before removing from the water and placing on a lined and oiled cookie sheet. If you are using parchment paper, make sure it is oiled– otherwise the paper will glue itself to the bagels while they’re baking.
Here we top with our crumb topping. I took a usual crumb topping- flour, sugar, and butter- and added crushed graham crackers, marshmallow bits, and chocolate chips. You may have some leftover- I did. Feel free to half the recipe if you prefer. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on the crumb topping before baking for 16-20 minutes.
Here is where I differed from the original recipe again: You technically are supposed to heat the oven to 500˚ for 30 minutes before lowering to 450˚ while baking. I skipped this step (an accident- I didn’t read the recipe completely before baking) and my bagels baked perfectly for 16 minutes.
In conclusion, I’m really happy I decided to participate in this challenge. It was a great way to stretch my baking skills, learn how to make another bread, and save money on food I love. And it helped me to be more creative in the kitchen! If you’re calorie conscious, feel free to slice the unbaked rounds in half to make bagel thins.
1/2 C crushed graham crackers (about 3 graham crackers)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C marshallow bits
1/4 C chocolate chips
Stir together molasses, yeast, salt, and water. Pour into flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook for about three minutes. If not using a stand mixer, mix with a wooden spoon in a large bowl for about three minutes, until the dough forms a stiff ball and the flour is fully hydrated.
Let the dough rest for about five minutes. Move to a floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes, until smooth, supple, and stiff. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with a lightly oiled silicone mat or parchment paper. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal parts and form each piece into a loose ball. Shape the bagels by poking a hole in the center and stretching it out with both thumbs until it is about 2 inches in diameter. (You may also use the other method mentioned in the blog post; roll the ball out into a long, even rope. Moisten the ends and wrap around your hand. Roll the seam a few times to seal the seam.)
Place on prepared sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator and up to 2 days.
On baking day, remove the bagels from the refrigerator 60-90 minutes before baking. Fill a small bowl with cold water and place one of the bagels in the water. If it floats, it is ready to bake. If not, let rest a little bit longer.
Make the crumb topping- combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and cut together with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands until butter is broken down and combined with flour in small pieces.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
Combine all of the ingredients for the poaching liquid and bring to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and plae 3-4 bagels in. When they float, let them simmer for about 1 minute. Flip them with a slotted spoon or spatula and let simmer for another 15-30 seconds. Transfer back to the prepared pan dome side up. If needed, oil the paper or mat a second time before placing the bagels.
Brush the bagels with 2 Tbs melted butter, then sprinkle on the crumb topping.
Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and check the bottom of the bagels. If they’re too dark, place a second pan under the bagels. Bake for another 8-12 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
Store bagels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
First things first, Google Reader is going away in 1 week! I don’t want anyone to miss my new posts and recipes, so be sure to follow me on bloglovin’ or your new reader of choice! I have been using Bloglovin and love it! Plus, there’s a smartphone app, so you can even catch up on your favorite blogs on the go. If you switch before google reader goes away, they make it very easy to import your Google feed into bloglovin’.
Anyway, Apple Bread. My mom has been baking this for YEARS and it is always a favorite. She got this recipe years and years and years ago back in the Stone Age from the Richmond newspaper. (Kidding about the stone age! I love you mommy!) (It was actually 1988.) (I think. Sometime in the 80’s.)
Whenever we have apples that are starting to go bad, apple bread gets made, and then things are right in the world. This bread is full of apples and cinnamon and nutmeg, with an ooey, gooey top crust. Dad and I like slathering it with peanut butter and eating it for breakfast. This makes two loaves, so we usually eat one right away, and freeze the second, or give it away to a neighbor or friend. Last Saturday Brian and I went to where I grew up in Pennsylvania and we took it as road trip fuel!
Don’t be fooled by the apples. This is not a skinny recipe by any means. It’s full of butter and sugar and FIVE eggs! But, this is a damn good recipe. You go, Richmond Times.
Note: The original recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter. I baked the bread only using two sticks, and it was very good. If you want a more moist bread with an ooey, gooey, top, use three sticks. If you want a firmer loaf or to cut calories, use two sticks. Both variations will make a wonderful bread.
So let’s talk life for a moment. According to my dentist, I have a bunch of cavities in my mouth. I have no idea what he meant by “a bunch,” but needless to say, I want to keep my teeth. I came home from the dentist, ate three chocolate chip cookies and resolved to eat better and create some healthier recipes- starting with these homemade pita chips and hummus.
My favorite part about these recipes is how easier they are! I made them both less than half an hour total. They’re so incredibly easy and healthy. For the hummus, all you need one can of chick peas- or garbanzo beans. I didn’t realize they were the same thing, so after not finding them in Safeway I made a 20 minute treck to Trader Joe’s, wandered around for 15 minutes, and finally asked someone who worked there… only to be told that garbanzo beans and chick peas were the same thing. So yeah. Heads up.
Anyway, all you need is a food processor or blender, some olive oil, and a 15 oz can of chick peas. It could not be simpler. I added in some garlic, salt, and pepper as well for taste. For the pita chips, you simply brush some pita rounds with olive oil & spices, sprinkle on sea salt, slice, and bake for 10 minutes.
This is one of my favorite recipes on this blog and I see it becoming a staple in my house! Plus, with minimal oven time, pita chips and hummus are a perfect summertime recipe.
for the chips:
4 pita rounds
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp oregano
sea salt, to taste.
for the hummus
1 15 oz can chick peas
4 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
To make the chips: Mix olive oil and spices. Brush on pita rounds and sprinkle on sea salt. Slice each pita round into 12 pieces and arrange on baking sheet. Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes. Halfway through flip chips over.
To make the hummus: Place chick peas in canister of food processor and blend until smooth. Add olive oil and mix until combined. Add spices and combine.
I always get my best inspiration from foods I eat elsewhere and love so much I want to replicate them at home. Last week when I was traveling with my grandparents, they bought apple cinnamon swirl bread, which is pretty much the best bread I ever ate. And I eat a lot of bread- my parents call me the Carbohydrate Queen.
I decided after one slice that this was something I needed to make at home. The day after I came back from my trip, I researched and developed a copycat bread recipe. This is a simple recipe, containing only 7 ingredients, but it does require some time, (an hour to rise and 30 minutes to bake) and a dough hook.
To make a lighter and fluffier bread, you want to use as little flour as possible. I used just over 2 1/4 of flour, which for bread isn’t much. I normally prefer not to use a dough hook and stir and knead doughs by hand. But I knew this was going to be a very sticky dough and opted for the dough hook. If you don’t have a dough hook or a stand mixer, you can easily mix this by hand with a wooden spoon and knead by hand if you wish- just add a few more tablespoons of flour.
Let it rise, and then knead by hand on a liberally floured surface. You’ll also want to flour your hands, especially if it’s humid. I made a second loaf on a very humid day with a broken oven, and dough soaked up the flour like nobody’s business. I was constantly re-flouring my hands and silicone mat. The first time I made the bread, with a working AC and on a less humid day, I used less flour kneading and rolling.
You’re going to roll out the bread, and brush 3 Tbs of butter over every inch of the dough. I mean it when I say every inch. If you forget to butter the edge, the swirl will get hidden in the center of the loaf and will be uneven. Then you add two teaspoons of sugar and as much cinnamon as your heart desires. I didn’t measure this, I just turned the bottle over and shook out a ton of cinnamon. Again, cover every inch of the dough. Every. Single. Inch. Then you toss on some diced apples and roll up the dough. You can stop here and finish the bread the next day, or can bake it right away.
This could easily be doubled to make two loaves of bread if just one isn’t enough. This is a small bread that goes quickly! But it is delicious and worth making more of. It’s wonderful toasted with butter, peanut butter, and I’m sure it would be paired perfectly with a vanilla glaze.
2 and 1/4- 1/2 Tbs Flour
2 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 C warm water
1 packet yeast
dash salt, to taste
dash cinnamon, to taste
For the filling:
3 Tbs butter, melted
2 tsp sugar
cinnamon, to taste
1/2 medium apple, peeled and diced.
Measure out the water in a glass measuring cup and add the yeast. Set aside.
In the bowl of the stand mixer mix together 2 1/4C flour, brown sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon. Add the water and mix for 5-10 minutes with the dough hook attachment. If necessary, add the remaining flour 1 Tbs at a time. Transfer to a greased bowl and let rise for one hour.
Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead until springy. Roll out into a 9×14 rectangle and brush with butter. Sprinkle on cinnamon and apples. Roll into a cylinder and place in a 5×9 bread tin.
bake at 400˚F for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown. let cool on wire rack.
Happy mothers day to all the mothers reading this! I made these scones for breakfast for my mom on Mothers day. (Hi mommy.) I also gave some to Brian’s mom, and she loved them! She was all excited yesterday to tell me that she had them for breakfast, and I would not be surprised if they were gone by tonight. (Hi Franny!)
A few weeks ago, my mom and I went to a women’s tea hosted by her church. I was wonderful, but my favorite part was the scones- Orange vanilla and strawberry, served with lemon curd and devonshire cream. They were fantastic, and I left determined to make the scones myself.
I really like scones, guys. This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker, and the glaze is a creation all of my own. *sort of… it’s just cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. It’s so basic it can hardly be counted as a recipe and there are thousands out there.
I cut these round, mostly for ease. Rolling them out then using a cutter is much more easier than shaping and slicing and hoping they’re the same. They’re much more moist and less crumbly than your traditional scone, and the glaze helps to lock in the moisture for even longer.
Oh my lanta, this glaze. I could just slurp it off a spoon. In fact, I used to when I was younger. I would sneak downstairs at night and mix up milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a little bowl and eat it sitting on the counter. (… hi mom and dad! you didn’t read that! Blame whoever got me the Emeril Lagase cookbook!) I tried using heavy cream for the glaze- I’m not skipping out for my momma- but about 4 tablespoons in, I realized it was too thick and went back to using milk. Heavy cream is fine for making light and fluffy icings, but it’s much too thick for making a glaze.
These are thick, fluffy, and full of orage flavor, with the zest of two oranges in the mix. They also use buttermilk, but don’t stop reading here! You can easily substitute and make your own! You’ll want about a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every 1 cup of milk. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of milk, so put 3/4 Tbs in a liquid measuring cup, then fill to the 3/4 cup line and let sit for five minutes. After that, I like to add the zest to the milk so it can really get nice and friendly and infuse the flavor. I let it sit while I’m working my dry ingredients before adding the egg and pouring it in.
1/3 C buttermilk (to substitute: pour 1/3 Tbs lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Pour in regular milk up to the 1/3 c line. Let sit 5 minutes.)
Zest from 2 oranges
3 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C granulated sugar
2 and 1/2 tps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter
1 large egg
For the Glaze:
2 C Powdered sugar
6 Tbs Milk
1 and 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400˚.
Add the orange zest to the buttermilk and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl seift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture is mealy and crumbly.
Add the egg to the buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) and beat. Add the mixture to the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon to create a soft dough.
Knead on a floured surface 10-15 times. Roll out to a 1-inch thickness and cut with a round cutter. Reshape and re-roll with the scraps, trying to use as much dough as possible. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until top edges are golden brown.
Let chill for a few minutes, then dip in glaze and let chill on a wire rack.
To make the glaze: Combine sugar, milk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
Something I made a few months back when I was visiting home and enjoying the use of my parents kitchen was Pull-Apart Pizza bread.
I always take advantage their real, wonderful, kitchen to test out some new recipes, and today was Pull Apart Pizza bread, which I discovered over on Stick a Fork in it and adapted a bit. I chose this one because Pizza is Brian’s favorite food. I’m a good girlfriend. Plus, pizza is a super simple dish to make.
I made my own dough, using my mother’s recipe which is loosely adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook, mostly out of laziness.
Just throw all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add yeast to very warm (not hot) water, and add the water mixture and olive oil and mix! Then let it rise, knead, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it! It’s the easiest thing ever. I think people overestimate how simple pizza dough is.
I made my own sauce, too. I used two 8-oz cans of tomato sauce, and sprinkled in whatever spices sounded good from the spice cabinet that I vaguely remember watching my mom use growing up. I ended up using sugar, salt, italian seasoning, parsley, basil, pepper, and possibly some others.
Then you roll out the dough, add the sauce and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, slice and stack, bake and walla! I did it in two halves, because the original recipe called for 1/2 of a pizza crust, but that really wasn’t enough. I barely filled my bread pan.
So here’s how the recipe goes:
Pull Apart Pizza Bread (original recipe here.)
1 Pizza Crust (I made my own, but you can also use a storebought one.)
1 cup pizza sauce (again, I made my own, but you can use premade.)
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Any toppings of choice.
Pizza Crust (Adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook)
2 1/2 – 3 cups all- purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup very warm water
In a large bowl mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, the sugar, and the salt. Measure out the water and add the yeast. Add the oil to the dry ingredients and stir in the water mixture. Slowly add more flour (about a teaspoon at a time) and knead the dough, until it is smooth and springing. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for around 30 minutes.
Once the dough is risen, roll out the dough in a large rectangle and add the sauce, cheese, and your toppings. Using a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into long strips, then into squares, so you end up with about 20 squares. Stack the squares onto of each other, and stack into a greased loaf pan. (For pictures of how to do that, go here or here.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, then bake in a preheated oven at 400º for 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan.