Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

These cinnamon buns are surprisingly simple to prepare.  I like to double the filling and the glaze, but it’s still yummy as directed. 

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns
Adapted from The Best of Cooking Light

Ingredients
Buns:

  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place , free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake the rolls at in preheated oven at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

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    Cranberry-Orange Scones

    Some days scones are just necessary.

    Cranberry-Orange Scones
    adapted from The Williams Sonoma Baking Book

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups (15oz) all purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • grated zest of 1 orange, or 1 tsp orange oil
    • 10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 cup (8 fl oz) cold buttermilk
    • 1 cup (6 oz) frozen or dried cranberries
    • 3/4 cup (3 oz) powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice, or as needed

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 425.

    In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest.  Add the butter to the flour mixture.  Using a pastry blender cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture all at once and stir until a sticky dough forms.  Stir in the cranberries until evenly distributed.
    Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  With floured hands, gently knead the dough 8-10 strokes, it will be very soft.  Press the dough into a thick circle.  Cut into 8 pieces.
    Place the wedges, 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet or pizza stone.  Bake until the scones are golden brown 14-18 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks.
    In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar with the orange juice until smooth.  Adjust the consistency with a little more juice, if needed; it should be thick but pourable.  Using a pastry brush, top warm scone with glaze.  Let stand 10 minutes to set.

      Forrest’s Granola

      Forrest’s Granola

      Ingredients

      •  4 Cups Oats
      • ¼ Cup Shredded Coconut
      • 6 TBS Agave
      • 2/3 Cup Coconut Oil
      • 1 ½ TSB Vanilla Extract
      • 6 pinches salt
      • 4 ½ TBS Cinnamon
      • 3 TBS Wheat Germ
      • 2/3 Cup Sunflower Butter
      • 6 TBS Apple Sauce

       

      Directions

      Combine ingredients in a large bowl and transfer to a sheet pan.

      In a preheated 300 degree oven, bake granola, stirring every 10 minutes.
      Cook till dry, around 25-40 minutes.  Turn off oven and let granola sit until oven is cool.
       

      Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

      Starbucks thinks they’re really clever, offering tiny Vanilla Bean Scones that are just big enough to make you fall in love, and just small enough to leave you wanting more.  I decided to seek out an at home version of these addictive pastries, and as always, The Pioneer Woman was there for me.

      Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
      Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

      Ingredients

      SCONES

      • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
      • ⅔ cups sugar
      • 5 tsp baking powder
      • ¼ tsp salt
      • 2 sticks unsalted butter, ice cold and cubed
      • 1 egg
      • ¾ cups cream
      • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste

      GLAZE

      • 2 ½  cups powdered sugar, sifted
      • ½ cups whole milk
      • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
      • dash of salt

      Directions

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

      Stir vanilla bean paste into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.

      Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter (or food processor!) to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.

      Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.

      Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.  Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.   Cut into scone like shapes.

      Transfer to a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until very lightly browned . Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

      To make the icing, stir vanilla bean paste into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Whisk until completely smooth.

      With scones on a slotted cooling rack, drizzle glaze over the top. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour.

      Overnight French Toast

      During the holidays, we’re always hosting meals with friends.  This french toast recipe is a good one to have on hand for a special breakfast.

      Overnight French Toast
      Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

      6 to 8 slices bread, somewhat stale
      5 egg whites
      3/4 cup (6 ounces) cream, heavy, whipping, or light
      pinch of salt
      1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
      1 tbsp cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon vanilla

      Preheat the oven to 400°F.

      In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir till smooth but not foamy. Pour the batter into a shallow casserole dish large enough to hold the bread snugly.

      Refrigerate overnight, flipping occasionally. 

      Preheat oven to 350, bake for 40 minutes.  Serve warm with favorite toppings.

      Cappuccino Scones

      I just finished reading Judith Ryan Hendricks’ The Baker’s Apprentice, a pleasant novel about a bread baker.  The book gives a few recipes for the reader to enjoy long after the book has been shelved.  I decided to make this recipe for Cappuccino Scones.  They were wonderful!  I used a tablespoon of cinnamon instead of a teaspoon, but otherwise kept the recipe intact.  With 2 tbsp espresso powder, we decided to have these as an afternoon snack rather than dessert.

      Cappuccino Scones
      2 cups all-purpose flour
      1/2 cup sugar
      1 T. baking powder
      1/2 t. salt
      1/4 t. cinnamon
      6 T. butter, very cold, cut into small cubes or shredded frozen with grater
      2 T. instant espresso powder
      3/4 c. heavy cream
      1 large egg, lightly beaten
      Additional cream and sugar for glaze
      Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until pieces are about pea size.
      In a small bowl, stir the cappuccino powder into the cream until dissolved, add egg just to blend. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a large fork, until just barely combined. Finish by kneading gently with your hands until all dry ingredients are absorbed and the dough can be gathered into a moist ball. Do not over knead.
      Set the ball in the center of the baking sheet and pat gently into a round circle, around 1 1/2 in. thick and 7 in. in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges and gently separate. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
      Bake for 18-22 minutes until scones are a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.
      *These can be frozen, unbaked, and baked without thawing; just allow 5-10 extra minutes of baking time.

      Homemade Yogurt

      Thank goodness for Two Peas and Their Pod!  This is the first yogurt recipe that I have found that actually turns out like I’d hoped.  I’m thinking I’ll just use this as a base for the flavors I’d like to have.

      Homemade Yogurt
      Two Peas and Their Pod

      42 ounces fresh milk
      6 oz. plain yogurt

      1. Pour milk into a high-sided saucepan. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Heat the milk until 170 degrees. This will take about 1-2 minutes. The milk will start to climb the side of the pan.

      2. Remove pan from heat and allow the milk to cool to lukewarm-110 degrees. To speed up the process you can place the pan in cold water.

      3. In a bowl, add the yogurt and stir in some of the milk. Whisk well. Make sure the yogurt is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth.

      4. Pour the mixture into the jars of the yogurt maker. Follow the yogurt maker’s instructions. It typically takes 10-12 hours, the longer it matures, the thicker it is.

      5. When the yogurt is done resting, chill it in the fridge with the lids on the jars. The yogurt will stay good for 10 days.