Cinnamon and Sugar Sweet Rolls

I admit it.  Baking with yeast takes it up a notch.  The Easter Bunny prepared this yummy treat for our family.  When a recipe can be started the night before, I am all in.   Cinnamon and sugar is a win win.  Add a serving of bacon or sausage, done and done. High Five!  These were made with love for my boys.   I can only hope that sharing this recipe brings sweetness to your life.

overnight-cinnamon-twist5

INGREDIENTS

Dough:
    • 4 1/2 cups (22.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
    • 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 large eggs (7 ounces)
    • 1 1/4 cup hot water
    • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted
Filling:
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup (3,75 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Glaze:
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
  • Splash of vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl (to allow for about 7-8 cups of dough to double in bulk), whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and pour them into the well. Use the same measuring cup for the hot water. Pour it around the edges of the well (not directly on the eggs) and then add the melted butter to the bowl. Use a large spoon to mix the ingredients together until a soft, rather wet dough is formed. It won’t look like traditional cinnamon roll dough; it will be much softer and it’s ok if it looks a bit lumpy. Magic happens overnight, I promise.
  3. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for 8-10 hours.
  4. Using about 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (more or less), dust a clean countertop. Lightly punch down the chilled dough and roll it out on the floured counter to a long, skinny rectangle (about 24-inches long and 7 or 8-inches wide).
  5. Spread the 4 tablespoons melted butter on the rectangle. It will solidify and be easier to work with as you spread it on the chilly rectangle of dough. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and spread it on top of the butter, lightly pressing it in.
  6. Fold one long edge of the rectangle up to meet the other long edge so the dough is folded in half. Use a pizza cutter or knife and cut the dough into 1-inch strips. With each strip, hold an end in each hand and twist it up several times and roll it around the center into a circle (see pictures below for a visual). Place on a large, rimmed baking sheet (11X17-inch) lined with parchment paper (about 12 per tray).
  7. Cover the trays with greased, plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until puffy and doubled, an hour or so.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden on top (don’t overbake or they’ll be dry).
  9. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. Add more milk as needed until the glaze is thick but pourable. Let the rolls cool for 5 or so minutes before drizzling with glaze.

This recipe came from a friend of a friend and then from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, which has many fabulous recipes.  (thanks Mandy for the find!)

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

I would put these muffins in the category of “too healthy to be good.” But they are good! They are easy too, and made with things that are usually on hand. I make them quite often, even for company! (PS For the ultimate in convenience, you can even find pre-shredded carrots near the baby carrots in the grocery store!)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose and 1/2 cup wheat)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins*
1/4 cup chopped dates*
1/4 cup cranberries* (or any dried fruit works!)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed

*if the raisins, dates or cranberries are tough, soak them in water for 10 minutes or so to soften.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in oats, raisins, dates, and cranberries. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots and banana and stir until just blended.

Fill each muffin cup with one ice cream scoop of batter; it will be thick. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, freeze or keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Egg Bake

We just got back from a wonderful few days at Seabrook and have to share two of the recipes that our good friends Jeremy and Shelly brought. This one is an egg bake. It’s got a few steps, but it’s pretty simple to throw together… and worth it! The ultimate one-dish breakfast casserole! It’s excellent left over, and you could even get saucy and put it in a tortilla!

1 package round tater tots
10 eggs
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 package Jimmy Dean sausage (optional, or substitute ham)
1 package sausage or country gravy mix (Durkee is good)
1-1.5 cups cheddar cheese

Put frozen tater tots into a 13 X 9 greased pan. Mix eggs and milk, and pour over tots.

If using sausage, cook it and sprinkle it over the eggs.

Make one packet of gravy. The trick is not to let it get too thick, so it pours easily. Pour over the tots and eggs (and meat if added).

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top (use 1-1.5 cups) and then cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes to get it golden brown.

Dutch Baby Pancakes

dutch baby

Need a special treat for a weekend breakfast?  Get out your favorite seasoned iron skillet or purchase one and start a whole new world of cooking.   I felt super special recently when a friend made these for my son (age 12) and I.  Chris served these pancakes (cooked in the oven, but more like thicker version of crepes) with blueberry syrup, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and a wedge of lemon.   A side of sausage and bacon was the perfect touch.  Hospitality at its best. Thanks Chris and Darci, you know how to make your house guests feel extra special.

3 T. butter, room temp
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a medium cast iron skillet or oven proof nonstick skillet, Melt 2 T. of butter over medium heat.

In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, and 1/4 c. sugar.  Blend until foamy, about 1 minute.  Pour batter into skillet, bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes,

Dot pancake with a tablespoon of butter, powdered sugar, and a small amount of lemon juice.  Slice into wedges and serve immediately.

Serve with fruit and your favorite breakfast meat.

Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche

Hudson had his first sleepover last night, so I took the opportunity to make a savory breakfast. (Hudson can only abide by sweets for breakfast.) It was easy, economical (the website said $6.19 for the whole thing) and delicious. I tweaked it by sauteing some summer squash and cooked, sliced turkey links with the mushrooms, and I replaced feta with the Swiss I had on hand. I barely measured a thing, and it came out great! I wasn’t shy with salt, which I think made it even better. 
Serves: 6

8 oz. fresh mushrooms
½ tsp minced garlic
Non-stick spray
1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 oz. feta cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ cup shredded mozzarella
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If your frozen spinach is not already thawed, thaw it in the microwave. Empty the box into a colander and let it drain while you begin to prepare the rest.

Quickly rinse the mushrooms and slice them thinly. Place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet coated with non-stick spray, add the minced garlic, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and no more water remains on the bottom of the skillet (5-7 minutes). Note this is a place to get creative. with other veggies and/or crumbled sausage or bacon.

Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray. Squeeze the rest of the water out of the spinach and spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish. Next add the cooked mushrooms and crumbled feta. (Since I used swiss, I added a large dash of seasoned salt to the spinach.)

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth. Add the milk, parmesan, and another small sprinkle of pepper. Whisk to combine. (This step can be completed while the mushrooms are cooking) Pour this mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet for easy transfer into the oven. Place the quiche into the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top and the center is solid. Every oven is different but this should take between 45 minutes and an hour. (Mine took about 50 minutes.) Slice and serve!

Adapted from Budget Bytes

Sausage Potato Breakfast Casserole

Thank heaven for house guests!  With upcoming company this weekend, I went on the search for the perfect breakfast casserole.  I didn’t have to search long, as I remembered my friend and neighbor, Tina’s famous casserole.  It has always reminded me of something I had at a B and B years ago in Sante Fe.   I have had this and made this on several occasions.  The fact that you can make it ahead of time, is always a plus.  There are many great breakfast casseroles, but I love the simplicity and the fact this only has 6 ingredients.  Serve with tortillas, biscuits, or bagels.  

Spray oil

frozen hashbrown potatoes (thawed)

1 lb. of pork sausage, browned

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1 small can of green chilies

12 eggs, beaten

2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded

salsa and sour cream (optional)

Spray a 9X13 glass casserole dish. Place the whole package of thawed hashbrown potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Top with cooked, browned pork sausage. Sprinkle ½ of a finely chopped onion on top of potatoes. Sprinkle one can of chopped green chilis on top. Pour 12 beaten large eggs over potato mixture.  (can be refrigerated at this point  or put directly in oven)

Bake for 30 minutes at 350

Take out of oven and cover with 2 cups of cheddar cheese or any cheese of your preference and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Ready to serve with salsa and or sour cream.  (optional)

Yummy Waffles

We have a brand new kindergartner starting school tomorrow, and so we started a new tradition in our house. We had breakfast for dinner. My college used to do this the night before finals, and everybody loved it. I make pancakes often, so we decided to kick it up a notch with some homemade waffles. I made some tweaks to the recipe I found online, and they were delicious!

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. white sugar
4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
In a blender, blend the egg whites until they are frothy. Then on low speed, add the oil, milk and vanilla, mixing briefly. Mix the dry ingredients separately, then mix again on low in the blender. (The point is to mix the egg whites on high, then mix the rest as little as possible so they stay fluffy.) Pour onto waffle iron, serving with whatever fixin’s you like! Enjoy!

Everyday Granola

We have a foreign exchange student Marie who ate boxed cereal every day, until she one day tried this granola. Then she never ate boxed cereal again. It is her specialty, and we’ve adapted it from the (awesome) Smitten Kitchen cookbook. We almost always double this recipe and make it on two foiled cookie sheets.

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened (oops, we use sweetened) flaked coconut
1 cup walnuts, coursely chopped (sometimes we chop slivered almonds for variety)
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cup dried cherries (we don’t measuare)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients but the egg white and dried cherries. Whisk the egg white in small bowl until frothy and stir into granola. Spread in a single layer on cookie sheet lined with either Pammed foil or parchment paper. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown. Once cool, sprinkle on dried fruit and put in airtight container for up to two weeks or in the freezer for longer.

Chocolate-Chip Banana Muffins

imageThe smells from the oven will have you thinking Fall. These muffins are great if you need to take a treat to a friend, a quick breakfast, or something simple a little outside the box. Our taste buds say, yes please. My lucky friend that needed a treat told me I was her kids new BFF.

1 stick of butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. sour cream
2 bananas, mashed well
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (6 oz) pkg. of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate morsels
paper muffin cups

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners and spray lightly with Pam.

Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer. Add eggs and mix well.

Dissolve baking soda in the sour cream. Let it “rise” for a minute, then add it to the butter and egg mixture. Mix well with beater on medium speed. Add bananas and blend in.

Add flour and baking powder together. Mix in thoroughly, but no longer than necessary. Add vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Fill muffins cups 2/3 full. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes approx. 18 muffins. Cool on cooling rack. These can be frozen in a large Ziploc bag and ready to eat on a busy school morning with a few seconds of defrosting.

Overnight French Toast

I can’t believe this recipe hasn’t been on the blog before now. I’ve made it a zillion times. I found it originally at epicurious.com, and it really saved me Christmas 99 when I was sick and had in-laws in town for 8 days. I made it twice, using different fruit and nuts each time. It is unbelievably easy and perfect for someone who isn’t a morning person. With the fruit and maybe some bacon (which you could cook on a rack in the oven at the same time), you have a complete breakfast.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1-2 T. sugar or cinnamon sugar12 3/4-inch-thick French bread slices
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
2-4 T. Grand Marnier (optional, but add whatever looks right)
Powdered sugar
Maple syrup

Place melted butter in bottom of heavy large baking pan with 1-inch-high sides. Sprinkle sugar or cinnamon sugar over butter (to caramelize). Arrange bread slices in pan. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, syrup, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt to blend in large bowl. Pour mixture over bread. Turn bread slices to coat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Top with fruit and/or nuts if desired (such as dried cranberries, sliced almonds, walnuts, and/or pecans, or you could top with fresh fruit after baking instead). Bake French toast 10-12 minutes, until golden. Turn bread over and continue baking until golden, about 5-10 minutes longer. Transfer cooked toast to plates and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, passing maple syrup.