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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Why, you ask?  It’s cinnamon swirl bread, which is a total no-brainer.  Gooey, cinnamony goodness spiraling through a tender, crumby loaf.  And it is.  But for some reason when I made it a few months ago, I wasn’t totally in love with it.  The filling was awesome, but the bread was just…fine.  The texture was good, but the outside was crustier than I wanted and the bread’s flavor (it tasted like…bread) was a disconnect from the sweet filling.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread done

But I’ve come to see the error of my ways, because you deserve cinnamon swirl bread in YOUR life too.  I’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe to make the bread and filling feel like they’re part of the same recipe, including adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and a little extra sugar to the dough.  The filling was perfect just as it was.   [Read more…]

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Plum Pound Cake with Almond Crumble

I’ve been on a weird plum kick. It’s not a fruit I grew up eating, and if you asked me to name my top five or ten fruits, not sure plums would make the list. But recently they’ve been calling to me, with their weird thick, bitter skin and their totally unpredictable insides. Sometimes it’s mealy and bland, but sometimes you get rewarded with sweet, juicy, awesomeness.

Fluffy Plum Cake with Almond Crumble

This bears a striking resemblance to both the plum torte and the pear torte adaptation I’ve made over the past few months, but this is more of a pound cake—denser, not quite as sweet, and with a crumbly almond topping instead of the cinnamon sugar of the other.

Fluffy Plum Cake with Almond Crumbles

The original recipe is in metric amounts and in Polish. Since I don’t speak Polish (and Google Translator apparently doesn’t very well either), I took some liberties with amounts and ingredients. And pretty much everything else. So, there’s that. Despite my completely winging it, the end result was pretty doggone good.

fluffy plum cake with almond crumble plums

And, of course, there were plums.
[Read more…]

Soft, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m on a hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is probably not it, but it IS good, so I wanted to share.

Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This particular recipe’s claim to fame is cornstarch, which gives the cookies a fluffiness and softness that many chocolate chip cookies are missing.

Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie bite

These are a little sweet for my tastes (mine run more toward these whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookies) but they had a great, traditional chocolate chip cookie flavor and were quite easy to whip up.

Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you have an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe I should try, send it to me! I am determined to find the perfect recipe! [Read more…]

November Cakes a.k.a. Gooey Delicious Orange Buns

Have you ever read a piece of fiction that describes some kind of food in such rich, real detail that the food becomes real to you?

It’s a talent, writing about completely made-up food in a way that’s so real to the reader that they have a visceral need to create (re-create?) the food in their world. As an avid reader, I’ve certainly run across these kinds of fictional foods from time to time, but rarely has a recipe captured my imagination like the November Cakes from Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Scorpio Races”.

November Cakes

In the middle of a chill, windy, haunting Irish November, Stiefvater describes these rolls as “oozing honey and butter, rivulets of the creamy frosting joining the honey in the pit of my hand.” Pretty amazing, right?

November Cakes with Gooey Icing

I actually tried a recipe for this a year or two ago, but was disappointed with the dry, somewhat bland results. When I saw this particular recipe and heard people rave about it, I knew I had to give it another try.

November Cakes with Orange Glaze

And these were everything promised. The dough itself isn’t that sweet, just an orange-tinged yeast roll. It’s the combination of the honey-caramel glaze (which I also spiked with orange extract) soaking into the rolls and the sweet white orange-flavored icing on top that elevates this to complete indulgence. [Read more…]

Unleavened Treats: Cottage Cheese Rolls

Since I was such a tease with the leavened cake the other day, here’s a real unleavened treat. Though we’re close to the end of the Days of Unleavened Bread, there are still a couple days left to make this DOUB classic. I know some people already use this recipe (because I’ve seen them talk about it on Facebook), but if you haven’t then you must immediately!

cottage cheese rolls finished

This was my mom’s go-to recipe during this season. I never could understand why people would want to eat matzo, because it’s like eating cardboard. These, on the other hand, are moist and buttery and chewy and flavorful and FULL OF AWESOME.

cottage cheese rolls dough ready to bake

This recipe is really versatile. You can make it as-is, substitute whole wheat flour for part, add savory or sweet flavors, make rolls or roll out flat. I mixed it up a lot this week, using some rosemary, some cinnamon-sugar, and some whole wheat flour.
[Read more…]

Great idea, good-ish execution (Peach Cupcakes with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting)

As I’m sure I’ve made clear here, I LOVE cupcakes. I also love peaches—it’s always sad that my two favorite fruits (peaches and pears) are two of the hardest to find perfectly ripe and sweet. So, so many mealy, dry, gross peaches over the years.

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest when I first joined a few months back, because it sounded so delicious. So when I snagged four awesome peaches from a farm stand, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.


I’ll admit I was a little torn on whether they were a success or not. The cupcakes themselves had an amazing texture, probably the best I’ve had—moist, soft, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth. The frosting turned out well, maybe not *quite* as good as last time (I felt it was maybe a tiny bit oily, like the butter didn’t blend quite as well as it could’ve). But mostly it was was the fact that the peach flavor was barely detectable in both the cupcakes and frosting. And with how much I love peaches, that was a bummer.

So we’ll get into it, and I’ll offer up my thoughts. Biggest thing is I would try and find a way to add more peach flavor to everything. Maybe peach extract (which is quite hard to find), or even something like peach schnapps (maybe even a fuzzy navel wine cooler in a pinch!). Otherwise they were perfect.

[Read more…]

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