Cranberry Orange Scrolls

Winter is here, and it’s here in full effect. Although I can do without the snow and freezing temperatures, there is something awe-inspiring about watching the seasons transition and the changes they bring. I enjoy buying produce seasonally, and this was the first time I bought fresh cranberries. I stumbled upon this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and I’ve been on a roll (pun intended) making these scrolls!

The marriage between cranberries and oranges is a match made in heaven, and the cranberries, when baked, dot the dough like gorgeous little rubies!

 

CranberryOrangeScrolls

 

Cranberry Orange Scrolls

(Overnight)

Yield: 12 Scrolls

Ingredients:

For Dough:

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • Zest of 1 orange, divided
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

For Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, pulsed into a course crumb in the food processor (not fully pureed)
  • Orange zest from above

For Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange juice or milk

Directions:

Make Dough:

In the bowl of a mixer, combine buttermilk, butter, sugar, egg yolks, whole egg, and ¾ of the orange zest together. Add 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt, and mix until evenly moistened. Add remaining 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until soft and not overly sticky, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow the dough to double in size, about 2 to 3 hours.

Assemble Buns:

Lightly grease two 9-inch pans or a 9”x13” pan. Set aside.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 12”x18”. Spread the melted butter evenly over the surface, followed by the brown sugar, pulsed cranberries, and remaining orange zest.

Starting with the longer side, gently roll into a log. Lightly pinch the seams together to seal. Using a knife, gently cut the log into 12 sections. Place the scrolls cut-side up in the prepared pans. Cover, refrigerate, and allow them to rise overnight, up to 16 hours.

Remove scrolls from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Make Icing:

In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar and orange juice or milk together until smooth and no lumps remain. Drizzle over warm scrolls.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Thanksgiving came and went, and I’m sitting here asking myself where the year went? We’re about one month away from ringing in 2017. 20-17. Let that sink in.

 

Sweet potatoes are in season every season, but we find ourselves loading up on them especially during the cooler months.  I stumbled upon this fabulous recipe by Grandbaby Cakes for Sweet Potato Pound Cake, and I was sold. I had one lonesome sweet potato hanging out in my pantry, and I just knew that it was destined for greatness.

sweetpotatopoundcakepic

 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Yield: One 9”x5” Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine mashed sweet potato, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and oil. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined. Add cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger. Mix on low speed until completely combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

 

Note: Cake can be kept at room temperature for a few days.

Instructions on roasting sweet potatoes: Wash and pat dry potatoes. Place each potato on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a tiny bit of neutral flavored oil. Wrap loosely with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 60 minutes. Potatoes will be ready when they can pricked with a fork easily. Cool slightly before using.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting)

You guys, pumpkin season is here and I’m all about it! I’ve made these rolls 5 times in the past month (not all for myself! I’ve been making them and handing them out like halloween candy)!  I’ve been going through cans of pumpkin like no one is watching, and I’ve got no intention of slowing down. There’s something just so irresistible about the combination of cinnamon and warm spices like nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger.  Oh Fall, how I love thee ❤

(Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen <<< you know you can’t go wrong with that!)

 

pumpkincinnamonrollspic

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 – 18 Rolls

Ingredients:

For Rolls:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 1 egg

For Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For Frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Make Dough:

Brown the butter by cooking it over medium heat in a stainless-steel saucepan. Whisk so that the butter melts evenly. As it cooks, the butter will begin to foam, so be sure to whisk frequently to check underneath the bubbly surface. Soon little browned bits will form at the bottom. As soon as they begin to form, remove from heat and pour the melted butter (with the bits) into a glass or metal container and allow it to cool slightly.

Combine milk and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine all-purpose flour, brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. Mix on low speed until combined. Add browned butter, milk and yeast mixture, pumpkin puree, and egg. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. Reduce speed to low and mix for 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Make Filling:

Brown the butter by cooking it over medium heat in a stainless-steel saucepan. Whisk so that the butter melts evenly. As it cooks, the butter will begin to foam, so be sure to whisk frequently to check underneath the bubbly surface. Soon little browned bits will form at the bottom. As soon as they begin to form, remove from heat and pour the melted butter (with the bits) into a glass or metal container.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Assemble Rolls:

Lightly grease 2 9-inch pans, or one 9”x13” pan. Set aside.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 9”x13”. Spread the browned butter evenly over the surface, followed by the sugar mixture.

Starting with the longer side, gently roll into a log. Lightly pinch the seams together. Using a knife, gently cut the rolls into 6 to 9 even sections. Place them cut-side up in prepared pans. Cover and allow them to rise for an additional 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes.

Make Frosting:

In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until completely combined. Add maple syrup and milk, and mix on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add additional milk if the consistency isn’t thin enough.

Pour or spread on rolls once they are done baking.

 

Note: Unbaked rolls can be prepared in advance. After being cut and placed in baking pans, cover and refrigerate. Remove a few hours before baking to allow them to finish rising.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Mis Amores! I’ve missed you! It’s been a busy summer, and now that school has started (my son started kindergarten! Crazy!), we’re on a tightly packed schedule.

Soon after Eid ul Fitr, the kids and I left for California to prepare for my brother’s impending wedding festivities. To say the wedding was amazing would be an understatement. Like, understatement of the century.

We’re back now, and in the thick of a standard school year. Although the summer was fun, it is nice to be back home and into a normal routine. It’s nice to have some predictability.

While in California, I got the chance to test out some amazing new recipes. Luckily for me, my mom and brother are both amazing taste testers. I’m excited to recreate some of the stellar recipes that were tested.

Now onto today’s recipe- Chocolate cream cheese frosting. A few days ago I was asked to bake some cupcakes for an Eid ul Adha kids gathering. Surprisingly, I was low on butter but had a few packages of cream cheese (very strange in my home!). I wanted to try my hand at something different, and I’ve seen recipes floating around for a chocolate take on cream cheese frosting. I adapted this recipe and came up with this fabulous frosting! It’s slightly tangy with an amazing chocolate kick. It’s an amazing alternate to regular buttercream!

 

chocolatecreamcheesefrostingpic

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Enough To Frost 2 Dozen Cupcakes

Or a 2-Layer Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

Place cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl, and using a whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and whip on low speed until incorporated. Add cocoa powder and whip on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl along the way.

Use as needed.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: Frosting may be made and frozen in advance. To use, simply leave on the counter and bring to room temperature. The frosting may need to be whipped lightly to bring back t original consistency.

Crepes

Last week my family and I were vacationing in sunny St. Maarten. It was a wonderful reprieve from the cold (although not as cold as past years) that we had been experiencing. We enjoyed the wonderful locals (so hospitable!), the weather, the beaches, watching planes take off and land, and the wonderful food. St. Maarten hosts tourists from all around the world, and the cuisine of the island reflects that. European (especially French) restaurants and bakeries are abundant, Chinese restaurants are easy to find, there are a handful of Indian eateries, and obviously food native to the Caribbean is sold loud and proud.

One of the restaurants we visited boasted itself as a French patisserie and boulangerie (pastry and bread shop). The pastries and loaves of bread in the glass cases were impeccable. The photos on the menu were gorgeous. Alas, the actual food being served wasn’t so great. We ordered an array of items, including an order of crepes served with powdered sugar. How were they, you ask? Totally rubbery and underwhelming, and left me wondering how a place that calls themselves French could possibly mess up a crepe?

There’s a misconception that   crepes are difficult and finicky to make. I’m here to tell you that they’re not. The ingredients get whizzed together in a blender, and the batter is quickly cooked in a pan on the stove. Seriously you guys, really easy. I used the Kitchen Master Genius, Mr. Alton Brown’s recipe, and was left wondering what we were thinking shelling out money for thin rubber pancakes, oops, I mean “crepes”, when we could have been enjoying these light, delicate, and delicious crepes in the comfort of our home.

 

CrepesPic

Crepes

Yield: 15 to 20 Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for coating the pan
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar (if making dessert crepes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (if making dessert crepes)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the jar of a blender and blitz for 10 seconds, until thoroughly combined.  Place batter in the refrigerator and chill for one hour.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet (8 to 10 inches in diameter) over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with butter. When the butter begins to bubble, pour about ¼ cup batter into the center of the pan and swirl it around to coat evenly. If the heat is too high, the batter will begin to scramble and holes will appear. Cook for approximately 30 seconds, when the edges look like they are beginning to turn back on themselves. Flip and cook until set, about 10 seconds. Remove from heat and serve, or cool completely and serve.

Note: Batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It may thicken, so add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out before cooking.

Cooled crepes can be kept in a sealable plastic bag in either the refrigerator (for a few days) or freezer (up 2 months).