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Entries in Desserts (16)


Good ol' cinnamon rolls

I have a new mixer. A new mixer needs to be tried out. I had flour and eggs, but little else. I had cream cheese, though. Hmmm....

I've never made cinnamon rolls, and it's a good thing these were easy and they turned out, because with twelve of them coming out of the oven we invited the grandparents over to share. They were a hit. The rolls were pretty good, too.

Also, best. mixer. ever. Thanks Curtis and Joules.

Easy Cinnamon Rolls
Origin: Better Homes and Gardens
Yield: 12
Prep Time: 25 minutes            

Ingredients for rolls:
  ● 4  to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  ● 1  package fast-rising active dry yeast
  ● 2/3  cup milk
  ● 2/3  cup water
  ● 1/2  cup sugar
  ● 1/2  cup cooking oil
  ● 1/2  tsp. salt
  ● 2  egg yolks
  ● 1/4  cup butter or margarine, softened
  ● 1/3  cup sugar
  ● 4  tsp. ground cinnamon

Ingredients for frosting:
  ● 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  ● 3 tbsps butter, softened
  ● 3/4  tsp vanilla
  ● 1 tbsp milk
  ● 1-1/2  cups powdered sugar

1. In stand mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast. In small saucepan, combine milk, water, 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and salt. Stir frequently over medium heat till just warm (~120 degree F).

2. Add milk mixture and egg yolks to dry mixture. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium for 3 minutes. Slowly add remaining flour, but don't dough to pull entirely away from sides.

3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until you have a moderately soft dough that's smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes), adding flour as necessary. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

4. Roll out dough to form a 14x12-inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon.

5. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from long side. Seal seam. Slice into 12 pieces. Place in greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Cover; let rise in warm place till nearly doubled (20 minutes).

6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly; remove from pan. Frost warm rolls with Cream Cheese Icing. Serve rolls warm or cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 rolls.

For Cream Cheese Icing: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter or margarine, vanilla with hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in milk. Gradually sift in powdered sugar and beat until icing is spreading consistency. Spread over warm rolls.

Nutrition Facts
    * Servings Per Recipe 12
    * Calories 427,
    * Total Fat (g) 20,
    * Cholesterol (mg) 62,
    * Sodium (mg) 188,
    * Carbohydrate (g) 58,
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


Gingerbread cupcakes

Yum. We made these for a homeschool gathering, and made more to take to the recital on Sunday.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Origin: Healthy Cooking
Yield: 21 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: cooling

  ● 2/3 cup sugar
  ● 1/2 cup canola oil
  ● 2 egg whites
  ● 1 egg
  ● 2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  ● 1 cup molasses
  ● 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  ● 1 cup whole wheat flour
  ● 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  ● 1 tsp ground ginger
  ● 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  ● 1 tsp ground allspice
  ● 1/2 tsp salt
  ● 8 oz. cream cheese
  ● 1 stick butter, softened
  ● 1 tsp vanilla
  ● 16 oz. powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, egg whites and egg until well blended. Add applesauce and molasses; mix well. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt; gradually beat into applesauce mixture until blended.

2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

3. For frosting, combine all ingredients and mix until creamy. Frost cupcakes when cool.


Creme brulee

This was surprisingly easy to make. And incredibly fun to create and eat. The only thing I'd change next time is the torching of the sugar—I held the torch too closely I think and darkened the sugar too much. Next time I will try torching from farther away and melting it more slowly.

Still, incredibly yummy.

Creme Brulee

Origin: various websites
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Inactive prep time: at least 3 hours
Servings: 8-12 depending on dish size

• 1 qt heavy whipping cream
• 1 vanilla bean
• 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
• 6 large egg yolks

1. Slit open the vanilla bean, and scrape pulp. Combine pulp and bean with cream in a pot. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently, then remove from heat and let sit for fifteen minutes. Remove bean shell.

2. In a mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar with egg yolks and whisk gently until combined.

3. Add hot cream to egg mixture very slowly, stirring continuously in order to keep egg from cooking.

4. Pour mixture into 8-12 small (4-6 oz) ramekins. Place ramekins in baking dishes and add hot water until lower half of ramekins are under submerged. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes, or until firm but still slightly trembling.

5. Remove from baking dishes immediately and put in refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours.

6. Remove from fridge and allow to warm for 30 minutes to an hour. Sprinkle tops with remaining sugar and use a torch to caramelize or brown the sugar.


Pecan Pie Muffins

I probably shouldn't post this on a site titled "To Your Health" because, aside from the nuts, there's nothing healthy about these little treats. But a little sweetness in life has never hurt anyone, and these were worth the fun. These were so easy to make that Jon and I actually whipped up a batch at 10:30 last night after I found the recipe here, on The only thing I changed is that we made them with half whole wheat flour in a desperate attempt to make them a little healthier. They were incredibly good.

Pecan Pie Muffins

Yield: 8-12
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Imported From:

  ● 1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  ● ½ cups All-purpose/whole wheat Flour
  ● 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  ● ⅔ cups Softened Butter
  ● 2 whole Eggs Beaten

Preheat oven 350 F.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and pecans. Stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk butter and eggs together until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups (greased, lined, or silicone). Cups should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (ours actually took closer to 30 minutes). Cool on wire racks when done.

Do NOT forget to try one when it's still hot!



Whole Foods Strawberry Cake (in train formation)

On the morning of his birthday I came down the stairs and asked Calvin, who was already deep in the building of a large train system, what kind of cake he wanted for his party. Having really exercised my scratch cooking skills over the past year I figured the open ended question was safe. Without so much as a pause, or a glance up from his track building for that matter, the child answer strawberry. Strawberry cake? It's nice to know that he sees my powers in the kitchen as limitless, but strawberry cake? So I spent my morning coffee on a search through cyber space comparing recipes, tips, and ideas and ultimately deciding to use a recipe I found that was attributed to Whole Foods. The hardest part about baking this cake, actually, was the trip to the store. Other than that it was a smooth process and one that produced enjoyable results. I have to say that to me the cake had good flavor but seemed incredibly dense, which, when I went to make the cake into a train during afternoon quiet time, turned out to be a good thing.

Whole Foods Strawberry Cake

cake ingredients:
• 2 cups Flour
• 1 cup Sugar
• 1 tbsp Baking Powder
• 1 tsp Sea Salt
• 4 Eggs
• ½ cup Butter, melted
• 1 cup Pureed Strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
• ½ cup Milk

Icing ingredients
• 16 oz. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
• ½ stick Butter (room temperature)
• 2 cups Powdered Sugar
• 1 tsp Vanilla

• Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan and set aside.
• Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat remaining ingredients together. Add to dry, beating with a wire whisk. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick.
• To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Nutrition Info
Recipe makes 12 servings. Per Serving (140g-wt.): 410 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 1g dietary fiber, 5g protein, 71g carbohydrate, 100mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium (with first frosting)

My own notes: I made this using King Arthur organic pastry flour, Whole Foods frozen organic strawberries, and I colored the frosting using India Tree natural food coloring.

As for making the cake into a train? I turned the cake out onto cooling racks and when it was mostly cool wrapped it in wax paper and put it in the freezer for 2 hours so it would be stiff enough to work with. Using a bread knife I cut train car shapes (rectangles) and stacked them as need be to give the train more height (since the cake was denser than I'd expected and therefore thinner). Looking at the picture you can see where I cut larger or smaller rectangles and stacked them to give the engine and caboose their shapes. To make the rounded engine front I used the bread knife to give one of the rectangles rounded edges, making it half a cylinder.

The track is made with organic pretzels for cross ties and organic fruit twists for tracks. The wheels are organic cookies, the smoke stack an organic ice cream cone with the pointed tip cut off. The sides of the box cars, which are carrying raspberries, blueberries, and a 4 candle, are just very thin slices of the cake itself, and the bars on the animal cage are more pretzels, and four of them are candles. The animals, of course, are an elephant and a hippo from a box of organic animal cookies. At candle lighting time we filled the smoke stack with ice cream, just for fun.