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Sticky buns are sooooo last week.

For this Saturday’s indulgent breakfast, I prepped a batch of cinnamon buns! The recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, Sprinkle Bakes. The original recipe isn’t for overnight style buns, but I did a slow rise in the fridge overnight so I could bake them fresh this morning.

I prepped and shaped the dough following the recipe, then put them in the fridge overnight (where they could slowly rise), and then picked up the recipe where I left off the night before. If you want to do this, just take the buns out of the fridge while the oven is preheating, and they are good to go. Let’s be honest… No one has 2.5 hours in the morning to make the recipe from start to finish all at once. This ain’t no bakery where the baker wakes up at 3 am, yo.

Cinnamon Buns

The cinnamon buns turned out great! The bread was very light and fluffy and the middles of each roll were so gooey with cinnamon sugar. I was only planning on eating one, but the gorgeous slathering of frosting glaze lured me back in for seconds.

Find the recipe here.

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Gooey Cinnamon Sticky Buns

These little gems come from a recipe from…

OPRAH!

Who knew the queen of yo-yo weight loss and healthy living would feature such a sinfully delicious recipe in her O Magazine?

These Gooey Cinnamon Sticky Buns are the best I’ve tried yet. Unlike past buns I’ve made, these aren’t hard hockey pucks with stick-to-your-teeth, pull-out-your-cavities goo. These are soft and pillowy. Gooey and warm. Caramel-y and crunchy.

Each bun comes out swirled with a gooey dose of baked cinnamon and brown sugar, then glazed with the sweet, sticky mixture and pecans which makes a bun, a sticky bun.

Make these at night, let them sit overnight in the fridge, and pop them into oven in the morning. Voila! Your kitchen will be instantly transformed into a gourmet bakery.

Gooey Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Servings: Makes 15 buns

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup warm (105° to 115°) water
  • 1 package (1/4-ounce)  active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest [I opted to omit this]
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans

Directions

To make dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour and mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low, slowly incorporate 1 cup remaining flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding last 1/4 cup flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Remove dough from mixing bowl, shape into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. Turn to coat and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. After dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.

To make filling: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter; keep separate.

Roll dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.

To make topping: In a 1-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Pour mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and sprinkle pecans on top.

Place dough slices, flat side down, on top of prepared topping. Crowd them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°. Bake buns until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and immediately invert onto a serving tray or baking dish. Let buns cool slightly and serve warm.

From the February 2006 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

Dexter returns for its last season tomorrow night (Sunday, Jun 30, 2013) on Showtime. To celebrate this momentous occasion, some friends and I are throwing a killer pre-show Dexter-themed dinner party complete with a fake hand with painted nails.

For a sanguine dessert, I came up with these Crime Scene Cupcakes. They’re definitely not for the faint of heart. Red food coloring makes for some pretty great faux blood splatter!

The cupcakes themselves are vanilla cake. I cored out the middles and filled each with one amarena cherrry and red berry preserves. A pure white almond buttercream is the the perfect backsplash for the bloody splatter of red food coloring applied with a basting brush.

Crime Scene Cupcakes

Crime Scene Cupcakes

To make these cupcakes, use your favorite white or yellow vanilla cupcake recipe. I used THIS one from Glorious Treats.

Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, use a cupcake corer or a small paring knife to remove the middle cores of the cupcakes (not all the way to the bottom). Save the cores of cupcake.

Fill each with cherry (I used amarena cherries, but feel free to use maraschino cherries too) and your choice of red berry preserves, then plug a bit of core back to level off the tops of each cupcake.

Once stuffed, you can frost your cupcakes with a simple buttercream. I used the recipe below.

To create the red splatter, squeeze a few drops of red food coloring onto your basting brush. Use your fingers to spray the color off the brush. I used my forefinger to fan out the brush bristles, causing a spray of color. (Warning: You will end up with some red fingers, so use gloves if you so choose. Right now I look like a serial killer with my red fingers.)

Display the cupcakes on a surgical tray (aka baking sheet), or a plate wrapped in plastic, Dexter style.

Almond Buttercream

Yields 2 cups

Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
2-3 tablespoons cold milk

Method
Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

Growing up in New England meant going apple picking every fall…which then meant eating fresh apple cider doughnuts from the apple orchard farm!

Unable to get my paws on some fresh apple cider doughnuts here in Charlotte, I took matters into my own hands.

Here we have an Apple Cider Doughnut CAKE. It’s like the doughnut version, but just a lot bigger… and not fried. (Booooo.) But despite the lack of artery clogging oil, it’s pretty good. Rubbed with a cinnamon sugar blend, the cake looks just like the doughnut version and is tender and apple-y. I used extra apple cider and cooked it down a bit longer to intensify the apple flavor.

Image

The recipe comes from Serious Eats. (I used buttermilk in place of the milk that is called for in the recipe. Real apple cider doughnuts use buttermilk.)

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Turn your Rice Krispy Treats into a fun summery snack. With a couple round cake pans and some food coloring, it’s easy to mold the “batter” into faux watermelon slices.

I made two mini batches of batter, one at a time (each using about 4-5 cups of rice cereal and 4-5 cups of marshmallows). I dyed the first batch green and molded it into a ring inside two well buttered cake pans, and dyed the second pink and filled the rest of the pans with that. (Tip: make sure your hands are well greased! It gets sticky!) To make the seeds, I just pressed a few mini chocolate chips into the top of the RKTs before turning them out and slicing them into wedges.

I’m off to the mountains this weekend, so I’ll be missing out on celebrating one of my favorite holidays – Halloween. Dressing up (myself, the bf, and the dog) and running around town with friends has always been a highlight each fall.

So to get in the Halloween spirit, I dressed up some sugar cookies instead. Do you like my country bumpkin pumpkin sugar cookies? Some are in desperate need of some dental work…

To make them, use a pumpkin cookie cutter and your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Then ice them with royal icing. Pretty easy. I found this royal icing recipe (below) to be the best yet. It’s easy to make, and dries in less than an hour.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons water

Directions:
Mix ingredients above at low speed until well blended and there is no sheen to the icing.

Adjust the consistency to your liking with drops of water, a little at a time.

Add coloring!

Apple Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Click here for a printer-friendly version

Who knew oatmeal cookies could get any better? These soft and chewy spiced cookies are studded with bits of Granny Smith apple.

Yield: 52 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup apple cider
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins

PREPARATION

1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare two baking sheet with silicone liners or parchment paper.

2. In a small pot over medium heat, simmer the 1/4 cup apple cider until it is reduced down to 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot until melted and foamy. Add apple and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add apple cider concentrate and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool.

5. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and sugars at medium speed until combined. Add egg and vanilla extract, beat until blended. At low speed, add the flour mixture one-third at a time, mixing until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cooked apple pieces and raisins.

6. Drop dough by tablespoons onto the prepared sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. With a wet palm, flatten each cookie slightly. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Amount per serving

Calories 68.6
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 8.9 mg
Sodium 3.8 mg
Potassium 42.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 0.9 g

Soft and chewy, and rolled in cinnamon sugar, what’s not to love about a good snickerdoodle?

Though pretty tasty, I would have never guessed that it’s the cookie of choice for a lot of dudes I know. I’ve never received more requests or positive feedback for any other cookie. My studies show guys like cinnamon + sugar.

That’s a good thing because I’m sweet and a little spicy, too. HA. jk jk. Eyeroll…

Well, here’s a great snickerdoodle recipe that will win you lots of compliments.

p.s. The trick to make them uniform in size is to use a quick-release cookie scoop.

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