Strawberry & Nutella Croissants

StrawberryNutellaCroissantsSo after posting my 3-Ingredient Nutella Croissants, I’ve had these flaky, heavenly pastries on the brain.

And while I don’t typically endorse fruit-fillings in well, anything, I was shocked when I put a jar of strawberry jam in my cart to make these Strawberry & Nutella Croissants. Consider it an out-of-body experience, because these croissants are the bees knees and I’m so glad I went against my normal anti-fruit ban.

DSC_0141APlus, they’re perfecto for Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome!

Just like the ingredients list for these bad boys, I’m keeping this post short and sweet. I have to dedicate my time to eating, not yapping. I’m sure you understand.

Enjoy!

DSC_0158A*adapted from my original croissant recipe

Strawberry & Nutella Croissants
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Buttery, flaky pastry is filled to the brim with gooey Nutella spread and sweet & fruity strawberry jam. These are a perfect breakfast pick-me-up and are especially great for Valentine's Day!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ¾ cup Nutella spread
  • About ½ cup seedless strawberry jam (I love Smucker's Simply Fruit brand)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Coarse sugar (turbinado, or sugar crystal sprinkles)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or line with parchment and mist lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. On a clean, flat and floured work surface, unroll ONE of the puff pastry sheets. Cut it horizontally on its natural perforations, creating three rectangular strips of dough. Then cut each of those rectangles diagonally, creating triangles. Repeat with the remaining dough, so that you have 12 triangles.
  3. Take a heaping teaspoon of EACH Nutella and strawberry jam on the widest part of the dough. Begin rolling the croissant up and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining croissants.
  4. Brush the beaten egg over each pastry and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Some jam may seep out from the croissants and pool around the croissants; this is okay - just break it off of the croissant if needed. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

DSC_0144AOne word: YUM! You have to make these easy, scrumptious croissants! They’re simply phenomenal :)

Don’t like strawberry? Feel free to substitute orange marmalade, raspberry jam, blueberry jam or even peanut butter in lieu of the strawberry.

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

 

Raspberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Raspberry Crumb Coffee CakeHappy Sunday, friends!

I figured you guys needed a romantical, super adorable pick-me-up, and this Raspberry Crumb Coffee Cake is exactly what the doctor ordered.

I don’t know about you, but it’s blustery as hell here in Sacramento. Rain, wind, and general calamity… but I LOVE IT. Seriously, anything to push spring off for another couple weeks will save my sinuses from going on strike. And by strike, I mean firing all missiles and raging World War III on my face. Not pretty.

And this weather usually doesn’t have me reaching for fresh fruit or something light and sprite. It has me hankering for ooey gooey mac & cheese, chicken pot pie, homemade soup, and hot cocoa. Fresh fruit and salads? Sooo not rainy-day weather.

BUT if you’re like me, I promise you this recipe is worth it. The fruit is worth it — you’ll survive! — yet this feels far more comforting than it may look. It’s a belly-hugging coffee cake that brightens up blustery days but still feels light. Am I making any sense? No? Bueller? Okay, it’s time for me to stop yapping and continue stuffing my face.

Not a raspberry fan? Sub in blueberries, chopped apples, or even blackberries.

MAKE IT!

DSC_0979A*from Betty Crocker’s Fix It With A Mix Cookbook

Raspberry Crumb Coffee Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cake, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Light yet comforting, this refreshing twist on coffee cake uses fresh raspberries as a morning pick-me-up! Feel free to substitute blueberries, blackberries, or even chopped apples for the raspberries in this recipe, and omit or sub out the nuts for pecans or walnuts if you'd like.
Ingredients
  • 1 & ¾ cups yellow cake mix (this won't use the entire box - feel free to use remaining cake mix in cookies, cakes, or even milkshakes)
  • ⅓ cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clamshell (about ¾ cup) fresh raspberries
  • FOR CRUMB:
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds (I like Diamond of California)
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, sour cream, flour, oil, and egg with an electric mixer on low speed to incorporate, then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spread the batter into the pan in an even layer, and top with the raspberries, pressing them gently into the batter.
  3. To make your crumb topping, in a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter and, using a pastry blender or two forks, begin working the butter into the mixture until coarse crumbs form and the mixture looks sandy. Stir in the almonds.
  4. Evenly top the cake with the crumb topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Garnish with fresh raspberries or whipped cream if you'd like.

DSC_0977AI love this fun, fruity spin on classic coffee cake! It really perks up this classic dish with the brightness of the tart, gorgeous raspberries and the soft nuttiness of the slivered almonds. Feel free to use frozen raspberries if fresh aren’t available – just thaw them before mixing into the batter.

Have a fantastical Sunday!

xo, Hayley

Red Velvet Scones

RedVelvetSconesSo as some of you know, I got back from a cruise recently (and will be posting pics and inspired recipes soon!).

Overall, the experience was wonderful. I met so many awesome people, gained so much exposure and knowledge for photography and blogging, and got to travel to the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, St. Thomas and the Bahamas, taking in their exotic beauty, amazing culture and fabulous food.

But if I had to complain just a little about the experience, it was my raging seasickness (seriously, I didn’t think I’d be affected but dude, I was a dead man walking. Homie don’t play with seasickness) and the fact that my room was haunted.

Yes, haunted.

See, I was rooming with Alyssa from Simply Quinoa and even she agreed that our room was possessed, probably from people who’d fallen overboard or something in years past. We’d be chillin’ in our room minding our own business and suddenly the toilet would flush. I mean, I was under the impression that ghosts didn’t have bowel movements but seeing as our toilet legitimately flushed in our room, I suppose they ate the creme brulee and had to expel immediately.

Then on another day, Alyssa and I were chit-chatting and the shower started leaking. Not like the normal after-shower shower dribble most do, but like someone had turned it on for a couple quick seconds and then it shut off. It was so bizarre, and we both stopped mid-sentence and just looked at each other like, WTF. Later in the week, the shower did the same thing, the sink made a leaky drip noise, and we’d find towels on the floor that weren’t there prior. Needless to say, it was bizarro.

Oh, and then there was this enormously LOUD crash during the night. It woke both of us up in a startle and in the morning, we checked the bathroom thinking our makeup exploded everywhere, but the bathroom was pristine. No fallen pictures with shattered glass everywhere, no bloody messages written on the mirror, nothing.

In other words, our ghost was clearly the most hygienic ghost I’ve ever encountered. And the crash? It was probably doing its best to navigate the closet-sized bathroom too. I hear you, ghost. I was bonking my elbows everywhere while trying to shave in near-contortionist-positions. I feel ya, man. 

But next time? We’re forcing it to go in on the room cost. I don’t care that you didn’t bring clothes, that you aren’t hogging the outlets or that you merely disappear during nighttime, leaving the awkward “who’s that ghost guy gonna sleep with tonight?” question. You’re paying a third for using up all our towels and making the stateroom attendant think we’re insane with our voodoo toilet.

Now that I’m back home, I’m not experiencing anything paranormal except the need to make everything Valentine’s-y for Valentine’s Day. And to me, red velvet goes hand-in-hand with this lovely holiday since it’s such a rich, delectable flavor and of course, because of the ruby red color.

DSC_0454ASo if you’re already thinking ahead like me, may I suggest some Red Velvet Scones? Not only are they simple to make, but they taste phenomenal. Soft, flaky, chewy and moist, they taste identical to red velvet cake but in a scone form so you can eat ‘em for breakfast (you’re welcome!) They’re topped with a sweet and creamy cream cheese frosting to bring the whole flavor together and create a pretty striped topping. While I like them plain, feel free to sprinkle on nuts, dried fruits, or sprinkles for a festive touch.

And whatever you do, don’t share with the bathroom ghost.

DSC_0457A*adapted from Duncan Hines 

Red Velvet Scones
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Tender, moist and bursting with rich red velvet flavor, these scones are the perfect breakfast treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 & ½ cups red velvet cake mix
  • 1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 can cream cheese icing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper that's been misted lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and flour and whisk together. Drop in the cubed cold butter and using two forks or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mix resembles thick, coarse crumbs.
  3. Make a small well in the center of the mixture and stream in the cream or milk. Then, using a spoon or your hands, begin working the dough into the milk, working from the outside in, until the mixture is just barely combined. Do NOT overmix or this will result in very tough scones!
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead into a ball. Place the ball onto the prepared baking sheet and gently press it into about a 10" circle. Score the circle into 8 wedges with a sharp knife. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until the scones appear set and are golden around the edges. Allow scones to cool for about 30 minutes.
  5. Cut the scones into separate wedges and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, melt the frosting in the microwave (be sure to remove the lid and foil wrapping first!) until pourable. Drizzle over top of the scones and allow the icing to briefly set before serving.

DSC_0460AButtery, soft, chewy, moist and bursting with that rich, decadent red velvet flavor, these scones are an indulgent breakfast that can’t be beat! The cream cheese drizzle is the icing on top of these flavorful, festive scones :)

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

Sparkling Mimosa Muffins

SparklingMimosaMuffinsI am definitely not a fancy alcohol drinker.

I mean, I do like having umbrellas in my drinks and the more cherries, the better, but when it comes to actually-fancy things, I’m out.

One time a friend wanted me to try Jameson because it was supposedly sooo much better than the Crown Royal that I worship. But within one sip I was gagging and begging for forgiveness because that stuff is raunchy. I don’t care how much better, more aged, or how fancy it is — I’m perfectly fine with the cheaper Crown.

And don’t even get me started on wine. I like the cheap white wines or Moscatos that taste like extra-sugary grape juice. And I drink them out of Tupperware tumblers that are older than time itself. Wine glasses? Champagne flutes? More like stemless cups from IKEA. I’m sure some wino would have an aneurysm at our lack of appropriate wine-drinking vessels. Riedel for champagne? Totes low-class.

Even when I popped my champagne at 9am to make these muffins, I drank it from a coffee cup. Why? Because you only live once, and spending money on fancy drinkware that I’ll never use isn’t my idea of a good time. Drinking at 9am while baking muffins on a Wednesday is, however, hence this fabulous recipe!

DSC_0336AThis recipe came to me just before the New Year when I stocked up on champs for New Year’s mimosas. My mom and I enjoy our mimosas and while sipping one, I had the idea to make a mimosa muffin. While these muffins do have a sticky-sweet champagne glaze, the real flavor here is the bright, punchy orange that’s so delicious and makes these muffins really pop. They’re moist, sweet, tart and have a fabulous sparkling top which lends a great crunch and reminds me of the sugared rim on a fancy drink.

2015. The year where we drink our mimosas and eat them, too.

DSC_0328A*adapted from my Best Blueberry Muffins recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sparkling Mimosa Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These light, fluffy and moist muffins are packed with the sweet-tart flavor of mimosas! Orange scented and topped with a champagne glaze, they're every bit as addictive as their liquid counterpart. Bottoms up!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional, but recommended)
  • Zest of one medium orange (about 1 Tbsp or more)
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sparkling sugar or coarse sugar, for garnish
  • FOR CHAMPAGNE GLAZE:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup champagne
  • 1 cup white sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with about 18 paper liners; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, orange zest, and white sugar until combined.
  2. Add in the oil, buttermilk, orange juice and vanilla until a thick batter has formed. Batter may be lumpy; that's okay! Do NOT over-mix. Overmixing leads to very dry and tough muffins. Evenly drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of dough into the muffin tins, filling about ¾ of the way full.
  3. Bake for approximately 5 minutes at 425 degrees F. Then, without removing the muffins, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown on top and when an toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool the muffins completely.
  4. While the muffins cool, prepare your champagne glaze. In a small saucepan, bring the water, champagne and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a steady simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
  5. Dunk the tops of the muffins into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Return to the tin or a platter and sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Serve!

DSC_0334AThe orange muffins are fresh and offer a nice citrus kick without being terribly orange-y. And the champagne glaze is sweet without being cloying; it offers a great, very subtle champagne flavor that makes these muffins extra special. If you don’t drink champs, feel free to sub sparkling soda (like lemon lime flavored) or even apple cider for a different kick.

Have a fabulous day!!

xo, Hayley

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bites

CinnamonRollCookieDo you ever walk through the grocery store and a specific product catches your eye? The second you see it, you know that yes, it’s going in my cart.

That’s *precisely* what happened when I stumbled across these bite-sized cinnamon rolls. Sure, I’ve seen them before, I’ve certainly eaten them before, but seeing them on this particular jaunt I just had to have them.

…and I’m so glad, because without that weird, inexplicable need, these cookie bites would not have been born.

Also on that store jaunt? Pillsbury’s newest Cinnamon Bun Cake Mix. (OMGYESTHISISREALLIFE). When I saw that, two and two equaled four and the stars aligned and I was basically racing out the door to bake these bad boys, as if the idea would be lost in the wind had I not baked them right that second. Also because there’s no way in hell that a bunch of miniature cinnamon rolls would stay alive for very long in my house without purpose.

SO. Thus these Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bites were born. The anatomy is simple: a cinnamon roll-flavored cookie cup filled with a miniature gooey cinnamon roll, then topped with a sky-high cinnamon-spiked cream cheese icing. Hallelujah. It’s like a Cinnabon on crack, even though Cinnabon is crack, so it’s like crack on crack on crack. Cinnabon Inception, people.

And before Leo appears and tells us this fantastically delicious dream ain’t real, let’s get to baking, shall we?

DSC_1300A

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
A genius twist on cinnamon rolls, these Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bites are the best of both worlds!
Ingredients
  • 1 box Pillsbury Cinnamon Bun Cake Mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 pkg (about 18 count) miniature cinnamon rolls (typically found in your local grocer's bakery)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 24-cavity miniature muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, oil, and ONE (1) tsp of the cinnamon. Stir until a soft dough has formed.
  2. Using a cookie dough scoop, portion Tablespoon-sized balls of dough among each muffin cup. You should get about 16-18 cups of dough. Gently press on the dough to flatten the dough ball.
  3. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown and the center appears mostly set. Remove the cups from the oven and immediately press an indentation into the center of each cup with the handle of a wooden spoon very gently. Press one miniature cinnamon roll into the center of each cookie cup. The cinnamon roll will be larger than the cookie cup, so that's okay - just nestle it in so it's set in there. Allow the cups to cool in the pans for about 15 minutes or so, then carefully lift out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. To make the frosting, in a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon until creamy and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe the frosting high onto the cooled cookie cups, or at least so the cinnamon roll doesn't show. Garnish with additional cinnamon sugar if you'd like. Serve immediately and store leftovers in the fridge.

DSC_1305AHave you ever seen anything so beautiful? Crisp, buttery cinnamon-infused cookie cups filled with a plush, gooey cinnamon roll and topped with the most decadent cinnamon cream cheese icing. It’s pretty much heaven in a two-bite cup!

Craving more cinnamon roll treats? Look no further than these recipes from the archive! 

funfetticinnrollsOne-Hour Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls

maplebaconwhoopieMaple Bacon Cinnamon Roll Whoopie Pies

onehourrollsThe Best One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Cranberry Orange Pistachio Bread {Nutty Desserts Week!!}

Cranberry Pistachio BreadI’m a walking contradiction, y’all.

I judge those who watch The Bachelor yet I can watch Real Housewives for hours on end. I swore I would never slip my foot into an Ugg boot but once when my mom’s were sitting around, I wore them outside to get the mail… and didn’t take them off for the next few days. And when it comes to cranberries, I prefer fresh or dried hands-down — but I must have the canned sauce at the dinner table with my turkey. Don’t you take away my Ocean Spray in favor of your fancy schmancy cranberry sauce. I will forever love the jellied, can-indented stuff.

So, confession time aside, let’s go back to dried cranberries. They’re easily one of my favorite accessories to muffins & breads, and even things like stuffing and salads. My ideal salad is actually dark, leafy greens piled high with candies pecans or walnuts, dried cranberries and a little blue cheese. Perfeeeection. And in trail mix, I’m the one who picks all the cranberries to eat for myself. They’re just so goooooood. Like the raisin’s cooler, hotter cousin.

And lucky for me, cranberries complement so many other foods in general but especially during the holidays. Cranberries and meat – check. Cranberries in stuffing – check. Cranberries in salads – check. And obviously, cranberries in dessert! The easiest way for me to sneak these rubies into baked goods is to use them with carbs. Whether it be cookies, muffins, donuts or breads, the cranberries nestle themselves beautifully among the light and airy texture of the baked goods, absorb that buttery-sugary goodness, and add a hint of tartness that I find so addictive.

DSC_1114AMy new favorite combo? Cranberries and pistachios! Those green gems and the ruby red fruit pair together so harmoniously… but I may be biased after eating this entire loaf by myself :) Cranberries are mixed into a light and buttery bread loaf alongside shelled, bright green pistachios for a nutty touch. The real secret here? Orange zest, which brightens everything up and adds a je ne sais quoi flair to this fabulous loaf.

Okay – enough chit-chat. Who’s ready to eat?!

DSC_1110A*adapted from Taste of Home’s recipe

Cranberry Orange Pistachio Bread {Nutty Desserts Week!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This soft and fluffy loaf is packed with bright cranberries, a burst of orange zest to emphasize flavor, and some sweet pistachios for a nutty undertone. Simply put: it's irresistible!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 & ½ cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pistachios
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and buttermilk. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Lastly, fold in the cranberries, orange zest and pistachios.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for approx. 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely before cutting or serving. Feel free to glaze if you'd like, but I like it without!

DSC_1117APlease promise me you won’t skimp on the orange zest or cinnamon! The combination of the two adds a bright yet warming flavor to this fantastic bread loaf and blends so perfectly with the nutty, sweet pistachios and the bursts of tart cranberries. I love mine warmed with a small slathering of butter, but this would be great glazed with a sweet orange icing as well!

DSC_1118A*Tip: save yourself time and money by buying shelled pistachios by Diamond of California! The folks over at Diamond of CA sell packaged, shelled pistachios ready to go which is a HUGE time-saver in the kitchen (and not to mention a fingernail saver as well!) You can find them in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.

Have a fantastical day!! Stay tuned for more Nutty Desserts Week madness tomorrow :)

xo, Hayley

Apple Fritter Cake {Apple Fritter Week!!}

applefrittercakeLet’s talk Say Yes to the Dress for a second.

It’s a lot like House Hunters, which we know I can’t stand.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a show on TLC where women go into the world-famous wedding dress salon, Kleinfeld’s, in NYC and basically put the salon associates through the ringer with their outlandish requests, diva behavior, and psychotic entourages of family members.

Women come in with the craziest of expectations on their “Perfect Dress List”, similar to how people act on House Hunters with their mile-long, contradictory fest of their “Perfect Home.” (I want a mansion in the city, but I don’t want the noise from traffic. Oh my god, this Italian villa kitchen is so small! Where are we supposed to fit our SubZero appliances, honey? How come this Italian villa kitchen doesn’t look like an American kitchen?!) etc.

So the women come in wanting a dress with a train but not too long of a train, a sweetheart bust but not something super busty, a small-potatoes budget but let’s try on a Pnina gown, and so forth. Or they’ll bring in some Pinterest picture of a gown and insist they have to try on that gown and make the associates go through a goose chase to hunt down this hideous lace number that’s thousands out of their budget and looks like something you could get at David’s Bridal for like, half the cost.

And what’s with those brides who are hell-bent on looking “sexy” for their wedding day? I get it, you want to look beautiful – of course! – and it’s your day to shine. But insisting on a sheer corset bust blinged out with diamonds all up and down your belly? Um, not cute honey. Save that for the honeymoon, not for when dad walks you down the aisle. If you’re looking for sexy bride, save your money and hit up Frederick’s, buy one of their furry teddies, and head down the aisle in that. As far as I’m concerned, those dresses with the lingerie-looking tops but full trains look like mullet wedding gowns. Trashy, cheap lady of the evening up top, ballgown Cinderella on the bottom. NOT. CUTE.

As it stands I’m actually in NYC again at the moment and would love the chance to wander through Kleinfeld’s, trying on dresses and pretending I’m getting engaged and not a single, twenty-something loner who failed at online dating. But alas, I don’t have a huge budget and with the amount of crazy that happens in that store on a regular basis, I’d probably just smother myself with some tulle.

DSC_0901AAnywho. While I’m in NYC I’ve been dreaming of this Apple Fritter Cake. It’s seriously one of my new favorites because it tastes like a gigantic, soft and tender apple fritter! I love making this in the bundt pan because it allows that rich, apple-cider laced glaze to seep into all the nooks and crannies of the cake, as well as down the center of the bundt. When the glaze cracks and hardens, it’s SO delicious and really reminiscent of a freshly fried and glazed apple fritter. YUM.

And hey, if no one ends up marrying me, I’ll just marry this cake. I’ll skip the dress but uh, just give us some privacy, would ya?

DSC_0890A*adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor’s Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

5.0 from 2 reviews
Apple Fritter Cake {Apple Fritter Week!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Soft, moist and tender, this cake is perfect to serve up to guests during the cooler temperatures. It tastes like a giant, freshly glazed apple fritter without all the hard work and fuss of frying.
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used Granny Smith)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 & ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tsp hot water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a standard bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat a medium skillet over medium-heat.
  2. Throw the butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, one (1) tsp of the cinnamon and the apples into the skillet and saute until tender but not too soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon with a handheld electric mixer until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread HALF of the batter into the prepared pan. Layer the apples evenly on top of the batter layer, including the juices from the apples in the skillet. Sprinkle the apples evenly with the remaining cup of brown sugar. Top with the remaining batter.
  4. Bake for approx. 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then very carefully invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once cake has cooled, prepare your glaze: in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, apple cider and water until you've reached a pourable consistency. Pour the glaze over top of the cake and let it set, about 15 minutes, before cutting into slices.

DSC_0898AGotta love that glaze! It’s so thick and crunchy and pairs perfectly with the softness of the cake’s crumbs and the bits of apple studded within. I’m in love!

I’ve been LOVING #AppleFritterWeek, and I hope you have also! Stay tuned for one more recipe for Apple Fritter Week!!

Have a great day!!

xo, Hayley

Apple Fritter Pie {Apple Fritter Week!!}

applfritterpieWelcome to Apple Fritter Week!!

A couple weeks ago, I was driving to the store minding my own darn business when it struck me like a gigantic bolt of awesome lightning: Apple Fritter Week, it said. I quickly wondered who was talking and why I was listening to an ominous voice telling me to buy apple fritters, but apparently I wasn’t too concerned as I found myself pulling into the local donut shop’s parking lot and buying a half dozen of gigantic apple fritters.

Apple Fritters are one of those donuts that I don’t often think about. I usually go straight for the crumb, or sugar, or frosted-sprinkled cake, or glazed. Blueberry or pumpkin cake if they have it. And apple fritters, sadly, fall at one of the last picks. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them – oh no, there’s plenty of lovin’ to go around – but I generally don’t pick them. This is my apology to all those apple fritters I’ve bypassed in the past. This is for you, buddy.

DSC_0918AIt felt right to kick things off with a pie. After my Glazed Donut Pie was such a huge hit, I figured an Apple Fritter Pie wouldn’t be such a bad idea. And guys, I was right – this pie is simply phenom. Loaded with real, crispy and tender apple fritters in every bite, then topped with an irresistible sugary glaze, just like when the donuts are piping hot from the fryer. Everything’s contained within a buttery and flaky pie crust and is scented so perfectly with cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple cider, which is in both the chess mixture (the mixture that binds the donuts together) and in the glaze.

Overall, I couldn’t think of a better way to apologize to all my betrayed apple fritter brothers and sisters. And I hope you’ll agree!

DSC_0916A*adapted from my Glazed Donut Pie 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Apple Fritter Pie {Apple Fritter Week!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Loaded with crispy, tender apple fritters and topped with a sinfully sweet apple cider glaze, this pie tastes like a gigantic apple fritter but without the fuss from the fryer. All that's missing is your fork!
Ingredients
  • 3-4 freshly fried apple fritters (I purchased mine from my local donut shop and they were on the larger side, so I only used 3. If using medium-smaller fritters, use about 3-5, depending on their size)
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3-4 Tbsp apple cider
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally spray a 9" pie plate with cooking spray. Unroll the pie crust and gently lay it over the pie plate, pressing it down to line the plate. Crimp or pinch the edges and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the apple fritters into small bite-sized pieces. Fill the pie shell with the apple fritters, piling them as high as possible without them overflowing.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, 1 tsp of the vanilla, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 Tbsp of the apple cider with a whisk until blended. Pour the mixture evenly over top of the apple fritter pieces.
  4. Bake the pie for approx. 30-35 minutes or until the center appears set and bubbly and the edges are light golden brown. Note: you may want to tent the edges of the pie with a pie shield or foil to prevent over-browning. Allow the pie to cool completely.
  5. Once the pie has cooled completely, make your glaze. In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla with 2 Tbsp of apple cider and the powdered sugar. Stir vigorously until the mixture is pourable without being too thin; add more powdered sugar to thicken or more apple cider to thin out if possible. Drizzle the glaze over top of the pie and let set, about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve!

DSC_0926AWarm, spiked with cinnamon and nutmeg, and brimming with crispy, freshly fried apple fritters, this pie is a dream come true! Never again will you forget those crunchy, golden, apple-studded delights again because this pie is surely memorable and makes those fritters the star!

Stay tuned for more Apple Fritter treats this week!!

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing

thebestpumpkinbreadaIt’s still in the 90s here in Sacramento.

But because I’m stubborn (and in denial) I’ve been rocking my boots, flannels and leggings and sweating profusely while doing so… only until I crank up the AC in October(!!!) and then I feel a little more fall-ish.

I’ve lit pumpkin candles around the house. I’ve purchased logs of wood for fires. I’ve even draped throw blankets back on over the couches to invite fall into Sacramento. But it’s still Daisy-Duke weather and I’m about to lose it.

The rest of the world is blissfully sipping PSL’s while they bundle up in peacoats and scarves and break out their Hunter boots for impending thunderstorms. Me? I’m digging through my closet for the tiniest shorts I own in an attempt to stay cool and the only thunderstorm in Sacramento is the thunderous sobbing by yours truly over the fact that it’s ALMOST ONE HUNDRED DEGREES STILL.

Like, WTF Mother Nature? What did I ever do to you? Don’t you know PSL’s are seasonal? Don’t you know they GO AWAY SOON?! I cant very well sip on them blissfully while red leaves twirl at my feet when I’m still wearing a bikini and slapping on sunscreen.

Life can be so unfair at times.

DSC_0313ABut despite the weather hiccup, I’m completely in the midst of my fall baking. Pumpkin and caramel apple errthang, people. And I couldn’t very well usher in my fake-fall without pumpkin bread! Pumpkin bread is one of those warming, comforting carbs that I simply cannot resist. Whether it’s topped with a glaze, studded with nuts, or plain nekkid, I love it any which way and prefer a thick slice for breakfast with my coffee. This bread is perfectly fluffy and moist without being too wet, has a soft and tender crumb, and is topped with the best brown butter maple glaze that drips down over the top of this well-spiced loaf.

Even if the outdoors feel like July, at least you can eat fall!

DSC_0308A*adapted slightly from Land O Lakes Baking & More Cookbook

4.8 from 5 reviews
The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Perfectly spiced, moist and tender, this Pumpkin Bread will soon become a family favorite! Leave it naked if you wish, or stud it with nuts - however, I prefer mine with this simple brown butter maple glaze. I'm sure you will, too!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used Land O Lakes)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (the puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • FOR GLAZE:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine all of the above bread ingredients and beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well-mixed.
  3. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean or with a couple moist crumbs (not wet). Cool for about 15 minutes, then very gently remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While bread cools, make your glaze: in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue cooking, watching butter carefully, until it sizzles and begins to turn amber in color, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook because it can quickly burn! When butter looks caramel-colored and smells kind of nutty, it's done. Remove butter from heat and stir in the powdered sugar and maple syrup until a soft glaze has formed.
  5. Pour the glaze generously over top of the pumpkin loaf and let it set, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve!

 

DSC_0311AA simple, delicious, moist and tender bread packed with pumpkin flavor! Perfectly spiced throughout and topped with that sinful, warm & rich brown butter maple glaze – it doesn’t get better than this!

Have a fantastic day!!

xo, Hayley

Cinnamon Vanilla Waffle Dippers and a Breakfast Night Giveaway with Krusteaz!

WaffledippersDid you know that breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things evereverever?

There’s just something so intoxicating about eating breakfast fare in the evening hours, don’t you think? Pancakes seem heartier. Bacon seems crispier. Eggs seem awesomer. Breakfast for dinner — or as I lovingly call it, brinner — rules.

Aaaaand!  September is Breakfast for Dinner Month which pretty much makes this the coolest month ever. Because September is the official breakfast for dinner month, Krusteaz has officially declared every Wednesday “Brinner” night!  Krusteaz found that 9 out of 10 (91%) of Americans say they eat breakfast for dinner because of its ease of preparation — and because it’s a fun way to break up the monotony of traditional dinners.  That’s a lot of Americans chowing down on pancakes and sausage at nighttime!

I totally agree with the survey — breakfast is a simple, foolproof switch-up that makes dinnertime fun and exciting and breaks the monotony of eating the same tacos and spaghetti over & over.  Plus, it is easier to prepare — baked French toast, muffins, donuts, pancakes — are much simpler to prepare than baking chicken or whipping potatoes.  Plus, you can douse everything in butter and syrup :)

DSC_0392ATo help kick off Breakfast for Dinner Month with Krusteaz, and to celebrate their Wednesday Night #BreakfastNight (Brinner!) I made these fantastical Cinnamon Vanilla Waffle Dippers! Ever since my waffle maker broke (RIP, Waffler, you will be missed!), I’ve been having homemade waffle withdrawals. Nothing beats fresh off the griddle homemade waffles, and without a waffle maker, you’re pretty much outta luck on that front. Until I remembered I had a waffle stick pan — one of those novelty baking pans you can find at local craft stores for $10 — and thus, my waffle night was reignited! If you have a waffle iron, feel free to use that instead; you can cut the homemade waffles into sticks to make dippers. Or, look at your local craft store for the waffle stick pan! It’s a great alternative rather than storing a waffle iron appliance!

AAAnywho — these waffle dippers get their flavor from Krusteaz’s convenient Light & Crispy Belgian Waffle Mix, as well as a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and a splash of vanilla. The result are light & fluffy waffle sticks with golden, crispy outsides and the same waffle rivets that hold all of the delicious maple syrup goodness because of course you’re dipping them in syrup, right?! I topped mine with powdered sugar, but if you’re feeling feisty, consider topping yours with sliced strawberries and bananas and drizzle with chocolate syrup or melted peanut butter for the ultimate treat!

DSC_0403A

4.9 from 7 reviews
Cinnamon Vanilla Waffle Dippers and Breakfast Night with Krusteaz!
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Get the taste of light & crispy Belgian waffles at home with these Cinnamon Vanilla Waffle Dippers! Made in a waffle stick pan, these portable waffle sticks are spiced just right and taste great dipped in maple syrup and dusted with powdered sugar for an easy breakfast-on-the-go.
Ingredients
  • 1 batch Krusteaz Light & Crispy Belgian Waffle Mix (make as much or as little as you'd like; however, for 18 waffle sticks I used the 1&1/2 cups mix preparation)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup, for dipping
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease an 18-cavity waffle stick pan with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare a batch of Belgian waffle batter according to the back of the box; stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla to combine.
  2. Drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of batter into the prepared & greased cavities; smooth out the tops and evenly fill the cavities by smearing the batter around with a greased butter knife. Gently tap the batter into the pan and bake the waffle dippers for about 8-10 minutes or until golden and and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  3. Allow the waffle dippers to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before carefully inverting them onto a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve with maple syrup.
  4. NOTE: you may have additional batter. If this is the case, continue making more batches until no batter remains. However, I got 18 waffle sticks with this recipe using the 1 & ½ cups mix preparation on the back of the Krusteaz box.

DSC_0404A

Do YOU want to win a Krusteaz Breakfast Night Prize Pack?! Enter the widget below for a chance to win!! 

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DSC_0402ALight, fluffy, golden, crispy and oh-so irresistible, these remind me of the fast food French toast sticks but better because they’re Belgian waffles and homemade! Scented with aromatic vanilla and spiced just right with warm cinnamon and nutmeg, I prefer them piping hot and dusted with powdered sugar, but a generous chocolate drizzle would be exceptional!

Be sure to connect with Krusteaz for more awesome #BreakfastNight recipes!  Be sure to follow them on Twitter (as well as the #BreakfastNight hashtag!), Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest, and check out their Breakfast Night page for more inspiration!

Have a fantastical day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with this Breakfast Night prize pack from Krusteaz. All recipes and opinions are 100% my own and I was not otherwise monetarily compensated for this post. Winner will be chosen at random and notified on 9/23/2014 and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize pack is generously provided on behalf of Krusteaz. 

 

 

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