Categories
Breakfast

Muffin pancakes make sure breakfast won’t fall flat

Pancakes are easy to create in multiple flavors with just three ingredients: a muffin mix, an egg and milk.

When our family recently got together for Mother’s Day, my three-year-old niece and I got plenty of quality time, looking for bugs, hunting for seashells next to a creek and getting more than just a little muddy.

It was a great day. Once we were cleaned up and inside again, my sister mentioned that my niece was looking forward to a summer sleepover at each set of grandparents’ houses. Apparently, a three-year-old’s interpretation of a sleepover includes kicking Grandpa out of the big bed to have a slumber party with Grandma and something special for breakfast.

I offered up that I wouldn’t mind being on the sleepover schedule, too, and she was immediately interested in what I’d have for breakfast at my house.

I asked her what she thought we should have, and she settled on donuts. Oh, and pancakes. Oh, and bacon. Oh, and cookies. You know, all the normal breakfast stuff.

I figured I better get my pancake skills up to snuff, since I’m notoriously bad at making them, and mine normally turn out thick and dense instead of light and fluffy.

That’s why I decided to try this week’s recipe, which I found posted on social media with no attribution as to who first discovered this technique. It’s a way to turn a simple muffin mix into great, delicious pancakes. It’s insanely easy, as you’ll see, and I didn’t change a thing, although you could add anything you wanted to these—from chocolate chips to fresh fruit to sprinkles.

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Muffin Mix Pancakes

Pancakes are easy to create in multiple flavors with just three ingredients: a muffin mix, an egg and milk.
Course Breakfast
Keyword easy, muffin mix, pancakes

Ingredients

  • 7 ounce muffin mix any flavor
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Heat a six-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Spray it with cooking spray.
  • Once the skillet is hot, pour enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom.
  • Let the batter cook for several minutes. Once the edges are slightly brown and bubbles are rising in the middle of the pancake, carefully flip it over.
  • Cook for another minute or so, and remove to a plate. Cover to keep warm while you finish the rest of the pancakes. For best results, spray the pan with cooking spray in between each pancake.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings.

I got four six-inch pancakes out of this batter. If I would have gone a little thinner with them or made silver dollar pancakes, as I probably will when my niece stays over, I could have gotten more. 

I opted for using a blueberry pancake mix, which was pretty darn good. There were several other options at my local grocery store for mixes—from banana to cinnamon sugar to chocolate chip.

You could quickly and easily make several flavors for everyone in the family.

I’m guessing my niece will have a whole new menu planned for us by the time she and I get to have our sleepover. Of course, after her first slumber party at Grandma and Grandpa’s, I’m going to have to up my game. Those people take spoiling to a whole new level, and pancakes and cookies for breakfast probably ain’t gonna cut it.

This piece first appeared in print on May 27, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Breakfast Dessert

Pastries are dish worth ‘scone’ing on about

With walnuts and chocolate chips mixed in, banana bread scones are a great choice for breakfast or dessert.

I don’t get a chance to listen to the radio much on the weekends, but when I do, I try to catch the public radio show “The Splendid Table.”

It’s a fun listen, if you’ve never heard it. The show isn’t just about sharing recipes. They tend to jump into all aspects of food—the culture, the techniques, the cooks. Strangely enough through, despite listening to quite a few episodes over the years, I haven’t tried very many of the featured recipes.

That changed this week when I was once again looking for some way to keep using up the rapidly browning bananas on my countertop, and I realized I should have tried more of their dishes a lot sooner, because this one was delicious.

This recipe is on “The Splendid Table” website and was written by Samantha Seneviratne for her cookbook “The Joys of Baking.” You can find the original post at https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2020/01/17/banana-bread-scones. I doubled the vanilla and changed the directions just a tad in my version. I also used walnuts instead of toasted hazelnuts.

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Banana Bread Scones

With walnuts and chocolate chips mixed in, banana bread scones are a great choice for breakfast or dessert.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword banana, chocolate chips, scone, walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 large over-ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream plus some for brushing tops
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • Sugar for tops of scones

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Beat the banana, cream, egg and vanilla together in a small bowl.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt and then cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or a fork. Once the mixture looks crumbly, add in the banana mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Using a large cookie scoop, place scoops of the batter about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Brush the tops of the dough with cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

We had to make sure to give several of these away, because Joey and I were going to quickly eat all of them by ourselves. If you like banana bread, you’ll definitely like these, too.

The only problem is this recipe only helped me get rid of a single banana. I may have to make a second batch this weekend. I already know what I can listen to while I do.

This piece first appeared in print on Oct. 29, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Breakfast Dessert

Banana cinnamon rolls aren’t monkeying around

Banana cinnamon rolls have great banana flavor, paired with warm cinnamon, walnuts and a delicious cream cheese frosting.

My parents recently gifted me with bananas—a lot of bananas.

So, looking at the bunches lining my countertop, I decided it was time to try every banana recipe on my Pinterest board.

As I perused the large number of recipes I’d set aside, one popped out at me for banana cinnamon rolls. Not only did they look amazing, but there was no yeast to wait for, so I was excited to try it.

Plus, it got rid of a banana.

Yeah, just one banana. But, hey, at least that’s one fewer banana on my countertop, and these rolls were phenomenal.

This comes from the blog “Inside Bru Crew Life.” You can find the original at https://insidebrucrewlife.com/banana-nut-cinnamon-rolls/. I doubled the spices and vanilla in my version.

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Banana Cinnamon Rolls

Banana cinnamon rolls have great banana flavor, paired with warm cinnamon, walnuts and a delicious cream cheese frosting.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, quick, walnuts

Ingredients

Filling Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted

Roll Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 7 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or use regular milk with a touch of vinegar

Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup walnuts finely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter the inside of an 8-by-8-inch baking pan, and set it aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling until well combined, and set it aside.
  • In a separate bowl, for the rolls, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir with a fork to combine. Add the banana, two tablespoons of the butter, melted, and the buttermilk. Mix by hand until the dough comes together.
  • Dump the dough onto a floured workspace and begin kneading with floured hands. Once the dough is together (it will likely still be a bit sticky), spread it out with your hands into about a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Spread out two more tablespoons of the butter, melted, on the dough. Sprinkle on all of the filling, evenly, leaving about one-half inch empty around the edges.
  • Starting on the long side (so you create a nice, long tube), start rolling the dough. (I had to use a flat, bendy spatula to help mine along, because it was firmly stuck to the counter. It also tore as I went, but don’t worry if that happens. Baking will cover all your sins.)
  • Cut the tube into nine slices and place them, spiral side up, in your prepared pan. Go ahead and crowd them together.
  • Melt the last three tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the top of the rolls.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the rolls look golden brown.
  • While the rolls bake, combine all the frosting ingredients, except the walnuts, until it is smooth. Spread the frosting over the warm rolls and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Serve warm and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Despite only using a solitary banana, the flavor really came through in these rolls. They were soft, gooey and so, so good. If you’re looking for a good fall recipe to get cinnamon in your life, I highly recommend giving this a try. 

And be prepared for some more banana recipes from me over the next few weeks. I have to do something to reclaim my countertop, and unless I get a visit from a troupe of monkeys, it looks like it’s all up to me.

This piece first appeared in print on Oct. 15, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Breakfast

Warm breakfast actually is all it’s cracked up to be

Cheesy egg toast is extremely easy way to make eggs and toast simultaneously.

About the time Joey and I got married 10 years ago, I learned what “egg in the basket” was—a simple breakfast dish where an egg is cooked in a hole cut in the center of a piece of bread.

I’ve tried to make egg in the basket many times over the years, completely enamored with the idea, but while I have had a few successes, I have often struggled to actually accomplish a perfect result each time.

On a recent weekend, I woke up early and decided I wanted to pour myself a bowl of cereal, but of course, we were completely out of milk.

Having already convinced myself that I needed breakfast, I started scrolling online and was extremely excited to discover a recipe for a different way to make eggs and toast simultaneously—no poking holes in bread necessary.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog “Crazy Adventures in Parenting” by Lisa Douglas. You can find her post at http://crazyadventuresinparenting.com/2014/06/cheesy-baked-egg-toast.html. The only change I made was to butter the underside of the bread, too.

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Cheesy Egg Toast

Cheesy egg toast is extremely easy way to make eggs and toast simultaneously.
Course Breakfast
Keyword cheese, easy breakfast, eggs, toast

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Sliced bread
  • Butter or margarine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheese I used colby-jack
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Prepare a skillet with a lid by spraying it with cooking spray (unless it’s nonstick) and heating it over medium-low heat.
  • Using a spoon or a butter knife, press the entire inside portion of a slice of bread down to create a rectangular well, leaving about a half-inch lip around the edges. (Repeat these steps for as many servings as you need.)
  • Lightly butter the other side of the bread and place it, well side up into the preheated pan.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper into the well and then carefully break an egg into the well you created. Spread a thin layer of butter around the edges of the bread, and sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Place the lid on the pan and cook for about three to four minutes; then check the toast every minute or so until the egg has reached your desired doneness.
  • Serve.

This was delicious and turned out perfectly. I didn’t have to flip the bread or try not to break the yolk while nudging the toast in the pan. I left my eggs with a runny yolk and ate my breakfast with a fork, but you could easily scramble the egg before adding it to the bread or just cook the eggs with a hard yolk to make it easier to just eat with your hands.

This certainly wasn’t anything fancy, but I loved my morning meal with a side of hot coffee. Plus, if you want a glowing recommendation, Joey politely requested his own plate full when he got up a few minutes later and saw what I made.

This will definitely be my new, go-to way to make an egg/toast combo in the mornings instead of the traditional egg in the basket.

Starting your day with a warm, easy meal is a lot nicer than beginning with the frustrating process of trying to corral an egg in the basket—and it sure beat my bowl of cereal, too.

This piece first appeared in print on Oct. 1, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Bread Breakfast Dessert

I ‘concha’ take my eyes off this gorgeous sweet bread

Manteconchas are mini versions of the traditional Mexican sweet bread and are loaded with cinnamon.

Several weeks ago, over at our office, we were gifted something I’d never tried: conchas.

If you’re unfamiliar, like I was, a concha is a Mexican sweet roll. It gets its name from its crispy topping, which looks like a seashell.

Well, I was completely hooked after trying them. It was like getting to have bread and dessert all at once, and what midwesterner can resist such a combination?

I looked up how to make them, and of course, it’s an art form, but since I sometimes like a good challenge, I decided to try an easier version in the form of “manteconchas,” a mini version of the classic dish, and they did not disappoint.

The recipe I tried comes from the company website “Bread Stamps.” You can find the original at https://breadstamps.com/manteconchas. I added extra cinnamon and vanilla in my version and converted the amounts from grams.

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Manteconchas

Manteconchas are mini versions of thetraditional Mexican sweet bread and are loaded with cinnamon.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword conchas, manteconchas, sweet bread

Ingredients

Bread Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 drops cinnamon oil flavoring
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Food coloring

Instructions

  • For the bread, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Combine the milk mixture, along with the butter, sugar, salt, egg, vanilla, cinnamon and about half of the flour into a mixer with a dough hook or start by mixing with a wooden spoon. Knead/stir for four to five minutes, and then add the rest of the flour and knead for seven to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. It will be sticky.
  • Spray a bowl with cooking spray (spray your hands, too, to make handling the dough easier), and transfer the ball of dough into it. Cover it and let it rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • For the topping, combine all of the ingredients, adding as much food coloring as you like at the end (you can split the mixture into several sections and get multiple colors, if you want). Knead the topping until it is smooth and then flatten it into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes.
  • Once the dough is done resting, line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and then separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball, and place them in the lined cupcake tin.
  • Now split the topping into 12 equal pieces (I rolled mine into a snake to do this, and it was super easy to split evenly). You’ll want to minimize how much you touch the topping, because it will get sticky quickly. I recommend working with it on a piece of waxed paper to make it easier to pick up.
  • Take each piece of topping and roll it into a ball. Using the heel of your hand, flatten the ball out to a disc about the same diameter as the cupcake tin wells.
  • Stamp the piece of topping with a cookie stamp or use another tool to make a shallow design in the top. Do not cut all the way through the disc.
  • Transfer the stamped discs to the tops of the bread, and let the manteconchas rest for another 45 minutes.
  • When the time is almost up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 13 minutes. The bread that is peeking through the topping should be lightly browned and fully set.
  • Remove the manteconchas from the cupcake tin and let them cool before storing them in an airtight container.

These had a great, warm cinnamon flavor, and they were so pretty, too. The best part about these is that you can choose your color and design for any time of year.

I didn’t have a cookie stamp, so I used my biscuit cutter and just cut partway down to create a bunch of circles or curves. Just be creative with it.

Obviously, this is a bit of a time consuming recipe with having to wait for the dough to rise, but the excitement when you take these out of the oven and the bread has risen through the cracks in the topping is pretty palpable.

And now that I found this recipe, I might just stick to the mini version of conchas. It’s just as delicious but a little kinder to your waistline.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 10, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Bread Breakfast Dessert

Bread will ‘apple’solutely get you ready for fall

Apple butter bread has lots of fall spices and is a great breakfast or dessert.

I remember once spending an entire afternoon helping my mom make applesauce. My sister and I loved the apple-peeling machine that cut each apple into cool spirals, and we took turns manning the crank.

Mom was at the stove, cooking down the sliced apples and then ladling it off into containers as the applesauce was finished.

We thought it was so cool. I think our freezer was full of containers of applesauce for quite awhile—we were probably a lot more excited about making it than eating it, I’d guess. But I always remember that as such a fun experience, and the taste of any kind of baked apples has always been high on my list.

I’ve had an unopened jar of apple butter in my pantry for a few months now. If you don’t know, apple butter is really just super-concentrated applesauce. It’s cooked down even more to give it that pretty brown color. It’s fantastic on toast, but I kept thinking I could do something special with this jar, and that’s when I came across this week’s recipe.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog “KJ and Company.” You can find the original at https://kjandcompany.co/2019/09/21/spiced-apple-butter-bread/. I added more vanilla and extra spices in my version.

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Apple Butter Bread

Apple butter bread has lots of fall spices and is a great breakfast or dessert.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword apple butter, cinnamon, cloves, gingerbread, quick bread

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying it with cooking spray (cut the parchment so it lines the bottom and goes up the long sides of the pan to hang out over the edges).
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, apple butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the rest of the ingredients until everything is combined well.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • Slice it (it’s easier to slice once it’s cooled completely) and store in an airtight container.

If it didn’t feel like September before I started baking this bread, it definitely did by the time I was finished. My whole kitchen smelled like warm, fall spices, and I was practically ready to go grab a cardigan.

This was a nice, lightly spiced quick bread that we ate both as a dessert and for breakfast, and we really enjoyed it. I actually doubled the recipe so we could share with the office, and it went over well there, too.

And it was also a lot easier to let somebody else make the apple butter instead of that long afternoon of applesauce-making with Mom all those years ago. I’m all for cooking completely from scratch, but sometimes a jar is a nice addition to a recipe.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 3, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Bread Breakfast Dessert

Bread perfect for leftover that was driving me nuts

Blueberry pie quick bread, as the name suggests, is a quick recipe that uses fresh blueberries, although frozen will also do.

I have had this block of leftover almond paste just sitting in the back of my refrigerator for weeks.

Every time I would open the fridge, I would just stare at the container, knowing I needed to use it up but not being 100-percent sure how.

But then there were beautiful, fresh blueberries sitting in the produce department at the grocery store, and I knew what I had to do.

So, if you’re wondering, the star in this week’s recipe, for me at least, is the almond paste, because that meant I finally got it out of my fridge and out of my head,. But let’s face it: the blueberries are really king, and this was so, so good that I may have to buy more almond paste and start the whole cycle all over again.

This recipe comes from the blog “Bunsen Burner Bakery.” You can find the original at https://www.bunsenburnerbakery.com/blueberry-pie-bread/. I doubled the vanilla in my version.

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Blueberry Pie Quick Bread

Blueberry pie quick bread, as the name suggests, is a quick recipe that uses fresh blueberries, although frozen will also do.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword almond paste, blueberry, quick bread, sweet bread

Ingredients

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Bread Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk I used skim
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Crumble Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond paste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  • To make the pie filling, combine the filling ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture thickens. Remove it from heat and set it aside.
  • For the batter, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and milk, and then beat in the rest of the bread ingredients until it is smooth. Fold in the blueberry filling and pour the batter into the prepared pan. (Leave the mixture swirled rather than mixing it completely for a pretty finished look.)
  • In another bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble, mixing with a fork. Break the mixture into pieces and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the bread.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a moist crumb but not unbaked batter.
  • Cool completely in the pan before removing. Slice it, and then store the bread in an airtight container.

The original instructions say to only let this cool 10 minutes before trying to remove it from the pan, but my bread broke in half when I tried, and I was lucky enough to get it to adhere back together before I tried again. So even though it’s really, really hard to wait, I’d recommend letting it cool completely.

This bread was full of gorgeous berries, and the almond flavor really paired nicely, as well. If you don’t want to do the crumble on top, you could easily skip it, or I’d recommend finding a cinnamon crumble topping from a Dutch apple pie recipe and trying that, instead, if the almonds don’t sound good.

I’m sure that empty spot in my fridge will soon feature another puzzle of a leftover for me to solve, but for now, at least I finally got that one checked off my list.

This piece first appeared in print on July 2, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Breakfast Dessert

Have a ‘hole’ lot of fun with baked donuts

Coffee donuts with a coffee glaze are great for breakfast or dessert.

Several weeks ago, I got the opportunity to meet Tina Ostrander, owner of Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton. We sat down over a cup of coffee to talk about working together, which we were both pretty excited about.

And then the world shut down, and I was super nervous that the first week of our partnership—this week—would mean I might have trouble finding more recipes to try, and Kitchen Corner wasn’t going to be open for us to do anything fun together.

But I’ve been discovering that I have lots of random ingredients hanging out in my kitchen, and despite her brick-and-mortar being closed for the time being, Tina has an online store set up.

So, for my part, I started examining my pantry and realized that I, for some reason, have quite a few instant coffee packets, so I determined it was time for something with coffee flavor—and time for something sweet. I landed on a recipe for cake donuts with a coffee glaze that ended up being a fantastic recipe.

I found this recipe on the blog “Marsha’s Baking Addiction.” You can find the original post at https://marshasbakingaddiction.com/baked-coffee-doughnuts. I added extra vanilla and nutmeg in my version.

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Glazed Coffee Cake Donuts

Coffee donuts with a coffee glaze are great for breakfast or dessert.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword coffee, donuts, glaze

Ingredients

Donut Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee or make 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or use regular milk with a touch of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee or use a tablespoon strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a donut pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
  • If using instant coffee, dissolve it into 1/4 cup of hot water.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and coffee until smooth.
  • Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg until just combined and spoon the batter evenly between the six wells in your donut pan (this will fill them pretty much to the brim. If you’d rather have smaller donuts, you could fill them less and make another partial batch, too).
  • Bake for eight to 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in them comes out clean.
  • Let the donuts cool for about 10 minutes and then let them cool completely before glazing them.
  • For the glaze, in a shallow bowl, whisk the coffee, vanilla and milk until smooth, and then whisk in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until you get the consistency you want. If it’s too thin, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk.
  • Dip the donuts into the glaze (just the tops, you don’t have to submerge them) and then place them on a wire rack to dry. I did two coatings on mine.
  • Once the glaze is dry, store any leftover donuts in an airtight container.

These were amazing. And I learned that I absolutely should never make them when only Joey and I are around to eat them, because they, embarrassingly, did not last more than a couple of days.

And, while Tina and I will have to wait on some of the in-person ideas we discussed a few weeks ago, I’m glad I can keep baking and she can still keep people’s kitchens stocked with needed supplies. If you need a donut pan, for instance, go visit her online store; she’s got ’em.

Also, if you’re bored and want to look back at some of my previous columns, I officially have my own website, and I’m still working on uploading my archives, so look for it to keep expanding over the next few weeks. You can visit it at spiceupkitchen.net.

Stay safe. Shop local online. And eat donuts.

This piece originally appeared in print on April 1, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Bread Breakfast Dessert

Sweet roll recipe is the only ‘bun’ for me

No one will be able to tell that you completely transformed a cake mix into these delectable chocolate sweet rolls.

When I first started going solo in the kitchen as a youngster, I was very concerned with cooking by the book.

Mom never minded me hovering over her shoulder (or if she did, she hid it really well), and I asked a lot of questions.

Once I felt ready to make meals on my own, I asked her to help me write out my own recipe cards, which I still have in my recipe box at home. My favorite one is for canned corn. She didn’t make fun of me when I asked her to help me write down the steps for how to heat it up and how much salt and pepper to add, and from the food stains on my notecard, I clearly used the “recipe” more than once over the years.

Nowadays, though, I’m a lot more adventurous and tend to tweak recipes regularly and without hesitation. Such was the case recently when I used a recipe for cake mix cinnamon rolls to make chocolate sweet rolls instead.

I actually used two authors’ recipes as my basis for this week. The rolls recipe comes from the blog “Norine’s Nest.” You can find her post at https://www.norinesnest.com/cake-mix-cinnamon-rolls/. The other recipe started as the filling recipe for some sweet rolls by Kate Wood on her blog “The Wood and Spoon.” You can find her recipe at http://thewoodandspoon.com/chocolate-sweet-rolls/. I made changes to each to come up with the concoction below.

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Cake Mix Chocolate Sweet Rolls

No one will be able to tell that you completely transformed a cake mix into these delectable chocolate sweet rolls.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword cake mix, chocolate, glaze, icing, sweet rolls

Ingredients

Rolls

  • 1 Dutch chocolate cake mix
  • 2 packages yeast instant or active
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2-1/4 cups hot water

Filling

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips or chop up a bar
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or instant coffee powder I used a mocha-flavored
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • about 1/2 cup sliced almonds or your favorite nut, chopped

Icing

  • 1-1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk you may need to add more
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • In a mixer with a dough hook (or you can start by mixing with a wooden spoon and switch over to kneading to bring it together), combine the cake mix, yeast, salt and two cups of flour.
  • Mix until it’s well combined and add the water slowly while the mixer continues to run.
  • Add in the rest of the flour, and mix until everything is well combined and the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured workspace, sprinkle the top with more flour and knead five or six times with floured hands until it forms into a well-shaped ball.
  • Cover the dough with a clean cloth and allow it to rise until it’s doubled in size (mine took about 20 minutes).
  • When the dough is almost ready to work with, combine the chocolate chips and butter into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining filling ingredients except the sliced almonds and set aside.
  • Punch the dough down and roll out into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Spread the filling out evenly over the entire rectangle of dough and sprinkle on the almonds.
  • Tightly roll the rectangle from the long side so that you get a nice, long, snake-like roll.
  • Cut the roll into 1-1/2-inch thick slices.
  • Grease two 9×12-inch pans and place the slices, with one of the cut sides up, into the pans. Space them out a bit to give them room to rise.
  • Cover both pans with a clean cloth and let them rise for about 30 more minutes or until they double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until they are a golden brown.
  • Before serving, mix the icing ingredients together until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk until you get the consistency you like.
  • Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes, and then drizzle or spread the icing over top of them.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

These were absolutely delicious. I immediately delivered them to friends and family to get them out of the house before we ate too many of them ourselves.

The best part of this recipe is that it’s super easy to customize. Just choose another cake mix and filling ingredients, and you have a completely new type of sweet roll to enjoy.

Younger me would have been amazed at how off script I went with this recipe, but we all start somewhere. Looking back, I’m just so thankful I had someone willing to patiently show me the ropes in the kitchen—canned corn recipes and all.

This piece first appeared in print on June 27, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.

Categories
Breakfast Dessert

Coffee cake comes highly rec’almond’ed

Almond coffee cake is pretty to look at and delicious to eat.

I only have a few rules for choosing recipes I want to try.

First, it has to be decently easy and not need a bunch of weird kitchen implements. Second, the ingredients need to be something I can find locally and not have to order online. Third, I have to want to eat it.

I feel like that third one goes without saying, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

This week’s recipe just barely met my criteria, because I had no idea almond paste even existed until I examined the ingredients list. I was able to find it in my local grocery store, so I’m hoping the rest of you can, too. If not, there are also other recipes online to make it yourself.

It also nearly upset my rules because the part of the recipe where you’re supposed to “spread” the batter is not an easy task. This stuff is thick and tough to spread, so I recommend dolloping the batter and filling into the pan before spreading it so you have an easier time.

The recipe’s author said she used her fingers to spread it, but I had more luck with a rubber scraper instead.

I found this recipe on the blog “Curly Girl Kitchen.” You can find the original at https://www.curlygirlkitchen.com/2013/01/almond-cream-cheese-coffee-cake.html. I doubled the almond extract and cinnamon.

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Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Almond coffee cake is pretty to look at and delicious to eat.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword almond, almond paste, coffeecake, cream cheese

Ingredients

Streusel Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Filling Ingredients

  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Batter Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by coating it with cooking spray.
  • For the streusel, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl, add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to work it in until it’s nice and crumbly and stir in the almonds. Put in the refrigerator for now.
  • For the filling, beat the almond paste, sugar and cream cheese until it’s smooth and set it aside (you’ll add the almonds later).
  • For the batter, beat the butter and sugar for about three minutes to get it light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and almond extract until it’s well combined.
  • Beat in the sour cream.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, beat in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until everything is just combined.
  • Put half of the batter into your prepared springform pan and spread it to an even layer (it’s a thick batter, so this is easier said than done).
  • Spoon the cream cheese filling in dollops all over the batter layer and spread it out as best as you can. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sliced almonds on top of the filling.
  • Spoon the remaining batter in dollops on top of the almonds and spread it again.
  • Bake the cake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove it from the oven and top it with the streusel and then bake for another 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (don’t stick it all the way down to the filling layer, since that will stay gooey even after baking).
  • Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. Let it cool completely and then store in an airtight container if not serving right away. (I kept mine in the fridge.)

While this recipe was a bit more complicated than I often choose, it was totally worth it. The cake was beautiful, and it would be great for breakfast or dessert.

And although it stretched rules one and two, definitely fit rule three, since I managed to eat more than one slice of this cake before it was gone. I guess one out of three ain’t bad.

This piece first appeared in print on May 23, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.