Meringue Filled Yeasted Coffee Cake: Secret Recipe Club

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I have gone into dessert baking withdrawal.

In December, I had desserts coming out the wazoo (a rather mysterious place), and I always had another dessert in mind to make next.  I was a desert making machine back then, AKA the good old days when I had extremely low amounts of required work.  Well, being busy and back to making meals for one has put my dessert making a little bit on pause.  But here I am ready to get back into the kitchen, and I am ready for a challenge.

So when I got Taryn’s blog Sweetly Serendipity for this month’s Secret Recipe Club and saw that she has lots of dessert recipes to choose from, I was absolutely thrilled.  Taryn has a lot of types of desserts to choose from: from easy sweet tooth fixes, lots of chocolate, and lots of homemade bread.  I went searching for a recipe to challenge myself, and I came across this meringue filled yeasted coffee cake.

You had me at meringue (how my romantic comedy would be scripted).

The recipe name is a mouthful, but I had never heard of stuffing a coffee cake with meringue.  I was intrigued automatically.  I set out to make the coffee cake the first day I had free.  First, I loved that the ingredients are listed by weight- weighing ingredients is so much easier than measuring them for the sole reason that there are less dishes to wash after.  Second, it sounded decadent and perfect for a kitchen challenge.

I got straight to work, and thing were going great.  But, my friends, this was a challenge.  Rolling a pasty around meringue makes for messy work, and if you compare mine to Taryn’s, I could not manage creating a circular pastry.  It was a little messy, but I say let’s call that rustic charm because it is delicious enough that no one will mind.  Just follow instructions and take it slow.  Makes for one decadent breakfast or brunch.

MERINGUE FILLED YEASTED COFFEE CAKE
Barely Adapted from Sweetly Serendipity

INGREDIENTS

For the Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour (200 g), divided
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (27 g)
1/2 teaspoon salt (4 g)
1/2 package of yeast (4 g)
1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
1 egg

For the Meringue:
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar (55 g)

For the Filling:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS

For the Dough:

In a large bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups of flour (115 g), sugar, salt, and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine milk, butter, and water over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is just melted.

With an electric mixer or hand mixer, slowly add the liquid ingreidents to the dry ingredients until blended. Increase speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 cup flour (75 g). Beat for 2 more minutes. If needed, stir in any remaining flour to have the mixture come together as a dough. Knead dough for 6-10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding extra flour as needed.

Place dough in a grease bowl and put in a warm place. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2-2 hours.

For the Meringue:

After the dough has risen, prepare the meringue. Place egg whites and salt in a large bowl. Beat until foamy and opaque. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add sugar while beating until very stiff and glossy peaks form.

To Assemble to Coffee Cake:

Punch down risen down. Roll dough out into a 20 by 10 inch rectangle. Spread meringue filling on dough, leaving a 3/4 inch border on all sides. Sprinkle toppings on top of meringue. Carefully roll the dough into a long log. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and form a ring.

Use a sharp knife to make cuts deep into the ring. Cover and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 25-60 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Make sure to check out what everyone else made this month!

 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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So I was healthy for a little bit this new year at least, right?  I am not trying to tempt you all away from any resolutions, but…homemade cinnamon rolls (that taste like Cinnabon) with cream cheese frosting.

Homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. 

I know that January is meant for healthy eating, but we all need a little indulgence sometime.  Just balance some sweets with working out and healthy eating at other meals.  In doing my part working on resolutions, I recently tried a Pure Barre class, and it kicked my ass.  About 33% of the class was spent with me holding on to the bar looking around incredulously as everyone else worked out.  Phew.   A good healthy workout sometimes mandates homemade cinnamon rolls really.

And these cinnamon rolls. Oh my, these were just as good as I dreamed of.  I have wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls for a long time, and I am so glad I did.  I remember how much of a treat it was when I would come downstairs and smell that mom had made up a batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  That smell always let me know it was going to be a good start to my day.

These take a little bit of a time investment since there is yeast and rising time involved, but you can make the rolls almost completely the night before.  Because while I may like to eat cinnamon rolls early in the morning, I don’t particularly want to have to get up super early to make them.  I served these on Christmas morning, and I am certain that Santa was bitter that all he got the night before was some measly cookies.  If he had stuck around, he could have gorged on these.

HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS
Barely Adapted from Lauren’s Latest

INGREDIENTS

For the Dough:
3/4 cup warm water, 115-110°F
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
4 1/2 – 5 cups all purpose flour

For the Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

For the Dough:

In a large bowl of stand mixer, combine water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Pour in remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 20 seconds.

In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, and egg together. Pour into into yeast mixture. Use your stand mixer to stir together. Pour 2 cups of flour into bowl and mix on low until incorporated. While running the mixer, continue to add flour in 1/4 cup increments until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (you may not need to use the entire amount of flour). Turn the mixer on high and knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl. Grease the bowl and place dough back in. Cover with plastic wrap and dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size,d about 1 1/2-2 hours.

For the filling:

In a bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Punch down dough after it has risen. Transfer dough to a large cutting board that is dusted with flour. Roll out to a 20 inch by 30 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on one of the longer sides.

Sprinkle brown sugar mixture on top of the butter. Lightly press mixture into butter using your hands or a rolling pin.

Roll the dough into a tight log, finishing on the edge with the border, using the plain dough to seal the roll shut. Score the dough every 2 inches and slice into rolls. Place into a parchment lined, greased pan (2 cake pans can work, or a 9×13 and a loaf pan). Cover and let rise in a warm place for another 1-2 hours, until almost doubled in size.

Or, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. The next morning, take out the rolls and place in a 100°F oven for about 40 minutes to take the chill off and help the rolls start rising. Then let rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour (This is how I had them rise- you can also just let them sit in a warm place for a little longer, about 3 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 17 minutes, until the tops begin to turn golden brown.

For the Icing:

In a bowl, whip cream cheese and butter together. Mix in vanilla, corn syrup, and lemon juice. Pour in powdered sugar slowly and mix to incorporate. Mix on high for 5 minutes, until icing turns a light color.

Once rolls have finished baking, spread approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the icing on top. Let them cool for about 10-13 minutes, and frost with remaining icing. Serve warm

Makes about 15 cinnamon rolls.

S.O.S

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Who wants some shit for dinner?  Shit on a shingle to be exact.

Please do not click the x on your browser yet.

Not a lot of people will talk about their dinner as shit and then proceed to post it on a food blog.  But today let’s have a little visit to a place in the United States called the northeast.

I just got back from a  vacation with my mom to visit family in Delaware.   Lots of fun, but it was definitely too short and I am definitely not ready to return to reality.  I am now back home and about the start a new, busy semester.  My only way to to console myself is to make myself some northeastern food in my own kitchen (pity party with a RSVP for one). Then eat it while I sadly prep lectures, read articles, and write papers.

The northeast is home to my wonderful family and a wonderful array of foods we don’t eat that much in the south.  Cheesesteaks, subs, scrapple, and SOS to name a few.  I love when my parents introduce me to a childhood dish- I get the best of both of our culinary worlds. North meets south.

My parents culinary home is the land of shit on a shingle and scrapple.  Mmm.

S.O.S is basically a different version of the south’s biscuits and gravy.  Instead, you use chipped beef (or any other dried meat) in the gravy and smear it over toast.  Simple, quick, and easy.

Perhaps the Civil War could have ended sooner if they all shared a plate of S.O.S and biscuits and gravy together?

And yes, you could call this dish by it’s more kid-friendly names like Stew on a Shingle or Same Old Stuff, but where is the fun in that?  Then you can’t say you ate shit for dinner, and that is a huge part of the appeal of this dish for my inner childishness.

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S.O.S: SHIT ON A SHINGLE
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

4-6 ounces chipped beef, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toast

DIRECTIONS

Melt butter in a small saucepan (Feel free to add more butter but the recipe will work with this amount) over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and 1/2 cup of milk.  Cook for 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Increase heat to medium high and whisk in remaining milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Stir in chipped beef and Worcestershire.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, until sauce is thickened to your liking.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over toast.

Serves 2-3.

Angel Food Cake French Toast

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Now last week I took a mini-vacation, had lots of fun, and ate some good food.  I have enjoyed going back to a normal schedule and eating healthily at home again, but it did not take long for me to want something sweet.

Breakfast is sometimes just an excuse to eat dessert as a meal, and I am all for it.  Sure, you could eat some eggs and bacon and ham, but really I just want something sweet. Pancakes, Waffles, French toast, cake.  Give me anything sweet, and I am a happy girl.

Jessica at How Sweet It Is had the genius idea of subbing in angel food cake for bread in French toast.  I was so there.

This dish makes no qualms about the fact that you are eating dessert for breakfast, and I love it.  Really, it is a genius idea to dip cake in French toast batter and fry it up.

And if you eat breakfast for dinner, then you basically get to eat dessert for dinner.  Winning.

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ANGEL FOOD CAKE FRENCH TOAST
Idea from How Sweet it Is

INGREDIENTS

1 angel food cake.
3 eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Nonstick spray/butter
Berries, for serving
Whipped Cream, for serving
Maple Syrup, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Slice the angel food cake into 2-2 1/2 inch slices.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt together.

Heat a griddle over medium high heat.  Grease pan with nonstick spray or butter.  I find nonstick spray is better works better for an even coating.  Dip 3-4 slices on angel food cake quickly in your batter.  Place on griddle.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Repeat with remaining angel food cake.

Serve warm with berries, whipped cream, or syrup.

Serves 3-4.

Chocolate Steel Cut Oats

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When I was younger, oatmeal was something I always wanted to like but never actually enjoyed. The smell of cinnamon and sugar would always lure me in, and the toppings of nuts and dried fruits made my mouth water. I would ladle myself up a bowl and be ready for a wonderful culinary experience.  Then it all fell apart at that first bite, and I remembered that I did not, in fact, like oatmeal.  Oatmeal is often blah/plain tasting and too mushy.  Not my preferred breakfast.

So then why am I giving you a recipe for oatmeal? Steel cut oats. They make all the difference. Steel cut oats are pieces of the inner portion of the oat and taste nuttier and chewier than normal oats. Steel cut oats are more often used in Scotland and Ireland, while England uses typically rolled oats. The more you know!

That’s one against England, but their accents and Kate’s fashion sense can make up for this.

Now that I am back in the grind of school and work, I am once again eating oatmeal  for lunch pretty much every weekday since it’s an easy meal for on the go and reheats well.  I have made oatmeal so often that I have it down to an exact science on my stove and can tell when it’s down just by looks and sound.

Some of my favorite oatmeal flavors I have made are cinnamon raisin, apple cranberry, oatmeal scotchie, and prune (yes, prune). But then one day I stirred some chocolate cocoa powder into my oatmeal, and I haven’t looked back.  This chocolate oatmeal tastes decadent without too much guilt. Of course, you can always add some additional chocolate chips or swirl in some peanut butter if you are feeling daring.

How can you have a bad day when you get to eat chocolate for lunch?  That is my theory at least, and it has been working for me so far to survive graduate school.

CHOCOLATE STEEL CUT OATS
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup steel cut oats
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS

Combine steel cut oats, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-25 minutes until almost all the water has been absorbed. Stir in vanilla extract, light brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Cook for 4-8 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Eat immediately or store in fridge overnight for the next day.

Serves 1-2.

*Use the base of 1:3 ratio of oats to liquid to make any flavor of oatmeal your heart desires. I recommend stirring in dried fruit or chocolate chips after the oatmeal has cooled off the heat for a while.  Sprinkle nuts on top just before eating.

Crepes with Blackberry Sauce and White Chocolate: Improv Challenge

Yes, I do know that Valentine’s Day was last week, but isn’t love around all the time?  There never is a wrong day to enjoy fun shaped food.  This month’s Improv Challenge hosted by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker was hearts and flours.  I love a good pun, so I went to work brainstorming heart shaped food using flour.  I had grand plans of decadent desserts, but this semester is has been a little crazy.  So instead I turned to plan B, simple crepes topped with a warm blackberry sauce and white chocolate chips.
Crepes are really not hard to make (I feel like I am always saying this, but I promise it’s true).  All you have to do is whip up this basic batter in a blender or food processor, then the world is your oyster (or crepe?).   You can take this basic recipe and make it a sweet crepe by adding vanilla, cinnamon.  Then fill with fruit, cream cheese, chocolate, and more.  Or if you are in a savory mood, you could add fresh herbs or pepper.  Possible savory fillings include mushrooms, goat cheese, brie, chicken, shrimp, and more.  Crepes are a quick way to whip up a million possible flavor combinations.  Of course, crepes with just a little maple syrup and cinnamon are also a delight.
This time around I chose a beautifully red and sweet blackberry sauce and white chocolate chips.  This blackberry sauce would also go great with a sweetened cream cheese if you are able to keep such things in your fridge without them spoiling on you (single gal problems right here).
CREPES WITH BLACKBERRY SAUCE AND WHITE CHOCOLATE
Crepes barely adapted from Cooking Light
Blackberry Sauce from Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS
For the Crepes:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Blackberry Sauce:
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
White chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS
For the Crepes:
In a blender or a food processor combine flour, granulated sugar, salt, milk, water, butter, eggs, adn vanilla extract.  Process until combined.  Chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat a small skillet (approximately 8 inches) over high heat.  Grease pan with butter or nonstick spray.  Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter in the pan and tilt pan to get a thin coating evenly across the pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and flip.  Cook the second side 1-2 minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Keep warm.
For the Blackberry Sauce:
In a blender or a food processor combine blackberries, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar.  Adjust the amount of sugar as needed, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.  Process until combined and the berries are slightly broken down.  Transfer to a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Pour sauce on top of crepes.  Top with white chocolate chips.
Serves 4.
Check out all the other entries for this month’s Improv Challenge and check out Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for more information!

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Apple Omelette

Lately I have been craving breakfast foods all day long.  Since I don’t actually eat breakfast (unless a Diet Coke counts as breakfast), I like to eat this omelette as a light lunch or as new way to spice up breakfast for dinner, which is one of the world’s best inventions.  This isn’t a traditional omelette- it’s almost more like an eggy pancake.  Either way, it’s delicious.

Also, this omelette is a perfect way for me to use up a part of an egg. Since I eat alone most days and am bored by leftovers, I am always scaling down recipes.  This means lots of recipes only need half or a fourth of an egg.  It was always a pain to try and use up the remaining egg, and I can only eat scrambled eggs so much.  This omelette is an easy way to make a yummy dish using only part of an egg.  Or if you do not have an egg remains problem, you can always use a full egg.

For any of you who are afraid making the dreaded, finicky omelettes: fear not.  Many years ago, I once made an omelette.  And I did not like it- probably because I followed the recipe instructions and didn’t cook my eggs as much as I like.  So, this omelette is not hard- the flip is a little tricky- but just make sure to cook it according to how you like your eggs.  I definitely go against the rule and like my eggs very well done.

APPLE OMELETTE
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Salt
1 small apple, chopped
1 teaspoon melted butter, divided
DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, whisk milk and flour together.  Whisk in egg, granulated sugar, and salt.  Fold in chopped apple.
Heat small skillet over medium heat.  Brush the pan with half of the melted butter.  Pour in egg mixture and cook for 2-4 minutes.  Pour remaining butter into the pan and fllip (I do this by sliding it on to a plate which is sometimes easier).  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Serve with additional apple slices or top with a pinch of cinnamon if desired.
Serves 1.

French Toast Monte Cristo

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas.  We have a few days to recuperate (and shop some more sales) before New Year’s Eve.  For our Christmas celebrations, we had our traditional dinner of Singapore Noodles, ham & sausage, and dumplings at my aunt and uncle’s house.  We then came back home with full bellys and rested up a little bit for the big day.  And then on Christmas Day we made our traditional Sausage Cups for brunch/lunch (look out for the recipe soon, they would work great for a New Year’s Eve party).

We have no set tradition for Christmas dinner, having tried many different variations of roasted chicken, turkey dinner, and more.  This year I wanted to try a new food tradition for dinner: a Monte Cristo.  For those of you who have not been lucky to enough to have eaten a Monte Cristo, it is a turkey, ham, and Swiss sandwich that is then completely deep fried.  It is then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served wit raspberry preserves.  It is glorious, my friends.

Well you may have noticed that the picture of my sandwich is not deep fried.  Well, we had some deep frying issues.  I had a good batter and hot oil, but when I dipped my bread in the batter, it became soggy, and it was difficult to completely cover the sandwich, meaning oil soaked in during frying.  The sandwiches we got tasted good, but the oil lurking inside was likely to give us a holiday stomach ache   Not fun, especially when we had so many desserts waiting to be eaten.  Instead, we had a Monte Cristo alternative: Challah French toast with griddled turkey/ham and melted Swiss in between.  Topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup, with raspberry preserves on the side.  Yes, my friends, make this.

A short disclaimer: this sandwich will in no way help you take revenge on people who caused you to be falsely imprisoned.

FRENCH TOAST MONTE CRISTO
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

6 slices Challah bread
3 eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6-8 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Nonstick Spray
Roasted Turkey and/or Ham, thinly sliced
Swiss cheese, grated
Powdered sugar
Maple Syrup
Raspberry preserves

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk sugar, vanilla, and salt together.  Heat a griddle over medium high heat.  Spray with nonstick spray.  On one side, layer you lunch meat of choice and top with a slice of Swiss cheese.  Cook for 2-5 minutes, covering with lid if needed, until cheese begins to melt.

Quickly dip two slices of challah bread into the egg mixture.  On the other side of the griddle*, cook the bread for 1-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Transfer meat and cheese onto one slice of your French toast.  Place the other French toast on top and slightly compress together.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to broiler if you need to melt cheese further.  Repeat for the remaining two sandwiches, spraying the pan with nonstick spray in between.

Top with sprinkling of powdered sugar.  Dip into maple syrup or raspberry preserves.  Sandwich can be eaten by hand or with knife and fork, depending on the amount of toppings.

Makes 3 sandwiches.

*You can make all three sandwiches at once if you have a large enough griddle.  If you do not have a griddle pan large enough to cook both the meat and French toast, you can use two separate pans to cook each at the same time.