Tag Archives: cinnamon

Gingerbread Biscoff Coffee Cupcakes

Congrats to Kathlene and Ivy for winning two AWESOME personalized care packages in last week’s giveaway! I can’t wait to create an epic assortment of goodies for you both!

I really dislike chocolate cupcakes.

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Wait, say what?

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It’s funny how we all define the good things in life so differently. Back when kids used to bring boxes of assorted cupcakes to celebrate their birthday, I loved to ogle (okay, creepy) and watch each student make the all-important decision of which type of cupcake to take–chocolate with vanilla frosting? Continue reading

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Cookie Butter Snickerdoodle Thumbprints

For those of you who have been following my recent “adventures” (or lack thereof), you’ll know that I’ve been dabbling in the cool–and more than a little creepy–world of marketing.

The first thing I learned was to frontload important things. For example: I’m considering making a Facebook page for my blog and need your feedback!

So if you could take the 10 seconds it takes to click a few buttons for my “What would you like to see on my blog/Facebook page” poll at the bottom of this entry (right before the recipe for these deliciously unique cookies), I would really, really appreciate it.

THANK YOU!

Moving on…

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Most of you are probably aware that every make you move on the internet is more closely tracked, watched, and targeted than the white whale from Moby Dick. You’re not in the Stone Age if you don’t use technology–you’re in the Stone Age if you think that privacy actually exists on the internet.

For instance: You know those mass emails you get from department stores or other businesses with the annoying tagline, “Click here if images do not display”? Now, if you are like me, I used to think this was just another weird mystery from the dark nebula of Internet Enigmas that I never managed to figure out.

Not so.

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I don’t know all the specific details, and I’m sure you can Google this yourself, but apparently many email tracking programs require a pixel to be fired before they can gather your location and other information. So the instant you click that innocuous-looking little link, a pixel will fire from your specific address, allowing the tracker to log what device you’re using, your global coordinates, and a whole slew of other stuff about you that you didn’t even know you were doling out.

So….is it restraining order time or what?

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(On my kitchen table: The Adventures of Caleb Williams, by William Godwin, father of Mary Shelley and husband of Mary Wollstonecraft. This novel is considered one of the first modern mystery novels.)

The bad news is that there isn’t much you can do about it, except be more wary when you click to random links from emails and stuff. It’s similar to that annoying function Facebook now uses to show other people when you’ve read their messages. I mean, what if I just want to sit there and ponder my response without somebody messaging me 5 seconds later to say, “So I saw that you saw my post–well?”

 The good news is that you can use the very technology marketing companies use to track and stalk other people. Er, I don’t condone this technology. At all. No sirree.

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Anyway, this is one of the many things I’m doing these days besides studying and productibaking. Right now, I believe I’m something like four books ahead of my baking.

Oops. Or do I mean yay?

The lucky thing is that when I do bake these days, all of my baked goods turn out, really, really good and really, really special–like these most amazing COOKIE BUTTER SNICKERDOODLE THUMBPRINTS.

Because let’s be honest: What goes better with cinnamon sugar cookies than cinnamony crushed ginger cookies, stuffed with more cookie butter, and topped with even more cookie butter?

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Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Enjoy the recipe below–and please don’t forget to take this quick poll about what you’d like to see on my Facebook page!

 

Sweet 2 Eat Baking Sweet and Savoury Sunday Your Creative Timeout Linky Party Button

Cookie Butter Snickerdoodle Thumbprints
Note: Oops! I made an error the first time ’round and accidentally posted another recipe I had used. While that one’s also great, this is the one I actually used for these unique cookies. Enjoy!
Original Recipe from gimmesomeoven–yum!
Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cookie butter (creamy or crunchy–whichever you have on hand)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • For rolling: 1/2 cup white sugar, 3-4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together 1/2 cup margarine, 3/4 cup cookie butter, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1/3 cup brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla, then add in dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) and stir until just combined.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup white sugar and 3-4 tablespoons cinnamon (more or less according to your own preference–I like more!). Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar until generously coated. Place balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. (Note: The cookies won’t spread much, so you can place them closer together if you want to fit more cookies on one tray.)
  4. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately press the back of a spoon lightly into the top of each cookie so that it becomes flat. Spoon approximately 2-3 teaspoons of cookie butter onto the top of each indented cookie. If you’re hankering for another topping (and I’m not sure why you would be, but just in case), you can spoon basically any other type of nut butter or chocolate on top of each cookie.
  5. While you’re waiting for them to cool, don’t forget to take my quick poll above. Thanks, and enjoy!
 

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

Vanishing Granola (or the BEST Granola You Will Ever Make–Honey Bunches CopyBETTER Recipe)

This is going to be a very brisk LWOM post (what’s LWOM?).

First things first:

Print this recipe.

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We have to be brisk today, because–

I’m late, I’m late, for LOTS of VERY important dates!”

Why yes, because there’s the White Rabbit! And we must catch up with him.

“No time to talk, no time to chat, I’m late and later, and that is THAT!” shouted the White Rabbit as he jabbed and poked at his oversized pocketwatch.

“But I–”

“No time!”

“I know–”

“Later and late!”

“But I’m in a rush too!”

“RUN!” the Rabbit yelled. And so we ran.

Into the sunset, to be precise.

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On my kitchen table: Persuasion, by Jane Austen, and a jar of the best crunchy cinnamon granola in the world.

So that’s why this post is so short.

Because the White Rabbit was late, and because I myself was running late after an extended trip to the gym and forgot all about my outdoor food photoshoot and had to take some hasty pictures while the sun was sinking down past the horizon in about 0.5 seconds.

And also because I’m (hopefully) going to Disneyland in about half an hour to see the White Rabbit in person–er, in rabbit. Yes, I’m grinning as I type this.

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“But that doesn’t mean that this isn’t the BEST granola in the world,” said the White Rabbit, who had suddenly appeared from nowhere at my left knee.

“Well, thank you for taking the time to–” I began, looking down…but he had already vanished again.

I turned around. My granola had vanished, too. So now you also know why it’s called what it’s called.

I don’t blame him, though. It is darn good cinnamony, crisp, and unlike-anything-you’ve-ever-made-before-and-I-rarely-ever-say-this granola. Think of picking out all the crunchy sweet granola clusters from Honey Bunches of Oats…only better.

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And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a White Rabbit to catch in Anaheim ;)

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own a really cute Winnie-the-Pooh balloon-shaped stuffed-animal. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think!

Vanishing Granola (or the BEST Granola You Will Ever Make–Honey Bunches CopyBETTER Recipe)
Adapted from Getting Through the Day
Ingredients:
  • 6 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup almonds or preferred nut, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup maple or pancake syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or whatever large size baking pan you have available–enough to fit 6 cups of oats in an even layer no more than two inches thick). Pour oats and chopped nuts into prepared pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar and water until it just begins to boil. Turn off heat, then stir in oil, syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over oats mixture and stir until all of the oats are evenly coated. Pat oats evenly into bottom of pan so that the layer is no more than two inches thick. (This will help your granola achieve optimal crispiness!)
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (stirring every 15 minutes), or until toasted and a dark golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan before crumbling. Store in an airtight container.

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Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes w/Coffee Cinnamon Frosting

It’s still Thursday already Friday somewhere in the world! Thank God.

I may or may not have been blasting some Rebecca Black as I started a new page for this post.

One of the best parts of having an entire two-room bedroom apartment to yourself is that anything goes the moment your pinky toe crosses that blessed threshold.

Rocking out to One Direction and Carly Rae Jepsen into the weest of the wee hours? Of course.

Staying up all night at Disney movie marathon sleepovers that would make fifth-grade girls emerald with envy? Uh, yeah.

Dunking your entire hand into the bowl of cake batter instead of reaching for a mixing spoon because it’s in a drawer that’s ten whole feet away from you? Now we’re talking, my friend.

Lounging on your couch like a boss on a Thursday night in nothing but what your momma gave you and with a glass of pinot noir in your well-manicured hand?

Okay, I haven’t tried that last one. Yet. Apparently maintenance has the key to every apartment in this building, meaning they are allowed to come in without so much as a “hello resident-on-whose-territory-we-are-totally-intruding, you should really put your fig leaves over whatever you don’t want exposed to these eyes.”

Of course, by the time I’m finished with this kamikaze quarter of teaching, coursework, and having a social life the size of a pea, I may just throw in (or rather, away) the towel, grab my fig leaves, and start lounging to my heart’s content. With my pinot noir. For which I will accordingly acquire a refined taste that I currently don’t possess.

As with most things that don’t involve legal persecution or intense self-reevaluation of my worth as a human being, I grossly exaggerate here. My social life has actually been moving along quite swimmingly as of late, thank you very much.

I can’t go into any details about it, though

They might be watching reading.

By “they,” I mean the incredibly attractive young men working as incredibly successful entrepreneurs at an incredibly well-established corporation that still manages to hang onto its good ol’ homey American values.

You know, the ones currently residing in…my head.

Or Storybrook, to be more precise.

Yeah, I’ve started watching Once Upon a Time.

It kind of sucks…

…that my life has been summarily sucked up by it.

Ha.

You know what else sucks?

Not these cupcakes.

We whipped up a batch of these for one of the guys in our department celebrating his birthday this week. If you like a) the idea of a steaming mug of hot chocolate dipped into your morning wake-up call with a hint of autumnal flair, or b) being awesome, you need to try these cupcakes.

(These filled cupcakes were made for Julie’s baking challenge over at Willow Bird Baking–she’s a fantastic gal, so this is something else you should definitely check out if you like, again, being awesome.)

HungryLittleGirl
Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes w/Coffee Cinnamon Frosting
Yield: 15 cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Self-filled cupcake ingredients:
  • 1  cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, pour hot water over cocoa and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then add to wet ingredients alternately with cooled cocoa liquid. Mix until all ingredients are all just incorporated and smooth; your mixture will be relatively thin, and this is perfect!
  3. To make cheesecake mix: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and cinnamon; mix until well-incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin and fill each liner about 1/3 of the way with batter. Carefully pour a small teaspoonful of cheesecake batter in (recipe below). Pour additional cupcake batter on top until the liner is 2/3 full; the easiest way to make sure your cheesecake batter doesn’t leak is if you pour the cupcake batter over it in one smooth sweep. (A slow pour will give the cheesecake time to ooze outwards.) Bake in preheated oven for 14-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting with coffee cinnamon frosting.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Coffee Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon instant ground coffee, crushed into fine powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon coffee, and cinnamon. Mix together, then add additional coffee as necessary to thin out your frosting and reach desired consistency. (Adding the crushed instant ground coffee adds additional coffee flavor without thinning out your frosting too much. Add more to taste if you like!)

Note: If you want to add a nice chocolate drizzle to your cupcakes, simply melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter on the stovetop on medium-low heat. Make sure you watch your chocolate carefully and stir frequently to keep it from burning!

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Pumpkin Spiced Granola

Do you all know what it means to feel hurt by someone you thought you could trust?

It feels a little bit like you’re sinking, a little bit like you’re falling, and a little bit like somebody’s tied you up by the extremities and thrown you into the water, all at the same time.

This isn’t an angry post, or a vengeful post, or a gossip-y post. This post is just a little…disappointed.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about anything. The last time was in eighth grade when a guy I’d wanted to get in touch with because we used to be good friends hung up on me when I told him who was calling.

Something happened a while back that I didn’t think I’d have to deal with again. Past life, meet present life. I won’t go into the details, but believe you me–the feeling stinks. It’s times like these that I stop laughing at the cartoons of grown men crying for their mommies, and I curl up and cry for my mommy, too. There’s nothing like a phone call to that ever-loving maternal source to keep you feeling, well, worth something.

Cinnamon helps, too. Cinnamon always helps. I think it’s something about the warmth and feeling of nostalgic autumn days that it lends the kitchen when you’re around it.

Accomplishing things helps, too. I swam the 1.5k today in open water for the first time, then proceeded to get KO’d by food coma via some epic dim sum afterwards. Swimmers’ stomachs. Gotta love ‘em.

Flour Power: No matter how alone or down you feel, remember that the moment passes–but true friends are forever! Go look for a new activity or meet some new people in areas unrelated to your main interests; this will keep your identities from all blurring together, and prevent you from storing too many of your self-esteem eggs in one basket. I’m heading off to a campus activities fair tomorrow with a friend–my goal is to sign up for at least one new thing. (I’m also going to be an International Students Buddy this year!) Wish me luck!

Back in middle school, when the entire world consisted of longing for the time when I would finally grow old enough to get rid of my dorky roller backpack, it was easy to think that every little criticism or disappointment was the end of the world. Boom. Zombie apocalypse? Got nothing on my problems.

And then I “grew up,” and life didn’t consist of being shepherded along with the same 50 nerdy kids in AP classes every single day, and I had to figure out my priorities in life. I stressed, pushed myself, lost 20 pounds, gained 15 back, felt unhappy, felt extremely happy, had the best group of friends I could ever (and still could ever) ask for, and still thought myself the luckiest girl in the world. I graduated, moved, and while I found myself slightly outside of my depth, kept myself very energetic and happy–and for the most part, I’m very happy! Very happy.

It’s just a little bit of a sort of big downer when these things come back to get you. C’est la vie, I guess. You live, you cry, you learn.

It helps that I have a mom and dad who support the living daylights out of me, and tell me they would fly over right now if I need somebody. It’s been hard because lots of the friends I knew from last year have already moved on or graduated, and my other close ones are either from home and undergrad or too far away in LA for me to ask to come keep me company. I love these people so freakin’ much, though.

I’m not even angry. I’ve tried, and I can’t be. I’m just disappointed. But if I’ve lost some of my trust in some aspects of life, I’ve definitely gained an appreciation for a whole lot more.

So here’s to the  finer things in life, to things like people you can really count on, and to sticking to that strong moral fiber that keeps you from telling untruths to anyone else even though it’s been done to you–because even if I lose sleep over this tonight, I won’t lose sleep over it for the rest of my life when it really counts.

I could still use a pick-me-up. Hrm.

Now, about that cinnamon.

Funflour Fact #4: Did you know that, according to the World Food Programme,  there are more people in the world who go to bed hungry at night than there are people in the U.S., Canada, and European Union combined? (In light of serious statistics like these, it’s hard to dwell on personal problems quite as much.)

Pumpkin Spiced Granola
Inspired by recipe from Averie Cooks
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter (1 batch homemade, or store-bought)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups almonds (or any nut variety you prefer), chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raisins, cranberries, or dried fruit mix; adjust to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pumpkin, cookie butter, honey, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir until smooth.
  2. Add oats and chopped nuts to pumpkin mixture. Stir in until completely coated, then transfer to a foil-lined and greased cookie sheet. Spread out granola in a thin layer and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until granola reaches desired crunchiness. (Your granola may take even longer to bake, depending on your oven circulation–watch it carefully! The moistness of the pumpkin keeps it from baking too quickly, but you don’t want your granola to burn, either. Averie notes that the granola is inherently dark, because of the pumpkin, so you’ll want to do a crispness test occasionally by poking a cluster of granola to see if it’s firmed up.)
  3. Remove granola from oven and stir in raisins or cranberries. Allow to cool–your granola should obtain a boosted crunch!–and serve with yogurt, milk, or a plain old comfort food in its own right. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Ever feel like you’re being pulled apart by the seams from all the stress?

You know…the stress that always seems to converge on the very spot on which you happen to be standing at any given moment? That stress?

I feel that way all the time. Fortunately, this bread does, too. And I always say that there’s nothing better than food that understands exactly what you’re going through.

With the minutes ticking down to the first day of the school term, I can already feel the jitters creeping up all around me, as if someone’s broken into a museum of entomology and set loose all the live specimens.

I didn’t want to bog down this (truly wonderful!) post with my pre-term anxiety, but I’ll get to this amazing recipe in a second. Pinkies! But there are some major changes going on this autumn that make it different from the rest.

First off, I’m going to be teaching this year! Scary, right? Anybody who has ever been a teacher, thought of becoming a teacher, known a teacher, or had a teacher (all right, do we have everyone on board now?) knows at least something of how nerve-wracking it must feel to get up in front of an entire classroom for the first time.

Sure, I’ve been a teacher and workshop instructor before. This past summer, I taught enrichment high school writing and media classes that totally sucked up my life and threw my soul back bright and shiny new–that lesson planning does some major buffing on your self-esteem! I had a total blast, and I know I will be fine as soon as I set foot into the classroom and actually get this teaching gig on the road.

But.

Until then.

Did I mention that the kids (I say “kids”–I mean “people who are probably an average of 1-3 years younger than me; in many cases, they may be older) are all college-age? My parents tell me that it’s one kid teaching another kid.

They’re probably completely right. They were right about, well, pretty much everything else growing up! Except for my being allergic to chocolate, grass, and shellfish. They lied about those. But I guess they knew they were lying, so they weren’t really wrong, either. I adore my parents–they make everything so much more interesting.

Flour Power: When you’re feeling down, try going to the store and picking up something fresh that you’ve never used before! Then try making a new recipe with it. I did this with fresh basil this past Thursday and made basil almond pesto, and it turned out great–nothing like a refreshing success to perk up your day! Recipe to come soon!

On a brighter note, I’m teaching a subject I love–animals in literature!–which is completely jiving with my emphasis in children’s literature, so I’m very excited for that.

Losing sleep is my major way of coping with things. Combine that with mild loss of appetite (not that you could probably tell with the flood of recipes that are about to sweep your way!) and general immune system blah-ness, and you have a grand old way of starting off a new school year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though–wish me luck! I can fight, too, Sore Throat, thanks.

The other big change is one I just found out about today–my roommate is moving out! And we’re not talking about your-contract-is-up-thanks-buh-bye moving out. We’re talking “some anxiety about living so close to campus and working so hard at the library all the time and needing some space off-campus” moving out!

Funflour Fact #3: Did you know that Mel Gibson plays the voice of John Smith in Pochahontas? Erm, yeah. I used to love John–now, not so much…..

I’m going to miss her. It makes me so sad when I can’t help ease the anxiety of someone who’s close to me, but I understand why she had to work this one out on her own. To some extent, it probably doesn’t help that we’re in the same graduate program (although I’m also going to miss being able to come back and blow some steam about things happening with our people). We’re both extremely hard workers and very tough on ourselves–not to mention we’re kind of twins, since we both (and her identical twin! and her dad!) have the same birthday–and I guess always having someone else around for comparison can be difficult.

I know it’s hard on me sometimes. I’m naturally a very competitive person–sometimes I compete with the people next to me on treadmills…and they don’t even know it. I find it both hilarious and super, super ridiculously necessary sometimes. And while I know I’ve been struggling to keep this out of my life and the lives of those around me, I can only imagine that she’s feeling anxious sometimes by the comparison, too.

At any rate, this was supposed to be my gushing about this recipe I found on Julie’s blog post–and it still is! GUSH GUSH GUSH thisisamazingyouNEEDtotrythisandthenshoweverybodyelsetoo–but the jitters were eating up my brains. I made this pumpkin cinnamon pull-apart bread yesterday morning for a dinner and it was absolutely devoured. Thank goodness we all still have the good ol’ reliable kitchen! The only bad things that happen there are that you made too many cookies and have to eat them all by yourself.

I’m still very excited for this upcoming quarter, and what better way to kick it off than a 1.5k open water swim for a breast cancer foundation tomorrow morning?

Any big changes happening in your life soon? This isn’t a one-woman show, and I’d love to hear all about them!

Happy reading, and happy eatings, y’all! (Gosh, I haven’t said that in forever! It feels good to say it now :] )

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread with Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze
Yield: 1 loaf
Adapted from original recipe: Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
 For the Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread:
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see directions)

Directions: 

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, brown your butter. (Note: This will take anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute; make sure you swirl your butter around occasionally, or certain areas will start to burn before the whole thing’s evenly browned. You’ll want to look for a deep golden brown color to tell that it’s done.) Pour into a heat-safe bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in the same saucepan, heat up milk until it bubbles. Pour into bowl along with butter, and allow the mixture to cool until you can place your pinkie finger in it comfortably for a few seconds, but not much longer than that. (If your liquid is too hot to leave your finger in, its heat will kill the yeast. Conversely, if it isn’t hot enough, your yeast won’t be able to rise properly.) Add sugar and yeast. Stir in until sugar dissolves completely, and wait for 10 minutes. Your yeast should produce a foam–this shows that your yeast is active and ready to go! If you yeast does not foam, you’ll have to throw out the batch (sorry!) and try again with fresh yeast.
  3. Add salt, pumpkin, cinnamon, and 1 cup of flour to the mixture; combine ingredients well. Add an additional 1 cup flour (half a cup at a time works best) and stir well between each addition until flour is just incorporated. Your dough should be only slightly sticky when it’s ready to be kneaded, so you’ll want to use your own judgment here about the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. (You’ll be flouring your board, too, so there will be extra flour incorporated during kneading.)
  4. Flour your cutting board and turn out dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes by pulling your dough outwards (away from you, taking care not to break it) and folding it back in on itself. Turn dough a quarter of a turn and repeat until poking two fingers into the dough leaves two impressions that hold their shape. At this point, your dough will be done, so place it in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Place in a warm spot (I usually turn on the heat for 5 seconds in my oven and then turn it off before putting in the dough) and allow to rise for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
  5. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. (You may skip this step if you’re pressed for time, but I find that the overnight fridge visit really helps give your bread that extra lift!)
  6. Roll out dough on cutting board into an approximately 16″ x 10″ rectangle, or until 1/4″ thick. Lift dough carefully occasionally with one supporting hand under the middle to prevent sticking. When you’ve rolled out your dough, follow instructions for cinnamon sugar filling (below–i.e. brush on butter and filling).
  7. Cut dough into sixths lengthwise, then cut again into sixths vertically. Carefully stack dough pieces and place them horizontally across a greased loaf pan; squish in the pieces gently so that they all fit. (During baking, they will expand and not come out in a perfect row, which is perfectly fine! We had lots of fun peeling the pieces off from every which direction.) Cover with damp cloth again and allow to rise 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size, in a warm place.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake bread for 30-35 minutes, until a dark golden brown. You’ll want to check all areas of the bread with a toothpick to make sure it’s done–if the toothpick comes out clean when inserted completely, your bread is done!
  9. Prepare glaze (see below) and serve over warm bread. Kick up some fall pizzazz (maybe some apple cider!), and pull away!
For Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions: 

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, brown butter. Set aside to cool. In the meantime, combine remaining three ingredients in a separate bowl.
  2. Brush cooled butter over flattened dough, then sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over the butter so that most of it sticks. (Note: Despite having read about Julia’s squeamish reaction and eventual conclusion that the truck-load of sugar is not an insanely exorbitant amount, I still blanched when I came to this step. Don’t! You can trust these amounts, and nobody else needs to know how much sugar you’re feeding them.)
 For Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze:
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon milk, with additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour over warm bread with some sass and sizzle, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
 

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread