Pumpkin Angel Food Mini Bundt Cakes

Pumpkin angel food?! That’s probably not what you’d expect when you think of angel food cake or pumpkin, but this recipe is actually a very tasty combo. 

Of course, pumpkin-based desserts are a traditional fall dessert, so I am sure that you will be surprised that I am posting this pumpkin angel food cake recipe in April. It seems I have some pumpkin puree that’s in the freezer just waiting to be used before we get too far into the spring and summer season.

Brion has always loved angel food, so I thought why not add the pumpkin puree to kick it up a notch. Pairing it with the right fruits can also enhance its flavors. Instead of frosting or a whipped topping I am making some caramelized apples and raisins spiced with anise and cardamom.

  • Anise has a distinct licorice-like flavor. It adds depth and enhances the overall aromatic profile of the compote.
  • Cardamom is a fragrant spice with citrusy and herbal notes. It adds warmth and sophistication and complements pumpkin beautifully.

For a cake that’s quite sweet, some salted pepita seeds sprinkled on top are a bit of necessary and delicious balance.

Simply put, it’s an easy cake mix recipe dressed up with warm spices and pumpkin purée served with caramelized apples, raisins and salted pepita seeds. Yum!

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Angel Food Mini Bundt Cakes
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
MINI BUNDT CAKES
Ingredients
Pumpkin Angel Food Mini Bundt Cakes
Caramelized Apples & Raisins
Servings
MINI BUNDT CAKES
Ingredients
Pumpkin Angel Food Mini Bundt Cakes
Caramelized Apples & Raisins
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine everything except the Angel Food Cake mix and ingredients to prepare cake. Mix until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a different bowl combine the Angel Food Cake mix and ingredients required to make the cake. Carefully fold in 1/4 of the batter into the pumpkin mixture. Then gently fold in the rest of the batter.
  4. Carefully pour or spoon into an 24 ungreased mini bunt cake pans. Place pans in oven on the middle rack.
  5. Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until cake is golden brown and springs back. Immediately invert pans onto a wire rack.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with caramelized apples & raisins & a dollop of whipped topping. Sprinkle with salted pepita seeds.
Apples & Raisin Compote
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add water & sugar. When the caramel is golden brown, add the raisins, swirling them into the caramel.
  2. When raisins begin to plump, add apples & orange zest, then sprinkle with spices. Lower heat & simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken.
  3. Do not overcook compote as it will thicken when cooled.

Apple Maple Boursin Muffins w/ Sweet Potato

Boursin’s story began in 1957, in a small Normandy village, located in France, when cheese maker François Boursin set up a factory producing soft cheese. At that time, he had no idea his name would become internationally famous.

Boursin Garlic & Herbs was launched in 1963 and quickly became a household name across France. Sixty years later, the original recipe remains unchanged and food lovers in more than 35 countries have spread their passion for Boursin all around the world. Perfect on bread, as appetizers or in a creamy sauce for main or side dishes. Since 2011, Boursin has been made in Canada in St. Hyacinthe, Québec, by Agropur, the Canadian dairy co-operative, for Bel Cheese Canada, the Canadian arm of Bel Group, the France-based multinational. 

There are seven flavors of Boursin Cheese sold in Canada: Garlic & Fine Herbs, Shallot & Chive, Bouquet of Basil & Chive, Cranberry & Pepper, Cracked Black Pepper, Fig & Balsamic, Apple & Maple.

Boursin is sometimes dubbed a Gournay cheese, Gournay being the name of the region in Normandy where Boursin was first made. The cheesemaker used the name when he was first asked to classify the cheese for customs purposes.

Today, I am doing a bit of recipe development with Apple Maple Boursin. The apple flavor and the silkiness of maple syrup perfectly complement Boursin’s incomparable texture along with some sweet potato, dates and dried cranberries. The whole combination creates an exceptional sweet and savory cheese muffin. Brion & I really enjoyed my new muffin creation.

Print Recipe
Apple Maple Boursin Muffins w/ Sweet Potato
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Topping
  1. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Spread out on a large plate & place in freezer until; ready to use.
Muffin Batter
  1. Cook, peel & mash sweet potato. Chop dates. Slice, core & grate apple. Grate orange (zest). Chop pecans. Crumble Boursin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tin with baking cups.
  3. In a large bowl, combine first 12 ingredients using a fork. Make a well in center.
  4. Beat egg until frothy. Whisk in sugar, oil, sweet potato & sour cream. Crumble in 75 gm of the Boursin cheese.
  5. Pour into well & stir only to moisten. Divide between the 12 muffin cups. Remove topping from freezer & place some on top of each muffin.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan. BEST SERVED WARM!

Pork & Turkey Pie w/ Spiced Liqueur Cranberries

Today, November 23rd, our neighbors to the south in the USA, are celebrating their Thanksgiving Day. It encompasses both religious and secular aspects … being both a harvest festival and a festival of family.

Here in Canada, we have already enjoyed our Thanksgiving in October, but I thought it would be nice to acknowledge their holiday with posting a special meal.

Savory Pork & Turkey Pie is an interesting combination of pork, turkey and stuffing. This recipe was born after a long-time love of homemade pot pies and some trial and error on various meat pies. It’s made with chicken, pork fillet, leftover stuffing, and a flavorful blend of spices and herbs all wrapped in a sour cream cornmeal pie crust. It’s incredibly tasty, even reheated as leftovers.

Of course, it wasn’t that the pie isn’t really good as it is, but the spiced cranberries are certainly the ‘icing on the cake’ you could say. Nobody goes to a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and says, ‘I can’t wait to try the cranberry sauce this year’! But while it is not the center of the meal, it is certainly an important component of it.

Fresh cranberry sauce has become almost as important as the turkey itself. A Thanksgiving feast doesn’t feel complete without a bowl of cranberry sauce. Undeniably, the tangy condiment has become as much of a showpiece as the traditional turkey it’s served with!

This version of the cherished sauce brings a modern twist to the holiday table. Simmered in spiced cranberry liqueur, the cranberries acquire an exquisite depth and a delicate sweetness. Meanwhile, the cinnamon and orange zest, simmered alongside the colorful berries, bring a bit of nuance and extra layers of flavor. Once done, the sauce ends up having a compote-like texture, which makes it even more luxurious.

Print Recipe
Pork & Turkey Pie w/ Spiced Liqueur Cranberries
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Ingredients
Sour Cream Cornmeal Pastry
Cranberries w/ Spiced Liqueur
Servings
Ingredients
Sour Cream Cornmeal Pastry
Cranberries w/ Spiced Liqueur
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Pastry
  1. In a small bowl, combine sour cream & ice water; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar & salt. Using a pastry blender or fingertips, cut in butter until mixture resembles both coarse crumbs & small peas. Sprinkle the cold sour cream mixture over dough, 1 Tbsp at a time, tossing with a fork to evenly distribute it.
  2. After you have added all the sour cream mixture, dough should be moist enough to stick together when pressed; if not add additional cold water, 1 tsp at a time. DO NOT overwork dough. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Line the base & sides of an 8-inch spring form pan leaving about a 1-inch dough overhang. Refrigerate until filling is prepared.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, thyme, sage, savory, salt, & pepper. Add chicken broth and milk all at once.
  3. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in cooked chicken, pork & stuffing, being careful not to overmix. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden.
Cranberries w/ Spiced Liqueur
  1. In a medium nonstick saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, take out cinnamon sticks.
  2. Top pie w/ cranberry compote.

Cinnamon Beet Rolls

I always think of beets as a love-them-or-hate-them food.  You’re either all in or all out! People have been using vegetables in baking for quite some time. Think about some of the classics: carrot cake, pumpkin pie, banana bread, and zucchini loaf. Beets add moisture to baked goods along with a natural sweetness. 

In yeast breads, roasted beet puree makes for an incredibly tender crumb and moist interior thanks to the added hydration of the purée (similar to potato bread!) and a delicate crust, since the natural sugar in the beets creates more caramelization. Ultimately, the beets add a pleasantly earthy, subtly sweet flavor that enhances the rolls without overpowering them. 

The best-known baked treat made with beets is probably the Red Velvet Cake, but beets can add their deliciousness to cookies, muffins, pies and other baked goods like cinnamon rolls.

The idea of using beets to bulk up bread dough is said to have originated in Paris or Vienna or Germany.

Today the nutrition-packed beet is considered a ‘super food’, credited with everything from lowering blood pressure and increasing energy to fighting inflammation and detoxifying the body.

With that in mind, it seems like a good reason to make some cinnamon beet rolls.

Print Recipe
Cinnamon Beet Rolls
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Dough
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Dough
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Dough
  1. In a small bowl, add yeast, lukewarm water & 1 tsp sugar. Allow to sit about 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture, 1/3 cup sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, eggs & beet puree. Mix well. Add flour, one cup at a time, until well combined. Knead dough for about 8-10 minutes or until smooth & soft. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel & allow to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Filling
  1. In a small dish, combine filling ingredients, set aside.
Assembly/Baking
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle about 13” x 20”. Spread softened butter on rectangle & sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2 -inch border around the edges.
  2. Roll up dough lengthwise into a tight roll, pinch seams shut & place roll seam side down. Cut into 12 pieces, rotating cuts on the diagonal. Press the handle of a wooden spoon firmly on the top & center of each roll to shape.
  3. Place rolls at least 2-inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Lightly cover the rolls with buttered plastic wrap & a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes to rise.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  5. Brush with egg wash & sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes
  • To Roast Beets: wrap individually in foil & place directly on the rack of a preheated 400 F. oven. Bake until they're fork tender but not mushy; the total time will vary depending on the size of the beets. Allow beets to cool in foil, then rub off all the skin & any rough exterior pieces. Puree beets in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
  • Alternately, you can just boil, peel & puree if you are short on time.

Crown Roast of Pork

HAPPY EASTER!

Turkey at Thanksgiving. Prime rib at Christmas. Brisket at Hanukkah. Ham at Easter. Candy at Halloween. Holiday food pairings make each separate celebration special—and something special we look forward to each year.  One reason ham became the meat of choice for Easter dinner is because it was available. Historically, pigs were slaughtered in fall and cured over the winter. They were ready to eat once spring arrived and the Lenten fast ended. Today ham is available year-round and while Brion loves pork chops, ham is definitely not a meat he enjoys. Enter the pork crown roast ….

With its skyward-reaching ribs, a regal crown roast makes a stunning Easter dinner centerpiece.

Charred sticks of bone jutting from a wreath of fork-tender meat make this main seem medieval – as well as fit for a king and queen. There’s just something about a crown roast that makes it look like it belongs in the center of a long table in the dining room of a drafty castle filled with tapestries and enormous fireplaces.

The presentation is solely for appearance. If you can roast a turkey, you can prepare a majestic crown roast of pork.

Marinate the roast overnight or season it simply with salt and pepper, then tuck it into the oven. The interior space of the crown is a perfect spot for stuffing, making a beautiful presentation. Set it on a bed of greens or herbs, tuck in a few cranberries & persimmon slices around the rim and there you have it! Carving a crown roast is no more effort than slicing straight down between the rib bones.

Crown roast of pork is made from the rib portion of the loin. The meatiest part of the ribs forms the stable base of the crown. Common fears with making any roast are overcooking and drying it out or cooking it unevenly. If you roast a crown roast in a low & slow oven, you can get the entire roast pretty much exactly at the proper temperature from edge to center.

To enjoy with our meal, I’ve added some spiced cranberries. Now this is not just your basic cranberry sauce. Brion came home with a spiced cranberry liqueur to try so I couldn’t resist putting some in the cranberries. Wow, what an upgrade!

The distillery it comes from is located in the heart of Barrhead, Alberta. ‘West of the 5th’ was started by brothers Nathan and Caleb on their family farm in 2018. The family grows over 10-acres of fresh fruits to be used as flavoring in their award-winning moonshines. In just four short years of operating the distillery, the brotherly band have brought home five provincial recognition awards for their spirits.

With that being said, let’s enjoy & appreciate our Easter meals as we anticipate spring & the coming of a new season.

Print Recipe
Crown Roast of Pork
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Roast
  • 4-5 kg (13 Ribs) pork crown roast Frenched & prepped by butcher or yourself if you prefer.
Savory Stuffing
Fingerling Potatoes
Baby Carrots
Snow Peas
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Roast
  • 4-5 kg (13 Ribs) pork crown roast Frenched & prepped by butcher or yourself if you prefer.
Savory Stuffing
Fingerling Potatoes
Baby Carrots
Snow Peas
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Marinade
  1. The night before roasting meat, combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread marinade generously over entire roast, including bottom & between rib bones. Place roast in a large dish, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight.
Spiced Cranberries
  1. In a medium nonstick saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Lower heat & cook until reduced & slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, take out cinnamon sticks & cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Stuffing
  1. Peel & cook potatoes, drain & mash. Set aside. Chop veggies. In a saucepan, melt butter & sauté veggies with herbs, salt & pepper. Remove from heat; combine with bread cubes, mashed potatoes & chicken broth. Add only enough chicken broth until it is moist but not mushy or falling apart. Mine usually takes the whole 2 cups. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cooking Crown Roast
  1. Remove marinated roast from refrigerator & allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 F. Adjust oven rack to a lower position. Place the roast on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking pan. Transfer to oven & roast until internal temperature reaches 160 F , about 8 hours. Remove from oven.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 350 F.
  4. Fill the center of the crown with prepared stuffing, mounding it slightly. Return roast to oven & roast until both roast & stuffing are browned & crispy on the exterior, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, tent with foil, allow to rest for 15 minutes as it reaches the internal temperature of 165 F.
  5. Remove strings & carve by slicing in between each rib & serve with pork gravy & spiced cranberries. If you have extra stuffing, bake for about 30 minutes in a buttered casserole dish for a future meal.
Roasting Veggies
  1. While the crown roast is cooking, prepare veggies. Since you are using a 'low & slow' cooking temperature it will be necessary to stove top 'roast' the potatoes & carrots.
Fingerling Potatoes
  1. Wash & place potatoes in a glass microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 8 minutes. Remove & allow to cool for a few minutes. Heat skillet to a medium heat & add butter. Sauté the potatoes & add seasonings to taste. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until the potatoes are softened & browned.
Baby Carrots
  1. Steam carrots in microwave for a few minutes to partially cook them. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add baby carrots, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are browned in spots & tender crisp, 6-8 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar & honey to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until liquid is syrupy & carrots are evenly coated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat & sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.
Snow Peas
  1. Rinse, drain & trim snow peas. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, about 2-3 minutes. Add the olive oil & trimmed pea pods. Move them around to coat in oil, let them sear for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid excessive browning. Add the minced garlic, stir again & let mixture become fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add the water & stir to move the snow peas around, Let the water evaporate & steam the pods, cooking them through, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes
  • Depending on the amount of people you are serving the roast to, the amounts of veggies may need to be increased.
  • Roasting at this low, slow temperature produces the most incredibly tender roast you could imagine. I always use this same theory when roasting baby back ribs & get super tender ribs as well.

Hot Cross Bun French Toast/Buns

CELEBRATING GOOD FRIDAY!

I find the aroma of the hot cross buns baking, is so intoxicating. Brion & I have always loved these soft, spicy little buns. Each year, at Easter time, I really enjoy making some version of Easter bread or buns (of course, trying to make it just a bit better than the year past). While I was giving this some thought, I read a comment where someone was complaining that they had too many hot cross buns leftover from Easter. Is there really such a thing as having too many hot cross buns … seriously!

For me, brunch is never an afterthought, especially on a holiday. I think a decadent French toast made with light and fluffy hot cross bread, in an orange and vanilla scented milk bath, topped with raspberry compote and Greek yogurt is the perfect Easter brunch idea.

While hot cross buns are now sold and enjoyed throughout the year, they were once reserved for Good Friday alone. There is no one clear explanation … some theories rest in Christian symbolism while there are also more than a few stories that indicate hot cross buns were baked on Good Friday for superstitious reasons.

Since I have become a huge fan of Dom Benedictine Liqueur not only as a drink but in sweet & savory recipes, I’m using it in this hot cross bun bread to kick it up one notch higher. I think it will be the perfect choice for an amazing Easter brunch French toast.

Print Recipe
Hot Cross Bun French Toast/Buns
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Brunch
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Hot Cross Bun/Loaf Dough
Icing for Hot Cross Buns
Orange Scented Milk bath for French Toast
Raspberry Compote
Course Brunch
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Hot Cross Bun/Loaf Dough
Icing for Hot Cross Buns
Orange Scented Milk bath for French Toast
Raspberry Compote
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Hot Cross Bun/Loaf Dough h
  1. Marinate raisins & candied fruit in Benedictine liqueur overnight. Stirring occasionally.
  2. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with 1 tsp sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, sift 2 cups of the flour. Stir in yeast mixture & lukewarm milk. Cover with plastic & let stand in a draft free place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down firmly & work in beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest, vanilla & pieces of softened butter.
  4. Sift remaining 3 1/3 cups of flour with salt, cinnamon & cardamom & work 2 cups in to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead in remaining 1 1/3 cup of flour & fruit mixture. This becomes a very soft & buttery dough but is not sticky. Invert the dough onto a lightly floured work surface & dust with flour. Cut the dough into 2 equal portions.
  5. With the first portion, roll out the dough into a 9x12-inch rectangle. Roll dough up in jelly-roll fashion & place in a 12 x 5-inch cylinder baking pan. With the second piece of dough, cut into 12 pieces & form into balls to make hot cross buns. Place in a 9-inch round baking pan. Brush loaf & buns with egg wash.
  6. Cover both loosely with plastic wrap & allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until 1 1/2 times the size, about 1-2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 F. & set an oven rack in the middle position.
  7. Gently brush risen dough again with egg wash. Bake 30-35 minutes or until both loaf & buns are a nice golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Icing for Hot Cross Buns
  1. To pipe a cross on the top of the buns, wait until the buns have cooled. Whisk together the lemon juice & some of the powdered sugar. Keep adding powdered sugar until you get a thick consistency. Place in a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a small piece from the corner of the bag and use the bag to pipe crosses on buns.
Orange Scented Milk Bath
  1. Heat pan or skillet over medium heat. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and orange zest in a shallow flat bowl or dish until well combined. Dip the bread in the egg mixture allowing the bread to soak up some of the mixture. Turn the bread and repeat on the other side. Grease preheated pan with butter. Fry toast until golden brown on one side. Flip toast and fry until golden on remaining side. Serve immediately with raspberry syrup.
Raspberry Syrup
  1. In a small pot, combine the syrup ingredients. Place over a medium heat & cook for 5-7 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved & the raspberries have become syrupy. Press through a sieve. Serve with French toast along with yogurt if preferred.
Recipe Notes
  • The story of Benedictine dates back to 1510 when a Venetian monk of the Abbey of Fécamp, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, created an elixir intended to support good health. It includes a combination of 27 herbs and spices derived from plants from around the globe, including juniper, myrrh, saffron, vanilla, thyme, coriander and more. The liqueur tastes primarily of honey and baking spices, with citrus peel, herb, and stone fruit notes.

Pumpkin Spice Custard w/ Caramelized Apples

Autumn is upon us and love it or hate it, pumpkin spice season is well underway. It all started with the introduction of the famous Starbucks ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ in 2003. Strangely enough, as a kid, I wasn’t crazy about pumpkin at all. But that was then, now I’m one of those who loves everything pumpkin.

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling and the air is filled with the ‘flavors of fall’. With both apples & pumpkins in season right now its hard not to enjoy making use of them.

As usual, this recipe started out with a simple little no-cook pudding but got an upgrade with some spiced, caramelized apples. Yum!

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Spice Custard w/ Caramelized Apples
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Caramelized Apples & Cranberries
  1. In a medium pot, melt butter then add water & sugar. When the caramel is golden brown, add the cranberries, swirling them into the caramel. When the cranberries begin to burst, add the apple & orange zest, then sprinkle with the spices. Lower the heat & simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken. Do not over cook the compote as it will thicken when cooled.
  2. Transfer to a heat resistant glass bowl & cool to room temperature, then cover & chill.
Pudding
  1. In a large bowl, beat pudding mix, pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar & spices until smooth & creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Chill for an hour before assembling with fruit.
Assembly
  1. In serving glasses of choice, layer the pudding with caramelized fruit compote. Top with a dollop of whipped cream & a sprinkle of gingersnap crumbs if you wish.

Hot Cross Cream Cheese Braid

Hot Cross Buns, the sweet roll with a mythical history, are an Easter classic. This simple piece of spiced bread decorated with a cross, while not an extravagant treat, is a global food tradition. Given their long running history, it is no wonder there are so many fables surrounding their origin. From warding off evil spirits to cementing friendships, the stories of hot cross buns can be documented back to 6th century Greece.

While hot cross buns are now sold and enjoyed throughout the year, they were once reserved for Good Friday alone. Brion & I are extremely fond of these little gems, so every year I enjoy to come up with a new version but still not straying away from the original iconic bun (or bread) taste.

Print Recipe
Hot Cross Cream Cheese Braid
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Marinate Fruit
  1. In a bowl with a lid, marinate prepared dried fruit in your choice of alcohol or orange juice overnight or at least 30 minutes.
Sweet Dough
  1. In a bowl, combine yeast, lukewarm milk & 1 Tbsp sugar; allow to sit until frothy.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom & ginger.
  3. In a larger bowl, melt butter slightly; add remaining sugar, beaten egg, vanilla, a portion of the marinated fruit & frothy yeast mixture. Combine then add flour mixture & continue mixing to combine all ingredients.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 15 minutes. If necessary, add a bit more flour. Shape into a ball; place in a greased bowl, turn over once or twice to coat the dough with oil. Cover, let rise until doubled, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
Cream Cheese Filling
  1. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla & any excess rum drained off fruit until smooth.
Assembly & Baking
  1. On a lightly floured work surface or parchment paper, roll the dough into a 12 x 14-inch rectangle, ensure an even thickness of 1/4 inch.
  2. Along one long side of the dough make parallel, 4-inch long cuts that are 1-inch apart (like piano keys), with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Repeat on opposite side, making sure to line up these cuts with those you have already made on the other side.
  3. Spoon all but 1/4 cup cream cheese filling down the center of the rectangle. (Reserve the 1/4 cup of the cream cheese for making crosses on baked braid). Leaving 1-inch on the top & bottom unfilled. Smooth cream cheese mixture then top with remaining marinated fruit.
  4. Begin folding the cut side strips of dough in pairs over the filling at an angle, alternating left, then right, as if you were braiding, until you reach the other end. Tuck the ends underneath the braid.
  5. Transfer to a baking sheet; cover with a loose plastic wrap & a towel. Allow to rise in a draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Just before placing braid in the oven, make the egg wash & lightly brush over the top of the braid.
  6. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown. Check after 15 minutes; if the braid is starting to brown to fast, float a piece of foil, shiny side down, over it. Remove from oven & allow to cool slightly.
Decorating
  1. Place 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture in a small piping bag that has been fitted with a small round tip. Make crosses on braid.
Recipe Notes
  • If you would prefer, mix all the marinated fruit right into the dough instead of putting some in the filling.
  • If you would rather not decorate with some crosses on top, use all cream cheese in the filling, your choice.

Orange Slice Cookies

For many, orange juice and oatmeal are seen as breakfast food. I like both, so using them in baked goods works for me.

Most of the time, when it comes to cake or cookies, extract is where your flavor will come from. I recall an orange loaf my mother made by first cooking the sugar with orange zest and adding it to the batter. It gave the loaf such a bold orange flavor.

In these cookies, I’m using both the zest and juice of a fresh orange and a tiny bit of lemon zest to add another dimension of citrus. The oatmeal is processed to an oat flour.

The use of both butter and olive oil further enhances the flavor of the cookies. Butter is smooth and creamy, adding the dairy richness, while the oil provides a unique flavor and aroma.

Once the cookies are baked, a glaze using more fresh orange juice and zest makes these orange slice cookies ‘addicting’ as Brion says.

Print Recipe
Orange Slice Cookies
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Cookies
  1. In a bowl, combine sugar, butter & oil; beat until fluffy. Add yogurt, vanilla, orange juice & zests.
  2. In a food processor, pulse oatmeal for a few seconds. Add oat flour, white flour, baking powder, cardamom & salt. Blend ingredients together well to form a soft dough. Evenly divide dough into 10 pieces; form each into a ball. Cover & refrigerate for 20 minutes so that the dough becomes a little firmer.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.
  4. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator; slice each ball into 4 pieces & shape each piece to resemble an orange slice. Place on baking sheets spacing about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake cookies about 20-25 minutes or until the sides of the cookies become a light golden brown.
Glaze
  1. Combine remaining orange juice & zest with enough powdered sugar to make a glaze consistency. When cookies are cool, brush with glaze,

Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread Scones

Switching up the way we cook rhubarb makes us fall in love with it all over again. Quite often rhubarb is stewed to use in various recipes. A good alternative is to roast it in the oven with a little orange juice & brown sugar. The roasting helps the rhubarb to keep its beautiful color, intensifies the flavor and it will retain its shape rather than turning to mush. Once you have roasted the rhubarb use as you would in any recipe using stewed rhubarb.

Cornbread is one of those culinary creations that pairs well with almost anything. Some dishes that include cornbread are well known and fairly common pairings, while others are still relatively new.

This particular recipe was adapted from the 1932 edition of The Guide to Good Cooking, published by Five Roses Flour. In the book, the basic recipe is for cornmeal muffins with a slight adaptation for fruit-topped Johnny Cake.

If these scones appeal to you, nothing says you can’t swap out the rhubarb for other fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, peaches or apples. Yum!

Print Recipe
Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread Scones
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Ingredients
Cornbread Scones
Servings
Ingredients
Cornbread Scones
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Roasted Rhubarb
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash & dice rhubarb; spread over parchment paper. Drizzle with orange juice & sprinkle with sugar. The rhubarb will lose about half the volume during roasting. You will end up with about 4 cups. Roast about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven to cool until needed. Refrigerate any leftover rhubarb.
Cornbread Scones
  1. Coat 8 ramekins with baking spray & evenly distribute roasted rhubarb between them. Place on an edged baking sheet & set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse oatmeal for a few seconds then add flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cardamom & anise powder. Pulse for a few more seconds to evenly mix. Add cold butter & pulse just slightly to cut in; do not over mix. Place in a bowl, add egg, orange zest, buttermilk & vanilla; combine ONLY until just mixed.
  3. Place equal amounts of scone batter into each ramekin, filling no more than 3/4 full. Using an offset spatula, level the batter in each ramekin.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until batter has risen & tests baked. Remove scones from oven; allow to sit for 5 minutes, then invert each onto a serving tray.