Cinnamon Swirl Cream Biscuits

Guys, winter is slowly killing me. I have had enough of the snow, the ice, the cold, the wind, losing the clean house vs. wood stove battle. I need a sunny vacation, STAT.  Heck, I would even take a sunny day, just a little blue sky!!

There isn’t much else to do this time of year but stay inside and eat comfort food.

Cinnamon rolls and biscuits definitely fall into that category, and these cream biscuits, swirled with cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with sweet icing just might make winter more bearable.

Or at least stop my complaining for a little bit! 😉

recipe slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2000

Cinnamon Swirl Cream Biscuits

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    Filling/Topping
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F with a rack in the upper third.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add 1 1/4 cups of the cream and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough dough comes together. Remove the dough from the bowl to your work surface. Add the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  • Roll the dough into a 9×12 rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Stir the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting at one of the long sides, roll the dough into a cylinder (I wound up adding a little flour under the dough because it was sticking). Cut the cylinder into 8 equal pieces. Press down on one side of each piece to flatten slightly, then transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Repeat with all pieces.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Meanwhile, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, cream and vanilla together in a small bowl until smooth (it will be a thick glaze). Drizzle the icing over the biscuits when they emerge from the oven. Serve warm (I found that these froze wonderfully. Individually wrap and heat for 20-25 seconds in microwave to defrost.)
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    Tropical Banana Bread

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    Some may call me crazy, but I already have most of my Christmas shopping done. Purchased at least, anything that needs to be crafted or assembled will happen closer to the holiday.

    Since most of the gifts are bought, I thought I should start getting a leg up on purchasing holiday baking ingredients. I love to bake more than ever around the holiday’s, but it can get expensive!

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    One ingredient that I always have on hand? Bananas! A few always seem to brown before they get eaten, so into my freezer they go. This banana bread is a fun twist on the traditional loaf. I took all the ingredients I loved in my Tropical Blondies and added them to a super quick and simple bread. Delicious!

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    Tropical Banana Bread

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
    • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
    • 1 cup chopped dried pineapple
    • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium bananas)
    • â…“ cup coconut oil, in its liquid state
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spay a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
  • In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat toast the coconut and macadamia nuts until they become lightly golden. Remove from the heat immediately. Set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Mix together the eggs, banana, coconut oil,and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the coconut, nuts (reserve some for the top if you like) and pineapple. Pour into the prepared pan. Top with reserved coconut and macadamia nuts.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You may have to tent the top if the coconut or nuts start to get too brown.
  • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
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    Recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups

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    No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

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    The home I just purchased is an older home, from an elderly couple who lived in the house for over 40 years. As you can imagine, it needed some updating. The counter-tops and backslash in the kitchen were mauve. Those were the first to go! Next was the large fabric mauve blinds in the living room. Oooh baby those had to go! They were a large dusty monstrosity that I couldn’t get rid of fast enough. Online I went to the glorious site that is Amazon Prime and ordered two pretty new white blinds. Two days later they arrived on my doorstep. Those mauve monsters were ripped own with vigor.

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    The first was hung and what a glorious sight it was! But then-disaster struck. The second blind was too big. I ordered the wrong size. And after getting ahead of myself and ripping down the old blind, I now have a huge naked window. So with shame I now have an old blue blanket thumb tacked to cover the window until my new blind in the correct size will be here- in two days. Moral of this story: measure twice, click “buy” once. Oh, and if you aren’t an Amazon Prime member yet, you’re really missing out!

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    These granola bars are the only thing getting me though this frustrating day. They come together in just minutes and are completely versatile. Don’t like candy? Swap them out for some chocolate chips, peanuts, or even dried fruit. They make the perfect snack for lunch boxes, or even breakfast on the go. Just slice and wrap individually and you have a granola bar a million times better than any you can buy at the store, and without all those strange ingredients to boot!

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    No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

    Ingredients

    • 2 c. quick-cooking oats
    • 1 c rice krispies cereal
    • 2 Tbs coconut oil
    • ¼ c honey
    • ¼ c light brown sugar, packed
    • ¼ c peanut butter, creamy or chunky
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 c M&M's
    • 2 Tbs semisweet chocolate chips

    Instructions

  • In a medium bowl combine oats and cereal; set aside. In a small saucepan combine coconut oil, honey and brown sugar. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and stir until mixture is smooth. Pour over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Keep stirring until the mixture comes together. If adding fruits or nuts, add them at this point.
  • Press mixture into a 8"x8" baking pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray. If you are going to be adding a ingredient that will melt, such as chocolate chips, add them at this point and press into bars so they stick. Allow to set for several hours or until firm. Cut into 10 bars.
  • In a sandwich bag, melt chocolate chips in microwave. Cut off corner and drizzle over bars. Immediately top with M&M's. Allow chocolate to set before wrapping.
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    Recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic

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    Carne Asada Nachos

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    For Valentine’s Day this year my sweet babies got be a beautiful bouquet of red, white and purple carnations and lots of big pink and red balloons. Now, as sweet as this gesture was, I knew that there was a ulterior motive behind the balloons. Just the week before was M’s birthday, and they had more fun playing with the balloons then anything else. So naturally, when it came time to pick a gift for mommy, balloons were at the top of the list.

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    Being the mean mom that I am, I made them wait a week to play with the balloons. They were my balloons, I wanted to enjoy them. But alas, they started to droop and it was time to cut them loose and let them meet their demise from the two balloon crazy kiddos.

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    Where am I going with this story? Well I will tell you. When a balloon floating at eye level floats in front of your face in the middle of the night in a sleep glazed stumble to the bathroom, one of two things will happen. Either you will suddenly acquire ninja skills like Jean-Claude Van Damme has never known, or you will have a massive heart attack and be scared to stay home alone for a week. I leave it up to you to guess which way (or both ways) I handled the situation.

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    Since I was feeling a little sensitive about my balloon attack I decided to eat my feelings with these nachos. They’re loaded with lots of tequila marinated steak, crunchy corn, radishes, red onion, jalapeno and gooey cheese. Top them off with sour cream and guacamole if you like, and they make for the ultimate snack. Keep these in mind for Cinco De Mayo- you can bet I will be making them! Its one of the best holidays, it’s a night devoted to Mexican food and margaritas. YUM!!

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    Carne Asada Nachos

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
    • 1/4 cup tequila
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 chopped red onion
    • 1 bunch cilantro stems
      Nachos:
    • tortilla chips
    • shredded cheddar cheese
    • sliced pickled jalapenos
    • fresh corn kernels
    • thinly sliced radishes
    • chopped onions
    • cilantro leaves
    • sour cream
    • crumbled queso fresco
    • guacamole

    Instructions

  • Place flank steak in a large re-sealable bag. Place all marinade ingredients into bag, seal and shake up the mixture so the steak is well coated. Place the steak on a plate, in the refrigerator. Allow steak to marinate for 8 to 10 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Once marinated, remove steak from bag and pat dry on both sides. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly oil the surface and sear steak on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook steak for an additional 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare (add an additional 2 minutes for medium doneness). Remove steak from heat and onto a cutting board, loosely covered with foil.
  • Allow steak to rest for 8 to 10 minutes before chopping into thin, bite sized pieces. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375ËšF. Spread a layer of tortilla chips onto a baking sheet in one even layer. Top chips with shredded cheese. Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 4 to 6 minutes or until cheese has melted, but hasn't begun to bubble. Remove from oven and top evenly with remaining ingredients. Serve.
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    Mix It Up: Spices From Around the World Infographic
    "Mix It Up" on Health Perch

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    Cranberry Orange Struesel Muffins

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    Reposted from 2014: There are some foods that just “go” with certain times of the year. Grilled burgers in the summer, stews in the cold winter months, apples in the fall. For me, cranberries are iconic with this time of year. The holidays are close, first being THANKSGIVING. Not Christmas yet!! Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I would like to enjoy the holidays in the order in which they come, thank you very much!!

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    These muffins are perfect for using those tart little orbs that are so prevalent this time of year. I bought  a large bag of cranberries at Costco a few weeks ago and froze them. The first way I used them was in these muffins. I wanted a giant, bakery style muffin with both crumb topping and glaze. These have it all. They muffins are tender and tart with the orange zest and cranberries, and the crumb topping and glaze add just the right amount of sweetness. These muffins are perfect with a cup of coffee, perhaps while planning  your menu for Thanksgiving??  😉

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    Cranberry Orange Struesel Muffins

    Ingredients

    • 2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
    • juice and zest of 1 orange
    • 2 cup chopped cranberries
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 Tablespoons milk
    • 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat Greek or regular yogurt (I used vanilla)
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      Crumb Topping
    • 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup  unsalted butter, melted
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
      Glaze 
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons milk or orange juice

    Instructions

  • First, make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, the cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir in the flour, I found using a pastry blender made this task easier. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray a jumbo muffin pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until thoroughly mixed. Add the cranberries; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, orange juice, and orange zest together until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in the yogurt and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together until no pockets of flour remain. Do not overmix. The batter is extremely thick.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons crumb topping. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake for 13-15 minutes longer until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. To make the glaze mix the powdered sugar and milk or orange juice together in a small bowl until all lumps are gone and glaze is smooth. Drizzle over muffins. Store tightly covered.
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    Muffin recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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    Ham and Cheese Scones

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    Hi. My name is Ashley and I am addicted to carbs. It’s a issue I have had my entire life. #cantstopwontstop!!  I love them any way I can get them.

    Scones have become a new love of mine. I have made lots of sweet versions but this is the first savory I have tried. I had leftover ham from Christmas to use up, and anything with cheddar is always a win in my book.

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    There are two elements that make a perfect scone for me: Ice cold butter and heavy cream. I find a cream scone is always tender and never dry. The colder the butter, the more flaky your scone will be.

    I am going to use the forbidden word here- these scones are super moist. No better word to describe them. These scones would be perfect for any time of day; with eggs for breakfast, with a salad or soup for dinner or lunch. I had three in one day. No shame.

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    Ham and Cheese Scones

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup cold butter
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup shredded cheese, plus addition for topping (optional)
    • 1/2 cup finely diced ham
    • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the cheese, ham and onion, tossing to coat. Shred the cold butter with a box grater. Add to the flour mixture and toss gently. Place bowl in the freezer to keep cold. Mix together the cream and egg with a fork. Place in fridge to keep cold. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper. Add cream and egg mixture to the flour. Stir just until combined.
  • On a well floured surface, knead the scone dough just until combined. Press dough into a 1 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into eight pieces with a sharp knife. Place on cookie sheet, if desired brush with additional cream and sprinkle scones with more shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden around edges. Move to wire rack to cool.
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    Taco Chex Mix

    tacochexmix2 (1 of 1)

    I have a deep respect for school teachers. The patience they have to be kind, caring, and teach our children is a special quality not many people possess. High school teachers especially. I was a teenager once. They aren’t fun. I am currently trying to stunt my children’s growth with mass amounts of coffee in hopes they don’t grow up (I kid I kid!)

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    You might think that young kids would be easier. They say such adorable things (I cried the day my daughter stopped calling a sandwich a “namich”) and they are so full of curiosity and wonder. Let me tell you though, that the opposite is true. The first time I volunteered in M’s preschool classroom I was overwhelmed. So many 4 year olds and they have SO MUCH ENERGY. I was exhausted after 4 hours (actually more like 30 minutes.) Props to you preschool teachers. You deserve wine-ALLTHEWINE.

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    I whipped up this snack mix for my day to bring snacks to school. I only used 1/8 cup of taco seasoning to keep it tame for the kiddos, but if you like it zesty I would suggest adding the full  1/4 cup.

    Taco Chex Mix

    Ingredients

    • 4 c. rice chex cereal
    • 4 c. oyster crackers
    • 4 c. Gold Fish crackers
    • 4 c. pretzel sticks
    • 1/3 c. canola oil
    • 1/4 c. taco seasoning mix

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Double line a paper bag.
  • Pour cereal, crackers and pretzels into paper bag. Top with taco seasoning and oil. Fold top of bag down and shake until mixed well.
  • Pour snack mix onto two large baking sheets (with sides). Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Cool. Pour into air tight container.
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    tacochexmix4 (1 of 1)

    Recipe Adapted from Julies Eats & Treats

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    Autumn Chex Mix

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    Are you a breakfast person? I am not. It takes me a few hours of being awake before my stomach can handle food. I go in phases of what I eat. Sometimes its a smoothie, then a granola bar and cheese stick. Right now I am into apples and Chex mix. Crunchy and sweet is working for me right now.

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    This Autumn Chex mix is perfect for snacking. Its crunchy, sweet, salty, and spiced with pumpkin pie spice that makes it perfect for fall. Feel free to switch up the cereal, nuts and fruit with your favorites!

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    Autumn Chex Mix

    Ingredients

    • 4 Cups Chex cereal (I used rice Chex)
    • 2 Cups Oatmeal Squares cereal (I used Cinnamon flavor)
    • 2 Cups pretzels
    • 2 Cups dried cranberries
    • 2 Cups nuts (I used 1 cup salted cashews, 1 cup salted peanuts)
    • 1/2 Cup butter
    • 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 Cup maple syrup
    • 2 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

    Instructions

  • In a 5 to 6-quart crock-pot, add the cereal, nuts, dried fruit and pretzels.
  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe cup or bowl. Add in the syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, stir to combine.
  • Drizzle wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well. Take caution to not break the cereal and pretzels. Place a paper towel under the lid to soak up the condensation that can develop inside the lid.
  • Cook on high  for about 2 hours, stirring well every 15 to 20 minutes. Mixture is done when there is no more visible liquid. Cooking temps vary, so keep and eye on your mix after 1 1/2 hours.
  • Pour mixture onto baking sheets and allow to dry for two hours or overnight. Store in a air tight container up to 5 days. Yield: About 8 cups
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    Recipe adapted from: Averie Cooks

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    Chocolate Banana Muffins

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    Sometimes I wonder why I buy bananas. I buy a bunch of them at the store every week, but I rarely ever eat one. My kids will have one occasionally, but since we aren’t home much it seems like I am always left with a bunch of spotty boring brown bananas. I usually freeze them, and I am always searching for a new way to use them up.
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    Any recipe that includes chocolate is going to catch my eye, and this was no disappointment! The muffins were super simple to throw together and quite delicious. My kids couldn’t get enough of them! Perhaps I will start eating bananas more often- at least more Chocolate Banana Muffins!
    Chocolate Banana Muffins

    Ingredients

    • 1½ cups mashed bananas
    • â…“ cup oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1½ cups flour
    • ¼ cup cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
    • Sugar for sprinkling on tops

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine bananas, oil, egg large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder. Add to banana mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F
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    Recipe Source: Chef In Training

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