Cinnamon Bread

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Well, it’s no small secret that I love bread. Really, I just love baked goods. When I woke up this morning, I wanted something a little sweeter for breakfast, but wouldn’t be too dessert-like. I was stumped, and as per the usual these days, went straight to my Pinterest boards.
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I found this Cinnamon Bread that I had pinned at least a year ago, and I knew that was what I wanted. It’s a super simple recipe, (the original found here), and I was a bit surprised to find that the basis of this recipe is an Amish friendship bread. I have heard about this bread before, and when I was younger my mother had a friend give her some of this batter, but it is so time consuming that I didn’t want to commit myself to another bread starter (sourdough is the only dough I need a starter for!).

I was extremely excited to find this recipe then, because it is so easy! It whipped up in about ten minutes or less, and takes more time to bake than it does to actually make. Sounds like a winning recipe to me!
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Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaves

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. buttermilk (or milk with 2 tbsp. vinegar added)
4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. sugar (to finish)
2 tsp. cinnamon (to finish)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs. Add in the milk, flour, and baking soda, and mix until well combined. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar for finishing.

Spoon about ¼ of the mixture into the bottom of each loaf pan. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top. Layer the rest of the batter over the cinnamon sugar mixture in the pans, and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar over the batter. Use a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar throughout the batter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Slice, and serve.

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Raspberry Lemon Cookies

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So I had a day off today, and I realized that it has been about two weeks since my last post! I have been so busy these last two weeks, and now that Family Day is here, I get a week off (from subbing at least!). I spent the day not really doing much, but I went to get a haircut, and then just puttered around the house doing some chores/errands, and had a great phone call date with a friend I hadn’t seen or talked to in a few years (yes, years!). But that’s the best thing about my friends – so many of them don’t care when they see me or talk to me, and we pick up as if we last saw each other yesterday. I truly believe in the quality of friendship over the quantity.

As I was scrolling through Pinterest, I found this recipe for Raspberry Lemon cookies. Considering I love all of the above, and I felt like it’s been a while since I have made cookies, these were calling my name. The ingredient list was fairly basic, and the one thing I didn’t have (a lemon) I substituted for plain lemon juice and lemon extract.

The one tip which I will pass along is this: make sure your raspberries are frozen when you put them in the cookie dough. The dough feels quite loose and wet (so much so that I added an extra half cup of flour, which is reflected in the recipe I have posted below), but the frozen raspberries actually solidify the dough quite nicely. Then the cookies are simply dropped onto a cookie sheet, and baked! So simple!
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Ingredients

Yield: 24 cookies

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg
½ lemon, zest and juice (or, 3 tbsp. lemon juice and ½ tsp. lemon extract)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
¾ c. frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, egg, and lemon and cream again.

Add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour, and mix until combined into a sticky dough. The dough may be looser that most cookie dough – this is okay!

Fold in the frozen raspberries, and immediately drop onto cookie sheets and bake for 14-16 minutes, until the edges and bottoms are just barely golden brown and the tops of the cookies are no longer shiny.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for about five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

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These cupcakes came about as a bit of a challenge. Paul, and one of our co-workers, challenged me to make some Pina Colada cupcakes. Now, I’m not the hugest fan of Pina Coladas. I mean, I will drink them if that’s one of the only options, but the pineapple-coconut combination is one that I only like in small increments.

Even so, I decided to rise to the occasion and make something out of my comfort zone. I fished around on the internet, and came up with this recipe. It sounded quite good, with pineapple juice and coconut milk in the cupcake, which was a bonus, because even a small can of pineapple is more than I’m ever going to eat.
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The juice and the milk in the cupcake make them extremely moist, and the only pineapple that I used I actually chopped up and sprinkled just a few small pieces on each cupcake. I also ended up glazing the actual cupcake with a bit of spiced rum. (I would have used coconut rum, but I was all out!) I added a bit of rum into the buttercream as well to give it that extra pop of flavour.

Once in a while I decide to accept the challenge that people offer me, and these cupcakes turned into a hit with my challengers. Either way, even though they are not my personal favourite flavour combination, others definitely seem to love them!
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Ingredients

Yield: 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1 2/3 c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. brown sugar, packed
¼ c. sugar
½ c. butter, melted
1 egg, at room temperature
½ c. pineapple juice
½ c. coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla

For the buttercream frosting:

¾ c. butter, softened
3 c. icing sugar
¼ c. coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut or spiced rum

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin with paper cups, and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl melt the butter and whisk in the brown and white sugars. Add in the egg, pineapple juice, coconut milk, and vanilla. Whisk together slowly until there are no lumps in the batter.

Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full of batter. If desired, chop up some fresh pineapple, and sprinkle over the top of each cupcake. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and brush the tops with rum if desired. Let cool completely.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add in the icing sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and rum. Cream together until smooth. If the icing is too wet, add more icing sugar. If it is too stiff, add a little more coconut milk.

Pipe onto cupcakes, then garnish with shredded coconut and pineapple.