Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, so these posts are a little backdated. But, I’ve told you all this before, I usually make a bunch of recipes, then schedule them all. So these cinnamon rolls I actually made at Easter. How fitting, right?Oh my gosh, they were delicious!! A beautiful combination of carrot cake and cinnamon roll… tons of cream cheese icing. The best of both worlds.I thought these cinnamon rolls would be a little finicky, but honestly, they turned out so well and I was so happy with them. I got rave reviews from everyone who got one. I found the original recipe here, and wow am I glad I made them. I also made a double batch and came out with 2 dozen rolls. There were plenty to go around!Seriously. If you are a fan of carrot cake or cinnamon rolls, go make these, and you won’t be sorry! I also apologize, because I got no good pictures of these rolls. Just trust me though, they were delicious!

Ingredients

Yield: About 8-12 rolls, depending on cut size

For the dough:

¾ c. milk
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
¼ tsp. sugar
4-4¼ c. flour
6 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla
¼ c. butter, melted
¾ c. carrots, finely shredded

For the filling:

3 tbsp. butter, melted
¾ c. brown sugar
1½ tsp. cinnamon

For the icing:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (½ of a regular brick)
¼ c. butter, softened
2 c. icing sugar

½ tsp. vanilla
3-4 tbsp. milk

To make the dough, in a small pot or heat-proof measuring cup, heat milk to 115°F. Add in the yeast and sugar. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.Add vanilla to the melted butter.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 4 cups of flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. With the mixer on low speed, slowly stream in the yeast mixture. After yeast mixture is incorporated, add in butter mixture.Add in one egg at a time, mixing after each addition, then add in the carrots. Slowly increase speed, until dough comes together. If the dough is a bit sticky, add in the additional flour.Transfer dough to large greased bowl, then cover and let rise in a warm space about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.While the dough rises, lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling in a small bowl.When dough is risen, turn out dough onto a well-floured counter or onto a silicone mat. Roll out into a large rectangle, about 12 x 20 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the dough evenly.Roll the dough into a log (I started at one of the long engs) and pinch the ends to seal. Using a knife (or unflavoured floss! – cuts super cleanly!) cut the dough into 8-12 rolls, depending on how big you want them. Just remember – they still have to rise, so keep this in mind.Space evenly in the prepared pan. Cover, and let rise for an hour in a warm place, until doubled in size.Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover rolls and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches at least 200°F. Remove from oven and allow rolls to cool 20-30 minutes before adding icing.To make the icing, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and icing sugar. Beat on low speed to incorporate. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Vanilla Chai Protein Powder Muffins

I found a great basic muffin recipe, and I decided to use some of my Vanilla Chai protein powder as a substitute for some of the flour. About a year ago, I found Vega Vanilla Chai protein powder, and I kind of fell in love with it. I haven’t tried baking with it until now, and I can’t believe that I waited for so long.This basic muffin recipe is awesome, and if you don’t want to bake with protein powder, just use flour for the full amount instead of splitting it up. I was really happy with how well these turned out, and I know that this basic muffin recipe is something I can use and tweak as I see fit.The original recipe was found here, and like I said, all I changed was swap out one fourth of the flour for my Vega protein powder. Easy swap.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

1½ c. flour
½ c. Vega Vanilla Chai protein powder
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. milk, room temperature
½ c. butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, and set aside.In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, protein powder (if using), sugar, baking powder, and salt.In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and eggs. Add the flour, and stir with a silicone spatula.Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Nutmeg Oatmeal Muffins

I was on a bit of a muffin kick last week, so I went a little overboard with the muffin recipes. It was a bit crazy. I had about three dozen muffins and I had to give some away and freeze some because I just made too much. At least I’ve learned.

Either way, I really enjoyed these muffins, because they go well at any time of day. These are great for breakfast, a snack, with tea or coffee, or for dessert. It also helps that they are fairly healthy.

The original recipe was here. They didn’t puff up as much as the picture, but the flavour was spot on and so good. Just, take my word for it. These muffins are great.

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen muffins

2 c. rolled oats
2 c. milk
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs

In a large bowl, stir together the oats and milk, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

When the oats have softened, add the brown sugar and eggs. Whisk together, then mix in the butter.

Add the flour mixture to the oat mixture, and fold together.

Scoop muffin mix into prepared liners, and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Fluffy Pancakes

Happy New Year, and hello again friends! As you can see, I’m back from my unplanned hiatus. I was sick pretty much the entire month of December. Like, sick enough to take 3 sick days in 1 week sick. (Which for me is an anomaly… I never take sick days.) I don’t really know what was wrong with me, but I kept to myself and just tried to get better over the past month. I figured all of my regular readers would understand that being sick = no blog posts.

Either way, to start off a new year, you have to start with the first meal of the day. The first meal means breakfast, and pancakes are the perfect breakfast vehicle, so I decided to come back with a nice, simple recipe that everyone should have up their sleeve.

I found this recipe last May, when I was planning a staff lunch with some coworkers. We decided to host a breakfast-for-lunch (instead of dinner) staff lunch, and these pancakes were a HIT. I especially liked them because they were easy to make, and didn’t need any special ingredients – not even buttermilk, and they were SUPER fluffy and satisfying. I made a 12x recipe of these pancakes (because you never know how many pancakes you will need!), and they all turned out beautifully, and filled an entire roaster and then some. I’ve also made these a time or two in smaller quanities, and every time I make them, I am so happy with how easy they are and how flawlessly they turn out.

If you are a pancake fan, go make these! Breakfast, anyone?

Ingredients

Yield: 6-8 pancakes, depending on size

1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp. sugar
¾ c. plus 2 tbsp. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
Oil or non-stick spray, for cooking

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Make sure the butter isn’t too hot when you add it or you could cook the eggs.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until mostly combined. The batter should be thick and a little lumpy, but with no visible streaks of flour. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and spray with oil or cooking spray. Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop and drop the batter into the pan. Cook until small bubbles form on the top surface of the pancake and the bottom is golden brown. Flip and repeat. Serve while still hot with your favourite toppings!

French Toast Cookies

If you have ever wanted cookies for breakfast, well these are the perfect excuse. These are a cross between french toast and warm, chewy cookies.

I don’t have much to say about these, except that they are really easy to make, and only took me about 10 minutes or so. All in all, I had cookies all ready in less than an hour.

There were a few changes I made to the original recipe because of things that I had on hand. For instance, I used maple syrup instead of maple extract, and I used a full egg instead of just an egg yolk. If/when I make these again, I would definitely use maple extract instead. I wanted a bit more of a punch of maple flavour. I also decided to change up the sugar rolling. Instead of just using plain sugar, I divided the dough into thirds, and rolled a third of them in regular granulated sugar, a third in brown sugar, and the last third in cinnamon sugar.

I was partial to the cinnamon sugar, and Paul liked the brown sugar, but really, they were all good. The last change I made was to the corn syrup. Instead of using just light corn syrup as the recipe called for, I actually used half light corn syrup, and half golden corn syrup. When I was little, I used to have corn syrup on my breakfasts, not maple syrup, because my parents didn’t buy maple syrup. Adding a little bit of golden syrup brought me back to those childhood breakfasts.

Try your cookies all three ways, and let me know which one you prefer!

Ingredients

Yield: Approximately 30 cookies

½ c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 egg
½ c. light corn syrup (or ¼ c. light corn syrup and ¼ c. golden corn syrup)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. maple extract
2 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. white sugar, cinnamon sugar, and brown sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie trays with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, corn syrup, vanilla and maple extract. Mix well, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Add in the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

Roll into balls, and roll into the various sugars. Place on prepared cookie sheets, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.

Remove from oven, and let sit on pan for 2 minutes (DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!). Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!