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!

Rhubarb Sweet Rolls

If you remember from my last rhubarb posts, I have a lot of it. My wonderful parents have a garden, and in the summertime they are overflowing with produce of all kinds: tomatoes, beans, peppers, lettuce, carrots, and especially rhubarb. They usually have so much rhubarb and it grows so fast that they can’t physically keep or use it all.Last summer, my parents gave me 8 freezer bags full of rhubarb, and I’ve been looking for ways to use it up, especially because my dad told me they have a ton more for me to take. Ah! Pretty soon, it will overrun my freezer.Well, I woke up yesterday, and it was cold and rainy – a perfect baking day! I scoured Pinterest, and soon came upon these rolls, and decided the time was ripe (hah!) for another rhubarb recipe. If you are anything like my parents, and you have an abundance of rhubarb and not many ideas (I can’t make pie, as Paul is allergic to strawberries), I’m here to help! These are sweet and a little tart, but they are basically cinnamon rolls, but instead of a cinnamon filling, a quick rhubarb “jam” situation. You can have them for breakfast, or dessert and (if you’re daring!), put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warmed roll.

Ingredients

Yield: 12 rolls

For the dough:

¾ c. milk
4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, cubed
2¼ tsp. (or 1 packet) instant or active dry yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
¾ tsp. salt
3¼ c. flour

For the filling:

4 c. sliced rhubarb, divided (the recipe says 3 cups, but I’ll explain)
½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch

For the glaze:

Leftover filling
1-2 c. icing sugar (as needed)
1 tbsp. lemon juice (if needed)

To make the dough, in a large glass measuring cup, warm the milk and butter together in a microwave until the mixture reaches between 100-110°F. Be careful! Don’t go over. Too hot, and you run the risk of killing your yeast. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Wait 5 minutes for the mixture to start to bubble and foam. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead and you need to start again with new, fresh yeast.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the beaten egg, the milk mixture, the flour, and the salt. Beat with the dough hook, on low at first, then on medium for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together and becomes smooth and elastic.Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Oil the mixer bowl, then place the dough into the bowl, rolling to cover with oil. Plastic wrap the bowl, and set in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Make the filling while the dough rises.For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups of the sliced rhubarb (reserving 1 cup for the filling when it’s done – I’m a fan of rhubarb chunks, not just puree), the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until rhubarb breaks down and the mixture turns thick, into a jam-like consistency. Set aside filling to cool while the dough finishes its rise.To assemble the rolls, spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Lightly flour your work surface, and turn out the risen dough, gently rolling into a large rectangle, approximately 18×12.Spread 1-1½ cups of the filling over the dough, leaving about 1 inch of room around the edges of the dough. Sprinkle the reserved rhubarb chunks over the filling. Now it gets messy – beware! Roll the dough log in, starting from the top long edge. Some of the filling might leak out, but that’s okay. Get the roll as tight as you can, and make sure the seam side is down to try and seal it as much as possible.With a sharp serrated knife (or unflavoured waxed dental floss – that’s what I use!) cut the log into 12 even pieces. I use dental floss for all of my cinnamon roll cutting – it’s a trick I learned years ago. Just wrap the floss around the roll, and pull. It will cut everything for you! Easy-peasy.Place the cut rolls into the prepared pan, with a little bit of space between them, not squished tight. They need room to rise again. If you had a bunch of filling come out of the rolls, you can drizzle some extra filling over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for the second rise, about 30-45 minutes, until the rolls fill the pan and are touching.Preheat oven to 350°. Make a simple egg wash (if desired), and brush rolls to help browning. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.While the rolls bake, make the glaze. My glaze is different from the original (I didn’t want any leftover puree). In a medium bowl, combine the leftover rhubarb filling with 1-2 cups of icing sugar, as needed. There is enough moisture in the filling that you shouldn’t need any lemon juice, but if you like a runnier glaze, then use more liquid. Drizzle or pour glaze over the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.Cool in the pan, and serve warm.

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cinnamon Butter

This is Part Three of my unofficial Recipes Including Pumpkin series! Again, I’m on a pumpkin kick. To be fair, I didn’t make the last two posts, and this post, and the NEXT post over the course of a month. I had a really ingenious pumpkin craving, and over the course of two weekends, I made all of these Pumpkin recipes. I mean, why not welcome Fall in any way we can?

I love a good pumpkin loaf. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. It’s also pretty simple to make, and that’s always a win in my books! It hit the super-soft-and-moist-but-still-tastes-like-Fall-and-I-can-eat-it-for-breakfast-for-a-snack-or-for-dessert target right on the head!

I’m not going to bore you with loads of talking for this one. Just go make it, and your senses will thank you!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 loaf

For the bread:

1½ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ c. vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ of a 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. water
1 tbsp. maple syrup

For the butter:

4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, softened
1 tbsp. maple syrup
¼-½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease and flour a loaf pan (or use Miracle Cake Release).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the oil and sugars. Add in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the pumpkin, water, and maple syrup. Mix again.

Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely in the pan before removing.

To make the butter, whisk all butter ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve with slices of the bread.

Chai Spiced Scones

My regular readers know how much I love Chai tea! The warm spices, the flavour, the aroma. It lends its flavours well to baking. Now, I understand that Chai is very reminiscent of a Fall flavour, and we are currently in the middle of summer. Still, I think tea can be used year round, but I also believe that sometimes, you just need to make a recipe that uses the rest of the heavy cream in your fridge before it goes bad.

While some cool desserts were speaking to me, I just felt like a breakfast-type treat today. I found the original recipe here, and didn’t change a thing, except the glaze. I just simplified the glaze to a few less ingredients than called for. I also didn’t actually use Chai tea in this recipe, but Chai spice instead. I just have a jar of Chai spice in my pantry that was gifted to me, and it is incredible. Don’t fear, however! I will include the measurements of the regular spices just in case you don’t have Chai spice like I do.

These scones are good to make any time in the year, especially if you like the flavours of Chai.

Ingredients

Yield: 12 scones

For the scones:

3 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2½ tsp. Chai spice OR
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ c. sugar
½ c. light brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 to 1 ½ c. cold heavy cream

For the glaze:

1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Chill baking sheet in the fridge while preparing the dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the sugars, and whisk again until well-combined.

In a large liquid measuring cup, add the cream, and whisk in the vanilla. Slowly add the cream to the dry ingredients (I needed the full 1½ cups of cream because my dough was a little bit dry) and fold together until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and pat dough into 1 large circle, or 2 small circles (depending on how big you want your scones). Cut the scones with a pizza roller, then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and cover with parchment paper.

Place the scones on the baking sheet close to one another but not touching, and bake in the preheated oven for 16-17 minutes, until the tops are set and the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from oven, and set on a wire rack to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. If you like a thicker glaze, use less milk. If you like a thinner glaze, use more. Drizzle glaze slowly over the warm scones (and be aware that more glaze will run off if they are warm) so that the glaze sets, then serve.