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Fishies, Cupcakes, and Shoes, Oh My!

7 Jun

Hello! What terrible weather we’ve been having. Rain, rain, and more rain, with a chance of rain. C’mon summer, where you at? With such crap weather, I have trying to keep myself busy with fun trips around Vancouver (that sadly don’t involve the beach!). This means a trip to the aquarium to see the cute monkeys and otters, and a tour of the Art Gallery’s Matisse exhibit.

It means online shopping for cheap knock-offs of the most beautiful shoes.

It means buying boxed-cake mixes for a DOLLLAR each at no-frills and turning then into cinnamon buttercream covered cupcakes.

Oh yes, Duncan-Hines does the trick!

 

German Peanut-Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing

Cupcakes

  • 1 box of German Chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Icing

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a cupcake pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, oil, water, and eggs until a smooth batter forms. Beat in the peanut butter. Fill the cupcake tins with batter, and cook for 20 minutes. Recipe makes 24 cupcakes, or 12 huge cupcakes and a small cake if you have an 8×8 cake pan to use as well.

When cupcakes are cool, beat softened butter until fluffy in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar, beat, then add the milk. Add the rest of the sugar, then add the vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until a thick yet workable frosting is produced. Put frosting in a piping bag and decorate cooled cupcakes.

Tess is too cute! Topping her cake with strawberries.

Happy Rainy Day Adventures!!

 

xxx

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Quick Twix Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

28 May

Good afternoon, ladies and gents! What fantastic weather we have been having! I have honestly been spending every evening at the Jericho docks drinking beers, soaking in the sun, and crab fishing. That’s right, I have bought a crab fishing license. They are so cheep if you are Canadian! You can go online to the Canada Gov’t Fishing website, download the “license”, pay 20 bucks with your credit card, and print it off. You can only catch 4 crabs a day, and each crab has to be 6.5 inches are larger, so as to help keep the crab populations up.

Fresh caught crabs!

We go to the butcher and buy the bait, which is usually left over scraps of meet like duck necks or even a chicken breast here and there. It only costs a couple bucks, and then we are off on our way to the docks with our traps and backpacks full of sweaters, water, snacks, books, and beer. We tie in the bait, attach the traps to the dock, and throw them in to the ocean. We wait for about 15 minutes after each toss, before reeling in the traps to see if we have caught anything. It is always exciting to see if we have caught any big ones! Once we have caught a big one, we wrap him up in newspaper, and keep him in the shade. You don’t want to keep the females, for reproduction purposes.

Dan, ready to throw in a trap

So it is safe to say that summer 2012 will be the official summer of crab fishing. I can’t believe I get to eat such a delicious dinner mot nights of the week, for free! Crabs usually cost a lot at the market and are ridiculously expensive at restaurants. We have to be careful not to eat too much, just because seafood contains so many toxins nowadays.

Best sunsets I’ve ever seen

But don’t worry about this blog turning into a fishing blog, I have some yummy baked goodies for you today! Behold, the quickest, yummiest cinnamon rolls ever!

Layers of the good stuff

Usually cinnamon buns take a good couple of hours in order to let them rise the right amount and to create the fluffiest buns ever. But these guys are still super good, and require minimal waiting time. Plus they are full of chopped up pieces of candy bars. And smothered in cream cheese icing. Ya, I know.

The recipe was adapted from Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

Quick Twix Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6-7 fun-sized twix bars (or any favourite candy bar)

Icing

  • 3 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix together the milk, water, sugar, oil, and yeast and let rise for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together salt and flour in a medium sized bowl. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and let heat for 5 minutes then turn off.

When yeast mixture is ready, mix into flour mixture, and beat in the egg. Mix the ingredients together with your hand until a soft, thoroughly mixed doughball forms. Place dough ball in a small bowl, cover loosely with saran wrap, and place in the oven to let rise for 15 minutes.

While dough rises in the warmed oven, chopped up candy bars. Flour a cleaned table surface, and grease a 9×11 baking tin. When doughball has risen, remove from oven and punch it down a couple times. If the oven is cool, reheat at 225 degrees for 5 more minutes while you work with the dough. Roll out dough ball on floured surface into an even rectangle. Spread melted butter evenly over dough, then layer cinnamon and brown sugar over. Sprinkle candy bar chunks over sugar. Roll up the dough length-wise, and cut in 8 even pieces (or less or more pieces depending on how big you want your rolls). Place rolls in dish. It is ok if they aren’t all touching, as they will expand in size once in the oven. Place in the once again warmed oven, and let rise for 15 minutes.

While you wait, make icing. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Beat in sugar, vanilla, and then milk. If icing is too thick for your icing, slowly beat in more and more milk. Set icing aside.

Heat oven to 400 degrees, while buns are still inside, and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how gooey you want your rolls. When done, remove golden buns from oven and let cool for a couple minutes. Cover buns with icing.

Dish out rolls and eat with a fork cuz these things are messy!

Happy Baking! xxx

 

 

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Buns

19 Mar

It is Monday, hailing, and not exactly pretty outside. What happened!? The weekend was so nice here, with no rain and lots (by Vancouver standards) of sunshine. My grandma Judi came out Thursday afternoon to visit me from Calgary, and I swear I have never had a such a good weekend. We packed it full of shopping, good food, spa massages, more good food, great wine, and some fun times at the art deco exhibit at the Vancouver Museum. (Also, why is the Vancouver Museum tucked away in the middle of no where?! I swear that there were maybe three or four other dudes in the whole building whilst we were there. Shouldn’t a museum be kind of a popular place to hang out? Vancouver needs to get its’ act together.) Anywho, I hugged the gran good-bye on Saturday night, and then all of the roomies were off to join in the St. Patty’s Celebrations. Sigh.

Legend. We be poundin' guiness.

In order to make this Monday ten times better, I decided to make cinnamon buns! Is it weird that I call them cinnamon buns and not rolls? Is there really a difference? I think calling them buns is cute. Wittle buns. Anywho, I made these lovely caramel drenched cinnamon buns and I’m in love with them! I usually don’t pour in a layer of caramel before they bake- instead I cover them in a creamy icing after they are cooked. But these are so much better! I love how toasty and flavourful the pecans get.

 

Warm, fluffy, and buttery

I adapted the recipe from The Catalyst: Cupcakes. I have been missing cinnamon buns and this was such a great recipe. Do you ever get serious cravings for particular foods? I had a huge craving for cabanera a couple days ago, and wanted to eat cheese all weekend (which I did).

 

Make these because they are very easy and people will love you and tell you that you’d make an excellent wife (true story).

 

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Buns

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp + 1/8 tsp yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 heaping cups all purpose flour

Sugary-Cinnamon Filling

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature

Caramel

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

 

Mix together the milk, sugar, and butter and microwave for thirty seconds. Whisk until the butter and sugar is evenly

Toasted, candied pecans are the best

melted. Cool until mixture is slightly warm (not hot) and add yeast. Whisk a few times and then let sit with a cloth over bowl for ten minutes. When yeast smell is apparent and bubbles have formed in the mixture, whisk in egg and salt. Slowly stir in flour in 1/3 cup portions, until all flour is incorporated. Dough should be elastic but not sticky! If it is still sticky, add a tablespoon at a time of flour to the dough, and kneed it till it is desired texture.

Kneed dough on a floured surface until all flour is incorporated. Shape into a ball and place in a different bowl, covered, and let rise in a preheated (but then quickly turned off!) oven for 40 minutes. When dough has risen, punch it back down and let rise for 15 minutes more.

While you wait, make caramel. On high heat, stir like crazy the cream and sugar in a small sauce pan. When mixture comes to boil, whisk for a minutes more until a deep caramel colour forms and mixture thickens. Remove sauce from heat and pour into a greased baking pan- 11x11x4 or similar dimensions will work perfectly. Cover the caramel with all the chopped pecans.

Roll dough out on a floured surface into a long rectangle. Spread butter up to all the edges, and sprinkle on the sugars and cinnamon, evenly. Roll up dough length-wise and cut into 20 inch pieces (you’ll get about 12 little buns or you can make them bigger/smaller and lave less/more). Place buns in baking pan on top of caramel and pecan layer. Cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. When golden and bubbling, remove buns and let cool for five minutes. Carefully, using oven mitts, flip buns from dish and onto a large serving dish. Let cool for 20 minutes longer. Then DIVE IN!!

 

Best served warm and gooey with a honkin’ big glass of cold milk.

Happy baking!

xx.

Lemon Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Buns

14 Jan

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

I had the most uneventful Saturday. slept in, made these puppies, attempted to do homework, and fell asleep multiple times while trying to read Hobbes’ Leviathan. For the record, that guy was crazy. Angry, pessimistic, and just downright sad. Rough life.

These were so delightful and bright-tasting this morning! The lemon flavour really came through, and the cream cheese kept it just savoury enough to keep flavours balanced. The buns had a soft, chewy texture, and that distinct yeast aroma. Yum.

Lemon glaze for a sunny morning.

There is something about the process of making cinnamon buns that I just love. Or maybe it’s just working with yeast. I want to try making more complicated breads, using starters. If anyone knows of any good recipes let me know! I have been checking out some sourdough recipes….

Lemon Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Buns

Buns

  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Filling
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Glaze
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp milk (or as much as you like for consistency)
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • juice of half a lemon
Instructions:
Mix yeast, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/3 cup sugar together and let rise for 5 minutes until bubbly. Then add in rest of milk, butter, eggs, zest, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined. Slowly add in flour until a large dough ball forms. Place dough ball in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm area (preheated then turned off oven) for an hour or until doubled in size.Punch down dough and roll out on a floured surface, in a large rectangle (the dimensions don’t really matter, unless you are specific about the size of your rolls).  Spread 1/4 cup of butter over dough, then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top. Rolly up length-wise and cut into 3 inch pieces. Arrange in a greased dish so as all buns are touching. Let rise for 20 minutes.Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake rolls for 30-35 minutes (watch that they don’t burn!). Removes and let cool in dish.For icing: beat cream cheese, milk, sugar, lemon, and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Pour over buns.

Serve warm, gooey and oozing.

Daaammmmmnnnnnnnn…….

Feast my friends, Feast!

The snow up at Whistler is ridiculous. If anyone in Vancouver is going up tomorrow, wanna give me a ride?? Please?? I’ll give you one of these!!

xox

Blog Post 1: Hola World

19 Dec

Hello! This is my first blog post, ever, and I just wanted to thank those who have encouraged me enough to actually get to this point! I am a little flustered at all the different aspects of blogging, but hopefully I’ll get it together and learn the ways of the food blogger.

To start it off, I guess I shall post one of my favourite goodies; Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Butterscotch Cream Cheese Icing. These were taken from Sugar Plum with a few changes to the glaze, and the spice ratios. They are heavenly, and quite easy to make once you have made them a couple times!

...get in ma belleh...

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Butterscotch Cream Cheese Icing

Dough
1/3 cup warm milk (not too hot!)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons oil
1 large egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (or more if needed)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Glaze
3 tablespoons butterscotch chips
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup milk, yeast and granulated sugar until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes until yeast is activated and bubbly. Whisk in pumpkin, oil, egg, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon,  and 1/2 tsp ginger and nutmeg until well combined. Stir in flour until combined, and a dough ball forms. Lightly cover with saran wrap and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  (A good place is in the oven: preheat it for a minute, the turn it off and place dough inside. You don’t want to cook it!)

On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, into a rectangle. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon until well combined; evenly spread on top of dough. Roll up dough. Slice into 10 equal pieces. Place in a greased 9-inch cake pan. Lightly cover and allow to rise in a warm area for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake rolls for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool pan on a wire rack. To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, stir together butterscotch chips, cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon milk until combined. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently until melted (be careful: butterscotch chips tend to burn if heated for too long). Whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Drizzle glaze over cinnamon rolls.

Makes 10 cinnamon rolls

These are really fantastic on a Saturday morning, especially if you wake up early. The surprise will go down well with your family, boyfriend, roomies, or whoever!