My suitemates and I have a tradition of making each other Pillsbury dough boy cinnamon rolls from the can for our birthdays or other special occasions. They are so easy to make, already pre-cut into perfect circles. All you have to do is pop them in the oven and spread the prepackaged icing over them. So gooey and fluffy.
I’ve always wanted to make them on my own but thought it would be too time-consuming. Well I finally got to it and it does take a bit of time, but it is worth it!!! And these are way healthier so that’s an extra plus. Believe it or not, I didn’t make them healthy on purpose. It happened because our house ran out of all-purpose flour, so I had to use whole wheat flour instead. I was scared the buns would be rock hard when I baked them but they turned out fine. They could definitely have been fluffier, which is why I would recommend using half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.
The best part is that you don’t have to wake up really early to make them. You can just prepare the rolls the day before, leave them in the fridge overnight, and then all you have to do is put them in the oven the following morning. Easy peasy 😀
WHOLE WHEAT CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS
1 cup milk, warmed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour (half all-purpose, half whole wheat mixed together)
Filling and Icing
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
6 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
Combine warm milk, butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand 2 min until yeast softens. With the bread hook attachment stir in the egg, salt and 3 cups of the flour mixture. Mix well, then add remaining flour and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl edges, about 5 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl, turning to coat all sides of ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a very warm place until doubled in size, about 3 hr. (I put the dough in a microwave with a large bowl of hot water).
Make filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon and chocolate. Butter two 8-by-8-inch pans and set aside.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 14-by-24-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Spread with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture. Starting with one long end, roll dough tightly to form a long spiral. Pinch the seam together. Cut into 18 slices, about 1¼ inch thick each, and place 9 in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning remove rolls from refrigerator and bring to room temperature in a warm place, 1 hr.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F and bake until rolls are golden and cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let rolls cool slightly and then frost them with icing.
Vanilla icing: Whisk confectioners’ sugar with 1 melted butter, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. (Makes 1 cup).
NOTE: If you make and bake them on the same day, don’t refrigerate after rolling; just let the rolls rise a second time before baking.
adapted from Bakerella
Here’s a spectacular dessert that is genius in every way possible. Are you ready? It’s a peach crumble served in a peach! No more messy baking dishes to clean up. The peach crumble is its very own dish.
My mom and I learned how to make this from a cooking class in Boston for Gourmet cooking! We also made ratatouille (SO good), Thai steamed mussels, and prosciutto wrapped lemon basil chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese. Definitely some fancy dishes.
The peach crumble is very simple to make and you end up with an extremely tasty dessert. The warm peach’s sweet juices soak into the crumble for a chewy texture, the cinnamon flavor dances on your tongue, and a bite of caramel tops it all off. In the original recipe, caramel is drizzled on to the peaches but I cheated by putting caramel chips on top to save time.
For optimal results, use BIG, ripe peaches. We bought these huge, round, soft, juicy peaches that remind me of the children’s book James and the Giant Peach. Every bite will be deliciously sweet and juicy.
EASY PERSONAL PEACH CRUMBLE
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut peaches in half and remove pits. You may want to use a spoon to scoop out a bigger hole for the oats. Lay peaches on a baking sheet, skin side down, and bake for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, oats, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and sugar. Use hands to combine the mixture until well mixed.
Divide the mixture into the 4 peaches. If using caramel chips, put them on top and bake for another 10 minutes, until peaches are soft and oat mixture is browned.
Serve warm and enjoy 😀
I must confess that I was never a huge fan of cheesecake as a kid. I used to avoid cheese at all costs and stuck to the sweet, fruity desserts. I guess my taste buds changed because now I looove creamy, cheesy foods – everything from Greek yogurt to mac and cheese. Of course, I still love fruit so I found the best of both worlds in these cute, delightful treats: cheesecake stuffed strawberries!
They are VERY easy to make and will conjure many “oohs” and “aahs”. They are also the simple solution to when you have a craving for cheesecake but you don’t want to bake an entire cake. These will definitely hit the spot.
How do you go about eating these bite-sized treats? Well, you can either take the approach my dad did by eating the whole thing at once; you will first be greeted by a splash of juicy strawberry followed by a creamy cheesecake afterthought. Or, you can take eat it my mom’s way of savoring small equal bites to get a nice ratio of strawberry to cheesecake. Whatever method you choose, I guarantee you will be craving for more!
CHEESECAKE STUFFED STRAWBERRIES
14-18 fresh strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Graham cracker crumbs
Using a small knife, cut off the stem and tip of each strawberry. Then, cut around the inside of the strawberry to create a small hole for the cream.
Use a handheld or standing electric mixer to beat cream, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes on medium speed, until fluffy. Transfer into a pastry bag and pipe into each strawberry.
Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top for a finishing touch.
Refrigerate and serve!
adapted from The Comfort of Cooking