Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns was among the choices to bake at the Cake Slice. This was an easy choice for me.Who doesn't love Cinnamon Rolls?! I love the gooey, iced soaked middle of the rolls! 

This recipe called for mashed potatoes. Yeast LOVE starch! This dough rises into a gooey mound, making the dough sticky and a little harder to work with. But its okay, they turn out delicious!

If you love the cinnamon filling then I suggest you double the ingredients, it was not enough for me! Although the rolls were delicious, they screamed for more butter and cinnamon!

If icing is your thing too, then double it! The recipe gave the rolls a thin icing layer, not enough for me! The rolls screamed for an extra layer of the buttery icing, which by the way was delicious! 
So go ahead and plan to bake these for Christmas morning, if you have stockings to fill early in the morning then just stay up and start the dough. I promise you your family will be forever grateful!
I didn't have the chance to type up the recipe but I found it at Dinner at Sheila's! Before I forget, I omitted the raisins, but if you love raisins in your rolls then go ahead and add them, I don't prefer them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Honey Beescotti: #CreativeCookieExchange

Biscotti is the theme for December's Creative Cookie Exchange. I pulled several baking books out and decided on a recipe from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. Marvelous baking book by the way. I took a chance with this recipe, only because the recipe calls for Candied Orange Peel, and the fact that my husband is not a huge fan of citrus desserts.

Candied Orange Peel is not easy to find. Having no luck and giving up several stores later, I decide to make my own. Its very simple, and the cost is very affordable. After your peels are done you are left with a delicious orange syrup! I saved it and used it to sweeten my tea, and even used it as syrup for pancakes! Delicious!

The recipe suggest Chestnut Honey, I used clover. Caraway seeds and almonds were also on the list of ingredients, I left these out simply because I'm not a fan of caraway seeds and I overlooked the almonds in the recipe which I had none on hand. Vanilla and almond extract were also among the ingredients. 

The recipe was pretty simple to put together, and the aroma through out the house was heavenly! Scents of honey, orange, vanilla, and almond made the house smell incredible!

Over all I was completely satisfied with the recipe, and my husband didn't mind the orange peel, and thought it complimented the cookie very well. 

Honey Beescotti from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. chestnut honey (or any flavor, inculding clover)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped candied orange peel
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. caraway seeds (I omitted)
1/2 c. whole natural almonds, coarsely chopped ( I omitted )

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

1. In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, honey, and salt until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until combined. Add the candied orange peel and beat on high speed for 20 seconds.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and caraway seeds.

3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the almonds. 

4. Turn the dough out onto the prepared cookie sheet, flatten, and refrigerate until firm, about one hour. 

5. On a lightly floured board, divide the dough in half. Using a little extra flour if the dough feels sticky, roll each half into a log about 14 inches long. Refrigerate the logs until firm, about 30 minutes. 

6. Position a rack in the center of you oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cookie sheet with clean parchment paper. 

7. Place the logs four inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the logs are lightly golden and slightly firm. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Turn down the oven to 275 degrees F. 

8. As soon as the logs are cool enough to handle but still warm, about ten minutes, carefully peel them off the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated bread knife, gently score the logs at 3/4 inch intervals on a 45 degree angle. After scoring, cut through each score line in one motion with a sharp chefs knife, slicing the logs into pieces.

9. Carefully transfer the cookies to a freshly lined cookie sheet browned side down and not touching one another. Bake for an additional 25 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue to bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool on the pan to room temperature. 

The biscotti will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for at least one week. For longer storage, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting. 

Biscotti (or mandelbrot or any other twice baked cookie by any other name) are one of the perfect Holiday tin cookies! They last forever, and there are so many ways to make them festive. So we’ve got you covered--sweet, savory, low fat, loaded with decadence, you name it, we’ve got it! Happy Holidays! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made: