Bread, Breakfast, Dessert

Kolaches!

00100lrPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200426113858822_COVERMy husband’s family is Czech and as such he has a huge love of kolaches. We’re talking the fruit-filled pastries, not the savory roll with sausage inside. Since I’ve been having success with my baking experiments this month I found a recipe and tried making them from scratch. They were delicious! I was so so pleased with how they turned out and start to finish they only took about two hours.

For the Dough:

  • 2/3 cup milk (2% or higher is best)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast, or instant
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • thick fruit preserve of your choice, I had strawberry

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

Warm the milk in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds until lukewarm. The target temperature is 110 degrees. Once it’s at precisely 110, add the yeast, sugar and 2/3 cup of the flour. Mix together well and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (Because I used instant yeast I mixed this together while I got the rest of the ingredients together, but didn’t wait for it to double.) In another bowl, add the melted butter. Let cool briefly before stirring in the egg yolk. Add this to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add the remaining flour, salt, and mix very well well. Next, knead the dough for 10 minutes, making sure to lightly flour the board and your hands as you go. At the end of 10 minutes, the dough will be soft, supple, and not sticky at all. Grease a bowl with cooking spray and add the dough. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (At the end of this rise, you could cover it and put it in the fridge to use the following day. It will deflate, but it’s okay).

Next, you want to evenly divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I do this by weighing the dough, and dividing it by 12. Roll each dough ball into a perfect circle (see photo). Line a 9″ pie plate with parchment paper, and arrange the dough balls in it. At this point, I press gently on the dough to make a slightly oblong shape instead of a perfect circle. Let the dough rise until doubled in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 375. Once the dough balls have doubled in size, use your fingers to make deep indentations for the fillings. Divide the fillings between the kolaches, I did 4 cream cheese, 4 strawberry and 4 strawberry cream cheese, but do what makes you happy.

Bake the kolaches for 18-21 minutes, until nicely golden brown. Use a toothpick inserted into the center kolache to ensure the rolls are done. Let cool slightly, and then tear apart and serve.

Bars, Dessert

Lemon Bars

40d0a04679d843fff0c4fa959807feadI had a friend request these lemon bars because they remind him of his mother’s recipe. They come together very quickly and are the perfect addition to a potluck or spring get together.

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the Filling:

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • powdered sugar for dusting

In a bowl, combine the flour, butter and confectioners’ sugar. Pat into an ungreased (I prefer parchment-lined) 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. For the filling, beat eggs in a small bowl. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon juice and zest; beat until frothy. Pour over the crust. Bake 25 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into bars.

Cookies, Dessert

Crispy Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

download (2)This recipe comes from the Cookies and Cups cookbook and was really delicious. I’m not usually a fan of white chocolate chips in my cookies because I feel like it makes them overly sweet, but this recipe struck just the right balance.

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and baking soda and continue mixing until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the speed to low and add the flour, mixing until incorporated. Beat in the coconut, then mix in the oats and white chocolate chips until evenly combined. Using a large (3 tablespoon) cookie scoop, drop the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers have set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert

Chocolate Chip Cookie Waffles

delish-chocolate-chip-cookie-waffles-pinterest-still002-1581106468This recipe is so extra I won’t be making it very often, but with that said, it was such a fun and unique treat for my kids. It’s basically a chocolate chip cookie cooked in a waffle maker and topped with ice cream. They are extremely filling so don’t be upset if you have to split one.

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined, then stir in milk. Stir in chocolate chips. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions on high and grease with cooking spray. Add about ½ cup of batter to center of waffle iron and cook until golden and cooked through, 2 minutes. Serve topped with ice cream and melted chocolate.

Dessert

Easy Fruit Dumplings

2295946365_d753a3a686_oI originally found this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s website and for some reason it took me a really long time to try it. The first time I made it was when we had company over for dinner and it was quick and easy to prepare. The second time was last night and my youngest preceded to ask if we could have it for dessert every night. With that kind of endorsement I knew it needed to end up here so I could access it easily and quickly. If you are serving a crowd double the recipe, but I’m posting it in the quantities as if I were making it for my family of four. This recipe would work really well with frozen/fresh peaches also.

  • 1 medium-large sized apple
  • 1 can of crescent rolls
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 6 oz Sprite

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 8 x 11 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Sprite around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

*If all you have are small apples in the fridge leave them in quarters and cut up two apples. That’s what I did last night and the ratio of apple to breading was perfect.

Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten-Free

Blueberry Crumble

downloadI found this recipe on Pinterest when I was looking for recipes that would use up my almond meal. I really liked how simple it was and it came out very similarly to a baked oatmeal so it could be used for breakfast as well.

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 maple syrup or honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat your oven to 350. Put your blueberries in a greased 8×8 pan. In a medium size bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and stir until fully combined. Pour your topping over the blueberries and bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping.

 

Breakfast, Dessert

Blueberry Ricotta Cake

Blueberry-Ricotta-Cake-4We had some ricotta in the fridge that we needed to use up so of course I immediately started looking for baking recipes that used it. I found this blueberry ricotta cake with lemon drizzle on Pinterest and was really pleased with the result. It would make a great Easter brunch cake, but I do recommend making it the day before because the flavor really stood out the second day. If you don’t have sour cream you can sub greek yogurt, which is what I did!

Cake:

  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter melted (not hot)
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest from 1 large lemon
  • 8 oz blueberries (1 1/2 cups), fresh or frozen

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9” springform pan and line the bottom with a ring of parchment. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes until frothy. Blend in melted butter until smooth. Add the ricotta, sour cream, vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat on medium speed for 1 minute or just until blended. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the top. Bake in the center of oven at 350˚F for 60-65 min or until edges are lightly browned and cake appears set. It will still have a slight jiggle in the center. (My cake was done around 55 minutes but every oven is different so just keep a close eye on it towards the end.) Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes in the pan then transfer to a cake platter. Once cake is on the cake platter, you should be able to easily slide out the parchment from under the cake. To make the glaze, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice, adding more juice or sugar to get the consistency you want. Drizzle over the warm cake. At this point the original recipe said serve, but I would let it cool completely and store in the fridge to serve the next day.