Homemade Slider Buns

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I stopped to admire a package of the cutest little slider buns while I was grocery shopping one day and was sorry they couldn’t come home with me just because I had no use for them.

A couple of weeks later while planning to grill some quick bites for a family gathering I realized the grand kids may not have enjoyed the chicken or beef steak spiedini on the menu.

Visions of those cute little slider buns quickly came to mind, so I put together some just as cute little hamburger patties and placed them in the freezer ready to use.

For a week and a half I searched for those little buns with no success visiting all the grocery stores in my area hoping to find them.

I was so disappointed.

Those little burger patties were going to share my disappointment as well if I didn’t come up with a plan.  The plan turned out to be making my own buns and a quick search resulted in finding this uncomplicated, easy to make recipe.

Almost too cute to eat, soft, tasty and light . Slider Buns won’t be on my shopping list any time soon since they’re probably better coming from my oven.

Perfect size for the kids and the small size didn’t deter the adults from finishing them off!

Homemade Slider Buns

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. active dry yeast

1 large egg

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

3 tablespoons butter

additional egg, for brushing

sesame seeds (optional)

  1. In a measuring cup, stir together water, milk, sugar and yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Add egg and whisk with a fork to break it up.
  3.  Stir together flour and salt, add  butter and blend in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers until crumbly.
  4. Add the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients stirring until you have a soft dough.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead until smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes. (It will be stickier than regular dough; resist the urge to add too much flour, leave it tacky.)
  6. Place the ball of dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it sit for an hour or so, until doubled.
  7. Divide the dough into 20 pieces ( 10 to 12 if you want regular size  buns), shape into balls.
  8. Place a couple inches apart on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Brush the buns with a little beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes (a bit longer if you made larger buns) until golden.
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In a measuring cup, stir together water, milk, sugar and yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy.

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Add egg and whisk with a fork to break it up.

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Stir together flour and salt, add  butter and blend in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers until crumbly.

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Add the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients stirring until…

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…you have a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead until smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes. (It will be stickier than regular dough; resist the urge to add too much flour. Leave it tacky.)

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Place the ball of dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it sit for an hour or so…

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…until doubled.

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Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

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Divide the dough into 20 pieces (10 to 12 pieces for regular size buns) and shape into balls,

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Place a couple inches apart on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment,  Brush the buns with a little beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds if using,  cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.

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Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Bake for 10-15 minutes (a bit longer if you made larger buns) until golden.

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Admire these little beauties as they cool on a wire rack.

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Notes Tips and Suggestions

  • Recipe also makes 10 to 12 regular size burger buns instead of 20 sliders.
  • As in the recipes for Naan, Tortillas and Artisan Bread it will be hard to go back to store bought burger buns as well.  Thing is, you don’t have to with these user friendly recipes.
  • Although brushing sliders with beaten egg before baking is optional it creates a beautiful glossy finish and keeps the crust soft.
  • A sprinkle of sesame seeds just makes them cuter!

Easy Homemade…

maybe

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/naan/

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.com/search?q=flour+tortillas

dsc01135

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/no-knead-crusty-artisan-bread/

 

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Cherry and Cheese Lattice Coffeecake

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Cherry pie, scones, muffins, pound cake, coffee cake and cherry crisp are only some of the great recipes showcasing cherries. They’ve already appeared on the market in abundance but will disappear all too soon.

This year the sweet, delicious cherries have found their way into a cream cheese filled Coffeecake Lattice Braid.  The original recipe called for canned cherry pie filling. Perhaps if I was making this coffeecake in winter there would be more of an inclination to use the canned variety but not to use the seasonal fresh cherries would be a missed opportunity.

Here’s to my fresh cherry recipe of 2018…delicious!

Cherry and Cheese Lattice Coffeecake

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling

6 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg

1 tablespoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

cherry pie filling

Cream together cream cheese, egg, sugar, and salt.

Icing

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons water

Mix water and confectioners’ sugar together to get a smooth runny glaze.

  1. In mixing bowl, combine yeast, 1 cup flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Heat water, sour cream and butter to 120º to 130º F. add to dry ingredients.
  3. Add egg and vanilla with mixer, beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add remaining flour, knead for 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Punch down dough and divide in half.
  6. On a lightly floured surface. roll each half to a 12 x 17-inch rectangle.
  7. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  (Better to transfer at this point than after filling.)
  8. Spread half of the cheese filling lengthwise over center third of dough.
  9. Top with pie filling.
  10. On each long side, cut 1-inch wide strips, 2 inches long.
  11. Starting at one end, fold strips at an angle across filling, alternately from side to side.
  12. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching the side of the coffeecake, approximately 30 minutes.
  13. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  14. Drizzle with icing.
  15. Makes two 12 inch braids.
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In mixing bowl, combine yeast, 1 cup flour, salt and sugar.

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Heat water, sour cream and butter to 120º to 130º F. then…

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…add to dry ingredients, mix together, then….

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…add egg and vanilla.  With mixer, beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed.

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Gradually stir in remaining flour.

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Once the dough comes together knead for 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.

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Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover and…

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…let rise until doubled, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

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Punch down dough and divide in half.  On a lightly floured surface roll each half into a 12 x 17-inch rectangle. (approximately)

 

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Spread half of the cheese filling lengthwise over center third of dough.
Top with pie filling.
On each long side, cut 1-inch wide strips, 2 inches long.

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Starting at one end, fold strips at an angle across filling, alternately from side to side..

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If not drizzling with icing after baking, brush surface with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Cover; let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching the side of the coffeecake, approximately 30 minutes.

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Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

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If not using sugar glaze on top  dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar

Cherry Filling  (make your own)

about 1 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries cut in half or quarters

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

3 to 4 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

  1. Place pitted, cut cherries and water into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until cherries soften.
  3. Mix sugar and corn starch together then add to cherries.
  4. Stir constantly until the juices thicken.
  5. Cool completely, stir in almond extract (if using)
  6. Can be made up to a few days ahead.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • I was looking for a little more sweetness in this coffee cake then I realized it would be the canned cherries bringing the sweetness I was missing as well as omitting the sugar glaze on top.
  • I omitted the icing and added some thinly sliced almonds on top before the second rising.  After baking, a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar finished it off perfectly.
  • Next time I will add a little more sugar into my cooked cherry or cream cheese filling  and increase the sugar in the dough to 1/4 cup.
  • I allowed the dough to rise for one hour for the first rising as opposed to 30 to 40 minutes indicated in the original recipe.

Life is a bowl of cherries…

cherry yes

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/cherry-crisp/

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https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/cherry-sour-cream-pound-cake/

ch1

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/cherry-coffee-cake/

cmyes

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/chocolate-cherry-muffins/

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https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/fresh-cherry-scones/

 

Apple Cinnamon Baked Donuts

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One day last week I woke up with donuts on my mind.  Perhaps because they are my most favourite sweet to eat but more likely because just the day before I was going over the list of new donut recipes I’m hoping try out.

I’m determined to try each recipe I’ve saved but the recipe for Apple Cinnamon Donuts seemed the right one to start with.

The Baked Sugar Donuts previously posted turned out exceptionally well and the ingredient list for these Apple Cinnamon donuts looked promising.

If I didn’t know there was apple in this recipe I would have never guessed since the grated apple or even taste of apple is hard to detect, it just seems to disappear.  However, the apple fulfills its purpose by adding just the right amount of moistness to a fluffy, soft donut.  Could I possibly make this recipe better than it already is?

Of course, make them chocolate!

Apple Cinnamon Baked Sugar Donuts

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2/3 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup peeled coarsely grated apple

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together eggs with sugar and vanilla.
  3. Stir in grated apple, butter milk, oil.
  4. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened, do not over mix.
  5. Spray donut pans with cooking spray and fill each cavity until about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until donuts spring back when touched and lightly browned.
  7. Let cool in pan for 2 to 3 minutes then remove and place on cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Makes about 10 to 12 donuts.  If you only have one 6 cavity donut pan refrigerate remaining dough until first batch is done then clean and re-spray pan before using again.

Cinnamon Sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a medium bowl mix sugar with cinnamon, brush donuts with melted butter then dip donuts into mixture pressing lightly to adhere.

 

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In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

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In a large bowl whisk together eggs with sugar.

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Stir in grated apple, butter milk, oil and vanilla.

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Stir in flour mixture…

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…until just moistened, do not over mix.

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Spray donut pans with cooking spray and fill each cavity until about 2/3 full.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until donuts spring back when touched and lightly browned.

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Let cool in pan for 2 to 3 minutes then remove and place on cooling rack to cool completely.  In a medium bowl mix sugar with cinnamon, brush donuts with melted butter then dip donuts into mixture pressing lightly to adhere.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Donuts are best eaten the same day, they also freeze very well.
  • There’s only one problem with making them chocolate…you can’t make up your mind which of the two you like more!

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To make Chocolate Donuts I decreased flour to 1 1/4 cups and added 1/4 cup of best quality cocoa powder. I think the addition of bitter cocoa made the donut taste less sweet than the original so I brushed a very light confectioners’ sugar glaze on the tops, let it set then added a drizzle of melted semi-sweet chocolate.

 

Strawberry Coffee Cake

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There just might be an early crop of local strawberries this year.  We seem to have skipped Spring altogether and jumped right into Summer.

In celebration of this years strawberry season as in past years, I had a new strawberry recipe lined up for the sweet, fragrant local berries on the way.  The grocery store strawberries available year round in plastic clam shell containers are far from sweet and ripe.  However, the ones I purchased this week were unusually ripe and sweet enough to give this new recipe a trial run.

Light and fluffy with just the right sweetness and only made better by the layer of strawberries in the middle is how I would best describe it.  The crunchy topping is the crowning glory of this coffee cake finishing it off perfectly!

I’m anticipating those local strawberries!  Great recipe, will definitely make it again.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

Strawberry Filling

8 oz . fresh strawberries , diced (about 1 1/3 cups)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp cold water

1 tsp lemon juice

  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, cold water, lemon juice and strawberries.
  2. Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Once mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Crumb Topping

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 1/2 Tbsp butter , chilled and diced into cubes

1 1/2 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar

  1. Add 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 2 1/2 Tbsp butter to a small food processor.  . (Or cut butter into flour and granulated sugar with a pastry blender to a fine texture.)
  2. Pulse mixture just a few seconds until combined (it should still be fluffy, if you pulse to long it will become too dense). Pour crumb mixture into a small bowl.
  3. Whisk in Turbinado Sugar, set aside.

Cake

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

7 Tbsp butter , room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl: whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together softened butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in sour cream.
  5. Add dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk in two separate batches and mix just until combined.
  6. Evenly spread 1/2 of the cake batter into a greased 9 inch spring form pan and spread strawberry mixture evenly over batter layer.
  7. Dollop remaining batter by the spoonfuls over strawberry mixture and gently spread batter into an even layer.
  8. Sprinkle top evenly with crumb topping. Bake in preheated oven 50-55 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.
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In a medium saucepan whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice and strawberries.

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Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

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Once mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

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Add 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 2 1/2 Tbsp butter to a small food processor.  Pulse mixture just a few seconds until combined. (Or cut butter into flour and granulated sugar with a pastry blender to a fine texture.)

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Pour crumb mixture into a small bowl.
Whisk in Turbinado sugar, set aside.

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In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together softened butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.

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Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in sour cream.

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Add flour mixture alternating…

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with buttermilk in two separate batches and mix just until combined.

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Evenly spread 1/2 of the cake batter into a greased 9 inch spring form pan and spread strawberry mixture evenly over batter layer.

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Dollop remaining batter by the spoonfuls over strawberry mixture and gently spread batter into an even layer.

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Sprinkle top evenly with crumb topping.

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Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 50-55 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • This coffee cake can also be baked in an 8 X 8 square pan.
  • A light sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar on top just makes it prettier.
  • A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream would compliment this dessert very well.

More Strawberry goodness…

photo(2)

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/strawberry-oat-crumble-bars/

photo

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/strawberry-cream-cheese-loaf/

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https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/strawberry-cheesecake-muffins/

photo 1

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/strawberry-cheesecake-supreme/

photo

https://bayberryst.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/strawberry-flan/

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.com/search?q=strawberry+ricotta+scones

http://someoneinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2014/06/quick-strawberry-muffins.html

 

 

Peppa Pig…the Cake

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Let me introduce Peppa Pig.

I was introduced to Peppa a while ago by my youngest grand daughter and each time she comes over the TV must be turned on for another episode.  That’s why there was no question about the theme cake for her third birthday.

Easier said than done since my job is to take the image I have created in my mind and in a sense make it come to life.  Perhaps more simply said,  I had to come up with a cake that looked like the cartoon character called Peppa Pig.

Although making a theme cake can be challenging especially since I don’t consider fondant an option, as well as trying to keep food colour to a minimum, it’s worth every moment of preparation just to see a sweet, happy face.

I usually begin with a rough sketch which eventually becomes the pattern, followed by  baking the sponge and choosing the flavour of the filling and frosting.   Then the fun part…strolling the aisles of the bulk food store for all the little extras which will add character and personality.

One day while strolling those aisles I must have looked a little more perplexed and lost than usual. One of the employees asked if she could help me find what I was looking for to which I answered…a nose.

Yes, a nose for the puppy cake I was making at the time.  Since that day when they see me wandering around in there they just don’t ask.

 

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This is the closest I came to replicating Peppa in a sketch which eventually became the pattern.

 

 

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A few adjustments…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…and we’re ready to go.

Now for the cake…

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Bake 2 Jelly Roll sponges (do not roll of course.)  I removed the golden top layer of the sponge, it just peels off.  This keeps crumbs from coming off and getting into your frosting.

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Cover bottom layer of sponge with favourite filling/frosting.  I used a chocolate cream filling.

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Place top sponge and fix pattern on with tooth picks.

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With a serrated knife cut around pattern.  A small steak knife works perfectly.

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Unless you have a better use for these scraps they make a good snack or cut them into smaller pieces and make a trifle.  Just don’t throw them out!

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I’ve never been “fond” of fondant.  A good strawberry whipped cream worked perfectly…

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…for Peppa’s fair complexion.  You can find the recipe on my Ballerina Birthday post.

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On the other hand, a few dabs of red gel colour added to the strawberry cream turned out a vibrant pink colour for Peppa’s dress.  I didn’t want to use too much red colour so vibrant pink was good enough.

Oops! forgot to take a picture of Peppa’s finished dress

but I’m sure you can imagine what it looked like.

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I transferred and connected the two pieces, head and dress onto a cake board and piped mini rosettes along the edges to give the cake a finished look then added the arms and legs I had prepared beforehand.

A big thank you to the supporting members that helped Peppa 

come to life…

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2 molding wafers for her big beautiful eyes

about 5 inches of red licorice for her cheekie smile

a white chocolate disk dipped in pink candy sparkles for her rosy cheek

2 semi sweet chocolate chips to finish off her sizeable snout and…

4 brave bread sticks which allowed me to brush pink chocolate

all over them and add 2 black licorice candies to the ends for shoes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SWEET LITTLE GIRL!

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More adventures in cake baking…

doggie cake

I didn’t come home with a nose for “puppy” that day but when I got home the chocolate covered almond in the candy jar worked perfectly! After more strolling down those aisles the red lollipop seemed the best option for the little tongue

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A mini ice cream cone covered with melted white chocolate and rolled in pink candy sparkles made a perfect horn for this birthday unicorn.

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This one was easy, all this ducky needed was a pink and blue bow to celebrate a set of triplets on the way.

Bear cake

This one was to celebrate the soon to arrive special baby boy!  A bear shaped cookie mold made an easy pattern.

 

An idea, a pattern, a few recipes and a lot of love!

Fruity Yogurt Muffins

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Although bananas don’t have a best before date printed on them it’s hard not to notice when they’re about to expire.  No bananas today but the best before date on my little tubs of blueberry yogurt was clear…they were about to expire.

Throwing them out was certainly not an option.  It didn’t take long to locate a good recipe requiring a whole cup of yogurt and even better, the recipe seemed super easy to make.

Can’t think of a better way to have used the blueberry yogurt and don’t anticipate any problem with yogurt on the brink of expiration in the future.

Great results, soft, tender crumb. tasty, not too sweet and with the addition of a few fresh berries on top or mixed in makes a delicious blueberry muffin.  Now to take care of those little tubs of strawberry yogurt sitting in the fridge.

Not to worry, I know exactly what to do with them!

Fruity Yogurt Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon. salt

1 cup plain or flavoured yogurt, thinned with a little water to make it runny

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg

fresh blueberries to add in or put on top of muffins (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together together yogurt, oil and egg.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients gently stirring with a spatula adding blueberries after a few strokes if using.
  5. Mix the batter just until blended, over-mixing will make your muffins tough.
  6. Fill your prepared muffin cups almost to the top and bake for 20–25  minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Makes 1 dozen muffins.
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Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

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Add yogurt, egg. oil into a bowl and…

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…whisk together until smooth and well combined.

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Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients gently stirring with a spatula adding blueberries after a few strokes if using.

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Fill your prepared muffin cups almost to the top and…

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…bake for 20–25  minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • The original recipe instructs to thin out the yogurt with a little water. Instead, I added 1/4 cup more yogurt.
  • Four 100 ml. tubs of yogurt added up to 1 cup, I just added a fifth tub instead of thinning out the yogurt with water.
  • When a recipe states the yield of muffins to be 12, making 7 or 8 instead turn out lovely large muffins with great muffin tops.  If making larger muffins add a few minutes to the baking time.
  • I added some fresh blueberries on top before baking, next time they will go right into the batter.

 

Banana Orange Muffin Bread

 

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The overly ripe bananas sitting on my counter were destined for a good old- fashioned banana bread but bananas pair well with many other flavours so why not make things a little more interesting and flavourful.

Chocolate, pineapple, honey and coconut are just a few flavours that compliment  bananas but today these bananas were ready for a citrus twist.

Bananas and oranges, something I had never put together in banana bread before but  sounded good to me… very good.

Not too sweet with a sprinkle of light streusel on top, bold banana flavour and a lovely orange scent throughout!

Think these two flavours get along very well and will be best friends forever!

Banana Orange Muffin Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)

1   egg

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (measure then melt)

2  teaspoons orange zest

1/3 cup orange juice

Streusel

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon orange zest

  1. For streusel, combine butter, sugar, flour and orange zest in small bowl; mix with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 9 x5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil.  For easy removal of loaf place a strip of parchment paper on the bottom of loaf pan.
  3. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl, add orange zest.
  4. Into a blender add bananas, egg, melted butter and juice, mix well.
  5. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Place batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle streusel over top.
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Let rest in pan for 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on rack.
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For streusel, combine butter, sugar, flour and orange zest in small bowl; mix with pastry blender until…

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… mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

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Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

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Add orange zest.

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Add bananas, egg, melted butter and juice into blender and mix well.

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Add banana mixture to dry ingredients; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.

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Place batter into prepared loaf pan and.
sprinkle streusel over top.

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Bake 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let rest in pan for 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on rack.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • The loaf I made was ready in 30 minutes, perhaps because a slimmer, longer loaf pan was used (11 x 4 inches). If using a 9×5 inch pan check at 30 minutes then bake longer as needed.
  • The batter seemed a little thick so I added about 3 tablespoons more orange juice. Perhaps another 1/4 cup of banana would have worked as well.
  • Don’t need a loaf?  Then make muffins instead, decrease baking time time to 15 to 20 minutes, check if done at 15 minutes then continue to bake if necessary.

 

Affogato

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Well, this post is not really about Affogato but rather my new recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream. I couldn’t think of a better way to showcase it other than to drown it in dark rich espresso making it in the Italian language Affogato or drowned.

Yes, I do have… or did have a favourite Vanilla Ice Cream recipe but after so many years this new recipe has taken its place. The ease of making it and excellent results in creaminess far surpass the previous recipe.

The only excuse for not making homemade ice cream is not having an Ice Cream Maker and you know that’s not quite true if you’ve made the Lemon Ice Cream recipe previously posted.

Many ice cream recipes require making a custard or bringing the milk, cream and sugar to a boil then cooling it down and refrigerating it until very cold.

The new Chocolate Ice Cream recipe posted several weeks ago just requires mixing the ingredients together and refrigerating until cold. I can’t express in words how creamy and delicious it is.  Curiosity got the better of me today and I just had to try making vanilla flavour hoping for the same creamy results as the chocolate.  My ice cream bowl lives in the freezer and is always ready for action so no delay.

I did however switch the whole milk for ten percent cream which certainly added to the creamy texture but for the minimal effort and ingredients to make this ice cream it beats any store bought, even the all-natural.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk  (or 10% cream)

2 cups whipping cream (35%)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 2 to 3  tablespoons pure vanilla extract)

  1. Make sure your ice cream freezer bowl is frozen solid, always keep in the freezer if possible ready to churn ice cream.
  2. In a bowl or large measuring cup mix together 10% cream or whole milk, whipping cream 35%, sugar and vanilla.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold.
  3. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions remembering that the colder the mixture the faster it will freeze, refrigerating overnight is best.
  4. Place ice cream in plastic freezer container in freezer until ready to enjoy.
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In a bowl or large measuring cup mix together 10% cream or whole milk, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold.

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Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions remembering that…

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…the colder the mixture the faster it will freeze, refrigerating overnight is best.

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Place ice cream in plastic freezer container in freezer until ready to enjoy.

Affogato

  1. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a cup or glass.  ( For presentation Affogato looks best in a clear cup or glass.)
  2. Pour hot espresso over ice cream to fill cup or glass.
  3. Serve immediately.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions.

  • Although Affogato is generally made with espresso coffee any strong brewed coffee should be good. (Perhaps even a flavoured coffee?)
  • Vanilla bean paste is very thick with the vanilla seeds mixed in.
  • If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to refrigerate mixture overnight place in the freezer for about 1 hour or until it’s very cold.
  • Affogato can serve as a light, tasty dessert after a large or heavy meal, especially in summer weather.
  • The weather today wasn’t much like summer but I enjoyed the Affogato just the same.  I was the only one home to eat it immediately as recipe instructs…delicious!
  • Of course you can make it with store bought ice cream!

 

Fettuccini Alfredo

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Fettuccini Alfredo is certainly not on the dinner menu very often and for good reason.  A plate of pasta smothered in heavy cream, butter and cheese is a little too rich to be served often no matter how delicious it is.

Recently I came across a recipe that could make this dish a little more calorie friendly but just as enjoyable… so they said.

The recipe suggested that cream should never be an ingredient in an Alfredo Sauce, instead, the result of an emulsion between the grated cheese, melted butter and starchy pasta water.  In my opinion it was going to be hard to beat the richness of heavy cream that makes this dish so indulgent.  But if I didn’t try I would never know.

Could this recipe possibly be good enough to replace the heavy cream Alfredo Sauce I currently make with something healthier and lighter but just as good?  Not totally convinced, I halved the recipe the first time I made it just to experiment.

Try it…you’ll like it!  We loved it!

Fettuccini Alfredo

12 ounces (about 340 grams) homemade fettuccini or other long pasta

salt

¼ cup unsalted butter

¾ cups finely grated parmigiano cheese plus more for serving

freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water.
  2. Transfer 1 cup of the cooking water into a large skillet, bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Whisk in butter a piece at a time until melted.
  4. Whisking constantly, gradually adding cheese making sure it’s completely melted in before adding more.
  5. Add pasta and toss to coat adding more pasta cooking water as needed until sauce completely covers noodles.
  6. Plate noodles and serve with freshly ground black pepper and additional grated cheese.  Serve immediately.
  7. Makes 4 medium size servings.
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12 ounces (about 340 grams) homemade fettuccini or other long pasta.

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Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water.

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Measure out the 1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces and 3/4 cups finely grated parmigiano cheese.

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Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water.

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Transfer 1 cup of the cooking water into a large skillet, bring to a gentle simmer.
Whisk in butter a piece at a time until melted.

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Whisking constantly, gradually adding cheese making sure it’s completely melted in before adding more.

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Blend well and while slowly simmering…

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…add pasta and toss to coat adding more pasta cooking water as needed until sauce completely covers noodles.

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Plate noodles and serve with freshly ground black pepper and additional grated cheese.  Serve immediately.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Alfredo sauce better adheres to the rougher surface of homemade fettuccini.  If homemade not available, store bought fresh pasta or dry egg noodles would be the next best choices.
  • For home made pasta recipe check here.  One batch makes approximately 7 ounces of noodles.  You will need 2 batches of pasta recipe to use the Alfredo Sauce measurements above.  Although the recipe calls for 12 ounces of pasta a couple of ounces more or less shouldn’t make too much difference.
  • This Alfredo Sauce would work very well over chicken tortellini.

 

If you think homemade pasta is too hard to make…think again.

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This was his second time making it…and he took the pasta home to his mom…her favourite kind!

And this was her first time at 22 months old…

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Pasta 101 at Nonna’s

 

Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls

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I’m somewhat partial to recipes that require rolling up, sweet as well as savory.

These rolls were high on my list of recipes to try out and today I took a little time out of a very busy week to relax and bake.  This may sound contradictory, but baking has a way of creating a break from a sometimes-stressful day and is most times followed by a well- deserved reward.

I have to confess, it’s take two on this recipe only because the combination of cream cheese and raspberry filling was just too good to forget about.

On the other hand the dough left a little too much to be desired since it wasn’t as soft and fluffy as I would have liked.  The tops didn’t brown well and the rolls looked under baked even though they were cooked through.

Soft, fluffy and golden, sounds like the Cinnamon Roll dough I’ve made time and time again with much success.  Why not?  I didn’t think the delicious filling would notice or even mind being wrapped in a different dough.  What a difference the switch made in  texture and overall appearance of the rolls.

These rolls are delicious, especially if enjoyed slightly warm from the oven.  A perfect dough wrapped around a not too sweet cream cheese filling dotted with tart, flavourful raspberries best describes them.

I truly enjoyed my reward today…now back to the rest of the week!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls

1 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup warm water

1 package active dry yeast (1 tablespoon)

½ cup warm milk

¼ cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons softened butter or shortening

1 egg

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Melted butter to brush on top of rolls

Cream Cheese Raspberry Filling

4 ounces cream cheese softened (1/2  8 ounce package)

2 tablespoons butter, softened

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup frozen raspberries

1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch

  1. Dissolve the  teaspoon of sugar in the warm water then add the yeast, stir and let stand until frothy.
  2. Into a bowl add lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, butter, egg and yeast mixture.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and beat with an electric mixer until dough begins to come together.
  4. Gradually stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. (start by adding 3/4 of the remaining cup of flour stirring it in with spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Turn onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and springy. (Add remaining 1/4 cup of the flour while kneading if needed)
  6. On a lightly floured surface cover dough with plastic wrap then a tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  7. In the mean time place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and beat together until smooth..
  8. Roll dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle spread cream cheese mixture evenly over dough.
  9. Place frozen raspberries in a wire mesh sieve and sprinkle with corn starch shaking off excess.
  10. Sprinkle raspberries evenly over cream cheese layer.
  11. Starting at the shortest end of the dough, roll tightly and pinch edge to seal.
  12. Cut roll into 9 equal pieces and place almost touching in a greased 12 inch round pan or an 11×7 inch rectangular pan..
  13. Cover and let rise until doubled (1 to 1½ hours.)
  14. Brush tops with melted butter.
  15. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
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Dissolve the teaspoon of sugar in the warm water then add the yeast, stir and let stand until frothy.

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Into a bowl add lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, butter, egg and yeast mixture.

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Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and beat with an electric mixer until dough begins coming together.

e

Gradually stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. (Start by adding 3/4 of the remaining cup of flour stirring it in with spatula or wooden spoon.)

f

Turn onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and springy. (Add remaining 1/4 cup of flour while kneading if needed)

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On a lightly floured surface cover dough with plastic wrap then a tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

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In the mean time place cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and …

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…beat together until smooth.

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After 20 minutes.

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Roll dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle and…

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… spread cream cheese mixture evenly over dough.

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Place frozen raspberries in a wire mesh sieve and sprinkle with corn starch shaking off excess.

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Sprinkle raspberries evenly over cream cheese layer.

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Starting at the shortest end of the dough, roll tightly and pinch edge to seal.

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Cut roll into 9 equal pieces and…

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…place almost touching in a greased 12 inch round pan or an 11×7 inch rectangular pan.
Cover and let rise until doubled (1 to 1½ hours.)

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Brush tops with melted butter.

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Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Half the Cinnamon Roll dough recipe was used to make these sweet rolls instead of the original dough recipe.
  • These Cream Cheese Raspberry Rolls are not too sweet and a light drizzle of glaze can be a good addition if desired. Add enough milk to 1 cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar to make a smooth glaze.
  • Raspberries are highly perishable and usually quite expensive to buy so minimal waste is always preferred.  When only a few berries are left over or after picking out those overly soft or less than perfect berries (not the moldy ones) , even if there are only 2 or 3 freeze them individually on a small tray.  When frozen add them to a small freezer bag.  Before you know it you’ll have enough to use for a favourite recipe.  I did!

More Roll-Up Recipes (I wasn’t kidding)

Pinwheel Cookies

Cinnamon Rolls

 Ice Cream Roll,

Raspberry Coconut Dark Chocolate Scones

Apricot Scone Wreath

Chicken Thigh Roll Ups,

Beef  Steak Spiedini

Chicken Spiedini

Polpettone al Sugo

Stromboli

Chicken Thigh Roll Ups

Apple Pie Scones

Peach Rolly Polly