Posted in Baking, Breakfast & Brunch, Entertaining, Kid Approved, tagged biscuits, brunch, Bundt pan, caramel, houseguests, sweets on August 14, 2016|
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If you’ve been a morning guest in our home, chances are your coffee was as black as frozen hockey pucks and you’ve thrown dietary restraint to the wind by pigging out on warm, gooey butterscotch monkey bread.
Once in a while, I surprise my lovely friends and their kids and give them monkey bread at hockey games. And if you look closely on the bench by my purse, I even have a little pan for my favorite #6 after his game.
My recipe has evolved over the years to include butterscotch pudding mix and more biscuit dough. I’ve even driven 12 miles one way to buy the pudding in the morning because it’s that much better with it.
I don’t only make monkey bread for houseguests. It is best eaten when it’s warm so my kids are experienced at dishing it into plastic containers for road food, like today as she headed off to work. Some houseguests, you know who you are Zach, won’t eat any until they’re in the car.
No houseguests? Make Flying Solo Monkey Bread.
Gooey forkful wishes,
Butterscotch monkey bread
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 small box (3.5 oz.) cook & serve (not instant) butterscotch pudding and pie filling
1/4 cup sugar
2 generous teaspoons cinnamon
4 tubes (7.5 ounces each) refrigerated biscuit dough
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together. Whisk until bubbly. Turn off heat.
- In a separate medium bowl stir together dry pudding filling, sugar and cinnamon.
- With kitchen scissors, cut each biscuit into four pieces, letting them drop directly into pudding mixture. Every six biscuits or so, toss pieces around to coat fully and drop into Bundt pan.
- When half of the biscuits are in the Bundt pan, drizzle a few tablespoons of the caramel mixture onto the coated biscuit pieces.
- Finish cutting all the biscuits. Evenly pour the caramel mixture over the pieces.
- Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a large baking sheet and lift Bundt pan off.
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Posted in Baking, Cheesecake, Dessert, Entertaining, Holiday, tagged apple cider, boiled cider, caramel, carmel apples, cheesecake, cream cheese, dessert, entertaining, fall baking, holiday baking, Thanksgiving on November 4, 2015|
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You’ve flipped your paper calendar to November, there’s a gallon of apple cider in your fridge, “A Partridge in a Pear Tree” is chirping on Pandora, and you’re pinning unrealistic menu and holiday decorating to-dos as if Pinterest hands out gold medals. And now you will fall asleep at night counting tiny triangles of caramel apple cider cheesecake.
But since cheesecake doesn’t fall from trees, this is a realistic dessert to pin to your Thanksgiving Meal board. You will impress your guests or hosts with a cheesecake flavor they’ve likely never tried, and you get to make it well in advance of your dinner because you can refrigerate cheesecake for seven days and you can freeze it for up to six months.
If you are a cheesecake novice, this is an easy enough cheesecake recipe for you. I’ll share my same tips as I did a few days ago in Don’t let cheesecake scare you: start with a recipe easier than monster cookie dough cheesecake:
- Bring ingredients to room temperature. Using room temperature ingredients and adding the eggs last, and not overbeating once you add them, are the secrets to making cheesecake. Simple as that.
- Plan to be at home for a few hours. (But you can even run errands while the cheesecake cools.)
Caramel apple cider cheesecake
1-1/2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter (smooth, nut chunky)
1/2 cup boiled cider (or use this recipe from Midwest Living to make your own boiled cider)
1-1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
Put it all together
- Preheat oven to 350°. For a 9-inch springform pan, grease the springform pan with baking or cooking spray. For a 9-inch square baking pan, line with parchment paper or pan lining paper leaving extra paper hanging over the edge to use as a handle to lift the cheesecake out.
- Combine the crushed graham crackers and melted butter in a small bowl. Stir well. (Or combine in a food processor.) Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of pan. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese on medium-high speed until creamy throughout, with no chunks or pieces. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times while mixing. This will take approximately 3-4 minutes. This only works if the cream cheese is at a soft, room temperature consistency.
- Add the sugar to the cream cheese mixture and beat on medium-high speed for a few minutes until sugar is well combined and the texture is creamy.
- Drop the apple butter and apple pie spice in and stir lightly. Pour in the boiled cider and mix on medium just until combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low just until combined. Turn off the mixer and gently scrape down the sides of the bowl after each egg is added. Do not overbeat.
- Gently pour the filling into the prepared crust. With a spoon or fork, drizzle the caramel all over the top, trying not to drop big globs on the cheesecake. With a knife, swirl the caramel into the cheesecake, but only near the top of the batter, don’t get it very deep.
- Bake at 350° for approximately one hour and 15 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown and the center is just set. Turn the oven off and crack the oven door open slightly. Let the cheesecake completely cool in the oven for two hours. (You can run your errands now.)
- Once cool, run a knife between the pan and the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides, then cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan or remove from square pan by lifting the edges of the parchment paper. To slice, run a large knife under hot water and dry before making each cut to keep the slices smooth and free from crumbs.
Keep cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to seven days. If you want to freeze the cheesecake or slices of cheesecake wrap tightly in foil or seal in freezer bags for up to six months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and at room temperature for 2 hours or at room temperature for three hours.
If you want to bake this cheesecake in 4-inch springform pans as I have pictured, lower the oven temperature to 300° and bake approximately 40-45 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown and centers are just set.
If you want to get fancy, serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Sweet fall wishes,
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Popcorn is a healthy snack option; not the way movie theaters douse it with hot, greasy golden liquid mimicking butter, but remove the blanket of grease and it’s a guilt-free food to mindlessly munch while watching the latest Hollywood flick. Of course every savory snack should be balanced with a sweet snack so why not pair it with caramel popcorn?
If you’re watching from your couch, not a germy reclining theater chair, skip the seeds and hulls by making your own sticky sweet and salty mix using puff corn cereal. And toss in hot tamales or cinnamon Red Hots® candies.
If you go out for movie night, this brings up a moral question. Is it OK to bring a bag of homemade caramel cashew corn puffs into the movie theater if you buy an extortionate $12 box of hot tamales or Red Hots from concessions?
Caramel Cashew Corn Puffs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
7 cups corn puff cereal (I use Corn Pops®)
2 cups salted cashews
1-2 cups red hots candies or hot tamales candies (optional)
- Preheat oven to 225°.
- Mix cereal and cashews in a large bowl.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup; boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Drop in baking soda and stir well.
- Pour caramel mixture into cereal and cashew mixture. Stir to coat thoroughly.
- Spread cereal mixture onto two baking sheets lined with foil or parchment paper.
- Bake at 225° for one hour, stirring around every 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool the caramel corn on sheets of wax paper.
- Stir in hot tamales or cinnamon Red Hots candies. Store in airtight container for one week.
Sticky blockbuster wishes,
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Not everyone cooks for a family of four. Or five. When it’s just you on a cozy Saturday morning and you crave the nostalgic waft of cinnamon drifting from the kitchen, a small batch of monkey bread with warm caramel seeping down the sides will appease.
One tube of biscuit dough and a few sweet ingredients and you can’t even take a shower in the time it takes to bake them.
Bake in mini pie tins, 4″ springform pans, mini loaf pans, one loaf pan, cookie sheet, mini muffin tin, or any other small oven-proof pan.
I used mini pie tins – three of them – and I’m glad I baked them on a cookie sheet because the caramel oozed over the top. Next time I’ll still only make three, but I’ll drizzle some of the caramel in between layers instead of dumping it all on top. You might like it better in four.
I confess, two of us ate this batch. Now go take your shower.
Sweet Saturday wishes,
Flying Solo Monkey Bread
Serves 1 or 2 people depending on how much you want to share
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (7.5 ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
- Grease 3 mini pie tins or whatever smaller pan you choose to use.
- Melt butter and brown sugar together. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Stir together white sugar and cinnamon.
- Cut each piece of biscuit dough into four chunks and drop into the cinnamon and sugar. Lightly toss around until each is completely coated.
- Toss dough into pans, using equal amounts in each pan if using more than one. Pour some of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits before all of it is in the pan.
- Once all the biscuits are in the pan(s), drizzle the remaining caramel over the biscuits. Place pan(s) on cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350° until top of biscuits are slightly crispy. For mini pie tins, that’s approximately 12-14 minutes. Do not over bake. For one loaf pan, it may take approximately 20-22 minutes.
- Remove from oven and turn pan(s) upside down onto plate, remove pan, scrape the excess caramel onto the monkey bread.
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