Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that makes a normal day just a little extra special. We love to celebrate with a visit from the leprechaun and a festive meal. Often we’ll serve this Irish Soda Bread to accompany our dinner and some years we choose to make these cloverleaf dinner rolls. We love them for any special meal, though they are especially fun on St. Patrick’s Day. Shaped like a clover, three little bread balls are set in a muffin tin to rise and create the perfect, fluffy, pull-apart dinner roll. Cloverleaf rolls are tender and would be a tasty addition to your March 17th. 

Honey and Oil

One of my favorite tips whenever I’m using a recipe that calls for both honey and some kind of oil or melted butter is this: Pour the oil (or butter in this case) in first, then use the same measuring cup for the honey. In the case of this recipe I melt the butter in a liquid measuring cup and then add the honey to the same measuring cup. The honey slides right out and doesn’t stick to the measuring cup.

Bread Flour or All Purpose Flour?

Bread flour really gives these rolls a nice texture. The exterior is chewy and the rolls bake up nice and tall. I recommend getting your hands on a bag of bread flour if you can. If you only have all purpose flour, go ahead and use it, but the rolls might not rise quite as much. Adding about a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to the all purpose flour is a good substitute for bread flour in this recipe. And if you don’t have vital wheat gluten, check out this post that tells you all about why you need it in your kitchen.

Eight Minutes of Kneading

One of the keys to good bread and dinner rolls is in the long kneading time. You can knead this dough by hand, but it will be an arm workout. I like to use a Bosch Mixer (affiliate link) or a Kitchen Aid (affiliate link) stand mixer. Any mixer that is fitted with a dough hook should work. When I mix bread dough, I add flour just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Pinch a piece of dough off, roll it into a ball and notice if you have just a bit of sticky residue left. These are clues that you can stop adding flour. After I’ve determined that the amount of flour is correct, I’ll set a timer and let my mixer go for about 8 minutes. Doing this develops the gluten strands in the dough. These gluten strands are what will trap the gases from the yeast and give your rolls a beautiful shape. If you want to improve your bread skills, start with kneading the dough for a good eight minutes (ten to twelve minutes if you are doing it by hand).

Shaping Dough into Large Rolls

After the dough has risen, it is ready to be shaped. This recipe makes twelve large rolls. If you’d like to make them a little smaller or even four-leaf-clover shaped, cut the dough into more pieces. Separate the dough into twelve (or more) equal-sized pieces. Taking a piece at a time, cut it into three equal-sized balls. Place each ball into the cup of a lightly greased, non-stick muffin tin (affiliate link). Let the dough rise until puffy and just over the top of the muffin tin before baking.

Festive St. Patrick’s Day

If you really want to get festive with these, you could brush the top with a little bit of green-dyed egg wash, like I did with these pumpkin-shaped rolls in October. They would be a lot of fun for a green-themed meal. With or without the green dye, I hope the leprechaun shows up at your house so you can create a little St. Patrick’s Day magic with these cloverleaf dinner rolls.

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

Light, fluffy and tender, these cloverleaf dinner rolls are a fun take on a traditional roll. Easy to pull apart and delicious for any dinner or fun to make for St. Patrick's Day.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs
Course Bread, rolls
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk, warmed temperature of baby's bathwater, see note
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2-4 cups bread flour see note
  • melted butter for topping

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, instant yeast and honey. Drizzle in the melted butter and add the salt.
  • Turn on the mixer and add three cups of bread flour, a cup at a time. Knead together and continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough moves away from the sides of the bowl and you can pinch off a piece, roll it up in your fingers and have just a little bit of sticky residue left on your fingers. More tips for checking the readiness of your dough here.
  • Knead the dough for 8 minutes. I like to set a timer to make sure my dough gets the full eight minutes. This helps develop the gluten strands in the dough which gives a better crumb, rise and texture to your bread.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise about an hour or until doubled in size. The warmth of your kitchen will impact how long it takes for the dough to rise.
  • Lightly grease a muffin tin (affiliate link) with cooking spray.
  • Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a countertop and cut into twelve (for large rolls) or sixteen (smaller rolls) pieces. Take each dough piece and cut it into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place the three balls into one cup of the muffin tin to create a cloverleaf shape. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough until all of the muffin cups are filled with dough.
  • Cover and let rise 45 minutes to an hour until puffy and about doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-22 minutes.
  • Top with melted butter as they come out of the oven. Enjoy!

Notes

Milk: 2% or whole milk is best in this recipe. If microwaving milk, warm it in 20-30 second increments, stir the milk and check the temperature in the middle of the milk (it can sometimes be hotter than the edges). The temperature of the milk should be warm, not hot. Milk that is too hot will kill the yeast. 
Bread Flour: These rolls are best made using bread flour. If you don’t have bread flour you can use all purpose flour and add 1 Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to help increase the protein content and texture of your bread.
Amount: This recipe makes 12 large rolls. If you want the rolls a little smaller, make 16 rolls and bake for a minute or two less.
Keyword Clover, Dinner Rolls, St. Patrick’s Day

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Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake

My family has shopped at Costco since I was a child. I was actually brought home from the hospital to Kirkland, Washington (Costco’s headquarters city) where my parents lived at the time. That name may sound familiar to you if you’ve shopped at Costco, because Kirkland is the “Costco” store brand. My grandma used to buy us Costco muffins (you know those giant muffins that are more like cake than muffin?!) and I would always, always pick blueberry. I love the taste of the tart blueberries mixed with a sweet muffin. The minute I cut into this sourdough blueberry crumb cake I had a childhood flashback to those Costco muffins. This cake is thick and full of blueberries. It also has considerably less sugar than a Costco muffin and is jam-packed with tart blueberries. The crumb topping takes it over the top and had me coming back for “tastes” throughout the day. If you are also a fan of blueberry muffins, you’ve got to try this sourdough blueberry crumb cake.

Jump to Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake Recipe

Sourdough Discard or Sourdough Starter?

If you’re new around here, you may not know that I love baking with sourdough. I’ve got a whole bunch of recipes that use sourdough discard and sourdough starter. Because I refresh my sourdough starter often, I end up with quite a bit of leftover discard in my fridge. I don’t like this discard to go to waste, so I find muffins, waffles, crackers, pretzels and breads to put it into. The sourdough discard enhances the flavor and creates less kitchen waste. Not all sourdough discard is created equal, though. The longer the discard sits in your fridge, the more fermented and sour it will taste. If you like this flavor in your baked goods, use discard that is older. For a more mellow flavor, use discard that is only a day or two old. If you love baking with sourdough but don’t want any sour flavor, use bubbly sourdough starter instead of the discard.

Fresh or Frozen Blueberries?

My local Kroger had a great deal on blueberries this past week, so I used fresh blueberries in this sourdough blueberry crumb cake. The fresh blueberries gave this crumb cake delicious flavor. If you can, I recommend using fresh blueberries. If fresh isn’t not an option, you can use frozen blueberries. Truthfully I don’t always have fresh blueberries on hand and more often than not have a bag of frozen berries available. Toss the frozen blueberries in 1-2 teaspoons of flour, lightly coating them before stirring the berries into the cake mixture. This helps so they don’t all fall to the bottom of the cake and will be more evenly dispersed throughout. I’ve made this sourdough blueberry crumb cake with fresh and frozen blueberries and it’s delicious both times. The frozen blueberry cake did take a little more time to bake, so be prepared to add on 5-10 minutes of bake time if you use frozen blueberries.

Blueberry Crumb Topping

One of the things that sets this cake apart is the delicious crumb topping. Melt the butter, add in the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon until you get a thick and crumbly topping. Use your fingers to sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top of the cake. I also like to dot the top of the cake with a few more fresh blueberries, pressing them in between pieces of crumb topping so that there is blueberry in every bite. Once this crumb topping is baked up, it makes the perfect sweet, crumbly crust. My four year old could be found sneaking pieces of crumb topping all. day. long. And I don’t blame him. It is GOOD!

Baking the Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake

Sourdough blueberry crumb cake takes a little over an hour to bake. It bakes up nice and tall and can be cut into 16 good sized pieces. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the crumb cake for a little over an hour. I like to check on the cake after about 55 minutes (oven temperatures can vary). If the cake is jiggly in the middle, keep baking for another 10 minutes. I’ve found that my cake needs about 65-75 minutes to bake all the way through. If you are using frozen blueberries it may take a little bit longer than if using fresh blueberries.

I love this sourdough blueberry crumb cake. It is not overly sweet (you can add a little more sugar if you want a sweeter cake) and the blueberry really shines through. The cake rises beautifully and would be perfect for a family brunch, to pull out as a special after-school snack or even to drink with a cup of tea on a snowy day. If you are a blueberry muffin lover like me, add this recipe to your “to-make” list. It’s delicious.

Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake

Sourdough blueberry crumb cake is a lightly sweetened cake made with sourdough discard, studded with sweet blueberries and topped with a sweet crumb topping. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or a snack, this crumb cake is delicious!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices

Ingredients
  

Crumb Topping

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Sourdough Blueberry Cake

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sourdough discard or bubbly sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk see recipe notes for substitutions
  • 2.5 cups fresh blueberries see recipe note for frozen blueberries

Instructions
 

Crumb Topping

  • Melt 6 Tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, salt and flour. Mix together until it forms a moist, crumbly topping. Set aside the crumb topping for later.

Sourdough Blueberry Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • To a small bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Fluff together with a fork. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, mix together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and creamy.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix again, scraping the sides and bottom as needed until fully incorporated, light and fluffy.
  • Pour ¾ cup sourdough discard (direct from the fridge or use ripe sourdough starter) and add to the bowl. Mix together.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Pour in the buttermilk and mix until smooth.
  • Add 2 cups of fresh blueberries (reserving ½ cup for topping) to the batter and stir lightly to combine. See recipe note if using fresh blueberries.
  • Line an 8 by 8 pan (my favorite, affiliate link) with parchment paper. Pour blueberry cake mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the cake, spreading it evenly and breaking up clumps with your fingers as you go. Dot the top with the reserved ½ cup of blueberries.
  • Bake the cake for 60-75 minutes until baked through. Once the cake has stopped jiggling in the middle, take a sharp knife and stick it straight in the middle of the cake. If it has batter on it, continue baking a few more minutes. If it comes out clean, the cake is finished baking.
  • Cool and slice to serve. The cake stores well at room temperature for a day or two or can be frozen for longer storage.

Notes

Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup sour cream.
Blueberries: Fresh blueberries are best for this recipe, but frozen blueberries work too in a pinch. If using frozen blueberries, toss them in 1-2 teaspoons of flour and then gently stir into the batter. This helps the blueberries spread throughout the cake and not sink to the bottom. Using frozen blueberries may also increase the baking time about 10 minutes. 
Keyword blueberry, crumb cake, snack cake

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Fondue Two Ways: Classic Swiss and Rich Chocolate

We were babies!

Many years ago (almost fifteen if I’m being exact), I ate my most memorable fondue dinner. My husband and I were honeymooning in Europe. We had a small wedding and spent the money we would have spent on a fancy party traveling around Europe for five weeks. This was definitely one of our better decisions. One evening we found ourselves in the tiny mountain village of Gimmelwald, Switzerland surrounded by the Swiss Alps. We were traveling on a budget trying to eke out the most of our trip but when we saw fondue on the menu, we threw caution (and a whole lot of Swiss Francs) to the wind and enjoyed one of the most memorable meals we’ve eaten together. Melty cheese, gorgeous mountains and two kids in love. Definitely a moment to remember.

Jump to Fondue Two Ways Recipe

Alcohol Free Fondue

Ever since that evening, I’ve been trying to recreate our fondue experience…sans beautiful mountains and overlooking the bluegrass fields of Kentucky instead. This recipe lives up to the hype in our minds of the perfect Swiss Fondue. It uses equal parts Gruyere and Emmentaler cheese which are pricey but totally worth it. We are not the biggest fans of alcohol in fondue and find it a bit overpowering, so we like to use chicken stock in place of the traditional white wine. If you prefer the flavor of white wine, by all means, substitute that for the chicken stock. You can add a few Tablespoons of Kirschwasser for a more traditional flavor too. I think this Classic Swiss Fondue recipe is pretty perfect without the alcohol and our kids love it too.

Cheese, Cheese and More Cheese

Can you substitute other types of cheese in this recipe? You can, but it may not give you the traditional sharp Swiss flavor that we love so much. That doesn’t mean it won’t be good. If you are looking to substitute cheese, I would look for a good melting cheese. Jarlsburg, French Comte or a generic Swiss cheese can be used. A pro tip: If you are looking for one of the easiest fondue recipes ever, just pick up a block of brie cheese. Cut off the casing and melt it in a fondue pot. Not quite as flavorful as our favorite recipe but delicious just the same. We love the creaminess of the classic Swiss fondue recipe and the sharpness of the Swiss flavors with some crusty bread or apples. 

Rich Chocolate Fondue

In our family it’s not a fondue night without chocolate fondue. Our kids love dipping fresh fruit, marshmallows, muffins or angel food cake in the chocolate mixture and it makes for a very fun and memorable evening. This chocolate fondue recipe I’m sharing below does not make a whole lot of chocolate fondue. You may want to double it if you are just making it on its own. For our family, after eating the cheese fondue we don’t need a huge pot of chocolate fondue because our bellies are so full of cheese!  I love this chocolate fondue because it is downright delicious and so easy to whip up.

What to Dip

A good crusty bread cut into chunks is a must for cheese fondue. We also like cutting up apple slices to dip in the cheese. I will often set out bowls of nuts, cold cuts, boiled potatoes or other easy-to-eat foods with the cheese fondue. For the chocolate fondue I scour my fridge and pantry for fresh fruit and marshmallows. If I can’t find angel food cake or pound cake I will cut up muffins into small pieces to dip in the fondue. I love how adaptable fondue is to what I have on hand. It’s not hard for anything to taste good covered in cheese or chocolate.

Fondue Tradition

In our family, fondue has become a tradition. We like to have fondue for our New Years Eve dinner, setting goals and toasting around the table to the new year. We also eat this traditional fondue (cheese and chocolate) for Valentines Day. It’s a dinner my kids look forward to all year long. Every so often we’ll pull out the fondue set for a back-to-school dinner or some other special occasion. We love eating fondue together because it slows down the meal and lets us enjoy and create family memories together. We’ve had so many good times gathered around the fondue pot as a family; laughing and enjoying delicious cheese and chocolate fondue.

Fondue Pot

Do you need a fondue pot to make fondue? Technically, no. If you are planning to have a one-off fondue dinner, then maybe you don’t need to invest in a fondue pot. If you want to make it a yearly family tradition, I think it’s worth it! We started off with this fondue pot (affiliate link) and after using it a couple of years, upgraded to this one. We definitely prefer the Swissmar pot (affiliate link) because it heats so evenly, but the Cuisinart is a good value too. It can burn easier on the bottom, so make sure you stir your fondue every so often.

Fondue is fun and has become a wonderful tradition for our family. Our kids look forward to it every New Years and Valentines Day (and sometimes on other special occasions). We love these recipes because they are simple, special and delicious. I hope you love them too! Happy New Year!

Fondue Two Ways: Classic Swiss Fondue and Rich Chocolate Fondue

The perfect creamy and classic Swiss cheese fondue and a rich chocolate fondue for dessert. Use these two recipes for a perfect special occasion dinner!
Prep Time 20 mins
Course Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine American, Swiss
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

Classic Swiss Fondue

  • 2 cups high quality Gruyere cheese, freshly grated see recipe note
  • 2 cups high quality Emmentaler, freshly grated see recipe note
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock *substitute white wine if desired
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 loaf soft or crusty french bread cubed

Rich Chocolate Fondue

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips can substitute for your favorite chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • an assortment of items to dip ie: fresh fruit, marshmallows, angel food cake, etc…

Instructions
 

Classic Swiss Fondue

  • Grate the cheese. I sometimes use a food processor for the harder cheese and it makes the process very fast.
  • To a medium-sized bowl, add the cheese and 4 teaspoons of cornstarch. Coat the cheese in the cornstarch and mix until completely combined. Set aside.
  • To a liquid measuring cup, add the chicken stock and milk. Whisk together.
  • Heat the fondue pot, (affiliate link) and add the chicken stock and milk to the pot. Warm to a weak simmer. Then add the lemon juice and continue to simmer (weak simmer).
  • Taking a handful at a time, add the cheese to the pot, stirring constantly. Wait for the cheese to melt before adding in another handful. Continue this process until all the cheese has been added to the fondue pot.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg and pepper to taste.
  • Eat immediately by dipping the crusty bread into the fondue. Enjoy!

Rich Chocolate Fondue

  • To a fondue pot (affiliate link) or small saucepan, add the chocolate chips, heavy cream and a Tablespoon of milk.
  • Stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add a Tablespoon of milk as needed to thin the chocolate fondue. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Keep the chocolate warm as you dip fresh fruit, marshmallows, muffins or angel food cake into the chocolate fondue. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Notes:
Pre-Shredded Cheese: This recipe works best when you use block cheese that is freshly grated. Pre-shredded cheese often is coated with preservatives which means they don’t melt together as well during cooking. 
Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue: Traditional cheese fondue is made with alcohol. We prefer the flavor of the fondue made with chicken stock (and our kids do too). If you prefer, add 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine (or other alcohol) in place of the chicken stock for a deeper flavor.
Rich Chocolate Fondue: This recipe makes the perfect amount for dessert after eating cheese fondue. If you are making this recipe without eating a meal beforehand, you may want to double it.
Keyword fondue

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Homemade Snow Day Donuts

Back when I first started this blog…almost ten months ago (crazy!), I wrote about one of my favorite kid traditions on a snow day. Snow Day Donuts are the donuts that I make just about once a year. I don’t own any fancy donut equipment or even a deep fryer, so these donuts can be made using the things that I have in my own kitchen. Typically on the first snow day of a year when school is cancelled and there is palpable excitement in the air…we play in the snow, drink cocoa, make donuts and share with our friends and neighbors.

Jump to Our Favorite Snow Day Donuts Recipe

A Weird Year

This year, thanks to COVID, the kids are doing virtual school and we aren’t having friends over right now. This would have been one of those easy traditions to by-pass…but the fact that our first big snow landed on the 1st of December was too magical to miss. We mixed up our donut dough, welcomed our Elf on the Shelf, went sledding, ate far too many donuts and fit in our virtual classes for the day. Whew! And I’m glad we kept the tradition alive this year, even if it wasn’t quite the same.

Plan for about 3-4 hours

This donut dough is very good. It is light, airy and easy to work with. It does take time for the dough to rise, and the frying process takes a little extra involvement too. Plan for about 20 minutes to mix up the dough, then a rise of 1-1 1/2 hours. Cutting out the donut shapes takes another 20 minutes and then another hour rise before frying. I usually whip up the dough while the kids are putting on their snow clothes and let it rise for our first venture in the snow. Then I’ll come back in and cut out the shapes with whoever has had enough of the cold for the time being. All the kids come in for frying/topping. I have actually been eyeing a donut recipe that refrigerates the dough overnight, which I think would give an even better-tasting donut. With that said, I never know if we are going to have a snow day…it’s usually not called until the morning of, so those recipes wouldn’t work well for our snow day tradition. Instead we stick with this recipe, our tried and true favorite that is ready to fry when the kids come in from playing in the snow.

Use What You Have

I am a big proponent of using what I have in the kitchen and not buying a new appliance unless I really think I’ll use it a lot. In the case of donuts, I just don’t make them all that often. I typically make donuts about once a year…on the first snow day of the year. So I don’t have a fryer or donut cutters. I’ve found that plastic tops to water bottles work really well for cutting out the center of the donuts. I also use the lid of a canning jar to cut out the donut shape. Round cookie cutters work well too. Just make sure to press down hard.

Donut Holes, Filled Donuts and Apple Fritters

Once the dough is rolled out, it shouldn’t be re-rolled. If you want to make filled donuts, I take a little bit of the dough, roll it up into a ball and let it rise. Once it is fried, we fill them with frosting, jam or any creamy filing you want. When cutting the donuts out, cut as close together as possible to use up all the dough. I use a large cap to cut out donut holes from the scraps of dough, and when there is no more dough to cut out, with just scraps left over, I cut up an apple and make some apple fritters. The process for this is pretty easy:

  1. Break the scraps of dough into small pieces (using a knife or pulling pieces apart with your fingers so there aren’t long stringy pieces).
  2. Dice an apple (I like Granny Smith) and add it to the scraps of dough along with some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of lemon juice.
  3. Scoop handfuls of the mixture together and squeeze together, forming a ball-like shape.
  4. Set aside to rise a bit.
  5. After you have fried all the donuts, fry the apple fritters (invariably apple pieces will get into the oil).
  6. Cover with glaze after they cool just a bit.

Frying Donuts

I don’t fry very many things and guess what? I don’t use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. This goes back to using what I have. Instead I like to heat my oil up to medium heat, throw in a little donut hole and watch it. That donut hole will tell me if my oil is hot enough and ready for my donuts. It will also tell me if I need to turn the temperature up or down a little bit. If the donut hole takes forever to turn brown, turn the heat up. If it browns too quickly, turn it down. The donut hole should sizzle with little bubbles forming around it and take about 30-45 seconds to brown on one side. Once that happens, I know I can start frying my donuts. Donuts take about 2 minutes per side, then flip to cook on the other side. Be careful about adding more oil to your pot or skillet. If you add more oil, it will cool down your oil and you will need to re-heat it to the correct temperature before continuing to fry your donuts.

Glaze and Toppings

My kids’ favorite part of making donuts is the toppings. We set up different glazes and sprinkles and let the kids go to town! I have recipes listed for a traditional glaze, chocolate glaze and a maple glaze. All are wonderful on their own and all are great topped with sprinkles. I’m dreaming of topping the maple donut with crispy bacon, that glaze is so good! However you top them, these donuts are best eaten warm. For donuts that are made the same day…these can’t be beat. I hope you enjoy them on a snow day or any day that calls for a homemade donut.

Snow Day Donuts

The perfect donuts to share with friends on a snow day. Light, airy, fluffy and sweet. These donuts hit the spot with a cup of cocoa and are perfect to pile high with glaze and toppings.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 30 donuts/fritters

Ingredients
  

Donut Dough

  • 1 3/4 cup milk, warmed to the temperature of baby's bath water
  • 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening, melted or unsalted butter
  • 5 1/2 – 6 cups all purpose flour

Frying

  • 48 ounces vegetable oil shortening works well here too

Apple Fritters

  • Scraps of Donut Dough
  • 1 Granny Smith apple chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or milk thinned to your liking
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted semi-sweet is my favorite
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • pinch of salt

Maple Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
  • pinch of salt

Toppings

  • various sprinkles

Instructions
 

Donut Dough

  • Warm the milk (it should be the temperature of a baby's bath water) and pour into a stand mixer. Add the yeast and sugar. Smell for the yeasty smell that tells you your yeast is active.
  • Next add the salt, eggs and melted shortening (make sure it's not too hot so it won't kill the yeast).
  • Add one cup of flour and turn the mixer on. Continue mixing while adding flour a cup at a time until you've added 5 cups of flour total. Reserve the last cup of flour to add as needed.
  • Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it is slightly tacky to touch but clears the sides of the bowl. Check out this post for tips on how to know when the dough is ready. Add extra flour as needed (you may need up to 6 cups of flour but you may also be fine with 5 1/2 cups).
  • Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • On a very lightly floured surface (you may not need any flour at all), dump the dough out and roll out until about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Use a circle cutter or the top of a mason jar or bowl to cut out donuts. Cut out a small circle in the center of the donut and transfer to a baking sheet to rise.
  • Cut out donut holes and make apple fritters with the donut scraps if desired (instructions for the apple fritters are in the blog post).
  • Let rise again until puffy and almost doubled in size.

Frying Donuts

  • Heat 48 ounces of oil in a large pot or skillet. Keep the temperature steady and around medium heat.
  • Toss a small donut hole into the oil when you start to see bubbles and watch how long it takes the donut hole to fry. If it starts sizzling, bubbling and takes about 30-45 seconds to brown on one side before flipping it to the other side, your oil is ready to fry donuts in. If you add more oil, that will change the temperature of the oil and you will need to use another "donut hole tester."
  • Fry the donuts a few at a time for about 2 minutes per side until golden brown.
  • Remove donuts from the hot oil onto a baking rack. Let cool for a few minutes before dipping in glaze, toppings and sprinkles. Enjoy warm!

Glazing Donuts

  • For the glaze, melt together the ingredients and whisk together. If the glaze hardens before or during the process, thin out with a bit of water.

Notes

Recipe Notes:
*Donut dough should not be re-rolled to form more donuts. Instead use the scraps to make donut holes or apple fritters.
*Donuts should be glazed after they’ve had a few minutes to cool so the icing doesn’t run right off them.
*Once the donuts are fried, the oil should not be poured down your sink drain. Instead, pour it into a container with a lid and dispose of it in the trash. 
 
Keyword donut, doughnut

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Mummy Dogs

Growing up, one of my favorite Halloween festivities was the fun spread of food my mom would throw together on Halloween night. Whatever it was we were eating was always turned into some “spooky” name: “witches brew” (soup), “blood and guts” (spaghetti and meatballs), “skeleton fingers” (carrots); and we always, always had a delicious “cat bread” that my mom would make. This was a basic bread recipe that my mom turned into the shape and face of a cat. She would bake it up and then add whiskers out of dry pasta noodles and a cute face. One day, I will recreate that cat bread. Today I’m sharing my own family’s tradition, one my kids love and look forward to every year: Mummy Dogs. They are delicious, easy and a crowd pleaser.

Jump Directly to Mummy Dogs Recipe

Our Halloween Dinner Now

We don’t always have our Halloween dinner on Halloween night. In recent years we almost never eat it on Halloween night because we enjoy having a friend party before trick-or-treating on Halloween. Instead, we pick one night leading up to Halloween and enjoy a spooky dinner. This almost always includes Mummy Dogs (along with other frightfully fun foods). Mummy Dogs are basically hot dogs wrapped up in a delicious breadstick dough with ketchup or mustard for eyes. They are fun for kids to make and super, super simple. I mean, you could technically buy some dough at the store, but you won’t need to with how quick and easy this breadstick dough is…perfect for wrapping up those hot dogs and turning them into “Mummy Dogs!”

Instant Yeast

These mummy dogs will take you less than an hour to make. Yes! Less than an hour! With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a super simple and super festive fun dinner on your table for your family to enjoy. The key to this quick rise time is in the instant yeast (my favorite linked here, affiliate link). One of the beautiful things about instant yeast is that it technically doesn’t need two rises. You can throw the yeast in, shape the dough and let it rise once before baking. This is a huge time saver! These breadsticks benefit from the use of instant yeast because you mix up the dough, give it a short ten minute rest and then wrap up your hot dogs, mummy-dog style. After a quick 20-minute rise, they are ready to bake. Easy peasy!

A Little Extra Butter

Liberally butter your pan for a delicious buttery crust

Preparing the pan with a little extra butter gives these mummy dogs a crispy and delicious breadstick texture. You will be asking yourself when you can make them again…the bread is so good. Light and fluffy with a buttery crust. Soften or melt about 4 Tablespoons of butter and coat the two pans with the melted butter before wrapping each mummy dog and placing on the pan to rise.

Mummy Dogs for a Crowd

I love this recipe because it is great for a crowd if you’re having people over for Halloween dinner. Sometimes I make half the hot dogs (8) and turn the rest of the dough into “breadsticks,” just twisting them up and laying them on the baking sheet instead of making 16 total hot dogs – the dough is so good for making breadsticks.

If you’re looking for a last-minute, delicious dinner with basic ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry, look no further than these mummy-dogs. They are delicious and perfect for a special dinner or to snarf down before trick-or treating.

Mummy Dogs

A light and fluffy breadstick dough wrapped around hot dogs make the perfect Halloween dinner!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Rising Time 30 mins
Course Bread, Main Course
Cuisine American, Halloween
Servings 16 mummy dogs

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups warm water (as warm as baby's bath water)
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil or any neutral-flavored oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5-6 cups all purpose flour
  • 16 packaged hot dogs
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened or melted for the baking sheet

Instructions
 

  • To a stand mixer with a dough hook, add the warm water (as warm as a baby’s bathwater so as not to kill the yeast).
  • Add the instant yeast, granulated sugar, oil, salt, garlic powder, basil and oregano.
  • Using the dough hook, add the flour a cup at a time until the dough comes together in a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Take a pinch of dough and roll it into a ball. It should leave a little residue on your fingers but roll it into a ball. If it doesn’t roll into a ball, continue adding flour a Tablespoon or so at a time until it does. If you over flour the dough, you can add a little bit of water back in and mix it, though this should be a last resort. Check out this post for readiness of the dough if you have more questions.
  • Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes.
  • After resting for 10 minutes, separate the dough into 16 equal pieces and open a package of hot dogs (you need 16 total).
  • Butter two large baking sheets (my favorite here, affiliate link) with 2 Tablespoons of softened butter per sheet. I just plop it down on the sheet and use my hands to coat the pan in butter.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a long rope. Take a hot dog and starting at the end of the hot dog, wrap the dough around the hot dog, leaving a small gap for the eyes. Pinch the dough together at the end of the hot dog and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 15 hot dogs.
  • Cover the mummy dogs and let rest in a warm place for about 20 minutes for a quick rise. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • After twenty minutes, bake the mummy dogs in the oven for about 15 minutes until lightly golden on top.
  • Add two dots of ketchup or mustard for the eyes and enjoy immediately.

Notes

I often halve the number of hot dogs used in this recipe and make 8 mummy dogs and 8 breadsticks. Twist the breadstick dough, place on a baking sheet and bake for the same amount of time. Sprinkle with cheese or extra melted butter when they come out of the oven.
Keyword Breadsticks, Halloween, Hot Dogs

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Masa Butterhorn Rolls

I love making dinner rolls. As a kid I was always partial to butterhorn rolls, usually a dough enriched with milk, butter and eggs and then more butter added on top of the dough before rolling up in a crescent shape. What’s not to love about a really buttery, delicious dinner roll? It even made me look forward to eating my vegetables, so I could have another roll. These masa butterhorn rolls are made in the same way as my childhood originals, but with the addition of a masa pudding that gives the rolls a little more depth and makes for a little bit sturdier roll…perfect for dunking in soup, eating with some leftover Thanksgiving turkey or sopping up the gravy from your leftovers. Now I just have to decide which roll recipe I’ll be making for Thanksgiving…these are definitely in the running! Masa butterhorn rolls are sure to be a hit at your next family gathering. 

Jump Directly to Recipe for Masa Butterhorn Rolls

Masa: What it is?

Masa flour is a finely ground corn flour that you can usually find in your local grocery store. It is a very soft flour that is traditionally made from dried corn that has been pre-soaked. Masa flour is traditionally used to make corn tortillas, tamales, sometimes to thicken soups and even make special drinks in Mexico and Central American countries. If you have some masa flour (I’m liking it here, but I recommend buying it from your local grocery store for much cheaper) lurking in your pantry, now is the time to pull it out and use it in this roll recipe. 

Make a Masa Pudding

The way the masa flour is incorporated in the rolls is a little unique. You begin by warming up milk and adding the masa flour to the milk. Continue heating the milk and masa mixture together until it thickens and forms a pudding-like texture. I liked doing this process in the microwave, though you could also warm it on the stovetop. If you are using a microwave, heat the mixture about a minute at a time until you notice thickening happening around the edges of the bowl. Then mix the rest of the ingredients in with the pudding except for the yeast and flour. Make sure the mixture is warm to the touch (not hot) before adding the yeast, so it doesn’t kill the yeast. Then add the flour and knead to form the light and airy dough.

Shaping Masa Butterhorn Rolls

One of the unique things about these rolls is the addition of butter before rolling up crescent roll style. Please don’t skip this step. It adds a delicious buttery flavor to the rolls. Shaping the rolls couldn’t be easier by rolling half the dough out into a circle and then using a pizza cutter to cut the dough into eight slices. Roll the dough up from the edge of the dough to the center to form a beautifully shaped crescent roll. If you want to make them as a standard roll, that is also possible with this recipe. Forgo the extra butter, cut the dough into 16 pieces and shape into small rolls. Bake for about 14 minutes.

Perfect for a Family Dinner

Masa butterhorn rolls are the perfect roll for a special occasion. They are substantial enough for the leftover turkey sandwiches from your Thanksgiving meal but are just as good with a little schmear of jam. We like to eat a more traditional Sunday dinner and these would be great to add to our lineup of bread recipes that grace our table. This recipe makes 16 rolls. It doubles well for a larger group and these rolls freeze well after baking. I like to let them cool, then transfer to a ziplock bag and freeze. When I want to serve them again, I’ll defrost a bit and warm them in the microwave. However you choose to eat them, I hope you love them as much as we do! Enjoy.

Masa Butterhorn Rolls

Tender, buttery and delicious, these Masa Butterhorn Rolls use masa flour in the dough and are rolled with extra butter to form the perfect roll for dinner.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
rise time 2 hrs
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup masa flour
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus 4 Tablespoons softened and reserved for shaping
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 3/4- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Instructions
 

Roll Dough

  • Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove (medium heat) until bubbles form around the edges but the milk is not boiling. If using the microwave method, use a large liquid measuring cup (my favorite is this one, affiliate link), and microwave for 1 minute, check for bubbles around the edges. Continue warming in 30 second to 1 minute increments to check for readiness.
  • Once the bubbles have formed, add the masa flour to the milk and whisk together. Continue warming the masa and milk together in the microwave (one minute at a time), whisking in between minutes. If using the stove, stir continuously until the mixture thickens and forms a pudding-like texture.
  • You are looking for the mixture to thicken around the edges in the microwave. Once this happens (usually after a minute or two), whisk the masa/milk together until it forms a thick “pudding-like mixture.” If mixing on the stove, continue heating over medium heat and whisking until it forms a pudding-like mixture.
  • Cut the 3 Tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add to the warm masa pudding mixture, whisking it in until fully dissolved. Reserve 4 Tablespoons of butter and let it come to room temperature on your countertop to be used when shaping the dough.
  • Add the sugar and salt. Whisk together.
  • Add the egg. Whisk quickly to make sure the egg tempers and fully incorporates.
  • Pour the masa mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • At this point, check the temperature of the masa mixture (I use my finger…if it feels cooler than a baby’s bath water, you are good to go. If not, whisk a bit more and allow to cool down a bit). Once the mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast.
  • Start the dough hook and add a cup of flour at a time, reserving the last half cup of flour to add in increments as needed. You will know to stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer and you can take a pinch of dough and roll it into a ball in your fingers with just a little bit of dough sticking to your fingers. It’s okay for the dough to be a little bit sticky. See how to check for readiness of the dough here.
  • Knead dough for about 5 minutes. Then cover and let rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Shaping the Dough

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a countertop.
  • Pour the dough out on the countertop and cut it into two pieces.
  • Roll the first piece of dough into a large circle. Cover completely with 2 Tablespoons of softened butter.
  • Using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife), cut the dough into 8 pieces, pizza-slice-style.
  • Starting with the largest part of the dough, roll it up until it forms a crescent-style roll. Continue rolling the rest of the rolls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat this process with the other piece of dough.
  • Cover the rolls and allow to rise for about an hour until doubled.

Baking

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake rolls for 11-14 minutes (we like ours around the 11 minute mark, but you may want yours a little darker on top). Eat immediately while warm. Enjoy!

Notes

Shaping: You can also shape the dough into traditional rolls. Cut the dough into 12-16 equal pieces. Shape into a ball, let rise and bake 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees
Keyword rolls

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Puff Oven Pancake AKA: Quick Breakfast

This Puff Oven Pancake is a tried and true family favorite. It may not be a new recipe to you, but I had to post it because we love it and eat it so often. A friend in college introduced me to this “quick breakfast” as her family had called it and it has become one of my go-to breakfasts ever since. I love that it has a whole bunch of eggs in the batter which means lots of protein. It is so versatile with all the different toppings you can put on it. I especially love how easy it is for a busy morning.

Jump to Recipe for Puff Oven Pancake AKA: Quick Breakfast

Set it and Forget It: A Quick Breakfast is Served

If you haven’t gone back to school yet (like us, my kids start virtually tomorrow), this quick breakfast is the perfect back to school breakfast. It feels fancy with all the toppings but it whips up super fast. Cut up some fruit the night before, wake up a few minutes early and melt the butter in the preheating oven. Whisk up the batter (it’s only 5 ingredients), pour it on top of the melted (or even partially melted) stick of butter to bake for about twenty minutes and viola…a hot and filling breakfast is ready in no-time at all. I love how simple this is and how much my kids devour it. Win. Win.

Eggs = Protein

One of my children was a self-selected vegetarian for a long time. I think meat was a texture issue but I was always trying to figure out ways to sneak protein into our diets. I love how this breakfast is filled with eggs. Normally my kids are crying for more food an hour or two after eating a bowl of cereal but not with this quick breakfast. They are nice and full for the morning and not constantly craving snacks by 10 AM. I need them to eat hearty breakfasts this year so they aren’t snacking their way through the virtual school day.

Mountains of Pancake

This is a fun pancake to turn your oven light on for. It forms “mountains” while in the oven and puffs up really tall. You may want to double check your oven rack and move it out of the way to let this pancake expand. I’ve had best results using a 9 by 13 metal pan to get the highest “mountains.” A few minutes out of the oven and the puffiness comes back down a bit, which makes it easy to top with your favorite toppings.

Favorite Toppings

Our family’s favorite topping on this pancake is probably powdered sugar. We love topping the pancake directly out of the oven with a light coating of powdered sugar because it melts in with the butter and gets all into the nooks and crannies of the pancake. I also love dicing up some strawberries or peaches to put on top and truthfully I choose whatever fruit needs to be used up from the fridge. A small dollop of whipped cream takes this pancake over the top for special occasions too.

More Quick Breakfast Recipes

School mornings can be quick and crazy. I love my kids to eat a hot breakfast in the morning (we save cold cereal for special occasions). Some of my other favorite breakfasts are muffins (I freeze them and reheat in the morning), eggs, oatmeal, toast with cinnamon sugar on top, pancakes, waffles and french toast, all served with some type of fresh fruit or protein. I love making double batches of these recipes, freezing them and re-heating for a quick morning breakfast. All are delicious, but if you’re looking for a hot, quick, delicious, rock-star-status breakfast, give this Puff Oven Pancake a try. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Puff Oven Pancake or Quick Breakfast

This quick puff oven pancake breakfast is filled with protein and perfect for kids heading back to school.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 50/50 whole wheat and all purpose flour works well here too (may have less "mountains")
  • powdered sugar for topping
  • fresh fruit for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the butter into a 9 by 13 pan (affiliate link to my favorite pan) and place pan in the oven. Let the butter melt while you combine the other ingredients.
  • Whisk together the milk and eggs. Add the flour, salt and vanilla. Whisk until fully incorporated and a little bubbly.
  • Pour the pancake mixture directly on top of the butter in the hot pan. 
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until it has risen and forms "mountains." You may want to make sure no oven racks are above this pancake because the mounds can get large. 
  • Once the pancake is lightly brown and has risen, take it out of the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with your favorite toppings. 
Keyword Puff Oven Pancake

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie

Over the summer I’ve been visiting my parents home. Due to COVID cancelling all our summer plans, we’ve spent more time visiting, reading, playing games and baking up a storm. I’ve loved perusing through my family cookbooks from generations and have stumbled on some of my favorites from childhood. This chocolate cream cheese pie is one of them. I used to make this pie for company and Sunday dinners. The first bite takes me back. It is very rich, chocolatey and perfect to serve during the summer time because this pie is FROZEN and served cold.

A little disclaimer: 

This pie uses whipped egg whites. Raw, whipped egg white is often used in royal icing and other desserts, so I feel fine using it. If you are concerned about consuming raw egg white, you can try substituting meringue powder (affiliate link) Mix 4 teaspoons meringue powder with 4 Tablespoons water and whip to stiff peaks. Use in place of whipped egg whites in the recipe.

No Bake Recipe

One of the perks of this recipe, especially for summertime is that you don’t need to turn on your oven at all. All you need is four bowls and a mixer. That may sound like a lot, but trust me. It’s worth it! One bowl to make the cookie crust. One bowl to whip the egg whites. One bowl to whip heavy cream. One bowl for the cream cheese mixture. Mix them all together, freeze and voila…the perfect, decadent frozen chocolate pie.

Kid-Friendly 

This recipe is especially easy for kids to make. Crush up the Oreos, mix them with a little butter and press them in the pie pan. Then freeze the crust until the chocolate cream cheese mixture is ready. I give each of my kids a bowl and let them each mix a part of the recipe. Lightly mix together the whipped egg whites, heavy cream and cream cheese mixture and pour it into the pie pan. Super simple. Super delicious. 

Top with Chocolate Shavings

To top the pie we use any favorite bar of chocolate. Get out your vegetable peeler and peel ribbons of chocolate to top the pie. This is especially fun for kids to do. For some reason they seem to like it a lot more than peeling carrots or potatoes…and I don’t blame them. One bite of this pie and it will become a summer tradition for your family too.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie

Yield: One 9 inch pie

Time: 30 minute mix, Freeze 6 hours or overnight, 15 minute thaw before serving

Ingredients:

  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a favorite dark chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate bar for shavings 

Directions:

Oreo Cookie Crust

  1. Using a blender or food processor, blend the Oreo cookies until they are finely crushed. If you don’t have a blender, you can put the cookies in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  2. Mix the crushed cookies with the 4 Tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Grease a 9 inch pie pan and press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the plate, edging it up the sides to form a crust. Place the crust in the freezer until ready to fill.

Chocolate Filling

  1. Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring after every time. 
  2. Once chocolate is melted, beat in the brown sugar, softened cream cheese, vanilla extract and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip two egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Stiff peaks form when you pull the beaters out of the egg whites and they stand straight up (see recipe notes at the bottom for using meringue powder instead of egg whites).
  4. In a third bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed. 
  5. Gently stir the whipped egg white into the chocolate mixture. Then fold the whipped cream into the mixture and mix completely. Spread into the chocolate pie crust. 
  6. Using a grater or potato peeler, shave small pieces of chocolate for the top of the pie.  Freeze completely. Let the pie rest for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: If you don’t want to use raw egg white, try this recipe using meringue powder (affiliate link): Mix 4 teaspoons meringue powder with 4 Tablespoons water and whip to stiff peaks. Use in place of whipped egg whites.

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Amazing Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been searching a long time for the perfect chocolate chip muffins. I often think, “Would I want to serve these muffins to a friend or bring them to a brunch?” Sometimes I can answer yes. Other times, my kids gobble them up anyway and I move on to a different recipe. This recipe is one of those that needed to be shared. It is the kind of chocolate chip muffin recipe that everyone needs in their arsenal. One that will sell-out at a bake sale or get rave reviews at bible study…or just you know anytime when you are craving a bakery-style chocolate chip muffin. These are a little bit dangerous because they are so good.

What makes these muffins Stand out from other muffin recipes

This muffin recipe differs from a lot of recipes because it uses both melted butter and vegetable oil which gives you the benefit of both. It uses buttermilk which makes the muffin taste light (not dense and heavy). This muffin also has a small amount of cornstarch in the batter. Cornstarch, when used in small quantities, helps “soften” the flour resulting in a very tender muffin. All of these things work together to make an absolutely knock-your-socks-off delicious chocolate chip muffin.

Just a spoonful of Sugar…

Crunchy, sweet topping

This muffin recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar sprinkled on top of the muffins before baking them. You could use any type of sugar here. I chose granulated sugar for my muffins because that is what I usually have on hand. Sprinkling the sugar on top and baking it gives the muffin a crunchy, sugary crust that makes for the perfect bite of muffin.

I also love that these chocolate chip muffins do not need a liner when baking in my favorite non-stick muffin pan (affiliate link). Muffin liners are very useful when making muffins with berries, fruit that gets sticky or these cinnamon chips so the muffins don’t stick to the pan. These muffins are not overly sticky and if you have a non-stick muffin pan and you grease it with some cooking spray before putting the batter in muffin tins, you won’t need to use a muffin liner. Score!

Quick, easy and Amazing

Another thing I love about these muffins is how quickly you can make them. Then come together in about 10 minutes and only take 15 minutes to bake. You could accept an invite to someone’s house last-minute, whip these up while you’re getting ready and basically look like a rockstar in the kitchen. Or if you’re like me and need a quick after-school snack you can throw these in the oven right before the kids get off the bus and you have instant “awesome mom” status.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Time: 10 minute mix, 15 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (reserved for the top) granulated sugar 
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Waiting for the muffins to come out of the oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large liquid measuring cup (affiliate link) or small bowl. Add vegetable oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Mix in 1 cup granulated sugar and stir to combine.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. 
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir gently a few times. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and stir until just combined. A few streaks of flour are okay!
  5. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin, (my favorite one here, affiliate link) and fill tins mostly full with batter.
  6. Sprinkle the reserved 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar on top of the muffins before baking.
  7. Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 10-12 more minutes. Check that muffins are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of one and making sure it comes out clean (there may be some melted chocolate–that’s okay). Let muffins cool and enjoy!

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Press in the Pan Pie Crust with Quiche Recipe

I remember my 3rd grade year for many reasons. I developed a love for Roald Dahl books, memorized my multiplication facts, played cops and robbers at recess and I made my very first ever quiche lorraine. It may seem like a bit of a random memory to have made quiche in the 3rd grade. But I remember my mom giving me what I felt at the time was “free reign” of the kitchen to make a special dinner for my 3rd grade teacher (yes, we invited him to our house for dinner and my sister and I planned it and made it as first a third graders). At the time I felt so proud of that accomplishment, making quiche, and I have loved quiche ever since.

quiche is the best way to use up veggies

Quiche is such an easy, go-to meal where you can basically use up any vegetables, cheese and a bunch of eggs you may have in your fridge. I love to use it for my “veggie dump” meals where I basically take whatever vegetables are going to spoil soon, cut them up (sometimes sauté them depending on the vegetable) and dump them into my pie pan with a bit of eggs, milk and cheese to make a delicious dinner. I love many flavor combinations of quiche that you can change up based on personal preference or availability of ingredients, but the crust is the true constant. It stays the same and gives the quiche its delicious base.

The crust

This crust recipe is really very delicious and very easy. It doesn’t use a rolling pin or have any finicky cold water added to it to make it come together. You literally mix together some ingredients and press it in the pan. Could not be easier…or tastier! You can use this crust for any savory pie, though it won’t work well as a double crust. The nature of this recipe is to press it in a pan, not layer it on top of a pie. It would work well for quiche, apple crumb pie, chocolate pie, key lime pie, lemon pie, etc… My kids love the crust so much that they don’t even complain about all the veggies inside the quiche…they are begging for seconds of this pie crust.

When you bake this pie crust without filling in it, it will puff up a little. I don’t mind that for a quiche. It may matter if you are making a different type of pie and you will want to weigh it down with pie weights (affiliate link). When I am looking for a quick, easy, delicious dinner that is sure to impress company and use up my “almost gone” produce, this is my go-to. I love serving quiche warm or cold and it pairs nicely with a green salad or some fresh fruit. If you are looking for a little dinner inspiration or just want to make a delicious recipe, I hope you’ll give it a try.

Perfect Press In The Pan Pie Crust

Yield: One, 9 inch pie crust/quiche

Time: 5 minute mix, 25-70 minute bake depending on if you are making crust only or crust and quiche

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 oz (4 Tablespoons) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (savory crust), or up to 2 Tablespoons sugar (sweet crust)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Quiche Filling:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups veggies/meat/filling, sautéed or prepared to your liking
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I like a blend of Swiss cheese/Havarti cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Freeze the crust while your oven preheats for best results
  1. In a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, mix together the unsalted butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the flour, sugar and salt. Mix together to form a dough. 
  3. Pour the dough into a 9 inch pie plate and press into the pie plate, going up the sides and evening out the crust as best you can with your fingers. At this point the crust performs best when chilled for half an hour or more in the freezer. I often only chill it as long as it takes to preheat my oven and it works well every time.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. You can now choose to bake the crust using pie weights or bake for a shorter time using no weights. For quiche I like to bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes before adding in the quiche filling. If you want to make this crust to use for a pie, you may consider using pie weights and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, whisk together the milk, sour cream, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Sauté any vegetables or meat and season as desired. I like using bacon, sausage, chopped up ham or turkey, mushrooms, onions, spinach, etc…
  6. Once the pie crust is ready and still warm, pull it out of the oven. Layer the meat/veggies on the bottom of the crust. Top with the cheese. Pour in the egg mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until the quiche is baked all the way through.
  8. Allow quiche to come to room temperature and cool slightly to finish “setting up.” Enjoy!

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