Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon (2)

I wanted to wish my friend Shelby from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch a Happy Birthday today!  You might recall at the beginning of this month when I participated in my last Secret Recipe Club assignment, I got to make something from Shelby’s blog.   And at that time, I decided to go all out and throughout the month since getting my assignment, instead of making one thing, I cooked and baked from recipes on Shelby's blog and made a dozen things instead of just one.  So I wanted to post another one of those recipes today in her honor. ; ) 

Who can resist a cinnamon roll?  Not my family.  Shelby’s cover photo on her blog are these cinnamon rolls.  It seemed wrong to not make them since they were right there every time I turned to her blog and seemed so right to try these because I knew they would be a big hit here.  While eating them, Sam could be heard saying, “These are the BEST cinnamon rolls ever.”  While that makes me feel a little sad because I already have a tried and true family favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls that I’ve been making forever, these ARE really good.  They look awesome and are huge, which is what makes them most like a Cinnabon roll. 

This Cinnabon clone recipe isn’t too far off from the size of ingredients of mine when I usually halve it.  But the reason they are like a clone is because the recipe only makes eight rolls!  I’ll definitely make these again because the boys all really liked them.  I made a few small changes (I used 2% milk instead of almond milk and butter instead of margarine) to the recipe Shelby posted, so I’ll post mine here. 

Clone of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch

For the rolls:

1 cup warm milk (I used 2%, you could use any kind you’d like)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup butter, melted

4  1/2 cup bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2  1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

2  1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, softened

For the icing:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons milk

Put the milk, eggs and melted butter in the bowl of a mixer.  With the dough attachment, mix together.  Add the bread flour, salt, sugar and yeast (adding the yeast last).  Let the mixer stir the mixture together on low until all combined into a dough.  With the mixer set to about medium speed, knead the dough for 5 minutes.  Turn off mixer and let the dough stand for 10 minutes.  Turn mixer back on and knead for another 5 minutes.  Put the dough in a bowl that is lightly greased and cover it with plastic wrap.  Let rest in warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into about a 16-21 inch rectangle.  Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup softened butter.  Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, then cinnamon.  Roll up dough and cut into 8 rolls.  (I rolled from the short side of the dough, but you could roll the long way and get even bigger rolls.)  Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.  Cover and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake rolls for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  While rolls are baking, beat together 1/4 cup butter, powdered sugar,  salt, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Add a little more milk until it is the consistency you want.  When the rolls are somewhat cooled, spread the icing over them.  Serve! 

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon

Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Shelby!  I’m sure you will, since you get to be with your boys!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Peach Mango Cinnamon Ice Cream, Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free

Peach Mango Cinnamon Ice Cream, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free

I made this Peach Mango Cinnamon Ice Cream, though it’s dairy free (made with coconut milk) and instead of sugar I used raw honey.  It might not be all that pretty, but it sure is tasty!  I have made peach mango “ice cream” before, but this one is a little different. 

I had recently bought some of those fruit pouches, that are perfect for kids lunch boxes.  My boys really like them.  Apparently their favorite is the plain applesauce or applesauce with cinnamon.  But I’ve got some of the other flavors here and there to see what else they might like.


Apparently these Fruit and Veggie ones from Del Monte are not a favorite.  The boys weren’t eating them.  I kept seeing them in the pantry.  They are all real fruit with juice and veggies added.  Peach mango, hmmm?  I checked to see what veggies were in them and it’s just a little pumpkin and carrot juice.  Ding!  These needed to be put to use.  This dairy free ice cream was created using seven pouches.  Here’s the recipe.  Get a box of them and try it out. 

Peach Mango Cinnamon Ice Cream, Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

7 Del Monte Peach Mango Fruit + Veggie Squeezers (1 Box is 8 pouches, you could use all 8)

1/4 cup raw honey

1 can lite coconut milk (or regular is fine, I just had some lite on hand)

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste—I added 1/2 teaspoon, but ended up putting in a bit more)

couple pinches of fresh nutmeg

Put all the fruit and veggie mixture from each pouch in a large bowl.  Add the honey and whisk to combine.  Whisk in the coconut milk, then add the almond extract, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk until all combined.  Pour the mixture into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker and church according to manufacturer instructions, about 20 minutes.  Serve ice cream soft serve immediately or put in an airtight container in the freezer.  To serve frozen ice cream, let sit on the counter for 15 minutes for easier scooping.

Peach Mango Cinnamon Ice Cream

Peach is definitely the dominant flavor in these pouches and in the ice cream.  The cinnamon is a perfect autumn addition.  You’ll love it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chocolate Fudge Cookies—Gluten Free

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Who said gluten free can’t be good?  These cookies, while a bit of a splurge for me, were heavenly and so worth it!  I often change up lots of things in a recipe, like replacing the butter with coconut oil, using coconut sugar for granulated sugar, and using gluten free flour instead of all purpose flour.  This time, since it wasn’t that much butter, I left the butter.  I also used organic cane sugar, which is still a cheat for me, but it made these so good.  I won’t make cookies quite like this very often, but these sure made for a heavenly chocolate treat for a few days when I did make them. 

The recipe I adapted these from is on Anna’s blog, Cookie Madness.  She received the recipe from someone named David who told her these were the best cookies he’s ever had.  They looked so good.  When she mentioned that he told her they were also good gluten free, I knew I had to make them.  So glad I did.  These will be a definite splurge for me when I make them again. 

For the chocolate, which is melted with the butter (and I must say, that sure is a heavenly scent-chocolate and butter melting), I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips, which are dairy, soy and nut free and made with evaporated cane sugar.  So really, these are a healthy treat.  Right?

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Chocolate Fudge Cookies, Gluten Free (optional), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

8 ounces Enjoy Life chocolate chunks (or any chocolate you choose)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons gluten free flour blend (or all purpose flour)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or any chocolate chips)

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the top of a double boiler, add the 8 ounces of chocolate and the butter and melt it over simmering water.  (This can also be done in a microwave safe dish in the microwave set at a lower power level, stirring every 30 seconds).  Let the chocolate mixture cool slightly.  Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until thick and pale.  Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Stir it into the chocolate mixture.  Fold in the extra chocolate and nuts.  Let the batter sit until it’s completely cooled, about 15 minutes, but the batter can also be chilled for 30 minutes or so.  Using a medium sized cookie scoop or a tablespoon, put the cookie dough balls onto the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cookies

You know you want a bite!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ann Romney’s Peanut Butter Oat M&M Cookies and My Gluten Free Version of Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ann Romney's Peanut Butter Oat M&M Cookies

Over the weekend I made Ann Romney's M&M Cookies, which I’ve made before (linked here).  I made them for a family get together but I made a few slight changes and wanted to post my version of the recipe.  Though you can find the recipe on my first link here to Family Circle Magazine that has the recipe posted.  As well, you can find the recipe in Ann’s wonderful cookbook, The Romney Family Table.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I sure love Ann and her family and all that they stand for in life.  Not to mention, she is an LDS mother of all boys who has MS—we are twins! ; )  Though I would die if my husband ever decided to run for president!

For this recipe, I used less sugar and I added salt.  I also used milk chocolate chips, though her recipes doesn’t say which kind, she probably uses semi-sweet.  The reason I decided to make these cookies was because I had a bag of mini M&Ms to use.  These came out a little thicker than the first time I made them, which is actually what I wanted and worked because I used less sugar.  Sugar melting in a cookie is one of the things that make them spread more.  Everyone who ate the cookies at the family gathering said they were great!  I felt a little jealous that I didn’t get to eat one.

Ann Romney’s Peanut Butter Oat M&M Cookies, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (not packed) light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1  1/2 cups peanut butter (I used smooth, Ann uses crunchy)

1 tablespoons light corn syrup

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4  1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup mini M&M’s candies (or regular sized ones)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, sugars and corn syrup.  Beat until well combined.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Add the baking soda, salt and oats and mix until well combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms with a spatula.  Drop dough (with a cookie scoop about 2 tablespoonsful) onto baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between each.  Bake for about 14 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Ann Romney's M&M Cookies

I decided these cookies would and should be made gluten free (after all, they don’t have flour in the first place).  So I made some for me!  I used coconut oil instead of butter.  I also used coconut sugar and a little organic brown cane sugar instead of granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Raw honey replaced the little bit of corn syrup.  Gluten free oats and organic natural peanut butter along with some Enjoy Life chocolate chips rounded out my version.  Yay, they’re good!

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup organic cane brown sugar

3/4 cup organic natural peanut butter

1/2 tablespoon raw honey

1  1/2 large eggs (for 1/2 an egg, whisk the egg then measure out 2 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2  1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, coconut sugar and brown sugar.  Mix together well.  Add the peanut butter and honey.  Stir together until well combined with a spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Fold in the oats, baking soda and salt.  Next fold in the chocolate chips.  Scoop dough onto baking sheets.  Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown.  Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 18 cookies.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Happy me!  Happy you if you make either one of these cookies!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Butter—No Sugar Added

Apple Butter 9-9-14

If I wasn’t such a lady, I’d have eaten all 32 ounces of this apple butter by myself.  Who says apple butter has to be for spreading on bread?  I don’t eat bread anyway, or at least I don’t have any gluten free bread right now.  I’m sure it’s delicious on bread, but try not to just spoon too much of it in your mouth straight from the pot.

This couldn’t be any easier to make, the hardest part (though it’s so worth it) is waiting for it to cook in the slow cooker.  That is the main reason most of its cooking time was overnight and while I was gone to my  doctor’s appointment this morning.  Perfection when I returned! And sure smells great!  I’ve made an apple butter before, but also used some pears since I didn’t have enough apples.  So this one is pure apple butter, with no sugar.  It does not need sugar!  Chop the apples—I used my Vidalia Chop Wizard (As Seen On TV, but available in many stores now and only about $20).  Love this thing.  It has two different sizes for chopping.  I chopped these with the smaller one.  Added a little lemon juice, some yummy spices and a little apple juice and let it cook away.

Apples for Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Easy Apple Butter, No Sugar Added, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

12 apples, your choice, but something like Gala, Braeden, red or yellow delicious, or Fuji, or any combination (if you use Granny Smith apples, you might need sugar), peeled, core removed and chopped

juice of 1 lemon

1  1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1  1/2 cups 100% apple juice

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a slow cooker, stir together until combined.  Cook on low 12 hours, perfect for overnight.  After about 10 hours (in the morning), blend the apples until smooth (I used a handheld blender right in the slow cooker, but you can carefully transfer the apples to a blender, in batches, too.).  If you don’t blend it too much, you can just call it applesauce, but keep blending until is a super-smooth consistency and it becomes a nice apple butter.  Once blended, you can let it cook another couple hours, but you don’t have to.   Let cool, store in jars in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks.  Makes 32 ounces (4 half pints, perfect gift giving homemade item).

Applesauce, almost apple butter


Almost there, blend a little longer.  It will become silky smooth.

Apple Butter

Apple Butter, no sugar added

You will want to dive right in.  I’m planning for some of this to go in these Apple Betty Bars I’m going to make this weekend for a family get together.  But I’m also thinking this would sure make some delicious dairy free apple ice cream, maybe even with caramel (vegan, refined sugar free) swirled in, and some pecans.  Okay, yum!  Deal.  Working on it. 

Slow Cooker Apple Butter, No Sugar Added

*Note, the strange discrepancy in colors in the photos is because it’s quite a rainy day here today!  It does look most like the first and last photo here on this post. ; )

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Brownie Biscotti (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Brownie Biscotti (from Grumpy's Honeybunch)

Brownie Biscotti, Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I recently posted about my Secret Recipe Club assignment where I got to make something from Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch.  It was my last Secret Recipe Club assignment as I decided it was time to get out of the club.  I love Shelby!  So for fun, I made as many recipes from her blog as I could during the month, when for club assignments, you really just need to make one thing from that blog during the month.  It was a great month!  I linked all the recipes I made from Shelby’s blog in that post, now one by one over the next month or so, I’ll post the recipes as I made them, because for quite a few of the recipes, I changed things to make them gluten free so I could eat them, along with some other changes.

Up first is the brownie biscotti, which is the first recipe I chose to make from her blog.  Since biscotti is quite a crispy cookie that most people dip in coffee or tea, I’m not sure why I like it so much, but ever since we made the Lenox Almond Biscotti for Tuesdays With Dorie back in 2008, I have loved biscotti.  No dipping necessary.  This brownie biscotti could possibly be a new biscotti favorite, I mean, hello—it’s chocolate!  I loved the added walnuts because I am in the “nuts in brownies camp”.  In this recipes, I changed butter for coconut oil, all purpose flour for gluten free flour and I used organic cane sugar for the sugar, which is still a splurge for me, I plan to try unrefined coconut sugar next time I make this.  It will make me feel even less guilty enjoying these. 

Brownie BiscottiBrownie Biscotti (Gluten Free, Dairy Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/2 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup organic cane sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  3/4 cup gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

1 egg yolk, beaten

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and sugar until well combined.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir together with a spatula until all combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Form dough into either a 12 by 3 inch log or you can do two smaller logs (I divided the dough into two logs about 8 by 2 inches) side by side on baking sheet.  Brush with egg yolk/water mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, slice the biscotti log into one inch slices.  Set them on the baking sheet leaving space in between each one and bake for another 20 minutes or until dry.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

Brownie Biscotti

I just might have to go run into the kitchen and make these again right now so I can try out the coconut sugar.  I’d be doing it for all of you…….. Winking smile