Tag Archives: toddler friendly recipe

Easy Baked Doughnut Nuggets (made in a mini-muffin pan, how clever!)

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Easy Baked Doughnut Nuggets (made in a mini-muffin pan, how clever!)

Ok, I won’t lie, if you’re expecting Krispy Kreme-type gooey fried doughnut goodness, you’ve come to the wrong recipe.  These are cake doughnuts.  But the good news is, they’re baked – so you don’t have to hide alone in a dark corner and consume them in total shame 🙂  The flavor is really tasty, and I love the slight crunch to the outside and light, fluffy texture inside.  And a nice bonus not to have to roll out dough and cut into circles.  The original recipe calls for a Cinnamon-Sugar dusting, but I couldn’t imagine a doughnut without a chocolate glaze – so I made some of both.  For science, you know?

baked doughnut nuggets

The Recipe (makes 30 doughnuts in a mini muffin pan):

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I cut mine to 1/4 teaspoon since I always feel nutmeg can be overpowering)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

2/3 cup milk

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Chocolate Glaze Topping:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if using a dark pan).  Grease or spray a mini-muffin pan.

2.  Place the flour, nutmeg, salt and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside.

3.  Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

4.  Break the egg into the bowl and mix again until thoroughly incorporated.

5.  Add half the flour mixture and mix until smooth.  Add half the milk and mix again.

6.  Add the remaining flour and milk and mix again until smooth.

7.  Using a spoon, fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full with batter.

8.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

9.  Remove from oven and transfer doughnuts to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely.

10.  While the doughnuts are cooling, make the toppings.

For the Cinnamon Sugar: Place the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine.

For the Chocolate Glaze: Place the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Slowly add in the milk and whisk until smooth.  Add in the vanilla and whisk again.  Add a little more milk if the glaze seems too thick.

11.  When the doughnuts are cool, sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar and/or dip in the chocolate glaze.

Honey Lemon Bars

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Honey Lemon Bars

I’m a huge fan of anything lemon when it comes to baking.  These are amazing, and super simple to put together.  The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering.  A perfectly light, warm-weather dessert 🙂

honey lemon bars

 

The Recipe:

Dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest (my addition, but a little more lemon flavor never hurts in my opinion!!)

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

The Process:

1.  Heat oven to 350 F (325 F if using glass or dark metal pans)

2.  To make the dough, place the flour and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the cold butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture.  Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until all the butter disappears and the dough starts to hold together a bit.

4.  Place the dough in an 8″x8″ baking pan and press into the bottom in an even layer.

5.  Place in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes to bake.

6.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.  Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the honey and lemon juice.  Whisk together until completely blended.  Add the flour and baking powder and whisk again until smooth.

7.  Remove crust from the oven and pour the lemon filling into the pan.

8.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  The filling should not move when you slightly shake the pan.  If it does, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

9.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow 10 minutes for cooling before cutting into squares.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy the lemony goodness!

Breakfast Sausage Pockets

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I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure I would ever make these again.  Might partially be me though, I’m not a huge fan of that much bread for breakfast (how un-American of me, I know 😉 )  The dough almost tastes biscuit-like, so it’s a nice compliment to the sausage.  I would say they might take on a new life if some herbs like rosemary or thyme were added to the dough.  So maybe there will be a round 2 after all…

breakfast sausage pockets

The Recipe (makes 8 sausage pockets):

2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup for rolling)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter (the original recipe calls for room temperature, I always find i prefer to work with cold butter in a dough to up the flakiness factor)

2/3 cup milk

2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

8 breakfast sausage links (the recipe doesn’t state whether you need to use fully cooked, I erred on the side of caution and did)

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F

2.  Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and the salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Add the butter (if using cold, cut into small pieces to make it easier to mix in).  Using your fingers (again, why I love this cookbook 😉 ) rub the butter into the dough until it disappears.  The mixture will appear somewhat lumpy.

4.  Add the milk and stir until the dough is thick and blended.

5.  Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface.  Scoop out the dough from the bowl and place on floured work surface.  Sprinkle top of dough with a  little more flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about 1/4″ thick.

6.  Using a 4″-6″ biscuit cutter (or wide mouth glass if you don’t have one), cut as many circles as you can out of the dough.  Flatten the scraps and re-roll to make the remaining dough circles.  You should have 8 total in the end.

7.  Break the egg into the bowl and add the 1 tablespoon of water.  Gently beat with a fork to combine.

8.  Place 1 breakfast sausage link in the center of each circle and sprinkle a little cheese over top.  Fold the dough circle over the sausage and press the edges together to seal.

9.  Place the sausage pockets on a cookie sheet.  Brush the tops with the egg wash.  Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes (I found I only needed 20 minutes, but you know my oven issues…)

10.  When the tops are golden brown, remove pockets and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Dreamy Hot Chocolate

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Hot chocolate can’t be beat – no matter what the temperature is outside.  I’ll admit, I’m not one for making it from scratch too often (the convenience of those little packages calls to me…).  This recipe is super simple and the method is pretty smart.  The touch of honey and cinnamon make it extra tasty.  Will definitely be making this often!  Warm and fuzzy thoughts to all! 🙂

hot chocolate cinnamon

The Recipe (makes 4 cups):

6 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

8 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons honey

4 cups milk

The Process:

1.  Measure 1-1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon honey into 4 individual mugs.  Stir with a spoon to make a paste.  Add 1 tablespoon milk into each mug and stir until dissolved.

2.  Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the milk begins to steam and you can see tiny bubbles form at the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat.

3.  Ladle the warm milk into the mugs (about 1 cup each) and stir.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Cheater Chili

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Cheater Chili

We’re not huge chili eaters around here.  So I wasn’t super excited when I came across the recipe in the book.  But then, I had a moment of inspiration…what if I used the left over Mini-Meatloafs as the base?  That would save me some cooking time, and use left overs that always get forgotten in the depths of the fridge.  Genius? Maybe, maybe not.  But hey, we ate chili, and it was pretty darn tasty 🙂

Chili

The Recipe (makes 6 servings):

1 medium bell pepper (any color will do)

1 small onion

1 pound lean ground beef (or left over Mini-Meatloafs!)

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) crushed tomatoes

1 can (19 oz.) kidney beans (I actually left these out of my chili)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin (Cumin and I do not get along, I can’t stand the smell, so omitted this too!) 🙂

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 oz. Sharp Cheddar, grated

1 container sour cream

Green onions for garnish, optional

 

The Process:

1.  Chop the bell peppers and onions.  Saute in a sauce pan until tender.

2.  Add the ground beef (or Mini Meatloafs!) to the pan and cook over medium heat until no pink remains.

3.  Empty the can of crushed tomatoes into the pan and stir.

4.  Strain and rinse the kidney beans and add to pan.

5.  Add the chili powder, cumin (yuck), garlic powder, tomato puree and salt to the meat mixture.  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  While the chili is cooking, shred the cheddar (don’t scrape your knuckles!).

7.  When the chili is ready, ladle into bowls and top with grated cheddar, a dollop of sour cream, and green onions if you choose.

It may be cheating, but cheating can be yummy 🙂

Banana (Chocolate) Walnut Bread

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I think everyone should bake a loaf of this bread right now, just so your house smells as good as mine! 🙂 Great texture and flavor – I have to say, I’m really sorry I’ve never tried all these yummy recipes before!  So far, they have all been amazingly good.  I did add some chocolate chips to my version, because, why not?!?

na Chocolate Walnut Bread

The Recipe (makes 1 loaf):

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese for serving (recipe follows)

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 4×8 loaf pan with butter.

3.  Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

4.  Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat with mixer until light and fluffy.

5.  Break the eggs into the bowl and beat until completely blended with butter mixture.

6.  Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth.

7.  Peel the bananas and break into small chunks.  Add the bananas, sour cream, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  Blend at low speed until combined.

8.  Pour the batter into the buttered loaf pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.

9.  Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes (I found this was spot on).

10.  Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes (yeah right).  Turn the pan upside down to allow the loaf to fall out.  Place loaf right side up and let cool another 15 minutes (sure…) before slicing.

This bread was great on its own, but even better with some Cinnamon Cream Cheese.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese

I package softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)

2-3 teaspoons brown sugar

Classic Fudge Brownies (with a Peanut Butter twist)

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Here’s your pretty standard fudgy brownie recipe.  I added a little “me” twist by swirling in some yummy peanut butter – just to make them that much more awesome.

Fudge peanut butter Brownie

 

The Recipe

4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips since I had them on hand)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 teaspoons butter at room temperature

3 eggs

1  1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (as per usual, I did 2 teaspoons)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup melted peanut butter (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

The Process

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F

2.  Using a double boiler, melt the 1/2 cup butter and chocolate over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Set aside to cool when completely melted.

3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×12 baking dish.

4.  Break the eggs into the bowl of your mixer.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes).

5.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated into the sugar mixture.   Add half the flour and mix at low speed until mixed in.  Add the remaining flour (and optional walnuts) and mix until blended.

6.  Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish.  If using the peanut butter option, melt 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave.  Place a dollop of peanut butter at each corner of the pan and 1 dollop in the center.   Using a knife, swirl the peanut butter in an “S” shape from top to bottom, and then side to side.  The tops of these brownies turn out a little light, so the pretty peanut butter swirls got a little lost unfortunately.  But they still tasted amazing!

7.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

8.  If you can…allow the brownies to cool for 15 minutes before diving in.

Choco-holics unite! 

Mini Meatloaf (aka Meat Muffin, aka Meat Cupcake)

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Mini Meatloaf (aka Meat Muffin, aka Meat Cupcake)

Call it what you will, but let’s be honest – it’s a meatball. 🙂  But a darn good meatball!  I followed the recipe almost to a “T”, and it turned out amazing.  The only suggestion I didn’t take was to turn the “meat muffin” upside down when serving so the bacon is on the bottom.  Who in their right mind would hide bacon?!?

*Pro Tip: Place your muffin tin in a dish with higher sides to catch the drippings.  I’ll be cleaning my oven if anyone needs me…sigh…

Personal Mini Meatloaf

The Recipe

2 Tablespoons butter (or cooking spray)

1 medium onion

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned)

1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon pepper

1 egg

Ketchup

3 slices of bacon, cut into thirds

The Process

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2.  Lightly butter a muffin tin (or spray lightly with cooking spray)

3.  Finely chop onion.

4.  Place meat in large working bowl.  Add in chopped onion, bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Break egg into bowl and mix all ingredients by hand until incorporated.

5.  Spoon 1 tablespoon of ketchup into each muffin tin (The recipe calls for 6 meat muffins, I ended up with 7).

6.  Divide the meat mixture evenly into muffin cups (the book kindly reminds us to wash our hands after this step, so don’t forget!)

7.  Place 1 strip of the cut bacon over each meatloaf.

8.  Place the muffin tin on your preferred baking dish (to catch drippings – don’t be like me!!)

9.  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

10.  Remove from oven and serve bacon side up (don’t listen to them and hide the bacon!) Serve alongside your favorite veggies (we had some kale hanging around that was dying to be sauteed).

Mmmm….soft pretzels….

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Who on this planet doesn’t love a good soft pretzel?  Especially a home-made one, fresh out of the oven?!? Now I’m hungry…but I’ll press on.  I made these Rosemary Sea Salt Pretzels a few months ago, and they were A-mazing.  So I thought I’d share the recipe.  Did I mention they also include the recipe for an awesome rosemary cheese sauce?  Oh yeah, no joke.

rosemary sea salt pretzel

And then today, I came across these and I just had to pass it along – Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels.  Sweet meets pretzel = my heaven!   Guess I know what I’m baking this weekend…

Rainy Day Cinnamon Raisin (Walnut) Bread

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Rainy Day Cinnamon Raisin (Walnut) Bread

It’s an awesome cloudy, semi-rainy day here in Phoenix.  We don’t get many, so I figured I’d take up mother nature and make some yummy Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  I’ll be honest – my ten year old self would have never attempted this recipe.  Holy prep-time Batman!  The dough has to rise a total of 3 times, but totally worth it – my 3 year old (and husband) couldn’t get enough 🙂

Cinnamon raisin walnut bread

The Recipe

2 cups milk

1 package active dry yeast

5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 butter at room temperature

1 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I added these to the recipe, well worth it!)

The (lengthy) Process:

1.  Pour the milk into the saucepan and place on the stove.  Heat milk over medium heat until it steams and bubbles form around the edge.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

2.  Place the yeast, 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix.  Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the cooled milk. Stir until a stiff dough forms.  Add in additional flour if needed.

3.  Flour a clean work surface.  Remove the dough and place on floured surface, sprinkle a little additional flour on top.

4.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, and then form into a ball.  The book goes into a length description about kneading, again, I’m going to assume we’re all adults here, if we’re not, here’s a great tutorial 😉

5.  Pour the oil into a large mixing bowl and spread around with a paper towel.  Place dough in the bowl and turn once to coat in oil.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot.  Allow dough to rise for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size)

6.  Remove the dough from the bowl and punch down.  Shape back into a ball and allow to rise (yet again) for 30 minutes.

7.  Rub some butter into the bottom and sides of 2 loaf pans (about 4″x 8″).

8.  Place 4 tablespoons of the butter,  the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon into a small mixing bowl and combine.  Takes a little effort, but it eventually comes together.

9.  When the dough has risen for the second time, sprinkle a clean surface with flour and move the dough to the surface.  Using your hands, flatten dough into a rectangle as thin as you can get it.

10.  Spread the butter mixture onto the dough, and then sprinkle with the raisins and walnuts (if using).

11.  Starting along one edge, roll the dough as tightly as you can (should make a very pretty spiral in the center).  Cut the dough in half to make 2 loafs and place seam-side down in the buttered pans.  Cover with the kitchen towel and (you guessed it) let the loaves rise for (another) 30 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F.

12.  Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter onto each loaf.  Place on the center rack in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.  They give a great tip and say to bake until the bread sounds hollow when you lightly tap on it.

13.  Remove bread (don’t forget the mitts!!) and tip each loaf over to allow it to slide out of the pan.  Cool on a wire rack.

They suggested serving thick slices with cream cheese – but I though, why not take that a step further?  Enter…cinnamon cream cheese…oh yeah.  Seriously, you have to try it.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese

I package softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)

2-3 teaspoons brown sugar

Best rainy day ever!