Cinnamon Kettle Corn

Happy Sunday everyone! Today we’re talking about kettle corn.

Like, we buy kettle corn a bit more than we really should, but that stuff is crack. And anyways, I’ve never made it myself before, and I think I thought it was a bit more complicated than it really is. I actually decided to make it because I saw a rather short and easy looking recipe in the latest issue of Food Network Magazine.

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In the end, I changed their recipe a bit after a few batches, and I’ve got some really great tips to share with you all today to help make sure you get an awesome batch the first time around. It’s still really quite easy, and I almost wish I hadn’t figured this out tbh, the last thing I need is the ability to make this stuff anytime.

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Alright so first, let’s start with popping the corn. This recipe uses 1/2 cup yellow popcorn kernels, and you should end up with about 8 cups of popcorn. So, I’ve tried a lot of methods for popping corn, and really I always had issues with getting all the kernels to pop. After a lot of trial and error, I think Alton Brown’s method for popping is the best.

Basically, you do it on the stove with a large metal bowl. Make sure it’s heat safe of course, just a straight up metal bowl, no rubber bottoms. Throw in the kernels, the oil, and the salt, and cover it up with foil, poking a few holes in the top to vent. Place the bowl directly on your burner over medium heat, and use oven mitts to shake it for several minutes until the corn stops popping.

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And like, honestly, pop the corn however you want. But I think this method has been the most successful for me, and I think you’ll like it to. Here’s the video on how to do it.

So after the corn is popped, you wanna use a huge pot, probably the biggest you have because you need the room, and start sugaring it up. You need to keep things moving fairly constantly during this portion of the recipe, but trust me it’s worth it.

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Then once the sugar gets caramely, you just have to let it cool and enjoy. No joke, that’s it, and the whole thing takes about 30 minutes. You can have kettle corn in 30 minutes people.

Alright and anyways, I like it with cinnamon because it’s winter and cinnamon is warm and toasty and cozy. Optional though, it’s wonderful both ways. Make this one guys!

Cinnamon Kettle Corn

Servings 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbs. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Using your preferred method for popping corn, pop the kernels with the oil and salt. 

  2. Preheat a very large pot over medium heat. Transfer the popped corn into your preheated pot, and sprinkle in about 1/4 cup of sugar. Using a rubber spatula, stir the popcorn constantly until you notice the sugar starting to caramelize slightly. Sprinkle in another 1/4 cup of sugar, and continue the process. 

  3. When you sprinkle in the final 1/4 cup of sugar, add in the cinnamon as well. Continue to stir and let the sugar caramelize until it has reached a medium caramel color. Immediately remove from heat and pour onto a large sheet pan to cool. Enjoy! 

Almond Meringue Cake

Cake, Holiday Season Recipes | November 26, 2018 | By

Hey guys! I hope you are all a few pounds heavier and happier after Thanksgiving- I know I am!

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Annnnd we’re onto Christmas, amirite? Actually if I’m being honest, I’ve had my tree up for several weeks already, and there were presents wrapped long before Thanksgiving. I love Christmas and the holiday season all together, so I’m all for early celebrations!

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This cake is so interesting to me, and it feels very wintery and Christmasy to me also- maybe because of the generous dusting of powdered sugar on top. It’s packs a strong almond flavor, and it’s kind of an interesting take on a coffee cake.

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First, you want to partially bake your cake so that it holds up with the meringue on top, and so that it will be finished cooking when the meringue is nice and toasty. Then, you spread a soft-peak-whipped meringue on top, and sprinkle sliced almonds all over. When you bake it, it will get all puffy and lightly toasty. Then, when it cools, the meringue settles down, and becomes a thin, crispy, sugary layer of goodness sitting atop a pretty cake.

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I’m into it tbh, it’s super easy, and really unique! I first heard about this as something called a Swedish Visiting Cake. I don’t know too many of the details about it, or what it’s supposed to be, but this seems fairly similar to the original concept!

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So anyways, I think let’s make this cake for visitors, let’s make it for breakfast, and let’s make it for desserts when company comes over for a cup of coffee. It’s winter, it’s holiday time, so I’ll just be over here baking, and I know you will be too!

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Almond Meringue Cake

Servings 8 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 tbs sliced almonds
  • 2-3 tbs. powdered sugar

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a tall 8 inch cake pan or spring form pan. If using a cake pan, insert a piece of parchment paper with flags up to help remove the cake. NOTE: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU USE A TALL PAN HERE! The meringue will puff, so you need the room!

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and sour cream and beat until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat until smooth. The batter will be thick. 

  3. Spread evenly into your prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cake is puffed up and slightly golden. 

For the meringue:

  1. While the cake is baking, beat your egg whites until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar, and beat until you have stiff peaks. Very slowly, add in the sugar while beating. Then, beat in the salt and almond extract. You should have a glossy, medium/soft peak meringue. 

  2. Remove the cake from the oven, and carefully spread the meringue evenly over the top. Sprinkle with almonds. Return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes. The meringue will be puffy and lightly toasted. Cool completely, and dust with powdered sugar through a mesh sifter. Enjoy! 

Maple Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Hey everyone! Thanksgiving is already upon us, what the heck happen??

Thanksgiving is really the start of the holiday season for us, so we’ve already got Christmas decorations up and shining in our house. I know, I know, it’s too early. But it’s not too early, you guys are all wrong!

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BUT, we’re still in pumpkin season, so that’s really the important thing to take away from this. I think many of us skip lunch on Thanksgiving, but it’s nice to have a little something for breakfast on the big day, especially if you’ve got company around.

Enter Maple Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. You guys. It’s the perfect combination of flavors, seriously. A sweet yeast bread, filled with pumpkin and all the spices, and then rolled up with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Top it with the flippin’ best maple cream cheese icing and seriously, it’s a winner.

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So when I first started making yeast breads, I kind of thought of it as a huge, all day affair type of thing. It takes so long to rise, and shape, and rise again, I always thought it would take me forever. But when you’re baking at altitude, it really doesn’t always take that long.

In fact, because dough rises a bit faster here, I often can get through an entire recipe (like this one) in about 2 hours start to finish. That’s pretty crazy, and with all the downsides to learning how to bake at high-altitude, this just isn’t one of them!

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This is a fairly small batch when it comes to homemade cinnamon rolls- normally you get a batch of somewhere between 12-18. But these make an easy 8 rolls, and I love this smaller-batch form. Hey, I can’t even go through 18 cinnamon rolls, and believe me I’ve come close.

So seriously you guys, if you’re looking for something festive, these are perfect to throw together the evening before Thanksgiving, or maybe just on Tuesday night for snacks throughout the week off!

Maple Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Servings 8 rolls, frosted

Ingredients

For the rolls:

  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbs. butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour
  • 3 tbs. softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. cinnamon

For the Maple frosting:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. maple extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2-1 tbs. milk

Instructions

For the rolls:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the milk, melted butter, pumpkin puree, and sugar. The mixture will be thick. Microwave until the mixture is warm (about 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer). Stir in the active dry yeast, and set aside to bloom. 

  2. In a large bowl, stir together the egg and the vanilla extract. Once the yeast mixture has bloomed, it should look a little puffy near the yeast granules, stir the yeast mixture into the egg and vanilla until incorporated. 

  3. Add in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and 3 cups of flour. Stir together with a sturdy spatula or a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently start to knead. You will likely need to add a bit more flour while kneading. You are looking for the dough to still be slightly tacky and soft, but strong enough to hold in a ball shape. It should only take about 5 minutes of kneading in additional flour. 

  4. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic for the first rise. You want the dough to grow by just under double in size, as you can see from the photos above. For me, this only takes about 20-30 minutes. 

  5. Return the dough to your floured surface, and begin to pat out into a rectangle. Then use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangle about 10x16 inches. It doesn't need to be exact. 

  6. Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges. It will be a very thin layer of butter. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon, and then evenly sprinkle the mixture over the butter, again all the way to the edges. With your rolling pin, gentle press the mixture into the dough. Starting on the longer edge, roll your dough into a spiraled log. 

  7. Cut of the edges of the dough, and then cut the dough into 8 even rolls. I use a very sharp knife and a sawing motion here, cutting the dough in half, and then each of those pieces in half, and repeating again to reach 8 total. 

  8. Lightly grease an 8 inch cake pan with cooking spray, and place the rolls evenly into the pan. Cover with plastic for the second rise. Preheat your oven to 375 while the dough rises. 

  9. For the second rise, the dough will only get slightly puffed. For me, this takes about 15 minutes, or about as long as it takes for my oven to preheat. Then, remove the plastic and bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, until just slightly golden on top. 

For the maple frosting:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, maple extract, salt, and 1/2 tbs. of milk until smooth. Add more milk if needed to reach your desired consistency, though I like to keep my icing a bit thick. 

  2. Frost the rolls in the pan while still hot, and serve warm. Enjoy! 

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

Muffins, Breakfast, Chocolate | November 12, 2018 | By

Hi all! I hope you are just knee deep in holiday celebrations and fun by now- I most definitely am.

I’m counting muffins as a holiday treat because let’s face it- tis the season to call cake a breakfast item, right??

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And anyways, I know chocolate and blueberries kind of sound like a weird combo, but it’s actually super good! You get the strong flavors of chocolate, dotted with juicy blueberries and the effect is pretty dang good, especially when you top it with a chocolatey crumb.

I use dark chocolate cocoa powder because it gives me that super strong chocolatey flavor, and it makes the muffins this pretty deep dark color.

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I’m a fan of crumb toppings in general tbh- I’ve made tons of different crumb cakes on the blog because it’s such a good combo. This is no exception, although this crumb is fairly different than others I have made. Primarily because it’s flavors are heavy on chocolate instead of brown sugar and cinnamon. Regardless, it fits in perfectly with these muffins of course!

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And if you’re hosting any guests this holiday season, I feel like muffins are the right choice. It’s an easy breakfast or quick little midnight snacks for guests, and it won’t leave you slaving over the stove in the morning. Win-win.

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And yet another win- muffins are too easy to make man. You can just stir these together by hand, no mixer needed. In fact, it’s better to mix them by hand because you really don’t want to over mix the batter- it can lead to tough muffins. That sounds like a slogan or something to tell your kids right? You can’t always get what you want- tough muffins!

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Alright anyways, enjoy it, it’s really nom you guys.

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

For the muffins:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pint blueberries

For the crumb:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbs melted butter

Instructions

For the muffins:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir gently with a spatula or large spoon. Just before the flour is completely mixed, add in the blueberries and gentle finish mixing. The batter will be lumpy. 

For the crumb:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and melted butter with a fork until crumbs form. 

  2. Scoop the muffin batter evenly into your muffins tins. They should be about 3/4 full. Top with a generous sprinkling of the crumb mixture. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread with Almonds

Hey everyone!!

Happy holiday season, amirite? There’s a lot of (obvious) reasons why I love the winter and the holiday season, but here’s what I’m happy for today- I’m over here eating baked goods at an alarming rate all dang year, and now it’s time for everyone else to join in!

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I hear there are a lot of people who aren’t into Christmas celebrating this early, but man, I’m into it. I feel like once I grew up and started taking on a lot of the work that goes into making Christmas wonderful for the people around me, I realized it’s a lot of work to only enjoy for a few weeks. So I’m gonna enjoy that as loooong as possible!

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Alright anyways, we’re here to bake, right? And you guys love pumpkin bread, obviously, right? Right. So this is actually a variation on one of my older recipes on the blog for a pumpkin bundt cake, but sometimes you don’t need an entire cake. Sometimes just a loaf will do.

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When you sprinkle sliced almonds over the top, they all roasty-toasty in the oven, and that added crunch on top of a slice of pumpkin bread is just right. Plus it’s super easy- we aren’t making a whole crumb topping (yet) or anything like that, just tossing some sliced almonds over the top, and bakin’ her up.

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So you know all the good things about pumpkin bread guys- it’s spicy and tastes like the fall and winter, and it’s got this deep orange color that just makes me happy, and it’s got just the right texture to make everyone enjoy every last crumb. ENJOY IT GUYS- tis the season!

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Pumpkin Bread with Almonds

Servings 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, and oil until combined. Add in the eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract and beat until combined. 

  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture in alternating additions with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until the batter is smooth. It will be fairly thin. 

  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, slice, and enjoy! 

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