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SKYY Infusions Halloween Themed Cocktails

I normally don't post this type of thing from Public Relations firms, but these are some amazing cocktail recipes for a grown up's Halloween. Certain Someone and I will be getting in the spirit with some of these this weekend.

Welcome the Spirits this Halloween …

Even if you choose not to wear a costume this Halloween, the holiday for all things sinfully sweet and “creepy, crawly” serves as the perfect occasion to dress up your cocktails. Simple drinks turn festive with the use of fun cocktail glasses and gory garnishes; all designed to bring out the frightful fun of Halloween, with a sophisticated twist. So while you may be tempted to partake in some of the more traditional Halloween activities such as bobbing for apples and pumpkin carving, we all know that there is only one way to really drink in the spooky spirit of the season!

This year, All Natural SKYY Infusions are serving up a truly bewitching cocktail menu, featuring the line of fresh fruit-infused vodkas that offer an unrivaled true-to-fruit taste year round. Each inspired by one of the many hallowed Halloween traditions, these SKYY Infusions cocktails will help you get into the spirit of Halloween, whether you’re in a packed house or with a few friends at home. To add a bit of glamour to your regular Halloween celebrations, try mixing up some of the sweet treats below – no tricks necessary.


2 oz. SKYY Infusions Citrus
1 oz. Mango Nectar or Juice
0.5 oz. Orange Juice
0.5 oz. Fresh Sour*

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a goblet glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a mint leaf laid flat on top.
*Combine 0.25 oz fresh lime juice and 0.75 oz simple syrup.

Vampire’s Elixir

1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Raspberry
.75 oz. White Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz. Half and Half
Strawberry Syrup

Dress strawberry syrup on the inside and rim of a chilled martini glass. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with vampire teeth.

Black Widow

1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Raspberry
0.5 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Pomegranate Juice
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice
Raspberry Syrup

Draw a spider web on the inside of a chilled martini glass with raspberry syrup. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with plastic spider.

Red Zombie
1.5 oz. SKYY Vodka
3 oz. Tomato Juice
0.5 tsp. Finely Grated Horseradish
1 tsp. Barbeque Sauce
3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
3 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
0.5 tsp. Finely Chopped Chipotle en Adobo
Pinch of Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Generous Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Pinch of Celery Seeds
1 Celery Stick
2 Large Green Olives
2 Lychee Fruits

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with green eye balls, laid across the rim of the glass*.
*Cut the end of a stalk of celery so it measures 5-6 inches long and split the stick in half lengthwise. Slide the green olives into two lychee fruits to make eye balls and push the thin celery stick through both as garnish.

Wicked Witch Apple Punch

1 750 ml bottle SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
1 750 ml bottle Sparkling Apple Cider
1 64 oz. bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 Liter Ginger Ale
2 cups Pineapple Juice
Red Apple Slices

Combine all ingredients in a large black witch’s cauldron with ice and stir. Garnish with large slices of red apple floating on top and dry ice.

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Daring Bakers ...Hazlenut Macaroons with Spicy Chocolate Ganache and Strawberry or "Vampire Kiss"

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
OR I attempted this months Daring Baker Challenge three times. I am not a macaroon novice, and have made them a few times before. I'm not an expert either, but this recipe and technique just wasn't for me. The following is just my experience and is meant to be constructive and analytical. The first go round I grounded my own almonds and added dried hibiscus for color and flavor. Disaster. The second go round I used store purchased hazelnut meal, as almond meal couldn't be found in several stores, and no flavor ingredient, just color. As you see from the first picture , they didn't turn out and really stuck to the parchment. I found the baking time was not sufficient and to low at first, then to high. I followed the recipe and instructions to a tee. I have used parchment several times when baking macaroons and never had issues. The third time I decided to use my tried and true recipe from the Macaroon Queen , Tartelette ,herself. I figure this is fair because I made the actual challenge recipe twice before with disastrous results. Success. Not perfect, but pretty good. I compared the ratios and technique.
Helen's calls for drying for 1 hour, which I feel is essential. That's how I was taught at my classed in the French Pastry School as well. I noticed I kept getting tips when piping, but reading Helen's articles, that can be resolved with a bit more folding.I was to cautious and didn't want to over fold. The recipe I used from Desserts Magazine tutorial by Tartelette.It is now only available by subscription (Issue #2). However this recipe from Helen is basically the same, except for the flavorings. Here is a PDF of the whole tutorial someone made public.

Notice the difference in a comparison Chart of both recipes:
Daring Bakers/ Claudia Fleming’s
5 egg whites
Granulated Sugar (2 tbsp/25 g)
Confectioners Sugar (2 .25 cups/225 g)
Almond Flour/meal (2 cups/190 g)

Helen’s ( Tartelette) Recipe
3 egg whites (100 g)
Granulated Sugar ( 50 g)
Confectioners Sugar (200 g)
Almond Flour/meal (110 g)

Notice the significant difference in ratios and technique. I really don't think Claudia Flemming's technique works for most ovens as its to tricky with the different stages and temps. As this was my first time using dry powdered food colors , I was timid, Next time I will use more. Up to 1 tablespoon is recommended.
As this week, I am participating in the Great Hallow Tweet, Halloween Blog Hop, I was attempting a Vampire like theme. See side link to see others who are participating.

I sprinkled some black sanding sugar. I should have been more aggressive with my dry food color.

I was so happy to see feet!

A ganache infused with a Thai Chili and Cinnamon was piped onto the shells.

Then some Strawberry Jam......

My little Vampire kisses.

Love at first bite.

Be sure to visit the other Daring Bakers. Thank you Ami for giving us a challenge we all have been dying for. While the given recipe didn't work for me, it was a great challenge to compare. I really feel weights/metric make a big difference in the art of pastry. Its more exact and can really alter the results.I notice the Macaroons taste even better after storing in the fridge for a few days and allowing to come to room temperature. The flavors really meld .

Here is the Daring Baker Challenge Recipe:

Recipe Source: I’ve tried many, many recipes, and have discovered that my favorite macaroon recipe comes from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. They have given me the most consistent results and so, for everyone’s delectation, I present to you an adaptation of Ms. Fleming’s recipe
Preparation time: Not taking into account the amount of time it takes for you to bring your egg whites to room temperature, the whole baking process, including making the batter, piping and baking will probably take you about an hour to an hour and a half. How long it takes to make your filling is dependent on what you choose to make.
Actual baking time: 12 minutes total, plus a few minutes to get your oven from 200°F to 375°F.
Equipment required:• Electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer with a whisk attachment• Rubber spatula• Baking sheets• Parchment paper or nonstick liners• Pastry bag (can be disposable)• Plain half-inch pastry bag tip• Sifter or sieve• If you don’t have a pastry bag and/or tips, you can use a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off• Oven• Cooling rack• Thin-bladed spatula for removing the macaroons from the baking sheets• Food processor or nut grinder, if grinding your own nuts (ouch!)
IngredientsConfectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.7. Cool on a rack before filling.
Yield: 10 dozen. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies... Fall Is For Making Whoopie

My good blogging and Twitter buddy Marye Audet has just penned her first book. I'm so proud of her. The Everything Cookies and Brownies Cookbook is the must have cookbook to add to your wish list this year. I find this would be a great book for the seasoned baker and well as the novice. Chock full of tips, ideas, and variations on recipes , this would make an excellent gift for the upcoming holiday season. It's also a great book to work out out of with the kids and teach them how to bake.

Marye is passionate about baking, teas, coffee, antiques and is a prolific writer on all these subjects and more. A veritable wealth of information. I would love to visit her beautiful old home in Texas with the kids and goats all around and just bake all week with her. Making these Whoopie Pies released those smells that can be only be found in Autumn. Cloves, Cinnamon, Pumpkin , Vanilla, and brown sugar.
I took artistic license with the Cream Cheese Filling on these Whoopie Pies. It's Halloween after all. The Great Hallow Tweet!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
(printed with permission from Marye Audet)
yields 18 cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Cream Cheese Filling

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda,salt,cinnamon, ginger, cloves.and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cream together sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin,and vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients, mix well.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 F 10-12 minutes. When done , centers of cookies will quickly spring back when pressed lightly.
  5. Cool thoroughly before filling.

Note* These can be filled and frozen in plastic wrap.

Cream Cheese Filling For Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Fills 16-18 Whoopie Pies

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

4ounces cream cheese

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablesppons candied ginger* ( I used Bavarian cream extract instead)

  1. Beat Butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
  2. Add rest of ingrediants to butter mixture; beat until fluffy.
  3. Spoon filling lightly on flat side of cookie. Top with another cookie.
  4. Serve immediatly, or store in refridgerator.


* Marye Audet sent me a complimentary copy of this book.My opinions are my own.

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Little Stalk of Horrors...Brussel Sprout Stalks and An Easy Recipe

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Just having a little fun with The Great Hallow Tweet and some vegetables. I saw the theatrical version of Little Shop of Horrors in the late 80's in London on a high school class trip. I always loved Audrey 2 saying "Feed Me". I think Brussel Sprouts are unappreciated. Don't let the scary stalk scare you. Nicely browned almost crispy sprouts like these rock. I find the traditional boiling method turns them bitter, and that's why so many hate them.Soon your loved ones will be saying Feed Me if you cook them up this way. It may start out looking like a trick, but it makes a nice treat.

Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts

Wash and halve Brussel Sprouts. Take a tablespoons of vegetable or olive . Add Brussel Sprouts flat side down to pan. Heat on Medium to high heat for a few minutes. Don't turn them until after a few minutes to make sure they are brown and crispy. Turn and let them cook a bit more. Add about 1/4 cup of water, cover and let them cook and soften. Remove lid and let cook until water is evaporated. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.

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Check Out My Interview With Sunny Anderson

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sunny Anderson of Food Networks Cooking For Real, at a dinner party given by fellow Chicago blogger Darius of Everyday Cookin and The Cupcake Gallery. Sunny graciously allowed me to interview her for EbonyJet. Check it out.

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Goulash With The Last Of The Farmers Markets Root Vegetables

Thanks for the support and positive vibes over the weekend. Unfortunately neither Beth or I placed amongst the 115 pies. Competition was it at it stiffest. Nevertheless I got to serve and sell my pies slices during the event , and both sold like hotcakes. The feedback was good from the public, so I'm calling my pies a winner. Beth and I concluded that they really wanted the more traditional pies, although the judging process seems weird to me. Oh well, onto the next thing.

A highlight of my day was tagging along to the Bucktown Farmers Market with Beth. I get organic delivery boxes and really don't have the time to make weekday Farmers Markets downtown during work hours. Green City Market in Lincoln Park just isn't convenient to get to on Saturdays with my schedule. I love Bucktown, a funky edgier neighborhood in Chicago full of great Boutiques and restaurants. The Bucktown Farmers market , while, small didn't disappoint. After getting bombarded for several signature and petition requests form local politicos, we made our way through. The root vegetables were so lovely, I wish I could have purchased it all. I settled on some wide and fat Cipolini onions, beautiful reddish baby carrots, celeriac root, miniature peppers, fingerling shaped sweet potatoes.and pretzel bread. The hues of nature were spellbinding and this market had a wonderful array of offerings.

I was thinking of roasting the Cipolini's in a balsamic glaze and making a tart with my puff pastry pie tarts. But Certain Someone was home and and an Autumn chill called for something more substantial. Immediately I thought of Hungarian Goulash. Both Certain Someone and I love Hungary, only we have never actually travelled there together. This summer he spent time there on business and brought me back precious bottles of Tokaj and foie grass. What we both noticed is authentic Goulash is more of a soup than stew with potatoes. Certain Someone and I are more inclined to a stew based dish with noodles. I decided to make Spazlte or little dumplings to add to our dish. I used my Culinaria Hungary book as guide. Goulash should never be thicken with flour. So I did not dredge my neat in flour before browning. Certain Someone mother uses a combination of pork and beef, I just used beef. So I guess it's not really authentic with the Spaeztle and no potatoes, but just as good.Long slow cooking and plenty of paprika and some tomato paste ensure a thickened stew.It's no wonder this simple dish created by herdsmen in a kettle has become an International favorite of all. It even tastes better the next day when the flavors meld more.


* Note ,I used what I had on hand, Feel free to add other root vegetables like turnips, celery,or bell peppers, etc to this.

1-2 lbs beef cubes

2 large onions , cut into cubes, or whole peeled Cipolini's( about 4 )

2-3 cloves garlic

1 bunch baby carrots or 2-3 large carrots( peeled and cut into cubes, leave baby carrots whole)

1 cup mushrooms quartered

1/4 cup sweet paprika

salt and pepper

Vegetable Oil

1 can tomato paste

In a large Dutch Oven , brown the beef which was been wiped of moisture m in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onions to the browning beef. Once the the meet and onions start to brown and caramelize, add the mushrooms, garlic, carrots. Cover with the 1/4 cup of Sweet Paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Add about 7-8 cups of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour. About halfway through check consistency and add the tomato paste. Cover and continue cooking. Remove from heat and let stand.


1 3/4 cups flour ( 250 grams)
3 eggs beaten
2/3 cup water ( 1/8 liter)
Water for boiling( approx 2 liters)
Boil your water in a pot.In a bowl place your flour. Add beaten egg,water, salt, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly ( I used a whisk). Take a large holed colander and place a little mixture in at at time. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon run the mixture back and forth across the hole until it drops in the boiling water. The spaetzle dumplings will rise to the top of the water when done. Remove with a slotted spoon. Toss with butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Apple Butter Bourbon Pie ...My Entry For The Bucktown Apple Pie Contest

It's that Time of year again. I'm on my way to deliver my pies to the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest. Last Year I made Semi Finals. Always stiff competition. I'm up against Beth this year too!
I'M loving Bourbon right now. My favorite person on Twitter. Mr. Oxford Falls turned me onto Jim Beam Red Stag, a cherry infused bourbon. Do I decided to make my pies with a non traditional Puff Pastry crust and Michigan Gala Apples caramelized in brown sugar, vanilla, mace and Bourbon. Yes I made 2 batches of puff pastry from scratch for this. After a egg wash I sprinkled some sugar on the tops.Last night I had a cocktail at the Gage that tasted like my pie filling. Vanilla Bourbon served up with apple puree, a cinnamon rim and caramel lolli pop. Conformation.! Send me good vibes please.
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Carnation Evaporated Milk...Stuffed Shells Florentine and Carnation Famous Fudge Recipes

Most of us have grown up seeing evaporated milk in the pantry. But did we really use it? Evaporated milk seems like a throw back to out parents and grandparents generations. I admit I buy a can here and there when I see it on sale. I recall my Nigerian father used evaporated milk everyday in his tea. It was product he had no choice to use growing up in a tropical climate. He continued with it even moving over to the United Sates. I have come to find out Carnation , otherwise known as the cooking milk,is a a great substitute for cream, half and half, because its lower in fat. Mostly when I have used canned evaporated milk , its been for sweet recipes. But Carnation works just as well in savoury. Researching the Carnation site , I saw great recipes for salad dressings,and even a spicy peanut sauce using evaporated milk.Anywhere you use milk, think of Carnation as a replacement for more flavour.When the people of Carnation contacted me to try their products and create an original recipe and make one out of their Holiday recipe book, I said of course. I love a challenge to create recipes. I will disclose that Carnation and One 2 One Network gave me a gift card to purchase the groceries and coupons for free Carnation product. My opinions, however are my own.

With Certain Someone finally home, I envisioned a pasta dish of stuffed shells filled with spinach, chopped ham, and ricotta. The Carnation Evaporated Milk would be used to make a creamy cheesy Becahmel style sauce with added Mozzarella. The Stuffed Shells Florentine is a crowd pleaser that can go a long way in feeding the family. After a long day, Certain Someone gave his approval on the dish. I find its tasted better even the next day. Next time I may use shrimp or crab, rather than ham.

Stuffed Shells Florentine
1 box Jumbo Shells
1 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs
Pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded ( I for Ricotta Mixture and 1 for sauce)
1 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach( drained)
2 12 oz cans Carnation Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup flour
6 tbsp butter

Boil the Jumbo Pasta shells until al dente ( 12-13 minutes). Rinse and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine Ricotta, eggs, spinach, nutmeg, salt, pepper, 1 cup mozzarella, and chopped ham. Mix well and set aside.
In a saucepan melt butter and add flour at medium heat. Do not burn butter. Mix until flour is dissolved in the butter. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Gradually add the Carnation Evaporated Milk to the flour and butter and with a whisk stir until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk while mixture starts to simmer and thicken. Remove form heat and add the remaining cup of Mozzarella Cheese.
Preheat Oven to 350F.
In a baking dish , pour a layer of sauce. Fill pasta shells with Ricotta mixture and place in layers in baking dish. Cover a completed layer with sauce and continue process. Cover top with remaining sauce . Cover baking dish with aluminum foil or lid and bake for 30-40 until bubbly .

With Halloween and the Holidays approaching , who doesn't like fudge? I got this recipe from the Carnation Holiday book which I have provided a link for below. I stuck to the recipe , but took the liberty of adding some chopped pecans on top of fudge as well as in the mixture. I imagine coconut, dried cherries, walnuts, almonds would work equally well. Next time I will also play around with various extracts and flavours. For Halloween I can imagine piping the squares with white royal icing in the shape of spider webs.

Carnation Famous Fudge
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl oz can Carnation Evaporated Milk)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt in medium heavy duty saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes, Remove from heat.
Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan, remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

Holiday Recipe Booklet full of sweet and savory recipes:

Cooking Benefits of evaporated milk:

Nutrition Info:

The different types of evaporated milk:

Carnation Virtual Kitchen:

Additional Recipe Ideas:

Recipe Personality Quiz:

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Retro Cocktail ...The Pink Squirrel Martini

Whats old is new. Isn't that always the case? Maybe the world is so crazy that we find comfort in past. Whilst pursing a new age pursuit , Twitter, I found out about a liqueur called Creme de Noyaux. I had heard some pastry types go on about Noyaux and how its extracted from apricot kernals. Noyaux has always been that elusive almond flavor I could never identify, and now I know! So when a kind gentleman who shall be referred to as Oxford Falls offered some Pink Squirrel Cocktails on Twitter for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my curiosity was piqued that there was an liqueur made of this stuff.
Don't let the Pepto Bismal pink color throw you off. This stuff is yummy.The liqueur is a clear red color, but added to cream changes color. This would be awesome in baking. The original Pink Squirrel was created in Milwaukee at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge. It consisted of Creme de Noyaux, Ice Cream, and Creme de Cacao. That was a little rich for my blood. Many variations have come and gone. I like this one I saw on the AMC site for the Series Mad Men. The addition of vodka cuts that sweetness a bit. Don't let the light froth color deceive you. It will sneak up on you. There are a few other cocktail to made with this liqueur. I'm fascinated but the Old Etonian cocktail. What does that say about the school? Really?

Pink Squirrel Martini
3/4 oz Creme de Noyaux
3/4 oz Creme de cacao
1/2 oz Vodka
1 oz fresh cream

Pour all ingredients over ice in a shaker. Serve strained in a chilled martini glass

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Happy Cinnamon Roll Day or Kanelbullens Dag

Did you know October 4th 2009 is Kanelbullens Dag in Sweden? Imagine a whole day in where the country celebrates the simple , delectable cinnamon roll. As they should! The Swedes are attributed to inventing one of the worlds famous pastry. In 1999 the Home baking Council /Hembakningsråde came up with the concept on the occasion of their 40th anniversary.The rolls would be perfect for a long leisurely Fika( coffee break). Many of you know I have a deep affinity for Sweden as my Certain Someone has a residence there and I have family on my fathers side. I never imagined Sweden would become part of my life, but it has. I didn't make it there this year, but hopefully next year I can enjoy this view by the house.
I found a lot of recipes were very similar. I didn't have the full amount of sugar or ground cinnamon on hand. As a result I had to grind my own and sift. I could have used a touch more, but the cinnamon and cardamon flavors shined through. I found it interesting the little rising time that these rolls needed. They can be whipped up rather easily without making it a days project. I used Trina Hahnemann's recipe from The Scandinavian Cookbook.Trina is Danish, but compiled a lovely cook book of recipes in Scandinavia by the months. Naturally this falls under October.I reviewed her book here.
Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from The Scandinavian Cookbook
2 oz fresh yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
3/4 cup softened butter
1 egg beaten
6 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg beaten
Swedish Pearl Sugar for topping

In a large bow/ stand mixer, mix yeast and warm milk until dissolved. Add butter, and then beaten egg. Sift dry ingredients of flour,cardamon,and salt. Add to milk and yeast. Add sugar to dough. Knead until a smooth ball forms . If you knead by hand, knead for five minutes.
Cover dough with a towel and let rest/rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar for filling.

After 30 minutes divide dough in half. Roll out into 16 x 12 in rectangles. Spread cinnamon sugar butter mixture over dough. Roll starting on the long side into a wide cylinder. Cut into 1 inch pieces and place on a parchment lined baking sheep or muffin baking cups. Press down slightly if you want to spread on baking sheet( without muffin cup).Cover and let rise 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Brush the cinnamon rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with the Swedish pearl sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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Apple Puffs

This past week I was on a baking roll. Two days in a row I brought in treats for the office using what I had on hand. The previous weeks puff pastry from the Daring Bakers challenge was in my freezer waiting to be baked. Apples arrived Monday in my organic delivery box . Naturally I knew what to do for a colleague who complained she didn't get any of my cookie treats the previous day, and I promised that I would whip up something special for her. These apple puffs are very easy and go a long way. They were a hit in the office. I made full size in cupcake liners and smaller bites in a Flexi pan mold I had. The puff doesn't have to be perfect and feel free to use scrapes to shape a base. I love the portability of these puffs. The bite size ones would go over well on any dessert tray for the upcoming holidays, open houses, or brunches.You could use smaller candy,muffin liners as well,if you don't have that size. While I had homemade puff pastry , you could use store purchased as well.

Apple Puffs
1 sheet puff pastry
4 apples peeled and chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp pie filling enhancer or cornstarch ( I use King Arthur's)
2 tbsp water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1 tsp vanilla

In a sauce pan add apples , sugar, apple cider, Cinnamon stick. Cook on med heat until apples are soft, but still firm. In a glass mix your pie filling enhancer or cornstarch with the water. Add to the hot apple mixture in pan and cook until thickened. Set aside. Remove Cinnamon stick before filling shells.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll out pastry dough on lightly floured surface. Cut into squares to fit your muffin pans. If not enough you can piece scraps as well. It doesn't have to be perfect. Drape and fit into muffin cups. Fill each with apple filling.
Bake for 15-20 min until golden and filling is bubbly. Remove and let cool on rack. Serve at room temperature.

Printed recipe here.

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