Tag Archives: cinnamon

Apple Cider Cupcakes with Apple Cider Cream Cheese Frosting

So, the second recipe in the fall collection is something related to apples. With the huge success of the Pumpkin Cupcakes, I wanted to go with a cupcake and I recently have seen some people posting apple cider type ideas.

This recipe is very easy and did not take much time at all. I tripled the recipe so that I had enough cupcakes for three of the nursing units plus another baker’s dozen for my wife to take with her to work. Hi Stacy, Carol, Yasmin, Althea, Henry, Maria, Debbie, Paula, Cynthia, Annalyn, Angela, Laura, Becky and Evelyn!

Recipe adapted from Something Swanky



2 eggs
1 2/3 c. AP flour
1 c. apple cider
2/3 c. sugar
½ c. butter, softened
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla


½ cup butter, softened
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons apple cider
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar



1. Whisk together all ingredients.
2. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350º for 19 minutes.
3. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move cupcakes to cooling rack to cool completely.


Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the apple cider and cinnamon, and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Frost cooled cupcakes with prepared frosting.


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Another specialty pantry item I have been looking forward to using is Rose Water. This is a liquid seasoning used especially in Middle Eastern cuisine. One of the more frequent things I have seen it used in is Baklava. One of my co-workers (Hi Heidi!) purchased a bottle of Rose Water for me at a store close to her house, and gave it to me to use. She previously gave me the bottle of Orange Blossom Water, which I used in the Madeleines with Orange Blossom water Glaze.

The ingredients for Baklava are not all that strange, and you will most likely have all the items in your pantry. For the nuts in this recipe, you can go with all one type or combine them. My recipe had a combination of all three.

Recipe adapted from – Alton Brown


For the filling:
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 ounces blanched almonds
6 ounces raw or roasted walnuts
6 ounces raw or roasted pistachio
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon rose water
1 pound phyllo dough, thawed
½ lb clarified unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)

For the syrup:
1 1/4 cups honey
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sugar and freshly ground spices into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pasty or powdery, approximately 15 quick pulses. Set aside.

Combine the water and rose water in a small spritz bottle and set aside.

Trim the sheets of phyllo to fit the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch metal pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with butter; lay down a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter.

Repeat this step 9 more times for a total of 10 sheets of phyllo. Top with 1/3 of the nut mixture and spread thinly.

Spritz thoroughly with the rose water.

Layer 6 more sheets of phyllo with butter in between each of them, followed by another third of the nuts and spritz with rose water. Repeat with another 6 sheets of phyllo, butter, remaining nuts, and rose water. Top with 8 sheets of phyllo brushing with butter in between each sheet. Brush the top generously with butter. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and cut into 28 squares. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool for 2 hours before adding the syrup.

Make the syrup during the last 30 minutes of cooling. Combine the honey, water, sugar and cinnamon stick in a 4-quart saucepan and set over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Once boiling, boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick.

After the baklava has cooled for 2 hours, re-cut the entire pan following the same lines as before. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the baklava, allowing it to run into the cuts and around the edges of the pan. Allow the pan to sit, uncovered until completely cool. Cover and store at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to overnight before serving. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

In the past I have had many challenges trying to make banana bread. I was never quite sure why I had so much difficulty. Most times when I would make banana bread the top would be done, but the very center of the loaf would be not totally cooked. I would attempt to cook the loaf for an extended period of time, but then I would worry about overcooking the top of the bread. This recipe solves that issue.

This is the second time I have made this recipe. It is PERFECT! Wonderful balance of bananas, nuts, sugar and flour. When I made the recipe the first time, I followed it exactly and made only one loaf. The dough ended up overflowing the bread pan. So, this time I modifed the recipe slightly and split the dough into multiple dough pans.

The recipe below is for a single batch. I tripled it, as I needed multiple loaves for work.

This recipe is my third one from the flour cookbook. All of Joanne Chang’s recipes have been easy to cook, wonderful to eat, and have given so many smiles to all of my friends and co-workers. The flour ii cookbook is being written now, so I am planning to buy that as soon as possible.

For those of you who live in the Boston area, I am jealous. I have travelled there for business three times. However, I had not discovered the magic of Flour at that time.

Recipe Source – Flour: Spectacular recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe


1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
½ cup canola oil
3½ very ripe, medium bananas, peeled and mashed
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnut halves toasted and chopped


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take about 8 minutes).

4. On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. Don’t pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn’t deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding it should take about 1 minute. Add the bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla and continue to mix on low speed just until combined.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and the nuts just until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible, and the nuts should be evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours, or until golden brown on top and the center streaks back when you press it. If your finger sinks when you poke the bread, it needs to bake a little longer. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, and then pop it out of the pan to finish cooling.

7. The banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, it can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks; thaw overnight at room temperature for serving.

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Cake Donuts

While working with the second ER crew this week, I decided to take advantage of the oil in the deep fryer at home, and dry up some donuts for the staff to enjoy.

I debated between yeast donuts and cake, and decided to go with the cake donuts. Great choice.

After 2 hours, all the donuts are sadly gone…


Donuts –
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 quarts oil for deep frying

Sugar Coating –
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar

Glaze –
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp hot water


1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Heat oil in a deep heavy skillet or deep-fryer to 370 degrees F (185 degrees C). On a floured board, roll chilled dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a 3 inch round cutter to cut out doughnuts. Use a smaller cutter to cut holes from center. If you do not have a small cutter, use the mouth of a bottle.

3. Fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Remove from oil to drain on paper plates.

For Sugar Coating:
1. Combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar in a large resealable bag.

2. Place a few warm donuts into the bag at a time, seal and shake to coat.

For Glazed Coating:
1. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Remove pan from heat, and stir in a tablespoon at a time to thin glaze.

2. Dip warm donuts into glaze, and place them onto wire rack over paper towels to cool.


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