Tag Archives: cinnamon

You don’t have to hug a tree to love granola

31 Mar

I love granola. I mean what’s not to like about sweet crunchy whole grains mixed with fruit and nuts. I make granola a lot at work. I serve it to the kids to mix with yogurt and fruit. It holds up well without going stale and it can be flavored in so many ways. Since today is a very rainy day I figured it was a good day to play with the food in the house.

If your pantry is anything like mine, you have a few items in there that are partially used. I always seem to have a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips or a handful of nuts. I also seem to have an assortment of dried fruits left over from different recipes. Granola is great what to use up all those odds and ends. As with most things, granola is a technique. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can tweak the ingredients to customize your mix.

Here’s the basic formula for granola:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until the mixture is crumbly and the syrup has been evenly incorporated. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to stir the mixture every 5 minutes to prevent burning.

Below is a table of combinations to give you an idea of how you can mix and match flavors to make a personalized granola…

Basic Base Dry Goods Syrup Flavor 2nd Flavor Additives
oats no additional maple cinnamon brown sugar dried fruit
oats wheat germ agave pumpkin

pie spice

vanilla powder pecans
oats coconut honey cinnamon brown sugar dried fruit
oats shredded wheat honey nutmeg clove white chocolate chips
oats puffed rice agave espresso powder vanilla powder chocolate chips

Today I made a tropical granola… here’s the recipe:

2 cups oats
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Added after the base was toasted and cooled:
1/2 cup dried mango, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup banana chips
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts

I followed the above technique and viola, a yummy granola! I would also recommend using macadamia nuts instead of the peanuts or omitting the chocolate chips for a slightly healthier granola, but ce la vie… This is what you get what you’re cleaning out the pantry

Always thinking of the next meal


Homemade croissant dough

15 Feb

I love croissants. I mean what’s not to like about buttery, flakey, warm pasteries? Nothing. That’s the answer. Nothing. The only thing that I don’t like is the price. Croissants are typically very pricey. If you want the best, and life is too short not too, you’ll order them via Williams-Sonoma. You’ll pay a pretty penny for them too. I say why go through the cost when you can make them at home for less than 2 will cost you at the bakery.
Croissant dough is actually very easy to make, it just takes patience. While the steps are simple, there is a lot of down time while you wait for rising and chilling and baking.
Here’s the recipe:
14oz AP flour
.5oz sugar
8oz milk
.5oz yeast (approx. 1 packet)
.25oz salt
1.5oz butter + 8oz for later
heat the milk and add in the sugar and yeast. let the yeast dissolve and then add it to the other ingredients. let the dough rise for 1 hour and punch down.

Spread the dough out on a flat sheet and chill for 30 minutes. Then take the remaining butter and spead it on 2/3 of the dough. fold the unbuttered side 1/2 way into the buttered area. Fold the remaining dough over the top. roll to about 1/4 inch thick and repeat the process. Chill for 30 minutes and repeat the process. Do this 3 times total chilling for 30 minutes in between each fold. Chill over night.

The next day, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick after letting it come to room temperature. cut into trianges and roll into cresent shape. brush with egg wash and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

For the chocolate croissants just add approximately 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips in the middle of the dough before baking. For the danish, cut the dough into strips and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Twist the the strips into spirals and then form them into a circle. Press the middle down and fill with preserves or jam. Finish with a drizzle of light glaze.

This recipe is worth the effort. The pastry comes out irrisitably flaky and golden. Try not to eat them all at one sitting.
always thinking of the next meal

Starbucks Cinnamon Chip Scones

11 Feb

I love the cinnamon chip scones at Starbucks. I was looking around the web and all of the recreations were just missing the mark. None of them even came close to looking like the ones at Starbucks. Although some of the recipes that were posted elsewhere seemed to be decent recipes, just not the ones I was looking for.

It was up to me to figure this out on my own. Here’s what I came up with…

Starbucks Cinnamon Chip Scones

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of allspice
1 stick of butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
1/2-3/4 skim milk
1 egg, for egg wash

for glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon water

sift together the dry ingredients and work the butter in until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add in the chips and toss together. Slowly add the milk until the dough just comes together. Roll the dough out into a square that is approximately 1 inch thick. Cut into triangles and brush with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let scones cool completely and then drizzle with glaze.

These are pretty close to the ones at Starbucks. They are a little less dense, but not disagreeable. I think next time I’ll try buttermilk instead of skim milk and see how it comes out.

Always thinking of the next meal


Cinnamon = Happy

6 Nov

IMG_0954One of my favorite memories from being a kid is when my Mom would make cinnamon rolls for breakfast. It was always on the weekends, but even on those days when you didn’t want to get up, that smell of freshly baked sweet buns would lure you from the deepest dream.

With Ryan coming home and knowing that the weekend holds lots of work for me, I wanted to have some special treats ready. Cinnamon rolls obviously have a special place in my heart and I love building that same love for my husband. I decided that even though it wouldn’t be the same as making them first thing in the morning, something was better than nothing.

I started with a basic cinnamon roll recipe and make some tweaks. Just as a note, there is NOTHING low fat, low calorie, low cholesterol, or low anything. These are real cinnamon rolls people. There is real sugar, real butter and real flavor. Those rolls in the dairy section can’t hold a candle to the flavor of love that homemade anything comes with.

Here’s the recipe:

Katie’s Cinnamon Rolls

3 3/4 cups flour
1 cup skim milk, warmed to 120 degrees
3 tablespoons butter, melted into the milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2  cup sugar
2 packets dry active yeast

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water

Mix all the dough ingredients together and kneed for 8-10 minutes or until the dough comes together into a ball. Set aside in a lightly greased bowl to rise for 2 hours. Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl.

When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll into a 11×15 rectangle. spread the butter all over but leave a 1 inch border on one of the long sides. Evenly roll the dough onto itself. Slice into 12 pieces and arrange into a buttered baking dish. Allow to rise another 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool for 15-20 minutes and the then drizzle with the combined powdered sugar and water. Serve warm from pan.

Always thinking of the next meal