Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls

This post is like a love letter shout-out to my moms club friends. Because, oh, do they humor me.

It’s hard to make friends as an adult, and I was super lucky to fall into this group shortly after becoming a mom. Having a local group of women going through the same stage of life has been invaluable for my sanity.

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And, like I said, they humor me. When I come up with something I get excited about, I can count on them to jump in and be excited too. My latest pet project? Monthly potluck dinners. This month’s theme was “Back to School” so everyone brought slow cooker meals and freezer-friendly casseroles. Next month, we’re doing “Fall Favorites”.

Besides the good company and the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally make, this also gives me a captive audience for recipe testing. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls for Christmas for the last few years, but I keep eyeing recipes that are variations. This sweet combo is amazing as a decedent breakfast or special dessert.

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Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls
(adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 16

For the dough:
1 cup milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
12-oz. package frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

To make the dough:

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Stir in the sugar and yeast using a spoon. Cover with a towel and let stand 5-10 minutes, until yeast is activated and looks foamy. Add the softened butter, eggs, and salt and mix until combined but the butter will be chunky. Slowly add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and pliable, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough into an even 10×24 inch rectangle.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl, toss the still-frozen raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mash the raspberries so they are small pieces. Spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 24-inch-long log. Cut into 15 even pieces. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Cover the rolls with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the chocolate chips are melted. Transfer the whole pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.

To make the glaze:

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream together in a small bowl until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls. Serve warm.

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Zucchini Scones #farmersmarketweek

If there’s one piece of produce synonymous with summer, it’s got to be zucchini. I feel like everyone knows someone that has waaaay too much zucchini in their garden and is trying to pass it off on everyone. (PS, if you’re that person, I’m happy to take it!)

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These scones were something I made for myself. I figured vegetables in a not-overly-sweet pastry would be a hard sell, but as soon as these came out of the oven, the kids were BEGGING for them. They requested them for snack twice that day, and were thoroughly bummed when I informed them they weren’t allowed to have them again for dinner.

To be fair, they really are delicious. The buttery, flaky layers here are so on point! There’s just enough sweetness in these to make them perfect, but not overly sweet, and they’re a great way to use up some of that zucchini that I know you have hanging around!

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Zucchini Scones
(from Baker by Nature)
Makes 8

2 and 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick (unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)
2/3 cup zucchini, grated and drained
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Cut in the butter until it forms a course meal.

In a smaller bowl, combine the egg and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and 1/2 cup cheese.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and work it into a round loaf shape. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut like a pie into 8 wedges.

Carefully transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

These are best served the same day.

 

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Looking for more farm fresh inspiration? Here’s what other bloggers have cooked up for you today as part of #farmersmarketweek!

 

Wednesday #FarmersMarketWeek Recipes

Kids in the Kitchen: Banana Blender Muffins

The kids’ nap schedules have been wonky lately, so I’ve been getting some solo time with Julie while big brother naps – which means she’s been getting some kitchen projects of her own. Our favorite has become blender muffins.

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The idea behind blender muffins is that you just dump all the ingredients in to mix, then pour into the muffin pan. It’s super quick and easy and only takes about five minutes – which is about her attention span.

The payoff is a great, healthy snack or an easy breakfast!

Kids can:

  • Peel the banana
  • Help measure ingredients
  • Add ingredients to the blender
  • Help star/stop the blender
  • Help pour the batter into the muffin tin

Adults will need to:

  • Crack the eggs
  • Put the muffins into the oven and take them out

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Blender Banana Muffins
(from Baked in Arizona)
Makes 24 Mini Muffins

1 cup peanut butter
2 medium sized ripe bananas
2 eggs
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
Dash of vanilla, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into muffin wells.

Bake 8-9 minutes.

 

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sheet Pan Pancakes

Sheet pan pancakes are my new favorite thing.

My three year old is completely obsessed with pancakes and requests them nearly every other day. We’ve been obliging him – but the thing that drives me mad is the timing of them.

He is, of course, starving so he’ll get the first pancakes out of the pan. By the time I’m done cooking up the batter, he’s polished off his plate and is itching to go play.  The genius of sheet pan pancakes is that everyone’s pancakes are done at the same time so we can all actually sit down and eat together. It’s kind of awesome.

And since it’s National Peanut Butter Day, I thought I’d share this peanut butter-y version (with compliments to PB’s bff, chocolate).  Need some more peanut butter inspiration to help you celebrate today? I’m linking up with some other bloggers to bring you lots of fun options!

Peanut Butter Day Recipes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sheet Pan Pancake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sheet Pan Pancakes
(adapted from Recipe Girl)
Serves 10-12

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a half-sheet baking sheet with baking parchment, using enough that it hangs over the edges slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla until it is well combined and the peanut butter is all incorporated. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it out to fill the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until puffy and cooked through.

Remove from the pan using the sides of the parchment to lift. Cut into squares and serve with syrup, if desired.

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Carrot Ginger Muffins #ImprovCookingChallenge

I feel like the entire internet is dieting – especially the food blog world. And I feel like I’m totally playing into it by posting a gluten free/grain free/paleo recipe today – right after another lightened up recipe.  Am I dieting? Not really. But these muffins are in keeping with some resolutions.

Resolution #1 – Use up what’s already in the pantry/fridge.

Resolution # 2 – Make more of an effort to link up with the #ImprovCookingChallenge monthly.

I love this group because it regularly stretches me outside my comfort zone, but it’s something I dropped the ball on again and again in 2017. Here’s to a new year and more consistency!

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The theme for January is Ginger and Spice – and I was immediately drawn to these muffins because I already had all the ingredients on hand (yay, resolution #1!) These make a nice grab-and-go breakfast or snack and my kids gobbled them up.

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The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients. If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page.
You can also read more about the event on our home page.  If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.

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Carrot Ginger Muffins
(from Savory Lotus)
Makes 12 muffins

2  cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
Pinch of clove
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup grated carrot
3/4 cup raisins, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained

Preheat your oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and clove.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Stir in the ginger, coconut, carrot, and raisins. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.

Divide between wells of the muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Kids in the Kitchen: Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Today, I’m kicking off a series of kid-friendly recipes – ones they’ll be able to help make and like to eat. I generally get a lot of questions about how I incorporate Jake into the cooking process. There’s nothing really earth-shattering about my approach: I just let him jump in wherever he can. Yes, it’s sometimes a mess. Yes, we have plenty of over-mixed muffins. But, he’s learning – and that’s important.

These mini muffins are a great place to start if you want to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re super simple and come together quickly. These definitely ebb on the healthier side of muffins – if your little one has a big sweet tooth, try mixing in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.

Kids can:

  • Mash the sweet potato & banana
  • Help measure ingredients
  • Mix
  • Help spoon the batter into muffin wells

Adults will need to:

  • Crack eggs
  • Put the muffins into the oven and take them out

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Sweet Potato Banana Muffins
(from The Lean Green Bean)
Makes 1 dozen mini muffins

1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Divide evenly between muffin wells.

Bake for 18 minutes.

 

Everything Bagel Casserole

I have been on a total de-cluttering binge lately. Cook all the things forgotten in the freezer! Clean out the cedar closet! Get rid of all the sippy cups that don’t get used! Purge old purses!

The other night I was watching TV and playing on the laptop and decided to start deleting old, unneeded blog photos from the computer. Buried in the blog folder where the shots of this casserole – and I realized I never actually blogged it! I’m sorry. I was holding out on your guys.

This is amazing – hands down my favorite breakfast casserole. I made this for a Mother’s Day brunch and it was so amazingly well received. It’s easy to see why, though – everything bagels, bacon, melty cream cheese – what’s not to love? And the fact that you can prep it ahead is an added bonus.

If you’re looking for a great, filling brunch dish, this is it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Everything Bagel Casserole
(adapted from Well Plated)
Serves 8

6 everything bagels, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped, divided
8 oz. cream cheese

Spray a 9×11″ casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Spread the bagel pieces evenly in the bottom of the dish and top evenly with bacon crumbles, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and pour over the bagel pieces. Press down lightly on the bagel pieces to make sure they all absorb some of the liquid. Top evenly with half of the fresh chives and the remaining cheddar. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours – overnight is perfect!

Preheat the oven to 350 when ready to bake – let the casserole stand at room temperature during preheating. Cover lightly with foil sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the center is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Cranberry Honey Banana Bread #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received products from Barlean’s free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

While I’m pretty decent at whipping up a healthy dinner when need be, my baking projects are decidedly different.  Tackling a makeover of one of my most-frequently-baked items – banana bread – seemed like the perfect challenge.

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As I was working on this recipe, I turned to products from #RecipeMakeover sponsor, Barlean’s. Their Butter Flavored Coconut Oil can be subbed 1:1 for butter – so that was a great place to start. Roasting the bananas brought out some more natural sugars, and using Barlean’s Digestive Blend punched up the flavor while adding some good-for-you stuff to the bread (it’s a mix of ground flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a pumpkin blend that is remeniscint of pumpkin spice!) My added sweetener here was a local cranberry honey (fun fact: New Jersey is the 3rd biggest cranberry producing state in the US!) – I Iiked the flavor it added, but if you don’t have this available any honey would be great in this recipe.

The result? A banana bread that was really good – and much better for you than my usual go-to loaf.

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Cranberry Honey Banana Bread
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 loaf

4 medium bananas
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Barlean’s Digestive Blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Cranberry Honey (or regular honey)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line  a baking sheet with foil. Prick the banana peels with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Barlean’s Digestive Blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, and honey until well combined. Mash bananas and add to the wet ingredients – stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the everything is just moistened.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Basil Pancakes #RecipeMakeover

I love pancakes. And my toddler has inherited that love. They used to be something I only made occasionally – on a lazy weekend morning or special occasion – but with Jake requesting them they’ve been in the rotation much more frequently. And, of course, my favorite recipe includes a heavy dose of sugar – and then I slather them in syrup.

Perfect candidate for a recipe makeover!

Instead of sugar, this version is packed with protein – eggs and Greek yogurt make these a great, filling option for the morning. Instead of being slathered with syrup, they’re topped with a compote of fresh strawberries and basil – and just a little honey.

The result is a fresh, filling breakfast that satisfies the pancake cravings in a much healthier fashion.

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Strawberry Basil Pancakes
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Serves 4

3 cups sliced strawberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain Greek yogurt

In a bowl, combine strawberries and honey. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries start to give up their juice. Stir in the basil just before serving.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs and yogurt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until all moistened.

Drop batter by 2 Tbsp. heaps into a lightly-greased frying pan and spread out a bit. Cook until the edges are dry and flip, cooking an additional minute or so.

Serve pancakes warm, topped with the strawberry basil compote.

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(If You Give a Moose) Blueberry Muffins #FoodBloggerLove

Today we’re celebrating #FoodBloggerLove, which is sort of like blind dating, food blog style. I was assigned a random blogger to get acquainted with and I’m so excited to introduce you to the lovely Chef Sarah Elizabeth today. I think you guys will love her. I know I do!

Sarah is a new mom and – get this – her Henry was born the same day as my Julie! Fun, right? What really hooked me, though, is her monthly blog series – Family Dinner Book Club.

Each month, there’s a featured kids’ book. Sarah posts a meal to go with the book, and then two other bloggers she work with post a craft and discussion questions. As a voracious reader raising two little book worms, I think this is pretty much the best idea ever.

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With her family dinner book club in mind, I gathered up Jake for our own mini book day. We picked If You Give a Moose a Muffin and made – of course – muffins.

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Jake is at a fun age where he’s really into books. He loves discussing the pictures and is starting to make connections between the things he reads in books and the rest of the world. Of course, he was totally smitten by the idea of making muffins like the book.

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I stuck with a simple, one-bowl blueberry muffin – because toddler attention spans can only handle so much! And, to be fair, ours were a tad over-mixed, thanks to my excited assistant – but we all still thought they were delicious!

I’m so excited to follow along with the Family Dinner Book Club and the other cooking adventures Sarah (and Henry!) will have. Aside from her blog, you can also find Chef Sarah Elizabeth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Want to check out the rest of the #FoodBloggerLove posts? Click the frog below!

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One-Bowl Blueberry Muffins
(from A Sparkle of Genius)
Makes 12

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar + 1 Tbsp.
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees an line a muffin pan with cupcake papers or spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a 1 cup measuring cup, add the oil, egg and then fill to the 1 cup line with milk. Add vanilla and whisk until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

Divide batter evenly between muffin wells. Sprinkle tops with a little sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.