Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls #EasterRecipes

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Do you just toss and turn, stare at the dark ceiling and hope for rest to return?

Well, today (yesterday) I decided to do something productive with my restlessness. Maybe I’ll be regretting that later, but I was tired of feeling like I was keeping the hubs awake. (Pun unintended.)

So what did I do?

Wash dishes.

Everyone washes dishes at 2am, right?!

I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep. I have a slight head cold, but it’s nothing to write home about. (Hopefully this “just wake up” decision doesn’t come back to bite me with that cold. I’m off to get some Nyquil tomorrow!) I keep having these parenting dreams that seem all too real, involving unplanned pregnancy and horrible mothering.

I think the real culprit has something to do with the first of three preschool tours lined up this month in the morning. All yesterday, while he was playing with his trains and talking up a storm, I just looked at him and thought, “When did you get so big?”

We aren’t looking to start Firecracker in school until the Fall – he’ll be 3 and {hopefully} potty trained by then. He is definitely interested in going to school. My boy is such a social butterfly, it’s just something we need to do for him. He’ll be attending VBS at our church this summer, so it’ll be a great test! (Yep, typing that reminded me to go register him now. Look at all of the productive things one can get done in the 2 o’clock hour!)

Who knew picking a preschool would be such a big decision!? I have a spreadsheet on my computer with our top choices, breaking down stats, including the insane cost that is preschool. We’re only considering 2 or 3 times a week, and half days. Yikes!

Maybe typing out these thoughts will help calm my mind and I’ll be able to go back to sleep soon. Odds are I’m going to end up asleep on the couch, computer in lap!

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Absolutely none of that intro story has to do with the Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls I’m sharing with today’s Holiday Fun with our Blogging Friends group. Except that I have to write this post and might as well do it at 2:45 in the morning, right? That way I don’t have to pull out my computer during playtime with my growing boys!

This week, 13 bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we’re serving up!

Yesterday, I shared Carrot Cake Pancakes that came with a confused maple cream cheese topping. All of that leftover maple mixture didn’t go to waste. I simply made cinnamon rolls the next day! Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls, of course.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 C warm water
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 – 4 C flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Ingredients for filling:

  • 4 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C real maple syrup

Steps:

  1. Stir yeast into the warm water. Let bloom for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat butter, sugar, and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined. Slowly pour in the yeast and water. Beat until combined. Add the flour about one cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Once the dough starts to form switch to the dough hook attachment. After all the flour has been added knead the dough for 3 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until smooth.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise to double in size (about 30 minutes) in a warm place. (In the microwave or turned off oven)
  5. Roll out dough onto a floured surface.
  6. Roll into a rectangle. Spread the dough evenly with the softened butter. In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the mixture over the dough. Add the grated carrot, raisins, and walnuts, pressing into the dough slightly. Roll the dough into a log, lengthwise. Cut the dough into 2″ cinnamon rolls. Place cut side down in a 9×13 casserole dish.
  7. Cover dough with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes before baking. The rolls should have doubled in size again. (Or you can freeze the rolls and after thawing let rise until doubled in size.)
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 7 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, slightly.
  9. Meanwhile, make frosting. Using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and syrup. Frost the cinnamon rolls!

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls Sew You Think You Can Cook #EasterRecipes

Be sure to check out these other Easter Recipes:

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls by Tip Garden

Individual Easter Breads by Cooking With Carlee

Tomato Asparagus Quiche by Caroline’s Cooking

Peeps Whoopie Pies by Palatable Pastime

Rosemary Garlic Herb Rib Roast by Family Around The Table

Honey butter Peas and Carrots by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Pea and Pasta Salad by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Roasted Eggplant Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm

In case you missed them, here are the recipes from Monday and Tuesday:

Monday

Deviled Ham Bites by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

30 Minute Dinner Rolls by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Easy Citrus Ham by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Sausage and Vegetable Strata by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus With Lemon Herb Sauce by Tip Garden

Dipped Strawberry Carrots by Family Around The Table

Easter Malted Milk Dip by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Sharadan’s Lemon Blueberry Parfaits by Cooking With Carlee

Easter Egg Cooking and Dyeing Tips and Tricks by Palatable Pastime

Tuesday

Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime

Carrot Cake Pancakes by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Torta Salata Pasquale by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Dill Roasted Radishes by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus by Family Around The Table

Praying Arm Pretzels by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Creamy Coconut Mini Tarts by Making the Most of Naptime

Carrot Cake Pancakes #EasterRecipes

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I’ve recently discovered a blogging group who goes by “Holiday Fun with our Blogging Friends” and they do themed events or even themed weeks around holidays. How could I not join the fun!?

This week, 13 bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we’re serving up!

I’d already planned to do a week of carrot cake inspired recipes and figured, why not?!

I didn’t link yesterday’s Cocoa Carrot Cake in with the group because it was more of a cookbook review and even though it wasn’t a sponsored post, I didn’t know if it’d be allowed in the scope of the event.

Today I’m sharing Carrot Cake Pancakes from our favorite brunch cookbook Brunch at Bobby’s.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

We’ve made these pancakes twice. And twice I had issues with the cream cheese maple syrup. I’m sorry, Bobby, but I think there’s a typo with your recipe. Even a full block of cream cheese and a cup of maple syrup did not look like the thick syrup in that beautiful full page photograph accompanying the recipes. And I had a ton of this glaze-type sauce left over, which I used for cinnamon rolls (recipe tomorrow, so stay tuned!).

I would highly suggest starting with half a block of softened cream cheese, a hand mixer, and adding maple syrup until the consistency and flavor profile meets your preferences. Next time I make these pancakes, I’ll take my advice and update the recipe with the ratio that worked best for us.  (**)

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C shredded carrots
  • 1/4 C chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/8 C crystalized ginger, chopped
  • 3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature**
  • 1 C real maple syrup**

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, zest, and vanilla. Mix in the carrots.
  3. Combine wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the walnuts and ginger.
  4. On a hot buttered griddle drop 1/4 C of batter into pancakes. Flip pancakes when batter starts to set and bubbles form in the center of the pancake. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese and syrup until smooth. Transfer to an oven safe bowl and warm in a 250 degree F oven until easy to drizzle.**

**This cream cheese syrup recipe did not work, see my suggestion above.

*This recipe is adapted from from Brunch at Bobby’s*

Carrot Cake Pancakes #EasterRecipes Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other Easter recipes, too:

Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime

Torta Salata Pasquale by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Dill Roasted Radishes by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus by Family Around The Table

Praying Arm Pretzels by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Creamy Coconut Mini Tarts by Making the Most of Naptime

And here are the recipes from Monday:

Deviled Ham Bites by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

30 Minute Dinner Rolls by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Easy Citrus Ham by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Sausage and Vegetable Strata by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus With Lemon Herb Sauce by Tip Garden

Dipped Strawberry Carrots by Family Around The Table

Easter Malted Milk Dip by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Sharadan’s Lemon Blueberry Parfaits by Cooking With Carlee

Easter Egg Cooking and Dyeing Tips and Tricks by Palatable Pastime

#BundtBakers: Yeasted Bundts

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostFor this month’s theme of Yeasted Bundts, we have two bloggers working together to make sure reveal day goes smoothly, Felice of All That’s Left are the Crumbs and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm.

#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

I have been attending a Moms bible study this year and it was my turn to bring the snack on February 28th. I originally planned to make a Cocoa Carrot Cake (you’ll see that recipe leading up to Easter). And then I realized that Febraury 28th was Mardis Gras! I changed gears and decided to make a King’s Cake. Remembering March’s Bundt Bakers theme I opted to do a bundt cake version of a King’s Cake. With walnuts instead of pecans, since I’d already bought the giant bag of walnuts for the previously mentioned carrot cake. Conveniently I had the appropriately colored sprinkles and/or sugar for decorating!

Colored Sugar

And then my boys were too sick to make it to bible study. I felt (feel) terrible letting everyone down. I’ve now missed 3 weeks in a row due to fevers and colds that won’t quit. As I mentioned earlier this week, the boys both have ear infections. Now that they’re on antibiotics everyone is feeling better and I’m pumped to leave the house today for story time at a nearby light house.

The silver lining of not sharing that cake with my friends was that I ate nearly the entire thing for breakfast all week. Seriously, this cake was insanely good. I loved it! Sure, it got a little stale by Saturday, but that’s nothing 10-15 seconds in the microwave couldn’t fix. The boys had a slice for breakfast on Mardi Gras. My husband had a couple of slices over the course of the week and I gave a couple of slices to a friend. Other than that, seriously, I ate it all.

The kids had fun with the Mardi Gras beads all week, too!

Beads and Bites

King’s Bundt Cake

Ingredients for cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 pkt (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C walnuts, finely ground
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • decorating sugar or sprinkles in yellow, green, and purple

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs, milk, and butter. Stir in the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on medium-low speed for 10 minutes until smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  3. In a bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Grease a bundt pan.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough into a rectangle measuring 18″ x 14″. Brush the dough with a little bit of water. Sprinkle the walnut mixture onto the dough. Roll the dough up lengthwise like making a cinnamon roll. Pinch the edge to seal. Form the dough into a ring and place in the prepared bundt pan, seam side up. Cover and allow dough to rise another hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes, until an internal temperature of 190 degrees F is reached. Allow the cake to cool 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  8. Make the glaze: Whisk together the sugar and milk. Pour over the cooled cake. Decorate with the colored sugar/sprinkles.

*This recipe is adapted from Michelle at http://www.browneyedbaker.com/king-bundt-cake/*

King's Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Bica Bundt Cake by Patty’s Cake

Coconut Spice Mini Yeasted Bundts by Passion Kneaded

Cornish Saffron Cake by Food Lust People Love

Czech Poppyseed Crown Coffee Cake by The Queen of Scones

Guinness Bread Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes

Healthy Vegan Bundt Cake by Bizcocheando

Hot Cross Bundts by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Irish Butter Cheesy Bread Bundt by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite A Whiskered Accomplice

Jasmine Tea Savarin by Sneha’s Recipe

King’s Bundt Cake by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Lemon and Blackberry Savarin by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Food Bloggers Recipe Swap: Honey Walnut Shrimp

This post is my second with the Food Bloggers Recipe Swap group and the first of the new year! So, Happy New Year everyone! Can I still say that? Has the shiny new promise of 2017 already lost its luster?

Anywho… By opting in for January, I committed myself to being assigned a blog, finding and recreating a recipe from that blog, and then sharing it with all of you, my dear readers.

I love the posting leniency afforded in this challenge. As long as I get my post completed by the end of the month, life is peachy! I don’t think the assignments are a secret either, and should I choose, I could search through the assignment list and figure out who is digging through my recipe index, but I won’t spoil the surprise. 🙂

This month I was assigned the blog Simply Delish Eats written my Luca. Luca’s story has some similarities as mine in that she lives in California, is from the south, and is proud of her alma mater. She works in the fashion industry – a land I hardly ever delve into. Seriously, I don’t even brush my hair! Not that that means I don’t appreciate good fashion, I simply admire it from afar and from the dreamland of Pinterest.

Luca has some great recipes on her blog and I actually stopped looking when coming face to face (face to bowl?) with her slow cooker queso dip. I immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list and made it for Auburn’s final game of the season. (We won’t talk about the actual game though…) I thought it’d be fun to photograph the dip in the slow cooker so when I reheated the leftovers the next day I did so in the slow cooker. And then I forgot about it. And it burned. And the already unphotogenic melted cheesy goodness was far from being camera ready.

That execution fail (to be clear, the queso was tasty!) was a blessing in disguise because I got the opportunity to make this Honey Walnut Shrimp. I’ve never had the dish at a Chinese restaurant before so I can’t speak to it’s “copy cat” qualities. But I can speak to its deliciousness!

img_5606With some immense luck, Firecracker tried one bite of shrimp! He never gave a clear indication as to if he liked it or not. We gave him a pair of chopsticks to make it more fun, and it kinda sorta worked. Like I said, he tried one bite. And then had a kid’s protein bar for lunch instead. Ah well. Win some, lose some, right?

I made a full pound of shrimp, doubled the walnuts, and kept the sauce amount the same. To be fair, I would have doubled the sauce had I enough mayo/sour cream in my fridge, it’s not like I was trying to cut calories or anything. I only had about a 1/4 C of mayo left in my container so I had to add some sour cream. A perfectly acceptable substitution, I think! One could probably use plain Greek yogurt, too, in a pinch. Good news: I wouldn’t have needed a double recipe of sauce, it was enough to perfectly coat the 1 lb of shrimp.

Luca used a boxed tempura batter. I couldn’t find any at the store, so I simply made my own.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/3 C brown sugar + 1 tbsp brown sugar, divided use
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided use
  • 1 1/2 C seltzer
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise (or combination with sour cream)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Steps:

  1. Place walnuts, 1 1/3 C brown sugar, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook 3 minutes. Drain and place walnuts on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  2. Pour oil into a wok or high sided skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and a wooden spoon placed in the oil bubbles.
  3. Make tempura batter: Whisk together flour, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in seltzer.
  4. Coat shrimp in the tempura batter and then place in the hot oil. Cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. (I did this in 3 batches.)
  5. Make the sauce: Whisk together the mayo, honey, milk, remaining brown sugar and remaining salt until smooth.
  6. Place fried shrimp in a large bowl, gently toss with the walnuts and the sauce. Serve warm over rice. (Shrimp is best served same day.)

*This recipe is modified from Luca at http://www.simplydelisheats.com/recipes/honey-walnut-tempura-shrimp and Food Network Kitchen at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tempura-batter-recipe.html*

Honey Walnut Shrimp for Food Bloggers Recipe Swap from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce

Did everyone end their 2016 battling sickness or is it just us?

Pretty much all of November and December was spent with my boys passing back and forth some sniffles and coughs. My mom caught the head cold when she was here in early December and it clung to her for 3 weeks. And, unfortunately for Treat, it developed into an almost ear infection and some precautionary antibiotics before our holiday travel.

My mother-in-law came to visit a couple of weeks before Christmas. She took a week to spend quality time with her children out in California. My sister-in-law lives in Napa working in the wine industry and we’re down in the Los Angeles area, so she took advantage and planned a multi-city travel itinerary.

Firecracker simply loves it when the grandparents come to visit and has come to expect crafting projects when his Tilly (my MIL) comes to visit. Of course, she didn’t disappoint and had some adorable alphabet themed Christmas crafts to do. Crafts that have inspired me to begin planning some 2017 Christmas crafting already. (I’m just going to leave that there, chuckle at it, and land my feet on the ground knowing that’ll never happen. At least not in advance!) See my Instagram posts for adorable holiday crafting fun.

My mother-in-law was coughing a little bit and her voice was starting to go. Her trip took a turn for the worse and she ended up spending her last day in California sleeping in her hotel room. Upon returning to Alabama, a doctor’s visit revealed she had bronchitis.

At least we managed to stay clear of that!

We then traveled to Florida for Christmas. Our 2nd day there was the start of illnesses. Treat ended up having some projectile vomiting and we weren’t really sure what to chalk it up to, thinking it was just a side-effect of his medicine, mucusy coughs, or teething. But then the next night, I was the one battling what was evidently a stomach bug. That bug continued its way through our family reaching my dad, my brother, Firecracker, and my brother’s mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nieces. My best friend’s husband had it, too.

My weakened immune system meant that I got that lingering head cold from my mom. Dad did, too.

Needless to say, our holiday vacation was one spent mostly on the couch.

img_5071What does any of that have to do with Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce?

Not much really. Except that the pasta I used was a package my mother-in-law found while up in Napa. She brought me quite the fun kitchen gift set including holiday towels, colorful pasta, and a chocolate raspberry sauce.

Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 C toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lb pasta of choice
  • 1 C reserved pasta cooking water
  • 2 tbsp butter

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 C of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Toss pasta with butter and return to pot to keep warm.
  2. Put toasted walnuts, olive oil, cheese, basil, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Add sauce to the cooked pasta with 1/2-1 C of the pasta water. Serve with extra grated cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Andrea at http://cookingwithmammac.com/linguine-with-creamy-walnut-sauce/ *

Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancookk.com

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)

Today’s recipe comes from Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland. I received this beautiful cookbook for Christmas last year.

Poppy-Seed Cake | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

We were invited to a party for the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with the request to bring a cultural dish. Unfotunatley, we weren’t able to make it due to a long day at work for my husband.

Yea, remember the Games? Did you forget that happened this year?! Not going to lie, I kinda did, too. But I wasn’t able to watch much of them due to my current time zone combined with those little children of mine.

Anyway.

I knew I wanted to bring a Polish dish and decided on trying this Poppy-Seed Cake.

This cake uses a LOT of poppy seeds.

It’s probably a good thing I ended up not sharing this cake at the party because with my luck one of the guys would’ve been randomly drug tested the next day. I was seriously nervous about the poppy seed concentration when I thought my 2 year old was acting a little loopy. If you’re concerned about your intake of poppy seeds, check out this article, which provides a guideline to poppy seed consumption limits.

I had some dilemmas with the recipe, though. And actually, the photographs I’m sharing with you today are from my second attempt. Attempt number 1 is in my freezer, as it’s still quite edible, just far from beautiful.

The recipe called for a pound of poppy seeds. Do you have any idea how many poppy seeds make up a pound!?! I’m still finding stray poppy seeds in the corners of my kitchen!

My food processor couldn’t break down the tiny seeds into a paste, so I recommend getting a spice grinder and working in batches. Because my poppy seed texture wasn’t quite right, I had a lot of extra liquid which caused seepage out of the cake roll.

I had so much left over filling that I decided to simply try again! The second time I (sorta) followed a different method for the cake I found on YouTube.

I would honestly suggest halving (or quartering!) the filling recipe, but I’m leaving it as written.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 lb poppy seeds
  • 3 C milk
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 C superfine sugar
  • 1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 C slivered almonds
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2/3 C superfine sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 C whole milk, warmed to 105-110 deg F
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 C bread flour
  • 2/3 C golden raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Ingredients for the glaze:
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • milk, as needed

Steps:

  1. Heat poppy seeds and milk in a pot over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Cover and let sit over night.
  2. Drain the seeds, place in a food processor, and pulse until they form a paste. Add the sugar, nuts, zest, and extract, and pulse a few seconds. Remove to a bowl and fold in the egg whites.
  3. Allow yeast to proof in the warm milk, 10 minutes.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg yolks, stirring until combined. Add the milk and yeast. Add some of the flour and mix. Switch to the dough hook and slowly add the remaining flour and the raisins. Knead until the dough forms around the hook.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and roll lengthwise. Place cake on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Brush cake with the egg. Bake 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth and runny. Pour over cake while still warm.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec) | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Sugar and Spiced Nuts

Have you ever been to a carnival or amusement park and had the purple paper cone filled with candied nuts? For my husband, it’s a not-to-be-missed treat.

We spent our first anniversary at Universal Studios, where I conquered my fear of rollercoasters. I have a slight obsession with Harry Potter and was so excited to step into Hogwarts and shop the streets of Hogsmeade. I highly recommend a trip… or two! (We went again the following year for my birthday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Omfiz0c1I0) I could go fly with Harry on The Forbidden Journey all day. Stuart’s favorite ride is still The Incredible Hulk.

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Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Before we left the park on our last day, Stuart was determined to find these magical candied almonds. We finally found them in Seuss Landing.

This recipe for sugar and spiced nuts isn’t an exact replica, but they are delicious. Like Stuart said, “It’s like Christmas in my mouth!”

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Sugar and Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 C almonds
  • 1 C walnuts
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. In a bowl, combine sugar, salt, and spices.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together egg white, 1 tbsp water, and vanilla until it foams.
  3. Toss nuts in the egg white mixture. Strain nuts and toss in the sugar mixture. (I forgot to strain the nuts, they still turned out great, but instead of individual nuts they turned out more like balls of candied nuts.)
  4. Spread nuts on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Toss and roast another 15 minutes.

*This recipe is modified from Kristi at http://www.30poundsofapples.com/2012/09/sugar-n-spiced-pecans/*

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And here’s a bonus recipe idea – I reserved 1/8 C of the sugar and we sprinkled it over buttered bagels before putting them in the toaster oven.