Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits: Sunlight
There is nothing as awesome as a fluffy, warm, buttermilk biscuits, slathered in butter and some jam or jelly. In the south they take their biscuits seriously. Every person who makes buttermilk biscuits think theirs are the best, and their families will adamantly agree. I’m here to tell you I think mine are the best, because of course I do, and they really, really are! 😉

My mom made bread occasionally, but I don’t ever remember her making biscuits. That didn’t stop her from helping me figure them out though, and I actually won a ribbon in 4-H for buttermilk biscuits. In all honesty, there weren’t many entries, and I remember mine were sort of misshapen, but they tasted really good. After that I didn’t revisit buttermilk biscuits again until after Jamison and I married. Even then it took me a while to get them exactly how I imagined them in my head, and it was long after we figured out Jamison is allergic to gluten, but I finally did, and these are the result.

Buttermilk Biscuits: Goodness

The biscuits mix up quick, and in no time you have fluffy, warm pillows of goodness, ready for your favorite butter and toppings. We’re talking 30 minutes from start to finish. They’re good for sausage and ham biscuits too, or breakfast sandwiches, or they’re perfect just as is. No matter how you slice them, you’re looking at buttermilk biscuit perfection!

Buttermilk Biscuits: Ready to Eat

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
Buttermilk
1 pastry cutter or fork
Flour for the counter and cutter
1 biscuit cutter or small glass

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar until incorporated. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter in to the flour mixture until crumbles form. Next stir in butter milk until dough forms. Start with 1/2 a cup and slowly add more until dough forms in to a ball. It may be a bit between crumbly and sticky at the same time, it’s funny like that, but that’s ok. Usually you’re going to use about 1 cup of buttermilk total, but you might need slightly more, or slightly less, depending on the humidity and such.

Take the dough out of the bowl and put it on a surface that has been sprinkled with a thin layer of flour. Give the dough a few kneads to incorporate all of the ingredients. If it’s sticky, sprinkle on a bit more flour and knead it in until it’s a relatively dry dough. Shape the dough in to a round and flatten to about and inch thick. Fold the dough over on itself toward the middle from both sides and then press the dough back out again to an inch once more. Repeat this 2 or 3 times.

After the final press, take a biscuit cutter or a small glass and dip it in flour and cut your biscuits and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Cut the dough until you run out. You may need to shape the last of the dough in to a round for baking. Depending on the size of your cutter, you’ll end up with 8-14 biscuits, give or take.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Buttermilk Biscuits: Baking

Notes: I like to use King Arthur Flour. I really like their products. I’ve used White Lilly in the past as well, I did grown up in Tennessee after all, but I really prefer King Arthur.

I use organic cane sugar in everything, but regular refined sugar will work ok too. The same with the sea salt, I always use it, but table salt will work too, though I find it to be a bit more strong that sea salt, so you might want to cut it back to 1/2 -3/4ths a teaspoon if you do go that route.

A word on the folding of the dough. This is a very quick method that forms the layers of the biscuit. I mean look at these beautiful little layers:

Buttermilk Biscuits: Layers

Aren’t they gorgeous?

My favorite toppings are Irish butter and strawberry or blueberry jam. These are a few of my favorites:

Buttermilk Biscuits: Jelly, Jam and Irish Butter

Pumpkin or sweet potato butters are good as well.

Now it’s time to eat! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Long time, no see huh?

I’ll bet you thought I’ve gotten lost and I guess in a way I have.

I needed a little blog break, so I took one. 2013 really has been a horrible year for my family as a whole, and topped with my on and off again depression, it just got the better of me for a while. Depression kind of moves in, takes up camp, drives its stakes down deep and dares you to remove them. The human psyche is such a fragile place.

Last week however I actually got back in the kitchen in a big way and I thought I’d share these muffins with you. I can’t promise I’m back on a regular basis, but I’m feeling better, and I’m feeling creative, so we’ll see where we end up from here.

For now, if you’re a pumpkin lover, grab a cuppa and make some of these muffins…you won’t be sorry you did!

What You’ll Need for the Muffins:
2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 cup of brown sugar (preferably natural)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (preferably Saigon)
1/3 cup of oil (preferably safflower)
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1 cup of buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 – 15 ounce container of mashed pumpkin
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Crumble topping (see below)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Prepare muffins pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, sea salt, baking powder and cinnamon until completely incorporated.

Add oil, maple syrup, buttermilk, eggs, pumpkin and bananas to the dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.

Add batter to prepared muffin pans, filling each cup 2/3 of the way full.

Top each cup with a layer of crumble topping.

Place muffin pan on top of a baking sheet to prevent spill overs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are golden and muffins stick clean.

Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Makes 32-36 muffins.

Notes on the Muffins: You can add in nutmeg and/or allspice if you like. 1/4 of a teaspoon would be fine. You can also add 1 cup of raisins to the batter if you like them.

What You’ll Need for the Crumble Topping:
1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup of brown sugar (preferably natural)
1/2 cup of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 stick of butter, softened and cut into chunks

In a large bowl stir together pumpkin seeds, brown sugar and flour until completely mixed.

Add butter chunks and work in to the dry mixture with your hands until mixture is crumbly.

Use mixture in recipe above.

Notes on the Crumble Topping: You can use nuts instead of pumpkin seeds, or a mixture of the two. This is also a good topping for sweet potatoes.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

First off let me say thank you for all the prayers, good thoughts, emails, etc. that you sent to me for my father. We really appreciate all of you. It meant a lot.

Let me give you a little update….

Daddy ended up having to have a defibrillator inserted in to his chest. The unsettling thing about everything that happened was they could never tell us exactly what happened and why. One thing they were adamant about though was, if it happened once, it would happen again, and we needed a safeguard in place to deal with what may come. Daddy’s slowly regaining strength now that’s he home and allowed to get up and move around. I stayed in Tennessee for the week he was in the hospital and the week after to help out mom and then headed back to Maryland. Alexis and I will be going back to Tennessee in late July/early August to check in. Again, thank you for all the thoughts and emails. Again, they really meant a lot to me.

And now let’s discuss some cinnamon rolls!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls: Ready to Eat

One day when I was at Mom’s house I was watching the Food Network. I’ll admit it…I highjacked the TV because I was tired of hearing the tripe on Faux News and needed a break. One of the shows in my little marathon Food Network block was was Alton Brown’s.

I love Alton Brown. Most of the time anyway. There have been shows where he’s told you things to do to make the best whatever that I totally disagreed with, but that’s a rare occasion, and as always it’s always good to remember it’s OK to disagree. For the most part he amuses me. His humor and quirky wit are fun to watch. On this day he was making cinnamon rolls. I mean who doesn’t like cinnamon rolls? I’m sure there are those out there who don’t, but I’d say they’re hard to find, and really do we want to do all that searching?

No. Not me!

Anyway…

These cinnamon rolls were amazing to look at. It was one of those times when you wish you had smellavision so you could smell them baking. There’s something so settling and satisfying about smelling cinnamon (or even just dough for that matter) when it’s baking. They were big, fluffy, absolutely awesome just to look at! I found the recipe online and left it open in a window on my iPad browser. I had to make these and yesterday I started the dough.

The dough is made the day before, rises and then you roll the dough out, fill it with the goodness of brown sugar and cinnamon, roll, cut, and put in a baking dish, cover it, and let it rise in the fridge overnight.

Easy peasy.

The next morning you let them rise for 30 minutes in an oven with a dish of boiling water underneath them for 30 minutes, remove and preheat oven to 350 F. Put them back in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, ice and eat.

Seriously, what’s not to like about that?

And when they come out of the oven, they’re browned and gooey and perfect!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls: Ready to Ice

Even the icing loves these rolls! Don’t believe me? Take a look at this heart Alexis found on hers:

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls: Even the Icing Loves These Rolls!

How cool is that?

Try these cinnamon rolls. You’ll love them!

You can find the recipe here.

Lemon Curd, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Lemon Curd

Last week I was in Virginia with Katherine to help out after her second chemo treatment. I’m not sure I was much help, she likes to do things on her own, but it was nice to spend time with her and her family. One morning for a snack, she pulled out a jar of Trader Joe’s Lemon Curd, and we added some to a toasted bagel half with a little cream cheese smeared on first. Result? To. Die. For!

I thought I had had lemon curd before, but it turns out I had it confused with lemon custard. My brain isn’t what it used to be. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the difference. I posted a query for a recipe on Facebook and Rosa from The Rambling Epicure posted her recipe and it looks fabulous! The only problem came when I got home and realized as I started to make the curd, I had already packed my kitchen scale for the big move. Drat! So I did a little research to see what I can find online and ended up following this recipe to an extent and kind of incorporated other techniques I thought were neat in to my finished product.

I did a few things differently, I used the zest of two lemons, which was more than what the Gourmet recipe called for, and I used the juice of 4 lemons, which was just a bit more than 1 cup. Otherwise it was the same. Also after it had thickened I whipped it on high speed with my mixer for a minute or two, a method I had seen on another lemon curd recipe. I ended up with a light, lemony little bite of goodness, or more like almost a quart of lemon curd fabulosity. Yum!

Lemon Curd: Ready for Fridge

I’ve always said I was born on the wrong continent…I drink tea, I like scones, I like old world style, and now I like lemon curd. I think I’m more convinced now that I was. Oh to dream. I spread a little lemon curd on some girl scout Trefoil shortbread cookies, and it was really, really good. Grab a shortbread cookie of your own and try it…you’ll like it if you’re a lemon lover I promise. Go. Go now. You won’t be sorry.

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins: The Inside

I love pumpkin.

There’s no secret about this little fact, I’ve shared it here before, but there is just something about pumpkin that calls to me year round.

I’m always happy when I start seeing the first pumpkins around locally. I start buying one every week or so, roasting them, baking the seeds and storing the roasted pumpkin in the freezer for use later. Sometimes I even buy a can of pumpkin when I run out, and these muffins are actually made from canned pumpkin, but you could easily use freshly roasted pumpkin as well. I’ll tell you how to make that below.

Pumpkin just screams Autumn to me. I love to just pumpkin myself out, though in reality I’ve never actually gotten tired of pumpkin, but I love to try! These pumpkin muffins are just fabulous for a chilly Fall morning with a nice warm cup of tea or apple cider. They’re moist and pumpkiny and you can’t go wrong with that!

What You’ll Need To Roast a Pumpkin:
1 pumpkin, any size
Walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
A large roasting pan

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pumpkin innards. Reserve the seeds for roasting if you like.

Cut the pumpkin in to chunks about the size of an apple and place in a large roasting dish, pan or baking sheet. No need to remove the skin, once it’s roasted you can scrape the pumpkin right off. Drizzle walnut or extra virgin olive oil over the pumpkin and toss to coat.

Bake pumpkin in preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour and half, until pumpkin sticks done.

Let cool to room temperature and then scrape the pumpkin flesh out in to a large bowl. Freeze pumpkin in 1 to 2 cup increments for use later or use immediately.

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins: Women and Chocolate

What You’ll Need for the Perfect Pumpkin Muffins:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour OR white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1/2 cup of natural brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of safflower oil
1 – 15 ounce can of mashed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cane sugar and brown sugar until well mixed.

Next add eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, safflower oil and pumpkin and stir until a thick batter forms.

Using a ladle scoop the batter into muffin pans that have been lined with cupcake liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 18 minutes or until muffins stick done with a toothpick.

Makes about 24 muffins.

And how about a little chocolate on the side?

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

Oh that gives me an idea about Nutella and pumpkin….

Notes: These muffins get better with time. They’re really good when baked, better the next day and fabulous on day three. They’re a lot like soup in that way. You could also add in a cup of chopped nuts and/or raisins for a different twist. Or how about a cup of pumpkin seeds? Go with it…mix and match foods are fun!

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Who doesn’t like chocolate chip pancakes? Who doesn’t like muffins? Why not combine the two?

This recipe takes the idea of chocolate chip pancakes and rolls it into a muffin for better portability. It’s quick to put together and bake, and you have a fantastic little muffin that makes the chocolate lover in you rejoice.

What could be better than that?

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of safflower oil
1/2 cup of light sour cream (Note: Any variety of sour cream will do, I just prefer the light variety.)
1/2 cup of milk
1 – package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt and baking powder to mix thoroughly.

Add eggs, vanilla, safflower oil, sour cream and milk to the dry mixture and stir until batter forms.

Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.

Fill muffin pans that have been lined with cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Store in an air tight container for up to a week, or freeze muffins for up to a year.

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Notes: You can use other kinds of chocolate chips if you like. You could also add in a cup of chopped nuts.

French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole

I love to make croissants. I use the recipe that Abby from Abby Sweets blogged about a while back and they’re perfect! The only problem is that I’m the only one who can (in Jamison’s case) or will (in Lex’s) eat them, so I usually end up eating a few and then freezing the rest. They freeze beautifully as they would say on Steel Magnolias.

Anyway….

There was a bag of frozen croissants in the big freezer that I kept looking at whenever I got something out of there to use. For a while now I’ve wanted to make a French Toast casserole and my mind started thinking it would be fabulous to make the casserole out of the croissants! Why not? When Mom and Darlene were here at the beginning on October I let them thaw and got to work.

The result?

This is a warm, ooey gooey treat that is just perfect for a special breakfast on a cold morning! What could be better than that?

What You’ll Need for the Casserole:
8-12 croissants cut into cubes
8 eggs
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of natural brown sugar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of half and half or heavy cream
Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut croissants into cubes and place in a very large bowl.

Whip together eggs, cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup and heavy cream until completely incorporated. Pour this mixture into the bowl of croissant cubes and toss until all cubes are thoroughly coated.

Pour the cubes into a large baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. (I used a 14 X 10 inch pan, but you can use a 13 X 9 inch pan as well.) Sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and egg is set and then remove from the oven.

Top with Maple Topping (see below) and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

French Toast Casserole

What You’ll Need for the Maple Topping:
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of maple syrup

10 minutes or so before the casserole comes out of the oven start making your Maple Topping. You want this to be warm when it goes on the casserole as it comes out of the oven.

In a medium size pot stir together heavy cream and maple syrup. Bring to a quick boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes stirring often.

Pour mixture over the hot casserole and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes: I think some chocolate chips would be good in this for a chocolatey kick. I’d also like to try this with banana, apple or pumpkin bread for a bit of a twist. You can serve with extra maple syrup if desired. Also making your own cinnamon sugar is easy, mix 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and you’re good to go!

Homemade Donuts

Homemade Donuts: With Chocolate and Sprinkles

When my parents were here over the holidays we happened to be over in Columbia, MD and my sole thought was “I’m going to get some Kripsy Kreme donuts!” When we arrived however it was only to find that the Krispy Kreme store there had closed. Talk about bummer! And of course once you have something on the brain you can’t get rid of that thought for the most part, so I’ve had donuts on the brain ever since.

I’ve always been curious about making my own donuts, but again it was one of those things that seemed daunting to me. I decided to do a little research and discovered that yes, they can be a bit time consuming, but they aren’t that hard to make and believe me the work is worth the end result! It’s not something you will be making every day for obvious reasons, but so worth the effort when you want a little treat!

Another thing that you will see in this recipe that you won’t see often on Dianne’s Dishes is the use of vegetable shortening. I want to try making them with butter in the future, but the overwhelming majority of donut recipes I came across used shortening, or lard, and really I wasn’t going there! ;oP So on my first round I decided that shortening was the way to go.

Homemade Donuts

These donuts turned out just perfect! They were airy and satisfying and the glaze was just fabulous and so simple! Even dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles you have the perfect all around donut. You can’t go wrong with that!

So it’s time to make the donuts! (Yes I went there!) ;oP

What You’ll Need for the Donuts:
1/4 cup of warm water
3 teaspoons of yeast
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1/4 cup of half and half
1 egg
1/4 cup of shortening (Note: Look for a trans-fat free version)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, divided
Oil for frying

In a large glass bowl mix water, yeast and sugar and let sit for a few minutes until it starts bubbling:

Homemade Donuts: Bubbling Yeast

Next add half and half, egg, shortening, sea salt and 1 cup of your flour:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Mix

Mix with a mixer until well mixed and fluffy:

Homemade Donuts: Ready for More Flour

Slowly add flour until dough forms:

Homemade Donuts: Dough

You may need all of the remaining flour, or just some. When the dough starts forming and isn’t sticky you know you’re good.

Shape dough into a ball and place in a bowl that has been buttered:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Rise

Let dough rise for an hour and then punch down and roll the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Cut

Now it’s time to cut your donuts! They have handy dandy cutters, but I don’t actually have one so I used a glass and the top of a water bottle.

First cut your big circle:

Homemade Donuts: Cut

Next cut your hole:

Homemade Donuts: Holes Cut

You can leave the donuts hole to rise or incorporate them back into the dough to cut more donuts. The choice is yours.

Place the dough on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Rise

Let rise for an hour or until they are slightly risen:

Homemade Donuts: Risen

When the donuts are almost risen prepare your glaze and/or chocolate for dipping. (See below)

Homemade Donuts: Glaze

What You’ll Need for the Glaze:
1 cup of powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons of cold water

In a large bowl mix sugar with enough sugar to make a slightly thick glaze. You want it to drip, but not quickly. You want a consistency close to honey, but not quite as slow.

Set aside until donuts are fried.

Homemade Donuts: Chocolate

What You’ll Need for the Chocolate Gaze:
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup of half and half

Place ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave on 20 second intervals until melted and smooth. Stir well between each interval.

Set aside until donuts are fried.

Homemade Donuts: Fried

Frying the Donuts:

Preheat oil to 375 F. You want a clear oil…Vegetable, safflower, light live oil, peanut oil. etc.

Once the oil is heat drop donuts down into the oil one at a time. Fry on each side until browned (1-2 minutes per side) and then place on a baking pan that has been lined with paper towels to drain:

Homemade Donuts: Fried

Repeat process until you are done with your donuts and then it’s time to glaze!

Place fried donut face down into the glaze:

Homemade Donuts: Dipped in Glaze

Next flip the other side into the glaze:

Homemade Donuts:Glazing

Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper:

Homemade Donuts: Glazed

At this point you’re ready to eat if you want to! Or you can go on and add a little chocolate, because well, you can’t go wrong with a little chocolate!

Take your glazed donut and place it face down in the chocolate glaze:

Homemade Donuts:Dipping in Chocolate

Unlike the glaze you are only going to do one side in chocolate. Return the donut to the baking sheet:

Homemade Donuts: Dipped in Chocolate

Again at this point you’re ready to eat, or you can add a few sprinkles!

So dig in!

Homemade Donuts: The Inside

And pretty soon you’ll be down to your last delectable bite!

Homemade Donuts: A Bite

Verdict? I wish Jamison could have had one of these! Alexis and I love them!

Makes 4-6 donuts depending on the size you cut.

Notes: I think it would be fun to play around with a citrus glaze instead of using water with the powdered sugar. Also you can use any type of chocolate chip that you want. I used milk chocolate this go around because it was all I had on hand.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the past few weeks Jamison has been teaching classes at work. We went to Connecticut so he could teach class and when we got back to Maryland he’s been teaching classes each day. I think he’s teaching classes next week too, so he’s had a whole lot of teaching going on!

We were discussing it the other day and he asked if I could make something to send in on one of the days he was teaching. I used to do this quite often, but when he started working from home a lot I sort of fell out of the habit. He brought up the idea of cinnamon rolls and that made me wonder…Why not make a pumpkin cinnamon roll?

I started thinking about the whole process and at first I thought maybe it would be neat to just add a layer of pumpkin in with the cinnamon and sugar before rolling the dough, but then I decided I wanted to actually put pumpkin in the dough itself! In the future I may go back and try the other idea, but I have to say I was quite pleased with how this version turned out!

The cinnamon rolls turned out with a nice subtle pumpkin flavor. Overall the flavor just melds together perfectly! These are just the thing for a lazy fall morning!

What You’ll Need for the Dough:
2 cups of mashed pumpkin, warmed (Note: I used some I had roasted myself, but canned will work as well.)
1 stick of butter, mostly melted
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of yeast
4-6 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Place pumpkin in a glass bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds until just warm. You want it to be warm, but not hot to the touch.

Melt the butter in a similar manner. Again you want it just warm, not hot. Mushy chunks of butter throughout are fine. You basically just want to soften it up a bit and give it a bit of warmth to help the yeast along.

Place pumpkin, butter, sea salt, sugar, eggs and yeast in a mixer bowl and mix until blended.

Add 1 cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

After two minutes put the mixer back on low and slowly add flour until dough ball forms. You want a nice dough that isn’t too sticky. Turn mixer back to medium speed and let mix for 3 minutes. Your mixer is doing the kneading work for you.

Once 3 minutes has passed move dough to a well oil or buttered bowl:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Dough

Let rise for one hour. (Note: Due to the pumpkin this dough isn’t going to double in size or anything like that. After an hour it should be ready to go. It should be springy when touched.) Once the dough is risen you’re reading for your next step.

What You’ll Need for the Filling:
1 stick of melted butter, divided
Organic cane sugar
Natural brown sugar
Cinnamon

Punch down dough and on a floured surface roll out to 1/4 an inch thickness:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready to be Brushed with Butter

Next brush the dough with half of the melted butter:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Butter

Sprinkle with some organic cane sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Sugar

Then sprinkle some natural brown sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Brown Sugar

And last but not least cinnamon!:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Cinnamon

I went heavy on the cinnamon because I’m a big fan, but you can go a bit lighter if you like.

Slowly roll the dough into a long roll:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Rolled

Cut roll into 1/2 inch slices:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Sliced

Place slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Continue until roll is completely sliced:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready for Butter and Sugar

Next brush the tops of each roll with the remaining melted butter and then dust with more organic cane sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Butter and Sugar

Place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Risen

The rise on these isn’t going to be much. But letting them sit allows them to just breath and get ready for baking.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Baked

Let cool for 5 minutes and then frost (see below).

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready for Frosting

What You’ll Need for the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 cups of powdered sugar

In the bowl of a mixer mix together cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add maple syrup and mix until incorporated. Slowly add sugar and mix until smooth. Use to ice cinnamon rolls above.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: The Inside

Notes: The pumpkin I used was very pale in color, so it didn’t really give an orange glow to these cinnamon rolls. Canned pumpkin would most likely give them a bit more of an orange flare. If you wanted you could add a little grated nutmeg to the filling, but I like to use just cinnamon and sugar.

Pumpkin and Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

So I’ve been in a funk since Friday. It happens from time to time, but this one seems to be sticking around a few more days than normal. I haven’t been this depressed since high school and I’m generally just a snarky ball of angst. Saturday morning I woke up with a wild hair for pancakes, but my mood was not conducive to cooking, as it often is not when I’m in a bad mood, so I had left over beef stroganoff instead. Isn’t that an exciting breakfast?

I love pancakes, but nine times out of ten I’ll make waffles instead, because though I love them, I hate making them. All the dipping and turning and then dipping more and turning more gets old to me and fast! Once in a blue moon though I do make actual pancakes and yesterday morning, though I was still blue, I was feeling some better, so I decided we’d have pancakes and baked sausage for brunch.

Pumpkin is a fabulous flavor and makes a really great addition to pancakes. This version makes a very satisfying, fall treat that will quickly become a favorite. Toss in some chocolate and you’ve got the perfect breakfast time delight.

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cup of mashed pumpkin (Note: I use some that I roasted myself and had in the freezer, but you could use canned pumpkin if you liked.)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of safflower oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
Chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (Note: I used some chopped milk chocolate that I had in the cupboard, but any type of chocolate will do. Dark chocolate would be particularly fabulous.)

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients, except the chocolate and stir until batter forms:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Batter

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spray pan with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Pour batter in circles on the heated/prepared pan or griddle:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ready for Chocolate

After a minute or two add some chocolate chunks or chips and cook for another minute or so:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Chocolate Added

Don’t let them go too long, you don’t want to burn them.

Flip the pancake over once set and cook for an additional minute or two until done through:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Flipped

Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

How fabulous do those look?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Notes: You could leave out the chocolate if you preferred. You could also add in a chopped nut. Pecans or walnuts would be fabulous or maybe even a few raisins.