Monday, December 31, 2012

Maple Cinnamon Donuts

After seeing loads of recipes for baked donuts using adorable donut pans, I couldn't resist getting my own. These are the first ones I tried with it, and was really happy with the results. They're super soft, fluffy and just the right amount of sweet with a great coating of sugar on the outside.

Maple Cinnamon Donuts (adapted from here)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sugar Coating:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease your donut pan (I have this one and really like it, and this recipe perfectly makes one six donut batch; you could also make these as muffins, or mini muffins if you don't have a donut pan)

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together the west ingredients until smooth. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredient mixture, stir until well combined. Let batter rest for about 5 minutes before filling the pan.

After resting, pour donut batter into the prepared pan. Bake donuts for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even baking. Allow donuts to cool for a couple of minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack.

For the sugar coating, mix together remaining sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a plate. Brush a donuts lightly with the melted butter and then dip it into the cinnamon sugar, turning it over and rolling it to get a good coating of sugar.

this recipe can also be found at some of my favorite food blog hops
Maple Cinnamon Donut

In Progress

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Happy almost Christmas everyone! Greg and I are off celebrating the holiday with family, and I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season!

Does your family celebrate the holiday more on Christmas eve or the actual day of? Any favorite holiday traditions you're especially looking forward to this year? My personal favorite is eating chinese food (like all Jews at Christmas, right?) while watching A Christmas Story on TBS, this is a tradition I brought into Greg's family while we were still dating and has now become an annual thing that we all look forward to (so much so that his parents mentioned it in their toast at our rehearsal dinner).

our new stockings

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Gourmet sugar cubes, in different colors and shapes.
from Chambre de Sucre

Color changing Thinking Putty 

Chapstick that smells exactly like a candy cane.
from Amazon

Sparkly nail polish.
from Sephora

Fun temporary tattoos.
from Tattly

Chocolate snoflake lollipop.
from Godiva 

Want more gift ideas?
See the rest of the 2012 holiday gift guides here
See last year's holiday gift guides here

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift Guide: Cozy Things

A hot water bottle with a cashmere cover. Fill it up and tuck it into your sheets before bed and your toes will never be cold again. I couldn't survive the winter without mine.
Restoration Hardware

Fun, seasonal flannel pj pants.
from Old Navy

The Brookstone Nap blanket is so soft and snuggly, and comes in lots of colors and sizes.
from Brookstone

Slippers. UGG are my favorite; tons of styles & colors for men, women, and kids.
from UGG

This gorgeous cashmere stole, it's like a scarf and blanket in one. Cozy and luxe.
from Everlane

Want more gift ideas?
See the rest of the 2012 holiday gift guides here
See last year's holiday gift guides here

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Sparkling Sugared Cranberries

These lovely cranberries look like they're coated in sparkling snow, and they're absolutely delicious. I love to eat these by themselves as a snack, but they make a gorgeous garnish for desserts.

Sparkling Sugared Cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 lb fresh cranberries
granulated or super fine sugar

Stir together the 2 cups water and sugar together and heat in microwave until sugar is completely dissolved and water is hot, but not boiling. Add in the cranberries and stir to coat in the simple syrup. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours (but don't worry if you forget about the cranberries for a couple of days like I do). Stir the cranberries a couple times while they're 'marinating'.

After at least 24 hours, drain the cranberries and then, working in small batches, transfer to a bowl and pour a few spoonfuls of sugar over the berries, tossing them until the berries look dry and are fully coated in sugar. Once coated, pour the berries out onto some wax papers and leave for a few hours so that the sugar hardens into a shell. Store berries in the fridge.

this recipe can also be found at some of my favorite food blog hops

Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Gift Guide: For Anyone

This book that mocks catalog layouts and inventing stories of who lives that way.
Check out the blog that it originated from here.
from Amazon

'Sorry We're Closed' eyemask. 

A puzzle of the New York City Skyline.
from Amazon

A 2013 dry erase calender.
from NeuYear

A book of games.
from Pottery Barn

Want more gift ideas?
See the rest of the 2012 holiday gift guides here
See last year's holiday gift guides here

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

Today is the big reveal for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012! This year I chose to make cinnamon roll palmiers. Palmiers are one of my favorite treats, they're wonderfully flaky, just a tad chewy and completely delicious. Want to join in the fun next year? Click here to sign up for notifications.

They're super easy if you decide to buy some ready made puff pastry. But I came across a recipe for a homemade version that isn't too intensive and turned out really nicely.

Cinnamon Roll Palmiers
puff pastry (from here with tons of great step by step photos)
2 1/2 sticks unsalted cold butter
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold water

Cut 2 sticks of the butter into 1/4 inch cubes.  Scrape them onto a plate and put them in the fridge.

Put the flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse to mix.  Cut the remaining butter (4 tablespoons) into slivers and add to the work bowl of the processor.  Combine until no visible butter remains.

Add the chilled butter cubes and give three 1-second pulses.  Add half the water and pulse once.  Add the remaining water and pulse twice.  The dough will not form a ball.  Remove the blade carefully.

Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and then lightly flour the top of the dough.  Use your hands to squeeze and shape the dough into a cylinder, and then press down on the dough to flatten it into a rectangle.

Flour the surface and the dough, and starting at the narrow end of the rectangle farthest from you, use a rolling pin to press the dough firmly in parallel strokes close to each other.  If there are sticky pieces of butter on the surface of the dough, seal them with a large pinch of flour, making sure to clean off anything stuck to the rolling pin before continuing.  Repeat the pressing motion again from close to farther narrow end of the dough.

Press the dough once along the width; it should  be a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  Once again, flour under and on top of the dough and roll the dough away and back toward you in the length and once in the width, without rolling over he ends in the same direction, to make a rectangle about 18 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Fold the two 8 inch ends of the dough in toward the middle of the rectangle.  Leaving a 1 inch space in the middle.  Fold the bottom up to the top to form 4 layers of dough.  Reposition the dough so that the folded edge that resembles the spine of a book is on your left.  Rolling and folding the dough is known as giving the dough a turn.

Repeat the folds and turns two more times. Tightly wrap the pastry and chill it for at least 3 hours before using.

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

1/2 cup vanilla sugar

Pour the vanilla sugar onto a small plate in an even layer.


Preheat oven to 425

Roll the puff pastry out into large rectangle (approx 15x12 or so), pour about 1/3-1/2 of the sugar mixture over the top of the puff pastry in an even layer and go over the sugar with your rolling pin to help it adhere to the dough. Starting with the long edge, roll the pastry into a tight cylinder.

Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the cylinder and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Dip the pieces into the vanilla sugar and place, sugar side up, onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment or a silpat).

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until puffed and lightly brown.

this recipe can also be found at some of my favorite food blog hops

  Swirly Layers
so many lovely layers

 Palmier End Piece
don't neglect the end pieces- they're the perfect snack for you while baking,
or for your husband who is staring longingly at the cookies that are destined for the mail

Cinnamon Roll Palmiers

Cinnamon Roll Palmiers

be a good cookie
OXO sent us this neat spatula for participation, isn't it great?

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift Guide: For the Shutterbug

The Lima leather and canvas camera strap.
from ONA

 This set of mini lenses for their phone. 
from Photojojo

A handy magnetic photo cord (or two) to hang up their latest pics in a fun way.
from CB2

This vintage camera lens pendant.
A fun tee.
from Threadless

Customized iPhone case made of photos from their instagram.
from Casetagram
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Chanukah!

One of the best parts of being part of an interfaith couple is the ease of where to celebrate which holiday, our separate religions have decided for us! Tonight we are celebrating the first night of Chanukah with my family.

To all those who celebrate, have a wonderful first night of Chanukah! Are you doing anything special tonight? Hope you're enjoying lots of latkes :-)

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Gift Guide: For Him

This book about nerd culture.
These cool decals to make his car a little batmobile-esque.
from Amazon

A knit hat that includes its very own beard (comes in lots of color combos).
from Beardo

A vintage looking controller that turns his iPhone/iPad/Android into a retro gaming device.
from ThinkGeek

A scarf that looks like a hot dog (with mustard).
from Jack Spade

Want more gift ideas?
See the rest of the 2012 holiday gift guides here
See last year's holiday gift guides here

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gift Guide: For the Cook

A brownie pan designed for maximum amount of edge pieces.
From Amazon

This set of nested baking dishes.
From Anthropologie

A Slate cheese board.
From Brooklyn Slate Co.

Thermapen- the crème de la crème of instant read thermometers
From ThermoWorks

A bacon tea towel.
From ThinkGeek

A cheese-making kit.
From Williams-Sonoma

Want more gift ideas?
See the rest of the 2012 holiday gift guides here
See last year's holiday gift guides here

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Etsy Love: Holiday Cards

Etsy is my favorite place for most things, but especially unique cards. I'm loving these holiday cards this year:

Menorah Skyline Cards
from Paper Doll

Christmas Robot Cards
from Happy Dappy Bits

Seasons Meatings Cards

Dreidel Cards
from Man vs. George

Customizable Snowflake Cards
from Starfly Creations

3D Tree Cards 

Need gift ideas to go with the cards?
See my 2012 holiday gift guides here
See last year's holiday gift guides here

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