Braided Cookie Butter Bread

Braided Cookie Butter Bread Can we just talk about Cookie Butter for a second?

Or, an hour. Or, maybe the whole darn day. Really, lets never stop talking about it. It deserves that much attention. Am I right?

My love for Cookie Butter is very, very new. As in, I tried it for the first time a week ago. Gasp. How could I wait so long? What was I doing with my life? How was I missing out on so much deliciousness? All valid questions. Let me tell you what happened.

I saw the Cookie Butter madness on Pinterest—recipes for Cookie Butter cookies, Cookie Butter pie, and even Cookie Butter bars—but, in all honesty, I just thought people were being fancy with their naming of desserts. Or, that they were listing the things they put in their desserts. Or, even that they somehow managed to take a perfectly wonderful cookie and turn it into butter, which they then baked into another cookie—I’ll admit that last one seemed a little complicated and I really didn’t want to have anything to do it.

I know. I messed up. Big time.

Braided Cookie Butter Bread

I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. Looking at the recipes, I realized Cookie Butter was a creamy spread, much like peanut butter, that tasted like crushed up gingerbread cookies. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

So, I bought a jar. Stuck the tip of my spoon into it. Took my first bite. And, then my second. And, fifth. And, then I smeared it on some bread. Ate that. And, then I proceeded to ask all my friends if they had tried this magical Cookie Butter, which most of them hadn’t. So, I of course, told them to sprint to Trader Joe’s and get some. Like now.

That my friends is how I fell truly madly deeply in food love with Cookie Butter [yes, I did just hear that song, if you know what I mean].

I debated what I would bake cookie butter into first. A cookie? Cake? Pie? Bar? There were endless options and tons of ideas popping into my head (don’t worry, I will be sharing another Cookie Butter related post at some point!!), but then I saw this Braided Nutella Bread, and knew I had found THE recipe. Would now be a bad time to mention I also just recently tasted Nutella? Probably. That’s a story for another day.

Please give a warm welcome to this Braided Cookie Butter Bread. Oh, is that chanting I hear? You guys are so kind!
Braided Cookie Butter Bread

Cookie Butter swirled into a homemade bread loaf. Really, what more can I say? The Cookie Butter caramelized itself on the outside of the loaf as it bakes, giving it a little crunch, and stays creamy and soft in the inside. Honestly, I can’t say more. Just go make this bread already. 

Braided Cookie Butter Bread
Recipe adapted from Inspired by Charm
Yields: 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water, warmed (temperature should be between 100-110 degrees, about 30 seconds in the microwave)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Cookie Butter (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water

Directions:
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in a ¼ cup of the water. Mix in the teaspoon of sugar and let sit for ten minutes to activate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour and salt. Add the active yeast and remaining ¾ cup of water. Mix on low with the dough hook until just combined. Turn speed up to medium and mix for about 7 minutes or until dough is of a smoother looking consistency—the dough should be a little sticky, but still be able to hold it’s shape.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 12-inch x 15-inch rectangle. Spread the Cookie Butter—I found warming it in the microwave for about 10 seconds made it easier when spreading—evenly on the surface, leaving about a ½-inch border of dough. Roll the dough tightly (starting with the longer side) up. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough down the middle, making sure to leave one end intact. Twist or ‘braid’ the dough over the top of each other. Place braided dough on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet that has been lightly sprinkled with flour. Cover loosely with a towel and let sit for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush surface of the braided dough with egg wash. Bake bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until bread is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before digging in.

 

Braided Cookie Butter Bread

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Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked GlazeAs promised I have moved on from pumpkin.

I bet you didn’t think I could do it.

It’s okay…I had my doubts too. It wasn’t even that hard either. Mainly because it’s December. And do you know what that means?

Indulging in firsts, seconds, and dare I say fourths of every dessert you can get your fork (or, hands) on—well, yes, but that wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. It means more (different than pumpkin) festive holiday flavors. Get excited people. Throw a parade, or at least some sparkly confetti in the air, and welcome our old friends eggnog, peppermint, and gingerbread.

Hi friends. I missed you. Some of you much more than others (cough, gingerbread, cough).

What? I can’t play favorites?

Let’s talk eggnog. Everyone’s favorite holiday drink. My whole family loves the stuff. Can’t wait for it to go on sale. Drinks it by the carton. Notice I haven’t said it’s my favorite.

The eggnog gene skipped me. I just don’t like it. And believe me, I’ve tried to jump on the eggnog train. Multiple times. In fact, I give eggnog a fair shot every year, and each year I take one sip make a ewhh gross face and pass the mug over to the nearest person.

Just because I don’t like it, however, doesn’t mean I can’t bake with it. I’m a giver, people. And, if eggnog is demanded—by my family, the holiday, even the world—I will gladly deliver it, with a metaphorical cherry on top.

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze

I won’t can’t jump on the eggnog train, but Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves (that’s a mouthful, huh?) with a Spiked Glaze is a whole different story. In fact, I will happily drive that train any day. All aboard!

To all the eggnog lovers (and haters) of the world, I give you a lightly flavored eggnog crumb cake that is ridiculously soft and moist. Crumble in your hand, melt in your mouth moist. The cake is sprinkled generously with a sugary crumble topping that adds a pop of sweetness to each bite, and is then drenched drizzled with a rum-infused eggnog glaze. Is it okay to say that I want to take a bath in that glaze? You’ll understand if you make it. So, go, make it. Indulge. It is, after all, the holidays.

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze
Recipe adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Yields: About 7 mini loaves

Ingredients:
Eggnog Cake
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup eggnog
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon nutmeg*
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

Crumb Topping*
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

Spiked Glaze
5 tablespoons eggnog
3 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

* I used a ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in my cakes, but I think it would taste better with a ½ teaspoon.
* I had about a cup leftover of the crumble topping, so maybe consider cutting the recipe, as listed above, in half.

Directions:
Eggnog Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and generously spray mini loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Grab two more medium-sized bowls. In one of the bowls, whisk together eggs, eggnog, sour cream, and vanilla until well combined. In the other bowl, combine nutmeg, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt—mix until combined.
Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Filling each loaf tin about half way (the loaves in the pictures are the result of filling each loaf tin 3/4th full, but that resulted in crumble topping falling all over my oven), pour the eggnog mixture into prepared pan. Even out with a spatula. Set aside.

Crumb Topping
In a medium-sized bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, and salt.
Add melted butter and flour. Mix until incorporated (working with your hands is best).
Generously sprinkle the top of each loaf with the crumb topping.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Just to be safe, I would place a cookie tray beneath your loaf pan to catch any crumble if it falls.

Spiked Glaze
Once the loaves are done and cooling, make the spiked glaze.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggnog, rum, butter, and powdered sugar. Stir until well combined.
Once the loaves are cool (or, mostly cooled) drizzle each evenly with spiked glaze.

 

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum

Banana Bread with Coconut and RumUgly mornings.

That’s what I’ve been waking up to. Gray cloudy skies, a cool breeze, and an instant desire for fuzzy socks, a warm blanket, and a large cup (or three) of gingerbread coffee.

Do you see the problem? It’s way too early in the year for me to be feeling this way. It should be sunny, slightly warm (but, not overly hot…I know, I’m picky), and I should have the desire to jump in the pool, drink iced coffee, and make my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ice cream (or some other cold treat like popsicles). In the weather’s defense, it does start to heat up around noon, but still, I spend my mornings thinking fall is a lot closer than it actually is.

It doesn’t help that the Hallmark Channel (yes, I watch Hallmark movies, but only after checking to see what’s playing on Lifetime), has been having Christmas movie marathons. And, I of course, sat through about three Christmas movies before turning off the TV. I was getting way too excited about tree decorating, cookie baking, and wearing scarves and boots.

Hello, it’s July. Still Summer. Not fall or December. And definitely not time for Christmas or ugly mornings. What’s a girl to do with all these mixed signals? I’ll give you a hint, it involves baking.

Yup, you guessed right. It is baking this Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum.

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum

Banana bread, or really any baked bread, makes me think of fall. I think it has something to do with the smell of bread baking in the oven or the need to have a chunky slice with a steaming cup of coffee. Coconut, on the other hand, makes me think of tanning, palm trees, and summer. Can you see how this bread solves my problem? Did I mention that there is rum in the bread? Well, there is, and it pairs quite perfectly with the coconut if you were wondering.

This bread takes banana bread to a whole new (and extremely delicious) level. The bread itself is super moist (thanks to the coconut yogurt) and each bite is filled with a subtle banana flavor, a crunch from the roasted coconut, and an undertone of the cinnamon and rum. I also made the bread with wheat flour (feel free to use all-purpose if you want), which gives the bread a milder taste and combines nicely with the other ingredients. If you’re feeling like fall is invading your summer, or even down the road if summer needs to invade your fall, I’d make this bread. Or, even if you’re just feeling like banana bread, I’d give this recipe a try. It’s worth it. Believe me.

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Yields: One 9×5-inch loaf

Ingredients:
¾ cup (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted, browned, and cooled
2 cups wheat flour
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons rum, and about 1 tablespoon for topping
¼ cup coconut yogurt (I used Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt from Trader Joe’s)
1 ¼ cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
½ cup roasted coconut, plus ¼ cup for topping (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips—recipe will use the whole bag).

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. As it melts, the butter will foam and crackle. Stir (or swirl the pan) as the butter cooks. When the butter begins to brown (mine was a very light brown color) and you smell a nutty aroma, take the saucepan off the heat. Pour the butter in bowl, whisk for about 30 seconds, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk until lumps are gone.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, rum, and coconut yogurt until well combined. Mix in the mashed bananas.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in roasted coconut. Stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle roasted coconut on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. If the coconut on top starts to get too brown, cover loaf pan with foil.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pan. Brush top of bread with rum as it cools. Transfer bread to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum