Caramel Pecan Croissants

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Let me tell you about the time I tried to make monkey bread.

I’ve always wanted to make monkey bread. Always. I mean, come on, ooey gooey pull-apart bread smothered and covered in cinnamon and caramel. Umm, yes please, sign me up for that. Am I right? Yeah, I totally am.

I should mention one itty bitty detail that may not be so obvious. In addition to never having made monkey bread, I’ve never actually eaten it. I know, the horror. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. Please don’t judge me too hard. It’s not like I’ve never had pull-apart bread, because I have…but, it was the savory kind, a cheddar bacon ranch loaf, and, I bought the bread at the market. So, no homemade dough. No caramel. No cinnamon. And really, no way to mess it up.

I decided enough was enough. It was time. I needed to cross off baking and devouring eating monkey bread from the bucket list.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

I had an idea for a pecan pie monkey bread. So, I went with it. I started playing with ingredients and came up with a solid recipe.

Or, so I thought.

There’s one more minor detail I forgot to mention. You see, Matt, my brother, is a huge pecan pie fan. Why does that matter, you ask? Because, this pecan pie monkey bread was intended to be his birthday cake. He was turning 25, and I wanted to make him something less traditional. I’ve done cheesecakes, regular cakes, cookie cakes, but this year I wanted something fun. Something a little different, but still something we could put a candle in.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Alright, back to the kitchen. I made the dough the night before, I had the pecans chopped up, the caramel filling ready to go, and the bundt pan eagerly waiting. The bread went into the oven and I not so patiently waited for it to bake and brown on top. It was a long 45 minutes for me. Finallllllyyyy, it was done. All I had to do was let it cool.

The moment of truth came. I went to invert the monkey bread onto the cake plate and it came out super easily. I lifted the bundt pan up and half of the dough balls started rolling off the cake plate in a caramel pecan slide. Only half of my monkey bread had stuck together. The other half looked like cinnamon caramel donut holes sitting in a sticky pool on the counter. Ughh. The crushing disappointment.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit. I don’t know what went wrong. Did I add too much caramel? Was the homemade caramel too runny? Did I not let it bake enough? Did I not let it cool enough? Was the yeast bad? Did I just mess up my brother’s birthday? As you can see, it wasn’t a great day for me in the kitchen. But, I had to shake it off (yes, that is a T-Swift reference). It was Matt’s birthday, there had to be needed to be some dessert.

And, that’s exactly what I did. I found a can of the Pillsbury crescent rolls in the fridge and came up with the idea of making Caramel Pecan Croissants. I quickly made the caramel, chopped some more pecans, stuffed the rolls, and popped in the oven. In less than an hour, I had a dessert. And you know what, it was actually a pretty darn good tasting dessert too. These croissants are soft, flaky, buttery, and oozing with a caramel pecan filling that is equal amounts sweet and crunchy. The tops are drizzled with caramel, because who doesn’t want extra caramel, and sprinkled lightly with pecan crumbs. Sure, it wasn’t the exact dessert I had envisioned, but it definitely fulfilled the ooey gooey, doughy, caramely, pecan-y dreams I had for Matt’s birthday treat.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m not giving up on this whole monkey bread thing. It’ll happen soon. And when it does, you’ll be the first to know.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

 

Caramel Pecan Croissants
Yields: 8 croissants

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz.) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chopped pecans, plus extra for topping
1 large egg, beaten

Directions:
To make the caramel, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted add the brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly, over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved and no lumps remain. Allow the mixture to bubble for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla to taste.
In a small bowl combine about 1/2 of the caramel with the chopped pecans, add more caramel as needed–you’ll want it to be thick, but spreadable. Set aside.
Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel pecan filling on the wide end of the crescent triangle–use your judgment on how much you think the triangle can hold–and spread filling upwards. I wanted a lot of filling in my croissants so I spread the filling almost to the top of the dough triangle.
Roll up the croissants, starting from the wide end and ending at the opposite point. Place onto baking sheet and curve slightly into the croissant shape.Try to pinch the ends of the croissant together to keep as much of the filling inside as possible. Brush each croissant lightly with beaten egg–this will give them that nice golden brown color.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool for about 5 minutes. Heat the remaining caramel for 30 seconds or until of drizzling consistency in the microwave. Drizzle over croissants and lightly sprinkle with pecan crumbs, if desired.

*Caramel sauce slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Caramel Pecan Croissants

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Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
There is less than a week before summer. Well, more specifically, in five days it’s the first ‘official’ day of summer.

Emphasis on the official part. I’ve always been one to mark the first day of summer by the last day of school or the first day in June, which means I’m about seventeen days into my summer. But, hey, that could just be me. I have a tendency to go off book when it comes to holidays or events labeled on calendars.

Little known fact about myself: I like to celebrate (if I remember that is) the random, obscure, and definitely-not-listed-on-any-calendar national holidays. National Yogurtland Day? Best believe I’m waiting in line to eat my weight in free frozen yogurt. National Donut Day? Why, hello, Krispy Kreme drive thru, where have you been all my life? National Siblings Day? Instagram will be blown up with pictures of my brother and I, mainly because we were adorable kids, but also because the holiday demands it. Who am I to ignore these wonderful national holidays? But, better question, who are you to ignore them?

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Maybe it’s just me, but I find these kinds of days to be fun. I believe it’s the little things in life that make you happy, and these national holidays are the epitome of the little things. But, before I get more philosophical on you, let’s get back to the first official day of summer. A day that is listed on calendars, but not given very much attention on the celebration scale.

I vote we change that. I think it should be celebrated. And, what better way to do that than a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake? Yeahh, I’ll answer that question, there is no better way to celebrate it. So, if I were you, I’d join me. Like now, before the entire cake is eaten.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Funny story. I don’t ever have buttermilk or raspberries, for that matter, in my fridge. It’s just not something I buy with frequency. Actually, if we are being completely open, this was my first time buying raspberries. I know, how weird, right? Raspberries just aren’t my thing. In fact, the only berry that is my thing is a strawberry. Again, I know, how weird.

But, Costco had a sale. And raspberries scream summer. And, okay, fine, there wasn’t a good-looking box of strawberries left. So, the raspberries found themselves in my fridge, sitting next to a half-opened carton of buttermilk, which I had used to make a healthy potato salad (substitute buttermilk for mayo…surprisingly quite tasty) a few days before.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

And then I saw a recipe for a Strawberry Summer Cake on Smitten Kitchen. I think it was the world’s way of telling me to grab the raspberries and buttermilk and make a cake in honor of the first day of summer. And, when the world speaks to you like that, you don’t even think about it, you just do.

So I did. And, can I just say, I’m glad I did. The buttermilk cake is super moist, flavorful, and pairs rather nicely with the tartness of the raspberries. As the cake bakes, the raspberries turn into puddles of jam that soak into the cake, making your house smell amazing and your stomach grumble in anticipation. This dessert isn’t overly sweet, but I found a hefty spoonful of homemade whipped cream definitely makes up for that. It’s a light, summery, easy-to-put-together kind of dessert—so, basically, the ideal way to celebrate the first official day of summer if you ask me!

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for springform pan, softened to room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and butter a 9-inch springform pan (or cake pan or deep dish pie pan).
In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Mix in egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Arrange raspberries, bottoms up, on top of the batter in a single layer. Sprinkle, as evenly as possible, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the berries.
Bake cake for ten minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for 50-55 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (gooey raspberries on the toothpick are a given). Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream.

 

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Glazed Bailey’s Scones

Glazed Bailey's Scones
Glazed. Bailey’s. Scones.

Enough said, right?

Probably, but I’ll still say a little bit more.

I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I don’t really do breakfast. Like at all. It’s nothing against breakfast food either, because I do love me some breakfast burritos, hash browns, omelettes, oatmeal, and cinnamon rolls any other time. Usually not all at once though. It’s more the time of day, I think. I just don’t wake up hungry. If we are being honest, I wake up thinking: t-minus 10 minutes until the Keurig makes me my morning cup of coffee. That’s all I want need in the mornings for me to be good to go. But, sometimes, I like to switch things up. Add a little spice to my morning routine. Really start my day off with something more than just a cup of coffee.

Glazed Bailey's Scones

Oh hello Bailey’s. How nice of you to stop by. Lets take a minute to talk about Bailey’s Irish Cream. Show of hands, please, as to who thinks it’s simply delicious? I see everyone is raising their hands, which means we all agree. Good. I knew we were friends for a reason.

I, myself, am a huge fan of Bailey’s. Bailey’s with milk? Fantastic. Bailey’s with coffee? Even better. Bailey’s baked into a scone and then dipped in your coffee? Possibly the best way ever to start your morning. Not even kidding.

Glazed Bailey's Scones

Scones and I have a love-hate relationship going on. When they are too dense or too hard, I dislike them, but when they manage to reach that perfect balance between a hard exterior and moist/tender interior I love love love them. Are you wondering where these scones stand? These scones reached that perfect balance of a slightly crisped exterior with a soft, light, and flavorful interior. And, honestly, I’m surprised by that. This was my first time making scones, and I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. The recipe was so easy and quick to put together that I was fairly certain I was going to end up with rock-hard scones that tasted horrible. But, that wasn’t the case at all!

Glazed Bailey's Scones

These scones are moist, lightly infused with Bailey’s, drizzled with a Bailey’s glaze (because, really, can you ever have enough?), and then sprinkled lightly with some cocoa powder. The Bailey’s flavor is very subtly, you won’t be getting drunk off these little guys, but there is enough there for you too taste it. I don’t know if it was beginners luck or if Bailey’s was just meant to be put into scones, but these little scones definitely spiced up my morning. In a good way. I vote you switch up your morning routine too. You won’t regret it.

Glazed Bailey’s Scones
Yields: 32 small scones

Ingredients:
Bailey’s Scones
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream, divided

Bailey’s Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Directions:
Bailey’s Scones
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Using a spatula, stir in a cup of Bailey’s until just moistened.
Knead dough gently in the bowl until it is no longer sticky. Turn dough onto a parchment lined surface and divide in half. Using your hands, form the first half of dough into a rectangle that is about ¾-inch thick.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough rectangle into 8 even squares. Then cut the 8 squares in half to create 16 smaller triangles. Repeat with the other half of dough.
Place scones on prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Brush tops with extra Bailey’s and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the scones have cooled, started working on the glaze. In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, Bailey’s, and butter until smooth.
Drizzle generously over the scones and then sprinkle the tops with cocoa powder.

*scone recipe adapted from Taste of Home

 

Glazed Bailey's Scones

Bunnny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie Butter

Bunny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie ButterYeah, I know. Back to back Cookie Butter posts.

Whatya want me to say?

That I tried to make a different, completely in no way related to Cookie Butter recipe last week, and that it didn’t turn out. So, naturally, I turned towards another Cookie Butter recipe because I know for a fact that it wouldn’t let me down. Or, maybe, I could say that I’m just really into this whole Cookie Butter thing at the moment.

Both of those statements, by the way, are true. But, don’t worry. This isn’t going to be a repeat of the pumpkin madness I put you through last fall. I may love me some Cookie Butter, but I also know that I can’t put it into everything.

Bunny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie Butter

I just can’t. Trust me. I’ve been trying. It’s kind of becoming a problem. Each time I stick my spoon into the jar for a single—come on, call me out on that lie—bite, another idea pops into my head. Cookie Butter Sticky Buns? Cookie Butter Donuts? Deep Fried Cookie Butter? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve covered it all. And, another thing, no one will take the jar out of my hand or help me eat it. I’m single-handedly devouring the jar of Cookie Butter by myself. And that, my lovely friends, is most definitely not okay.

I mean, it is. But, it’s not. My solution: putting it in recipes, like these adorable Bunny Rice Krispie Pops, so then I can give them away to people, which means less Cookie Butter in the jar for me to eat. Winning, right?

Bunny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie ButterEnough about Cookie Butter. Let’s chat about these Bunny Rice Krispie Pops. Super cute, huh? I was originally planning on making something completely different for Easter, but somehow the day managed to creep up on me. It feels like yesterday was the first of April, and now, here we are, two days away from Easter and 18 days into the month. Where has the time gone? I don’t even know.

With the holiday right around the corner, I wanted to make something that was easy, fun, and super adorable. In hops these Bunny Rice Krispie Pops dipped in Cookie Butter. Rice Krispies are, to me, a classic delicious treat. All that crunchy, sticky, marshmallow goodness…who wouldn’t love that? Homemade Rice Krispies, in my opinion, are even better. Sure, they’re not as sweet, but the coating of Cookie Butter in these treats, definitely amps up the flavor. In a good way. A reallyy good way.

Bunny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie Butter

Bunny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie Butter
Yields: about 15 bunny pops

Utensils:
Bunny cookie cutter
Lollipop sticks
Yellow food coloring

Ingredients:
Rice Krispies
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 10 oz. bag (about 40) marshmallows
6 cup Rice Krispies Cereal

Coating & Decorations
½ cup Cookie Butter
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

Directions:
Prepare a 13x9x2-inch pan by spraying it with non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan melt butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add marshmallows, stirring constantly until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Stir in Rice Krispies until well coated.
Using your hands—run them under cold water first—press the Rice Krispies into the prepared pan. Allow Rice Krispies to cool.
Using the cookie cutter cut out bunny shapes from the cooled Rice Krispies. Stick a lollipop stick in the bottom of each bunny.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt Cookie Butter, in 15 second intervals, until of drizzling consistency. Dip the front of each bunny into the cookie butter or use a spatula to spoon melted Cookie Butter onto each bunny and spread it around. Allow time for the Cookie Butter to harden onto the bunnies.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips, in 10 second intervals, until of drizzling consistency. Stir in yellow food coloring. Use a toothpick to give the bunnies eyes. Transfer the remaining white chocolate into a piping bag with a very small tip or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, and draw on the bow tie.

 

Bunny Rice Krispie Pops Dipped In Cookie Butter

Happy Easter friends. And, just know, some bunny thinks your special :)

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