From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

Buttery Soft Mall Pretzels

I’m strange in that the mall holds no special power over me except for its temptation of junk food that lures me in.  Hey, I try to maintain a reasonable diet but a life without carbs is no life at all!  One of my favorites are the soft pretzels.  If there’s promise of one in sight, I’ll gladly accompany you to the mall.  Otherwise, forget about it.

These are special because they’re much easier than you’d think, requiring no special equipment or ingredients.  They may be simply enjoyed requiring nothing more than a liberal brush of butter and sprinkle of salt but can also be served sweetly or even split to stuff with deli meat, burgers, pizza filling, cheese {oh, and the list goes on}!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Buttery Soft Mall Pretzels
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 6.25 oz unbleached flour
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • ½ ts sugar
  • 1½ ts yeast
  • ½ c warm water
  • ¼ c warm water
  • ½ tb baking soda
  • Melted butter for brushing
  • Salt to sprinkle
Instructions
  1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar.
  2. Stir in the yeast and ½ c water that's at 110 degrees. It's important not to kill your yeast with water that is too hot.
  3. If mixing by hand, knead for at least 10 minutes or until very smooth. If using a stand mixer, mix for 4-6 minutes until very smooth. The dough is ready when it is no longer as sticky and holds its shape.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl, place the dough in, cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  5. When it's doubled in size, check the texture of the dough. If it's still a bit sticky, use a light dusting of flour and knead until smooth. Don't use too much flour. Otherwise, cut into portions and roll out long ropes. The length you desire is up to you. Shape into a pretzel.
  6. In a shallow bowl, microwave the ¼ c water and baking soda for 40 seconds. Dip each pretzel into this water, blot off any excess, salt {for salted ones}, then lay on lightly greased baking sheets. Allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes before baking.
  7. Bake at 450 for 7-9 minutes.
  8. Butter when hot.
Notes
For this recipe, you can either use your hands or a stand mixer with its hook attachment. The latter is much easier.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

Cinnamon Rolls

Is there anything quite like a cinnamon roll?  Pillowy swirls tucked with warm spices served hot with oozing cream cheese icing is sure to turn any frown upside down!

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Cinnamon Rolls
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Roll
  • 4 oz whole milk
  • 2 tb + 2 ts unsalted butter
  • 1¼ ts yeast
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 2¼ c unbleached flour
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • ¼ c sugar
Filling
  • Melted butter for brushing
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • 1.5 tb ground cinnamon
  • ¼ ts ground cloves
Icing
  • 4 oz soft cream cheese
  • 2 oz soft unsalted butter
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c {or more} sifted powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk and butter to 120 degrees and stir in the yeast. If the liquid is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Set aside for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Mix the egg, flour, salt, sugar, and yeast mixture. Using a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer is easiest but you can also do this by hand. Mix until the dough comes together nicely and looks smooth {4-7 minutes}
  3. Grease a bowl and the dough ball and set aside, covered for 60 minutes, undisturbed or until doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling by combing the brown sugar and spices.
  5. Roll out the dough on a nonstick surface {or use the smallest amount of flour possible to dust your work surface--too much will make a tough and dense dough}. Roll out to a ¼" thickness or so.
  6. Brush the surface with melted butter and sprinkle with the filling, leaving a bit of a border.
  7. Carefully roll {as demonstrated in the video} and cut into equal parts.
  8. Place cut rolls into a well greased pan and cover with plastic to rise one last time for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.
  10. For the icing, whip everything together and frost when the rolls are still slightly warm.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

Apple Pie Baked Apples

Apple pie baked right into an apple complete with warm gooey filling and flaky lattice crust.  This video also happens to feature my favorite pastry crust as well.  It’s practically fool-proof and yields a light, buttery, and flaky crust each and every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Apple Pie Baked Apples
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
Crust
  • ⅔ c unbleached flour
  • ½ tb sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tb cold cubed unsalted butter
  • 1½-3 tb ice water
Filling
  • Cubed apples {from the scoops}
  • 2½ tb brown sugar
  • ½ ts cinnamon
  • ⅛ ts nutmeg
  • Zest of ¼ lemon
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • ½ tb potato starch {or flour}
  • Melted butter or egg wash for brushing + coarse sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Using a food processor or pastry cutter {I recommend a processor}, work the butter in until it resembles a coarse lumpy mass. Don't use your fingers as it may melt the butter.
  3. Slowly tip in a bit of ice water until the dough begins to form. Try to not use too much water.
  4. Gather the dough up into plastic and flatten it into a disc. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Cut the top off each apple and using a metal spoon/scoop, carve out the meat leaving a slight border. Use these bits to chop up for the filling.
  6. For the filling, gather everything into a bowl and toss.
  7. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into strips.
  8. Weave the strips on top alternating going over and under {refer to video demonstration}.
  9. Brush the crust with either melted butter or egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

Gummy Bears

These fun and fruity gummies are 100% natural and take just 3 ingredients and 20 minutes from start to finish.  The flavor combinations are endless and if you had fun molds {say, a long rattle snake or zombie brains}, you could personalize it for anyone or any occasion, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Gummy Bears
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 8 Large Gummies
Ingredients
  • ½ c juice*
  • 2-3 tb agave/honey/sugar {depends on how sweet you want it}
  • 1.5 tb grass fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. In a pot over medium-low, gently heat the juice and sweetener {if using}.
  2. Vigorously stir in the gelatin until dissolved. The mixture should go from a loose, glassy state to a more thick, glossy look.
  3. Fill desired molds and freeze for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Un-mold and serve or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes
*You can use extracts to boost the flavor of the juice, i.e.: raspberry extract for raspberry juice
For sour gummies, you can add vitamin c/citric acid powder.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

Caramel Apple Pops

These are fresh scoops of tart apples dipped in warm caramel then rolled in candy, sprinkles, or cookies and served on a stick.  Perfect for sharing, I hope you’ll give these adorable baby bites a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Caramel Apple Pops
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-12 Pops
Ingredients
  • 1-2 unwaxed Granny Smith apple
  • About a dozen caramel candies + sprinkle of salt + 1 tb cream/milk
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Assorted candies, sprinkles, crushed cookies
Instructions
  1. With a metal coffee spoon/melon baller, scoop out the meat from the apple. Blot dry.
  2. Wedge a stick into the tops of each ball and blot dry again. Keep in the freezer while working on the caramels.
  3. In a heat-safe cup, melt the caramels, salt, and cream in 30 second bursts. Stir and heat until melted.
  4. Work in batches and dry the balls again then dip into the melted caramel. Immediately roll in candies/sprinkles/cookies.
  5. Set each one in the freezer to set as you work on the rest.

A few tips/tricks:

  1. Use unwaxed, organic fruit {or scrub them clean before using}.
  2. Keep the scooped apples as bone-dry as possible.  Any trace of moisture will encourage the caramel to slip off.  Constantly blot the apples and try to keep some of its skin on each one.
  3. Work in batches, keeping both the un-dipped and dipped apples in the freezer.
  4. Allow the caramel to cool for 30-60 seconds before using.
  5. Eat immediately after the caramel sets up or keep in the freezer until ready to serve.  These are not good the next day.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

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