Posts Tagged 'cinnamon'

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

A few days ago my fruit bowl was full of overly ripe bananas.  I don’t like to eat over-ripe bananas by themselves – I only like plain bananas that are yellow or even have a slight hint of green to them.  So whenever my bananas get brown spots on them, I try to find another use for them.  Usually I put them into smoothies (click here for my favorite smoothie recipe!)  But this time I was in the mood for something different.  So I did a quick recipe search and found this recipe for banana cinnamon muffins that I recently bookmarked in Google Reader.

These muffins were so moist and flavorful, and I love that they are healthy too.  There is hardly any sugar or butter in them, and if you do the math, you’ll notice that each muffin has a whole 1/3 of a banana in it.  I really like the cinnamon flavor in these muffins, though I think they could use even more cinnamon, so next time I make them I am going to use 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon instead of one.  The recipe makes 12 muffins, and I stored the extra muffins in the freezer so that they stay super fresh.  Pair one of these muffins with a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice for a healthy and delicious breakfast!

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

(print recipe)


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and continue to beat.  Mix in the mashed banana.  Stir in the milk and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just blended.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly between the muffin cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 12 standard size muffins

Source: The Pastry Affair

One Year Ago: Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil Tart


Apple Pocket Pies

My sister and I both like to bake, and lately we’ve been trying to meet up once or twice a month to try out a new recipe together.  It’s always fun to bake with a friend, and it’s nice to have an extra set of hands to help out (and take pictures)!  First we made caramel sauce together, and most recently we made these apple pocket pies.  Before choosing this recipe, we tossed several ideas back and forth.  There are so many good recipes to choose from- sometimes it’s hard to decide what to make first!  Ultimately though, we went with these because they looked cute, yummy, and portable – a requirement for me, so that I could bring some home to my hubby :)  Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for hand pies both on the internet and in cooking magazines.  You can make them free-form (see photo of the triangle-shaped pie below), but I think it’s easier to use a hand pie mold.  My heart-shaped mold is from Williams Sonoma, and they come in a few other fun shapes too.

These little pies turned out very well!  The crust was flaky and buttery, and the apple-cinnamon filling was delicious!  They are also fun to eat because you can pick them up with your hand – no fork required.  They are a great thing to enjoy any time of day (dessert, a snack, breakfast…).  Served a la mode with some vanilla ice cream, they would make for an elegant dessert.  And the best thing is, they can be made ahead and stored in the freezer until you are ready to bake them (perfect for a party!)   Enjoy!

To read Kristine’s recap of this recipe, click here.

Apple Pocket Pies



  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6-8 Tablespoons cold milk (cold water can be substituted)
  • Apple Pie Filling (recipe below)
  • Egg wash (recipe below)


1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar until combined, about 5 pulses.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses.
2. Add 6 Tbsp. cold milk (or ice water) and pulse twice.  The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky.  If it is crumbly, add more milk (or water), 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.
3. Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap, and press each into a disk.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
4. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.
5. On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch (2-3 cm) thick.  Brush off the excess flour. 

a. If using the pocket pie mold:  Cut out 4 of each shape (4 with decorative cutout & 4 without cutout- the cutout will serve as a steam vent during baking).  Re-roll the dough scraps if necessary, and cut out more shapes.  Repeat with the remaining dough disk.  Next, place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the pocket pie mold and gently press the dough into the mold.  Fill the center with 1-2 Tbsp. pie filling and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.  Top with the decorative cutout shape.  Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie.  Remove the pie from the mold.  Repeat with the remaining dough.


b. To make triangle shaped pies: Cut the dough into 6 inch squares.  Re-roll the dough scraps, and cut out more squares until all the dough has been used.  Place 2 Tbsp. pie filling in the center of each square and brush the 2 edges (the corner edges) of the dough with the egg wash.  Fold the dry edges over to make a triangle.  Press the edges of the dough together and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.  Using a small knife, make a couple ½-inch slits in the top of the dough so that steam can escape.

Place the shaped pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Freeze the pies for 30 minutes.
6. To Bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Brush the pies with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling, 15-20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: adapted from Williams Sonoma
Apple Pie Filling:


  • 2 large baking apples (such as Granny Smith)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


1. Peel and chop the apples into small pieces.  Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir to mix.


  • Egg wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • Turbinado sugar (this is optional, but it gave the pies a nice sweet crunch)

Source: This is an adaptation of an unknown source

Yield: 8 pies (Recipe can be doubled)


Use the pie mold to cut out a heart of dough (this will be the bottom side of the pie).



Using the pie mold with the heart cutout, cut out another piece of dough (this will be the top side of the pie).



Place the heart-shaped piece of dough without the cutout in the pie mold. Then add 1-2 Tbsp. of apple filling.




Brush the edge of the dough with the egg wash.



Place the piece of dough with the heart cutout on top of the filling.



Press the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie. Then you are ready to chill the pies, brush them with the egg wash, and bake them!



The finished product



If you don’t have a pie mold, you can make the pies in the shape of a triangle (see directions above).



Cinnamon- Spiced Whipped Cream

Cinnamon whipped cream is a wonderful alternative to regular whipped cream.  It’s sweet and fluffy and has a nice cinnamon flavor.  It went very well with the pumpkin pecan cupcakes that I recently made.  And it would also be great on top of a piece of pumpkin pie.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon- Spiced Whipped Cream


  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and beat until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes longer.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Source: Williams Sonoma Holiday Entertaining Cookbook

Monkey Bread

What do you get when you take fluffy balls of dough, dunk them in butter, coat them in cinnamon sugar, and bake them in a Bundt pan?  You get one of the yummiest breakfasts I’ve ever made.  This bread tastes like a cinnamon roll, only better, because it’s extra gooey, extra buttery, and extra delicious.  This bread was fun to assemble, and even more fun to eat.  A word of warning: I don’t recommend making this bread unless there are lots of people around to help you eat it.  I made it over the weekend for just Eric and me, and before I knew it, it was almost half gone.  (Oops!)  It is so addicting!  (It was definitely worth the extra miles I’m going to have to run to burn off all those calories :) ).

I think this monkey bread would be the perfect thing to serve at a special brunch or Holiday breakfast.  And if you do have leftovers, just re-warm them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and they will be soft and gooey again just like after coming out of the oven.  Enjoy!

Monkey Bread



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Brown Sugar Coating:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free area until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
  3. For the sugar coating: While the dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.
  4. To form the bread: Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.
  5. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip the balls into the melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl. Roll in the brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in the Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.
  6. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in draft-free area until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  8. For the glaze: While the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread, letting it run over top and down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

Note: To make without a stand mixer: In step 2, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture to the well.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the dough until it becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating the shaggy scraps back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes.  Shape into a taut ball and proceed as directed.

Yield: 1 loaf, serves 6 to 8

Source: Brown Eyed Baker Blog; Originally from Cook’s Illustrated

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