Categories
Desserts/Sweets Vegetarian

Good Old-Fashioned Zucchini Bread

Is it just me, or is zucchini bread the best bread? It’s not sickeningly sweet, but it’s sweet enough to eat for dessert. I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I just can’t resist a warm-freshly-baked slice of zucchini bread with lots of butter on top. The perfect little green morsels of zucchini add just enough moisture and balance out the sweetness of the sugar to make the most yummy bread ever. 

This good old-fashioned zucchini bread is so delicious that a loaf rarely even lasts for an hour after coming out of the oven, which is exactly why I designed this recipe to make two loaves. If you’re lucky, both loaves may last you 24 hours. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Ingredients (Makes two loaves):

2 c. zucchini, grated

2 ½ c. sugar

3 eggs

3 c. flour

3 Tbsp. vanilla

1 c. olive oil

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine the zucchini, oil, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix again. Then, add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder slowly and mix to combine thoroughly. 

Grease two bread pans with lots of oil so your bread doesn’t stick to them later. Pour the mix into two bread pans evenly. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of the bread and it comes out clean. Allow the loaves to rest for a few minutes, and then carefully loosen the sides of the bread with a rubber spatula. Flip the loaves onto a plate. 

Enjoy warm with butter on top!

Categories
Breakfast Desserts/Sweets

Life-Altering Caramel Pecan Sticky Rolls

I’m not being a drama queen. These sticky rolls are actually as good as their name implies. If you like butter, caramel, cinnamon, and pecans, you will love these. If you don’t love those things, I’m not sure we could ever be friends.  

I love me some cinnamon rolls, but these uber-decadent, rich and buttery sticky rolls are legendary. If you’re trying to think of something amazing to make for Easter, a birthday, special occasion or just some random Tuesday, these are it. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), these will not last long, but your memories of them will.  

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 (¼ oz. package of active dry yeast

1 c. warm milk (microwaved for 45 seconds)

½ c. white sugar

4 c. flour

⅓ c. butter, room temperature

2 eggs

Filling:

1 c. brown sugar

⅓ c. butter 

3 Tbsp. cinnamon

Caramel/Nut Sauce:

⅔ c. brown sugar

⅓ c. butter

1 Tbsp heavy cream

½ c. pecans, roughly chopped

Pour the yeast packet into a cup of warm milk and stir to dissolve (wait 5-10 minutes). In a separate bowl, mix sugar with melted butter. Add eggs and vanilla and stir. Add 2 c. of flour and mix. Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the bowl and mix until combined. Add the remaining 2 c. of flour and mix until well combined. 

Put dough into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for one hour or until dough is doubled in size. 

Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll until it’s ½ thick. The rolled out dough should be about 18 x 12 inches. 

To make the filling, combine butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a food processor. Blend until the mixture has a sandy texture. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough. 

Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough to the top so that you have created one large cylindrical roll. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 slices (about 1 ½ inches thick). Place the rolls into a greased pan. Cover with a towel and let the cut rolls rise for about 30-45 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the rolls are rising, grease a baking pan and prepare the caramel sauce. Combine the brown sugar, heavy cream and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk until you have a smooth sauce, about 3-5 minutes. Pour onto the greased pan. Then, sprinkle with the pecans.

When the rolls are finished rising, place them on top of the caramel/nut sauce. Bake for 20 minutes. Invert the baking pan onto a large plate or tray so that the nuts and sauce are on the top. Serve warm! 

Categories
Desserts/Sweets Uncategorized Vegetarian

Palestinian Kunafa (Shredded Phyllo Dough Pastry with Cheese)

If you’re looking for a wow-worthy dessert, look no further. Kunafa is not only visually appealing and delicious, it has a long and interesting history that would be sure to generate a fun conversation around any table. 

Kunafa is an ancient and wildly popular middle eastern dessert made with shredded phyllo dough, cheese, nuts, and sugary syrup. The recipe varies from region to region, but has very similar ingredients throughout the middle east. It appears that the exact origin of this dessert is subject to some debate, but it has been mentioned as a popular food since as early as the 10th century. The millenium-long popularity of this dessert proves that kunafa is a tasty treat that stands the test of time. 

Ingredients:

Kunafa:

½ 16 oz box of kataifi* (shredded phyllo dough), thawed

1 stick of melted butter

1 c. whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 c. shredded mozzarella

¼ c. sugar

Pistachios, for topping

Rose Water syrup:

1 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. rose water

Juice from one lemon

¾ c. water

*Kataifi can be found in the freezer section of most Middle Eastern markets

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a deep pie pan with butter so that the pastry does not stick. 

Make the rosewater syrup by combining the sugar, rose water, lemon juice and water together in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a bowl and allow it to simmer until thickened, or about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Use a food processor to chop the shredded phyllo dough into smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the melted butter into the dough and mix thoroughly with your hands. Place half of the dough firmly into the button of the pie pan, squishing it down all the way around the bottom. 

Mix the ricotta, mozzarella and sugar in a separate bowl and then spread the cheese mixture over the dough in the bottom of the pie pan. Place another layer of the dough on the top and smash down firmly. 

Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbly. Carefully remove the pastry from the pan, place on a platter and pour cooled rose water syrup over the top. Top with pistachios. Slice and serve hot.

Categories
Desserts/Sweets Uncategorized

Snow Day Cinnamon Rolls

Ahhh, the snow day. There is nothing quite like it. Just last week, we got the glorious robo-call announcing that the next day would be a snow day and there would be no school. As a mom and a teacher, nothing is more exciting. We all woke up bright and early to celebrate our freedom from school and decided that we would make our unrivaled (if I do say so myself) cinnamon rolls.

Like most good things, these babies take a little time and effort. But I promise you, it’s worth it. These are so deliciously decadent and slightly dangerous because you might want to eat all of them at once. But snow day calories don’t count, right?

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 (¼ oz) package of active dry yeast

1 c. warm milk (microwaved for 45 seconds)

½ c. white sugar

4 c. flour

⅓ c. butter, room temperature

2 eggs

Cinnamon Filling:

1 c. brown sugar

⅓ c. butter

4 Tbsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

¼ c. butter

1 ½ c. powdered sugar

½ tsp. Vanilla

¼ c. cream cheese 

Pour the yeast packet into a cup of warm milk and stir to dissolve (wait 5-10 minutes). In a separate bowl, mix sugar with melted butter. Add eggs and stir. Add 2 c. of flour and mix. Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the bowl and mix until combined. Add the remaining 2 c. of flour and mix until well combined. 

Put dough into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for one hour or until dough is doubled in size. 

Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll until it’s ½ thick. The rolled out dough should be about 18 x 12 inches. 

To make the filling, combine butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a food processor. Blend until the mixture has a sandy texture. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough. 

Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough to the top so that you have created one large cylindrical roll. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 slices (about 1 ½ inches thick). Place the rolls into a greased pan. Cover with a towel and let the cut rolls rise for about 30-45 minutes. 

While you wait for the rolls to rise, mix all of the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat with any electric mixer.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The rolls should be light brown when they are ready. Take the DELICIOUS rolls out of the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes. Then, spread the frosting on evenly and get ready for the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tried!