The Baker Upstairs: November 2021

11.19.2021

Cheesy Ham and Pea Pasta

Yum
This cheesy ham and pea pasta is ready in about thirty minutes, and totally delicious!
This cheesy ham and pea pasta is ready in about thirty minutes, and totally delicious!
Happy Friday! I'm so excited that we've made it to the Friday before Thanksgiving! My kids have the whole week off school next week, and we will be spending the week at the Oregon coast in a cute little cottage. It will be so much fun to relax, play games, watch Christmas movies, and have a ton of uninterrupted family time! I've been pretty busy over the last week trying to get everything ready for our trip, so I've been sticking with some of my favorite go-to meals on our menu this week. This cheesy ham and pea pasta is one of my kids' most requested meals. It's super simple and quick to make, uses ingredients I always have on hand, and is kid-friendly and delicious!
This cheesy ham and pea pasta is ready in about thirty minutes, and totally delicious!
I usually like to use shell pasta, but this pasta will work with pretty much any shape you have on hand (penne, bowtie, macaroni, etc.). Anytime I cook a ham, I chop up the leftovers and put them in baggies in the freezer, just so I can always have ham on hand for this dish. (That's how often we eat it!) If you don't have ham on hand, you can definitely use chopped deli ham instead. It's also delicious with rotisserie chicken or tuna, or even just meatless. This cheesy ham and pea pasta is a family favorite, for good reason!
This cheesy ham and pea pasta is ready in about thirty minutes, and totally delicious!
Cheesy Ham and Pea Pasta

1/2 pound shell pasta or macaroni pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
3/4 cup frozen peas

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring well so that the flour is completely incorporated. Cook 2-3 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. Add salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the ham and peas, return to the heat, and cook until the peas are heated through. Stir in the cooked pasta and serve immediately.
This cheesy ham and pea pasta is ready in about thirty minutes, and totally delicious!

11.17.2021

Chocolate Chip Brookies

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These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!
These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!
I know everyone else discovered the magical combination of cookies and brownies (also known as brookies) years ago, but I've always been a little hesitant to try them. I love each of the elements separately, but somehow it just seemed like the combination wouldn't be good. Like, either the cookies would be overbaked and hard, or the brownies would have the wrong texture... somehow it seemed impossible that they would work. Over the summer I couldn't resist an adorable little brookie (with googly eyes, no less) from one of my favorite little bakeries, Soro Soro, and it was THE BEST. So of course I had to recreate it at home immediately (sans googly eyes). I combined my favorite brownie recipe and my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it turns out putting them together made each of them even more delicious!
These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!
The brownies stay nice and gooey after baking, and the cookie dough bakes through without becoming overcooked. I was skeptical that the cookie dough could stay in the oven that long without getting overbaked, but it works perfectly. The flaky sea salt on top adds a delicious extra touch. 
These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!
I would recommend using a good quality chocolate for these brookies. I used a combination of Chocolove chocolate chips and Guittard dark chocolate discs, and they combined to make a rich and gooey chocolatey masterpiece. Seriously, look at that gorgeous melty chocolate!
These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!
If your sweet tooth is a little over the top like my husband's is, you can add a scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce on top, but honestly they're super delicious and rich just as they are. I cut mine into sixteen pieces, and one piece was plenty for me. These will definitely be a new staple at our house!
These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!
Chocolate Chip Brookies

for the cookie layer:
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

for the brownie layer:
12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
flaky sea salt (I used Maldon salt)

Preheat the oven to 325. Line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square pan with parchment paper. To make the cookie layer, in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix to form a soft dough. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the brownies, in a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the brownie mixture in the prepared pan. Scoop large scoops of the cookie dough onto the top of the brownie batter, then sprinkle with the flaky sea salt. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 1 1/2 inches from the side of the pan comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
These chocolate chip brookies are the perfect combination of cookies and brownies! They're so decadent and delicious, and loaded with chocolate!

11.15.2021

Crispy Fish Tacos

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These crispy fish tacos are so delicious and easy to make. Crispy fish pieces, fresh slaw, and warm corn tortillas combine into a delicious main dish!
These crispy fish tacos are so delicious and easy to make. Crispy fish pieces, fresh slaw, and warm corn tortillas combine into a delicious main dish!
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband recently bought a deep fryer, and he is so excited to try it out with all of his favorite foods. We eat fish tacos pretty frequently at our house, but I usually make either these baked fish tacos or these skillet fish tacos. My husband loves a good crispy fish taco, though, so we thought it would be fun to try making them with our deep fryer. They were much easier and quicker to make than I thought they would be, and they came out totally delicious! I whipped up a batch of my favorite slaw to go with them, warmed up some corn tortillas, and we had a tasty meal on the table in about thirty minutes. Awesome sauce!

The fish stays tender on the inside, but the outside gets crisp and delicious, with a combination of flavorful seasonings. You could definitely use another type of fish, but I used tilapia because I always have it on hand. I cut each tilapia fillet into 3-4 strips that were about one inch by three inches. If you are using a different type of fish, or using bigger pieces of fish, you may need to adjust the cooking time a little to make sure the fish gets cooked through. These crispy fish tacos are that magical combination of being totally delicious but still easy to make!
These crispy fish tacos are so delicious and easy to make. Crispy fish pieces, fresh slaw, and warm corn tortillas combine into a delicious main dish!
Crispy Fish Tacos

for the slaw:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded cabbage

for the fish:
1 1/2 pounds tilapia, cut into strips
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
oil for frying

for serving:
corn tortillas
salsa
sour cream
fresh cilantro

To make the slaw, in a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lime juice, sour cream, honey, vinegar, and salt. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate the slaw while the fish cooks.

To make the fish, preheat 1-2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large heavy pot to 350. In a shallow dish, whisk together the egg and milk. In another shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt, cayenne, pepper, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Dip the fish in the milk mixture, then in the flour mixture. Fry the fish for 4-5 minutes, or until crispy and cooked through, turning halfway through for even browning. Drain on paper towels until ready to serve. To serve, spoon slaw into the center of each tortilla and top with a piece of fish. Add additional toppings of your choice.
These crispy fish tacos are so delicious and easy to make. Crispy fish pieces, fresh slaw, and warm corn tortillas combine into a delicious main dish!

11.12.2021

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

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These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.
These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.
I know I've posted my share of different blueberry muffin recipes here on the blog, but this is THE ONE. The best blueberry muffin recipe I've ever come across. I've already posted several variations on this recipe, like these apple cinnamon streusel muffins and these huckleberry muffins, but I figured it was time to finally post the original here. I discovered this recipe on Sugar and Charm over a year ago, and I've made them at least every other week since then, with a few little tweaks to suit my tastes. I was skeptical at first that they would actually be more delicious than the recipe I've been using for years, but they really are! They are everything I want in a muffin - sweet, tender, and full of blueberries, with a crisp and buttery streusel on top. They are muffin perfection!
These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.
As with most muffins, you need to be careful not to over-mix them, or they will lose that perfect texture. I usually make them with fresh blueberries, but they work equally well with frozen blueberries (although the blueberries tend to bleed into the batter a little bit and turn them purple). My kids actually like them best with frozen wild blueberries, so there are more blueberries packed into each bite. If you're using frozen blueberries, I would recommend tossing them with a tablespoon or so of the flour mixture before adding them to the batter, to help prevent them from sinking in the batter and control the color bleeding a little bit.
These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.
These muffins will keep well for several days in the fridge, so I often make a batch at the beginning of the week so my kids can help themselves on busy school mornings. When I have a little more time, I like to warm them up again in the toaster oven, so the streusel on top can crisp up and the muffins are warmed all the way through. They're good both warm and cold, but I especially love them warm with a little butter on them. Yum!
These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.
These blueberry streusel muffins are the perfect way to start the day!
These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.
Blueberry Streusel Muffins

for the muffins:
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk, warmed
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups fresh blueberries

for the streusel:
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 425. Add 18 paper liners to two muffin tins. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just barely combined. Gently fold the blueberries into the muffin batter.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. To make the streusel, whisk the flour, sugar, and brown sugar together with a fork in a small bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter and whisk until the butter is blended in and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the streusel over the tops of the muffins. Bake 15 minutes, or until light golden brown on top and cooked through.
These blueberry streusel muffins are the best muffins you'll ever eat! They have the perfect texture, loads of blueberries, and a buttery streusel.

11.10.2021

Potato Leek Soup

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This creamy potato leek soup is the perfect comfort food meal! It's so delicious and flavorful, and easy to make!
This creamy potato leek soup is the perfect comfort food meal! It's so delicious and flavorful, and easy to make!
When it's cold out there's nothing better than a warm bowl of soup for dinner! When I was growing up, one of my mom's go-to meals during the colder months was cheesy potato soup. She would make a big batch in the crock pot and have it ready for us after sledding or building snowmen, and it just feels like the epitome of cold weather comfort food to me! She still makes it whenever I visit home for Christmas, and it brings back so many warm memories for me. 

I have a baked potato soup recipe that I love, but I haven't branched out much beyond them in terms of potato soup. A few weeks ago I ended up with a giant leek from the produce co-op that I didn't have a clue what to do with, so I invented this potato leek soup recipe. Potatoes and leeks are a classic combination for a reason. This soup has such a delicious flavor, and is made with simple ingredients. It's the perfect way to warm up a cold night!
This creamy potato leek soup is the perfect comfort food meal! It's so delicious and flavorful, and easy to make!
If you haven't cooked much with leeks before (like I hadn't) just be aware that they have dirt trapped in between the layers, so it's important to get them very clean before using them in a recipe. I added my instructions below for the easiest way that I've found to clean them. They might be a little intimidating to work with at first, but they're quite delicious and I love the flavor they add to this soup. This one is definitely a keeper!
Potato Leek Soup

1 large leek
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
4 cups chicken broth
5-6 medium russet potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare the leek by slicing off the dark green top and the root end, then slicing the leek in half lengthwise. Cut each half into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Add the sliced leeks to a bowl of water, and gently agitate them with your fingers to dislodge any dirt. Scoop the leeks out of the water using a slotted spoon. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are softened. Add the flour and stir to make a paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, until golden. Whisk the milk into the pot and cook until slightly thickened. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper, and bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the soup is thick. Serve hot with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon on top, if desired.
This creamy potato leek soup is the perfect comfort food meal! It's so delicious and flavorful, and easy to make!

11.08.2021

Parker House Rolls

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These Parker house rolls are so tender and soft, with the perfect light texture and buttery flavor!
These Parker house rolls are so tender and soft, with the perfect light texture and buttery flavor!
Who else just can't get enough homemade bread? I've made a lot of rolls in my day (like these crescent rolls, pull apart rolls, one hour rolls, to name a few), but I've never made Parker House rolls successfully until now! My good friend Cort is famous for her Parker House rolls, but the one time I tried to make them using her recipe they turned out awful. It was 1000% my fault, not hers, but my rolls ended up flopping open as they baked, then burning on the bottoms before the tops were cooked through. It was a long time ago, when I was much more of a novice at bread making, but since then, I've been too afraid to try them again. 

I recently came across a recipe for these beauties on A Bountiful Kitchen, and since Si has never steered me wrong with a recipe yet, I decided to give it a try. The rolls turned out absolutely perfect, and totally delicious. I will definitely be adding them to my roll repertoire!
These Parker house rolls are so tender and soft, with the perfect light texture and buttery flavor!
These rolls are formed by rolling out dough, cutting it into circles, then dipping one side of the circle in butter. You then fold the dough in half, with the buttered side on the inside, and place them on a baking sheet. The key is to roll them pretty thinly (only about 1/2 inch thick) and to stretch the dough a little as you fold it to make the roll a little flatter. I think my problem the first time that I made them was that I rolled the dough out into too thick a layer, so they couldn't help but flop open as they rose and baked. The buttery inside of the rolls makes them super soft and gives them such a delicious flavor.
These Parker house rolls are so tender and soft, with the perfect light texture and buttery flavor!
These Parker House rolls would be perfect for your Thanksgiving celebration, or just as a tasty side for soup or chili. The leftovers are also perfect for turkey sandwiches with Thanksgiving leftovers. If you've been intimidated by them in the past (or maybe that's just me?) you should definitely give this easy and delicious recipe a try!
These Parker house rolls are so tender and soft, with the perfect light texture and buttery flavor!
Parker House Rolls

1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
2 tablespoons oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
5-6 cups flour, more or less as needed
6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until bubbly, about ten minutes. Add the milk, oil, eggs, and salt, and mix to combine. Mix in three cups of flour, then add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a greased bowl for one hour, or until doubled.

After the dough has risen, line a baking sheet with parchment or grease with cooking spray. Gently punch the dough down and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Pour 4 tablespoons of the melted butter into a shallow dish. Cut three inch circles from the dough. Dip one flat side of the roll in the butter, then fold the dough circle in half with the butter on the inside. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the rolls on the baking sheet, cover, and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 400. Bake the rolls for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Brush the hot rolls with the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter.

adapted slightly from A Bountiful Kitchen
These Parker house rolls are so tender and soft, with the perfect light texture and buttery flavor!

11.05.2021

Double Crust Peach Pie

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This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.
This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.
Are you more of a fruit pie or a cream pie fan? I've always thought fruit pies were the best, but some people (cough, my husband, cough) seem to think they're inferior. I'm obviously never going to turn down a good coconut cream, banana cream, or chocolate cream pie, but for me fruit is where it's at! My favorite kind of fruit is peaches, so of course peach pie tops my list. I've been making this delicious peach crisp pie for several years now, but I thought it would be fun to try a double crust peach pie for the first time. (I know! How have I not made one before now?) It turned out absolutely delicious (because more pie crust is always a good thing) and was the perfect way to showcase some delicious peaches we picked at the end of the summer. This peach pie recipe is a keeper!
This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.
Just like with my triple berry pie, I cooked the pie filling before assembling and baking the pie. It's definitely the way to go for more consistent results. Once the filling is cooked, just assemble and bake!
This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.
I like a thick crust around the edge of the pie, so I didn't trim any of the excess, and instead twisted the top and bottom edges into a fairly thick band. If you prefer it thinner, that's totally fine too! I just did a quick cross in the middle of the pie to let steam escape, but feel free to get as decorative as you like with it. 
This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.
I think this pie is tastiest when it's served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side, but it will be easier to serve if you let it cool completely. The leftovers need to be refrigerated, but will last several days in the fridge. This double crust peach pie is totally delicious!
This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.
Double Crust Peach Pie

for the pie crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk plus a splash of vinegar)

for the filling:
6 cups fresh peaches, sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup corn starch

to assemble the pie:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350. To make the filling, add the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice to a large saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Stir in the corn starch and cook until thickened. Let cool to room temperature before assembling the pie.

While the filling is cooling, make the pie crust. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour and salt. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture, and cut in using a pastry blender or the paddle attachment, until the pieces of butter are no larger than pea sized. Add the buttermilk, and mix until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently work into a ball, handling as little as possible. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least twenty minutes, or until ready to use.

To assemble the pie, roll the bottom half of the pie crust out to fit your pie dish, and press it gently into the dish. Pour the filling into the pie crust and spread it evenly. Roll out the top crust in an even layer, and cut vents as desired, Place the top crust on top of the filling, cut off the excess crust, and fold or crimp the edges together. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush the egg mixture over the top of the crust, spreading evenly. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
This double crust peach pie is everything you could want in a pie! It's perfectly sweetened, with juicy fruit and a rich and buttery crust.

11.03.2021

Triple Berry Pie

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This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!
This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!
Now that it's November, it's officially pie season! (Okay, I don't know if pie season is actually a thing, but I'm going to celebrate it anyway.) I love pie and am excited to enjoy it all year round, but Thanksgiving time is when pies really get their due. I shared a delicious sour cream apple pie a few weeks ago, and I'm excited to share two other pies with you this week! This triple berry pie is a recipe that I made for the first time this summer... and then have made 4 more times in the months since. It's just that good!
This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!
I made this pie the first time with freshly picked strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, but frozen berries or a mix of fresh and frozen would also work well. You really could use pretty much any combination of berries (blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries, etc.), so feel free to use a frozen berry blend if that's what you have on hand. I like that the filling for this pie is cooked before baking the pie, so you can control how thick it is. It's super easy to make and it makes the whole pie making process quick and easy!
This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!
Like most pies, this one is best on the day it's baked, but the leftovers are still pretty delicious warmed up in the microwave with a scoop of ice cream on the side. To make it easier to slice and serve, I think it's helpful to let the pie cool down all the way before serving. 
This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!
I used homemade pie crust, but if you prefer you could easily use store-bought. My homemade pie crust is so quick to make that it really doesn't take much more time than opening up a package of store-bought crust and letting it come to room temperature. The combination of flaky, buttery crust and sweet berries is totally irresistible!
This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!
Triple Berry Pie

for the pie crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk plus a splash of vinegar)

for the filling:
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
2 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup corn starch

to assemble the pie:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. To make the filling, add the berries, sugar, and lemon juice to a large saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Stir in the corn starch and cook until thickened. Let cool to room temperature before assembling the pie.

While the filling is cooling, make the pie crust. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour and salt. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture, and cut in using a pastry blender or the paddle attachment, until the pieces of butter are no larger than pea sized. Add the buttermilk, and mix until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently work into a ball, handling as little as possible. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least twenty minutes, or until ready to use.

To assemble the pie, roll the bottom half of the pie crust out to fit your pie dish, and press it gently into the dish. Pour the filling into the pie crust and spread it evenly. Roll out the top crust in an even layer, and cut vents as desired, or form into a lattice (this is an excellent tutorial, if you haven't done a lattice crust before). Place the top crust on top of the filling, cut off the excess crust, and fold or crimp the edges together. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush the egg mixture over the top of the crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the coarse sugar over the top. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and thick. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
This triple berry pie is loaded with juicy berries, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It's so delicious!

11.01.2021

The Best Soft Cinnamon Rolls

Yum
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
As someone who loves a good cinnamon roll, it has frustrated me for years that I haven't been able to make one myself. When I first learned to cook from scratch (14 years ago or so) one of the goals on my bucket list was to make delicious cinnamon rolls. I've accomplished nearly everything else on that list (make perfect French bread, bake a cake that doesn't fall, make homemade tortillas like my mom, etc.) but somehow the cinnamon rolls have always eluded me! I've tried recipe after recipe, and they never turn out the way I'm hoping. They always burn on the bottom, or don't get cooked all the way through before they're too brown on the top. Or they just don't have the right taste and texture. I want that gooey, soft (but fully cooked) Cinnabon-ish cinnamon roll that's full of flavor and tastes amazing! 

Finally, a few months ago, I found a recipe for the cinnamon roll of my dreams! It makes a fairly small batch (only nine cinnamon rolls) but they are over the top delicious. The filling is the perfect balance of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, and the rolls themselves are light and fluffy, but still give that delicious ooey-gooey experience that I love. These cinnamon rolls are perfection!
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
I prefer to bake these rolls in a 9 x 9 square pan, but you could bake them on a sheet pan or in a jumbo muffin tin if you prefer. I wouldn't recommend using a regular size muffin tin unless you are making the rolls smaller, because I think they would end up being too big for the tin by the time they are baked. Look at those gorgeous cinnamon spirals!
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
I really like that the filling for these rolls is mixed together before it's spread on the dough. Somehow it just never works for me to spread the butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top (I fully recognize that this may be a failing that is particular to me - ha ha!). Adding a little touch of vanilla makes the filling extra delicious!
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
I've mentioned this before, but I am not actually a fan of sweetened cream cheese (I know! I am so weird.). Ordinarily I don't like cream cheese frosting, but the frosting for these cinnamon rolls is totally irresistible. It's the perfect complement to the cinnamon rolls. I'm sure the rolls are delicious without it, but together they are absolutely amazing!
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
These cinnamon rolls are the very best on the day they are made, but they will stay fresh for several days. I think the leftovers are best warmed up a little so they get nice and soft and gooey again. These cinnamon rolls are absolute perfection!
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
The Best Soft Cinnamon Rolls

for the dough:
3/4 cup warm milk
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour, more as needed

for the filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let the mixture sit until foamy and bubbly. Add the egg, egg yolk, melted butter, and salt, and mix to combine. Add half of the bread flour, mix, and continue to add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth and pliable. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60-90 minutes, until doubled in size.

After the dough has risen, gently punch it down and roll it out into a 14 by 9 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. To make the filling, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Spread the filling mixture over the dough in an even layer, leaving about one inch uncovered on one of the short sides. Roll the dough up, starting from the opposite short side, and place the roll seam side down to seal it. Cut off the ends of the roll, then cut the dough into nine slices. Place the cinnamon rolls into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish, cover, and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes while you prepare the frosting. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls in an even layer.

adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
These delicious cinnamon rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They're so light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!