Baking When Half Asleep and Making Butter

by Jennifer Wieland

So what happens when your 4-year-old has not slept at all and it’s now morning? Your eyes are burning, you are still putting her in bed repeatedly trying to get sleep to claim her finally and you get the brilliant idea to make cheater cinnamon rolls. You get them in the oven using the last of your butter to only have it dawn on you that you need butter for the icing. So then what do you do? Well you make your own butter of course. I mean it’s the most practical option. You are in no condition to drive let alone brave a shopping trip with a bunch of young ones, one of whom is so tired she is no crying about EVERYTHING!

So this morning I made butter and cheater cinnamon rolls. Both things I will share with you.

I had this wondrous, half-sleep deprived, delirious idea to make a quick cinnamon roll this morning. I had a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Roll Seemless Dough Sheet in the refrigerator that I was going to use as my base. I got the rolls ready to go into the oven and as I am doing this I realize that I just used the last of my butter on my cinnamon rolls. Now in my current bleary eyed state I was in no condition to go traipsing off to the grocery store. So I did what any other crazy sleep deprived person would do… I made my own butter.

Making butter is a pretty quick and simple process and also works as a great science experiment with the kiddies. You know the whole liquid to a solid thing with something other than water and ice.

Butter & Cheater Cinnamon Rolls


Heavy whipping cream ( I used 2 cups today)
small amount of salt, herbs, garlic, onion, cinnamon sugar, etc. (only if you want it to be salted or compound butter)
bowl of ice water

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, a blender, or a food processor pour your heavy whipping cream and start mixing/blending on medium speed. You do not want to use a hand mixer as your arm will get very tired. The cream will thicken and turn into whipped cream after several minutes. Keep mixing. You will then after a few more minutes notice liquid forming in the bottom. This is the butter fats separating from the buttermilk. Stop mixing at this point. Have a sieve over a good-sized bowl and pour everything into the sieve. Using the back of a silicone spatula press the curds to get out all of the liquid. At this point you can use the butter. If you want to stabilize it so it lasts more than a few days then you would put the butter back into your mixing container and pour the ice water over it and mix for a minute or two. Drain this using your sieve over another bowl. You can now mix in salt, herbs, garlic, onion, cinnamon sugar, etc. to flavor it. You can break it into small batches and flavor each differently. Place the finished butter(s) in waxed paper and roll them into balls or logs.

Cheater Cinnamon Rolls
makes 9 cinnamon rolls

1 tube Pillsbury Recipe Creations Seemless Dough Sheet
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° and spray an 8×8 pan with baking spray.

Unroll the Crescent dough and rub the two tablespoons of butter over the unrolled dough, leaving about 1/2 an inch without butter on one of the long sides. Thoroughly mix the brown sugar and cinnamon and then spread evenly over the buttered area. Tightly roll the dough starting from the long side that has butter and mix on it and finish with the un buttered end. Firmly pinch or press the un-buttered end to seal. Using a sharp knife cut into nine equal pieces and place in pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes and the frost with icing while warm.

Cinnamon Roll Icing

4 oz. of cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In the bowl of a stand mixer place all of the ingredients and mix on low-speed until combined. Then turn up speed to medium and beat for a minute or two. Use to ice cinnamon rolls while still warm.

Apricot Muffins

by Jennifer Wieland

Me time for me tends to consist of puttering around stores. On one of these outings at Walmart I came across Nature’s Harvest Ultra Apricots by the produce. They are very moist with an almost gummy candy like texture when eaten. They are really good and a new favorite of mine to replace my gummy candy weakness.

I diced them up and also used apricot preserves to make some muffins that veered away from the standard muffin flavors. These are a very quick muffin and can be mixed by hand or with a mixer.

Apricot Muffins

Apricot Muffins

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3 rounded tbsp. apricot preserves
1 1/4 c. chopped Nature’s Harvest Ultra Apricots

Preheat oven to 400° and line muffin pans with liners.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir together. Make a well and in another bowl whisk together the milk, oil, eggs and preserves. Pour into the well and stir until combined. Fold in the chopped apricots.

Fill liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 16-18 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove and continue to cool on wire rack or eat warm.

Berry Crumb Muffins

by Jennifer Wieland

The very first muffin recipe I ever made was using Art Smith’s recipe from his cookbook Back to the Table. I love this cookbook and it has served me so well over the years that my binding on it is breaking from use and I have to put pages back in it because some fall out when I use it. Gotta love a well loved cookbook. Now the muffin recipe in the book is a berry muffin recipe and it is an excellent basic muffin recipe that you can change up all sorts of ways. That is exactly what I did here today. I combined his recipe with another blogger’s crumb topping recipe and BAM! you have some yummy goodness. The crumb topping recipe comes from Veggie Belly a really great vegetarian blog. It is a great topping for muffins, crumbles, pies and crisps.

Strawberry Crumb Muffins & Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Strawberry Crumb Muffins & Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Mixed Berry Muffins

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/3 c. berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries or sliced strawberries or a combination of any of them.

The dry ingredients can be mixed together ahead of time and stored in a baggie.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line your cupcake or muffin pan with liners.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk the milk, oil and eggs. Mix it well and pour it into the well. Stir just until blended. Fold in berries and then spoon batter into muffin cups, filling
them 3/4 of the way full.

Crumb Topping

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
5 tbsp. butter melted

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour in the melted butter and using a fork stir and mash the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s
moist and crumbly.

Top the muffins with the crumb mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and serve warm or continue to let cool.


Apple Strudel Muffins

by Jennifer Wieland

Now that all the hubbub of the holidays has passed I am trying to make good on a resolution of mine. As most people do I made a resolution to have my family eat better this year. When I say better I mean more homemade less factory made, preservative laden foods. The first area of revamp is breakfast. It is how we start the day and most people need quick grab and go items for during the week as people are rushing to school and work. Since this is the case a good plan attack is to bake, bake, bake away on the weekends and package up and freeze things individually for quick starts in the morning.

I used to make muffins quite regularly but as life has become crazier I have let it fall by the wayside. I am trying to get back into the habit though because muffins freeze really well and are very easy to make. So up for our first breakfast muffin we have an apple strudel muffin.
Apple Strudel Muffin

Apple Strudel Muffins
makes 12 muffins

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. finely diced apples

Strudel Topping
1/3 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cupcake/muffin pan with liners.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter, sugars and eggs until smooth. This will take a few minutes at medium-high speed. Mix in the vanilla. Stir in the apples. Stir the flour mixture in two batches. Scoop the mixture into the liners in the pan.

In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture until it forms coarse crumbs and then sprinkle on the muffin batter.

Bake for 18-22 minutes and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on a wire rack or enjoy warm.

Cinnamon Scones…

by Jennifer Wieland

I tell my family that I should have been born English and/or Scottish all the time. I am totally enamored of both and as a result I totally enjoy tea and scones. I am not and never will be a coffee girl. No, for me it is tea. Whether it be hot or cold it is my favorite drink and nothing pairs better with it for me than scones.

I have tried many scones from many places and have also made numerous recipes trying to find my idea of a perfect cinnamon scone. I think I have finally come up with a recipe that I really like and I know that my children love it too. The recipe is easy to throw together for breakfast on the weekend or would make a great addition to a brunch menu.

cinnamon scone slicesSliced and ready to put on a pan and baked.

cinnamon sconeWarm scones and a hot cup of tea…. mmm!

Cinnamon Scones

1/3 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold butter (cut into squares)
2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. cinnamon chips
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the pastry blade pulse the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking powder & salt until mixed. Add the butter mixing until the butter is cut into the mix and it looks like coarse crumbs. Combine the cream, egg and vanilla and whisk together. With the food processor on slowly add the milk mixture. Once the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the walls stop the food processor. Hand fold or mix with a spoon the cinnamon chips into the dough. Using your hands or a rolling pin flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch thick, sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and slice into triangles. You can either do this using a circle or a rectangle shape for the dough. Carefully move to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. These can be served warm or at room temperature.

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