My friend Shana had raved many times about a little place in Branson, MO called Grandma Ruth’s that apparently has some of the BEST cinnamon rolls around. So the first opportunity I got, I high-tailed it down to Branson and stopped into this little hole in the wall cinnamon roll shop!
The first thing I noticed was the music coming from the room that had the table and chairs where people were eating their treats…it was live music! A guy with a guitar singing your typical country western tunes and he wasn’t bad! And there is nothing fancy about this place, just basic tables and chairs in one room and then you enter the next room and it’s the “kitchen” and counter where you place your order. It’s completely open so you can see all the baking happening and Grandma Ruth herself is sitting there making cinnamon rolls! Adds a nice personal touch!
The day we visited they had three kinds of rolls: Cinnamon, caramel and toffee. We purchased two of each kind and made our way back to the tables and chairs area to eat them. My favorite was the classic cinnamon followed by the caramel and then the toffee. These rolls were HUGE, enough for two people to share! And they were indeed delicious! Tender, yeasty, not to sweet (ok the toffee was a tad too sweet for me!) and so good, just like you expect a classic cinnamon roll. My daughter LOVED them and my hubby and I both enjoyed ours immensely.
If you’re in Branson and looking for some sweet indulgence, these cinnamon rolls are just the thing!
My friend Shawna had more than once told me how AWESOME Natasha’s on the Plaza in Kansas City was. Especially their macarons, apparently the best and I LOVE macarons. So, when Jeremy and I had a chance to go to a B&B in Excelsior Springs for a couple of days for our fifth anniversary (yay!), I knew that I would absolutely have Natasha’s on my agenda since KC was so close and I wanted to go shopping on the Plaza anyway. Perfect!
All I can say is from the time I walked into Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott until the time we left, I was absolutely mesmerized by everything about this little place. I felt like I was in a little Parisian shop/cafe, surrounded by vintage furniture and picture frames, pristine white walls with pastel accents, gorgeous chandeliers and a little tea bar against one wall. And the desserts…jars of cookies, bars and marshmallows, assorted pastries, tarts and little cakes in the pastry case and the most impressive display of macarons I’ve ever seen!
And the best part…because we were there on Saturday, they had a fresh batch of their massive brioche cinnamon rolls, covered in buttercream. They apparently only make them on Friday and Saturday which is a shame because if I lived there, I’d buy one every. single. day. They were TO DIE FOR. We got one to share and then every flavor of macaron which was 14 different kinds in all. We thought there was no way we’d be able to eat the whole cinnamon roll but oh my gosh, once we started, we couldn’t stop! Best one I’ve ever had. As for the macarons? Also amazing and probably the best I’ve had. I liked almost every one (except the maple bacon…I just can’t get into desserts with bacon ick) but Jeremy and I agreed our favorite was the margarita which I wasn’t expecting!
Our overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars! This place is a MUST if you are anywhere near the Plaza in Kansas City. You will be in French pastry heaven!
Cinnamon Roll Cake. Also known in our house as “crack cake”. Listen I don’t care what your planning on baking for Thanksgiving this week–pie, cookies, trifle, cobbler, whatever–I don’t care. Yeah I know you’re in the middle of making your massive grocery list but whatever dessert you have on it, scratch it off. You will likely already have all the ingredients needed for this cake and this cake is what you want to make. Trust me on this.
I had never even heard of Cinnamon Roll Cake until my good friend Nicole (who also happens to be a FABULOUS baker) told me she had went to a recipe exchange and someone brought this cake. When she showed me the recipe, it looked so easy I had to try it right away. Luckily we had a bonfire we were going to this past Friday so it was the perfect excuse to make it. I had it done in no time and was taking it out of the oven, piping hot, pouring the glaze all over it and breathing in the delicious aroma of what smelled just like yummy cinnamon rolls. Now whoever wrote the recipe said they preferred to eat it while it was still warm, so of course we took their advice! And it was indeed delicious. Very much like a warm cinnamon roll in cake form. However, after letting it cool for several hours, something magical happens after all the glaze has soaked into the dense cake and the cinnamon-brown sugar swirl has turned super gooey and decadent. The cake itself is not overly sweet which is nice because it balances out the sweetness of the swirl and glaze perfectly. I’m telling you, it was amazing!!! Jeremy and I agreed that we liked it warm but LOVED it cold/room temperature and both agreed that we can never be left alone with this cake in the house. It’s so, SO good. Totally addicting. Yeah, like crack. Seriously, make this for your Thanksgiving dinner! People will rave.
1 c. Unsalted Butter, softened (I just popped mine in the microwave for about 20 seconds)
1 c. Light Brown Sugar
2 T. All-Purpose Flour
1 T. Cinnamon
2½ c. Powdered Sugar
5 T. Whole Milk or Heavy Whipping Cream
2½ T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x13 pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Slowly beat in the milk, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla. With mixer on low, slowly pour in the melted butter. Mix for a couple of minutes on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined. Pour into pan.
For the Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Swirl
Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop by spoonfuls over cake and then swirl gently with a knife. Bake for 32-35 minutes (mine took 35), until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. While the cake is still warm, slice into pieces and drizzle the glaze (instructions below) all over the cake. Eat warm or at room temperature (which is what we prefer!).
If you were one of the crazies up at 3 a.m. (or you didn’t even got to bed! CRAZY!) to get in line for Black Friday, and had all your shopping done by 7, you’re probably getting a little hungry and thinking about breakfast. Lucky for you I managed to find a few recipes that put all those leftover pumpkin, pecan and apple pies to good use in some of our most beloved breakfast foods. Pumpkin pie french toast?! Umm, sign me up! I know for some, however, it might be a bit early for Thanksgiving food round two, so I also have some yummy dessert recipes that incorporate leftover pie.
Believe it or not, there are some people on diets this time of year. Yes, DIETS, preparing/starving themselves for the two month long eat-o-rama that begins around mid-November and doesn’t stop until somewhere around the new year. I myself believe in moderation and balance and try to get plenty of exercise and eat an overall healthy diet (I definitely do NOT believe in starvation and “diet” trends). And I am most certainly planning on indulging during the holidays but in moderation.
So, for those more health-conscious readers out there like myself, I thought I would provide you with some healthy dessert options for you to bring to those family get-togethers. Some are most definitely more healthy than others; there are low-fat, low-calorie, high-protein, low-sugar, etc. Options! That’s what I’m all about. 🙂 I’ll definitely be testing a couple (the Date Bars and Honey-Almond Cake are calling my name!) to see if they are worthy of the upcoming family festivities. I’ll post my results!
It’s October! I am so excited about October for many reasons…craft fairs, pumpkin everything, Halloween candy galore, hot drinks, scary movies, bon fires…the list goes on and on. I think we should kick off October AND Monday morning the right way–with Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes! How delish do these look?! You might recall when I posted about the original Cinnamon Roll Pancake recipe on a previous post awhile back, but I think the pumpkin takes it to a whole other level! You better believe these are on the menu for breakfast next weekend!
Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a small, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for 40 to 60 seconds, just until butter is melted. Whisk the filling ingredients together and then pour it into a sandwich-sized zip baggie. Zip up the baggie and lay it on the counter while you prepare the pancake batter.
Prepare the Icing: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese 30 to 60 seconds, just until butter has melted and cream cheese has softened. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Set the icing aside.
Prepare the pancake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt and brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all is moistened.
Check on your cinnamon filling: Open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated. You want the mixture to thicken a bit- it's best when it's similar to the squeezing texture of toothpaste (which will eventually happen if you leave it on the counter long enough, but refrigerate for a few minutes if you need to). Don't try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened as it will be too runny! Snip off a small piece of the corner of the baggie.
Cook the pancakes: Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium. Use an ice cream scoop (or ladle) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or ladle to spread out the batter into a nice, even circle. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pick up your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze the filling into the corner. Starting at the center of the pancake squeeze the cinnamon filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a cinnamon roll). Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it is golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.
If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, use this combo of spices instead: 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Needing some inspiration for breakfast tomorrow morning? Me too! As I was researching some seriously sweet breakfast recipes, I came across so many I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted to share, they all looked so good! So I thought, why not share them all? For me, there is nothing better than actually having time to cook or bake on a Saturday morning and filling your whole house with delicious smells of a homemade breakfast. And since Saturday is usually our “cheat” day around our house, it’s a great time to try one of these not-so-healthy, but oh-so-delicious recipes. Yay!