The Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread Alternative

As I’m writing this post, I’m memory-listening to a little boy singing his favorite song from his favorite movie. Memory-listening, for those who don’t know, is a lot like when you get a song stuck in your head (now referred to as an earworm), but it’s a song you’ve heard in the past. In this case, it’s a little boy from my day care, about 2-3 years old, singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story. I’d hear him sing it over and over again. He’s rather grown up now and probably getting ready for his first car, but I hear a little boy’s voice singing.

I have been blessed with some amazing friends, and I am most thankful for this great gift. One of the best things about the gift of friendship is that it comes in so many shapes and sizes. I’m not referring to the shapes and sizes of the friends, but the kinds of friends. New friends. Old friends. Friends that are close by. Friends that live far far away. Work friends. Gym friends. Zumba friends. (YES, they get a special category!) Church friends. Neighbor friends. High School and College friends. Cooking and baking friends. Blogging friends that you’ve never met in person, but look forward to meeting someday friends. Random-stranger-that-you-met-at-the-wine-shop-and-have-been-hanging-out-together-since friends.

My point is that no matter how or when or where you met, friendship is a precious gift.

And every now and then a friend will gift me with the gift of friendship bread. Except it doesn’t look like bread. Actually, it looks more like a bag or tub of goo, or the science experiment from the back of their fridge.

Appropriate response, “Um, gee thanks”. (Insert big sincere looking smile that ends up looking like a grimace.)

It’s a starter that needs to be fed and stirred in the fridge or on the counter for about 2 weeks before you can divide it, then share and bake. I don’t know about you, but if I want to bake bread, I don’t think about it 2 weeks in advance. “Wow, I think I’d like to bake in a couple of weeks.” Nope! Nope! Nope! I can be patient for some things, but I’m an instant gratification kind of girl. If I want to bake, then I’m going to bake now!

This is an example of traditional friendship bread with daily instructions of what to do for 10-14 days.

Photo by tizzie from Flickr, from The Curvy Nerd blog.

Photo by tizzie from Flickr, from The Curvy Nerd blog.

So when this pin came across my radar, I was so ready to try the bread and make a new friend – or at least feed the ones I already have. Melissa at Redfly Creations showed this quick recipe for a short-cut cinnamon bread. Yes! I’m in.

http://www.redflycreations.com/2012/10/the-amazing-amish-cinnamon-bread.html

http://www.redflycreations.com/2012/10/the-amazing-amish-cinnamon-bread.html

Here are the ingredients. I had everything on hand.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Ingredients

First cream the butter, sugar and eggs.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Cream butter, sugar and eggs

I like to start creaming the butter and sugar, and then add the eggs.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Sour the milk

Next, sour the milk (if you don’t have buttermilk) by mixing the lemon juice and milk.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Add flour mixture and milk

Combine the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Sprinkle with Cinnamon, add reamaining dough

Pour half of the batter into the baking pans, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, and repeat.

***A note here. Melissa says to pour into two bread pans, but doesn’t specify the size. Since she also mentions that muffin tins work well, I used one 5×9 bread pan and a half-dozen mini loaf pans.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Cinnamon Sprinkle #2

Swirl with a knife…

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Swirl Cinnamon

Then bake for 45=50 minutes.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Bake

Your house will start to smell amazing!

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Done baking

Cool the breads a bit before removing from the pans.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Cooling Bread

Sadly, the large loaf had sunk in the middle. The mini loaves seemed to do rather well, though.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Sunken middle

I left the large loaf to finish cooling in hopes that it would help the texture.

Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread - Plated to eat

One of the sliced mini loaves was eaten with our Sunday brunch. We ate some of the larger loaf the next few days, but found the extreme denseness of the sunken middle too much. Oh the other hand, the remaining mini loaves were brought to work and devoured with many thumbs up. In this case I think the smaller sizes worked better.

Now, for the Pintesting results.

Overall Rating: 4.3 Pins

4 Pins Overall

Accuracy:  This was a delicious quick bread recipe. Unfortunately, the sinking in of the large loaf, which might be attributed to the lack of specific pan size, didn’t give us great results for half of the dough. Otherwise the texture of the smaller loaves was wonderful; moist with a nice crumb. I love cinnamon and the swirled cinnamon sugar. Done in the two layers, it really distributed the yumminess throughout the bread. I might have cut back a little of the cinnamon sugar, or maybe drizzled a bit of melted butter on the topmost layer to give it a more streusel-like topping and to keep it from baking dry. 4 Pins

Rated 4 Pins

Difficulty: The recipe was well written (except for the lack of loaf pan size), and the most difficult part was the process of dividing the batter and cinnamon sugar for the two layers of cinnamon-y goodness. 4 Pins

Rated 4 Pins

Time:  The recipe calls for softened butter. Since I knew that I was going to make this on a Sunday morning, I put enough butter out before going to bed on Saturday night to soften properly. My own trick is to stick it into the microwave (NOT turning it on, just to keep it free from any kitties that might want some yummy butter) and close the door overnight. I’m not including the 8-hours of butter softening time. The actual prep and baking time was just under an hour, with another 20 minutes for cooling time. 4 Pins

Rated 4 Pins

Cost: There are no expensive ingredients on this recipes list. No special trips to the store – especially since Melisssa gave the alternative of soured milk for the buttermilk. (Good job!) 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Practicality:  I could see this as a great recipe for either muffins or mini loaves; perfect for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon snack. I especially like that the smaller sizes are perfect for freezing ahead and having on hand. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

 

 

Mini Peach Cobblers

My husband loves peach cobbler. It’s one of his all time favorite desserts. When I saw this pin for Mini Peach Cobblers, I knew I had to make it for him. I’m very fortunate and blessed to have such a wonderful man to call my husband, and love to spoil him in little ways like this. Much of my love comes from the kitchen. Last week he had a rough work day, so we had pan-seared scallops and steak for supper with steamed veggies and a Greek salad. On a Tuesday – just because. He felt the love.

My wonderful husband spoils me by cleaning the house. The man is gifted at cleaning. I mean, he puts Mr. Clean to shame. He can do in one hour what takes me all morning. So tell me, who wouldn’t make peach cobbler for the man who cleans? That ‘s what I thought. He was very excited about this pin test, so let’s get to it.

The original pin was by Melissa from Sugar Derby, who was guest posting on Alli’s blog, Alli-N-Son.

http://www.alli-n-son.com/2011/06/02/mini-peach-cobblers/

http://www.alli-n-son.com/2011/06/02/mini-peach-cobblers/

The Pintesting:

The ingredients called for a can of diced peaches. Melissa tells a funny story regarding this difficult-to-find ingredient, but I had no problem finding them at my grocer.

Ingredients

First I mixed the dry ingredients and combined with the milk until smooth. Melissa says to use a wooden spoon. I used a whisk and the results were perfect.

Mix until Smooth

I added the melted butter to the muffin pans, then topped with the batter.

Melted butter and batter in muffin cups

Next came the peaches, followed by a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Add peaches then sprinkle

The amount of brown sugar and cinnamon was omitted and left to the discretion of the cook. I did half with a lighter sprinkle and half with a heavy “sprinkle” to see if there would be a noticeable difference. We couldn’t taste a difference, but noticed that the cobblers with a more generous sprinkle were more nicely browned when baked.

I should note that the recipe yields 12 minis, but I had quite a bit of leftover melted butter and batter. I would recommend using 4-6 TBS of butter rather than the whole stick, and evenly divide up any additional batter.

Leftover butter & batter

I baked in a 350 degree pre-heated oven and set the timer for 12 minutes. Nothing was mentioned about using a convection oven, so I went with the conventional oven setting.

Bake

After 12 minutes the cobblers didn’t look quite done, so I gave them another 5 minutes. That seemed to do the trick.

Almost then Done

The directions say to let them cool almost completely before removing from the pan. After about 10 minutes, the cobblers had shrunk a bit from the cooling.

Shrink after cooling

Since it was a cold evening, we decided to test them with a cup of tea and skip the recommended ice cream. I’m sure it’s a delicious addition, but totally not necessary.

Done

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 5 Pins

5 Pins Overall - LARGE

Accuracy: The recipe was easy to follow, and the blog post added clarity on the sprinkle question of the brown sugar and cinnamon. My husband, who considers himself a peach cobbler expert, said this was one of the very best he’d ever tasted. We both liked the light, crispiness and chewiness of the cobbler crust. It wasn’t doughy at all, which is his biggest pet peeve of cobblers. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Difficulty: This was a very simple recipe. Perfect for a novice baker. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Time: I found that it took about 5 minutes more than the time in the recipe, but it took roughly 10 minutes of prep time, 17 minutes of baking time, and 10 minutes of cooling. At just over half an hour, 5 pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Cost: The ingredients are common to most kitchens. I only had to pick up the can of diced peaches for less than $2.00. 5 pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Practicality: This makes a nice after school snack or week night dessert. The leftovers (if you have any) also make a yummy breakfast with a cup of coffee. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Mini German Pancakes

International Pancake Day is this week, February 12 to be exact. I really like all kinds of pancakes, from thin delicate crepes to fat and fluffy buttermilk. There are so many ways you can customize them; putting goodies in the batter, topping or stuffing them with more goodies, and then comes the sauces and/or whipped cream! And let’s not forget the whole idea of having cakes for breakfast. Yes, pancakes are fantastic! My first pin test is Mini German Pancakes from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen. Many years ago my best friend made German pancakes and they were delicious but seemed like a lot of trouble. When I saw this pin on Pinterest I knew I had to give them a try.

The Pintesting:

There are two components to this recipe, the Mini German Pancakes and the Triple Berry Topping.

Mini German Pancakes:

http://realmomkitchen.com/489/mini-german-pancakes/

The recipe had basic ingredients that I already had on hand – a definite plus! Since Laura had omitted the orange zest, I did, too.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The instructions were easy to follow. I put everything except the melted butter into the blender.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The mixture became smooth quickly.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

It was several minutes since I had melted the butter. It was cooled but still liquid, so I poured it in rather quickly rather than a slow drizzle.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I sprayed the muffin pans. For comparison sake, I used one metal pan and one stoneware pan.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I poured a scant 1/4 cup in each one, just like Laura did, and ended up with 15 pancakes.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I popped them into the pre-heated 400-degree oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Nothing was mentioned about using a convection oven, so I went with conventional baking instead.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

After 15 minutes, the pancakes in the metal pan were perfectly ready to come out of the oven…

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

…but the stoneware pan took an extra 5 minutes before they were done.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

It was worth the wait.

Triple Berry Topping:

Time for the Triple Berry Topping. (Note: the recipe is mentioned in the blog and in the recipe. The link in the blog works well, but the link in the recipe was broken. Just make sure to use the 1st link.) The recipe was similar to other fruit sauce recipes I’ve made before, which made me feel confident that it would perform well.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The frozen berries and agave were brought to a boil.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

While that was heating I mixed the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Then added and cooked for just over a minute until thickened.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I put two on a plate and topped with the triple berry topping and powdered sugar, as recommended. They disappeared – just evaporated before my eyes (rather, before my mouth).

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I brought the rest into work to share and made many friends that day. Since my husband wasn’t home, I made the recipe again so he could try them. That time I used a jumbo muffin pan. I really liked the results in that size pan. They were big enough that two was a perfect sized serving. He loved them and I know we’ll be making these again.

The Pintesting Results:

OVERALL RATING: 5 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

 

Accuracy: The recipe for both the pancakes and the triple berry topping came out beautifully with delicious results.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

 Difficulty: The recipes were easy to make and didn’t require special equipment.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Time: The whole thing was made in 30-40 minutes – a reasonable time for a nice home-made breakfast.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Cost: Most of the ingredients were already in my kitchen and those that I didn’t have were easy to find at my local grocer. Nothing was over $7.00.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Practicality: This came together easily and makes a lovely breakfast or brunch.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins