Easter Bread

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCComing from a large family with so many traditions, some of my favorite memories are all the recipes my Nanny made for the holidays. Easter has a sweet spot in my heart and there is not one that has gone by without her famous Easter Bread. Rich sweet bread, similar to brioche, flavored with orange and braided to perfection. For a special Easter touch, eggs are nestled into the dough and glazed with a thin sugar coating topped with colorful sprinkles. From my family to yours, Enjoy!


Nanny's Easter Bread
Yields 1
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  1. 4 cups all purpose flour
  2. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  3. ½ cup vegetable shortening
  4. ½ cup whole milk
  5. 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 1 orange, zest and juice
  8. ½ tsp salt
  9. ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  10. 4 eggs (for decoration)
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. ¼ cup whole milk
  3. Sprinkles
  1. Place flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl with dough hook attachment and add shortening until a course crumb forms. Heat milk in a saucepan until warm to the touch (110 degrees F) and add yeast.
  2. Combine eggs, orange zest and juice, vanilla extract and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly add yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead until it comes together (it will be dry at this point). Add egg mixture a little at a time until fully combined.
  3. Knead the dough in the mixer or by hand until dough is soft and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour).
  4. Divide dough into two pieces and roll each piece into 24-inch-long pieces. Twist the two pieces together. Form the rope into a 12” round circle, pinching the ends together to seal, and nestle 4 eggs into the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (approx 45 minutes).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; once the bread is ready, bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow the bread to cool completely before glazing and adding sprinkles.
  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and milk, adding more of either ingredient to achieve the desired consistency. Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the Easter Bread.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Almond Butter & Jelly Bars

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCFeeling very excited over here…I have come up with a recipe that I love as much as my kids do and it can be eaten at breakfast or dessert and I don’t feel bad about it!  

If you are like our family, we have a serious love for “PEANUT BUTTER AND  jelly” (we like to sing it around here:) and sometimes it is a battle to get Sophie to want anything else for lunch.  So I have been working on a recipe that she will love just as much, but could be a healthy addition to her breakfast routine…and I did it! Yay!  Although, for this recipe I have removed the peanut butter and replaced it with almond butter for so many more wonderful benefits.  

After teaming up with Nuts.com and learning all the  health benefits that go along with almonds (and they taste amazing as well), these bars got even better.

The addition of almond butter, to replace peanut butter and almond flour, to replace all purpose flour,  you are treating yourself to a high protein and gluten free treat…and your kids will love it as well!!

Check out Nuts.com for over 2,000 items that can be shipped straight to you.

Almond Butter & Jelly Bars
Yields 15
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Bar Recipe
  1. 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 large eggs
  5. 1 cup almond butter
  6. 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 cup strawberry jam (or flavor of your choice)
Crumble Recipe
  1. 1 cup almond flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 4 tbsp butter, melted
  5. 1/3 cup almonds, slivered
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper
  3. In a large bowl with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Add vanilla extract, eggs and almond butter and mix until combined
  5. Slowly add almond flour, baking powder and salt to almond butter mixture and mix just until combined
  6. Spread the 3/4 of the batter evenly into prepared pan with a spatula
  7. Spread the strawberry jam over batter
  8. Drop small globs of the remaining dough over the strawberry jam
  9. Make the crumble topping and sprinkle to cover top of jam
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden
  11. Cool in pan before cutting into squares or hearts
Crumble Topping
  1. In a small bowl combine the almond flour, sugar, salt and melted butter and stir until it comes together
  2. Stir in the slivered almonds
  3. Sprinkle over jam
  4. Make crumble topping and sprinkle to cover the top
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Pumpkin Ginger Spice Bundt

SONY DSCAs we enter into November (my favorite month of the year…My birthday Month!) I am still feeling the love for pumpkin…I don’t think that ever goes away.  I have officially made this bundt cake to many times, but my girls love it, my husband loves it and it is the perfect cake to bring to someones house or an office to celebrate fall!  It has a moist texture, strong flavors of cinnamon and ginger and the creamy cream cheese glaze, a great breakfast, snack or dessert!SONY DSC

With a little batter left over, it made the perfect mini muffins tossed in cinnamon sugar. I hope you enjoy and Happy November!SONY DSCSONY DSC

Pumpkin Ginger Spice Bundt
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  1. 3 cups sugar
  2. 1 cup vegetable oil
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 2/3 cup water
  5. 1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
  6. 2 tsp ground ginger
  7. 1 tsp allspice
  8. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  10. 2 tsp baking soda
  11. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. 1. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth
  2. 2. Add water to egg mixture
  3. 3. Add in pumpkin puree, ginger, cinnamon and allspice
  4. 4. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a bowl
  5. 5. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until combined
  6. 6. Pour batter into a bundt pan 3/4 full (depending on the size of your pan there might be a little batter remaining that will make the perfect mini muffins!)
  7. 7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. 8. Allow the cake to stick for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan
  9. 8. Once the cake is cooled, dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with cream cheese glaze (see recipe below)
  10. 9. Serve or store in an airtight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Spiced Cream Cheese Glaze
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  1. 4 ounce cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 3 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
  4. pinch of cinnamon
  5. pinch of ginger
  1. 1. cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until all lumps are gone
  2. 2. add in milk until you have the desired texture
  3. 3. add in ground cinnamon and ginger
  4. 4. drizzle over bundt cake
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/


Chocolate Cherry Granola Balls


I might be mildly obsessed with these little bitty bite size treats.  I actually cannot stop eating them and I made them as a snack for my girls…well maybe a little for me (I do LOVE peanut butter)!  I have been focusing on healthy snacks in our house, to close out the summer and start the new school year fresh and these are on the top of my list.  

Summer is kind of a party for our family, no schedule, no routine and a lot of special treats (it helps us get through the day).  With only a  few more weeks left before school goes back, I want to prepare myself with the perfect afternoon snacks that are healthy, easy to make and the whole family loves. These peanut butter granola balls are the perfect refuel treat after a long day at work or school.  The hardest time of day, 4pm-5pm, when the whole family is hungry and I can’t make dinner fast enough, this is when we need these healthy snacks ready to go.  

I created thes bite size granola balls because I wanted something quick and easy that I can whip up any time with no oven needed.  I actually think these healthy treats taste more like dessert to me…and I am ok with that!   Enjoy these for breakfast, snack or as an after dinner treat and you won’t feel guilty about it!  

Feel free to change out some of the ingredients for your favorites!

Other Options:
Almond Butter —>Peanut Butter (makes them have a drier texture, but still good)
Raisins or Dried Cranberries—>Dried Cherries
Sliced Almonds—>Shredded Coconut

Chocolate Cherry Granola Balls
Yields 20
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  1. 1 cup oatmeal
  2. 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
  3. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  4. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  5. 1/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  6. 2 Tbsp honey
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. pinch of salt
  9. pinch of cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Mix until totally combined
  3. scoop a heaping 1 Tbsp of the oatmeal mixture and roll into balls
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to eat!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Blueberry Orange Crumb Muffins

SONY DSCBreakfast is a big deal in our family.  We love to eat it, but during the week, have a hard time getting it ready before we are headed out the door.  On the weekends we take our time and usually make a feast for 20, but only feeding 4!  So my goal has been to get some staple recipes down that can be made ahead and the whole family will enjoy.  SONY DSCThese blueberry orange muffins have been a favorite of mine and so quick and easy to make, no mixer required.  I love the moist crumb of this specific muffin with the blueberries in every bite, a touch of orange flavor and the crunchiest brown sugar streusel.SONY DSCSONY DSC

Blueberry Orange Crumb Muffins
Yields 10
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  1. 1 large orange (1/3 cup juice)
  2. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1/2 cup milk, whole
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  6. 1 cup light brown sugar
  7. 1 tbsp baking powder
  8. 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  9. 1 cup frozen blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Zest orange and set aside; then juice the orange to measure 1/3 cup
  3. Whisk together oil, milk, orange juice, zest and eggs in a medium bowl
  4. Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt together in another bowl
  5. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir until combined; do not over mix
  6. Fold in the frozen blueberries (keep them frozen)
  7. Using an ice cream scoop (2 1/2"), scoop the batter into muffin pan lined with muffin cups
  8. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a generous portion of crumb topping (see recipe below)
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes
  10. Cool in pan before serving
Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery
Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Crumb Topping
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  1. 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  2. 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  3. 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  4. 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and vanilla extract with your fingers in a small bowl until combined and crumbly
  2. Sprinkle on muffins once they are scooped into the pans
  3. Bake according to muffin recipe
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Cinnamon Swirl Babka

SONY DSCA few weeks ago, we went to the most beautiful beach in Florida (Santa Rosa Beach) with my family.  We have been so fortunate to have many wonderful memories there as kids and now we get to bring our kids there….it is truly a blessing!  While we are there we usually have a great routine of cooking some and eating out a lot (some of the best seafood!).  This trip my mom and dad packed a crazy amount of snacks for the kids and they also brought this beautiful loaf of bread that I had never seen before.  My mom said that she grew up eating this cinnamon swirly flakey yummy bread and I wondered why I am just now getting introduced to it.  So we ate it for breakfast a lot (I might have had a few pieces throughout the day) and when we got home all I could think about was how I wanted that bread for breakfast.  So I pulled out my mixer and worked on a couple recipes and here is my version of this awesome bread called Babka!  It is very similar to brioche, but swirled with a gooey cinnamon center.  I hope you enjoy this as much as my family has! (Sophie and Adele love it! Yay!)SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Cinnamon Swirl Babka
Yields 1
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For the Dough
  1. ½ cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  6. 1½ tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  7. ½ tsp salt
  8. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened
For the Filling
  1. 1 cup light brown sugar
  2. ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  4. ⅛ tsp salt
  5. 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  6. 1 egg white
  1. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the filling.
  1. Grease a large bowl and set aside
  2. Combine and whisk together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds
  4. Slowly pour in the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes
  5. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the butter, one piece at a time, until they have all been incorporated
  6. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, 10 to 12 minutes
  7. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until risen slightly, about 1 hour.
  8. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until the dough is firm and has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
Assemble the Babka
  1. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured work surface
  2. Roll out the dough to a 20 by 14-inch rectangle
  3. Spread all but the 1 tablespoon reserved filling over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges
  4. Working from the short side, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch along the seam to seal
  5. Place the dough seam side up and roll back and forth until stretched to 18 inches long
  6. Spread the reserved filling over the top of the rolled out dough
  7. Fold the dough in half pinch the ends to seal
  8. Place the shaped dough seam side down into a buttered loaf pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size
  1. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with cinnamon sugar
  3. Bake until the loaf is deep golden brown, about 45 minutes
  4. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely
  5. Store in airtight container for up to three days or freeze
  1. * Cinnamon sugar is equal parts of each ingredient
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Popovers: Sweet or Savory

popover 5

With only 4 ingredients, Popovers have an airy, puffy and custard like interior that will compliment any breakfast lunch, or dinner.  Popovers can be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar for a touch of sweet or flavored with black pepper and Gruyere for a savory addition to a your table.  Being so versatile, they will replace a standard muffin, biscuit, bread or donuts.  A popover pan is necessary in order to create a sky-high puff and a crisp shell that will come out perfect every time.popover 1

 popover 3popover 6popover 4

Popovers: Sweet or Savory
Yields 12
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  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 ¼ cups milk
  5. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  1. 1. Mix the eggs, egg yolks, salt and ¼ of the milk
  2. 2. Whisk the flour into the egg mixture, making sure to whisk out all the lumps
  3. 3. Whisk in the remaining milk
  4. 4. Pour batter into popover pan, filling half way
  5. 5. Sprinkle with topping of your choice
  6. 6. Place pans in cold oven and turn oven on to 425 degrees F
  7. 7. Bake popovers for approx 30 minutes or until puffed and well browned
  8. 8. Remove popovers and serve immediately
Flavor Options
Cinnamon Sugar
  1. -Mix 2 Tbsp cinnamon 4 Tbsp sugar and sprinkle on top of popovers before baked
  2. -Once the popover is baked and removed from the oven brush with butter and sprinkle with additional cinnamon sugar
Black Pepper & Gruyere
  1. - Shred ¼ cup Gruyere cheese and mix with ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper.
  2. - Sprinkle the top of the popover before baking
Lemon Rosemary
  1. -Zest 1 lemon and chop 1 Tbsp of fresh rosemary
  2. -Sprinkle the top of the popover before baking
  3. Makes 12 Popovers
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

 This recipe is also featured in Advocate Magazine this month!

Thyme + Sea Salt Buttermilk Biscuits

SONY DSCWho knew there is a National Buttermilk Biscuit Day?  I had no clue, but yesterday was the day.  I also happened to wake up feeling the need for some good old comfort biscuits…what a coincidence!  

I have fond memories of eating biscuits and jam with my family when I was little.  Sometimes we would eat them in the morning for breakfast, but more often, we would eat them on Sunday evening for a special treat.  My mom would make big batch of traditional round biscuits and then make these cute little knots for the kids, so when I was making my biscuits this morning, that is exactly what I did; two knots for my two girls!
SONY DSCTo date, these might be my go to and absolute favorite biscuit recipe.  The mix of buttermilk and heavy cream gives these biscuits the perfect density and the thyme and sea salt will keep you coming back for more…I could not stop at just one.


Thyme + Sea Salt Buttermilk Biscuits
Yields 8
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  1. 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted
  6. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  7. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 Tbsp thyme, fresh
  10. 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In mixer bowl with paddle attachment, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low
  3. Slowly add chopped cold butter and mix until the mixture becomes course crumbs
  4. In separate bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and heavy cream
  5. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture
  6. Mix just until the dough comes together
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and lightly knead
  8. Roll dough out to approximately 1" thick
  9. Cut into 3" rounds and place on baking sheet with parchment paper
  10. Brush the top of the biscuits with heavy cream and sprinkle with fresh thyme and sea salt
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the biscuit is golden brown
  12. Serve immediately with butter & honey!
  13. Enjoy
Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

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