Tag Archives: cinnamon

Bun in the Oven

Perhaps you have noticed that I haven’t posted to the blog in quite a while.  Well, at least I hope you’ve noticed.  I’ve missed all of you and I’ve missed my kitchen, too.

I’m not here to offer excuses, but more of an explanation.  Turns out Mr. Cook in a Bar and I are expecting a baby.

As good as this news is for the Cook in the Bar family, for several months this expected baby didn’t really want me to have much to do with cooking or eating or writing.  In fact, she made me feel downright sick most of the time.  Ugh.  This wasn’t a very helpful development for someone who spends her days thinking of and attempts to earn her living through food.

For now, however, I am pleased to announce that future Baby in a Bar and I have reached an uneasy detente.  I am feeling much better and I am attempting to return to my normal activities.

Okay, mostly normal activities.  You’ll probably notice a slight change to Bar Stool Fridays (sigh) and I’m sure my cravings will be clearly illustrated by upcoming entries between now and my expected due date of July.

Sorry for the cliched title, but I hope you can enjoy these literal buns in the oven.  They hit several craving high points for me – oranges, cinnamon, and of course, baked goods.

Sticky Orange Cinnamon Buns
Makes one dozen

For Dough:
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F), divided
1/2 cup sugar, divided
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 – 6 cups all purpose flour

For Glaze:
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 cup chopped pecans

For Filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Start by working on the dough.  Combine yeast, 1/4 cup milk, and dash of sugar in small bowl.  Let stand until foamy.

In a large bowl, beat remaining milk, remaining sugar, butter, orange peel, and vanilla until well blended.  Gently add yeast mixture.

Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended.

Stir in salt and cinnamon.  Add flour 1 cup at a time and stir to combine.  Add flour until smooth but still slightly sticky.  Please note the amount of flour depends on things like your measuring style and the humidity levels of your work area.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place in a large greased bowl and cover.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, probably 60 to 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking pan and set aside.

Stir together all glaze ingredients, except for pecans, in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil and let bubble over medium heat until slightly thickened, maybe 3 or 4 minutes.

Stir in pecans.  Moving quickly, but carefully, pour glaze into prepared pan.  Spread it out evenly with a spatula or spoon.

Beat all filling ingredients together until smooth.

Once dough has risen to double in size, turn it out again onto a floured surface.  Gently roll into a 18×9-inch rectangle.

Spread filling over entire surface of dough.

Starting with long edge, tightly roll dough into a long cylinder, pressing edge to seal.

With a sharp knife, cut into 12 even slices.

Place slices, cut-side up, into pan.

Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, probably 60 to 90 minutes.

Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes.

With a knife, gently loosen edge of buns from side of pan.  Line a baking sheet with wax (or parchment) paper.  Place that baking sheet on top of the pan and invert.

Cool buns for at lest 15 minutes before serving.

The buns are best served on day of baking, but they can keep for a couple of days if they are kept tightly wrapped in wax paper surrounded by foil.


Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Personal

Bar Stool Fridays – Autumn Sangria

My husband and I recently visited my parents in Laredo, Texas.  Now, not to rub it in or anything, but the weather was pretty great.  Sunny.  Warm, but not hot.  Not humid.  Pretty great.

I was in the mood for a beverage with fall flavors, but I wanted to drink something refreshing that would be nice over ice…a drink for us to enjoy as we sat in the sun on the patio by the pool.

Autumn Sangria
Makes 8 servings

1 orange, sliced
1 apple, diced
1 lemon, sliced
1 bottle full-bodied and fruity red wine
1/2 cup brandy
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 – 4 Tbsp orange simple syrup (see note below)

Add fruit to pitcher.

Pour in wine and brandy.  Add cloves and cinnamon stick.  Add simple syrup and stir.

Serve over ice.

To make orange simple syrup combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan.  Add 1 Tbsp of orange zest and stir.  Simmer over medium heat until sugar dissolved and syrup is slightly thickened.  It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks.

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Filed under Cocktails

Bar Stool Fridays – Soothing Toddy

With fall officially here, it is time to indulge in one of my cool weather favorites…the hot toddy.  It is a much needed balm when it is damp and cold and I’m recovering from a sinus infection.  The warm alcoholic drink soothes my sore throat and warms me all over.

You can use any type of spirit for your hot toddy.  The traditional recipe is a mix of whiskey, hot water, sugar, and lemon or orange.  I recommend you avoid the cheapest bottles, though.  I think the heat can make the alcohol taste even sharper, so I go with one of my favorite (and affordable) standbys – Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon.

Bourbon Hot Toddy
Makes 1 drink

lemon slice studded with cloves
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 1/2 ounce bourbon
4 to 6 ounces boiling water
1 cinnamon stick

Drop the clove-studded lemon slice into the bottom of your heat-resistant mug.  Add sugar, nutmeg, and bourbon.  Pour in hot water and stir with cinnamon stick.


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Filed under Cocktails

Bar Stool Fridays – Rock Candy Cocktail

So, we’ve really enjoyed the homemade cinnamon candy around here.

Mr. Cook in a Bar and I knew we could increase our enjoyment by combining the sweet and spicy candy with alcohol.  Now, big surprise here…we went with bourbon.  Yeah, we’re a little preoccupied.

The drink came together pretty easily for us and we both slurped it up quickly, but we struggled with a name.  Luckily, our friend Kate was willing to sample the drink and after only one round she came up with a name that we found both amusing and clever…

Red Headed Goldilocks
Makes 1 drink

2 oz bourbon (we used Knob Creek)
1 oz Goldschlager
2 dashes Peychauds bitters
cinnamon rock candy

Put cinnamon rock candy in plastic bag and crush finely with rolling pin.

Moisten rim of rocks glass and coat with crushed candy.

Fill cocktail shaker with ice.  Add bourbon, Goldschlager, bitters.  Shake well.

Strain into prepared glass.  Try not to drink too many.

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Filed under Cocktails

Sweet as Candy

A few weeks back I was surprised by a fellow blogger, Sabrina of eat. drink. and be merry.  She bestowed upon me a One Lovely Blog Award.

I was quite flattered by the honor because Sabrina has a great blog herself…lovely pictures and some fun recipes.  Thanks, Sabrina!  (More on the award later in this entry.)
Sabrina’s sweet gesture inspired me to make some homemade candy in one of my favorite flavors…cinnamon.   This recipe uses cinnamon oil, which is available in many health food stores, but I was able to order it from Amazon.  Be sure to get cinnamon oil that is food-safe.

Cinnamon Rock Candy

Makes about 1 1/2 pounds

cooking spray or butter

1 cup water
3 ¾ cups sugar
1 ¼ cup light corn syrup
1 ½  tsp red food coloring
2 tsp cinnamon oil
confectioners’ sugar
Line a 15x10x1 inch baking dish with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray or coat with butter; set aside.  I just used a glass casserole dish.
In a large heavy pot (that has a lid), combine water, sugar, corn syrup, and food coloring.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Then, cover and cook for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar crystals.  The lid will help capture some condensation on the sides of the pan and can prevent re-crystallization of the sugar.  Otherwise, your candy could be gritty.
Uncover; cook on medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees F (hard crack stage).  It took me about 20 minutes, but don’t wander too far from the stove, you need to keep an eye on the mixture.  Also, keep in mind this is really hot and if the hot sugar mixture touches your skin it will burn you.
Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the hot burner.  Then, stir in the cinnamon oil.  It is a really strong odor so don’t put your face directly over the pot.
Immediately pour into the lined and greased dish.
Let the candy cool completely, about 45 minutes.  Break into pieces using the edge of a metal mallet.  I started to get nervous about breaking the glass dish, so I wrapped the candy in wax paper and moved it a cutting board to keep pounding it with the mallet.  Next time, I might try to score the candy with a knife (grease blade first, though) while it is still slightly soft to make it easier to break in pieces.
I recommend you sprinkle the candy with confectioners’ sugar and make sure both sides are lightly coated so the pieces will not stick together.  Store in airtight container.
If you can keep from eating it all, this candy should last about 6 months.
Now, more about the One Lovely Blog Award…
Part of the fun of the award is sharing it with other bloggers.  There are a few instructions that come with accepting this One Lovely Blog Award:
1.  Post the award on your blog with the name of the person who bestowed it and include their blog link.
2.  Share the love.  Nominate 15 other bloggers, whose blogs who admire to receive this award.
3.  Contact the blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.
I select…drumroll, please….
NOTE:  I think that the logo for the One Lovely Blog Award is a bit feminine.  I nominated several male bloggers, but I believe their blogs are worthy of recognition so I hope they aren’t put off by the rose-festooned logo.  If they are, I apologize.


Filed under Dessert

Guest Post: Jewish Apple Cake

This guest post is from my smart, athletic, and witty friend, Wendy.  Our group of friends is always excited when Wendy brings this cake to gatherings.  It is delicious.  I made it just this week with help from my mom and husband and it made the house even smell delicious.  Enjoy.

Dear Katie,

You asked that I share with you my recipe for Jewish apple cake.  I’m really excited to participate, so … thanks for asking.

I make this apple cake every Thanksgiving for my boyfriend Dave and his family. I also tend to make an additional one that I can eat all by myself — and sometimes share with my friends Katie and Brian.

It’s a fairly simple recipe. The only trick is to pick the right kind of apples.  I usually start with at least two granny smith apples.  They’re tart and firmer than many other types of apples, so they hold up well in baking and tend not to get too mushy throughout the cooking process. Fuji, Gala, and Rome apples are also excellent options.  Many times, I’ll use two or more different types of apples in the cake to make a more interesting flavor.  In my opinion, the more apples, the more moist the cake and the more delicious the final product.  The recipe, for example, calls for 3 apples.  But I usually use four or four plus!

Here are the ingredients:

3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups of white sugar
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 (or 4 or maybe five!) apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon (I use a bit more than 2)
5 teaspoons of white sugar (go heavy on this, too — it’s sugar!!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan. 

Combine the cinnamon and the sugar together.  This creates such a wonderful smell.  Just remember … tigers love pepper.  Hate cinnamon. 

In a separate bowl, mix the slices of apple in most of the cinnamon sugar mixture, coating each slice in the mixture. Set aside.  Save a small bit of the mixture for later.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 cups of sugar. Stir in the vegetable oil, beaten eggs, orange juice, and vanilla.  Mix well.

Line the bundt pan with a layer of the cinnamon sugared apples, and then pour some of the batter on top of the apple layer.  Keep creating layers of apple slices and then pouring batter over it.  Make sure to keep some apple slices for the very top layer.  When the apple slices are gone, look in the bowl in which they were resting.  There should be some apple cinnamon-sugar juice in the bowl, which is a great addition to the cake.  Simply pour the sugary liquid on top of the cake.  

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for about 70 minutes.  The cake should be moist, but should not stick to a toothpick that is poked into it.  The toothpick should come out rather clean after poked into the cake.

The cake should slide out of the pan if you greased it properly.  Coat the cake with the remaining cinnamon sugar.  Or you can use powdered sugar.  Or you can use both.

This cake is a great fall treat, and a tradition for my new family.


Filed under Dessert