Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coffee Break #1 - Welcome to the New Look!

Hello and welcome to the NEW Confections + Coffee!

Isn't it pretty? :]

I've been wanting to officially rebrand my food blog for quite some time, and I couldn't seem to find anything I really loved. I knew what I loved in real life, but I couldn't seem to put it together, ya know?

So after several months of testing and designing and editing and what-have-you, I finally got somewhere I loved last night. My two favorite things: Confections.... and Coffee!

You'll see the new changes over the blog in time, but I am excited to announce some cool new features!

1) A Print-friendly/Share-friendly recipe card.
That's right! I'm working on converting all of my recipes over to a new site called Key Ingredient. It's a really great place to share, save, and make your own recipes! Now the recipes will be easy to find on my blog, and you can print them with just a click of a button!

2) Coffee Break.
This ties things in with my food blog. I will be posting twice a month little updates on my blog about me, my progress, life, etc. So we can sit down together and have a coffee break. :]

3) Recipe Index.
I will be reorganizing my recipe index, making a visual one with separate categories so things are easier to find! This might take some time because I code everything myself, but I'm excited to have a user-friendly website!

4) More Recipes.
That's right! I'm hoping to start posting more consistently, 3-4 times a week, new and delicious recipes to share with you! Do you have any requests? Let me know! I love experimenting and trying new things!

I hope you are just as excited as me! I can't wait!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bites

I just love pumpkin. I also love cinnamon-sugar. So it probably won't surprise you that I've eaten almost all of these in 24 hours. Nope. Doesn't surprise me any. *sigh* I might have a problem.

But in all reality, these are just the greatest. They are bite-sized, they have a wonderful pumpkin flavor, and they are topped with cinnamon-sugar. It's practically a bite of fall.

This recipe is simple, my favorite kind of recipe! You should have everything in your house already, no grocery store trip needed.

I know have a program that allows me to make printer-friendly recipe cards! I'm using Key Ingredient, which lets people create, share, and organize recipes from all over. Enjoy!

Pumpkin "Poptarts"

Pumpkin! Yay pumpkin! I've been blogging for most of the afternoon. The window is open, my Pumpkin Chai Diamond Candle is burning, my coffee is warm, and I'm just typing away while my dog sits on the balcony enjoying the breeze on his cute little face. I'm not kidding, look:

So I had a friend request me to make something for her so I decided to come up with a new recipe. I've been wanting to make pumpkin something and I decided I would make pumpkin "pop tarts." They aren't the pop-tarts with the 50 million grams of sugar and no real food in the ingredients, but they are little tarts you just pop into your mouth.

It's a very simple and easy recipe, too! Store bought refrigerated pie crust, pumpkin, cream cheese, pumpkin spice, and powdered sugar make up the tart itself with a yummy brown sugar glaze to compliment it. They aren't too sweet and they go great with coffee. Doesn't it just sound like fall? It does to me! Now it just needs to stay cold here in Oklahoma!

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

We all know the reason behind making banana bread. Our bananas slowly start turning into nasty black fruits sitting on our counter/microwave/fruit basket and boy do they look scary. But we don't want to waste them even though our roommate/boyfriend/husband/significant other says they look ghastly and we need to throw them away.

Heaven forbid we waste black bananas! Which is why this recipe is coming to you today. That's just how us bakers are. I buy bananas to eat all the time and Jose usually ends up eating them because I forget, or I just don't have time or room in my stomach to eat them in the allotted time I'm given to eat them. Silly perishable food!

So this one is a winner. I have to be craving banana bread to eat it because I don't like the idea of mushed up bananas in my bread. I'm weird, I know. But this one... this one is different. It's got cinnamon sugar swirl inside the batter. It's got this nice crunch on the middle that contrasts delightfully with the moist banana bread itself. Yum.

I also decided to keep the bread naked. No glaze, no topping. It's good enough on it's own. Feel free to add whatever you may please on it! Sometimes I toast my banana bread and spread on a little bit of butter (that's only when I'm in Texas though).

Cinnamon Honey Scones

Here's what happens to me when I start pinning. I find like a million things I want to try and not enough time to try them. Welcome to Kelli's Baking Problems. I love love breakfast, I would eat breakfast for lunch and dinner as well. You name it, I like it: oatmeal, grits, pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls, coffee, eggs and bacon, french toast, cinnamon toast, biscuits and gravy, chilaquiles, and on and on and on.

I've never gotten the chance or had enough of a reason to make scones, but then one day I got the sudden urge to bake some cinnamon/sugar sweets. Oh how I love cinnamon sugar! It's my favorite flavor ever. Seriously. Ever. And what's great about scones is that they hold up really well and I can make a batch and eat it all before it goes bad! Woohoo! For example, this recipes makes 8 scones, so I have 8 days to eat one each day for breakfast. Simple math, really. Unless I eat more than one!

So this recipe is a little more unique than a basic scone recipe. It uses honey instead of sugar and vanilla extract and the only thing to sweeten it is the topping and glaze. Personally, I do not like powdered sugar glaze, so I topped my scones with local honey instead. This glaze recipe is purely optional and if you want, you can opt out of the glaze or make your own.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

What a week! I've been so busy with the Oklahoma State Fair competitions! It was an exciting and busy experience where I had to bake three things in two days and put it up against several other veteran bakers. I swept up a handful of ribbons and I'm really proud of myself!

My first, second, and third place ribbons!
So one of my contests was a cookie jar with a bunch of different cookies (some you've seen before) and decorated with the theme. Unfortunately, since it was my first time, the winners blew their cookie jars out of the park and mine was kind of left in the dust. Regardless, the cookies in the jar were really good and anyone who tried them during my trials loved the cookies. 

This one is simple, it's a cinnamon roll cookie. It's similar to a shortbread cookie with a cinnamon sugar filling and a lovely powdered sugar glaze on top. This recipe has some wait times while you refrigerate and freeze the dough two separate times. So read the directions before you start, but you'll be sure to love the results!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reese's Pieces Puppy Chow

It's that time of year where I've been ready for the fall since May. I'm ready to not look weird while baking pumpkin recipes, to be more precise. I got really excited yesterday for some reason, I just got really happy that fall is coming.
No, this is not Chauncey, but mark my words that I will try so hard to get a photo like this of him jumping in the leaves! I love it!

Anyways, before I decided to go hog wild on pumpkin recipes, I wanted to explore other options. I really feel like I haven't branched out as much as I wanted to in my recipes. So yesterday I was thinking about bringing a snack to a game night I'm invited to, and I wanted it to be quick, something I could make in advance, and something that wasn't refrigerated, because I'll be coming from another event, so the snack will have to be in my car for a while. Then...

Then I remembered Puppy Chow.

I haven't made nor have I eaten Puppy Chow in probably 4 or 5 years, right after it came out. I used to make it in high school and my family would bring it on vacations, but I really haven't made it in forever. I've been steadily seeing Puppy Chow (otherwise known as Muddy Buddies) on Pinterest for some time now and just haven't had the urge to make it. Hello, y'all, powdered sugar is crazy messy.

But yesterday was different. I figured puppy chow would be perfect for a game night, it's easy (albeit messy) to make, but I could whip up something different this time! And I did!

Oh yes. Reese's Pieces Puppy Chow. Now, I didn't do anything too drastic, but there is lots of peanut butter in here. I used THREE different kinds of Reese's peanut butter mediums: Reese's peanut butter baking chips, Reese's Pieces, and plain ol' Reese's peanut butter. That's right. The sell it down the pb&jelly aisle. I've been eying it for quite some time, but never had an excuse!

8 C Rice Chex cereal, divided in half (4 cups each)
1/2 C Reese's peanut butter, divided in half (1/4 cup each)
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C Reese's peanut butter chips
1 1/2 C powdered sugar, divided in half (3/4 cup each)
1 1/2 C Reese's pieces

1. On low heat, melt chocolate chips in one pan. Once melted, add in 1/4 C of the Reese's peanut butter. Mix together well. Toss in 4 cups of the Chex cereal and mix until the cereal is well coated in the chocolate mixture. Place the mixture in a large gallon ziploc bag with the 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and shake shake shake! Once the cereal pieces are well coated, place into an airtight container.

2. On low heat, repeat the first step with the Reese's peanut butter chips and 1/4 cup of the Reese's peanut butter. Mix together, stir in the cereal, and coat in powdered sugar!

3. Place both mixtures into the same bowl and cover with a lid, gently mix the pieces up so there is a little bit of both flavors in each bite. Add in the Reese's pieces, and you've got yourself a peanut butter fix ready to go!