Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns

Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns at RoamingRosie.com

These flower shaped cinnamon buns make breakfast a little extra special.  :)

And it’s pretty quick to do with the help of store bought cinnamon rolls.

I popped those babies out of the can, formed a flower near the top of the pan {one roll in the center and 5 around it to act as petals} and then cut the remaining 2 rolls in half to use for the stem and leaf.

I was pretty happy about how much it actually resembled a flower even before I added the colored sprinkles.

Once you pull the buns out of the oven, add some colored sugar sprinkles right after spreading on the icing – otherwise the icing will start to harden just enough for the sprinkles to not stick.  You have to be kind of quick about this step, so pick out your colors ahead of time.

Now, I made these for my mom on her birthday because she is a gardener and she likes flowers…. but while I was sprinkling on the bright colors, I realized it would also make an impressive centerpiece for any springtime or Easter breakfast or brunch.

Well, that is, it would make an impressive centerpiece if you transferred the buns to a platter instead of being all lazy like me and serving it right on the cookie sheet…..

Either way:  enjoy!

And if you’re a big fan of sprinkles, check these out:

Jack O' Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Milk Sprinkles

Milk Sprinkles

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkles Cookies

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Do You Wanna Build an Olaf Doughnut Snowman?

Do You Wanna Build an Olaf Doughnut Snowman?

For a little winter fun, I made some snowmen doughnuts for my girls that mildly resembled Olaf.  Vaguely.

Anyway, these little guys were made by placing 3 small white powdered doughnuts on a plate, smooshing some broken pretzel pieces into the sides of the middle doughnut for arms, placing some milk chocolate chips upside down inside the bottom two doughnuts for buttons, and an orange peanut M&M inside the top doughnut for a carrot nose.

I then added mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.  Since they don’t stick, what I did was make a hole with a toothpick where I wanted the eyes and mouth pieces to go, and then I could gently push the miniature chocolate chips into the doughnut where the holes were, with their pointy tips facing down.

It may not be my finest piece of artwork, but the smiles on my girls’ faces were enormous.  :)

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Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Jack O Lantern Cinnamon Buns

We had these Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns for breakfast the morning after Halloween.

I know, I know… didn’t we get enough sugar from trick or treating??

Well, yes, but Halloween was on a Friday and darned if I was going to let an entire weekend go by without continuing the celebration.

However, I was looking for something very easy.  Not “oh, that wasn’t too bad.”  EASY.

I mean, I could have gone all out and made the dough from scratch, taking the time to dye it orange, and mix in some real pumpkins, and to dye the icing as well, but – really – I couldn’t be bothered.

Not while dealing with a candy hangover, anyway.

Jack O Lantern Cinnamon Buns

One of the reasons this was easy was because nothing was homemade.

Except the faces.

But those I did when I was making chocolate covered marshmallow ghosts a few days earlier.

Either way, you should do these ahead of time.  There’s no reason not to:  they keep well.

What I did was freehand some jack o’ lantern faces on some waxed paper with some melted dark cocoa candy melts.  You could try to use regular chocolate chips, but I don’t suggest it.

At first, I tried to make two eyes, a nose, and a mouth {see the faces in the upper right hand corner of the above photo} but they just looked strange.  Instead, I switched to just making two eyes and a mouth.

Just make sure that the mouth touches both of the eyes so that the face is all one piece.  Otherwise you’ll be pulling a bunch of little pieces off of the waxed paper and puzzling it together waaaaaaay too early in the morning.  This way it’s just peel-and-stick.

I stored my faces, along with the waxed paper cut into smaller pieces, in a baggy in the fridge.  When I stuck the buns in the oven, I stuck the faces in the freezer.  This made them easier to remove from the waxed paper and less likely to start melting in my hand.

Jack O Lantern Cinnamon Buns

To Make the Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns: 

As I mentioned, the buns and icing were just regular store bought cinnamon rolls.  So cook them according to the package directions, then remove them to a serving platter and add the icing.

Before the icing starts to dry and harden, sprinkle them generously with the orange sugar sprinkles.

Then place the chocolate faces on top.  Press ever so gently to make sure it’s stuck to the icing, but don’t press down too hard.  Pressing down roughly will cause the faces to break, and after a few minutes they’ll melt slightly, adhering to the icing all by themselves.

Then just serve and relax!

Here are the sprinkles and candy melts I used:

Wilton Orange Sugar Sprinkles Wilton Dark Cocoa Candy Melts

Orange sprinkles can be more difficult to find when it’s not fall, but then, you probably won’t be making these for any occasion but Halloween anyway.

Enjoy!

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Fall French Toast

Fall French Toast

French toast is one of my favorite breakfast foods.

I’ve made it so many times that I usually don’t measure things, but I made sure to for this recipe.  :)  Either way, tho, feel free to adjust the measurements.

And this time, I changed things up by making it more autumn-themed.  Great for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or fall in general.

I cut up the bread with leaf and acorn cookie cutters and used plenty of vanilla extract and cinnamon in the egg mix.  Of course, you could substitute {or combine} it with almond extract, if you’d like.  {If you’re looking for something a little more fruity – check out my Tropical Almond French Toast!}

The shapes were fun for the kids {and me} but if you don’t want to go to the trouble of cutting out them out, you can still make this french toast with normal square slices of bread.

Fall French Toast

Stale bread always works best for french toast.  Fresh/soft bread tends to fall apart once you soak it in the egg mixture, and the stale bread is much easier to cut with the cookie cutters.

I didn’t have any stale bread, tho, so I laid out the bread pieces I was going to use on the counter the night before.  Let it sit uncovered and not overlapping for the best results.

I used regular sandwich bread.  A few slices of white and a few of wheat.  I happened to have them both, and I loved the combination of colors.

For each slice of bread, I got 3 medium or a combo of 3 medium and small leaves and acorns.  The extra bread can be used for croutons or breadcrumbs.

I used the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set, which you can see here:

Wilton Leaves and Acorns Cookie Cutter Set

Fall French Toast

Once you have your leaves and acorns cut out {you could also do this step the night before if it’s something you don’t think you can accomplish in the morning before your coffee kicks in}, then whisk together the other ingredients in a bowl.

Melt some butter on a griddle or in a large frying pan.  Dip the bread pieces in the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides and allowing to sit for a minute so the bread soaks everything up.

Fall French Toast

Look at all that yummy cinnamon!

I stopped using my hands to lift the bread from the egg mix and transfer it to the griddle years ago.  Too much breakage.  And messiness.  I use a fork for large slices of bread, but I used two for some of the more delicate leaves here.  Didn’t want them falling apart.

Fall French Toast

Cook them for a few minutes on each side, until browned.

I suggest dipping a few pieces at a time and transferring them all to the griddle at once, so you have a couple of batches cooking at once.

Fall French Toast

When they’re finished, you can either transfer them directly to the serving platter, or put them in a oven safe dish in an oven that’s been preheated to a low temperature to keep them warm.

I served these with just maple syrup {see photo below}, but you could also sprinkle on some powdered sugar or some Cinnamon Sugar.

Fall French Toast

Fall French Toasts {with leaves & acorns}

Ingredients:

10 slices stale bread
1 cup whole milk
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The bread is easier to work with if it’s stale, so if you only have fresh bread, leave it out on the counter the night before.

Cut leaf and acorn shapes from the bread slices. Use a combination of white and wheat for more color variation. Reserve remaining bread pieces for breadcrumbs or croutons.

Preheat a griddle to medium heat (about 350°F).

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Melt some butter on the surface of the hot griddle. Dip the bread pieces in the milk mixture, turning to coat both sides, and lifting with one or two forks so that the shapes don’t break apart. Place the bread on the griddle.

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Serve immediately, or keep warm in a low temperature oven.

Serve with maple syrup, and optionally with powdered sugar or a cinnamon sugar mix.

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And click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Fall French Toast

Enjoy!

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Tropical Almond French Toast

Tropical Almond French Toast Recipe

First, with the polar vortex turning everyone’s blood to ice, and now with this “bombogenesis” upon us, I decided to metaphysically warm up with a tropical breakfast.

I took my Homemade Bread and turned it into Tropical Almond French Toast, based off of the Coconut-Almond French Toast with Tropical Fruit recipe from a January 2014 issue of Woman’s World, but with a few changes.

Tropical Almond French Toast

Here are some of the ingredients I used, although I forgot to put the coconut in the photo.  Anyway, the french toast gets its amazing almond flavor from the almond milk and almond extract.

The coconut is added before you cook it, and the diced fruit afterwards, as a topping.  I used bananas and mango mixed with some brown sugar and lime juice, but you could add in just about any fruit here that you like, or whatever’s in season.  I found this to be a good combination, especially because the banana and mango were flavorful but still mild enough to allow the almond and coconut flavors to really shine through.

French Toast

Just like my usual french toast, I took day-old bread and dunked it into a mixture of milk and eggs and flavoring.  The bread needs to be crusty and dry to absorb the liquid.  If it’s fresh bread, the liquid will only cover the surface instead of absorbing.  You’ll know for certain it was too fresh if you have a bunch of milk mix left over after soaking all of the bread.  The best way to get the right consistency of bread is to leave it out, with the slices spread out, at least overnight.

coconut on french toast

After letting the bread soak in the milk mixture for a minute, turning it to ensure even coating, gently pull the bread out of the milk.  The bread will be heavy with the milk, so be careful to support it.

Just before placing the bread on a greased griddle, sprinkle it with some sweetened coconut.  Then, lay it coconut-side down on the griddle and sprinkle coconut on the side that’s facing up.  The coconut is an important step because I love the sweet, crispy crust that it forms toast.

Tropical Almond French Toast

Let the french toast brown, then flip and brown on the other side.  Make sure the bread cooks long enough that it cooks all the way through.  At least 3 or 4 minutes, or longer if your bread is thick like mine – you don’t want gooey egg on the inside when you’re eating it.

Tropical Almond French Toast

Once the french toast is done, put it on a plate and top with the fruit mixture.  I suggest a wee bit more fruit than what’s pictured here.  I didn’t want to overload it for the photos, but I added more while eating it.

Also, a slight sprinkle of powdered sugar over the top adds a nice balance of sweetness, as does a drizzle of honey, which also adds a little extra moisture but functions as a substitute for syrup.  You could use maple syrup if you prefer, but I like how the honey blends with the fruit.

Tropical Almond French Toast

If you cut the slices of your bread thick, then one slice should be enough per person.  The leftovers freeze well, but also keep in the refrigerator for awhile.

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

Tropical Almond French Toast

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almond milk
6 large eggs
4 Tbsp packed brown sugar, separated
1/2 tsp almond extract
8 to 10 thick slices day-old bread
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 mango, diced
2 bananas, diced
1 Tbsp lime juice
confectionary sugar
honey

Whisk together almond milk, eggs, 2 Tbs. brown sugar, and almond extract in a large, shallow bowl.

Dip bread into mixture for about a minute on each side, allowing bread to absorb the milk. Carefully remove bread from bowl allowing excess liquid to drip back into the bowl (use a fork or spatula to prevent tearing if it’s become too soggy) and sprinkle each side with coconut flakes.

Place bread on a greased, flat skillet or griddle over medium to medium high heat. Cook until browned, about 3 or 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, mix the mango and banana pieces with the remaining 2 Tbs. brown sugar and the lime juice.

To serve, place French Toast on a plate and top with the fruit mixture. Then sprinkle powdered sugar over top and drizzle with honey.

(Note: you can use just about any combination of fruit you like, in addition to or in substitution of the mango and banana. Also, you can substitute maple syrup for the honey, if you prefer.)

*****

And here is the FREE printable PDF:  Tropical Almond French Toast

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Honey Granola with Quinoa

Honey Granola with Quinoa

I know many people eat granola all by its lonesome, just in a bowl with milk, but I prefer it with yogurt.

The first time I saw someone eat it this way was when I was at a hotel breakfast buffet in Germany.  Someone spooned yogurt into a dish and sprinkled granola over the top.

I was intrigued.

And then I was addicted.

The silky smooth, fruity yogurt intensified the sweet and crunchy granola.  It seemed an ideal breakfast, indeed.

But I hadn’t made my own from scratch yet.  That needed to change.

Honey Granola with Quinoa

I began with a recipe by David Lebovitz that was based off a recipe by Nigella Lawson.  Then I made some changes.

I knew I wanted to increase the amount of honey, and I wanted to incorporate quinoa.  Plus, I love walnuts, so I swapped out the almonds for them.

You can see these changes in the photo above, which shows the dry ingredients, minus the spices and sugar.  Incidentally, I used dark brown sugar, although light brown sugar would work as well.  I prefer the stronger flavor.  And I used honey-roasted sunflower seeds instead of plain sunflower seeds – again, to increase the honey-ness of the granola.

Honey Granola with Quinoa

The long list of ingredients can appear a little intimidating at first, but the process is incredibly simple.

You mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat the wet ingredients, then pour them over the dry ingredients, and mix well.

Honey Granola with Quinoa

Spread the granola over two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and bake for an hour, stirring occasionally.

That’s it:  you’ve got homemade granola!

Honey Granola with Quinoa

And, of course, I suggest serving it over yogurt for breakfast.  Strawberry yogurt, specifically.  But feel free to play with it.  Perhaps you’d prefer it over vanilla ice cream?  Leave a comment to let me know how you enjoy it best!

Honey Granola with Quinoa

Here’s the recipe, and scroll down for the printable version:

Honey Granola with Quinoa

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC).

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients:  oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, quinoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

In a small saucepan, mix the applesauce, honey, and oil.  Stir over low heat until just warmed and combined.

Pour the applesauce mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and all the dry ingredients are coated.

Pour granola evenly over two cookie sheets.  Bake for one hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Cool completely.  Store covered for up to one month.

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Get the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Honey Granola with Quinoa

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Pumpkin Streusel French Toast Recipe

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

After carving up my pie pumpkin for the pumpkin seeds, I baked it, covered in foil, at 350 degrees F for an hour.  Then I scraped out the roasted pulp.

But what do I make with my fresh pumpkin?

French toast, of course!

I found a few nice recipes online, including this recipe from Cooking Classy.  But, in the end, I changed around a few things, so I’ve posted my own printable PDF for the recipe I used (below).

It was a big hit.  The mild pumpkin flavor paired well with the maple syrup.  The interior was soft and moist, but with a crunchy, sugary streusel highlighting every bite.

I usually make my French toast with slices of bread on a griddle, but I needed something easy for guests, so something that could be made ahead was a huge plus.

I made both the french toast and the streusel topping the night before, storing them separately in the refrigerator until the next morning.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

The pumpkin puree, eggs, and milk were whisked together with the sugar and spices.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

I made my casserole with Challah bread.  It’s an egg bread, but you could use any bread you wanted, really.  I often make french toast from wheat bread or homemade bread.  You could even try cinnamon raisin bread.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

Cut the bread into one-inch chunks.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

Layer half the bread in a greased pan.  Slowly spoon or ladle the milk mixture over the bread, covering every piece.  Add the rest of the bread, and the rest of the milk mixture.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

Then, refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

I couldn’t find my pastry cutter, so I used two knives to make the streusel topping.  That was also stored – separately – in the refrigerator until the next day.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

Before baking, it sat out for a half hour, to bring it to room temperature.  You know it’s done when it’s bubbling around the edges and the topping looks deliciously crunchy.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe

Doesn’t that look amazing??  Tell me that doesn’t look mouth-watering … I dare you!

Seriously, though.  You should check out the photo with the maple syrup again.  Yum.

Whipped cream is another great option, but I forgot to buy heavy cream, so I couldn’t make it.  Didn’t miss it, though.  You could eat this without any toppings and still love it.

Anyway, here is the printable PDF recipe:

Pumpkin and Streusel French Toast Recipe

Enjoy!  :)