I just finished watching the semi-final of this year’s Great British Bake Off. In case you’re wondering, I’m team Sophie. I absolutely love watching this show, especially since they have the refrigerator of my dreams on set. Every week I’m astonished by how the producers can manage to make baking seem so extremely tense and suspenseful. It just makes me realize there’s no way I ever would or could put myself through that.
I love to bake, but I also love to keep it simple and need to keep it cheap. Most importantly, I need to keep it delicious. I think that’s one thing about Bake Off that makes it superior to other cooking competition shows like Cake Wars and such. They really focus on flavor, so even if your bake doesn’t look completely perfect, you still get credit for how it tastes, and sometimes, great flavors even win out over beautiful spectacle.
All I’ve got for you are some humble Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, and while they might not win any beauty contests, I assure you, the flavor is on point. Tons of spice comes through, heavy on the ginger and almost hot. And the cake itself is so tender. Then the maple frosting on top is sweet and deep and dreamy.
You could pipe your frosting to make them extra fancy, but I went with a scoop and swirl action, then added a hint of gold sprinkles for a bit of whimsy. It’s not a show stopper, but it’s absolutely awesome.
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are going to make all your Fall flavor dreams come true.
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are full of gorgeous flavor and perfectly sweet.
Can I just tell you how excited I am to have a working oven again? Three weeks, guys! Three weeks of not being able to bake anything! I feel like I’ve been reconnected with a long lost friend, or I’ve gotten a cast removed or something. Part of me was missing, and now it’s back.
Also, the sun has been shining on a relatively consistent basis, including the two days I found myself having to hike through the woods with a couple of teenagers. The sun is glorious, and I’m loving it. More more more!
I made you something really indulgent today. This Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup is hard core awesome. It’s salty and sweet and dangerously hard to stop eating.
There is absolutely nothing complicated about making this, but you do have to commit some time to mindless stirring. We’re whisking a whole stick of butter into maple syrup, and you need to add it slowly to get the fat from the butter to incorporate with the liquid beautifully. It’s just some lazy, early morning whisking. No biggie.
Also, in true cheapo fashion, I didn’t use pure maple syrup for this. I’m sure if you can afford it, it would improve the experience. I don’t have that kind of money. Use whatever maple flavored syrup you prefer. If you happen to have some, you can add a dash of maple extract to the pot to intensify the flavor.
All that’s left to do is cook of your favorite buttermilk pancakes, and feast! The sun is shining, you’ve got Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup, and all is right with the world.
Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup
Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup is salty, sweet, and dangerously hard to stop eating.
Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with foil.
Lay your bacon out on the baking sheet and cook the bacon in the oven for about 15 minutes or until it's as crispy as you'd like. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
While your bacon is cooking, add the maple syrup to a small sauce pan and put it over low heat. Add the butter to the maple syrup in small chunks, whisking each chunk until it's completely melted before adding the next one. You will have a smooth emulsion once all the butter is whisked in.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract, maple extract, and salt.
Once the bacon is ready, chop it up into half-inch pieces or smaller and add it to the syrup.
Spoon this awesomeness over your favorite pancakes or waffles and just try to stop smiling.
I thought I remembered what 48 degrees felt like. You guys, I was wrong. Hawaii has spoiled me forever. But let’s not talk about the weather Weather is boring.
Let’s talk about staying awesome when the world is hinting that maybe you aren’t. Let’s talk about continuing to put your voice out into the world, even if you feel like no one is listening. Let’s talk about not giving up, even when it would make life much easier. Perseverance, kids. That’s how to be awesome. Then, let’s talk about cheesecake.
Not everyone is a pumpkin fan. I don’t quite understand it, but I hear it’s true. There are plenty of other fall and winter flavors to celebrate with, though. Like maple. Sweet, sweet, golden maple. Just close your eyes and put yourself in a Vermont forest. What’s more winter than that?
Maple Cheesecake is slicked with gleaming maple syrup, giving it a shine that makes it pretty enough for your holiday table. You may not believe me, but this cheesecake is actually not that sweet. It is, however, creamy dreamy good and quite simple to make. And it pretty much has to be made ahead of time, so there’s nothing to worry about while you’re getting dinner together.
Don’t let anything get you down, and definitely don’t let anything get between you and Maple Cheesecake.
Smooth, creamy Maple Cheesecake is dripping with golden maple syrup and winter cheer.
9 graham crackers or digestive biscuits smashed into crumbs
3 ounces (six tablespoons) butter, melted
2 drops maple extract (optional)
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup maple syrup plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and pull out your nine-inch springform pan.
Stir together your crumbs, melted butter, and maple extract if you have it until the crumbs are moistened. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of your springform pan and stash it in the fridge while you make your cheesecake batter.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, and maple syrup until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth after each one. Scrape down the side of your pan. Add in the lemon juice, and give it all one last mix.
Put a kettle of water on to boil. Remove your pan from the fridge and wrap the outside in plastic wrap followed by a double layer of foil to keep out the water from the water bath you're about to create.
Pour your cheesecake batter over your crust. Place the pan inside a roasting pan. Open the oven and pull out the middle rack. Place the roasting pan on the rack and carefully pour the recently boiled water from your kettle into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the outside of your springform pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until your cheesecake is barely wobbly. Turn off the oven, open the door, and let your cheesecake cool in the oven for at least an hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the roasting pan. Peal back the foil, and allow your cheesecake to cool on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Move your cheesecake to the fridge to chill for at least 8 hours.
When you're ready to serve, remove the collar from your springform pan and place your cheesecake onto a plate or pretty platter or cake stand. Generally pour maple syrup over the top to create a shiny shallow lake of sweetness. Slice and serve and smile.
I’m writing to you today, friends, on the premise that done is better than perfect. I’m writing to you today so you can dream about brunching by the seaside while you’re at work today. I’m writing to you today because I love you, and I want you to be happy, and bacon can only improve your life. Let’s all take a deep breath. Maybe you’re already feeling completely chill. Maybe you’re already in brunch mode. Maybe you have a little extra time, and you want to just go ahead and make me a drink and eat some Croissant French Toast with Maple Bacon Whipped Cream. We can all use a little more awesome.
This recipe is inspired by my favorite Waikiki brunch spot, Hula Grill. I’ve posted some photos of their ridiculous croissant french toast with bacon cream, and a few people have remarked they’d like to be stuffing that in their own faces. Good news, kids. It’s super easy to make at home. All you need is some day old croissants, eggs, milk, fresh whipped cream and some extra crispy bacon. A few drops of maple extract adds an extra depth of flavor, but you can live without it.
Making French toast is almost too easy. Folding bacon into whipped cream doesn’t happen nearly often enough. Marrying those two things together is going to make your weekend super awesome. May I suggest a side of Pumpkin Spice White Russians? Did I say awesome?
It’s time for brunching. Relax, eat, breathe, love.
Croissant French Toast with Maple Bacon Whipped Cream
Buttery croissants are soaked in eggs and milk, slapped on a griddle until golden brown, and then topped with sweet and salty maple bacon whipped cream. Brunch is awesome.
Disclosure: I received free samples from LorAnn oils in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are awesomely my own.
I bought you malasadas last week, and this week, you’re going to love me even more because I saved them, let them go stale, and made them into something extra awesome. I made you Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding.
See, malasadas are completely awesome when fresh, but they don’t hold up for very long. Eating a day old malasada is just a little sad. Then I thought, if Paula Dean can make bread pudding out of Krispy Kremes, why can’t I make bread pudding with malasadas? And then when LorAnn Oils sent me a free sample of their maple flavoring oil, everything came together in my mind and then in my oven to create one outrageous dessert.
Stale malasadas get soaked in a creamy, maple custard, topped with macadamia nuts, baked in the oven until puffy, and then topped with a maple cream glaze that tastes exactly like the frosting on a maple bar. I recommend eating it warm. It’s part soft and squishy, part crunchy and chewy, creamy, sweet, and completely awesome.
And here’s the super awesome thing about that maple oil. The flavoring is intense, so you only have to use a tiny bit to flavor the whole dessert. That means one bottle will last forever, which means you don’t have to spend a ton of money. I also have some more flavors to try out, which means I get to create more craziness for you, and that’s basically my favorite thing.
You know wasting food and wasting money are basically the same thing. If there’s a way to save it, and turn it into something just as good or better, you’ve got to go for it. Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Bread Pudding is rad!
Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding
Stale malasadas get transformed with a creamy, maple custard and a sweet maple glaze
1/4 cup honey roasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring oil
For the glaze
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 drops maple flavoring oil
Chop your malasadas into bite size pieces and spread them out a 9-inch pie pan. Scatter your chopped macadamia nuts over the top.
In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, cream, milk, and maple oil. Whisk until combined.
Pour your egg and milk mixture over your malasadas. Press the malasadas down into the custard to make sure everything gets good and soaked. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350. After the soaking time is up, bake for 40 minutes until puffy and ever so slightly wobbly. Let it cool off for about 10 minutes. Serve warm with the maple glaze below.
For the glaze
In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, cream, and maple oil. You want a relatively thick glaze. It should plop off your spoon, not pour.