Banana Bars with Maple Brown Sugar Frosting

Banana Bars with Maple Brown Sugar Frosting

Some weeks we go through bananas like crazy and other weeks I feel like I should open a Geriatric Banana Nursing Home in the far corner of our kitchen. This was an elderly banana nursing home week. An alarming number of ailing bananas were piled high in our fruit bowl and I knew I had to take action.

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Perfect Pecan-Maple Sticky Rolls Recipe

This Pecan-Maple Sticky Rolls recipe is the perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch. They have a chewy bite to them filled with cinnamon and maple sweetness. Skip the run to the bakery, these rolls are easy to make right in your own kitchen!

This is Week #36 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

This week has been a nutty one, so it has not the best week to be behind in cooking and blogging. Somehow, I'm managing to get things accomplished. And thankfully, these sticky rolls, much like my last recipe, were easy to make. 

I have never made sticky rolls quite like these. They are filled with comforting deliciousness, which suits this cool fall weather nicely. I loved them. Everyone in my family loved them. 

To begin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup whole pecans in a pie plate and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a food processor, pulse to combine:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

Add 1 stick of cubed, chilled butter to the the flour mixture and pulse until it becomes the size of small peas.

Add 1 cup of buttermilk and pulse a few times, just until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 3 times. Pat or roll the dough into an 8x12-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

In a small bowl, combine:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the dough.

My cute flour-duster and dough-shaper.

Beginning at a long side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.

Pinch the seam closed and cut the dough into 12 slices.

In a small bowl, combine:

6 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons melted butter

Divide the syrup-butter mixture among the muffin cups. Scatter the toasted pecans in the cups.

Top with the dough pinwheels. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Place a rack over the rolls and invert them onto the rack. Replace any pecans that get stuck in the cups and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Smokey Tomato Soup With Maple-Candied Bacon Recipe

A simple change on a household classic, makes for a pleasant surprise! This comforting bowl of Tomato soup is filled with full-bodied tomatoes and the Maple-Candied Bacon. One bite of this hearty meal with just a touch of sweetness will make you want a second bowl!

This is Week #3 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010.

This is the first recipe I have created for this challenge that I didn't love. Not at first, anyway. With a few small changes, it went from being just okay to delicious!

I will write the recipe exactly as it is written in the cookbook and I will also tell you my suggestions. If you enjoy soups with a heavy orange flavor, make the recipe as it is! If you do not (I personally do not), then heed my thoughts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange 8 slices of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon over the parchment/foil and bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Drain the oil and sprinkle the bacon with 2 tablespoons of maple sugar or light brown sugar.

Bake for 8 more minutes, or until the bacon is glazed. Set aside.

Chop 1 small onion and mince 3 cloves of garlic. My three-year-old stole my beautiful new head of garlic from the fridge and misplaced it (ahhhh, can't wait to find that!), so I used the 2 lone cloves I could find in the drawer and a dash of garlic powder instead.

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat.

Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.

Stir in:

3 tablespoons granulated sugar (I suggest using 1-2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon grated orange zest (I suggest omitting this entirely)

1/2 teaspoon piment d'Espelette (I was not able to find this ingredient. Heat-wise, it is often compared to paprika, so I added a dash more of that instead.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of dry rosé or white wine and bring to a boil.

Add 2 15-oz. cans chopped tomatoes, with their juices (I recommend using 3 cans).

Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

Stir in 2 cups of water..

..and 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I suggest using half of the recommended orange juice and replacing the other half with water).

Add 3 tablespoons of sour cream (I ended up using double this amount. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil at this point.)

Working in batches, puree the soup until it is smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and season with desired amount of salt and pepper. Reheat and ladle into bowls. Top with the candied bacon, chopped into bits.

Don't be scared away by my initial thoughts. With the revisions I made, it turned out to be a delicious soup! My three-year-old even ate it, served over saltine crackers.

I should mention that the cookbook lists the "ready in" time as 30 minutes. It took more like 1 hour for me, from start to finish.

Smoky Tomato Soup with Maple-Candied Bacon

A simple change on a household classic, makes for a pleasant surprise!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Jan 19, 2011

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Serves: 4

Total time: 30 min

SmokyTomatoSoup

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon (8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon piment d’Espelette
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup dry wine
  • Two 15-oz. cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Arrange the bacon on the paper and bake for 8 minutes, until almost crisp. Drain the oil from the baking sheet. Sprinkle the bacon with the sugar and bake for 8 minutes, until glazed; cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook over moderately high heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, smoked paprika, orange zest, piment d’Espelette, 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes with their juices; bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir the water, orange juice and sour cream into the saucepan. Working in batches, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan; season with salt and pepper. Reheat, ladle into bowls and serve with the bacon. The soup can be served chilled.