So here we are- the first week of December. What’s that like for you? What are the memories and feelings and thoughts attached to the 31 days we’re entering into?
For many of us, December means holidays and family, celebration and shopping. In our house, Christmas is still so wrapped up in the lights and wonder and hot cocoa-ness of it all, and that, combined with my upcoming book release, has already got us busy and full of anticipation. But for as many of us there are that started December 1st with starry eyes and hearts full of cheer, there are just as many hurting, feeling lonely, and wondering where all the wonder is. Today, at the risk of being way too serious in the opening paragraph of a food blog post, I want you to know this: you are loved, you matter, and you’re welcome to embrace whatever sentiment you need to this year.
So before we’re all gung-ho on cookie exchanges and tacky sweater parties, I want to share these maple cinnamon rolls, a true comfort food recipe, and ask you to take inventory of the people in your life who may need more love this year. Is there someone who needs to feel the glow of your friendship and affection? Share it freely, whether with a card, a coffee date, or a batch of these sweet rolls, and know that your love makes the biggest difference this time of year. The world needs more people who freely offer what they have to the people around them.
Maple Cinnamon Rolls
Ok, phew. If you’ve made it this far in the post- CONGRATULATIONS. Your reward is a yummy, warm, fall-scented twist on one of my all-time favorite treats: these maple cinnamon rolls. Every year, I create a number of sweet roll recipes, because they’re always such a hit. My kids love them, you guys love them, EVERYBODY LOVES THEM. So these maple cinnamon rolls have been a long time coming; after all, few things go hand in hand with breakfast and cinnamon like the comforting flavor of pure maple syrup.
This recipe was adapted from the ever-popular overnight cinnamon rolls . In place of the sugar and brown sugar that ordinarily sweetens the rolls, I’ve used maple syrup. In addition to the cinnamon brown sugar filling, I’ve added a handful of chopped pecans both of texture and flavor. That, plus the ridiculous-delicious maple glaze that goes on top, makes the yummiest addition to our round-up of breakfast all-stars.
If you’re looking for a fancy treat to love on your friends and family with this year, please consider these maple cinnamon rolls. Hugs to you today and in the days that are coming, and happy baking!
These maple cinnamon rolls feature a cinnamon brown sugar filling, toasted pecans, and loads of cozy maple syrup!
For the dough:
1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted but not too hot
1 large egg
¼ cup real maple syrup
2–1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
For the frosting:
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons milk
To prepare the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over top of the lukewarm milk. Allow the yeast to dissolve, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, egg, and maple syrup until smooth. Add about half of the flour plus the salt into the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Pour in the remaining flour and knead in the bowl using the dough hook attachment until smooth and slightly tacky, about 7 minutes. If you notice your dough isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl or it’s too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a little dough “tornado” around the dough hook. Once done kneading, place the dough into a large lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to double in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
Once the dough has risen, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a large rectangle about 11”x21” in size. Pour the melted butter for the filling on top of the rolled out dough and spread it out over top. Combine the cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough. Sprinkle on the chopped pecans as well. Starting with one of the long ends, tightly roll the dough from end to end and pinch the edges together to seal. Cut the dough into about 1-1/2” sections and lay them out spiral side up in a lightly greased sheet pan or baking dish, about 2” apart. Alternatively, you can bake them in greased muffin tins as well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again, about 40 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once preheated, bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges are barely golden and the internal temp of a roll is 190 degrees. Remove from the oven and prepare your frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
Stir the butter, maple syrup, salt, and powdered sugar together with an electric hand mixer. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Spread the frosting over the warm rolls and enjoy!
If the radio silence around here and social media has given any wonder as to whether or not this website even exists anymore, let me just reassure you: we’re still alive. Last week, Hurricane Zeta passed through our town and absolutely wreaked havoc. We remained safe in our storm shelter and our house was relatively unaffected, but the landscape of our sweet city went through the ringer. At the present moment, 6 days later, we are still without power, and nearly every street is littered with down power lines, fallen trees, and various limbs and brush that have been gathered by home and business owners alike. As someone who lived in central Florida for 10+ years, I can say that the damage we’re experiencing is some of the worst I’ve seen, and man, I’m just grateful we’re all okay.
I’m eager for us to catch up on all that we’ve missed (hello, election!) and the events of the past couple of weeks (birthdays! holidays! big life stuff!), but for now, I want to share this maple cream tart with you. With a spiced pecan and cookie crust and a seriously rich and cream filling, this is a decadent autumn treat that would make a great addition to your upcoming holiday tables. Let me tell you how to make it!
Making the Tart
First we’ll start with the crust. Biscoff cookies are ground to a crumb and tossed with some pecans, butter, and brown sugar. YUM. After a quick bake in the oven, the cream filling is made on a stovetop using maple syrup, eggs, and milk. Spread the filling in the prepared shell and allow it to cool completely or overnight in the fridge.
Garnishing this maple cream tart is a cinch. I love to up the ante with a little homemade maple caramel. Here, all the texture and decadence of caramel combines with the nuanced flavor of maple syrup. It makes a seriously rich topping for this otherwise humble tart. I love to added chopped salted pecans for a little texture too, but you can go with whatever suits your taste!
Hugs to y’all. I hope you’re doing well and settling into the weirdness that is November 2020. I’ll see you next week with another fall recipe!
This maple cream tart features a biscoff pecan crust, a maple cream filling, and a quick and easy stovetop maple caramel.
For the crust:
24 Biscoff cookies (186 gm), crushed to crumbs
1 cup finely chopped pecans (90 gm)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
¾ cup maple syrup
2 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
For the maple caramel:
1 cup maple syrup (not imitation)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon salt
To prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cookie crumbs, pecans, and melted butter. Stir to combine and press into the sides and bottom of a 9” tart part with a removable bottom. Bake in the preheated oven for about 9 minutes or until set. Allow to cool while you prepare your filling.
To prepare the filling:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and salt. Add the milk, maple syrup, and egg yolks and stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium heat and bring to a bubble, stirring all along. Once thickened to a pudding consistency, remove from heat and place in a heat-safe bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming and place in the fridge to cool completely.
Once cooled at least to room temperature, whip the cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form. Stir the maple pudding; if you notice any clumps, you can push the pudding through a sieve to remove any clumps. Fold the whipped cream and maple pudding together until combined and spread into the prepared pie crust. Garnish with additional cookie crumbs or pecans. Allow to set up in the fridge while you prepare the caramel.
To prepare the caramel:
Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan and continue cooking without stirring until a candy thermometer reaching 230 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball stage). Remove the pan from heat and carefully stir in the butter, cream and salt. Place in a heat-safe jar or container to cool slightly before serving with slices of the pie.
Let’s cut to the chase: it’s high time that we get started on this fall thing. In the spirit of turtlenecks and jewel tones and crunchy leaves, today I’ll be chatting about this super simple pumpkin pecan tart that just screams, “AUTUMN!” As a bonus, we’re also going to share some recipes from a number of other bloggers who are sporting pumpkin goods on their sites today. Talk about a happy Monday, huh!?
Pumpkin Pecan Tart
So first up is the pumpkin pecan tart. I’m all for recipes that can be thrown together in a pinch. There’s something very satisfying about taking on a baking challenge, but sometimes we need a few recipes in our back pocket that taste terrific without hours of stressful work. I have a feeling that this pumpkin pecan tart will be your go-to for the fall.
Making the Tart
Let’s get started with the crust. Here, we use a simple graham cracker crust that is elevated with the addition of finely chopped pecans and the just-right amount of butter. The pecans add ridiculous flavor to the otherwise simple crust and they’re a pretty perfect combo with the pumpkin.
The filling is a cream cheese and canned pumpkin base with not a whole lot extra added. Of course there’s cinnamon, some pumpkin pie spice, and sugar, but other than that the ingredients here are minimal. Simply cream together the pumpkin and cream cheese, add the remaining ingredients, and smooth the whole lot of it into the pie crust. That’s it!
A Few Tips
For best results with this pumpkin pecan tart, I recommend filling the crust and finishing off the toppings just before serving. I opted to top the whole thing with a maple whipped cream, but you could certainly bypass that step if you’d prefer. I spooned the whipped cream into a piping bag (or a large plastic bag with the end snipped off!) and squeezed little dollops of fluff all over the pie, but if you’d prefer a simple smear that would work too. Use any leftover pecans or graham cracker crumbs to garnish the top for a pretty finish, and it will be so cute that I promise your friends won’t guess how easy this little guy was to make.
This pumpkin pecan tart would make an excellent addition at your next supper club, Thanksgiving dinner, or Sunday afternoon lunch. I love how quickly the treat comes together and the flavors are so seriously autumnal that it just feels right. In the event that pumpkin tarts aren’t your thing (okay, but seriously, who even are you?) my friend Sara has rounded up a whole bunch of other bloggers who are sharing pumpkin recipes today as well. There’s everything from pumpkin babka to pumpkin couscous to pumpkin granola- almost 70 recipes in all! Check out the whole list here and get in the swing of fall this week. I think it’s about time.
Have an enormously joyful and fulfilling week and stop by here again on Friday. I may or may not be sharing another killer recipe on Friday (hint: I am). Happy Monday and happy baking!
If you like this pumpkin pecan tart you should check out:
This pumpkin pecan tart has a no-bake filling and a maple whipped cream topping. Served chilled, this dessert is a simple treat for fall gatherings!
Total Time:35 minutes
For the crust:
1 cup (99 gm) graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup (100 gm) finely chopped pecans
¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (100 gm) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
10 ounces pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
For the maple whipped cream:
1 cups (240 gm) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine. Press the wet crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom. I like to press a small amount of crumbs up the length of the sides first and then press the remaining into the bottom. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are turning gold and the bottom is set. Allow to cool completely.
To make the filling:
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice and beat on low just until combines. Spread the mixture into the cooled crust and allow the pie to set in a cold fridge, about 2 hours.
To make the whipped cream:
Whip the heavy whipping cream on medium-low speed until frothy and barely beginning to thicken. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and bean until stiff peaks. Spread or pipe the cream onto the prepared pie and serve immediately!
I can’t claim the recipe for this salted maple pie as my own, but I love it so much that it feels like my child. This pie, straight from a brand-spanking new book called “Sister Pie” is a winning treat that your falls need. Trust me.
Something I’ve been learning about over the last five or so years of my life is how to celebrate others. There was a period of time in my life where my own insecurity prevented me from whole-heartedly cheering on the people around me. I guess I thought that if someone else was successful, hitting milestones faster than me, or achieving things I wanted in my own life it would somehow diminish my own gifts and the good things in my life. Like someone else’s advancement meant I was stuck behind. Obviously that type of mentality was gross and damaging for a number of reasons, but I think the thing I missed out on most was the opportunity to share in the joy of someone else’s successes.
Small Town Life
One of my favorite things about life in a small town is how friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers can come to feel like family. In the confines of a tiny city, it’s easy to recognize how closely your life is knitted to the people around you and wanting the best for them becomes an absolute no brainer. Their struggles become your struggles, their joys become your joys, and the triumphs and blessings in their lives will eventually trickle down to affect yours in a positive way too.
When one person succeeds in a small town, everyone eventually shares in that reward, and I’ve found that taking part in their stories, investing passion and love into the things that are important to them, almost always feels like a shared victory in the end. This way of living, this crazy love and support for the people around you, is is one of the most heart-filling things I’ve ever experienced in my life, and if you’ve felt it too, I bet you’d agree.
This notion of sharing with and loving your community is all over the “Sister Pie” cookbook. Reading the book, you’ll know that these gals are all about taking care of the people (and bellies) around them. The stories are great, but the recipes are crazy good, so much so that I knew I had to share one with you. The salted maple pie was my first bake from the book, and I have a feeling it’s one I’ll be making for years to come.
Salted Maple Pie
With it’s rich, almost chess pie-like filling, equals parts sweet from maple syrup and salty from finishing salt, this salted maple pie satisfies my dessert cravings on so many levels. There’s the buttery crust, the gooey (think Crack Pie from Milkbar) filling, and those perfect crunches of salt. I shared this pie with a group at our church and I literally had someone come up to hug me because it was so good. If you think food can’t bless the pants off of someone, think again.
Making the Pie
To make it, we start with Sister Pie’s crust. Their classic all-butter pie dough utilizes European style butter. Euro butter has a higher fat percentage and less water. This means more flake and more flavor in your pie. The crust blind-bakes until set and starting to turn golden. In the meanwhile you can prep your filling. Just like with my favorite chocolate chess pie, this pie gets whipped up in a single bowl. Eggs, butter, maple syrup, and cream stir together. Pour the filling in and complete the baking process until the filling it barely puffed and only jiggles a little. Allow the pie to cool on the counter, about 4 hours, until set. Finish with a sprinkle (or two) of salt.
This salted maple pie is like a gooey autumnal hug. The flavors are cozy and complex, an extremely satisfying ending to any meal. I hope you’ll give it a try and check out the new “Sister Pie” cookbook! There’s loads of inspiration, both sweet and savory, within its pages; I think it’s one you’ll reach for for years to come. Happy reading, happy baking, and happy Wednesday!
If you like this salted maple pie you should check out:
The Salted Maple Pie is our signature flavor at Sister Pie because it is an homage to the bakeries where I got my professional chops: Momofuku Milk Bar in Manhattan and Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn. It is reminiscent of the addictive quality of both Milk Bar’s Crack Pie and Four & Twenty’s Salty Honey Pie. We created our own version of a classic chess filling with robust Grade B maple syrup from Imlay City, Michigan and highlighted with local heavy cream, eggs, stone-ground yellow cornmeal, and light brown sugar. On Saturdays at the shop, we’ll buy applewood-smoked bacon from the market to crisp up in the oven right before opening. It’s a match made in pancake breakfast heaven.
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (11⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup Grade B maple syrup
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
Heaping 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1–1⁄4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One 9-inch crust made with All-Butter Pie Dough, blind baked and cooled (see below)
1 large egg, beaten
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling top
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and maple syrup. Whisk in the brown sugar, cornmeal, and kosher salt.
Crack the eggs and yolk into another medium bowl. Add the cream and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the maple mixture and whisk just until combined.
Place the blind-baked shell on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crimped edge with the beaten egg. Pour the maple filling into the pie shell until it reaches the bottom of the crimps.
Transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges are puffed and the center jiggles only slightly when shaken. It will continue to set as it cools.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for 4 to 6 hours. Once fully cooled and at room temperature, sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt, slice into 6 to 8 pieces, and serve.
Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap or under a pie dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This is our go-to dough, and it’s how each pie begins. Every pie baker, professional or at home, seems to have an opinion on the best combination of fats for the flakiest crust—is it lard, shortening, butter, or a mix? Our basic dough is a pure and simple ode to unsalted butter and all-purpose flour—we think it produces the best-tasting, lightest, flakiest pie crust.
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes
2–1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted European-style butter, straight from the fridge
1⁄2 cup ice-cold water-vinegar mixture (see below), or more if needed
In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and stir to mix well. Place the sticks of butter in the bowl and coat on all sides with the flour mixture. Using a bench scraper, cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Work quickly to separate the cubes with your hands until they are all lightly coated in flour. Grab that bench scraper once again and cut each cube in half. I always tell my pie dough students that it’s unnecessary to actually cut each cube perfectly in half, but it’s a good idea to break up the butter enough so that you can be super-efficient when it’s pastry blender time.
It’s pastry blender time! Switch to the pastry blender and begin to cut in the butter with one hand while turning the bowl with the other. It’s important not to aim for the same spot at the bottom of the bowl with each stroke of the pastry blender, but to actually slice through butter every time to maximize efficiency. When the pastry blender clogs up, carefully clean it out with your fingers (watch out, it bites!) or a butter knife and use your hands to toss the ingredients a bit. Continue to blend and turn until the largest pieces are the size and shape of peas and the rest of the mixture feels and looks freakishly similar to canned Parmesan cheese.
At this point, add the water-vinegar mixture all at once, and switch back to the bench scraper. Scrape as much of the mixture as you can from one side of the bowl to the other, until you can’t see visible pools of liquid anymore. Now it’s hand time. Scoop up as much of the mixture as you can, and use the tips of your fingers (and a whole lot of pressure) to press it back down onto the rest of the ingredients. Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat. Scoop, press, and turn. With each fold, your intention is to be quickly forming the mixture into one cohesive mass. Remember
to incorporate any dry, floury bits that have congregated at the bottom of the bowl, and once those are completely gone and the dough is formed, it’s time to stop.
Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly floured counter, and use your bench scraper to divide it into two equal pieces. Gently pat each into a 2-inch-thick disc, working quickly to seal any broken edges before wrapping them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap. If you’re portioning for a lattice-topped pie, shape one half into a 2-inch-thick disc and the other half into a 6 by 3-inch rectangle. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight. When you go to roll out the crust, you want the discs to feel as hard and cold as the butter did when you removed it from the fridge to make the dough. This will make the roll-out way easier.
You can keep the pie dough in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 1 year. If frozen, remove the dough and place it in the refrigerator to thaw one full day before you intend to use it. If you’re planning to make only one single-crust pie, wrap the discs separately and place one in the freezer.
Preheat your oven to 450°F with the rack on the lowest level. Remove the pie crust from the freezer, tear off a square of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than the pie shell, and gently fit it into the frozen crust. Fill the crust with the dried beans (they should come all the way up to the crimps) and place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25 to 27 minutes. Check for doneness by peeling up a piece of foil—the crimps should be light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. After 6 minutes, carefully remove the foil and beans. You did it! You are now ready to fill the pie.
For the water/vinegar mixture, fill a 1-cup liquid measuring cup about halfway with ice, then add water and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.