Individual Strawberry Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I am loving winter in Florida.

It’s a joke to call it winter. It’s been amazing out. We had one cold weekend so far and you would have thought the end of the world was coming. People reacted to at the grocery store the same way that people in Boston reacted to snow storms. Everyone at the grocery store was all bundled up and talking about how cold it was. I was standing there in a sweat shirt like “yo, you have no idea…” It was like 45 out. ha!

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I remember how the cold would cut through the air when the wind would whip around the buildings. The morning walk from the train station was never welcomed. Basically, I hated any time that I needed to leave the house.

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But I can handle the winter now down here. The one that consists of us running the dogs outside for the last pee of the night while we are barefoot. The ‘brisk’ winter that allows us to comfortably sleep with the windows open. The winter that makes you laugh at your child when they say “It’s chilly out Mommy, I need a coat.” It’s 65 degrees, that’s sunroof and windows down weather kiddo. Stop whining. (And yet, she will happily get naked and play with the sand box/water play thing at the same temp…)

To all my friends and family freezing… don’t hate me. Just remember to come and visit us when you can’t handle any more shoveling, lost mittens, and scraping ice off your car anymore. We can hang out on the lanai or whatever. Oh yeah, our house, we finally have a closing date!!!! More on another day.

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Instead, get cozy up in your house with these awesome Individual Strawberry Monkey Breads with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Don’t be like ‘Fool, why are you sharing a recipe with strawberries?! They aren’t in season now!” Well, in fact they are! They are in season here in FL. So when you are getting strawberries up in New England now chances are they are from FL. Go on, check the label…

The sweet fruit mixed into the already sweet monkey bread makes it 10x more awesome than it is already. Unless you are a 3 year old, then you will tell your mom to pick all the strawberries out… send help.

Don’t feel like making these in muffin tins? Then you can make 2 loaves and just increase the baking time (approx. 32-35 minutes). Just keep an eye on it until it’s golden brown. It’s easily adaptable. And delicious.

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Individual Strawberry Monkey Breads with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24

Ingredients 

For the Monkey Bread

  • 1 package (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups warm milk (110F-115F, 2% or whole milk, no lower)
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 1/2 Cups diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted

For the Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon milk

Process

  1. Proof the yeast in the milk until the yeast is fragrant and bubbly, this takes a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs together. Add the milk to the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add 3 Cups of flour to the bowl and mix well. Scrape down the bowl, and add the remaining flour. Mix well to combine all the ingredients, about 4-5 minutes
  4. Remove the dough to a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise for at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to assemble the monkey bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Put foil cupcake liners in the cavity of 2 12-cup cupcake tins.
  7. Combine the strawberries, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  8. Roll out the dough on a well-floured, clean, level work surface. The dough should be 1/2″ thick. Cut into 3/4″ x 3/4″ pieces.
  9. Mix the cut dough pieces into the strawberry and sugar mixture. It will get a bit gummy but that’s okay. Pour the butter over the mixture and then get your hands messy!
  10. Evenly portion out the dough into the cupcake liners.
  11. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top the golden brown.
  12. While the individual monkey breads are baking, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk well until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. It should be a thick consistency.
  13. Drizzle the frosting over the warm monkey bread when serving.
  14. Store extra monkey bread and frosting in air tight containers for 2 days, max.
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S’mores Cheese Ball

S'mores Cheese Ball

GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT’S S’MORES WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Amanda, from Fake Ginger, and I have been waiting all year for this week!!!

It’s our 3rd S’mores week! That means we have shared 20 s’mores recipes together. And you better brace yourself for another 10!!!

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We have been joking that we have been keeping Hershey’s in business since we have been doing so many trips to the grocery store for chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. SO MANY MARSHMALLOWS!!

Even my Dad has been enjoying the goodies I have been making for the past few weeks as even though he hates marshmallow. He reminds me that often as he eats another treat filled with marshmallows. I guess the point is that s’mores hook people. They just get ya and suck you into their sugary coma inducing deliciousness.

This S’mores Cheese Ball is the perfect change up to your average cheese ball that is a hit appetizer. Now you can enjoy a cheese ball for dessert!!

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It’s so simple to make and is so delicious. Plus, it’s just fun.

The only real tip I have related to making this cheese ball is that you don’t want a lot of the mini marshmallows on the outside of the cheese ball as the coating won’t stick to them. So take a minute to push them in and keep the cream cheese on the outside so the coating will stick nicely.

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I went on a mission to find the marshmallow bits since my local grocery store didn’t have them, but Target did. Target to the rescue. That is why I love Target so dang much.

Also, I found graham cracker dippers at my local grocery store, which are just graham crackers that are in long shapes to make dipping easy. If you don’t have them where you live, then just use graham crackers that you break off into segments.

Be sure to make this for your next party! It will be a hit!

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S’mores Cheese Ball

Makes 1 large ball, will feed a crowd of 8-12

Ingredients

For the cheese ball

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup marshmallow Fluff
  • 1/2 Cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the outer coating

  • 1/3 Cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow bits
  • graham cracker dippers

 Process 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean pasta. Add in the marshmallow Fluff and beat well.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the mini marshmallow and mini chocolate chips.
  3. Dump out the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using the parchment paper, sculpt the mixture into a ball. Push the mini marshmallows into the ball. Place into a round bowl.
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. While cheese ball is chilling, combine the graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, and marshmallow bits on a large plate and mix.
  6. Remove cheese ball from the freezer. Remove the cheese ball from the parchment and roll in graham cracker mixture and refine further into a call using your hands.
  7. Refrigerate the coated cheese ball least 30 minutes before serving. Server with graham cracker dippers.

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Fake Ginger_Smores Poke Cake

Be sure to check out the S’mores Poke Cake from Amanda!!

OMG that looks so good! I want that frosting!

Browned Butter Pumpkin Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

Browned Butter Pumpkin Waffles

It’s Fall!!!

It is starting to feel like Fall and I love it.

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Yes, I love Summer but I really do love Fall. The crisp smelling air in the mornings start the day off on the right note. I love the smells of fall from the apples to the fallen leaves to the pumpkin pie. Shoot, even pumpkin spice lattes smell amazing.

We have a jam packed Fall with a lot of great things planned like more apple picking, pumpkin picking, and going to the Head of the Charles. I can’t wait to cross more things off Our Boston Bucket List.

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Our AC’s are out, I’m packing up summer stuff and pulling out the fall and winter things. I am ready for it. Okay, I’m not but I will do my darndest to embrace it.

My current favorite thing is #pumpkinallthethings attitude towards life. It’s crazy and fun, which inspired me to make this week’s waffle recipe centered on everyone’s favorite fruit. Apple?! Pears?! Cranberry ?! Shut up, you know I mean PUMPKIN!!!!

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The batter will be thick so don’t fret! The pumpkin puree gives off a lot of moisture so if your batter is too thin it will stick and fall apart in your waffle iron, no matter how much you spray. Trust me. Also, spray your waffle iron for every waffle. Again, trust me.

The cream cheese drizzle is an awesome to change things up from your typical maple syrup. If you just want maple syrup then skip it, no big. I just love the flavor combo of pumpkin with cream cheese, like those delish muffins from Starbucks, so wanted to experience that with these waffles.

Funny story… I bought one of those Pumpkin Muffins from Starbucks at the airport when we were traveling from Tampa back to Boston last week for Price as a little extra birthday treat. I had Autumn carry the bag over from the store to our gates to give her a fun little job. Big mistake! She discovered what it was, decided it was her’s, and then proceeded to eat the whole thing in front of Price. ha!!

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Anyway, back to the drizzle! I didn’t do a good job mixing it, as Autumn decided to be extra distracting that morning #toddlerlyfe. You should thoroughly mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together BEFORE adding the milk. I added it too soon and messed it up, making it lumpy. It was still delicious, but lumpy 😦

Break out the waffle iron and a can of pumpkin this weekend and you’ll be loving life when you make these waffles!

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Browned Butter Pumpkin Waffles with a Cream Cheese Drizzle

Makes 8-12 Belgian waffles, depending on desired size of waddles

Ingredients

For the Waffles

  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 2 3/4 Cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce can) can pumpkin purée

For the Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk

vanilla granola for garnish, optional

Process

  1. Brown the butter according to these instructions. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the butter, milk, vanilla extract, honey, eggs, and pumpkin puree.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and mix.
  5. Preheat your waffle iron and then spray the waffle maker with cooking oil spray.  Use 1/3 Cup of batter per waffle to make smaller waffles, use more to make larger waffles. Cook according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Put finished waffles in the preheated 250° oven to keep warm while you cook the others.
  6. While your waffles are cooking, thoroughly beat the cream cheese. In 1/4 cup batches, add the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, add the milk.
  7. Plate with 1-2 waffles, add the cream cheese drizzle, top with granola. Enjoy!

Waffles adapted from Chocolate and Carrots

Guava and Cream Cheese Stuffed Puffle Waffles

Guava & Cream Cheese Puffle Waffle

Years ago, while I was staying at a resort in the Caribbean, I grabbed a late night snack at the hotel’s on-site Dunkin’ Donuts. Tired from the glorious day of sun, I stumbled in there for a coolata.

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And then I saw it.

I saw the most amazing thing ever.

A doughnut filled with guava jelly.

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Okay, so it was just a Dunkin’ Donuts’ doughnut, so it wasn’t the best doughnut ever, but I was hooked on this guava filled doughnut. It was fun and tropical. It was the perfect late night snack that night.

The thing is that I haven’t stopped thinking about it. I used to always look for guava filled doughnuts but I never saw them here, so I just figure it was something special for the Caribbean locations. Lucky them!

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Well, I was recently stumbled upon guava paste while I was grocery shopping. It was in a weird shaped can, which is exactly why it caught my eye. I had no idea what to do with it but I impulsively tossed it in the cart.

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I’m glad I did as I quickly discovered that guava paste is really versatile. It can be eaten on just crackers or used as a filling for empanadas or swirled into cheesecake or even used as a glaze on pork tenderloin. Awesome!!

It pairs really well with cheese so I decided to play on the idea of traditional Pastelitos, which are pastries often filled with guava and cream cheese, when I made these puffles.

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Now is the time to find some guava paste so you can make your own Guava and Cream Cheese Stuffed Puffle Waffles. Love!!

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Guava and Cream Cheese Stuffed Puffle Waffles

Makes 8 puffles

Ingredients

  • 1 17.5 ounce box of puff pastry dough
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup guava paste
  • powdered sugar, for serving

Process

  1. Thaw the puff pastry according to the instructions on the box. (Typically 40 minutes at room temperature prior to use)
  2. While the puff pastry is thawing, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to be 12″ x 12″. Work the dough to eliminate the seams. Cut the dough into 4 equal sized pieces. Score each piece in half.
  4. Leaving 1/2″ boarder, spread a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on half of each piece. Add 3 small spoonfuls of the guava paste on the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Fold the other half of the puff pastry over the filling, crimp the edges to seal the filling inside the pastry dough.
  6. Repeat with the other sheet of puff pastry dough to make the other 4 puffles.
  7. Preheat your waffle iron at this point. Place the puffle dough on the waffle iron. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. The dough should no longer be expanding and puffing up when you open the waffle iron.
  8. Gently remove, and place on a cooling rack until ready to serve the puffles.
  9. Plate 2 puffles, shake some powdered sugar over the puffles, drizzle some warmed maple syrup on the puffles. Enjoy!!

Inspired by Epicurious

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I hope you are enjoying all my Waffle Wednesday recipes and enjoyed this month of fun puffle recipes. Be sure to give them a try. xoxo

S'mores Puffle Waffle

S’mores Puffle Waffles

Peanut Butter and Jelly Puffle Waffle

Peanut Butter and Jelly Puffle Waffle

No-Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie

Eggnog Pie

OMG!!! My last pie of The Year of Pies!

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I love a good challenge so I really loved making a pie for every Friday. Pie Day Friday!

Anyway, let’s do a fun little recap…

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Handmade Pie Crusts are the real deal! And I think that Ina Garten’s recipe is awesome! I used it for the Cranberry Apple Pie and Fruitcake Pie. I swear it’s the vegetable shortening in the dough. #win

No Bake Cookie Crusts are awesome for pudding pies.

I gave away a lot of pie. A LOT.

As much as I made a lot of pies I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface on making pies. I want to to get better at making lattice topped pies,

Price’s favorite pie was the Caramel Pie.

I loved all the pies for different reasons. My favorite chocolate pie: Thin Mint Cookie Pie. My favorite chess pie: Lemon Chess Pie. My favorite fruit pie: Streusel Topped Peach Pie. My favorite pie inspired recipe Overnight Apple Pie Breakfast Pudding. My favorite savory pie: Supreme Pizza Pot Pie.

And twist my arm favorite is the Reese’s Cup Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookie Pie. OMG so good!!!

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This No-Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie was another great pie. It actually feels good to end the year with this pie. It is a pie that is guaranteed to make holiday lovers happy. It’s so holiday.

Sure, I could have done something complicated to show off all the sweet skillz I learned but I’m already in confident in what I learned this past year. Plus, it’s the busy holiday season so let’s stick with something easy!

A quick graham cracker crumb crust and a just as easy eggnog flavored pudding based filling. Perfectly!

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As eggnog is very rich, this pie is very rich. Normally I would cut a pie into 8 slices but I would actually cut this into 12 slices. I know, smaller slices. Ghastly! But trust me on this on. It’s delightfully rich so just pace yourself.

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I really hope that you enjoyed The Year of Pie as much as I did! It was a blast to try something to challenge myself.

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No-Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie

Makes a 9″ deep dish pie, 12 slices

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling & Topping

  • 8oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2- 1oz boxes of instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 Cups light eggnog
  • 1- 8oz container of Cool Whip, softened at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon graham cracker crumbs
  • pinch of cinnamon

Process

  1.  To make the crust, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour the crumbs into the deep dish pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add the instant pudding. Slowly beat the mixture while gradually pouring in the eggnog. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Gently fold in the Cool Whip until the filling mixture is well blended.
  4. Pour the filling mixture into the chilled crust. Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in the center of the pie.
  5. Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to serving. Keep chilled for up to 3 days.