Lucky Charms Churros & Real Pistachio Pudding

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and I’m part of a virtual St. Patrick’s Day Party! If there was one word to describe the holiday for me, it would be: green. When it comes to desserts there aren’t many green colored options, and I decided to do something with pistachios. I’ve made pistachio flavored cupcakes before but I used jello pudding mix which gave it an artificial taste. I’m not knocking on pistachio pudding mix; I’ve actually grown to like that artificial pistachio flavor. Much like how I’ve grown to love maraschino cherries.
The pistachio flavor of the pudding isn’t assertive. If I had to describe the flavor, I would say it’s very similar to the Häagen-Dazs pistachio ice cream only in pudding form, especially once it’s topped with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s dreamy and luscious, and pale green in color.
And because I wanted to add lucky charms into the whole thing, I made some lucky charms churros. Funny thing is they look entirely different from now I imagined them. I wanted them to have lots of marshmallows and cereal pieces stuck on them. Unfortunately, when I did put whole pieces of the cereal onto the churros, they looked chunky and unappealing. So I crushed them and stuck them on there, similar to sprinkles. A little more whimsical, but it doesn’t really scream “lucky charms”. Oh well.
The churros btw, are delicious. They’re crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Don’t get scared and take them out of the oil too early or you’ll end up with doughy insides. Now excuse me while I oogle at these awesome dishes that everyone else contributed to our party… You’re of course, welcome and encouraged to check them out too. 😉

Baileys Chocolate Caramel Tarts Sugarhero
Bangers and Mash with Guiness Onion GravyThe Beach House Kitchen
Black Lentil Roasted Broccoli Shepard’s Pie – Calizona
Boozy Irish Coffee Milkshake with Baileys Caramel DrizzleMeg is Well
Chocolate Stout No-Churn Ice Cream with Homemade Toffee CrumbleCiao Chow Bambina
Colcannon Irish Mashed PotatoesKeviniscooking
Get Charmed By Double Spice Chocolate CookiesThe Sweet Nerd
Guinness Irish Stew Mini Pot PiesThe Road to Honey
Irish Spice BagSeasons & Suppers
Pork Chops with an Irish Whiskey SauceSalt & Lavender
Raspberry Chocolate Milk Porter Pudding ShootersBeer Girl Cooks
Shepherd’s Pie {with Guinness Lamb & Horseradish Mash}Girl Heart Food
Sour Apple Tequila Cocktail – The Lucky Shamrock – No Spoon Necessary
St. Patrick’s Lemon Cucumber Martini With Fresh BasilBeyond Mere Sustenance
Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Orange ButterWhat Should I Make For…
Vegan Mint Chocolate BarkSalted Plains

Lucky Charms Churros & Real Pistachio Pudding

For the Pistachio Paste

Ingredients:
½ c salted pistachios, shelled
⅓ c. sugar
2 tbsp. water

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse pistachios until finely ground.
  2. Add sugar and water and continue to blend until smooth.

For the Pistachio Pudding
Makes about 4 ramekins

Ingredients:
1 batch pistachio paste (recipe above)
2 c. whole milk
2 egg yolks
⅓ c. sugar
2 tbsp. corn starch
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ c. heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
a handful pistachios, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, whisk pistachio paste and milk together and heat until simmering.
  2. While the pistachio milk comes to a simmer, whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl to form a smooth paste.
  3. Slowly whisk in the hot pistachio milk by the ladleful into the egg mixture until you use up half of the pistachio milk.
  4. Add the rest of the egg mixture back into the pot and whisk on medium heat until pudding is thickened.
  5. Remove pot from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Spoon pudding into ramekins, and wrap with plastic wrap and push the plastic onto the surface so it doesn’t form a skin.
  7. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  8. Before serving, whip heavy cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form, place a dollop of whipped cream on top and garnish with chopped pistachios.

For the Lucky Charms Churros

For the churros

Ingredients:
½ c. sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 c. water
1 ½ tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 qt. vegetable oil (for frying)
vanilla glaze (recipe below)
about 1 cup of crushed lucky charms cereal (with mostly marshmallows; less cereal)

Instructions:

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine ½ c. sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk water, sugar, 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, and salt together and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, turn off the heat, add in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms.
  4. In a large heavy pot clipped with a candy thermometer, heat the vegetable oil until 375 degrees.
  5. While the oil heats, transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. The dough is dense and tough to push through the piping bag so use a heavy-duty bag.
  6. On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, pipe the length of the churros you would like and cut it off with either a sharp knife or scissors until you use up the dough.
  7. Once the oil is heated, slowly place the churro dough into the hot oil. Do not drop the dough into the oil for it will splatter. Place about 3-4 pieces and fry until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.
  8. Lightly shake off the excess oil, and place the cooked churros onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  9. Drain churros for two minutes and then toss in the cinnamon sugar.
  10. Repeat with the remaining churro dough.
  11. Once the churros are cool, drizzle the top half of the churros with the vanilla glaze and dip into the crushed marshmallows.

Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 ½ tbsp. milk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Whisk all three ingredients until smooth.
  2. Let stand for a few minutes to thicken.

Recipe for the pudding adapted from Joy the Baker.
Recipe for churros adapted from Just a Taste.
Recipe for glaze adapted from Taste of Home.

Tiramisu Cinnamon Rolls

Tiramisu Cinnamon RollsIf I bottled the scent that came out of the oven while this baked, I would be a millionaire. It smells as if your house was smack dab in the middle of a Starbucks and a Cinnabon store. Er.. kind of like a mall. (I suppose living in the mall would be a nightmare for some people.) Everyone knows the best part about going to the mall is passing by a Cinnabon or a Weltzel’s Pretzels store. I’m always battling my inner fat kid every time I walk by.
Cinnamon RollsFilled with a cinnamon-coffee sugar, topped with a whipped mascarpone frosting and dusted with a generous dose of cocoa powder, it highlights the best parts of both worlds. I would suggest taking the buns out of the pan about 5-10 minutes after it comes out of the oven. The coffee cinnamon sugar creates a caramel when it bakes, and if you let it cool completely in the pan, it will become a type of glue which makes it nearly impossible to get clean cuts out of the pan. Also, don’t be like me and roll the dough out too thinly, I originally wanted just 8 cinnamon rolls, but I had to slice the dough more because it was too tall for the pan. Boo.

Tiramisu Cinnamon RollsCinnamon rolls are definitely not an on-the-whim kind of treat. But if you do decide to make it, I can imagine it being part of an awesome Christmas morning breakfast.
DSC_0579

Tiramisu Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

For the Cinnamon Rolls:
1 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
½ c. water, warm (110-120°F)
¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 large egg
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt

For the Filling:
¼ c. unsalted butter, softened
¾ c. light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 ½ tbsp. coffee emulsion
For the Frosting:
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temp
2 tbsp. butter, room temp
⅓ c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
cocoa powder, for dusting on top

Instructions:

  1. In a microwave safe cup, warm ½ c. water until 110°F-120°F or lukewarm. Stir in 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar until dissolved. Stir in dry yeast and let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes).
  2. While the yeast is proofing, mix flour, buttermilk, 3 tbsp. sugar, egg, salt, and the melted butter into a bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Add the water mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a loose dough forms.
  4. Let stand for 8 minutes to hydrate flour.
  5. With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on speed 2 for about 8 minutes until dough is pliable and stretchy.
  6. Move dough to an oiled bowl and cover the bowl and let the dough rise until double its size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, corn starch, butter, and coffee emulsion until combined. Set aside.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 9” x 12” rectangle. Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly, except 1” along the bottom of the dough.
  9. Roll the dough tightly, using the uncovered border to seal the roll.
  10. Cut the roll into 8 even rolls.
  11. Grease a 9×13 inch pan, and evenly space out the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours until rolls have doubled in size.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes until rolls are golden brown.
  14. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before turning out the rolls onto parchment paper or a nonstick surface.
  15. While the rolls cool. Make the mascarpone frosting.
  16. Using a handheld mixer, whip butter and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
  17. Add mascarpone cheese and heavy cream and mix until light and fluffy. Do not overwhip.
  18. Spread frosting over cooled rolls and dust the top generously with cocoa powder using a fine meshed sieve.

Cinnamon roll recipe adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian.

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread 1There are a few things that scream “autumn”. Pumpkins, apples, fall foliage, football and Thanksgiving are at the top of my list. A couple several weeks ago, I went apple picking with a group of friends and came home with a big ol’ bag of apples. Apples are notorious for lasting along time (as long as they are not bruised) and I have plans for the other ones I have in my fridge. But for now, I have this recipe for you.
Caramel Apple Monkey Bread 2 Caramel Apple Monkey Bread 3 Caramel Apple Monkey Bread 4If you’ve never had monkey bread, you’re missing out on some serious yum. If you took cinnamon rolls but made them bite sized and decided to glue them together with some cinnamon sugar, you’ve got monkey bread. Cut up some fresh apple chunks and stuff them in the sweet dough and you have fall in bread form.
Caramel Apple Monkey Bread 5I have to be honest. I’ve made and shot this recipe weeks ago and I started writing the first paragraph last week, but things became hectic and that’s as far as I got. But to be fair, I threw a Star Wars Rebels themed party and that kept me quite busy for a several days. I’m excited to share it with you on my next post!
Caramel Apple Monkey Bread  6Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

Ingredients:

1 ¼ c. milk
2 tsp. instant yeast
4 c. all-purpose flour
5 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small bits
1 ¼ c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Instructions:

  1. Generously spray the inside of a 10 in. Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, warm your milk, add the yeast and whisk to dissolve. (Do not warm it above 110˚F or you will kill the yeast).
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, 5 tbsp. sugar, egg, and salt until combined.
  4. Slowly add in the milk mixture until combined. Add the 5 tbsp. melted butter and mix until the dough comes together.
  5. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook attachment. Continue to mix on medium speed until the dough becomes silky and tacky, but not sticky, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
  7. Use your clean hands to push down and deflate the dough. Roll out dough in a rough rectangle, ¼ in. thick. Spread 1/3 of apple bits onto half of the rolled out dough. (As pictured above)
  8. Fold dough in half and spread another 1/3 of apple bits on another half of the dough and fold once again in half to form a quarter of its original size. (As pictured above)
  9. Cut dough into 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces and roll the pieces into balls (apple pieces may stick out). Place the balls on the sheet pan.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Place the melted butter in a separate bowl.
  11. Dip one dough ball in the melted butter. Let the excess butter drip back into the bowl, roll the ball in the brown sugar mixture, and place it in the Bundt pan.
  12. Continue this process with each ball, until halfway where you will scatter the rest of the apple pieces.
  13. Wrap the Bundt pan tightly in plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until the dough balls have doubled in size.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  15. Bake until the top layer is deep brown and the caramel coating begins to bubble around the edges, about 30 minutes.
  16. Cool the bread for 5 minutes, then turn it out directly onto a platter and serve warm. If you have any leftovers, reheat them in a 300 degree oven until warm to the touch.

Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Churro Cupcakes

churro cupcake 2Have you ever had a churro before?  It’s a giant stick of fried dough with tons of cinnamon sugar on it.  It’s different from zepoles and funnel cakes because it’s more dense and has a thicker outer crust.  I get my churro craving satisfied at Costco.  It’s just one dollar for about 1½ feet of sweet fried goodness.  Such a good bargain!  The trick is to get it before you start shopping so you have a little snack, and you don’t have to worry about a cinnamon sugar trail being left in the house.
churro cupcake 1Here is my ode to a churro.  It is a cinnamon buttermilk cake with fluffy marshmallow frosting topped with cinnamon sugar and a bite-sized churro.  It takes a bit of work to make but it’s a lot of fun and a great idea for Cinco De Mayo. 🙂
churro cupcake 3Churro Cupcakes

Makes about 28 cupcakes

Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake

Ingredients:
3 c. cake flour
2  c. sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1¼  c. buttermilk, divided
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. On low speed, add 1 c. buttermilk and butter and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, ¼ c. buttermilk, and vanilla extract until homogenous.
  5. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  6. Increase speed to medium, and mix until combined.
  7. Fill 2/3 of cupcake liners.
  8. Bake about 13-16 minutes until cake is done or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then move onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

Churros

For the cinnamon sugar
Ingredients:
½ c. sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

For the batter
Ingredients:
1½ tbsp. sugar
1 c. water
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. plus 2 quarts vegetable oil, divided
1 c. all-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. In a medium shallow bowl, mix together ½ c. sugar and ground cinnamon.  Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan combine sugar, water, sat and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil and bring to a boil.
  3. Take the pan off heat and stir in flour until a ball of dough forms.
  4. In a medium heavy bottomed pan, heat oil to 375˚F and line a sheet pan with paper towels for draining.
  5. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  6. Squeeze out 1-2 inches of dough and have it ready for frying.
  7. Once the oil is ready, use a slotted spoon or a spider to transfer the dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
  8. Remove the fried dough onto the sheet pan with a slotted spoon or a spider and let drain for about a minute.
  9. Toss the warm churros into the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Reserve leftover cinnamon sugar mixture to dust on top of cupcakes.

Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients:
6 egg whites (180 g.)
1½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1 pinch of salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot fill about 1 in. of water and let it come to a simmer.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until homogenous.
  3. Once the water comes to a simmer, place the bowl on top of the pot and whisk the egg white mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
  4. Move the bowl to your standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix completely.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with the biggest plain piping tip you have.

Assembly:

  1. Pipe a large dollop onto the cupcake by holding the piping bag perpendicular to the cupcake and squeeze using an even pressure until your desired size forms.
  2. In a fine mesh sieve, dust reserved cinnamon sugar topping onto the frosted cupcake.
  3. Garnish with a piece of churro.

Cake recipe adapted from sky high.
Churro recipe adapted from just a taste.
Marshmallow frosting recipe adapted from Marth Stewart.