King Cake Monkey Bread Muffins

Big week this week - Happy Chinese New Year and who is ready for Mardi Gras? In honor of both celebrations, we created King Cake Monkey Bread Muffins {it's the year of the Monkey!}

King Cake Monkey Bread Muffins
1 standard Cinnamon roll package (Pillsbury for example)
1 egg
2 tbl butter, melted
2 tbl sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Glaze
4 sifted cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk

Directions: Unwrap the cinnamon roll canister. Cut cinnamon rolls in to four pieces. Combine chopped cinnamon rolls with egg, butter, sugar and more cinnamon. Spray a muffin tin and fill with your mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until browned on top. Allow to cool and glaze with sugar and sprinkles!

Note: cinnamon roll packages come with glaze, feel free to use that! Also, purple sprinkles were impossible to find - I got them at Michaels Crafts!

King cake and monkey bread in one

Olio Carli Citrus Cake

Such a perfect dessert for anytime of the day! And not just a dessert, but why not a brunch item? Citrus is in season, and I am taking full advantage!

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Candied orange and syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
2 oranges {1 navel and 1 blood}, thinly sliced
3 cups water

Directions: For candied orange and syrup combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cool for 40 minutes until you have made a syrup. Remove orange slices. Can be made the day before, refrigerate and chill. And use to sweeten cocktails!

Cake
1/2 cup Olio Carli olive oil plus more for brushing
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cup plain full fat greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp grated blood orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Brush springform pan with oil. Whisk flours, baking power, cardamom, salt and baking soda together. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil in a large bowl for 1 minute. Beat in yolks, then add flour. Beat in yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Using a whisk attachment beat egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter just to blend. Pour batter in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When hot, poke holes all over the cake with a skewer and pour in 1/2 cup of your blood orange syrup. Let cake cool and then remove from pan. Reserve the rest of the syrup for drizzling over slices or for cocktails.

Recipes adapted from Epicurious

Bellinis and Buns

Valentine's Day to me is about celebrating those you love and those who care for those you love. Our dog walker has endured walks in this below freezing winter so I think she deserves mini cream cheese cinnamon rolls with bellinis for her next winter walk!

Cinnamon Roll Dough

1 cup whole milk
3 tbs unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1  egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast {1 envelope}
1 tsp salt
 

Directions: 

Combine milk and butter and microwave on high until butter melts, about 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky. If dough is very sticky, add more flour. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.

Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread cream cheese frosting on top and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar evenly over butter. Roll dough into log and once rolled cut the dough into 1 inch thick slices. Arrange on sheet tray with parchment paper. Allow to rise again, about 40 more minutes.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Recipe adapted from Foodess