Tag: christmas baking

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies are my favorite way to spread Christmas cheer! This nostalgic butter cookie has a rich almond flavor and is a Christmas staple in our house. It takes a little time and practice to get that perfect red and white swirl but I promise […]

Carrot Cake Shortbread Cookies

Carrot Cake Shortbread Cookies

Now just what the heck are Carrot Cake Shortbread Cookies you might ask? This dessert mashup takes all the flavors that you love from carrot cake and bakes them into a perfectly delicious sandwich cookie. With notes of caramely brown sugar, lots of vanilla, and […]

Snowflake Bread

Snowflake Bread

I’m taking a different approach to winter this year. Instead of dreading it, I’m going to celebrate it. And I’ll start by making this gorgeous Snowflake Bread! This spectacular star shaped bread looks tricky but I think you ALL can handle it. It’s basically a pull apart bread but with a major upgrade! Layers of filling are twisted together to create the most stunning and indulgent sweet bread. Snowflake Bread makes a wonderful addition to breakfast or brunch. And it’s also great for gifting too! Who wouldn’t love to receive this masterpiece?!? Plus winter baking helps to keep the house warm. If you need me, I’ll be hanging around the oven…until about March.

Here’s all you’ll need: yeast, warm water, milk, an egg, butter, sugar, salt, flour, jam, and confectioners’ sugar. Snowflake Bread ingredients listFirst dissolve the yeast in warm water until nice and foamy. Slowly sprinkle the yeast across the surface of the water to prevent it from clumping. Set aside.

Yeast dissolving in warm water.

Next in a large bowl, combine the milk, egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, sugar, and salt. Then add in the yeast mixture. Gradually beat in 3 cups of flour (or as much as you can) to form a soft dough. It helps to mix in the flour about a half a cup at a time. Knead in the remaining flour by hand.

Milk, egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.

Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Gather the dough in a ball and roll it around in the flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Press down and outwards with the heels of your hands until the dough is springy. Fold the dough in half, press down with the heels of your hands to press it flat. Repeat for 6-8 minutes. You’ll know you’re done kneading when the dough is smooth and shiny and holds its shape. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour. The dough will double in size.

Of course if you are lucky enough to have a bread machine on hand, you can add all the ingredients to the pan and mix on the dough cycle to save yourself a couple of steps.

Bread dough after its been kneaded.

Punch the dough down and divide it into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and slightly flatten. Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a twelve inch circle. Wanna know an easy way to get all of your circles the exact same size? Use a dinner plate as a cutting guide! Sometimes you’ve gotta improvise with what you’ve got.

Dinner plate used as a cutting guide for dough.

Voila! A pizza cutter or a knife works best for cutting dough. Repeat with all four portions.

Bread dough rolled out into 12 inch circle.

Next place one of your circles on a 14-inch pizza pan lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1/3 of your jam all over the dough, leaving about 1/2″ around the edges. I got a little crazy with the jam! You might wanna go a little less than the picture.

Or try some of these Snowflake Bread variations. Swap out the jam for cinnamon and sugar or even Nutella! Oh. My. Yum!!! Repeat this process twice. So you want to add another layer of dough, then another layer of jam (two more times) and then finish with your last layer of dough on top.

Bread dough circle placed in the center of pizza pan. Jelly spread over the top with a basting brush.

Place a 2-1/2″ round cookie cutter (or a small round dish) directly in the center of your dough. Do not press down, we’re just going to use it as a cutting guide. Using a sharp knife (or a pizza cutter), cut 16 evenly spaced cuts from the round cutter to the edge of the dough to form a starburst. I find it easiest to start with 4 cuts, top, bottom, left, and right. Then add another cut in the middle of those four cuts (now you’ll have 8 cuts total). And then one last time, cut in between each of those 8 cuts and you end up with 16 evenly spaced cuts. I’ll do the math, you do the cutting.

2-1/2 inch bowl placed in the middle of layered dough circles and used as a cutting guide.

Ok hopefully you didn’t get scared off yet and you’re sticking with us! Cause this next part can be a little…tricky-ish. But you can do this! I promise you it’s literally so simple once you get the hang of it. Grab two strips of dough, one in your right hand and one in your left hand. Twist outwards. Twice! Practice makes perfect so don’t give up on this one.

Or think about it this way. Place your index finger on top of the strip and your thumb on the bottom. Now twist your hands outwards so that your thumb is now on top and your index finger is now on the bottom. Repeat the process to form two complete twists. Pinch together the edges of the two strips to seal. Repeat with the remaining strips. Stop overthinking it and just do it! For real, when I tried to picture it in my head it totally kept messing me up. You really just have to go for it on this one. And remember, just like real snowflakes, every Snowflake Bread is beautiful and unique!

Two strips of the dough twisted outwards to form the star shape.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  You’ll really want to keep an eye on it for those last 5 minutes. Snowflake bread dough on a pizza pan ready to go into the oven.

Remove the bread from the baking pan, brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Snowflake bread dough brushed with melted butter.

YOU DID IT!!! I’m so proud of your culinary creation! If we’re talking Snowflake Bread, then I’ll take a blizzard any day! We’ve got a whole winter wonderland of snowy treats. Try our Snowman Pancakes or Polar Bear Marshmallows next!

Snowflake Bread by Happylifeblogspot.com #snowflakebread #starbread #bread #breadrecipes #sweetbread #breakfast

Snowflake Bread

January 11, 2019
: 16
: Medium

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Directions
  • Step 1 Dissolve the yeast in warm water until nice and foamy. Set aside.
  • Step 2 In a large bowl, combine the milk, egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, sugar, and salt. Then add in the yeast mixture. Gradually beat in 3 cups of flour (or as much as you can) to form a soft dough. Knead in the remaining flour by hand.
  • Step 3 Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour. The dough will double in size.
  • Step 4 Punch the dough down and divide it into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and slightly flatten. Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a twelve inch circle.
  • Step 5 Place one of your circles on a 14-inch pizza pan lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1/3 of your jam all over the dough, leaving about 1/2″ around the edges. Repeat this process twice. So you want to add another layer of dough, then another layer of jam (two more times) and then finish with your last layer of dough on top.
  • Step 6 Place a 2-1/2″ round cookie cutter (or a small round dish) directly in the center of your dough. Do not press down. Using a sharp knife (or a pizza cutter), cut 16 evenly spaced cuts from the round cutter to the edge of the dough to form a starburst.
  • Step 7 Grab two strips of dough, one in your right hand and one in your left hand. Twist outwards twice. Pinch together the edges of the two strips to seal. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  • Step 8 Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Step 9 Remove the bread from the baking pan, brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

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Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies were my absolute favorite as a kid. So when I grew up and started baking I knew that I needed a fabulous, no fail, peanut butter cookie recipe in my arsenal ASAP!! Well guys, this is that recipe!! These cookies are rich, […]

Maple Pecan Tarts

Maple Pecan Tarts

How do you make dessert even better? Make it into an adorable hand-held mini size! Maple Pecan Tarts are a darling little spinoff of your family’s favorite classic Pecan Pie. Pecan Pie is a holiday staple at our Thanksgiving table (along with squash and apple […]

Chocolate Overload Cake

Chocolate Overload Cake

So let me talk about this cake for a minute! I baked this up for the blog and dropped a few slices off with family and friends. My brother, Danny and sister in law, Sarah, were two of the lucky recipients. After I dropped off their slices, I remembered that Sarah always, always, ALWAYS asks me for vanilla cakes and cupcakes. Chocolate just really isn’t her thing (I can’t believe anyone would say that out loud!) She basically NEVER eats chocolate cake, or at least I can’t think of a time that she has. So I just kind of shrugged it off and thought, well looks like  Danny will just have to eat both pieces. (I’m sure he would be heart broken about it! Right?!? HAHA!!) Well let me tell you, this cake is SOOOO good that it can even convert the chocolate haters!!! Sarah said it was THE BEST cake that she has ever had in her life and wanted, scratch that, NEEDED the recipe. And when she found out that it was actually a box cake mix just dolled up a bit, she really was in shock! This cake is super duper moist, extremely chocolatey, and SO easy to make!!

Here’s all that you’ll need: chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, sour cream, oil, eggs, water, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, milk, and butter. P.S. I found the Godiva chocolate pudding at Walmart! Score!! 

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water, and oil. The addition of sour cream makes this cake super moist. And believe it or not, it was just as delicious on day 5 as it was on day 1!

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. I used the whole bag. It’s worth it!

Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. And by greased I mean I sprayed the heck of that thing with cooking spray. And just when I thought I was done, I sprayed a little bit more. The secret to this cake, I mean besides the cake mix….and sour cream….ok this cake is full of secrets!!! But the real key is make sure it will slide easily out of the cake pan once it’s done baking. So cooking spray is your # one BFF 4-eva in this recipe!

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick (inserted near the middle) comes out clean. I would check it after 40 minutes, but I typically like to lean towards the longer bake time on this one. Ok so this cake seems to rise ALOT!! Maybe my oven is small, or maybe but bundt pan is too tall, but I always end up removing the top rack from my oven when I bake this one so it has enough clearance. Remove from the oven and let cake cool completely in the pan. Once cool, run a small spatula around the edges to loosen. Flip upside down onto a platter and remove from the pan. 

Now for that glaze!!! In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter.

Whisk until it’s nice and smooth. You can add more milk if you prefer a thinner glaze.

Place the glaze in a ziplock bag, seal, and then cut a hole in one of the corners for a DIY cake decorating bag! Drizzle the glaze over the cake using a back and forth motion. No cake decorating experience needed. I just made a bunch of little squiggles. Just enough so everyone gets some of that amazing glaze on their piece!

Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar just before serving! The frosting will absorb the powdered sugar overnight, so I like to wait until the day of serving for this part. I love how it makes it look snow covered! Isn’t that beautiful??? Bundt cakes make me feel so fancy!

Cut into slices and enjoy a piece and all of it’s chocolatey glory!!! I’d like to dedicate this one to all the chocolate lovers out there…..and all the chocolate haters too!!! Crossing my fingers you convert!

Chocolate Overload Cake

December 9, 2017
: 12
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 package Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water, and oil. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  • Step 2 Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick (inserted near the middle) comes out clean.
  • Step 3 Remove from the oven and let cake cool completely in the pan. Once cool, run a small spatula around the edges to loosen. Flip upside down onto a platter and remove from the pan.
  • Step 4 To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
  • Step 5 Place the glaze in a ziplock bag and then seal. Cut off one of the corners and pipe glaze over cake in a back and forth motion.
  • Step 6 Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar before serving. Slice and enjoy!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Cake Mix Cookies

Cake Mix Cookies

Christmas cookies?!? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Well I’m here to tell you that you do! Grrrrllll……..I got you! They very well could be the easiest cookies you will ever make! I’ve been adding them to Christmas cookie trays for years now and everyone […]