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G. Tolley

Pumpkin Spice Twisted Log — September 30, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Twisted Log

The dog days of summer have ended, and the weather has officially declared it to be fall. I couldn’t be happier to trade in my shorts and t-shirts for jeans and flannel. As simple as this recipe is, it will leave your guests impressed with your baking skills.

Ingredients

Log

  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (17.3-oz.) Package Frozen Puff Pastry (2 sheets), thawed but cold
  • 1 Egg

Icing

  • 2 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Powder Sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Unwrap and roll out a sheet of puff pastry onto a floured surface. Spread out half of the pumpkin mixture onto the pastry. Make sure to leave an inch border around the edges.
  4. Roll up the pastry into a log starting from the longest end. Down the center, carefully cut the log halfway. Twist the two halves together, and pinch the ends close. Repeat steps 3 & 4 with the second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining pumpkin mixture.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg. Brush this on top of the two twists, and finish it off by sprinkling some sugar on top.
  6. Bake this for 20 to 25 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.
  7. While this is baking, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  8. After the logs have cooled for five minutes, drizzle the icing on top.

 

Baked Apples — September 23, 2017

Baked Apples

If you ever want to impress someone with your cooking skills but don’t want to put in the effort, you should make this. It’s warm, and it’s the perfect comfort food for fall.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 Medium Apples
  • 1/3 cup Pecans Half
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Crumble

  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 1/8 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons Butter, chilled
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

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Directions

  1. Begin by washing and cleaning the four apples. Chop one of the apples into small pieces. This will be the main part of the filling of the other three apples.
  2. In a small skillet, melt four tablespoons of butter on a medium-high heat. Once that is finished, add in the apple pieces, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir this for six minutes with a nonstick spatula so that it caramelizes.
  3. Carve out bowls out of the remaining apples; it doesn’t have to be perfect. During my test run of this recipe, we got good results using a sturdy spoon.
  4. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter. If your butter is still hard, it would probably work best if you used your hands for this. With this, make three equal sized balls and smash them into 1/2 inch thick disks.
  5. Fill the carved out apple bowls with the caramelized filling, and top them off with a crumble disk.
  6. Place the apples onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

 

Baked French Toast — September 2, 2017

Baked French Toast

There is nothing more I miss when I’m at college than weekend breakfasts with my family and my dog Skip. This recipe is quite simple compared to regular french toast because you just have to pour it into a pan. Plus, you don’t have to waste your morning watching and flipping individual slices of toast.

Ingredients

Toast

  • 1 French Loaf
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Half & Half
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground

Topping

  • ½ cup Flour
  • ⅔ Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

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Directions

  1. Cube the bread into 1-inch pieces and place into a greased 9×13 pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients that you need for the toast, which are the eggs, milk, half & half, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  3. Pour this over the bread so it can soak overnight. Cover it and put it in the fridge for at least six hours.
  4. The next day, mix all the dry ingredients for the topping together. Then cut the butter into the topping with your hands until it crumbles.
  5. Sprinkle this over the top of the bread and bake for 50 minutes.
Apple Dump Cake — August 12, 2017

Apple Dump Cake

When I ask people why they don’t cook, they usually say something like it’s too hard or requires too much equipment. This is one of my mom’s favorite desserts, and it doesn’t need a mixer or even a bowl. What I like about this recipe is that it’s customizable to whatever fruit you want to use, but for this example I’ll be using apple.  


Ingredients

  • 2 cans Apple Pie Filling
  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter / 1 Stick

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your dish by spraying down a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Open your cans of pie filling, and dump them into the pan. You don’t want to drain any of the juices because that’s what will make the cake on the top rise. Make sure the fruit is evenly spread out.
  3. Sprinkle on the yellow cake mix, and on top of that add the brown sugar. Again, on this step, remember to spread it out.
  4. Cut the stick of butter into ½ inch slices. Then layer them on top of the brown sugar.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
Fruit Salad — July 8, 2017

Fruit Salad

For every BBQ or cookout, you’ve got to have some amazing side dishes to eat. This fruit salad is the easiest dish ever and is impossible to mess up. You know what they say: sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Ingredients

  • ½ Lime
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar Substitute
  • 6 cups Watermelon
  • 1 ½ cups Strawberries,
  • 2  ½ cups Seedless Grapes


Directions

  1. Squeeze the juice from half of a lime into a bowl. Add in the sugar substitute and let it sit and dissolve.
  2. Grab a cutting board and chop up half the watermelon to produce the six cups needed
  3. Remove the tops of the strawberries and julienne.
  4. Cut the grapes into halves.  
  5. Add the fruit to a large bowl and pour in the lime juice. Toss until coated

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Banana Peanut Butter Scones — June 24, 2017

Banana Peanut Butter Scones

Brunch is amazing. It’s true. You get the best of lunch and breakfast. Today, I’m going to combine one of two favorite ingredients into a buttery scone.


Ingredients 

Dough

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cold & cut into small cubes
  • 2 ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 4 tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Water

Peanut Butter Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  •  2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon All Spice

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Add butter to flour mixture, and with your hands work the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbs form.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, milk, and greek yogurt. Add the flour bowl into this, and stir until combined. Then stir in the walnuts until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the extra 1 cup of flour onto either a countertop or a cutting board. This is going to coat the surface to prevent sticking in the next step.
  6. Transfer the dough onto the floured surface and shape it into a flat 8-inch circle. To make these as flaky as possible, we need to make sure the butter is very cold. Put the 8-inch round into a plate in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  7. While that’s cooling down, make the egg wash by whisking together the egg and water.
  8. After the time is up, cut the dough into 8 pieces. Put the scones onto the lined sheets. Brush on the egg wash.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden on top. Let them cool for an hour on a wire rack.
  10. Finish them off with a peanut butter glaze. In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and brown sugar. Drizzle this on top of the scones, or transfer it into a piping bag for a more uniform look.
Honey Crullers — June 10, 2017

Honey Crullers

Continuing down my Canadian cooking adventure is the Tim Hortons’s Honey Cruller.

Ingredients
Dough

  • 1 cup Water
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Whites

Glaze

  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 ½ cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 3 tablespoons Milk

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a saucepan stir water, butter, sugar, and salt. On a medium-high heat, bring it to a boil. Once you reach the boiling temperature, add in the flour. Continue cooking this for five minutes and keep stirring.
  3. Add this into your mixer, and mix for two minutes to let it cool down. One at a time add in your eggs until they are completely incorporated. Then add in two egg whites, and mix them in as well.
  4. Now add this to a piping bag with a ½ inch star piping tip. Pipe the donuts two inches apart onto the lined baking sheets.
  5. Bake them at 450 for five minutes. After that, lower the temperature to 325 and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Don’t take them out when they are done. Just turn off the oven and open the oven door to let them sit in there for another 5 minutes.
  6. For the honey glaze, all you need to do is combine the lemon juice, confectioners sugar, honey, and milk in a small bowl.
  7. Once the crullers are cooled down, dip them into the glaze. Let them rest on a wired rack for three minutes to harden.
Maple Bacon Cake — June 3, 2017

Maple Bacon Cake

 

I’ve achieved a lot this past month. I graduated school, had a milestone birthday, and had my one year anniversary of this blog. I think a celebration is in order! When coming up with this recipe, I went all out by combining my favorite flavors into one. The cake recipe is an altered version of a Hummingbird Swirl cupcake that I found in a recipes box.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 ½ cups Canola Oil
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Sour Cream

Crumb

  • 8 Slices Bacon
  • ½ cup Pecans
  • ¾ Cold Unsalted Butter, Cut into pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt

Icing

  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Pure Maple Sugar
  • 4 cups Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two eight-inch cake pans with spray oil or butter.
  2. First, start by preparing the cake. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Then in a larger bowl or stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on a medium speed with an electric mixer for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and mix in the oil and vanilla on a low speed. Next, incorporate sour cream into the batter until there are no white streaks, and slowly add in the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  
  3. Evenly divide the cake batter into the two cake pans. Then bake them for 27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  4. Now for the crumb topping. Prepare the bacon however you want. For me, I baked it on a baking tray lined with tin foil with a wire rack on top. This way the clean-up is a lot easier and doesn’t require to be watched over. To do this, I put them into the oven at 350° F for 15 minutes and flipped the slices over after 8 minutes. Once I cooked the bacon, I used the oven again to roast the pecans for 10 minutes at 350° F. Before you start making the crumbs, you are going to want the bacon and pecans to cool down and to be chopped up finely.
  5. Take the butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. With your hands, mix the ingredients together until the crumbs form. Then stir in the bacon and pecans. Put this to the side.
  6. To make the icing, all you have to do is mix the softened butter, maple syrup,  confectioner’s sugar, and heavy whipping cream together on a medium speed in a bowl.
  7. At this stage, remove the cakes from their pans and make sure they get to room temperature. If the cakes are too warm, the icing will melt. Take a cake plate or whatever you are serving it on, and lay down the first cooled cake. Then put on a layer of the maple icing, and on top of that add half of the crumbles. Next, stack on the other cake, and ice the outside of the two cakes. Top it all off with the rest of the crumbles.
Nanaimo Bars Tarts — May 27, 2017

Nanaimo Bars Tarts

If you read my post from Wednesday, you’d know I just returned home after spending a few days in Canada. Today I’m making Nanaimo Bars into small tarts. Traditionally they are made up of three layers and don’t require to be baked.

Ingredients

Crust

  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts

Filling

  • ⅓ cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar

Topping

  • 12 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Directions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet on a medium low heat, beat melt the butter for the base. I did this on a lower heat because in the next step it will burn if it’s too hot. Now add in the sugar and cocoa powder and stir this until it becomes smooth.
  2. Whisk the egg and vanilla together in a small bowl. Remove the skillet from heat and stir this in. From there add in the graham crackers, coconut, and walnuts. I didn’t want the base to have a lot of big pieces in it, so before I started I added the three ingredients into a food processor for 7 seconds to make them fine.
  3. Grease a mini cupcake or tart baking tray with cooking spray. Then add into about 2 teaspoons of it into each cup. Press down the dough to make the crust of the tarts and put this in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, milk, and pudding mix together for the custard filling layer. Then slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  5. On top of the crust layer, once again add about 2 teaspoons of this to the pan. Place into the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
  6. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on a medium low heat. Slowly combine in the chocolate chips by stirring this constantly. Remove from heat and spoon on about 1 teaspoon of the chocolate onto the tarts. Finally, let them rest in the fridge for at least one hour.

 

 

Cinnamon Rolls — April 8, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve always been intimidated by making Cinnamon Rolls, and this is because I’m not totally comfortable baking with yeast and proofing the bread. To my surprise, these rolls came out pretty nice. This recipe is very basic and can be altered due to personal preference, such as adding nuts and fruit to the filling.

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 cups Warm Milk
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 pack Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon

FILLING

  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Cinnamon

FROSTING

  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar

Directions 

  1. In a standing mixer with a bread paddle attachment, mix together melted butter, warm milk, and sugar. Your milk should be warm to the touch, not burning. If it’s too hot, let it cool.
  2. Pour in the yeast evenly over the mixture so that it doesn’t clump up. Let it sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in 4 of the 5 cups of flour into the bowl, and mix on a low setting for 2 minutes. To tell if it’s done, the flour should be mixed in and very sticky. Cover this with a towel or plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for an hour.
  4. After this is complete, it should be double its size. Uncover it and add the cup of flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this until everything is mixed in, and put this on a heavily floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, and roll it out into a large rectangle with a thickness of ½ inches.  
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to make the filling. Spread this paste into the dough evenly.
  6. Roll up the dough into a log and pinch the seam closed. Cut this into 14 even pieces.
  7. Grease two 8 inch cake pans, and place the rolls into the pans. Again, cover them, and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the rolls in the oven and let them bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden on top.
  9. While they are cooking, make the cream cheese frosting. Combine the room temperature cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and keep stirring until the sugar is integrated in.
  10. After the rolls are baked, allow them to cool for five minutes and top them off with the frosting.

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