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G. Tolley

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Bars — November 25, 2017

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Bars

I didn’t want to call this recipe a rice crispy treat because we are using cinnamon square cereal. I had something similar a few weeks back and wanted to see if I could make it at home. It’s one of those recipes where you don’t have to measure things out for say; you just have to eyeball what you are putting in..

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Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Cinnamon Squares
  • 4 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 5 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • ½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large pot meltdown the butter on a low heat. With a nonstick spoon or spatula, stir in the marshmallows. Continue to stir this until it’s smooth. Then add the peanut butter and cinnamon.
  2. Now that everything is combined, carefully fold in the cinnamon squares. Don’t be too rough on them so the cereal doesn’t break.
  3. In a 9×13 pan, spray down the edges with nonstick spray. Pour in the gooey mixture, and pat down the cereal to compact it.
  4. Allow them to cool down and sit for at least five hours.
Pecan Pumpkin Cake — November 11, 2017

Pecan Pumpkin Cake

I might have gone too far on this recipe. Pumpkin is a staple in the majority of my desserts in the fall. Instead of going the easy route for this, I decided to make my own pumpkin purée. As long as it takes to make it, it’s probably not worth it for the time you put in. But hey, you’ve got to try everything at least once! Plus, I guess now I have enough pumpkin to last me for two years. Anyways, this cake is rich and moist and doesn’t take too long to make (unless you make your own pumpkin purée like me).

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 Can Pumpkin purée (about a five-pound pumpkin)
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Yellow Cake mix
  • 1/2 Pecans

Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, melted

 

Directions

1.) To make the pumpkin purée from scratch, first preheat the oven to 450* F.

2.) Cut the pumpkin into four equal pieces and scrape out the guts. Then remove the stem. From there, cut the four large slices into smaller pieces. Doing this will make sure they cook faster.

3.) Bake for an hour on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4.) Let the pumpkin cool for ten minutes before handling. Reduce the oven to 350*. Using a large spoon, scoop out the meat of the pumpkin. Leave the outside skin.

5.) In a food processor, purée the pumpkin until there are no more chucks. Allow this to cool for at least 30 minutes before cooking with it.

6.) In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the pumpkin purée or one 16 oz can. Combine it with the remaining cake ingredients of the evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, cake mix, and pecans. Pour this into a greased 9×13 pan.

7.) In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter to make a crumb topping.

8.) Evenly lay the crumbs on top of the cake, and bake for 35 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies — October 28, 2017

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

I’ve never claimed to be a professional cook, but I think I have a good grab on the culinary arts. Sometimes when I’m testing out new recipes, things don’t always turn out like they are supposed to. With every failure comes an opportunity for something better. For instance, the recipe originally began as an attempt to make scones. I’ve concluded that my mistake in the recipe came from me not having cold enough butter and not using wheat flour. Still, I was left with a delicious cookie dough that might be better than what the scones could have come out as.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Using a food processor on a high-speed, blend the oats for four minutes. Sift the oat powder into a bowl to remove any large pieces. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour, and put it into a large bowl.
  3. Now combine the salt and baking powder with the oat flour. Then take the unsalted butter and cut it into the flour with your hands.
  4. In the same bowl, add the wet ingredients of heavy cream, eggs, and vanilla extract. Once well mixed, combine in the chocolate chips.
  5. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, bake golf ball sized cookies for 16 minutes.
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.