Friday, May 15, 2009

Simple Sweet Dough, Crumb Buns & Sticky Buns

I just bought a new baking book called Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More by Carole Walter. It was an impulse buy since I wanted to get free shipping from Amazon and what I had in my shopping cart didn't add up to $39. Anyways, as I was scrolling through the baking section, I judged this book by its cover and happily proceeded to the checkout.

When I got it two days later, I did a quick skim and quickly realized we would become great friends. This is my type of book - home baked goodness on every page. Mr. CB said to go for the gusto and make the sticky buns on the cover - "Why else would have bothered to buy this book?" he said. Good point.

So I got some yeast and got to business. There is a deep sense of satisfaction when it comes to baking. After mixing up all kinds of stuff you get a beautiful cake for instance. Baking with yeast takes this satisfaction up to a whole new level. Watching the dough rise and then bake into a warm gooey pecan sticky bun makes my day.

They say first impressions are the most important and this book has made an impressive one. The dough recipe is easy to execute as are the accompanying recipes for crumb and sticky buns. What's convenient is that the dough recipe makes about 2 lbs and this can be divided in half to make different treats. The only thing I found finicky was making sticky buns in a muffin tin. They were not that easy to remove though perhaps Mr. CB didn't butter the cavities generously enough. Also, the sticky part got hard and had to be reheated so it didn't get stuck in your teeth. Two minor nuisances for such yummy results.

Recipes: Simple Sweet Dough, Crumb Buns & Sticky Buns

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Granola Grabbers & Vitality Review

I've been meaning to post about these cookies for about six weeks now. I made them to use up a box of granola I had and didn't want to waste. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan and produces a smallish, crunchy cookie filled with lots of little goodies such as raisins, nuts and coconut.

The dough is crumbly and requires a little handling but once baked they taste really wholesome. Of course, whatever type of granola you use will influence the flavour of your cookie and mine came out infused with vanilla and complemented with almonds. It is a nice homey, down to earth cookie that can be tailored to suit different tastes.

The thing about granola is that sometimes it can get stuck in your teeth. The best way I can think to help with this problem is to brush them and the Oral B Vitality Pro White Toothbrush can help with this.

This toothbrush gives you that "I just got my teeth cleaned at the dentist" feel without the anxiety. It took me a while to get used to holding and using the brush because you don't use the traditional brushing motions. Once on, the brush simply needs to be moved across and between the teeth as the cleaning head does all the work. You can add toothpaste as you go and make sure it is securely on the bristles. The first time I used the Vitality, the toothpaste went flying when I turned it on. It takes a little longer to do a good job but the results are worth it. Your teeth feel cleaner and it is easy to make contact with all those hard to reach spots.

If you want to share the base, replacement brush heads are available too. Mr. CB has been using the Vitality toothbrush and is sold. His dentist told him it is an excellent product and he's a believer. If you're pressed for time, just do a traditional brush and polish with the Vitality. Perfect for getting rid of granola! Thanks to MS&L for providing the product that was used for this review.

Recipe: Granola Grabbers