Pull and Peel Cinnamon Bread

Pinterest.  You all know it and have a love/hate relationship for the amount of time that you spend on there.  One of my first finds on Pinterest was a cinnamon pull and peel loaf.  As you can tell by my first blog, and a few others, that I do love my cinnamon rolls and cinnamon cupcakes, so a cinnamon pull and peel loaf was right up my alley.  I wish I had executed this in better fashion, but the end result was still delicious.  I didn’t heed the directions very well because I cut the loaf too much leaving the bread tearing and the deliciousness oozing out.

My poor torn loaf:


Not to say oozing deliciousness isn’t normally good…but this one would have been better if it had stayed in the confines of the bread. We had to mop up a lot of the ooey goodness. I have also seen this done with savory bread ingredients that I want to try on a football Sunday – let’s preface this by the only reason I partake in football Sundays is to test out new recipes and indulge. No diet rules on the weekends :)

The finished product:


Toasted Coconut Scones

Hurricanes in the Northeast are fairly uncommon.  I take that back, they WERE fairly uncommon until the past 2 years where the Connecticut coast got walloped.  In 2011 we were still living inland in Fairfield county, but for my sister’s birthday we were down on the Norwalk to ride out Hurricane Irene.  My parents live right on the coast and storms have always been a big part of living on the water so we went to see what this one would be all about.  To pass the time, obviously I decided to bake.  My parents had gone on a trip through Vermont and ended up at the King Arthur Flour store, aka my Mecca.  They brought me back a boxed (I know what you are thinking! easy way out, blah blah blah) mix to make toasted coconut scones.  To. Die. For. You add some butter and a few other ingredients, bake, and PRESTO! You’ve got scones!  A little coconut glaze and you are in business.  King Arthur really does a great job on their boxed mixes and I have now noticed they sell a few here in Connecticut grocery stores.  I highly recommend :)


Don’t these just look so enticing??

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Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Cinnamon rolls. A true staple of my childhood breakfasts on the weekend. The delicious Pillsbury 8 pack of vacuum sealed goodness with a can of frosting. Bake up 2 cans of those bad boys and you are in business in the McNichols household. Light on the frosting for the parents. And all of the extra frosting for the sisters. Perfect combination with a big tall glass of OJ.

It was only fitting that I decided on a weekend at home to make cinnamon roll cupcakes featured in the Better Homes and Gardens edition of their Cupcake magazine. (Another hit in my house was the Mochaccino Cupcakes). Ooey gooey cupcakes with a simple standard icing. Truly cannot get any better than that! I will always be a fan of the vacuum sealed containers that pop into the oven, but these new cupcakes are definitely a crowd favorite. And, the best part about making it in cupcake form…you don’t have to let it rise like traditional cinnamon rolls! Just stir, pour, and bake! I will definitely be making these again. Maybe for some overnight guests :) Not the prettiest frosting, but it is a work in progress!




Billy’s Bakery-Croissants and Cannoli Cupcakes

One of our weekend treats during any season is going out to eat delicious breakfast pastries.  We try to find new bakeries where ever we are visiting, or just like to frequent our favorite spots.  Some of the newest discoveries are found by using the Around Me app for the iPhone and it has not steered us wrong yet!

On this particular weekend, we visited one of our favorites, Billy’s Bakery in Fairfield, CT.  Our usual order is the delicious varieties of croissants.  How could anyone hate the flaky pastry and the delectable and different fillings of each one.  My usuals, yes usual IS pluralized-because one just isn’t enough, are the chocolate and the almond.  My fiance usually gets the raspberry and apple (he’s so plain! ;P).  We recently brought a box of 8 back to his parents house when the family was visiting and everyone loved them, even the baby! (Well, the baby is actually almost 2 but he is still a baby to me).

Here is a picture of these divine almond creations:

I highly recommend stopping by Billy’s Bakery for these delicious breakfast treats, or one of their many other offerings.  I personally cannot wait to go in and try their cannoli cupcakes!  Every time I go I am too late to enjoy these little bites of heaven, some day I will get my hands on them!

Sticky Fingers Bakery in West Dover, VT

On one of my many trips on Route 100 to Mount Snow in Vermont, my mother told me to check out a local bakery called Sticky Fingers Bakery that recently opened last May.  So on my last visit to go skiing, I had earned myself a trip to the bakery, and was ecstatic because bakeries are hard to come by it seems in the Vermont green mountains.  Pulling right off of Route 100 I was in love with the black and pink simplistic sign.

Just opening the door was overwhelming with such amazing aromas overpowering your senses.  The small bakery was warm and filled with treats such as a Chocolate Bombe cake, cheesecakes, and, the famous Cinnamon Sticky Bun!

These cinnamon buns are something to seriously aspire to be able to make:

So delicious!  Fresh out of the oven, these HUGE cinnamon buns will certainly make me revisit, and maybe try out some new treats :)  I strongly suggest if you are in the Mount Snow ski area to stop by @stickyfingersVT


210 Route 100 West Dover, VT


The Mess before THE MESS

My first endeavor into documenting my baking habits was Saturday October 23rd when I decided I did not want the cinnamon rolls out of the Pillsbury container.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a great comfort food, but I realized, if I want to own my own bakery some day, I can’t very well put those out for customers.  So off I went searching through my thousands of magazine cutouts and scouring over my many cookbooks and fell upon, what seemed to be, a simple recipe for cinnamon rolls in my Best of Southern Living cookbook (given to me by a very special friend, Clara Ripari).

I located all of the ingredients that eventually covered my kitchen counters and began working.  I figured I had enough time to make the cinnamon rolls and be up in Brookfield, CT in time for a meeting at 11AM; lesson learned: ALWAYS look at the full recipe before beginning baking!  As opposed to the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls from scratch actually need RISE and REST, so, I ended up continuing the process and tried to speed up anything I could to make them ready for our car trip to Brookfield.  This is where the mess before the mess comes in.  Flour was flying, ingredients were scattered about the counters, and I was flying through the motions trying to produce a cinnamon roll resembling something appetizing.

Here is my “jelly” roll before slicing it into individual cinnamon rolls:

These are my sliced rolls ready to be baked:

Waiting oh so patiently for these babies to puff up for flaky deliciousness (and so we could make our meeting on time):

Perfection! Or at least perfect for a first attempt:

My fiancé’s perfect picture of his cinnamon roll:

A fork was a must with these rolls due to the gooey icing and sticky cinnamon-sugar mixture-THE MESS.

Another lesson learned: These cinnamon rolls require parchment paper to line the pans or the cinnamon-sugary goodness will caramelize and harden on the bottom of the roll.

Sometimes it is like the Life cereal advertisement in my house, but my “Mikey” (my fiancé Brendan) gave these his stamp of approval. :)