Strawberries and Cream Rolls

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. At the peak of ripeness, they are bright red in color and it is easy to smell their sweetness. They are a must have in my refrigerator because of the health benefits and just because I enjoy them so much. As I was going through my refrigerator, I stumbled upon some strawberries that would be spoiled in a few days. Strawberries and cream rolls came to mind because I had a taste for something fluffy and sweet, yet fruity. As I was making these amazing goodies, I made sure to add strawberry puree in my dough as well as my filling to ensure the strawberry flavor was throughout. I wanted these rolls to scream strawberries in every bite. These rolls had my entire home with a sweet and fruity aroma, which sent a signal that it was time for dessert.

INGREDIENTS

• Dough:

½ cup warm water

• 2 tsp instant yeast

• ⅓ cup sugar

• ½ cup milk

• ⅓ cup melted butter

• 1 tsp salt

• 2 eggs

• 4¼- 4¾ cups flour

• 1/2 strawberry purée

• Filling:

• 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature

• ¾ cup powdered sugar

• ¾ cup strawberry jam

• 1 cup finely diced strawberries

• Icing:

• ⅓ cup reserved cream cheese mixture

• ½ cup powdered sugar

• 1-2 tsp milk

• splash of vanilla

• 1/4 cup purée

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in milk, melted butter, salt, eggs, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat till smooth. Add Purée, Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead till smooth.

2. Let dough rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the filling.

3. Beat cream cheese till soft and fluffy. Add ¾ cup powdered sugar and purée and beat till smooth. SET ASIDE ABOUT ⅓ CUP OF FILLING. In another small bowl, combine the jam and diced strawberries.

4. Roll out dough on a greased counter top to a rectangle about 10×15″. Spread on the cream cheese mixture, then the berries. Roll up and pinch the edge to seal.

5. Cut log into 12 slices and place in a well greased 9×13″ pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

6. Add the ½ cup of powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to the reserved cream cheese mixture. Beat till smooth, adding enough milk to get a thin glaze.

7. Place the rolls in a warm spot and let them rise till doubled (about an hour.)

8. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or till done in the middle.

Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are a classic dessert and happen to be one of my favorites. The thought of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter is as attractive as a Reese’s peanut butter cup. The pairing of ingredients just works. The aroma takes over the house and sends an inviting welcome to visitors and even neighbors.

Their warm and fluffy texture acts as a pillow for the cream cheese frosting and you can taste cinnamon in every bite. In my house these delicious rolls are accounted for before they are finished baking. My family stands in line, waiting anxiously for the timer to end. Enjoy these delicious treats any time of day with a cup of coffee or tea.

Banana Fritters

I don’t know about you but I hate feeling wasteful ESPECIALLY when it comes to food. It never fails that I buy fruit with the intention of eating it regularly but by the time I’m ready to eat, it’s gone bad.  Bananas in particular are one  of those fruits  that have the ability  to ripen  from one minute  to the next. I always feel guilty for throwing away my over ripen banana. In an effort to waste less and avoid guilt, I took my taste buds back to my childhood in Jamaica and came up with the perfect way to use those freckled bananas. Banana fritters!

Even though they are viewed as a dessert, they can be enjoyed at an time of the day. Rich in banana flavor and blended with warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, this recipe will make banana lovers heart melt. Try these delicious fritters with a cup of hot team or coffee.

Banana Fritters
Serving : 12

Ingredients

4 over ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup flower
1 Tbs vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 Tbs molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions

1. In a deep bowl, mash bananas with a fork until liquified. It is ok to see small lump of bananas, but not too many.
2. Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger and molasses. Stir until incorporated
3. Add flour and mix well.
4. In a non- stick skillet, heat oil on medium heat.
5. Once hot, use a serving spoon to scoop a spoonful of mixture  into the skillet. Repeat this step, but do not overcrowd skillet.
6. When both sides are equally brown, the banana fritters are finished.
7. Remove from skillet, then place on paper towel to consume any excessive oil.
8. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or powered sugar and enjoy.

Tips

  • Oil should be hot to prevent banana fritters from sticking to skillet. If oil is too hot, it will char the outside but not cook internally.

Pecan Rum Cake

Thinking of hosting a New Year’ Eve party? If so, treat your guest with a slice of rum cake. It is a classic and easy holiday dessert. I remember watching my grandmother Eunice in the kitchen baking rum cakes every holiday season. Her rum cake was loved by neighbors , family and friends and included various dry fruits that were soaked in rum. This Christmas as I think of my late grandmother, I decided to honor her by baking a rum cake.

Since I am not a fan of fruit in my cakes, I wanted to add another ingredient to enhance the flavor; so I decided to add pecans. With its light and velvety flavor, Appleton Estate dark Jamaican rum was the excellent addition to my recipe. Paired with butter and brown sugar it made the perfect glaze for a slice of cake that will melt in your mouth. Your taste buds will be excited and begging for more.

Drunken Pecan Cake

For cake

1 box of yellow cake
4 Eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Appleton Estate Rum
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs vanilla power
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans

For Glaze

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup water water
1/2 cup Appleton Estate Rum

Instructions for Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together eggs, vegetable oil, rum, and water until incorporated  using a hand or stand alone mixer
  • Add cake mix and vanilla power and mix for 2 minutes until smooth
  • Spray bunt baking pan with butter. Add sugar equally to the bottom of baking pan making sure that it gets into groves.
  • If adding pecans, sprinkle on the bottom evenly.
  • Pour cake mixture in baking pan. once completed, slightly hit the baking pan on counter to level out and get rid of air bubbles.
  • Bake for 36 minutes or until cake tester is dry
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from baking pan
  • Once removed from baking pan, use a toothpick to make small holes into the cake
  • Brush cake with glaze until well absorbed. Repeat in 30 minutes
  • Ready to serve or  sit for a few hours for a strong rum finish

Instructions for Glaze

  • In a heavy bottom sauce pan, melt butter and sugar together while constantly stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat
  • Add water slowly and simmer for another 2 minutes
  • Remove  saucepan from fire and slowly add rum while stirring

Tips

  • For a stronger rum flavor, 3/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup water
  • Pecan lovers can add 1/2 cup pecans
  • If not a pecan lover, substitute for any other nut or simply bake without