Rhubarb Vanilla Yogurt Parfaits for #BrunchWeek

by kellybakes in

I know what you're thinking. You looked at the title of this post and thought, 'umm did Kelly forget the strawberry to go along with the rhubarb in these Rhubarb Vanilla Yogurt Parfaits?' The answer, dear reader, is no. Rhubarb is delightfully tart on its own, so I'd like to introduce you to its flavor without berries getting in the way...

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On Vanilla-thons, Gluten-Free Baking & Empathy

by kellybakes in , , ,

Hello. My name is Kelly and I suffer from chronic empathy. Okay, so maybe 'suffer' is a bit harsh, but it is fair to say that sometimes my overwhelming desire to relate to others has caused me a bit of pain. My earliest empathetic memory stems from third grade: I would lie to my friends about the A's I got on tests and say that I got far lower marks so that they wouldn't feel so bad about their own exams. It continued well into adulthood, as I made friends by sharing embarrassing stories to put new friends at ease. I'm self-deprecating because I like you. I overshare because I'm excited to have something in common with you. Take it as a compliment...

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Pumpkin Indian Pudding + Coming Home to Connecticut

by kellybakes in ,


When I come home to Connecticut, a few things are certain...


1. I WILL make a mess of my mother's kitchen. My mother has finally abandoned her denial and accepted the fact that I will want to cover every last inch of countertop and table with all the baking projects that found their way into my brain during my 4 hour Amtrak ride home. What can I say? I've got a decent sized kitchen by apartment standards, but it's no match for a house. Plus, baking without a stand mixer is just asking for flour on the floor!

2. I WILL spend at least 2 hours digging through old photographs from my childhood and triangle shaped notes from middle school. Though my bedroom hasn't changed much since high school [when I apparently thought Pepto Bismal pink was a smart choice to paint my walls], my recollections have. Sitting cross-legged on my floor with a shoebox of pictures is like panning my memory for gold--flecks of nostalgia I had forgotten about that come shining to the surface.

3. I WILL go to Stop N Shop at least once a day. It starts easy enough: wanting to rent Magic Mike from the Redbox, checking the hours to see if they're open on Thanksgiving for emergency baking supplies... But, if you give a Kelly a grocery store, she's going to want to go in. And the baking aisle is conveniently located near the entrance, so me walking by without stopping in would be like Odysseus trying to sail by the sirens without being tied to the mast of the ship.


On my latest trip to Stop N Shop [yes, I've been home for 5 days and have already lost count of how many times I've been], I was strolling through the back of the store when I stopped in front of a display of 'New England essentials.' I take immense pride in being from New England--from the clam chowder [the creamy and the clear broth!] to the baseball rivalries and, of course, the foliage. I'd like to think I'm pretty well versed in what constitutes traditional New England food, even the regional stuff [coffee milk, anyone?]. But, the rack was filled with things I didn't know were traditionally New England--brandy butter, chestnut puree and fig filling. While I hadn't encountered any of these before, there was a can of Indian pudding that struck a chord of memory. I knew I had eaten this before, but I couldn't remember what it looked like, what its texture was or what it tasted like.

I couldn't in good conscious eat any kind of pudding from a can [the brown bread in a can skeeves me out too]. Like reading old notes from high school, I tried to dredge up recollection of this faint memory. I tried to peruse the aisles, but my thoughts kept looping back to the Indian pudding--where had I eaten it before? And who made it? Somewhere around the yogurt section, it hit me. During a "traditional first Thanksgiving feast" in elementary school that involved wearing paper pilgrim bibs and making butter by shaking whipping cream in empty peanut butter jars, we ate Indian pudding. My second grade senses weren't enough to distinguish many of the spices, but I remember the slightly grainy, not-quite-pumpkin pie texture well. As the picture of the dish became clearer, I knew I had to make it. After all, it was my duty as a New Englander!


I found the recipe and the dish's history on Yankee Magazine's website and decided to change it up a bit. Because its texture and spice profile is so close to pumpkin pie, I felt it was only right to make Pumpkin Indian Pudding instead. And though I used stone-ground local cornmeal, I wanted more of a textural contrast to the jiggly custard, so I added walnuts. Feel free to play with what nuts you use or how much cornmeal you add [less makes for a looser pudding and more makes for something more closely resembling bread pudding]. I also deviated by substituting almond milk for half the milk to give a nuttier flavor. Because it was sweetened, I cut down on the sugar in the recipe.

This recipe makes a warm and comforting dessert with a scoop of ice cream and reheat the next morning with a dollop of whipped cream and treat yo self to an equally cozy breakfast!

Happy Baking & Happy Thanksgiving!


Indian Pudding

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: traditional New England
Author: adapted from Yankee Magazine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 1/2 C almond milk
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 5 TBS cornmeal
  • 1 C pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 C cold milk
  • 2/3 cups nuts [I used walnuts, but pecans would be lovely!]
  • butter, for greasing
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Grease a 1 qt casserole dish.
  3. In a small pan over low heat, scald the 1 1/2 C milk + 1 1/2 C almond milk. (ie let bubbles form on the side of the pan but do NOT let the milk come to a boil!)
  4. Add mollasses + cornmeal to the milk, whisking constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg, salt, sugar, spices until well combined. Whisk in cornmeal/milk/molasses mixture. Stir in nuts.
  6. Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Carefully pour 1/2 cup cold milk evenly over top of the pudding. Bake for one more hour.
  8. Remove from oven. Allow to cool 15 minutes.
  9. Serve with whipped cream, clotted cream, ice cream or a splash of heavy cream.
  10. Enjoy!

Happy Accidents: Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

by kellybakes in

pumpkin cinnamon buns

I have a tendency to get ahead of myself. I get an idea. I get excited. My brain rushes ahead. The rest of me moves twice as fast to try to keep up. Then, suddenly, the world seems to stop and I realize that I'm done with whatever task I started. At this point, I need to take a quick look around and make sure I haven't missed anything. Most often, nothing is amiss. Other times, I'm not so lucky... like the time I attempted to make dobos torte and in the sponge cake-making process, spooned the batter out before realizing I forgot to fold in the egg whites. Chewy cake ensued. No bueno.

Something similar happened last week. I had challah on the brain. I made a honey apple loaf for Rosh Hashanah, got a seriously addictive cinnamon swirl loaf at the Philly Swappers event, and, as I sat bereft of bready goodness, I went in search of variations to make more. My pal Isabelle made pumpkin and tempted me with pics on instagram. As I imagined the fallish flavor combined with the slightly sweet bread, my mind jumped ahead to sticky buns.

apple honey challah bread

Two summers ago, I ate a sticky bun and a rootbeer for breakfast every Saturday (and was somehow a size 2. how does *that* work? More importantly, can I have that lifestyle/jean size back?). In my humble opinion, sticky buns always trump cinnamon buns--I love the gooey, sugary glaze that crowns the top of the buns and falls between the cinnamonny crevices, keeping things sticky all the way to the plate and forcing you to lick your fingers once you're done. Cinnamon buns seem dry and too bready in comparison.

Of course, as luck would have it, my excitement got the best of me while baking these buns. I started with a King Arthur sticky bun recipe and didn't read it all the way through before I started baking. In my haste, I neglected to notice that you should put the glaze on before the buns go in the oven to ensure they get sticky. I realized this halfway through the baking time, but thanks to a stick of cream cheese in the fridge, my ever-reliable bottle of baking bourbon and some grade B maple syrup, I managed to make them work. They may not have had the signature stickiness, but they were still gooey on the bottom and pretty delicious throughout. For once, a baking haste accident that worked in my favor--point: me.

pumpkin cinnamon buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe Type: breakfast, dessert
Author: kellybakes
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Loosely adapted from the King Arthur flour Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns recipe
  • For the buns
  • 3 1/3 C bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 C potato flour
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • For the frosting
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 3 T butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp bourbon (depends on your tastebuds, I like just the faintest hint, but if you want to get boozy, go for it!)
  • 2 tsp grade B maple syrup
For the buns
  1. Combine dry ingredients, including flours, spices and yeast, in a bowl. Stir in butter until just incorporated.
  2. Add vanilla, egg and pumpkin. Stir to combine. Continue mixing until a dough forms.
  3. Knead by hand on a floured surface or with dough hook until a smooth dough forms. Place ball of dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm spot to rest for one hour. Dough should rise, but not necessarily double in size.
For the filling
  1. Melt the butter. Reserve half the butter and set aside. Combine half the butter with sugars, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
Roll the buns
  1. Butter two 8" round pans. Line with parchment rounds. Butter parchment.
  2. After dough has rested, turn it out onto a floured surface. Punch it down slightly then roll into a 12 x 20" rectangle.
  3. Brush with reserved melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture.
  4. Holding the "long" end, begin rolling the dough away from you until it becomes a log. Cut off each end and then cut the log in half. Cut each half in half. Cut each quarter into 4 pieces using the halving method. You should wind up with 16 pieces.
  5. Divide rolls between pans, leaving space between rolls.
  6. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Rolls should touch once rest period is over. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto cooling rack.
Make the frosting
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add maple syrup and bourbon. Stir to combine. Spread onto cooled buns. Enjoy!