Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts
OMG! Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts! So good…

Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts

These Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts are BETTER than those at Krispy Kreme because you can taste all the necessary components of a doughnut – the sugar, the soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the yeasty, fried dough. Amazing.

I’ve never been a fan of Krispy Kreme doughnuts because their doughnuts are too sweet for my taste. Albeit soft, warm, and delicious, these sugar “pillows” are so sweet that they overpower the bready, fried dough underneath. When I lived in Texas, my favorite doughnut shop was Shipley’s Donuts, where you could get your sugar fix as well as taste the soft, fried, yeasty layer, which made them more substantial and fulfilling. Continue reading “Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts”

Nutella Cheesecake

I’m Back!

An indulgent slice of Nutella Cheesecake with a side serving of homemade, vanilla bean ice cream!

In March 2009, I started a food blog at After a few months of surprised popularity, I purchased my own domain name only to lose it in 2014. I then changed my site back to Losing my domain name really affected my zeal for writing and publishing photos and recipes. Of course I continued to cook and take photos of some meals. However, I could never muster the energy to write or even face my blog again. Continue reading “Nutella Cheesecake”

Buttermilk Waffles


If you have visited my blog enough times, you may have noticed that I love using buttermilk in place of regular milk. I got this love of buttermilk from my mother and share in her sentiment that buttermilk makes almost everything better, haha. Now don’t get me wrong, I could NEVER and would NEVER drink the stuff by itself, blech! Also, I am not a fan of its smell. However, I firmly believes buttermilk makes my baked goods more moist and adds another dimension of flavor that regular milk cannot produce. Also, I use brown sugar in place of white sugar for similar reasons.

The batter is quite thick, but the waffles come out fluffy, not dense. I have heard of folding egg whites into the batter to yield fluffier waffles, but I thought using a bit of cake flour would create comparable results. I was very pleased with the end result and am now compelled to buy my own waffle iron (I used my friend’s). I hope you try out this recipe soon! In the meantime, I hope the following close-up shots will convince you to make these waffles on Christmas Eve or the morning of Christmas Day:

So fluffy and light (and blurry. sorry!)!
Ah much better!
YUM! Look at that slightly crispy and caramelized bite!
This shot makes me want to jump and make another batch!

Excuse me while I make some more!
Buttermilk Waffles
heavily adapted from allrecipes

2 cups all-purpose (AP)/plain flour (I used 1 cup cake flour/1 cup AP flour)
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or regular milk
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder). In a medium-sized measuring cup, pour (and measure) in the milk, then add the butter, vanilla extract, and eggs. Whisk the eggs into the milk mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and mix until combined. Do NOT overmix!

Ladle the batter into the preheated waffle iron, and cook the waffle until ready or until desired doneness. Serve immediately. For leftover waffles, wrap cooled waffles individually in cling wrap and place them in the freezer.

For future consumption, just place the frozen waffle in a toaster or toaster oven until hot and eat! 🙂

Copyright – Memoria James –

Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I know I said that the Mint Oreo Ice Cream was my most bestest, favoritest flavor yet, but I think I’ve changed my mind or at least this brown sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream may be a close second.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

While I was making regular vanilla bean ice cream using my old-standby recipe, I thought, “hmmm, I wonder how this would taste with brown sugar instead of white sugar…”, and it was a great decision! I don’t think I can go back to the old standby anymore; it was THAT good!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I’ve made it this way two times already – once for a Friendsgiving party and the last time was for Thanksgiving at my stepmother’s house. On both occasions this Vanilla Bean Ice Cream remained with other people so I could only dream about having another bite. I can’t make it at home because I’ll just eat the whole thing in one or two days haha.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

When you start making this Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, initially the amount will seem like a paltry amount because you add the cream later. Also, the ice cream maker creates more air into the custard, so there will be enough for everyone (or just yourself!).

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Please try out this amazingly, rich Vanilla Bean Ice Cream! If you don’t have vanilla beans, you can use vanilla bean paste or add more extract when you add the heavy cream. It is so rich that you’ll need only a scoop or two at a time.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
After taking one bite of this ice cream, my friend/colleague said that it reminded her of cookie dough ice cream without the bits of cookie dough. Because of the brown sugar, I would agree that it does seem a bit like the cold base of a chocolate chip cookie dough. You could add in chocolate chips, nuts, or whatever add-ins you like; however, try this recipe out without add-ins the first time around! You won’t regret it!
Don’t forget to check cout a plethora of other ice cream flavors such as traditional vanilla bean (twice), espresso, milk chocolate, Mexican chocolate, gelato al limone, chocolate chip cookie dough, coffee, double chocolate, mint chocolate chip (w/extract), and Mint Oreo Ice Cream!

Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

adapted from Ice Cream!; it is my go-to recipe for vanilla-based ice cream

1 1/4 (300ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean (if none, add 1 more tsp of vanilla extract to below amount when you add the cream)
4 large egg yolks (save egg whites for macarons, meringues, or omelettes!)
1/2 cup (100g) BROWN sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1 1/4 (300ml) heavy cream
1-2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean

Put the milk, vanilla seeds, and vanilla bean (if using) in a medium saucepan, and heat gently to near-boiling point. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow the vanilla to infuse for 15 minutes.

In a separate, heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar, using a whisk or electric beater, until thick and pale. Gradually beat the milk into the egg mixture.

Slower method: Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and continue stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (book’s instructions)
Quicker method: Pour the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, and stir the mixture until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. (this is what I did). This took about 5-10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Transfer the hot mixture into a bowl (you can put the bowl over a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly); stir in the cream and vanilla extract or paste.

Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap or waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the custard to cool completely by refrigerating mixture for 4 hours to overnight.

After the custard has chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately as a soft serve, or transfer to a freezer container; cover the surface directly with waxed paper or foil, and put in the freezer.

Copyright – Memoria James –

Crockpot Applesauce

As a child and young teenager, I loved applesauce. I anticipated the soft, sweet, cinnamony, gentle taste as I eagerly ripped open the aluminum top of the plastic, kid-sized package. One second later, I had eaten all of the applesauce and was always disappointed there was no more.

Now that I’m what many would consider a seasoned adult (my mom would object), I am no longer a fan of applesauce. . .that is, not the store-bought kind. I originally tried out this apple dish as a means to make apple juice/cider while making applesauce a byproduct. After much frustration with the muslin cloth and the realization of how little liquid yielded from the 10-14 cooked apples, I decided to stick with applesauce.

But that very little bit of juice/cider that managed to seep drip through the cloth was really like liquid gold! It was thick, sweet, and oh so flavorful. I hope to try making more apple cider soon. Anyway, when I tasted how AMAZING the juice/cider was, my curiosity was peaked. I tried the applesauce and SWOONED! I couldn’t believe it had only 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of the 1/4-1/2 cup called for in other recipes. It was perfect.

It was thick and soothing to my tongue and throat. It had a perfect balance of sweetness and cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice, and other fall-like flavors. This applesauce was so amazing that only a couple of days later, I bought more apples to make more! The other great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need to peel the apples. Just cut them, place them in the crockpot, squeeze a bit of fresh, lemon juice on top along with brown sugar and spices, and allow it to cook and fill your house with the rich, delicious perfume of fall, apples, cinnamon, and love :). I hope you give this recipe a try!

Crockpot Applesauce
by mangiodasola
10-14 small- to medium-sized apples (I have now used Jonathons and McIntosh apples)
1/2-1 small lemon
2 Tbsp brown sugar, optional (depends on how sweet your apples are)
cinnamon to taste
pumpkin spice (cloves, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon) to taste
Cut the apples (no need to peel them*; they will be pulverized later). Place apples into the crockpot. Squeeze lemon juice on top of the sliced apples. Add sugar, cinnamon, and other spices. Allow apples to cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Pulverize the softened apples with a hand blender or transfer them to a blender. Blend softened apples until they reach your desired consistency. Eat the applesauce warm or cold! Enjoy!
*If you prefer a chunkier applesauce and are not a fan of apple skins, then you should peel the apples before cutting them. My applesauce was blended well enough that I rarely tasted any skin. It was perfect for me. Also, the skin has extra nutrients!
Copyright – Memoria James –

Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Homemade Fresh Mint Oreo Ice Cream

I was going to blog about some yummy pancakes I had made the other day but once I sampled this Mint Oreo ice cream, I pushed that thought aside. I’ve made other GREAT ice creams such as traditional Vanilla Bean (also paired with Blackberry Cobbler), Vanilla Bean made with brown sugar, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Dough, Espresso and more; but this one is definitely my favorite flavor. Also, now that cold weather has taken over many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, I felt it best to share this recipe before it gets even colder.

Mint Oreo Ice Cream

With that said, I can eat ice cream in any type of weather. In fact, I remember craving a gelato al cocco (coconut) on a cold October day, and my boyfriend was shocked. However, I was comforted by the fact that there were other people in the gelateria eating gelato, and they weren’t tourists.Mint Oreo Ice Cream

I was inspired to make this ice cream after having tried the Mint Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream from Ben and Jerry. After taking one bite, I thought, “OMG, this is so good! I need to try making this at home!” LOL! Who else does that? Hello? Just me?

Mint Oreo Ice Cream

It starts with infusing fresh mint leaves with whole milk in a pot. Then you temper the eggs and add the cream. Chill the mixture before pouring it in the ice cream maker. Add in the Oreos. Enjoy as a soft serve fresh from the machine or freeze it for a few more hours like I did.

Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Don’t forget to check cout a plethora of other ice cream flavors such as vanilla bean (twice), espresso, milk chocolate, Mexican chocolate, gelato al limone, chocolate chip cookie dough, coffee, double chocolate, mint chocolate chip (w/extract), and this Mint Oreo Ice Cream!

So, if you’re in one of the cold regions of the world, bundle up, and make this ice cream today! If you’re in a hotter region, invite me over, and we’ll make it together! Hah!

mint base recipe adapted from the Vanilla Bean recipe

1 1/4 (300ml) whole milk
2.3 oz of mint leaves
4 large egg yolks, room temperature (save egg yolks in the freezer!)
1/2 cup (100g) granulated or caster sugar
1 1/4 (300ml) heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
30 Oreos, chopped (up to you how many you’d like in your ice cream!)

Put the milk and fresh mint in a medium saucepan, and heat gently to near-boiling point. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow the mint to infuse for 15 minutes.

In a separate, heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar, using a whisk or electric beater, until thick and pale. Gradually beat the milk into the egg mixture.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and continue stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (book’s instructions)
Pour the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir the mixture until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. (this is what I did). This took about 5-10 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat; stir in the cold heavy cream and vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the mixture directly with plastic wrap or waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the ice cream custard to cool completely by refrigerating mixture for 4 hours to overnight.

Once cold, churn mixture in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer soft-serve ice cream to a freezer container and stir in chopped Oreos (as many as you’d like! I used 2-2 1/2 rows). Cover the ice cream directly with waxed paper or foil, then the container top, and put in the freezer.

Copyright – Memoria James –

Pan de muerto Revisited

This weekend (el primero y 2 de noviembre), the day after Halloween, a very sacred holiday will take place – El día de los muertos. Although I am not Mexican, I celebrate and respect this holiday even more than Halloween. Why? Because I am comforted by the idea of honoring loved ones who have passed on and “bringing them back” into the present world via a multitude of tangible symbols such as altars showcasing loved ones’ photos and momentos, skullface paintings, sugar skulls. I especially enjoy the culinary dishes that are usually present around these two days, such as mole and pan de muerto.
In 2009 (whoa!), I made pan de muerto for the first time. I enjoyed forming the “bones” on top of the round domes of dough. The bread was delicious as well :o). This year, however, I decided to make pan de muerto using a different recipe that has now overshadowed the previous pan de muerto.

The inside of this bread is dense yet soft; the texture reminds one of the inside of panettone. It is best to eat warm and with leche, atole, champurrado, café, or chocolate caliente, but the bread is good cold as well (my students can attest to that!). I also preferred this recipe over the previous one for another reason: the simplicity of ingredients. In the old recipe, I remember driving everywhere for special ingredients that I never used again. With the current pan de muertorecipe, however, the only non-everyday ingredient, for some, is anise seeds, and many of you probably already have this ingredient sitting in your pantry and waiting to be used by you in such a recipe as this one ;o)!

Even if you’re not Mexican, try out this lovely bread and dedicate it to a loved one who is no longer physically present on this earth. You two can enjoy eating it together. 🙂 In the meantime, watch this video I show to my students every year around this time. It is a cute way to express the importance of this 2-day holiday of remembrance. Then come back here and make this bread! 😀

I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting!

translated and slightly adapted by All Recipes México (en español)
  • ¼ taza de mantequilla / ¼ cup of butter
  • ¼ taza de leche / ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ taza de agua tibia (45°C/113°F) / ¼ cup of warm water (45°C/113°F)
  • 3 tazas harina / 3 cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1 ¼ cucharadita de levadura / 1 ¼ tsp yeast 
  • ½ cucharadita de sal / ½ tsp of salt
  • 2 cucharaditas de semillas de anís / 2 tsp anise seeds
  • ¼ taza de azúcar blanca / ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 huevos batidos / 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cucharaditas de ralladura de naranja / 2 tsp of grated orange peel

 Para el barniz / For the glaze:

  • ¼ taza de azúcar blanca / ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ taza de jugo de naranja / ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cucharadita de ralladura de naranja / 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 2 cucharaditas de azúcar blanca / 2 tsp of white sugar
  • 2 cucharaditas de canela (opcional) / 2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
1.     Calienta la leche y la mantequilla en una cacerola mediana, hasta que la mantequilla se derrita. Retira del fuego y agrega el agua tibia. La mezcla deberá tener una temperatura de 45 °C.
      Heat the milk and butter in a medium-sized pot until the butter has melted completely. Remove the pot from the burner. Add the warm water, and allow the mixture to cool to 45 °C/113 °F.
2.     Mezcla 1 taza de harina, levadura, sal, semillas de anís y ¼ de taza de azúcar en un tazón grande. Envuelve la mezcla de leche tibia, luego los huevos y 2 cucharaditas de ralladura de naranja, hasta que estén bien mezclados. Incorpora ½ taza de harina y sigue agregando más harina hasta que la masa esté suave.
      In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seeds, and ¼ cup of sugar. Blend well before mixing in the room-temperature eggs and 2 tsp. of grated orange peel. Mix well. Next, incorporate ½ cup of flour and keep adding more flour (½ cup at a time) until the dough becomes soft and manageable.
3.     Coloca la masa en una superficie enharinada y amasa hasta que alcance una consistencia suave y elástica.
      If using a stand mixer, change to a dough hook and knead the dough for 6-8 minutes. If not using a stand mixer, place the dough on a floured-surface and knead the bread for 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and elastic and strong strands of gluten have formed.
The freshly kneaded dough before I placed it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Look at the specks of orange & anise seeds!
4.     Pon la masa en un recipiente ligeramente engrasado, cubre plástico adherente y deja reposar de 1 a 2 horas hasta que duplique su volumen. “Poncha” la masa con tu puño y forma una bola redonda con una bolita en el centro. Coloca la masa en una charola para hornear, cubre con plástico adherente y deja que repose de nuevo en un lugar tibio durante 1 hora o hasta que duplique su tamaño.
      [SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS] Once the dough has been well-kneaded, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl (I use my stand mixer bowl) and cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Allow it to rest and rise for 1-2 hours (I left my dough in the refrigerator for about 5-6 hours, and it was fine. The dough is supposed to rise slower in the fridge. You could also leave it in the fridge overnight (check the dough level every few hours though!) and do the next steps on the following day. Allow the dough to come to room temperature first, which should take about 2 hours.).
      Once the dough has risen, deflate the dough and form 7 small dough balls or 4 large balls (I doubled this recipe, so I had seven large dough balls).
Pardon the bad lighting. I made these photos at night.
      BREAD AND BONES FORMATION: Divide dough in 7 small equal parts (or 4 large) (I weighed the dough and divided the total weight by 7 (222 grams/dough ball for me). 6 of those parts will become your loaves and the last one will be used to make the decorations. Form the 6 loaves (or 4 large), place them on a greased baking sheet and let them double in size, covered.
      To form the “bones”, take the extra ball of dough and separate it into 14 parts (I weighed the dough and divided the total weight by 14) roll 12 of the dough balls into a snake-like shape (2 per dough ball). Then roll the “snake” with your finger while applying pressure to form separations in the snake/dough. For the remaining two small balls of dough, divide them into 6 parts and roll them into a ball.
      The recipe doesn’t call for an egg wash, but I used one (one egg + 1 tsp heavy cream), but you can use just water, milk, or egg. The egg wash is needed not only for color, but also to attach the bones and ball to the bread ball.
      Once the dough ball has been brushed with the egg wash, place the bones on the bread in a crisscross fashion. Then place the ball of dough on top.
Shaped dough with “bones” and egg wash.
5.     Hornea a 180 °C durante de 35 a 45 minutos. Retira del horno, deja que se enfríe un poco y barniza la superficie.
      Bake the bread in a preheated oven of 180 °C/350 °F. Remove from oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack. While it cools or near the end of the baking time, prepare the glaze . . .
Fresh from the oven w/o glaze. For the first 10 minutes, the loaves were too high in the oven! Don’t make my mistake!
6.     BARNIZ: Para preparar el barniz, mezcla ¼ de azúcar, jugo de naranja y 1 cucharadita de ralladura de naranja en una cacerola pequeña. Deja que hierva a fuego medio durante 2 minutos. Barniza el pan con una brocha mientras aún está tibio. Espolvorea el pan barnizado con el resto del azúcar blanca.
      GLAZE: To prepare the glaze, mix ¼ sugar, orange juice, and 1 tsp. of grated orange peel in a small pot. Allow the sugar mixture to boil on medium heat for 2 minutes. Brush the warm bread with this glaze and then roll the bread in sugar and cinnamon (if using).
Copyright – Memoria James –

Dessert Braids: Nutella, Strawberry, and Banana/Cinnamon Roll

I’m back in the States.  After living for approximately two and a half wonderful months in Portugal, et al., you can imagine my reluctance to return here.  Still, I’d thought I’d muse about a few homeland items that I had taken for granted and truly missed that are not readily available in Western Europe (at least at the places I’ve visited):

I’m back in the States.  After living for approximately two and a half wonderful months in Portugal, et al., you can imagine my reluctance to return here.  Still, I’d thought I’d muse about a few homeland items that I had taken for granted and truly missed that are not readily available in Western Europe (at least at the places I’ve visited):

1. I missed dryers. I know that it is more economically friendly to hang out your clothes and to allow the sun to dry them, but I missed having my favorite pair of jeans washed and dried in about an hour as opposed to one to two days (on a sunny day). In fact when I was about to wash my clothes for the first time after my return to the States, my automatic reaction was to check the weather to make sure it wasn’t going to rain. Then I remembered that I had access to a dryer again haha.

2. I missed cold bottles of water at the grocery store and restaurants. Most places offer tepid water in Europe, and after walking all around the city, I was always craving a big bottle of cold water. They were mostly readily available in tourtisty areas, though. Anyway, to combat this “problem”, I would freeze and refrigerate 2-3 water bottles and take them with me around the city.

3. I missed some of my favorite fast-food and regular restaurants like Braum’s and Charlestons.

4. Easy access to certain ingredients like baking soda (in Portugal you purchase this item at pharmacies, not at grocery stores), pure vanilla extract, powdered sugar in large containers, Mexican ingredients, etc.

However, with all the missing that went on, there are considerably more reasons why my heart will forever remain in Europe, especially Italy, and why I wish I could find a way to stay there permanently.
For instance, I love how easy it is to travel from country to country for under 100 dollars, how easy it is to travel to said countries without the need of a car (thankfully, buses, trains, ferries, metros/subway trains, etc are readily available), and how free I feel when I discover and walk through new cities and countries.
I love hearing quotidian speech uttered by locals, expats, and tourists in various languages. I love the rising excitement I feel when I’m edging closer and closer to a new monument or church I’ve longed to see and had only seen in travel guides, magazines, books, or television. Oh, and that feeling I get when I round that last corner and am greeted instantly by beautiful arches or tall bell towers or unique architecture! It is so utterly thrilling and satisfying!
These indescribable experiences make it easier for me to ignore the petty negatives aforementioned, including the pesky, hard-to-find ingredients.
Speaking of ingredients, on a previous post I mentioned how I resuscitated a lifeless dough by adding fresh yeast afterwards. With the leftover dough, I decided to make a non-puff-pastry version of a Danish braidwith two different fillings: 1) Nutella with bananas and strawberries and 2) cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar (like a cinnamon roll filling).

Both turned out great; I thoroughly enjoyed the cinnamon version while my roomies devoured the Nutella one in fewer than 24 hours!

Dessert Braids
adapted by Use Real Butter

1 1/4 cups (296 ml) whole milk
2 1/4 tsp (8 grams) active dry yeast
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
6 Tbsp (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
5 cups (625 grams) all-purpose flour (not self-rising)

Dough instructions:
Heat milk over low heat until it reaches a temperature of 100-110°F or 38-43°C. Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Allow yeast mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt to the milk. Beat with a whisk or paddle attachment until combined. If using a stand mixer, switch to a paddle attachment, and stir in 1 cup of flour at a time until the dough is thick. Switch to a dough hook or turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth (5 minutes with the dough hook or 7 minutes by hand). Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, and place the dough in the bowl. Coat the entire dough ball with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set covered dough in a warm location to rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Braid creation:

No ruler? ¡No hay problema! 🙂

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Using a ruler or an everyday object (I used a pepper shaker), score the dough to create parallel lines. Next, using the ruler as a guide, cut the “legs” of the braids. Spread the filling of your choice within the parallel lines. Then fold over one leg over another from left to right or right to left until you reach the end. With a brush or back of a big spoon, spread some egg wash or milk wash tot he top of the dough to create a more golden crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Allow braid to cool for 10-15 minutes before digging in!

Copyright – Memoria James –

Resuscitated Dough for Cinnamon Rolls

So you’re looking at the title of this post and are thinking “huh? what?” I hear ya. Let me explain…

These past few years I’ve made a lot of bread and yeast-based desserts on this blog so I am familiar with the usual signs of good/bad yeast growth, dough quality, etc. While living abroad, however, I have to relearn how to cook in a sense and get familiar with different ingredients and tools. I’m in Lisbon this time around, and I decided to make cinnamon rolls for my two friends who have graciously allowed me to stay with them for two months!

Happy, risen dough! You would never know that this dough had no life in it just a few hours ago. . .

Before embarking on my trip to the grocery store, I asked one of my roommates, the one who cooks the most, if she had any yeast for bread, and she said yes. I was a bit leary of the leavening agent she had because it was for pizza dough, which doesn’t require as much rising time as cinnamon roll/brioche dough, and with the added butter and eggs, I knew I needed something stronger.

Nevertheless, I trusted my dear friend and returned from the store sans fresh yeast. Once I opened the yeast-for-pizza package, I knew it was wrong. It had a powdery, white color and contained cornstarch! Because it was late in the evening, and I was too tired of going to the store (mind you I had to go to more than one store to find international, hard-to-find ingredients for another meal), so I trudged along with this yeast. I kneaded the dough and placed it in the fridge overnight for a slow and steady rise. Hah! The next morning, I was greeted by a DEAD-looking, brownish-looking lump of…something I wouldn’t consider dough. My heart sank because 1) I knew that yeast wasn’t right for cinnamon rolls yet I didn’t follow my first thought; and 2) I realized I had wasted all that time, ingredients, and money for nothing.

I was about to throw away the dough, buy real yeast, and start all over again until I thought about resuscitating my dough. Was it possible? Could it be done? I searched on the all-knowing Google and found out that if you just kneaded in some fresh or activated yeast into your “dead” dough, you can bring it back to life!! As soon as I had read that, I bought more yeast and started taking photos of the process for my own records and for all the other people out there who have or will encounter unrisen dough.

I wish I had taken a photo of the dough as I had discovered it the next morning. However, here it is rolled out a bit on the table. You can see that it is void of life and is a darker color than “living” dough.
I used yeast for all types of bread and submerged it into about 1/2 cup of warm milk before adding it to the dead dough. I didn’t use any type of added sweetener because of the natural sweetness of the milk.
Before and after photos of the yeast activation step. Note the level of liquid and the spoon handle.
I added the activated yeast to the dead dough and once I saw the imminent mess, I carefully transferred the now wet dough to a mixing bowl, kneaded in the yeast mixture, and then transferred the “new” dough to a mat and continued to knead.
Once the dough started to rise, I placed it in the fridge overnight and was greeted by what you see in the bottom right photo! It’s alive!!!!
The next morning, I rolled out half of the dough (froze the rest), and made cinnamon and strawberry rolls with a cream cheese glaze.

So, if you ever end up with unrisen dough due to the usage of the wrong type of yeast (as in my case), too little yeast, or if you “kill” your yeast with hot water or salt, don’t throw out the yeast or use the “dead” dough as is. Activate a new batch of yeast (dry or fresh) with warm liquid (and a little sweetener, if you’d like) then add it to the unrisen dough. Hope this helps! Have a great day!

Rolls without the frosting: I sort of overbaked these rolls by only fewer than 4 minutes!! You want your rolls to be less brown than these. My roommates still loved them, though!

For the cinnamon roll recipe, go to Use Real Butter and see her gorgeous photos! I used the recipes for the strawberry filling, dough, and frosting (sans alcohol). For the cinnamon roll version, I just used softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar (or you can use muscavado or a mixture of granulated/caster and brown/muscavado sugars).

Copyright – Memoria James –

OREO Chocolate Chip Pudding Blondies

You would think that with all the Oreo recipes I’ve been posting lately that I’m quite fond of these cream-filled, chocolate-flavored cookies. Ah, but you would be wrong, because while I do like to use them as crusts for pies, cheesecakes, and in other desserts, I’m not too crazy about them on their own. So why the plethora of Oreo-based desserts, you ask? Because all the well-intentioned recipients of said desserts are enamored with consuming these cookies in everything.

These blondies were supposed to be for my ex-stepdaughter’s (long story :P) birthday/graduation, but it never made it to her due to bad timing and mailing/shipping problems. The original recipe is for cookies, but I didn’t have time for that and wanted to send something more shipping- friendly. 

To make them more whimsical (because adding funfetti isn’t whimsical enough), I dotted the top of the blondies with more Oreo cookies. This addition also serves as a serving guide, albeit a generous one ;). Aesthetically I love how they turned out.

If you were unable to ship these to the intended recipient, where did they go? Did you eat them all on your own? Good questions! Thanks for asking

Let me share with you what happened: Actually I brought the pan of blondies to my office and offered some to two of my lovely colleagues. One of them said, “Okay, now this is the best dessert you’ve brought to the office.” (Mind you, she says that about every dessert I bring). While my colleagues were enjoying the blondies, a student of mine entered the office. Upon seeing my colleagues devouring these sweet treats, he forgot the purpose of his visit and immediately asked for a piece. He ate the slice while walking into the classroom, which caused another student to see it and want one for herself.  Once she discovered the location of the Oreo-based treat, she ran out of the classroom and grabbed a piece. Can you guess what happened when the next student saw the other two students swooning over their blondie slices? Yep, every single one of my students went into my office to get a piece. Fortunately, this class was my smallest, so there was enough for everyone

When I returned to my office after class, there was just an empty foil trail with crumbs sitting in the trashcan, so fortunately no temptation for me! As with the Oreo birthday cake, I didn’t try out these blondies, but they smelled amazing and looked very moist, buttery, and flavorful. Every single “taste tester” raved about them. 

Now go forth and make these! Don’t forget to share with others (or hide and eat them in the closet, bathtub, car, [insert the safe place of your choice]). Let me know how they turn out

Oreos Chocolate Chip Pudding Blondies
adapted from Averie Cooks

  3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar, packed
  1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  1 large egg, room temperature
  1 tsp vanilla extract
  1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour
  One 3.5-ounce (96g) packet instant vanilla pudding mix (not sugar-free and not ‘cook & serve’)
  1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate
  1/4-1/2 tsp salt (if using salted butter, use the smaller amount)
  20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
  1 cup (175g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (fav brands: Callebaut and Guittard (see below))
  1/2 cup sprinkles (see below)
  9 whole Oreos for decoration

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, cream room-temperature butter, brown sugar, granulated/caster sugar, room-temperature egg, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes.
  2. While the wet ingredients are getting to know each other, combine the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl. 
  3. Check on the wet ingredients by scraping down the sides of the bowl. Then add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, and beat while mixer is on low speed for approximately 1 minute. (I leave a few specks of flour in the mixture to avoid over-mixing and to get the dough ready for the mix-ins.)
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Then add the mix-ins: chopped Oreos, chocolate chips, and sprinkles, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. (DO NOT OVERMIX!)
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl or the a butter/flour-sprayed pan and pat it out to form the blondies. 
  6. For decoration, add the 9 Oreos on top of the dough.
  7. Cover the dough with plastic/cling wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
  8. Once the flavors of the dough have had a chance to meld together in the fridge, preheat oven to 350F, and bake for about 15-25 minutes or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. DON’T OVERBAKE! 
  9. The blondies will firm up as they cool. Allow them to cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving.
  10. The blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  11. Unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies/blondies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.


    Copyright – Memoria James –