Category Archives: Breakfast

Mini Dulce De Leche Cinnamon Buns (No eggs, no butter, no yeast )

Test: How to Lose Your Diet in 10 Minutes

Question #1: Which two don’t belong? Summer. Shorts. Tank tops. Bikinis. Sandals. Tans (unless you’re me). Fruit. Beaches. Vacations. Finally using that gym membership. Cinnamon buns. Dulce de leche.

If you answered Cinnamon buns and Dulce de leche, you are right.

If your name is Karissa and you are turning 23 on the 23rd of this month, you are very, very wrong…for making these in JUNE.

Let me start by saying something really fast. I did attempt to make this more warm-weather-appropriate / not-as-guilty-feeling by making a lemon zest icing glaze for the top. It worked, but I’d be lying if I said these needed it. If my boyfriend knew I did that, he’d ban me from dulce de leche for life…even though I’m the one who made the dulce de leche…not the most fun one can have in the kitchen, but whateva.

There are quite a few things I like about these. First of all, there’s no eggs. I haven’t baked with eggs in…a while. It’s actually addicting and not only do I save money but I find that I prefer the taste of baked goods without eggs. Who knew? There’s also no butter (I used Earth Balance). AND maybe best of all, no yeast. I have yeast, but I don’t have patience (a very important virtue I unfortunately lack the majority of the time I am awake) so I winged it with the recipe for vegan scones that I used just a couple of posts ago.

I never intended on using a recipe twice on this blog, but I think this can be an exception for now because they are delicious and much different than the scones. Obviously these aren’t vegan like the scones were, but I thought the dough would work for this and it totally did. My boyfriend came into the kitchen and for a quick second had to ask himself when we bought Pillsbury cinnamon rolls….and then realized I made them myself. I think he was surprised because I had just gone into the kitchen 15 minutes earlier. Karissa the Cinnamon Bun Magician. It has a ring to it….ok, no it doesn’t. The texture is just the way I like my cinnamon buns; they have a slight crunch on the edges of the outside and they’re soft, sweet and gooey on the inside. I got very lucky because I actually used half of the amount of milk called for in the original vegan scone recipe. Whoops..? I didn’t even know until I just read it now. Yay for getting it right while getting it wrong!

The dulce de leche is actually very easy to make, it just takes some time and…*cough* patience. My boyfriend has made it on the stove top before, but I followed the instructions from David Lebovitz and it works like a charm. However, I leave mine in for a couple of hours instead of one to get it dark enough (except yesterday I had the oven on 25 degrees lower than I should have and it felt like eternity before it was to my boyfriend’s liking). It’s really not too much of a hassle making it though. I pour my condensed milk into a ramekin that I use for french onion soup and mix in about 1/8 teaspoon of salt, tent it with aluminum foil, place that in a casserole dish that is filled about halfway with hot water, and put it in a 425 degree oven (note to self for next time!) Every 30 minutes or so I remove it, stir it up, and if the casserole dish needs more water then I’ll add some more. For the last 15 minutes, I even took the foil off of the top so it could brown a little faster.

I really was inspired to make this in order to to prevent my boyfriend from eating the entire thing of dulce de leche from a spoon. Although now that I think about it, I am always craving cinnamon buns….

Mini Dulce De Leche Cinnamon Buns (No eggs, no butter, no yeast)

Makes 12 mini cinnamon buns


For the Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk (you can use soy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • Dulce de leche (enough to spread a layer and to glaze the tops with)
  • 2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and light brown sugar together.

3. Using a pastry blender, or your hands, cut the cold Earth Balance into the dry mixture until it’s pretty evenly mixed throughout the dough (like making a pie dough). The butter will be spread throughout like pea sized chunks.

4. Mix in the almond milk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined, and gather all of the dough into a ball. Split the dough in half (I do this is two batches so it’s easier to roll out).

5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough one way into a long rectangle. I roll mine out to about 12 inches.

6. Spread a layer of dulce de leche onto the rolled out dough and then sprinkle about 1 1-2 tablespoons of the dark brown sugar on top of the dulce de leche (I use my hands to spread it out evenly). Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon evenly on top of this.

7. Start tightly rolling the dough until it becomes a small log and then use your hands to gently stretch it a little longer, until it’s about 8 inches long. I pinch all along the roll until it becomes thinner and taller and then pat it down and carefully pull it to stretch at the same time. If you just pull it could rip, so be delicate with it.

8. Once it’s in a nice long cylinder, use a knife to cut it in half and then each half into thirds. This will give you 6 miniature cinnamon buns with this half and then 6 more with the other half of the dough. Place them down flat with the inside facing up and gently press them down a little bit. It will look like this:

9. Do the same thing to the rest of the dough, and then using your fingertips (or a pastry brush but it’s more fun using your hands) lightly coat the edges with a mixture of almond milk and some powered sugar just to glaze the edges so they don’t dry out and they get a nice crunch on the outside.

10. Place them all in the greased 9 inch round cake pan and coat the tops with a layer of dulce de leche. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until top is bubbly and the buns are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Optional: Lemon zest icing:

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Drizzle of almond milk, just enough to get the desired consistency
  • Vanilla extract to taste (couple drops)

By the way, Happy International Picnic Day!..I didn’t have a picnic though. Darn.



Filed under Breakfast, Buns/Rolls, Pastries

Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping

I have come with a recipe that I think you’re going to really like! Unfortunately, it is not vegan–and unfortunately, I only have one picture…but what the heck, try it if you can! This one is my recipe, and it’s probably my favorite banana bread that I’ve ever had to this day. You can’t go wrong–there’s roasted bananas, browned butter, walnuts, and toffee bits all over the top. If I haven’t been so obsessed with vegan baking lately, I would be making this all the time. Discovering or creating a delicious vegan banana bread is the next thing on my to-bake list. Banana bread will always have a special place in my heart. I love it’s simplicity (this one really is more simple than it sounds too) and there’s nothing like taking a nicely browned banana bread loaf out of the oven and slicing it for the first time. It just makes the entire house smell cozy, if cozy was a smell. This banana bread is so moist and flavorful on the inside from the browned butter and roasted bananas, there’s really no point in ever making banana bread without roasting the bananas, regardless of whether it’s vegan or not–and if you’re going to use butter, there’s no point in not browning it. Makes a huge difference.

Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping

Makes one 9×5 loaf

  • 4 medium bananas–3 roasted (see instructions below)
  • 4 tablespoons browned unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Handful of toffee pieces (to sprinkle across the top)
  • 2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)


1. Place 3 whole medium bananas (in their skin) on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and allow to roast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. They will be very dark in color (mine were black because my bananas already had spots and were fully ripe). Take them out and allow to cool. I like to carefully peel some of the peels back and allow the heat to escape faster, but be careful doing this.

2. On medium heat, brown 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, swirling the pan several times for about 5 minutes until the butter has started to brown (the butter will look amber and you will see what looks like a red colored powder forming underneath the butter on the bottom of the pan). Take off of the heat and add the light brown sugar and salt (this will cool it down some).

3. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl, and set aside.

4. With browned butter off the heat and cooling down, add the bananas and mash into mixture. It’s ok if there are lumps.

5. Add vanilla extract and the yogurt to the butter, sugar and bananas. Then add 2 lightly beaten room temperature eggs.

6. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix to incorporate fully, but don’t mix past the point where it’s just combined.

7. Pour into a greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan, and cut up your fourth banana into very thin slices to spread on the sides of the top of the loaf. Doing this, you will want to slightly layer each banana on top of the other. This will make it look prettier once it’s done baking! Sprinkle a good handful of toffee bits on top, and then sprinkled the entire top with about a couple of teaspoons of granulated sugar.

8. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack for about 40-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and top is browned.

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in loaf pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing the loaf. If you try to remove it while it’s still very hot and just out of the oven, the bread might just fall apart. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.


Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Favorites, Quick Bread

Guava and Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel) Puff Pastries

Guava is not for everybody. I personally think guava smells a little funny, tastes a little funny, and it’s just not something I would ever crave–unless someone tempted me with one of these. Then I’d gladly consume the guava, and enjoy it. By itself? Not so much for me. For anybody who has never tried guava, give this recipe a try. I know tasting your ingredients before baking with them is a good rule of thumb, but I waited until they were done baking before I tasted the guava, because I already know I don’t like it by itself and I didn’t want to completely turn myself off to them before they were even done baking.

My boyfriend’s dad loves guava, and he once had me eat some with cream cheese while sitting at the dining room table for one of their Sunday lunches. He told me to try it before proceeding to tell me a story, which I only half heard once he said the first sentence–it was something along the lines of:

“Now, a sweet and ripe guava has to have worms in it.”

Since then, I’ve checked out the Wikipedia page for guava, and didn’t see anything about that. I will have to ask him again whether it was that particular guava I was eating that had worms in it, or if he was saying all ripe guava has worms. I’ve read a lot of (American) people online saying,”Stay away from guava with worms in it!”, but according to my boyfriend’s dad (Venezuelan), those are the best tasting guava there are. Obviously you don’t eat the worms, unless that’s your cup of tea. And obviously mine did not have worms in it, at least not when I bought it, since it was packaged and in the form of a block of paste. Worms or not, I don’t find guava all that sweet or delicious. Once it baked, however, encased in the buttery and flaky puff pastry and surrounded by the yummy Neufchatel mixture, guava was suddenly,”Mmmm“.

My favorite thing about these pastries other than that they are crazy yummy (and addictive, which is not one of my favorite things about them) is that they can sit around all day or all night and still taste good, whether you pop them in the microwave or just eat them as is.

I bought a frozen package of puff pastry that came in 2 large sheets. Each sheet had 6 rectangle shapes already ready to just peel away to use individually. Once thawed, I used a pizza cutter to cut the rectangles out. I decided to go with making individual pastries instead of one large one, partly because the dough seemed made for that and also because I liked the idea of having individual pastries, so that one could be all mine.

I have to be honest, I was a little intimidated by the recipe for this that I found on Epicurious, with all the specific instructions with all the measurements, etc. For someone like me, that is uber confusing. By making them smaller, it made it more “common sense” for me. I knew I had to leave a border around the edges, and since it was smaller, I didn’t really need to measure much.

For each pastry, I used two pieces of the rectangular pastry that were already scored into the frozen sheet of dough. My first batch I did roll out the first sheet of dough to about 12×10 inches, but the second batch I was lazy and didn’t roll it out at all, and it came out just fine. The thing to making these is just leaving an even border (about 1/2 inch) all along the edges to ensure that your filling can be locked in when you place the second piece of dough on top and crimp it together with the egg and water wash acting as a glue. I laid one piece of the pastry dough out, filled the center with a rectangle spread of the Neufchatel mixture, and then on the edges of that, made two rows of the guava filling in strips. With the other piece of dough that was the same size, I folded in half lengthwise, and made lazy slits with a pizza cutter (you can use scissors or a knife too) making sure to leave 1/2 inch border on the top, bottom, and side. When I opened it up, it just looked like slits throughout the middle of it. Once it bakes, they puff and open up, so that you can see the filling inside. So don’t worry when you layer it on top and it doesn’t look like the final product.

I also tried making another version without the slits, and just poking holes in the top. Bad idea. They Neufchatel mixture (which actually has eggs in it) cooked like scrambled eggs inside. The holes poked in were not enough for the air to escape as it puffed up, so definitely go with making slits in each one if you don’t want guava and scrambled egg puff pastry!

To be honest, I can’t imagine how yummy these would be with cream cheese. Neufchatel is definitely more mild and not as flavorful, so next time I will go with cream cheese. To make up for the lower calorie and fat content (just kidding, if I had used cream cheese, I would still do this) I made an icing with the leftover 2 ounces of Neufchatel. I had an 8oz package of Neufchatel, and cut it into 8 equal cubes. 6 for the filling and 2 for the icing. It was completely necessary. Although, once I did that, I got so impatient that I only took one picture of them with the icing.

You’re going to have to make these yourself if you want to see more, because mine are gone baby, gone.

Guava and Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel) Puff Pastries – adapted from Epicurious

  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • 1 egg (some for egg wash and some for cream cheese mixture)
  • For the Guava Mixture

  • 2/3 cup guava paste, pureed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons citrus juice (lemon or lime both work)
  • For the Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel) mixture

  • 6 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk (optional)
  • Leftover egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the icing

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 ounces cream cheese

1. Allow frozen puff pastry to thaw at room temperature, while getting the fillings ready.

2. Take 1 egg, and measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons of the egg and beat lightly in a small bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of water. This will be the egg wash mixture. Keep remaining egg for the cream cheese mixture.

3. Combine 6 ounces of cream cheese, leftover egg, sugar, vanilla, and coconut milk and mix with electric or handheld mixer until smooth and creamy.

4. Cut guava paste into small chunks and measure out about 2/3 cup (doesn’t have to be exact). Puree guava with either lemon or lime juice in a food processor. If you don’t have one (like me), you can use a handheld mixer, but it will take a while for the mixer to break up the cubes into a puree, so have patience. I actually heated up the guava in the microwave to soften it.

5. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place in a 425 degree oven to heat up while preparing the pastries.

6. Cut 6 rectangles out of one sheet of thawed puff pastry dough. This will make the first 3 pastries. While they are baking, you can prepare the other 3.

7. Take two rectangle pieces. On a lightly floured surface, lay one down in front of you the long way (it will look like the one in my picture with the fillings on it) and take the other and fold it in half lengthwise.

8. With the piece folded lengthwise, score a 1/2 inch border for the top, bottom, and one side that you aren’t going to make the slits on. On the side you’re going to cut the slits, space the slits evenly from each other and cut them about 1 inch long (not going past the 1/2 inch mark on the opposite side).

9. With the other rectangle dough for the fillings, fill the center in a rectangle shape with the cream cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Then lay two rows of pureed guava paste on lengthwise on top of the cream cheese mixture, leaving a space between them in the middle.

10. Brush the outer 1/2 inch edges with the egg and water mixture, unfold the other piece of pastry dough, and layer it evenly on top of the one with the filling. Press together with fingers and then seal tightly using a fork. Brush the outside with the egg wash, and set aside. Continue doing this for the remaining 2 pastries.

11. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, and carefully transfer the 3 pastries onto the sheet. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for about 15 minutes, or until they have turned golden browned and puffed up. (Keep an eye on them) Cool them on a wire rack, while you bake the next batch of 3.

12. For the icing–mix the cream cheese and milk together and slowly add the powdered sugar. Blend well with handheld mixer on medium speed, until creamy and make sure there aren’t any lumps. (Sift the powdered sugar first to avoid this). Drizzle over the warm pastries.


Filed under Breakfast, Pastries