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Butterbeer Breakfast Rolls and the Warner Brothers Studio Tour Leavesden

breakfast, Dessert, travel By November 14, 2015 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Hello everyone! Welcome to the updated!

Today I am continuing my series of London posts. While I was in London, I took a day trip to Leavesden to take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. The Harry Potter books and movies feature in several of my childhood memories. I have fond memories of rushing to finish my schoolwork in grade school, so I could return to reading one of the earlier books. Around that time, I also created a Hogwarts student costume for Halloween accessorized with some of my books with hand decorated paper Hogwarts textbook covers.

As I got a little older, the midnight book release parties were highly anticipated events. While I always had a great time at those release parties, the best memories from those evenings are the moments at the end of the night, getting the books and taking them home to read until I could no longer manage to keep my eyes open. Devouring those crisp new books into the wee hours of the morning are some of my fondest childhood and teenage memories.

I loved seeing the stories brought to life in the Harry Potter films. While the movies were not always true to the books, I still feel like the incredibly detailed work that went into building Harry Potter’s world is simply amazing. If you are traveling to London in the near future, I highly recommend taking the tour. For those of you not planning on traveling to London in the near future, I am sharing some highlights and a recipe for Butterbeer Breakfast Rolls, inspired by my visit. The dough is adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Roll recipe found here. The recipe can be found at the end of this post.




yule ball

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Fat Lady

The Fat Lady

Mural from Gryffindor Common Room

Mural from Gryffindor Common Room

Gryffindor Common Room

Gryffindor Common Room


The Gryffindor Dorm

Entrance to Dumbledore's Office

Entrance to Dumbledore’s Office

Dumbledore's Office

Dumbledore’s Office

Hogwarts Gates

Hogwarts Gates

Potions Classroom

Potions Classroom

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Hogwarts Stairs and Portraits

Hogwarts Stairs and Portraits

Hagrid's Hut

Hagrid’s Hut



The Burrow

The Burrow

Weasley Clock

Weasley Clock

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Butterbeer Ice Cream in the Backlot

Butterbeer Ice Cream in the Backlot

Godric's Hollow and Hogwarts Bridge

Godric’s Hollow and Hogwarts Bridge


Number 4 Privet Drive

Number 4 Privet Drive

Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express

Creature Shop

Creature Shop

Art Department

Art Department




For the dough (makes enough dough for 4-5 pans- this dough freezes really well using the instructions in The Pioneer Woman recipe linked above):

10-11 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 quart whole milk

1 cup vegetable oil

5 tsp of dry active yeast (or 2 small packets)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp butter flavoring

1 tbsp caramel flavoring

1 tbsp spiced rum

Butterscotch Icing and Filling for One Pan:

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup butterscotch chips

1 tbsp vanilla extract

7 tbsp salted butter

1/4-1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp ginger

   To make the dough, combine the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, rum, butter flavoring, caramel flavoring, and the sugar in a saucepan. Scald the mixture, then allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast and proof. Add the first eight cups of flour to the mixture. Let the mixture rise for one hour. After the first rise, add two more cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the additions into the dough. You may need to add an third cup of flour. The amount of flour you need to add in this step will depend on the humidity of your individual location. The dough should not be too firm, but it should be stiff enough to roll out into a rectangular sheet. Store the dough in the fridge in a covered container until ready to use. I would recommend using it within one or two days.

   To assemble one pan of the breakfast rolls, take a fifth or a quarter of the dough and roll it out into rectangle on a floured work surface. Melt three tablespoons of salted butter and spread it out onto the dough sheet. Then, liberally sprinkle light brown sugar across the dough. Finally, sprinkle half a teaspoon of ground ginger onto the rolls. Roll the dough into a log. Slice the rolls to fit the height of your pan. Just remember the rolls will keep rising, so leave a little space. Place the rolls into a greased baking pan and allow them to rise again for twenty to thirty minutes. While the rolls are rising, preheat your oven to 375 F.

   Once the rolls have finished rising for the final time, bake for fifteen to twenty minutes until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, make the icing. In a saucepan, melt four tablespoons of salted butter. Once the butter is melted, add sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch chips, one tablespoon of vanilla extract,and a pinch of salt. Stir constantly until the butterscotch chips melt.

    When you take the rolls out of the oven, pour the hot icing over them. Allow the iced rolls to cool and enjoy.


Biscoff Butterscotch Blondies

Dessert, travel By October 12, 2015 Tags: , , , No Comments

At the beginning of September, I traveled to London and Paris. I had an amazing time and took over 600 photos. I will slowly be a few recipes inspired by my trip. Today’s recipe was inspired by a dessert I had at the BBC Good Food Festival.

Once I returned home, I started working on recreating the delectable Biscoff Butterscotch Blondies from the Tray Delicious Booth at the BBC Good Food Festival. These fudgy bars have taste similar to butter pecan ice cream. After a few flops, I arrived at this copycat recipe.


2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup cookie butter (Biscoff spread highly recommended)

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

11 oz butterscotch chips

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer. Add the egg, vanilla, and cookie butter to the batter. Mix until combined. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing to completely combine each addition. With the second cup of flour add the milk and baking powder to the batter. Mix until smooth. Finally, on a low setting, mix in the butterscotch chips. Spoon the batter into a 10″ x 10″ greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow blondies to cool before cutting them.



Treats from the Tardis: Jammie Dodger Tart

Dessert By September 19, 2015 Tags: , , , , No Comments

IMG_1533Hello and Happy Doctor Who Day! I have created the perfect dessert recipe to follow your fish fingers and custard. This tart is inspired by the Jammie Dodger, a brand of British packaged shortbread sandwich cookie (biscuit) filled with raspberry-plum jam that doubles as a weapon against Daleks. This tart version features shortbread crust is filled with a homemade raspberry-plum jam with crumbled shortbread on top. I’m not sure it could fool a Dalek, but it is a pretty tasty dessert.

To make the Jammie Dodger™ tart, you will need…IMG_1501

4 plums

24 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen

2 lemons

2 lb sugar plus 1 1/2 cups sugar

6 tbsp pectin

3 cups flour

1 tbsp vanilla

2 1/2 sticks (20 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Start by making the jam. Wash the plums, remove the pits, and cut the plum into eighths. The best way to pit the plums is to use a paring knife to cut through to the pit all the way around. Twist and pull the fruit apart. Remove the pit with your fingers. Add the cut plums, raspberries, the juice and zest of two lemons, two pounds of sugar, and six tablespoons of pectin to a large stockpot. Toss the fruit in the sugar and let sit for a few minutes before heating. Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-low heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced by half (around forty-five minutes).

IMG_1506While your jam is simmering, you can make your shortbread dough. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and completely mix in before beginning to add the flour. Add the kosher salt and the flour to the dough one cup at a time. Completely mix in each cup of flour to the dough before adding the next cup. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and put it into the fridge for at least an hour.

IMG_1513When your jam is ready, remove the pot from heat and let cool for 10-20 minutes. Work the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Put your finished seedless jam in the fridge to continue cooling and setting.

IMG_1516When your ready to assemble the tart, begin by pre-baking your shortbread crust. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Break off pieces of shortbread dough and shape it into a tart pan with a removable base. Puncture the dough several times with a fork.

IMG_1519Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and use pie weights or another pan to weigh down the dough. Bake the crust at 350 F for twenty minutes.

IMG_1523Take the remaining shortbread dough and press it into a rectangle on a small baking sheet. Pierce the dough with a fork and bake for twenty minutes at 350 F.

IMG_1525At the twenty-minute mark, remove the crust and cookie sheet from the oven. Spread a thin layer of the jam over the cookie. Return the cookie to the oven for ten minutes. You will chop up this large cookie slab to sprinkle on top of the tart later.

IMG_1527Fill the crust with the jam. Cover the edges of the tart crust with foil to prevent overcooking.

IMG_1530Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Place the tart pan onto the foil-covered cookie sheet or place the cookie sheet on the rack below the tart pan in the oven. This will prevent drips from burning onto the floor of the oven. Return the tart to the oven and bake for an additional twenty minutes. When the cookie slab has cooled enough to touch, cut it into strips, and roughly chop the strips into cookie croutons. When you remove the tart from the oven, sprinkle the cookie bits over the top to finish the dish.



Strawberry Rhubarb Snow Cones

Dessert, frozen By July 30, 2015 Tags: , , , No Comments


Snow cones were a summer staple for me growing, and I still love them as an adult. Today I am sharing a new twist on an old classic. I have replaced the classic technicolor snow cone syrup with a homemade strawberry rhubarb syrup. While the classics are classics for a reason, sometimes, you just want to try something a little different. If your looking for something familiar but new, this icy treat is for you.

To make these treats you will need:

1 cup chopped strawberries

1 cup chopped rhubarb

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 can Sprite

2 tbsp simple syrup

A lot of ice

A plastic squeeze bottle

A snow cone maker (These can be found at big-box stores and Amazon.)

Start by combining the first four ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture reduces by half.


Puree the mixture in a blender. Mix 1/4 cup fruit puree, 1/4 cup Sprite, and 2 tbsp of simple syrup. Use a funnel to fill a squeeze bottle with the mixture. Follow the directions for your snow cone maker and prepare a cup of shaved ice.


Pour the syrup over the shaved ice and enjoy!



Parker County Peach Festival 2015

cake, Dessert By July 19, 2015 Tags: , , , , No Comments

IMG_0510The thirty-first annual Parker County Peach Festival was held on July 11, 2015 in Weatherford, TX. If you are in the DFW area, it is definitely worth the drive. Here are some highlights from this year’s festivities (and a blue-ribbon recipe).












And my blue-ribbon entry to the food competition


Peach Spice Cake with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting and Spiced Pecans

Peach Spice Cake

Makes 2 10” round cakes

 1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3 cup cake flour

4 tsp baking powder

½ cup milk

¾ cup peach nectar

2 tbsp simple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cloves

1/3 cup peach preserves

Peach Puree (recipe to follow)

To make cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Then, add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg fully before adding the next. Add all of the peach puree (about 1 cup) to the batter and mix. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt, and whisk together. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla, and ½ cup peach nectar. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the batter in three parts. Mix until smooth. Split cake batter into two 10” round, greased cake pans. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.

After cakes have cooled, assemble a layer cake by putting a dollop of frosting (recipe to follow) on the cake plate to secure bottom layer. Poke holes in the cake with a metal skewer. Mix ¼ cup peach nectar and simple syrup together in a measuring cup. Pour half over bottom layer. Pipe a thick ring of frosting around the top of the bottom layer. Spread peach preserves inside circle. Add top layer. Repeat process of poking holes and pouring peach nectar mixture over the top layer. Frost and decorate as desired.

Peach Puree

1 lb frozen peach slices

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1.5 oz spiced rum

1 tbsp vanilla

pinch of salt

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and reduce mixture by half.

Peach Cream Cheese Frosting

 ½ cup butter

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup peach nectar

1 tbsp vanilla

1 ½ lb powdered sugar

 Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add 2 cups sugar, peach nectar, and vanilla. Add the rest of the sugar 1 cup at a time, incorporating each addition fully before adding the next. When all sugar is added, whip frosting for 2 minutes.

Spiced Pecans

1 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ cup water

1 tbsp light corn syrup

3 cups pecans

Combine everything but the nuts into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the candy reaches soft ball stage (approximately 240 F on a candy thermometer). Stir in nuts and spread on wax paper to cool.


Sweet Monorail Crawl Final Stop: Cucumber-Infused Lemon-Lime Cupcakes

Cupcakes, Dessert By July 3, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Cupcakes inspired by the Cucumber Fizz cocktail at the Disney’s Contemporary Resort’s California Grill