Christmas Kronut: Holiday Dessert Review

I don’t usually do dessert reviews, but when you find a new sweet that “takes the cake” as your favorite dessert ever, well, that warrants a post . . . and a bad pun. Allow me to introduce you to the Christmas Kronut!

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Picture from Home Bakery’s website. (I didn’t think to photograph my actual kronut before devouring it in pure bliss.)

I found this delectable treat in downtown Rochester in my home state of Michigan. This was my second year attending the Kringle Market there, a big event with Christmas lights, as well as tons of vendors and entertainment to kick off the month of December. It was a lot of fun and there were plenty of neat vendors, but this Christmas Kronut was the #1 thing I was excited about purchasing.

The vendor selling these bad boys actually has a gorgeous bakery located right downtown called Home Bakery. They describe the dessert as “deep-fried croissant dough, filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, tossed in cinnamon-sugar, dipped in a vanilla bean glaze, and finished with white nonpareils, and red and green holiday-themed sprinkles.”

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It was utterly amazing. Every single part of it brought something special to the dessert, from the cinnamon-sugar kronut itself to the oh-so-delicious vanilla bean cream that it was stuffed to the brim with. The different elements of this holiday themed sweet manage to shine on their own but also blend together perfectly as you eat it. It’s also adorably festive-looking, so it makes for a wonderful seasonal treat.

I’d easily give it 5 out of 5 stars, though I think it deserves some extra credit for being what I personally deem to be the best dessert I’ve ever had. 🙂

What’s you’re favorite holiday treat to enjoy this time of year? Or just your favorite dessert in general?

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Calvatia Gigantea: The Giant Puffball!

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Behold! The giant puffball (and my shoes).

I’ve stumbled across a few giant puffball mushrooms before, but had never bothered picking one since you often hear the warnings about those poisonous look-alikes and I’ve grown slightly fond of breathing over the years. 😉

Well, after reading some helpful info on properly identifying edible giant puffball mushrooms, we decided to chance it by plucking up this bad boy we found on my mom and dad’s property. Here’s my mom plucking it up. Say “Hi” Mama Moth! 😛

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After my mom picked it out of the ground we brought it inside and prepared to cut it open. The guides we read said you wanted a pure white center in the mushroom, and no gills and whatnot, so we were pretty pleased to cut it up and see that snowy center. 🙂

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We’ve still gotta cook it up, but we’re excited to try it. If I suddenly stop posting after this, well, I guess our mushroom identifying skills were not quite as up to snuff as we’d hoped. Wish us luck!

Do you ever hunt/cook mushrooms? Any experience with puffballs? Lemme know! I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

Sunflowers, Sweet Potatoes, Lemon Trees & Cream Puffs Galore!

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Hey, guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I went to see the new It movie, so expect a review of that to come soon. 😀 Since my previous post was about scary clowns, I thought I’d mix it up with something a little sweeter before delving back into that. 😛

Speaking of sweet, check out this growing sweet potato bush from the green house. I feel like with Fall quickly approaching I’m running outta time to share these gardening photos so pardon this random post.

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We’re also growing two different types of lemon trees in the green house. They’ve been doing really well so far this Summer, but we’re going to have to move them inside pretty soon so they survive the coming winter.

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So, plant business aside, I’ve been meaning to share the photos of those cream puffs I mentioned making before for my dad’s birthday. 🙂 Here’s some of the Work In Progress pics, and then the final product, topped with powdered sugar and filled with a light and fluffy cream filling.

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Here they are as little dough balls, ready to go into the oven
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Fresh from the oven and ready to cool on the cooling rack.
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Stuffed to the max and topped with powdered sugar.

Festive Chocolate Truffles

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I’ve never tried making truffles before but after stumbling across a recipe for Christmas Sugar Cookie Truffles I just couldn’t resist giving it a shot.

I was pretty happy with how these turned out. Bonus: they were incredibly easy to make. I tweaked the second batch I made by using only one and a half tablespoons cream cheese and then adding one and a half tablespoons peanut butter. Then instead of dipping the peanut butter ones in white chocolate I dipped them in milk chocolate. Variety is the spice of life, and who doesn’t like to shake it up once in a while?

Purple Pop Cake!

Tried a new pop cake experiment the other night!

I found a bubble gum flavored soda at the store and ended up mixing 12 ounces of it with a box of strawberry cake mix. The resulting cake was a pretty snazzy purple-magenta color. The lighting in the pic doesn’t really do the color enough justice, but here was the result:

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The pink-canned bubble gum soda was surprisingly bright blue when poured out of the can, so when mixed with pink cake mix, it created quite the lovely color. The fizzy batter literally looked like cotton candy when I was stirring it.

The flavor was pleasant, not-too-sugary-sweet, and is pretty good when topped with whipped cream (like most things, I suppose). 😉

Though, I gotta say, it really didn’t taste all that much like bubble gum.

 

A Sweet Throwback Thursday

Well, I was going to post an update on how that pop cake I made turned out (the triple chocolate fudge / Rock & Rye Faygo combo), and then I remembered that it’s Throwback Thursday which means it’s time to post creative past endeavors. So I’m just gonna post both! 🙂

Onto the first order of business:

The chocolate/Rock & Rye cake turned out great, but the chocolate flavor of the cake definitely overpowered the Rock & Rye soda’s taste (which may or may not be a good thing). I really enjoy the flavor of Rock & Rye, but I was a little hesitant to mix it with chocolate. Turns out I had nothing to worry about since it just tastes like a plain old scrumptious chocolate cake (a very moist one at that!)

If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention “pop cakes” see my previous blog post “Let Them Eat Cake”:

https://ignitedmoth.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/let-them-eat-cake/

I should have taken a pic of the cake when it was finished but I assure you it resembled most other chocolate cakes you have seen.

(ALSO: One of my co-workers just made the “spice cake / ginger ale” pop cake mentioned in that post and it was to die for. She ended up making it in a bundt cake pan and drizzling a homemade cinnamon vanilla glaze over the top. Would highly recommend.)

That said, now we can move right along to the second order of business: TBT!

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A birthday cake from a few years back I made and decorated for my buddy, Jared. (Birthday is purposely misspelled as “burfday”.) He greatly enjoys Final Fantasy, so I made him a black mage cake.

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Alice in Wonderland themed cookies I baked for a dark fairy tale themed Halloween party a few years ago. They were pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting. I’m pretty sure I accidentally baked them too long while running around like a chicken with its head cut off to get things ready for the party. Oh well! 😛

 

 

Let Them Eat Cake

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Oh, Chocolate, you foxy seductive minx, you. You know I can’t resist ya, baby. Not now. Not ever.

Thank goodness for easy baking recipes. After working all day I came home, did some dishes and BAM! chocolate craving! The only thing that could be done was clearly to bake some damn cake. Luckily for me, a co-worker recently turned me onto the whole “soda pop cake” trend going on. For those of you who don’t know about pop cakes already, these super easy baked goods somehow manage to make those handy boxes of ready-to-go cake mix even simpler, aaaaand they allow you to make dozens of more delicious flavor combinations than you’re bound to find on the shelves of your local grocery store.

We’re talking two dirt cheap ingredients:

12 oz. soda

1 box of cake mix.

No eggs. No water. No oil. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, people. 😉

So far I’ve only tried the following combinations:

Cherry chip cake mix + Faygo Redpop = yummy strawberry cherry cake that we just went ahead and topped with whipped cream. It turned out very moist and was quite sweet so a simple topping like whipped cream paired nicely with it. (I’ve also tried strawberry cake mix combined with Faygo Redpop, which was also good!)

Vanilla cake mix + cherry Dr. Pepper = very good cake that had an attractive dusty rose color to it. My co-worker actually made this one and she topped it with some white sugar sprinkles.

The cake I just pulled from the oven is a triple chocolate fudge cake mix combined with Faygo Rock & Rye soda. I have yet to try it, but it seems like it could be A.) really good, or B.) really bad. We’ll see!

These cakes always seem to wind up being nice and moist, and due to the freedom of mixing whatever soda flavor you choose with whatever cake mix you decide on, there are so many flavor possibilities you can try out. Some flavor combos I’ve heard good things about include:

French Vanilla cake mix + Orange Sunkist = creamsicle cake

Spice cake mix + Ginger Ale = ginger spice cake

Lemon cake mix + Sprite = lemon cake

Chocolate cake mix + Root Beer = chocolate root beer float cake

Strawberry cake mix + Cream Soda = strawberry shortcake

So, to sum it up: mix 1 box cake mix with 12 oz. soda and follow the baking directions on the box of whatever cake mix you are using. You won’t regret it. Unless you hate cake. And delicious things. (Like delicious cake.) In which case, what the heck are you doing reading a blog post about cake to begin with???! 😛

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