Apple Date Cake with Pecan Streusel

Apple Date Cake with Pecan Streusel

This simple and delicious Apple Date Cake with Pecan Streusel rises up tender and moist with little chunks of apple scattered throughout. It’s spiced just right with a wonderfully crunchy, pecan topping. 

What sets this cake apart is the amount of refined sugar and fat. There’s only a 1/2 cup of sugar for the 9”x 13” cake. The pecan topping has 3 tbsp, making the total amount just under 3/4 cup for a large 9”x 13” cake that comes out 2” tall. It’s made with dates and applesauce for natural sweetness and added moisture, allowing the use of less oil.  In this case only 1/4 cup in the cake. The bits of apple also add moisture and are evenly distributed by lightly dusting them with flour before adding to the batter. A great cake on its own, but serving it with slightly warm Spiced Rum Caramel really makes it special.

This lovely cake freezes well and will keep up to a month well wrapped.  Simply thaw and cut when ready.  Did I mention the Spiced Rum Caramel?  Oh so good and simple to make too!  

Author:  Compelled To Cook

Apple Date Cake with Pecan Streusel
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20-24 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Apple Date Cake with Pecan Streusel
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20-24 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Apple Date Cake
Pecan Streusel
Servings: pieces
Instructions
Pecan Streusel
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients and set aside.
Apple Date Cake
  1. In a medium sauce pan combine dates and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occationally until dates are very soft and pasty, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spiced rum. Allow to cool slightly before adding to recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉ and lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan with non-stick spray or butter. Line the pan with parchment, overhanging on two sides (this allows you to lift the cake out of the pan).
  3. While dates are cooling, whisk together the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a seperate small bowl toss together chopped apple and 1 tbsp of flour. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk together sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each. Add dates, applesauce and buttermilk whisking to fully combine.
  6. Whisk in dry ingredients until combined. Add diced apples, shaking off any excess flour as you add them. Stir to evenly distribute.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with pecan streusel. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely prior to lifting out of the pan and cutting into desired portions. Serving with Spiced Rum Caramel is highly recommended.

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls bake up perfectly soft and speckled with fresh rosemary.  This makes them absolutely perfect along side your baked ham or golden roasted turkey.  There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, filling the kitchen with an amazing aroma.  The kind that sparks a memory and elicits a feeling of comfort. 

These lovely rolls are easier than you think, requiring no fancy equipment and use everyday ingredients. When making bread, it’s important to distribute the yeast evenly, whether you’re using fresh yeast or dry yeast.  Because I’m using dry yeast, I bloom it with the liquids and sugar prior to mixing. This not only ensures the yeast will be evenly dissolved and distributed but also gives it a head start in the production of carbon dioxide which helps make the bread rise. 

You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests.  Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls are delicious and simple and will make your holiday table the best it can be.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: rolls
Instructions
  1. Whisk together buttermilk and 1/4 cup water. Warm to 95℉-110℉ in the microwave using 30 second intervals.
  2. Combine warmed liquids, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (see note). Allow yeast to bloom for 10 minutes
  3. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, rosemary and salt. Start kneading and add the butter chunks a few at a time, along with additional flour until the butter has been incorporated and the dough is starting to pull away from the sides. Continue to add flour by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, approximately 60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Remove dough from bowl to a clean work surface. Knead two or three times by hand to remove the air. Divide dough into 12 equal portions of 55-58 grams each. Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray 1/4" apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
  6. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp of water with a fork and brush evenly onto rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20, rotating tray half way through baking time. Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper. Allow rolls to cool to slightly warm or room temperature for serving.
Recipe Notes

-If kneading by hand, bloom yeast as instructed and stir in the first portion of flour, rosemary and salt.  Turn the wet dough onto a work surface and add a few chunks of butter and 1/4 cup additional flour.  Knead by hand, adding remaining butter and flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticks excessively to the work surface. Proceed as the recipe indicates.

-Spacing buns 1/4" apart will result in tray style rolls that you have to pull apart.  For more individual rolls,  increase spacing to 1 1/2" between rolls.

Spiced Rum Caramel

Spiced Rum Caramel

Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated.  Spiced Rum Caramel signifies how only a few ingredients can be transformed into something amazing.  With its burnished colour, creamy texture and buttery caramel taste, it’s the perfect topping for ice cream, cakes and apples to name just a few. 

There’s no need to ever buy store bought again, because making your own is easy with a little know how.  Mainly, you don’t want any sugar crystals to form.  NO stirring is key to help prevent sugar crystals forming on the side of the pan. Sugar crystals form when the hot sugar hits the cold pan side or cold whisk if you were to stir it. This, in turn, can cause the whole sauce to become crystallized. You can brush down the sides of the pan with water and a pastry brush if a few crystals start to form. 

The second important thing is timing.  It takes seconds to go from a light amber colour to a dark, overcooked colour.  The goal is a deep amber colour and knowing where that is, comes by doing. It may take a try or two to know exactly where you like it.  If in doubt, it’s best to opt for a slightly lighter colour than to go too far the other way, which will have a bitter taste.  Your caramel will still be amazing. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Spiced Rum Caramel:  Compelled To Cook

Spiced Rum Caramel
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Spiced Rum Caramel
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Assemble all ingredients prior to cooking.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a medium-large saucepan (I used a 3 quart). Heat over medium-high until sugar is dissolved, gently swirling pan once or twice. DO NOT STIR. If any crystals form on the side of the pan, brush away with water and a pastry brush. Allow to cook at a boil until starting to turn an amber colour, about 10 minutes.
  3. Once the outer edge starts to turn colour you can gently swirl the pan a couple of times to evenly distribute, once again, do not stir. When it becomes a deep amber colour, remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously. Once it has smoothed out, whisk in butter and salt. Stir in rum. Pour into a sealable jar and allow to cool completely prior to storing in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

-If in doubt about the colour, opt for slightly lighter.  Going to dark will result in a slightly bitter/burnt taste.

-Makes about 1 1/4 cups and will keep in a sealed jar for up to a month in the fridge.

Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard

Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard

Whether it’s Grey Cup, Super Bowl or simply having pals over to watch fight night, Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard are a man’s dream snack, aside from chicken wings of course. It’s pretty hard not to like battered and fried meat on a stick.  They’re fun and easy to make, and crazy good to eat. 

Let me start by saying, these aren’t your typical mini corn dog.  They’re made with cocktail sausages which gives them a meatier texture and better flavour than a regular hot dog.  The cocktail sausages that I used were a double smoked and triple cheese flavour.  Both amazing wrapped up in a cornmeal batter.  I also like the cocktail sausage because they’re a perfect size at 2” long, so there’s no cutting required and it makes them a great two-bite appetizer. 

The creamy honey mustard sauce has a subtle tang and a hint of sweetness.  So good, crispy and warm right out of the hot oil and dunked in sauce. No special equipment needed either, just a pot and a thermometer.  I own a deep fryer that has a removable basin for easy clean up, but in reality, nothing cleans up easier than a single pot.  So there’s really no excuse not to make these yummy Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard.  So go on and get your pals over, because this recipe makes about 48 and you’ll want to share.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled To Cook

Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
48 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
48 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
48 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
48 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Ingredients
Cornmeal Sausages
Creamy Honey Mustard
Servings: pieces
Instructions
Creamy Honey Mustard
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Cornmeal Sausages
  1. Using a pot or dutch oven, add enough oil to come up at least 3". Clip a high-temperature thermometer to the side of the pot so the tip is submerged but not touching the bottom. Heat oil to 350℉.
  2. While the oil is heating, skewer the cocktail sausages. Whisk together remaining ingredients for batter until just combined yet smooth. Pour batter into a large, tall glass to aid in dipping sausages. (see note)
  3. When the oil is hot, dip sausages into batter one at a time, coating completely. Add to hot oil and cook for 2-2 1/2 minutes per side until golden. Repeat with remaining sausages. Depending on the size of your pot, you'll be able to cook 6-8 at a time.
  4. Remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess fat. Serve immediately with Creamy Honey Mustard.
Recipe Notes

-use a deep fryer if desired.

-I found cocktail sausages at Costco.

-pour batter into a large, tall glass to aid in dipping the sausages if desired.  Because they're only 2" long, using a bowl will work fine.

-if you want to cook half now and half later in the day to always eat them fresh and crispy, simply cover and refrigerate unused batter and re-whisk prior to using.

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to sift through old recipes, ponder new ones and somehow come up with a foolproof menu.  Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli is the perfect side dish for all your entertaining needs.  Not only because it has the perfect balance of savoury, crunchy and sweet, but because it roasts up in the same amount of time that it takes to rest a roast or turkey.  Meaning, you don’t need to worry about oven space or soggy vegetables.  

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli cooks up al dente with golden roasted edges.  Crunchy almonds and chewy, sweet cranberries add a wonderful dimension of texture and flavour that signifies the holidays. Quick and easy with little fuss and holds up well.   Enjoy!

Recipe source for Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli:  Compelled To Cook

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. Split broccoli spears into large bite-size pieces. Place broccoli and garlic on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Spread out in a single layer.
  3. Roast for 7 minutes. Add almonds and turn broccoli. Continue to roast for another 7 minutes. Add dried cranberries and toss to combine. Return to oven for 5-6 minutes until broccoli is tender and almonds are golden. Serve immediately.