Pull-Apart Breakfast Biscuits with Caramel Sauce, Pecans and Maraschino Cherries

Pull-Apart Breakfast Biscuits with Caramel Sauce, Pecans and Maraschino Cherries could be called Deconstructed Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce, Pecans and Maraschino Cherries but that seemed pretty pretentious for this simple re-working of good old Monkey Bread.

Because I’m endlessly curious, I did a quick check on the meaning of a ‘deconstructed dish’.  “Deconstructed dishes may take foods that are normally combined in the dish, change their forms, and then plate them together in a different way. It’s not just about taking the dish apart, but putting its elements back together.”  So, I guess I did deconstruct what we usually think of as Monkey Bread… how about that?!

I had fun making this and I had even more fun sharing it with my neighbors.  I actually took the last two photos at their house – and even talked Lad into being my ‘hand model’!!

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Ingredients & Method

Oven at 350F       Bake for about 35 minutes, or until biscuits in middle are fully cooked

Lightly grease a 10″ x 13″ pan with shortening or cooking spray

Two 9′ round or square cake pans can be used.  Just divide sugared biscuit quarters, pecans, cherries and sauce evenly between each pan.  Bake about 25 minutes, or until biscuits in middle are fully cooked.

– – – –

  • 2 cans (16.3 oz.) Pillsbury Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine  ++  I recommend butter !!
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans – – or walnuts   ++  I used pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries    ++  I chopped the cherries pretty small.  However, when I make this again, I’ll roughly chop the cherries.   ++  For Christmas you may want to use both red & green maraschino cherries!

Arrange 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries evenly on the bottom of a greased 10″ by 13″ pan.

Open both cans of biscuits.  Separate biscuits.  Cut each biscuit into quarters.  ++ I found it went faster if I stacked two biscuits together and then cut them into quarters.

Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a gallon food storage bag.  Shake to mix.

Place biscuit quarters in the bag and shake to coat.  ++  I found it worked well if I shook about 1/4 of the biscuit pieces at a time.  Repeat until all pieces are coated with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Arrange the biscuit quarters on top of the pecans and cherries, squeezing them together a bit to fit in one layer.  ++  As I went along, I added a bit more cinnamon to the bag because the first biscuit pieces seemed to have picked up all the cinnamon. 

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Now it’s time for the caramel sauce. Place 1 cup packed brown sugar and 3/4 cup butter or margarine in a small microwavable bowlHeat in microwave just until butter melts.  Using a fork or whisk, mix butter and brown sugar together well.  Pour over the biscuits.    ++  Don’t worry if the sauce isn’t poured evenly over the biscuits  – it’s going to end up at the bottom of the pan, where it’ll blend with the pecans and cherries to form a yummy, sticky topping for the biscuits.

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Bake 350F for 35 to 37 minutes – or until biscuits in middle are fully cooked.  ++  To check for doneness, lift up the top of a middle biscuit to see if it’s cooked.  If not, continue to bake a few minutes longer.

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Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn upside down onto a large serving platter. ++ If you don’t have large enough platter, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and serve from there.  Enjoy!

++ Quote  http://www.cheftalk.com/

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Farmhouse Bread – Possibly the EASIEST Bread You’ll Ever Make !

++ UPDATE  My fellow blogger friend John, who I mention below, recently made one loaf of ‘Farmhouse Bread’. He was very pleased with the results – in spite of the fact he forgot the dough rising in the oven… for 4 hours! I recently read bloggers should not begin a post by apologizing for having been out-of-touch.. that is.. unless you’ve been doing something noteworthy, such as vacationing. So, I’ll use that as my excuse because I did just return from a trip to Mexico.  I spent a week at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort in Playacar Del Carmen, Mexico, and it was all-inclusive and totally wonderful. I baked these loaves and took the photos before I left, planning to post the recipe while in Mexico….but I left the recipe at home…  Liz, who writes the excellent food blog ‘My Favorite Pastime‘, wrote to me (after I whined to her how I’d forgotten the recipe), “Have a great time. You can always post the recipe once you get home”. And John, ‘From the Bartolini Kitchens‘, told me, “You’ll find the recipe when you least expect it”.  It turns out they were both right & I thank them for their words of wisdom. So – without further ado – here’s the recipe for ‘Farmhouse Bread‘, which makes two beautiful loaves quicker than any bread recipe I’ve ever seen simply because you don’t have to wait for the bread to rise twice!

** If you have any questions or comments, keep scrolling down. I love to hear from you !!


  • 1 TABLESPOON (1 packet) active dry yeast    ++ NOT ‘quick rise’ yeast
  • 1 TABLESPOON sugar
  • 1 TABLESPOON salt
  • 2 cups warm water     ++ The water should not be over 110F.  ++ Heat up your measuring cup first by running hot water over it, then fill it with warm water  ++ Check the water temperature by pouring a bit on your wrist – it should feel slightly warm.
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups All-Purpose Flour    ++ Some bread recipes in the States ask for ‘Bread Flour’.. but not this particular recipe.
  • Cornmeal, to spread on bottom of a cookie sheet – OR – use parchment paper, which I prefer.

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

In a large bowl mix together 1 Tbs. active dry yeast, 1 Tbs. sugar, 1 Tbs. salt and 2 cups warm water. Allow mixture to stand 4 – 5 minutes while the yeast ‘eats up the sugar’, the combination of which will make the bread rise!

++ Everything will foam up a bit, which means the yeast is working.  If you don’t see any ‘bubbling’, your yeast is too old.  (Been there…. done that…)

Gradually add the flour to the liquid and mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Adding Flour to the Yeast, Sugar, Salt & Water Mixture

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

++ Making bread is not an exact science. One time you may need a bit more flour and another time you may need a bit less.  I ended up adding a bit more warm water because my dough was too dry and some of the flour wouldn’t incorporate into the dough. Don’t be afraid to ‘play around’ until the dough just feels right. You can always add a bit more flour when you’re kneading the dough.

Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.

++ I like to use a floured dish towel.  (Tea towel for our British friends!) Knead dough 5 minutes. 

++ To knead dough, push away from you with the palm of your hand, turn dough, fold over and repeat. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. If it’s still sticking to the floured surface.. yup.. add a bit more flour.

++ If you’re interested, here’s why kneading is necessary. (Adapted from ‘The Wise Geek’.) “One of the most important things taking place during the kneading process is the development of gluten, a type of protein. As the flour is moistened and stirred, gluten begins to form. This protein (gluten) acts as a binding agent within the dough, allowing the loaf to take on a cohesive texture so it doesn’t fall apart during baking.”

Let the dough rest while you wash & dry the bowl.  Using your hands, spread some oil (I use olive oil) around the inside of the bowl. Knead dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.  Place dough in the oiled bowl and turn dough over once to oil the top.

Kneaded Dough & Baking Pan with Hot Water

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Cover bowl with a damp towel and keep warm until dough doubles in size – between 1 – 2 hours. SEE TIP BELOW !!

++ Here’s what I do to speed up the process.  Place a large baking pan containing HOT water on the bottom rack of your oven. Place the covered bowl containing the dough into the oven and close the door. Check between 45 minutes to an hour – your dough may have risen enough.  If the dough has doubled in bulk, then it’s ready for the next step. If not, just wait a bit longer.  (The original directions, from King Arthur Flour, say to let dough rise between 1 – 2 hours.)

Risen Dough – Ready to be ‘Punched Down’

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Dough After Being ‘Punched Down’ (I think it looks a bit sad…)

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Once you’ve punched down the dough with your fists, knead the dough briefly right in the bowl to get out any large air bubbles.  Return dough to lightly floured surface.  ( I thought this bread was so much fun to make.  The dough begins to rise again almost immediately after being punched down.)

Ready to be Formed into Loaves

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Cut dough in half using either a knife or kitchen shears.  You don’t have to be overly fussy with it. Just try to end up with two pieces of dough pretty much the same size. Form each half into Italian or French styles loaves.  I went for a more rustic Italian look – if you’d like the same look, form dough into two 8″ – 9″ loaves. Place the loaves on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal OR use parchment paper, which I prefer.  Allow loaves to rest 5 minutes.

++ If the cookie sheet is lined with parchment paper, you can form the loaves right on the cookie sheet – which is what I do. Slash the tops 3 or 4 times diagonally. Brush loaves with cold water.  ++ I sprinkled my loaves with sesame seeds but it’s not necessary.

Shaped, Slashed and Ready to Rise ‘n Bake.

As you can see, the dough has already risen quite a bit since I formed it into loaves!

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in bread making. You don’t have to wait for a 2nd rising. Your loaves are going to rise in the oven!  Place the cookie sheet containing the loaves into a COLD OVEN!!  Refill the baking pan you’d use before with BOILING WATER and return it to the bottom rack of the oven.

++ Caution – – don’t fill the baking pan too full with boiling water. The water’s going to slosh around a lot and you could get burned !

Place shaped loaves on the center rack of your oven – then set temperature to 400F.

++ As your loaves are rising, don’t be alarmed if they get so big the sides touch. That happened to me, so I just broke them apart after they cooled a bit.

Bake bread for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow to the touch.

++ For a softer crust, which I like, spread butter on the still-warm loaves.  (The butter gives the loaves that lovely sheen.)

Remove loaves from baking sheet and allow to cool.. not for long… just until it’s cooled enough so you can hold on to the bread while you cut a nice, big piece and slather it with butter. Enjoy!

P.S. My neighbor said this is the best bread she’s ever eaten! Of course, she might’ve just said that so I keep coming over with ‘goodies’!!

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

** Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s – “Hearth Bread”.  King Arthur Flour’s ‘Flagship Campus’, as they call it, is located in Norwich, Vermont.  It’s a wonderful place to visit, so drop by if you’re ever in the area!

Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones

My recipe for Maple Pecan Scones was one of several featured on the blog Fig Jam & Lime Cordial’s International Scone Week 2013, which made me happy as a little kid eating an ice cream cone!! Fig Jam and Lime Cordial is written by Celia, who happens to be from Australia. Drop by her blog because it’s jam-packed with excellent recipes!

Click here to see all the wonderful scone recipes from ‘International Scone Week 2013’.

For International Scone Week 2014 I’m submitting this recipe for Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones. (Savoury – for the rest of English speaking world.) I believe you’re going to like these scones!

Oven at 375F     Bake for 20 – 23 minutes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder   (Yes – a tablespoon!)
  • 6 Tbs. cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions a.k.a. green onions   (Use both white and green parts.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (You can add up to 1 Tbs. if you like.)
  • several shakes of hot sauce

Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

In a medium-sized bowl mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 Tbs. baking powder.  Work in the cut-up 6 Tbs. of butter with your fingers until there’s an evenly crumbly mixture and you don’t see any pieces of butter.

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Add 1 cup grated cheese and 1/3 cup chopped scallions.

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In a small bowl whisk 2 large eggs, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (You can add up to 1 Tbs. of mustard if you like.) and several shakes of hot sauce. Add the liquid to the dry mixture. Stir with a large spoon ONLY UNTIL the dough is moistened. (The dough will be very sticky…)

++ UPDATE  My friend Liz, who blogs on “My Favorite Pastime” recently posted a recipe very much like mine, and Liz recommends “Knead the dough very briefly and lightly, folding it back over itself and pressing down (about 10 seconds). It should just lose its stickiness.” THANKS LIZ !! To see Liz’s recipe for Cheese and Chive Scones, click here!

Scrape dough onto a well-floured area of the counter top. OR (and I recommend this) use either a well-floured sheet of waxed paper or parchment. (I usually use a well-floured dishtowel BUT this dough was so sticky that ended up not being a good idea…)

Flour your hands – and flour them often. Also, feel free to sprinkle on a bit of flour while working with the dough. Pat dough into a 10″ by 3″ rectangle.

Cut into five squares. (I found cutting every 2″ worked out perfectly.) Then cut each square diagonally to form 10 triangles

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++ This dough can be a bit hard to work with. If you like, scoop out large dollops of dough to make 9 – 10 ‘free form’ scones. If you do choose to have triangular scones, don’t worry too much about them getting out of shape when you’re transferring the scones to the baking sheet. You can always ‘fix them up’ a bit with your hands.

Place scones on a greased baking sheet a least 1″ apart – OR – (I recommend this) place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet.

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Bake scones for 20 – 23 minutes, until they’re nicely browned. (I’d ‘err’ on the side of ‘less brown’ rather than ‘more brown’ because you don’t want your scones to dry out.)

Remove scones from oven and sprinkle each with a bit of shredded. Return scones to oven for 10 seconds, which is just long enough to slightly melt the sprinkled cheese!

These Cheddar Cheese and Scallion Scones are best eaten right out of the oven and slathered with lots of butter. Any leftovers should be placed in a plastic food storage bag.    Enjoy!!

Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones - My Yellow Farmhouse.comOriginal Recipe from “King Arthur Flour’ – click here to see it.

Not Your Grandmother’s Banana Bread with M&Ms, Nuts & a Smidge of Peanut Butter

Pretty much everyone loves Banana Bread, especially when its just out of the oven and slathered with butter.  My ‘Not Your Grandmother’s’ Banana Bread’ gives you the extra kick of melted chocolate and nuts, not to mention just a hint of peanut butter flavor.

++  Here’s a great link with all the info. you’d ever need to know about pan sizes!  http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html

Ingredients & Directions               Oven at 350F             Bake for 50 – 55 minutes

++ Use a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan, if possible !!   If using a smaller pan, you may have to increase cooking time & the banana bread might be a bit crumbly… but still delicious!!

  • 2 medium – VERY RIPE – bananas…. enough to equal 1 cup
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice   ++ If you don’t have any lemon juice.. that’s fine.
  • 1/4 cup buttered, SOFTENED  ++Put in microwave for a few seconds.
  • 1/4 cup chunk-style peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar    If you don’t have brown sugar, use a total of 1/2 cup regular sugar.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar    ++ DON’T pack down the brown sugar. 
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1/4 chopped peanuts OR chopped walnuts

Put bananas in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Measure out 1 cup and place mashed banana in a large bowl. Add 1 Tbs. lemon juice, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup chunk-style peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar (NOT packed), 1 large egg, 1/3 cup milk, 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

Mix with electric mixer until ‘just combined’.  Stir in 1 cup M&Ms and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts OR walnuts.

Banana-Peanut Butter Bread with M and Ms and Nuts - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pour into greased loaf pan (I suggest a 9 x 5 x 3).   ++ I like to sprinkle the top with 2 tsp. of sugar, which gives the banana bread a nice look.

Banana Peanut Butter Bread with M and Ms and Nuts - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Bake for 50 – 55 minutes until a knife (or toothpick) comes out clean when stuck into the center of the loaf.  Cool banana bread (still in the pan) on a rack for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool further.  (I bet the bread won’t last more than two minutes before someone cuts into it.)  Enjoy!

'Not Your Grandmother's' Banana Bread with M&Ms and Nuts - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Tropical Muffins Made with Crushed Pineapple, Shredded Coconut & Pecans

It does seem like I’m on a bit of a “baking kick” lately. I just realized why…. my dear friend and neighbor Frank recently returned from spending the summer at the mouth of the Connecticut River on his “boat”, which sleeps four and has more space than some apartments. (He’s always kind enough to have me as his guest several times each summer – maybe because I show up with food!)  And now he’s back. Frank is a Dessert Lover of The First Class – hence, my renewed interest in baking. So, without further ado – here’s the recipe for Tropical Muffins.

Tropical Muffins – Pineapple, Coconut & Chopped Pecans

Makes 12 Muffins

Grease a 12 unit muffin tin.     (You can also use cupcake liners…. but I, myself, am not crazy about them because, sometimes, the muffins stick to the liners. And I refuse to give up even a teeny, tiny bit of these muffins.)

++  Any leftover Tropical Muffins can be reheated the next morning in a toaster-oven. In fact, I’m enjoying two warmed-up muffins right now with a lovely cup of mocha coffee, which equals “Happy Tummy”!

Oven at 400 F     Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.       ++ Be sure to check at the 20 min. mark !!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS. baking POWDER
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • one can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple – drain & save the juice !
  • ++ add enough water to the pineapple juice to make 3/4 cup liquid
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • (The juice & water will be mixed with the egg & oil…)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans – or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut    (Desiccated coconut for my European etc. friends)
  • 12 maraschino cherries – drained on paper towel (These will go on the top.)

Set aside the drained crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup chopped pecans & 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Tropical Muffins - coconut, pecans and pineapple.jpg

Mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 TBS. baking POWDER & 3/4 tsp. salt In a large bowl.

In a small bowl, add the pineapple juice from the drained crushed pineapple ( plus enough water to bring the total liquid to 3/4 cup ) 1 egg and 1/3 cup oil – mix briefly.

Tropical Muffins

Now place the pineapple juice/egg/oil mixture, and the 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup shredded coconut and crushed pineapple into the large bowl containing the flour/sugar/salt/baking powder. Mix gently – just until everything is combined. You don’t want to over-mix because you want your muffins light and fully!

Using a 1/4 cup measure, fill each muffin cup 3/4’s full. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each. (Don’t poke down the cherry, or it’ll disappear as the muffin rises.

Tropical Muffins - USE - 3RDBake at 400 F for 20 – 25 minutes. ++ Be sure to check after 20 minutes. My muffins were ready in 20 minutes.

To ensure your muffins are fully cooked, insert a toothpick or a sharp knife into the center. If it comes out clean – they’re ready! 

Share these, warm from the oven, slathered with butter, with your family & friends. That is… if you’re feeling generous. Enjoy !!

Raspberry Surprise Muffins

Raspberry Surprise Muffins

I gotta admit it, I had a hard time waiting until I finished photographing these muffins before gobbling up at least one! Based on an older recipe, these aren’t the enormous muffins we’ve gotten used to in the last few years. Although they’re smaller in size, they’re packed with spicy flavor and the goodness of oatmeal – not to mention the delicious surprise of the raspberry jam center!

As an aside, isn’t the platter in the photo lovely? It’s from my mother’s old “everyday set”, circa 1949!

Oven at 400 F      Bake for 20 minutes

In a medium-sized bowl, mix until combined:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (If you don’t have oatmeal, just use a total of 2 cups flour.)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Add to bowl and mix until just combined:   (It’s never good to overmix muffins.)

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

After mixing, allow batter to rest 10 minutes. (Not necessary if you don’t include oatmeal in the batter.)

Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.  Using 1/4 cup measure, place about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup.

Drop 1 tsp.raspberry jam – or any jelly or jam – on top of the batter.

Again, using 1/4 cup measure, use remaining batter to fill each muffin cup about 3/4s full.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes – or until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

Allow muffins to cool about 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin and place muffins onto cooling rack.   If you wish, make a glaze by mixing about 1/2 cup confectionary sugar with a bit of water. Drizzle over muffins and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.  Enjoy!