Homemade Soft Pretzels {Oven Baked!}

Homemade soft pretzels are salted on the outside

and soft on the inside.

I’ve shared my best tips below to make sure these come out perfect every time!

An easy from-scratch dough is folded into pretzels, boiled, and brushed with an egg wash before being baked.

Baked soft pretzels in a basket with honey mustard dip

The Perfect Homemade Recipe

You likely have soft pretzel ingredients at home in your pantry already.

This easy recipe walks you through the steps to creating better-than-bought pretzels right from your very own oven! Warm with a golden exterior, a soft chewy interior and the texture you know and love from your favorite pretzel stand.

The great thing about making pretzels at home is that you know exactly what goes into them and they can be topped with anything you’d like (from sesame seeds to cinnamon and sugar).

Ingredients to make soft pretzels on a countertop.

Ingredients

FLOUR This recipe uses all-purpose flour for the perfect consistency.

YEAST  1 packet of active dry yeast is equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons. Mix the yeast with a bit of sugar & water and let is sit until foamy (5-10 min). Once foamy, it can be combined with the flour.

It is important to check the expiry date on your yeast, if it’s out of date your dough will not rise properly.

BAKING SODA/WATER BATH Before baking, the prepared pretzels will be dipped in boiling water with baking soda in it. This gives the color and texture to the exterior of the pretzel.

EGG WASH An egg wash is brushed over the pretzels before baking. It is optional but helps the toppings to stick and makes the pretzels pretty and shiny!

How to Make Soft Pretzels

This recipe is made from yeast bread dough that is curved into pretzel shapes, boiled then baked. A quick overview of the steps needed:

    • PREPARE DOUGH This is a typical yeast dough and can be made in a stand mixer. After the dough has risen, divide into 8 equal parts.

Rising dough in a glass bowl to make soft pretzel

    • SHAPE DOUGH Roll into ropes and shape into pretzels (how to fold pretzels below).
    • BOIL Gently lower into boiling water for several seconds.
    • BAKE Remove, drain and brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with topping. Bake until toasty brown.

Soft baked pretzels can be customized into different shapes and sizes. It’s fun to turn into initials for the kids. Or, simpler shapes, like pretzel sticks.

Steps to form dough into pretzels.

How to Fold a Pretzel

  1. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope.
  2. Form the dough into a “U” shape.
  3. Cross the two ends over each other.
  4. Fold the ends down to the bottom of the U shape to form a pretzel.

What Does the Boiling Do?

Once the pretzel is formed, it is lowered into boiling and baking soda for a few seconds. This changes the pH of the outside and gives it that beautiful brown color.

This also gives the flavor we love in pretzels and starts the crust formation which finishes in the oven.

Close up of a soft pretzel topped with salt on a baking tray.

How Important is Egg Wash?

Egg wash helps all those tasty toppings adhere to the curved surface of the pretzels. In addition, the egg and water wash will give pretzels a golden brown sheen and satisfying crunch.

For a softer crust, use the whole egg. A wash made from egg white only and water will produce a harder, crisper exterior.

Variations/Toppers

Four baked soft pretzels on a baking tray.

The Best Dippers for Soft Pretzels

Even soft pretzels are on the dry side, so an array of dips will always be welcome. Tangy mustard is always popular. Here are some other options that make the best soft pretzel dips.

  • Beer Cheese Dip – Classic combo
  • Honey Mustard – Combine equal parts mayonnaise, honey and prepared mustard (or a bit of dijon). Add a pinch of garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce.
  • Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Dip Perfect for sweet pretzels
  • Dijon Mustard – or spicy mustard
  • Homemade Pizza Sauce – sprinkle pretzel with parmesan cheese before baking

Did you make these homemade soft pretzels?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Print

Oven Baked Soft Pretzels

Deliciously soft, slightly chewy pretzels with a perfect exterior.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 pretzels
Calories 304
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz butter melted

Water Bath

  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda

Topping

  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  • Combine water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  • Add 2 cups flour and the butter to the yeast mixture. With a dough hook, mix on low. Continue adding flour a bit at a time until combined.
  • Knead in the mixer with the hook until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes (or knead on the counter by hand about 10 minutes).
  • Remove the dough, place in an oiled bowl and cover. Set in a warm place and allow to rise 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line baking pans with parchment paper. Bring water and baking soda to a boil.
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a 24" rope. Form the dough into a "U" shape. Cross the two ends over each other and fold down to the bottom of the U to form a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  • Gently place pretzels on a large spatula and lower into the boiling water. Let boil 10-15 seconds. Gently lift out of the water, let excess drip off and place on prepared pan allowing at least 2" between pretzels.
  • Brush each pretzel with egg was and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden.

Notes

Yeast Use Active Dry Yeast. Check the expiry date on your yeast, if it's out of date your dough will not rise properly.
To Make without a Stand Mixer I use a stand mixer to knead the dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead on the counter for about 10 minutes.
To Boil the Pretzels place each on a large spatula and gently lower into the boiling water. Use a large slotted spoon to gently remove them from the water.
To Form into Pretzel Bites Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll into a 24" rope. Cut rope into 2" pieces. Boil as directed and bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden.
Egg Wash For a softer crust, use the whole egg. A wash made from egg white only and water will produce a harder, crisper exterior.
Topping Variations Try sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, cinnamon sugar or cheddar cheese & thinly sliced jalapenos.

Nutrition

Calories: 304 | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 654mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg
Oven baked soft pretzels in a basket.
Oven baked soft pretzels in a basket.
Top image - oven baked soft pretzels ina basket. Bottom image - Pretzels formed on a baking sheet.

 

Boiled Cabbage {Easy Side Dish!}

Boiled Cabbage is just the thing when you’re looking for a simple yummy side dish! Simply boil the cabbage until tender and drizzle with butter, salt & pepper. 

Cabbage is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and tons of fiber and this recipe makes for a great side for any chicken, beef, or pork dish!

Close up image of Boiled Cabbage on a plate.

Boiled cabbage is great for a simple side or an easy meatless dinner combined with potatoes. For a meatier version, just add some bacon or kielbasa and other seasonings to the mix!

How to Cut Cabbage

Remove any discolored or torn leaves on the outside. Keep the root intact to keep the leaves together.

Cut cabbage into wedges of four or eight (depending on the size of the head of cabbage).

Close up image of uncooked cabbage cut into wedges

How to Boil Cabbage

  1. Bring water (or broth) to a boil in a large pot. If using plain water, add a pinch of salt.
  2. Submerge the cabbage and cook until it is tender.
  3. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cabbage wedges can be simply made with water, or boiled with chicken broth for extra flavor.

Overhead of Boiled Cabbage in a pot.

How Long to Boil Cabbage

Whether the cabbage is in wedges or in strips, boil until it is fork-tender, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Cabbage can be steamed too, but it takes longer. Drain well before seasoning.

More Cabbage Favorites

Boiled cabbage goes great with so many different flavors! Here is some inspiration to get started!

Print

Boiled Cabbage

Boiled Cabbage is healthy, tasty and ready in under 15 minutes!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Boiled Cabbage
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 8 wedges
Calories 53
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage small
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • bacon fat optional (or 2 slices bacon)

Instructions

  • Remove any discolored leaves from the cabbage. Cut the head of cabbage in half and cut each half into 1 1/2" wedges leaving the root intact to hold the wedges together.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If using bacon fat, or bacon, add to the boiling water for flavor.
  • Add cabbage wedges and boil 8-12 minutes or just until tender.
  • Drain well, drizzle with butter and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Notes

Water can be replaced with broth for more flavor.
Top with crispy bacon bits if desired.
Cabbage can be chopped into 1" strips instead of wedges if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 53 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
A serving plate of boiled cabbage.
A serving plate of boiled cabbage.
Top image - boiled cabbage on a serving plate. Bottom image - cabbage in a pot being boiled.

Creamy & Delicious Grits: For Breakfast, Lunch or Supper!

Making Grits has never been easier with this simple recipe. Made by boiling in a milk mixture and serving topped with butter this is one cozy dish everyone loves!

This dish has gone from a humble breakfast to a gourmet entrée adorned with everything from local shrimp to expensive mushrooms, to cheese!

A serving of creamy grits topped with butter.

Grits vs. Polenta

Both grits and polenta are corn-based side dishes.  While both are made of ground corn (as is cornmeal), there are some differences.

What are Grits?

Grits are a coarsely ground grain made with either hominy or stone-ground corn. The simplest way to prepare grits is to boil them in water, but they can also be imbued with extra flavor by cooking them in broth or stock.

For creamy grits, cook them in milk or half milk half water. Once grits are cooked, they are usually mixed with butter, but the variations are endless!

Polenta is made from yellow ground corn and is the Italian version of grits. It’s also a deeper shade of yellow and has a different grind while grits are generally a pale white, so be mindful of that when swapping. Polenta takes a little more time to prepare and requires additional stirring in order to keep it creamy and free from lumps.

Types of Grits

  • Quick and Regular – the most common kind of grits are just that, quick and easy to prepare. The endosperm is removed which makes them a little less nutritious but gives them a longer shelf life and a quicker cook time.
  • Hominy – hominy grits are made from white corn that has been soaked.
  • Stone Ground – stone-ground grits are coarsely ground, retain more of the nutrients, but take up to an hour to cook and are harder to find at the grocery store.
  • Instant – essentially, precooked and dehydrated. Instant grits are great for a quick breakfast when made in the microwave with a little water or milk.

Grits prepared in a pot with butter on top.

How to Make Grits

This recipe is just 2 simple steps and tastes so delicious!

  1. Bring milk, water, and salt to a boil on the stove (per recipe below).
  2. Add grits slowly while whisking to avoid sticking together and becoming lumpy.
  3. Cook over low-medium heat and stir frequently.

Remove from heat and add butter and then salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious Variations

For a little variety, try preparing grits with different flavor combinations:

  • For Cheese Grits: Add shredded cheddar cheese after it has been cooked but are still on the stove. Stir constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the grits are smooth.
  • For Shrimp and Grits: Saute the shrimp separately and add to the cooked grits. Add a can of diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese for a fancy version!

What to Eat with Grits

For breakfast, simply cooked with milk and butter and seasoned with salt and pepper is the way to go. Try adding a fried egg on top, a sprinkling of bacon bits for flavor, and serving with a fresh biscuit!

If you are preparing it as an entrée, any kind of sautéed vegetable on the side would taste great! Or a crisp salad with a bright vinaigrette to clear the palate is a great idea!

How to Make Grits

Grits for breakfast, lunch, or supper! They are a delicious main dish or side.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk (or light cream, more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup regular grits (or quick-cooking grits)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Bring milk, water, and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Slowly add grits while whisking to avoid lumps.
  3. Cook grits covered over medium-low heat, stirring frequently ( about 15 minutes for regular grits, 5 minutes for quick-cooking grits).

  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Optional: Stir in 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese before serving.

Milk can be substituted with half and half, a portion of heavy cream or even broth if needed.
For a thinner consistency, add more milk. For a thicker consistency, cook a bit longer.

This recipe is for regular or quick cooking grits. Stone-ground grits will need a longer cook time. Various brands/grinds may have a slightly longer/shorter cook time. 

Grits in a pot with melting butter on top.
A serving of grits with melting butter on top.
Top image - Grits being prepared in a pot with butter on top. Bottom image - A serving of grits topped with butter.

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe {Just 4 Ingredients!}

This Gnocchi recipe is a fun project, and the results are positively perfect! Soft pillowy potato pasta, this needs just a few ingredients you likely have on hand like potato, egg and flour.

Simply make a dough, roll and boil!

A pan of gnocchi ready to serve

Potato gnocchi has just a few easy to find ingredients and, while it takes a bit of time, it’s not difficult to make. This particular gnocchi recipe is one I learned attending classes at our local culinary school and have made it ever since.

What Is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is an Italian homemade pasta that resembles a little dumpling. At it’s most basic level it’s made with potato, egg, and flour. Several regions in Italy have their own variations with combinations of ricotta cheese, herbs, or spinach, the possibilities are endless.

Mashed potatoes and egg in a bowl to make dough for a gnocchi recipe

Shaping Gnocchi

The dough is rolled into ropes and cut into pieces. Each rope of dough is about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick and then cut into 1/2″ pieces. The gnocchi dough is soft and delicate, so be gentle when working with it.

shaping potato gnocchi on a wood cutting board

Once cut into pieces, roll each gnocchi along the back of a fork to create ridges (you can purchase a gnocchi board but unless you make gnocchi frequently, a fork works just fine).

The purpose of creating ridges is to help the gnocchi “grab” the sauce it is mixed with.

shaping homemade gnocchi on a cuttingboard

How To Make Gnocchi

It’s really simple to make these pillowy little dumplings.

  1. Mix all the ingredients together except flour. Add flour a little at a time, until dough forms.
  2. After “resting” the dough, roll it out into long “ropes,” and cut per recipe instructions.
  3. Use a gnocchi board or even just a fork to create ridged pasta!

Tips for Perfection

  • Boil your potatoes but drain them very well. Baked potatoes work in this recipe too.
  • Leftover mashed potatoes aren’t ideal as they have other additives such as cream etc that will affect the consistency of your dough.
  • Ensure the potatoes are perfectly smooth once mashed
  • Add just enough flour to make a dough, excess flour can make tough gnocchi
  • Don’t overwork the dough, these should be soft and pillowy. Use a delicate touch.

Left image - potato gnocchi on a baking tray. Right image - Gnocchi in a strainer.

How To Cook Gnocchi

It takes just a few minutes to cook potato gnocchi!

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Gently add pasta and wait until it floats to the top (about 90 seconds).
  3. Transfer to a skillet with a bit of butter/olive oil and sauce if you’re using one. Toss the gnocchi and serve.

It’s that simple!

How To Serve It

It can be served as a side dish or as the first course in a full Italian style meal! For a very special experience, gnocchi can be served as the primo, or first course, in a full Italian meal consisting of several courses.

Sauces for Gnocchi:

 Of course, it’s always a treat to have homemade pasta as a side dish with chicken, beef, or fish!

More Perfect Pasta

You can’t go wrong with homemade potato gnocchi! No matter how you choose to serve it up, there is one thing you can count on: you won’t have any leftovers!

Gnocchi

This easy pasta recipe is made with just 4 simple ingredients!

  • 18 ounces potatoes (cooked and riced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup flour (+1/4 cup flour if needed)
  • salt (to taste)
  1. Combine riced potatoes, butter, and eggs in a bowl. Slowly mix in flour and knead until dough forms.

  2. Cover and rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Dust counter with flour and roll out a 1/2" to 3/4" thick rope of dough. Cut into 1/2" slices.

  4. Gently roll gnocchi pieces on a gnocchi board or the back of a fork to create ridges.

  5. Cook in boiling salted water, about 3 minutes, or until it begins to float.
  6. Remove from boiling water and transfer to an ice bath for about 1 min.
  7. Toss with oil and refrigerate until ready to serve.

A potato ricer is a tool that will produce perfectly fluffy lump-free potatoes. If you don’t have a ricer, be sure to mash your potatoes well so they are very smooth.

Top image - A serving of gnocchi tossed in pesto. bottom image - Cooked gnocchi in a strainer.
Homemade Gnocchi in a frying pan.
Gnocchi tossed with parmesan and pesto.

Garlic Butter Baked Salmon {Easy}

Delicious Baked Salmon in foil is one of the best entrees for healthy, quick and tasty home cooking. In this delightful recipe, the whole salmon fillet is seasoned with fresh lemon slices, dill, and luscious garlic butter. The foil keeps it extra moist and flavorful!

Baked Salmon on foil with lemon slices and dill.

Salmon for this Recipe

This recipe uses a whole salmon fillet as it’s easy to make for a crowd and required little prep. It works well with any kind of salmon from wild to farmed or chinook to steelhead.

As with most salmon recipes, it can easily be adapted to individual filets too (and cooked all in one foil pack or in individual packets). I cook salmon foil packs for about 15-20 minutes at 400°F.

Garlicky Butter Topping

Everything tastes better with butter, especially oven-baked salmon. Even better when the butter is garlic butter! Garlic butter has endless uses, from sauces to garlic bread or for dressing up steamed or roasted vegetables. It’s one of those kitchen workhorses that are always good to have on hand.

  1. Over low heat, melt butter, being careful not to brown it.
  2. Add minced garlic and cook gently for a minute.

Salmon fillet being topped with garlic butter.

How to Bake Salmon

From prep to cooking to clean up, baked salmon is just about the easiest entrée anyone could hope for.

  1. On a large piece of foil, layer lemon slices and fresh dill with the whole salmon fillet.
  2. Drizzle with garlic butter. Fold and seal foil into a tented pouch and bake.
  3. When done, open foil and place under broiler to brown the top.

Salmon fillet is best when baked with the skin on for optimal flavor and to help it retain moisture. It also ensures the entire fillet holds together when baking and plating up. The flesh easily flakes away from the skin with a fork.

Raw Salmon fillet topped with garlic butter, lemon slices, and dill.

How Long to Bake Salmon

Like any fish, salmon cooks quickly in a preheated oven. In general, most ovens take about 15 minutes to preheat to 350°F, or 20 minutes to reach 400°F.

To cook a 3-pound salmon fillet in foil:

  • 350°F:  20-25 minutes.
  • 400°F: 15-20 minutes
  • 450°F: 12- 15 minutes

The time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. Be sure to check it so it cooks without overcooking, it should flake with a fork easily.

Served with fondant potatoes, roasted asparagus or glazed carrots, a baked salmon dinner makes an impressive, yet simple presentation for guests or special dinners with the family.

Leftovers

This recipe is so delicious I doubt there will be leftovers! They can be gently reheated but are also great in salmon pasta or salmon patties!

  • For Reheating: Store leftover oven-baked salmon in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat in a foil-covered pan in the oven.
  • To Freeze: wrap individual slices in parchment paper and stack in freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Salmon will keep this way for up to six months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating – or make a delicious cold salmon salad!

Salmon Recipes

Garlic Butter Baked Salmon

In this delightful recipe, the whole salmon fillet is seasoned with fresh lemon slices, dill, and luscious garlic butter.

  • 1 side of salmon fillet (3 pound)
  • 6 sprigs fresh dill
  • 2 lemon (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  1. Remove the salmon from the fridge and let rest at room temperature while preparing the foil and the garlic butter.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

  3. In the middle of the foil lay 3 sprigs of dill and 1 lemon thinly sliced.

  4. Lay the salmon, skin side down, on top of the dill and lemons. Roll up the sides of the foil so the salmon is in a pouch.
  5. In a small saucepan melt butter and garlic over low heat and pour over the salmon. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

  6. Add remaining dill and lemon slices over the top of the salmon.
  7. Gently tent the salmon with foil and bake for about 15 minutes or until almost fully cooked.

  8. Remove from oven and remove the top piece of foil.

  9. Place the baking rack about 6 inches from the top. Add the salmon back to the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes or just until the top is lightly browned.

Salmon on a baking tray with slices of lemon and fresh dill.
Salmon prepared on a baking tray with lemon slices and fresh dill.
Top image - Salmon baked on a foil lined baking tray topped with lemon slice sand dill. Bottom image - garlic butter marinade being spooned over a salmon fillet.

Homemade Crescent Rolls {Tender & Flaky}

Homemade Crescent Rolls are so soft and buttery, you’ll never go back to the canned version again. This easy recipe yields perfectly fluffy rolls, full of real butter flavor! 

Don’t let the thought of yeast intimidate you! While it takes some time, these are not difficult to make.

A basket full of homemade crescent rolls

Tips For Making Crescent Rolls

Knowing a few tips for bread making can make the process easy

  • Use fresh yeast (and check the expiry date on your jar). Expired yeast won’t work well.
  • When adding the yeast to the water, ensure it is closer to lukewarm than hot.
  • It’s ok to add a little more or less flour to get the consistency you want. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour at a time until it seems just right.
  • Get kids to help with the kneading! Every child should have the experience of making bread…at least once!
  • Use a pizza cutter to make the wedge shapes.
  • Roll wedges from the wide side first, and roll loosely. Curve into crescent shape after placing the roll on the parchment.

Most importantly: have fun!

Left image - dough rising in a glass bowl. Right image - dough rolled into a circle and cut into wedges.

How To Make Crescent Rolls

Recipes like this one take the intimidation out of making homemade bread. While there may be a few steps to follow, bear in mind that most of them are as easy as watching bread rise!

  1. Make the “sponge” (per recipe below) and mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (except flour).
  2. Slowly add flour until soft dough forms and knead until smooth.
  3. Allow it to rise until doubled in size. Then cut in half, roll out into circles and cut into wedges.
  4. Roll each wedge into a crescent and place on a tray to rise.
  5. Bake until golden brown!

Spread butter, garlic butter, or even homemade jam on these crescent and enjoy!  

Crescent rolls prepped on a parchment lined baking tray.

What To Make With Crescent Rolls

There are so many amazing recipes to make with crescent rolls! You can use them to make:

The options are endless!

A basket full of baked crescent rolls.

How To Freeze Homemade Crescent Rolls

To freeze before baking is so easy, and when it comes time to make the rolls no one will know they weren’t prepared the same day!

  • Make crescent rolls but instead of baking put them in the freezer, covered, on the baking tray.
  • After two hours, remove and place in a zippered freezer bag or airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • To bake, defrost rolls in the fridge completely (on a parchment-lined tray ready to bake is best), then bake according to recipe directions!

This is a recipe for rainy days or special occasions. Enjoy it with your loved ones anytime.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

This easy recipe yields perfectly soft and flaky crescent every time, full of delicious real butter flavor! 

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110°F)
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • milk for brushing
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 10 mins or until foamy.

  2. Add melted butter and warm milk to a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, egg and salt. Stir in 2 cups of flour.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time to create a soft dough. Knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Place dough on a lightly flour surface and divide in two. Roll each half into a 12″ circle and cut each circle into 12 wedges.
  6. Roll wedges into a crescent shape starting with the wide end. Place at least 2″ apart on a parchment lined pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise 30-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush with milk and bake rolls 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Top image - crescent rolls in a basket. Bottom image - crescent rolls prepped on a baking sheet.
Crescent rolls in a basket
Crescent rolls in a basket

Valentine’s Blondies

Valentines Day Treats are the perfect way to show someone (or everyone) some love!

This this easy M&M blondie recipe comes out perfectly sweet and chewy – and they can be decorated any way you like!

Valentines Blondies cut into square on a cutting board.

The Perfect Valentine’s Treat

Blondies, brownies, and cookies of all kinds make a perfect potluck, picnic, or party dessert all year round. Especially if they are dressed up in a lovely box or basket!

Blondies are dessert bars or cookies with the texture of brownies but with brown sugar and vanilla instead of cocoa so they stay “blonde.”

These colorful bars can be decorated with any kind of candy, nuts or chocolate chips!

Left image - Chocolate chips and m&m's being mixed into a bowl of batter. Right images - chocolate chips and m&m's sprinkled on top of a pan of blondie batter.

How To Make Blondies

In just a few simple steps these sweet treats will be ready to eat.

  1. Heat butter and brown sugar and stir together. Allow mixture to cool and whisk in eggs.
  2. Add dry ingredients then fold in half the M&M’s and half the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter into pan and top with remaining M&M’s and chocolate chips before baking.

Swap out the pink and red M&M’s for the perfect seasonal color for any time of the year!

Other Delicious Additions

Blondies are a perfect vehicle for a variety of sweet and colorful add-ins! Mix and match these favorites to find the perfect “sweet spot!”

  • Candies: White chocolate chips, toffee bits, peanut butter chips, sprinkles, or mint candies
  • Nuts: Toasted chopped walnuts, pecans, or peanuts
  • Fruit: Coconut flakes, dried cranberries, cherries or raisins
  • Sauces: Swirls of melted chocolate, peanut butter, or butterscotch sauce

The possibilities are endless!

Baked Valentines Blondies in a pan.

How To Store Blondies

Store blondies the way you would store any bar or cookie. Keep them in an airtight container or a zippered bag and keep them away from direct light or heat. They will last about 10 days.

Must-Try Sweet Treats

Valentine’s Blondies

These Valentine's Blondies will be your sweetheart's favorite treat this year!

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M's
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 Pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.

  2. Heat butter and sugars over medium heat while stirring until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes.

  3. Add eggs one at a time stirring until mixed. Add in vanilla.

  4. Combine flour, salt, baking soda & baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture. Add 1/2 of the M&Ms and 1/2 of the chocolate chips.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and top with remaining M&M’s and chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool, remove from pan and cut into bars

Valentines Blondies cut into squares.
Valentines blondies cut into squares and stacked.
Top image - Four Valentines Blondies stacked. Bottom image - Valentines Blondies cut into squares on a cutting board.

Fondant Potatoes – A unique, easy way to make your next potato side dish!

Fondant potatoes are simple to make yet look elegant. With their creamy interior and crunchy exterior, you’ll love how this recipe transforms ordinary spuds into the star of your table.

Overview of fondant potatoes prepared in a frying pan. Garnished with salt and thyme.

While this is one side dish deserving of a classy entrée and a special occasion, it is actually quite easy to make. Consider making savory fondant potatoes when you are planning to serve a whole chicken, a glazed ham roast or a filet mignon.

What Are Fondant Potatoes?

Fondant potatoes originated in French cuisine. In this cooking method, potatoes are prepared by first peeling and cutting off both ends so they’ll stand up flat. The flat sides are then seared and browned in oil until crisp.

The browned potatoes are stood on end and oven baked in a pool of chicken broth and butter until tender on the outside and still crunchy on the tops. A little seasoning is all it takes to produce a richly flavored side dish that your family (and guests) will love.

Potatoes being cut on a cutting board.

The Best Potatoes To Use

The hands down favorite potato for the fondant treatment is good ol’ russets. They have the right shape and crisp up nicely on the outside while retaining a soft and fluffy interior.  Sweet potatoes can also be prepared this way but will turn out a little softer.

Truly you can use any potatoes, the texture will just be a little bit different.

Left image - fondant potatoes in a frying pan with chicken stock being poured in. Right image - close up of fondant potaotes with chicken stock in a frying pan.

How to Prep the Potatoes

It’s so easy to make fondant potatoes. While they may look like a fancy and fussy dish, yet they are anything but.

  1. Prep the potatoes by peeling and cutting off each end. Cut each potato in half (or thirds if they are extra large).
  2. Brown the flat ends in oil in an oven-proof pan.
  3. Bake uncovered in broth and butter until tender.

Simple as that. These yummy ‘taters can be seasoned however you like. A sprinkle of savory thyme, rosemary, cracked pepper, or even parmesan cheese will enhance them even more. You can use beef, chicken or lamb broth to bake them in, according to your preference or what you have on hand.

Prepping is every easier if you use a fondant potato cutter, and you’ll get more even sizes. Another option is to use an apple corer and make mini fondant potatoes.

What to Do with the Leftovers

Don’t throw away those leftovers! Fondant potatoes will keep in the fridge for up to four days and will retain their terrific flavor. They will however, lose their fluffiness but they’ll be perfect for breakfast hash browns, or just fried with some diced onion and garlic powder, and sprinkled with a little fajita seasoning.

You could also cut them into cubes and use them in chicken pot pie or beef stew.

More Delicious Potato Recipes

Fondant Potatoes

These easy Fondant Potatoes are a perfect side dish that will impress your whole family!

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Peel the potatoes and slice off the ends so you can stand the potato upright. Cut the potatoes equally in half once more.

  3. In a large oven safe skillet add vegetable oil and set over medium high heat.
  4. When the oil is hot add the potatoes flat side down. Cook the potatoes until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 6-8 minutes per side. Add butter to pan before browning second side.

  5. Pour the chicken stock, butter, and thyme sprigs into the pan and place the pan into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven, sprinkle with kosher salt, and black pepper.

Fondant Potatoes served on a baking dish and garnished with a sprig of thyme.
Fondant Potatoes served on a baking dish and garnished with a sprig of thyme.
Top photo - Fondant Potatoes served on a baking dish and garnished with a sprig of thyme. Bottom photo - potatoes being cut into halves.

Easy Homemade French Bread

There is nothing better than a homemade loaf of crusty French Bread. This recipe uses only a few ingredients and while it takes time, it’s easy. Even YOU can make the perfect loaf of french bread!

This is great to serve alongside a spaghetti dinner (or any pasta recipe) and makes delicious garlic bread. It’s also perfect for homemade French toast for a lazy Sunday morning!

Tips for Baking Bread

Yeast The most important part of this recipe is to make sure your yeast is not expired. Use an active dry yeast. You will proof your yeast with a mixture of sugar and water, this ‘feeds’ the yeast so it can rise your bread! If you don’t see a foamy layer like the image below, your yeast isn’t good to bake with.

Flour Start with the smallest amount of flour in the recipe (2 3/4 cups in this recipe). For french bread, you want to add just enough to create a dough that is still slightly sticky. Too much flour will make a dense loaf.

Kneading by Hand  Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-5 minutes.

Kneading with a Stand Mixer Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook. Allow it to mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Left image - yeast blooming in a glass bowl. Right image - formed french bread roll on a baking tray.

How to Make French Bread

A true French bread contains just water, flour, yeast, and salt although you’ll commonly find other ingredients added to French bread in North America. French bread can vary in shapes and sizes from baguettes, to loaves to round in shape and is often baked in a steam oven resulting in the perfect crust (I’ve included my tip for getting steam into your oven below in the crust section).

This basic French loaf recipe can be altered to include slivers of garlic, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, or even a handful of shredded cheese. The varieties are endless, but all versions start with the same basic steps!

  1. Make Dough
    1. Combine warm water with sugar, and salt until fully dissolved, then stir in yeast. Let it sit until foamy.
    2. Stir in the flour and mix well. Knead a few minutes
  2. Rise #1 about 1 hour in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Rise #2 punch down and rise again 30 minutes.
  4. Form Loaf You can form the loaf from the ball of dough but I like to roll it out to a rectangle and roll it up jelly roll style and pinch the edges under to seal.
  5. Rise #3 Let the bread rise another 30 minutes and then brush with egg white.
  6. Bake until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Perfect Crust

Add slashes to the loaf You can purchase a tool for this (a bread lame) but if you don’t make a lot of bread, just use a very sharp knife. The purpose for the slashes you see on a loaf of bread is to help keep the bread in the desired shape while it expands as it bakes. If brushing with egg, slash the bread after.

Brush with egg if desired Brushing the outside of the bread with egg white will give a glossy crisp crust, this is optional. For a soft crust, brush with melted butter.

Add Steam Generously spritz both the bread and the inside of the oven with water (don’t spritz your hot glass with water though and be sure to check your user manual first) or add a handful of ice cubes into a cast iron skillet and place it in the oven with the bread. Steam helps give the perfect crust

French bread loaf being brushed with melted butter mixture before baking.

How to Soften French Bread

The best way to keep your homemade French bread fresh is to keep it in an airtight container or zippered bag. French bread can also be stored in aluminum foil as long as it is tightly wrapped but be sure to store it away from extreme temperatures.

Turn into crostini and top with bruschetta, or top with garlic butter for delicious homemade garlic bread.

More Yummy Bread Recipes

Easy French Bread

This is an easy recipe that uses only a few ingredients and a little bit of technique.

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 3/4 to 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg white
  1. Combine sugar, salt, and 1 cup warm water in a bowl. Stir in yeast and let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Continue adding flour a bit at a time to form a stiff dough. Knead until about 5 minutes (or use a dough hook on a stand mixer per notes below).

  3. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise 1 hour or until doubled. Punch dough down and let rise 30 minutes more.

  4. Roll dough into a 14"x10" square and roll up jelly roll style to create a 14"x2.5" loaf. Place on a parchment lined pan seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut 3-4 diagonal slits into the loaf (about 1/4" deep).

  5. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 30-40 minutes or until doubled. Brush bread with egg white. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  6. Place in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until browned. Cool on a baking rack.

Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook and allow it to mix on medium speed for about 90 seconds.

Recipe Adapted Martin, Verneil. “Among Friends Vol II”. Calgary, AB, 1989. 39. Print.

French Bread sliced on a wooden board.
Homemade French Bread sliced on a wooden board.
Top photo - Top view of French Bread sliced on a wooden board. Bottom photo - Slices of French Bread on a wooden board.

Best Butter Cookie Recipe

Butter Cookies are one of the best things about the Christmas season! Made with butter (of course) and sugar these beauties are melt in your mouth crispy and delicious!

These butter cookies are a delicious combination of a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie and a classic sugar cookie making them a holiday must!

a plate full of butter cookies.

How To Soften Butter For Baking Cookies

We’ve all been there. You have an hour and want to get some Christmas baking done but the butter is in the fridge.

If you know you’re going to be baking, pull the butter out of the fridge the night before. If you’ve forgotten but still have a couple of hours before bake time, cut the butter into small pieces and set out on a plate at room temperature. It should soften in time for baking.

Need soft butter now? Cut butter into pieces and microwave it at about 30% power for 20 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave just until softened. Be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t melt. If it does melt, save it for toast and get new butter for your cookie recipe!

Butter cookies being pressed and topped with a maraschino cherry on a baking tray.

How To Make Butter Cookies

I love the ease (and yummy flavor) of this recipe. Just 3 simple steps to delicious cookies!

  1. Beat butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and egg, then the flour a little at time.
  2. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Gently flatten with a fork or your fingers.
  3. Decorate with candied cherries before baking.

The cherries used in this recipe are candied cherries (aka glace cherries or glazed cherries). These are different from maraschino cherries as they’re more sticky and not in a wet juice.

A baking tray full of butter cookies.

How Long Do Butter Cookies Last?

Butter Cookies last packed in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or so. You can keep them longer but they won’t be as soft.

In the freezer they will last for a few months.

More Holiday Cookies

Butter Cookies

Made with real butter and sugar these beauties are melt in your mouth crispy and delicious

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (+1/4 cup if necessary)
  • 18 candied cherries (cut in half)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter, powdered sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

  3. Mix in vanilla and egg. Add flour a little bit at a time until well mixed.
  4. Roll 2" balls, leaving at least 1" between cookies on the baking tray, and flatten slightly. Top with half of a cherry.

  5. Bake until lightly browned on the edges, about 12 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.

Top photo - A plate full of butter cookies topped with maraschino cherries. Bottom photo - Butter cookies being pressed and topped with a maraschino cherry on a baking tray.
A plate full of butter cookies topped with maraschino cherries.
Top photo - A plate full of butter cookies topped with maraschino cherries. Bottom photo - Butter cookies being pressed and topped with a maraschino cherry on a baking tray.