The Return of the Blog + BUTTERMILK PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE

Hello world!

A lot has happened since I last talked to you.

For starters, I am well into the 3rd week of final year at college. Weeeeirddd. I know.

They aren’t joking when they say that your college years fly by, are they?  First year feels like just yesterday. Nothing has changed – except that a lot has changed.

Most of you might know that I’ve been gaga over donuts for the last three months or so. What started off as a class project has now turned into (dundundun) my life. Nuts about Donuts, a small homebased business selling artisan style donuts.

I’ve made over 500 donuts since I started Nuts about Donuts o.o (Check out its insta and Facebook and give it some love) 🙂

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My life has been pretty much donuts all day every day. I legit don’t have time for anything else. And that my lovelies is why I have been missing from Spatula for so long.

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I first started food blogging to share my love for food but over time it started to feel like a chore. The editing, the photography, the writing; all started to become too planned and systematic. It felt like too much for me to handle, what with the donuts and school work. This blog was all about doing and sharing something that I love.

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I took a self-proclaimed 5 day holiday from Nuts about Donuts just yesterday, announcing on the page ‘we’re closed for a bit’, just so I could do something else, like STUDY maybe!

And it’s during this so-called break that I decided that I shall return back to thy blog.

I MISS YOU GUYS. 😥

And what better way to make a grand return then on NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you might have noticed that there is a fair share of pancake recipes on this blog.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

These pancakes are made using the same recipe I shared a couple of posts ago.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

Top those soft fluffy pancakes with a simple 3 ingredient strawberry compote and you have a killer combination.

pancakes

The homemade strawberry compote is super simple. Just three ingredients and a few minutes simmering on the stove-top. You can puree the compote for a smoother consistency or you can leave it chunkier as it is (like I did).

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream too.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

Tomorrow I’ll be making biryani. Recipe to be posted veeeery soon, I know a lot of you have been waiting for it since ages.

See you in a month then. Just kidding. I’ll try and post a new recipe each week.

Love to you all. ❤

Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

Yields: 13-15 pancakes
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk1
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted & cooled butter or vegetable oil
For the Strawberry Compote
250g strawberries, diced
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
 
Directions:
To make the strawberry compote: combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 6-10 minutes. Keep warm; set aside.
For the pancakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and melted butter, just until all mixed together (small lumps are fine, DO NOT OVERMIX).
Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-heat and lightly brush with oil or butter. Using an ice cream scoop (or any large spoon) add the batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it’s golden brown on the bottom.
Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.
Serve pancakes immediately topped with strawberry compote. Enjoy!
Notes
1.  DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar. Mix and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix well and use.               
*To achieve smooth brown pancakes, don’t grease the pan after every single pancake. Grease it after every third pancake. Hope that makes sense.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

NUTELLA CINNAMON ROLLS

Bread, in any form, always has a special place in my heart (ok belly). Be it:

This hearty, moist banana bread dotted with ooey gooey chocolate chips

This easy braided chicken bread

-Or these sumptuous pumpkin muffins swirled with Nutella

I could eat bread all day long.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

And there’s nothing more satisfying than making your own bread, your own dough, from scratch. Especially tear and share breads. Especially cinnamon rolls. Especially “Nutella” Cinnamon rolls!!

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

Yes, I put Nutella IN the rolls and ON the rolls.

There’s no such thing as too much Nutella in my world. :3

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

These rolls are best fresh from the oven, but they also keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.  Just place one on a plate and microwave for 10-15 seconds, and they’ll be just as good as the day they were made.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

These cinnamon rolls are what dreams are made of! They’ll leave you scraping the plate clean and wanting more.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

Make these for friends and family, or just because it’s Tuesday and you’re wacked out —you won’t be disappointed.

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 40 minutes                                                                        Yields: 12-14 rolls
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Ingredients:
DOUGH
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 envelope instant yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
1 egg, at room temperature
FILING
2/3 cup Nutella
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE ICING
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk (if needed)
NUTELLA DRIZZLE *optional
1/3 cup Nutella
Directions:
For the Rolls:
Combine milk and butter in a bowl. Heat in microwave, for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not piping hot.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add in the yeast and the milk mixture. Mix till combined. Then knead dough onto a floured countertop till it forms a soft pliable ball, add ¼ cup flour at a time if dough is sticky.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size.
Use a knife or spoon to spread the Nutella1 evenly over the top of the surface, leaving a 1/4-inch border at the bottom of the 14-inch edge (so that the Nutella doesn’t ooze out). Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly on top of the Nutella.
Beginning at the top 14-inch edge (the edge with the Nutella spread clear to the border), tightly roll up the dough. Then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes.
When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 180 degrees C for 20-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with your icing and Nutella and serve warm.
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
In mixing bowl, whisk butter and cream cheese together until combined. Then whisk in powdered sugar until combined. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin.
For the Nutella Drizzle:
Warm Nutella in the microwave for a few seconds to help make it more spreadable. Then use either a piping bag to pipe it onto the cinnamon rolls, or use a fork to drizzle it on.
Notes:
1.       Microwave Nutella for a few seconds to make it easier to spread.
Recipe source: Gimme Some Oven

These cinnamon rolls are what dreams are made of! They’ll leave you scraping the plate clean and wanting more.

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

It may not feel like fall yet but summer is definitely over. College starts tomorrow and I am, needless to say, already heading towards depression.

Last year of college! Can you blame me?

Oh the jitters. Which would justify why I’ve been hankering down in the kitchen everyday all day long. Nothing like some good fall baking to make everything better.

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

 

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. Bursting with fall flavors, these muffins will make your house smell like the most glorious bakery in Italy.

 

Pumpkin and Chocolate were meant to be together and when that chocolate is in the form of luscious Nutella, you know the muffins are bound to be out-of-this-world good.

They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist.

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You won’t be able to stop at one!

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

For my fellow Pakistani peeps who aren’t accustomed to the pumpkin ecstasy, let me tell you that it is d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s!

Pumpkin puree makes everything silky, soft and extremely moist. It doesn’t have a very distinct flavor which is why you add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to amplify it.

I have yet to see pumpkin puree being sold here in the supermarkets of Islamabad, which is why I made my own pumpkin puree from scratch. I’ll do a step by step post on it if you like. It’s very simple, just slice a pumpkin up, de-seed it, and roast in the oven till fork-tender. Cool and then scoop out all the soft bits. Chopperize or blend till smooth. Fill up disposable Ziploc bags with it and freeze. It lasts for up to a year.

Be it the classic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread or Pumpkin Fettuccine, homemade pumpkin puree can be used for all sorts of things; both sweet and savory.

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

Give pumpkin a try. You won’t regret it. 🙂

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 18 muffins
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (read description above)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease the tray well with cooking oil.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and oil until well-combined. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon powder, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture and milk to the pumpkin mixture alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, until everything is just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
Spoon batter into the muffin tray cavities, filling about 3/4 of the way full.
Place the Nutella into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds or until it thins out. Using a teaspoon, drop a spoonful or two of Nutella onto the top of each muffin and swirl with a knife.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden brown. Best served warm!
*Store leftovers in an airtight container. Warm in microwave before serving.
Recipe source: Inside BruCrew Life

These pumpkin Nutella swirl muffins are the BOMB. They’re soft, tender, and extremely moist. You won’t be able to stop at one!

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

Thick, fluffy, downright delicious. This is the only pancake recipe you need!

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

What’s better on a weekend than to sit home in your pajamas and eat a stack of fluffy pancakes doused in chocolate syrup?

 

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

And could there be anything better than pancakes to start your Eid holidays with?

Not really.

 

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

These pancakes are so light, so fluffy I could die!

A whole batch takes just minutes to whip up. Serve them smothered in Nutella, maple syrup, or jam; they’re awesome either way. Make these today, tomorrow, every day!

xoxo, Noor

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Yields: 13-15 pancakes
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk1
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted & cooled butter or vegetable oil
Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and melted butter, just until all mixed together (small lumps are fine, DON’T OVERMIX).
Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-heat and lightly brush with oil or butter. Using an ice cream scoop (or any large spoon) add the batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it’s golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.
Serve pancakes immediately topped with a drizzle of maple or chocolate syrup. Enjoy
Notes:
1.        DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar. Mix and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix well and use.
*To achieve smooth brown pancakes, don’t grease the pan after every single pancake. Grease it after every third pancake. Hope that makes sense.

 

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Small Batch Chocolate Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Holidays, folks! Finally we are getting proper winter feeling. Can you believe it’s almost end of December and not finger-freezing cold yet?

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Here I have for you the perfect holiday recipe. Have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (sneak in a few snacks too, if you can). I know would, if those pesky things called adipocytes (fat cells) didn’t exist.

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

I don’t know how many of you worship at the shrine of pastry heaven called Cinnabon like me (don’t tell my mother I said that) but cinnamon rolls are one of the scrumptious essentials of life.

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

MY rolls are, however your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

The gooey center. My favorite bit.

My three favourite Cs: Cinnamon, Coffee, Chocolate.

They’re soft and gooey, with a caramelized bottom, and melty chocolate chips in between. The light mocha touch enhances the chocolate flavor ever so slightly. And the mocha glaze does not take the glory away from the cinnamon sugar, just makes it even better (yes, its possible my friend).

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

This recipe makes a smaller number of rolls than the usual recipes. It is perfect for when you have the cravings and want to bake your own but don’t want to end up with trays and trays of rolls that you then stuff into your freezer (although you are secretly happy).

This recipe makes six large cinnamon rolls or 9 small ones. Super easy to make. They literally take 2 hours to go from your thoughts to the oven to your belly (I timed).

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Knead the dough using a stand mixer or by hand. Plop it in a well-oiled bowl. Allow to rest in a warm place (the microwave, or near a window with the sun shining in), roll it, and fill with the most amazingly sinful filling ever (butter+cinnamon+sugar+cocoa powder+chocolatechips+instant coffee), roll them, slice them, arrange them on a greased dish, let them rest again, bake, glaze, and devour. Voila!

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

For the extra special Christmas morning (for those celebrating), make these tonight and place covered, unbaked rolls in the fridge. You can then just bake them tomorrow and win the hearts and tummies of your family!

Happy holidays, again!

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Chocolate Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

Yields: 9 small rolls
Ingredients:
Dough
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
Filling
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3/4 teaspoon cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk; enough to make a pourable glaze
Directions:
In a small saucepan combine milk, butter, and sugar. Stir continually until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted completely. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool till it comes to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the; 1 ½ cup flour, salt, egg yolk, and yeast. Add in the prepared milk and butter mixture. Mix. Bring the dough together into a ball and knead a few turns with your hands. Add more flour, a few tablespoons at a time if the dough feels to wet. Knead well for 3-4 minutes till the dough feels compact and is no longer sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a roughly 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
Spread with about 4 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Generously sprinkle over the melted butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roll starting at the longer edge into a tight coil.
Slice into 6 large pieces or smaller ones.
Use remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan or any other baking dish. Place rolls in the pan leaving about 1/2 inch of room between them. Cover the rolls and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
While the rolls rise, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and doubled in size.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly.
In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, coffee powder, and cream or milk. Drizzle over warm rolls.
Enjoy.
Recipe source: Joy the Baker

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes

A stack of pancakes, a cup of tea, and a good book in hand makes for a perfect Sunday morning. 

Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.

Eid holidays have officially come to an end, and with that is the start of weeks and weeks of desolation and despair (projects and mundane assignments, of course).

Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.

This Eid was boooring. We spend the first day saying goodbye to Bates, our Bakra. No new clothes this eid. No eidi. Didn’t go anywhere this time (not even to my grandmothers place *gasp). No Haleem (:o) I didn’t even shower till the very next day (stinky me). Then I made enough biryani to feed a small village. And, Oreo brownies (recipe next time, promise) for the kiddies because everyone was down.

Kickstarting eid festivities with these oreo brownies! 🎉🎊

A post shared by Noor (@spatulainmypocket) on

So, this Eid was spent consuming copious amounts of cake, biryani, and gulab jamun, catching bits of Dil Walay Dulhaniya Lay Jaye Gay, making weird henna designs, having coke hysterics with sister Khatem in the kitchen, staying up late watching cheap award shows till after midnight, and lots of grumpy frumpy moments.

Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.

And then we had these pancakes. Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella. Each bite dripping with molten chocolatey calories (Can you tell that I feel guilty about eating six?). Pancakes so rich and gluttonous, you’ll be begging for more.

Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.

The process requires a bit of preparation. You need to make small discs of Nutella on a piece of parchment paper and freeze them. Do this part overnight so that next morning you just have to make the pancakes with the Nutella part ready to go. You basically have to spread out Nutella, in round shape, on a piece of parchment paper, about ½ cm thick. And freeze them.

Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.

Then for the pancakes, it’ a basic batter. You pour some batter on a pan. Plonk a Nutella disc in the middle. And then pour more batter on top, enough to cover the Nutella. And that’s it. Cook till golden brown, and then dig in into the oozy Nutella deliciousness that these pancakes are.

Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                        Serves 6-8
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

10-12 Tablespoon Nutella
1 ½ cup (187g) all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
4 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup + 2 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Butter, for greasing the pan
Directions:
Frozen Nutella Discs:
Line a tray with parchment paper.
Spoon 2 tablespoon Nutella onto the tray, and spread into a disc around ½ cm thick, 6 cm in diameter.
Place tray in freezer. Freeze till firm.
For the pancakes:
Mix together the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, and the salt. Add in the wet ingredients; the egg, milk and the vanilla. Whisk till just combined.
Heat lil butter on a non-stick pan. Add some batter, round ¼ cup. Place one Nutella disc on it, cover with more pancake batter. Cook on medium heat. When bubbles start appearing on the top, flip the pancake and cook till golden-brown, around 2 minutes.
Repeat with remaining batter and Nutella discs. Butter pan from time to time.
Makes 6 to 8 pancakes depending on how much batter you use to cover the Nutella disc.
Serve immediately with fresh berries.

Recipe source: Recipe Tin Eats

. Soft fluffy pancakes stuffed with man’s gift to mankind: Nutella.