Thursday, December 13, 2018

Easiest Ever Peanut Cluster Candies

Easiest Ever Peanut Clusters Avenue Hotel B&B Recipe

The Easiest Ever Peanut Clusters are just that, the easiest ever. There's something to be said about an uncomplicated recipe, especially during this time of year. As we count down to Christmas I want to share one of our favorites not only to offer an easy option through the holidays but to offer up a "beginners" recipe that the kids will enjoy too. I have two grand-nieces that are excellent bakers-in-training. I thought of them this year as I was clustering the peanut clusters for our annual Avenue Hotel B & B holiday party earlier this week. They were a hit! Enjoy this recipe and Happy Holidays!

What you will need: 

1- 14 oz bag of white candy melts or white chocolate bark
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 cups of salted peanuts

Your process: 

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. In a double boiler melt white chocolate and chocolate chips together. once the chocolates are melted and blended, add nuts. Stir nuts and evenly coat. Spoon small clusters of nuts down onto the wax paper. Cool in the refrigerator. Once completely set remove from wax paper and store in an airtight container.

Stores in refrigerator for up to six weeks.
Makes approximately 70 pieces

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Monday, December 3, 2018

Orange Glory Rolls

What you will need: 

1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. orange juice and pulp
1/4 orange zest
2 cake yeast (or 2 packets of dry yeast)
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. shortening
2 t. salt
1 c. boiling water
2 eggs
7 1/2 c. of all-purpose flour

Your process: 

Combine butter, sugar, orange juice and pulp, and orange zest into a small saucepan. Boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. (2 1/2 cups of orange marmalade, heated with 1/2 cup of butter may be substituted).

Divide mixture into well-greased muffin tins, roughly 1 tablespoon per cup. Soften yeast in 1/2cup of warm water, mix well. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar with shortening, salt, and boiling water; mix well. Cool to lukewarm by adding 3/4 cup cold water. Blend in unbeaten eggs and yeast. Add flour gradually to form a stiff dough, kneading well after each addition.

Toss on a floured surface until dough is no longer sticky. Roll out the dough, 1/3 at a time on a floured surface. Brush with melted butter. Roll as if you were rolling a jelly roll, starting with a 12-inch edge. Cut off into 1-inch slices. Place in prepared muffin tins.

Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Basic Caramel Recipe

What you will need: 

1 cup of white sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water

Your Process: 

Over medium-high heat combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and scrape the sides of the pan until sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil occasionally swirling the mixture in the pan until it turns a deep amber color, about 10-15 minutes. 

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Caramelized Pear Upside-Down Cake

As the seasons begin to change and the winter weather rolls in over our small mountain town, things begin to quiet down. It's the perfect time of year to try new recipes. This is a fun spinoff of the very classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe we all know so well. It's perfect for this time of year. This cake is delicious warm or at room temperature. It's tasty with ice cream or dessert wine. While I baked this as a dessert, it would be a wonderful addition to any breakfast table or brunch potluck.

We also need to give a big shout out to the baker and original recipe maker. This recipe was found and made based on the original recipe found here:

What you will need: 

Softened unsalted butter for the pan

For the Topping: 

2 medium firm-ripe Bosc pears (about 1 lb.)
Recipe for Basic Caramel
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

For the Cake: 

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of toasted walnuts

Your Process: 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x2 inch round cake pan (don't use a springform pan, as the caramel might leak out during baking. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment and butter the top of the paper.

Make the topping. Peel, core, and cut the pears lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the pear slices on the bottom of the pan in a circle around the edge overlapping them slightly. The pear slices often don't reach all the way to the center of the pan. I cut a small heart out of one of the pears to fill the space. You can opt to cut the slices off on the pointed end to make the fit better. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top of pears.

Make the Basic Caramel recipe according to the directions. Immediately remove the caramel from heat and whisk in the 4 Tbs. of butter one piece at a time, until they are completely melted. Carefully pour the hot caramel evenly over the pears and walnuts.

Make the cake batter. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla.

With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Set speed to medium and slowly add the brown sugar. Increase the speed to high and continue to mix until lightened in texture, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and milk mixture in five additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Miz each additional just enough to incorporate. Overmixing will lead to a tougher cake. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time and mix briefly to blend well.

Bake the cake. Spoon the batter in large dollops over the pears and smooth it into an even layer with an offset spatula. Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Turn a cake plate upside down on top of the cake pan and, using pot holders, carefully invert the cake pan onto the plate.

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Our Signature Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

As the owner, cook, hostess, and innkeeper of the Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast, it's important to me to do as much as I can to accommodate the needs and requests of my guests. One of the most frequent requests is for gluten-free options. One of my favorite recipes is actually an old classic with a local twist. You can find the original, "World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe on page 235 of Breakfast and Beyond Too

As a small business owner, you learn early on to support the other small businesses around you as a way of moving all small businesses toward more success. One of my favorite places to visit is Coquette's Bistro and Bakery. They are 100% gluten-free and lucky for me they sell their gluten-free flour by the pound. Other gluten-free flour brands I have worked with and would recommend: 
  • Cup4Cup
  • Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
  • King Arthur 

What you will need: 

1 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. toasted almonds, chopped
12-ounce bag semisweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips 

Your Process: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In shallow pan toast almonds for 3-4 minutes. Let cool. 

Mix butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. 

Combine your preferred gluten-free flour, along with baking soda and salt. 

Stir wet ingredients together until well blended. The dough may seem stiff and dry. Don't be discouraged! It will come together. Keep working it. 

Once combined, stir in chocolate chips and toasted almonds. If you can, cover bowl in saran wrap and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. This allows the fat to solidify and it allows the sugar to gradually absorb liquids in the dough. Both of which prevent spreading.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. The edges of the cookies should begin to turn brown.

Remove from cookie sheet to cool. After a few minutes, enjoy!

Bon appetite! Gwenn, Your Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Savory Croissant Baked French Toast with Dijon Mustard Poppyseed Glaze

The Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast, a Manitou Springs Colorado bed and breakfast,  entered the savory breakfast contest. As a the perfect Pikes Peak lodging accommodation we serve a full hot homemade breakfast each morning. The contest has two more rounds of voting, the Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast is now one of the top 4 finalists.

1 dozen Croissants
1 dozen eggs
1 ham steak (approx. 1 lb.), diced, sautéed in maple syrup
1 cup half and half cream
½ cup milk
½ onion, diced, sautéed to caramelized
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
1 lb. 4 cheese blend

½ cup butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1⁄3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Dice ham steak and pan fry in maple syrup to glaze the ham. When
all the moisture has cooked off remove from heat; set aside. Dice onion
and sauté for about 7 minutes to caramelize; remove from heat and set
aside. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with non-cook spray. Preheat oven to
350 degrees. Cut croissants in half. In a large bowl whisk eggs and
half and half, milk, 1 tablespoon of mustard and salt. Submerge and
soak the bottom of each croissant in the egg mixture until soft, place
in baking dish. Continue until all croissants are in the baking dish.
Spread the remaining mustard on the bottoms of the croissants, layer
with ham, onion and cheese. Submerge and soak the tops of the
croissants in the egg mixture until soft and place a top on each bottom.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes. In a saucepan, mix butter, brown sugar,
Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and poppy seeds. Bring to a boil
and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Drizzle over croissants when serving

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It's Spring Time, Easter Pie

This custard pie is a light yummy Spring delight. Easy to make I did put in a pinch more orange zest.

3/4 cup powder sugar, plus for garnish
3 eggs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 - 15 ounce ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
6 sheets phyllo sheets, thawed
3/4 stick butter, melted

Blend powdered sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, and ricotta in a  food processor until smooth. Stir in the rice and pine nuts. Set the ricotta mixture aside
Preheat oven to 375

Lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie pan.  Lay 1 phyllo sheet over the bottom and up the sides of the dish, allowing the phyllo to hang over the sides.  Brush the phyllo with the melted butter. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough, layering t in the opposite direction as the first sheet. Continue layering the remaining sheets,alternating and buttering each sheet.  Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dish. fold the overlapping dough over the top of the filling to enclose it completely. Brush completely with melted butter. Serves 8 - 10

Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Friday, March 23, 2018


1 cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup toasted almonds chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 375°.In a shallow pan toast almonds. Mix butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir wet and dry ingredients together until well blended. The dough is very stiff and dry and may seem as though it is to dry to combine, but it will come together. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds. Put round spoonfuls of dough on acookie sheet a few inches apart. Bake 8 - 10 minutes until edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.
This is a great recipe for high altitudes.         Page 235 in my "Breakfast and Beyond Too " cookbook

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

Friday, March 9, 2018


2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
 5 - 5½ cups bread flour

Preheat oven to 375°. Dissolve yeast and sugar  in warm water (110°) in large bowl; allow yeast to proof or foam (about 10 minutes). Add
 oil and 3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups flour and salt to make a stiff dough. Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to coat all sides,
cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and divide in half. Shape
dough into two long slender loaves. Grease a large cookie sheet. Place loaves  on the pan and cut diagonal gashes on top of each loaf (I use scissors). Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake for about 30 minutes. Note: You can sprinkle
or spray water on the loaves during baking if you want a really
crunchy crust

.Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast