Salted Caramel Apple and Pear Buckles

I needed a super fancy name for this post, hence the word “buckles.” Although in all reality, these are buckles. Buckles. Buckles. Buckles. I just really like saying “buckles” for some reason. Like that one very popular song I used to love as a kid. One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, close the door….wait, where was I? Oh that’s right, I was talking about how much I love these crumb cakes. That’s basically what buckles are, just really good coffee cake-like dessert. The perfect dessert or breakfast for autumn. Is it a problem that it’s been 80 plus degrees here in Los Angeles, and I’m baking for fall with the air conditioning running on full blast? I think it’s a problem. Clearly, Southern California didn’t get the whole changing of the season memo. Get it together LA! You’re way behind, it’s almost Thanksgiving. This is the part where you change the colors of your leaves and drop them to the ground. This is when you’re supposed to start pouring down on us all of this autumn rain. You’re doing it all wrong, California. You need to be more like the East Coast, or like Seattle. I’m all about Seattle weather. 

You know what I’m also all about? These salted caramel apple and pear buckles. AKA apple and pear spice cakes with a crumb topping. Even though it’s still hot as summer during the day in the West Coast, I still get a craving for a warm apple spice cake every November. I decided to take this recipe over the edge with a little (okay more than a little) salted caramel and of course let’s not forget about the cinnamon and oatmeal crumb topping. It’s like the world’s best coffee cake had a baby with the world’s best cobbler or fruit crisp. It’s like the universe is trying to tell me I should be spending my days eating all of the apple spice crumb cakes in the world.  Hey, what can I say? When the world talks to me, I listen. Especially when there’s cake involved. 

Speaking of cake, I’m having a really difficult time establishing if this cake is actually a breakfast or a dessert. Of course, if this is my mother or my doctor asking, I have most definitely decided that this is in fact not the perfect breakfast. Wink wink. Shhhh don’t tell anyone yet. This all stays between you and I.  Although I did actually make these with the idea on my mind that I need more breakfast recipes. So it can really go either way on this folks. I don’t care about what time during the day I eat it, just as long as I get to eat it. Am I right ladies and gentlemen? Of course I’m right. So now let’s go out and celebrate by making and eating these apple and pear buckles. It’s the only way to celebrate! 

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The Classics: Cinnamon Rolls

I want to start this off by thanking everyone who participated in the giveaway last week! The response was overwhelming and totally humbling. Thank you for taking time out of your day to leave a comment! What’s more, you guys didn’t just leave one worded messages, but instead gave me all of the details. I loved that! I enjoyed reading them all, because I definitely did take the time to read every single comment, from beginning to end. In fact, it was the highlight of my week, so thank you. It was also the highlight of my mom’s week, because she read them all too. I’d get a call from her every hour with, “Jon did you read that one comment?! Awwww, this one comment is great you should pick this one! These comments are so sweet! Jon can I pick the winner, huh huh huh can I? Can I?” It was a great experience over all, so thank you for making the first Candid Appetite giveaway such a success. You guys rock! There will definitely be more giveaways in the very near future, now that I know you guys like free stuff. I mean who doesn’t?!?! So in the end there could only be one winner (bummer I know), and my mamma ended up pulling out of a hat, Emily S. from Durham New Hampshire with her favorite dessert being the classic brownie! Let’s all give her a round of applause. Your book is on it’s way! 

Anyhow, enough about that. It’s time for another installment of my favorite new series called, The Classics. This time around it’s brought to you by the biggest cinnamon rolls you ever did see. They’re as big as my head and I can’t get enough of them. I’ve recently decided to declare today National Eat As Many Cinnamon Rolls As You Can Day, and I think we should ALL celebrate by eating as many cinnamon rolls as we can possibly fit into our faces. I know for sure I can eat six giant rolls without a problem. Don’t ask me how I know this….I may or may not have eaten all of these myself. And I regret nothing. 

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice before (maybe a million times) of how much I love cinnamon. It’s my favorite spice in the world, especially in the fall. There’s just something so great about it this time of year. Sure, it’s still a million degrees outside here in Los Angeles, and sure it still feels like a never ending summer, but in my mind it’s totally autumn and I’m spending my nights in front of a fire drinking lots of hot cocoa topped with a mountain of whipped cream and dusted with lots of cinnamon, eating a giant cinnamon roll. In my mind that’s how it’s happening. In real life, it’s so hot, I’m eating them in front of the air conditioning vent. Someone save me. 

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

I think I might’ve mentioned once or twice on here (more like a billions times, really) how much I happen to love doughnuts. Just in case you didn’t already know this about me, I love them more than life itself. Cross my heart and kiss my elbow. They’re my all-time favorite dessert/breakfast/treat/midnight snack/reason for living. I don’t really care much for chocolate or ice cream or cookies or cake—I’m totally lying because I still love them all just as much—but doughnuts? Doughnuts are an entirely different story. Doughnuts are my one true passion in life. Doughnuts are my body and soul. I can eat them like no one’s business. Night and day. Day and night. Prepare yourselves if doughnuts are anywhere present and I’m not offered one. I’ll go crazy. Probably flip a table over and destroy everything in sight, like Godzilla. That’s what doughnuts do to me. Just a warning though, if you do offer me one I’ll probably eat them all, without shame, and without so much as a second thought.

This year I’ve dropped the ball on the pumpkin recipe game. I’m sorry. It’s not as strong as it has been over the years. Do you remember this delicious Pumpkin Mac and Cheese? Yeah, it’s sort of out of this world. The perfect autumn dinner recipe to blow people’s minds. What about these ridiculously fluffy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies? Are you having withdrawals yet? Then you should probably make a batch soon. Eating just one isn’t an option. This year however, I kind of forgot how much I love this season and how obsessed I am with pumpkin. It dawned on me the other day that I hadn’t posted a new pumpkin recipe all year. We’re halfway through October already, and there was no pumpkin spice anything to be found. I needed to take care of that right away. 

These Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts sort of combine my three favorites; doughnuts, pumpkin and cinnamon. They’re so perfect I don’t know whether to eat them for breakfast before work, or as a snack in between meals, or even as a tasty dessert after dinner. It’s such a dilemma that the only logical solution I have is to eat them all day long. That way, I don’t have to fret too much about when is the right time to binge on doughnuts. The answer to which is, always. It’s always the right time to shove doughnuts in your face. I hope that’s the one valuable lesson you take away from me. Let’s get back to thinking up new ways to incorporate pumpkin into our lives. I’m not complaining. 

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Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles

There’s a fine line between breakfast and dessert, and I never know if I’ve crossed it or not. Muffins, scones, sweet biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and doughnuts, are they breakfast or dessert? I say breakfast, but only because I’ve been known to eat all of those first thing in the morning—and all at once, but that’s a whole other story. Maybe I’m just calling them breakfast so that I won’t feel so guilty eating them early on in the day. Doughnuts double as a dessert for me though, because I love them in the evening just as much as in the mornings. I love them during midday as well. I just love doughnuts in general, have I mentioned that before? This isn’t about doughnuts though. This post is about waffles. Focus Jon, focus. 

Pancakes, waffles and French toast, now those are for sure breakfast items, right? They’re always present at every breakfast I’ve ever been to. So I’m gonna go with, yes. Mentioning the three together of course brings up a very important question, Which do you prefer? Waffles, pancakes or French toast? I’m all about the pancakes…that is when I’m not scarfing down a stack of French Toast, then I’m all about the cinnamon and bread. But then there are the times when I’d kill for a waffle. A thick Belgian style waffle with a mountain of whipped cream (and if my doctor or mother are reading this, fresh fruit, of course). 

What happens though when said waffles are made to taste just like dark chocolate zucchini cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? That’s totally, hands down, without a doubt, 100% still considered breakfast, right? Of course it is. Phew, I’m glad we settled that. I wouldn’t of been able to enjoy the rest of my day without hearing the right answer. Let’s go have dark chocolate zucchini cake waffles for breakfast, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, of course. Breakfast, I love you. Really, I do. 

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Blueberry Cobbler Biscuits

The thing about biscuits is that you don’t know whether to eat them in the morning for breakfast or devour them at dinner as a roll to sop up all of the yummy sauce left behind. I’m getting off track…what was I saying? Oh, do you lean them towards something sweet or something savory? I don’t really care because just as long as biscuits are involved I’m not complaining. Whoever invented biscuits should get a huge monument built in their honor. Like a big statue or something, at least. I know that in different parts of the world, biscuits are completely different. It’s more of a cookie or a cracker of some kind. But here in the states, for the most part, we’re talking about buttery fluffy quick breads that I just want to stuff my face with. 

These are a cross between a few different desserts. It’s like blueberry crumble meets blueberry cobbler—because cobblers are usually topped with biscuits—meets blueberry streusel muffins meets buttermilk biscuits. I chose blueberries because they’re currently in season and are on sale everywhere I turn. Literally, everywhere. They’re practically giving them away. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something sweet to use up all those free blueberries. Here we are now, knee deep in blueberry cobbler biscuits. Not really knee deep, but how cool (and delicious) would that be?! I’m making a mental note right now, as I type this, to make that fantasy a reality. Jonathan Melendez: Making dreams come true since August 2014. 

True fact: My mamma’s favorite berry is a blueberry. She also shares my love (and passion) for biscuits so this recipe actually goes out to her as a BTW, FYI, and P.S. It’s the least I could do after she gave birth to me and fed me and clothed me and provided a roof over my head for all those years. I mean, biscuits pretty much makes us even. Right mom? You don’t have to answer because I know they do. That’s how magical biscuits are. Get in on all this magic. 

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Baked Salted Caramel Chocolate Doughnuts

I think by now you’re already well aware about my love—some might call it an obsession and maybe they’re right—with doughnuts. In case you didn’t already know, maybe these Baked Blueberry Crumb Doughnuts will convince you. Or these Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Doughnuts topped with chopped peanuts and lots of chocolate. Finally, perhaps these Bourbon Blueberry Basil Doughnuts will do the trick. They’re perfectly boozy and sweet. It’s safe to say I’m addicted, but nothing to worry about because I have a number to a group on hand, just in case it ever gets to that point. Not that it ever would because I don’t see a problem with eating doughnuts by the dozen until you can’t eat anymore. That’s totally normal, right? Yeah, it’s normal. Doughnuts are meant to be eaten two at a time and frequently, at that. You can quote me on that. 

My love for doughnuts is so big that I actually created a special day for them. National Doughnut Day, which is on June 6th by the way (just around the corner), is a holiday that I created to celebrate the best dessert/treat/breakfast item ever invented. You’re welcome. Okay, so maybe I personally didn’t create the day itself (I totally should have though). I actually don’t know who did, but whoever declared June 6th National Doughnut Day, is a hero in my eyes. I’ll never forget you. Thank you random person I don’t know for making this special day possible. A monument should be built in your honor. National Doughnut Day? More like National Jonathan’s Favorite Holiday Let’s Celebrate by Eating Tons of Doughnuts Day. Or something like that. I’m still working on the name. 

So in honor of this special day, I decided to make doughnuts for the blog. Also, I began realizing that I hadn’t posted a doughnut recipe in a while. We can’t have that. That’s a really big problem. So I thought since I don’t have any chocolate doughnuts on here yet, I just needed to make a chocolate doughnut recipe. And what goes better with chocolate than salted caramel? Well, maybe crushed up salty pretzels because it’s the way it always should be. I baked these because I was too lazy to go through the entire process of making the dough, letting it rest, rolling out the dough and cutting them and then frying them. My head was hurting just thinking about it. I also didn’t fry them because I figured if I slapped on the work “Baked” right to the front of this recipe, it would instantly become healthy. So here I am with my healthy doughnuts, taunting you to make them and eat them. You can thank me later, right now, just go out and celebrate National Doughnut Day. 

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