Welcome to Recipe for Romance!
So, originally, RfR was a way to give people ideas that would help them spice up their romantic relationships. I would write up some easy and common ways to make a few moments on your weekend or date night fun and sexy (whether REALLY SEXY or more of the sweet variety). I think if you search “recipe” or “recipe for romance” you might find some of these old posts.
The posts that showed up in 2020 were more about sharing actual recipes, goodies to be shared with loved ones.
But it’s now 2023 and things are changing again. I still want to share recipes, and romance, and snippets of my stories because I am, after all, a romance author. So I thought I’d do it this way.
Each weekend, I’ll share a snippet of a tale that either takes place in the current month (in this case, February) or is coming out in the current month, and a recipe that either goes with the tale or goes with the month.
Confused yet? Excellent! lol
Let’s get started. I’m sharing a snippet of A DANCE BETWEEN WORLDS, book 3 in the 4 part Ivory Road serial, coming on Feb. 20 2023. Ivory is a Hollywood Star, so I thought Cinnamon Star Bread would be the perfect compliment.
Coming Feb 20 2023: A Dance Between Worlds
“Remind me. How long has it been since I left, Aristotle?”
“Near as I can tell, about ten months, give or take.”
Iliana sighed. “Sweet glory! That’s a long time. Brandon’s going to be furious.”
Aristotle wisely said nothing and they rode into the courtyard of the estate. The large manor house appeared to be similar to a Spanish villa with the terra cotta tiled roof and stucco walls. A fountain stood in the center, spraying water a few feet up to splash in the basin. Several other buildings fanned out around the courtyard. A barn made from wood stood closest to the fields and a few horses stood under the sodden skies. Another building beyond looked like a barracks. Must be the dorm for the students.
She swung out of the saddle and led Aristotle under the portico, but stopped before knocking on the door. Her gut clenched and her breath hitched. Damn, he’s going to be furious with me. She didn’t want to face it, but he’d be angrier the longer she waited.
Hopefully not too mad to hear what I have to tell him.
“Are you going to go in so I can get out of this rain?” Aristotle shook his head as if clearing his ears of water.
“You are out of the rain.”
“But I’m not in a nice warm stable with a bin full of succulent hay.”
Iliana laughed, but her mirth died quick. “How many people am I likely to encounter in the house?”
Aristotle rubbed his muzzle against a foreleg in consideration. “There were a total of ten students and two other teachers when I left. One instructor is an archer and the other is a master of mounted warfare.”
“So Brandon’s working with others.” She nodded and clenched her fists around the reins. “I’m glad he doesn’t have to do it all.”
“Knock on the door, Iliana.” Aristotle’s voice held none of the snarky bite and she shot him a surprised look. “He deserves to know you’re here.”
Cinnamon almond Star Bread
This is a lot like a sweet roll or cinnamon rolls, but it comes out in such a beautiful shape. Definitely a crowd pleaser.
Siobhan Muir’s Cinnamon Almond Star Bread
2 ½ cups (9 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond flour
1/4 cup Almond milk
3/4 cup to 1 cup lukewarm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
First, measure the flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine (I used the bread machine) — to make a soft, smooth dough. If you use the bread machine, set it to the dough option. If you don’t use the bread machine, place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60 minutes, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, gather your filling ingredients:
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
On a lightly greased or floured work surface (or piece of parchment paper), roll one piece of dough into a 10″ circle. Don’t worry about making the circle exactly 10″ wide, or even totally round. Just do your best; rising and baking will cover any shaping faux pas. If you’ve rolled on your countertop, place the circle on a piece of parchment. Brush a thin coat of beaten egg on the surface.
Evenly sprinkle with one-third of the cinnamon-sugar (a 3 scant tablespoons), leaving 1/4″ of bare dough around the perimeter.
Roll out a second circle the same size as the first, and place it on top of the filling-covered circle. Brush it with egg, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Repeat the layering process — egg, cinnamon-sugar, dough circle — leaving the top circle bare. Reserve a bit of the beaten egg to brush over the star once it’s shaped.
Place a 2 1/2″ to 3″ round cutter, pint jar lid, or drinking glass in the center of the dough circle as a guide. Press the round cutter in the middle down just enough to leave an imprint and remove it. Then take a pair of scissors and cut from the outside edge of the dough to the center, stopping at the line left by the cutter. It helps to first cut the dough into four quadrants; then to cut each quadrant into four (hopefully even) wedges.
Using two hands, pick up two adjacent dough strips and twist them away from each other twice so that the top side is facing up again. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough so that you end up with eight pairs of strips. Pinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with eight points. Don’t be fussy; just pinch and pull to make somewhat flower-like “petals.”
Transfer the star on the parchment to a baking sheet. Cover the star and let it rise until it becomes noticeably puffy, about 45 minutes. While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the star with a thin coat of the beaten egg.
Bake the star for 12 to 15 minutes, until it’s nicely golden with dark brown cinnamon streaks; the center should register 200°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Make & freeze
This bread can be baked and frozen up to 1 month before you’re planning to serve it. Once it’s cool, wrap it airtight and store in the coldest part of your freezer, preferably away from the door. To prepare it for serving, thaw it overnight, still wrapped, at room temperature. Place it on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it’s warmed through
Happy making, happy baking, happy eating, and happy reading!