Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls

I'm a sucker for cinnamon buns. But each time I make them they're never Pinterest perfect. I guess with a little practice I could master them, so on the weekend I was feeling a little adventurous and got some dough proving.

I always find that it takes much longer for my dough to double up on first prove than recipes suggest. My flat is warm so I don't know what I'm doing wrong? If you've got any bun tips then help a girl out!

I first spotted these on Pinterest and couldn't wait to try them out. A combination of my two loves, salty pretzels and sweet sticky cinnamon buns. 

Think of those pillowy soft cinnamon coated pretzels you get in shopping centres but swirled into a bun. Instead of quickly boiling the buns like you would with pretzels to give that chewy outside, these are brushed with a bicarbonate of soda solution to do the very same thing. Sprinkled with salt these will turn pretty dark once baked but I promise they'll be squidgey cinnamon pillows on the inside.

P R E T Z E L   C I N N A M O N   R O L L S
(Recipe adapted from The Kitchn, makes 12 rolls)

450g plain flour, plus more for kneading
7g dried packet yeast
4tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
100g dark brown sugar
3tbsp ground cinnamon
75g unsalted butter, softened
1tbsp bicarbonate of soda
salt for sprinkling 
  • Add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt to a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the egg and 175ml of warm water. Mix together with your hands to form a sticky lump and tip onto a floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth, slightly sticky ball.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.
  • Lightly grease a large ovenproof dish or tray.
  • Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, tip out onto a floured surface and roll out to a 20 x 12 inch rectangle. 
  • Spread the butter over the dough, reaching all the edges. Sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
  • Tightly roll the dough into a log starting with the short edge. Cut evenlt into 12 pieces, each an inch thick. Arrange onto the oven dish, leaving space between each roll. Loosely cover with some greased cling film and leave to rise once again in a warm place for about 30 minutes,
  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees. 
  • Mix the bicarbonate of soda with 3tbsp of hot water and use a pastry brush to brush over the tops of each of the rolls. Immediately sprinkle with salt and bake for 35 minutes, until risen and darkly golden.

These rolls are best eaten on the day, but if by rare chance you've some left, gently warm them and you're good to go.

Almond Chai Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

I don't know if you can tell, but I have the ultimate sweet tooth. For elevenses and after lunch slumps I'm always raiding the biscuit jar, I just can't help myself. On weeks where I'm much more organised I like to whip up a batch of healthier treats to stash in my desk drawer at work. Anything from muffins, flapjacks to banana bread.

Most weeks I do ok, other weeks I need a little more encouragement. So when Blue Diamond got in touch to tell me about their new '30 Ways to Goodness' campaign I was excited to try a new recipe for my snack box. In collaboration with fitness guru and blogger Faya Nilsson from Fitness on Toast, the team are encouraging you to feel good about yourself with a few simple tips in food and fitness. Together with Faya they've launched a video series to get both your tastebuds and body moving.

Whilst I may not start doing burpees behind the desk, I've been enjoying the brighter days by taking myself on lunchtime walks to get myself moving a little bit more. I tend to graze on snacks throughout the day so instead of sitting around in the canteen, I've been trying exploring the local area in my 45 minutes. Along with being organised in taking in healthier homemade snacks I've also being enjoying almond milk in my coffee to sweeten it up in place of my regular spoon of sugar.

A L M O N D   C H A I   M U F F I N S   W I T H   C H O C O L A T E   C H U N K S
(Recipe adapted from Simply Nigella, makes 12 muffins)

Whilst these aren't super healthy muffins, anything homemade is better than raiding the biscuit jar. Everything in moderation, right? Replace the flour for spelt flour, oil for coconut oil and sugar for honey if you're feeling adventurous. The chocolate chunks are entirely optional, currants or cacao nibs would work equally well too.

225ml Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 chai tea bags
400g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g soft light brown sugar
75g whole almonds, roughly chopped
100g milk chocolate chunks (optional)
2 eggs
150ml sunflower oil
  • In a small pan, gently heat the milk, cinnamon and chai tea. Its easier to tear apart the tea bags and pour the tea into the pan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
  • Pour the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large mixing bowl and roughly whisk to remove any lumps. Add the almonds, apart from a few spoons, and the chocolate chunks.
  • In the saucepan with the cooled milk, add the eggs and oil and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold together until just incorporated. Sprinkle the rest of the almonds on the muffin tops. 
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Find out more about the '30 Ways to Goodness' campaign videos here, or recipes here. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and other products are available in your local Sainsbury's, Tescos, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado. 

This post was kindly sponsored by Blue Diamond, but all views and opinions are my own. 

Pork & Apple Burgers with Sticky Cider Onions

I'm just going to put it out there, its almost barbecue season. Not that I need any more excuse to eat burgers, but more of an excuse to try something a little different. Making burgers at home is super simple and quick but I tend to stick to my trusty tried and tested tricks. Tricks like maple bacon with some squidgy avocado or some fiery sriracha mayo. 

I was sent some of Aspall's new Waddlegoose cider to try and thought it would be the perfect match for pork, apple and sticky onions. These burgers can be made in under 30 minutes, sweet potatoes included. I didn't realise just how great pork burgers could be until now, I'm officially converted. And you don't even need a BBQ to make them

P O R K   &   A P P L E   B U R G E R S   W I T H   S T I C K Y   C I D E R   O N I O N S  
&   H O M E M A D E   S W E E T   P O T A T O   F R I E S
(Makes 4 regular burgers, or 2 epic burgers for the weekend)


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp smoked paprika 


6-8 pork sausages or 500g pork mince
1 small apple, cored and grated
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, sliced into rings
1 tsp soft light brown sugar
150ml Waddlegoose Cyder


4 burger buns (brioche or crispy white rolls are my favourite)
4 tbsp mayonnaise
handful of lambs lettuce, pea shoots or rocket

  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Throw the sweet potato fries into a sandwich bag with the oil, paprika and season. Seal and shake until well coated. Place the fries in a single layer on the baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges turn golden and start to crisp.
  • For the burgers, squeeze out the sausage meat from your sausages into a bowl or pork mince. Add the grated apple, season and mix well. Divide the mixture into 4 and form into equally shaped patties. Set aside on a plate.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally until the onions soften and start to brown around the edges. Add the sugar and cider, mix together and turn up to a high heat. Leave for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cider has evaporated.
  • Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until smoking hot and add the burgers. Cook on each side for 3 minutes. Once cooked, leave to rest.
  • Gently toast the cut sides of the burger buns on the griddle pan before spreading some mayonnaise over the bases and add some leaves. Top each with a burger and generous helping of sticky onions. Serve with sweet potato fries. 

Now I'm well and truly in the mood for sunshine I can't wait to create some Waddlegoose cocktails too! Find out more on Waddlegoose and stockists, here.

Thanks to Aspall and Waddlegoose for sending me a box of cider to give me the barbecue feeling! I was not paid for this post, my love for burgers is my own.