Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls
Cold weather around here means
 staying in, drinking hot cocoa, 
and making warm, soft cinnamon rolls.
The smell alone is enough to have you
 running to the kitchen drooling.
 We've tried many cinnamon roll recipes over the years 
and some were pretty good.
Some were too bready.
Some with a weird cinnamon sugar mixture.
But when Jessi made these...need...we...say...more.
We had to have the recipe!

 Perfect for any holiday morning.
They are quick to make.
They use ingredients you have in your pantry.
So what are you waiting for?
Let's go make some.



It is nice to have yeast in a jar instead of those little packages. We store ours in the refrigerator...ready whenever we need it. 








Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Then after heating the milk and butter
add it to the flour mixture with the egg.
Mix well. We just use the dough hook. After it is combined just let the hook do all the work. Let it mix for about 5 minutes...saves kneading by hand. When it looks like this, you are done. We use a little bit of flour to coat the ball of dough so it's easy to handle as you take it out.

 
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
We make our "rectangle" about 20"x13".


Spread the softened butter evenly.

  
 Sprinkle with this fabulous cinnamon sugar mixture.


You can almost smell them baking!



Roll the dough toward you until it is one long roll.

Some people use a thread or dental floss to cut through 
 this big long roll of cinnamon goodness
 but we just use a really sharp serrated knife.  
Works like a charm! 


 Divide the rolls evenly between two round greased pans. Place them in a warm place and let them rise for around 30 minutes. We usually use that time to preheat the oven and sit them on top of the stove.





 When they rise enough to take up the empty space and touch
each other, they are ready to bake!

The rolls bake for about 15-20 minutes.
So now is a good time to make the icing.
Just a simple powdered sugar recipe.
Melted butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk.

When the rolls are golden take them out and wait for about 5 minutes.....HA!
 Who are we kidding?
 Let's do it now!
Pour the icing on the warm rolls and spread evenly. 
It will melt down into all the nooks and crannies.
Yum!

 
Now it is time to eat some of that 
warm, yummy
 cinnamon goodness!
Maybe add a dollop of butter right on top 
of that roll on your plate. 
Oh yeah...melted butter dripping 
 down the side mixing 
with the cinnamon sugar goo. 
Life doesn't get any better than this! 
Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls
Dough:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar 
3 Tbsp yeast
1 egg

Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp cinnamon

To make the dough:
Combine the milk and butter in a microwavable bowl. Heat until butter is melted and milk is warm (not hot) about 1 minute 30 seconds.
In a mixing bowl combine 3 Tbsp of yeast, 3 cups of flour, salt, and the sugar. Add the milk/butter mixture and the egg.
Mix well using a dough hook.
Add the rest of the flour a 1/4 cup at a time.
Scrape down the sides and mix for 5 minutes on medium. 
Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit 10 minutes. 
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 20"x13".
Spread the softened butter evenly on the rolled out dough.
 Mix the sugar and brown sugar together with the cinnamon.
Sprinkle evenly over the butter.
Starting with the edge farthest from you, roll the dough tightly toward you. 
Cut into 1 1/2" sections with a sharp knife. Divide evenly between to greased round cake pans.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Let the rolls rise in a warm place,covered with a towel, for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the icing.

Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
1-2 Tbsp milk

Mix together the melted butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
Add the milk to get it the consistency you like.
We like it not too thick and not too runny. 
Just right and spreadable.
After you remove the rolls from the oven spread the icing evenly between the two pans.

(This recipe was adapted from the 1-Hour Cinnamon Roll 
from the blog www.gimmesomeoven.com ) 
 
Enjoy!

  





Saturday, November 2, 2013

Crepes, Crepes, Crepes!

Strawberry Cream Crepes 
AND 
 Ham and Cheese Crepes 

Sometimes you feel like something a little sweet...




and sometimes you want some savory.





Crepes are a very versatile food. 
They are a very thin little pancake.
 My son-in-law grew up with something similar called egg pancakes that his family ate with butter and sugar on them. We made them with ham and cheese for dinners.
 I saw them at the State Fair with 
the strawberries and cream in them
and fell for that version too.
No matter what you call them...
just call them delicious.

 There isn't much difference between making them for savory dishes or for sweet dishes.
For the sweet crepes we just add some sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.

Other than that they are the same. 



 Make sure to cook your crepes in a non stick skillet. Lightly coated with oil. There are crepe pans out there that you can purchase, but this works just great.

 After it is done on one side carefully flip to the other side. Then just stack them up in a pile while cooking the others.




 As you can see, they are very, very thin.









Ham and Cheese Crepes: 

 We used a combination of 
shredded cheddar cheese 
and shredded Velveeta cheese.
Also thinly cut ham.

Combine the sour cream, mustard, 
salt, pepper, and onions.
You can leave out the onions,
 if you have onion haters in your family,like we do. (You know who you are Cory!)
 


Spread about one tablespoon of the sour cream mixture down the middle of the crepe. Top with some ham and cheese.Then roll like a burrito. 
 Place your rolled crepes in a greased 13"x9" pan.
Sprinkle with Ritz cracker crumbs and drizzle with butter.
 They come out of the oven with gooey cheese peeking out of the ends and the top a light golden brown. Makes you just want to grab a fork and dive right in.

Now for dessert!
Strawberry Cream Crepes:

 Fresh strawberries, cut into pieces.
Mix up the "sweet cream" filling,
which is cream cheese, sugar, 
powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.
Make the same way as the savory crepes, but when you make the actual crepes,
 add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. 
Cook exactly the same way.
Construct the same using the cream cheese mixture first, and then adding the strawberries.  
Next gently fold together instead of rolling.
No cooking this crepe! It is now ready to eat!
Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top.
Garnish with a few sliced berries and
ENJOY!

Basic Crepes
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs slightly.
Combine with the remaining ingredients.
Mix well.
Keep mixing to get the lumps out.

Heat a 7"-8" skillet over medium heat.
Grease lightly.

Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan, tilting the pan and moving the batter around to spread evenly.

When the crepe is light brown and set, flip to the other side. Lightly brown that side, then remove from pan.
Repeat with the remaining batter 
to make about 10 - 12 crepes. 

 Ham and Cheese Crepes
12 oz. ham, slices, diced, or just thinly sliced strips
1 1/2 shredded cheese, (we used a combination 
of cheddar and Velveeta)
1 tablespoon diced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon mustard
1/3 - 1/2 cup Ritz crack crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
10-12 crepes

Heat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl mix the sour cream, onion, mustard, 
salt, and pepper.
Evenly divide in the following order: 
the sour cream mixture,
the shredded cheese,
and the ham.
Roll up each crepe 
and arrange in a 13"x9" greased pan.
Top with the cracker crumbs.
Drizzle with the melted butter.
Cover loosely with foil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melting 
and the top is turning golden brown. 
Serve immediately.

Sweet Crepes
   Add the following to half of the basic batter and mix:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Cook the same way.

Strawberry Cream Crepes
 8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
 3-4 cups sliced strawberries
 5-6 sweet crepes
Whipped cream
Strawberries for garnish.
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, powder sugar,
 vanilla, and almond extract.

Evenly divide the cream cheese mixture 
among the crepes.
Top with the strawberries.
Fold/roll up carefully.
Top with whipped cream and 
a few slices of strawberry.
Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Toblerone Shortbread

Lately our sweet tooth has been calling out to us. 
Actually it has been screaming, 
 "Feed me! Feed me!"
This sweet little bar cookie is a perfect way to do just that.
The simple crust,
a crunchy light shortbread.
Then top it with the deliciousness of Toblerone chocolate.  
Ahhhhhhh.
 
The first time we ever had these
 was when Amber
 (an awesome family member of 
ours who LOVES to bake)
made them for us.
We are huge fans of shortbread.
 It's crispy, light, and buttery.
But when she topped it with the chocolate:
WOW!
Talk about love at first bite!
And they are very easy to make.
You should have everything at home.
Except maybe the Toblerone chocolate.
 First, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the flour and salt.
Mix to make a stiff dough that almost holds together.
We put it in a parchment lined 9"x13" pan.
 Pat firmly into the pan.
Notice the clips?
Helps keep the paper in place.
Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet and 
bake in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
It should be just golden. 
So watch it closely.
Did we mention that we LOVE this candy?
Okay...enough drooling over the candy.
While your shortbread is baking,
 chop the candy into pieces.
As soon as it comes out of the oven sprinkle the candy over the top of the shortbread.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
It should be softened and then you can spread it evenly.
Let it sit until the candy has hardened 
Either in the refrigerator or on the counter.   
 Once set, lift the whole thing out of the pan.
 This is where the parchment paper comes in handy.
Cut into squares or triangles
 or any shape you want.
Yum...shortbread.
CHOCOLATE covered shortbread!
Toblerone Shortbread
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
4  (3.52 oz) Toblerone candy bars, chopped.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
 Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the flour and salt.
Mix just enough to make a 
stiff dough that almost holds together.

Pat into a parchment lined 9"x 13" pan.
Set this pan on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes.
Watch closely and remove when it is lightly golden.

Immediately sprinkle the chopped candy 
on top of the shortbread.  
Let sit for about 5 minutes until melted.
Spread evenly over the shortbread.
 Let sit until the chocolate has set.
Cut into bars.
Enjoy!
 This recipe is adapted from
 A Passion for Baking 
by Marcy Goldman.