Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crazy Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

You can probably tell that I've fallen by the wayside with blogging. I haven't forgotten about it but with a toddler I just don't have the time. However, when something is really really good - I take the time to do a post.

I already posted about these cinnamon rolls but I feel the need to do so again. The first time I made these I found the ratios to be really weird. After doing some research and watching Ree Drummond's show where she makes these - I see it actually makes like 50 cinnamon rolls meant to be put in foil pans and delivered to friends. Um. Share?? Me? I'll give you one to try but a whole pan?! Only if I really like you! 

So, I am posting her recipe as is but I halved this. Halving the recipe will give you either 16 smaller cinnamon rolls that will fit into two round pans (foil pan or glass pie plate). You can also make them a little bigger and do 8 rolls that would fit into a rectangle glass pan (probably a 9x10). They rise and fill out the pan so I wouldn't worry too much about which one you pick out. Also, I made the dough the afternoon before and then put it in the fridge. The next morning my husband took it out really early and then I rolled it out two hours later. Then I let the rolls rise in a warm spot. Anything to save a little time!

These are so sweet and wonderful. The glaze is amazing and the dough is fabulous. I prefer to do the larger rolls, I think the glaze to dough recipe is nicer.

Enjoy friends!!

Cinnamon Rolls
Source: Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond

1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter - 1 cup
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

1 bag Powdered Sugar (2 pounder)
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
½ cups Milk
¼ cups Melted Butter
¼ cups Brewed Coffee
⅛ teaspoons Salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopies with Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Filling

It's been a while but I couldn't keep these from my foodie friends. These are based on a recipe from Hannaford's Fresh Magazine that you pick up at the grocery store. I think it is a few years old and now I have tried all of the whoopie recipes that was in this particular issue. All of them are amazing and perfect.

The changes I made are minor. I added a little maple extract to the cake part. For the filling I didn't have 8 ounces of cream cheese - just 6 ounces. So I added 2 more ounces of butter to make up for it. I also added 2 teaspoons of maple extract and two shakes of cinnamon.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Filling
Source: Adapted from Hannaford Fresh Magazine
Yield: 2 dozen small

11/2 cup Light brown sugar
3/4 cup Canola oil
2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
2 each Egg
15 oz Canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
3 cup All purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
1/4 teaspoon Cloves, ground
1/4 teaspoon Ginger, ground
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon maple extract 

8 oz Cream cheese
1/4 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
41/2 cup Confectioners` sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons maple extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix brown sugar, oil, and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each egg. Add pumpkin and mix until incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Add half the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula, and remaining flour mixture, and mix well.
4. Drop 2-Tbsp. portions of batter onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each portion to allow for spreading. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until puffed and set but still soft when touched lightly with fingertips. Let cakes cool for 3 minutes on baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
5. Prepare filling while cakes are baking and cooling. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and half the confectioners' sugar; mix on low at first to combine, then on high until smooth. Add remaining confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Assemble whoopie pies. Spoon filling onto the flat sides of half the cakes, dividing it evenly. Top with remaining cakes, flat side against the filling, rounded side up. Serve immediately, or wrap each whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days, or in freezer for up to two months.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Raspberry Curd

I made this raspberry curd to go with meringue shells. Since it made two jars I used the other for smearing on muffins and breads. Awesome stuff.

Raspberry Curd
Source: Martha Stewart

Makes 2 cups

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup raspberries

In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.

Add butter and place pan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).

Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.)

In a blender, puree 1 cup raspberries. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Fold raspberry puree into cooled curd.

Read more at Raspberry Curd - Martha Stewart Recipes

Friday, August 3, 2012

Salmon Burger with Cilantro Mayo

I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats quite some time ago. I usually do an Asian style glaze on my salmon and Abe and I love it. I will tell him it is good for his brain and he pats his head. I decided that we needed an alternate way to have salmon and remembered this recipe. Oh my. YUM! Comes together in a pinch and is so delicious. Abe is a big fan as well.

Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Mayo
Source: Annie's Eats

½ cup red bell pepper, diced
6 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 lb. salmon fillets, skinned, boned and finely chopped
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1½ tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
1-2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

For the cilantro mayo:
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ cup mayo
½ cup cilantro
Dash of cayenne pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice

For serving: Burger buns
Green lettuce
Sliced red onion
Sliced tomatoes

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the diced bell pepper, panko, garlic and salmon. In a small bowl combine the egg white, soy sauce, lemon juice and salt. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the salmon and toss gently until well incorporated. Form the mixture into four equal patties.

To make the cilantro may, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined and smooth.

Lightly coat a grill pan or skillet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Cook the patties about 5 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Place the burgers on the buns, spreading one side of the bun with the cilantro mayo. Top as desired with lettuce, onion and tomato.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chocolate Ice Cubes

I am going to keep these stocked in my freezer at all time. Recently I've been having this at night with almond milk poured over the top. And it is so hot here that it turns to cold chocolately milk quite quickly!

Chocolate Ice Cubes
Source: Food Network Magazine

1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Combine milk, water, cocoa powder and sugar in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat until well combined Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until fully melted Pour into ice cube tray and stick in the freezer Pop out a couple cubes when you’re craving something sweet and enjoy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

What is it about bananas and nutella that makes my mouth and my belly so happy? The textures combined together? The flavors? I don't know. It's just amazing.

I made this cake on a snow day last month. It was an awesome day as I got to stay home with Abe all day which doesn't happen during the week. 

It was really hard to let the cake cool so I could frost it.

The cake part is really awesome. Moist and banana-y. The real shiner is the frosting, of course. I'm fairly sure I lapped the bowl.

I don't give Abe sweets very often. But it was a very special day so we splurged.

He was a very happy little boy.

It may look like he is blowing a kiss but he is shoving the last piece of cake in his mouth.

And he couldn't believe it was all gone.

You must make this cake.

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

Source: The Ginger Snap Girl

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 9 x 13 cake pan with parchment paper.  Or alternatively you can butter and flour the pan, knocking off excess flour. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat on low until just combined.  Add in vanilla and mashed bananas and mix until just combined.  With mixer on low add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Add half the buttermilk.  Alternate flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with buttermilk.  Do not over mix.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn cake out onto a cooling rack and remove parchment.  Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Nutella
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream (or condensed milk)

In a stand mixer beat butter and Nutella on medium, about 1 minute until fully combined.  Add in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time.  Mixture will appear crumbly.  Add in 2 tablespoons of cream and continue beating on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes.  Add additional tablespoons of cream until the frosting reaches a soft, spreadable consistency.  I used 4 tablespoons in total.  Generously spread frosting over cooled cake.  For a smooth finish, run your knife or offset spatula under hot water and gently smooth the surface, rinsing off it off after each swipe.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

These little pretzel bites are so easy to make. Basically you make a peanut butter ball, squish it between two pretzels, and then dunk half of it in dark chocolate. You can use milk chocolate if you want, I had dark already melted for another project so I whipped these up. YUM!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
Source: 17 and Baking

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp butter, room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
In a small bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract until well mixed – you may need to add more to get the filling thick and stiff enough to hold its shape.
Roll teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture between your palms to form balls. Sandwich between two pretzels and put on a plate or cookie sheet. Freeze the pretzel sandwiches for half an hour.
Melt the chocolate chips, using the microwave (30 second intervals) or a double boiler. Dip half of each pretzel sandwich in chocolate. Return the tray to the freezer and chill until the chocolate sets. Store the Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites in the refrigerator until serving time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts and Chocolate

Need a sweet treat to bring to a superbowl party? How about popcorn and peanuts coated with sweet, sticky caramel and then drizzled with dark and milk chocolate?


Good, because I have the recipe for it! This stuff is super amazing and really addictive!

Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts and Chocolate
Source: Baked Explorations

1 cup unpopped kernels or 24 cups popped corn
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups salted peanuts
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, melted
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), melted

If you are starting with kernels, pop them using any method you prefer and let them cool. (We like a hot-air popper.) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the popcorn in a large roasting pan. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, start to melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and molasses, and stir gently with a heatproof spatula. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring only occasionally, until the mixture starts to boil. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the syrup to the soft-ball stage, approximately 240 degrees F. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, the baking soda, and vanilla. Pour the caramel over the popcorn in large streams, then sprinkle with the peanuts. Use your spatula to fold the popcorn until it is completely coated with caramel.

Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to lift, flip, and coat the popcorn in the warm caramel, then continue baking for another 20 minutes. Cool the caramel popcorn in the pan for 5 minutes and transfer it to the lined sheet pan. Cool for approximately 15 minutes and drizzle the milk chocolate and dark chocolate in crisscross patterns over the top. Let the chocolate set before breaking the popcorn into serving-size pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Favorite Mac and Cheese

I've made my fair share of macaroni and cheese recipes. My mother always just winged it and it worked but not so much for me. My father prefers Velveeta. I now prefer this!

This is my favorite mac and cheese recipe and I will use this from now on. I will post the original recipe which I halved. It seems like you are buying a ton of expensive cheese but that cheese lasted me a batch of this plus I used it in multiple other dishes. By halving the recipe I made four of these little ramekins. Abe and I can eat one ramekin between the two of us as long as we have sides like salad or fruit.

My Favorite Mac and Cheese
Source: Martha Stewart
Yield: 8 servings

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
5 cups whole milk 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (10 ounces) 
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces) 
1 1/2 cups grated fontina cheese (4 ounces) 
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 pound elbow macaroni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 10 mini (1 cup) pie plates or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter is bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually pour warm milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, 1 cup fontina, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and transfer pasta to cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Divide mixture among mini pie plates or transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining cup cheddar, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and 1/2 cup fontina over top, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

It has come to the point where I am going to post recipes without pictures or with pictures from other sites (with credit of course). It is dark when we eat dinner so taking photos is a challenge. Plus I'm trying to feed a toddler and he is impatient. We are eating some really great stuff!

Pinterest and I are really great friends and I pin food things all the time. This is one that I found on there. The original recipe calls for chard but I like spinach or kale better.

Here is a picture from the Eat Well site:

Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans
Source: Eat Well
Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped spinach (or kale)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add  spinach and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Congo Bars

Congo bars remind me of school lunch back in the third grade. Do you think they still serve these in schools? Probably not. I don't even want to think about what they serve for school lunch these days. Ick.

I've been hanging on to this recipe for quite a while. I think it was the full box of brown sugar that had me on hold. Man, that full box of brown sugar is amazing though. These are sweet and kind of chewy with chocolately little bites. I will definitely make these again!

Congo Bars
Source: Bakerella
Yield: 12 big or 24 small

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb. light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition.
Add vanilla and mix.
Add flour and mix until combined.
Stir in chips.
Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chex Lemon Buddies

Hi. Are you mad at me? I mean, for not blogging for a really long time? I have a good excuse. I swear. His name is Abe. He's 14 months old. He keeps me extremely busy. But don't worry. I've been cooking and baking a lot and I've been taking pictures of most of it.

I'll try to do better. I vow to make time to blog about food. I mean, I think about it enough I might as well put it on the Internet.

While making traditional Chex Mix for the holidays I noticed a new recipe on the back of the cereal box, "Lemon Buddies." Um. Yes. Please. In my head I was imaging lemon cooler cookies from the 80s. Remember those??

These weren't as good as a lemon cooler cookie (it is cereal after all) but they were very good, easy to make, and so addicting. I brought them into work today to get them out of my house.

And Abe approved of them.

Lemon Buddies
Source: Chex Cereal
Yield: 9 cups (be ready to share or get a tummy ache)

9 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 1/4 cups white vanilla baking chips
1/4 cup butter
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar

Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; gently shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.