Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finally - cinnamon rolls!

Finally in that not only am I blogging them almost 2 weeks after I made them, but I've been meaning to make them for MONTHS, due in no small part to typing copious notes at the G-Mills about their Pillsbury brethren (also known as cin rolls, cinn rolls, C-rolls and CRs). I was a little nervous about making them, because the extent of my yeast work is quite small, but they turned out well! My only complaint is that they dried out pretty fast in the fridge, even though they were sealed up in a Pyrex (I love Pyrex!) container with a lid.

This recipe comes from Bridget at The Way the Cookie Crumbles. Check it out!

Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Cooks Illustrated’s The New Best Recipe)

½ cup milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons yeast)
¼ cup (1¾ ounce) sugar
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4-4 ½ cups (20 to 21¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter

1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 ounce cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

1. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees).

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, egg, and yolks at low speed until well mixed. Add the salt, warm milk mixture, and 2 cups of the flour and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed (adding up to ¼ cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary) until the dough is smooth and freely clears the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a round, place it in a very lightly oiled large bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

3. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

4. After the dough has doubled in bulk, press it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle, with a long side facing you. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border at the far edges. Roll the dough, beginning with the long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips as you roll. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on it ends if necessary to make a uniform 16-inch cylinder. Cut the roll in 12 equal pieces and place the rolls cut-side up in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

5. When the rolls are almost fully risen, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 185 to 188 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Glaze the rolls and serve.

Mmm, pasta

Just finished dinner...this reminds me of the Olive Garden's Garlic Herb Chicken Con Broccoli. Dan thought it was a little bland (it was), but that's easily remedied with a bit more lemon juice and some red pepper flakes, maybe more salt and pepper. Inspired by this recipe from Ina Garten and this one from Giada De Laurentiis. I approximated pretty much everything, so the quantities listed are suggestions only.

Chicken and Broccoli with Bow Ties
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 lb. bow tie (farfalle) pasta
3 heads broccoli florets
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes, optional

Put large pot of water on to boil. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in saucepan/skillet over medium to medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken and saute until cooked through. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli florets to the pasta water 3 minutes before the pasta will be done; drain. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to chicken, saute for about a minute. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss with pasta and broccoli. You can also reserve a cup of pasta water to extend the sauce. Serve topped with cheese.

Crappy photo to come.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

While we're at it...

This chocolate cake is ridiculous. It's just as easy as using a mix, but it's sooooo moist (you know, as long as you don't over bake it!) and chocolaty... ::insert Homer Simpson drool here:: Again, courtesy of Hershey's.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Smores Cookie Bars

Now drama and fake abstinence free!

Courtesy of the Hershey's website. I doubled everything (my marshmallow fluff came out of a 13oz. may or may not have been similar to 2 cups) and baked it in a 9"x13" pan. Oh, and I ran out of all purpose flour, so about one cup was whole wheat flour, which makes it healthy, right? ;)

S'More Cookie Bars

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (1.55 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press half of dough into prepared pan.

3. Arrange chocolate bars over dough, breaking as needed to fit. Spread with marshmallow creme. Scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallow; carefully press to form a layer.

4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. 16 bars.

Fat Bars

Special K Bars

6 cups Special K or Rice Crispy cereal

1 ½ cups peanut butter

1 cup corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

Place cereal in large heatproof bowl; set aside. In a saucepan, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup and sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Pour over cereal and stir until well coated. Spread into a greased 9 x 13” pan. In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Spread over bars.