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Archive for the ‘Special Occasion’ Category

goatcheesestuffedchicken

Last week the stars aligned and I found my kitchen stocked with all the ingredients to make a killer stuffed chicken. The beauty of stuffed chicken is that it’s fairly easy to put together but looks impressive when sliced and plated. It’s a great option for dinner for two at home or entertaining (and relatively affordable). Also, it’s customizable based on what you have in your kitchen and what you like. Try out different filling combinations once you get comfortable with the method of preparing it.

Stuffed Chicken with Goat Cheese, Sundried Tomatoes and Basil
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)
Printable Recipe: Stuffed Chicken with Goat Cheese, Sundried Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flour, separated
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sundried tomatoes in a bowl and pour about 1 cup of boiling water over them. Let stand for 10 minutes to rehydrate and soften.

In the meantime, clean and rinse chicken. Pat dry. Working one breast at a time, place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap (or in a gallon ziploc bag) and pound to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Place pounded chicken on a large cutting board. The chicken breasts should be the shape of a large oval (more or less). You’ll want to place the filling across the breast so it goes across the bottom half of the longest part of the oval. Place one ounce of goat cheese across each breast. Top with sundried tomatoes and basil. Roll chicken tightly (starting at the end with your filling) and secure with about 4-5 toothpicks. Like so…

chickenexample

Season with salt and pepper and dredge in 2 tablespoons of flour. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place chicken in skillet and saute for about 5-6 minutes, turning frequently, until browned. Don’t worry if you lose a little bit of your filling (the cheese may ooze a little). You’ll have to work around the toothpicks but it’s doable.

Remove chicken from skillet and place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place dish in oven and bake for about 5-10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

While chicken is in the oven, keep your skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in pan drippings from chicken and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Whisk to combine. Add wine and let simmer a minute or two. Add chicken broth and let simmer until thickened and reduced a little (about 3-5 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To plate, remove toothpicks and slice chicken into medallions. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with sauce.

Yield: 2 servings

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I saw pina colada cupcakes last year and have been waiting for the perfect occasion to make them (yeah, maybe that’s a little sad but I get excited about things and add them to my “to make” book)! I thought the presentation was so cute! Well, the perfect occasion finally presented itself with my co-worker Courtney’s Stock the Bar shower. Everyone loved these cupcakes (taste and presentation) and they complimented the shower theme perfectly!

Now, I will admit that the first batch of cupcakes I made was a complete failure. And by complete failure I mean had no hope of being salvaged. I abandoned my original recipe (source will not be disclosed) and tried this one from Beantown Baker. They turned out great. In fact…I think I’ll enjoy the very last cupcake after I finish this post!

Pina Colada Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Beantown Baker, originally from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature (I used whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
4 egg whites
2/3 cup shredded coconut

FOR THE FROSTING
2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks or canned crushed pineapple
8 ounces cream cheese (one block), at room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

GARNISH
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Maraschino cherries with stems, drained and dried
Straws, cut down to a shorter size

Directions:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners (the recipe makes about 18 cupcakes).

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat  butter on high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until lightened in color and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions. Alternate the flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just blended. Still on low speed, add in the vanilla, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Wash and mixer bowl (alternatively, if you have a hand mixer you can use this and skip transferring the batter).

In the mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer on high speed), beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold ½ cup of the egg whites into the batter until smooth. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until smooth and blended (do not  over mix). Fill cupcakes pans about 2/3 of the way full with the batter.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on the rack to room temperature.

FOR THE FROSTING
If you are using fresh pineapple you’ll want to puree the chunks in a food processor a bit. If you’re using crushed pineapple, this step is not possible. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Mix in pineapple and beat on low speed to combine.

TO ASSEMBLE CUPCAKES
Spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with a generous layer of shredded coconut and top with a cherry. Insert straws. Enjoy :)

pinacoladacupcakesgroup

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strawberrytartfgts

Our friends Cristen and Graham just welcomed a beautiful baby girl into this world. After a couple weeks at home adjusting to the crazy life of being new parents, they were ready to get out of the house! We invited them over for a casual evening with make your own pizza. I put together some fun toppings and everyone made their own pizza. I think it was just the thing they needed to relax a bit. Baby Camille was on her best behavior and slept pretty much the whole time. We hardly heard a peep.

I wanted to make a lighter dessert that would be nice after pizza. I knew Cristen loved lemon-flavored desserts and I’d had my eye on some strawberry tart recipes for the last month or so. I decided to combine the two and it worked out perfectly.

I think my favorite part of this dessert was the crust. It was so good! It is definitely going to become my standard sweet tart dough recipe. If I made this again I would probably make an extra half batch of the lemon curd to fill the tart pan a little more. Don’t be intimidated by all of the steps. It’s really easy to put together if you make the curd and crust the night before you want to serve it.

Strawberry Lemon Tart
(Recipe source Smitten Kitchen – tart dough, Williams Sonoma – tart dough mixing method, epicurious.com – lemon curd)

Ingredients:

FOR THE TART DOUGH
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg

FOR THE LEMON CURD
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

GARNISH
Fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced in half
1/4 cup strawberry jam

Directions:

FOR THE TART DOUGH
Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Stir together flour, sugar and salt in mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal (should be between the size of oatmeal flakes and peas). Add the egg and beat just until the dough pulls together.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and gently pat into a ball. Lightly flatten into a disk shape. Roll our immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.

When you’re ready to roll the dough, butter a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Roll the chilled dough on work surface to form a 12 inch round. You’ll want to free the dough from the work surface occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking. You can also use a bit of flour on your roller and work surface to help with sticking.

Turn dough into prepared tart pan. Seal any cracks that you may have. Trim your overhang to about 1/2 an inch. Fold the overhang in to create double thick sides. Pierce crust all over with a fork. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes (I froze mine overnight) before baking.

You need to bake your crust before filling. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from freezer and cover with nonstick foil, shiny side down. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an extra 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool crust on wire rack to room temperature.

FOR THE LEMON CURD:
Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Add butter and lemon peel. Stir over medium heat until curd thickens to pudding consistency, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and chill at least 2 hours.

TO ASSEMBLE THE TART
Spread curd in crust. Layer strawberries over curd.

Heat jam in a small saucepan or in a small bowl in microwave. If you microwave – BE CAREFUL! The jam gets hot VERY quickly (ask my husband about the second degree strawberry jam burn all over my hand – ouch). I recommend microwaving for 5 seconds at a time until it thins to desired consistency.

Brush jam over the top of strawberries and let glaze set in refrigerator for at least one hour or up to six hours. Release tart from pan and serve.

YIELD: 6-8 servings

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This carrot cake popped up in my Google reader a few months ago. I starred it and have been waiting patiently for the perfect opportunity to make it. Easter dinner seemed like just the occasion. This cake was as wonderful as I hoped it would be and received great reviews from everyone around the table – even our one-year old niece! It was so moist and flavorful. I will definitely be making this cake again. Be forewarned though – it is huge! Make sure you have a crowd to feed for this one.

Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe heavily adapted from Dinner and Dessert)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped (I used pecans)
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
4 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups shredded peeled carrots
1-1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple or drained crush canned pineapple (one 20 oz. can)
1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez

FOR THE FROSTING:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperate
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heaving whipping cream
1/4 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
1/2 tsp salt

FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup coconut, toasted (optional for decoration)

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place one oven rack one-third from the bottom of the oven and the second two-thirds from the bottom. Toast nuts on a baking sheet in the oven for about 7-9 minutes, stirring halfway through or in a saute pan on the stove top over medium heat, stirring frequently. When they begin to darken in color and smell aromatic they are ready. Set aside to cool.

Line the bottom of three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy).

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together oil and sugar on medium speed. Add eggs in one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. On a low speed, add in vanilla, cream of coconut, pineapple, carrots and cream of coconut. Slowly mix in flour mixture and beat on low speed until fully combined.

Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cake pans. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another (if you have a double oven, I recommend using both for baking the cakes and not using the stagger method). Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking the cakes after about 27 minutes. They are done when they turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on racks for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the racks and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

FOR THE FROSTING
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high speed for about 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the whipping cream, cream of coconut, and salt; beat until combined.

FOR THE TOPPING
You can top your cake with toasted coconut for decoration. If you’d like to do this, spread the coconut in a thin layer in a baking sheet. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes. Check on it frequently – it will burn quickly (trust me, I know!). The coconut is ready when it is golden brown.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges.  Add the second layer and repeat. Top with the third layer and cover the top and sides of cake with an even layer of frosting.

Yield: 14-16 servings

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baconwrappedfilet

We went to Bruno’s on Sunday afternoon to get a movie from the DVD Express box. There was a hand written sign taped to the door that read, “Visit our meat department today!” That was all the encouragement that Brandon needed. The next thing I knew we had bypassed the movie kiosk and were checking out the meat department. They actually were having a great sale and one of the things that we came home with were some tasty looking filets.

We have a ton going on this week and last night was our only night at home together for dinner. Bacon wrapped filet on a Tuesday? I’ll take it.

Brandon did this on the Big Green Egg. I thought he did a nice job with the grill marks and it was cooked perfectly medium rare! He used the famous “T-Rex Method” on the steaks. Check it out if you’re not familiar!

Bacon Wrapped Filet
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2 6 oz filets
4 slices of bacon
Cooking spray
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Rub steaks with olive oil and coat generously with salt and pepper. (Do not put the bacon on at this time.)

You want the Egg really hot to sear the steaks to get the grill marks. Preheat to about 700 degrees (or as hot as you can get a standard grill). Sear steak on both sides for 90 seconds with the lid up. Remove from grill and let rest for 20 minutes. Bring grill temperature down to 400 degrees.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and placing a wire rack over it. Spray rack with cooking spray and place bacon slices on it. Bake bacon for about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. You don’t want your bacon fully cooked as it will finish cooking during the final grill.

Wrap bacon around steaks, securing with toothpicks or cooking twine. On slice of bacon probably won’t fit around the steak so you’ll most likely need two slices.

Return steaks to grill (with temperature reduced to 400) and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for medium rare. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving to allow juices to redistribute.

Yield: 2 servings

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tunaWe stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago while looking for a new way to prepare tuna. It has become part of the regular rotation and is our standby recipe for tuna steaks. The wasabi aoli is definitely what makes this dish. You can adjust the amount of wasabi you use to taste – we love the burn!

Try this recipe soon! We serve the tuna with stir fry veggies and sushi rice.

Seared Tuna with Wasabi Aoli
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

2 tuna steaks
Soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil (or sesame or canola oil)
1 tbsp wasabi powder (can be found in the Asian section of grocery store)
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I always use light)

Directions:

Place tuna steaks in a dish and pour a couple tablespoons of soy sauce over them. Let marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature, turning once.

Mix together wasabi powder and water and then whisk in mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pat tuna dry. Heat a medium skillet to medium-high. Heat oil. Sear tuna steaks for about 45 seconds per side for rare.

Serve with wasabi aoli.

Yield: 2 servings

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strawberrycake

A few weeks ago, I saw this cake on Good Things Catered. I was awed by how beautiful it was and as I read through the recipe I thought, “huh, this is something I could make.” No crazy fondant or decorating – just simple strawberries and lady fingers.

This weekend we hosted a baby shower for our friends Cristen and Graham in our home. Cristen and Graham love strawberry cake and I knew this was just the cake for the shower. I think what sold me was being able to tie the pink ribbon around it – how cute! This is kind of sad but I was looking forward to making this cake all week. I set my alarm for 7:30 on Saturday morning so I could get up and get baking!

The cake was wonderful and got rave reviews – for both its appearance and taste. I will definitely be adding this cake to the “special occasion” recipes.

Lady Strawberry Cake
(Recipe source Good Things Catered for the Cake and Annie’s Eats for the Buttercream)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted (I did not have and could not find cake flour. I substituted all purpose by adding 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of each cup and filling the rest with all purpose. I used 1/2 a tbsp for the last 1/4 cup.)
1 cup strawberry puree, room temperature (I pureed strawberries in the food processor with a couple tablespoons of sugar)
1/4 cup milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)

FOR THE FROSTING
20 tbsp (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I used closer to 3-3 1/2)
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp heavy cream

FOR THE GARNISH
1 package of Lady Fingers (or you can make your own – see recipe link above for instructions)
1 package of fresh strawberries, sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with wax or parchment paper. Grease sides of pan and flour.

In a bowl, combine strawberry puree, milk, egg whites and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add sifted flour,  sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Continue beating and add butter. Mix until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add liquid ingredients and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until combined. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl. On low speed, beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide batter evently among pans and smooth tops. Place pans in preheated oven and cook 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove pans from ovent and let rest for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

For buttercream, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20-30 seconds. Add sifted powdered sugar and salt, beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about a minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium spped until the mixture is fully combined, about another 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl again and add vanilla and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until fully incorporated, about 10 seconds and then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

To assemble cake, place first layer on a plate and top with a thin layer of buttercream, leaving about 1/4 inch border around the edges. Place a layer of sliced strawberries over the top of the buttercream layer. Place the second layer on top of the first and frost with remaining buttercream. Place lady fingers around the sides of the cake, pressing lightly to anchor. Working from the outside in, layer remaining strawberry slices in concentric cricles until you reach the middle. Place one whole strawberry in the middle.

Tie a ribbon (color of your choice) around the lady fingers.

And here is a picture of the sliced cake, please excuse the quality – this was the lone post-party slice that was left. It was late, I was tired and more interested in getting in bed than getting a great shot!

strawberryslice

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scallops

The last few weeks I have been traveling for work and putting crazy hours in. Last weekend was my first weekend off in three weeks and I just wanted to hang out at home and relax. We planned a “date night” at home on Friday night and I really wanted to try something a little fancier than what I make on weeknights. Think fine dining-esque.

We thought about it all day on Friday and browsed through a few cookbooks. We finally landed on sea scallops. One of my very favorite things to order in nice restaurants is seared sea scallops over risotto. So off I went to Whole Foods after work with a mission of creating a delicious scallop dish.

I ended up with six beautiful sea scallops, fresh spinach and prosciutto de parma. When I got home I turned to my trusty Joy of Cooking (seriously, if you do not own a copy – buy one! most useful cookbook ever!) and used their “Simplest Risotto” for my risotto.

I loosely followed a recipe from The Newlyweds Cookbook for the scallops. I finished it all off with wilted spinach and a balsamic reduction.

This is a great special occasion recipe. I was really, really pleased with how it came out. The scallops were a cinch and the risotto…well…risotto is a labor of love. You have to commit to stirring (a good job to assign the man)! I highly recommend you give this a try if you’re looking for a special Valentine’s day dinner (or any date-worthy occasion).

Simplest Risotto
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups Italian rice
1/2 cup white wine (can sub chicken stock)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Melt butter or heat olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook over low heat until soft and translucent but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer the chicken stock over medium heat.

Increase the heat on the onions to medium and stir in the rice. Using broad strokes, stir the rice until it looks chalky and you can see a white dot in the center of each grain, about three minutes.

Stir in white wine and continue stirring to prevent sticking until all wine has been absorbed. Then start stirring in the stock, 1 cup at a time. Each cup must be absorbed before the next is added. Stir the risotto continuously to prevent sticking. When 6 cups of stock have been absorbed, add the stock 1/2 cup at a time and start tasting the rice. It should be tender but still a little firm to the bite, not mushy.

Take the risotto off the heat when the rice still has a little more resistance than you’d like and fold in butter and parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

Let risotto stand for a moment and then serve immediately.

Seared Scallops with Crispy Prosciutto
(Adapted from The Newlyweds Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp olive oil
6-8 sea scallops (3 or 4 per person)
8 slices prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 bag of baby spinach, optional
salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium to medium high heat in a medium saute pan. Add prosciutto and saute until crispy, 3-4 minutes. Make sure to have the exhaust fan on, the prosciutto will smoke. Drain on a plate line with paper towels.

Wipe out pan and heat another 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat . Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to hot skillet. Sear 2-3 minutes per side (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your scallops). They should be golden on both sides.

When you remove the scallops from the pan  you can throw a bag of spinach in the leftover olive oil and heat until lightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp brown sugar, to taste

Directions:

Bring vinegar to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer until it’s reduced by about 1/2. Add in the sugar and let simmer until thickened. Remove from heat. Will thicken more as it cools. Watch the mixture carefully to prevent scorching while simmering.

To plate everything…

Place risotto and spinach on plate side-by-side. Arrange scallops on overlap between spinach and risotto. Sprinkle with crispy prosciutto. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

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individualcinnroll

I got the urge to make cinnamon rolls last Saturday and I couldn’t stop thinking about them all day. After my 13 mile training run, I certainly felt like I could splurge on cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Sunday.

I think my favorite part about deciding to make something is the search for the perfect recipe. I probably spent an hour browsing cinnamon roll recipes online. I finally decided on a recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles. This is one of the blogs I follow regularly and I love her scientific approach. I knew if Bridget had been trying to perfect her cinnamon roll recipe for years, it must be good.

The dough came together really quickly and was so easy to work with. I put it all together and left it to rise while we went out for sushi. After dinner, Brandon and I had fun rolling them out and putting them together. We couldn’t wait for breakfast the next morning!

Once assembled, we left them to rise overnight in the refrigerator. It was so nice to get up Sunday morning and have breakfast already taken care of. All I had to do was make the glaze.

Next time, I will probably add a little more salt to the dough. For whatever reason, I like well-salted baked goods – especially anything bread-like. I would also add more butter in the cinnamon filling. And last, I think I’d do more of a cream cheese glaze. I added more than the recipe called for but I still would have liked more. It’s all up to your taste!

All in all, the texture of the roll was amazing. This is a really easy dough to work with and a great treat for a weekend morning.

img_2107

Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

Ingredients:

DOUGH
½ cup whole milk
7 tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted and left out the 1 1/2 tsp salt, next time I will still add the salt)
½ cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons yeast)
¼ cup (1¾ ounce) sugar
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp salt
4-4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

FILLING
¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) light brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter (next time I will add a little more butter – maybe 2 or 3 tbsp, to taste)

GLAZE
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted to remove lumps
2-4 ounces cream cheese, softened (to taste)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk, until you reach your desired consistency

Directions:

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter melts. Remove from microwave and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees).

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. (Especially in the winter, I like to let my dough rise in the oven. I find that the kitchen is a little too cool. I turn the oven to warm for a few seconds, switch it off and then put the bowl of dough in.)

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. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the roll in 12 equal pieces and place the rolls cut-side up into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours. (This is where you have the option of letting them rise overnight in the refrigerator.)

When the rolls are almost fully risen, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. (If you left them in the fridge overnight, let them come to room temprature before baking.) 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.

cinnamonrollsiced

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