Friday, November 30, 2012

Apple Pear Hand Pies (For Ev, Part I)

I have a friend in the Peace Corps right now who is stationed (is that the right word?) in Armenia. Her living arrangements are sparse and most things we take for granted over here aren't as available there. Things like meat, baking powder, and leafy greens. Even heat and refrigerators! In fact, the butchers are currently closed because there was a case of anthrax in a cow. It sure makes me feel lucky to be an American. She asked me to create a simple meal that uses local ingredients and this is the dessert I came up with.

These small servings are easier for a single person, rather than wondering what to do with a whole pie! Plus, we both grew up in the UP of Michigan. Years ago, there were many Cornish immigrants that came over to work in the copper mines. With them, they brought the pasty (pronounced past-ee). They are shaped like this and contain meat, potatoes, rutabaga, and carrots. They're much larger, but can still be eaten out of hands. In fact, that's how I prefer to eat them!

Next week I'll be posting the meal, but let's do dessert first. It's more exciting in my opinion. 

If necessary, an additional apple can be used in place of the pear.

I hope you enjoy them, Ev! This was a fun challenge and I can't wait to see how they turn out for you!

Apple Pear Hand Pies
Makes 8

Adapted from Dorie's recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold water
1 whole egg, beaten lightly

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and using your fingers, rub the butter and flour between your fingers until there is no more "free" flour or large pieces of solid butter.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over dough and toss gently with your hands to combine. Dough should come together when pinched. Add additional water as necessary 1 teaspoon at a time, continuing to toss until desired texture is achieved.

Form into disk using your hands and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2 large apples, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped (I used a Pink Lady and a Honeycrisp)
1 pear, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped (I used D'anjou)
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from half a lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

While crust is resting, combine apples, pear, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium bowl until fruit is evenly coated.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, swirling pan and scraping sides of pan with rubber spatula occasionally. Once small brown flecks form in the butter and it gives off a caramel smell, (about 5 minutes) remove from heat and pour into a small heat-proof bowl.

In the same saucepan, heat fruit until sauce bubbles and decrease heat to low. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir occasionally until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in browned butter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out crust on a clean, lightly floured surface into a 14-inch circle. Using a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles. You may need to re-roll the scraps in order to get 8.

Set dough rounds on a baking sheet and drop about 1 tablespoon of fruit just off center on the dough. Fold the dough into half moons and press the edges together with your fingers to seal.You may need to slightly flatten the pie with your palm. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a small amount of sugar.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Cool for 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.


Featured on The Humble Brag

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Steak Salad with Green Beans and Blue Cheese

When we got back from our Thanksgiving in Minnesota and North Dakota, I was more than ready to pull out the Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, I don't have much decor other than what goes on the tree. We're planning on getting a real tree this year, (yipee!) but won't be getting it until this weekend at the earliest. So I did what I could and put a few things up. I cranked the Christmas music and set a few things simmering over the stove so my house was filled with the smells of Christmas, even if there wasn't snow on the ground and no lights were lit. Hopefully I'll be sharing that simple recipe with you soon.

I'm trying my best to be uber-organized this year. My goal this week is to figure out what I'll be doing for gifts. We already nailed down our Christmas budget, so we're already ahead. I'm trying to do more homemade gifts this year. Since I come from a big family, it can be hard to buy gifts for everyone, but doing homemade makes it way more affordable. Plus, rather than buying a gift for everyone, we exchange names and the rules are homemade or used. There have been some REALLY interesting gifts in the past; used nut cup, a gift that disintegrated when opened, sweat-stained hockey helmet. Some of the boys don't play and buy things brand-new, but most comply and the name gifts are the best to watch being opened Christmas morning.

I normally add salt and pepper to my salad dressings, but between the olives, steak, and blue cheese, you'll have plenty of seasoning.

Grilled Steak Salad with Green Beans and Blue Cheese
Based on a Bon Appetit recipe 
Serves 6

2 1-pound steaks, about 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil (coconut oil is preferred since it's more stable at high temps)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces Haricots verts (or the thinnest green beans you can find), trimmed and halved
6 cups mixed baby greens
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives in olive oil, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Bring the steaks to room temperature, drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the surface with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Fill a large bowl about halfway with water and a few ice cubes.

Using a steaming basket in a medium pot over high heat, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the Haricots verts, cover, and steam for about 5 minutes. Transfer the beans to the ice water until cool. Drain and allow to dry.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, greens, tomatoes, and olives.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil.

Turn your oven on to broil and set a cast iron skillet in it to heat up. After about 3 minutes, turn a burner to high, place the heated skillet on it (use a very well insulated mitt when moving the skillet!) and place the steaks in the skillet. Cook each side for 30 seconds (there may be a lot of smoke created during this part, so be sure to have windows open), flipping with tongs.

After 1 minute on the burner, turn the burner off, move the skillet into the oven and cook each side for 2 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer steak to a cutting board. Cover with a heat-proof bowl and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut steaks thinly against the grain.

Distribute the vegetables between 6 plates, cover with steak slices, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with blue cheese.


I'm linking up this recipe at Real Food Wednesday and Something Swanky.

A while ago I contributed this recipe to my super-talented sister's magazine which just came out. She's got a shop and blog primarily based on home decor and country living. If that's your thing, the magazine can be seen below. There is also a printed copy available for purchase as well as the full digital version. Hopefully if you're not already, this will get you in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Orange Cranberry Swirl Bread

Even some accomplished bakers are afraid of yeast, but when you follow directions, working with yeast can actually be very forgiving. Mistakes can be made when using old yeast, water that's too hot or too cold, and not allowing the bread to rise in a warm place. That's about it! Using fresh ingredients, working in a warm room, and using a thermometer can prevent failure. Even the thermometer can be optional. What you're looking for is water that feels warm to the touch, but not hot.

The orange zest and juice in the dough makes this taste perky, not bread-y and heavy. I think we could all use that this time of year!

My all-time favorite way to have this is toasted with butter. When this bread is toasted it gets kind of flaky and buttery like a pastry. It's soft and sort of squishy like a roll when not toasted. Either is good! Maybe have one of each...

Orange Cranberry Swirl Bread
Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf
Based on Dorie's recipe 

 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, plus a pinch
1 1/4 cup warm to the touch heavy whipping cream or whole milk (I used cream)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange juice
Pinch of nutmeg
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cardamom
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

In a small bowl, stir together yeast, pinch of sugar, and cream. Let rest for 5 minutes.

In a large stand mixer bowl or regular bowl using paddle attachment, cream together butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Add egg, orange zest, juice, and nutmeg. Stir to combine thoroughly for about 2 minutes on low. Add yeast mixture and stir for 3 more minutes until evenly distributed.

With mixer turned off, add 2 3/4 cups flour and stir until combined. Now, switch to the dough hook attachment, add 1 more cup of flour and stir again. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until dough is soft, satiny, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough is very sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is smooth but still quite soft.

Butter a large bowl and turn dough into it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or clean towel and allow to raise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. The dough should have doubled in volume and when poked with your finger, the dimple should remain.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom for the filling. Butter a 9x5-inch bread pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle about 9x18 inches, sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking if necessary. The short side should be about the length of your bread pan or a little longer.

Using your fingers, smear the surface with your softened butter and sprinkle with your cinnamon filling. Cover with the dried cranberries. Starting on one of the shorter edges, roll up the dough into a tight roll and pinch the edges closed.

Tuck the ends under and shape into an even loaf. Place in buttered pan and cover with a clean towel. Let rise for about 45 minutes or until bread rises above edge of pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with a rack center in middle.

Brush surface of bread with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with foil to prevent excessive browning and bake another 25 minutes. Bread is done when tapping on the bottom of pan produces a hollow sound.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, remove from pan and allow to fully cool on drying rack.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Peppermint Overload Brownies

I know I had a head start on Christmas baking, but now the season can officially start! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving (or Thursday if you're not from the US!) and didn't eat too much.

Did any of you actually head out shopping last night? I'm still not sure how I feel about the stores opening on Thanksgiving day...I feel bad for the people that have to work, but for the shoppers, it's probably better to shop at 10 at night than 3 in the morning. At least in my opinion. I've never been a huge Black Friday shopper, but I usually go at about 10 am after everything settles down. I'm never in the market for the doorbusters anyway. Although this year I could use a new SD card for my camera. The one I'm using now currently has an 89-picture capacity. I know. Harsh.

Today is actually my 27th birthday. Wow. That blows me away. I'm really creeping up on 30 now. Until I decide what my birthday cake is going to be, I'll be eating these. Officially, these are for my cousin Mari's birthday. I lived in her house with her and her hubby my last year of undergrad and she remembers my brownies. These are not exactly the ones she remembers, but I hope they're acceptable! Happy belated, Mari...

I always scoff at those recipes that use an 8x8 pan and supposedly yield 16 brownies. Not at my house! But these are pretty decadent and can actually be that small. Can be, but don't have to be! Use your best judgment. Or lack of judgment...!

Peppermint Overload Brownies
Makes about 16 small brownies
Based on Dorie's recipe

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
25 peppermint patties

Peppermint Ganache
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped or bittersweet chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 peppermint patties, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Place a small pot with about 2 inches of water in the bottom over medium heat until water simmers. In a large heat-proof bowl, place 5 tablespoons butter and bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and place over simmering water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

Stir in sugar. The mixture will be quite grainy, which is fine. Add eggs one at a time, stirring between each addition. Finally, stir in peppermint extract and salt. Using a very light hand, stir in the flour until just combined.

Pour about half of the batter into the baking pan. Smooth the surface with a spatula and cover the surface with about 25 peppermint patties in a single layer. Cover with the remaining batter and smooth to cover.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until top no longer is shiny and a knife inserted in the center doesn't come out with large amounts of batter on it.

Cool to room temperature in the pan.

For the ganache, place chocolate and chopped peppermint patties in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat heavy whipping cream and butter in a small pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until it steams. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Now, whisk until mixture becomes smooth, dark, and uniform in color. Some small pieces of peppermint may remain. Don't worry about those. Whisk in the peppermint extract.

Pour over brownies while still runny. If you do this while brownies are still in the pan and then refrigerate, the ganache will firm up a bit.

Cut into about 16 small brownies.

These are best served at room temperature.



I am sharing this recipe at the Sundae Scoop Link Party and Sweet 2 Eat Baking.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maple Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

This is actually the perfect Thanksgiving side, but I'm not giving you much time. Oh well. There's always next year. Or next week.

I know I've got a pretty young blog to already have used Brussels sprouts three times! I promise, I'll lay off soon. I'm a firm believer in having an arsenal of recipes to use veggies, otherwise they tend to rot in the fridge. So, here you go!

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Thanksgiving? First off, time with family. Second, the food. Third, my birthday somewhere in there...Birthday cake, birthday meal, plus Thanksgiving meal all in one week? I'm spoiled, I know. Plus, it's not close enough to Christmas to get my thunder stolen. My hubby's birthday, not so much!

There's not much to say about these except that they're a good change from the usual, but not weird enough for the unadventurous. At least I hope...

If you want mostly a savory/salty flavor, use half the amount of maple syrup.

Maple Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Makes 4 large or 6 small servings

5 cups Brussels sprouts
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
4 slices thick-cut apple smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Trim the stems from the sprouts and peel away the darker outer leaves. The leaves can be tossed, or used in a salad like this one. Slice the remaining sprout in 1/4-inch slices through the stem end and place on a large baking sheet with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss with your hands to combine and roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook bacon pieces until crispy. Drain 1 tablespoon of bacon fat into a small heat-proof bowl with maple syrup. Discard remaining fat. Whisk together bacon grease and syrup. Pour over crispy sprouts and top with cranberries and bacon pieces.

Best if served immediately.


I'm sharing this recipe on Homemade Mondays and Fat Tuesday.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Monster Cookies

For a while there it looked like I was going to skip fall/Thanksgiving all together and skip straight to Christmas. Kind of like every store I've been in lately....

Every year it drives me (and plenty of others) crazy, but nothing ever changes. They still roll out Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. So maybe it's time I just get over it!

I might be taking it a little personally because my birthday always hovers around Thanksgiving so I have a soft spot for that holiday. In college, I wouldn't let my roommate listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Sorry Em! I was obviously a little crazy.

But here I am making up for lost time and lobbing fall recipe after recipe at you. It will probably end some day. Don't worry.

 Meanwhile, you can bake these cookies and enjoy the fleeting fall. 

Pumpkin Monster Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Adapted from this recipe

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate M&Ms

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

In a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, honey, and molasses until creamy.

Stir in the pumpkin and peanut butter until fully combined. Finally, add the egg and vanilla and combine. Add the oats, give it a quick stir, and then stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms by hand.

Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The surface of the cookie should look dried and there should be some firmness when you poke the top with your finger.

Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes before moving cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

I actually prefer these the following day.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pomegranate

 I usually get sad when summer ends because it means the end of all that wonderful produce. Plus, no more farmer's market. Then I realized that this salad is packed with fresh seasonal ingredients and there's nothing second rate about it. Fall and winter is usually all about soups and casseroles, but it doesn't have to be!

I rarely buy pomegranates because they are so expensive, but Aldi had them for $.50 this week. Even though we bought three, they lasted less than 24 hours. I'm pretty sure they are my daughter's new favorite snack. That girl's got expensive taste! Last weekend, she was eating sushi. Pretty sure my first sushi experience was last year.

If you can't get your hands on a pomegranate, you could use oranges or grapefruits. No pumpkin seeds? Try walnuts or almonds. There's lots of room for adjustments here, just as with most salads.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pomegranate
Serves 4-6
Inspired by this recipe from Whole Living

Zest from one lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon or regular mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Outer leaves from 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed (I reserved the inner leaves for roasting in another recipe)
2 cups mixed salad greens
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Seeds from 1 pomegranate (this video shows you how to remove them)

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. Slowly add olive oil while constantly whisking to help prevent separation of your dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small pan over medium heat, stir pumpkin seeds until lightly toasted and you hear a few pops. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine sprout leaves, greens, avocado, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Serve with dressing and additional salt and pepper to sprinkle on top.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I feel like I'm starting to get a hang of this whole blogging thing. Although in a few months, I'll probably look back and realize my foolishness...This past weekend I finally ordered the DSLR I've been wanting for a very long time. Hopefully you notice a significant improvement in my pictures once that arrives!

When I was pregnant for our baby, we were living in Florida and the ladies where I got my rings cleaned asked Nick what he was going to get me for a 'push present.' Now, I had never heard of that before, but it wasn't too hard to figure out what they were talking about. Obviously they were recommending diamonds, which goes to show how little they knew me! And even though we had only been married for a few months, Nick knew better and got me an ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid. That's one smart man that I married.

Looking back, I realize it was a little bit of a selfish gift on his part because I said I wasn't going to open it until after we had our baby and I had 'earned it.' I don't open Christmas presents early either. He kept harassing me to open it early and I can't say I totally blame him. After all, it was June in Florida. I get it. But I was the 9-month pregnant lady that didn't like to sweat unless I was working out. I figured if I could handle it, he could too!

On to the ice cream. This is melt-in-your mouth awesome. It's not as strongly flavored as real pumpkin pie, but all the flavors are there, including chunks of flaky, buttery crust!

Because it's a recipe that uses cooked egg yolks, you'll have to start it early. I've had homemade ice cream with and without the egg custard and the extra work is worth it if you can wait. It makes a much smoother, creamier, and richer ice cream. All of those are essential in my book.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Makes about 2 quarts (there is an 8 hour rest time for the custard)
Adapted from this recipe

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
Single pie crust (homemade or store bought) -note that my recipe is for a double crust, so you only need half for this recipe
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sugar, 1 cup whipping cream, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg over medium heat until hot and steaming, stirring constantly with a whisk.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks. While whisking constantly, slowly add hot milk to yolks, taking care not to 'cook' the eggs.

Return this to the saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom frequently to prevent scorching. Cook until it is thick enough to coat the spatula and no longer runs off the spatula in a thin stream. Remove from heat.

Place the other cup of whipping cream in the bowl your yolks were in initially with a medium-mesh sieve over it. Pour the thickened mixture through the sieve to remove any cooked pieces of egg. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree. Whisk to combine, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

If making a homemade pie crust, you can make the crust now. Work up to the point where the dough is wrapped and refrigerated. If well wrapped, it will be fine resting in the refrigerator overnight with the ice cream. Resume with the crust about an hour before removing the ice cream custard from the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the crust into a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips and place on a pan with edges. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 15-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. My recipe gives off a lot of butter while baking this way. Move strips to a drying rack to cool. Once cool, crumble into bite-size and smaller pieces.

Follow the manufacturer's directions of your ice cream maker to freeze the ice cream. I have the KitchenAid attachment and this is what I do: Of course the freezer container has been frozen for at least 48 hours...Pour in the pumpkin custard and stir on low speed for 20 minutes. Add crust pieces and stir to combine. Serve immediately (will be quite soft) or freeze in an airtight container that holds at least 2 1/2 quarts.

If you set the ice cream on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, it will be much easier to scoop.


I'm also sharing this at Homestead Revival, Growing Home, Back for Seconds, I Heart Nap TimeOne Project Closer, Happy Hour Party, Sweet 2 Eat, and Crazy for Crust.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Maple Cinnamon Rolls (Yeast-Free)

Growing up, we always had cold cereal on Sunday mornings. On school days, it was usually purrua. No, puuroa. Booduwah? Gah! Fine. Let's stick with oatmeal. My Finnish is so bad (nonexistent) that I don't know how to spell 'oatmeal' in Finn. I can't even get it close enough that Google knows what I'm talking about! And Google always knows. For example: I start typing "where" and up pops "where to buy Spanx." How did they know?! Who asks things like this? 

Anyways...My hubby's family always had a large Sunday breakfast consisting of eggs, pancakes, sausage or bacon, etc. In this way, and in this way only, my hubby got the raw end of the deal...! Yesterday, I decided to treat him to something other than eggs supreme (what we have every other day). 

Normally, if I'm making cinnamon rolls, I use a yeast recipe. In fact, I've never done a 'quick' version like this before. Then again, I've never actually made cinnamon rolls for breakfast before. I'm pretty sure the yeast was the reason. Now, I really have no excuses left. 

Now that I have a recipe that comes together much quicker, maybe, just maybe, rolls will happen more often at our house. 

These maple cinnamon rolls are so gooey and sweet! I did reduce the sugar, but it could be reduced even further if you want. In fact, halving the glaze recipe would also help on that end.

Yeast-Free Maple Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 8 rolls
Based on this recipe

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for greasing pan

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Maple Glaze
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-3 teaspoon heavy cream or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup confectioner's sugar

In a small bowl, combine sugar, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup with a fork until evenly combined.

Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, 6 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough until it is smooth. Sprinkle additional flour on the surface if you need to prevent sticking. This dough is pretty delicate and won't need much kneading.

Place dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill.

On a clean, floured surface, use your hands to press dough into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Spread the 2 tablespoons of melted and cooled butter over the surface, leaving a bare 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the filling over the buttered area, using the back of a spoon to create a thin layer.

Starting with the long side nearest to you, roll the dough into a tight roll away from you. Finish by pinching the seam closed with your fingers. Using a very sharp serrated knife or a piece of dental floss (what I use), cut your roll into 8 rolls and place evenly in buttered pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

While rolls are cooling, whisk together the 2 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, cinnamon, and sugar in a small bowl. Add heavy cream or milk one teaspoon at a time until the glaze is smooth and thick but pourable.

Pour glaze over rolls and serve immediately. The sooner the better!

    See that gooey center? That's worth it's weight in gold!


I'm sharing this over at Little House In The SuburbsOr So She SaysSomething Swanky, Sweet 2 Eat Baking, Homemade Mondays, and Crumbs and Chaos.

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick and Easy Tuna Wrap

I'm slightly sentimental about this easy wrap because it's something Nick and I made a lot when we were dating. I've made a few adjustments to make it my own, but it's still similar enough to bring back good memories of our dating days. I think that's why my dream stay-in date is cooking together. We used to do it a lot! You'd think that I'd rather eat out and get a break, but there's something so fun about making food with my hubby.

I used homemade mayo this time, but only if I have the ingredients on hand. If you've never tried making it and you have a food processor, you MUST! It's totally worth it.

This would be amazing to serve for lunch with a hot bowl of soup. Wish I had thought of that before...Soup is on the menu, but it won't be a few days until I get around to that.

This is such an easy recipe that even a kid could make it! Or a caveman. Is that commercial still around? Am I aging myself? Anyways...

Tuna Wrap
Makes 4 wraps

12 ounces canned tuna, drained
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes in oil, plus 2 teaspoons of the oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 large flour tortillas
2 cups spinach leaves
Olive oil, for serving

In a small bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice, tomatoes, tomato oil, salt, and pepper.

Cover each tortilla with about 1/2 cup spinach, tuna, and drizzle with olive oil.

Roll up and serve immediately.


I'm sharing this at Cast Party Wednesday.