Archive for the 'Food And Friends' Category

Cinnamon Rolls

November 4, 2012

I know Cinnamon Rolls are quite the game change from Low-Carb/Paleo, but I had a few people request the recipe after I baked these for church.

Usually, it’s been my family’s tradition to bake Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas breakfast, something I always look forward to with eager anticipation. These past few weeks however, I was struggling with a craving that just wouldn’t go away. A craving for hot, gooey, soft, melt in your mouth Cinnamon Rolls. I happily satisfied the yearning by baking them for our church Fellowship Meal, today (as a dessert, though I could’ve easily eaten them as the main dish). ūüėČ

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Basic Sweet Dough:

3/4 C Buttermilk warm, 110 degrees (if you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of whole milk and let sit for 10 min.)

6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

3 large eggs

4 1/4 C all-purpose flour

1/4 C sugar

2 1/4 instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If after the first 5 minutes more flour is needed (the dough should not stick to the sides of the mixer bowl, only the bottom of it) add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface (or lightly floured depending on how sticky it is) and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl (I just spray Pam in the bowl) and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If your house is drafty, then turn the oven onto 200 degrees for 10 minutes, turn it off, and set the dough in the oven to rise.

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**Rolls:

3/4 C packed light brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Pinch salt

1 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

Grease a 9×13 in. baking pan. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and press into a 16×12 in. rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over it, leaving a 3/4 in. border along the long, top edge. Press on the filling to adhere it to the dough.

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Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper or metal spatula, and roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log seam side down. Gently stretch the log to be 18 in. in length with an even diameter and pat the ends to even them.

Slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls (about 1 1/2 in. wide) using a serrated knife. Arrange the rolls cut side down in the prepared baking pan and wrap tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size and are pressed against one another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (to make ahead, do not let the rolls rise, but refrigerate them overnight or up to 16 hours. Let the rolls sit at room temperature until they have nearly doubled in size, about an hour, then bake as directed).

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls until golden and puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.

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Glaze:

1 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar

3 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened (DO NOT microwave, just let it sit at room temperature until soft)

3 Tbsp. whole milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. After baked rolls have cooled for 5 minutes, drizzle glaze over them and serve.

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**_Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book_**

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~Soli Deo Gloria

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Chocolate And Rum

December 14, 2011

I ate way too much today. It’s easy to do that sometimes. Something came over me, I threw caution to the wind, and stuffed myself. I eat when I need to comfort myself, and I’m missing somebody very special right now, so I hope that someone gets home soon, otherwise I’ll end up becoming a Mauritanian Beauty. Not really. It’d be difficult to gain that much weight in three days.

The sad part is, even though I’m stuffed like a turkey, I would eat that Chocolate Mousse again in the blink of an eye. Easily the best Chocolate Mousse I’ve ever tasted, a breeze to make, and NO SUGAR! You know you want this, it has rum in it; so set aside an hour to slap this together and enjoy with some homemade whipped cream.

Chocolate Mousse

Makes 5

1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup dark-brewed coffee

4 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon rum

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Heat a medium-sized saucepan one-third full with hot water until lightly simmering. Place heat-proof bowl on top and melt together chocolate and coffee, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and rum together until very thick (you can also do this in an electric mixer on medium-high speed for three minutes). Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

Beat the egg whites, salt, and vanilla until the whites form soft peaks. Being careful not to over mix, fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Spoon into five 6-oz dishes, cover, and refrigerate for three hours.

For Whipped Topping

1 cup chilled heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in electric mixer on medium-low speed for one minute until frothy. Increase mixer speed to high, and continue to beat until mixture forms soft peaks, about three minutes.

Spoon onto chilled Mousse, and sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder.

(recipe modified from TasteSpotting)

~Soli Deo Gloria

Devoured Without Thought

December 13, 2011

Just like becoming an expert in wine‚Äďyou learn by drinking it, the best you can afford‚Äďyou learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simple or luxurious. Then you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.

~Julia Child

Chocolate Confabulations

December 11, 2011

Everybody loves chocolate. That’s a fact. If you don’t, well, I’m sorry, but that’s just unorthodox. Another fact is women especially love chocolate. Men, go buy your wife some chocolate if you want to be on her good side; and don’t get her sickly sweet, cheap, milk chocolatey pretenders. Eating that is as bad as guzzling O’Doul’s when you could be quaffing Guinness. Get her the dark¬†chocolate-then she’ll really love you.

These cookies are definitely the most chocolatey chocolate you can have in a cookie without going into a coma. They taste heavenly with milk, ice cream, or, if you really want to have a very intense chocolate experience, eat them plain.

When you make these, you want to create them for others to devour, unless you want to be found 24 hours later drooling, with chocolate crumbs clinging despondingly to your zonked countenance. You. Will. Eat. These. So, do your friends a favor and make these for them instead.

You need chocolate.

Maybe a little more chocolate.

Okay, fine, a lot of chocolate.

A little cocoa powder for good measure.

Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I think that also applies to refraining from eating this cookie dough with a spoon.

Thick And Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons instant coffee

10 tablespoons butter, softened

1  1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

16 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (optional: you could omit these and have double chocolate cookies)

1. Adjust the oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and instant coffee together until the coffee is dissolved.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes, scraping down bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the egg mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in the melted chocolate, about 30 seconds.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chips until incorporated. Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the consistency is scoop able and fudge-like, about 30 minutes.

4. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until the edges are set and beginning to brown, but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. (The cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.)

5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

(Recipe adapted from _The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book_)

~Soli Deo Gloria

Fall Teaparty With Friends

November 23, 2011

Every year, my Mom, sisters and I have had a Fall Teaparty with some dear friends of ours. There is always much joy, excellent food, quirky games, and laughter. My two sisters were married last year and moved to Montana, so sadly they were unable to join our festive gathering this year.

We usually divide up the menu between our two families, and I have contributed some of my own creations in the past, but this year my dear Mom provided her own special appetizer. (Not pictured below, but Butternut Squash Soup was our main dish)

  Baby Brie With Caramelized Onions And Toasted Hazelnuts

This Brie was absolutely delicious; baked with the caramelized onions and toasted hazelnuts, then spread on some crackers, it made a wonderful Fall appetizer.

  Apple Salad With Cinnamon

I’m not too big on apple salads, but this one was a nice side with these delicious sandwiches:

     Chicken Salad On Croissants 

We had a lovely dessert that, while a bit on the sweet side, tasted perfect with a nice cup of tea.

     Chocolate Toffee Bars

We took turns, after our meal, going through the alphabet attempting to name an author whose name began with that letter. We were able to make it through most of the alphabet, but amongst many giggles were unable to discover any authors with names beginning in “U, X, and Z.”