Sunday, March 1, 2015

pineapple sweet rolls

This was the very first recipe that caught my eye when I flipped through Joy Wilson's Homemade Decadence.

After weeks (weeks!) of craving pineapple anything, I finally got up early enough to make this and not have to wait until dinner time to eat it! 

Made the simple yeast dough with the addition of pineapple juice in the stand mixer that gave it its last gear :(  

Once the dough is mixed and kneaded, it has to double in size. So we relaxed next to the fireplace for an hour and half. Not really. I did other things... 

Then, the dough has to be rolled out 1/3 thin in a 10 in square. I had so much dough, that without even rolling it out, it stretched into a 10 inches square, but it was a good inch high! I rolled it out some but my counter was not big enough to handle this much dough, so I ended up with a 14 x 18 rectangle that was much thicker than needed. I trimmed off some of the dough to even out the edges. So I had enough dough to make 4 small plain buns on top of the 8 rolls and the scrap ends.

I had too much melted butter, and not quite enough filling. Once rolled, I trimmed off the edges and cut the log in 8 portions. They were massive. I fit all 8 of them in my 9x13 pan, but decided against that plan since they had to rest for another hour and were going to get bigger then, then even bigger as they baked. So I baked 6 rolls plus the ends in the 9 x 13, 2 of the bigger rolls I have ever seen in a 8 x 8 pan along with two buns and 2 buns in 2 ramekins.

That's a whole lot of dough I just cannot resist eating! 

So next time : 1.5x the filling. Split the dough in half to make two logs to be cut in 6 portions each, bake in 2 9x13 pans. Also, replace pecans with macademia nuts? Otherwise, super awesome breakfast rolls! 

These rolls were so good! Recipe available in Homemade Decadence!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

brownie batter dip

I made this quick dip to bring to my niece's birthday party a little while back. Not as chocolaty as a straight up chocolate dip, and not as cloying as frosting, it really did taste like brownie batter and made for a different little dessert.

I served it with store bought marshmallows (gasp!), pretzels, apple slices and princess sugar cookies.

Brownie Batter Dip
recipe source: Stick a fork in it

8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until smooth.

Add additional powdered sugar or milk if needed, until the desired consistency is reached.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

chocolate chip cookies

Seems I haven't posted a chocolate chip cookie recipe in a while. So this is the Jacques Torres/New York Times recipe I'm currently using! This one uses both cake and bread flour and needs to chill for 24 hours before being bakes, so plan ahead, or keep the portioned dough balls in the freezer for when the craving strikes!

I make my cookies smaller, 2-3 tbsp of dough per cookie, and this recipe yields 4.5 doz. For softer cookies, bake in a 350 F oven for 12 minutes. For a crisper cookie outside with a chewy center, bakes for 12 minutes at 375 F. They get nice and golden brown at this temperature too!

Chocolate chip cookies

An altered version of a recipe by The New York Times adapted from Jacques Torres

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a large bowl; set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla.
Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.
Scoop cookies into 2-3 tablespoons balls, press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
Place 12 mounds of dough onto baking sheet and bake until pale golden brown but still soft, 12 minutes.

Monday, December 29, 2014

toffee squares

This is one of my favorite super easy treat to make. It's quick, only three ingredients and has that salty-sweetness thing going which I love.

So easy, I let my kids make it! They love to smash an entire box of Ritz crackers. I leave the crackers in the sealed inner bag and let them squish all they want. Next, they get to stir in an entire bag of skor toffee bits and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

I pour the whole thing in a greased 8 x 8 and bake it for about 25 minutes in a 350 F oven, until it's golden brown. Let cool, cut into small squares and enjoy!

Easy-peasy, according to my children.

Friday, December 26, 2014

chocolate hazelnut bûche de noël

I made this dessert for my family's Christmas dinner this year and brought it to my parents's house. It's a really stunning dessert that requires no decorating skill. In fact, the hardest part about this recipe is finding the dulce de leche and not licking every single utensil clean!

The cake is simply eggs and sugar, beaten until doubled in volume, then flour and cocoa powder get folded in, followed by chopped hazelnuts. It bakes really quickly in the oven and has to be rolled up on a kitchen towel so it will keep its shape while cooling.

Once the cake is cooled, it gets brushed with some whipping cream that soaks in while the frosting gets prepared. The frosting is so good! Love the texture. Softened butter gets combined with nutella and dulce de leche. Most of that mixture gets used as filling and the rest goes on top. Chopped hazelnuts are both sprinkled over the frosting inside the roll and on top. Oh, and there's whole ferrero rochers in the very middle of the roll, plus halved ones decorating the top!

I made it on Christmas Eve and it hung out on the counter covered with plastic wrap for a good 30 hrs before we ate it. I was told the leftovers were even better on Boxing Day so the cake does keep well!

A definite keeper of a recipe!

Chocolate Hazelnut Bûche de Noël

recipe lightly adapted from: Mom's dish

5 Eggs
3/4 cups Sugar
1 cup Flour
4 tablespoons Cacao Powder
3/4 cups Crushed Toasted Hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter
13 ounces Dulce De Leche
1 cup Nutella
1 cup Crushed Hazelnuts
1/2 cups Whipping Cream
16 Ferrero Rochers

Preheat over to 350F. Line a 10" x 15" jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

Whisk eggs together with sugar until it doubles in volume.

In a separate bowl, sift flour and cacao to combine them together.

By thirds, using spatula, fold flour into the egg mixture. Be careful not to over-mix the dough. Fold in 3/4 cups of crushed hazelnuts. Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven, place it on a kitchen towel. Roll up the cake making it into a long roll. Let roll cool to a room temperature.

Unroll the cake and brush the cream over the cake. Let the cream soak for a few minutes while you work on the frosting.

Combine butter, dulce de leche and nutella together and whisk until everything is well incorporated.

Spread 3/4 of the frostimg on to the inside of the roll. Place the Ferrero Rochers in a line at the edge of the long side of the cake.

Spread 3/4 of a cup of crushed hazelnuts over the frosting. Roll the cake tightly together. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with remaining chopped hazelnuts and halved Ferrero Rochers.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pretzel Crunch

This is my new favorite snack! The kids can't wait for it to cool, and my family just can't get enough. I made a double batch to package some for the kids' teachers, but when it came time to package it up, I just didn't want to! (I did anyway...)

Sure, they are not much to look at and not very complicated to make, and that might just be the dangerous part! Too easy to make just another batch!

Pretzel Crunch

Recipe created by Christina Tosi - Milk Bar
4 cups salted mini pretzels – about 1/2 of a 16-ounce bag
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons milk powder
1/3 cup malted milk powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
14 tablespoons butter (1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons), melted

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

2. Pour the pretzels in a large bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, malt powder, sugar, and salt, toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the pretzels and creating small clusters.

3. Spread the clusters on a parchment- or silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, until it looks toasted, and sugar coating bubbles and coats the pretzels.

4. Cool the pretzel crunch completely before storing. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month. 

I used small letter shaped pretzels so I didn't crumble them up, just left them as-is. The last few times I made this recipe, the butter separated from the rest of the ingredients while baking, so I might try to reduce the amount of butter next time I make this. I also toss the mixture once while baking, and a few times while its cooling so that the sugar coats the pretzels properly. And lastly, if the pretzels aren't very salty, I suggest adding a pinch of salt of two. The very first batch I made with the bottom of the bag where all the salt had collected, and it was my most favorite batch to date. I'm sure the added salt made the difference!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

chewy chocolate mint cookies

Two Baked Sunday Mornings posts in a row: I'm on a roll! And these cookies were crazy good, so I'm really glad I made them!

They remind me of the chocolate cream cheese snacking cookies we made last summer in that they are soft and tender but... refreshing. And I totally didn't expect that. The mint, and there's a lot of it in this recipe, took them to a whole other level.

Instead of the chunks called for in the recipe, I used callebault chocolate chips and I didn't roll them in sugar before baking. These only bake for 10 minutes and stayed nice and soft after cooling.

I had plans to turn these into ice cream sandwiches but I was assured that they wouldn't last long and they didn't.

For the recipe, and to see how the other bakers enjoyed their cookies, click on through to the Baked Sunday Mornings blog.