Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing more enticing than a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls waiting to be dug into. Is there? 

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

1/4 c. butter

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. milk

1 tsp. salt

4 tsp. instant yeast

1 c. warm water

1 egg, beaten

4 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading

Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 stick of butter, softened

Icing

1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. milk

In a medium sized saucepan, add butter, milk, salt, and sugar.  Heat until butter has melted.  Remove from the burner and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, add 2 cups of flour, yeast, and water.  Add egg and milk mixture to the flour; mix thoroughly.  Add remaining flour ensuring all ingredients are mixed completely.

Place the dough on a moderately floured surface.  Knead until dough is no longer sticky – use more flour if necessary by adding about a tablespoon or two at a time.  Place dough into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow dough to double in size; about 1 hour.

Once dough has risen, place on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper about 15”x20” in size.   Punch dough down and roll into a rectangular shape – the size of the paper.  Brush softened butter on dough, sprinkle with prepared sugar & cinnamon mixture.  Roll dough into a log starting on the longest side of the rectangle.  Cut 1” slices and place in a greased 8”x13” baking pan.  

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 20-22 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool before drizzling icing on top.   

Cinnamon Cookies Rolled in Brown Sugar

On the spur of the moment (like six o’clock at night) I decided I needed to bake something sweet.  Something with cinnamon and brown sugar kind of sweet.  While a lot of ideas came to mind, many would take far more time and energy than I wanted to expend so I came up with the perfect solution – cinnamon cookies rolled in brown sugar – yes! score! win!

These cookies are quite popular  in our home right now, and I’m sure if you make a batch, they will be just as popular in yours as well.

Cinnamon Cookies Rolled in Brown Sugar (Recipe adapted from themondaybox.com)

1/2 c. vegetable shortening

1/2 c. margarine

1 egg

1 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. brown sugar (set aside)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream shortening, margarine, egg, and granulated sugar together.  Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.  Mix in flour one cup at a time until thoroughly combined.  Roll dough into 1” balls – here is a tip, if you want fat cookies roll 2” balls, roll each ball in brown sugar, place on prepared baking sheet, and press dough down with a fork leaving crisscross marks on the top of each cookie.  For 1” balls, bake about 8 minutes, or just until the cookies start to turn a light golden color.  If baking 2” balls, bake about 10 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool slightly before moving them.   Makes about 2 dozen cookies if rolling dough into 1” balls and makes about 1 dozen cookies if rolling dough into into 2”balls.

Have you tried any new cookie recipes lately?  If so, let’s hear about them!

Simple & Healthy Ingredients Make For Delicious Mediterranean Style Salad Dressing

So, welcome 2015! 

Like many people who make new year resolutions, eating healthier options of the things I like always tops my list.  I’m always optimistic coming out of the gate but somewhere along the line I start lose my momentum, fall off the wagon, and resort to my old (not so wise) eating habits.  I vow every year that “this year is going to be different”.   And in the end, I’ve only fooled myself into believing that I could forgo delicious sweets, homemade bread, second helpings of my favorite dish of macaroni and cheese, and of course the great wines found here in the Finger Lakes Region and abroad. 

But… In a good faith effort to try try again, I’m sharing a recipe I found at The Pioneer Woman’s blog for a healthy and delicious homemade salad dressing she has named Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing.  I made a couple adaptations to the original recipe.

I decided that Aunt Trish’s dressing has a Mediterranean taste to it – which I love.  It tastes so fresh and healthy, and the fact that there are no preservatives makes it all the better.  I do have to warn you that this recipe makes a considerably small batch.  My suggestion is to double or triple the recipe because I’m sure it will keep well in the fridge for a week or two – if it lasts that long!  At some point you may want to remove the garlic if you don’t want garlic overkill.

Mediterranean Style Salad Dressing ( This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

3/4 c. olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

4 tbsp. of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt & pepper

Dash of paprika

1/2 tsp. honey

2 whole cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half)

Put all ingredients together in a jar or dressing shaker and shake until mixed.  Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

 

Have you made any new year resolutions?  If so, what are they?  Do you think you’ll stick to them?

Soft Sugar Cookies For A Very Merry Christmas

Sugar cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie in our family.  I make them every year for the holidays.  And before me, my mother and grandmother made them every year for the holidays too.

What would Christmas be without them?  Disappointing…

These cookies are soft, sweet, and addicting.  Seriously, if you think you can eat just one you’re only fooling yourself.

Soft Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter (or margarine) softened

2 eggs

1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. light brown sugar

1 c. sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

5 c. flour

In a large bowl, cream butter, eggs, and sugars together.  Add sour cream, vanilla, baking soda, and salt; mix completely.  Mix in one cup of flour at a time.  When all ingredients are completely blended cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/4” thick (don’t roll too thin) and cut out cookies with cookie cutters.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheets about 2” apart.  Bake for about 8 minutes, or until cookies are slightly firm to the touch. 

Move cookies to baking racks and let cool completely before frosting with your favorite buttercream icing.

I think it’s the brown sugar and sour cream that make these cookies extra special.  Try making them and let me know what you think.

Wishing Everyone A Very Merry Christmas!

Almost Texas Roadhouse Rolls; A Go-To Recipe From This Day Forward

What could go better with Homemade Butternut Squash Soup?  Homemade Almost Texas Roadhouse Dinner Rolls is my answer.

This is the perfect time to release this recipe with holiday celebrations fast approaching.

I’m sorry to admit that I’m not sure where this recipe came from – it’s not my creation, but it’s a keeper!  If you love slightly sweet, soft and tender dinner rolls with a hint of cinnamon then search no farther.  I have opted to bake these rolls together as a unit, versus individually, and I am super impressed with the texture of the roll from doing so.

This is my go-to recipe for dinner rolls from this day forward. 

Almost Texas Roadhouse Dinner Rolls

2 1/4 tsp. yeast

1/4 c. warm water

1 c. scalded (and then cooled) milk

1/4 c. granulated sugar

3 tbsp. butter melted

1 large egg, beaten

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus some for kneading

In a large bowl, add yeast, 2 tbsp. of melted butter, cinnamon, water, milk, and egg; stir all ingredients together.  Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until completely blended.  If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour, one at a time, until the dough is the right texture to work with.

Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.  On a lightly flour surface, knead the dough until soft and smooth.  Put dough into a large greased bowl and cover.  Let rise for about 1 hour.  On the lightly floured surface, punch  dough down and roll into 1 “ thick rectangle.  Cut into 2” squares and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet spacing them about a half inch apart; let rise for an additional hour.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Slather in butter and devour…

A Simple Holiday Dessert

 

Are you planning your holiday festivities yet?  Or are you playing the role of the Grinch this season?  I’ve been thinking ahead and I’ve come up with a few delicious dessert ideas.  The tough part is picking just one sinful dessert to make and share on Christmas.

For those of you that are pressed for time, or don’t consider yourself very proficient at baking from scratch, I have a great alternative for you. 

This cake is made from a box mix but know one will ever know – unless you tell them!  And when it’s topped with peppermint ice cream it can only get better. 

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 chocolate cake mix

4 large eggs

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt

1/4 c. warm water

1/2 c. hot coffee

1/4 c. olive oil

1 package of instant chocolate pudding/pie filling

1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heavily grease a Bundt cake pan.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and beat with electric mixer until all ingredients are completely blended.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 50 minutes.  Check for to make sure the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into it in several places before removing from the oven.  Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container.  When ready to serve, top with your favorite ice cream, whipped cream, toppings, etc.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that there are only 17 days left until Christmas?  I thought so…

Healthy & Homemade Butternut Squash Soup

Every year, for many years, I have broke a promise to myself and it all has to do with soup.  Yes, I said it all has to do with soup.

You see, each year I have told myself that this is the year I’m going to make Homemade Butternut Squash Soup.  But then I never do make the soup and there has never been a good reason for it either.  Just lame excuses.

This year, I finally kept my word to myself and made the most delicious and healthy soup imaginable.  I now realize that all that procrastination was crazy.  The most time consuming part of making this soup is the peeling and cubing of the squash – which I enlisted my hubby to help me with.  If you want to speed this soup making process up a bit then I suggest purchasing the squash already peeled and cubed from the vegetable section of your favorite supermarket.

This soup recipe fits my tastes and expectations perfectly.  There was no disappointments and I’m adding it to my tried-and-true recipes in hopes that I’ll make it for many more years to come.  If you try this recipe please let me know what you think of it.

Homemade Butternut Squash Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. butter (or margarine)

1 small onion, diced

1/2 c. diced carrot

4 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash

4 c. chicken broth (or vegetable)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. skim milk

1/4 c. half & half

Salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt butter and oil on low heat.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Once onions are cooked, add carrots, squash, and broth.  Cover; bring to a boil until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and puree the mixture.  Return to low heat and stir in milk, half & half, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt & pepper to taste.  Do not bring to a boil.   

This soup makes a great appetizer or entrée.  I served it as an entrée with a salad and homemade Almost Texas Roadhouse Rolls that I’ll be sharing with you in a future post.  

Although the ingredients are different, this soup reminds me of Panera’s Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup – yum!

What is your favorite soup recipe?