Saturday, October 24, 2015

Quicker Cinnamon Buns

  • I love Cinnamon Rolls... I was watching America's Test Kitchen on Saturday and they did this recipe... thought I would give it a try. I loved that it didn't have to raise too long and that it only made 8. It seems when I make a regular batch of Cinnamon Rolls they don't get eaten, after all they are best when eaten warm...and served with bacon. Enjoy!!
  • Quicker Cinnamon Buns 
    -Makes 8
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 3/4cups (13 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) Powdered sugar, sifted


1. FOR THE FILLING: Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in bowl. Stir in melted butter and vanilla until mixture resembles wet sand; set aside.
2. FOR THE DOUGH: Grease dark 9-inch round cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease parchment. Pour ¼ cup milk in small bowl and microwave until 110 degrees, 15 to 20 seconds. Stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar and let sit until mixture is bubbly, about 5 minutes.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 5 teaspoons sugar together in large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, yeast mixture, and remaining 1 cup milk until dough forms (dough will be sticky). Transfer dough to well-floured counter and knead until smooth ball forms, about 2 minutes.
4. Roll dough into 12 by 9-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to counter edge. Brush dough all over with 2 tablespoons butter, leaving ½-inch border on far edge. Sprinkle dough evenly with filling, then press filling firmly into dough. Using bench scraper or metal spatula, loosen dough from counter. Roll dough away from you into tight log and pinch seam to seal.
5. Roll log seam side down and cut into 8 equal pieces. Stand buns on end and gently re-form ends that were pinched during cutting. Place 1 bun in center of prepared pan and others around perimeter of pan, seam sides facing in. Brush tops of buns with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cover buns loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Discard plastic and bake buns until edges are well browned, 23 to 25 minutes. Loosen buns from sides of pan with paring knife and let cool for 5 minutes. Invert large plate over cake pan. Using potholders, flip plate and pan upside down; remove pan and parchment. Reinvert buns onto wire rack, set wire rack inside parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, and let cool for 5 minutes.
7. FOR THE GLAZE: Place cream cheese in large bowl and whisk in butter, milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Whisk in sugar until smooth. Pour glaze evenly over tops of buns, spreading with spatula to cover. Serve. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Caramel Apple Bars

I had to re-post this recipe!! LOVE it and it's perfect for this time of year!!
I love Caramel Apples and anything with caramel and apples in it! They remind me of Autumn time and Fair time! This is a recipe I got out of one of my Pillsbury Recipe Magazines a few years ago. The original recipe made a huge batch, but my recipe fits in a 9x9 inch pan. If you need a bigger batch, just double the recipe or go to Pillsbury's recipe site and search for Caramel Apple Bars. I tweaked the recipe a bit, I like to  use Kraft caramels instead of caramel ice cream topping that the original recipe calls for. I like the flavor and texture better!! This recipe reminds me a bit like Apple Crisp but even better because it has the crisp on the bottom as well as the top..... and that's the best part isn't it??? Yum!!

Caramel Apple Bars
Crust and Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dash or two of salt
1 cube  plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted

35 Kraft Caramels, unwrapped (approximately 35)
2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 peeled apples, coarsly chopped ( (I quarter and slice the apples into thin bite size pieces)
1 to 2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9x9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
 In a large bowl, melt butter  in the microwave, then add the rest of the topping ingredients and combine with a fork or pastry blender. Mixture should be crumbly. Press half of the mixture in pan to form crust; reserve remaining mixture for topping. Bake 8 minutes. When done remove from oven and set aside on cooling rack.
While the crust is cooking, in 1-quart saucepan, melt caramels with 2 Tablespoons milk over medium / low heat stirring occasionally.
While carmels melt, add the 2 tablespoons butter to a large skillet and melt over medium heat, then add the apple pieces and lemon juice and cook for about 5 minutes or so until tender. (My apples don't cook enough in the time it takes to cook the bars, so I give them a head start)
When caramels are melted and apples are tender, whisk the  2 Tablespoons of flour into the carmel, then add the apples and nuts to caramel and stir to combine, continue to cook over medium heat for about another minute, stirring constantly, mixture should be slightly thick.
 Pour caramel mixture evenly over top of cooked crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping mixture.
Return to oven; bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack for about an hour. Cut in to squares. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Yummo!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Ok, I didn't use to like biscuits and gravy.... but my hubby loves them. I don't make this for breakfast very often since I've been trying to eat healthier, but sometimes, on a chilly October morning, you just need to make a batch.
This recipe for the biscuits is from here , from Farmhouse Rules that comes on the Food network. I had an epiphany while making the biscuits, it says to cut the butter into small cubes then cut into the flour, but I thought, why not just grate the butter into the flour!! I hate trying to cut those small cubes into the flour! It worked! when I was about halfway through the cube I dusted the grated butter with some of the flour other wise it would become one big lump of grated butter. Worked awesomely and made fluffy biscuits. I dare you to try it. The sausage and gravy is just one of my own recipes, it's generally how you make a white gravy after frying bacon, pork chops, and in this case sausage.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
For the Biscuits
2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons butter (1 cube)
1 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper to sprinkle on biscuits


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place rack in the center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, the salt, sugar and baking soda. Grate the butter into the flour and then mix with your fingers until combined. Stir in 1 cup of the buttermilk, adding 1/4 cup more if needed, until a rough dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a work surface, knead gently to combine, and then pat into an 8-inch square. Cut into 9 square biscuits and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with buttermilk and sprinkle the Kosher salt and ground black pepper over the tops. Bake until the tops are golden and the biscuits are fluffy and cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

For the Gravy:
1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk,  and maybe just a little more
Dash or two of Frank's hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook sausage in a large skillet until browned and crumbly. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
Keep the drippings from the sausage in the skillet, if it looks like less than a 1/4 cup add a tablespoon of butter or more as needed to make about 1/4 cup of grease. Heat skillet to medium high and add the 1/4 cup of flour. Stir with a whisk and cook and stir the flour for a minute or two. Then, slowly add the 2 cups of milk while whisking into the flour mixture so you don't get lumps. Keep whisking slowly over medium high heat while this gravy mixture comes to a boil. This should thicken.... This process usually takes 3 or 4 minutes. If the gravy becomes too thick add a little more milk. Next, add the dash or two of hot sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper, taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Add the sausage back into the pan and stir to combine. Cut biscuits in half and spoon gravy over the biscuits as individuals desire. Enjoy!!!

Portabella Mushroom Tacos

I love tacos. My hubby and I thought it would be awesome to see if we could do a meatless Monday  and Portabella mushrooms have a grea...