7/11/15

World's Best Cinnamon Rolls






I have a serious weakness for cinnamon rolls.  A few of my favorite cinnamon roll recipes are Mel's Kitchen Cinnamon Rolls,  Cutler's Cinnamon Rolls,  and Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Roll .  When I saw this recipe on Pinterest for the World's Best Cinnamon Rolls I knew it was a must-try recipe.





I Pinned this recipe while drooling over pages of cinnamon roll photos on Instagram one evening. The author of this recipe is Carrian, from Oh, Sweet Basil. Carrian worked on this recipe for SIX YEARS before posting it on her blog. Wow. That's a serious obsession with perfecting the cinnamon roll! I met Carrian a few years ago, and watched her teach a cooking class. She is a darling young mom who loves to cook and workout. Good combo. I just love to cook.
If you're looking for a quick recipe, this is not going to be a good fit. But if you've got several hours at home, and have time to tend a batch of rolls (while doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, etc), this recipe will not let you down! It is one of the best recipes I have tried.
Maybe even the World's Best  :)














World's Best Cinnamon Rolls
adapted slightly from Oh, Sweet Basil
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 20 mins
Serves: 20-24

Dough:
1 cup warm water
½ cup heavy cream *may substitute whole milk*
4½ teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt salt
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
⅓ cup canola oil
⅓ cup melted butter
7-8 cups all purpose flour
2 dime sized circles (NO MORE) Soy Lecithin
Filling:
12 tablespoons softened butter, unsalted
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
5 tablespoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons softened butter, unsalted
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoon corn syrup (light Karo syrup)
2- 2½ cups powdered sugar

In a glass measuring cup, add the water and cream. Heat in the microwave until warm, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure it's warm and not hot. Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Allow to foam for 5-10 minutes. In another measuring cup, add the buttermilk and warm as well. Making sure it's lukewarm, add it to the yeast mixture.
In another measuring cup, add the remaining sugar, salt, oil, butter and eggs, whisking to combine. Add to the yeast mixture in a standing mixer. Stir with a dough hook to combine. Add the flour over the top and the soy lecithin. Mix until the dough begins to form a ball then mix for 3 minutes, adding an additional ¼ cup flour if you were too light handed with the first measurement and it needs more. I never do, but everyone measures differently. Remove the dough hook and place a towel over the bowl to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm spot.
Very lightly flour the counter and roll the dough into a large, even rectangle. Spread the soft butter all the way to the edges.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon with the corn starch. Sprinkle liberally over the butter, all the way to the edges. Roll into a tight log and using floss, slice the rolls by sliding it under the dough, bring it up and make an "x", pull it tight to cut through and set it in the lightly greased cookie sheet.
Repeat until all of the rolls are in the pan and then drape with a towel to rise for 1-2 hours.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-22 minutes, watching the tops because as soon as they are golden the rolls are done and you DO NOT want to over bake. Remove from the oven, cool for 2 minutes and top with frosting while hot. Sneak into another room to enjoy one all alone before the husband and kids find you.
Frosting:
Whip the cream cheese and butter together until softened. Add the corn syrup (Karo syrup) and vanilla . Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until desired consistency.


6/30/15

Cheese and Garlic Twisted Breadsticks





I've been making these Quick Cheese and Garlic Twisted Breadsticks for years. They take less than an hour start to finish and paired with a salad or soup make a meal complete! They are simple enough to make with your kids this summer, they'll love to cut the dough into strips, sprinkle with cheese and then twist.
I love them paired with these main dish salads:


Panera's Strawberry Poppy Seed and Chicken Salad Copycat recipe

BLT Pasta Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing




Here's a little step by step to help you out:


Roll out on a floured surface. Doesn't need to be a perfect rectangle...

Spread with butter and garlic mixture (optional).
I skip this step if I'm in a hurry, sprinkle with cheese, cut into strips. 
Fold the strips back to meet the top of the dough. 


Gently twist one end of the dough.
It's okay if the cheese spills out the side of the breadstick!


Place the breadstick on the greased baking sheet.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
Or skip this step if you're in a hurry.



Shown with Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe




Cheese and Garlic Twisted Breadsticks
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1 clove crushed garlic mixed with 2 teaspoons salt, or 1 tablespoon garlic salt
2-3 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
1 1/2 cup grated cheese (Cheddar, Co-jack, Parmesan)
poppy seeds, sesame seeds optional

Place the warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over top of the water. Let sit for about five minutes or until bubbly. Stir in honey. Add the flour and salt, a cup at a time, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and is no longer sticky. Remember, it is easier to work with dough that has not had too much flour added.
Let the dough sit for about 15 minutes. This step is not necessary, if you are in a hurry, go ahead and proceed to next step.
Mix the butter and garlic or garlic salt in a small bowl.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into about a 10x15 rectangle. Spread or drizzle the surface of the dough with melted butter and garlic mixture. This step is optional, you may simply sprinkle the dough with grated cheese, but the flavor is much better with the garlic butter mixture spread on top first.
Grease a jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Place rack in middle of oven.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the bread sticks in to 8-12 pieces (width wise), depending on the desired size. Take one end of the dough strip and fold upward to meet the top of the other end of the strip (see photo). Continue until all of the strips are folded. Pick up one dough strip and gently twist in one direction, holding the other end while twisting. Place the twisted dough strip on the greased baking sheet. Repeat until all of the dough has been twisted and placed on baking sheet. Dough may be brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with poppy or sesame seeds.
Let the dough sit in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
Place in oven and let bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve immediately.

Tips:
-When making any type of bread, the kitchen should be warm and draft free. The microwave oven is a great place to put a bowl of rising bread dough. Place a cup of water in the microwave on high for one minute. Remove the water and place the bowl of bread in the microwave oven with the door shut. The temperature inside of the oven is perfect!
-While this recipe is supposed to be a thirty minute recipe, the texture of the bread is better if you let it raise a bit before baking. If you have lots of time, let it raise for 30-40 minutes after making the dough, then another 30-40 minutes after shaping into breadsticks and before baking.

6/13/15

Cranberry Avocado Salad with Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette


Father's Day is always a grilling holiday at our house. We cook up meat and make a few salads and a yummy dessert and Dad is a happy camper (mom too)! I pinned this Cranberry Avocado Salad with Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette from the Cafe Sucre Farine on my Salad and Veggies Board a few months ago. It's definitely going to be in our regular salad rotation this summer!
The Sweet White Balsamic Dressing and crunchy sweet nuts are the perfect topping for the creamy avocado and greens. I could eat this salad every single day.







Cranberry Avocado Salad with Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Found on Pinterest - from Cafe Sucre Farine

for dressing:
⅓ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

for salad:
12-16 ounces baby spinach, arugula, field greens
1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried, leaves removed whole from stems
2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup Candied Spiced Almond
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.

For the salad, place greens and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about ¼ cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter candied almonds over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with the extra dressing.

Spiced Almonds
5 cups sliced almonds, or a 1 pound package
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1-1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika* – some smoked paprikas are quite hot, if you don’t like “hot”, just use 1 teaspoon and they will be mildly spiced.
1 teaspoon vanilla
sea salt

1. Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Spray with cooking spray or rub a teaspoon of oil over foil with a paper towel.

2. Place sugar in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium heat , occasionally tipping and swirling the sugar until it is all melted into a pale golden syrup.

3. Lower heat immediately and add butter, cinnamon, smoked paprika and vanilla. Stir until well combined and all butter is incorporated into the sugar syrup.

4. Add the nuts and stir gently to coat. Don’t worry if you have some clumps of caramelized sugar – they will melt as you continute to sauté the almonds. Cover and continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until almonds are a delicious golden brown. Watch very carefully as they can go from beautiful to burned very quickly! Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out on foil to cool.