Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe from Cooking Light magazine
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 3/4 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated has way better flavor than the stuff in jars)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level with knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
2. Place the dough in a large bowl, coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.
3. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon for the filling. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12X10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with filling mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 1-inch slices. Place slices in a 13X9 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes or until doubled in size. *Tip: Use plain dental floss to slice through dough cleanly.
5. Preheat oven to 375. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
6. To prepare the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.
*Note-You may want to double the glaze if you have frosting lovers in your house.

Pumpkin Waffles

This is one of the most delightful things I have eaten in a while!

2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used grated fresh ginger, yummy!)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin (plain old pure pumpkin)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron

Preheat oven to 250 and preheat waffle iron. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and spices. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks with buttermilk, pumpkin and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.
In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold them gently into the waffle batter, just until combined.
Brush waffle iron with oil and spoon batter into waffle iron, spreading quickly.
Transfer waffles to oven to keep warm and crisp.
Serve with maple syrup and chopped pecans.
The dry and the wet... Folding in the egg whites...
Bon appetit!
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monte Cristo Sandwich

My first Monte Cristo sandwich was at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, and I was hooked. This version is called a 'Monte Cristo-Style Croque Monsieur', but all you need to know is it is heavenly.
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper
ground nutmeg, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 slices white bread, choose a really soft French
12 thin slices baked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese, Emmanteler if available
2 large eggs
raspberry jam, for dipping
1. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then 1 cup milk. Bring to a gentle boil; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for 2 minutes to thicken. Off the heat, stir in the mustard.
2. Spread the bread with the sauce, then layer 4 slices with the ham, cheese and remaining bread.
3. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup milk. In a nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Soak 2 sandwiches in the egg mixture. Add the sandwiches to the skillet and cook, turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining butter and sandwiches.
Serve with raspberry jam, if desired. But why wouldn't you desire that?

Recipe courtesy of Racheal Ray Magazine.

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Butter

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
These turned out quite delicious and I look forward to making them again. They are especially good with ham and pork and really make a dinner special.
For the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup pureed cooked sweet potatoes, cooled (I used canned, shhhh)
1/3 cup fat-free milk (I used 1% and nothing bad happened!)
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal-do not overwork the dough. Combine sweet potato and milk in a small bowl; add potato mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (it will be a little crumbly); knead lightly 5 times. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.
*Tip*: The key to flaky biscuits is to keep them cold. Make sure your butter stays cold and keep your baking sheet cold, I refrigerated the baking sheet with the biscuits for a while before I baked them.
For the maple butter:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute or until smooth. Cover and chill until use. Mmmmm!
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Buttermilk Pancakes

Nothing fancy here, but the kids love 'em!
This is our go-to for Saturday or Sunday morning. The kids request them over and over...although I have a whole list of other things I would prefer to make these keep the kids happy.
I have to admit they are pretty darn tasty, too. Ryan and the kids demand chocolate chip, I make myself a batch of blueberry when they are in season.
I have tried several 'from scratch' pancake recipes and these are the easiest and taste great, it is just the recipe out of the Better Homes and Gardens red plaid cookbook. They are a cinch to throw together in the morning but when I am really on the ball I will do it the night before and stick the batter in the fridge.
This is the standard pancake recipe with the 'buttermilk pancake' variation. The buttermilk is a necessity in my opinion-the texture and flavor are way way better.
In a medium bowl combine:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal, optional
In another medium bowl combine:
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk, plus more for thinning
2 tablespoons canola oil
Add egg mixture to dry mixture all at once, stirring just until moistened, batter will remain lumpy.
Stir in 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, if desired.
Let rest at least 5 minutes before ladling onto griddle.
Pour about 1/4-cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle.
*Tip* When the whole family is eating I double the recipe. The kids like the leftovers the next morning.
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