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Overnight Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

September 30, 2012

I love cinnamon rolls. Makes all those squats and lunges pointless, but hey, I need motivation.  I learned a lesson with these. I have made regular cinnamon rolls before, been fine. More than fine. Delicious! Pumpkin version? Superb!

Something was different with these… I noticed some roll recipes state to let the dough rise after you roll the blueberries/filling, then slice into the pans. This is what rises, exactly as it will go in the oven.

In the past, I’ve let the dough rise overnight, then roll it up in the morning and let them rise for only about an hour in their baking pans. I only rise the initial ball of dough overnight. Changing the order of things worked out fine, but not as fluffy as expected. I wonder if the moisture of the blueberries plays a role.

But my second round of these worked out wonderfully. Also, I used blueberry preserves and fresh blueberries for the filling. My second round was a ½ cup of preserves, a quart of blueberries and about ¼ cup of a cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. Perfect.

Icing is room temperature cream cheese, a few tablespoons of blueberry preserves and powdered sugar. Yea! Lesson learned! Noted! Improvise your favorite cinnamon roll recipe to accommodate for fresh fruit accordingly! I suggest off this recipe.

Dough:

  • 1 Tbs. (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105°F)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp  salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 jar (minus 3 tbsp for icing) blueberry puree
  • 1 quart of fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tbs. blueberry preserve
  • 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

For the dough, sprinkle the yeast over water, allow to foam a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot, about 30 minutes. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, salt and the remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Add the room-temperature butter and knead on a well-floured surface, adding a little flour to reduce stickiness if needed, until the dough is smooth, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a 15-by-10-inch rectangle.

Brush the rectangle with half of the melted butter, leaving a 2-inch-wide strip uncovered on one long side. Spread blueberry puree, but leave inch at top and bottom edges. Sprinkle blueberries, followed by cinnamon sugar over the butter. Starting at the long side covered with sugar, roll up the rectangle snugly and pinch the seam together. With the seam facing down, cut into about 10 equal pieces. Place the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze. Mix ingredients until smooth. Spread the glaze over the warm rolls.

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Lauren’s Pignoli Cookies

September 23, 2012

Happy birthday Lauren! In honor of her existence on this planet, I made her these pignoli cookies. She’s pretty spiffy, we can wear heels around each other. It’s awesome. She also makes Matt happy, which means she’s triple cool.

 

I read a lot of the comments about what kind of almond paste to use for these, canned was noted as making a world of difference. You can tell the difference since the tube is pretty soft (think cookie dough), but if you look inside the can, it’s almost a solid.

I love these cookies and had no idea that they’re gluten-free and only 4 ingredients. There go those Italians with their simplicity and masking things as fancy! Pine nuts, sugar, egg whites and almond paste.

The balls feel so funny to roll. I don’t have a food processor, gritty.  I mixed everything in the mixer and it worked fine. Sometimes I’m convinced it’s all a conspiracy from appliance makers to have so many different tools in recipes. Don’t take me too seriously on that.

The pine nuts are only on the outside and stick with egg whites. I like assembly stations, they make me feel organized. It’s like Excel for baking. Ok, that makes no sense… I hope these made your birthday a bit brighter! Happy Birthday Lauren!

  • 12 ounces almond paste
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix almond paste and granulated sugar in mixer until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and 2 egg whites; process until smooth. Whisk remaining 2 egg whites in small bowl. Place pine nuts on shallow plate. With lightly floured hands roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat balls in egg whites, shaking off excess, then roll in pine nuts, pressing lightly to stick. Arrange balls on cookie sheets, and flatten slightly to form a 1 1/2 inch round. Bake 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.

Jimmy’s S’mores Cookies

September 16, 2012

I had s’mores for the first time last November. Truer words were never written. It’s exactly as I always dreamed: A hot mallomar. Jimmy’s the spectacular lad who put a stop to my incomplete repertoire of dessert experiences.

Similar to Mr. Jim, s’mores are simple, messy, fun and a staple to the firepit. It’s based off the staple chocolate chip recipe. Obviously graham cracker is a necessity. The key is to get only about half the bag really powdery crumbs.

Large chunks of graham crackers are perfect for inserting like shards of glass into the cookie. We want to make these dangerous. No wait, that’s a terrible description. We want these to be messy. That’s better…

The finer crumbs go straight into the cookie batter. The large chunks go into outside décor.

This is the fun part, an assembly station. Oh yea, I know you were just checking out how awesome my pig spatula is. It brings a smile to my face every time I whip it out. I’m all about the little things in life.

These cookies flopped the first time. This is what happens if you mix the ingredients in one big batter. Lesson learned.

Make regular cookies by rolling into a ball and manually shove each ingredient in. This will help to keep shape and give it a better look.

Matt’s Blueberry Cookies

September 9, 2012

You learn a lot about people in college. For example: Matt loves Guinness and blueberries (not together). I envision his lovely lady walking away for a minute when food shopping, only to return to a full cart of beer and blueberries. I can clearly picture her eye roll and chuckle now, ha. I digress…

Due to this love for blueberries, I added extra in the recipe. I did a test batch for work first and they were mistaken for scones, which I can see. It’d say these range between a scone and a muffin top. Much softer than a regular cookie. I have a hunch they did not ship well, I’ll have to ask Matt. Because they tasted much better in my opinion left out. When I put them in bags to bring to work they got a tad soggy. I’d be curious to know how 2 days of shipping 800 miles did.

I love baking on rainy days, been a very many lately in Georgia before this weekend. Looks like summer is really over.

  • ½ cup of butter (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup of flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp blueberry preserve
  • 1 cup of blueberries

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until mixed well. Add the egg, vanilla and preserve. Slowly add dry ingredients without over-mixing. Fold in blueberries, do not over mix or mix aggressively for fear of breaking. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Scoop 1-inch balls onto a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. I rolled mine in turbine sugar too.

Cheese Pocket Danish

September 2, 2012

Finally!! Delicious danish. It only took months to learn. Making the dough was painful and long. I’ll procrastinate on posting that process since it’ll be a short novella. These babies are cheese and raisin. Interestingly, the recipe calls to soak the raisins in hot water for at least an hour. Seemed ridiculous, but they doubled in size. I assume it helps retain moisture.

I wonder how it would taste soaked it in hot rum? Next time. Recipe is specific about using super fine sugar in filling. I could have easily gone with powdered instead of buying a new kind to waste space in my cabinet. I was very paranoid (due to my previous danish disasters) that the filling would pour out when baking.

As a result, these could have used a bit more cheese. I personally prefer a higher ratio of filling to bread anyway, but adjust according to your liking. Lastly, the recipe stated to have the baking pan with pre-baked pockets in a garbage bag with a cup of hot water (creating a tent) for 1 hour.

Do you see this below? Looks ridiculous. It had no additional rise during this time period. I have no idea what the point of this is. Capture more moisture? I’ll omit this step when I make my rum raisin Danish next round. Overall, this is perfect. Easy, but very time consuming.

  • 1 batch of Danish dough (you can use this, or I’ll post it in the future)
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoon of superfine or powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

1) Soak raisins in hot water for an hour. 2) Preheat oven 350 degrees. Pat raisings dry on a paper towel. Mix cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Fold in raisins. 3) Roll out 2-inch balls of cream cheese and refrigerate to harden. 4) Roll out dough into a 12” x 16” rectangle. Cut out 4” x 4” squares. Place chilled cream cheese balls in center or squares and fold down opposite corners into each other. Brush with an apricot wash (1 part apricot preserve heated with 1 part water). Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush on egg wash immediately when out of the oven.

Individual Jello Aquariums

August 19, 2012

I’ve been a little MIA lately. This is a half post. I just baked up a storm today, so give me some grace period to compile my thoughts and assess the challenges. For now, I share with you jello aquariums!

My job has a theme potluck every month and August was fish. I love fish. I also love being creative. But I couldn’t think of anything that is fishy and office appropriate except tuna salad. I decided to make these: Blue jello with Swedish fish.

Jello is one part hot water until melted, followed by one part cold water. But wait! If you use seltzer instead of regular cold water, you can get some of the bubbles to make it look more authentic (thanks Martha Stewart!). Cool huh?!

One warning though, for some reason the flavoring of the fish seeps into the jello and then the gummies taste plain and odd. I have no clue how to fix this. Just know you are warned next time you have a fish party you need to attend. My science geek co-workers tried to discuss the chemistry of why it happened, but we came up with nothing.

Confession: Failures (Part 2)

July 22, 2012

6 months ago I admitted my baking disasters. If you thought that wasn’t a frequent thing, here’s proving you wrong:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread

Do you see this? Awful result. Hitchcock couldn’t have thought of a more horrific outcome. I could not roll the grape jelly in the dough if my life depended on it. That’s what burned all the edges. If I had any baking confidence, it was ruined when my apartment smoked up.

Lemon Pound Cake

I made 3 of these. I kid you not. First tasted sour. Not the normal lemon-baked-good-happy-kind of sour. Second fell apart everywhere. Third was grossly sour and bitter. I thought maybe it was my taste buds, so I added sugar icing. Nasty. I seriously think the lemons were off. I drink lemons in my water and these had no flavor. Maybe that’s why recipes specify to use Meyer lemons.

Marble Chiffon Cake

I read what a chiffon cake is, light and fluffy. You beat egg whites until fluffy, then lightly fold into the other ingredients. I read it 700 times. No wait, 7,000 times! What did I do? I mixed like an animal. As though mixing was the only workout I was going to get for the next year. Has your body ever act against your brain’s will? The result? Dense. Am I surprised? No.

Blueberry Lemon Curd Danish

This was from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book.  Apparently danish is just not my thing. See Failures Part 1.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

I have no idea what happened. The rice bottom was soaking with corn syrup. What a waste of precious chocolate. I made 4 new recipes on this day to ship out for birthdays, this was my ‘safe recipe’. HA! I assumed it was a glorified rice crispy treat. Nope. Wrong. Fail.