Monday, June 28

overnight cinnamon rolls.

well, i finally tried these! i adapted my friend megan's recipe using one that i also had from alton brown (my idol) to come up with something that i could make the night before and have minimal work in the morning. i used AB's dough but meg's filling and icing. these were definitely a task but were SO good. taylor said they tasted exactly like the ones he likes from The Kitchen Door...that i used to get him (too) often the first summer we were married until they cruelly closed their lake austin blvd location. but alas! i can make them at home and they're SO good! these will definitely become a staple of special mornings @ our house.

{overnight cinnamon rolls}
adapted from here and here
yields 12-15 rolls
time the night before: 2 hours
time the morning: 1 hour
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 (I did 1/3 cup)
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar packed
2 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
6-8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. (I ended up using a little more than 3 and 2/3 total) Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and toss to coat in oil, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. For faster rise, Cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a 150 degree oven for an hour until doubled in size.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with two knives or a pastry cutter until it resembles crumbs. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 - 15 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours. {I put the odd end pieces of the roll in baking dish too to fill up the pan and it worked perfectly. I had 14 rolls and 3 little odd end twists.}
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, uncover, and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 25 - 30 minutes.

While the rolls are baking, make the icing. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla on low until incorporated, occasionally scraping down sides when necessary. Then beat at medium-low until fluffy. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.


Friday, June 25

salted nutty oat cookies

I like to consider myself an oatmeal raisin cookie connoisseur. Whenever I eat at a bakery or sandwich shop, I have to try their oatmeal raisin cookies. Texas French Bread has one of my all time favorites; I think they use nutmeg. But a recent favorite is at Walton's, which in itself is worthy of mention. A picturesque cross between a bakery, little deli and florist shop on west 6th allegedly owned by Sandra Bullock. Everything there is good. I recently had green pepper chicken salad and eyed enviously my friend's Garden Party sandwich of grilled eggplant and squash with roasted red peppers, Texas Chevre and balsamic on rye. Their scones are great and their Monte Cristo looks truly epic.

But anyway, back to cookies. Their oatmeal raisin cookies are chewy (a must) but also have coarse salt sprinkled on top. So that was an aspect I wanted to try when I decided to make cookies today. I also didn't want to finish off my butter and wanted to do something with the wheat germ I have sitting in the fridge staring at me. So this is what I came up with. Wheat germ gives it a nutty taste. And I guess has some heath benefits, but I'm not much into marketing them that way since they have plenty of sugar and were made with shortening. But feel free to think of these as healthy! ...whatever helps you sleep at night.

{salted nutty oat cookies}
adapted from here and here. picture from here
1 1/2 cups - old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp - all purpose flour
3/4 cup  - raisins
1/4 cup - toasted wheat germ {simply replace this with an equal amount flour if you’re not interested}
1/2 tsp each - baking soda and baking powder
1 tsp - ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup - granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) - light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp - pure vanilla extract.
coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix oats, wheat germ, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Mix butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed until pale and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Fold in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add oats mixture; mix until just combined. Add raisins.
Drop dough in inch balls onto lined baking sheets.
Bake until golden and just set about 10-12 min. Sprinkle sea salt over warm cookies.

Friday, June 18

{asian salad}

a really great way to get your veggies and mix up the flavors! the peanut butter gives this a nutty flavor as well as a tiny bit of hearty creaminess.

{asian salad}
adapted from hungry girl
1 16oz package broccoli slaw mix (a bagged mixture of shredded broccoli and cabbage)
1 cup canned mandarin orange slices
2 cups shelled and cooked edamame beans (find shelled edamame in the frozen vegetable section)
1/3 c. cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes or 1 T. sriracha sauce
1/3 to 1/2 c. asian dressing such as Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing. I used Central Market's Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette 
1/4 to 1/3 cup peanut butter.
{additional veggie options}
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 cup steamed snap peas
1/2 c. water chestnuts
1 cup steamed asparagus pieces
Whisk together pepper flakes or sauce with dressing and peanut butter. Toss well with combined slaw mix, cilantro and edamame. Chill covered for at least and hour before serving. Adapt to taste!

Saturday, June 12

{cobbler version deux: strawberry}

Well forgive that stinky image quality. I tried this cobbler with thawed (and then drained) frozen strawberries. So good. and that means I can keep extra crispy topping around and make this with whatever fruit I have frozen or fresh! That is, as long as I have the right ice cream to go on top.

Tuesday, June 1

{texas peach crispy cobbler}

they are selling fredericksburg peaches on the roadsides now and central market was bursting with texas peaches today. i couldn't wait to make this. first, a few words about terminology.
crisps are crispy, cobblers are bready. because i like crispy, i like crisps better, as long as there is a nearly equal proportion of crispy stuff to fruit filling.

cobblers, while more bready, actually tend to have this proportion that i like and have a good, more pie-like filling. i am also more partial to the name cobbler because it has an old, nostalgic name to me --that sounds like texas summers and bbq at the salt lick. so. now that we have our terminology correct, and even though this is more of a crisp, i'm calling it a cobbler.
{texas peach crispy cobbler}
5 -6 peeled peaches cut into bite sized pieces, about 2.5 cups
1 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, chilled
Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
Place the peaches in a round shallow pie plate. Sprinkle 1/4 c. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon over them and toss to coat.  In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Slice the butter into chunks, or grate it, and cut or rub it into the dry ingredients until it looks like pea size crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over peaches.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly golden.
Top with vanilla ice cream.