Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Raisin Nut Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

That cream cheese in the fridge was calling to me today. So I answered it with a beautiful dozen cinnamon buns. We were so excited to eat them, that they were almost half gone before I got to taking pictures!
I made half of the dozen with raisins and walnuts, and the other half were just cinnamon and sugar. I eventually covered all of them with the cream cheese icing. Yummy! Here's the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens 15th Edition Cook Book p.116:

Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls - Raisin Nut with Cream Cheese icing
4 1/4 to 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup mashed cooked potato
1/3 cup butter, cut up
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon (or more!)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup raisins (or up to 1 cup if you want lots of raisins)
1/2 cup nuts (or up to 1 cup if you like lots of nuts. Roasted pecans are suggested.)

  1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour and yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, potato, 1/3 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt just until warm (120-130 degrees F) and butter almost melts; add to flour mixture along with the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to med. speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size. (45-60 minutes).
  3.  Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. For filling, in a small bowl stir together brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  4.  Roll dough into an 18x12 inch rectangle. Spread 1/4 cup of butter over dough evenly. Sprinkle with filling, leaving about 1 inch unfilled along the long sides. Sprinkle the raisins and nuts over the filling. Roll up rectangle, starting from a filled long side; pinch dough to seal seams. Slice rolled rectangle into 12 equal pieces (use a ruler and "cut" with dental floss wrapped around the roll and pulled through). Arrange, cut side down in prepared pan. Cover and let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).
  5.  Preheat oven to 375degrees F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes (23 was enough in my convection oven.) or until golden. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Spread with icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
In a medium bowl beat one 3-ounce package softened cream cheese with 2 Tbsp softened butter and 1 tsp. vanilla. Gradually beat in 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in 4-6 tsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, to reach spreading consistency.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Carrot Date muffin Recipe

I've made these before, but I was asked for the recipe since I served them again yesterday. I'll post the original recipe and how I modified it.
The recipe comes from the Company's Coming Mostly Muffins book. Page 46. Here is their

Date Nut Carrot Muffin recipe
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 large eggs, fork beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk (or use 1 Tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to make 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup cooking oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups grated carrot

Measure first 8 ingredients into a large bowl. Stir. Make well in centre.
Combine next 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add to well.
Add carrot. Stir until just moistened. Fill 12 greased or lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 to 22 minutes until wooden pick inserted in centre of muffin comes out clean. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Makes 12 muffins.

Now then, Keep reading to see my variant of the recipe.
Most noticeably, after typing in this recipe, I realize that I did not remember the brown sugar! Oops. I did think as I was mixing that there should be SOME sugar, so I put in 3 Tbsp of white sugar. Here's what I actually put in the muffins in the photo:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 cup home-made granola (oatmeal, sunflower seeds, whole wheat flour, honey, oil, sesame seeds, wheat germ)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg

2 large eggs, fork beaten
1 Tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to make 3/4 cup soured milk
1/3 cup cooking oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped dates and raisins combined
1/4 cup fine coconut

1 1/2 cups grated carrot

I used the same method as above. They made very textured, moist muffins.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Olliebollen

Well, I'll be showing my roots, but every New Year's Eve, I have always had Olliebollen. Lately, I make it, just like my mother still does and her mother before her and so on. We're Dutch. We ring in the new year by eating these deep-fried beauties.

I'm pretty sure there are as many variants on the recipe as there are Dutch out there, but here's the recipe I use:

Olliebollen Recipe - yields about 2 dozen
1 Tbsp. quick rise yeast
1 cup milk
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dried currants (raisins if you prefer)
1 thickly grated tart apple

Warm the milk to lukewarm. Combine the milk, 1 cup of the flour, salt, yeast, and egg together in a large bowl. Mix in the rest of the flour to form a thick batter. Stir in the currants and apple until well incorporated. Leave batter to rise in a warm place until double in size, about 40 minutes. It should look like this:

Heat enough vegetable oil to 375 degrees F to deep fry these olliebollen. (I use my electric wok set on high with about 1 1/2 inches of oil in it.) Drop the batter by tablespoon into the hot oil.
I try to cook about 6 or 7 at a time, but by staggering their entry into the oil by 30 seconds or so, the first one will be done when the last one has been in a bit. This way the oil doesn't cool too much and you don't have to rush to get any in or out "on time". Fry about 4 minutes on each side. They should come out lightly brown all over. In the picture above, the bottom 3 have been flipped already. When they are that color all over, they are done. Remove to a paper towel-lined colander and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Go ahead, try one! Good luck stopping at just one! These are fantastic when served warm, but they're still great even when they've cooled off. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!