Sunday, December 11, 2011

Orange Rolls

I've got a super crazy week coming up this week.  Like, super crazy!  So, I'm being on the ball and posting a new recipe for you to try this week, since I'm sure I won't be posting again until closer to Christmas.  Maybe even after.  We'll see.

About a month ago, this blog has exploded all thanks to my super amazing and very talented friend, Nicole.  She's an incredible photographer and she decided one day to take pictures of the Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring as she made them for her family.  She posted her gorgeous pictures on her blog and on Pintrest.  They spread like wildfire!  Well, here's another version of those sticky buns.

I'm so excited to post another incredible recipe from my friend, Kolette.  These are similar to the sticky buns that I posted earlier this year, but made with an orange syrup.  These are really terrific!

Here's what you'll need:

2 tubes refrigerated biscuits (the smaller biscuits or the Grands biscuits)
1 cube (1/2 C.) butter or margarine
1 C. sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange

Combine the butter or margarine, sugar, zest, and orange juice in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, stirring frequently.    

 I really liked using these Pillsbury Grands! biscuits with the flaky layers.  You didn't have to have a whole biscuit if you didn't want to.  You could just peal off as many layers as you wanted.  Fantastic!  
 But they really would work just fine with the smaller biscuits too.
 Using a fork or tongs, dip each biscuit into the sauce, scooping some of the zest onto the biscuit.  Place into a well-greased bundt pan.

 Pour remaining sauce over the biscuits.
 Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes.
 When done, immediately turn onto a platter and serve.  I place the platter on top of the rolls, then flip the whole thing over.


 And so delicious!!  I loved the orange flavor.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


After posting about the baby shower that I hosted, I had LOTS of people ask for my Snickerdoodle recipe, the only recipe I didn't post.  So when I was co-hosting the annual cookie exchange, I decided to make these Snickerdoodles again, and this time, take some pictures of the process to share with all of you!
This recipe comes from one of my Lion House cookbooks, just like my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies do.  Some of my friends who are true Snickerdoodle lovers say that these are some of the best they've had. I hope you like them too!

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 C. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. butter, softened
2 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 Tbsp. water
6 C. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 C. sugar and cinnamon; set aside. (You can half this cinnamon sugar or you can make the full amount and save the extras for anything that could use some cinnamon sugar.)

  In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and 2 1/2 C. sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, vanilla, and water; beat until fluffy.

Add flour, cram of tartar, baking soda, and salt, turning mixer on and off in quick bursts at low speed until flour is nearly blended in. (This is to help not have a flour explosion all over your counter.)  Continue mixing at medium speed until well mixed.

Shape dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (I used a medium cookie scoop and then rolled each ball in my hands).

Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes or 9-10 minutes with a convection oven.

The cookies that I baked on convection turn out like these, thicker and puffier.  When I bake them with my regular oven, they turn out a bit flatter with slightly more spread.  Both ways were tender and delicious.

Christmas is nearing!  What cookies do you like to make over the holiday season?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Soft Pretzels & An Announcement

How was everyone's Thanksgiving?  Mine was WONDERFUL!!!  I truly missed my hubby, but the kids and I had SO much fun visiting my family in Boise!  I sure hope you all had as great of a Thanksgiving as we did.

Since the temperature has dropped considerably, I'm always in the mood to bake.  So, one chilly Saturday, I decided to try a new recipe for homemade soft pretzels because my kids were being especially good that day and this is what I usually get them when we go to the mall if they're good for me.  

They were SO excited that we were making our own big pretzels!  And I was excited that they weren't nearly as hard to make as I had imagined.  YAY!!  That just means we'll be making these often!

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. hot water (about 110 degrees)
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. bread flour (or you can use 3 1/4 C. all purpose flour, which is what I did)

1/2 C. butter, melted, used for after the pretzels have baked

Combine first three ingredients and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Stir flour and salt to mixture and knead for 5 minutes. 

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.  

Divide dough into 8-12 equal size pieces (I went with 12), roll each piece into a rope, shape each rope into a pretzel or cut into bite sized pieces.  

*To roll into a rope, I found it worked best to shape the dough into a 6-inch long rope, then starting from the center, using both of your hands, roll the dough back and forth, moving your hands in opposite directions out to the ends of the dough.  Try not to break the dough.  I ended up with a dough rope that was about 18 inches long.

Lay pretzel onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 550 degrees for about 8-10 minutes for pretzels or 6-8 minutes for the pretzel bites.  Be careful when taking them out of the oven.  I had a couple that slid right off the pan!

There are different ways to finish these pretzels:
1.  Brush hot pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with course salt.  Serve with a cheese sauce or plain.
2.  Combine melted butter with 2 Tbsp. honey; brush onto hot pretzels then sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  May serve with a thin icing for dipping or drizzling on top.
3.  Prior to baking the pretzels, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, a little garlic salt, and top with pepperoni slices; bake, then serve with marinara sauce.

We made our pretzels using the first two options and they were OUTSTANDING!!!  We all went a little crazy over them.  Out of the 11 full-sized pretzels and the 16 bites, there was only one full-sized pretzel left for my hubby by the time he got home from work.  Oops!

On to the announcement!  Since I was posting on these fun little buns in the oven today, I wanted to let everyone know that I too have a little bun in the oven!  We're so excited for our new addition on the way!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving's Coming...

Hi everyone!  Thanksgiving's almost here and there's excitement in the air around here!  This year, my kids and I are heading to Boise to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and we cannot wait!!  To make things easier on the host, my sister, Shauna (who just had her first baby and I can't wait to meet him), we've all been given food assignments for while we are there.

I'm in charge of the pies for Thanksgiving dinner and then the breakfast on Saturday.  So, I just wanted to let you know what I'll be making...

Pie Crust

Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie - 1 regular pecan pie and 1 chocolate pecan pie (mmmmmmm...)

Breakfast Burritos

I LOVE getting together with family because you know there will always be great company and wonderful food.  I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy cooking and, even more, happy eating!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Milk & Cookies Baby Shower

I hosted a baby shower last weekend for my friend, Robyn.  I went with the theme of Milk & Cookies, something very simple, but sweet at the same time.  So, I thought I'd post some pictures from the shower to give others some ideas if they have a shower to give coming up...

I made six different kinds of cookies.  I went with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oreo Truffles, Carrot Cookies, Fudge Cookies filled with Peppermint Frosting, and Snickerdoodles.  We had milk, chocolate milk, and strawberry milk - the perfect pairings with cookies.

Everything was so much fun!  I can't wait for my next party to host!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sliced Baked Potatoes

Living in Idaho and having in-laws who own a potato farm, I have lots of opportunities to use potatoes in my cooking.  

Just last week, my in-laws finished harvesting all of their potatoes, a mighty feat every year!  It sounds like this year they were very happy with how they turned out too.  

My kids got to go and help with the harvest a few times and each time they brought home some real treasures.

Look at these spuds!!!  They're both over 8 inches long!

So in celebration of a great harvest, I'm posting a way to use the wonderful potato.  Today's recipe is a very simple, yet very elegant way to use potatoes.  And there's hardly a "recipe" for it; just make it to how you would like it.  Pretty easy.

Here's what you'll need:

Russet potatoes (however many you want)
Olive oil
Melted butter
Salt (table salt and/or course sea salt)

Clean each potato and let dry completely.  Slice each potato into thin slices, but don't cut completely through the potato.  You'll want the bottom of the potato to stay in tact.  Place on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter, then drizzle with oil, and finally season with salt and pepper.

 Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely cooked through and tender.
So easy and such a beautiful presentation!  You can serve them as is or top with a dollop of sour cream, chopped bacon, and sliced green onions.  Enjoy!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chocolate Covered Caramel Apples

Halloween is in two weeks!  Are you ready?  I'm not.  We've still got to figure out what costumes to get for the kids.  But one thing I've done in anticipation for the Halloween season is make yummy caramel apples.  

For some reason, I just can't eat caramel apples unless it's October.  Weird, I know.  But, wooo-hooooo for it being October now!!  These treats are super delicious and easy too!


Here's what you'll need:

5 medium apples, washed and completely dry
One bag of caramels or caramel bits
2 T. water
1 C. chocolate chips
1 - 1 1/2 T. shortening
Any candy, chopped (opt.)

When I saw these at the store, I knew I had to try them.  I LOVED that I didn't have to unwrap tons of caramels.  So easy!!

Place the caramel and water into a medium pan.

Heat on Medium-Low until the caramel is melted and smooth.

You can push sticks into the apples before dipping them, but I didn't have any.  So I just made sure the apples I used had stems to hang on to.

Dip the apples into the warm caramel.  Set them on a parchment lined tray (you can spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray if desired).
 You should have some caramel left over in your pan.  Scoop it out and drizzle it over the apples.  It may look funny at first, but don't worry.  The caramel will slowly ooze down and cover the apple more smoothly after a while.

Place the caramel covered apples into the fridge and refrigerate for 1 hour.

While you're waiting, you can chop whatever candy you would like to cover the apples in.  I went with Snickers.  I used a whole bag of the fun-sized candy bars.  Chop them small.  Mine are a little bigger.  I'd probably go smaller next time.

After the caramel has set on the apples, you'll notice that there's some at the bottom of each apple.  No worries.  Just mold the caramel back up onto the apple.  Or if you'd rather, you can just cut it off and eat it.

Once you've got the caramel pressed back up, you're ready for dipping.  I melted milk chocolate chips with the shortening in the microwave for 30 seconds on High, stirred it well, then microwaved it for another 15 seconds until the chocolate was smooth and the shortening was incorporated.
 Holding on to the apples by the stick or the stem, dip the caramel apples into the chocolate, turning to cover it all.  Or pour some chocolate over the top and let it run down the apple.

For the candy covered apples, I dipped the whole apple into the chocolate.  And for the chocolate covered caramel apples, I drizzled chocolate over the top.  You can do whatever you'd like.

If you want your apples covered with candy, roll the chocolate covered caramel apples into your chopped candy coating well.

Place back onto the parchment lined pan to set.
 Refrigerate until ready to use.
 I took these to a party and gave away two of the candy covered ones as gifts.  Everyone loved them!

So I only had the chocolate covered caramel apples left to photograph.  They were both VERY good!

Enjoy, my little pretties!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...