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!!
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