Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Canneles (adapted from Tartelette)

Makes 18 to 24 depending on your molds

750 milk (2 1/2 cups)
50 gr butter (2 TB)
3 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
200 gr granulated sugar (1 cup)
1 Tb vanilla extract
1/4 cup rum
155 gr flour (1 1/4 cups)

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer, add the butter cut into dices. Mix well and let cool to lukewarm. In a bowl, mix the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and whisk until foamy.

Slowly add the rum and flour. Add the milk slowly and whisk until smooth. Pass it through a sieve if necessary. Let the batter rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

When the batter has rested, preheat the oven to 375F and divide it evenly among the canneles molds, generously coated with cooking spray or well oiled if you use copper.

Bake for 35-45 minutes. They will be scortching hot right out of the oven, so let them cool 20 minutes or so before enjoying them.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Pretzels

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Pretzels

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup raisins

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, raisins, and cinnamon and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.

Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan.

After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.

Friday, November 14, 2008
Miniature Cinnamon Rolls

I love taking on yeasted bread recipes, there's simply something about the little extra effort that makes the result even more satisfying. This cinnamon roll recipe is no exception, although for the longest time I feared that I'd never be able to try it because I didn't have a fancy-pants bread maker (something I've considered adding to my Christmas wishlist, but definitely not a priority). Luckily for me I found tips on making these cinnamon rolls sans bread machine and this weekend I finally took the time to make them. If you're considering making this recipe, go for it, I promise you'll have no regrets.

Cinnamon Rolls [of course, I halved the recipe and made miniature rolls instead]

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start. [To make without bread machine: Dissolve yeast in warm milk and then add eggs, butter, salt, and sugar. Add flour and mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Then pick up with rolling out the dough.]

After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Friday, November 7, 2008
Persimmon Waffles with Cinnamon Honey Butter

Last weekend I finally got that waffle maker I've been literally dreaming about. After confiding to my mother that I actually lost sleep at school one night thinking of waffles. Crazy, I know. I've never had an obsessive craving like that before. She just laughed at me and told me I could pick up a waffle maker at Costco and the next morning I got my long-awaited satisfaction. It was pouring so hard outside that we were all shut inside the house and our family got to have a real breakfast together for the first time in a long while.

This week I wanted to try something new and a little more indulgent than the classic waffles and maple syrup. The idea donned on me as I woke up this morning: Persimmon Waffles! I didn't want to overpower the taste of the persimmon with bold maple syrup, so I decided on making a sweet Cinnamon Honey Butter to compliment the spice-filled waffles.

Tonight my mission is a fried chicken dinner for the family, so since I've got lots of grocery shopping to fill my day I'll keep this post short. I've got a delicious breakfast in my tummy and I'm ready to go!

Persimmon Waffles

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup persimmon, pureed
1 tablespoon white sugar

1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, puree, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, combine butter, confectioners' sugar honey and cinnamon. Beat until light and fluffy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008
Pizza Dough - Part Deux: Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Today's nonstop downpour made it the perfect day to turn on the oven and fill the house with the warmth and essence of a cheesy, melty pizza. In many ways the rain was much welcomed; it brought an end to the drought that's been plaguing California and it forced the family to stay at home on a Saturday, something that hasn't happened for a few months. The day began with homemade waffles from my new toy (a waffle maker I bought yesterday) and ended with fresh chocolate chip cookies...with three chicken alfredo pizzas in between.

I love love love this pizza dough, it's easy and not ingredient-fussy, a perfect way to help deplete the giant bag of flour from Costco.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

For the topping:

Alfredo sauce
Italian cheese blend
Gorgonzola cheese
roasted chicken breast, chopped
sliced fresh mushrooms
sliced red onion
garlic, finely chopped
fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced