Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls - Oh So Yummy!!!

Ok...all of you who know me know that I LOVE to eat! Right up there on that list of things I love to do is to bake, and (of course!) the two go hand in hand. :-) Here's a recipe I tried recently that turned out SOOOOO good! Well worth the effort!

"Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls" - taken from Todd Wilbur's More Top Secret Recipes.

1 (1/4 oz.) package dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine (I used butter)
1 t. salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour (I used 3 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat)

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, softened (again...I used butter)

8 T. margarine (yep - I used butter)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt

For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour; 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 the dough has doubled in size. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 21" long by 16" wide (it should be approximately 1/4" thick.) Preheat oven to 400.
To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly ever the surface. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut the dough into large, even slices (about 1 3/4" each), and place in a lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, combine the icing ingredients. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.

Give Thanks card... I've managed to squeeze in a little stamping time recently, and this is the result. I made 6 of these to send to some very dear people...enjoy! The stamps are from "The Cat's Pajamas", and all other products are Stampin' Up!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple-Crisp Orange Pound Cake

2 cups chopped peeled baking apples (about 2 medium)
1/4 cup apple jelly
1 T. flour
1/2 t. apple pie spice (I substituted cinnamon with a dash of cloves, nutmeg, and allspice)

Cake and Topping:
1 1/3 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 t. grated orange peel
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. cold butter or margarine
1/3 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Grease either a 9" round or an 8" square pan with cooking spray.
2.) In a small bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter, using either a pastry blender (or by pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until small crumbs form. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture for topping. To remaining crum mixture in bowl, add sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute, or until blended.
3.) Spread batter in pan. Spoon filling over batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and the pecans; pat gently.
4.) Bake 65-70 minutes or until light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm, if desired.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

1 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 Rome apples, (about 1 lb.), peeled and shredded
1 1/2 c. chewy caramel candies
1 T. heavy cream

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with baking liners and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (25-30 minutes). Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
3.) In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caremels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Spread the frosting generously on the cooled cupcakes.

Note: We tried a few without the frosting and loved them that way, also!

Fall Baking...mmMMMmMmMMmmm!!!!

Obviously, I've shown that posting a card or hand-crafted project to my blog weekly is more than I can do. Oh well... Lately, my "craft time" has been consumed by painting our family room (I might post pictures later, if I actually get around to it). Yesterday, though, I crafted in my kitchen by trying out three new recipes. I made Caramel Apple Cupcakes (recipe found in the Oct. 2010 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine), then Apple-Crisp Orange Pound Cake and Apple-Topped Cheesecake with Caramel Topping (both found in the Fall Baking/Betty Crocker booklet that I bought as an impulse while waiting in line at the grocery store). We haven't tried the cheesecake yet, but the other two recipes are FANTASTIC! If you like to bake...give these recipes a try - they're yummy and perfect for this time of year.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Build-a-Bear teacher thank you cards...

Now that all four of my kiddos are back in school full-time (and I'm not home-schooling any of them this year), I'm hoping to post more cards and projects here. I made a couple of different versions of a card this week, and thought I'd start by posting those. We'll see how well I "keep up" with this particular goal...