What’s Christmas About

IMG_7769

These are 3 of my grandchildren.  And it’s rare to see them all getting along at the same time!  So when we were almost done setting up the tree, I had to capture these precious moments to keep and now share.

Khali is the little one on the left.  She just turned 2 in October.  She came to live with me in May of 2012.  Brooklyn just turned 10 in October and that’s her brother Caleb she’s holding on to (hoping he won’t drop her), he turns 9 in January.  Those two have lived with me since 2008.

As I’m typing this I realize I have a pretty big smile on my face and tears are starting to form in my eyes.  Most days with the kids aren’t always presenting a smile.  For those of you that have kids old enough to bicker and battle with each other you know what I’m talking about.  And when those days happen, or should I say when those moments happen, it can be tough.

IMG_7767These kids go to school and play with friends that have a mom and most likely a dad that take care of them.  And my two have a grandma they call Nana that they live with.  They’ve been through struggles most of us as adults can’t even imagine seeing or going through.

When their friends ask why they live with their grandma, they aren’t really sure what to say.  But I tell them that they have a home that is filled with love and a grandma that has chosen to have them live with them because that’s just how life turned out to be.

IMG_7755I’ve said this many times before, I may not be perfect (well ok, most days I think I am!!!), but I do what I can and I do what I have to  where help is needed.  And when there are children involved, our hearts should all be willing to give.

As I grow older and wiser as time goes by, I’ve realized that what I’m doing is one of the most important things in not just my life, but their lives.  And though they have hurt and pain and so many unanswered questions, they are my life.  And I would do it all again if I had to.

IMG_7770The smile on their faces are priceless.   You can’t take that away.

IMG_7772That’s our tree.  We got a real one this year.  The house smells fabulous.  And it couldn’t be any prettier.  It was decorated with love and caring little hands.  (We had some dogs that had to make their presence known too – that’s Coco).

IMG_7746

IMG_7751

I’ve done my best this year to teach the kids the true meaning of Christmas.  Yes, we all love waking up on that morning to see what’s been left under the tree for us. And sometimes that meaning falls short.  But I want the kids to know why we set up our tree.  What each piece means.  What the star means, what the candy cane represents, what the gifts that Jesus got mean.  I want the kids to know and learn as much as they can each and every year.  Enjoy your family/friends and the time you spend with them this year.

This Christmas I pray for each and every family to have a home filled with love.  A family that they can lean on.  Someone to put a smile on their face.  Opening a gift will give that joy for a moment, but the true joy is the meaning of life and family.  If you don’t have that I pray you find people in your life that will be that for you.

May many new memories be made for you and yours.  May you have a blessed holiday and the beginning of a wonderful new year.

From our home to yours.

Patricia

Advertisements

“Lofthouse” Cookies for Santa

IMG_7808

Christmas Eve is just a couple of days away.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t in the baking mood this year.  I had went to Jodi’s house and got a container of cookies, toffee and other goodies to leave out for Santa.  BUT, I knew my grandkids needed to make the cookies and decorate them themselves for Santa.  It just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t.

I thought for sure we had a sugar cookie recipe on our own site that we use each year for christmas baking, but I just didn’t find it.  And I’m thinking I didn’t find it because I needed to make these instead.  I got to Target at least 4 times per week.  I walk past the Lofthouse cookies and so want to buy them.  Most times I don’t but I did last week.  Not for me of course, but for the kids (ok I had one).  But these cookies are so good.  So when I went to my go to site for a recipe (Brown Eyed Baker) the first one that came up was this one.  I HAD TO MAKE THESE.

Let me say that I did buy a pack of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough JUST in case I may have needed it!  Yay for me, I didn’t.  These turned out really well.  Not quite as sweet as the store bought ones but pretty dang good.    BEB did have a recipe for the frosting in her site as well but I made a different cream cheese frosting (click this link to see how I made it).  The only reason I made the cream cheese frosting is because I didn’t have Heavy Cream and had no intentions of running back to the store again.

I’m not going to  say that these were easy to make.  It’s not hard to make them, it’s just me that is a bit on edge when trying to bake something new.  Especially when they’re for Santa, the big event you know.  There’s a lot riding on these cookies for the big guy.  If he didn’t like them, well then that could determine what he left under the tree!

IMG_7782

Yep, I added the first bit of flour for the cookies and of course it flew out all over.  I had to laugh and capture this on camera!  Not pretty in here at that time at all, but I had fun!  It landed on my feet and all!!!

IMG_7788Here’s the dough just waiting in the fridge patiently for me to take out and roll it out.

IMG_7789One of my issues with making dough for these kinds of cookies is that the dough always sticks to my rolling pin or the counter and I get frustrated and just use the pre made stuff from the store.  But this time I had great success.  Not sure what I did different but I only had it stick to the counter a bit and after I added a bit more flour it was just fine.

IMG_7791They turned out just perfect!!!!!!

IMG_7798

Next up?  The frosting.  I used the cream cheese frosting not just because I didn’t have the Heavy Cream and didn’t want to go to Target, but it’s one of our favorite here!!!

IMG_7800

Here’s the green bowl!

IMG_7802Here’s the red.  It looks a little pink but I started to run out of the red food coloring!!!!

IMG_7803Doubtful that this batch will last until Tuesday night.  Good thing I save a lot of them just in case.

Brooklyn helped a bit and frosted some of the cookies for Santa.

IMG_7815She did a pretty good job!!!!!

IMG_7817

Her finished product.

I should have some left over to bring to our Christmas Eve dinner!!

This year has gone by fast.  Times have changed, the kids have grown older, but one thing remains the same.  I’m very blessed to have a home to take care of my grandkids that have come to be with me.  Most have this time to spend on their own after their kids have grown doing what they want.  I’ve chosen to give up that freedom and take in kids and give them love and a home.  I may not be perfect and I may not always do the right things but I have faith that God will provide for us as He has for the past 7 years.  I’m thankful at this time of the year that I can not only give the gifts that will be opened on Christmas day but the gift of what Christmas is truly about.

May your home be blessed with love, hope and joy this holiday season.

From our home to yours…Happy Holidays.  May the new year bring your hopes and dreams to reality.

“Lofthouse” Cookies for Santa
Recipe Type: Cookies
Author: Patricia
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
Total time: 37 mins
Ingredients
  • For the Cookies:
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups sour cream
Instructions
  1. DIRECTIONS:
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  6. Flour the countertop and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cook cookies completely before frosting.
  7. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Brown Eyed Baker

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

IMG_7209

My aunt Judy and uncle Ken are moving to a warmer destination.  For their going away party, I made a Tres Leches Cake (milk cake).

Since I had never made this cake before, it was suggested that I try a piece before others taste it.  You know, to make sure it’s good!  And it was.  Very good.  Moist, which is what the milk did!!

I don’t think I’m going to get to show a picture of the cake on a plate, unless I take it at the party!  Which may be a great idea now that I think about it!!

I was asked if it was a good idea to bring a cake that I had never had before to a party!  So I did cut a piece and make sure that it was party suitable.   It is.

Very easy to make.  The frosting on top, love it.

Here’s my aunt Judy and me at the party!!

IMG_0339

And my Uncle Ken, Aunt Judy and my cousin Camille.

IMG_0336

And Camille made some pretty awesome cupcakes for the party too!!!

IMG_0338

How cute are those?  And they tasted pretty dang good.

Well, Judy and Ken will be off to their next journey in life!!  I’m excited for them.  My plan is to visit…often.  Judy said I could.  Hoping you remember that!!!

I love you Aunt Judy and Uncle Ken.  Many blessings on your new adventure.

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)
Recipe Type: Cake
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  4. Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
  7. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
  8. Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

All Recipes

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge

IMG_7194

Oh my goodness.  If you love fudge, you must try this.  I had made this a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t turn out so well.  I used white chocolate chips instead of white baking squares.  So this time it settled and tasted ah-mazing!!!

I mentioned that we got home grown apples from Khali’s grandparents last week but this recipe called for dried apples.  So we just keep eating those nummy apples for our snack right now!  I’ll come up with another recipe soon for those apples.

In the past few years I’ve grown to love, love, love sweets.  Not sure when this happened.  And I’m not sure if I’m ok with it.  Oh I do love eating it, I’m just not sure if I should be eating it.  Sitting down with a pan of this fudge is dangerous.  We have a saying that we have at work:  Stay strong or indulge completely.  Well I’ve tried my best to stay strong with sweets.  Some days are just harder than others.  And fudge is a favorite of mine.

The last time I made this I didn’t let the white chocolate melt completely.   So try again and hope for success.  Which is is!!!!

IMG_7179

The chocolate baking bars instead this time.

IMG_7184

Caramel.  Need I say anymore?  Nope.

IMG_7187

Pour the caramel over the top and use a knife to swirl it in.  Oh yum.

IMG_7189

I sprinkled some cinnamon on the top before putting it in the fridge.  Wow, this so good.

You have to try it if you love fudge.  Well you should just try it because it’s good!!!  Enough said.  Just saying.

IMG_7199

Of course you have to add a bit more caramel for your own piece.  No one will know!

Enjoy your day and bake away!!

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge
Recipe Type: Fudge
Author: Patricia
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • • 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • • 3 cups sugar
  • • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • • 3/4 cup dried apple, finely diced
  • • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • • 1/4 cup caramel
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper (13×9 inch pan if you like your fudge thinner.) Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan combine the first four ingredients, bring to a rolling boil and stir continuously for 4 minutes (because the mixture burns easily.) Remove from heat.
  4. Add white chocolate, dried apple, vanilla, and spices; blend well, stirring for several more minutes until chocolate is completely dissolved. Pour into baking dish. Heat Dulche de Leche in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to loosen. Drizzle or drop dollops around in the baking dish and swirl through with a dull knife for a marbled effect.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight), until hardened.
  6. Remove parchment paper from pan and place on cutting board. Cut into squares.
  7. To store: fudge should be refrigerated, in a covered container, for up to one week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Very Culinary 

Fried Honey Bananas – Cub Sweepstakes

IMG_7104

I saw this recipe on Facebook.   At first I wasn’t sure how these would taste.  But I heard in my head:  “Everything tastes better fried!”   However, I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil so I didn’t feel quite so bad about it!  And it’s fruit!!  How bad can fried fruit be!!

These were fun to make, easy to make and a before dinner dessert.  Why?  BECAUSE it’s fruit!!!

IMG_7086

The recipe called for one banana, but I knew better than to use just one!!  So I cut up two.

And I have a story to tell about this picture and how Brooklyn is peeling the banana.

IMG_7083

Some may know this, but it took for me to be on a field trip with one of the kids a couple of years ago to realize that we have been peeling our bananas wrong!  How many struggle with pulling that big end there and smashing your banana while trying so carefully not to do that?!  Well, we used to.  One of the dad’s at the field trip saw a little boy struggling with trying to open his banana.  The dad grabs it and turns it around and shows the boy that the long part is actually the handle.  He lightly squeezed together the bottom of the banana and started to pull the banana peel down as you see Brooklyn doing.  If you haven’t tried this, you will.  And you’ll see how much easier it is to open.  There is no smashed banana at the end!  AND the stem is actually used then as a handle.  Did you know that the monkey’s peel their bananas this way!!!  I sure didn’t.

Ok so now back to frying..

IMG_7096

AND another cool thing I didn’t know is that when you take the banana and break it in half you can lightly squeeze it together and it will separate into three pieces. That way when you’re feeding a toddler, you have banana sticks.  How cool is that!  Just thought I’d share that wealth of coolness with you!

So there’s you’ll see the bananas cooking away in the oil.  For some odd reason I wanted to put these on a stick and pretend I was at the MN State Fair.  I didn’t go this year.  And the saying is:  Everything is better on a stick (fried and on a stick).

IMG_7107

Here I asked Khali if she liked the bananas.  SHe sure did.  In fact after her plate was empty, she crawled on the table to get Brooklyns.  And Brooklyn said so so Khali started to feed her!!

IMG_7112

So easy to make, fun to eat, fun to watch the kids eat and play!

These were a burst of flavor.  Really good!  Give them a try.

And now I  need to remind you all of the Cub Sweepstakes again.  You still have time to enter if you haven’t.  We can all use a chance to win $4500 for Cub right?!

I’ll give you the rules and what you can win and what to do again. (Yep, click that rule link and it will guide you through the process).

Here are the prizes again:

A chance to win a $4,500 Cub Gift Card!

PRIZES:  One grand prize of $4,500 in the form of 100-45 Cub® gift cards will be awarded to the winner.  Four $45 Cub® gift cards will be awarded at random to fans who share photos or videos.

Log on to Facebook and like the Cub page and you’ll get directions there as well.

Here’s how it all works.

How it works:

  1. Visit the Cub® page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Cub).
  2. Click on the button to “Like” Cub’s Facebook Page.
  3. Click on the “Love Your Cub” contest app on the Facebook platform by clicking on the link to the Contest page.
  4. Enter the Contest by completing the entry form and uploading a video (“Video”) or photo (“Photo”) and description (“Description”).
  5. Check the box indicating your agreement to these Official Rules, and then click on the button to submit your entry.
  6. Get your friends to vote every day through September 29th
  7. Top 10 entries will be eligible for the grand prize and be chosen by a panel of judges including shopping experts, creative directors and employees of Cub.

Limit one (1) entry per person / Facebook account.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  ENTRANTS MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF MINNESOTA OR ILLINOIS AND 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.

Good luck to those that are in MN and IL.  Rock this Cub contest and WIN!!!

Here are the directions for the bananas

Fried Honey Bananas – Cub Sweepstakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Bananas
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Lightly drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Arrange banana slices in pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together honey and 2 tablespoons of water.
  4. Remove pan from heat and pour honey mixture over banana.
  5. Allow to cool and sprinkle with cinnamon.

 

Have a great week!!!!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Sponsored by Cub

Raspberry Pavlova – Love My Cub Contest

ImageDon’t forget everyone…. Enter to win free groceries at Cub.  Follow the directions below and make sure you have THE best photo/video to win.  Think of all the great recipes you can make with that kind of food!!  Woot.

Here are the official rules again in case you need to have them or if you’re new to the sweepstakes!

Here is a list of the prizes:

PRIZES:  One grand prize of $4,500 will be awarded to the winner.  Four $45 Cub® gift cards will be awarded at random to fans who share our Photos or Videos.  Use of Gift Cards is subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer.  Approximate retail value (“ARV”) of each prize:  Grand Prize: $4,500.00; Cub® gift cards: $45.00 each.

I’ll include a bit of the “how to” but make sure you read the entire official rules.  (this applies to MN and Illinois residents only).

  1. Visit the Cub® page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Cub).
  2. Click on the button to “Like” Cub’s Facebook Page.
  3. Click on the “Love Your Cub” contest app on the Facebook platform by clicking on the link to the Contest page.
  4. Enter the Contest by completing the entry form and uploading a video (“Video”) or photo (“Photo”) and description (“Description”).
  5. Check the box indicating your agreement to these Official Rules, and then click on the button to submit your entry.
  6. Get your friends to vote every day through September 29th
  7. Top 10 entries will be eligible for the grand prize and be chosen by a panel of judges including shopping experts, creative directors and employees of Cub.

 

IMG_7072

Now on to the Raspberry Pavlova that I made last night.  I had this little goody on stand by for a bit now.  I couldn’t make it because it was so hot and humid outside that the meringue would have gotten too chewy.  Yesterday was a perfect day.  It went from being in the high 90s (very humid) to the low 70s.  Yep, gotta love MN weather.

I will say that I wished mine turned out to be as pretty as the one that I watched on the video.  BUT it didn’t matter.  It was gone within an hour of cooling off and putting the toppings on it!  We all loved it!  Go figure that!  When this was completely done it was about 4:30pm.  I served up a piece for everyone and said: “Here’s dinner!!”.  Not so lucky but we did have dessert before dinner last night.

I will try to make this again because I want to see if I can get it to turn out how it was pictured.  That’s just how I am I guess.

I used to struggle with getting eggs to form a peak.  But I’ve come a ways and didn’t have any problem.  I used a metal mixing bowl and had my eggs at room temperature.  Came out perfect the first try!

Raspberry Pavlova – Love My Cub Contest
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 banana sliced
Instructions
  1. HEAT oven to 275ºF.
  2. COMBINE sugar and dry gelatin mix. Beat egg whites in medium bowl with mixer on high speed 5 min. or until soft peaks form. Add sugar mixture, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating constantly until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in lemon juice and cornstarch until blended.
  3. SPREAD into 8-inch circle on parchment-covered baking sheet.
  4. BAKE 1-1/2 hours. Cool completely.
  5. TRANSFER meringue to plate just before serving; top with remaining ingredients.
  6. kraft kitchens tipsCOOKING KNOW-HOWFor best results, prepare meringue on a cool dry day. High humidity can result in a chewy sticky meringue. Top with COOL WHIP and fruit as directed just before serving. Substitute any berries, such as strawberries or blueberries, for the raspberries.

 

If you struggle with getting egg whites to form a peak, try again.  Put your eggs out to room temperature and use a metal mixing bowl.  I’m not sure where I hear that it works best with that type of bowl but I’ve had luck every since.  Whipped right up for me.  I tried to form a nice round shape but it expanded so much and there wasn’t a well for the cool whip like I’d hoped.  Again, didn’t matter because no one seemed to care what it looked like, they just wanted more!

Have a great Tuesday.  Go check out the Love My Cub contest, enter to win.  Tell your friends on FB, Tweet about it.  Enter, enter, enter to win.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source:

Kraft Recipes

Cinnamon Rolls – Heidi DeJong (Guest Blogger)

IMG_6634

Patricia has been asking me for months to be a guest blogger, and I’ve turned her down time after time with excuses: I was too busy; I didn’t take pictures of my creations, etc.  However, this item is a proud achievement for me and I had to share.  Here it is, at long last: my blogging debut.

My husband recently gave me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for our anniversary.  I know some of you out there might be saddened or upset about getting a kitchen appliance for an anniversary gift, but I was over the moon; I had been wishing and hoping for a mixer for quite some time.  Now that I have one, I’ve been trying some new yeast dough recipes that just seemed impossible to do without a mixer.  My latest trial:  homemade cinnamon rolls.

IMG_1329

I have fond memories of sweet rolls that my great grandmother used to make.  They weren’t cinnamon rolls exactly, and they weren’t quite caramel rolls either, but some sort of cross between the two.  My mom has a notebook of family recipes, but it only lists the ingredients and the amounts.  I’m sure some of you know the kind of “recipes” I’m talking about.  Now,   I know my grandma knows exactly what to do with that ingredient list and it works great for her, but for a novice like me a list of ingredients just isn’t going to cut it.  My sister and I have talked about getting Grandma to show us how it’s done, but that just hasn’t happened yet.  So, I went in search of a cinnamon roll recipe that could give me the direction I needed.  I think I found a pretty good one.

I started off by placing the warmed milk, warm water, vanilla, yeast, and butter into my stand mixer with the dough hook attached.  I mixed it on the lowest speed while I continued to add the other ingredients.  Next I added the beaten eggs, salt, sugar, and bread flour.  I allowed the mixer to mix on low speed until all the ingredients were well combined and then I bumped it up to the second speed to knead the dough.  I let the mixer do all the kneading for me, about 10 minutes.  As the mixer was kneading, I noticed that my dough didn’t stay in a nice ball, it was sticking to the bottom of my bowl, so I added additional bread flour one tablespoon at a time until it got to a tacky consistency.  From making other yeast dough recipes I knew it should feel a little tacky, but not stick to my fingers when I touched it.  Now, I’m sure all of this can be done by hand; it just seemed too intimating to me to try mixing a thick dough recipe like this by hand.  If you don’t have a stand mixer though, give it a whirl.  These are so yummy the extra work would be worth it.

Once the mixer had done all the kneading for me, I took the dough out of the bowl and sprayed the mixer bowl with some cooking spray.  I placed my dough back in the sprayed bowl, covered the bowl with plastic wrap and sat it on my counter to rise.   The recipe says to let it rise until doubled in size.  Well let’s just say things got a little hectic that night and I forgot about my dough until about 4½ hours later.  I think it more than doubled in size, but hey things like that happen especially with a three year old in the house.

After the dough had finished rising, I buttered a 9”x13”x2” pan, set that aside, and started the assembly process of my rolls.  Using my rolling pin I rolled and stretched the dough into a 15”x24” rectangle.  I used an offset frosting spatula to spread the ½ cup softened butter from the cinnamon filling recipe onto the rectangle of dough (you could use a rubber spatula or even a pastry brush to do this).  I made sure there was an even layer of butter across the whole thing.  Then I mixed the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkled that over the buttered dough, making sure it was a nice even layer.  Starting with the long edge, roll up the dough and pinch the seam to seal.  Now the recipe I used had a note: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.  I didn’t think I rolled my log too tightly, but some of the centers on my rolls popped out.  They still tasted good though :O)

IMG_1859

Now that I had my long log of cinnamon rolled dough, I cut them into 1½ inch sections using a serrated knife.  I sliced very gently so they wouldn’t squish.  The recipe is supposed to make 15 rolls, but I must have rolled my dough into a slightly larger rectangle because I got 18 rolls.  Place them in the prepared baking pan(s) (12 rolls will fit into the 9x13x2 dish; I placed my extras into a buttered round cake pan).  The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking.  Mine did touch a little, but what can you do?  I covered my pans with plastic wrap and let them do their final rise in the refrigerator overnight.  If you want to bake them the same day, let them rise on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled in size.  After rising, the rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan.

The next morning I took my rolls out of the refrigerator and let them warm up a bit.  They hadn’t completely doubled in size so I let them finish rising on the counter.  Once they were the size I wanted, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and baked them for about 20-25 minutes until they were a light golden brown.

While my rolls were baking I mixed up the frosting.  Now my husband and daughter love frosting, so I doubled the frosting recipe which I think was a good idea for us.  Once the rolls were done, I took them out of the oven and placed the pan on a cooling rack and frosted the rolls while they were still hot.  Frosting them while still hot allowed the gooey frosting to slightly melt into the rolls.

Oh my goodness were these cinnamon rolls delicious!  They weren’t my great grandmother’s rolls, but they were delicious none the less.  Cinnamon rolls may have been intimidating to me in the past, but not anymore.  They are a bit time consuming, but well worth the time and effort.  Enjoy!

Heidi DeJong – Guest Blogger

Cinnamon Rolls – Heidi DeJong (Guest Blogger)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Heidi DeJong – Guest Blogger
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 1 cup milk (heated about 1 minute in microwave)
  • ¼ cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • Cinnamon Filling:
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Frosting (I doubled this recipe):
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.
  2. Check the dough. It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size
  4. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  5. After dough has risen, using your rolling pin, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
  6. Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
  7. With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
  8. At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for one (1) month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.
  9. If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.
  10. Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 190 and 200 degrees.
  12. This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread prepared Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm.
  14. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

 Thanks to Heidi for making these and sharing!  If she lived closer to me I sure would have been at her house for breakfast!

Let us know how you enjoyed these as well.  We love to hear from you!!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

What’s Cooking America