Cinnamon Twist Bread

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I know it’s that time of the year where most people are baking Easter goodies to put on display.  I have a couple of those that I want to try too, but bread. Bread came to my mind yesterday when I was on Pinterest looking for Easter fun things and I saw a tomato basil twist flavored.  Then cinnamon was on my mind.  Why?  Well because I’m not a tomato fan.   Though I’m sure it would be just fine, I chose the sweet bread instead.

Making bread takes a long time.  You have sit and wait for it to rise.  Not once but twice.  Now how does that work with a person that is working on their patience skills?  Not well.  I have to set the timer and walk away.  Good thing The Voice was on last night!  I loved seeing Usher on there!!!!  Ok, here’s what you do!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. In small saucepan, warm milk and 1 tbsp butter until butter is melted. Set aside until lukewarm.
  2. In small bowl, mix water and yeast until yeast is dissolved.
  3. In large bowl, add 2 tbsp sugar, salt, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Pour in lukewarm milk and butter. Mix until sugar and salt is dissolved. Stir in yeast and water.
  4. Mix in 2-1/2 cups flour. Turn out onto floured board and knead in the remaining half cup of flour or until the dough is soft and smooth.
  5. Put dough in greased bowl and turn dough so that the top is greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 60 minutes, or until double in size.
  6. Punch down dough with your fist. Turn dough out onto floured board and knead for about 1 minute.
  7. Roll dough out into a basic rectangular shape. Use a butter knife or fingers to spread 2 tbsp softened butter on the top of rectangular dough. Evenly spread about 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon on top of butter.
  8. Roll up the dough into a log shape and connect both ends by putting a bit of water on the ends and push together into a wreath shape.
  9. Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
  10. Score dough by cutting three slashes across the top with a sharp knife. Put in oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.  (Mine was done in 30 minutes)
  11. Turn out bread and let cool on a rack.

I took the bread out and placed it on my baking rack to cool and to take photos.  Before I knew it someone was in the kitchen trying to cut it apart.  Goodness sakes I about had a fit!  And I kind of wanted to taste it first!!!

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I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with my bread baking!  I got this one down the first try!!

Have a great week.

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Bread Baking

Reece’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies

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This past weekend I was in the mood to do baking.  I had seen a picture online somewhere of pull apart cookies.  I googled and searched all over for a recipe and could not find one.  I thought I had saved the recipe to my bookmarks, but I did not.

I went to the store and was trying to think of what type of cookie to make.  I saw the Reece’s bag and thought this was a good one to try.  I did use my first batch in a glass baking dish for the pull apart cookies.

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They looked as though they turned out good, but when I tried to pull them apart, the middle was a bit undercooked or gooey!!  So I made the rest of the dough into cookies!!!

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup Hershey Cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/4 cup (2 – 1/2 sticks)butter  or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 and 2/3 cups (10 0z pkg) Reece’s Peanut Butter Chips

How to:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.   Stir in peanut butter chips.

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Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased  cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes (do not overbake, cookies will be soft).  They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling (which I didn’t realize until reading through the package directions the 2nd time).  Cool completely.

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This was a great chocolate cookie.  I wondered what it would taste like without the cocoa in it.  I’ll try next time and see what the outcome is.  I know I’ve searched for white cocoa (not even sure if it exists – the baker that I am) but I bet it’s just as good!

 I felt like I was dipping my chocolate in a jar of peanut butter.  These were pretty good.

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Great treat.  They were nice and chewy too!  I hope I run across the pull apart cookie recipe again.  Or if someone knows of a recipe, let me know.

Have a great week.

Two Girls Cooking – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Reece’s Peanut Butter Chip package

Crunchy Honey Soy Pork Chops

My friend Heidi from work gave me another great dinner idea last week.  Usually when I make pork, I’ll coat it with some egg and panko bread crumbs and it’s the thicker cut, I bake it in the oven.  But when she showed me what she made I had to try this one as well.  This was really good.  I try not to “fry” foods anymore so I did use the healthier oil that has the Omega 3 in it.  And the different spices added to the flour really adds great flavor.

I’m not a huge fan of white rice.  To me it’s sort of a waste of carbs/calories.  So I made some sweet potatoes on the side and sprinkled a bit of brown sugar over the top.  The pork chops were quick and easy to make.  After putting in the pan, it only took a few minutes on each side for the pork to cook and get crisp.

Even with our busy sport schedule this was easy enough to get on our dinner table and out the door to be on time.

  • FOR THE DREDGE:
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Season All Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 4 whole Pork Chops
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ cups Soy Sauce
  • ½ cups Water
  • ½ cups Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • ½ whole Lime, Juiced
  • Chopped Green Onions, Optional Garnish

Preparation Instructions

Start by combining the flour, Season All seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, paprika and black pepper in a shallow bowl. In another bowl crack the eggs and stir with a fork. Pour the eggs into a shallow plate. Set up an assembly line with the pork chops, eggs, then flour. Dredge each pork chop in the flour, then egg then back to the flour. Set on a plate.

Into a large skillet, add the oil and butter. Preheat the skillet on medium high heat. Once the butter has melted add the pork chops. Fry on each side for about 4 minutes or until they are no longer pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate.

To the pan, add the garlic. There will be leftover oil and butter, so just leave it in the pan. Let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce and juice of the lime. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens.

Using a set of tongs, take each pork chop and flip it in the sauce to cover it. Place the pork chop on a bed of rice and garnish with green onions.

We only have a couple more busy weeknights at our house until things slow down.  I miss being able to make full, hearty meals for us.  Fall is here and there are great things to be made.

Have a great week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Tasty Kitchen

Brickle Drop Cookies

I haven’t baked much since the holidays are over so when I went to the store this weekend, I saw a bag of Heath Toffee bits, I thought I’d give them a try.  The recipe looked very similar to chocolate chip cookies.  I’ve gotten those down without being afraid of burning or failing!

These were pretty easy to make and pretty good as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks of butter – I used organic unsalted butter), softened

1 cup sugar                                                    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar              2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract                                    2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt                                                    1 pkg (80z) Heath bits of brickle toffee bits

3 eggs

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2.  Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until blended.  Add eggs and beat well.

3.  Stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to butter mixture until blended.  Stir in toffee bits.

4.  Drop by heaping teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.   Cool lightly; remove to wire rack (I don’t have one yet!).  Cool Completely.  Makes about 8 dozen cookies.

 

 

I warmed some caramel in the microwave and poured it over some of the cookies as well.

Nothing too difficult for these.  It made quite a bit of cookies.  And I ate quite a few more than I should have as well.  I think I can have a few cookies more than I’m supposed to in moderation on some days.

Happy Monday!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking Blog

 

Homemade Calzone

I’ve been meaning to make this recipe since I saw it posted on Pinterest a week or so ago.  I love the deep dish that we’ve been making lately.  So when I saw this posted I had to give it a try.  The original post came from squidoo.com  and it gives step by step directions on how to make this.

I used the recipe from the deep dish pizza (yes the healthier version), but if you prefer the regular pizza crust, you can certainly follow the squidoo.com or even buy a pizza crust from the store.  Whatever makes it easier for you and your dinner process.  Since the kids love to cook with me, we make the homemade dough!!

Here’s the recipe for the dough:

Whole-Grain Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water

2 (1/4 ounce )  packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil (I used light olive oil)

1/2tsp salt

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour

1.  In large bowl, combine water and yeast; let stand for 10 minutes until bubbly.  Add milk, honey, olive-oil, and salt and mix well.  Stir in whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and 1/2 cup bread flour; beat for 1 minute.

2.  Stir in enough bread flour to make a firm dough.  Turn onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

 

3.  Turn dough onto floured work surface and let reset for 10 minutes.  Spray a large cookie sheet  with nonstick cooking spray.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, oregano, and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 25 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the basil and oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the dough ball to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about ¼-inch thick.  Spread the pizza sauce down the middle of the dough and add your toppings.  Tonight we used canadian bacon and fat free mozzarella cheese.

After putting your toppings on, take a knife or a pizza cutter and slice each side of the dough into 3/4 of an inch strips.  Once you have them all cut, start to criss cross each side until the entire portion is covered.

Place on the baking (cookie) sheet and brush some melted butter (just a bit) over the top and sprinkle with oregano.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until crust is browned and cooked through.

This was amazing.  I’m so glad I saw this on Pinterest.  Now I have another meal to make with the same healthy dough and the same sauce.

You’ve got to try this one.

For the pizza crust:

Calories 213; Fat 3.17; Saturated Fat 0.46; Dietary Fiber 3.48; Sodium 104.52; Cholesterol 0.20

I used MyFitnessPal to calculate the sauce by scanning the tomato cans, the cheese.  This came out to be under 400 calories per piece (that was for the pizza – so I am sure the calzone is smaller per piece).

Have a happy cooking weekend.  Enjoy.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

 

 

Pizza Roll Ups

 

At least once a week now I’ve been making home made pizza (one of Caleb’s favorite meals!).  Tonight, instead of making the deep dish pizza I thought I’d give this a try.  I’ve seen people make it for parties or as an appetizer.   Pizza is pizza and we’ll eat it any way it comes.

I used the same ingredients as the deep dish recipe but just rolled it up into a log and baked it.  How easy is that?   And the kids got to help make it as well.  Kept them busy and out of each other’s way for the time being!!

 

Kids in the kitchen

 

Brooklyn & Calebs roll

Nana's Pizza roll

For the recipe and how to, click on the deep dish pizza or recipe link above and it’ll bring you to the page for everything you need!

Here’s the short version for you:

Whole-Grain Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water

2 (1/4 ounce )  packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil (I used light olive oil)

1/2tsp salt

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour

For the sauce:
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

For assembling and topping:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)

I added green olives and more onions to my roll.  You can add just about any pizza topping you want!!

Pizza Roll Ups

This was a great start for the weekend.  I’m afraid I could eat the entire thing.  But I’ve stepped away from the pizza!  Leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

 With Christmas approaching faster than I’d like and the cookie exchange even closer, I did more baking tonight.   These turned out to be a bigger hit than the Apricot Cookies last week.  Dare I say that I got an email from Betty Crocker today and found these on the site?  Do I say that I made the sugar cookies that came out of a bag  Yep, the mix sure did.  I know that Jodi has a recipe on our site for sugar cookies that she made for the holidays, but I wanted to see how these would turn out before attempting them with the homemade dough first.

Before I even got the 2nd pan in the oven there were only 5 left out of the 12 that came out.

I put the 2nd pan in the oven and Brooklyn couldn’t wait for them to come out!

When Craig ate the first cookie, he asked me what I did different from the cookies I had made last week.  I wanted to giggle a bit and tell him not much.  But the Betty Crocker bag was on the counter!  So I picked it up, showed him..he said he was going to tell on me that I didn’t make these by scratch if I brought them to the exchange.  Go ahead Mr. Craig, I already told Mary I may use this recipe and she said it was fine! Ha!

If you’re looking for ideas for baking cookies for the holiday visit Betty Crocker, there are many more to choose from.  And more that I may be trying before Santa comes for a visit to our house!!

These were super easy.  They were really good (I ate at least 4 of them myself).  I even used a jelly that had less sugar added and you can’t even tell the difference.  Though I’m not sure at this point in time it really matters!!

 

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
Red or green sugar, if desired (I only had pink so I left this out).
  • Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and flour until dough forms.
  • Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls; place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Using thumb or handle of wooden spoon, make indentation in center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon jam into each indentation.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
  • In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips on High 1 to 2 minutes or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Spoon melted chips into small resealable plastic bag; cut small hole in corner of bag. Squeeze bag gently to drizzle melted chips over cookies. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.  I am am actually having a good time trying to find what I’m going to bring to this party.  Some may turn out and some might not. But either way the kids and I are having a good time.  
Have a great week.
Patricia – Two Girls Cooking