Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Hello all! Sorry I've been rather scattered in my posting, I know you've heard it before, but we are actually moving in this weekend! It's taken us about five months to get everything up and running at our new home! Fixer-upper homes that basically need to be gutted and then rebuilt kinda take some time. Hubby and I had crazy, unrealistic aspirations to be done and moved in months ago, but reality hit us, along with the rest of life's business (work, family, obligations) all mixed in with construction, creating a full few months! But the end is near. I just finished painting my new kitchen (AHH! so excited)! For those interested, it's a very soft yellow entitled Popcorn Ball. It seemed fitting. We have so much to be thankful in every aspect of life; but anyhow, back to the food....

For this month's What's Baking challenge, we were requested to bake something savory by Jey, from The Jey of Cooking. So, despite my love for all things sweet, I'm always up for a challenge. I wanted to keep it simple though, considering the craziness of the holidays along with our home endeavors. So I opted for something everyone seems to like and can't get enough of, rolls. And Hubby and I love Texas Roadhouse Rolls! I only just discovered this eatery during my college years, and have always enjoyed their rolls. So when I came across these copycat rolls, I knew they were winners! I only regret that the photos are lacking, since I was photographing during Thanksgiving prep! Hope you enjoy!

4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cup milk
3 tbsp of melted butter,slightly cooled; plus some for brushing
1/2 cup sugar, plus one tsp
2 quarts all purpose flour (approx. 7-8 cups)
2 eggs
2 tsp salt

1. Add the yeast to a small bowl with the warm water and let dissolve. Stir in a tsp of sugar.

2. Scald the milk in a small saucepan, and let cool slightly to lukewarm. Add the cooled milk to the yeast mixture. Also, stir in the sugar, and enough flour to make batter. (The recipe I was using actually stated to make a medium batter. However, despite my baking savyness,I was unsure exactly what a medium batter entailed. I googled but to no avail. I think it's somewhere in the realm of the thickness of cake batter.)

3. Let stand until foamy, and then add in eggs, butter, and salt. Beat to incorporate.

4. Add more flour until a soft dough forms. Sprinkle some flour on the rolling surface and let the dough rest. While you are waiting, grease a large bowl and set aside. Knead the dough until you have a smooth round ball. Place the ball of dough into the greased bowl and turn over to be sure to grease both sides of the dough.

5. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size (about an hour). Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut the dough into workable portions for shaping. Let the dough rest ten minutes.

6. Shape the dough into your desired forms and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. How many rolls you make will greatly depend on the size you choose. I made mine rather small and managed to get about 4 1/2 dozen. Let them rise for about another 30 minutes or so, until they double in size.

7. Bake on 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter immediately. (Ok, so here's a how-to-know-you-are-too-tired-to-be-baking moment. I completely omitted this step! I just forgot. The rolls were still yummy, but lacked that extra softness from the brushed tops.

You can enjoy these with some cinnamon butter (Because I had to work a little bit of sweetness in somehow!) The recipe will be coming shortly!

Source: Eat Cake for Dinner

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lady Bug Sugar Cookies

with some pink girly flare!

Yes, these are pink lady bug cookies, because almost everything is better in pink, is it not? But more importantly, these cookies were made for a special one year old on her birthday! I made these lovely lady bugs for my best friend's adorable little girl. We had the pleasure to visit my wonderful friend and her sweet little girl for the weekend and we had a blast! She is truly the cutest thing since cupcakes and sprinkles!

These cookies are made of lemony vanilla dough and topped with royal icing. The recipe for these cookies has similar flavorings to an earlier sugar cookie I've made on here, but is a very different. As any of you who follow my posts know, I am always on the hunt to perfect my sugar cookies recipe, which means getting the joy to try many other recipes! Whether it's a cookbook, a magazine, a blog, a friend or family's recipe, or whatever, I'll gladly give a new recipe a whirl! And my husband and family don't mind serving the taste testing committee! This particular recipe is one I've heard much positive rumblings about in the cyber world. It's courtesy of the blog, Bake at 350, which posts all things cute, sweet, and colorful! The writer is both witty and incredibly talented with a piping bag! I used her basic sugar cookie recipe, only switching out some flavorings.

Lemon Vanilla Cookies

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp lemon zest

1. Start by combining the flour and baking powder in a bowl; set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand or electric mixer.

3. Add in egg, extracts, and zest beating after each addition.

4. Slowly add in the dry mixture, beating and scraping the bowl down frequently.

5. Be sure to give the dough a quick hand knead before rolling it out.

6. Roll out your dough and grab your favorite round cookie cutter. Transfer the cut cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets.

7. Pop the baking sheet with cookies in the freezer for just a few minutes before placing them into a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes and then allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to cooling racks.

8. Once the cookies are fully cooled, decorate the cookies with your favorite colors for lady bugs following this recipe for royal icing from a previous post on house cookies.
For these cookies, I learned how to make polka dots on flooded icing! (Polka dots are one of my favorite things !) A full post on the how-to for this fun technique will be coming soon!

Source: Bake at 350

Also featured on: Made from Scratch Tuesday