Category Archives: Baking

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Come to Mamma!

Fall is here and so is the canned pumpkin. My grocery store had it on sale for only a dollar, so the thrifty shopper I am, stocked up! As I stacked the cans in my pantry I delightfully pondered the recipe possibilities.

There were the obvious options of pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, muffins and bread, but then it occurred to me! Why not pumpkin cinnamon rolls! The project began. I went to my trusty internet and found that other home cooks have shared my thoughts. So began the exciting process of my first cinnamon rolls from scratch and Pumpkin would be the star!

Remember that bread machine long forgotten in the back of the cupboard? Get it out, as it’s going to be your best friend. You are going to use the dough setting to make this recipe so much easier!

Ingredients for dough:

1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm milk

1 egg beaten

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 TBS melted butter

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Set bread machine to dough cycle, and dump the above ingredients in machine, start and forget about it! The dough cycle will mix, knead, and bring you through the first rise. Meanwhile, begin making the filling and icing.

Ingredients for filling:

1 stick butter at room temp.

2/3 cups white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

Mix all ingredients together until well blended, set aside.

Ingredients for Maple Cream Cheese Icing:

6 oz cream cheese at room temp.

3 TBS butter (room temp)

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, mix with electric mixer all ingredients until well blended. Transfer icing to a large ziploc plastic bag (1 gallon size) seal and chill.

When dough cycle is finished, remove dough from bread machine onto a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 9X12. Spread filling mixture over dough (I found that using my hands worked the best) Roll dough from the long side into a log. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 1-inch slices placing into a greased 9×12 baking dish. Cover and let rise again for about 45 min to an hour.  Bake in a 375 degree over for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the icing bag and drizzle over the warm rolls.

Enjoy your Ooooeeey-Goooeeey creation warm with your favorite loved ones!

Advertisements

Ham and Cheese Pockets

Ham, sharp cheddar cheese, spicy brown mustard and refrigerated biscuits are a tasty dinner sure to please the family and help you use up the leftovers.

As the holidays have come to an end, I find that there are many tasty ingredients in my refrigerator worthy of being showcased. With a bit of help from store-bought biscuits, an impressive and easy meal was made. Once you’ve tried these, the filling options are endless! I simply served these pockets with a side salad for a complete and nutritious meal.

Yields 8 Pockets

Ingredients:

1 Package of large refrigerator biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands biscuits)
2 cups diced ham
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded
Spicy Brown Mustard
1 egg
water
sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, make your egg wash by whisking 1 egg and a splash of water to thin, set aside. Lightly flour surface. Roll a refrigerated biscuit to a 6 inch circle. Smear a thin layer of mustard in the center. Place 1/4 cup diced ham and 1 oz cheese just off from the center. Dampen bottom edge of biscuit with either water or I used the egg wash as it was next to me. Fold in half gently so not to tear dough. Gently seal with a fork. With a sharp knife, make 2-3 slits in the top. Lightly brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the dough is a golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve.

These are so easy and will disappear just as quickly as they were made. I did, make a few with ham, diced green apples, cheese and Dijon mustard. These were the kids favorite! Other ideas for filling would be pizza sauce, fixings and mozzarella cheese. Or, as a friend of mine suggested, use pie filling, and sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar for dessert.

Free Form Artisan Bread

Crusty outside with a soft and chewy center

Having never made fresh bread unless it was from a frozen loaf from the grocery store or a boxed mix in my bread machine, I have to admit, I was intimidated. Motivated by a good friend Nancy who encouraged me to try this recipe as she claimed it was easy enough. The picture of her finished bread looked so amazing that I was determined to give it a whirl.

A quick look at the ingredients left me in disbelief, so few, could this really be as good as it looks? I trust my friend as she definitely knows her way around the kitchen. “B” day arrived, as I now call my baking day. I reread the recipe and even consult my friend via Facebook to clarify the directions and perhaps a bit of encouragement. I suddenly realize I am scared of a little yeast and water. See, I really don’t bake, I cook. Cooking meals and baking are two different worlds as I see it. I happened to be out of my comfort zone here. I love Artisan Bread from my local bakery so much and have paid almost $6.00 for a loaf to go with my homemade soups, so the idea of being able to make my own fresh at home, for a fraction of the cost pushes me forward.

Later in the evening, after following all of the directions, I have 2 loaves of amazing bread to go with the Spilt Pea Soup and Ham I made the day before. I couldn’t believe I did it! the recipe is really simple after doing it once (even for me) The real beauty of this recipe is that it makes about 4 – 1lb loaves and the dough stays good in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It gets better as it hangs out there! Genius! I will never buy from the bakery again as I now have this wonderful recipe and I hope you try it too!

Here is the recipe I received from my friend Nancy who got it from a friend…..A very special Thank You for sharing your recipe and once again, teaching me!

For the dough:

3 cups lukewarm water
1.5 Tablespoons granulated yeast
1.5 Tablespoons kosher or other course salt
6.5 cups white all-purpose flour
cornmeal

Mix water, yeast and salt in a large container no smaller than 5 quarts. It should have a lid but not an airtight lid. I used a large bowl and loosely covered with plastic wrap.

Measure your flour using a spoon to scoop and sweep method so that the flour is not compacted.

Add the flour all at once but do not knead. Just stir so that there aren’t any pockets of flour. The dough will be moist…cover and leave at room temperature or until it has doubled.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

The dough may now be used or left in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The longer it sits in the fridge the more the texture and flavour improves. This quantity of dough makes 4 good size loaves. Or make smaller loaves adjusting cooking time.

Baking Day:

Artisan Bread is crusty and usually free form (no pans). Sprinkle the surface of the dough with a little flour and pull up and with a serrated knife, cut off 1 ball the size of a grapefruit. This should weigh about 1 pound. Lightly dust the ball with flour so it won’t stick to the work surface. Gently stretch the dough out and under so that you have a smooth ball with a collection of “edges” at the bottom. Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and place the dough on the peel. I do not have a pizza peel so just used my large cutting board. Allow to rest for 40 minutes at room temperature. After 20 minutes, place a baking stone on rack in oven ( I simply used my baking sheet) and on any rack which will not interfere with the baking process, place an empty broiler pan (I don’t have a broiler pan so used an 8×13 cake pan and placed on the very bottom rack). Preheat the oven to 450F Dust the top of the loaf with flour (or cornmeal if desired) and with a serrated knife slash the top of the loaf. Quickly slide dough onto hot baking stone (or baking sheet). Also quickly pour 1-2cups of water (I definitely used 2 cups) into the heated broiling pan. This produces steam. Quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Cool on a cooling rack.

This recipe makes a perfectly crusty and chewy bread! Now that I’ve made this recipe, I am going to experiment with flavoring the bread with spinach, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes….you get the picture. I encourage you to try this recipe and would love to hear your feedback! Happy Cookin!