Friday, March 9, 2018

Heavenly Rolls

I have been trying to post this recipe to my blog for months, but there was a problem. Every time I made these rolls, we would eat them so fast that I didn't have time to take a picture! I made these yesterday (24 rolls) and these 6 are the only ones left, but I got my picture!! I LOVE that you can make these with no mixer. All you need is a little arm strength. I have been using this recipe to make pigs in a blanket instead of my regular recipe, and I like this one better. Easter is coming up, and you need to try these rolls!

Heavenly Rolls
1 TBSP yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 eggs
3-4 cups flour
Butter, melted

1. Mix yeast with warm water and ½ tsp sugar. Let stand until bubbly.
2. In a large bowl whisk together warm milk, oil, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Add 1 cup of flour to mixture, and mix well. Add 2 eggs and beat until smooth (mix vigorously by hand). Add yeast mixture and mix vigorously until smooth (I like to use my whisk again here). With a wooden spoon, stir in 3-4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Dough should be sticky.
3. Pour the dough into a large bowl. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size.
3. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide in half. Roll dough onto a floured surface making a circle about 12 inches round. Dough should be about ⅜" thick. Brush dough with melted butter. Cut circles with a pizza cutter into 12 pieces (like a pizza). Roll from rounded edge to the point to make a crescent roll. Place into a greased pan (11x16 metal pan or cookie sheet and do 3 across and 8 rows down). Cover dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for another hour or until the rolls double in size.
4. Bake at 375 degrees until light lightly browned, which is about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Out of chocolate chips? That's ok. No brown sugar? No problem. You've got everything you need to make snickerdoodles! I have tried a few different recipes for snickerdoodles over the years, and this is my favorite. They don't end up flat like many others I have tried and are chewy. You do need one irregular and interesting ingredient called cream of tarter. It's white and powdery and you can find it with the spices at the grocery store. It gives the cookies their signature tangy flavor and prevents the sugar from crystallizing which makes them chewy. Save a little extra time for refrigerating the dough. Give them a try!

adapted from
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tarter

3 TBSPs sugar
2 tsps cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and 2 cups of sugar on medium speed until well creamed. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
3. In a separate bowl,  whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Slowly add into batter and mix until combined and dough forms.
4. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
5. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
6. Using a cookie scoop that is about 2 TBSPs, scoop cookie dough into balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake at 350° F 10-12 minutes. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cherry Pie Bars

When I keep going back to a recipe, it means it's time to post it to my blog. I've made these a few times and we love them! I haven't tried it with a different filling other than cherry, but I plan on it. They aren't overly sweet, and go great with hot cocoa.

Cherry Pie Bars
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp half and half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (for thinner bars use a 15 by 10-inch baking dish).
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts.
4. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Reserve and set aside 1 1/2 cups batter
5. Spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Dollop small spoonfuls of the remaining batter evenly over top.
6. Bake in preheated oven about 30 - 37 minutes (near lesser time for 15 by 10 baking dish and greater time for 13 by 9).
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze: In a small mixing bowl whisk together all glaze ingredients adding enough half and half to reach desired consistency. Pour into a resealable bag, seal bag and cut a small tip from one corner then drizzle over top of cooled bars. Allow glaze to set (to set it quicker chill in freezer) then cut into squares.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Eggnog Baked French Toast

It snowed last night!! San Antonio hasn't had this much snow for 30 years! While it was snowing we were having a perfect snowy night dinner, this Eggnog Baked French Toast. The powdered sugar on top even looked like snow! I have made a bunch of variations of this dish with different fruit, but it was time for a Christmas upgrade. Instead of half and half and a little syrup like my regular recipe here, I just mixed eggnog with the eggs and you can totally taste the eggnog flavor. I grated a little fresh nutmeg on top before baking too. If you are an eggnog lover, this needs to be in your recipe collection!

Eggnog Baked French Toast
1 16oz loaf french bread (day old bakery bread works great)
8 oz cream cheese
4 TBSP butter or margarine, melted
1 3/4 cups eggnog
10 eggs
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Powdered sugar

1. Cube bread and layer half of it in a 9x13 in. pan. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and sprinkle evenly across the bread. Cover with remaining bread cubes.
 2. Pour melted butter evenly over the top. Mix eggnog and eggs and pour over evenly. Press down with spatula so that all the liquid is absorbed by the bread. Sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 min. If it starts to get too brown, lay a sheet of foil on top until it has finished baking. Remove from oven and sift powered sugar over top. Cut into squares. Serve with syrup
Makes 8-12 servings

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Spritz Cookies

I have an old Pampered Chef cookie press tucked away in my pantry, and sometimes I forget it's there! I needed to make a treat for a cub scout pack meeting last week, with practically no ingredients on hand, and I remembered my cookie press. So here's the Pampered Chef Spritz Cookie recipe that I used. It calls for vanilla extract, but I like to use almond. It's an easy dough to work with, not too sticky. I divided it in half and added green food coloring to make some trees and wreaths. I sometimes have a hard time getting the dough to stick to the pan instead of stay on the press. I found that using just the right amount of dough is what makes it work for me (which is 1 and a half clicks of my trigger). A cold pan is supposed to help with that too. Spritz cookies aren't just a Christmas cookie even though that's how I think of them. My press has all different shapes, even a 4 leaf clover and pumpkin. If you don't have a press and want to try these, just roll them into tsp sized balls and press them down a little with your thumb. Happy baking.

Spritz Cookies
Pampered Chef
1½ cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
3½ cups flour
Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed of the electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well.
3. Add the flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down the sides as necessary. (The dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)
4. Fit the cookie press with the desired disk and fill it with the dough. Press the dough onto the cookie sheet 1" apart.
5. Decorate the cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove cooking rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Green Bean Casserole Cups

We made these last Thanksgiving instead of regular old green bean casserole and they were awesome! The recipe comes from a Tasty video that you can find here. It makes 6 servings, so take that into consideration when buying ingredients. So if you have those family members that need their green bean casserole, try upping your game with this fancy looking version. Also, don't accidentally grab the honey wheat Ritz...true story.

Green Bean Casserole Cups
One sleeve RITZ crackers
2½ cups condensed mushroom soup, divided
1 cup french fried onions, divided
2 cups chopped green beans
¾ cup cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F/180˚C.
2. Place RITZ crackers and ½ cup french fried onions in food processor. Reserve 3 crackers and the other ½ cup of french fried onions. Pulse the mixture to form a fine crumb.
3. Add ½ cup of mushroom soup, pulse until combined. The texture should be pliable. If too dry add more soup, if too wet add more crackers.
4. Take a spoonful of the mixture and mold it into a muffin tin.
5. In a bowl, combine green beans, cheese, remaining soup, and french fried onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Scoop the mixture into the cracker cups.
7. Crush the reserved RITZ and top each muffin.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 6 muffins cups

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mini Baked Alaska

If you've never had Baked Alaska, let me tell you about it. Think layers of cake and ice cream all underneath a dome of crispy meringue. Man these are good, but a lot of work!!! I'm not giving specific measurements on this really, just explaining what I did to end up with 12 beautiful Mini Baked Alaskas. For my cake, I used a pound cake mix and baked it in a 9x13 inch pan for 28 minutes. I was able to get exactly 12 rounds. Brownie would also be great or even a sugar cookie! I used Blue Bell Milk Chocolate Ice Cream and Talenti Roman Raspberry Sorbetto (which was amazing). This took a lot of freezing time and freezer space, so make sure you've got plenty of both. I wasn't sure how much meringue icing I would need so I made it in batches. I mixed 1/2 cup meringue powder, 1/2 cup water, and 4 cups of powdered sugar. I ended up doing 3 batches of this which was perfect to cover 12 by piping. So 1 batch would work for 4. I also used little squares of foil to freeze everything on because it made it easier to fit them all into my freezer. I added a video at the bottom of me tapping my fork on the finished dessert so you can hear how crispy it gets in the oven! If you need a dessert to wow, these are show stoppers!!!

Mini Baked Alaska
12, 2 1/2 inch cake or brownie rounds
1, 1 1/2 quart container of ice cream
1 pint of sorbet
3/4 cup meringue powder
1 1/2 cups cold water
12 cups powdered sugar

1. Prepare your ice cream layer by scooping out a ball of ice cream with a regular sized ice cream scoop. Use the side of the ice cream container to flatten out the bottom of your scoop as you pull it up. This will make it sit nicely on the cake.
2. Using a tablespoon sized scoop, take out a small ball from the bottom of the scoop of ice cream, then scoop out the same size of ball of sorbet and place it into the hole. See the 3rd pic down. This can get messy, so make sure you are using ice cream that is hard. If your ice cream starts to soften up, stick it back in the freezer. Put the ice cream balls on something that will fit in your freezer or little squares of foil, like me. FREEZE THESE FOR 4 HOURS OR LONGER.
3. While ice cream is hardening, make the meringue icing. I ended up making it in 3 batches because it was a rainy day and I wanted to make sure my meringue peaks stayed stiff. For each batch mix 1/2 cup meringue powder and 1/2 cup cold water. Beat until peaks form. Then add 4 cups of powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
4. When ice cream balls are completely frozen, pull them out one at a time. Place the ball on a cake round. Pipe or spread on meringue icing however you want (I tried all kinds of tips) making sure to cover the cake and ice cream completely. Stick back in the freezer. Repeat for each ice cream ball.
6. When ready to serve, bake at 500 degrees on a baking sheet for 3-4 minutes until golden. Watch to make sure it doesn't get too dark. This crisps up the meringue, so I definitely recommend this method. You can also use a kitchen torch to toast it, but it doesn't crisp up like baking it does. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 LARGE portions.