Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Posted in , , , by blkris | Edit
Around Thanksgiving time, I get the urge to make something pumpkin so I end up buying a couple big cans of pumpkin.  Well, mine were still sitting in the pantry and I wanted some pumpkin pancakes.  So, I opened up that lovely can and made some pancakes.  Not the best pumpkin pancake recipe ever, so I won't post that, but I wanted to know what to do with the leftover pumpkin.  So, I found this great recipe on My Kitchen Cafe.  I had plenty of pumpkin leftover, so I doubled the batch.  I froze half of the cooked muffins and then pulled them out for our trip to Utah for a family reunion.  They froze and thawed great!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Mel B.
1 2/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar (As always, I reduced the sugar to a little less than 3/4 C)
1 T. pumpkin pie spice**
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. butter, softened (I used half butter, and half applesauce to try to decrease some of the fat!)
1 c. chocolate chips
Mix ingredients well and then add chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin (or use muffin liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don’t overbake or they will be dry!
**My tip: if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! – you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade). So for this recipe, you would need to triple the above amounts to equal one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.

World's Best Dinner Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
I was having a prego craving moment of wanting homemade dinner rolls.  I browsed my usual recipe sites and ended up on Our Best Bites as usual.  The rolls turned out great (they would have turned out even better if I would have remembered to add the salt like it called for!) and I had a full 9 x 13 pan of them and still had half of the dough left.  I decided to just make it into cinnamon rolls!  I used the recipe on here but just did a little less since I didn't have a whole batch.  These will probably be my go to recipe now since I can morph them into whatever I want!  The orange roll recipe looked good too, but alas, no oranges in my house right now.  Good luck!

World's Best Rolls

2 c. whole milk (if you're in a pinch, you can use 2%, but whole is best. Don't use 1% or skim) (I used a can of evaporated milk and 1/2 c. of 1 % milk)
½ c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/3 c. (5 1/3 Tbsp.) butter
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.), preferably bread machine yeast
2/3 c. warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 c. all-purpose flour (Try using part whole wheat and part white flour!  Just make sure you add a tiny bit more liquid than called for if using wheat flour.)
3 beaten eggs

Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. It's salty. It's sweet. Yum.
Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down because this step can take forever. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn't bubbled, you'll need to repeat this step--moving on with yeast that hasn't been activated properly will only end in heartache for you and hate mail for us.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.
Add beaten eggs. Why should you beat your eggs first? Same reason you should combine your dry ingredients before adding them to moist ingredients when making cookies and cakes--it ensures everything is well-mixed and can be evenly-distributed through your dough or batter. If you add the whole eggs, your dough may not be as consistent.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft--it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Don't worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they're so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.

Spray 2 9x13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. I like to use a pizza cutter because it has a blade on each side, so it cuts right through dough without sticking to the blade. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like playdough. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan.

Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.

 Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown.

When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls.