Roast on Bone

June 22, 2009

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Filed under: Uncategorized — by roastonbone @ 4:41 am
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Mini Cinnamon Rolls

I haven’t been baking for very long, but I’ve already found that recipes I used to love when I first started baking are not as impressive to me now. That is not the case with this one. I have tried other variations of cinnamon rolls, and these remain a favorite. They’re not quite small enough to be bite-sized (for me, anyway. B doesn’t have that problem) but they are tiny enough that you can eat more than one…and you probably will. They are very cinnamony, and the almond glaze seals in the softness so they are still good the next day.

When I visited the bookmarked recipe, I found that the blog I got this recipe from no longer exists (I’m SO glad now that I printed it out). These directions will yield 48 mini (1.5 inch diameter) roll, but you can always make them larger (just adjust the baking time.) Here is my version:

Naked

Mini Cinnamon Rolls
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
4 tsp ground cinnamon

Glaze

2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp milk or cream
1/2 tsp almond extract (more if you like almond)
3 to 5 cups powdered sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surfae, knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased-side up. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly punch down dough. Separate dough into quarters and roll each section into a 12″ by 12″ square.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Spread about a quarter of the mixture on each flat sheet of dough (leaving about a 1/4″ gap on the top edge) and roll the dough up jellyroll style. Slice each finished roll into 12 slices (I cut each roll into quarters, then each quarter into thirds). Please each finished cinnamon roll slice on end (cut side down) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You really don’t need any parchment or grease on the baking sheets, but it makes the cleanup much easier. Allow rolls to rise about 35-40 minutes, then baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

While they are baking (and filling your kitchen with a ridiculous aroma), make the glaze. Mix together all glaze ingredients, adding more sugar if you like a thicker glaze. My glaze is on the thick side. It doesn’t flow easily, but when applied to warm cinnamon rolls, it well melt down the sides and into the nooks. Glaze the rolls as soon as they’re out of the oven. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

June 21, 2009

Cookies n’ Cream Pound Cake

Filed under: Cakes,Uncategorized — by roastonbone @ 4:21 am
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I don’t quite remember how it happened, but when I first started baking, Baking Bites (when it was still called bakingsheet) was my go-to site. I started with simple cookies before working my way up to cakes and yeast breads and when I was looking for a particular recipe, Baking Bites was the first place I’d look. For a lot of things, it still is today.

When I saw her Cookies n’ Cream Pound Cake I knew I had to make it. It just so happened that I had a good amount of Oreo-type cookies left over from another project that were going stale and this was the perfect application. The cake comes together quickly and the finished cake slices easily and has a wonderful buttery vanilla aroma. It’s so good that I would make and eat this without the extra indulgence of the Oreos. It’s so good that after making this and taking it to work, I made another one the very next day (using up all my cookies, yay!) and sent it to B’s work. Everyone raved and a lot of people could barely comprehend the awesomeness that is Oreos inside of a cake. Brilliant!

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Filed under: Cakes,Uncategorized — by roastonbone @ 3:33 am
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I’ve had my eye on a couple of blueberry recipes, but I couldn’t bear to pay five dollars for a tiny pint of blueberries at our local market. So when I saw that you could get a QUART of blueberries for under seven dollars at Costco, I bought two. The first quart went into a blueberry coffee cake from My Kitchen Snippets. The cake has a fluffy vanilla base, blueberries in the middle, and a crumb topping. It came together very quickly. She bakes hers in a 8×8, but we always have a lot of people willing to eat sweets around here, so I doubled it and baked it in a 9×13. Her recipe calls for baking these 35-40 minutes, and at the 40-minute mark, I couldn’t tell if they were done. The blueberries prevent you from being able to feel the cake, and they make it so that when you poke in there, you just get a toothpick covered in blueberry. I went with a King Arthur method, which involved gouging a hole in the middle to check for doneness since wasting that many blueberries would be a tragedy. I used to be horrified at this notion, but after using it on brownies, I realized it really is a good idea, and it just means I get to eat the “ruined” piece! At 40 minutes, the cake under the blueberries looked nice and fluffy, so I pulled it out to cool. I couldn’t wait until it was totally cool, but managed to cut into it only when it was lukewarm. B loved it, so when I can find blueberries for cheap, I’m sure I will be making this again.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Filed under: Bar Cookies — by roastonbone @ 3:30 am
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After coming into some blueberries (see here), I knew I wanted to make Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Crumb Bars. This recipe came together super quickly and the dough was very easy to work with. In terms of blueberry desserts, I think the coffee cake wins, but this one was easy and still a great blueberry delivery system.

May 18, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Cream Filling

Filed under: Cakes — by roastonbone @ 2:51 am
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My birthday cake is always chocolate. That’s just how I roll. When I was a kid, I almost always had a chocolate sheet cake with strawberry cream filling from someplace like Costco. Delicious, but of course I make my own now.

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This cake was not easy to make, but very worth it. The chocolate cake is simply Cook’s Illustrated’s Classic Chocolate Layer Cake, which won the chocolate cake taste test I did a year ago. Sometimes I wish another cake had won, as the protocol for this is quite fussy and requires several bowls. It bakes up moist and fluffy though, which I prefer over denser chocolate cakes. The frosting is also from CI, their Foolproof Chocolate Frosting that is sweet and glossy. The cream filling came from Annie’s Eats (which I love) and it was very tasty. It’s basically a white chocolate-sweetened whipped cream. I would not recommend leaving this cake at room temperature for long though; the cream has a tendency to soften. After spreading a generous amount of the cream filling on one cake round, I sliced some strawberries and laid them on top. I left the cake in the refrigerator overnight and this morning (yes, I had cake for breakfast. Don’t judge me) the strawberry flavor had penetrated deeper in the cake. My birthday’s not for a couple of days yet, so I will be thoroughly enjoying this cake until then.

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Pork-stuffed Tofu

Filed under: Savory,Uncategorized — by roastonbone @ 2:39 am
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I love this dish. It’s easy to make (not quick, but easy), it’s impressive and makes any soup better. If I could have a signature dish, I hope it would be this one. A mixture of pork, green onion, and vermicelli is stuffed into little pillows of fried tofu goodness. I throw an egg in the mix to keep the pork relatively loose when it cooks. You can also mix in tofu or finely minced cabbage to achieve this effect. Extra pork mixture can be made into steamed pork buns (that’s another post), or thrown into almost any stir fry that uses ground pork. B fried the extra up with some scrambled eggs for a simple but protein-filled dinner. These tofus perfect for throwing into a noodle soup or hot pot, as the tofu soaks up the liquid and when you bite into it, you get a juicy, flavorful tofu, chock full or garlicky pork. Yum!

The ingredient list looks really fussy, but it’s not actually. This is how I made it this time, but usually I don’t measure or even use this exact mix of ingredients. It’s a very forgiving dish.

Pork mixture:
1 lb ground pork (I use lean for health reasons, but a fattier pork will make this moister)
1 egg
2 green onions, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 bundle vermicelli
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp cooking wine

Other:
1 bag small fried tofu
napa cabbage (optional)

Soak vermicelli noodles in water until soft, then cut into 1/4-inch lengths or smaller. Combine all pork ingredients in a bowl and mix.
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My mother-in-law told me that if you want the pork to stay in cohesive lumps (like in dumplings) to always stir in one direction. But if you want to keep the mixture loose, stir in both directions. I don’t know if that’s true, but she’s been cooking a lot longer than I have, so I went back and forth with the stirring. I should note something about the seasoning: it’s pretty much up to you. I’ve been mixing ground pork with soy sauce and cooking wine for many years, so I know how it should smell after being properly seasoned. Feel free to do what works for you.
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Now comes the fun (or labor-intensive) part. Take a fried tofu and poke a hole in it with your finger. Clear some space in there so you can stuff in plenty of delicious pork. Then get the pork in there! I use a combination or chopsticks and my fingers, but as long as it gets in there, it doesn’t really matter how you do it.
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I pile them in a big glass bowl and steam them in my rice cooker. If I have any napa in the fridge, I’ll put a couple of leaves in the bottom of the bowl for an extra sweetness.
Insides

May 15, 2009

Quick Cheese Bread

Filed under: Bread — by roastonbone @ 3:01 am
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Quick Cheese Bread

Quick Cheese Bread

I bought WAY too much spicy buffalo cheddar cheese when it was on sale and was looking for a good way to use it. I came acroos Cook’s Illustrated’s Quick Cheese Bread. I replaced the parmesan they use (of course) with mozzarella for the top and bottom crusts. The bread came out cheesy and gooey. I had to stash the rest in the freezer before I ate it all.

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