Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Recipe and Photo Credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls-2644133

Ingredients

Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast 
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Melted butter, for buttering pans
Filling:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans 
Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • Dash of salt 

Directions:

For the dough: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.

Combine 4 cups of the flour with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour until totally combined.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle butter into 3 pie pans (or a larger baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.

For the filling: Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle this mixture all over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a “typewriter” motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be nice and neat. When it’s all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Slice into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and place the slices in the buttered pan(s). Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Bake until the rolls are nice and golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting: While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you’d like a thinner frosting.

Frost the rolls the second they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the extra pecans over the frosting, then allow them to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Delicious!

Shortbread Cookies

shortbread cookies
Recipe and Photo: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/shortbread-cookies-recipe-1945855

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

Martha Stewart’s Gingerbread Cheesecake

LD102960cake25.tif
Photo & Recipe Credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/317381/gingerbread-cheesecake#Gingerbread%20Recipes%7C/274868/gingerbread-recipes/@center/276958/holiday-entertaining%7C317381

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 recipe of the dough for Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 gingerbread men 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
  2. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one-third of the way up sides of prepared pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.
  5. Place cheesecake in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven, and carefully add enough hot water to roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan from roasting pan, and let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
  6. Before serving, run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, and remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle (with heads facing inward and arms touching, alternating light and dark).

Baklava

Baklava

Photo and recipe credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/baklava-recipe-1972768

Ingredients

For the Baklava:
  • 1 pound pistachios and/or walnuts, coarsely ground, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 cup ground zwieback crackers or breadcrumbs
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen), cut in half
For the Syrup:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 6-to-8-ounce jar honey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Combine the nuts, cinnamon and ground crackers in a bowl.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some of the butter. Layer 10 pieces of phyllo in the dish, brushing each piece with butter before adding the next (keep the remaining dough covered with a damp towel). Sprinkle a quarter of the nut mixture over the dough. Layer 4 pieces of phyllo on top, brushing each with butter before adding the next; sprinkle with another quarter of the nut mixture. Add 4 more phyllo pieces on top, brushing each with butter, then add another quarter of the nut mixture, 4 more pieces of phyllo with butter, and the remaining nuts.

Layer the remaining 10 pieces of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing each with butter; brush the top piece with extra butter. Cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal slices, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create a diamond pattern. Bake until golden, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil 2 more minutes, then let cool slightly.

Pour the syrup over the warm baklava; let soak, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with nuts.

Photograph by Jim Franco

Nachos with All the Fixings

best-ever-nachos
Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/nachos-with-all-the-fixings

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 9-ounce bags tortilla chips
  • Beer-Braised Carnitas
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 pounds shredded cheese (such as sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack)
  • 8 ounces Cotija cheese or feta, crumbled
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves

Toppings (choose from the following)

  • Charred Tomatillo Salsa
  • Dried Chile Salsa
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Pico de gallo
  • Guacamole
  • 2 cups sour cream, thinned with 1/3 cup water
  • Hot pepper sauce

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Arrange half of chips on prepared sheets and top with half of carnitas, beans, onion, and shredded cheese. Repeat layers with remaining chips, carnitas, beans, and shredded cheese. DO AHEAD: Nachos can be assembled up to 1 hour before baking.

  • Working with 1 sheet at a time, bake until cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, radishes, and cilantro. Serve with desired toppings.

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_truffles/

chocolate-truffles-bite-horiz-a2-640

Basic truffle ingredients

  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Optional base flavorings:

  • Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed, chopped, about 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon and cardamon (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
  • Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Almond extract (1 teaspoon)

Truffle coatings

  • Cocoa powder
  • Finely chopped walnuts
  • Finely chopped almonds

Method

1 Heat cream to a simmer: In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (stir and scrape down the sides with a spatula every few minutes).

If you are using one of the other recommended flavorings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe.

2 Make chocolate base: Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)

3 Refrigerate for 2 hours: Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours.

4 Roll into balls and chill overnight: Use a teaspoon to roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

rolling truffles in cocoa powder

5 Roll in cocoa powder: Roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.

 

Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon

Recipe and photo by: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate-pecan-pie-bourbon

Chocolate Pecan Pie August 20

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water

FILLING

  • 2 cups (about 7 ounces) pecans
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

How to Make It

Step 1

In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the ice water. Knead the dough 2 or 3 times on a lightly floured surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2  

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Fit the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch, fold the edge under itself and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate until firm.

Step 3    

Preheat the oven to 375°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pecans for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant; coarsely chop. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon and salt until blended. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Step 4   

Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Tent the crust with foil halfway through the baking time if the edge is browning too quickly. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Make Ahead

The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day. Rewarm at 325° for 15 minutes.