Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey Rolls

I was just going through my pictures and saw these from Thanksgiving 2008, and although it might be a little late notice for those of you who have been baking today, I wanted to post this recipe and idea before I forgot.
My mom has made these rolls for Thanksgiving the past five years or so (maybe longer...whenever she is in charge of the rolls for dinner). I just love how festive and cute these rolls are!! I've made them with her before, and they're even easier than crescent rolls.
Try them with your favorite roll recipe for Thanksgiving tomorrow! Don't have a favorite roll recipe? Here's mine:

2 Tbsp. yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water

In a separate bowl, blend:
3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup scalded milk (microwave a little longer than you would for hot chocolate, but don't boil), cooled a bit

Stir in:
Yeast Mixture
2 tsp. salt

Gradually add:
5 cups white flour- more or less

Dough will be sticky. Let rise until double, two to three hours. Then split dough in half and roll out into a circle, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Then with a pizza cutter, cut dough like a pizza, with slices about three inches at the thick end. This is the fun part: place a triangle of dough in a greased muffin tin cup and using scissors, cut “feathers” at wide end of dough (about 1/2 inch to 1 inch down), like so:
Then using a toothpick, poke two eyes at the skinny end of the dough.

Bake at 400° for about ten minutes, until golden brown. Watch them closely, as “feathers” can burn easily.

Final product:
Aren't they so cute?? A simple and great way to add a festive touch!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

I made these cookies when I didn't have enough brown sugar to make my mom's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Except the recipe I went off of was halved (that's why I had enough brown sugar). Boy am I glad I made these!! These cookies are so moist and flavorful you won't want to put them down! I'm changing the name of these cookies from “Pumpkin Cookies” to “Pumpkin Ginger Cookies.” I just think it describes them better.
On Martha Stewart's site, she says, “These pillowy spice cookies transform pumpkin pie flavors into portable treats.” Besides the cheese-factor, it's kind of true. These cookies have evaporated milk in them, just like pumpkin pie. I don't think they taste just like pumpkin pie though. They're better. And my favorite part of the cookie is the browned butter icing! I've never heard of it before, and I've never “browned” butter either...but it wasn't hard and it definitely added dimension to the cookies.
Don't be intimidated by the long directions. These cookies aren't hard to make, and they're so delicious!

Cookie Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp nutmeg (I didn't have nutmeg so I substituted cloves and it was so good!)
3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (14 oz.)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

Icing Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar
10 tbsp butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cream butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer until pale and puffy, about three minutes (I don't think I did this long enough). Mix in eggs. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla; mix until well blended, about two minutes. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

[Now this is where Martha Stewart gets all “Martha Stewart” on us. She tells us we have to put the batter into a pastry bag and pipe them onto the cookie sheets. Puh-lease! None of that uppity baking for me! So here are MY directions.] Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and using 1/4 measuring cup, spoon batter onto cookie sheets (she says 1 1/2 inches round, but I say just on the smaller side). Bake cookies two pans at a time, rotating sheets halfway through, for about 12 minutes until the top springs back to the touch.

[This is again a “Martha Stewart” moment when she says to let the cookies cool completely before making the frosting. I say what's better than warm cookies?!] So while cookies are baking, make icing: Put powdered sugar in a bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl pan occasionally, and cook until golden brown, about three minutes. Immediately add butter to powdered sugar, scraping any browned bits from the sides and bottom of the pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla, stir until smooth (I did it in my KitchenAid). If icing gets too stiff, add a little evaporated milk.

When cookies have cooled slightly, peel them off the parchment paper (mine stuck a little). Spread icing on cookies (this icing is very flavorful, so a little goes a long way!). If you want to add a nice touch, sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Let us know how you like them! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crock Pot Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

Made this for dinner tonight. Super easy and super good! Stew even said, “Lindsey. This is so good!” I know he likes it when he says my name. I went off a basic recipe found here on my friend's blog, and then added some things. Here's my recipe:

3–4 chicken breasts (I only used two today, but there was plenty of extra sauce)
4 oz. cream cheese (I used low-fat, that's why there are little bits of cream cheese that didn't blend)
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (I used fat-free)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
Red pepper, chopped
Celery, chopped (I did two stalks, but it was really good so I'll probably add more next time)
Garlic powder (a few shakes)
Cayenne pepper (if you like a little kick)

Combine all ingredients in a Crock Pot and cook on high for 3–4 hours or on low for 6–8 hours. Serve over rice (maybe over noodles?? If anyone tries this let us know!).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Crunch Cake...or Cobbler...or Pumpkin Crisp...something that sounds as good as this tastes...

I've been in a pumpkin mood lately. This weekend I made black bean tomato pumpkin soup (really tasty, although I did make some changes, but click for the original recipe), pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (my mom's recipe that I've been meaning to post), AND this (the picture doesn't do it justice):

What is this cakey-moist-crunchy-pumkinny-nutty goodness?

I'm not sure what to call it. Help me come up with a name if you make it! The recipe I started from was called Pumpkin Crunch, but I don't think “crunch” is the first word that pops into my head when I take a bite of this. What pops into my head is how good and rich and salty-sweet and moist melt-in-your-mouth-best-of-pumpkin-pie-and-apple-crisp-put-together-with-the-added-dimension-of-cold-ice-cream-melting-on-top-as-you-take-a-bite.

Hope I didn't raise your expectations too high. But it's good. If you like pumpkin pie and warm apple crisp/peach cobbler you will LOVE this. Here's my version:

1 Package Yellow Cake Mix (butter recipe yellow) [I didn't have a cake mix, so I made my own with 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp vanilla. It was just as good!]
1 Can (15oz) pumpkin
1 Can (12oz) evaporated milk (I used fat free to cut some calories)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Cup (1 stick) melted butter (I halved the butter from the original recipe!)
1 Cup (about) chopped Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters, or chopped almonds or pecans (I actually did a combination of all three...the original recipe just called for chopped pecans, but the granola nut clusters made it SO good! I'd suggest using the Roasted Almond variety)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and cinnamon. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Top with nut/granola mix and drizzle melted butter over pecans. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

We just had this tonight and haven't had the chance to try it cool, but the original recipe suggested to serve it cool with whipped cream or Cool Whip.*

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

*Chamberlain family be warned, if this is good cool, I might bring it to Thanksgiving!