Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve always been intimidated by making Cinnamon Rolls, and this is because I’m not totally comfortable baking with yeast and proofing the bread. To my surprise, these rolls came out pretty nice. This recipe is very basic and can be altered due to personal preference, such as adding nuts and fruit to the filling.

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 cups Warm Milk
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 pack Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon

FILLING

  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Cinnamon

FROSTING

  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar

Directions 

  1. In a standing mixer with a bread paddle attachment, mix together melted butter, warm milk, and sugar. Your milk should be warm to the touch, not burning. If it’s too hot, let it cool.
  2. Pour in the yeast evenly over the mixture so that it doesn’t clump up. Let it sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in 4 of the 5 cups of flour into the bowl, and mix on a low setting for 2 minutes. To tell if it’s done, the flour should be mixed in and very sticky. Cover this with a towel or plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for an hour.
  4. After this is complete, it should be double its size. Uncover it and add the cup of flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this until everything is mixed in, and put this on a heavily floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, and roll it out into a large rectangle with a thickness of ½ inches.  
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to make the filling. Spread this paste into the dough evenly.
  6. Roll up the dough into a log and pinch the seam closed. Cut this into 14 even pieces.
  7. Grease two 8 inch cake pans, and place the rolls into the pans. Again, cover them, and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the rolls in the oven and let them bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden on top.
  9. While they are cooking, make the cream cheese frosting. Combine the room temperature cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and keep stirring until the sugar is integrated in.
  10. After the rolls are baked, allow them to cool for five minutes and top them off with the frosting.

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Mixed Fruit Slushie

This simple drink is the most refreshing way to kick off the spring season. For my slushie, I used a pre-made frozen fruit package that included mangos, strawberries, and bananas. Before starting the recipe, I allowed the fruit to thaw for a few hours.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cup Fruit of choice, chopped
  • ½ cup of Fruit Juice or a Lemon Lime Soda
  • ½ of a Lime
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 2 tablespoons Honey

Directions 

  1. Began by adding your fruit, juice, and the juice of half a lime into a food processor. On a medium setting, blend this into a thin paste. 
  2. Toss in the ice, and blend this again. Depending on preference, add more ice for a thicker texture.
  3. This step is optional, but add in honey for extra sweetness.

Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies

One of my best friends just finished a program that will allow her to get her CNA license. Her favorite food of all time is Oreos, especially Double Stuffed Oreos. In celebration, I whipped her up a batch of these easy cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Oreos
  • 1 White Cake Mix
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 8 tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, take 2/3 of the package of Oreos and pulse until they are crushed. If you don’t have a food processor, do this step in a large plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin instead.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with the Oreos. Mix this together until the dough forms, and you can stop mixing when the cookies and chips are fully incorporated.
  3. On a greased pan, bake 2 1/2 inch dough balls for 8 minutes or until the top is set.

Non-Dairy Frozen Hot Cocoa

Last week I ordered a Hamilton Beach 70740 8-Cup Food Processor from Amazon. Food processors are one of the most underrated kitchen equipment items. It’s a blender, mixer, food grater, and puréer all in one. This recipe will conquer a sweet tooth and is dairy free.
Ingredients 

  • 4 cups Ice
  • 1 cup Almond Milk or other milk alternatives
  • 6 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 3 tablespoons Zero Calories Sugar Substitute (about 9 sugar packets)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Combine ice and milk in the food processor, and blend the two until it resembles soft serve ice cream. If it’s not thick enough, continue to add ice and repeat the process.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. If your processor has a pulse setting, pulse until it’s all integrated. Otherwise, blend it on its lowest setting.

Easy Valentine’s Day Brownies

Sure, I’m single, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what people want for Valentine’s Day. No one wants flowers, stuffed animals, or cheesy heart-shaped jewelry; they want brownies. 

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking powder 
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. To get the best result, mix until the egg yolks are broken and are fully combined with the other ingredients. 
  2. Then in another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the flour slowly, and mix on a slow setting. When the batter doesn’t have a gritty/ powdery texture anymore, it’s ready. At this point, if you want to add anything extra, such as chocolate chips or nuts, mix it in now. 
  4. Pour this into a greased pan, and tap the pan onto a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. At the last minute, I decided to add caramel into the batter. To do this, I put five big dollops of premade caramel sauce into the batter and swirled it around the pan with the back of a spoon.
  5. Even though I recommend using an 8×8 square pan for this recipe, I made mine in a 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 sized glass pan. Whatever size you end up using, check the brownies after the 25-minute mark with a toothpick. Keep in mind that they continue to bake even after they are removed from the oven.

Apple Bacon Caramel Cronuts

Crescent + Doughnut = Cronuts
Ingredients

  • 1 Package Refrigerated Pillsbury Uncut Crescent Sheet
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Apples, Diced
  • ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon All Spice
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ cup Bacon Bits
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 ½ tablespoons milk
  • ¼ cup Caramel Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap the crescent roll sheet and fold it on top of itself. On a floured surface, roll out this dough. Then take a 4-inch cookie cutter, or something similar in size, and cut out the donuts, laying them on a greased cookie sheet. From here, remove the center of the circles using a 1-inch cutter or a water bottle cap. Place them in the oven for 10 minutes or until they’re a light brown on top.
  2. In a small pan, combine butter, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and bacon. Let this caramelize on a medium-low setting.
  3. Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Add the caramel sauce and continue mixing until smooth.
  4. After the Cronuts have cooled, dip them into the caramel glaze. Top with caramelized apples and bacon.

 

Momofuku Birthday Cake Balls + Cake Fail Story

I was planning on sharing a recipe and a few pictures of a bomb Momofuku Milk Bar inspired cake that I was going to make for New Years. The only issue is that it didn’t turn out so well. Everything was looking good until I baked the first of three cakes in my six-inch spring pan. The recipe didn’t create a lot of batter to start off with, but I still followed through with the directions thinking that I’d just have thinner layers or that they would rise in the oven. Secondly, the recipe I followed used a seven-inch pan, so I thought I would need to let the cake bake longer than the time stated. Each layer came out about 1/6 of an inch and baked for only half of the time. After baking the three thin layers, they cooled as I created the icing and topping. Next came the assembly. I started off with placing down the first layer and painting on a milk and vanilla mixture to keep it moist. Then, I frosted on a thick layer of icing with some of the rainbow streusel topping on top. When I repeated this step, the following layer of the cake crumbled into pieces when I tried to pick it up. Trying not to panic, I tried to jigsaw it back together on the cake plate. With semi-success, I moved on to the frosting. The dense icing didn’t pair well with the crumbly layer beneath it, creating a clumpy mess. Next, I added another layer of topping and moved on to the final layer. Again, the cake fell apart as I added on the icing and streusel. It was a hot mess. I’d already spent two and a half hours making this cake, so I wasn’t going to give up just yet. One thing I learned from many years of unsuccessful baking is when in doubt, just dump it in a mixer. In my standing mixer, I tossed in the cake and combined it with the remaining icing and topping. After mixing it on a medium setting for a minute, I found myself with a fantastic recipe for cake balls. Below, I’ll list my recipe I used, but to make it easier on yourself, just bake the cake in a 9×13 pan and bake it for somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes. I haven’t tried this, but make sure to watch your cake and use the toothpick test to make sure it’s done. 

Momofuku Birthday Cake Balls Recipe 

Ingredients 

For Cake

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cups rainbow sprinkles

For Cake Soak

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Frosting 

  • 8 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For Crumb Topping 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Starting with the cake ingredients, cream together the butter and sugars for two minutes on a medium setting. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, then mix again for two minutes on medium. Scrape the edges of the bowl and make sure everything is combined. Add in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix on medium for seven to eight minutes or until it’s white. This part took almost 15 minutes for me. Don’t rush this part!
  2. Add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles) a little at a time. Make sure you mix this on a low setting so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere. Mix this for about one to two minutes or until everything is combined. Bake this in a greased 9×13 pan for 30 to 45 minutes or until the toothpick comes out.
  3. While this is in the oven, start on the frosting. Cream together the butter and cream cheese for two minutes on a low setting. After this, pour in corn syrup and vanilla and continue to mix for two to three minutes. By now this should be smooth and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add in the remaining ingredients (confectioners’ sugar, salt, and baking powder). On a low setting, mix this until it’s incorporated. Set this to the side for now.
  4. After the cake is finished or if you have double ovens, heat the oven to 300°F. For the crumb topping, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in a bowl. Pour in the oil and vanilla, and mix with a fork until crumbs form. Bake this for 15 minutes on a baking sheet.
  5. From here, either you can make a layered cake like I was attempting, or combine the cooled cake into a mixture with the frosting and topping on a low setting. Then roll them into 1 inch balls. Place them onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and put them into the freezer for an hour. 
  6. Melt down a bag of chocolate chips by placing them in a microwave-safe bowl and melting them on 30 second intervals. Then, drizzle this on the frozen cake balls.

November Favorites

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE! (Cue All I Want For Christmas) It’s the time of gift giving, family arguments, and overpriced ugly sweaters. This year couldn’t be over fast enough because a lot of amazing things are happening in 2017. Not to name everything, but I have graduation, my Chicago trip, my sister’s wedding, my moving out, and gtolley.com launching on January 1st. You heard it first; I’m changing up my blog and getting my own domain name. It’s going to be a busy year, but I still have one month left. So let’s get right into my monthly favorites!

What to listen to…
DNCE
I’m a child of the 00s, so of course I grew up on Disney Channel. Unlike my older sister, I wasn’t in distress when the Jonas Brothers called it quits in 2013. Under recommendation from a Snapchat story, I listened to the whole DNCE album in one sitting. Nothing this year compared to this. Joe Jonas’s R&B vocals mixed with the bubblegum pop and funk indie vibe the band gives off makes it the best album of the year.

What to wear…

UA Blitzing II Stretch Fit- Under Armour Hat

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/mens-ua-blitzing-ii-stretch-fit-cap/pid1254123-001

I’m always trying new fashion trends, and one I’ve been loving is the sporty/athleisure look. (It gives me an excuse to wear workout pants at school.) During my trip to Indianapolis this month, I was dragged into an Under Armour store and found the perfect hat. Sure, I look like a 34 year old soccer mom or Luke from Gilmore Girls, but I’ve embraced it.

IMG_5990.JPGWhat to stream…
The Crown

The Crown covers Queen Elizabeth following her marriage to Prince Philip and taking on the throne. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are the perfect castings for the royal couple, and their chemistry is phenomenal. Just a heads up: the first episode has more drama in it than every episode of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars combined.

img_3471What to see in theaters….
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts is a different perspective into the world of witches and wizards, taking place in 1920’s New York. We are no longer stuck behind a desk for seven years, as we are apparated straight into the action. I wasn’t old enough to understand the awe and wonder Harry Potter had on its viewers when it was first released. The breathtaking visuals and brilliant screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, caused me to have this feeling for the first time in many years. 2016 was filled with many rehashes of films we’ve already seen. Even being a reboot/ spin-off of the Potter franchise, Beasts is equally unique and brilliant as its predecessors. Although the Goldstein sisters stole the show for me, Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne is an interesting enough lead to carry the inevitable following sequels.

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What to eat…

Pecan Pie

http://houseofyumm.com/pecan-pie/

‘Tis the season of eating endless amounts of leftovers from your holiday meal. As always for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bringing dessert. This year I spiced the typical pies by making them miniature. My favorite of the three types I made was the pecan, hands down. The recipe I used liked to stick to the pan, so I would recommend making this in a normal sized pie crust.

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What to buy for the house…

Little Christmas Tree- Target

My favorite place in the world is Target’s Dollar Spot. You never know what junk you might find there. Of course during my weekly trip there, I found this cute little tree for $3. It’s the perfect size for a dining room table or in an office.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fall is upon us! It seems like every product is getting a pumpkin makeover for the month of October. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies might be the simplest and yummiest way to celebrate the season.
Start off by preheating the oven to 350 F, and coat a cookie sheet with cooking oil.

In a medium bowl, mix one can of pumpkin filling and a box of spice cake mix together. Add in a whole 10 oz bag of chocolate chips, and continue to mix.


When combined, place the dough on a baking sheet. Top them off by sprinkling brown sugar on top, and bake for seven to eight minutes.
After baked, let the cookies set on the sheet for a few minutes. This makes sure that they won’t break since they are still soft at this point.

Red Velvet Popcorn

There is nothing more perfect for a movie night than a decent flick, good company, and popcorn. This week’s recipe comes from Michael at Inspired by Charm. It’s a little late to make this for the 4th of July, but it’s still an easy party snack.

http://inspiredbycharm.com/2014/01/red-velvet-popcorn.html

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Red Velvet Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 8 cups or 2 bags of popcorn
  • 3 cups of Red Velvet cake crumbs or about ⅓ of a 9×13
  • 22 oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoons Crisco
  • Blue sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Lay down wax paper on a table, pour out popcorn on top of it.
  2. Melt chocolate chips with Crisco in the microwave or double broiler, until smooth.
  3. Drizzle chocolate on top of popcorn.
  4. Add cake crumbs and sprinkles, then let cool.