Friday, January 25, 2013

Parbaked Dinner Rolls

 It took quite a while to decide what to give for neighbor gifts this year.  If you read the post on apple butter that I made late this fall I mentioned that I wanted to give cute little tubs of it to my neighbors for Christmas.  But what good is apple butter with nothing to put it on?  So it made sense that it would be great to combine it with rolls.....but then came the problem.  How to get them to them fresh and hot which is obviously the most fantastic way to eat rolls with cinnamony (is that a word?) sweet apple butter on them, right?  So the testing began.  No one I talked to had ever parbaked rolls and many wondered if that was even possible.  I took my favorite Sweet Dinner Rolls recipe from allrecipes and even researched on the internet and found that there is a way to parbake (partially bake) the dough so that they can either be frozen or refrigerated and finish cooking at another time!  It really works and makes it so you can have hot rolls but prepare them ahead of time!  They made fun gifts because neighbors could eat them when it was convenient but also enjoy them hot.  Here is how to do it.

 First make a batch of this roll dough:

Sweet Dinner Rolls

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg (mixed in with a fork)
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (1 Tblspn.)

 I make it in my bread machine following the instructions it gives me.  I add the liquids first then the dry ing. and last I make a well and put the yeast in it. ( I also use instant yeast instead of regular).  Set the bread machine to the dough setting and press start.  You can make it by hand the usual way you make rolls, but I love the way my bread machine turns out a perfectly risen dough each time and it is just sooo easy!
While the dough is rising go ahead and get your pans ready.  This is what I did for the neighbor gifts:

Spray pan with cooking spray, then if you want a space in the middle to put tubs of butter or apple butter, wrap two small canning jar rings with foil and set in the middle of the pan. 

When the dough is ready, take it out of the machine and divide the dough in half and those halves in half.  Keep squeezing each portion in half until you have 16 little equal size portions of dough.

  Form rolls by taking dough and pushing it up through an O formed by your thumb and middle finger.  This makes the top of the roll smooth and pretty.  Set the dough evenly around the pan with about an inch in between and cover with a light cloth to rise for about an hour.  Rolls should touch when they have risen enough.
To parbake them when you want to finish baking at a later time, just preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Bake your rolls for about 11 minutes.  Watch rolls and remove when they just have a hint of golden on the top.
Remove them from the oven and let them cool.  Remove the foil rings in the center and add the tubs of butter. 
I included a note telling them that these were only partly baked and how to finish them.
Bake these at 400 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown!  Top with apple butter or strawberry butter!
Great for Christmas gifts but just as wonderful any time of the year!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cinnamon Bun Cake

I first saw this recipe on Pinterest and when I decided to do a post with it I found that it has been popular with many bloggers.  The reference I first went to referred me to another and they directed me to yet another.  I believe I finally tracked it down to  the original post made by  Picky Palate .  It looked soooo delicious that I had to try it and it really didn't disappoint!  Simple to make and very buttery.  Hope you like it too!

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Cake Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1/4 teas. salt
1 cup sugar
4 teas. baking pdr.
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teas. vanilla
1/2 cup ( 1 stick butter) melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix first 7 cake ingredients until well blended with an electric mixer.  Slowly stir in melted butter then pour into a prepared (sprayed with cooking spray) 13 x 9 pan.

Topping Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (I used margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tblspn. flour
1 Tblspn. cinnamon

Mix all together in a small bowl in an electric mixer until soft and creamy.  Crop evenly over the batter by spoonfuls.  Use a knife to marble the topping through the cake batter.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 min.

Glaze Ingredients

2 cups pdr sugar
5 Tblspn. milk
1 teas. vanilla

Mix together with a wisk.  Drizzle evenly over cake when it has cooled to just warm.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Savory Style Green Beans

 I love going to a restaurant and finding that the vegetable being served with the entree is not just something out of a can but is fresh and has a slightly sweet and buttery taste to it.  When I was asked to come up with a side dish for Christmas Eve this one fit perfectly!  Not only was it delicious but the colors were perfect too!  Also, I couldn't believe that fresh green beans were readily available this time of year at several of the supermarkets that I shop at.  This doesn't have to be a Christmas dish because the colors look appealing at all times of the year and the flavor is wonderful.
Savory Green Beans

2 lbs.   fresh green beans trimmed
2 cups water
1 teas. Salt
1/3cup butter
1 ½Tblspn. Sugar
1 teas.  Dried Basil
½ teas. Garlic pdr.
¼ teas. Salt
¼ teas. Pepper
2 cups  halved cherry or grape tomatoes

Boil beans 15 min. Melt butter over med hear; stir in sugar and next 4 ing.  Add tomatoes and cook, stirring gently until heated.  Pour tomatoes mixture over beans. Serve.                                                  8 servings.