Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Simply Awesome Oatmeal Craisin-Raisin Cookies

I wish I could say this recipe originated with me, 
but I must give credit to Alice at Savory Sweet Life. Pure genius...crispy, chewy, and moist! I've baked and eaten my share of oatmeal cookies, but these are

This slight adaptation is pretty awesome, too!

Simply Awesome Oatmeal Craisin-Raisin Cookies
(yields:  24 to 30 cookies, depending on size)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup raw sugar...a.k.a turbinado sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon imitation butter flavoring
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats (not instant or quick oats)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup Craisins
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus a few grains more if you prefer a slight salty taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat on low for a couple of minutes, then beat on medium-high for about 4 minutes, or until mixture is fluffy.

Turn mixer to low and add egg, vanilla extract, and butter flavoring. Turn mixer to medium and mix for 1 minute, then turn mixer off.

Add oats, raisins, and Craisins and mix for 2 minutes.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and mix for 2 minutes.

Turn mixer off, and using a large spoon or spatula, stir mixture thoroughly.

Place spoonfuls of dough onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving room for cookies to spread.

Bake for approximately 10 to 14 minutes, depending on cookie size. Cookies are done when browned but appearing somewhat gooey in middle. Remove pan from oven and leave cookies on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then remove to cooling rack or plate.

Note: these cookies are designed to them their signature crunch and chewiness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Homemade Potato Rolls

Yeast rolls made even better with the addition of mashed potatoes.
Wish you could smell the wonderfulness...better yet, make some and enjoy!

The beauty of this recipe, besides can used leftover mashed potatoes.

Homemade Potato Rolls 
(yields 9x13 pan of rolls)

4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon instant yeast [or 1 package (1/4 ounce)  yeast]
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees) water (best if from cooking potatoes)
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
*Optional (egg wash): 1 egg yolk and tablespoon or two of milk (or water) beaten with a fork to brush on top of rolls before baking

Begin by boiling potatoes until tender, reserving water (or use leftover mashed potatoes, but keep in mind that you may want to reduce salt in recipe if they were prepared with salt.)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar...let sit for 10 minutes.

Add mashed potatoes, melted butter, 2 cups of flour, salt, and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture, and mix on low speed for a minute, then using a dough hook, mix on medium speed for a few minutes, stopping to scrape bowl once or twice. Add in enough remaining flour to allow dough to come together in a ball. 

Place dough ball on clean, lightly floured surface, and knead a few times until dough is smooth. (At this point, you may store covered dough in fridge for up to one day, or you can continue making rolls.)

Divide dough into 24 balls and shape into smooth rolls, using floured hands. Place rolls in a 9x13 GREASED pan. Cover pan with clean towel and set in a warm place away from drafts. Let rolls rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size. *Once doubled, brush rolls with egg wash, if using.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pan in oven and bake rolls for 17 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for about 20 minutes before removing from pan and serving.

Personal preferences:
1) Use 2 teaspoons of salt in recipe...note: I use unsalted butter;

2) Brush the risen, unbaked rolls with egg wash;

3) Bake rolls in a glass pan in order to tell when the bottom (as well as tops) of rolls are
    golden brown;

4) Brush baked rolls with melted butter while still in pan.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler

Very easy to put together and my favorite dessert...of all least for now!

The crust is homemade from  Lara G's blog, "Recipe Shoebox", and it is flaky and delicious!

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler
(Yield: 9x13 pan)

3 large (1 lb.each) containers fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4  to 1/2 cup water (see tips*)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pie Crust (see recipe link below)

Wash and hull strawberries. Cut largest strawberries in half.

In a LARGE bowl, stir together sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice. Add strawberries and stir thoroughly...set aside for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare pie crust (see recipe link below). Roll out crust, (and use pizza cutter or knife to cut crust into long strips, if desired).

Place strawberry/sugar mixture in 9x13 pan. Place pie crust over fruit mixture. Sprinkle top of crust with coarse sugar, such as raw sugar. Place pan in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and crust is lightly browned. (May want to place baking sheet on rack below catch any drips). Remove from oven and let sit for approximately 30 minutes before serving.

Use only 1/4 cup water (as opposed to 1/2 cup) in recipe if less juice is desired. If using 1/2 cup water in recipe, the end result will be juicy, but will thicken considerably once refrigerated for several hours.

If you like your crust browned more than golden, turn the broiler on low for about 1 minute...WATCH CAREFULLY!!!

Optional:  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

RECIPE:  Perfect Pie Crust