Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

You guys. YOU GUYS. I have news.

……..

It’s fall!

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I love Sundays in fall. Getting up in the morning with a chill in the air, finally cool enough to spend the day baking yeasty breads, drink french press, and watch some fucking football. The first thing I did this last Sunday morning after getting out of bed was pull my jar of active yeast out of the freezer and test to make sure it was still active. I know it lasts indefinitely in the freezer but I am obsessive and I need to check it! *If you ever want to check to make sure your yeast is working mix lukewarm water between 110 and 115 degrees with a teaspoon of sugar, sprinkle in 2 1/4 teaspoons of active yeast, stir and let sit for 10 minutes. If it looks like the above, you’re good to go.*

I’ve been working on a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls for a while. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do but I knew I didn’t want to add pumpkin to the dough itself, because that could retard the rise. Instead I wanted to add it to the filling. I wanted the filling to be overflowing, I wanted it to be ooey gooey, I wanted to give you a Cinnabon effect without having to go to a mall or use more butter. So I took my basic cinnamon roll recipe, added spices to the dough, filling, and icing, and then threw some pumpkin into the filling for good measure, and what I got was sort of a pumpkin pie cinnamon roll.

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When making this I cannot emphasize more that your pumpkin should be canned and your nutmeg should be freshly grated! The pumpkins you buy at the store are not meant to be baked with, the water content is different and inconsistent, so buy the canned pumpkin puree. And if you’ve never had the pleasure of grating fresh nutmeg you need to do so immediately. Fresh nutmeg makes all the difference in the world and it’s so easy! Plus the smell is so heavenly. I legit wish I could make it into a fall perfume so I just smelled amazing all the time.

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

  • Dough:
    • 1 cup warm milk, between 110 and 115 degrees
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut up
    • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Filling:
    • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed tightly
    • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • Icing:
    • 3 cups powered sugar
    • 1/4 cup whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:

Stir together yeast, warm milk, and a teaspoon of the sugar; set aside. Place all of the other dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, affix the dough hook, add the yeast mixture, and let the dough hook mix the ingredients until it looks like this:

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*If you don’t have a stand mixer use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients until they just come together, then dump on counter and knead until a smooth dough is formed. Add flour as needed.*

One the dough looks like the above place on floured counter until a smooth dough is formed, which should take less than two minutes of kneading. See below.

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Form dough into ball and place in oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour and fifteen minutes.

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While dough is rising, make the filling by mixing all of the ingredients except for the pecans together in a small bowl. Once dough has risen gently deflate, place on floured counter, and roll out into a 17 x 24 inch rectangle. spread filling evenly over the dough and sprinkle chopped pecans over the top of the filling. Starting with a longer edge, roll into log.

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slice off the uneven ends of the log and then slice the log into 1 1/2 inch slices with a bench scraper. Place on greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise for another half hour.

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While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once rolls have risen, uncover and place in oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. While rolls are baking make icing by whisking all the ingredients together until a thick liquid is formed.

When rolls have finished remove them from pan immediately and place on a plate or board, pour icing on while still hot.

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And enjoy!

 

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Here for the Rhubarb

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I woke up this morning craving rhubarb. Lucky for me, the farmers market opened today and I was able to get my hands on three pounds of rhubarb for about the same price as a banana – 10 dollars. Now, I used to hate rhubarb. I hated it for the same reason I dislike many foods: I had never tried it. When I finally did try it, in a pie of course, it was in big meaty pieces and I did not appreciate that bullshit. But the flavor….oh the flavor. Who knew something that looked like that could taste so bright and wonderful! I was determined to make it into something I liked to eat.

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I discovered the key to a perfect rhubarb dessert was to dice it (yes it takes way longer but don’t be a lazy asshole, just dice your fucking rhubarb) and make it into a compote. Of course you can slice thinly and add to a pie but a rhubarb compote compliments nearly any delight you can think of – you can add it to a cake or a tart or just spread that shit on toast. Plus it’s way easier than going full pie – which I normally love to do! But damn it’s nice to have bright, citrusy rhubarb compote around.

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This isn’t your normal rhubarb and lemon juice compote. I like to do things a little differently around here. Rhubarb is bright and citrusy on all its own, so let’s make it a little spicier. We still need the acidy of lemon juice but instead of lemon juice I add apple cider vinegar. As for the flavor profile, I encourage you to richen the flavor by adding Lyle’s Golden Syrup, ginger, and cinnamon. I promise you will not regret it.

Without further ado – Michelle’s Rhubarb Compote:

Ingredients:

  •  1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons high quality apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Measure the sugar into a small bowl. Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the not sharp side of a pairing knife and add to the sugar. Using your fingers, rub the vanilla seeds into the sugar until it is well mixed and the sugar looks speckled with beans throughout. Then add cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.

Dice the rhubarb – you don’t have to be precious about it as it doesn’t need to be perfect. I just want you to resist the urge to cut into giant pieces for the sake of ease. Not only is this ugly AF, the texture is terrible. Once all the rhubarb is diced, rinse it with cool water and then place it into a large pot. Add cornstarch and toss until all the rhubarb is well coated. Add Lyle’s Golden Syrup, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract and the sugar mixture you set aside earlier; mix well.

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Cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken, about fifteen minutes, stirring often.

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Once it’s bubbling and thick reduce the heat to low and cover, letting cook until it resembles a sauce – this should take about 20 minutes. Test the texture for yourself but it will look something like the below. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days – freeze any leftovers.

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And there you have it – rhubarb compote you can use to whatever your heart desires! I will likely eat plain but also plan on adding dollops of it to a brown butter skillet cake. Now, go forth and rhubarb my sweet baby angels!

A Spring Treat!

If you’re looking for a last minute dessert to make today for your family, this lovely spring dessert is perfect. I was inspired by my sister’s favorite apple cake we always made for her in Germany, that has grated apples in it. This Lemon Apple Cake with grated apple, lemon zest, and topped with lemon curd will be a hit, and it’s pretty easy to make. On a scale of 1-Michelle I’d say it’s 6 (I’m a 10, obviously. In looks AND baking). The only special tool you need is a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan, and some wrist skills!

Ingredients:
– Zest of 1 lemon
– 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
– 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup grated apple (about 1.5 peeled apples), I used Fuji
– 1 cup fresh ricotta – I made my own but you can get from the store as well. Don’t buy a brand, I suggest getting it from a gourmet grocery that makes it in house
– 1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
– Pinch salt
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1 cup lemon curd – I made my own but you can get jarred lemon curd at a gourmet grocery store near the jams

Start by preheating the oven to 400° and preparing your pan by buttering and flouring. Next, zest the lemon, I have a special zester I like to use but you can also use a small grater, just make sure you zest down to the white.

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In a medium sized bowl, add the lemon zest to the sugar. Gently crush the zest into the sugar until it’s fragrant, like this:

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Once the lemon has become fragrant, add the butter. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar/lemon zest together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on the lowest setting a 30-60 seconds between each egg. Once the egg is fully incorporated, add the apple and ricotta, first gently stirring in and then beating with the electric mixer for one more minute.

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So beautiful and fluffy!

Once ricotta has smoothed out, add flour, salt, and baking powder. At this point we’ve beat the eggs a lot, so gently fold in the flour like this:

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Once flour is fully incorporated, spoon batter (it’s a thicker batter) into your prepared pan and smooth out so it’s flat. Then pour the lemon zest in the middle:

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Gently spread the lemon curd out with the flat side of a spatula until it covers most of the cake. Then gently swirl the curd into the cake, like this:

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Do this going both directions. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. It’s difficult to check doneness because of the curd, but you don’t want it to jiggle more then this:

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If you find that your cake center is not cooking fast enough but the edged are browning, you can turn down the heat about 100° and let cook 5-10 more minutes.

So, go forth! Bake this lovely bright and springy dessert that even the creepy dude in an easter bunny costume who keeps hanging out at Freighthouse Square would love.

Anderson out.

Soup and Biscuits (the cheddar ones!)

Last month I made these cheddar biscuits and a friend said, “Oh….I need this recipe” and ever since then I have been wanting to make them again so I could share. I decided to make them this weekend (they’re extremely easy) along with some soup because it’s cold out and also I got an immersion blender and wanted to use it because it’s pretty.

This time of year I always want to eat potatoes, in all forms –  except baked potatoes because those are garbage. So I wanted to make a potato soup, but in an effort to pack as many nutrients in as I could, I decided to adapt the idea for a pureed potato soup and make a yummy Spinach & Kale Sweet Potato Soup with Savory Cheddar Biscuits. Both of these recipes are pretty easy and freeze well – the soup you can freeze in batches after it cools fully and the biscuits you can freeze on a plate, before baking, and then put into individual bags after they are fully frozen. Just please don’t do what I did and try to pop the biscuits off the plate with a paring knife because you will straight up stab yourself in the middle of your hand which hurts a lot but also is awful for your S.O. because then you will be a baby who needs them to do everything for you the rest of the night.

Start with the soup, and once you have the soup simmering make the biscuits.

Soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic depending on size, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (I like to crush mine even more, but not necessary)
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut in small-ish cubes
4 cups chicken broth (you could do vegetable broth instead to make it veggie friendly)
5 cups spinach (doesn’t have to be exact)
1 cup kale with the ribs removed (doesn’t have to be exact)
The juice of half a lemon

Biscuits:
2 cups less 2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy cream (plus more in small amounts to bring together dough and brush on top)
Raw sugar to sprinkle on biscuits

The soup – heat up the oil and then add garlic, cook until fragrant. Add onion and red pepper flakes, cook until onion starts to soften. Add the sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add your broth of choice and allow to simmer until sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

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Look at my cute new Le Creuset kettle! 

While the soup is simmering start your biscuits. Preheat the over to 425 degrees. For these you’ll want to use a really sharp cheddar cheese, I used Tillamook Extra Sharp. Important to note: 4 oz shredded cheese ends up being about a heaping cup of shredded cheese, in case you don’t have a scale. Start by tossing together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cheese. Next add the cup of heavy cream (you can use any kind of milk – skim, whole, heavy cream, etc – but the lower the fat content the less liquid you’ll need to bring it together but the also the less tender the final product will be). Stir in the cream and add more as needed to bring the dough together. Please note this part is less stirring and more using the spoon to force the dough together, The finished product will be slightly shaggy but sticky:

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CHEESE MORSELS!

Pat the dough into a disk about 1″ thick and cut with a 2″ round dough cutter. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it to prevent sticking. Now is the time you’d freeze whatever you don’t want to bake. For the ones you’re baking: brush the tops and sides of the biscuits with the cream and generously sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until tops are browned and they are fully cooked through, 20-25 minutes. When they are done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on wire rack.

Back to the soup! Once the sweet potatoes are soft you can add the spinach and kale. Allow to cook down slightly, for about 5 minutes.

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Don’t worry, I got my wine by my side.

Take off heat and use your immersion blender to smooth. Some of the sweet potatoes might not mix in all the way, but that’s okay.

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Before and After

Now you can add the lemon juice and blend a little more. And done! You’re ready to serve. I served mine with TWO biscuits and some Cholula hot sauce for a kick, and of course: WINE.

Enjoy!

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Anderson Out.

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Soup

Let me start off by saying, I am so sorry for how I titled this post. Though as it turns out, not sorry enough to change it.

Without being too resolution-y, I do want to make an effort this year to share more of my recipes here. Of course, I don’t think everything up myself but I adapt many recipes until I get them to a place I like them and this soup is one of them.

The first week of January is always rough for me. I’ve usually spent the last three weeks basically continuously buzzed, I have to go back to work after several days off (which is hard even if you love your job like I do), I’ve eaten my weight in sweets, and I am so tired of cooking full meals. So, soup always sounds so perfect to combat the holiday bloat and January cold. That being said, I want my soup to be packed full of good stuff so that it feels like a meal.

Spicy Lentil Soup to the rescue! This is so yummy and hearty, packed with protein, veggies, and flavor. I adapted this recipe from the lovely ladies at Food Heaven Made Easy – though their recipe is much more vegetarian friendly.

Ingredients (in the order I used them):
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (not more than 1 tablespoon)
Curry powder to taste (not more than 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 pound ground turkey
Sugar to taste (not more than 2 tablespoons)
1 cup tomato sauce
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry lentils
4 small carrots, chopped
2 cups kale, ribs removed and chopped
1.5 cups zucchini, chopped
1-2 cups water (depends on how broth-y you like your soup)

You’ll want to make this in a medium sized pot or dutch oven; I used my 5.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven and it was almost full once I was finished.

 

Soup 1

I feel so fancy whenever I prep this way.

Heat up the olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat, then add onions, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and curry powder. You don’t want to add ALL of the spices but soup tastes best when you build the flavor from the bottom up, so start out by adding some of your spices here. Once the garlic is fragrant and the onions have softened slightly, add the tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes stirring frequently to mix in.

Soup 2

From top: Onions & Garlic, +Spices, +Tomato Paste, +Turkey & fully cooked.

At this point you can add the turkey. Allow to cook until turkey is fully cooked through, add a little more spice and some sugar at this point to counteract the sourness of the tomato paste.

Once the turkey is fully cooked, add tomato sauce, 2 cups of the vegetable broth, lentils, and carrots. Reduce the heat slightly and cover – cook for 20 minutes. It’ll look like this before you let simmer:

Soup 3

Harry Potter mixing spoons not required.

When you return to your soup the lentils will have soaked up a lot of the liquid, but that’s okay! Add the last cup of vegetable broth, kale, and zucchini. Now is the time to add the rest of your spices and a little more sugar. The flavor should have a little kick to it (from the cayenne) and a nice salty taste balanced out by the small amount of sugar. You don’t want it to be too much of any one spice and take away from the vegetables, but this soup does have a salty kick to it.

Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. You can spend this 10 minutes doing whatever you want! I spent mine drinking wine.

After the 10 minutes is up remove the lid and add the water a 1/2 cup at a time. Taste the soup after every time you add water to see if it’s to your taste. I added the full 2 cups because I like plenty of broth to sop up with bread.

Soup 4

YOU ARE DONE. YOU HAVE CREATED SOUP.

This shit is so good you guys. I batched mine out so I could take it for lunch all week. Eat alone or with a little goat cheese crumbled on top. It’s packed full of protein and nutrients so one bowl will fill you up. This soup could also be modified pretty easy, most of the ingredient choices were based on what I had on hand. This would also be great with some chopped chicken, potatoes, even corn! Modify to your hearts content.

If you try this out let me know how it turns out!

Anderson out.

 

Pasta That I Cannot Pronounce

Recently my loving boyfriend told me that not only have I never made him something that he didn’t like, I have never made him something that he didn’t love. Now, that is high praise to get from someone you love, and I have been floating on the compliment for a week now – but I must admit I feel a little guilty. You see, we’ve been dating for almost a year now and I have played it pretty safe with my cooking the entire time. I cook dinner for him on a semi-regular basis, but so far I have only cooked dishes I KNOW I am good at and that other people have raved over. I kept this going by making slight variations here and there, introducing new vegetables or a different kind of protein, but always making sure to stay within my comfort zone. So, this sweet and thoughtful compliment he paid me (by the way, he is seriously the best at compliments – my male friends could take some notes) got me thinking; perhaps I should try something new.

This summer, when things were still semi-casual between him and me, we had our first Day Date. It was the first time that we had spent more than 24 hours together since we decided to spend two whole nights together, and we were both weirdly nervous (we’re bad at adult). We decided on a whim to walk to The Grand and see Chef. The movie was amazing and we both left it feeling hungry, although mine was likely leaning more towards hanger. I left wanting to cook every dish he made in the course of the two hour movie, and so with this pasta I finally decided to take a chance. In the movie he makes this dish, Pasta Aglio e Olio, for Scarlett Johansson – so who better to make it for than my boyfriend who is basically the male version of Scarlett Johansson. Although, I really hope that doesn’t make me the female version of John Favreau.

So, with out further ado, Pasta Aglio e Olio:

1 pound spaghetti (I did not make this from scratch because this recipe was already involved enough)
1 cup olive oil
8-10 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (which I crushed again to make even smaller)
3/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated (plus more for garnish)
Sea salt
Pepper

I started by cutting up the garlic, the parsley, and the crushed red pepper flakes – although you shouldn’t be mixing these all together, keep separated. Once I had finished that, because it took me a stupid long time, I then boiled the spaghetti for about 8 minutes, so it was al dente. I used my amazing Le Creuset dutch oven for this purpose, because it’s big and I love it. Once the pasta was done I dumped it into a strainer, and then used the same pan to start heating the oil. I added the garlic and let it cook until the garlic was golden brown. Then I added the crushed red pepper flakes and put the spaghetti back into the pan. I took it off the heat and tossed the spaghetti with every thing else. Next I added salt and pepper to taste, followed by the lemon juice – and tossed again! The goal is to have the oil + seasonings evenly spread throughout all of the spaghetti. Then came the parsley and – you guessed it – toss again. Now the parmesan and a quick toss. And there you have it. I tasted it and added a little more salt a pepper but it really is that easy. I served it twirled as artfully as I could on a plate, with roasted asparagas and a baked chicken smothered in garlic.

The pasta I cannot pronounce!

The pasta I cannot pronounce!

GUYZ. This was bananas good, please make and eat this meal. Be sure to eat while you watch Chef, because that movie is amazing does not get nearly enough love.

Anderson Out.

Mad Good Dutch Oven Bread

This Christmas I was gifted the most pretty of pretty dutch ovens, a gorgeous blue Le Creuset. My boyfriend, who was quite nervous about our first gift exchange, did an amazing job. Not only did he get me a dutch oven that I had been lusting after for years, but he also gets to eat all the straight up delicious things I make in it. So far he’s had German goulash, a one pot pasta, and now, bread.

I love bread. Bread gets me. It comforts me when I am down, soaks up the wine after a late night out with the girls (and by that I of course mean drinking alone while I watch Gilmore girls and text Jen), and can be made into french toast, which is one of my favorite breakfasts. Bread has this yeasty goodness that nothing else quite delivers. And anything that tastes that amazing with only the addition of warm butter is all right by me. That all being said, I had never made my own bread, so with my dutch oven by my side, I thought it time to try.

The bread I decided to make is mad easy and mad good. It’s a simple as shit recipe that gets its full flavor and denseness from being left out to rise for 12-18 hours. The bread turned out delicious but the one mistake I made was not using a high quality flour. Because this recipe is only 4 ingredients, it’s important to make sure you’re using high quality ones for the best outcome. Most flours have additives to provide for a longer shelf life and are bleached, both of which change the taste. I recommend using King Arthur Flour. Not only do they make a good product, they are a small company with a passion for all things baked! (can you tell I love them and their website?)

Onto the recipe!

Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups flour (all-purpose)
2 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast (NOT instant)
1 & 1/2 cups water

To make:
Whisk together flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add the water a little bit at a time, mixing each time, until the mixture becomes “shaggy” – it should look like this:

Shaggy like the dough, not the rapper

Shaggy like the dough, not the rapper

Now you cover with plastic, set in a place it won’t get disturbed, and walk away! I left mine to rise for about 16 hours, but you want to do at least 12 and no more than 18.

If you don't get this reference, you're the worst.

If you don’t get this reference, fuck off

Once your dough is done rising it will have doubled in size! I didn’t remember to take a photo of this because I was way too excited about kneading the bread. I LOVE to knead bread. It is the ultimate mundane activity and I can zone out during the repetitiveness and plan my wedding with Kam Chancellor. What was I saying? oh yeah….NOW is the time you will want to pre-heat your oven. Go ahead and turn to 450 degrees.

Take the dough out of the bowl – it will be quite sticky but we’ve all dealt with sticky situations, amirite ladies? Drop that sticky mess onto a heavily floured surface and knead a few times over. Form into a ball, then cover with plastic and let sit for a half hour.

No longer a sticky mess

No longer a sticky mess

While you’re letting the dough set, place your dutch oven of choice with lid into the oven to heat up.

...30 minutes later...

…30 minutes later…

We’re almost there! Are you still with me buddies? Put your dough ball into your hot dutch oven, put back into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. After 30 minutes remove the lid and let bake another 15 minutes. Presto! We are done with this fucking bread – and only 18 hours later!! I promise you it’s worth it, look how pretty:

Much bread, very baked, so yeast

Much bread, very baked, so yeast

I leave you with this final image, moments before I tore into it and covered it in fancy fancy french butter:

EAT ME

EAT ME

Please make this. And then fatten up your loved ones with it!

Anderson out.

Finding Your Passion avec Chocolat

People. PEOPLE. It is a new year! Perhaps this sounds cliche but when I think back on where I was a year ago, I could not possibly foresee where I would be now or all of the new people I would have in my life. This time last year I had just moved back to Tacoma and all I could think about was how desperately I missed my close friends in NYC, worried that I had made the wrong decision. Now my life is full of some wonderful people, and I am still just as close to my best friends in NYC. I won’t say this last year wasn’t a struggle, but I count some very special people amongst my loved ones, including a total surprise of a sexy bearded boyfriend whom I love very much. I count 2014 a success, even if I fell down the stairs more than once. I also started a new job, which has been great and provides so much opportunity to learn. I love my coworkers, the weirdos. As I reflect on 2014, however, what I find to be lacking is time spent on things I love and am passionate about. I spent so much time getting settled that I have neglected doing the things that making me happy. Specifically, baking and cooking. There are few things in this world that make me feel as relaxed and whole as baking bread on a rainy night, or cooking a new recipe and having to turn out delicious. So, without using the word resolution because BARF, I want to do more of the things I am passionate about. There are a few, but I will start with baking.

So, without further ado – Dark Chocolate Vanilla Dips:

Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

You’ll also need 1 cup chopped semisweet baking chocolate to melt for the cookies to be dipped in.

So pretty!

So pretty!

Filling:

  • 2 cups powered
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons half & half

These cookies, while are a lot of steps, are overall pretty easy. Start by combining the sugars and butter – normally I would say do this by hand but you’ll want to beat everything with a hand mixer for this recipe.

beatin that butter up

beatin that butter up

 

Once they are mixed, add the egg and vanilla and mix – not for too long though, you don’t want to over beat the egg. Next add the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, and salt. When I was younger, I was told that salt isn’t necessary in recipes, but I am here to tell you that is wrong! Salt is an important ingredient to bring out the taste of the chocolate and sugar. Lastly add the chocolate chips and mix in by hand. GUYZ, this dough tasted amazing! It took all my willpower not to eat all of it before baking.

Much yum. Very eat.

Much yum. Very eat.

While the oven is pre-heating to 350 degrees, put 1″ sized balls of dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Now we bake! Bake for 6 minutes, then turn the cookie sheet around and VERY LIGHTLY push down the puffiness of the cookies with your fingertips. LIGHTLY. LIGHTLY BITCH. LIGHTLY. Seriously I cannot stress how lightly you want to touch the cookies. Then bake 6 more minutes and voila! Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

While the cookies are cooling you can make the filling! Mix softened butter with powdered sugar and half &half – once again with a hand mixer.

How much of this can I eat without getting a stomach ache? Asking for a friend.

How much of this can I eat without getting a stomach ache? Asking for a friend.

Then make cookies sandwiches and dip in melted chocolate (you can melt this in the microwave in a minute a 30 seconds). Place on parchment paper to cool.

They look like oreos only they taste good

They look like oreos only they taste good

Guys, these are beautiful and delicious and worth the work.

Voila! So yum.

Voila! So yum.

Anderson out.

In Defense of Store Bought Pie Crust

I love to make complicated recipes. Novice bakers often don’t understand the purpose of the delicate steps behind creating some of the most delicious baked goods, but my brain is all “SCIENCE CREATED THIS.” That being said, I don’t believe that making your own pie crust when making homemade pie is necessary. And pie crust isn’t necessarily even that complicated in terms of ingredients and steps, but it’s really easy to mess up by over kneading, so why even take the risk?

TO BE CLEAR. I know how to make a fucking pie crust and I have done it a thousand times thanks to my two years spent working at The Antique Sandwich Company.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I don’t think it’s necessary to make the crust homemade when you are making homemade pie this holiday season. Many an experienced baker would disagree with me, saying that the pie won’t taste as good but who gives a fuck what they think? I don’t think it makes pie taste any different and I am right about everything and everything I make tastes like a god damn orgasm in your mouth. SUCK IT OTHER BAKING BLOGGERS.

If you want proof, look at this beautiful bitch I made this weekend, with store bought crust:

Rolled out the pie crust so I could top my thanksgiving pie will fall foliage

Rolled out the pie crust so I could top my thanksgiving pie will fall foliage

Unbaked pie - So much work to get to this point!

Unbaked pie – So much work to get to this point!

Turned out way prettier than I could have ever hoped.

Turned out way prettier than I could have ever hoped.

See? SEE???

Apple pie is kind of already a lot of work. Add reconfiguring your perfect recipe to incorporate fresh cranberries and trying a whole new designed top crust….you better believe I am not taking the time to make a homemade crust.

This Thanksgiving I urge you to not waste your time on things like pie crust, brining your turkey, or making gravy from scratch. Because you know what you could be doing during that time? Spending time with your family, watching the Seahawks kick some niners ass, and drinking. DRINKING.

Anderson out.

Glorious Wonuts

This weekend was rainy. Like ten plagues of Egypt rainy. Like seek higher ground, hunker down, and wear your tin foil hat rainy. However, I am sure if you are located in the this little slice of wetness called the Pacific Northwest you already knew that.

Did you know you can drink out of pineapples year round? THANK YOU, GLOBALIZATION!

Did you know you can drink out of pineapples year round? THANK YOU, GLOBALIZATION!

And though the rain couldn’t stop me from having an excellent weekend filled with friendship and alcohol, I couldn’t help but feel trapped in my apartment late Sunday afternoon, wishing for something delicious. Enter, wonut.

If you aren’t full time internet like I am and haven’t spent the last two weeks dreaming of attempting to make the elusive wonut, let me enlighten thee.

Wonut
   noun
   1. A waffle fried like a doughnut and then dipped in icing
2. Heaven’s own creation
   other spellings: Woughnut, OMGHOW

Some genius in Chicago created these delightful little motherfuckers disguised as breakfast; as if I needed another reason to go to Chicago besides the tall, handsome men and historic football team. After extensive research that turned up diddly on the secret to recreating a wonut, I relied on my own doughnut and waffle know how to write the recipe myself. May I remind you, I was limited to the contents of my kitchen.

Batter:
– 1.75 cups all purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– A pinch of salt
– 1 cup milk
– 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons oil
– 2 eggs

Because we want our wonuts to be fluffy and dense on the inside, you’ll want the dough to be slightly thicker than usual. Once the waffle iron is warmed up, you’ll want to put about a cup of batter in the waffle iron and cook it for half the time you normally would. Since every waffle iron has its own brand of painful high maintenance that we out up with because of the deliciousness it offers up, you’ll have to use your own discretion. While the iron is a heatin’, you’ll want to warm up about 2 cups of vegetable shortening in a sauce pan. Keep the oil on a low heat though, or you’ll end up with this:

My grandpa would have loved a waffle this burnt.

My grandpa would have loved a waffle this burnt.

I suggest testing the heat by dropping a small piece of waffle into the oil. I warmed my oil on the “4” setting of my stove, but you should test the heat yourself as all stoves differ. I can’t give you an exact temperature because I am not the type of domestic that keeps things like thermometers and mixing spoons in my home.

Once all your waffles are made and the oil is the proper temperature drop one fourth of the waffle into the oil, let fry for 30 seconds on each side, and pull out with something besides your fingers. Preferably tongs….I used a knife because that’s all I had. SAFETY!

Let cool for a quick minute and then dip in your icing of choice. I made chocolate icing and maple icing. Both of these are super easy: 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and then 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or maple syrup respectively.

These are best enjoyed immediately, but were still good the next morning. Behold the best thing you may ever have in your mouth:

YUM YUM GIMME SOME! (I also say this whenever a man gets naked in front of me for the first time)

YUM YUM GIMME SOME! (I also say this whenever a man gets naked in front of me for the first time)

This took me less than 20 minutes and tasted amazing! I laughed, I cried, I laid on the floor to stop myself from having a panic attack over the deliciousness of something so simple. Please my friends, make these for your moms for mothers day (you know…because I can’t) and you’ll be their favorite child, I promise!

Anderson out.