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Oh Barefoot… August 8, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking, Dinner.
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Last week I was flipping channels and I came upon the Food Network. Normally, I don’t watch it because it comes in really crappily on my TV. I figure, if I can’t watch it and see the beautiful food I don’t want to watch it at all. However, after hearing about what Ina Garten was going to be making that day, I couldn’t resist.

It was the “Memory Lane” episode where she makes Jefferey a steak sandwich and peanut butter swirl brownies. Even through the crappy reception on my TV the food looked amazing.

In an attempt to disspell a grouchy mood, I decided to make her special “Memory Lane” lunch for me and my husband. As with any Ina Garten recipe, it starts with a pound of butter! Actually, the steak sandwich starts with olive oil, but the brownies have a pound of butter and well over a pound of chocolate! Yum!

Barefoot Steak Sandwich 3

I skipped the arugula on this sandwich, although I’m sure it would taste great if you did use it. I also used ciabatta rolls instead of focaccia buns and had success. I cut the mayo-mustard recipe in half and it was still too much for just two sandwiches. If I made this again (and I probably will) I would not add any more oil to the pan after cooking the steak in order to caramelize the onions. The olive oil left in the pan plus the fat from the steak were more than enough to caramelize the onions. When I added more olive oil, the onions were almost too greasy. Alternatively, you could drain the oil from the pan and use a fresh addition of olive oil to caramelize the onions in.

Steak Sandwich

by Ina Garten

1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced in rings (or 1 large Vidalia onion)

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 recipe Mustard Mayo, recipe follows
2 mini focaccia buns, sliced in 1/2
1/2 cup baby arugula

Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steak on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into strips.Using the same saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of Mustard Mayo on the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the caramelized onion rings. Place the baby arugula on top of the onion rings, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.

Mustard Mayo:
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 1 cup

Barefoot Steak Sandwich 2

Of course, no Barefoot Contessa episode would be complete without a rich decadent dessert. What I love about Ina Garten is the way she calmly says things that sound slightly outrageous. When she started making the brownies, she serenely said, “We start off these brownies by melting a pound of butter and a pound of chocolate.” To be fair, this recipe actually makes a ton of brownies (a 12″x18″ sheet pan) but it still is not something you hear every day especially when someone is talking about preparing brownies for herself and her husband.

This recipe was actually quite easy to put together. I didn’t have a 12″x18″x1 1/2″ pan so I used a 12″x17″ baking sheet with sides. I lined the sheet with a big piece of foil and built the sides up so it was about 1 1/2 inches high. I melted the butter and chocolates in the microwave which cut down on the prep time. Her recipe calls for 6 extra-large eggs. If you don’t have extra-large eggs on hand, you can just use 7 large eggs and the recipe will be just fine. Also, before I spooned the peanut butter onto the batter, I whipped it with a whisk for a little bit to make it more fluid and easier to swirl. These brownies are great from the pan, if not a little underbaked seeming. If you put them in the refrigerator (as Ina recommends) they become thick, chewy and fudgy. I recommend eating them both ways! These brownies are supreme, just don’t think about the calorie content as you are eating them… The Barefoot Contessa wouldn’t!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Peanut Swirl Brownies

By Ina Garten

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

Barefoot PB Brownies


Jam ‘N Cream Muffins June 27, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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goodness hiding inside

I have still been making my way through my Taste of Home Cupcakes and Muffins magazine. I had some cream cheese left over from the previous post and decided it would be perfect for this recipe to use up that cream cheese. However, I found the amount of cream cheese called for in the original recipe to be insufficient. There must have been a typo because they tell you to put 1 Tablespoon in each muffin. There is no way to get 12 tablespoons of cream cheese out of 3 oz. of cream cheese. At least not for me! So, I upped the cream cheese.

You could change the type of jam to your favorite kind but the strawberry was excellent.

muffin unscathed

Jam and Cream Muffins

Adapted from Taste of Home Muffins and Cupcakes Magazine

Filling Ingredients

1 – 8oz package cream cheese

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 – 1/3 cup strawberry jam, stirred until smooth


2 1/2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another small mixing bowl, beat the egg, milk, brown sugar, buttter and almond extract. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon half of the batter into greased muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture and 1 teaspoon jam. Top with the remaining batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen.

jam n cream inards

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars June 4, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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I haven’t been posting lately because it is the end of the school year (tomorrow is our last day!) and I have been trying to wrap things up at work so I can have a great summer full of cooking at the camp!

Last Friday, it was my turn to bring treats to work for the people that had birthdays in May and I chose to make these. I don’t remember if the recipe I tweaked came from Food and Wine or Cooking Pleasures magazine, however, the original recipe called for pistachios and fresh raspberries (which would also be good, but I didn’t have any). I also added espresso powder because I thought the chocolate flavor needed to be enhanced. These do not use any eggs and are quite fudgy and delicious.

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Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, cut up, softened
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (you could also use fresh)
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray (or oil of your choice) or line the pan with foil or parchment and spray (if you care about being able to cut and get them out easily).

Toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes, until the are light golden brown.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, 1/3 cup toasted almonds, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture.

Press the remaining mixture into the pan. Arrange the frozen raspberries over the crust. Sprinkle with reserved 1 1/4 cups chocolate-flour mixture, then the remaining almonds. Press mixture down lightly.
Bake 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Place chocolate and oil in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high 30 – 50 seconds, stirring once. Drizzle chocolate over the cooled bars. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Slice into 36 pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

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Raspberry Coffeecake Muffins May 7, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

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Checkout lines are dangerous places for me. I am always drawn in by the food magazines. One time, my husband and I were checking out at the grocery store, and I was reading a magazine on the bottom rack. He didn’t see me crouched down and assumed that I had gone out to the car. When I stood up and found him and the groceries gone, I was a little surprised. I have since learned my lesson. Now I read them all standing up in clear view of my husband!

The one I most recently was drawn to and bought was Taste of Home’s Cupcakes and Muffins. Clearly, since I am obsessed with muffins I had to have it. The first muffins this magazine inspired were these Raspberry Coffeecake muffins. There are very yummy, and of course, freeze well!

When you layer the batter in the muffin cups, it may look skimpy, but it will fill out as it bakes.

Rasp Cof 1 2560x1920

Raspberry Coffeecake Muffins

Topping/Filling Ingredients

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or nut of your choice)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Muffin Ingredients

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground (or fresh grated) nutmeg (depending on how much you like nutmeg)

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup raspberries, frozen

Glaze Ingredients

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 – 2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk, vanilla and butter. Add the raspberries to the flour and stir to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold until everything is just incorporated.

Grease your muffin pans and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (You want to give the batter a little time to sit so there aren’t big flour chunks in the raspberries)

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into the muffin cups. Top each with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-nut mixture and then 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-nut mixture. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the muffins.

Waiter, There’s Something in My… Bread! April 25, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

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Last year at Christmas, my dad gave me a copy of the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. At the time, I wasn’t that excited because I wasn’t really a Martha fan (not that I was a hater either…), but I was always happy to get another cookbook, of course. I didn’t delve into it right away, like I do with other cookbooks. However, several months ago, it called to me. And I have enjoyed several recipes out of it since. When I saw her Chocolate Babkas, I knew I had to make it for my first “Waiter, There’s Something In My…” event. It looked so delicious.

I started making the bread on Sunday. It was the perfect day for bread-making because it was pouring down rain all day (much like it is right now…) It took quite awhile to make the bread, partly because I was taking my sweet time and partly because it took me awhile to grind up all the chocolate and get some of the ingredients to room temperature.

The other great thing about this recipe is that it makes 3 big loaves of bread. So, I baked one and froze the other two. The pictures do not even begin to describe how awesome this bread tasted. It was a very excellent sweet bread! Before I made this, I didn’t even know Babkas existed. Upon further research, I found that Babkas have Jewish and Russian roots. I’m not sure which Martha’s version takes after, but I do know that it tastes excellent!

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Chocolate Babkas

Adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

Bread Ingredients

1 1/2 cups warm milk (110 degrees)

2 envelopes (.25 oz each) rapid rise dry yeast

1 3/4 cups superfine sugar, divided (you can use regular, too)

3 whole eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature

6 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 lbs. bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped (you could use semi-sweet)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Streusel Ingredients

1 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature


In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm milk; stir until dissolved. Let stand until foamy (5 min.) In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs and the yolks. Add the yeast mixture and whisk.

In an electric mixer, combine the flour and salt. Add the egg mixture and beat on low speed with the paddle attachment until it is almost completely mixed together (30 sec.) Switch to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks of butter and beat until completely mixed in and a soft, sticky dough forms, 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a flour surface and knead a little bit. Place in a well greased bowl (Martha recommends using butter) and flip to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk (45 min. – 1 hr.)

While the dough rises:

In a bowl, stir together finely chopped chocolate, 1 cup superfine sugar, and the cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter until combined.

Also, make the streusel topping. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until there are coarse crumbs.

Generously butter/grease three 9 x 5 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pans. (Martha recommends putting parchment in the bottom so it hangs over the sides to make it easier to get out. This is a good idea. I didn’t do it because I didn’t have parchment. My bread still came out okay…)

When the dough is done with the first rise:

Punch down the dough and put on a floured surface. Let rest 5 minutes. While waiting, beat the cream and remaining egg together.

Cut the dough into three equal pieces. Roll a piece into a 16-inch square (1/8 inch thick). Brush the edges with the egg wash. Evenly distribute 1/3 of the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2 border on all sides. Roll the dough up tightly, jelly roll style. Then, twist the dough-log five or six times. Put the log into a horseshoe shape. Brush the top with egg wash. Crumble 2 tablespoons of chocolate filling on top of the dough and gently press into the top. Cross the right half over the left to make a figure 8; press the edges to seal. Twist the figure 8 two more times and put in the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle 1/3 of the streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover with plastic and set in a warm place to rise, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves, rotating halfway through, about 55 minutes. Reduce the over to 325 degrees. Bake 20-30 minutes longer until they are a deep golden brown. Avoid under-baking the loaves or the center will not set up correctly. If the top browns too quickly, tent the loaves with foil.

Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely. These can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Babkas 3 2560x1920



Lemon-Raspberry Muffins January 14, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

Very nearly everything I cook or bake is based on some sort of craving that I have had at one point or another. I also have been making and freezing muffins to eat every morning for a quick breakfast. After a rather unappetizing batch of muffins (strawberry-almond-oat … they were pretty dry) I craved something bursting with tangy lemony flavor. Something moist, bright, and pretty. I decided I wanted to make Lemon-Raspberry Muffins. I haven’t seen too many recipes for these, nor have I had them before, but I have seen the lemon-raspberry combination in desserts and it sounded good. I used a recipe that I clipped out of Food and Wine a while back and modified that. It turned out to be everything that I hoped it would be. Tart, moist, and tangy. Sweet, bright, and still delicious the day after baking!


Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

(Makes 12)


1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

Lemon Sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan. Whisk together the dry muffin ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and lemon zest. Then whisk in the lemon juice. Toss the raspberries with the flour (I used frozen berries) then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until just blended. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay). While the muffins are baking, mix the 1/2 cup of sugar with the lemon peel in a small bowl. Set aside. Then, in a small saucepan stir together the 1/4 cup of sugar and the 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and simmer until it is slightly thickened. The syrup should measure about 1/4 of a cup.

When the muffins are out of the oven and have cooled 5 minutes, brush them with the lemon glaze, then gently dip/roll the tops in the lemon sugar. Let cool on a wire rack.  To freeze, let cool completely.  Then, wrap individually in plastic wrap and place muffins in a large freezer bag and freeze.  To defrost, microwave on the defrost cycle until soft and warmed.


Apricot Sage and Orange Chocolate Cookies January 11, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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I had been dreaming of making these yummy cookies for quite some time. They were going to go in my Christmas Cookie line up, but I ran out of time and energy. However, by New Year’s I was ready for more. I decided to make these to take to my friend’s New Year’s Party. These cookies were originally from a 2004 Better Homes and Gardens Cookie Magazine.

When I saw the recipe for Apricot Sage Sandwich cookies, I thought, “Interesting, but I don’t know too many people that would eat them.” Then, this year, I told a friend about them and she got really excited. She just happened to have a large stock of fresh sage that she had nothing to do with (in the dead of winter in a window box, no less…) and she urged me to make them. I had originally planned to alter them and make an orange cookie with a dark chocolate ganache filling. So, I did both! For the most part, they turned out really well. I liked both very much. It is important to roll the cookies pretty thin because you bake them until they are only very lightly browned and no one wants doughy shortbread…

Orange Dark Chocolate Cookies

Orange Dark-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 sugar

1/4 yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup butter

finely grated orange peel from 2 fresh oranges

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water


8 oz. heavy cream

8 oz. chopped dark chocolate


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, and cornmeal. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in orange peel. Add milk and stir with a fork to combine. Form mixture into a ball and knead until smooth. Divide dough in half.

On a very lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to a 1/8 inch thickness. Use a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter) to cut out dough. You can set the scraps aside and re-roll them, just don’t flour your surface too much, the dough really doesn’t need that much at all (at least mine didn’t). Try to make sure you make an even number of cookies…

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and the water. Brush the cookies with the egg white mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven about 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

Heat the cream to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds then whisk until smooth. Spread filling on half of the cooled cookies and place another on top.

Orange Dark Chocolate Cookie 2

Apricot Rosemary-Sage Cookie2

Apricot Sage Cookies

As above except substitute 2 tablespoons snipped fresh sage (or lemon thyme, rosemary, or any combination of herbs. If using dried, use 2 teaspoons) I used a combination of fresh sage and dried rosemary.

For the filling use a good quality apricot preserves instead of the chocolate (although you could use chocolate filling with the herb cookies. I did that too and it was pretty good). You will need 2-3 tablespoons of apricot preserves.

If you have a lot of fresh sage, you can also decorate the cookies with some of the leaves. During the egg wash step, brush a cookies with the egg, put a sage leaf or two on the cookie, then brush with more egg. Then sprinkle with sugar.Apricot Sage-Rosemary Cookie 1

The recipe makes anywhere from 16-24 cookies, depending on how thin you roll them. They can be stored separated by waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Freeze unfilled cookies for up to three months. Thaw cookies, then assemble (obviously…)




Cinnamon Raisin Bread: A Strange Experience December 31, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

On Wednesday this week, I got the urge to bake bread. Last Christmas, my dad gave me Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. When I got it, I wasn’t really that interested in it. However, in the past year I have rediscovered it and finally made my first recipe out of it. The picture of Martha’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread was almost too much to take. I had to make it.


However, it was one of the weirder bread recipes I have made. Mostly just because of the method of making the dough. Every other recipe I have made has you gradually add the flour in, but this recipe did not. Basically, it had you combine the warm milk and yeast and then put all the other ingredients in the mixer and mix it up. The dough turned out really heavy. It was big, heavy dough. I had a hard time getting it to rise, but eventually it did.

Martha’s finished product had a few air gaps in her cinnamon swirl and so did mine. However, some of the gaps were pretty big. In one loaf, it was cavernous! However, the bread was delicious. The filling caramelized and was gooey. Make sure you actually put the baking sheet under the loaves or you will end up with caramelized filling burning on the bottom of the oven. This recipe makes two soft and tasty loaves.

Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Dough Ingredients

1 envelope active dry yeast

2 cups warm milk (110 degrees)

2 lbs. 2 0z. all-purpose flour (about 6 1/2 cups) plus more for dusting

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces.

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/4 cups golden raisins

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Filling Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Whisk to combine. Add the flour, butter, sugar, 2 eggs, and salt. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined, about 3 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until dough is uniformly smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes more. Add the raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until combined. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Return the dough to the floured surface, and pat into a round. Fold the bottom third of the dough up, the top third down and the right and left sides in, tapping the dough after each fold to release excess flour and pressing down to seal. Return the dough to the bowl, seam side down and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes. (I am not sure why you are supposed to do all that folding but I did it anyway. If anyone knows why, I’d love to know…)

Grease to 9×5 (I used 8×4 and was okay) loaf pans. Make the filling by combining sugar and cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of water. Return the dough to the floured surface and divide in half. Roll the dough into a 12 by 10 inch rectangle. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle half the filling on top. Spread the filling evenly.

With the short end of the rectangle facing you, fold in both long sides of the dough about 1 inch. Then, roll the dough toward you, gently pressing as you go to form a tight log. Gently roll the log back and forth (or pinch it) to seal the seam. Place in the prepared pan seam side down. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Cover the pans loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough rises just above the rim of the pan, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Brush the tops of the loaves with the beaten egg and put the sheets on a parchment or foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, about 45 minutes. (If the tops brown too quickly, cover them with aluminum foil.) Turn the bread onto a wire rack and let cool before slicing. The bread can be kept, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature up to 4 days.

Cinnamon Rolls November 16, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

This weekend was the first one in a long time that I have had two days off in a row. Lately, the weekends have been busy with my second job. I am happy to say that there are no more retreats at the camp that I work with until spring. That means that I don’t have to cook for anyone else other than me, unless I want to. It isn’t that I don’t like cooking for 100-150 middle school aged children (heh!), it can just be tiring after teaching all week long.


I took this opportunity to make cinnamon rolls for my sweet husband. They are one of his very favorite things (besides cookies and those awful, yet addictive, Hostess chocolate covered Donettes). A couple years ago I was watching the food network and they were featuring favorite family recipes, or something like that. There was a family that reminisced about Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls and they even had her make them on the show. I must admit, they looked like the most delicious cinnamon rolls ever, so I printed off the recipe and gave it a try.

The first time I made it, I wasn’t disappointed. They were delicious! However, some of the filling slid down to the bottom of the cinnamon roll and made a very, very caramelized cinnamon goo at the bottom. So they were kind of like caramel cinnamon rolls, which was different than the show and different than I imagined. So, I played around with the recipe and tried several different ways of making them. This is what I came up with. They are pretty sweet, so make sure you have a lot of cold milk on hand!




Cinnamon Rolls


Adapted from a recipe by Laura Jeffries

2 packages rapid rise yeast

1/2 cup warm water (between 105 F and 110 F)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup milk (warmed, but not hot)

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 cups flour


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup granular sugar

2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon butter flavor extract

Dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water (not too hot or the yeast can die), and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter and combine with 3/4 cups of warm milk. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook or a food processor with a dough blade, mix the dissolved yeast and butter/milk mixture on low. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar, then 1 egg. Add salt and 2 cups of flour on low, blend until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup at a time, the other 2 – 2 1/2 cups of flour until it pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl and makes a ball on the dough hook. .

If using the dough hook, you can knead the dough in the mixer for 1 -2 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Place in a draft free place and let it rise until it is doubled in size, about 45 minutes. (I like to use my unheated oven)

While the dough is rising, cream together the filling ingredients until just blended.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured counter. Roll out into a 12 x 24 inch rectangle (not too thin). Spread the filling over the dough all the way out to the edges. Roll the dough up tightly and cut into thumb width slices or 1 1/2 inch slices (or whatever size you like).

Place the rolls in a 4 cake pans. Cover with more greased plastic wrap and return them to their draft free rising environment. Let them rise until at least doubled in height, or a height that you prefer. Remove them from the oven, if that is where they were rising.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake them on the center rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes check them for doneness. They should be golden brown on top. If they are under-baked the filling will be grainy, so be sure they are done.

While they are cooling, mix up the glaze ingredients. Add more or less milk to get the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve warm with a glass of cold milk!