Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Every Christmas, (or the two we've had together) Seth and I make cinnamon rolls for breakfast! They're gooey and wonderful, and they're perfect for a special breakfast. The best part is that we usually make them on Christmas Eve, so they just need to be reheated that morning. It saves us from slaving in the kitchen rather than enjoying the holiday :) 

1 pkg dry yeast
1 C warm milk
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C margarine
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 C flour
1 C packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 C margarine
2 tbsp flour

8 tbsp margarine
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 C cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in the bowl of a standing mixer. Let sit for about five minutes so the yeast can fully dissolve. (A good trick to see if your yeast is actually active is to throw a pinch of sugar in the bowl. If the yeast bubbles, it means it's eating the sugar and will actually work for your rolls.)
Add sugar, 1/3 C margarine, salt, eggs and flour. Mix well.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a well floured surface. Knead the dough into a large ball. Put into a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Roll the dough onto a floured surface into a 1/4 inch rectangle.
Melt down 1/3 C margarine and spread all over the dough. It's going to seem like a lot of butter, but it's what makes the filling so gooey! 
Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle all over the dough until completely covered. Next, sprinkle the 2 tbsp flour until it's in a pretty even layer on top. This is so the insides don't seep out all over the place in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough into a log, and cut into 1 3/4 inch slices.
Put the rolls in a greased pan. We usually get twelve or thirteen rolls. Give each roll room to move as they will rise a little and puff in the oven.
Let the rolls sit for about 15 minutes and let the rolls rise a little. Put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. 
Beat the icing ingredients together. We usually one and a half the icing because Seth likes a LOT of icing! Spread the icing all over the rolls, and Voila! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

I never realized how hard it would be to keep a blog updated! :) When did life get so busy? Just a couple years ago, I had more time than I knew what to do with, but lately it seems I have limited time to experiment in the kitchen, let alone blog about it! But, don't distress, foodies!! I have a real treat for you today :)

Seth and I had some friends over for dinner last week, and I was really stressing over what to make for dessert! I just had zero inspiration. But, then I stumbled upon this recipe for Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. I have tried to make cakes like this before, but they would cook mostly all the way through, and if you don't get enough chocolate gooey deliciousness, then what's the point? However, this recipe promised a soft center, so I thought I'd try it. Thank goodness I did! Seth liked it so much that we had to make it two more times that weekend. And it really isn't all that hard to make. The only ingredient we didn't have was baking chocolate, and one 8 oz. box lasted us through three batches :)

2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp flour

To start, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. You will definitely want your oven to be hot before putting these cakes in so they cook enough not to be a gooey mess.
Melt chocolate pieces and butter. Most likely the butter will melt faster, so just whisk until the chocolate melts all the way.

Add the powdered sugar and continue whisking until incorporated. Now, the first time I made this, the mixture got so clumpy that I almost panicked, assuming the chocolate burned!! Don't worry about it. The mixture settled out after adding more ingredients. And this honestly only happened the first time, so I don't know what I did differently the other two times.

Now, whisk in the eggs and then add the flour. At this time, the batter should be creamy and smooth, and it should resemble the color of a bar of milk chocolate. 

Grease two ramekins with baking spray and divide the batter between them. They should be 3/4 full and the cake will puff in the oven. Cook for about 14 minutes. THE CAKE WILL NOT LOOK ALL THE WAY DONE! It is supposed to wiggle :)

Let the cakes sit for one minutes, so they can set a little more. Now, you can choose to eat them straight out of the cup or on a plate. When putting it on a plate, it's important not to just plop it out onto the plate. It's not a very stable dessert and doing this would probably make it fall apart, which frankly isn't much fun! Inside, put the upside down plate on top of the ramekin and turn the whole thing upside down so the cake falls gently onto the plate. Voila!!

Seth likes his with ice cream, but I think it's just delightful on it's own!