Archive for December, 2009

Soft Dinner Rolls

I am always trying to perfect my rolls.  I’ve tried a few recipe that are still pretty good but still not quite the texture I was looking for.  So I scour the internet, trying to find something that I like better.  I keep coming across this Hokkaido Milk Bread recipe all over and there are just different variations.  I actually tried the original recipe and then tweaked it a few times with different proportions and that’s how I came up with this one.  The bread is just so soft and the texture is so fine.  It’s still soft the day after!  I love this bread and so does my family.

Soft Dinner Rolls

200 grams bread flour

50 grams cake flour

3 grams salt

4 grams instant yeast

60 grams sugar

1 egg

75 ml milk (i used 2% but any will do)

75 ml heavy whipping cream


If you have a bread machine, you can actually just put all the ingredients into your bread machine and just follow the instructions for your machine.

Put everything into a mixer bowl and start the mixer.  The mixture will be quite sticky and looks more like batter than dough in the beginning.  You might have to scrape the side of the bowl in order to get all the flour incorporated.  Let the mixer do it’s thing for about 40 mins, after that time you should see it come together into a ball and look more like dough.  Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, put it in an oiled bowl and let it proof for about 2 hours.  Once it has doubled in size, turn it onto a floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds.  Take a section and roll it into a ball and put into a baking dish.  Let it rise and double in size again, about an hour.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

Look at the texture! Really soft and yummy!


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Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite holiday cookies!  I have made them almost every Christmas since I found the recipe.  It’s a great recipe and really easy to make.  These were a hit during Christmas and by the end of the night, there wasn’t a single crumb left!

Snickerdoodles by Gale Gand


For the topping:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cookie dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

To make the cookie dough, stir together the dry ingredients.

In a bowl with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and continue to mix, then add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Chill dough 1 hour if it’s sticky or difficult to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll balls of dough about the size of a walnut then roll them in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on an un-greased sheet pan 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until puffed up and the surface is slightly cracked. Let cool on the sheet pan a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

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Turtle Brownies

For Christmas this year, I wanted to do a big spread of different desserts and one of them was a brownie.  I’ve already done a peppermint brownie for Thanksgiving so I didn’t want to do that again.  Since my hubby loves caramel, I’ve decided to do a turtle brownie.  I went to one of my favorite site, Joy of Baking and found a recipe that looked yummy.

The recipe included homemade caramel sauce.  I’ve never made it from scratch before so I decided it try it out.  It was actually pretty easy, but be careful because it really does sputter and steam on you.

It looked really good but I found it to be a bit too sweet.  It could’ve been the caramel sauce that made it too sweet or it’s just meant to be a really sweet brownie.  The brownie did come out very chocolatey and more cakelike than fudgey.  I also substituted walnuts for the pecans since that is what I had on hand.

Turtle Brownies from Joy of Baking


3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 large eggs

1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Topping:

40 Kraft caramels (10 ounces) (280 grams), unwrapped

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream

2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted


Homemade Caramel Topping:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup

5 tablespoons water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted

Ganache Topping:

2 ounces (55 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x  33 cm) rectangular baking pan.
Brownies: Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the brownie batter.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and, on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the brownies are barely firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Caramel: Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan and melt, over low heat (stirring frequently), until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans, making sure all the pecans are coated with caramel. Spread the caramel topping evenly over the still warm brownies and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
If making Homemade Caramel Topping: In a three quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, stop stirring, and cook the mixture until it turns a golden caramel color, about 10 – 12 minutes. (Swirl the pan as needed so the caramel cooks evenly.) Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla (the mixture will sputter and steam so be careful). Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the still warm brownie layer, spreading evenly. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat (alternatively, heat the cream in the microwave). Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and, using a fork, drizzle the Ganache over the brownies in a zigzag pattern. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into 48 bars.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.
Makes about 48 brownies.
Note: To toast pecans – Bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.

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