Cream Cheese Danish & Cinnamon Rolls


It gives me great please to be able to share this recipe, given to me by my sweet friend, Vikki, originally from the island of Saipan, but now resides in Missouri!  This recipe is for a basic dough, but very versatile.  It’s made similarly to a recipe I had posted to my blog earlier, that uses a box of yellow cake mix.  Great for the novice baker as well as for the pros!  Through several test kitchen experiments, Vikki has broken the code for the most fluffiest, softest dough you have ever eaten.  This recipe is fool-proof! Thanks bunches Vikki, for sharing this recipe with me and allowing me to share it with the rest of the world…..Si Yu’us Ma’ase!

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ROLLS:
3 pkgs. Active dry yeast (YES 3, I used regular yeast)
2 1/2 cups WARM water
2 Tbsp. granulated Sugar
2 large Eggs, slightly beaten
1 (16.5 oz.) pkg. Duncan Hines CLASSIC Yellow cake mix (NO PUDDING in the mix!)
5 – 7 cups All-purpose flour

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated Sugar
1 Egg yolk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 – 2 Tbsp. Heavy cream, for consistency
1 can FAVORITE pie filling, I used Blueberry in the recipe

CINNAMON FILLING:
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisin, optional
1/2 cup Nuts, optional

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4 oz. Cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Powdered sugar
Heavy cream, for drizzling consistency

GLAZE:
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 – 1/2 cup Heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

 

Begin by combining, in a large mixing bowl, the 3 packages of dry yeast with the water and sugar.  Stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the yeast to bloom.

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Add the beaten eggs.

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Add the package of DRY cake mix and 3 cups of the flour.

NOTE:  It is very important that you DO NOT use a cake mix that has “pudding in the mix”.

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Using a large spoon or spatula, stir all of these ingredients to combine.  Add 3 more cups of flour, you should have 1 cup left.  This will be added ONLY if the dough is still pretty wet.

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After mixing the ingredients together, the dough will become a bit heavy to mix by hand.  Secure the dough hook of your stand mixer and allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 8 – 10 minutes, adding more flour IF NEEDED.

NOTE:  DO NOT use more than the 7 cups of flour!

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Continue mixing the dough until a smooth and soft dough forms.  The dough should still be slightly sticky to the touch!

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Lightly grease or spray a large bowl, place the dough, rotating it on all sides to coat with the grease. Cover with a clean towel and place in a draft free warm area, such as your oven.  Allow the dough to rise and double in size, usually for about an hour.

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In the mean time, while the dough is rising, prepare the cream cheese filling.  In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the heavy cream.  Using a mixer, combine these together until smooth and creamy.  To make the filling a spreading consistency, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to the mixture.

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Beat this mixture together until the cream cheese is smooth but not too stiff.  Cover and set this aside.

NOTE:  If you are only making the Cream cheese danish, then double the filling recipe, otherwise, this filling recipe is enough for only one roll.

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Now mix the filling ingredients for the Cinnamon rolls by combining everything together thoroughly.  Set this aside.

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By this time, the dough should have doubled and is ready to roll out.

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Lightly flour your counter surface, pour the dough out onto the counter, and lightly sprinkle some flour on top of the dough.  Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut the dough into half.  Set one half aside covered so that it doesn’t dry out, while you work with the other half.

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Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough roughly into a 18-inches long x 12-inches wide rectangle.  Using a straight edge, dividing into thirds, LIGHTLY score the dough, making sure NOT to cut through it. Your center should be about 6-inches wide. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter (great tool), eyeballing as best you can, cut diagonal strips about 5/8-inch wide, leading up to the center’s score line, but not cutting all the way through, as pictured below.  Continue doing this evenly on both sides.

 

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Now, take your filling and spread it on the center part of the dough, as pictured.

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Dollop 1/2 the can of your favorite pie filling over the cream cheese mixture.  Spread evenly over the cream cheese.  I used only half the can because I didn’t want it to ooze out while baking and also overpower the flavor of the cheese filling.  This is just preference.

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Now, starting on one end of the roll, begin by overlapping the strips, forming a braid, going over and under with each strip. When you get to the end of each strip and you can’t braid it anymore, either tuck it or cut it off.  Continue braiding the strips until you get to the other end.  Trim off any “extra” strips that you don’t use.

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After making it look so pretty, the challenge is to CAREFULLY lift the danish, from the counter onto your lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet, without ruining it, LOL!  GOOD LUCK!  😉

NOTE:  After I had made this, I was trying to figure how to lift it onto my baking sheet, this without ruining my braiding.  It becomes quite heavy with the filling.  What you can do, is tear off a large piece of parchment paper, about 20-inches long OR use your silpat silicon liner, place your already rolled rectangle onto the parchment or silicon liner and THEN continue with the cutting and braiding part. Once you’re done, lift the paper or liner onto your baking sheet, VOILA!  😉

Now, once you’ve carefully transferred your danish onto the baking sheet, take the extra strips of dough and press them into the areas on the ends that do not have any dough, as pictured below.  Tuck them under pinching to seal.

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Beat an egg and using a pastry brush, brush the danish lightly.  Set this aside to rise until doubled.  I just placed it into my oven for about 35 – 45 minutes and it rose beautifully!  While the danish is rising, proceed with making the other half of the dough.  You can either make another danish using a different pie filling, or you can make Cinnamon rolls.

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, set this aside.  Roll the dough out to about 18-inches x 12-inches. as shown below.

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Now take the Cinnamon filling that you prepared earlier and spread it evenly over the dough. Starting on the longer end of the dough, roll the dough away from you, forming a log.

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Once you’re done rolling, using the palms of your hand, roll it again to seal the open seam, as if you were rolling out a piece of dough into a rope.  Using a serrated knife, cut the log in half, then cut those pieces into halves and so on.

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Place the pieces of dough, cut side facing down, onto the prepared pan.  Set this aside in a draft free area, such as your oven, to rise until doubled.

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While the pastries are rising, prepare the glaze by combining all of the ingredients.  Mix well, adding the  heavy cream as needed for drizzling consistency.  Set this aside.

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When the pastries are ready to be baked, REMOVE the pans from the oven, if you were using it to proof your pastries.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees to bake the Cream cheese danish, for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden in color.

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Allow the danish to cool slightly, drizzle the glaze over top. SERVE!

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Bake the Cinnamon rolls at 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  You can either use the Cream cheese frosting OR the glaze to top it off.  I opted for the glaze.  Either one is tasty!  SERVE!

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting, in a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and using a hand mixer, beat these ingredients well, forming a smooth and creamy frosting.  Continue to add more cream until the desired consistency is reach.  Frost the tops of slightly cooled Cinnamon rolls.

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Take a look at the inside yummy goodness of both pastries!  Drooling yet?  😉

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Mardi Gras King Cake


King cake, the perfect finale to any Mardi Gras celebration!  Similar to a coffee cake, is not only rich with color and taste, but also in history and tradition!   Mardi Gras, also known as King’s day, marks the start of merrymaking that continues until the grand finale on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.  Usually decorated with sugars in the colors of purple (Justice), green (Faith), and gold (Power), the cake honors the three kings who visited the Jesus Christ on Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas.

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CAKE:
2 pkgs. Active dry yeast (I used regular and not INSTANT)
1/2 cup WARM water
1 tsp. granulated Sugar
1/2 cup WARM milk
1/3 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Salt
1/3 cup Crisco Shortening
3 1/2 – 4 cups All purpose flour

FILLING:
1 (8 oz. pkg.) Cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Heavy whipping cream, for consistency

GLAZE:
2 cups Powdered sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/2 cups Heavy whipping cream OR Milk, until desired consistency is reached
Gold, Green, and Purple Colored sugars

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, warm water, and teaspoon of sugar.  Stir to combine and dissolve the yeast.  Cover and allow the yeast to “bloom”.

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While the yeast is rising, pour the milk into a microwave safe dish and place in the microwave to heat slightly to lukewarm.  Add the shortening to the warm milk and stir to slightly melt the shortening.

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Add in the eggs and whisk together to combine well with the shortening and milk.

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By this time, the yeast mixture should have risen; pour the egg/milk mixture into the yeast mixture.

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Add in the sugar.

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Now combine 2 cups of All-purpose flour with the salt and stir to combine.  Add this to the yeast mixture in the bowl.  Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients to combine.

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Once most of the flour has incorporated, add 1 1/2 cups more flour.  Mix this together until a soft dough forms, this will usually take anywhere from 8 – 10 minutes.  Add more flour if needed to form a slightly sticky but soft dough.

NOTE:  DO NOT use more than 4 CUPS of flour, in total!

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Once a slightly sticky, but soft dough has formed, remove it from the bowl.  Lightly spray a glass bowl with JOY baking spray and rotate the ball of dough all around to coat with the spray.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size.

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In the meantime, make the filling by combining the ingredients in a bowl.  Using a hand mixer, blend the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Add a few tablespoons of heavy cream or regular milk to the mixture for a desired spreading consistency.  Cover and set this aside.

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Once the dough has risen, flour your board or counter.  Place the dough onto the board and rub some flour over the top of it, just to avoid it being too sticky.  Flatten it out a bit with your fingers.  Now cut it into half; you will be able to make 2 loaves of King cake with this recipe.

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Cover the other piece of dough until you’re ready for it.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the piece of dough to roughly about a 16×20-inch rectangle or close to it.  Now, top the dough with the cream cheese filling you made earlier.

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Using an offset spatula or knife, spread the filling all over the dough, covering the whole thing.

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Now, taking the longer end of the rectangle, start rolling the edges towards the other end.  Continue doing this until the dough is completely rolled up, making sure seam is facing the bottom.

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Place the dough onto a lightly greased baking pan or Silpat silicon liner, forming a ring.  Pinch the two open ends together to seal the ring and avoiding it from opening while baking.  Using a clean towel, cover the dough and place in a draft free area to double in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

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While the King cake is rising, start making the glaze.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until well combined.  The glaze should be a smooth but of a pourable consistency.  You want to be able to drizzle it over the cake and have it drip down the sides.  Set this aside.

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When the rising time is almost up, preheat your oven to 375° degrees.  Making sure your rack is in the CENTER position of your oven, place the pan in the oven and allow to bake for about  25 – 30 minutes, rotating the pan a few times to brown evenly.

Allow the “cake” to cool in the pan, before  moving onto a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, you can either drizzle the glaze while it’s on a cooling rack OR just leave it in the pan.

Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cake and allow it to drip down and around the cake, this can get a bit messy.  Allow the glaze to set slightly and then sprinkle your colored sugars, alternating with the purple, green, and gold OR yellow.  Move onto a serving plate, slice and serve!

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Spanish Rolls


Although called Spanish Rolls, they’re not really from Spain; in fact, I really don’t know why they’re called this since they’re a Filipino type of bread.  Either way, they are yummy cylinders of bread dough, which are baked up with a sweet buttery flavored center.  Usually eaten at breakfast or as an afternoon snack, they will be great any time of the day!

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ROLLS:
1/4 cup WARM water
1 envelope pkg. Active dry yeast, REGULAR
1 tsp. Sugar
3 – 3 1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 stick unsalted Butter, softened (4 Tablespoons)
1 large Egg, lightly beaten

FILLING:
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/4 cup dry Bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract

TOPPING:
1/2 cup dry Bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar

 

Let’s begin by blooming the yeast.  In a small container or bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients.  Stir, cover, and allow to rise until the yeast has doubled or “bloomed”.

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While the yeast is rising, combine the butter and milk in a microwave safe dish.  Allow the milk to heat up to WARM and the butter to melt.

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Beat the egg.

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Sift 3 cups of flour, the sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl. I usually use my stand mixer for this.

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Make a well in the center of the flour; pour in the milk/butter mixture, as well as the beaten egg.

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By this time, the yeast should have bloomed.  Pour this mixture into the center of the well.

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Attach your stand mixer’s dough hook and allow it to combine the ingredients to form a dough.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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After the ingredients have thoroughly combined, and you notice that the dough is still a bit sticky, add  more flour, up to 1/4 cup ONLY!  Do not add anymore than that or the dough may become tough.  Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough until it’s soft and smooth.  This usually takes about 5 – 8 minutes.

NOTE:  The dough will be “slightly” sticky but still manageable!

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Remove the dough and place it into a lightly greased bowl.  Turn the dough around in the bowl and allow it to coat all sides.  Cover with a plastic wrap and allow to rise and double.

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While the dough is rising, start making the filling.  Combine all of the filling ingredients together and stir to combine well.  Add the vanilla extract and combine well, set aside.

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Combine the topping ingredients together as well and set aside.

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Once the dough has doubled, lightly flour your counter top or board and place the dough over top.  Do not knead anymore flour into the dough.  The flour is used for preventing the dough from sticking to the counter.

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Using your fingers, flatten the dough slightly.  Divide it into 4 equal sections.  I just used my pizza cutter to do this.  Now take a section and roll out into about a 10-inch log.

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Now divide this log into 3 equal sections.

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Roll each section into a 3-inch x 8-inch rectangle or as best as you can get it.

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Now take your filling mixture and microwave it for about 15-20 seconds.  This is just to allow it to become an easier consistency to spread onto the dough.

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Spread about 1 tablespoon pf filling onto each piece of dough using an offset spatula or butter knife.  Leave about 1/2 inch clearance from the edges.

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Now taking a corner, start rolling towards the opposite corner of the dough, making sure that the seam is on the bottom.  Take your roll and dredge it into the bread crumb and brown sugar mixture, making sure to coat all sides.  Continue this until all pieces of dough are done.  You should make 1 dozen rolls with this recipe.

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Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and place your rolls about 1/2 inch apart.

NOTE:  I used up the excess butter left on the wrapper to grease my baking pan.

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Cover the rolls with a pieces of plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free area to rise until slightly doubled; about 1 hour.

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When rising time is almost over, preheat your oven to 350°.  Bake the rolls for about 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown in color.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.  Store leftovers in a plastic ziploc bag.

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Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls, version I


Cinnamon rolls couldn’t get any easier than this!  Give this recipe a try and taste for yourself…..

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ROLL:
2 1/4 cup WARM water
2 pkg. INSTANT Active dry yeast
1 Tsp. granulated Sugar
1 ( pkg.) dry yellow Cake mix, any brand
5 cups All-purpose flour OR 5 cups Bread flour, either works great!
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Salt

FILLING:
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisins, optional

FROSTING:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4 oz. Cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Powdered sugar
Heavy cream, for drizzling consistency

Begin by combining the yeast with the sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the warm water and stir to combine to dissolve the yeast.  Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free area to “bloom” the yeast.

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Here is the brand of cake mix that I used in this recipe.

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Once the yeast has bloomed, add in the package of “dry” cake mix, flour, Vanilla extract and salt.

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Stir to combine somewhat and then using the dough hook of your mixer, process the flour/yeast mixture until thoroughly combined.  Combine this until a soft smooth dough has formed.  This usually takes anywhere from 8 – 10 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on your mixer and the speed.

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Once your soft dough has formed, spray or grease a large glass bowl and place the ball of dough into it.  Roll the dough around in the bowl so that it too is lightly greased all over.  Place a plastic wrap over the top to cover.  Place into a warm area of the kitchen to rise and double in size for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

NOTE:  Before starting to prepare my dough, I usually turn my oven on to about 170 degrees for a few minutes, and then I turn it off.  The heat left in the oven is great to help proof the dough.

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While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.  Combine the softened butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon.  It should form a type of paste.  Set this aside.

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Once the dough has risen, lightly flour your board or counter surface.  Pour the dough out onto the floured surface and using your fingers, press the dough down.  Flip the dough to coat the other side with flour.  DO NOT KNEAD IN ANYMORE FLOUR!!  The purpose for the flour is to prevent it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin.

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Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly about 10 x 18-inches.

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Now add the filling, dotting it throughout the top of the dough.  Using a butter knife or spatula, spread the filling, covering the top completely.  If you are opting to use the raisins, go ahead and pour them over the top of the filling.

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Now, starting at the LONGER end of the dough, start rolling tightly and evenly, smoothing the dough as you continue to roll.  I usually tuck my ends in to close it off.  Now roll the whole log to seal somewhat.

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Now, using a serrated knife, cut the log into half.  Cut those halves into half again.  Now, you can cut the rolls into either 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces.  I cut mine into 1/2-inch pieces, to achieve more pieces.  Place them onto a silicone lined baking pan OR a generously greased or buttered baking pan.  I prefer to bake my rolls closer together, almost touching each other.

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Cover once again with plastic wrap.  Place the pan in a warm area to rise until doubled.

NOTE:  I usually spray the plastic wrap so that when the dough rises, it doesn’t stick to the plastic wrap.

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While the rolls are baking, start making the glaze by all of the glaze ingredient, except the heavy cream.  If you’d like a more drizzling-like consistency, add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time and continue to mix, stirring to combine until the desired consistency is achieved.

NOTE:  I didn’t use the heavy cream in this recipe, because I wanted a more “frosting-like” consistency.

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Preheat the oven to 350°.  Carefully remove the plastic wrap and place the baking pan into the oven.

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Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

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Spread the glaze over top of the rolls.  SERVE!

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Famous “Mall” Pretzels


Craving for those Famous “Mall” Pretzels?  Well crave no longer, why not make them yourself at home, for pennies!  Here’s how…..

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DOUGH:
1 1/4 cups WARM water
1 Tbsp. PLUS 3/4 tsp. Active dry yeast
1 tsp. granulated Sugar
3 3/4 cups All-purpose flour
3/4 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp. Powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Unsalted butter, melted

BATH:
3 cups very WARM water
1/2 cup Baking soda

Sugar/Cinnamon:
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

Melted butter, unsalted

Begin by combining the yeast with the granulated sugar.  Add in the warm water.  Stir to combine well and dissolve the yeast.

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Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and allow the yeast to “bloom” or rise until almost doubled.

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While the yeast is rising, in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, powdered sugar, and salt.  Stir this well to combine.

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Once the yeast mixture has bloomed, pour it over the flour mixture.

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Add the vegetable oil.  Attach your stand mixer’s dough hook and knead this for approximately 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.

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Using your hands or a pastry brush, lightly coat the inside of a larger bowl with shortening.  Place the dough inside the bowl and rotate it around to coat it with some of the shortening, this will allow the dough to stay moist and not form a dry crust.  Now cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap.  Place it in a draft free area and allow it to rise until doubled.

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When the dough has risen and doubled, preheat your oven to 425°.  In a pot, slightly warm 3 cups of water, do not boil.  *It should be comfortable enough to put your hands into.  Pour the baking soda into a large bowl, SLOWLY add the warm water.  The baking soda will start to fizz.  Stir it to dissolve then set this aside.  Prepare your baking sheets as well, by coating them lightly with shortening or baking spray.

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Now turn the risen dough out onto the counter, DO NOT USE ANYMORE FLOUR! Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut a piece of dough and roll it out into a long rope-like piece, roughly about 18 – 20 inches.

NOTE:  The thicker the rope, the more bread-like your pretzel will be.  The thinner the rope, the more chewy it will be.  I prefer the thinner version.

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To form the “pretzel shape”, start by forming a “U” or horse shoe, facing away from you, as pictured.

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Crisscross the ends, as pictured.

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Now TWIST or criss cross the ends once again, as pictured.

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Now taking the two ends, bring them towards you and attach them to the dough pressing them down to seal.

NOTE: Don’t worry about shaping them much here, wait until you place them on the baking sheet.

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Now take the pretzel, grabbing hold of the two ends you just sealed, and dunk them for about 30 seconds, into the baking soda/water solution.  Remove the pretzel from the water solution and dab it on a paper towel or kitchen towel for a second, to allow the water to drip.

NOTE:  To make pretzel rods, form your rope as normal, cut them into 3 or 4 equal sections and continue the process as instructed.  Wrap hot dogs, with the ropes, winding the dough around the hot dog, leaving about an inch open on each end.  Make sure to dunk the wrapped hot dogs into the water solution before baking.

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Immediately place it onto the prepared baking sheet, and shape into the pretzel form; stretching the dough as needed.  Top with coarse Kosher salt or Maldon Sea Salt flakes on some of the pretzels.  If you’re making the Cinnamon sugar type, do not add salt to those.

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Continue rolling the rest of the dough, in the same manner.  Now place them into the preheated oven and bake them for 4 minutes, then rotate the pan and allow them to bake for an additional 4 – 5 minutes until golden brown.  While the pretzels are baking, combine the ingredients for the cinnmon/sugar mixture.  Set this aside.

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Remove them from the oven and immediately brush them GENEROUSLY with the melted butter.  After all, that’s how it’s done with the “mall” version. Actually, they are completely dunked into melted butter, which is another option you could do, but I prefer to just brush them generously.

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After brushing them GENEROUSLY with the butter, take the buttered side of each pretzel (the ones you’re making sugar/cinnamon with) and coat it with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

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Allow to cool slightly on a rack before serving, ENJOY!  😉

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Regular salted pretzels

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Cinnamon Sugar pretzels

 

Cinnamon Raisin Bread


I took a bread baking class yesterday, which inspired me to make these loaves of CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD this morning.  Although time consuming, they’re worth it.  There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh bread baking in your kitchen,  and when you have the aroma of fresh Cinnamon Raisin bread baking, and if you love cinnamon, they way I do; you’re gonna be in heaven.  It’s a satisfying feeling, knowing that YOU made that, I know, that every time I try a somewhat complicated recipe, there’s a satisfying feeling for me.  Give this recipe a try; make it on a weekend and enjoy the scents as it wakes up your whole family….. 😉

CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD

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BREAD PORTION:
3 3/4 cups Bread flour
1/3 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Non-fat Powdered Milk (I used Carnation)
1 Tbsp. RAPID rise Yeast
1 1/2 cups WARM water (I used warm water from the tap)
1 large Egg, room temperature and beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups Raisins, optional
1 stick UNSALTED Butter, softened and cut into cubes

FILLING:
1 cup Powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Egg, beaten (for glazing)

 

Begin by cutting the softened butter into cubes.  Measure out your bread flour into a large mixing bowl and remove 1 Tablespoon from it.  Sprinkle this 1 tablespoon of flour over the butter cubes and toss to coat.  Set this aside.

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Now, to the remaining bread flour in the mixing bowl; which I just used my stand mixer’s bowl for this, add the powdered milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of flour.  Using a large whisk, combine these ingredients together well.

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Using the mixer’s dough hook, add the water to the mixture and mix for about 5 minutes.  Add the beaten egg and continue to mix, making sure to incorporate the flour into the egg thoroughly, this usually takes about 3 – 5 minutes.

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Make sure to scrape down the sides often.  You should achieve a “sticky” dough. This usually takes about 3 – 5 minutes to come together, using the dough hook on somewhat a higher speed.  Once the dough has come together, DO NOT ADD any more flour!  It will be sticky!  Take a large piece of plastic wrap and cover the bowl, just leave it attached to the mixer because we’re not done with it.  Allow the dough to “rest” for about 20 minutes.  Make sure there is no draft in the area.

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After resting for 20 minutes, it should have risen just a bit; but still very sticky; as pictured to the left below.  Sprinkle in  the salt evenly over the dough and run the mixer on Medium Low, for about 8 – 10 minutes.  Dough should start pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

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Once this is done, add the butter cubes a few at a time.  Allow the machine to work the butter into the dough, beating it for about 5 more minutes or until a smooth dough forms; it will still be slightly sticky.  Add the raisins and work it into the dough

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Now, butter a large glass bowl and pour the dough into it.  The dough will be a bit hard to work with since it is slightly sticky, but if you butter your hands, it’ll allow you to work with the sticky dough easily.  Now turn the dough in the bowl, coating ALL sides.  Cover with a  piece of plastic wrap.

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Now, using a small baking pan, pour some hot boiling water into it and place it at the very bottom rack of the oven.  The steam it provides will help hydrate the dough and allow it to rise better.  Place the covered bowl of dough onto the middle rack and allow to rise and proof for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

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While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the ingredients together.  Stir and set aside.

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Now dust the counter top with additional bread flour.  Turn the dough out onto the floured surface, it will be sticky.  DO NOT KNEAD the dough into the flour.  This is only used to help prevent it from sticking.   Flip the dough over so that the other side is also coated in the flour.  Now with a serrated knife, using a back and forth motion, split the dough into half as pictured below.

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Working with only one half of the dough, with your fingers, spread the dough out flat as much as you can. Now take a rolling pin and using more flour (ONLY IF NEEDED TO PREVENT STICKING), roll the dough to about an 8 x 14-inch rectangle as pictured below.

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Now take the left side of the dough and fold it over half way, as pictured.  Do the same on the right side as pictured below.

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Now take one end and start rolling the dough towards the other end, as pictured below.

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Now, using your fingers again (these are very handy tools, lol) flatten the dough down slightly.  Then take your rolling pin and start rolling the dough out into another 8 x 14-inch rectangle.

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Now in order for the filling to stick to the dough, wash you hands in water.  Now, with the water left on your hands, rub it onto the dough, do not add more than that!  You just want to moisten the dough enough for the filling to adhere to it.  Sprinkle HALF the filling mixture over the dough covering up to the edges.

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Now, washing your hands again; sprinkle some water VERY LIGHTLY over the filling, just enough so that it’ll adhere to the dough when rolled, as pictured below.

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Starting with the SHORT end, roll the dough somewhat tightly, but not so much that the dough will crack.  Continue rolling until done, finishing with seam side down.  Once you’re done rolling, pinch or tuck the ends on the short side, so that it seals.  Do this very same process with the other half of the remaining dough.

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Now, using a serrated knife again, carefully cut the rolled dough into half again. Use a back and forth motion when cutting.  It’s alright if the cinnamon filling is exposed.

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Now you’ll end up with 2 separate sections.  Take one end of the dough and PINCH it together with one end of the other piece as pictured below.

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Now, flip the right side over the left side and continue doing this until you can’t do it anymore.  Somewhat of twisting them or swirling them together.

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Now pinch the ends to seal them so that they do not unravel.

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Generously grease two loaf pans with softened butter and place the bread into it.  Continue the process with the second loaf.  Now cover the loaves with a plastic wrap, loosely!  Place the pans into the oven to rise, make sure to leave the pan of hot water in the oven to steam and aid with the rising of the dough.  Allow the dough to rise and double for about 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours.

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Once the dough has risen beautifully, carefully remove it from the oven, allow it to continue to rise COVERED on the counter, while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Leave the pan of water at the bottom of the rack.  It will benefit the bread while baking.

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Once the oven has preheated, Beat one egg.  CAREFULLY remove the plastic wrap from the loaves making sure to not pull hard and disturb it or it will deflate!  Carefully, using a pastry brush, brush the egg over the bread.

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Now place the loaves into the middle rack, in the preheated oven, and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes.  Turn the pan around half way through the baking time for even browning.  Allow the bread to rest a bit before removing from the pans.  Cool completely on cooling rack.

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Yeast Raised Apple Cider Donuts


Nothing says FALL like hot Apple Cider……but how about screaming “IT’S FALL” with a fresh batch of Apple Cider Donuts?  Mmmm!

Fresh donuts dripping with it's apple cider glaze

Fresh donuts dripping with it’s apple cider glaze

DONUTS:
1 1/2 cups Apple Cider, warmed
2 pkgs. dry Yeast, Regular (not fast)
1/3 cup Butter, melted
2 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Whole Milk
6 – 7 cups All-purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground Allspice

GLAZE:
1/4 cup Apple Cider
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Powdered Sugar

In a small saucepan; add the apple cider and just heat until warmed, to the touch. Sprinkle in the packages of yeast and 1 tsp. Sugar. Stir this to combine and dissolve the yeast. Cover and set aside to rise until doubled.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir to combine well; set aside. In another larger mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, milk, and eggs. Mix this until combined well. Add the risen yeast mixture to the milk/egg mixture and mix to combine.

Add the flour mixture in increments, mixing well after each addition. After all the flour has been combined, it may be somewhat sticky, but shouldn’t be too bad. Place onto a floured surface and knead adding more flour as needed. The dough should be “SLIGHTLY” sticky, but not overly. You DO NOT want to add too much flour to try and achieve a bread dough consistency, otherwise you will get a tough donut. *THIS DOUGH WILL BE SLIGHTLY STICKY!

Return the dough to the bowl, cover and allow it to rise until doubled in size. Sprinkle some flour onto your counter surface, enough to cover the space when you roll out your dough. DO NOT KNEAD THE DOUGH. This is to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter when you get ready to fry them. Spread the dough out on the counter using your hands at first, then using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into about 1/2-inch thickness. Using something round, cut out your donut shapes and use something smaller to cut out the centers of each donut. I used a round biscuit cutter and a cake decorating tip to cut out the centers of mine.

Heat up enough oil to deep fry. Once the oil is heated, drop each donut down, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook them until they start to float to the top of pan, turn and brown on the other side. Cook them until golden in color, about 2 – 3 minutes total.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Make the glaze by combining all the ingredients, stirring to remove all lumps. Dip one side of the donuts into the glaze and allow to drain onto a cooling rack so that the glaze can drip off.

Dough will be slightly sticky....cover and allow to rise until doubled.

Dough will be slightly sticky….cover and allow to rise until doubled.

Do not overcrowd the pan.....

Do not overcrowd the pan…..

I usually cut out about 20 rounds....

I usually cut out about 20 rounds….

 

These donuts are best served on the day they’re made.  A variation would be to just toss them into a Sugar/Cinnamon mixture and serve.

HAPPY COOKING!