Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Day Thanksgiving Challenge

November 11, 2010
Today I am thankful for my country.  For the freedoms that we have and the privileges that we get to enjoy.  I am also thankful for those who serve to protect that freedom.  I have family and friends who have served or are serving - thank you for your sacrifice.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

One of our holiday traditions is to have homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.  This is something that Darryl did growing up so we have kept that with our own family.  I will admit, until this year, I have always cheated.  You know, rolls in the tube or from the freezer.  This year, though, I wanted to find a recipe that would become "ours" so I tested out a recipe this weekend from Food Network and they were great!  I wanted to share it with you!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls



4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray


8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons


2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups


For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Instead of mixing in the bowl - I added the ingredients, in order, to my bread machine and let it do the work.  It turned out perfectly.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately

I guess I forgot to take a picture of the rolls actually iced!.  These were really good and I will be making them for Christmas morning!  Using the bread machine REALLY was nice - it really make these easy.  Plus I like that they are made the day before and only baked in the morning.  Less stress on Christmas morning!

Stuffed Crust Chicken Alfredo Pizza

We have two homemade pizza's that we love - Stuffed Crust Pizza and Chicken Alfredo Pizza.  Darryl requested I combine them so I did.  It was a perfect combination!


¼  cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1-1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pizza crust
String cheese
10 large fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
6 green onions, sliced diagonally, including tops
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
½ pound bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces, cooked until crisp
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Step 1
 Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.  Add the whipping cream and bring to a boil, stirring continuously for 5 minutes (and yes, set your timer and really do this step or it won't turn out!)  Than, add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat; stir until the cheese is melted.
The crust
 Allowing the sauce to cool (it will help it thicken slightly), make your crust.  I use a Pillsbury pizza crust but you could make your own.  Stretch it out on your pan, lay string cheese along the edges.  Than roll the dough over the cheese tucking it securely so the cheese won't leak out while it cooks.  (This is the hardest step!) 
The Sauce
Spread the sauce evenly on the crust.  As a side note, I usually put some crushed garlic on my crust too but that is a matter of taste.
The Spinach
 Than, lay the spinach leaves on top of the sauce.  If you really hate spinach, you could leave this step out but this is how I justify that the pizza is "healthy" LOL
The Toppings
 Add the bacon (cooked previously) and the shredded chicken (cooked previously), green onions and both the Swiss and mozzarella cheese.  This is one of the rare times that I actually measure my cheeses - it is a rich pizza without any extra cheese!
The finished Product
Cook the pizza at 450 degrees for 15 minutes until brown and bubbly.  Isn't it pretty??? 

You could do the stuffed crust with regular pizza sauce, your choice of toppings and mozzarella cheese or leave off the "stuffed" part and just make a chicken Alfredo pizza! 

Enjoy :-)