Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Cookie Dough Filled Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve been craving a good cinnamon roll for weeks!  Even after visiting Great Harvest and Kneaders, who both make wonderful cinnamon rolls, I held strong and resisted the temptation. (Don’t interpret that as meaning I didn’t replace the craving with another yummy treat).  But today I had an excuse to finally give in to the cinnamon rolls.  Our family had to “ghost” 2 homes in our neighborhood. Do you know what that is or is it just a Utah thing? Basically, you leave a treat on the doorstep, ring the bell and run for your life so you don’t get caught. There’s a poem printed on a ghost that is left with the treat telling that person it is now their turn to deliver a Halloween treat without being caught. This is one of those designated “dad jobs” to run with the kids as I drive the getaway car.  As silly as it seems, it really is pretty fun! So, I guess this post will rat us out if either of the families we delivered to happens to check my blog, but I think we are safe!
I was really torn as to whether or not I should risk putting this twist on the cinnamon rolls I’ve craved for so long, but I just couldn’t NOT try it.  I was afraid they would turn out way too sweet or just not seem right. It was not a mistake! Even with the glaze, I found them to be perfectly sweet and not “gaggy-sweet” at all. In fact, next time I make them I’m going to use even MORE cookie dough inside, but of course you can always take these the traditional route and leave it out.

Cookie Dough Filled Cinnamon Rolls              makes about 21

2 cups whole milk (I used 1 C. half and half, 1 C. 1% milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
melted butter
Mix the milk, sugar and oil in a large pot. Scald (scalding tutorial here) the mixture, then let cool for one hour. When it has cooled (but is still slightly warm), sprinkle the yeast into the milk mixture and let it sit for a minute. Add four cups (additional 1/2 C. to be used later) of flour and mix until a dough forms, then cover and let rise for at least one hour.
After an hour, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, baking soda and powder and mix. Making sure the dough completely comes together. Flour your work space and roll the dough with a rolling pin until it’s thin and somewhat rectangular, then brush with melted butter (as much as you want - I used about 1/4 C. ) and generously cover with cinnamon and sugar. Drops balls of your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough (here's the recipe I used) all over the cinnamon roll dough, then starting with the long end away from you, roll the dough into a line towards you. Slice the rolls about 1 inch thick and lay in pans (I used aluminum 9 inch cake pans) that have been brushed with melted butter. Let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly and drizzle with the following glaze.
Glaze Recipe:
1 heaping cup of powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used all half and half without adding milk)
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
Add sugar to bowl and stir in heavy cream and vanilla until mixture resembles a thick batter. Add milk one tablespoon at a time, stirring until smooth – about 3-5 full minutes. Mixture may look lumpy at first but just continue to stir and it will come together.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Roasted Eggplant Dip/Spread

Roasted Eggplant Dip

As I’ve mentioned a few times in past posts, my family loves dips, so I’m always on the look-out for a new recipe to try. I’ve had this one in my “to try” file for probably a few years and finally decided to give it a whirl. Although I loved how healthy the recipe sounded, I was a little skeptical as to how tasty it would actually be without cream cheese or mayo that’s typically found in dips. Roasting the veggies gives them a great creaminess once processed so I didn’t miss the cream cheese at all! This is a truly healthy dip that you can eat a lot of before feeling any guilt : )

Roasted Eggplant Dip
Recipe from Taste of Home 2007

1 Medium Eggplant, cut into 1" pieces
2 medium Red Peppers, diced into 1" pieces
1 Small Red Onion, diced into 1" pieces
2 Cloves Garlic, minced or garlic powder to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp. Water (if needed)
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese, optional

Place cut up veggies onto rimmed sheet pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix around until well covered with oil. Place in preheated 400 F oven for 45-55 minutes, until browned and soft. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Place into food processor with the tomato paste. Process until fairly smooth with a few small chunks remaining. Drizzle in water if needed for consistency. Place in bowl and bring to room temperature. Top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired and serve with crackers or spread on a sandwich.