Monday, January 31, 2011

Turtle Brownies

Plate is from Home A La Mode (Be sure to see below for a special offer from Home A La Mode!)

The other night, my husband requested some kind of a chocolate dessert.  Then he said, "Mmmmm make those dark chocolate brownies!"  Just a side note, there aren't many things sexier than a man who loves and appreciates chocolate!  ;-)  Unfortunately, I went to my pantry and realized that I was out of powdered sugar to make the icing. :-( Then I started thinking about what else I could top the brownies with and thought, "Duh!  Turtles!" So I got online and found a recipe for caramel topping on cdkitchen.  I couldn't wait for my chewy gooey brownies!  Turns out, they were a huge success.  James and I ate them until we were grossed out with ourselves.  The recipe makes a ton (OK, not a ton...but 3 cups) of caramel so I was able to save some of it and make more turtle brownies for the Bible study that meets at our house.  Trust me on this, you will NOT be disappointed.      

Turtle Brownies
Prep Time: 25 Minutes; Cook Time: 25 Minutes; Ready in 50 minutes; Serves 16

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Grease and flour and 8 inch square pan.
  • In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter.  Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder.  Spread batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.  Do not overcook.
  • While brownies are baking, prepare the caramel topping. (recipe below)
  • Pour 1 - 1 1/2 cups of caramel over the brownies.  
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips (I used minis) & chopped pecans.
  • Allow to cool about 5-10 minutes and serve!  (A scoop of ice cream wouldn't hurt.) ;-)

Caramel Topping
Cook time <30 minutes Makes 3 cups
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup Karo syrup (It doesn't have high fructose corn syrup any more!)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Combine sugar and syrup. Cook until soft ball stage (220-225°), stirring until it begins to boil. Remove from heat. 
  • Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Wouldn't these brownies (or anything for that matter) look so cute sitting on this tablecloth?!  What a fun Valentines treat!  Until Sunday, Feb. 6, Home A La Mode is offering 10% off of this tablecloth exclusively to At Home With Haley readers!!!  Could you just scream?!  Just add the tablecloth to your cart and at check out, add the coupon code HALEY10 in the space provided and click on the "apply" button.  Thanks to Home A La Mode for offering such a great deal to my readers.  ♥ 



Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's Random Thoughts / Confessions

On At Home With Haley, I typically don't do any posts about my thoughts unless it's about what I'm baking.  But I figured, why not?  Maybe it will help those of you that don't know me in real life get to know me a little better.  So here are my random thoughts and confessions of the day.


  1. I have been hand washing my dishes this whole week because I don't want to go to the store to buy dish washing detergent.
  2. I {heart} scuba diving...a lot.  Since I got pregnant with Hannah, I haven't been able to go.  =(  It is imperative that I blow some bubbles this year.
  3. My husband and I are using Dave Ramsey's debt snowball plan to pay down our debts.  10 more months to go!
  4. My house looks like a pig's sty because I have spent too much time playing with my kiddos and playing on the internet this week.  (I know, sad but true...not the playing with kids part...the internet part.)
  5. I'm itching to bake today, but am not going to have enough time.  (Um hello...too much internet)   

So knowing these things both good & bad...Do you still love me? =)



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


Our family has tried really hard to rid hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrups out of our diet.  Every now and then, we still have something with it in it...but I'm still not happy about it when it happens.  ;-)  Unfortunately, they put that junk in so many items that you would never think of.  One of those items is bread.  If your family is anything like ours, you go through a lot of bread.  My 4 year old asks for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 3 meals a day.  He doesn't get it, but he asks.  My 6 year old takes a sandwich almost every day to school.  My husband eats sandwiches at lunch while he's at work.  I think you get the picture.  There's a lot of bread being eaten at my house.  With all of that bread, that's a lot of high fructose corn syrup.  *Bleck!*  I know that you can buy preservative & corn syrup free bread at the store, but it's not cheap!  So, being that I'm kind of a cheap person (the truth hurts) I decided to make my own!  

I'm afraid I can't really credit this recipe to anyone.  I have adapted it from multiple sources.  There's probably 100 other recipes just like it...but I don't know what they are.  The fun thing about it is that you can do anything to it to make it your own.  =)  Feel free to take out ingredients, add to it if you like, or even adjust the flour ratios.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread - Yields 2 loaves
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour    
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted (if using salted butter, omit 1 tsp salt)
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cups warm milk or water  (105°F)
Optional:
1/4 cup ground wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seeds

In large bowl or mixer bowl, stir warm milk (or water), melted butter, honey, and yeast.  Allow to sit about 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy. Add flours, salt, and optional ingredients.  Knead mixture by hand on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes or in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes until dough is soft and pliable.  If it is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.  If it is too dry, add a teaspoon of milk or water at a time.  The proportions may vary depending on your climate.

Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl then flip the dough bottom side up to lightly coat the dough with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  If your home is too cold, you can turn your oven on for 1 minute then turn it off and place the bowl in the oven.

Remove dough from bowl and divide it in half.  Roll each half into a rectangle about 10" x 14".  Starting with the 10" side, roll the dough up, pinching together as you go to make a log.  Pinch all seams together with moist fingers.  Fold ends under and place dough seams down in a well greased bread pan.  Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.  

Bake in preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes.  Remove from pans and place on a cooling rack.  Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.       

Enjoy!!!






Recipes I Can't Wait to Try! #14

There were 19 yummy recipes linked up last week!  They all look soooo delicious.  I am so excited about all the new recipes to try.  *insert big goofy grin here*  It's no secret to my regular readers that I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  So for this weeks featured recipe I can't wait to try is from Amy at uTry.it.  It is a orange angel food cake with chocolate drizzled over the top.  It not only sounds wonderful, but her photos are beautiful!  I have serious photography envy right now.  Thanks for linking up everyone!
Photo is property of uTry.it                          



Orange Angel Food Cake at uTry.it

















Now let's see some Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!  Link up your yummy recipes & fun crafts!  My request is that you please link back to me in some way and say, "Hi!" to another party goer!  Everyone loves getting a new comment, so show some love!  =)  Also, this week I've made it a blog hop, so feel free to add it to your own blog.  Enjoy!



If you were featured, feel free (but not pressured) [=)] to grab my button!
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Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recipes I Can't Wait to Try! #13

Wooohooo!  Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!!!  I swear, every week the recipes keep getting better!  At my house we are really into breakfast foods.  So when I saw the Buerge Breakfast Ring, I knew that I had found a recipe I couldn't wait to try!  It's like a casserole, but prettier!

Photo is property of Life's Sweeter with Chocolate


Buerge Breakfast Ring at Life's Sweeter with Chocolate















Now let's see some Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!  Link up your yummy recipes & fun crafts!  My request is that you please link back to me in some way and say, "Hi!" to another party goer!  Everyone loves getting a new comment, so show some love!  =)  Also, this week I've made it a blog hop, so feel free to add it to your own blog.  Enjoy!


If you were featured, feel free (but not pressured) [=)] to grab my button!

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Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Klobasnek (Sausage in a Roll)

A while back, I posted a recipe for Kolaches.  Kolaches are a Czech sweet roll with a fruit or cream cheese filling.  I don't know if there are enough ways to say that these are DELICIOUS!  In that post, I went on a crazy rant (I do that sometimes) about how sometimes people will give you a "kolache" with a sausage.  (Donut shops are the worst offender of this heinous crime.)  This is NOT a kolache.  The correct term would be a klobasnek.  In English, we usually say "pig in a blanket".  The difference is that a "pig in a blanket" is typically more of a flaky biscuit dough wrapped around a cocktail sausage whereas a klobasnek is a typical yeasted roll around bigger sausage.  The key to making a good klobasnek is the sausage you use.  People put a variety of different sausages in their klobasnek, like stuffed cheese, stuffed cheese & jalapeƱo, or just a typical sausage.  Most Czechs would probably scoff at the ones I made because I used a Hillshire Farm sausage.  I'm afraid the type I used is escaping my memory and they don't have them listed on their website.  Seriously?!  (I knew I should have written it down.)  Anyway, they are found near the smoked sausage links.  They are bigger than cocktail sausages, but smaller than their bun sized sausages and come in packages of 12.  I'm thinking they are about 3-4" in length.  They are the perfect size for this recipe and you will need 2 packages.  For the bread, I used the same recipe as the Perfect Dinner Rolls.  These can be used as breakfast or snacks.  I'm considering taking them to a Super Bowl party.  Trust me on this...you will NOT be disappointed!

*Edit*  I discovered why Hillshire Farm doesn't have the sausages I used on their website.  Um...it's because the sausages I used are Eckrich brand.  *insert sheepish smile here*  They are called Eckrich Smok-Y-links.  

Klobasnek
2 - 12 count packages of Hillshire Farm sausages (see above for a better description)

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup, then leveled off


In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour - on low speed with the paddle attachment incorporate the flour to create a wet, sticky mixture. Still on low speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and incorporate. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 cup flour. On low speed, mix the dough to incorporate the final addition of flour until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl - turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 -30 minutes.  These steps can also be done by hand.  You do not have to have a mixer for this recipe.  

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate into a rectangle. Cut it in half vertically, then each half vertically again into thirds so you have 6 equal strips of dough. Cut each strip of dough into fourths by cutting horizontally to make 24 little squares of dough.


Take a square of dough into the palm of your hand then wrap it around a sausage leaving the ends of the sausage exposed.  Pinch the seams tightly and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Cover the klobasneks in the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise to double while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) - about 20 minutes. If you want an even more golden color to the rolls, brush them with a little melted butter before baking. Bake for 13-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipes I Can't Wait to Try! #12

Yay!  It's that time of the week again!  Last week y'all posted some of the most delicious looking recipes!!!  My mouth is watering just thinking about all of them.  I am very much a meat eater, but I do love a good vegetarian dish now and then.  When I saw these tamales at Veggie Converter, I knew that I had found something that I can't wait to try!

Photo is property of Veggie Converter



Vegetarian Corn and Black Bean Tamales @ Veggie Converter


















Now let's see some Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!  Link up your yummy recipes & fun crafts!  My request is that you please link back to me in some way and say, "Hi!" to another party goer!  Everyone loves getting a new comment, so show some love!  =)  Also, this week I've made it a blog hop, so feel free to add it to your own blog.  Enjoy!


If you were featured, feel free (but not pressured) [=)] to grab my button!
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Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Perfect Dinner Rolls


Since I started making bread, I have searched for the perfect dinner roll recipe.  I have made several that were good, but none that I was in love with.  On Thanksgiving, I offered to bring the rolls to my in laws house and found a Golden Corral copycat.  They smelled so good, we sat down, prayed for the good Lord to bless our food, we reached in and grabbed a few.  The results?  Well...not Golden Corral rolls.  Boo!  As a matter of fact, they had to have been the worst rolls I've ever made.  I was so annoyed with myself for not trying them before we went.  I just assumed that they would be good to go.  From that day, I decided that I was going to find the best roll recipe.  A girl's gotta redeem herself somehow.  Anyway, I was playing on the internet the other day and found Holly at Phe.MOM.enon.  As of this week, Holly is my new favorite person.   She posted the most delicious recipe back in November of '09.  To think that it's been there all this time and I never knew it.  Well, my friends, you too can make some yummy rolls!  Another great thing about them is that they are food allergy friendly, no eggs or milk.  =)  Holly has on her blog that they are 1 Bowl, 1 Hour, Perfect Dinner Rolls.  For me, it was 1 bowl...but not quite 1 hour.  It's not because it can't be done in 1 hour.  It's because I'm slow. =)  It took a little closer to 2 hours for me.  Granted that the weather is so cold and it took a little longer for the rolls to rise than what Holly said it should.  The following is the recipe word for word from Holly at Phe.MOM.enon.  My tips will be posted below the recipe.



Perfect Dinner Rolls


1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup, then leveled off

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour - on low speed with the paddle attachment incorporate the flour to create a wet, sticky mixture. Still on low speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and incorporate. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 cup flour. On low speed, mix the dough to incorporate the final addition of flour until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the speed to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl - turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 -30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate into a rectangle. Cut it in half vertically, then each half vertically again into thirds so you have 6 equal strips of dough. Cut each strip of dough into fourths by cutting horizontally to make 24 little squares of dough. Take each piece of dough and cup it lightly under the palm of your hand on a clean surface. Press lightly and start rotating and rolling the dough ball quickly so that it forms a nice little ball of dough. Once you get some practice, you can do this with both hands at the same time and really speed up the process.

Place each rolled piece of dough into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan in rows of 4 about 1/2-inch apart. Cover the rolls in the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise to double while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) - about 20 minutes. If you want an even more golden color to the rolls, brush them with a little melted butter before baking. Bake for 13-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!

My tips for this recipe:
  • I doubled the amount of sugar in this recipe.  I like my rolls sweet. =)
  • A honey butter glaze would be nice on these rolls too.
  • My KitchenAid stand mixer says to not use the dough hook past speed #2...so I never turned mine on to medium.  I was nervous about doing that.  
  • There's nothing else to tip...these are perfect!


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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recipes I Can't Wait to Try! #11

Welcome back to Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!!!  Oh my, I feel so bad that I haven't kept up with this during December.  Does having good intentions count?  *crossing fingers*  Anyway, the last Recipes I Can't Wait to Try was on November 24!  Ack!  During that linky party waaaay back when...I begged my long time friend, April, to link up her $100 Cheeseball...and she did!  I haven't tried it yet, but I will!  It looks so good!  So thanks April for sharing your delicious recipe with us!

Photo is property of April's House


  $100 Cheeseball at April's House


















Now let's see some Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!  Link up your yummy recipes & fun crafts!  My request is that you please link back to me in some way and say, "Hi!" to another party goer!  Everyone loves getting a new comment, so show some love!  =)  Also, this week I've made it a blog hop, so feel free to add it to your own blog.  Enjoy!


If you were featured, feel free (but not pressured) [=)] to grab my button!
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Cookies




Yet again, please excuse my absence.  I honestly meant to update this blog through the holidays...but wow-y were we busy!  My husband took off of work the last 2 weeks of December and I spent all of my free time with him.  It was so nice!  I miss him something terrible now that he is back at work.  Please don't forget to come back and link up tomorrow on Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!!!  Anyway, here's the newest recipe for you! =)


Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Cookies...what a mouth full!  But honestly, I didn't know what else to call them.  I went to a cookie exchange and wanted to find some kind of "Christmas-y" cookies.  I spent a while online and looking through my trusty Betty Crocker's New Cookbook trying to find what I wanted to make.  I found a snickerdoodle recipe.  Yummm. Then I got back online and found the Oatmeal Cookie Blog.  If you haven't ever checked it out, you should!  He has some super yummy looking recipes!  Anyway, while I was searching through his site, I found recipes for stuffed cookies.  That's right, they had me at, "Hello."  Anyway, I started thinking...what if I combined his technique for stuffing with a snickerdoodle?  So I went on a limb and tried it.  The result?  A soft, cinnamon, sugar, cream cheese, cookie, yummy goodness!  Just try it...I triple dog dare you! ;-)

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Cookies

Snickerdoodles -
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cream cheese filling - (Taken from Oatmeal Cookie Blog - Golden Girls Cookies)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

  • Watch this video:



  • Mix the cream cheese filling and set to the side.  
  • Prepare the Snickerdoodles -
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, and eggs in large bowl.  Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and                  salt.
  3. Mix the 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a small bowl and set to the side.
  4. Shape dough into two 2-inch balls.  Flatten each one like in the video.  Apply your filling to one flattened ball with your method of choice.  Greg @ The Oatmeal Cookie Blog spoons his filling into the cookie.  I took the advice from one of his readers and piped the filling in using a zip lock bag.  (If you would like a tip on putting the mixture in the bag...check this out.)
  5. Take the other flattened ball and "sandwich" the two with the filling in the middle.  Pinch the edges together (like a ravioli) then gently & slowly roll the ball between your palms until it is smooth and round.  The dough will be fragile and will probably crack open every now and then.  Just take a pinch a of dough and apply it over the crack like a band aid.  (you will need to wash off your hands between each cookie or the dough will start to stick to your hands.)
  6. Roll the ball into the cinnamon and sugar mixture then place on a freezer safe plate.
  7. Continue with #'s 4-6 until your plate is full.
  8. Place the plate in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  
  9. Remove from the freezer and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  
  10. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set.  Remove from cookie sheet.  cool on wire rack.



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