Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jana's Cinnamon Rolls

When we lived in Arizona I went to a great Relief Society meeting that taught us about making breads.  We learned how to make dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and more!!!  I took notes on my handouts and was so excited to learn some tricks from some great women!  Our bishop's wife, who was also my visiting teacher taught the session on cinnamon rolls.  This recipe is for quick and easy cinnamon rolls and I'd like to share it with you sisters!

Jana starts with a recipe for Relief Society Rolls and then the fun starts!

Relief Society Rolls

1 3/4 C warm water
1/2 C oil
3T. Yeast
3/4 C sugar (you can do less, I usually do 1/2 C)

Mix the above ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.  It will get all bubbly, which is what you want so you know your yeast is active and working well!

Add:
3 C flour
then:
2 Eggs
then:
2 C flour and 1 tsp salt

Mix these, you don't need to do a lot of kneading.  Just mix it until the dough is smooth. Cover and let dough rise for 10 minutes.  If you just want to make dinner rolls, you can roll them out or shape as you would like for rolls.

to make Cinnamon Rolls....

Filling
Combine:
1 C brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 C melted butter

Divide the dough in half.  Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to form a rectangle (dough should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick).  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Try to use as little flour as you can just to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.  You still want the dough to be slightly tacky so it will seal well. Brush the dough with more melted butter then top with the filling.  Roll up on the long edge of the dough to form a long log.  Pinch the dough to seal the edges.  Cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Our favorite way to do this is with unflavored dental floss!  Slip the floss under the log cross and pull to slice the roll.  Place rolls on greased cookie sheets for big single cinnamon rolls, if you want pull-apart cinnamon rolls, put them in a greased 9X13 pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 15-20 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Take the rolls out of the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, while you put together the glaze for the top!

Glaze
Mix together: 
2 T softened butter
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar to desired consistency. 

Once the rolls have cooled for about 5 minutes (or more - but you still want the rolls to be nice and warm), top them with the glaze.  I put about a teaspoon full on each roll and then add more if needed. 

This is a fun and easy recipe that goes from start to eat in under 1 1/2 hours.  Most of the time is waiting for baking and raising, but it makes for a great Sunday afternoon activity!



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Ok, girls!  If you have never made Freezer Jam...you need to try this out!  Strawberry Freezer Jam is seriously so good!  I love making cooked jams at the end of the summer, but for some reason, I really don't like cooked Strawberry Jam but I do love freezer jam!  The first time I tried this was when we lived in Arizona.  I thought I could have died and gone to heaven!  Now it is an annual tradition.  Here are a couple things I love about making freezer jam.  It always seems that we are on just about our last jar of cooked jam when beautiful strawberries come to the grocery store, so I can still have homemade jam through the summer.  Freezer jam is fast and very easy to do as well.  I can start and finish within an hour!  This jam is delicious on pancakes, sandwiches, toast, crepes...you name it!!!

Here's your list for the grocery store:

Strawberries - 2 pints
Sugar - you are going to need 5 cups (I didn't say this was healthy, I just said it was good!)
Pectin - 1 box
Freezer containers - about 5-1 Cup containers


So...let's talk pectin.  There are a few brands out there.  In general, I have used MCP or SureJell for all of my jam making.  They are reliable brands that are easy to find here in Idaho!  For freezer jam, I personally prefer Sure Jell... (sorry the picture is turned...I can't figure out how to change that.  Anyway...here's your picture for reference. 


Inside your box of pectin you will find directions on how to use that brand to make freezer jam, I will follow the sure-jell directions for this post.  I have tried freezer jam with MCP, but I just prefer the way this one turns out.

So...take out your instructions and the packet of pectin.  Open up the instructions and just follow along to make the jam.  Next you need to wash your strawberries.  I just set the package on top of a folded towel and put them right next to my cutting board.


Take the stems off your strawberries and cut in half.  Use the best looking strawberries and avoid using berries that are over-ripe. 
Next you need to mash your berries.  You can do it with a potato masher, but I use my food processor.  Here I differ just slightly from the instructions.  They instruct you to make sure not to puree your strawberries if you are using a food processor, but I pretty much do just that.  I do not like stringy bits of strawberry in my jam (using ripe berries really helps this). I pulse them in the food processor until they are chopped quite fine, like I said...almost purred.  I usually just use the first pint of strawberries in the processor first.  Then measure the amount of chopped berries.  You want to get exactly 2 cups of chopped berries.  This usually does not take the full 2 pints (which is nice because you can be picky about what berries you use).  When you have 2 cups of berries,  measure 5 cups of sugar into a separate bowl.  Then mix the two together and stir the sugar into the berries.  I try to do this until there are no clumps of sugar.  Let the berries and sugar sit for about 10 minutes.  Stir every once in a while. 


If you haven't taken the time to get your containers ready, this is the time!!!  After 10 minutes are up, you will combine the pectin packet and 3/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan.  It will look something like this...



Turn the heat on high and bring the pectin and water to a boil, stir as you are getting to the boil and get a timer set for 1 minute that you can start as soon as you reach a boil.  When it is boiling turn your timer on and stir continuously for 1 minute.  Your pectin will look something like this when you are boiling...


Take the pectin off the stove and add it to your berries and sugar.  Then stir for about 3 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and there is no graininess left.  Your jam will start to look smooth and shiny!!!  Now all that is left is putting your yummy jam into those containers. Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch of space between the jam and the top of the container so that when it freezes and expands it won't leak out of your container.  The container with the yellow lid will be going right into the fridge for us to enjoy now!

Let your jam get all set by leaving it out on the counter for 24 hours.  Then put it in the freezer to enjoy another day! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ok Sisters!  I keep wanting to post recipes here that are in cookbooks or on the internet and I feel funny doing it because (especially in the case of a cookbook), I am worried about copyright laws, so what I have decided to do is...if I make something from one of these places that is great, I will take a picture and link you to the recipe so you can get it right from the horse's mouth! :)  Does that sound fair, right and legal??

Today, being Valentine's Day, I got to make a fun treat for little Mr. D's first grade class.  I wanted to make something that was fun, but not fussy!  So, I checked my pinterest board and found something that I had pinned probably last year.  Sugar Cookie Bars!


You can find the recipe over at High Heels & Grills.  I followed her instructions and then added decorations to my hearts content.  I sprinkled red sugar, sugar hearts, conversation hearts, jelly beans, valentines candy corns, and red hots over the top.  It was so fun because it was the joy of sugar cookies - the decorating and deliciousness - without the pain of rolling out and cutting cookies.  And, yes, they taste quite yummy if I do say so myself!

Happy V-Day girls!  Love ya!!!