Garlic butter breadsticks

*tap tap*

Is this thing on?

I’m so sorry for my absence of late. I’ve been a little pregnant, you see (throws confetti).  And while this is awesome and nothing short of a miracle, I’ve been rocking the kind of symptoms that have left me avoiding the kitchen like the plague. But there’s starting to be a teensy light at the end of the tunnel, and this week I actually cooked something. I did not, I’m afraid, take pictures of it. Baby steps. So to speak.

ANYWAY.

These are a knockoff of Olive Garden’s bread sticks; I found the recipe in an old Food Network magazine. They have the yum.

Garlic butter breadsticks

Ingredients

For the dough:
    • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 4 1/4 cups AP flour
    • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp salt
For the topping:
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of dried oregano

Instructions

Make the dough:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer bowl till dough forms (this will take about five minutes), then knead with the hook attachment for about 2 minutes, or by hand for about three minutes or until very smooth
  2. Roll into a 2-foot long log, then cut into 16 pieces (just cut the log, then logs in half over and over till you have 16 pieces; measuring is for the birds), and place these 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper; cover with a cloth and let them rise until doubled. The original recipe said this would take 45 minutes, but with my A/C cranking it took more like 2 hours, which is fine — just watch for them to get nice and puffy
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F while you melt the butter for the topping
  4. Brush the breadsticks with about half the butter then sprinkle on the salt
  5. Bake until very lightly golden, about 12-15 minutes, while you combine the garlic powder and oregano; pull the breadsticks out and brush them with the butter, then sprinkle on the garlic/oregano mixture

Enjoy!

Unholey clementine bagels

They’re not biscuits. I promise.

They’re bagels, but without holes. Get it? Unholey? I’ll be here till Thursday!

No, seriously. No holes = more surface area for cream cheese. That’s a total win in my book.

I had a couple bags of clementine puree in the freezer left over from the Cutie Cakes so I decided to see if I could work them into bagels. Batch #2 was a success! Batch #1 involved dead yeast. D’oh. Anyhoo, work these up like super simple bagels:

Unholey clementine bagels

Ingredients

For the overnight starter:
    • 2 1/8 oz bread flour (I actually used AP flour for the starter and it was fine)
    • 2 oz. cool water
    • a pinch of yeast
Add the next day:
  • 12 oz clementine puree* (or 10 ounces clementine and 2 ounces water)
  • 18 oz flour (bread flour would be great)
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Let the starter sit, covered, overnight at room temperature
  2. Add the remaining ingredients the next morning
  3. Knead, knead, knead, especially if you’re using bread flour. When it’s lovely and smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes in a stand mixer) then let it rise for about an hour; punch it down and let it rise again for another 30 minutes
  4. Transfer to a work surface (I use a silicone mat) and either divide into equal pieces, or roll out and cut out with a biscuit cutter if you’re doing the unholey version; cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425F and get a large pot of water boiling
  5. At the end of 30 minutes drop the bagels four at a time into boiling water, cooking for 1 minute on the first side, then flipping and boiling for three more minutes, then bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re nicely browned

Notes

Need a refresher on clementine puree? Put five clementines in a pot and pour in enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil then cook at somewhere between a simmer and a boil for two hours; drain and cool, then halve the clementines and run them through a food processor (the whole fruit, peel and everything) until you have a smooth puree. Easy!

Enjoy!

Yeast rolls

My sister accused me of stealing these from Logan’s and passing them off as my own. They are that yummy. This is, of course, a King Arthur Flour recipe; can you ever go wrong with those? I think not.

Yeast rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast; I use instant/bread machine yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cups AP flour (12 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Instructions

  1. If you use anything but instant yeast then quit it; it’s too high maintenance. I kid! Mostly. Not really. No, but if you’re using non-instant yeast dissolve it in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar and let it sit for 15 minutes; otherwise go to step two
  2. Combine all ingredients and knead together in a stand mixer for about six or seven minutes on the second speed; the dough should clean the sides of the bowl and probably stick a little on the bottom; you don’t want it too dry
  3. Let the dough rise, covered, in a lightly greased bowl at room temperature until it’s just about doubled; this will probably take about an hour but make sure you give it enough time to get nice and puffy
  4. When dough is puffy lightly grease two 9″ round pans (I use a pie plate) or a 9×13″ pan with butter, then gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a silicone mat or a lightly greased cookie sheet to work with it; cut into 16 roughly even pieces
  5. Shape each piece into a ball, pulling the dough down to the bottom of the ball so it makes a tight skin around itself; place eight rolls in each pie/cake pan or all in the big pan spacing them out as evenly as possible (they won’t be touching at this point), then cover with lightly greased plastic wrap
  6. Preheat the oven to 350, and let the rolls rise at room temperature till they’re all nice and puffy and touching each other, filling out the pan
  7. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until they’re nice and golden brown on the top; remove from oven and top with butter if you’re feeling particularly decadent (I clearly was) and let them cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Or your mouth (I kid — too hot! For a minute anyway)

I must add: if you’ve never had one of these for breakfast the next morning spread with Nutella, you’re just not really living.

Cornbread taco pie

A few months back I tried to make something out of an old cookbook of my mama’s; it was similar to this but used polenta and unseasoned ground beef. It was… dismal. So last night I decided to make up my own version. Success! SO tasty and good gravy it smelled amazing. The Yankee ate three helpings for supper; this counts as a thumbs-up, no?

Cornbread taco pie

Ingredients

  • One pound ground beef
  • One packet taco seasoning
  • Water
  • One cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • One box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a deep skillet (I obviously used cast iron) brown up and drain the ground beef; add in taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water and let it simmer (i.e. follow directions on taco seasoning packet)
  3. Mix up Jiffy cornbread according to package directions, but use two eggs instead of one to give yourself a little extra batter
  4. Turn off the heat under the ground beef and sprinkle on shredded cheese; spread cornbread batter over the top and bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned on top

That’s it! This is perfect for a quick fall supper that tastes like you put hours of work into it. So warm and filling without you actually having to stand over the stove forever and a day. What’s not to love?

Disclaimer: Jiffy cornbread does not know that I exist; I just love the stuff.

Krispy Kreme chocolate cake

Kiddo’s Aunt Burgle came in town for her birthday this year. Party! We always make Krispy Kreme bread pudding when she’s here but I wanted to up the ante a bit with some chocolate and some icing, it being her birthday and all. Want to try it yourself? Break out your fat pants!

Krispy Kreme chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • 18 chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donuts (a bit stale if you can stand to let them sit around), cut into chunks
  • Six eggs
  • 2 cans condensed milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • a Bundt pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a very large bowl thoroughly beat eggs and whisk in salt and condensed milk; stir in donut chunks and let sit for 15 minutes or so, stirring periodically
  3. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or use an oil-plus-flour spray) and pour donut mixture in; bake for 45 minutes or until set
  4. Toward the end of cooking time make the icing: melt butter in a saucepan and stir in cocoa powder till completely combined; remove from heat and whisk in milk and vanilla, then powdered sugar; keep warm over low heat till needed
  5. Cool cake in pan for ten minutes, then turn onto a plate or rack; immediately pour still-hot icing over top
  6. Reconsider your ban on elastic waist pants