Sunday, January 31, 2010

Caramel Sticky Rolls

I decided to have a Sunday morning brunch at my house this morning. My sister and her kids, and my dad came over for coffee, orange juice and rolls. These rolls are soooooooo good. And so easy to make. This is  a nice pull apart breakfast bread.

Caramel Sticky Rolls

3 tubes of biscuits (30 biscuits total), cut each biscuit in half
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together. This is going to make more than you'll actually use by about half. It's best to have more than you need for easier coating. Grease a bundt pan, one without a removable bottom. Coat each biscuit half in the sugar mixture and place cut side down into the pan. Set pan aside.
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Small saucepan: Cook both the sugars and butter on medium/medium-high heat until the mixture comes just to a boil. Add the ice cream and stir until it is completely melted and mixed in. I used Breyers no sugar added Vanilla ice cream. So, low-fat doesn't matter. Pour this mixture over the rolls. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Invert the pan onto a wider rimmed plate. Serve immediately.
Yum Yum! I hope you enjoy this. It is super easy to make.

Daring Bakers January 2010 - Nanaimo Bars (gluten free)

Our challenge this month was to be an ode to Canada and the Olympics. And if I haven't mentioned it yet, I am going to the Olympics on February 15th. I am so excited! So this challenge was especially fun to try. I have never made homemade graham crackers, let alone gluten free.These are super delicious! I would definitely recommend cutting the bars into 16 servings. Reason: they are rich bars and you don't want to eat more than that in one setting. Though it is tempting, these are not low-fat bars.
The recipe below is presented as it was on The Daring Bakers website.

"The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and"

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.
Nanaimo Bars
For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar
For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
Additional Information:
These bars freeze very well, so don’t be afraid to pop some into the freezer.
The graham wafers may be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Mine lasted about that long.
If making the graham crackers with wheat, replace the gluten-free flours (tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, and sorghum flour) with 2 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose wheat flour, or wheat pastry flour. Watch the wheat-based graham wafers very closely in the oven, as they bake faster than the gluten-free ones, sometimes only 12 minutes.
For the Nanaimo Bars, if making with wheat, replace the gluten-free graham wafer crumbs with equal parts wheat graham wafer crumbs!

I omitted the almonds and coconut in the bottom layer, because I do not like them in this type of dessert. I'm sure for those who like them, it would delicious in it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Challenge #1 - January: month of the Sauces

This should be a fairly easy challenge to start things off. Please post your comments and/or link to your finished challenge post.

Tomato Sauce
4 servings

9 ounces canned tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes that have been peeled
pinch of sugar
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
10 fresh basil leaves, torn
salt to taste

Use a small sauce pan. Add the tomatoes along with the can liquid to the pan. Add the sugar, garlic and salt. Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes if using fresh tomatoes (45 minutes if using the canned tomatoes). Do not be tempted to stir during this time. Use a wooden spoon, and mash the tomatoes. Remove the pan from the stove and let cool, Stir in the olive oil and then add the basil leaves. This is best served with spaghetti.
I used 4 tomatoes. Take a large saucepan and fill it about 3/4 full of water. Bring the water to a boil. Put the tomatoes in the water and keep them in there just until the skins start to split apart. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and put them into a large bowl of cold water. This makes it really easy to remove the skin. Remove the center part of the tomatoes and any bad spots and proceed with the recipe as directed above.
The result was pretty tasty. I had to let the sauce cook for a while longer to get it down to a thicker consistency.

The Year of 'The Silver Spoon' Challenge (Italian Cooking At Its Best)

I have finally decided to create a monthly cooking challenge to last approximately one year. The goal: to make one recipe per month from "The Silver Spoon" cookbook, Phaidon Press. The one thing about this book, being a translated version of the original, the actual instructions on how to make the food leaves something to be desired. So, that leads me to the next point. I will only be including the actual recipe amounts and ingredients, the rest will be my interpretation of the actual instruction part of the recipe. I hope that this is something that not only I will for sure be participating in, but also anyone who wants to join in. It will be a lot of fun to share my story on how I handle each challenge and to compare to any other brave souls who try to do so as well. So please, I encourage you all, to join in and try something new!
There will be a link to this challenge in my labels section, titled "Silver Spoon".
The Rules:
There will be approximately 12 challenges for the year 2010.
One and only one recipe will be completed each month.
Every month, starting this January, the new challenge recipe will be posted on the 15 of each month, unless otherwise noted in a post.
Posting is to be completed by the 14th of the following month. I am hoping one month is long enough to complete each challenge.
Please feel free to post your completed challenge on your own blog, or other venue, and place a link in a reply to the Challenge post on my blog. You can just copy and paste the URL where you have posted. That way everyone who reads here can join in the fun. If you would rather just post a comment upon completing the challenge, that's great too. I would love to hear how it went, and to compare notes with everyone. And pictures of the challenge are more than welcome.
You can try 1 challenge, or try all 12, as I hope you do!
Coming up...Challenge #1

Friday, January 8, 2010


I have a project I have been thinking about doing for a while, thus why I have not been posting lately. Soon, very soon, you'll find out what i'm up to. An announcement will be posted on January 15th, 2010 going over the details of what is to happen. (I'll have to narrow down my options before then, so i'll be working very hard on this and hope to see you on the 15th!) I also hope for help on this, you'll find out why, and I hope its fun for you and me!