Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing

Carson and I are joining some friends for breakfast tomorrow morning so I wanted to take a special treat. This recipe has been in my "Want to Make" list for a long time now. I love pumpkin and I love cinnamon rolls so I just knew this was going to be a good recipe! They turned out fabulous! I hope our friends don't mind that one is missing, but I had to try it before I blogged about it right? I mean, it wasn't my fault...I had too! :) The are simply delicious and the recipe makes a very generous amount of caramel icing, which I don't think anyone will complain about. This is definitely a keeper!

Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing
Source: Recipe Girl

1/3 c. milk
2 T. butter
½ c. canned pumpkin
2 T. sugar
½ t. salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. bread flour

1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. melted butter

4 T. butter
½ c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. milk
¼ t. vanilla extract
dash of salt
½ to ¾ c. powdered sugar

1. Prepare rolls: In a small saucepan, heat milk and 2 Tbsp. butter just until warm (120 – 130°) and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly.

2. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with an electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flours. Add half of flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Beat mixture on low speed for 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Knead a few turns to form a smooth dough, sprinkling with enough additional flour to make dough easy to handle. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 12×10-inch rectangle.

4. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jelly-roll style. Pinch seam to seal. With a sharp serrated knife, gently cut roll into twelve 1-inch slices. Place rolls cut-side-up in greased 9-inch-square baking pan.

5. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls about 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool 10 to 15 minutes.

7. While rolls are cooling, prepare icing: In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cool over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Transfer to a small mixing vowl and cool mixture slightly. Stir in vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more powdered sugar for desired consistency.

8. Drizzle icing over warm rolls.

Yield: 12 rolls

Cooking Tips

*If you’d like to begin preparing these the night before… Follow directions through step four, cover and refrigerate overnight. Take out in the morning and continue with step 5.

**If you’re lacking a warm place for rising, use your oven. Turn on the oven light. Then set your oven to 400 degrees for one minute. Turn it OFF and then place your pan inside the warmed oven. Make sure you have turned off your oven!

Monday, April 12, 2010

WW Chocolate Cupcakes

I pulled this recipe out of the back of my recipe box today. This used to be one of my favorite recipes about 6 years ago when I went to Weight Watchers in an effort to get skinny for my wedding. (A successful effort I might add!) These cupcakes are so moist and yummy! They are a great way to get your chocolate fix for the day even if you're not watching your calories or counting points as they do in Weight Watchers.

Weight Watcher Chocolate Cupcakes
2 Points per Cupcake

1 box Devil's food cake
1 1/2 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. water

Stir together and pour into cupcake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cowboy Caviar

I laugh every time I hear the name of this recipe - I don't know why. I had never heard of such a thing until my friend, Barbie, introduced it to me a couple years ago. Now it's one of my favorite snack recipes. My son and I could sit outside and just munch on this all afternoon long! And I love that he always asks for seconds because it is loaded with veggies and beans.

Have any of you tried the new Tostitos Dipping Strips? They are fabulous and that's what we used to dip our Cowboy Caviar in today. Love them!!!

Cowboy Caviar

1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 c. Italian dressing
1/2 c. Wishbone Sweet and Spicy French dressing
2-3 T. chopped fresh cilantro OR 1 T. Dried
1 onion, chopped (I used 1/2 onion)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in fourths

Combine all, then add:
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Optional: Dash of tabasco and/or chopped jalepeno pepper

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Caramel Crunch Bars

Here is a dessert I made for Easter. They are called Caramel Crunch Bars and they are supposed to resemble Kit Kat bars. They turned out to be tasty little treats and the secret to the crunchiness is Club crackers! It was very easy to make and requires no baking which is fantastic on a hot spring day, like we had today!

Caramel Crunch Bars
Source: My Kitchen Cafe

*Makes one 9X13-inch pan of bars*

80 club crackers
1 c. butter
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 c. butterscotch morsels

Line an ungreased 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an extension of foil on either end. Line the foil with 1 layer of club crackers.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (Begin timing 5 minutes from when you see the first bubbles.) Remove from heat and spread half of butter mixture evenly over crackers. Place another single layer of crackers evenly over butter mixture. Spread remaining butter mixture evenly over crackers. Top evenly with remaining crackers.

In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), combine peanut butter, chocolate morsels, and butterscotch morsels. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over top of crackers. Cover, and chill for at least 2 hours. (I let it chill overnight.) Lift foil overhang and remove bars from pan. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

WARNING: They are addictive! Make sure you share with your friends; otherwise, you'll end up eating them all!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pink Lemonade Pie

This ice cream pie is a favorite of mine! An old friend and co-worker introduced it to me. It is so refreshing and perfect on a hot summer day (or any day if you ask me :) With only four ingredients, it is very easy to make. All you need is some time to let it set up in the freezer.

Pink Lemonade Pie

1/3 c. Country Time Pink Lemonade (powder form)
1/2 c. Water
8 oz. Tub of Cool Whip
2 c. Vanilla Ice Cream

Mix above ingredients together in mixing bowl (it is usually easier if you let sit for 10 minutes or so before mixing so the ice cream is soft). Pour mixture into Graham Cracker Pie Crust and freeze overnight.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mexican Spaghetti

Here's another blast from my past. This is a meal that my Mom used to cook for us kids all the time. I'm not exactly sure why it's called "Mexican" Spaghetti because there's not much about it that reminds me of authentic Mexican food - but whatever, it's good!!! Loaded with lots of veggies but covered in cheese so the kiddos will still eat it. :)

Mexican Spaghetti

1 lb. hamburger
1 small onion, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 garlic clove or garlic powder
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes (do NOT drain)
3/4 lb. shredded cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown hamburger, onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms, and green pepper. Drain grease. Add tomatoes. Simmer for 1 hour then add mushroom soup. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in boiling water, then drain. Gently stir together the pasta and meat mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Top with shredded cheese and put in 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted.