Category: sweet

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Honey Mustard Sauce (with Chicken)

Though the source recipe is focused on the chicken, the best takeaway on this dish was the sauce. Seriously, it was amazing. My first bite took me back to a Superbowl party with a Chick-Fil-A chicken tray. I kept the sauce leftovers and poured it over salad the next day.

Honey Dijon Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup dijon mustard

4 tablespoons spicy mustard – I used brown

salt & pepper

1. Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add olive oil. Pat and press chicken with paper towels so it is very, very dry. Season with salt and pepper generously. Add chicken to skillet and brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes each, depending on the thickness.

2. In a bowl, combine honey and both mustards. Whisk well. Taste, adjust to heat/sweet preferences.

3. Remove chicken and while it is still hot, brush on mustard.  Serve!

Impress-Your-Guests Chocolate Bundt Cake

This easy breezy chocolate cake is a total hit. Every time. Everywhere. With everyone.

I first sampled this delectable happiness when a friend made it for bookclub. She, in turn, says, “I got the recipe from my Aunt. She makes it for special occasions. It is probably a cake doctor recipe from 10 years ago. It’s always a hit with chocolate fans!”

IngredientsImage

1- Devil’s food cake mix (make sure it does not already have pudding in the mix)
1- 5.9 oz pkg chocolate pudding (if you can only find the 3.9 oz, that’s fine, just reduce the bake time 5 minutes)
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup regular or light sour cream
12 oz semi-sweet mini morsel chocolate chips (you can use regular chips but the minis distribute a bit more evenly)

Directions
Mix the first five ingredients together. Stir in the chips and mix another minute or so. Pour batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before inverting and removing the cake from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Ooh and ahh. 

Saying the word “bundt” brings to mind this vignette from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPvO53JHnmY 

Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies (Take 1)

I’ve decided – for no particular reason – that 2014 is the year of making oatmeal creme pies. I started with this recipe from Cooking Classy, and made a few minor tweaks as a newbie to this realm of cookie sandwiches. I don’t know how they managed to make these in 25 minutes, as it took me 2 hours, but the end result is pretty impressive. And by that I mean that the creme filling made unicorns cry tears of joy. I will never make another frosting again.

In the words of the Birthday Boy & Official Taste-tester, “Seriously, it is so damn good. You nailed it, hun.”

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
3 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening (unflavored)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 TBS molasses
2 large eggs (or egg product)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract

Marshmallow Buttercream Filling
1/2 cup butter, nearly at room temperature
1/4 cup shortening (unflavored)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
7 oz. marshmallow creme

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip together butter, shortening, sugar and molasses on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in eggs, mixing until combine after each addition. Mix in vanilla and almond extract. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

2. Scoop dough out about 2 Tbsp at a time and drop on cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Depending on size, you can fit 6-9 per sheet. Bake in preheated oven 10 – 12 minutes. Cookies should still be soft, not fully set – don’t over bake. My oven runs hot so I pulled them out at 9 minutes, since 11 minutes made a batch of crunchy granola bars.

3. Allow to cool several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool completely then spread marshmallow buttercream filling along bottom side of one cookie and sandwich to the bottom side of another cookie. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

4. To make the marshmallow buttercream filling:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer  or hand mixer (not an immersion blender, folks), whip butter and shortening on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add powdered sugar and blend on low-speed until combined, then increase speed to medium-high and whip for 1 minutes. Mix in marshmallow creme and taste. Try not to keel over in drooling bliss. 

The cookies are good, but not enough of an improvement over the classic Quaker Oats recipe that I’d say you have to use this recipe.  For Take 2, I’m looking at these Oatmeal Buttercream Pies. Any other recipe suggestions?

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Kudos to the bakers over at Food52 for crafting this delicious recipe. I made these on Christmas morning, and though they take a fair amount of time to create and more than enough calories, the flavors make for a celebration. Plus, did you notice they use pumpkin? My pursuit to teach the world that pumpkin is more than a fall food continues.

I learned a couple things that will make my next batch even better:

  • Adjust the oven down 25 degrees for a glass pan.
  • Measure the icing ingredients.
  • Clementine zest and juice are not culinary equivalents to orange zest and juice.
  • Despite my insistence that it didn’t matter, sifting powdered sugar is actually important.
  • This recipe makes two pans of rolls.

INGREDIENTS

Post cutting and ready to rise for a second time!

Dough
2 TBS tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, warmed but not boiling
4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 TBS salt
4 TBS butter softened
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream cheese

Filling
1 cup  brown sugar
1/2 cup  butter
2 TBS ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp orange zest

Icing
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3 TBS orange juice — measure this, trust me

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the yeast and the warm milk and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine the flour, sugar, spices and salt. Add in the eggs, pumpkin puree, and yeast mixture. Mix until just combined, then add the butter. Mix the dough until well combined, then knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough will stick to the bottom of the bowl, but resist the temptation to add more flour.

3. Transfer the dough to a clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 1-½ hours at a warm room temperature.

4. When the dough is almost finished rising, prepare the filling by browning the butter in a skillet until it is golden and toasty. Let the butter cool slightly then combine it with the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Prepare two, 8 or 9-inch baking pans by buttering or oiling them generously.

5. After the dough has risen, transfer it to a well floured surface and pat the dough into a 12-inch square. Break up the cream cheese and gently spread it on top of the dough, being careful not to tear the dough. Fold the dough into thirds, starting from the bottom so the cream cheese is completely sealed inside of the dough. Then roll the dough into a roughly 16-inch by 20-inch rectangle with the long side facing you, dust off any excess flour with a pastry brush.

6. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the top. Starting from the bottom, gently roll the dough into a log. Use a serrated knife and use very, very gentle and even pressure to cut the log into generous 1-inch slices. Gently place the cut rolls into the prepared pans, cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, 1-1 ½ hours. TIP: If you’d like to freeze some rolls to bake off at a later date, now is a good time to do it. Wrap the pan in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil and freeze. To bake, let the frozen rolls come to room temperature and complete their final rise before baking.

7. Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake the rolls preheat your oven to 350º. Bake the rolls until they are cooked through and lightly golden, 20-25 minutes. NOTE: If you’re using a glass pan, adjust the oven to 325º and watch carefully, as glass transfers more heat and will take longer to cool down once out of the oven.

8. While they are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking the cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange juice, and a tiny pinch of salt together until smooth. It won’t be smooth if you don’t sift the sugar. I know, it’s an extra step but worth it! Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes before glazing and digging in. Be judicious with the glaze, a little goes a long way.

These were good, and can be even better. I’ll try out the wisdom gained on batch #2, which is chilling in the freezer until a special occasion arises.

Winter White Cosmopolitan

Thanks to Bonefish Grill, I have a new favorite holiday drink: winter white cosmopolitan. I tossed back two of these and could happily have finished an entire pitcher.

TIP: Don’t skimp on the shaking and martini glass presentation –  the icy chill makes this drink sparkle.

Ingredients
2 oz. cranberry vodka
2 oz. white cranberry juice
.75 oz Cointreau
1 oz. sweetened lime juice (mixture of lime juice and simple syrup)
3-4 raw cranberries, for garnish

Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add cranberry juice, vodka, Cointreau and lime juice. Shake to combine well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with 3-4 cranberries.

Verdict: Dangerously delicious

Skinny Sloppy Joe’s

I’m craving big, bold flavors right now. No mansy-pansy olive oil and parsley for this chicka. I stumbled on this recipe for Hungry Girl Broccoli Slaw and saw an opportunity. Veggies + ground turkey + BBQ sauce  = a sloppy joe!

Ingredients
12-oz. bag (4 cups) dry, prechopped coleslaw, broccoli slaw if you can find it
1 pound ground turkey
8 oz marinara sauce, pizza sauce or tomato sauce
Bottle of favorite BBQ sauce – I used Weber Molasses Sauce
1/2 cup vinegar – I used a combo of rice and balsamic
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
buns for serving

Instructions:
1. Combine chicken broth and bag of coleslaw in a large pot. Set over low-medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to soften. Don’t wilt it; you want some crunch left.
2. While the coleslaw softens, cook the ground turkey in a skillet with salt and pepper.
3. Add the marinara sauce, onion powder, 1/2 the bottle of BBQ sauce and 1/4 cup of vinegar to the coleslaw mix. Stir, and let simmer 5-10 minutes to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust. TIP: I used a lot of vinegar since the sauce was so sweet, but this will vary based on your preferences. Add remaining tomato sauce and BBQ sauce to taste.
4. Add the cooked, ground turkey to the BBQ coleslaw pot. Stir to combine. Simmer another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust.
5. Spoon the mixture onto your bun and nosh! Keep the paper towels handy, and don’t eat this while wearing a while shirt.

I liked how easy this was, and how the half-meat, half-veggie filling offered a way to get more greens in the diet. Even my meat-lover bf thought they were a hit, eating 3 skinny joe’s to prove it! Oh, and this paired well with Yeungling Light beer.