Cranberry Orange Scrolls

Winter is here, and it’s here in full effect. Although I can do without the snow and freezing temperatures, there is something awe-inspiring about watching the seasons transition and the changes they bring. I enjoy buying produce seasonally, and this was the first time I bought fresh cranberries. I stumbled upon this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and I’ve been on a roll (pun intended) making these scrolls!

The marriage between cranberries and oranges is a match made in heaven, and the cranberries, when baked, dot the dough like gorgeous little rubies!

 

CranberryOrangeScrolls

 

Cranberry Orange Scrolls

(Overnight)

Yield: 12 Scrolls

Ingredients:

For Dough:

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • Zest of 1 orange, divided
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

For Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, pulsed into a course crumb in the food processor (not fully pureed)
  • Orange zest from above

For Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange juice or milk

Directions:

Make Dough:

In the bowl of a mixer, combine buttermilk, butter, sugar, egg yolks, whole egg, and ¾ of the orange zest together. Add 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt, and mix until evenly moistened. Add remaining 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until soft and not overly sticky, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow the dough to double in size, about 2 to 3 hours.

Assemble Buns:

Lightly grease two 9-inch pans or a 9”x13” pan. Set aside.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 12”x18”. Spread the melted butter evenly over the surface, followed by the brown sugar, pulsed cranberries, and remaining orange zest.

Starting with the longer side, gently roll into a log. Lightly pinch the seams together to seal. Using a knife, gently cut the log into 12 sections. Place the scrolls cut-side up in the prepared pans. Cover, refrigerate, and allow them to rise overnight, up to 16 hours.

Remove scrolls from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Make Icing:

In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar and orange juice or milk together until smooth and no lumps remain. Drizzle over warm scrolls.

New York Cheesecake (…and some musings)

I know this is a food blog, and maybe I shouldn’t be delving into these things, but I’ve had a lot on my mind lately…

As we all know, the political climate in America (and around the globe) has been burning hot. Things were simmering for quite some time, but the simmer has erupted into a full boil and is threatening to spill over.

Here in the States, we are looking into the face of a xenophobic, islamophobic, racist, hate-mongering, modern day fascist. The Republican frontrunner (?!) has brought out a very nasty side of our fellow Americans. I am so disappointed and saddened by the way my countrymen have responded to these times of trials and tribulations. Instead of coming together and supporting one another, we are being torn apart.

Places of worship are being desecrated, Muslims are being harassed in the streets and their schools, Muslim women are being targeted for wearing their religious head covering.

People that we grew up with, who know us, are responding to us with vitriol. I just feel so hurt and disappointed.

You guys, we are one. We bleed the same blood. Don’t let hate drive a wedge between us. We are better than that.

***

Cheesecake is something that I’ve been struggling with and wanting to conquer for quite some time. The last time I attempted making a standard cheesecake was in Spring 2013, when my father and mother were visiting. My Papa was a fan of cheesecake, and it was for him that I attempted to take a shot at it. The crust was slightly burnt and super soggy, and the surface was majorly cracked, but my dad savored and relished each bite.

This time around, I made sure to do my research before I got started. I went through and read about various tips and techniques, and I also reached out to the Cheesecake Queen herself, Faaiza of Modest Munchies, for some pointers (take a look at her impressive roundup of cheesecakes!). The following are techniques that will ensure you get the perfect cheesecake:

  • Be sure to grease your pan! Most recipes don’t call for the springform pan to be greased, but to help prevent cracking, make sure you’re greasing the sides. The science behind it is that as the cheesecake cools, it contracts inwards. If the sides aren’t greased, the cake will stick to the sides and crack as it contracts.
  • Use room temperature cream cheese and eggs.
  • After the cream cheese has been mixed well with the sugar, swap out your mixer/whisk for a mixing spoon and gently mix the remaining ingredients. Do not overmix!
  • Once you’ve poured the batter into the pan, tap the pan on the counter a few times. This helps release any air bubbles that could potentially lead to crackage (awesome tip from Faaiza!).
  • Low and slow baking is the way to go! Skip the water bath, and bake according to the directions on the recipe. Once the time is up, turn off the heat, and allow the cheesecake to cool down in the oven itself. The point behind this is that it allows the cheesecake to cool slowly, thus avoiding abrupt temperature changes, and eventual cracks.
  • If all else fails, cover that baby up with some fruit or whipped cream and call it a day 🙂

(Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.)

 

NewYorkCheesecake

New York Cheesecake

Yield: 1 9-inch Cake

Ingredients:

For Cheesecake:

  • 15 leaves graham crackers, crushed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds (4 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Make Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside a greased 9-inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer mixture to prepared springform pan, and press the crumbs onto the bottom. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and whisk until smooth. Using a mixing spoon, add whipping cream and mix until just combined. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring only until combined. Add sour cream, all-purpose flour, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into springform pan and tap on the counter a few times to release any air pockets.

Bake for 70 minutes, and then turn off the oven. Allow the cake to cool in the oven, without opening the door, for 6 to 8 hours. Transfer to fridge and chill until ready to serve, at least 4 hours.

Make Topping:

Combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly over chilled cheesecake.

Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread (Overnight)

Friendy McFriends! So sorry for being out of the loop for so long! Everything has been running smoothly, I’ve just been wrapped up in a few commitments. I know, that’s no excuse, and I’m sorry for totally disappearing. I’m feeling a surge of motivation, and I’ve got a slew of fun things to share with you 🙂

About today’s recipe- I saw Asiya post this fabulous Cheesy Jalapeno Bread recipe some time back and haven’t been able to get it out of my head! I’m a total carby, and can survive on just cheese and bread (although that probably wouldn’t help in my odds of “surviving” for very long LOL). The dough can be thrown together in no time, and is delicious on its own, but even better when it’s sliced, toasted, and slathered with cream cheese 🙂

JalapenoCheeseArtisanBreadPic

Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread

(Overnight)

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

For Bread:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cheese (Monterey jack, Cheddar, or Colby), diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
  • 1 ½ cups water, lukewarm

For Topping:

  • 1 ounce cheese, shredded (¼ cup)
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin

Directions:

The night prior to baking the bread, in a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt.   Add cheese and jalapeno and stir to coat. Add water and stir until evenly combined (dough will be very wet and sticky), cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise overnight, 12 to 18 hours. Do not refrigerate.

The following morning, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a dutch oven or oven-safe casserole dish, with the lid on, into the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, shape into a ball, and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Once the dish has been heated, pick up the dough using the parchment paper and place it directly into the baking dish (with the paper). Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the cheese and jalapeno (that were set aside for topping) over the top of the loaf. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 10 to 15 minutes.

Overnight Yeasted Waffles

I’m not really a Black Friday shopper, but this past year I was in line before the stores opened in the hopes of landing myself a waffle iron!  I had been lusting over homemade waffle recipes, and the only thing stopping me from trying them was the lack of an actual waffle maker.  So long story short, I got myself one and I was on the road to waffley-happiness 🙂

This recipe is one that yields a wonderfully structured waffle.  It’s nice because it is prepped overnight, and the batter keeps well in the refrigerator for several days as well.  This recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, so it’s bound to yield amazing results 🙂

OvernightYeastWafflesPic

Yeasted Waffles

(Overnight)

Yield:  4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water, warm
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 2 cups milk, warm
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Pour water into the bottom of a very large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast on top and allow it to dissolve and foam for 15 minutes.  Stir in milk, butter, sugar, and flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow the bowl to sit on the counter overnight.

The next morning, whisk in eggs and baking soda.

Preheat waffle iron and lightly grease with melted butter or oil.  Pour in batter in ½ to ¾ cup increments and cook according to manufacturer instructions.

Waffles can be kept crisp in a warm oven until needed.  Batter keeps well in refrigerator for several days as well.

Oatmeal Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to get your fill without over indulging.  I love to start my days off with a fresh smoothie, and lately I’ve been getting my fill with a delicious grapefruit/citrusy smoothie (recipe coming soon!), and this Oatmeal Banana Smoothie.  Adding oats to a smoothie not only gives it thickness, but they also are an excellent source of protein, iron, and fiber.

If you prefer the gritty texture of blended oats, then this drink is for you.  If you, like me, aren’t too fond of chunky beverages, then a good trick is to soak the oats in the milk overnight (in the refrigerator).  This softens the oats and makes them easier to blend as well.

Enjoy!

OatmealBananaSmoothiePic

Oatmeal Banana Smoothie

Yield:  1 Serving

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 banana
  • Pinch of cinnamon, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Note:  If a thinner consistency is preferred, combine oats and milk and refrigerate overnight.  The overnight soak will soften the oats and the resulting smoothie will be of a thinner consistency.