April 2013

Katie Parker

Creamy Caramel Crunch Rolls

This year I’m hosting both sets of moms for Mother’s Day brunch. My mom loves a variety—sweet and savory should both make an appearance…while my husband’s mom is a master baker and loves a tasty baked bite. To prep for the discerning tastes I’ve been experimenting with cinnamon rolls. And man, have I found a winner:

I want a fresh-from-the-oven batch that doesn’t take all morning so I was impressed that this recipe starts with frozen bread dough. It takes a little fussing, but you simply spread out your thawed dough to be the base of your rolls. I used white bread dough instead of the called-for sweet dough so it’s not over-the-top sugary:

Next up is the gooey topping. Your kitchen will smell divine with butter, cream, and brown sugar melting on the stove. I’ve decided I like this topping so much that it’s now my filling, too: I double the amount it calls for. Happiness is:

I pour half the melted mixture into the bottom of a prepared pan, then I add a few tablespoons of creamy peanut butter and melt it in the remaining caramel. This is now my filling. Drizzle onto your rolled-out bread, and, per the recipe, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon. I skip the peanuts but this would be their moment. Then get rolling and slicing! No photos here because my hands were a mess. I’m far from a perfectionist and these babies turn out a-OK anyway.

Time for baking! Pop them in the oven and watch them expand into fluffy rolls (Tip: I set a timer for 30 minutes, then put a piece of foil over the top for the last 10 to avoid over-browning):

 

They’re almost good enough to eat as-is, but you’ll want to flip them to get the ooey-gooey topping on, well, the top. I end up with a spatula-aided flip every time, but maybe you’re smoother than me:

I think my moms are going to love these!

Get the recipe here:

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/creamy-caramel-crunch-rolls/

 


Naomi Robinson

Lemon Macarons with Blackberry-Mascarpone Filling

Now I know many of you are looking at this and probably thinking—cute, but macarons are not for me. Well yes they are, because these cookies don’t deserve all the fuss they’ve been given. If this is going to be your first time making macarons, don’t sweat it–an imperfect batch of macaron is still a good tasting batch of macarons and one batch closer to being the right batch of macarons.

This Lemon Macaron recipe is written with volume measurements, so you won’t even need a scale.  Just remember to spoon the ingredients into your measuring cups and level it off, rather than using the scoop-and-level method. Along with that, here are a few more handy tips after you combine the wet and dry ingredients:

(1) Give the mixture a hardy 20-25 folds while smashing it against the side of the bowl with the folding spatula. Don’t worry about being gentle the idea is to knock the air out of it.

(2) A visual readiness is when the batter can hold its shape when spooned on itself and then start to slowly flatten out after about 15-20 seconds.

(3) If the macarons are cracking, place a second bake sheet directly underneath the one containing the macarons to diffuse the heat.

(4) Finally if the macarons are missing the feet, mostly likely you’ve over mixed.

Here are two minor tweaks I made to the recipe:

  • The finish – I added a simple glaze (1/4 cup powder sugar and 2 tablespoons water combined) and then sprinkled some rainbow sugar crystals on top.
  • The filling – I didn’t have an cranberries on hand, so I flipped the cranberry mascarpone to a blackberry filling by adding 11/2 tablespoon of blackberry jam and omitting the dried cranberries and red coloring.

Get the recipe here!

 


Beth Nervig

Best of the Blogs: Mexican Recipes

Can you believe it’s almost Cinco de Mayo? I know. It’s spring. Which means it’s almost summer. Which is crazy. But anyway, Cinco de Mayo. The perfect Americanized holiday to celebrate with delicious Mexican food and icy cold Margaritas. If you haven’t thought about what you’re making for Cinco de Mayo yet, these delicious blogger recipes from around the web might pique your interest.

1. While The Boys Club normally focuses on cocktails, I’m excited about what’s going on with this Tequila and Lime Marinated Steak. Sure, it’s not authentic Mexican, but it’s flavor combination of jalapenos, cilantro, and a Tequila marinade? Gotta try it.

2. The gals at Muy Bueno Cookbook know how to cook authentic Mexican food. In fact, their whole blog is devoted to it. So when they serve up Carne Asada Tacos, I know it’s gonna be good.

3. I can’t get enough kale. I love black beans. Which means these Veggie Enchiladas with Corn, Black Beans and Kale from Jelly Toast have gotta be a killer combination. Plus, I feel like anything with kale and black beans has gotta be kinda healthy right? Right.

4. Holy guacamole! I can’t wait to try this Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Guacamole from Joy the Baker. She had me at “pickled jalapeno.”

5. Are you feeling adventurous? Then you might want to try the Hibiscus Enchiladas from Love and Olive Oil. She uses dried hibiscus in place of meat for a memorable twist on a Mexican classic.

6. Yes, I’m a food editor, and yes, my favorite food happens to be nachos. I love them every which way, and these Party Nachos from What’s Gaby Cooking look right up my alley. She swapped out the chips for oven fries to create one hearty set of nachos.

8. No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without margaritas. So I dug back in the archives a bit to find this Citrus Margrita Spritzer from Skinnytaste. It’s got orange and a splash of club soda, and best of all, I might not feel quite so guilty about indulging in more than one.

9. If your flan recipe comes from a blog called Flanboyant Eats, then I would go ahead and guess you’re in for a treat. I’m not sure which part of this Nutella with Graham Cracker Caramel Flan sounds more delicious, but I can’t think of a tastier way to enjoy a classic Mexican dessert.

10. I know for a fact that this recipe for Faux Fried Ice Cream from Taste and Tell is awesome. I tried a similar recipe last summer, and had one of those “OMG this is as good as restaurant fried ice cream!” moments.

 


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Broiled Citrus Salad

Hello, and happy Spring from The Forest Feast! Since I have more citrus than I know what to do with these days, inspired by this Fresh Citrus Salad, I thought I’d try something different by broiling the fruit. A couple minutes in the oven adds a nice smoky, caramelized flavor that is great with the cheese and mint. This is an easy dish to make ahead if you’re hosting a dinner party. Enjoy!

Broiled Citrus Salad with Feta and Mint

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Peel the citrus and slice into rounds. Leave the white pith- it helps keep the citrus in tact when cooking. Lay out citrus rounds on an oiled baking sheet.

2. Broil the citrus on high for approximately 5 minutes. Depending on your oven, this could be quicker or slower, so watch it closely every 30 seconds. Take it out when the edges of the fruit is just slightly tinged dark brown.

3. Let the fruit cool 5 minutes then move each citrus round with a spatula to a platter. Sprinkle with the feta, mint, olive oil and salt. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

 

The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, colorful vegetable based recipes with photos and watercolor illustration. After working for many years as a food photographer in NYC, Erin moved to a cabin in the woods where she is currently working on The Forest Feast Cookbook. Follow Erin on Twitter and  Instagram, @theforestfeast.


Kristin Porter

in-season eats: Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes

Can cupcakes be considered health food if they’re chock-full of vitamins, vegetables, and fresh fruit juice? I’d like to think so. Especially when they’re as cute and poppable (read: impossible to eat just one) as Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes!

Packed with shredded carrot and sweet mango juice, Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes are a fun and sunny take on classic carrot cake. That signature orange hue from freshly shredded carrots is pumped up by the addition of fresh mango juice, or a mango juice blend, which can be found at nearly every grocery store these days. Smooth and tropical-tasting, mango juice is an excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of Vitamin C, too.

Bonus: mangos and carrots are both in season right now, which means they taste superbly sweet and fresh in this dessert. That being said, the cupcakes aren’t overly sugary-tasting, and almost have the consistency of really moist cornbread. Totally a trip from the ordinary.

Ok, ok, these babies are still technically considered dessert, and have the indulgent, cream cheese frosting swirled on top to prove it, but I like to think their portion-controlled size and addition of a few fresh ingredients make them a great, healthier option to serve at parties or for kids.

The original recipe for Mini Mango-Carrot Cupcakes is for a full-sized layer cake, so I simply scooped the batter into lined mini muffin tins and baked at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

However you make it, enjoy this yummy, springtime dessert!

Click here for the Mango Carrot Cake recipe >


Delish Dish Editor

Artichoke and Tomato Pasta

Hi it’s Beth again, assistant food editor for bhg.com, and I have a confession to make. I love pasta. I love that it’s always quick, always delicious, and easy to throw together. So when I saw this Artichoke and Tomato Pasta recipe from the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I knew I had to try it. Since it uses  ingredients I already had in my cupboard – canned tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, and pasta – I didn’t even have to go out and buy any groceries. Which is awesome especially when you’re trying to throw together a quick meal on a Monday night and don’t want to have to make that extra trip to the store.

The prep for this recipe was seriously a breeze. I cooked the pasta while I put together the sauce which included sweet onion, garlic, tomatoes, chopped artichoke and just a dash of salt and pepper. In the world of  homemade pasta sauce, the simpler, the better in my book.

Also, I may have used a little more Parmesan cheese than the recipe called for, but then again I tend to lose all self-control when I’m around Parmesan. A few fresh basil leaves finished off this simple twist on plain old spaghetti. I used fettucine noodles and liked how they really held up the chunky tomato sauce.

And that’s it! In minutes, I had a satisfying pasta dinner that I will definitely be making over and over again on those busy weeknights when you just want something quick and delicious. Get the recipe here!