Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Prior to last weekend, I had only made falafel from the boxed mixes at the store. I had never even thought of making it myself until I saw this recipe. It contained the perfect amount of ingredients and tasted wonderful individually and with pita bread. I absolutely loved the end result!

14 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 shallot, cut in half
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup bulgur wheat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
canola oil
pita bread

Place the chickpeas, shallot, parsley, salt, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Pulse until just combined.

Sprinkle the baking powder, bulgur wheat, and flour over the chickpea mixture in the food processor and pulse until well combined. If the dough does not come together add a small amount of bulgur wheat or flour. Place this mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. 
Heat about 1/2-inch of canola oil in a large skillet. To test if the oil is hot enough, flick a few drops of water into the pan. If it sizzles, the oil is ready for frying.
While the oil is heating, form the falafel into small balls. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Once cooked, place on paper towels to drain and serve with pita bread.
Source: Crepes of Wrath

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

I started making these last weekend before I realized how many rolls this recipe made. I ended up with 4 pans of cinnamon rolls. I packed the first pan more tightly than the other 3, which rose more in the oven and ended up tasting better.

The original frosting recipe was for maple frosting, but I ended up substituting the maple flavoring with vanilla extract and omitting the brewed coffee. These were amazing!

for the rolls:
1 quart milk
1 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
9 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping tablespoon salt
plenty of unsalted butter, melted (about 2 cups)
2 cups granulated sugar
plenty of ground cinnamon

for the frosting:
1 bag (2 pounds) confectioner's sugar
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Bring the milk, oil, and sugar just below a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Set aside and allow to cool until warm. Sprinkle the yeast over this mixture and let sit for 1 minute.
Add 8 cups of the flour and stir until just combined. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot for 1 hour.
Remove the towel and add the remaining 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Divide the dough in half. Roll one half into a 10x30-inch rectangle on a floured surface.
Pour 3/4-1 cup of butter on the rectangle of dough. Spread with your fingers until it is evenly distributed across the dough. Generously sprinkle some of the ground cinnamon on top of the butter, followed by the sugar. Adjust the amounts of butter, cinnamon, and sugar as needed.
Beginning with the farthest edge from you, roll the dough in a long log towards you. Make sure you keep the roll tight. Pinch the ends together and the seam to the rest of the log.
Cut the log into 1/2-inch slices and placed in a buttered cake pan. Don't pack the rolls into the pans tightly; provide space for the rolls to grow a little more.
Repeat with the 2nd half of dough. 
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the pans with kitchen towels and allow to sit at least 20 minutes before baking 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Next, make the frosting. Whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup milk, unsalted butter, and salt. Lastly, add the vanilla extract. Adjust the amounts of ingredients as needed until a thick, pourable frosting is achieved. Pour this on the cinnamon rolls. 
Source: The Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pita Chips

After making pita bread that turned out to be hard, firm, dry, and disgusting, I made these pita chips, which were crunchy and delicious.

I only made salted ones, but I'm sure they would be delicious with a cinnamon sugar or cheese topping!

3 pitas, cut into wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut into 4 pieces

Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 375˚F. 
Place the pita wedges on a baking sheet. Combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the pita chips with the olive oil mixture. Transfer the pita wedges to the preheated pizza stones and bake for about 15 minutes.
Source: Food Network

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Garlic Breadsticks

Soft and delicious!

for the breadsticks: 
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons warm water 
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt

for the topping: 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon oregano

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside. 
Place 1/4 cup of the warm water in a the bowl of a stand mixer.  Sprinkle in the yeast and allow to dissolve for 5 minutes.
After it has dissolved, add the flour, softened unsalted butter, sugar, salt, and 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons water. Mix with a paddle attachment until the ingredients are just combined. Switch to a dough hook and mix until a sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until soft, about 3 minutes.

Divide into 2 pieces and make 1 foot logs out of each of the pieces. Further divide each of the logs into 8 1 1/2-inch long pieces.

Roll out each piece into a 7-inch long breadstick and place on one of the prepared sheets.
Repeat with the other 15 pieces. Cover each sheet with a cloth and allow to rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
While baking, combine the salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Once baked, brush the breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.
Source: Food Network

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Pretzel Rods

Perfect for any holiday!

The M and M rods were my favorite...

10 ounce bag pretzel rods
24 ounces almond bark
1 ounce chocolate almond bark
red, pink, and white M and M's
pink food coloring

Line a baking sheet with parchment and place a wire rack on top.
Melt the almond bark. Take a pretzel rod, drizzle the almond bark over it, lightly shake off the dripping excess, and place on wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the rods.
If you are making an M&M rod, place the M&M's on the rods with the melted almond bark. You want to do this before the almond bark hardens so the M&M's will stick.
Once you are finished making all of the M&M rods you want, tint the almond bark with a small amount of pink food coloring so that it is a light pink. Drizzle this on top of the rods that don't have M&M's. Once you have finished drizzling all of the rods, tint the bark with a little more of the coloring for a slightly darker pink, drizzle, and repeat until you have achieved dark pink bark and no more is left to drizzle.Then, melt the chocolate almond bark. Drizzle on all of the rods.
If the almond bark hardens at any time, place in the microwave for a couple of seconds.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cinnamon Scones

These are even better when enjoyed with chai tea or coffee.

for the topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons heavy cream

for the scones: 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1 cup cinnamon chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
First, make the topping. Combine the sugar, ground cinnamon, and heavy cream in a bowl. Combine with your fingers. Set aside.
Next, make the scones. Stir together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the butter and combine with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cinnamon chips.
Whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Add this to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Turn onto a clean surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disk with a rolling pin. Cut into wedges, transfer to prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving. 
Source: The Pioneer Woman

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Soft Pretzels

Pretzels are best the day made, warm from the oven.

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon table salt 
1 heaping tablespoon baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
pretzel salt

Stir the sugar and warm water together. Add the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes.
Whisk together the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes to make a smooth and sticky dough.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot (the sun is great) for 45 minutes.
Turn out dough on a clean surface and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll 1 piece into a 24-inch rope, twist into a pretzel shape, and place on a cookie sheet with oiled parchment. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a 6-quart pot of water to a boil. When it starts to boil, add the baking soda. Carefully add 2 pretzels, one at a time, to the pot of water and cook until pretzels are set and puffed, about 3 minutes. Place bake on parchment.
Brush pretzels with the egg and top with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Source: Joy the Baker


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