Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Easter Tradition: Bunny Rolls

When the kids were little, I stumbled on a recipe for making bunny-shaped rolls in Gourmet magazine. Since then, I've made Honey Glazed Bunny Rolls every Easter we celebrate. Try them; they are wonderful.

Honey-Glazed Bunny Rolls
Gourmet  | April 1995
 Makes 12 Rolls

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • a 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 12 dried currants, halved
In a small saucepan, heat milk with honey, stirring, over low heat just until lukewarm and remove pan from heat. Stir in yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add butter and yolks, whisking until combined well.
Transfer milk mixture to bowl of a standing electric mixer (or to a large bowl, if kneading by hand). Add flour and salt gradually to milk mixture, stirring until incorporated. With dough hook, knead dough until smooth, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, dough may be kneaded by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth, 10 to 15 minutes.)
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Let dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in refrigerator overnight, or until doubled in bulk. (Alternatively, dough may be allowed to rise in a warm place about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.)
Grease 2 baking sheets. Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces. Form each piece into an egg shape and transfer pieces to prepared baking sheets. Form a bunny tail on each piece by holding scissors, points down, perpendicular to baking sheet and making a 1/2-inch-long snip at base of wide end. Form 2 bunny ears on each piece by making a narrow 2-inch-long snip on each side, starting near wide end and cutting toward narrow end. Form eyes on each piece by making 2 holes in narrow end with a wooden pick and pressing a currant half firmly into each hole with pick.
Brush half of warm glaze on rolls and let rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap, in a warm place 45 minutes or less, or until doubled, in bulk (rising will take longer if dough is cold).
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Heat remaining glaze over low heat just until warm and brush rolls. Bake rolls in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets in oven halfway through baking, 20 minutes, or until golden, and transfer to racks to cool.
Serve rolls warm or at room temperature.
In a small saucepan, heat glaze ingredients over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Remove pan from heat and keep glaze warm, covered.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Yummy Winter Breakfast: Baked Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Claire, forever on the hunt for flavorful recipes and food ideas, hit on a new winner: Baked Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oatmeal. I've never been a fan of oatmeal as a stand-alone menu item, but this piqued my interest. As she read the list of ingredients, I could already smell it wafting from the oven. We tend to love sweet spices and most things pumpkin, so this was a 'must try'. 

So try we did. In two words, it's absolutely delicious.

We are having a prolonged cold spell (read: long visit from the Artic Express), and this is the perfect antidote to short days, long winter nights, and icy cold windy weather. Try it. You'll love it. Guaranteed to keep you feeling warm and full of goodness.

Baked Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1 tblsp. butter
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats

1 tblsp. butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. mace
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. salt

Optional nut topping:
1 tblsp. butter
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pecan halves
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of ginger

In a dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of butter at medium heat; add 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (we used Bob's Red Mill) and saute the oats about 3 minutes or until toasted. 

Push the oats to one side of the pot and add another tablespoon of butter to melt. Add the pumpkin and saute it, stirring after a minute. Add the brown sugar and spices. Saute for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add the milk, water, vanilla and salt and whisk everything together to combine. Place a lid on the dutch oven and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. 

Drizzle with cream or maple syrup. (We used both: A little maple syrup and then a little cream.) Top with a couple of tablespoons of the nut topping, if desired.

While the oatmeal bakes, prepare the nut topping: 
In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the almonds and pecans, stirring frequently. After a minute, reduce the heat to low, keep stirring, and allow the almonds to turn a very pale golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cayenne and ginger and toss well. Serve over individual servings of the oatmeal.

Serves 4 - 5 generously.