Yeast doughnuts

These doughnuts take a bit of time but they are wonderful and worth it. They do not keep well beyond 1 day. They are pretty much an “eat them right now” food. You can make the first portion the night before needed. If so, you are just waiting on the 1 hour rise before frying.

Dough –

1 1/8 cup whole milk at room temperature

1/4 cup white sugar

2 1/4 teaspoon quick rise yeast

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 sticks butter (10 tablespoons) melted

4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

oil to fry

Glaze

1/2 cup melted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons whole milk

Bring the milk to 110 degrees by warming it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Ensure it is the proper temperature using a thermometer. Add the sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. After 5 minutes, stir in the beaten egg and melted butter.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour and the salt. With a dough mixer, slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour. Allow this to mix for at least 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer off and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to make, roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the doughnuts to desired circles/holes or (as I did in this photo), make small balls and then stick your finger through the center to make a hole.

Cover these and allow them to double in size which takes about 30-60 minutes.

Fry the dough in 375 degree oil. They will fry for about 1-2 minutes per side or until light brown. Remove them and let them sit on a wire rack to drain.

While still hot, dip the doughnuts into the glaze and allow them to cool.

Mustard vinaigrette coleslaw

This is my favorite slaw to eat with smoked pulled pork.

1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour this over the cabbage, carrot, and green onion mix. Refrigerate at least 4-6 hours before eating.

Meatballs on the grill

16 ounces ground beef

16 ounces ground pork

3 ounces prosciutto, diced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, beaten

2 onions, small diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

Combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.

Make the meatballs in golf ball size portions (3-4 tablespoons). Place the meatballs on parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour before cooking.

Set the green egg with an off set plate. Bake the meatballs directly on the grill at 325 degrees. Place a shallow pan under the grill to collect any fat and juice as the meatballs cook. Continue to cook the meatballs (rotating often) until they are 155 degrees internally. We have added hickory and mesquite chips with this recipe but we really prefer the flavor of non-smoked meatballs better.

At this point the meatballs can be stewed in tomato sauce or eaten as is.

French Bread

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1 1/8 cup 110 degree water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

1.5 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with sugar. Allow it to activate for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with dough hook attached, add the flour, salt and oil. Combine. Add in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be a soft ball that is not sticky. If it is sticky, add in an addition 1/4 cup flour.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm place or bread proof setting in the oven for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press and shape it into a rectangle that is about9x13 inches in size. Begin to roll the dough from one side (on the long side). Once rolled, place it seem side down on the baking sheet. Cut deep cuts into the top using a sharp knife.

Allow it to rise another hour or so until doubled in size again.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaf for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate pound cake

Dense rich chocolate pound cake with a chocolate pecan glaze. My kids LOVED this cake.

For the cake:

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces bittersweet cocoa

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup half and half

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze:

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans – optional

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Place the stick of butter and semi sweet chocolate bars in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir. The chocolate will continue to melt slowly as you stir. Microwave in additional 10 second increments if needed. Continue stirring between cooking.

Once fully melted, stir in the sugar. Add the vanilla and then the eggs. Slowly add the half and half until fully combined.

Finally add the baking powder, baking soda, and flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 50-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool 10 minutes. Remove from the pan by inverting the pan.

Prepare the glaze by melting the butter and chocolate chips over low heat in a double boiler. Once melted, add the corn syrup and vanilla (and nuts if using). While hot, pour this over the cake. Continue to allow the cake to cool fully before cutting it.

Here is the final product.

Orange Cranberry Pecan Bread

Oh my! This is really great. It is almost too sweet to be considered a brunch bread (in my opinion). Although, it is good enough that I cannot resist a slice. This bread cooks with a very moist loaf. Leaving the loaf in the pan until completely cool is essential or else it will fall apart. Also, know that the center of the loaf will sink slightly and appear to deflate once it is out of the oven. As long as the tooth pick is clean when inserted, it is done.

2 1/4 cups flour – divided

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 salt

1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 large egg

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoons orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice (one small cutie will do)

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Prepare the topping by mixing the cold butter, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon. Cut all together until it is crumbly pea sized pieces.

For the bread, whisk together egg, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Add in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Slowly add in the remaining 2 cups flour, baking soda, salt, pecans, and cranberries. Stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the pan. Top with the streusel.

Bake for 1 hour to 70 minutes. Test the bread using a toothpick. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Remove the bread from the pan and pour the glaze over the top.

Peanut butter cookies with chocolate candies

These are literally the most giant, delicious, bakery style cookies ever. They will really amaze any person. The candies are so colorful. The size alone makes them irresistible.

1 1/3 cup all pourpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup softened butter (salted or unsalted)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg. Mix well. Continue to add the following ingredients in this order while mixing in between: vanilla, peanut butter, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Finally, add the flour. Mix fully. Roll into 2 tablespoon sized balls (very large). Leave 3 inches around each ball for spreading while baking. Place on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Press the top of each ball using a fork. Sprinkle with mini chocolate candies. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 11-13 minutes or until centers are set. Do not over-bake. Allow to cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes prior to removing.

Cream cheese kolache

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2/3 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups flour

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 egg yolks (keep the whites for later)

1/4 teaspoons salt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

egg wash – beaten egg white from above and a splash of milk

Make the filling by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix this until creamy and smooth with no lumps. Set it aside in the refrigerator after mixing fully. You will need this again but in over an hour. 

Warm the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds until warm. I use a Pyrex measuring cup for this.  Measure the temperature of the milk and microwave an additional 10 seconds until the milk reaches 110 degrees.  When it is 110 degrees, add the yeast, sugar, and 2/3 cups of baking flour. Do not add these ingredients if the milk is over 110 degrees. You must wait for it to cool. Once it cools properly, then add them.

Allow this mixture of milk, yeast, sugar, and flour to set in a warm place until it has doubled in size. 

In another large bowl, melt the butter. Allow it to cool. Add in egg yolks and mix fully.  Stir this mixture into the beginning dough mix that has risen.  Slowly add in the remaining flour and salt. Mix well. You do not need to use a mixer for this step.

Knead the dough for a full 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, the dough should not be sticky.

Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Place each of the 12 balls into a prepared baking dish. Allow this to rise until doubled in size (30-60 minutes). 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Indent the dough in the center. Add the filling. Brush the egg was over the dough areas and not the filling. 

Bake for 18-21 minutes or until golden brown. Test the center of the kolache by inserting a tooth pick into the center before removing them from the oven. The toothpick should come out clean. 

The kneaded dough
Add the filling and the egg wash.
After baking. Perfect!

Blueberry cream muffins

These are bakery style muffins. They are lightly sweetened, moist and incredible. I accidently made this recipe and then realized how amazing it was. The batter is thicker than you expect. Do not worry. It cooks perfectly. The blueberries do not sink because of the thickness. This recipe makes about 12-14 muffins.

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup salted butter, melted

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with crisco and flour or line with paper liners.

Mix the butter, vegetable oil, and sour cream. Add in the vanilla and eggs. Add in the sugar. One at a time, stir in the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and finally the flour. Stir just enough to mix but do not over-stir. Lastly, gently mix in the blueberries.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Remove from the pan as soon as done. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Place in a sealed contained once fully cool. These muffins become more moist after 24 hours.

Chocolate chip cookie cake

Surprisingly, this tastes almost identical to store bought cookie cake. This cake is much better the day after baking it. On the day it is baked, it is more gooey and less solidified making it much harder to cut and serve.

1 stick butter – room temperature

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 large eggs – room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Press the dough evenly into a 9×13 inch prepared pan or a circular shallow baking pan. Bake for 18-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting or removing from the pan.

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