Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cinnamon Twists with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I woke up this morning wanting a cinnamon roll so bad!  But they take way longer to make than I was willing to wait.  So as I sat dreaming, I remembered a pizza place in Provo, UT that used to make cinnamon twists called Tricky Sticks.  They came like bread sticks with frosting to dip them in.  And then I remembered a couple of weeks ago I made these bread sticks.  Well, the wheels started turning and I morphed the two ideas and came up with these! Quick and easy and oh so good!

Cinnamon Twists
(15-20 sticks)

1 1/2 cups warm water
3 T sugar
1 T yeast

Mix this together and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 t salt

For the middle:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon

Mix the dough until smooth and let it rise for 10 minutes.  Roll the dough, on a floured surface, into a big square.  Brush the softened butter over the lower half of the dough and sprinkle it with the sugar and cinnamon.  Fold the top half down and cut the dough into 15-20 sticks.  Twist each stick and place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Let the twists rise for 15-20 minutes while the oven preheats to 400.  Bake the twists for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 T butter, softened
2 T cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla
3 T milk

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth.  Drizzle over warm twists and save the rest for dipping!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

I found this recipe at Kitchen Meets Girl.  I LOVE that these are grilled but still a little Mexican.  I made THIS rice to go with it but added black beans and corn.  So yummy, my whole family loved it!

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

3 T soy sauce
2 T honey
1 T vegetable oil
juice of one lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t Siracha (hot sauce)
2 T cilantro, chopped
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3-4 breasts)

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, except chicken, and mix thoroughly. Cut the chicken into cubes and add it to the marinade, mix to coat.  Let this marinate for at least 1 hour.  Skewer the chicken and grill on medium high heat for 6-8 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve with Mexican rice.

*If you are using wooden skewers, do not forget to soak them in water for 30 minutes before using.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Brownie-Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake

I KNOW! I have totally been MIA!  With the school year ending and planning a cross-country move for my family in 2 weeks (Eek!) things couldn't be crazier!  We have eaten out more than I care to admit and when we do eat at home it has been quick sandwiches or leftovers, so NOT exciting.  But after numerous people commenting on my lack of cooking, including (and most importantly) my patient and understanding husband, I thought I might need to suck it up, do the dishes from last week and cook something already!! So, what do I turn to first? Dessert, of course!  I found this recipe on Willow Bird Baking, changed some things, used my favorite other things, and ended up with a super delicious dessert for my hubby for Father's Day, which we have been celebrating all week because there is no time to celebrate all at once (back to the whole crazier than crazy life we are living at the moment!)  So, if you are needing something special for the sweet Father or Father's in your life, this is a great one!

Brownie-Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 heaping T cocoa powder
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 T flour

Coconut Cream Filling:
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 plus 4 t cornstarch
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/4 t coconut extract
1/4 t vanilla extract

Chocolate Mousse:
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 T vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60%)
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of corn starch

Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

toasted coconut for garnish

For the brownie layer:
Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter.  Add the sugar and eggs and beat together.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.  Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch spring form pan.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the coconut cream:
While the brownie layer is cooking, combine the half and half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a sauce pan.  Cook over medium low stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Once the mixture is thickened, remove from the heat and add the vanilla, coconut extract and the untoasted flaked coconut and stir to combine. Pour this over the brownie layer.  Place plastic wrap directly on the coconut cream to keep a film from forming and chill in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours, or until completely cold.

For the chocolate mousse:
Melt the butter in a medium bowl set over a sauce pan of simmering water (do NOT allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water!).  In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cream and vanilla and set aside.  Once the butter is melted, slowly whisk in the yolk mixture.  Continue whisking over the simmering water until the mixture thickens, like pudding, this will take about 8-10 minutes.  Once it is thick remove it from over the water and add the chocolate, stirring to melt.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl beat together the egg whites, sugar and pinch of cornstarch until stiff peaks form.  Whisk 1/4 cup of the stiff egg whites into the chocolate to loosen it up.  Now add the rest of the egg whites, folding gently until they are completely blended into the chocolate.  Pour this mousse over the cold coconut cream in the spring form pan.  Place the whole thing back in the fridge and let it set completely, about 4 hours.

Finishing the cake:
Make your fresh whipped cream by beating together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until peaks form.  Add this to the top of the cold cake and then top with toasted coconut.  To serve, run a knife around the edges of the spring form pan to loosen it from the sides.  Remove the sides and cut into slices.

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