Saturday, February 22, 2014

Strawberry Margarita Sweet Rolls...#NationalMargaritaDay

February 22nd is National Margarita Day and I can't think of a better reason to celebrate. In fact, several of us have gotten together to give you a plethora of Margarita recipes...everything from cookies to cocktails. A big round of applause to Heather Dar Schmitt-Gonzalez of girlichef for organizing!

While I love margaritas, I was a little frightened at the prospect of making them for a blog post...imagine how I would slur my words! I decided instead to be a little different and make a sweet roll using all of the flavors I love in a margarita.

Strawberry Margarita Sweet Rolls

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour (I use bread flour, but you can use all purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tequila or orange liqueur

 Heat the milk, 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Let cool until temperature is about 110 degrees F (like bathwater warm).

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk mixture with yeast, egg, and 2 cups of the flour and the salt; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. (Alternately, just use the dough hook on your mixer and let the mixer knead the dough for about five minutes).

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean damp towel. Allow dough to rise until double, about 1 hour. In the mean time, place the chopped berries in a colander or strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of tequila or orange liqueur over the berries and set them aside while the dough is rising. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the strawberry juice for the glaze.

Roll out the dough into a 12X9 inch rectangle (I like to do this on my Silpat). Spread the dough with two tablespoons of softened butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter and top with the chopped strawberries. Roll up the dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces and place into a greased 9X13 inch pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven. Cool slightly before frosting.

Strawberry Margarita Glaze

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons reserved strawberry juice
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel

Beat the cream cheese and the butter in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla, strawberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice blending until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat to desired consistency. Garnish the frosted rolls with the grated lime peel.

Now, check out what everyone else is making for National Margarita Day! 

Margarita Bites:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding....#improv

Welcome to the February edition of the Monthly Improv Challenge, hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker . For the uninformed, the Improv Challenge is a monthly party where everyone uses the same two ingredients in different wild and crazy ways. This month's theme is Bread and Butter---how fun is that?!!

Before you get too excited, I didn't get very wild and crazy this month. Rather, I went for some good old comfort food.

How many of you have had extremely poor weather lately?--raise your hands. Yup--I thought so. One of the best ways I know of to soothe the weather blues is to make comfort food. Pudding made out of bread is one of the best comfort foods I know, so that's what I made. Bread and Butter Pudding. With blueberries. And it was wonderful.

Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding

1 loaf thin sliced, firm white bread, 16-18 slices (I used Pepperidge Farm White Sandwich Bread)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup blueberry jam
1 cup blueberries
6 eggs
3 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; spray a 9X13 casserole dish with cooking spray.

Spread half of the bread slices with about a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of jam. Top the buttered bread with an unbuttered slice. Cut each sandwich in half, diagonally. 

Arrange the sandwich halves evenly in the casserole dish, standing some upright, if needed. Sprinkle the blueberries over the bread.

My casserole dish is slightly smaller than 9X13, so I had to stand up some of the sandwich halves....

Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla; pour evenly over the sandwich halves. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes to allow the eggs/milk to soak into the bread.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the custard is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or cold.

Simple. Awesome. Comfort.

The only thing that would have made this better would have been some warm blueberry sauce. Alas, I did not make any, but this recipe looks good: Warm Blueberry Sauce. Make it and let me know how it is. In the mean time, check out what everyone else is making with Bread and Butter.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge

Here's a quick and easy recipe for a hot fudge sauce that will knock your socks will never use the store bought stuff again....

Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons dark cocoa
2/3 cup dark (60% cacao) chocolate chips, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa, 1/3 cup chocolate chips, and salt in a 1 1/2 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining chocolate chips, vanilla, and butter.  Pour into jars and cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Makes about 2 cups.

The key to making it extra tasty is to use the Special Dark Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Chips....

Just wrap a ribbon around the jar and give it to your sweetheart...

Seriously addicting, this stuff is. I've made it 4 times in the last few weeks, and hubby and I have been eating hot fudge sundaes every night. We may need an intervention....

Seriously---You've got to try it on this on my Crazy Good Banana Pound Cake!

What would you pour it over??