If you follow my blog regularity, you already know that I'm not a chocolate and peanut butter fan. (And if you're not a regular blog follower, what are you waiting for?) I do have mad love for the chocolate - caramel combination though - yummm. The dark caramel chocolate is always the candy that I chose first out of the Whitman's sampler. (My sweet mother in law still buys us a box of Whitman's chocolates for Valentine's Day. I love that tradition.)
I ran across an idea for Rolo cupcakes on pinterest recently and I decided to take the idea and run with it. To give credit where credit is due, the idea came from mybakingaddiction.com and I must say, it's a brilliant idea. I took the concept a step further and created my own recipe. I know you're gonna like it.
1 cup flour
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter. melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons instant coffee
1/2 cup hot coffee
24 frozen rolos
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk together eggs and butter and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix 1 minute. Add eggs. Stir instant coffee into coffee until dissolved. Add to batter. Scoop into muffin cups.
Push a frozen rolo into the center of each cupcake.
Bake 18 minutes at 350.
Italian Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup sugar
6 egg whites
36 Tablespoons butter
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat sugar and egg whites in double boiler until melted and very warm. Whisk in mixer until cooled and foamy. (Stiff peaks.) Switch to flat beater and add in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add chocolate and beat until combined.
For more detailed instructions on making chocolate buttercream, check out my blog post on mocha chocolate crunch cupcakes.
Freeze cupcakes for 10 minutes! (Don't skip this step.)
2/3 cup dark chocolate
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons water
Combine chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler. Heat, without stirring, until melted. Stir in powdered sugar. Add in enough water to get to a pouring consistency. Drip over buttercream. Instructions for the chocolate sauce are more detailed on the mocha crunch cupcake post.
Top with another dollop of buttercream and a rolo mini.
Have I converted any chocolate-peanut butter fans into chocolate-caramel fans yet?
Seriously. These are way too good to pass up. You NEED to try these. You'll be glad you did.
I am a snacker by nature but lately I've been an even bigger snacker than usual. It probably has something to do with the fact that I started asylum again AND a new body fit class twice a week. I am loving the workouts but boy, am I hungry when I'm done. I really should eat some protein to help my muscles recover from the workouts but what I crave is sugar - specifically, chocolate. (Why can't I just crave carrots and celery?)
I had been searching for new post-workout snack recipes when I found this recipe for HEALTHY mocha almond fudgesicles on www.girlichef.com - I was on board instantly. Coconut milk, almonds, espresso, maple syrup and avocado - sounds perfect, right?
Don't let the avocado in these fudgesicles throw you off, these are the creamiest, chocolatiest, nuttiest fudgsicles that I've ever eaten. They are soooo good - especially after a hard workout. And if you're anything like me, they might just give you the extra motivation that you need to finish an especially hard workout.
Freeze until firm.
Don't have popsicle molds? No problem, just use cups.
If you're like me and chocolate is your workout incentive, go for it. Workout hard then treat yourself to a mocha almond fudgesicle.
"I won't eat too many rolls. I will not eat too many rolls. I will not eat more than 1 roll." These are the words that run through my head when we are headed to a steak house for dinner. Seriously, why are steak house rolls so addicting? What do they put in those things?
When the waiter walks over to the table and places a basket of warm, buttery rolls on the table in front of me, I just can't resist. They are all wrapped up in a napkin so I feel like it's a gift that is just begging to be unwrapped and enjoyed. (After all, it would be rude not to enjoy the gift, right?)
If I really wanted to avoid the temptation of these little delicacies, I could ask them not to bring the bread basket to the table but the truth is, they're totally worth the splurge. I love them. (Even if it means that I overindulge on bread and end up bringing most of my dinner home.)
I would say that the rolls are what keeps me going back to a great steakhouse because I can't even remember the last time I actually ordered a steak at any restaurant. Well, the rolls AND the fact that my family loves to go out for a steak dinner.
I found a recipe for Texas Roadhouse Rolls (Some of my favorites) on www.envymycooking.blogspot.com. I am about to embark on some very dangerous territory. If these really are as good as their steak house counterpart, I am in serious trouble. Here goes nothing...
Texas Roadhouse Copy Cat Rolls
4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 Tbl. of melted butter, slightly cooled
1/2 c. sugar
2 quarts all purpose flour (7-8 cups)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt
Add milk, sugar and 3 cups of flour to make a medium batter. Beat thoroughly.
Let stand until light and foamy.
Put into a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
Punch down. Turn out onto a floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.
Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Baste immediately with butter.
Serve warm. Or even better ... with honey butter.
Drooling yet? But wait ... I split one open so you could see the flaky inside too. (You're welcome.)
Yup, I'm in trouble. These rolls give those steak house rolls a run for these money. And to answer my earlier question "What do they put in those things?", the answer is butter.
It is Murphy's Law lately - every time I light the grill, it starts to rain. How is it that the sun can be shining all day and when I start to cook dinner outside - a thunderstorm pops up out of nowhere? No kidding, I think the last 4 or 5 times that I've cooked dinner on my Big Green Egg, I've done so in the rain.
It's a good thing the grill is just outside the kitchen on the back deck. All of this rain has taken a toll on me but it's also taken its toll on the deck. It got a big overhaul a few weeks ago. Ben and I spent two weekends pressure washing and sanding and staining the boards. It's amazing how much much of a difference a can of stain can make. I am so excited about the newly treated boards that I run to the window every time it rains, just to see the beads of water on the wood.
Even though the rain continues to come down in Atlanta, I will continue to go out to the deck and cook on my Big Green Egg. I headed out to put some pork chops on the grill a few weeks ago and I could hear some thunder off in the distance. It was a race against time (and a thunderstorm). I could hear the thunder getting closer and closer, and I kept turning up the heat on the grill to try and get my chops cooked before the impending storm approached. As I pulled my finished dinner off of the grill, I watched the dark clouds drift right past the house. It never did rain but the threat of a storm helped me get dinner cooked a little faster.
Even if you're not racing against a storm, you can enjoy these grilled pork chops in no time.
Grilled Pork Chops
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons grated onion
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3-4 bone in rib loin chops (1 1/2 inches thick)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons pepper
Remove skewers. Lay chops flat on the grill. Baste with sauce and cook until 140 degrees.
Serve with reserved sauce.
Dinner is served.
Our normal Saturday routine lately is a 5 AM wake up call to get the kids up and out the door by 5:30 for a Cross Country meet. It's actually only an hour earlier than I get up on most weekdays but for some reason it seems REALLY early on a Saturday morning.
I could just wake the kids up and send them off to the meet with a granola bar but my mommy guilt kicks in and I feel the need to make a nice, warm, hearty meal to start their busy day.
Courtney normally requests breakfast burritos on the days that they have Cross Country meets. I've also been known to make oatmeal or waffles before they head out the door. The Saturday morning varies quite a bit depending on how much time I want to dedicate to breakfast preparation.
I love that Ryan can drive them to meet the bus at school so Ben and I can have a few extra minutes to get ourselves ready on Saturday morning. It would be great if we could crawl back in bed after they leave to meet the bus and get a few extra minutes of sleep but that almost never happens.
The other morning, after the kids left, I used my extra time to bake up some cinnamon rolls for the runners. My plan was to take them to the meet with me so the team could eat them after the race. I made the rolls the night before and proofed them in the refrigerator overnight. All I had to do on Saturday morning was to take them out of the frig and let them rise and then pop them into the oven for a few minutes. Nothing to it.
I found this recipe for "Quicker Cinnamon Buns" in my Cook's Country magazine and the recipe only made 8 rolls so I decided to triple the recipe. I figured if I was going to be taking these rolls to the team, I needed enough to feed them all. What I ended up with was WAY more than 24 rolls. I think I had somewhere around 40 cinnamon rolls when all was said and done.
Quicker Cinnamon Rolls
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
For filling, combine brown sugar, sugar cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. Grease 9" pan. Pour 1/4 cup warm milk into a bowl and stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit 5 minutes.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and 5 teaspoons sugar together. Stir in 2 Tablespoons butter, yeast mixture and 1 cup milk. Knead 2 minutes.
Roll dough into a 12x9" rectangle.
Brush dough with 2 Tablespoons melted butter.
Sprinkle dough with filling and spread evenly.
Roll dough, starting with long side.
Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Lay onto silpat lined baking sheets.
Combine glaze ingredients in mixer and blend until smooth. Drizzle over warm buns.
Do you know what Cross Country runners like to do after they run a race? Eat! Cinnamon rolls apparently.
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