Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hamburger Buns

Oh wow.

I don't think I have ever had this much time between posts.

I am still alive. I am still cooking. I am just not posting much at this moment. No reason other than life. :)

I have actually made these before but haven't blogged about them.

(Note:  I have made other buns such as these but I find that this recipe is just a little quicker and just as tasty.)

These are called 40 minute buns.  And they can be made in 40 minutes.  BUT if I have time, I try to let them rise a little bit longer.

Oh, and you haven't had homemade buns, you need to know that the texture is a little different. They tend to crumble a little easier.  But they are also delicious and worth the effort.

2 Tbsp active dry yeast (I use rapid rise)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water (not too hot, not too cold)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil after reading some of the suggestions on the original recipe)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (more as needed)

Dissolve yeast in the warm water in a bowl.  Add the oil and sugar and let it rest for about five minutes.

Add the egg, flour, and salt to form a soft dough.  If it is too sticky, add more flour.

Knead for about 3-5 minutes. 

Divide into 12 pieces.  The buns will be fairly small so if you want bigger buns, divide into fewer pieces (8-10).  Shape into balls.  Place about 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.  As I said, I usually let them sit longer if possible.

Preheat oven to 425.

If desired, brush the top with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

When ready, bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Split in middle when cooked/cooled.


PS I read that these can be formed into hot dog buns but I haven't tried those yet...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Not long ago we celebrated our 17th anniversary. 

I wanted to celebrate with a special dessert.

The one dessert we both love?

Turtle Cheesecake.

I remembered a recipe I had found on Pinterest for turtle cheesecake bars.


It was a little work. You have to plan ahead because the bars have to chill for a while.  And just looking at the ingredients can give me a headache; I like simple.

But there was no doubt that it was worth the effort.


We will be having this again, though not too often.  If we did, I would weigh a TON!

Cheesecake crust:
3 cups finely chopped pecans
1 stick unsalted butter melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake filling:
24 oz cream cheese, softened (yes, that is THREE boxes!)
1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt OR sour cream (I used sour cream, full fat)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 11 oz bag caramel candy, unwrapped (I actually used a caramel worked fine)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp milk, divided (unless you use the caramel sauce, then you only need 2)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper, overlapping on the ends.

Use a fork to mix together the crust ingredients.  Press into the bottom of the 13 x 9 pan.

Bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.

Cream together the cream cheese, yogurt/sour cream, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer.

Beat in eggs, one at a time.

After the crust finishes, sprinkle 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips over the crust.

Pour the filling over the crust and return to the oven.  Bake for 50 minutes.

Allow the cheesecake to cool off for an hour, then put it in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator.  Lift the parchment paper off/out and place the cheesecake on a serving dish.

Toast pecans at 350 for 10 minutes.

If using unwrapped caramels, microwave the caramels and 4 Tbsp of milk at 30 minute intervals.  Stir until sauce is smooth.

Pour over the top of the cheesecake.

Microwave chocolate chips with 2 Tbsp milk.  Cook for 30 seconds, stirring in between.

Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the cheesecake bars.

Allow the chocolate to harden before serving.


And don't think about the calories!