Sunday, May 1, 2016

Strawberry Rolls


 It's Spring and my memories of growing up in West Tennessee takes me back to all our Spring Festivals!  I grew up thriving on the World's Biggest Fish Fry in my home town of Paris, followed by the Iris Festival in Erin and the Strawberry Festival in Humboldt.  I've lived in Kentucky for over 30 years so the Kentucky Derby is now part of my Festival tradition.  This sweet roll is a perfect combination of my past and present and will serve beautifully at your Oaks or Derby Feast!  Sweet enough to hold her own or perfect paired with a cup of coffee or a tall chilled glass of milk!  Add this to your Festival menu, sit back and revel in the applause!  This is a Winner's Circle Recipe!

I won't kid you about this recipe, she takes some time and organization.  Pre-measure your ingredients in advance so that you'll be ready when the yeast says go!  Get your day organized and make the most of the time you have while your rolls are "proofing".  This strawberry lady is well worth the wait!
You'll need: 
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup white  sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons active dry yeast (2 standard size packets)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into small  pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ½ cups  all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling


1¾ cups finely chopped strawberries
1/3 cup white sugar
1½ Tablespoons cornstarch

Lemon Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Start with the dough:

In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or you can use a handheld mixer). With a whisk, manually stir in the yeast then sugar. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won’t really be mixing into the mixture, so don’t be shocked if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms-about 4 minutes.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with aluminum foil  (spray the underside with baking spray so that it doesn't stick to your dough) and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. I turn the oven on to 200°F then turn it off.  Put a large bowl of warm water on the rack below your dough.  Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.

Make the filling:

Warm the strawberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 4 minutes until the strawberries begin to release juices. Add the white sugar and cornstarch and continue to stir for another 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken. Remove from the heat, spoon into a heatproof bowl or container, and chill until ready to use. You do not want a warm filling as you spread it onto the dough.

Grease the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.

Spread the strawberry filling all over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form an 18-inch-long log. Cut into 12 even rolls (about 1 1/2 inches in width each). Arrange them in the prepared baking dish.

Cover the rolls (again, spray the underside of your aluminum foil to prevent sticking) and allow to rise in a warm environment once again until the are puffy—about 1 – 2 hours (or overnight - extra notes below for this option).

After the rolls have risen for the second time, preheat the oven to 375*. Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t get too brown. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the glaze.

Make the glaze:

Whisk the lemon juice and powdered sugar together until smooth. Pour over warm rolls and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months and warmed up to enjoy at later.


Cover the sliced rolls very tightly and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1 hour then bake and glaze.
Fill and slice the rolls then let them rise the second time.  Bake them at 375* for only about 10 minutes. Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze up to 2-3 months. Take the rolls out of the freezer and thaw completely in the refrigerator. Let the dough come to room temperature for about an hour then bake an additional 10 minutes and glaze.  
Grab a fork and enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Key Lime Pound Cake

Spring has sprung and there are special events at every moment.  I have a very important bridal event coming up and Key Lime is her favorite.  After a good deal of research, I think I've found a real winner to make her celebration wonderful!  This is a delectable twist on an old  Southern favorite...Key Lime Pound Cake!  Light and luscious!

This classic cake  can accompany any variety of menu items or hold it's own with a simple cup of coffee.  Prep and baking time are manageable...the result is Magnificent!

You'll need:

Cake - 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Butter flavor Crisco
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1  1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice
Glaze -
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
I learned a lot about juicing and zesting today!   Who knew there was an art to these simple tasks!  Zest the fruit whole  - then juice - trust me, on this.  You get much more zest from the whole fruit and the press from the zest frees up the juice for the next step. Do these tasks first. it makes your process faster and easier.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In your stand mixer, beat butter and Crisco at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
Mix in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes at 325* or until a sharp knife inserts and comes out clean.
Whisk together powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Immediately brush or drizzle over top and sides of cake.
Cool completely before serving
This has a pleasant presentation and pairs well with other dishes or stands alone beautifully.  I just love it and I hope that you do too!
Cheers and Congratulations! xxooxx