Saturday, July 27, 2013

Homemade Maple Butter Pancake Syrup

My husband and I have different opinions on syrup. I want mine warm he wants his refrigerator cold. No matter, we both like lots of syrup on pancakes, waffles and French toast. Mom always made simple maple syrup when we were growing up which was sugar, water and the maple flavoring. It is good and if you are lacking all the ingredients it will satisfy that sweet maple flavor we need on our breakfast foods. If you want to spend somewhere in the middle of simple syrup and the name brand butter flavored syrup then this recipe is what you need.

This does not make very much syrup. Depending on how much syrup you like and how many you are feeding you may want to double the recipe.

Maple Butter Flavored Pancake Syrup
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Mapleine or maple flavor
1/2 teaspoon butter flavor extract
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.

Bring to boil for 1 minute.
Thickens as it cools. Can be reheated or eaten cold. Store in refrigerator.

If you are at a thrift store or garage sale and see one of these they are the best. It's an old Log Cabin brand bottle from the 1960's. They hold a double batch of the syrup.

Friday, July 26, 2013

60 Minute Dinner Rolls

I'm always on the hunt for the perfect easy dinner roll. Then a picture showed up on Facebook for quick dinner rolls. You can see it here. It seemed easy enough and would go perfect with the slow cooker roast beef slices for dinner.

It turned out well enough but to me there was too much flour by the final step. This recipe reflects the lesser amount of flour. I am going to make these again soon with less flour to see if they are even better.

1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 packet active dry yeast (These packets come in strips of three, use one from the strip.)
3/4 cup warm water (105F – 115F)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Microwave milk, sugar, and butter together at 20 second intervals just until butter is melted, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool to about 105 F.

Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. (Or regular mixing bowl if you don't have a stand mixer.)

Add the warm water and yeast. Stir gently. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy. If you are patient and watch the bowl you will see this happen and it looks really cool.

Add 1 cup flour and the salt to mixture. Using a dough hook, mix on low speed for about 1 minute.

With the mixer still going on low, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix about 1 ½ minutes, or until dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl.

Knead on low speed for about 2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still be slightly sticky. If you don't have a stand mixer you may need to do this part by hand.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning it to grease the top. Cover the dough with a towel. Let rise in warm place for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, (not heavily floured like mine!) and divide into 12 equal pieces.
My pieces were somewhere between 55 and 60 grams each. I normally weigh the dough to get uniform rolls but just eyeballed these. Cut each of those pieces into thirds. Form into balls.

Spray or grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Place 3 dough balls in each muffin cup. Cover with towel and let rise for 15 minutes. Start preheating oven to 425F.

Bake for 9-12 minutes until the rolls are golden brown.

Brush with melted butter. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Peach Cobbler Bars

We love peach cobbler around here. It's also super easy to make but we all need some variation once in a while. I saw a picture for these on Facebook I think. I didn't care for some of the ingredients or for the enormous size the original recipe made. No problem. A few simple changes and made it my own.

Preheat oven to 350F.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 (21 ounce) peach pie filling
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

Amazing Glaze
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
Whisk all together until smooth. Add only drops of milk to desired consistency.


Cream together butter and sugar.

Add eggs and beat well. Mix in vanilla and salt.

Add flour to the creamed mixture.

Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine peach pie filling, brown sugar and cinnamon. I used my homemade peach pie filling and cut into smaller pieces.

Grease an 8x11 pan. Spread 1/2 the batter in a bottom of the pan. I had to spray my hands with cooking spray and press it down.

Spread with pie filling.

Drop remaining batter on top of pie filling. (I think next time I will thin this down very slightly with some milk.)

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Cool on wire rack until just slightly warm.

Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over the bars. Lots and lots of glaze. Yes, it's that amazing!

These would be a great bar to take to a picnic or other get together. It's another one that when my husband taste tested it he couldn't stop at just one bite even though he was already full from dinner.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sour Milk Spice Cake

Last week I made applesauce. There was still some left and I didn't want it to go to waste. Second problem was I had milk in the fridge that had gone sour. I found a solution. Spice cake. Spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Let's make this better and not add any egg and reduce the fat and still get a heavy moist cake. Yum!

I mixed everything up and the scent from all the spices was heavenly. I asked my husband to smell it and he said "I don't like spice cake." Sigh. Oh well, guess this one's for me. Later he had to try a piece that was devoured. Guess it must be good.

If you do not have sour milk you can sour your own with a 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice in 1 cup milk. Let it set to curdle while getting everything else ready.

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil (You can replace this with applesauce.)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease  9x9 inch baking pan.

Combine all dry ingredients.

Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, vanilla, oil and applesauce.

It's very hard to take a picture of a well in the dry mix.
Mix until combined.

Pour into pan and bake at 350 F  for 40 minutes.

Cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting or dust with powdered sugar to keep calorie count down.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces softened cream cheese
4 tablespoons softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla.

Mix in powdered sugar until well blended.

Carefully spin the majority of the frosting of the beaters, remove beaters and lick. This is to make sure that the frosting tastes good.

Spread on cooled cake.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Crockpot Salisbury Steak

Sometimes I want to be lazier than others. Sometimes I think that using a crockpot might help me accomplish that. Sometimes I'm wrong. There was prep work in this that didn't make it the easiest dinner but it's still one of those that you can put together early and then not worry about the rest of the day. In the end it was worth it and turned out wonderful. I should add that mushrooms are another food I hate. Maybe that's not correct, it's a food I won't eat because of texture but I do love the flavor of mushroom soup. If you just can't handle the mushrooms substitute some other cream soup.

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (recipe here for cheaper homemade version)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used two batches of my homemade cream of mushroom soup and added some extra dehyrdated mushrooms.)
1 (1 ounce) packet dry au jus mix
3/4 cup water

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, and milk using your hands. Shape into 8 - 12 patties. I made 6 and they were twice as large as what any of us could eat, next time I will either cut the recipe in half or make 12 patties that can be frozen and eaten later.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in dish with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the patties in flour just to coat, and quickly brown on both sides in the hot skillet. Place browned patties into the crock pot.
These are a lot larger than they look. 

Yeah, I used more oil than was necessary! 

I think next time I will drain them on a paper towel first to reduce the amount of fat. 

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup, au jus mix, and water. With my homemade soup mix I just mixed everything together in a large measuring and omitted the extra water.

Pour over the meat. Cook on the Low setting for 4 or 5 hours.
About half way done. 

Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.