Thursday, January 31, 2013

Real Belgium Waffles

I have an amazing neighbor from Belgium.  She is absolutely darling, and is an amazing cook!  I went and visited her the other day and she had just made a batch of waffles.  She gave me one, and I swear I went into my own little Dreamland that was made of the most delicious things you could ever imagine.  I was running through fields of candy, cakes, and cookies.  When I finally came back to reality, I asked her if she would teach me how to make them.  She was so excited, and more than happy to teach me.  So I spent a day with her and watched her create this amazing masterpiece.  I asked her if she would allow me to post the recipe on my blog, and SHE was flattered!  I told her that I'm the one that will be eternally grateful.

The other day in the mail my "Belgium Pearl Sugar" came from Amazon, and I was so excited to think that I got to make my own waffles.  I was a little nervous about screwing it up, but she told me she would run over if I had any questions.  I've always been pretty good with yeast recipes, but I had her number on speed dial just in case.  After about 2 hours of preparing the dough I was finally able to cook them.  I'm happy to say that they turned out amazing!  Now all I need is for one of my friends to get pregnant, or married, so I can throw a Waffle Bar shower!  Trust me, once you try these you're never going to go back to regular waffles.

(I also wanted to let you know that I am making these in Utah, where it's cold, so the yeast directions should be adjusted to where you live.  If you live in a warm climate it will take a shorter amount of time, by about 30 minutes)

6 Tbs. Warm Whole Milk (no more than 110 degrees)
2 tsp. Dry Active Yeast
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Bread Flour (yes, it really has to be BREAD FLOUR)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (You can substitute extract, but the paste is amazing and if you don't have it, GET SOME! order on Amazon)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Large Egg
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/2 C. (1 Cube) Butter, slightly more cool than room temp. cut into chunks
1/2 C. Belgium Pearl Sugar (you can purchase on Amazon)

Warm up your Milk, and sugar until completely dissolved.  Making sure that the milk is no hotter than 110 degrees (I just make mine a little bit warmer than bath water), stir in the yeast.  Set in a warm room and let Bloom (about 10 min.)

While the yeast is blooming, mix together flour, cinnamon, and salt.  When they yeast has bloomed, mix into the flour mixture. Mix until it's just combined.  Add the vanilla bean paste, egg, and egg yolk. Mix on medium speed until just combined and no more.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm room for about 1 hour (30 min. in warmer climate).

When the dough has had time to rise, put back on the mixer and slowly mix in the chunks of butter 1 at a time. You don't want the butter to melt which is why you want it chilled.  You want chunks of butter throughout your dough.

When your butter is mixed in, place dough on a cutting board and knead in the pearl sugar until well combined.  Cut into 12 small balls, and space out on cutting board.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a small room to rise for 30-45 min. (45 if you want it more chewy, and 30 if you want more dense.)

Heat your waffle iron to medium-hight heat. Spray with cooking spray and place the dough in the center of the iron.  Cook until the outside is golden brown, and the sugar has crystalized the outside.  Serve hot with any toppings you like. This recipe will make about 12.

If you are making a waffle bar, serve with whipped cream, strawberries, melted chocolate, syrup, any fruit you would like, and cream.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Best Brownies

As I was baking my brownies today, I realized that I had never share my recipe on the blog.  WHAT?!  How could I have done this?  I mean everyone needs to know how to make brownies.  It should be a law.  So today I am going to share my favorite and most delicious brownie of all time recipe (at least in my opinion).
2 Sticks of Butter
1/3 C. Cocoa
2 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
4 Eggs
4 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Over medium heat, melt the butter and cocoa until smooth.  Pour into a mixer and add the eggs, vanilla, and sugar.  Mix until creamy, and add the flour.  Mix until well incorporated, and do not over stir.

Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and pour the batter into the dish.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes and then frost.

Frosting Recipe
1 cube butter
1/3-1/4 C. milk
3-3 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C. Cocoa
Pinch of Sea Salt

Mix all together until it's the consistency that you would like.  (If you want it more runny add 3 C. Powdered Sugar, for firming add 3 1/2 C.)

Pour over warmed brownies and let harden just a bit.

I serve with Vanilla Ice Cream.  Enjoy!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Utah "Mormon" Scones

Growing up in Utah I was raised on Hot Scones.  Every year they would have a big festival in my hometown and a group would set up a tent and sell the most amazing hot, buttery, flaky, and delicious, scones.  They seriously were to die for.  Well a little later on in my life (yes, just this year) I was looking through my Dad's recipes when I came across the group's recipe that sells the scones.  He used to work for them when he was little, and he has the recipe!  I about died, and I knew I had to share it with all of you.  It's just too good to not share, and everyone across the country deserves to try the Utah "Mormon" Scones!!  Enjoy!
1 C. Warm Water
1 C. Warm Milk
1 Tbs. Dry Active Yeast
3 Tbs. Sugar
1/4 C. Melted Butter, cooled
1 Tbs. Salt
5-6 C. Flour
Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying
Combine warm water and warm milk.  Stir in the sugar.  Add dry active yeast and stir lightly.  Allow yeast to activate, about 10 minutes.  

In a stand mixer, fitted with a bread hook, add milk mixture and melted cooled butter.  Add the salt.  Start the mixer and add the flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Dough should be slightly sticky but workable.  Cover the dough in the bowl with a towel.  Set in a warm place and allow raise until double.

Pour your oil in a large pan (with sides deep enough to fully immerse the scones) or a deep fryer and heat slowly over medium to medium high heat.  While the oil is heating, roll the dough out onto the counter, without flour, into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  You may choose to butter the counter lightly.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares. 

Heat oil to between 350 – 400 degrees and cook scones until golden brown.  Serve immediately with honey butter or buttermilk maple syrup.  Delicious!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles

We love waffles at our house.  I have a strict rule though, that any cakey breakfast like pancakes, waffles, crepes, and so on; have to contain Buttermilk.  It is my secret ingredient in not only my main dish, but also the delicious syrup you pour over it.  I can't take credit for the syrup because my amazingly talented sister is the creator of the Buttermilk syrup.  Anyway, back to the waffles.  So I love a waffle that is crisp and hot on the outside and soft, moist, and melts in middle.  I know your waffle iron has a lot to do with how they turn out, but once you perfect the cooking time on your waffle maker you're golden!  So here is my recipe for my Buttermilk Belgian Waffles:
2 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 3/4 C. Buttermilk
1 cube Butter cut in 1/2
1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or vanilla extract)
2 Eggs, separated
Separate your eggs.  In a mixer combine dry ingredients.  Melt 1/2 of your stick of butter (4 Tbs.) and combine with the butter milk and egg yolks.  On a slow speed, slowly pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.  Mix in the Vanilla Bean Paste, just until combined.

With a hand mixer, whip your egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Slowly fold in egg whites to your batter with a rubber spatula.

Heat up your waffle iron.  Melt your other 1/2 stick of butter and using a pastry brush, dip bristles in butter and spread on your hot waffle iron.  Then scoop about 1/3 cup of the batter into your belgian waffle maker.  You just want it to be full but not overflow.  If it does go over the sides, just scrape it off because you want a nice clean edge.

Let cook until golden brown.  Serve with butter, syrup, nutella, strawberries, powdered sugar, whipped cream, chocolate, the possibilities are endless.  My own personal favorite is to butter it, then put a over easy egg on top, pour the buttermilk syrup on top of that, and then dive in.  I love the soft egg yolk melts all over my waffle.  :)  That's me though.  

I hope you all enjoy your Waffles!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Homemade Bread Crumbs

Anytime you have the chance to make something homemade vs. buying it in the store, I say DO IT!  I normally can't make homemade bread crumbs because we use bread so quickly at our house.  I knew we would be gone the whole week of Christmas and I had a fresh loaf of bread that was going to be home.  I stuck the bread in the fridge so it would be ready when I got home.

When I got home I let the bread sit in the fridge for another couple of days (just because I was lazy) and then pulled it out this morning.  I pulled out my trusted coffee grinder (which I grind EVERYTHING in) and started breaking up the bread.  (This is also a great way to clean your coffee grinder after making coffee with it.  I learned that trick back in college.  Coffee grinds are so hard to get out, so put a fresh piece of bread in your grinder, grind it a few times and the bread will pick up all of those little coffee pieces.)

So here is what you need....1/2-1 Loaf of white or wheat bread (and you want it cold)
Coffee Grinder or Food Processor
Ziploc Baggies (to freeze in)

Step 1.
Pull Your Grinder out
Step 2.
Break your bread into little pieces and put in the grinder and grind.
Step 3.
Dump into Zilpoc baggies that have been marked with the name and date and throw in the freezer until you need them.
If you want to snazzy up your crumbs you can also add any herbs you like as well.  I will sometimes add parsley, oregano, and basil to the bag, shake it up and then freeze it.  You can also bake the crumbs under the broiler for a minute if you want them crisp.  I have found that I like them a little soft when I am making my Meatloaf or Meatballs because it makes the dinner more moist.  Do whatever you please.  It's completely up to you.

I love making homemade bread crumbs because you know exactly what goes into it, you don't have to throw away old bread, and you can freeze them for whenever you need them.  It's a great way to save money and time.  Have a great day!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cinnamon and Sugar Toast

So I know all of you are reading the title of this recipe and thinking, "Why in the world do I need a recipe for cinnamon Toast?"  The fact of the matter is, that you don't.  But if you want to have the greatest Cinnamon and Sugar Toast you have ever had in your entire life, I highly recommend this recipe.  Follow to a "T" and you will not regret it.  It's amazing, and will blow any Cinnamon and Sugar Toast you have had in the past, out of the water!!
2 Slices Thick White Bread
4 tsp. Sugar
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
unsalted REAL Butter

Preheat Broiler on Low
Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a little bowl while you lightly toast your bread.  When the bread comes out of the toaster slather it with butter and sprinkle 2 tsp. of the mixture on each piece of toast.  (This is the magic part) Take the 2 slices on buttered toast with the cinnamon and sugar, place on a cookie sheet, and place under the broiler for about 1 minute until the sugar has melted.  It is AMAZING!  

When the sugar melts and hardens a little with the broiler it just sends this ordinary breakfast favorite over the top.  I promise once you try having cinnamon toast this way you will never go back to the old toast, butter, and sprinkle.  Enjoy!!