Friday, June 29, 2012

Crunchy Breadsticks with poppy seeds

These breadsticks are so amazing!
They're the crunchy kind.
We love them so much that we can't stop making them.
And the best part is that they're so easy!

Recipe from:
The Homemade Pantry:101 foods you can stop buying and start making

1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the counter
1 1/2 teaspooons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Combine sugar and yeast with warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups of the flour, salt and olive oil. Mix for 5 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment.

Dust counter with remainging 3/4 cup flour. Turn dough out onto the counter and knead the additional flour into the dough for 3-4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and has lost most of its stickiness. (I'm not a kneader, so I switched out the paddle for the dough hook and let my mixer do all the work) Put dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size. About 1 to 2 hours. I set my bowl in my super warm garage and it only takes an hour.

Punch down the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter again. Sprinkle the seeds on the dough and knead them in for about a minute or two. Cover dough with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes.

Divide dough in half, then half again, and again until you have 32 roughly equal pieces. Let rest while you prepare your pans. Spray them lightly with cooking spray or line them with parchament paper. Take each ball and roll it like a snake, stretching a little as you go, until you have an 8-ish inch breadstick and no more than 1/2 inch in diameter. Lay on tray leaving 2 inches between each stick. Let rest uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until slightly golden. Let cool for crispier breadsticks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cheesecake made by Hayd

I love the library, I love cooking, and I love hanging out in the kitchen with my kids. So, I was more than happy when Hayden picked out this book from our library today. We came home and he found a cheesecake recipe that he was dying to try. I was busy chopping veggies and tossing them into the crock pot for our chili dinner. So, he got right to work, pulling out ingredients, checking the recipe about a million times to make sure he was doing everything just right. He was even super patient with his little sister who was determined to pour every ingredient in the bowl. Well, long story short, Hayden was super proud of this delicious dessert. My favorite part is the cinnamon in the crust....heaven! I also love how thin it is. I'm a big fan of dessert, but I'm not a fan of tons of leftovers that sit in the fridge begging to be eaten. This makes eight perfect sized portions.
5 tablespoons butter, slightly melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
(We didn't have any in the pantry, but we do have a ton of apricot freezer jam and a few ripe blackberries from the garden. So, Hayd decided that would make for a great topping and he was so right. I think cherry pie filling would take away from that cinnamon crust and thin layer of cheesecake that I love so much.)

To make the crust, stir together all your crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs. Mix on high for 3 minutes, scraping down sides. Pour over your prepared crust. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until set. Turn off oven and crack door open. Leave cake in the oven for 10 minutes. Refrigerate at least an hour before adding your topping and serving.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cheese Crackers

I found a new cookbook that I think I'm going to need to own soon. It's going on my Christmas wish list. It's called The Homemade Pantry:101 foods you can stop buying and start making.
Here is one of the recipes we've tried. They're a grown-up version of Cheez-it crackers and are so crunchy and addictive, ask Tyler.

Cheese Crackers
Makes 40-50 crackers
3 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the counter
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup water
ice cube

Combine the cold butter, flour, dry mustard, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is crumbly and the butter starts to integrate into the mixture, about 30 seconds. Add the cheese and mix again on low speed for a few seconds.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine 3/4 cup water, the vinegar and an ice cube and let sit for a moment to get nice and cold. Add 6 tablespoons of the vinegar mixture to the dough and mix on medium speed for 20 seconds. Continue adding liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings in a ball to the beater. (I only needed one extra tablespoon of liquid for a total of 7 tablespoons) Mix the dough for an additional 30 seconds. Don't over mix! Mound dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let sit 15 minutes before you are ready to roll it out. Preheat oven to 325 and grease 2 baking sheets. Turn dough out onto a little floured counter, press into a flat disc, and roll with a rolling pin until the dough is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza wheel to cut dough into 2-inch squares (I went a little smaller). Transfer to baking sheet leaving a 1-inch space between crackers. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Turn off oven, but leave pans in the oven for one hour as it cools. (I left them in for only 20 minutes because they continued browning too much for my liking.) They can be stored in an airtight container for 5-7 days.....ours only lasted on the counter for maybe 6 hours before they were all consumed. :)