Archive for February, 2010

KISS: Chocolate Chip Dump Cake

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Welcome to KISS: Keep it Simple Saturday. Weekends are chaotic around here, to say the least. With 5 kids, 1 dog, and 1 husband, there’s no way I’m standing in the kitchen half the day trying to cook without tripping over one or more of the above. So, this category will be for those things that can be whipped together relatively easily but still be delicious. What better place to kick off this section of the site than the chocolate aisle.

It doesn’t get much easier than this. This is PMS fodder if there ever was any (sorry, guys). You can vary the flavors, if you are so inclined, but I’ve really only ever made this for one purpose: to consume copious amounts of chocolate.

Less talk, more chocolate.

What to gather: chocolate cake mix, instant chocolate pudding, vegetable oil, eggs, chocolate chips, (You need a 6oz bag of regular sized chips. I got a 12oz bag of mini, because that’s all they had. Don’t be like me.) and water (not pictured, but it’s clear and comes from the faucet).

Preheat oven to 350° using the following totally necessary and useful photo for guidance.

While it heats up, pour the oil into a bundt pan. It will pool at the bottom, do not worry.

Swirl it around a little to coat the sides. It will still pool at the bottom, and it will still be ok.

Combine the remaining ingredients, using only half the bag of chocolate chips if you are a dork like me with a 12oz bag.

Stir until mixed. Don’t over think it.

Pour batter into pan. The oil will still be pooling. Don’t freak out. We don’t call it How 2 Stay Fat for nothing. However, if you want to get down to it, the recipe on the box to make a cake calls for 1/2 cup of oil and we only used 1/4 cup here. We’ve saved you 1/4 cup! (and added pudding mix and chocolate chips, but that’s not important now. What’s important is the 1/4 cup of oil we cut out. )

Lick spoon. Go ahead, you know you want to. It’s only me here, and I won’t think any less of you.

Bake for 40 minutes @ 350°.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then invert to platter to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Die.

I have no idea where that ice cream came from.

Chocolate Chip Dump Cake

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 chocolate cake mix
1 6 oz pkg chocolate chips
1 small chocolate instant pudding

Pour oil in bundt pan to grease. (Some oil will puddle at the bottom of the pan which is fine.) Stir remaining ingredients until moist and transfer to pan. Bake 40 minutes – 350 degrees. Cool, dust with powdered sugar. Can be served with vanilla ice cream or cool whip.

White Chicken Chili

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I love me some chili. Would eat it most every day, winter or summer, white or red, I don’t care. Love it. But my most favorite, I think, is white chili. It could have something to do with the secret love affair I’m having with pepper jack cheese. Or the one I’m having with cannellini beans. I really get around.

Anyway, this one is relatively easy since I start with a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. If you’re extra ambitious, you could certainly cook your own chicken. I prefer to take short cuts and then go watch Forensic Files or type up blog posts, or whatever.

Onward!

What to gather: Rotisserie chicken (it’s there! it’s in the back!), olive oil, onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cannellini beans, chicken broth, cilantro, pepper jack cheese, sour cream (ok that’s not there, but it’s coming later).

The first step is to shred the chicken. You can use a couple forks and pull it off and shred it that way. Or you can go all inner savage beast on it and pull it off and then apart with your hands. I won’t tell you which one I did, but it wasn’t the fork one.

Now we cut up our vegetables. Lets start with the jalapeño. Incidentally, if you’re feeling risky, you could certainly use more than 1 jalapeño. I, however, am a big wimp, and one is quite enough for me.

Start by slicing it in half down the middle and removing the white (that’s the extra hot part, so if you want it, you can leave it!) and the seeds.

Then chop ‘er up. I like to cut them pretty small, lest I get a big bite of pepper and literally die. Like I said, I’m a big wimp.

If you weren’t wearing gloves when you chopped the jalapeño, go right now and wash your hands 2 dozen times. Then promise me you won’t touch your eye for at least 9 days.

Next, the garlic. I know I say in the recipe to use 4 cloves, but these were wimpy and I love garlic, so I used 5. Sue me. And the onions. I don’t get too hung up on the onions being diced perfectly uniform or anything, it’s chili, it’s supposed to be chunky and funky. Just like me, I think.

Now we’re ready to put it all together! Easy so far, RIGHT? You might want to wash your hands again, they smell like garlic. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onions, peppers and garlic.

Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Don’t burn it! We’ve come so far! Mine aren’t QUITE there in this picture, but it’s dark by my stove and I wasn’t having a good time trying to take these photos, so pretend they are. I appreciate it.

Add the chicken to the skillet.

Once you have all that incorporated, add the spices. If you are trying to hold a reflector while standing on a chair and taking a picture while you measure and add the spices, there’s a chance your stuff will start to get a little brown on the bottom. If not, don’t worry! Add the salt, pepper, cumin and oregano.

Stir that around until it’s combined, and then transfer it to your slow cooker (or you can do it on the stove, either way works).

Open your beans, and drain and rinse them. Sometimes I include the… er… juice? But not this time. Get them nice and rinsed! Yay for rinsed beans!

Now take a small amount of the beans, maybe a cup or so (measure, schmeasure), and mash them in a small bowl. You can use a masher, a food processor, blender, whatever. But, I’m all about what dishes I don’t want to do, so I use a fork. Forks are so under appreciated.

There, all mashy. The word invention never ends here on How 2 Stay Fat.

Now add a bit of the chicken broth to the mashed beans, just to make them a bit easier to incorporate. Again, no need to measure here. We’re not building a rocket, after all! /corny jokes off

Start adding everything to the slow cooker (or pot, I haven’t forgotten about you stove top people!). First, the chicken broth.

Then the beans.

Finally, the mashed beans.

Or whatever order you want. I’m not the boss of you.

Stir to combine. Get excited.

…and then cook on low for 2-3 hours (or 30-60 min on the stove). It doesn’t take long, since you really aren’t cooking it (the reasons for using that rotisserie chicken just never end!), just heating it and getting all the flavors to meld together.

If you get bored while you’re waiting, you can clean your kitchen. Or start getting your toppings ready.

Chop some cilantro. Or parsley, if cilantro is not your thing. Cilantro is my thing, so that’s what I went with. Shred some pepper jack cheese, or just regular jack, or even cheddar, I won’t tell!

Sit at the table and bang your spoon on the table for 20 minutes until you remember that you’re the only one home and go check your email and harvest your Farmville crops or whatever it is you do while you’re home alone.

Ahh, finally….

White Chicken Chili

2 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
3 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno, cook until onions are translucent. Add cooked chicken, sprinkle with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, transfer to slow cooker.

In a small bowl, mash a small amount of the beans with a small amount of the broth. Add to the slow cooker.

Add remaining beans and broth to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir before serving.

Top with shredded pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Cookie Scoop Winner!

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I used the handy dandy number generator, and came up with:

Which appears to be Mary Beth! Email your address to admin@how2stayfat.com and your lovely prize will be on its way!

Facebook

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Psst… join us on Facebook. Even more giveaways there!

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

…and a giveaway, too (**see below)!

The End.

Oh. I wasn’t just supposed to show you them and then eat them, was I? I was supposed to teach you how to make delicious cakey chocolate chip cookies that stay soft even the next day, right? Well, ok. I suppose it’s another step in our How 2 Stay Fat lesson plan. This recipe was brought to us by the same Allison that brought us the cute name for the site. Cute name/awesome cookies/we love her.

What to gather: All-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter (softened), vanilla, eggs, instant vanilla pudding (this is the secret!), salt (in a cute pinch bowl that will get chewed up by your dog immediately following this post), baking soda, chocolate chips

First step – more sifting. We love to sift here on H2SF. And, LOOK! I got a new sifter, one I can be proud of. So, without further adieu, here it is. We’re sifting together our dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda). I just measure them all in to my sifter and then sift. I don’t premix them and I don’t know if you’re supposed to. If you are, we’ll just pretend I’m a rebel. If you aren’t, we’ll just pretend this paragraph never happened.

And just to be able to use the cool word I made up in the Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes post, here’s a photo of everything all sifty.

This is the part where I break out my favorite kitchen toy, the phone I use to order carryout my stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, or are working on your upper body strength for your upcoming triathalon, by all means, get your spoon out and beat it like you mean it.

Add the sugar, brown sugar and butter to the bowl, and then cream them together.

Add the pudding mix, and beat until blended. (no photo, they were all starting to look alike and I think I deleted that one in a fit of culinary rage) Add the eggs and vanilla.

And beat gently.

Now we’re going to add the flour. This is where the massive upper body strength comes in handy if you’re doing this the pioneer way. You want to add it a bit at a time.

As it becomes incorporated, add a bit more!

Until it is all happily blended together into happy little dough in your happy little bowl. I have a happy giant bowl, so I scraped the sides down to get every last bit of yummy!

But wait, you might be thinking, wait! Where are the chocolate chips? Ahhh, you thought I forgot. That senility had finally set in and I’d fallen out of my rocker, fallen off of a rock, lost my rocker, forgotten the chocolate chips.

In fact, I just wanted to make you take the bowl off the mixer so that you didn’t pulverize them. You may now add them to the dough, stirring by hand even if you weren’t trying to bulk up for the Olympics. Pour them over the top.

Become overcome with passion and grab a small handful off the top and eat them. Don’t tell anyone. Then combine. No one will ever know.

Now, grab your cookie scoop and prepare to scoop!

Wait…what? You don’t have a cookie scoop?? Well, you need one. I use mine for cake balls, meatballs, cookies, and I’m sure I could think of a few more things I use it for if I weren’t senile or whatever it was you said earlier. Keep reading this post and you could win the exact one I’m using!

Peek a boo! I see you! I’m wearing a pink shirt and white apron, can you see me?

Scoop out a level scoop of dough…

…and drop it onto a cookie sheet.

ain’t it purty?

Repeat four hundred and thirteen thousand times.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the scoop you used / cookie you made. The scoop I used was “medium” sized, and my cookies took about 13 minutes. But your mileage may vary depending on elevation, position of the moon, dog needing out, etc. Just keep an eye on the first batch so that you know what to expect for the rest.

Allow them to rest on the tray for 2-3 minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack for the remainder of the cooling process.

Pour a large glass of milk, and find a quiet room to hide in. Heaven will soon be yours.

(I halved the recipe for this demonstration, because I was just trying to STAY fat, not get FATTER. Plus, I’m lazy. If you want to become popular in your neighborhood, make the whole batch and take plates of them to your neighbors. Cookies cause worship. Well known fact.)

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

**Want to win your very own Oxo Good Grips Cookie Scoop? Leave a comment on this post and you’re automatically entered. I will draw a random winner of all entries received before 10pm Eastern on Friday, February 19th, 2010.**

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Monday, February 15th, 2010

For many many years (and hey, I’ll admit it, still today) I was a Bisquick girl. If I ever say I am “making pancakes”, that is usually what I mean.

But, lets be honest. They’re ok, but they are no substitute for the real deal… homemade buttermilk pancakes. I got this recipe many years ago in a recipe exchange and it changed the way I feel about pancakes. The only reason I still do the B-word ones ever is because I’m cooking for an army and I just want to crank them out. Then I make these again and I write myself nasty letters about having forsaken them.

So, make these. Just once. Have a life-altering experience. Send me love letters. Repeat.

What to gather: All-purpose flour, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, butter, salt, baking powder, baking soda, blueberries.

Preheat a griddle or other frying vessel to 375° while we are working.

Sift together all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda). We’ve known each other for a few posts now, so I’ve decided maybe you won’t judge me if you see my sifter. But not the whole thing. Just the bottom part. We won’t talk about how it’s broken and what I have to do to actually get it to sift.

There, all nice and sifty. Even with ghetto sifter. Is sifty a word? I’m thinking no.

Melt your butter. Don’t get it all ridiculously hot, because we’re adding it to a bowl that contains eggs and we don’t want scrambled eggs here. Just heat it enough to melt.

Now that we have that settled, we can combine our wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, melted butter). Just whisk them together. Whisking buttermilk and eggs is probably not the most appetizing looking thing, but stay with me. It’ll pay off later!

Now is the crucial part, combining the wet and dry. It’s very important you not over do this. Go put the whisk in the dishwasher right now. Don’t even think about using it on this step. Go get a spatula, because we are going to be FOLDING this together. Not stirring, not beating, not whisking or whipping or pulverizing or liquefying or any of that nonsense. Just a gentle fold.

Now is the crucial part. But for real this time. You have to know when to STOP folding. As soon as there isn’t any dry flour on the bottom is really good enough. It doesn’t have to be smooth or uniform or anything, just combined gently. You’ll want to keep going. Don’t do it. I showed you my sifter, so we have a level of trust now.

Now we cook. I know what you’re thinking. There’s no blueberries in them. That’s right! If you stirred them in now, they’d get all beat up, AND they would make your batter turn purple. We don’t want that. So we’re going to add them in a minute. You washed them and dried them and pulled the stems out of the 2 that still had one, right? Of course you did. Ok, moving on.

By now your griddle should be hot and ready for a light coating of non-stick spray. Don’t forget that part like I did with the first batch of these I did for this post. It wasn’t a good scene. Learn from my mistakes. Spray.

Then start the magic. I used a scant 1/3 cup of batter. You can use a bit less, even. They spread out and puff up quite a bit. As evidenced by how close together these are. But I’d already screwed up round 1, I wanted to get this post done while I was still on the same batch. Once you get your batter to the pan, you can sprinkle a few blueberries on each one. Yum.

Now, we wait. The top will get bubbly and the edges will start to cook. You can peek if you wanna. When the bottom is golden brown, we flip.

Can you smell them yet?

Once they are brown on the other side, you’re done!

Come eat with me, will you?

You know you wanna.

Oops.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go run 75 miles.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Recipe by: The Mildred Pierce Restaurant

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (plus some to grease pan)
1 cup fresh blueberries

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter.

Using a spatula, combine the dry and wet ingredients to make a thick, lumpy batter, taking care not to over mix.

In a nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Ladle 1/3 cup batter onto the hot skillet and sprinkle with blueberries. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, as the pancakes will puff up as they cook.

When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and the edges begin to brown, flip the pancakes and cook the other side. It should take about 2 to 3 minutes per side. If you’re making these faster than you are eating them, keep the pancakes warm in a 250 F/120 C oven.

Smother with maple syrup and dollop with whipped cream.

KISS: Grilled Pastrami Sandwich – AKA: YUM!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Introducing my favorite category here, right after anything that involves sweets or baking: Keep it Simple Saturday! (And I’m posting this on a Friday. My organizational skills are top notch. OR! Perhaps I’m posting it on Friday so that you can gather your ingredients in time to make it on Saturday. Yeah! Lets run with that!) This category will be full of things you can throw together in a hurry without having to resort to canned chili. (Which I had for dinner last night, so I suppose I’m not above that, either!) Anyway, on with the show!

I wanted to call this a panini, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it means to BE a panini and I didn’t want the Panini police to show up and take me to panini prison or anything. Besides that, panini is italian and I’m sure they wouldn’t approve of their name being on this sandwich. I actually think panini is the plural form of panino or something, but lets not get sidetracked here. Lets make a sandwich.

I got this handy Cuisinart Griddler for Christmas. Which is to say, I had it on my Christmas list and then saw it at Costco for much cheaper and bought it and left it in the car until Christmas. If you don’t have one, do not fret! You can fry this baby up in a pan just like any other grilled sandwich, and it will still rock your world.

Lets begin.

What to gather: Italian bread (you could use rye, but my husband doesn’t like rye so I don’t buy it because I can’t shouldn’t eat an entire loaf of it), butter (note to self: buy more butter), pastrami, pepper jack cheese (look! it’s low fat! I’m very health conscious today.), sauerkraut, pickles, mustard.

The first thing I did was to put the sauerkraut I was going to use into the microwave for a minute just to warm it up, since it had been in the fridge. I’ve made these without doing that, and didn’t notice it being cold, but I’m paranoid and stuff.

Preheat your pan/grill/griddle/panini press and get ready for the fun.

First, butter both slices of bread. On the outside. You could certainly use the margarine in a tub, I won’t judge you.

Lay one slice onto the preheated surface, butter side down. And get ready to move fast, you don’t want it to brown before you get the top on. That is, if you’re using a device that cooks both sides at the same time. I guess if you’re going to flip it, it doesn’t matter. But anyway, butter side down.

Pile on the pastrami. Or corned beef would be good, too.

Now the sauerkraut. I can’t be bothered with little bits that don’t make it. We’re on a mission here. A mission called Delicious.

Add some pickles. These are the handy sandwich slices that I got in the deli case because I like some crunch to my pickles. You can use whatever pickles you like.

Slather on some mustard. Just the plain ole yellow stuff. My husband puts his mustard on after, so that it doesn’t get warm, but I can’t be bothered with that, either. I just slap it on there all at once and then eat.

Now add my sweet sweet love… pepperjack cheese. You can even add 2 slices if you’re feeling lucky.

Now the other slice of bread, butter side UP.

Let the magic happen. Peek inside if you are using a griddler. If you’re using a griddler on your kitchen table to be closer to the light, like I am here, this might require you to actually climb on the table to get this angle. Just sayin’.

Eventually, this will happen:

Oh, mercy.

Baked chips. Again, very health conscious around here.

Grilled Pastrami Sandwich

2 slices italian bread
butter
pastrami
pepperjack cheese
pickles
mustard
sauerkraut

Butter both sides of bread, and place one slice in preheated pan, butter side down. Layer with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and pepper jack cheese. Top with other slice of bread, this time butter side up. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Orange Pecan Monkey Bread

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Ok, so I admit that I probably should have stuck to a tried and true recipe for the first one I made for the site. But, I like to live dangerously, so we’re going to try this together.

I’ve been wanting to make orange rolls since someone mentioned them to me a month or so ago. Then yesterday, another friend made Monkey Bread and so then I wanted that. My ample posterior can ill afford to consume both of them, so I thought maybe I could combine the 2 into one. Here goes nothing!

Although many many monkey bread recipes are made with refrigerated dough/biscuits, and you could certainly use them here as well, I wanted to make this without leaving my house. Since my house doesn’t contain any frozen or refrigerated dough, I made my own. I’m sure it’s better this way. 😉

This is just one of many basic bread dough recipes, if you have a favorite, feel free to use it. Otherwise, here we go!

What to gather: Yeast, Warm Milk, All-purpose flour, sugar, salt, butter, more butter, brown sugar, an orange, orange juice (conveniently located inside of the orange), pecans.

The first thing we want to do is proof the yeast. In a nutshell: wake it up. It’s still sleeping off it’s new year’s hangover. We want to know that our yeast is active before we get through the entire process only to find a lump of dough that didn’t rise. Then you’ll yell at me and tell me my recipe sucks, and then I’ll cry. It won’t be a good scene.

You want your milk to be around 100-115 degrees. I usually compare it to about the temperature I’d use for a baby’s bath water, or maybe even a TAD warmer than that. Too hot and you’ll kill the baby. I mean yeast. Too cold and it won’t wake up. Either way, you lose. So, make sure your milk is warm.

Pour your milk into a bowl (I just used the bowl of my mixer, since that’s where it’s all going eventually anyway) and add 1 tsp of the 1/4 cup of sugar (put the rest aside, it’s coming soon).

Stir to dissolve, then sprinkle the yeast over the top.

After about 2-3 minutes it should look bubbly/frothy and smell like… well… yeast. If it just looks like dead water, you might have bad yeast. Check the expiration date, it was probably 2 years ago if you’re anything like me. But this time, we have success. See how it poofed up on top and is all bubbly around the edges? Good stuff, man.

Now that we have all that proofing business out of the way, we can get on with our lives.

Turn the mixer on low, and add the softened butter to the yeast.

Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, remaining sugar, salt). Mine are sifted, you’ll just have to trust me. I can’t show my sifter on the internet, I’d be kicked off and ridiculed. Work with me here, I sifted. See how sifted it looks?

And slowly add them to the yeast mixture.

When the dough comes together it should look like, well, bread dough. Smooth like a baby’s bum! Not sticky, not dry. If it’s either of those things, you can gradually add more flour or a bit of water until you get the right consistency. This is where that “3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour” thing comes in.

This is what mine looked like after 3 cups of flour. It was obviously too sticky, so I added a bit more.

When it has all come together, it’s time to let it rise! Form one big disc with it, and put it in a lightly greased bowl. (I sprayed mine with Pam. I’m lazy like that.)

Cover loosely with a towel and set in a warm place until it about doubles in size. I’d say roughly an hour.

Now for the good stuff.

Grate the rind off one orange. Make sure you only get the orange stuff, and not the white. The white is crap, and you’ll yell at me again.

In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of butter. Stir in the brown sugar, orange peel and orange juice (I used the juice from the orange I took the rind off of. I’m so economical and stuff.). As soon as it’s smooth, you can remove it from the heat.

Take your big beautiful bowl of dough and punch it down a bit so you can work with it.

Now, tear off little clumps of it, maybe 1″ clumps, to be more precise. You can make them nicer and rounder than this, but I wanted to go watch Biggest Loser and feel bad about myself, so I just ripped off hunks and wadded them up. Rar.

Dip them in the orange mixture. Get them good and orangey and gooey and oh so good. The more drippy the better.

Dip them into the pecans. They don’t need to be completely covered with pecans, just a few on each one is good. I basically just put pecans on one side and ran with it. You can leave the pecans off if you want, but then you can’t call it Orange Pecan Monkey Bread. Just sayin’.

Layer the gooey delicious nutty clumps in a bundt pan, loosely. You don’t want to be cramming them in there like some kind of 60s phone booth contest gone wrong. They need to be able to breathe and grow and prosper.

10 very sticky fingers later….

Let this rise one last time while you preheat the oven, or rotate your laundry, or help a kid with homework, or whatever else it is you need to do while it’s rising. It should only take about 20 or 30 or 40 minutes this time, just until it gets to the top of the pan.

I could have let this get a little higher, but again… I’m not known for my patience.

Bake this sweet thing at 350° for about 30-35 minutes, until it’s golden brown and irresistible.

Place a plate on top of the pan and then turn the whole thing upside down, to invert the bread onto the plate. (I wanted to show a picture of me inverting it, but as I’m the only one here, that proved an impossible feat. You’ll have to trust me again. I know we’ve just met.) Try not to burn your tonsils off when you can’t wait any longer and you pull a piece out.

Ahhh it was a success. My heart is all aflutter.

Orange Pecan Monkey Bread

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (100-115°F)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar; divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tsp grated orange peel
1 cup finely chopped pecans

In mixer bowl, combine milk with 1 teaspoon sugar, sprinkle with yeast. Allow to proof for 2-3 minutes. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup softened butter. Sift together flour, remaining sugar and salt, and slowly add to yeast mixture. Mix until dough forms, adding more flour or water if needed to make soft dough.

Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size (about an hour).

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan, and add brown sugar, orange peel and orange juice. Stir until smooth and remove from heat.

Punch dough down and tear off 1″ clumps. Roll into a ball and dip in butter mixture, covering completely. Dip lightly into pecans and stack loosely in a bundt pan.

Allow to rise until just above pan.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto platter.

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