Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chocolate Toffee Rolls

In our house Chocolate and Toffee automatically make the the best wife ever. My husband loves toffee and loves a good dark chocolate. As I was looking through all my favorite blogs I came across several cinnamon roll recipes that got me drooling. Then I thought... well why not combine the flavors we like with a sweet roll? I don't know if it has been done before or not, but this recipe is a winner! 
Romantic tip: What is your partners favorite flavors? Are they a chocolate lover? A candy lover? Maybe it is something savory? Find out and make a dish containing only their favorite flavors. 
With layers of sweet bread, dark chocolate, and toffee bits, I don't think it can get any better than this! This recipe makes 12 rolls, I did not cut the recipe down, simply because I am giving the rolls away to several groups of friends in our building, as well as the maintenance man and the manager. They deserve to be pampered every once in a while too! My neighbor said it was "Quite possibly the best thing she has ever put in her mouth". 

If you are just cooking for two, you can cut the recipe in half and it will yield 6 rolls, send the leftovers to the office. You will become everyone's new best friend!

Chocolate Toffee Rolls
adapted from Laurens Latest

for the dough-
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons highly active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

for the filling-
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened
16 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped, or use the mini chips
8 ounces toffee bits (set aside 2 ounces of it for the topping)
1/4 cup sugar

for the drizzle
4 ounces chocolate
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and proof 5 minutes.

 Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 20 seconds. 
In a small bowl, measure buttermilk, oil and egg. 
Whisk ingredients together until egg is incorporated. 
Pour contents into the water and yeast mixture. 
Stir another 20 seconds in the mixer. 

Pour 2 cups of flour into mixer 
and stir on low until incorporated. I had to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Sprinkle flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched. Once it has reached this stage, turn mixer on and knead for 5 minutes. 
Remove dough from bowl, grease and replace back into same mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Rise 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size. I use a heating pad on low, this ensures perfect temperature for rising. Since not everyone has a hot sunny window seal!

While the dough is rising, chop up your chocolate, and set out your unsalted butter so that it becomes soft by the time the dough is ready. Set aside. 

When the dough has doubled size, punch down dough. 
Flour a large clean table liberally with flour.  Roll dough out to be a 20x30 rectangle.  
Feel free to cut off the edges to even it all out. I save my cut off edges and make a small serving of monkey bread with it. 

Spread softened butter over dough, being sure to go right to the edges leaving a 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough. 

Measure out your sugar, toffee and chocolate and make sure it is all chopped up. 
Sprinkle chocolate, sugar and toffee on top of the buttered dough. 

 Roll the dough up into a tight log, finishing with the plain dough on the bottom to seal the entire thing together. 
Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log (you can make monkey bread out of the leftovers, I made Chocolate Toffee Pull apart bread). 

Slice your rolls making them 2 inches. 
Place into a well greased/sprayed 11x13 baking dish,
 I cut up the leftovers (I always cut off the ends of the rolls so that each roll is the same size) and I placed in a small baking dish. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let rolls rise another 1-2 hours or until they are touching and have doubled in size. 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25  minutes, or until tops start to brown.
Melt your chocolate and whipping cream in a double broiler or microwave for 3 minutes at 50% heat to make the chocolate drizzle.Drizzle your chocolate drizzle on top and sprinkle with more toffee bits.
Serve warm.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Perfect Filet Mignon

My husband LOVES a good steak. He likes is "rare rare rare no whinney". That is how he orders it. Even though I am a veggie, fish, and poultry kinda gal, I still make the effort to make him things he loves. 
Romantic Tip: Take the time to do something just for your love. One of the great ways to show your love for someone is to do something for them, even if it isn't something you would want. It let's them know you care about them enough to step out of your comfort zone to make them happy. 

Recently I was blessed to recieve some Buttery Prime Angus Filet Mignon from Certified Steak and Seafood Company. If there was ever a steak that you will believe can “melt in your mouth” the Certified Steak and Seafood Prime angus Filet Mignon is it. With a delectable almost sweet beef flavor, and a strong buttery undertone that only Prime angus offers, it has to be tasted to be believed.
Certified Steak & Seafood 
Each Prime angus filet is slow aged,  custom cut and trimmed for consistency in color and quality. It is a flavor you will remember long after your meal is over. Great accompanied by grilled root vegetables and horseradish mashed potatoes.

A word from Certified Steak and Seafood Company: "Our commitment to our customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. We source directly with no 'middle man' making our supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows us to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate. On top of this, we sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase from us is pure and safe."

A little more about the Company: Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood direct. The brothers experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.

They have vast experience in sourcing and selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade — and bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores demand – and at a direct price that gives you tremendous value for every purchase. 

Now through February 28th you can get $25 off your entire order by using the following coupon.

Certified Steak & Seafood

You can like Certified Steak and Seafood on Facebook here. You can also follow them on twitter here.

After you get your amazing steak, you can make this great recipe. It is the definition of the perfect filet mignon. My husband says he starts drooling whenever I even mention it. This is his favorite recipe. 

The Perfect Filet Mignon
adapted from

2 8 ounce filet mignons
4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Take 1/2 stick of butter, softened, and mix well with the peeled, chopped garlic, the chopped herbs, and the lemon zest. Form into a log and refrigerate. Generously season the filet’s with salt and pepper, approximately1 teaspoon of seasoning per side.

Heat the remainder of the butter (1/2 stick) and the olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. 
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sear the filets in the hot pan for about 2 minutes per side, or until a nice brown crust has formed. 
While the steak is searing, continue to spoon the residual butter in the pan on top of the meat while it’s cooking. Once both sides are seared, place in the center of the oven for about 6-8 minutes, depending upon how thick your steak is. In the last minute of cooking, take the log of compound butter and slice a nice thick piece to place on top.
 Let rest for 5 minutes before you cut into it. This lets the juices flow into the meat instead of get all over your plate. 

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cinnamon Love Scones

As Valentines day approaches, my husband tends to find that a lot of his food is heart shaped. He knows it is just one small way I show my love for him, and he thinks it is cute. I think it helps set the mood. 
Romantic Tip: Make a breakfast or dessert with heart shapes. It reminds your partner of your love for them. It doesn't take much effort. Try it, I bet my bottom dollar you get a big smile. 
So this morning he woke up to some heart shaped scones that weren't only cute, they were to die for. Make these for your man. You won't be sorry. 

Cinnamon Love Scones with cinnamon drizzle
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Yield: Makes 3 heart shaped scones or 4 regular shaped scones.

1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cinnamon chips (I use Hershey's cinnamon chips)
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cinnamon drizzle:
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 Cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
Prepare your baking dish(s) by spraying generously with cooking spray. You can also line them with parchment paper, but I was using my heart baking dishes so I used Pam.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. 
Add cold cut up butter. Quickly cut in using a pastry tool or you can do a quick whisk in the mixer, but only for a few seconds. Mix until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few large butter lumps. 
Stir in the cinnamon chips. 
Pour in vanilla and heavy cream over the ingredients and stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Don't over mix.
Press your dough into prepared baking dish(es). If you don't have heart shaped dishes, you can shape them with your hands and place them on a baking sheet. 
Bake scones for 12-15 minutes, or until scones are light brown. 
Cool scones on a wire cooling rack and prepare the cinnamon glaze.

Place cinnamon chips and heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe dish. Microwave for 3 minutes at 50% power. Stir vigorously until the chips are melted and a smooth glaze forms. 
Drizzle glaze over cooled scones and serve!

Monday, January 28, 2013

10 Minute Breakfast Taco's

We had such a lovely Sunday. My morning started early. My hubby and I tend to wake up with the sun, which meant 6:30 am. We just fall asleep and wake up at the same time 7 days a week. I wish I could sleep in, but my body is on auto pilot.
We set out for church at 8:45 am. Since we have recently moved downtown, we are in the market for a new church home. We tried out a new one called "City Church" that is 2 blocks from our loft. There is something that I love about walking in the City in the morning. Maybe it is all the movies I have watched over the years where I have envied the scenes of couples walking out their front door to an outside cafe (we do that too!). 
Romantic Tip: Take a walk together hand in hand. If you have a cafe, church, breakfast joint, within walking distance, walk there and continue your time together. It is good for the mind, body and soul. 
Church started at 9am. It was a lovely service. Jury is still out on if it will become our church, because I am one who wants to try all of them before committing to a new home. Once I commit, I'm all in!
We had plans to meet some new friends at noon for the boat show that is in town this week, so I had an hour to cook my Man a quick breakfast/lunch dish. We had only had tea before church, so some nutrition was in order. My man likes things spicy, so Chorizo was the plan. Here is my recipe for quick 10 minute breakfast taco's.

10 Minute Breakfast Taco's

1 tsp Canola oil
4 ounces Chorizo
1/4 cup swee Onion, chopped
2 TBSP chopped Jalapeno
4 eggs
1/3 cup Pepper jack cheese
2 TBSP Green onion
8 Corn Tortillas

In a large skillet add canola oil, sweet onion, Chorizo sausage, and jalapeno. 
Cook on Medium heat until sausage is cooked through (about 5 minutes).
Crack your eggs in a bowl and whisk. 
After your sausage is cooked through, scrape to one side and pour the eggs into the other side. 
Cook until eggs are cooked through, then stir together with the sausage. 
Heat your tortillas in a tortilla warmer, (if you don't have a tortilla warmer wrap your tortilla's securely with parchment paper). Cook on high for 2 minutes in the microwave oven. 
To assemble lay 2 corn tortillas on a plate and then add your Chorizo/Egg mixture topped with pepper jack cheese. Repeat.
Top with green onions and serve!

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