Kuuk Salad Spinner Review

It’s no secret that many heads of lettuce have met their demise here in our home. In fact, a great many type of produce have, and the one thing they all had in common was being washed and spun dry. I’ve put many a miles on my old OXO salad and herb spinner. So many that the brake no longer worked, and the top started falling apart. Shortly after replacing it, I got an offer to try a version from Kuuk, and boy was I jazzed. Two is always better than one and imagine how much produce could be run through our little cleaning assembly line with 2 spinners going at once!

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Sadly, it was not meant to be. While this Kuuk spinner really tries to look like many of the leading brands available in stores, it falls way, way short in design, quality and function. For starters, it’s made quite cheaply. It’s priced competitively, at only $19.95, but it just isn’t made with materials that will last a long time. The major pluses for this are it’s price point and large size. It goes quickly downhill from there.

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The design, though, is really where things fell apart for us. From the “latching” lid, to the spinning crank, to the entire unit being unbalanced, it’s just awkward and difficult to use effectively. While most of us have, at one time or another, pressed down the plunger on a spinner, the Kuuk spinner uses a crank lever to spin the mesh strainer inside. And heaven help you if you don’t hold the container firmly on the counter, because it’ll wobble like an unbalanced washing machine and fly right off the counter. And the latch on the side that is supposed to keep the lid on is difficult to line up if only because the plastic the lid is made from has so much flex in it.

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In the end, I was disappointed in this product. I wanted to like it, and wanted to really be able to use it more often, but at the end of the day, it just wasn’t meant to be. Also, my experience with the company with another of their products left much to be desired, and I’d be lying if I told you that that didn’t factor in more than a bit when it came to how I felt about this product. Nobody wants to buy products from a company that won’t stand behind them.

Connect with Kuuk:

  • On Amazon

I received the above product(s) free of charge from iHeadphones. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Giveaway Time: Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Box filled with goodies ENTER TO WIN

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Starting today and until June 1’st, you can enter to win the above package, which I received from Rigoni di Asiago.  The box came filled with goodies that you can taste and some that you can wear, to the hazelnut bag you can shop with!  Entering is super easy too:

Please, kindly just:

 

  1.  Follow Rigoni di Asiago on Facebook here- https://www.facebook.com/RigonidiAsiagoUSA
  2. And also here on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/NocciolataUSA
  3. Then on  Twitter– https://twitter.com/NocciolataUSA
  4. and lastly leave me a comment on any of the reviews and/or recipes I shared.

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4 easy small steps and this gorgeous box could be yours……..the hazelnut shopping bag melts your heart while you munch on the Nocciolata.  Good luck!

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Winner will be notified via the contact connected to your account.  I will then forward the address to the company, which will then send the box to your home address, minus the squirrel of course 🙂

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Rigoni di Asiago: Nocciolata with Raspberries, this is a 2-in-1 #Recipe Turnovers & Cookies Part 2

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I wanted to create a filling that is easy to make, does not require a plethora of ingredients and is fast……but of course delicious. With Mother’s Day upon us, many of us want to give something chocolate and fruity but the same fallback of strawberries dipped in chocolate is so yesterday! Think chocolate and raspberries snoozing in a puff pastry dough.

 

Let’s Begin……

  • 35 grams of Nocciolata spread
  • 7 grams of Almond Flour/Meal
  • 20 grams of Frozen Red Raspberries
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry (each sheet measures 5X5) and is in square shape
  • 1 egg at room temperature (whisked and with a brush)
  • Optional- Raw Hazelnuts
  • Powder Sugar for dusting

Make your filling like in part #1 http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-SX

Cookies (yields about 12 to 14 cookies):

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Take Puff Pastry out and allow it to come to temperature, but just enough to be manageable.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Get two sheets and begin spreading your filling like this-

Then brush with egg wash

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Begin to roll dough over from each edge, towards the inside like this-

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Again, more egg wash and fold again and again…..you will be creating a heart ❤

I use the same parchment papers that come with the puff pastry to keep the roll sealed and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Put roll in the freezer to stiffen up (15 to 20 minutes) so you can cut without destroying the cookie.  Repeat with the other dough sheet the same process.

 

 Once the dough is stiff enough to cut without destroying the shape, you can start making cookies.

Then take the Hazelnuts (optional) and chop roughly, placing one small piece in each center.

Then wash with egg and place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes to bake at 400 degrees.

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Take the cookies out and allow them to rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a rack.  This helps dehydrate and also finish off the cooking in the dough, plus give it a crisp texture.

Dust with Powder Sugar.

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Then you can eat them semi-warm or completely cooled.  Enjoy!

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Get your Nocciolate fix at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rigoni di Asiago.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Rigoni di Asiago: Nocciolata with Raspberries, this is a 2-in-1 #Recipe Turnovers & Cookies Part 1

 

 

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I wanted to create a filling that is easy to make, does not require a plethora of ingredients and is fast……but of course delicious. With Mother’s Day upon us, many of us want to give something chocolate and fruity but the same fallback of strawberries dipped in chocolate is so yesterday! Think chocolate and raspberries snoozing in a puff pastry dough. This is a 2-in-1 recipe where you can make heart shaped cookies or turnovers. You pick!

Let’s Begin……

  • 35 grams of Nocciolata spread
  • 7 grams of Almond Flour/Meal
  • 20 grams of Frozen Red Raspberries
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry (each sheet measures 5X5) and is in square shape
  • 1 egg at room temperature (whisked and with a brush)
  • Fork or you can crimp dough by hand
  • Powder Sugar for dusting

 

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Start by taking out your Puff Pastry out of the freezer.  I used 2 sheets that measure 5×5 each.  Turn your oven on to 400 degress to preheat.  While the dough defrosts just enough to be manageable, combine your fillings ingredients.

Using a small spatula or spoon, just mix.

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Set the mix aside and then begin by opening an egg and whisking.  You can set your pastry brush by it as you will need it.

Take your 2 sheets of Puff Pastry and by now they should be pliable (not overly soft) to begin working with.

 

For Turnovers (this will make 4 of them):

Cut one 5 x 5 Puff Pastry Sheet at diagonally, so you are left with 2 triangles

Take your filling and add about 1/4 of it to each triangle

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Then take egg wash and brush all sides lightly

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Fold dough, as to create a smaller triangle

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Softly press making sure each side meets with each other nicely and if any filling comes out, give it a wipe but try not to stress about it 🙂

Then crimp closed with a fork

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Give the top an egg wash and repeat the same process with your second turnover

Place both turnovers on parchment paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Allow the pastry to cool and give it a dusting with powder sugar! Serve warm alone, with cream or ice cream.

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Get your Nocciolate fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rigoni di Asiago.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Cocomama Foods: The Easiest and Tastiest way to start your morning with Quinoa Cereal #Review

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Cocomama Foods was kind enough to send me a sampler pack, which featured their 4 different varieties of Quinoa cereal. I indulge in the morning and usually want to start with a nice energy filled meal. Getting anything at the store that comes from a box may energize a hummingbird with the amounts of sugar added, however I can’t flap that fast. I’m seeking energy that lasts so I can keep going at a normal pace and Cocomama Quinoa based cereals fit that perfectly.

Got milk? No worries, their pouch form servings are perfect and ready to eat. No need for a stove or even watts from a microwave. You can enjoy the cereal heated or at room temperature. I love the ease of customization because sometimes I want to add fruit and especially when I buy more strawberries than a family of 2 can eat. What can I say, the sales get to me and I have plans at the store that do not always come to fruition at home. I also love the no excuses approach to starting your day in a more healthier way. You seriously can grab a spoon and eat from the pouch on the go, or be a little more civilized if you did not hit the snooze button twice that morning and enjoy it in a bowl, warmed up with a drizzle of honey and fresh fruit.

Cocomama has a Quinoa Cereal to satisfy any craving and avoid breakfast boredom:

  • Honey Almond
  • Banana Cinnamon
  • Wild Bluberry
  • Orange Cranberry

 

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Each flavor has real fruit and the shortest ingredient list I have seen in a pre-packaged cereal. You have water and coconut cream that creates the perfect base, followed by organic quinoa, a touch of sea salt and then whatever the variety is. For example, the Banana Cinnamon flavor has the aforementioned and then maple syrup, banana puree, natural flavors and cinnamon…….told you Cocomama is real food with no codes and abbreviations for stuff you hope you are guessing right when it comes to ingredients. I tried finding a simple cereal like this and could not at my local market. I would have to make it from scratch!  All cereals are dairy free, soy free, gluten free, all natural, vegetarian friendly, great source of protein and fiber and let’s not overlook the 9 essential amino acids you get in every serving.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Wild Blueberry– This is the happiest blue colored bowl that puts a smile on your face. Made with wild blueberry powder, there is no hunting for blueberries to taste them! You get a blueberry burst of flavor and the smell immiting from the bowl is intense as well. If you want to pretend you are in a blueberry patch minus the thorns from picking them, this is the bowl for you. I enjoyed a nice “patriotic bowl” by adding fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries, plus some yogurt chips. One filling pouch is just 220 calories, which deliver 4 grams of protein, 8% of your daily value of Vitamin C and Iron, plus 4% of Calcium.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Honey Almond I always craved the maple and brown sugar oatmeal that was pictured on the box but my oatmeal never looked like the picture or even satisfied my taste buds. If you seek that flavor, this is the variety for you! You have sweet delicious honey and a small hint of Almond. Want more almond? Add them and I have but this base is better than any oatmeal you can make and that is even if you opted for milk versus water. This version also has kaniwa, a ancient super grain/super food that is less bitter and resembles almost red quinoa. Think of a naked quinoa grain because kaniwa is missing the saponins, the outter coating you find on quinoa. It has a more mild flavor but still that great texture. That is another thing you will enjoy, like pasta, grains must be rinsed and cooked properly to achieve the best texture we all seek and Cocomama does just that. A Honey Almond bowl is only 240 calories and you get 5 grams of protein per serving, 8% of your daily value of Iron and 2% of Calcium.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Banana Cinnamon– I love bananas and especially bread but only myself and the dog eats them, so I rarely make banana anything. Now I can have my “nanner” fix and be happy. Want a super banana taste? Use a fork and mash a small banana and then nicely fold in this Cocomama cereal and heat for 25 seconds in a microwave…….the smell alone is insanely good but wait for it to cool before taking a bite. My taste-buds took control of my brain one morning and they got the best of me or to be more exact, my tongue. The wait will be worth it and you will be in what I call “nanner heaven”. I also seek a more mild cinnamon spice flavor, so this made the bowl perfection for me……think of a deconstructed banana bread slice.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Orange Cranberry– I wish this combination of flavors was more popular than just during the holidays. I can find even cranberry sauce and muffins during December but then the party is over, the year flips and I see no Cran-Orange anything. Now I can party all year because whoever said this is just a Winter treat knows nothing! You have moist cranberries floating in sea of orange juice plumped quinoa. Again, every bite delivers the flavor and the scent is just citrus-y and happy. I was so excited when I saw this combo in the sampler pack because it’s what I seek to not get into that breakfast rut. I was naughty and added just a teaspoon of mini dark chocolate chips…….it’s like having an oatmeal cookie without those disappointing raisins. Oatmeal cookies should be made like this and trust me they would sell……..makes me wonder if adding a little rice flour and honey would probably make this pouch into one pretty yummy cookie (hint, hint).
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Bowl filled with Cocomama’s Banana Cinnamon Quinoa Cereal

As if Cocomama Foods needed to add more to their breakfast or late night meal arsenal, they have come out with a brand-new product…..Crunched Out! I can’t wait to try it and from the pictures below, you can see something like Fudgy Chocolate and I see a Vanilla Nut flavor and yes, I would even put it on my coconut sorbet….eating good sometimes makes me feel guilty because for some, eating good is seen as a punishment. Well, you are not doing it right then! Eating good is full of flavor and I eat everything but it’s just real and natural, with a mix of organic even. Real food delivers the entire fruit, grain……what gives your body energy and fuel to run on. Start your morning with Cocomama and your body will be running on happy!

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Check out Crunched Out:

  • Support Cocomama on Kickstarter- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cocomamafoods/get-crunched-out

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Stay tuned for the Crunched Out reviews and I will be releasing the crunch monster in me, it’s sort of like the kraken but I’m friendlier 🙂

Get you Cocomama fix at:

  • On-line- https://www.cocomamafoods.com/
  • Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CocomamaFoods
  • Twitter- https://twitter.com/cocomamafoods
  • Linkedin- http://www.linkedin.com/company/cocomama-foods?trk=fc_badge
  • Blog- https://www.cocomamafoods.com/blog/

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I received the above product free of charge from Cocomama.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

Bob’s Red Mill: Crake! a Fusion Dessert made of a Cinnamon Roll and caKE all-in-one

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With all the fusion of desserts going on today, I thought I would enter into that playground and have a go at it.  I present to you what I call a Crake!  It’s actually pastry dough that I made using a blend of flours and a cake that engulfs each roll.  Being that Valentine’s Day is around the corner, we all need a hug and this moist buttermilk-based cake does just that to each roll.  So let’s get started creating and let me add, this has a sticky bun topping so I made sure to splurge!

We start by getting our starter going:

Starter-
3 ounces of Warm Water (105 to 110 degrees)
1 teaspoon of White Sugar
1/2 tablespoon of Yeast
1 ounce of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour

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I have a proofing option with my oven that I set at 110 degrees.  No need to have one, so you can also place the starter to bloom in a dark warm corner in your kitchen.  I gently mix everything in a small bowl, but one with enough room for the rise. Then cover with plastic and give it about 15 minutes.

While that starter get’s….well started, I begin with the Sweet Dough Mix for the Rolls:

Dough-
3 ounces of Yogurt (or you can use 3 ounces of cream cheese, plus 1 tablespoon of milk)
2 ounces of Unsalted Butter (softened)
1 egg at room temperature
1 3/4 ounces of White Sugar
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
6 1/2 ounces of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
4 Ounces Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour

Between a 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of All Purpose Flour (separate from above measurements) will be needed while the dough kneads.

I cream the sugar and butter together with a mixer (stand or hand will do, use your whisk attachment).  I then add the Yogurt but in this case I went with the 3 ounces of cream cheese (with 1 tablespoon of milk).  Add the egg and vanilla.  I then add the starter and incorporate everything, being careful not to over mix.   In another bowl, I mix the salt and both flours with a whisk.  I add the mix to the wet ingredients, still with the whisk attachment on.  Things will look a little shaggy at this point; that’s okay. I then change over to the dough hook.  I find using a little butter on my dough hook makes it easier in preventing the dough from sticking to it.  I begin to knead and add All Purpose Flour as needed.  Sometimes I need a 1/4 cup and other times I need up to a 1/2 a cup, it all depends on the elasticity it builds.  I knead for about 10 minutes using the mixer.

After the dough is a nice texture, I place it in a buttered bowl and cover it with plastic. In it goes to the proofer for a hour to an hour and 20 minutes. You want the dough to grow almost double in size.

I then begin on the “sticky bun” topping that I call “The Glaze”:

Glaze-
4 tablespoons of Butter (salted)
3 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
1/2 a cup of Brown Sugar

I melt the above items down and I find my little “gravy” pan works great as it has a notch for pouring.  Stir frequently and don’t hurry it up by turning up the heat.  Use low heat until things melt and just begin to bubble.  You want no sugar crystals (grains), just a smooth glaze.

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While the glaze melts, I get 1/2 a cup of pecans and throw them on some parchment paper to toast.  This intensifies the flavor profile and also adds a nice texture to the glaze.  The glaze will actually almost create a butter nut toffee texture over the pecans, so it is really delicious and beautiful looking at the same time.  I use my toaster oven because my dough is proofing in my oven.  Just place them at 350 degrees and then watch them so they do not burn.  It may take 5 minutes or 10 to be done, so the time is never exact but keep an eye on them until the color changes (darkens slightly).

Nuts-
1/2 cup of toasted Pecans (or any nut of your choice)

I then get a glass pan that I will use to bake this entire concoction in.  I use a “lasagna” pan that is the size of 9 x 13 inches (3 quart).  This allows enough room for the rolls to rise and for the cake batter to fit.  I use cooking spray on the glass and then place parchment.  The spray allows my parchment paper to stick and stay put better so I don’t have to fuss with it.  I also find that it’s easier to first cut and shape the paper to your liking BEFORE spraying so you don’t then end up with baking spray on your hands too.  Yes, it has happened where I forget and then end up with slippery hands!

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Pour the glaze onto the paper and make sure to help it spread evenly.  Once it spreads out, add the Pecans.

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I get started in making the filling for the Rolls:
Roll Filling-
You can use the standard cinnamon roll filling of 1/2 tablespoons of melted Butter, 1 cup of Brown Sugar, 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon of ground Cinnamon, with a dash of Nutmeg.
Roll Filling Variations-
With Strawberries being in season and I am going for a Valentine’s Day dessert, I picked Strawberries.  You can go with any berry you wish like Blackberries or even a mix.  I used 6 ounces of fresh Strawberries that I sliced up and because they were already sweet, I used less than a teaspoon of White Sugar and just tossed them.  Take note the glaze is sweet and you don’t want an overly sweet filing too but do sugar the fruit by taste.
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By now the dough has “poofed” to my liking and close enough to being double the size so I get it out of the proofer and just flip it on to a floured surface.  Have a 1/2 cup of flour ready if needed when it comes to rolling the dough out.  I roll the dough out to about 14 inches (length wise).  I then spread the filling and in this case the fruit, and then I begin to roll like I would any cinnamon roll.
You want 8 rolls in total and this is my method:
Cut the ends off and then cut the roll in half.
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You now have 2 small rolls and you will cut each on in half again.
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You now have 4 pieces and you then simply cut each piece in half and you end up with 8 (close enough) equally sized rolls.
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Place the rolls in the pan that has the glaze and in it goes back in the oven to proof for about 30 to 45 minutes.  You want expansion but not so much that you won’t have room for cake batter.
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While the rolls proof, off we go to make the cake batter.  Start making the batter when you are about 10 minutes away from the rolls finish proofing:
Buttermilk Cake Batter-
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup of White Sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/3 cup of Unsalted Butter
1 Egg (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon of Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cup of Buttermilk
Cream the sugar and butter together.  While that incorporates nicely, get the 3/4 cup of buttermilk and add the egg, vanilla, maple syrup to it until well blended.  Then in a separate bowl blend the dry ingredients, the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Once the butter and sugar are nice and creamy, add 1/2 of the “wet” buttermilk mixture and 1/2 of the “dry” flour mixture to the mixing bowl.  Make sure to not over mix as this results in a tough textured cake.  Scrape the sides and bottom, then add the rest of the wet and dry ingredients.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
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Take the rolls out of the proofer and then add the cake batter to the areas around each roll.  Make sure to not get cake batter on the top of the rolls since you do not want a soggy roll.  A couple of drips is okay but do not spread the cake batter on top of the rolls.  I used all my cake batter because the point here is for the cake to rise to the height of the rolls.  You do not want when you flip these over to collapse.
By now my bossy oven has beeped at me that it is ready for the Crake to go in.  I then bake it between 30 to 40 minutes.  If you see it start to over brown, just place foil on top and make sure to not over bake.  Take it out when the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Mine was ready at 37 minutes.
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I allow the pan to cool for 8 to 10 minutes and carefully place a dish that accommodates the size of the pan you used over the Crake.  I use a glass cutting board so that I just dirty one thing and I can just slice when needed.  Use oven mitts to keep a nice grip and also in case it’s too hot.  Flip and this is where you will thank the parchment paper….just carefully peel and I use a small spatula in case a pecan here or there tries to escape.
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Viola, you made a Crake!
I then heated up dinner and allowed the Crake to cool.  It won’t get soggy on the bottom as the glaze stays on top.  After dinner I cut into it and served it with a whipped topping made of Heavy Cream, Mascarpone Cheese, and Powdered Sugar.  You just whip until you get nice stiff peaks but don’t over-whip as you will make butter.  To let my guest know the pastry had a Strawberry filling, I added a cut Fresh Strawberry on top and also a whole one to a dollop of whipped cream I placed on the plate.  This allows anyone to get more topping in case I went light on it.  Enjoy!
You can do this any way you desire.  What I mean is this is a dessert that is really two-in-one.  Want to just make the glaze and the cake, you can.  Stop at the glaze and the rolls….go for it.  I write my recipes as I go on a note pad and the above was created on my first try, so if I can do it, so can you…..so make it any way you want 🙂
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I received some of the above products free of charge from Bob’s Red Mill, an employee-owned company.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.
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Triple Berry Sweet Rolls with a Cream Cheese Crumble top, plus Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

You read right, this recipe yields two different types of sweet rolls to enjoy!

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As the days get warmer, the berries have been hitting the sale’s block. I am finding great deals so it has been a very berry-full Summer so far. Today’s recipe uses fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries and blackberries. You can go all frozen or all fresh and change the fruit to your liking too.

We start with the Yeast Dough:
2/3 cup of Sugar
1 cup of Milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast
1 stick of Unsalted Butter (softened)
2 Large Eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
4 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of Dry/Powdered Milk

I use a microwave or you may also use the stove-top to warm the milk to 105 degrees. You then pour the warmed milk into a mixer’s bowl, along with the 2/3 cup of sugar and the yeast. You whisk the ingredients enough to combine and then set aside to allow the yeast to bloom (get foamy). This may take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on weather and temperatures.

Once the yeast is foamy, you add the softened butter, eggs and salt. I mix just enough until everything is incorporated and then add the powdered milk.

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I replace the mixer with a dough hook and start adding the flour by the 1/2 cup fulls. Once all the flour is in, I use a spatula to scrape down the sides and allow the dough to mix for 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. I then change the speed to medium-high and allow the dough to knead for 10 to 12 minutes. You want a soft and supple dough so sometimes it takes 9 minutes and other times it takes 12. You don’t want to “toughen” the product so if unsure, just make sure you get 10 minutes in and you should be fine 🙂

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I flour the surface and plop my dough and begin to knead to form a nice ball that I can divide easily. Once that is done (takes maybe 30 seconds), I cut the dough in half and you may use a kitchen scale or “eyeball” it like I do. You take each half and form each into a nice ball. You then add each half to bowls that have been lightly buttered. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let the dough rise. The dough should double in size and this takes 1 to 2 hours at most.

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While the dough rises, you can begin with making the two different fillings.

Berry Filling:
5 1/2 ounces of fresh Strawberries
4 ounces of Blackberries (frozen)
3 ounces of Blue Berries

You may use what ever combination of fruit you desire and just keep in mind you want between 12 to 13 ounces.

1/4 cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon of All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of Corn Starch

Cut the large fruit you use, like in my place it would be the strawberries into wedges or bite size.

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I like to leave my other berries whole so they can be found within the rolls and change the taste with every bite.

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Take a bowl and just mix everything together. Once everything is mixed, you may place the berry filling in the fridge covered.

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That easy!

Cinnamon Roll Filling:
1/2 cup of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
5 to 7 “grates” of Fresh Nutmeg (or to taste and can also omit if not wanted)
1/4 cup of Unsalted Butter (softened)

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Take the dry ingredients and mix them in a bowl. You then add the butter to create a “paste-like” filling and you are done. I cover and keep it on the counter so the butter remains soft and easy to spread when needed.

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Get two 9 x 13 baking pans and lightly spray with cooking spray. I use Pam with flour.

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Once the dough has risen and doubled, you take one of them and scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

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I then roll it out in to about a 10 x 14 rec-triangle.

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I add one of the above fillings above, in this case I started with the berry filling and then roll it.

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You should be left with a log that is about 24 inches long.

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I trim the edges and then cut the log in half and each half into 4.

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You should have about 8 rolls.

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Cover pan with plastic and allow the dough to rise.

Rinse and repeat 🙂 with the Cinnamon filling. I decided I wanted smaller (mini) Cinnamon rolls so I cut them thinner. You can play with the sizes too!

Cinnamon filling spread onto dough-

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Cinnamon rolls cut smaller than berry-

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Cinnamon rolls placed in glass pan and covered with plastic-

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Dough Rise Note: This usually takes an hour for the cinnamon but the fruit take longer if you are using frozen or cold from the fridge. My berry ones took an hour and a half but it can take up to 2.

While the rolls rise, you can make the crumble topping for the berry rolls and the icing for the cinnamon rolls.

Berry Crumble top:
1/2 cup of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Sugar
1/8 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
1 1/2 ounces of Cream Cheese Cold

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You just mix the dry ingredients and then incorporate the butter and cream cheese to make “crumbles”. If you over mix and create a dough, don’t worry as you can just drop chunks on top the rolls to resemble a crumble. Store your crumble in the fridge until needed

Cream Cheese Icing for mini Cinnamon Rolls:
8 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
Powder Sugar to sweetness you desire

I usually start with adding a 1/4 cup of powder sugar to the cream cheese in a mixer or just whisk by hand in a bowl. I taste and then determine if I want sweeter or not so you can control the sweetness!

Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cinnamon Rolls rise-

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Berry Rolls rise-

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Add the crumble to your berry version!

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Once the oven reaches temperature, you can bake each pan alone or side by side, you decide. It takes between 17 to 25 minutes to bake and if you notice over browning, just cover with foil until done. Best way to check for “done-ness” is seeing if the center of the rolls bounce back when slightly touched.

Berry Rolls baked-

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Cinnamon Rolls baked-

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When the rolls have baked, you allow them to cool a bit in the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can then add the cream cheese icing to all and serve.

Note- I never add icing to all at first because I want them to be dry on top when stored in the fridge. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap once they have cooled. To serve later, unwrap and place roll on a plate and warm in microwave (10 to 20 seconds), then add the icing. The warmth will aid in helping the icing spread since you store it in the fridge until needed again. I do this to preserve the texture of the dough. When they are wrapped in plastic, if they had icing, everything sticks to the plastic and creates a mess anyways so this way it does not 🙂

Enjoy!

Triple Berry Rolls Pics-

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Cinnamon Rolls Pics-

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Strawberries~N~Cream Squares

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Strawberries~N~Cream Squares

Being that Easter is approaching and we are embracing Spring, I wanted something light that would showcase the fruit.  I also wanted something that was quick because I again purchased strawberries and picked for the perfect case, to then just forget them in fridge for 3 days!

My crust is identical to the one I made for the Key Lemon bars and since it was a hit, not changing it!  It’s a shortbread crust and please view that recipe here https://samplesandfreebiesgallery.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/welcome-the-first-day-of-spring-with-key-lemon-cream-bars/ for details on preparation but I will note the ingredients needed.
Crust: 
1 stick of Salted Butter (softened)
1 stick of Unsalted Butter (softened)
110 grams of Powder Sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
3 drops of Almond Extract
300 grams of All-Purpose Flour
Vanilla Bean Cream Filling:
3 5/8 ounces of Mascarpone cheese (softened)
8 ounces of Cream Cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of White Sugar
3/4 ounces of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/4 Vanilla Bean
2 tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
You soften both cheeses by leaving out until soft or like me, I use the microwave in the defrost setting.
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With a mixer or by hand with a whisk, you blend until combined.  You add the white sugar and sweetened condensed milk and again whip, making sure you are mostly lump free.  Then you add both the vanilla extract, and 1/4 of the scrapings from a Vanilla Bean.
Again, whisk until combined.  Last comes the flour and I usually do one tablespoon at a time in order to keep everything nice and smooth.
Fruit Filling:
5 1/2 ounces of Strawberry preserves
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I made my own using the strawberries I purchased before they went bad.  I just cook them down on the stove with some water, a teaspoon of sugar (more or less depending how sweet the berries are), and a teaspoon of fruit pectin.  I add a used Vanilla Bean and cook about 15 minutes or when the product reached the thickness I desire.
Topping:
2/3 cup of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon of ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon
A couple gratings of fresh Nutmeg
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of White Sugar
3 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
To make topping, you combine all the dry ingredients and when incorporated, you then start to add the cold butter until you get crumbles.  Very easy to do by hand or even with a fork….whatever works best for you.  You can also add less or more of the spices to fit your taste.
Once you have pre-baked the crust, you allow for it to cool down just a bit (10 minutes).
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You add the Vanilla Bean cream filling and just spread out evenly.
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I then add the Strawberry Filling and make swirls so everyone gets a good helping of fruit and cream filling, it also looks pretty.  Short on time….you can stop here and bake and still have a great final product!
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If you have a little time, you then make your topping and sprinkle over before baking.
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Once everything is assembled, you simply put it in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Test for doneness by simply measuring the jiggle but keep in mind like brownies, you do not want to wait until firm.  This is sort of like a cheesecake and will continue to cook when you take it out.  I cooled it down 2 hours outside and 2 hours in the fridge.
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I then cut different sized squares because sometimes we want to eat more or less.
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You can serve as-is or with vanilla bean ice cream.  Enjoy!
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