Cinnamon Rolls

Surprisingly I have never made cinnamon rolls… Until now. I made these and I have to say, they are wonderful. I actually froze half and plan on thawing/rising at room temp next time I need a quick breakfast or potluck contribution. [update: rolls thawed, baked, they are perfect!] These have the perfect flavor of sweet dough with the yeasty taste of homemade bread. They are prepared using a stand mixer making them all the easier to churn out in the morning.

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Dough
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temperature
6 cups all purpose flour, sifted
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling
1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup sugar and 3 tsp ground cinnamon mixed together

Glaze
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tbsp hot milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Make the dough
Heat milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar melts and the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in very warm water (110°F) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until well blended. Let stand 10 minutes.

Beat eggs into yeast mixture. Add in the cooled milk mixture, switch to the dough. Mix in the flour one cup at a time until dough is elastic. Add the melted butter and mix, then add in more flour until dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the mixer. The dough should stick to your hands slightly. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes.

Place dough in a buttered bowl and turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and turnout onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and cut into two pieces. Roll out each piece into 12×9-inch rectangles.

Add the filling
Brush the rolled dough pieces with the melted butter. Sprinkle each with half the cinnamon sugar mixture and roll up lengthwise (see images above). Cut each roll into 12 pieces. [note: after this step I placed half the rolls on a baking sheet and froze them, I then transferred these to a ziploc bag.]

Place slices not quite touching in a well buttered pan. If you are making all the dough at once, they should fit into a 13×9 inch cake pan. I used a 9 inch round pan and made half the dough. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes or until doubled. [to bake frozen rolls, remove from freezer and allow them to thaw and rise for approximately two hours.]

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake rolls for 18-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until golden.

Whisk together glaze ingredients, adding additional milk as needed. Glaze rolls in the pan while they are hot.

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

Cold Brew Coffee

I have become just a little bit obsessed with cold brew. There is nothing better than having a pitcher of concentrated caffeine in the fridge at all times. This cold brew recipe can be modified to suit your taste. You can add as little or as much water as you want to the concentrate. If you are grinding your own coffee for this, use a medium grind. It almost seems silly to post this because it is so simple. But it’s so good!

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Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

2/3 cup coffee grounds
3 cups water
Cream and sugar for serving

Place coffee grounds and water in a glass bottle. Let sit at room temperature for 12 hours or overnight.

Filter through coffee filters or a very fine sieve.

Mix in a one to one ratio with water.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Greek Salad

Just in time for Labor Day and the end of summer fast approaching, this salad is the definition of fresh. The crunchy vegetables and tangy dressing are delightful. It tastes as good as it looks.

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For the salad
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

For the vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil

Place the chopped cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl.

Whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and mix. Slowly mix in the feta and olives. Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Adapted from Ina Garten.

Reader Q & A: Salt

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In most of the Bubbly Kitchen recipes you will see two particular ingredients: unsalted butter and kosher salt. It is best to use unsalted butter in most recipes so that you can control how much salt is in your food. When recipes call for table salt versus kosher salt, it is important to use the correct one. If a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, that is approximately 1 tablespoon of table salt, very different amounts. For Kosher salt I prefer David’s Kosher Salt. Kosher salt dissolves the fastest and thus it distributes into foods the best. Really the best thing about kosher salt is that it is easy to pinch precise amounts between your fingers to season your food. The name is derived from the use of the flaky salt for curing meats in the kosher process. Fleur de sel is another flaky salt found in the coastal salt ponds in France. It is the most delicate (the fanciest) and is harvested by hand. I have Le Saunier Fleur de Sel de Camargue in my pantry. I use fleur de sel when I want to add delicate salty flavor to baked goods such as salted caramel frosting (recipe coming soon!).

There is a lot of information all over the internet that also claims that salt is bad for you. Obviously if your doctor has restricted the sodium in your diet, you should follow this guideline strictly! But it is extremely important to season your food. And by season, I mean add salt and pepper. Salt brings out the natural flavors of your food and enhances them. If you are in the kitchen creating something new, you taste it and it is just boring, you probably didn’t add enough salt. The goal in seasoning your food is to enhance the flavors, not to make it taste salty. If you are interested in limiting your salt intake (because you are just that hipster), 3000 mg is a good number. The Institute of Medicine released some studies in the spring that showed limiting sodium intake to less than 1500 mg can actually be harmful to your health.

Glamorous Chocolate Chip Cookies

One great thing about Kansas City was the fabulous public library. You could get pretty much any book there, for free! They had all the Cook’s Illustrated books. If you want to learn about cooking and baking, those books have by far the most detailed recipe instructions. These chocolate chip cookies from Cook’s Illustrated are unbeatable. I have always wanted to produce those glossy looking cookies in bakeries, these are them! And I knew they were good when my husband endorsed them as the best chocolate chip cookies he had ever eaten. These produce quite large cookies but it makes them quite glamorous.

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I am pretty picky when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. I hate to consume calories that do not taste extraordinary. There is nothing I despise more than when people offer me cookies that don’t taste fabulous. It’s simple to make delicious cookies, these have more complex steps but are well worth the extra work. I still managed to make these in under an hour despite the multiple whisking and resting steps.

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Glamorous Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
14 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and set this aside.

Heat 10 tbsp. of the butter in a 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the butter for 3 minutes, swirling the pan constantly, until the butter is golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the browned butter to a large, heatproof bowl. Add the remaining 4 tbsp. of butter, stirring until it is all melted.

Mix in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the butter, whisk until well incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk, and whisk until completely smooth, 30 seconds. Allow the batter to sit for 3 minutes, whisk the mixture again for 30 seconds. Repeat the resting and whisking two more times through, until your mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.

Mix in the flour/baking soda with the wet mixture, stir for one minute with a rubber spatula. Add in the chocolate chips, and stir the dough one last time to make sure it is well combined.

Scoop out the cookies in 3 tbsp. measurements and roll the 3 tbsp. of dough into a ball. (I simply used this 3 Tbsp scoop.) Place the dough approximately 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies, rotating the pan halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown, 10-14 minutes. Place the cookie sheet on a wire cooling rack, allow them to fully cool.