Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I got a wonderful surprise today!  My honey sent me flowers for Valentine's Day!  Unfortunately I happened to be just hopping out of the shower when the delivery man rang the bell!  I quickly threw on my robe, towel on my head, charged down the stairs and ....ACK! someone's at the door!  We both laughed our heads off at how embarrassed I was, but then I got these!!

I just LOVE flowers!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nutella Banana Cinnamon Rolls

I am just on a roll today (hee pun intended) with this Nutella Day thing!  Earlier today I made some Nutella Hug cookies and they were awesome, but I had actually already started these cinnamon rolls and was just letting the dough rise when I prepared the cookies.  Since I still have a bit of a bum elbow at the moment, Chris was so good helping me out too with the vigorous mixing and kneading required for the dough.

Oh, he's the best fiancé ever!   I seriously hurt my elbow moving a sofa before moving and just when it starts healing, I do something too strenuous and am back to icing it.  So Chris was wonderful to help me out!

So after I'd let my dough rise for about 2 hours, it was rolled out, sprinkled with a sugar and cinnamon mixture, cut into rolls, put in my greased pan and left to rise for another hour!  All told, I think this recipe must have taken about 4 hours to make.  Don't be put off though, because it is ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!  Oh my god!!  When they were finally done, Chris and I each inhaled one and I told him that I think they were one of the best things I have ever baked!  EVER, I say!  I am soooo doing double at the gym tomorrow!

Nutella Banana Cinnamon Rolls
From Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice (just a couple of changes)

1 + 1/4 cup banana purée
2 eggs
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

a heaping 1/2 cup Nutella
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk, enough to make a soft, spreadable icing

1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together until you've made a smooth dough.

2. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until it's almost doubled in bulk.

3. In a small bowl whisk sugars and cinnamon together to make the filling. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll into a 16" x 22" rectangle. Drizzle butter over top and spread evenly with a pastry brush, sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top leaving about a half an inch of a short edge free on the end.

4. Starting with the short end that's covered with filling, carefully roll the dough into a log.  I found using my bench scraper really helped out!

5. Cut the log into twelve thick rolls.

6. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 13" x 9" pan that's at least 2" deep. Set aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until the rolls look puffy.

7. Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for about 25 minutes, until they're lightly browned and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and drop a heaping teaspoonful of Nutella in the middle of each one. As it melts use knife to frost the tops.

8. Combine all of the glaze ingredients and drizzle or pipe over tops.

Thanks Reeni for sharing this wonderfully delicious recipe!!

Gooey...chocolatey.....sticky...sooooo rich...
I couldn't possibly eat it ALL!
I was wrong! :-)

Nutella Hugs!

Yippee Nutella! YUM!

As you know, I regularly surf the web looking at a million cooking and baking blogs and I just discovered a few days ago that today would be World Nutella Day!  I rarely eat Nutella, but just happened to have some in the cupboard from baking Mini Nutella Brownie Muffins last week...another great recipe found on Ryan's Baking Blog.  I'd show mine, but I completely forgot to take photos!  Check out Ryan's though.  You can see how delicious they are!

Today however, in honour of World Nutella Day, I decided to bake Nutella Hugs!  I finally found a recipe worthy of the Hershey Hugs that my awesome friend, Deniz, sent me from Canada!  The particular recipe that I found is from a blog called Waxed Out Creative Life and I discovered the recipe for Hershey Kisses from the Nutella Day website.  They were out of this world delicious!!
Chris and I waited a few minutes before each trying one...and then I quickly threw half on a platter and brought them over to the neighbours! (fellow Canadian next door!)  Goodies like this are dangerous in my home.  I have a horrible sweet tooth and no doubt would eat them all by the end of the night if left here!!

Nutella Hugs
From Waxed Out Creative Life

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nutella spread
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
24 hershey Hugs or Kisses

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, combine Nutella, both sugars and butter, cream for about 3 minutes then add egg and vanilla.  Blend well.  Stir in dry ingredients just until combined, shape into 24 walnut sized balls, roll in sugar, place on baking sheet about 4 inches apart (they will spread). Bake for 8 minutes, remove and put a kiss in the center of each, pressing in gently.  Return to oven for 3 more minutes.  Let sit on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Even when cooled, they are nice and crispy on the outside and lovely and chewy in the middle!  I'll definitely be making this again.  Hhmmm, must find Hershey kisses somewhere here!