Wednesday, April 27, 2011

School House Rolls

When I was in elementary school the lunch ladies would make the most wonderful yeast rolls. Sometimes I would just have rolls for lunch with a glass of sweet tea. Over the years I have looked for a recipe to make them. When I visited my friend's Mama last month I was talking about these rolls and she had a clipping from their local paper that had a recipe for these rolls. They are pretty near to what I remember, except for the wheat flour. If I made them again I might try to use all white to see if that recreates from my memory the lunch ladies rolls from the past. These are a really dense, yeast-flavored roll. I'm usually challenged by yeast but this recipe doesn't involve a lot of steps and has such a quick rise time, they were really easy. I guess lunch ladies don't have a lot of time to wait around for rolls to rise when they are feeding lots of hungry kiddoes!


2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yeast (3 packets)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
24 ounces (by weight) or 4 cups white flour
6 ounces (by weight) or 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
Plus some additional flour to achieve correct consistency.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine warm water and oil in bowl of a mixer. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, yeast, salt, powdered milk, white and whole wheat flour. Using a fairly heavy duty mixer slowly add flour to liquid beating with each addition. Add sufficient white flour so that the dough is not sticky. Knead dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 15 minutes in a warm place. Punch down , cover and allow to rise another 5 minutes. Shape into 2 ounce pieces of dough (about 1/3 cup) and place in a greased a 9 x 13 baking pan. (I got an additional pie plate of about 5 rolls too). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until nicely brown. Baste with butter when you take them from the oven.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Cupcakes

When my friend came to visit last month I asked her to show me a little about cake decorating. She is a pro. Off we went to Hobby Lobby to buy some supplies. I think decorating cakes is best left to the experts, me not so great. I tried my hand at making some 'grass' for these cupcakes. Our Texas Coast humidity was in it's Easter finest and I think the icing could have been a bit stiffer to make a better showing, but for a first time it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately the cake portion of this recipe from Joy of Cooking was a bit dry. My son reminded me of a trick to brush simple syrup on the cakes to help with that.

(from Joy of Cooking)

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. With a mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low alternately add the flour and milk just until mixed in. Evenly fill the muffin cups with batter and bake for 17-20 minutes until just set and a toothpick comes out clean. When the cupcakes are cool, frost with buttercream frosting.


2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk or cream.

Cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and milk. Mix until light and fluffy. Can add food color and decorate as desired.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peach Cobbler

Last month for a birthday I was asked to make peach cobbler. I am as challenged with pastry as I am with yeast breads. This is a good recipe and if you are good at making lattice this is worth trying.


6 cups sliced peaches, fresh, canned or frozen, drained.
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Whisk together flour and salt. Cut in butter with hands or pastry blender. Add ice water and press together to form a ball. Chill dough for about 1/2 hour. Roll out onto floured surface and cut into strips.

In a saucepan put peaches, butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon and bring just to a boil. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with pastry. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Miss Dorothy's Pimento Cheese

When I started my job eons ago our receptionist's name was Dorothy. She was a prim and proper lady from the top of her perfectly coiffed bun to the tips of her high heel shoes. Like we do now, we have gatherings for birthdays, showers, retirement parties and the like. Miss Dorothy always made her pimento cheese. I have to admit that I have never been able to completely match hers, but this is a close second. We always called her our Yellow Rose of Texas and she was a special lady. We had a wedding shower Friday and I decided to take this. Pardon the picture because I took it last minute before we made sandwiches out of it.


12 oz. mild cheddar cheese, grated
2 green onions chopped fine
4 oz. jar diced pimentos (no need to drain)
About 1 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 boiled eggs, chopped very fine
2-3 tablespoons milk

Grate cheese into a bowl. Add pimentos, onions, eggs, and pickle relish. Stir in mayonnaise. Take a knife and cut through mixture making the mixture creamier. It helps to put a few tablespoons of milk and stir to make it even creamier. Can be served as a dip with chips or spread on bread for sandwiches.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pink Lady Cake

Another birthday at work last week. I have a recipe for a strawberry cake that is made from a cake mix and jello but went in search of a scratch cake that was comparable. The first one that came up was from a well known blog Smitten Kitchen. I searched further and it seems this particular cake has been done a lot. It comes from a cookbook called Sky High: Three Layer Irresistable Cakes. I need to check the library for this book. If this cake is any sampling then it must be a good one. This cake gets mixed up in an unusual way. The recipe seems long, but I believe it's worth every step. This is definitely a cake to try.


For the cake:
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups granulated sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
3 drops red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray or butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and spray or butter the paper. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. (I just used a whisk.)

Add the softened butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and red food coloring and blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.

Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners. Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour.

I made a standard cream cheese frosting and added 2 tablespoons of strawberry juice for the frosting.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream
2 tablespoons strawberry juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream ingredients together and frost layers and cake.