Monday, April 20, 2009

microwave caramel popcorn

another childhood favorite of mine, caramel corn! i love this recipe, it has perfect flavor, great texture, and the proportions are just right. this is definitely a must for movie nights, and super easy to make!

1 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 c. corn syrup
1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. baking soda

3 quarts plain popped corn
grocery store sized paper bag

put popped corn in paper bag. in a 2 quart dish, combine all ingredients but baking soda and popped corn. place dish in microwave then bring to a boil then cook for 2 minutes. remove from microwave and stir in baking soda. pour syrup over popped corn in the grocery bag. close the bag well and shake vigorously. put bag in microwave and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. pour cooked caramel corn onto lined cookie sheet and allow to cool.

(this is for fairly gooey caramel, if you want a crispier texture, cook the caramel longer before you add the soda and pour it onto the popped corn.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

lemon brioche rolls

i was planning on a potluck brunch with friends on sunday afternoon and i had seen this recipe on picky cook a week or so before. i'm obsessed with all things lemon right now, so it was a perfect recipe to make. i'd never made brioche before, either so i was a bit nervous, but i'm pretty happy with the results.

brioche rolls
from The Knead For Bread

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs (room temp)
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups soft butter
1 1/4 cup lemon curd (recipe below)
3 tablespoon powdered sugar

egg wash - 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water

pour milk into a saucepan and heat till lukewarm. (about 100 degrees)

In a large bowl add sugar and warm milk. add 1 cup of flour, mix till smooth. add lightly beaten eggs and mix completely. add in instant yeast and another cup of flour. continue to mix. add in salt and a half a cup of flour. mix till the dough comes together. add a little flour on a flat surface and pour out the dough. (i just kept the dough in my bosch and kneaded it that way for the next step rather than doing it by hand)

knead dough for 3 minutes adding just a little bit of flour at a time. you want the dough to be on the sticky side. the dough will stick to your hands a little. just add a little flour to your hands and continue to knead. the dough will became a little easier to handle as you knead.

place dough back into bowl. add a 1/4 of the soft butter to the and mix together by hand. once the butter is completely incorporated add another 1/4 of butter, continue till all 1 1/2 c. of the butter is mixed in. (again, i just did this in my bosch and it worked great.)

cover bowl with plastic wrap and place into fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

after resting time sprinkle a little flour on a flat surface and place dough on top. cut dough in half and set one piece aside.

roll out dough into a 15 inch diameter circle. using a pizza cutter, cut dough into eight triangular pieces.

add a heaping tablespoon of lemon curd to the base of the triangle. start from the base of the triangle roll each one up and curve into a crescent shape, pinch the ends closed. (i never managed to do this perfectly. they kept oozing a bit, but i probably put too much curd in there.)

place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. cover with plastic wrap for 45 minutes.

brush with egg wash. bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15-17 minutes.

allow to cool on a wire rack. then sift a little powdered sugar on top.


zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
4 large eggs (room temp) -- a trick for this is if you have eggs right out of the fridge, put them in a bowl of warm water to bring them up to room temp.--
1/8 tsp salt

put the zest and sugar in food processor and pulse until combined and zest is broken down.

put lemon sugar and butter into mixer and cream. add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined. add lemon juice and salt and mix a little while longer.

pour into a sauce pan and heat on low until mixture reaches 175 degrees. (i just did it till it started bubbling and getting thick) cool curd to room temp before you add to the rolls.

**thanks to damian for taking great pictures for me to use.