Cinnamon Roll Cookies

I tried to convince myself that I'd done enough baking  for the holidays—Pumpkin DonutsPumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, several kinds of peppernuts. Pecan Snowballs, and also some Homemade Marshmallows. It almost worked . . . until I saw the Pioneer Woman making these cookies. That was yesterday and by today I had them made! They are absolutely delicious—the best of a sugar cookie combined with cinnamon roll goodness. 

Cinnamon Roll Cookies   Yield: About 40 cookies
Cookie Dough:
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 large egg 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 
Filling:
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
5 tablespoons whole milk 
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon maple extract 
  1. For the cookie dough: Cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  2. Add the vanilla and egg and continue to mix until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg until well combined. 
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture slowly until incorporated and the dough has come together. 
  5. Cover and chill for 15 for 20 minutes.
  6. For the filling: Tip the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll out into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. 
  7. Pour over the melted butter;  spread the butter evenly over the dough. 
  8. Mix cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle evenly over dough. 
  9. Starting with the long edge, carefully roll the dough tightly, just as you would with cinnamon rolls, and pinch the seam together when you reach the end.  (I used a dough scraper to gently ease the dough as I rolled and to keep it from sticking.)
  10. Cut the log in half. 
  11. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap, put on a baking sheet and chill until firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. (I used 4)
  13. Unwrap the cookie dough and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  14. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets (about 9 to 12 cookies per sheet) and bake until set and the edges begin to brown slightly, 12 to 13 minutes. I set the cookie sheets on a cooling rack and let them remain on the sheet to set.
  15. For the glaze: Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, milk and melted butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add the maple extract and taste. Add more confectioners' sugar or butter as needed; the glaze should be thick but still pourable. 
  16. Drizzle the glaze back and forth over the cookies and allow to set before serving, 10 to 12 minutes.
Recipe without photos . . .
Cinnamon Roll Cookies   Yield: About 40 cookies
Cookie Dough:
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 large egg 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 
Filling:
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
5 tablespoons whole milk 
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon maple extract 
  1. For the cookie dough: Cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  2. Add the vanilla and egg and continue to mix until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg until well combined. 
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture slowly until incorporated and the dough has come together. 
  5. Cover and chill for 15 for 20 minutes.
  6. For the filling: Tip the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll out into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. 
  7. Pour over the melted butter;  spread the butter evenly over the dough. 
  8. Mix cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle evenly over dough. 
  9. Starting with the long edge, carefully roll the dough tightly, just as you would with cinnamon rolls, and pinch the seam together when you reach the end.  (I used a dough scraper to gently ease the dough as I rolled and to keep it from sticking.)
  10. Cut the log in half. 
  11. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap, put on a baking sheet and chill until firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. (I used 4.)
  13. Unwrap the cookie dough and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  14. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets (about 9 to 12 cookies per sheet) and bake until set and the edges begin to brown slightly, 12 to 13 minutes. I set the cookie sheets on a cooling rack and let them remain on the sheet to set.
  15. For the glaze: Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, milk and melted butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add the maple extract and taste. Add more confectioners' sugar or butter as needed; the glaze should be thick but still pourable. 
  16. Drizzle the glaze back and forth over the cookies and allow to set before serving, 10 to 12 minutes

Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole

This recipe was inspired by several recipes including Alton Brown's Best Ever Green Bean Casserole and Damaris Philips sheet pan green bean dish . . . I used the parts I liked best from each and created my version of a deconstructed green bean casserole  . . .

Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole     4 to 6 servings
1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 
Kosher salt 
Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and paprika
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Garnish:
1/2 cup crispy French-fried onions
  1. Green beans: Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 400°.
  2. Place the green beans on a sheet pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic and olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. 
  3. Roast the green beans until tender and the skins blister, 8 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the green beans. If they are not tender, add a little water, cover with foil, return to oven and steam for 5 to 10 minutes longer. 
  4. Sauce: (Click on this link for step-by-step photos for making a basic white sauce). Melt butter on low heat. Stir in flour, creating a smooth mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes to develop flavor. Add seasoning. 
  5. Add liquids and cook over medium heat until thickened. 
  6. Add cheese and stir into mixture until melted.
  7. Serving and to garnish: Pour the cheese sauce on the bottom of a platter. 
  8. Top with the roasted green beans; drizzle with remaining cheese (or as much as desired) and crispy fried onions. Serve immediately.
Recipe without photos . . .
Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole     4 to 6 servings
1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 
Kosher salt 
Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and paprika
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Garnish:
1/2 cup crispy French-fried onions
  1. Green beans: Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 400°.
  2. Place the green beans on a sheet pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic and olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. 
  3. Roast the green beans until tender and the skins blister, 8 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the green beans. If they are not tender, add a little water, cover with foil, return to oven and steam for 5 to 10 minutes longer. 
  4. Sauce: Melt butter on low heat. Stir in flour, creating a smooth mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes to develop flavor. Add seasoning.
  5. Add liquids and cook over medium heat until thickened. 
  6. Add cheese and stir into mixture until melted.
  7. Serving and to garnish: Pour the cheese sauce on the bottom of a platter. 
  8. Top with the roasted green beans; drizzle with remaining cheese (or as much as desired) and crispy fried onions. Serve immediately.

Honey of a Recipe—Salted Honey Walnut Bars


Lisa Tokach gave me this recipe when we were working on the story about bees and honey for KANSAS! magazine. It's a variation of a candy-like bar that shows up on several websites and in several cookbooks. A buttery shortbread crust is topped with a honey-infused walnut filling; bars are then drizzled with dark chocolate and finished with flakes of salt. It is very rich but it is delicious—a honey of a recipe!

Salted Honey Walnut Bars
Yield: 30 to 36 sweet treats 

INGREDIENTS:
For the crust
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup powdered sugar 
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 cup (12 ounces) honey 
2 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream 
2 teaspoons vanilla 
3/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
For finishing
4 ounces dark chocolate, cut or broken into pieces for quick melting
1/2 teaspoon large flaked sea salt or other finishing salt 

DIRECTIONS:
To make the crust 
1.   Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil up and over all four side for easy removal of bars from pan; spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2.   Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer; mix until ingredients are just blended and begin to come together as a soft dough. 
3.    Press the crust evenly into the prepared pan. 
Above - I covered the crust mixture with waxed paper and then used my hand to press the mixture into place as show in the next photo.


4.   Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown around the edges.

5.  Cool the crust while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling
6.  Combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

7.  Stir while the butter and sugar melt. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil, stirring only occasionally, for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the walnuts, cream, vanilla, and fine sea salt.



8.   Pour the filling over the crust and bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time, until the bars are bubbling all over. They won't be completely set, and should still jiggle when you move the pan, but the filling should have bubbles over the entire surface. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.


9.   The bars will firm up as they cool. Once cool, lift the edges of foil to remove bars from pan. For the cleanest cuts, the bars should be completely cool—either by letting them sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or by placing them in the refrigerator until set. Cut them into small squares or slim rectangles.
To finish
10.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave, and drizzle the chocolate over the tops of the bars. 
11.  Sprinkle a big pinch of large flaked sea salt over bars. 

12.  Refrigerate them again, briefly, to set the chocolate before serving.
13.  Store bars in refrigerator or freeze. 

How to substitute honey for sugar—according to the National Honey Board . . . When substituting honey for granulated sugar in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe. For baked goods, make sure to reduce the oven temperature by 25°F to prevent overbrowning; reduce any liquid called for by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. Because of its high fructose content, honey has higher sweetening power than sugar. This means you can use less honey than sugar to achieve the desired sweetness.

Recipe without photos . . .
Salted Honey Walnut Bars
Yield: 30 to 36 sweet treats 

INGREDIENTS:
For the crust
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup powdered sugar 
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 cup (12 ounces) honey 
2 1/2 cups walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream 
2 teaspoons vanilla 
3/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
For finishing
4 ounces dark chocolate, cut or broken into pieces for quick melting
1/2 teaspoon large flaked sea salt or other finishing salt 

DIRECTIONS:
To make the crust 
1.  Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil up and over all four side for easy removal of bars from pan; spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer; mix until ingredients are just blended and begin to come together as a soft dough. 
3.  Press the crust evenly into the prepared pan. 
4.  Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown around the edges.
5.  Cool the crust while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling
6.  Combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
7. Stir while the butter and sugar melt. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil, stirring only occasionally, for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the walnuts, cream, vanilla, and fine sea salt.
8. Pour the filling over the crust and bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time, until the bars are bubbling all over. They won't be completely set, and should still jiggle when you move the pan, but the filling should have bubbles over the entire surface. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
9. The bars will firm up as they cool. Once cool, lift the edges of foil to remove bars from pan. For the cleanest cuts, the bars should be completely cool—either by letting them sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or by placing them in the refrigerator until set. Cut them into small squares or slim rectangles.
To finish
10. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, and drizzle the chocolate over the tops of the bars. 
11.  Sprinkle a big pinch of large flaked sea salt over bars. 
12.  Refrigerate them again, briefly, to set the chocolate before serving.Store bars in refrigerator or freeze.  
  

Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken from KANSAS! Magazine

This recipe is included in the Winter 2019 edition of KANSAS! Magazine. It accompanies the article about honey production in the state. The Taste of Kansas section is titled, "Creating the Next Generation of Beekeepers," and follows Rogan Tokach's initial interest in bees to his quest to reverse the statewide decline in honey production. 


ABOUT THE RECIPE
Despite it’s name, this variation of a classic recipe contains NO bourbon; it’s named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans where it originated.  This version is also prepared in an Instant Pot (or any other brand of electric pressure cooker), and is a favorite of Leah Hanson, sister of Lisa Tokach. Leah serves the saucy chicken with rice and steamed broccoli. 

Honey Bourbon Chicken in the Instant Pot    
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken thighs, diced or whole
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes   
1 cup honey (Note: this could be reduced by half for a less sweet sauce)
2 tablespoons cornstarch + about 1 tablespoon of water — to thicken sauce

1.   Add chicken, onions and garlic to Instant Pot.

2.   In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and ketchup; add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.


3.   Pour sauce over the chicken mixture and then add honey.

4.   Cooking: Once all ingredients are in the Instant Pot, lock the cover and seal the steam vent.
5.   Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes (if using frozen chicken, add another10 minutes).
6.   Naturally release steam for 5 minutes and then quick release.
7.   Turn Instant Pot to sauté.
8.   Mix cornstarch with water; add to liquid in the pot and continue to cook for a couple minutes until sauce thickens up.


Above - The KANSAS! article features Rogan Tokach, a senior at Kansas State University
majoring in agronomy with a minor in entomology.
Below - Cover of the Winter 2019 edition of KANSAS! MAGAZINE

Recipe without photos . . .
Honey Bourbon Chickenin the Instant Pot    
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken thighs, diced or whole
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes   
1 cup honey (Note: this could be reduced by half for a less sweet sauce)
2 tablespoons cornstarch + about 1 tablespoon of water — to thicken sauce

1.   Add chicken, onions and garlic to Instant Pot.
2.   In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and ketchup; add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
3.   Pour sauce over the chicken mixture and then add honey.
4.   Cooking: Once all ingredients are in the Instant Pot, lock the cover and seal the steam vent.
5.   Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes (if using frozen chicken, add another10 minutes).
6.   Naturally release steam for 5 minutes and then quick release.
7.   Turn Instant Pot to sauté.
8.   Mix cornstarch with water; add to liquid in the pot and continue to cook for a couple minutes until sauce thickens up.

Recipes featured in the Salina Journal's 2019 holiday cookbook

The Salina Journal's 2019 Taste of the Holiday's Cookbook was released today as an insert in their Sunday paper. We feel quite honored that our blog was featured in the center section. These are our holiday recipes that were featured—click on each recipe for a direct online link Or, better yet, pick up a copy of today's 911/17/19) copy of the paper for a hands-on copy of the cookbook.
Salina Journal
333 S. Fourth, Salina KS 67410
785-823-6363


Start your holiday morning off with a treat . . . mix up the batter t
he night before and bake off the donuts in the morning! 

Toast the holiday with a seasonal cocktail!

Experiment with a new technique for roasting your holiday turkey—it’s a method that allows the turkey to cook evenly, resulting in a juicy bird with a crisp skin. Cooking time is lessened and it the turkey lays flat so does not take up nearly as much vertical space in your oven.

Barry uses sour cream and white pepper to create delicious mashed potatoes
 fit for any meal; he adds an optional drizzle of truffle oil to 
add another layer of flavor for the holidays.

Meta infused cranberries with apple and orange flavors for 
a tangy taste that pairs well with turkey or ham. 
Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Relish plates were always an addition to holiday meals in Meta’s family and 
her grandmother’s Pickled Peaches were also included.
Grandma Richardson’s Pickled Peaches      

Fresh green beans laced with red peppers and mushrooms offer a 
colorful and lighter alternative to holiday meals.

Mashed sweet potatoes are a seasonal addition in these yummy holiday-inspired dinner rolls. The recipe from Jeanne Freeman earned the “Sweepstakes Award” in a 1990 newspaper cooking contest.

Two of Barry and Meta’s  favorite flavors are combined in the ultimate holiday pie.
Pecan-topped Pumpkin Pie

And, for the day after, try this berry good sandwich.

Our blog serves as our online recipe box; a place where we can store our favorites and post new recipes deemed worth keeping. Most importantly, it insures we don't have to sift through my vast collection of cookbooks and files to find the recipe that might otherwise elude us.

Theresa’s Rave Review Pumpkin Brownies

Creamy pumpkin filling sandwiched between fudgy brownies—they were a BIG hit at Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch this fall. Theresa Stroda made this yummy recipe for Parents as Teacher families during their annual visit to the Stroda farm for pumpkin picking.  
Theresa found the recipe that earned rave reviews on The Cookie Rookie website. However she uses her favorite brownie recipe rather than a mix,  and of course she uses pumpkin puree made from one of the buckskin pumpkins grown at Moose Creek. 
Greg Stroda shows children the various pumpkins grown at Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch.
Check out Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch on Facebook
Theresa’s Rave Review Pumpkin Brownies   Makes a 9” square pan
16 oz. brownie mix or recipe of your choice + ingredients called for on box or in recipe
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 of a 15 oz. can of plain pumpkin (not the sweetened kind) or use 7.5 oz. pumpkin puree—that would be slightly less than 1 cup which is equal to 8 oz. (link to recipe)
6 oz. softened cream cheese 
3 tablespoons granulated
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or to make 1 tablespoon  Pumpkin Pie Spice, use 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground allspice, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg)
  1. Preheat oven according to instructions on the brownie mix box or brownie recipe. Spray an 9” square pan with cooking spray before starting. Note: To make cutting the brownies easy, line the baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing some to hang over edges of pan. Once the brownies are chilled, you can lift them out of the pan onto a large cutting board, peel foil or paper away and cut into serving pieces.
  2. In a mixing bowl, prepare brownies as instructed on box or recipe. Stir chocolate chips to the brownie mixture and set bowl aside. 
  3. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin, softened cream cheese sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. 
  4. Pour half of the brownie mix into the prepared pan and spread evenly over bottom of pan.
  5. Add pumpkin mixture. You can either spoon the pumpkin filling onto the brownie in chunks or spread it out evenly. 
  6. Cover the pumpkin layer with the rest of the brownie batter and smooth out the top.
  7. Bake according to boxed mix or recipe instructions. You may need to add about10 minutes to the directions on the box due to the addition of the pumpkin layer.. To check if brownies are done—insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies; when it comes out clean, they’re done! 
Recipe without photos . . .
Theresa’s Rave Review Pumpkin Brownies   Makes a 9” square pan
16 oz. brownie mix or recipe of your choice + ingredients called for on box or in recipe
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 of a 15 oz. can of plain pumpkin (not the sweetened kind) or use 7.5 oz. pumpkin puree—that would be slightly less than 1 cup which is equal to 8 oz. (link to recipe)
6 oz. softened cream cheese 
3 tablespoons granulated
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or to make 1 tablespoon  Pumpkin Pie Spice, use 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground allspice, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg)
  1. Preheat oven according to instructions on the brownie mix box or brownie recipe. Spray an 9” square pan with cooking spray before starting. Note: To make cutting the brownies easy, line the baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing some to hang over edges of pan. Once the brownies are chilled, you can lift them out of the pan onto a large cutting board, peel foil or paper away and cut into serving pieces.
  2. In a mixing bowl, prepare brownies as instructed on box or recipe. Stir chocolate chips to the brownie mixture and set bowl aside. 
  3. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin, softened cream cheese sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. 
  4. Pour half of the brownie mix into the prepared pan and spread evenly over bottom of pan.
  5. Add pumpkin mixture. You can either spoon the pumpkin filling onto the brownie in chunks or spread it out evenly. 
  6. Cover the pumpkin layer with the rest of the brownie batter and smooth out the top.
  7. Bake according to boxed mix or recipe instructions. You may need to add about10 minutes to the directions on the box due to the addition of the pumpkin layer.. To check if brownies are done—insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies; when it comes out clean, they’re done!