Archive | February, 2010

Fat Friday – Bakin’ Bacon

26 Feb

Nothing says Fat Friday like candied bacon!  That’s right candied bacon.  Let this post change your life like no other post has ever done before.  I am sure it will at least take a  year or two off your life.  I first heard about candies bacon a few months ago and kind of dismissed it thinking it would be too difficult.  That was a misconception.  It is actually easier than preparing bacon in the traditional way.  I came across a post on another blog a few weeks ago that put candied bacon in cookies and I got to thinking…what else would candied bacon be good in?  The first and best thing that popped into my mind was cinnamon buns!   So I made cinnamon buns  and instead of filling them with nuts or raisin I filled them with candied bacon.  This little creation has changed the lives of so many people I work with and I hope you feel the same way!

Cinnamon Buns With Candie Bacon

What you will need:

Candied Bacon

1 package of thick sliced bacon

1 -2 cups of brown sugar

Cinnamon Buns – Recipe is from food network

Dough:

  • 1/4-ounce package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional Candied Bacon

Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water

Put It Together:

First prepare the candied bacon

pre-heat oven to 350.

place strips of bacon in deep pan

cover completely with brown sugar

bake for 30 minutes

let cool and chop in small peices to include in recipe of choice

Prepare Cinnamon Buns

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired Candied Bacon! Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.


Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.


Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

As I mentioned before this recipe was taken from food network and I just replaces the nuts/raisins with the bacon.   This recipe may seem like a lot of work but it is so unexpected and delicious it is worth it!  My coworkers will agree.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.  Check back on Monday to see how I challenge myself to take an ingredient from this recipe and make a healthy treat…should be an adventure.

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Sugar Surprise – A Post From Dan

25 Feb

Sugar Surprise

Click on it to see the sugar

THIS is what I’m dealing with!  I hope it shows up in the picture, but if not those spots in the book are clumps of powdered sugar.  Let me explain.  Christmas, two years ago, we made a boatload of cookies and mailed them to family.  All told, this ended up being at least as expensive as buying gifts online and taking advantage of free shipping, and it was an incredible headache and mess to make upwards of 500 cookies.  So I learned my lesson with baking (I thought Terry had learned hers too, but…well… I guess not).  As far as I know this book (“The Great American Cookie Book”, American?) hasn’t been opened in the intervening two years, but we decided to make some oatmeal cookies and since the generic brand of oatmeal we buy has no cookie recipe on the side (what the hell are they thinking?) we had to crack open the cookie book.  And there it was, the mark of my woman… powdered sugar.  Now, I know it had to be her that left the powdered sugar in the book for future generations to find, because anytime I am about to leave a mess I hear my mother’s voice in my head saying, “DANNY, GET YOUR DEAD ASS IN HERE AND CLEAN UP THIS <insert expletive> MESS!” (Coincidently, anytime I am about to do something stupid I hear my father’s voice, “Son, I don’t think that’s gonna work out the way you think it’s gonna work out.”)  Had I done something like this as a child, my mother would likely have used the book as an instructional tool to re-teach me the lesson “Why we don’t leave messes for others to clean up.”  I honestly wouldn’t put it past her to have a “Come to Jesus Meetin’” about it even now that I’m a grown man.

I had thought that Terry’s uncontrollable need to plaster everything in the house with a decorative coating of sugar was a recent development, but apparently, she has been hiding this compulsion for over two years.  Maybe if I had known then, I could have gotten her some help before I had to become this proverbial Oompa Loompa running around trying to clean up after Willy Wonka on crack.

Vote for me!

25 Feb

If you remember Fat Friday from a few weeks ago I made an awesome Peanut Butter Cookie Pie.  Check it out if you missed it.  Well I entered the recipe in a contest and I need ALL the votes I can get.  I would love to win.  You have to vote on Facebook and you can vote once a day.  Click here to vote.  The prize is $2500 and that could go a long way for a soon to be unemployed gal trying to start a business!   So if you just take  a second out of your day to vote, I’d appreciate it!

Cake Boss Answers Questions

23 Feb

The Cake Boss, everyone’s favorite baker/artist from Hoboken, NJ answered some questions on Facebook yesterday and he picked one of mine! Check out the video.  It is about eight minutes long and my question comes in the middle.  He did mis-pronounce my last name.  My last name is Coniglio, which means rabbit in Italian.  But he was on the spot and mis-pronounced a lot of names.

I asked him about the best surfaces to roll out fondant on.  Right now I’m using a crappy mat from Wilton.  I have grown to disdain anything Wilton makes.  Most of the products just aren’t very high quality.  They are fine for the occasional decorator but the more I use them the more I scream at them.  Anyway, I’m looking into  having Dan build me a table with a marble top for rolling out fondant.  So I asked Buddy if that would be the best material.  He said marble or granite is good but having a sheeter would be best.  Of course that would be best!  If you don’t know what a sheeter is, basically it is a big pasta press/machine.  Estimated cost for a marble table $150-$200.  Estimated cost for a sheeter $2,000-$5,000.  I would LOVE a sheeter!  It would save so much time, be cleaner, and more accurate.  When I have the business reputation  to open my own store front I’ll get one.  But for now I’ll work on getting my homemade marble table and building up that reputation!

Make Up Monday – Banana Amaretto Treat

22 Feb

Back to the grind, back to the diet.  For once Make Up Monday actually worked for me!  I don’t know exactly just how healthy it is…but it is better for you than the Brownie Sandwiches from last week’s Fat Friday.

Banana Amaretto Treat For Two

What you need:

  • 2-3 firm bananas
  • 1 cup of amaretto
  • 2 servings of low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 servings of your favorite ganola

Put It Together

Slice bananas

Heat pan on stove.

When hot add bananas and amaretto.

Let steam for a few minutes until bananas are soft but not total mush.

Let cool slightly

Spoon yougut and granola in bowls

Top with bananas and enjoy!

I hope everyone has a good week and Monday isn’t too painful!

Fat Friday – Brownie Sandwiches!

19 Feb

These Brownie Sandwiches are sure to kick your weekend off right.  I actually had to add the banana to have something to work with for Make Up Monday because there is nothing redeemable about these treats.   They are worth every calorie though.  This is a  basic idea that I think you can have a lot of fun with, so get creative and add whatever fillings you like!

Brownie Sandwich

What You Need:

1 batch of your favorite brownies (you can use a box if you like).
1 batch of buttercream or jar of frosting.

  • 1 cup shorting
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla
  • 3-5 tablespoons of water

2-3 Bananas

Put It Together

  • Mix up your brownies and heat oven accordingly.

  • Instead of greasing a pan, use a cookie sheet.
  • Spoon the mix on the cookie sheet as if they were cookies.  Leave plenty of space because they will expand a lot.
  • Bake for 8 – 10 minutes and check with a toothpick.
  • Remove from pan and let cool.
  • Prepare Buttercream
  • Cream shortening.
  • Add vanilla and then sugar.
  • Add water one table spoon at a time until you get a spreadable consistency.
  • slice the bananas
  • place on half of the brownies
  • Fill with buttercream or just spread it with a knife.
  • Place another brownie on top and enjoy!

One batch of brownies only makes about 8 sandwiches, so if your making them for a large group or party I would recommend double or triple the recipe.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Check back on Monday to see how I turn something from this recipe into a “healthy” treat.

Valentine’s Day – Part Two

17 Feb

As part of our Valentine’s Day in and spending the day together in the kitchen,  Dan and I made each other cakes. 🙂 It was so cute and thoughtful to see Dan working so hard at decorating a cake for me.  I felt so loved :).

My cake is pound cake with almond buttercream filling and on the top is says “love” in Japanese Kanji.  Well my  penmanship of Japanese Kanji isn’t the best so it is suppose to say “Love”…  Dan’s cake is yellow cake with chocolate buttercream.

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