Single Layer Chocolate Cake

This is recipe #2 of kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipe Collection. So easy to stir it together, bake, frost and serve right from the pan. Simple, simple! The one thing I would change next time I make this, is to make half the amount of icing. As you can tell from the photo there is plenty of frosting!

Single Layer Chocolate Cake

Cake
1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup cold water

Icing
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-and-half

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ square or 9″ round pan that’s at least 2″ deep. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it’s wonderful with a big glass of milk. Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat the chocolate chips with the half-and-half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake. For a non-dairy icing, substitute 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee (or water) for the half-and-half.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls

This last week I saw a post on Instagram by kingarthurflour.com, it is a collection of their 16 Best Basic Recipes. I have decided to make all 16 of these recipes from beginning to end. It’s a great way to pass the time while quarantined. I see some people on Instagram challenging others to organize drawers or closets, that’s a lovely idea, but I prefer to BAKE! Maybe if we are in this long enough I will have to give in and organize. But, for now, let’s begin with the first of the 16 Best Basic Recipes.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls 1

Soft Cinnamon Rolls 2 Soft Cinnamon Rolls 3 Soft Cinnamon Rolls 5

Ingredients

Tangzhong (starter):
5 Tbl water
5 Tbl milk
3 Tbl + 1 tsp bread flour

Dough:
All of the Tangzhong (above)
4 cups + 2 Tbl bread flour
3 Tbl nonfat dry milk
1¾ tsp salt
1 Tbl instant yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
6 Tbl butter, melted

Filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbl melted butter
2-3 Tbl whole milk, to make a thick spreadable frosting

To make the tangzhong: Combine all of the starter ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. This will probably take only a minute or so. Remove from the heat, and set it aside for several minutes.

To make the dough: Mix the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients until everything comes together. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead. After 20 minutes, knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, elastic, somewhat sticky dough. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

To make the filling: Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until the cinnamon is thoroughly distributed.

To put it all together: Gently deflate the risen dough, divide it in half, and shape each piece into a rough rectangle. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into an 18″ x 8″ rectangle. Sprinkle half the filling onto the rolled-out dough. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a log. With the seam underneath, cut the log into 12 slices, 1 1/2″ each. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining filling. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan. Space the rolls in the pan.

Cover the pan and let the rolls rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they’re crowding one another and are quite puffy. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the bottom third. Uncover the rolls, and bake them for 22 to 25 minutes, until they feel set. They might be just barely browned; that’s OK. It’s better to under-bake these rolls than bake them too long. Their interior temperature at the center should be about 188°F.

While the rolls are baking, stir together the icing ingredients, adding enough of the milk to make a thick spreadable icing. The icing should be quite stiff, about the consistency of softened cream cheese. Remove the rolls from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Spread them with the icing; it’ll partially melt into the rolls. Serve the rolls warm. Store completely cool rolls for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Here’s an idea for your Christmas cookie baking…

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Cookies 1  Cinnamon Roll Cookies 2  Cinnamon Roll Cookies 3

Sugar Cookie Dough:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
2 Tbl sugar, divided
2 tsp cinnamon, divided

Icing:
1 Tbl butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl milk

For the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix until dough comes together. Divide dough in half. Roll out one half to a 6″x13″ rectangle. Mix half of the cinnamon sugar filling; 1 Tbl sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, press down lightly with fingers on cinnamon sugar. Roll up as pictured above, wrap in wax paper, and put in freezer for about 20 minutes. Repeat with second half of dough. Heat oven to 375°. Remove each roll from freezer when ready, cut cookies from roll with sharp knife about 1/4″ thickness. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, make sure slices are round and end of spiral is pinched to secure. Bake 8 minutes. Mix icing ingredients and drizzle over cooled cookies. Makes approx 6 dozen.

One Year Ago: Soft Ginger Cookies Drizzled Soft Ginger Cookies

Two Years Ago: Crisp Chocolate Truffles Crisp Chocolate Truffles

Three Years Ago: Eggnog Chocolate Chip Bread Eggnog Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves

Four Years Ago: Nanaimo Bars Nanaimo Bars

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls using a quick bread instead of a yeast bread, I like it. So did my husband and sons. Recipe from bakingdom.com.

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls 1   Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls 2

Cinnamon Filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbl butter, melted

Combine brown sugar, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir with fork. Set aside.

Dough:
3 cups flour
3 Tbl sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 Tbl butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add buttermilk, syrup, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and stir until just combined. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth (it will still be very soft and a little sticky, but will be smoother and less lumpy). Place in lightly floured bowl, cover, and chill for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a 9″ square pan with non-stick spray. Roll out chilled dough into a rectangle about 18″ X 8″ on floured surface. Brush 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over dough. Pour cinnamon filling over dough and spread evenly, leaving about a 1/2 inch along one long edge. Press filling down to pack it on the dough.

Roll up to create a tightly rolled log (be gentle, as this will likely stick to the counter a bit, use flour and spatula to help). Pinch seam closed and lay seam side down. Cut into 9 even pieces (about 2″ each), and transfer to prepared pan. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until golden brown.

Maple Icing:
2 Tbl butter, softened
3 Tbl maple syrup
1 to 2 tsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar

In medium bowl, cream butter and maple syrup, add powdered sugar. If too thick, add a teaspoon or so of milk to make drizzle consistency. Allow cinnamon rolls to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Pour icing over rolls. Serve warm.

One Year Ago Today: Almond Poppy Seed Muffins with Walnut Streusel Almond Poppyseed Muffins

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Iced Molasses Cookies

I love a good soft molasses cookie.  There is a coffee shop in the Seattle area that sells a mean molasses cookie, I treat myself to one every once in awhile.  It is best if I don’t make a batch at home because I run the risk of a sugar coma.  We will see how I do this time.

Molasses Cookies:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
sugar to roll dough

In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg and molasses.   In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Stir into creamed mixture until blended.  Chill for 1 hour.  Heat oven to 350°.  Scoop dough into balls about 1½” in diameter, roll in sugar and place on lightly greased or silpat lined baking sheet, leaving 2″ between cookies. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, until cookies have cracks and center is set, do not over bake.  Cool on pan for 2 minutes then move to cooling rack to cool completely.

White Icing:
1 Tbl butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
4 tsp light corn syrup

Stir butter, sugar, and milk together until smooth, then add corn syrup.  If mixture is too thick, add more corn syrup until it is easily spreadable, but not too thin.  Spread thin layer of icing over each cookie.  Let cookies sit until icing sets up.  Makes about 30 cookies.

One Year Ago:  Pumpkin Sweet Rolls  

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools such as the Silpat & Perforated Baking Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.