Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hot and Heavy Bread Twists

Tried and True, from our kitchen to yours...meet our favorite dinner pal! Hot and Heavy
I can't remember the first time I made these bad boys but guys, Aaron and I felt it. The carbohydrate love connection. These are even more fabulous than Olive Gardens and if you live here in Utah it's quite comparable (in appearance!) to the ones at Pizza Factory. These Hot and Heavies sit fat and happily alongside Spaghetti, Pizza, you name it! We made them for dinner last night. Yep, that's right, just the breadsticks. And I really do mean 'we' because Aaron will not leave the kitchen or house until these are plump, hot, and risen. These really are the best breadsticks around! And if this testimonial alone doesn't convince you, let me share with you their winning merit--they are really hard to mess up! If you're a yeast virgin, the dough is very, very forgiving. Trust me. You can even chase down this garlic experience with a cinnamon/sugar fatty goodness. Three course meal in one. Oh, divine.

Hot and Heavy Bread Twists
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. bread flour

Combine water, sugar, and yeast in your mixer (or large bowl.) Let stand for 10 minutes or until it's bubbly.
Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2c. flour and mix well. Add the remaining flour or until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.. You may need less or more depending on elevation/humidity.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl.
Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll (or mold with fingers--how is it that i've gotten away with not having a rollin pin?) into a rectangle and cut into 10 strips.


Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and then drape over your forefinger and twist the dough and place on baking sheet. Try to space them evenly, but it's okay if they're close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life's greatest pleasures!


Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes. Look how fat and happy they are...


Preheat your oven to 425 and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a ziploc bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and have at it) and sprinkle with homemade garlic bread seasoning or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt. If you have spice rack that you're dying to start using, this is as easy as it gets.

Garlic Bread Seasoning
1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Kosher salt 

2 Tb. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Ps. That's right, no pictures of these Hot and Heavies baked and gloriously dressed. They were gone before we finished the second episode of LOST : )

Sincerely, Little Bakin' Blonde

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Best Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Dear Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies,

I want to first off, apologize for judging a book by its cover. I am not a cookie fan. I never make cookies because frankly I haven't found a recipe that makes me want to ball up little chunks of dough so they can bake into perfectly plumps little disks. Cause, well how do I put this...they uhh never ever bake up into little plumps of anything. Aaron is the cookie baker in the fam. It's his breakfast if they're in the kitchen. I'm more of a cheesecake kind of gal; a chocolate ganache and moist cake kind of chick. I came across you on the pages of William-Sonoma's Essentials of Baking and I flipped right by you not giving you the time of day.

Yet something caught my eye. Your simplicity and ease. The very few ingredients required to make you. With the money I am trying to save and the little time I have on my hands, I thought maybe we could make this work. Maybe we could make it happen; me, you and the oven. And all I have to say is thank you. Thank you for allowing me to find my inner cookie-goddess. For teaching me how glorious all your chocolates taste when you dive into a plump and perfectly baked cookie. I hope we can meet again. Real soon. Like tomorrow maybe?

Sincerely, Little Bakin' Blonde
Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c butter at room-temp. (unsalted)
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar (packed)
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c milk chocolate chips
3/4 c white chocolate chips
Sift flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Slowly add the flour mixture, a little at a time until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lined baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 10 minutes and transfer to finish cooling on plate. 

Try to let them cool before enjoying; but who am I kidding? You'll dig in like we did : )