Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Choco-Cinnamon Crescents

Okay. I know it's a new year and we're all working on eating healthier. My plan is to transition into the new lifestyle and finish using the holiday pantry items. Besides, my kids are still on Christmas break, so we're still partying a little. :-) This morning I found one last roll of refrigerator crescent rolls in the frig and decided to have a little fun. Choco-Cinnamon Crescents were the result. Here's what I did.

1 tube Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls
2-3 T. Unsalted butter, melted
Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Unroll the crescent rolls and brush inside with melted butter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar to your liking over the butter. Place 7 or 8 chocolate chips on the wide end of the crescent and roll up. Pinch the ends and place on the cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the crescents with more melted butter and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. Bake for 12 mins. and enjoy!

Needless to say, the kids loved them. For a little bit of redemption, I served them with turkey bacon. Not much help, I know, but the savory flavor of the bacon really complemented the sweetness of the crescents. Just a little something fun and really easy to make. Have a GREAT week! :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Turkey Handpies

These little babies have been a holiday tradition in our home since my teenage boys were toddlers. The inspiration came from something my brother-in-law used to make with jalapeño peppers. He'd stuff them with a mixture of ground beef and creme cheese. The recipe evolved over the years to become what I'm sharing with you today.

Turkey Handpies
Copyright 2009 Brendilly Bakes, All rights reserved

1T. olive oil
1T. unsalted butter
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, chopped small
Garlic Powder
1 8-oz. brick of creme cheese
4 rolls of ready-made pie crust (I use Pillsbury)
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
A small bowl of water
1 egg and 1 T. water, whisked together for an egg wash

Preheat oven to 425. Line two cookie sheets with foil. In large skillet place butter, olive oil, a little salt and pepper, and diced onion. Turn heat to medium and sauté onions until translucent. Add ground turkey, more salt and pepper, garlic powder, and cumin to taste. Cook until turkey is browned. Add broccoli florets and sauté for 5 more minutes until broccoli is heated through. Add creme cheese and mix to combine.

This next part can be done a couple of different ways. You can cut the pie crust circles into triangles to make the purses you see in the picture, or you can cut circles with a medium sized biscuit cutter. The latter is really easier. The purses are just traditional with us and what I'm used to doing.
1. Cut the crust in desired shape
2. Place a few fingers full of shredded cheese in the bottom of the wide end of the triangle (or in the middle of a circle)
3. Place about half a tablespoon of the filling on top of the cheese (You can play with the amount here. The key is to not have too much and rip the crust).
4. With your finger, dampen the edges of your shape with water from the small bowl.
5. For the triangles: fold the narrow end over the mixture to the wide end and seal; fold the sides over to the top and press to seal. Crimp the edge with a fork. For the circles: place another circle on top of the filling and crimp the edges with a fork.
6. Brush each pie with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt if desired, and bake (20 mins. for purses and 15 mins. for rounds).

I actually made both shapes this year; purses and rounds. It turned out that the rounds were more popular this time, which I was fine with since, like I said, they were actually easier to assemble. I got eight pies out of each round of crust doing the purses, and nine pies doing the circles. That number will vary depending on the size you cut. The whole assembly can be played with. Over the years I've used different cheeses; salt on top and no salt; pie crust and refrigerated crescent rolls. It all depends on your personal tastes. My oldest boy loves bread, so he likes any version that highlights the bread. The rest of us prefer the filling, so we like the rounds and the crescent roll dough as both of those are lighter on the bread. Play with it and find what you and your family like. After all, half the fun of trying other people's recipes is tweaking them to your own liking. Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

White Hot Chocolate

Happy New Year, All! I am resolving to create more recipes and do more blogging in 2012 (in between the arm and hand surgeries anyway). My first post this year is something I created for my husband. My sweet man does not care for sweets, particularly chocolate.....EXCEPT, white chocolate. He LOVES white chocolate. I make homemade cocoa every year around the holidays, and today (New Year's Day) I decided to make a hot cocoa that my husband would enjoy. It turns out, he loved it! So, without further ado, the recipe for my homemade White Hot Chocolate.

NOTE: I use nothing but the 4oz. Ghirardelli bars of chocolate for my cocoa. Always have, always will.

4 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2T. sugar
1t. cinnamon
1t. vanilla
4oz. white chocolate, chopped
4oz. milk chocolate, chopped

Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Begin whisking when chocolate starts to melt. Heat and whisk until everything is incorporated and cocoa is good and warm.

You can serve this any number of ways. Today, I placed a small white chocolate snowflake in the bottom of a cup, filled it with the cocoa, and topped it with whipped cream. A sprinkle of cinnamon might be nice too. However you like it. Enjoy!

I made these simply by melting white chocolate, then putting it in a squeeze bottle and filling a mold.

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