Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Buns with CreamCheese Glaze

The pungent aroma of cinnamon is unmistakable!

Recent studies show that cinnamon enhances the ability of insulin to metabolize glucose, helping to control blood sugar levels. Also, One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory!

Last week i went grocery shopping in the morning and passed by "Cinnabon" for breakfast, and bought some mini cinnamon rolls. I watched them bake my cinnamon rolls, You could really smell the aroma of the cinnamon all over the place.

The day after i decided to bake my own cinnamon rolls, and to be honest, they tasted just like the “Cinnabon” version! yes it did!

Cinnamon Swirl Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze
Maked about 18 buns

2 ¾ cups of flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon yeast
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup warm water
½ cup yogurt
1 ¼ cups (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick butter,100gm)
It tastes exactly like the “Cinnabon” version.
1 Stick unsalted Butter , at room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
100 grams Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp Vanilla

For the dough:
In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add 2 ½ cups of flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and the yeast. Mix for couple of seconds until they are all mixed together. Then add the oil, warm water & yogurt. Beat until you have a dough that isn’t sticky. If dough is still sticky , add the remaining ¼ cups flour or more until the dough begins to form into a ball and pulls away from sides of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5-6 kneads).
After kneading the dough, transfer to a lightly oiled medium bowl, cover your dough with drops of oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

For Filling:
Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into almost 15x11inches rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough leaving about ½ inch border. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the dough. Starting at the long side, begin rolling the dough into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up.
(How to roll your dough)

With a thin sharp knife cut the dough into 18 pieces.
Butter your square or rectangular baking pan ( I used a round dish). Then start placing the rolls into the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest and rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30mins.
Position rack in center of oven ,Preheat the oven 190°c (375°F). Bake the rolls until the top is golden brown, about 20min. Remove from oven and let it cool about 5min.

For the Glaze:
In a medium bowl with an electric mixture, Soften butter and cream cheese. Then add the icing sugar and vanilla beat until smooth. Spread glaze on warm rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

You can also add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your glaze mix
You can get creative with the filling, you can add chopped walnuts with the cinnamon mixture or even chocolate chips if you love chocolate.
Serve them warm, you can always heat the buns before serving them so they stay soft.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Halloumi Tart

I promised my family no more chocolate recipes for at least a month (let’s hope i can keep that promise). Since I’m keeping my distance from chocolate , i decided to cook lunch today.
What i love to do is, go through the kitchen and randomly grab some ingredients then decide what to cook.

I ended up with:Puff pastry, Halloumi cheese and cherry tomatoes. The first thing that popped into my head was a simple yet delicious tart.

Halloumi is a traditional Cypriot cheese that is also popular in the rest of the Middle East and Greece. It is made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, although some halloumi can be bought that also contains cow's milk. It has a high melting point, and so can easily be fried or grilled.
This recipe goes well with a simple green salad.

Halloumi Tart (Makes 10)

10 square sheets of puff pastry

1 cup Halloumi cheese, cut in small pieces
½ cup finely grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 tbs olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Tomato sauce
½ cup Tomato paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sugar
1 tbs olive oil

5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
10 mint leaves
¼ cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 175°c
2. Place the pastry on a baking tray. Prick using a fork around the pastry to create a border, and the pastry base to create holes.

3. To make the tomato sauce, mix together all the ingredients, and spread it over the puff pastry.
4. In a bowl, combine the 3 cheeses, chopped green onions, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread the cheese mixture over the pastry, top it with half cherry tomato and 1 mint leaf each. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

5. Bake about 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry rises and turns golden brown. Top it with fresh mint leaves.

Bon appetite!



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