Sunday, December 7, 2014

Buttermilk Potato Rolls

This is my last Thanksgiving post, at least for 2014.  I really wanted to enjoy some delicious homemade rolls for Thanksgiving this year. Especially since I had recently done a gluten free stint to try and figure out some minor health issues. It's good to have gluten back in my life and thank goodness that it's not the culprit.

These rolls were light and fluffy and not horribly labor intensive. They do require some cooked potatoes; I just threw a few in the oven and baked them while I was preparing other Thanksgiving dishes. Oh, also you'll need a potato ricer. Maybe buy your own and make it a good sturdy one instead of borrowing your friend's. You know, in case it ends up a mangled mess.

You might want to think about making these at some point this holiday season.


The potatoes should be warm when using them.  Either use freshly cooked potatoes or warm them slightly before using.  I used 3 medium-sized baked potatoes that were warm out of the oven, removed the skins and put them through a potato ricer.  You can try mashing them as much as possible if you don't have a ricer; be sure to get them as smooth as possible!

As with all yeast doughs, don't worry about the exact flour amount called for in the recipe; instead mix the dough until it clears the sides of the bowl and is soft and smooth without being overly sticky.  The original recipe called for bread flour and whole wheat flour.  I used bread flour (luckily I could find some!) and all-purpose and thought the result was really good.  

I used active dry yeast, but instant yeast can be used as well.  No need to activate the yeast as you would normally do when making bread.  Add it in with the other ingredients, just as the recipe states, and all should be just fine.  

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed or riced cooked potatoes (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (use this make-at-home version if you so desire)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 4 cups all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour
  • 3-4 cups bread flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm potatoes and butter and mix until the butter is completely melted.  

Add the buttermilk, yeast, eggs, sugar, salt, and 2 cups of flour.  Mix well. 

Continue adding the flour (both all-purpose and bread) until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is soft and smooth.  It may leave a slight residue on your fingers, which is okay, but shouldn't be so sticky that you have dough covered fingers.  

Add more flour if needed, taking care not to over flour the dough.  It should give easily when pressed with your fingers.  

Place the dough onto a floured surface or a silpat and knead for 5-7 minutes.   

Place the dough into a large, lightly-greased mixing bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap.  

Let the dough rise until doubled, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  

Lightly punch down the dough and roll it into 24 equal balls (about 3.2 ounces per ball, depending on how much flour you used).  Place the dough balls evenly on a parchment or silpat-lined large, rimmed baking sheet, 4 across, 6 down.  Or use two 9 x 13 dishes with 12 rolls in each pan.  

Cover the rolls with greased plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled, about an hour.  

Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes until golden on top and baked through.  

Brush the tops with butter after removing from the oven.      

Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fluffy Cranberry Salad

Thanksgiving away from home and family is definitely a little different.  It helps to make a few familiar favorites.  My sister-in-law Britney introduced our family to this fluffy goodness when she joined the family a good long while back.

This is one of those "salads" that can hardly be classified as such.  It's really a nice segue between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert.  And is super tasty for breakfast in the days that follow.  Make it ahead of time and let the marshmallows get nice and soft.  So good.  

  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples, grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups whipping cream

Puree cranberries in food processor.  

Grate apples in food processor or use a box grater.  

Combine cranberries and apples with sugar and marshmallows.  Let sit as long as possible.  

When ready to serve, whip the whipping cream and combine with salad.  Mix well.   

Source:  Britney Porter 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chocolate Silk Pie

This recipe is a repost.  I shared it a long while back, but made it for the millionth time this past weekend for Thanksgiving and thought it deserved another shout out.  I made it in actual pie form this time although it can also be made in individual servings like I did here.  This is always a hit and oh so easy, especially if you have a stand mixer.  

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • pie crust (see recipe below for graham cracker crust)

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and oil in a mixer and beat for a significant amount of time.  

NOTE:  I usually turn on the mixer and walk away.  The sugar will not be dissolved even after a significant amount of time.  Don't be alarmed.  

Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after each egg and scrape the bowl several times.  Mixture will get lighter and fluffier as you continue to beat.  

Put mixture in pie crust and chill for as long as possible, a few hours at minimum. 

Note on Crust:  You can use a traditional pie crust or a graham cracker crust.  I personally prefer a graham cracker crust (see recipe below).  

Serve with whipped cream and top with chocolate shavings if so desired.

Source:  Marsha Porter

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Combine graham crackers, sugar, and butter in a bowl

Press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan making sure the sides and bottom are an even thickness.

Note:  I like to use my hands and a tart tamper to get the graham cracker crumbs evenly spread and pressed. 

Bake for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.  

Source: Ina Garten