Friday, March 5, 2010

Baking Marathon

I had a baking marathon last night. I made 3 dozen lemon meringue tarts for a friend, and thought while I was at it, wouldn't it be fun to also make mini chocolate cream pies??

I went back to Barefoot Contessa's pie dough recipe (it really is the best) and cut the crusts out with fluted round cutters, and placed the cut dough into a muffin tin. Pre-baked in a 400 degree oven for about 11 minutes.

Once cooled I filled the mini crusts with lemon curd. I used the lemon curd and meringue recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Baked. Who knew egg whites could taste so good ;)

This is my third attempt at these Cinnamon rolls. They are always delicious, my son thinks they should be kept in the house at all times. They just don't photograph that well. I did double the recipe for the frosting to be add extra when served.

Mini Chocolate Pudding Pie
For the Filling:
2 1/2 cups whole milk
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a saucepan, over low heat, warm the milk and chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted. In a medium sized bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch, salt and vanilla, whisk until well blended. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly until well blended. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickens and begins to bubble, about 6 to 8 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressing directly onto pudding. Let cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until ready to use.
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 Tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. roll each piece on a well-floured board, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Cut dough with fluted rounds in desired size. Press into muffin tins and return to refrigerator for 15 minutes. When dough is chilled, carefully poke bottom and sides of dough with the tines of a fork to prevent dough from puffing when baking. Bake approximately 11 minutes, or until lightly golden in a 400 degree oven. When cool enough to handle remove from muffin tins and let cool on a wire rack.
To assemble mini pies:
Spoon desired amount of cold chocolate pudding into mini pie shells.
Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate curls if desired.

Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough:
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1 cup warm milk
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
7 to8 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1 cup unsalted melted unsalted butter, divided (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the dough: In a small bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half of the flour and beat until smooth Stir in enough of the remaining flour until the dough is slightly stiff (will be sticky). Turn out onto a well floured board. Knead 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a well buttered glass or plastic bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk., about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When doubled punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20 inch rectangle.
For the filling: Spread dough with 1/2 cup of melted butter. In a bowl mix 1 1/2 cups sugar and the cinnamon until well blended. Sprinkle over buttered dough. Roll up jelly roll fashion. Pinch edges together to seal. Cut 12 to 15 slices. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan and an 8 inch square baking pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of melted butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pans with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place cinnamon rolls slices close together in pans. Let rise in a warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool slightly and frost with Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting:
Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a small bowl mix cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. Mix until smooth. Spread on warm rolls and serve. (I doubled this recipe)


  1. Hi Alice....well I can smell the cinnamon rolls right through the computer...I went recently to the King Arthur baking class and they made cinnamon buns...I quickly went online and ordered their Viet Nam cinnamon....but I have yet to make them....You have inspired me once I read there was cream cheese frosting involved....

  2. Mmm those mini tarts look great! They make me want to make some and I can see where that would put me in. lol

    I gave you a Beautiful Award on my blog. I enjoy reading yours eventhough I rarely comment. :)

  3. I certainly do not care how they photograph as I would eat them all before I could take out the camera anyway:) I wish I was your neighbor and your were making those tarts for me. Lucky neighbor/friend.

  4. Hi Sue, How fun to go to a King Arthur baking class!
    Hi Domestic Goddess, thank you so much for the Beautiful Award! That is so sweet of you. I am so glad that you like my blog. I visited yours, you have a very nice blog too. Please feel free to comment here anytime :) and I hope you visit often.
    Joyce, if your neighbor I would definitely send some your way :)

  5. LOL, I'm pretty certain my sons would agree with yours.