Friday, January 20, 2012

Cinnamon Pinwheels (Cinnamon Bun Cookies)

3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar

1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 c unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 TBS milk

1/2 c light brown sugar
2/3 c finely ground walnuts (may be omitted)
1 TBS cinnamon

2 TBS melted butter

2 c powdered sugar
2-4 TBS milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Cream butter on medium speed of stand mixer until light; gradually add sugar, continue beating until light & fluffy. Beat in egg yolk & vanilla.

Blend flour & baking powder together in small bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternating with milk in 2 batches each. Mix until well blended.

Turn dough out onto sheet of plastic wrap, shape into disk. Chill until firm & easy to handle.

Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, nuts & cinnamon in small bowl.

When dough is thoroughly chilled, turn out onto generously floured sheets of wax paper. Turn to coat well with flour. Place another sheet of wax paper over the dough, & roll out into a 9x12 rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Remove top sheet of wax paper.

Using pastry brush, evenly spread melted butter over dough surface. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough. Roll up dough (jelly roll style) into a tight log.

Cut log in half using very sharp knife. Wrap each half in wax paper & chill in freezer until very firm. (The firmer the dough, the easier to cut & maintain shape.) At this point, you can wrap log in foil & freeze for later use.

Preheat oven to 375. Line large cookie sheet with parchment.

Working with 1 log at a time, remove chilled dough from freezer & slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Place cookies on prepared sheet about an inch apart (cookies will spread). Bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown around the edges. Remove from oven & let cool on pan for a minute. Remove to wire rack to cool. Glaze if desired.

For glaze, combine all ingredients & stir until smooth; spread over cooled cookies. Allow to harden before storing.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chipotle Steak Chili (Game Day Chili)

3 TBS olive oil
2 lbs sirloin tip steak, trimmed & cut on the diagonal into bite size pieces

2 medium onions, diced (about 1 c)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large hot banana (Hungarian) pepper*, seeded & chopped

1 - 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 - 1 - 7.5 oz can** chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
2 cans reduced sodium dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained

3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander

Heat oil in 5 qt Dutch Oven over medium high heat until hot; add steak pieces & cook until evenly browned. Add onion & garlic; saute until onion just begins to become translucent. Add banana pepper & cook 2 minutes more.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chipotles (to taste) & adobo sauce; combine well. Add beans & seasonings; stir to combine.

Heat just until bubbles begin to rise to the surface, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low simmer. Cover & simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to scorch your chili; the sauce thickens a lot during the final half hour of cooking.

Serve with shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack.

*may substitute green pepper for the banana to tone it down a bit
**1/2 can = "3 alarm" heat; 1 can = "5 alarm"