The Baker Upstairs

10.16.2017

90 Minute Dinner Rolls

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These 90 minute dinner rolls are so light and fluffy, and taste amazing!

These 90 minute dinner rolls are so light and fluffy, and taste amazing!

Whenever the seasons change, I seem to find myself in a bit of a funk. I am not great with change in general, and even the little changes to our wardrobe and diet tend to throw me off balance a little. I've been looking forward to fall for months now, but now that it's here, I just feel kind of... meh. Maybe it's the fact that it's still dark when I get up in the mornings, or the endless papers that come home from school with my girls, asking for donations of time and money. All I seem to want to do at the moment is sit on the couch with a warm drink and a cozy blanket, and watch Hallmark Channel movies.

I know it'll pass in a week or two (it always does!) but for now I'm trying to lean in to the need for coziness, instead of fighting with it. This is the time when all those glorious soups I have saved in the freezer are coming in handy! (You can check out some of our favorites here, here, and here.) We've been having soup for dinner several nights a week lately, and it is the perfect thing for me and my mood. Since we can't have soup without fresh bread, these 90 minute dinner rolls are perfect! They're quick and easy to make, and taste amazing, too. They're also incredibly light and fluffy (which is pretty surprising, with such a short rise time). I shaped mine into cloverleaf rolls, because that's the shape my mom always made when I was a kid, but you're welcome to experiment with different shapes for your rolls. No matter how they're shaped, they'll taste delicious!

These 90 minute dinner rolls are so light and fluffy, and taste amazing!
90 Minute Dinner Rolls

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until frothy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour, and mix until well combined. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is only slightly sticky to the touch (be careful not to add too much flour!). Knead 3-5 minutes, until smooth. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes, or until doubled. When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 375. Gently punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 18 equal-sized pieces, then divide each of those pieces into 3 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and add 3 balls to each well of a muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
These 90 minute dinner rolls are so light and fluffy, and taste amazing!

For more soft and fluffy dinner roll recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



10.14.2017

Mummy Sugar Cookies

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These adorable mummy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating Halloween!

These adorable mummy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating Halloween!

That's right, three adorable Halloween ideas in a row this week! Obviously I am obsessed with Halloween. Our weather suddenly changed this week to cold and rainy (which I love!) and we are totally getting in the mood for fall and all things Halloween. We visited the pumpkin patch yesterday, and got totally dumped on by a surprise rainstorm. We were all soaked and muddy by the time we got home, but it was so much fun!

These adorable mummy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating Halloween!

Decorating Halloween cookies is one of my family's favorite traditions. Every year I bake a big stack of cookies, make a variety of colors of frosting, pull out all the sprinkles, and let the kids go to town. I always find myself picking sprinkles out of every crack and crevice in my kitchen for weeks afterwards, but it's totally worth it to see those joyful looks on their faces as we decorate together. I made these mummy cookies during our cookie decorating session last year, and they were so fun and so easy to make too!

These adorable mummy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating Halloween!

No worries if you are not an expert cookie decorator (as I certainly am not). If you can draw a moderately straight line, you can definitely make these cookies. :) The sugar cookie recipe below is my very favorite recipe, the one I've been making consistently since I was 12 or so, and it never fails me. These cookies are so good!

These adorable mummy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating Halloween!
Mummy Sugar Cookies

for the cookies:
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

for decorating:
8 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons half and half
48 candy eyes (I used Wilton brand)

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and almond extract, and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix to combine. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a flour-dusted surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a round cutter and place on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly golden around the bottom. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the almond extract, and enough half and half to make the frosting come together. Beat the frosting on high for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Spread a thin layer of frosting onto each cooled cookie. Add two candy eyes about 1/3 of the way down on the cookie. Scoop the remaining frosting into a pastry bag with a flat tip (I used a Wilton #150 tip). Pipe strips of frosting across each cookie to make a mummy design. Enjoy!
These adorable mummy sugar cookies are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating Halloween!

originally published on Somewhat Simple

10.11.2017

Halloween Oreos

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the links.

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!

I've totally been on a roll with the Halloween projects lately, and I'm so excited to share these Halloween Oreos with you! A few years ago, I started dipping Oreos and other treats in chocolate to share with friends and family at Christmas, but this is the first year that I've tried Halloween designs. They turned out so incredibly cute, and I think they will be perfect to share with friends (if we don't just eat them all ourselves). The best part is that they're super easy to make! I made all four varieties in about an hour and a half (and spent part of that time breaking up fights between my naughty children). They're so fun, and so easy to customize in any way you can imagine!

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!

It's hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think these Frankenstein's monster Oreos might be it. I love their goofy little faces! I will confess that I wish I had gone the extra mile and picked up some pretzel sticks at the grocery store, instead of chopping up the pretzel twists I already had in the house like the lazy person I am. They're still super cute, though!

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!
Frankenstein's Monster Oreos

8 Oreo cookies
16 small candy eyeballs
dark brown sprinkles
8 small pretzel sticks, broken in half

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Melt the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every thirty seconds, until completely melted. Dip the Oreos in the candy using a fork, coating them completely, then tap the fork on the side of the bowl a few times to shake off the excess candy. Gently place the Oreos on the prepared baking sheet. Place two eyes on each Oreo, sprinkle brown sprinkles on top for the hair, and place a pretzel piece on each side for the neck bolts. Let cool and harden, then draw a mouth with the sparkle gel. 
These jack o' lanterns were my daughter Abby's favorite, mostly because of their silly little faces. I made the stems from the rest of the pretzel pieces that I had chopped up while making the Frankenstein's monster Oreos, and used the already melted green candy melts from those as well, so they were pretty straightforward and easy. 

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!
Jack O' Lantern Oreos

8 Oreo cookies
pretzel pieces, chopped into stem shapes

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Melt the orange candy melts in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every thirty seconds, until completely melted. Dip the Oreos in the candy using a fork, coating them completely, then tap the fork on the side of the bowl a few times to shake off the excess candy. Gently place the Oreos on the prepared baking sheet. Melt the green candy melts in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every thirty seconds, until completely melted. Dip the pretzel pieces in the green candy and stick to the top of the pumpkins. Drizzle the remaining green candy melts on top of the pumpkins to look like vines. Let cool and harden completely, then draw a face on each pumpkin using the sparkle gel. 
These cute little cats were definitely the most challenging to make, mostly because they required the most precision. I saw these cuties on 30 Handmade Days a few weeks ago, and couldn't wait to try them! My husband and my daughter Lizzy loved these ones the best, and I can see why. They are so darling!

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!
Black Cat Oreos

8 Oreo cookies
16 small candy eyeballs
16 chocolate chips
black sprinkles
small pink heart shaped sprinkles

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Melt the black candy melts in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every thirty seconds, until completely melted. Dip the Oreos in the candy using a fork, coating them completely, then tap the fork on the side of the bowl a few times to shake off the excess candy. Gently place the Oreos on the prepared baking sheet. Place two candy eyes, two chocolate chip ears, a heart sprinkle nose, and six whiskers on each Oreo while the candy is still melted. Let cool completely. 
Lastly, these mummies are pretty tough contenders for my favorites, mainly because they were so easy to make. They definitely took me the least time of the bunch, and I still think they are incredibly adorable and so fun!

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!
Mummy Oreos

8 Oreo cookies

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Melt the white candy melts in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every thirty seconds, until completely melted. Dip the Oreos in the candy using a fork, coating them completely, then tap the fork on the side of the bowl a few times to shake off the excess candy. Gently place the Oreos on the prepared baking sheet. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Scoop the remaining candy into a ziplock bag, cut a small piece off the corner of the bag, and drizzle the candy over the top of the mummies. Let cool completely. Pipe two black dots for eyes using the black sparkle gel. 
These Halloween Oreos are so easy to make, and perfect for celebrating the holiday!

These adorable and delicious Halloween Oreos are so fun to decorate!

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