Gruyere & Green Olive Rolls

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Remember those baking bootcamp challenges I told you about? The ones Joy the Baker partnered up with King Arthur Flour to give us all a lesson in flour-y goodness? Well, this is the third of four challenges they have dreamed up for us and I’m excited to share it with you all!

So far we’ve been challenged to work with all-purpose flour to make a triple-berry cinnamon swirl bread and self-rising flour to make apple pie biscuits.

This challenge has us using bread flour to make some killer gruyere & green olive rolls. You should check out Joy’s blog just for the pictures from this challenge. They are beautiful step-by-step shots and I want to steal her shirt. No shame.

Is there anything more therapeutic than kneading dough by hand?

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I don’t think so.

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It’s seriously the best stress reliever. Getting shaggy dough to form a beautiful soft ball is my favourite form of therapy.

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These rolls are so, so, so good! Laden down with cheese {basically the key to my heart} with a few olives sprinkled in for good measure. Only good things can come from these rolls.

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As well as being out-of-this-world delicious, these rolls are so easy to make. Don’t freak out at salt being in the starter, it totally works for this recipe because the starter is left to do it’s thing overnight. Other than that, you basically combine all the dough ingredients in a bowl, dump it out onto your countertop and knead it out. Easy.

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Do this challenge. Show the bread flour who’s boss. {It’s you}. Marvel in your crazy bread-making skills. Make your friends jealous. Or share with them; that’s what nice people do.

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Gruyere & Green Olive Rolls: 

Ingredients:

For the starter: 

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For the dough: 

  • all of the starter
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

For the filling: 

  • 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. To make the starter, mix the 1 1/4 cups bread flour, salt, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Mix until well combined; the starter will be very dry. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature; it’ll become bubbly.
  2. To make the dough, combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour and yeast. Stir until thick and well combined in a bowl then dump onto a well floured surface to knead by hand until soft and smooth, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  4. Gently deflate the dough and pat and stretch it into a 3/4″ thick rectangle, about 9″ x 12″. Use fingertips or hands to stretch out dough. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, olives and black pepper.
  5. Starting with the long side of the dough, roll into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam side down, on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Gently cut the log into 4 slices for mini breads, or in half for two normal sized loaves. Place on a lightly greased 9 x 13″ baking pan, cut side up. Use your fingers to press the rolls down and spread them open a bit to fully expose the cheese.
  7. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour until it’s puffy but not necessarily doubled in size. Towards the end of rising time, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425°F.
  8. Lightly brush loaves with egg wash.
  9. Place in the oven to bake.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes (mini loaves), or 25 minutes (full size loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  11. Slice into wedges and serve warm with mustard. Rolls will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days. They are best reheated gently in the oven or toasted before serving.

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S’mores Cupcakes

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So these cupcakes. Probably the best cupcakes you’ll ever have in your life. Just sayin’.

I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like s’mores. If you don’t like them, we probably can’t be friends. Sorry.

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The only s’more-like quality missing from these cupcakes is the toasted marshmallow frosting and that’s only because I don’t have a little torch to do it. Otherwise it would totally be happening. If you have one, do it. Embrace the toastiness.

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A little graham cracker crust, the most chocolatey cupcakes you could imagine, fluffy marshmallow frosting and some graham cracker crumbs sprinkled on top. Salivating yet?

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Good.

These campfire inspired cupcakes will be making an appearance at our Friday Night Dinner tonight and I can’t wait for our new guests to try them. Cupcakes are the way to anyone’s heart.

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Make them. Share them (or not). Enjoy them. Imagine it’s the middle of summer and you’re having fun around the campfire with a big group of friends. Feels good, doesn’t it?

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S’mores Cupcakes: 
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust: 

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cupcakes: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Marshmallow Frosting: 

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Directions:

Graham Cracker Crust: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt with a fork. Drop 1 1/2 tbsp. of the mixture into each cupcake liner and press down. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. chopped chocolate on top of each crust and bake for 5 minutes. Keep oven on at 350°F for the cupcakes.

Cupcakes: 

  1. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. Heat until butter and chocolate have melted, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk the eggs; add the sugar, vanilla and salt, stirring to combine. Add chocolate mixture and whisk together.
  4. Sift in 1/2 of flour mixture and stir. Whisk in the sour cream, then add in the remaining flour and whisk again until just combined. Do not overmix. Divide batter between liners with graham cracker crusts and bake 18-20 minutes.

Marshmallow Frosting: 

  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in bowl over gently simmering water. Whisking constantly, bring to 160°F.
  2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed (8) until the mixture cools, doubles in volume and stiff peaks form, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Once cupcakes have cooled, pipe frosting on top. Top with graham cracker crumbs, if desired.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Salted Caramel Frosting

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These cookie sandwiches are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I wanted to make a silly kind of dessert for the dinner my friends and I do every week before they all went to 90s night, and what is sillier and more childish than a cookie sandwich? Nothing.

I used my chocolate chip cookie recipe as the base for these little guys and went with a salted caramel frosting filling to balance out the sweetness of the cookies. I had salted caramel sauce that I made a little while ago sitting in my fridge, but if you don’t have any or don’t feel like taking your chances with hot sugar, caramel sauce from the store is totally fine, too.

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This frosting is seriously the best. I would probably just eat this frosting all by itself {who am I kidding, I totally did do that}. Salted caramel can do no wrong.

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When you’re making the cookies, I recommend going with a smaller size cookie scoop. I was happily using my regular cookie scoop when it decided to break. After fighting a losing battle to get it back together and giving up, I first went for my large cookie scoop only to end up with cookies as big as my hand. Ideal for cookies by themselves, but not for a cookie sandwich. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as too much sweet and that would have been it.

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The little cookie scoop made perfectly sized cookies, perfect for sandwiching together with some salted caramel frosting.

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I’m going to warn you now, these are the kind of cookies that you only need one of. They’re sugary, salty and delicious, but more than one might have you bouncing off the walls. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches w/ Salted Caramel Frosting: 

Ingredients:

Cookies: 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. hot water
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Frosting: 

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup salted caramel {I used homemade, but store-bought is good too}
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. {Cookies} Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the batter along with the cream of tartar and salt. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto an engrossed cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
  4. While cookies are cooling, make the frosting filling.
  5. {Frosting} Cream the butter for 1-2 minutes, until nice and smooth. Add in vanilla extract and salted caramel and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, heavy cream and salt and beat together. Add remaining powdered sugar as necessary, depending on the consistency you want for your frosting {I made a stiff frosting so it wouldn’t ooze out the sides of the cookies}.
  7. Once cookies are cool, pair them up. Transfer frosting to a piping bag and pipe some frosting on one half of each cookie pair. Sandwich together.

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