Sunday, May 15, 2011


I've been making/eating a lot of Mexican food lately and it seems like the best desserts to go with Mexican involve caramel.That sweet creamy treat is so adored by Mexicans. This recipe for Carmelitas involves adding chocolate chips and nuts, but I kept it simple, choosing to focus on the simple, lovely taste of caramel.


2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 1/2 cups salted caramel sauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons flour


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on low until crumbly. Divide into two equal portions.

Press half the crumb mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.

If using chocolate chips and pecans, sprinkle over the cooled crust. Mix the salted caramel sauce and flour together and drizzle over the pan. Top with the remaining crumb mixture.

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Allow the pan to cool and refrigerate until the caramel filling is set.

Cut into bars and serve.

Salted Caramel Sauce

image via

I have always been a fan of caramel. Despite the occasional toothache it gives me, I love the creamy, sweet texture. When I found out that caramel is actually very simple to make, I got very excited. It is basically the same technique as making a simple syrup, except you let it burn a little longer. That is what gives it the brown color.


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used 1% milk)
3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. Boil until the syrup is deep amber in color, about 5-7 minutes. 

Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream or milk. The mixture will bubble (this kind of freaked me out at first--I thought I had messed up the recipe--but everything turned out great). Stir in the unsalted butter and salt.

Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.

*Salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Linda Schlauder's Famous Orange Rolls

A while back, I mentioned some amazing orange rolls that a friend's mom makes for holiday gatherings. Having spent many Thanksgiving dinners at this home, I (and many others) have come to love and adore these orange dinner rolls. Linda was kind enough to share this recipe me. 

Today, I brought these to a Mother's Day family gathering and they. were. a. hit. I may have actually cursed myself because everyone has now asked for these rolls to be brought to all future family gatherings. I am okay with this because they are not incredibly difficult. (No kneading.)

These are delicious.


3 Tablespoons dry yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1 cup butter, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk, scalded
2 eggs, beaten
6 cups flour
14 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
Grated peel of 2 oranges


In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Combine the chopped butter, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the hot milk and mix to dissolve butter. Let stand until lukewarm.

Add the yeast, eggs and flour and mix well to form a sticky dough. (The dough should actually be sticky so don't feel the need to add more flour.) Let rise, covered, in the refrigerator for 8 hours or longer. 

Remove dough from the refrigerator 2 to 2 1/2 hours before baking. 

Divide the dough into halves and roll each into a rectangular shape on a floured surface. Mix the softened butter, 1 cup sugar, and grated orange peel in a bowl. Spread on the dough. Roll up the dough to enclose the filling. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces using dental floss or thread. Place into greased muffin cups and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 20-30 minutes). 

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sour Cream Biscuits

I just finished reading a novel, written by my grandfather, about his own father, who died three months before his birth. My great-grandfather, Lionel, grew up in Morgan, UT and at the age of 10, moved to Idaho where his father settled the town of Parker (Parker is my maiden name). My great-great-grandmother, Eliza Ann, was quite an inspiring figure, adjusting to many changes and always providing a comfortable, welcoming home to friends a family who needed love and support. Reading about Eliza Ann inspired me to cook simple, country food. In the book, my Grandpa mentions how, after dinner, Eliza Ann would give her husband biscuits with jam to satisfy his sweet tooth. So simple. So delicious.

From: Razzle Dazzle Recipes
Makes 4 biscuits


1 cup self-rising flour*
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

*As a substitute for self-rising flour, place 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to equal 1 cup.


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Add sour cream and oil. Stir until moistened. Turn onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary, until dough is smooth and easy to handle.

Roll out dough to a 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. (Or divide into four separate "balls" using your hands and flatten down, like you would if you were making peanut butter cookies.)

Place on a greased baking sheet and lightly spray tops with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden-brown.