When Todd and I were trying to decide where to go for our anniversary, many things drew me toward Savannah. The history...the architecture...the gnarled live oak trees...and the Back in the Day Bakery. I've had this cookbook for a long time and everything I've baked from it has been amazing. When we moved to South Carolina, I resolved to go there in person at some point.
I saved it for the end of our second day, AFTER 16 miles of hiking, for guilt-free consumption. Walking there made me feel even more virtuous, so I didn't have any qualms about ordering a giant oatmeal cookie sandwich with cream cheese filling, which was outstanding. The bakery itself was in a slightly sketchy neighborhood, but had cute vintage decor.
I was surprised that they didn't have too many choices, especially for a weekend, but they did have lots of fresh-baked breads in another case.
The owners, Cheryl and Griff, were on-site, and Cheryl signed a coaster for me to stick in my cookbook. Yes, I am a nerd! Todd took my photo in front of the bakery, too, and I was nerdily pleased that Cheryl is in the picture, right over my left shoulder.
I'm all wet because it rained most of the day, and we hiked through it.
When we came home, I decided to make something from the cookbook that I'd hoped I could sample at the bakery, but wasn't available: the caramel-bottomed brown sugar cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glaze.
Before I made the dough, I made the caramel. I love any excuse to pull out my candy thermometer!
I mixed the ingredients and boiled them until they reached a temperature of 230 degrees F, then poured the soft caramel into the bottom of the pan.
Next I mixed the dough...love a good rise!
After the dough was ready, I rolled it out, spread it with butter, sprinkled it with sugar and cinnamon, rolled it up, sliced it, and placed the rolls onto the caramel.
I put them in the refrigerator to rise overnight.
I baked them for 25 minutes and topped them with the glaze. The rolls greedily sucked up the caramel and were absolutely delicious!
I would halve the caramel next time, I think, and probably use my tried-and-true cinnamon roll recipe. All in all, though, a very tasty treat!
I've been baking - a lot - but I always seem to run out of space for recipes on my posts. So I thought I'd put a few on here.
Two weeks ago I made Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars from the Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook. It's a layer of shortbread, a layer of caramel, a layer of cookie dough, and a layer of chocolate ganache. It was good, but I ended up scraping off the chocolate ganache - it overpowered the bar.
Yesterday I made a 3 layer cake from the Sprinkle Bakes website. It's a pretty daunting cake: one layer Devils Food, one layer cheesecake, and one layer cookie dough. Because the cheesecake fell a bit in the middle for me, it didn't stack prettily, even though I switched out the Devils Food cake for my favorite brownie recipe (more stabilizing).
Oh, yeah, did I mention that the whole thing was covered in buttercream?
No beauty shots here - this was taken with the aid of the refrigerator light, but at least you can see the layers!
The cake was absolutely delicious, but I think I might swap out the cookie dough recipe for the one that's in the Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook. This particular dough was made with a CUP of melted butter, and it was a bit heavy for me. I ate very moderately all day and had just one sliver of it last night, and I still felt sugar-queasy this morning. Thankfully, I can always send it to Todd's work tomorrow! Here is the original recipe if you want to give it a try!
I also made a mini apple pie with some leftover pie dough from the freezer (chopped apples and sauteed in brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon to taste for about 20 minutes on stovetop):
Another pie - an absolutely beautiful cherry pie last week:
I'll post the recipe soon.
A sweet loaf of bread made with leftover yellow summer squash:
And so, so many summer tarts, which is one of my favorite things to make. Buttery tarts filled with caramelized onions, mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, roasted squash, spinach...the combinations are endless!
I've started roasting a lot of chicken, too. Todd eats the main parts and then shreds down the leftovers to be filler in soups, tacos, etc. Brining the chicken (soaking it in salt/garlic/herb water for an hour before roasting) makes it super moist. Annie's Eats has wonderful directions here, and the roasted garlic/red wine sauce that you made with the leftover drippings is one of my favorites, so flavorful, perfect on bread or mashed potatoes (or just by itself!).
For us, it's all about balance. Todd and I have healthy lifestyles and eat very moderately most of the time, and treat ourselves to a little sweet nib after supper a few times a week. I'll usually have just a bite or two of pie (for example) and I feel satisfied, and Todd, too, will have just a little slice. It's been a long struggle to finally get to the point of 'de-criminalizing' sugar. It's a huge personal victory for me to know that there's a delicious homemade pie in the refrigerator, all week long, and I don't feel compelled to guiltily pick at it. If I crave, I have a bite, put it back, and go on with my life. Happy day! Overeating sugar torpedoes my workouts, which are fairly intense, and that helps keep me on track as well.
I have one more Savannah post, about the amazing Bonaventure Cemetery. I hope to get that out in a few days. Have a great week!