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Coping as a Caregiver to a Wounded Warrior

Usually my blog is reserved for happy posts about baking, crafting and travel.  Today, I’m taking a moment to talk about something more serious… the impact a decade of war has had on me.

April 2007 - Moments before Dave's 1st deployment
April 2007 – Moments before Dave’s 1st deployment

Living with a Wounded Warrior who suffers from combat related PTSD, major depressive disorder, and chronic pain is no walk in the park. In fact, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

I try my hardest to make things look like everything is fine… to make it seem from the outside that I’m handling it all and that my husband is doing better. However, that is all a lie.

Nothing is fine.

2013 - A few days before Dave's 3rd deployment
2013 – A few days before Dave’s 3rd deployment

I lost my husband 2 years ago (read about that here)… shortly after he returned from his third combat tour in the middle east. What I mean by lost is that he is no longer the man I married. What 8 years of war stripped out of him is irreplaceable. Now, only a shadow of the kind, caring, funny man I once adored remains.  I don’t blame my husband for how he is today… I know it is not his fault.  However I am struggling with how to deal with the person he has become.

Because of his PTSD, the man I live with now thinks only of himself and never goes out of his way to even do the basic duties of a husband and father.   It’s a symptom of his illness.  For example, when Dave first arrived in the USA and secured us housing he was to also get us beds with bedding along with food.  When we arrived after 18 hours of travel from Germany, Dave did not have a bed for Matty and none of us had blankets or pillows.  The cabinets had little to no food.   I had hoped and prayed that when we moved to the USA, things might be better.  They weren’t.  They were never the same… and in fact it has only gotten worse.

Now, my days are filled longing. Longing for a glimmer of the man I once followed around the world and gave up my whole world for. Longing to be touched, loved, and cared for like he once did.

April 2016 - Everything looks happy from the outside, but really I'm miserable
April 2016 – Everything looks happy from the outside, but really I’m miserable

Sometimes, I get lucky and that man appears… a few hours, a day or two… I am reminded of the love we shared. Until it’s gone again. Gone in the sorrow of depression. Gone in his inability to focus on anything or anyone other than himself.

I have to manage and regulate his pain medication. I have taken away all ability for him to spend money. I have to beg him to help with the children. And I am petrified to leave him home alone.

Last week I started the most exciting work/school opportunity I’ve had the chance to be a part of in 10 years. Last week, I nearly had a panic attack because I didn’t trust that the father of my children would be able to handle being alone with the kids. Not in fear that he would hurt them… but that he would sleep all day or ignore Matthew when he just wants Dave to play with him. Things he does even when I’m home… so I know he’ll do it when I’m not here.

I am sad for my son that he has begun to see that his father is not the man he used to be. Matty tells me that he only loves me and Sissy (Emily) and he doesn’t want to spend time with Daddy. It breaks my heart that he knows when he’s not being put first.

May 2016
May 2016

It feels as though I probably shouldn’t be “calling out” my husband on all his “faults”… “faults” that have been caused by the wounds of war. That I should keep these things private.  But the truth is… I am so tired of lying to the world.  I am so tired of making it seem like everything is okay.

Everything is not okay.  I’m hanging on to my family by a thread.  I feel like the weight of my husbands mental health rides on my shoulders.  I feel like if I crack… our whole life will come tumbling down.  I can not keep it inside of me anymore.  I need to let it all out… I need to write about.

A few other caregivers of wounded soldiers have mentioned to me on several occasions that I need to mourn the man I married and start adjusting to this new man.   The man he has become.  But my question is… what if I don’t like this new man?  What if this new man isn’t a good husband or a good father?  At what point can I leave?  Start a new life for myself and the children?  Or do I have to stay with him because leaving a wounded soldier isn’t “what’s right”?

Am I a horrible person for being at the verge of giving up?  I just don’t know how much more I can take… and I know I can’t keep silently pretending that my life is okay.   I am just so tired.  So tired of the ups and downs, the inconsistency, the pain.

When is enough, enough?

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

These Easy 4th of July Cupcakes are not only delicious, but they are simple to put together and will help you celebrate our nation’s independence with style!

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I believe that a cupcake isn’t just a personal size portion of cake with some frosting smeared on top.   I believe that an individual cupcake should be as beautiful on its own as an entire cake is.

To achieve this, I start thinking about the cupcake from bottom to top.  First, I plan which grease proof liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique will best fit the theme.  For these 4th of July cupcakes, I decided the only way to go was with red and blue liners.

To compliment the liners and to keep the patriotic theme going, I baked blue and red velvet cake in their coordinating liners.

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I topped each cupcake with crisp, white whipped cream buttercream and a combination of red, white and blue sprinkles and jimmies.  To complete the cupcake, each cupcake is topped with a red, white or blue patriotic M&M.

Pure patriotic perfection.

I wish you all a happy & safe 4th of July!

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 18 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix + ingredients on the box
  • 1 box blue velvet cake mix + ingredients on the box

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 lbs powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • red & blue liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique
  • red, white, and blue sugar crystals and/or jimmies
  • 1 bag of patriotic M&M candies

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Prepare the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. Bake the red in the red liners and the blue in the blue liners.

Frosting

  1. Whip the butter, sugar, vanilla and half the cream together until smooth.
  2. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and whip again.
  3. Add the remaining heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. You may not need all of the cream if you want it thicker or add more if you want it softer.
  4. Add the salt.
  5. Whip for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

Assembly

  1. Using a Wilton 1M (medium open star tip), pipe swirls of frosting onto each cooled cupcake.
  2. Top immediately with red, white and blue sprinkles/jimmies.
  3. Top each cupcake with one patriotic M&M candy.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies

Some people call it Puppy Chow and other’s call them Muddy Buddies.  No matter the name, these Marshmallow Muddy Buddies are overflowing with sweet marshmallow flavor, chocolate and of course peanut butter!

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

These super fun, colorful Marshmallow Muddy Buddies are my take on the classic cereal treat.  Most people know of this treat as Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies… but it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s delicious!  Crispy cereal covered in melted peanut butter and chocolate covered in powdered sugar… you just can’t go wrong with that combo!

I begin with the base of Chex cereal but instead of using the traditional rice or corn Chex, I kick it up a notch by using a mix of Vanilla and Chocolate Chex.  Yum!

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The traditional peanut butter is substituted with Mrs. Miller’s Peanut Butter Marshmallow Spread.  I had never even heard of this before 3 months ago when I went to visit my in-laws in Pennsylvania.  My mother-in-law said she buys a jar of this heavenly spread every few months and enjoys a spoon full with crackers, veggies or just by itself!  It’s her guilty pleasure!

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

When I saw the jar in her kitchen, all I could think about was all of the things I could make with it.  Cupcakes, frosting, and these Marshmallow Muddy Buddies were my first ideas!

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Any candy could be added to this snack, it doesn’t have to be Crispy M&M’s.  However, I really liked the smaller size of these chocolates and I love adding a pop of color to a fairly boring looking snack.

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My favorite part of these Marshmallow Muddy Buddies… the giant clusters of cereal covered in chocolate and powdered sugar.  If you’ve had this snack before you know what I’m referring to!  Ohhhh yeah… so much chocolate and it’s so good!

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

What’s your favorite way to make Muddy Buddies?


Marshmallow Muddy Buddies

Marshmallow Muddy Buddies

Yield: 12 cups

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
  • 5 cups Vanilla Chex cereal
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Mrs. Millers Peanut Butter Marshmallow Spread
  • 1/4 cup cream peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 9.9oz bag Crispy M&Ms
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 large ziploc gallon size bags

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the vanilla & chocolate chex and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, combine and melt together the chocolate, peanut butters, butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture evenly over the cereal. Using a rubber spatula to cover the cereal completely with the chocolate mix.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar along with half of the cereal mix into each bag. Seal the bags closed then shake, shake, shake, shake! Shake those badboys until the cereal is completely covered in powdered sugar.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper and spread the cereal evenly across the sheet. Allow to cool for 1 hour until the chocolate is set.
  6. Pour the cereal back into the large bowl. Add the marshmallows and M&M's and mix gently to incorporate.
  7. Store in an air tight container.
Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Dessert Decorating Workshop

On a beautiful summer evening, I hosted a Dessert Decorating Workshop for wounded soldiers, their caregivers and other active duty military!  It was a fun, sugar-filled event! Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

When I moved back to the USA in February after living abroad for 5 years,  I knew I wanted to get involved in my local community.  My family began attending events at the USO Warrior & Family Center at Fort Belvoir and I was introduced to one of the fabulous women who organized all the events at this USO.

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The first time I met Casey it was at a Caregiver Support Group at the USO.  I asked her if I could host a dessert decorating workshop for the wounded soldiers and their caregivers along with other active duty military at the USO.  Casey of course said yes and my brain went into planning mode!   First person I reached out to was Meaghan of the decorated cookie!

Meaghan is a super talented food blogger and baker who lives just up the street from me in DC!  I knew she’d be the perfect person to co-teach this workshop with me! She’s got mad skills when it comes to desserts!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com
Betsy, Casey & Meaghan

Meaghan is also a military spouse and a blogger and we’ve been Facebook friends for a while now!  We actually met for the first time in real life at the USO for this event, but it was like we had known each other for years.

That’s really how special both the food blogging and military communities are.

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Two days before the workshop, I began baking cookies and cupcakes and making batch after batch of buttercream.

My plans was to teach these wounded warriors and their caregivers how to transform their cupcakes, cookies and marshmallows into beautiful desserts their families and guests will be so impressed with!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The tables were set with piping bags, decorating tips, marshmallow sticks courtesy of Wilton (THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS DONATION OF SUPPLIES & DOOR PRIZES!)  along with dozens of cupcakes, cookies and frosting!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

None of this would have been possible without the use of the USO Warrior & Family Center at Fort Belvior!  Their kitchen and common area were the perfect place to host a workshop like this! Thank you, USO, for letting me do this!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

With the tables set and the desserts ready,  Meaghan and I were ready to teach!  On the agenda for the workshop were five demos for decorating.

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Two styles of decorating cupcakes with buttercream using piping bags and tips, techniques for decorating sugar cookies with buttercream, and two styles of decorating marshmallow pops.

A big thanks to Shannon, owner of Sweets & Treats Boutique for supplying all the cupcake liners for this workshop!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Meaghan and I got to work sharing all of our tips and years of tricks and secrets we’ve stored up with the workshop!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

As the class eagerly watched… I showed the class how to whip up a batch of my famous buttercream as well as fit a piping bag with a tip and fill it with frosting.

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I then demoed how to use an open star tip and an open round tip to create two different looks when frosting cupcakes.

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Meaghen jumped in and showed the class her go-to technique for piping frosting onto cookies!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Finally, Meaghan showed everyone who to turn marshmallows into dessert pops by using edible markers and sprinkles!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

After the live demonstrations were complete, it was time for the class to start practicing what they learned!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Meaghan and I gave the class instruction on what the tools were in front of them and set them free!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

And boy were they talented!  Their creativity surpassed all my expectations for this class!  Not only did the class expertly pipe frosting onto the cupcakes like they’ve done it for years, but they took the initiative to try new things and get really creative!

Check out some of their creations!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I love it! With just a bit of direction and the right tools, look how creative they were! I am just so impressed!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

As the evening was winding down, I had a huge surprise for the guests! FREE STUFF!

I reached out to all of my food blogger friends and asked them if the would donate autographed copies of their cookbooks.

Thanks to:

All your books were a HUGE hit with the workshop!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I raided my baking supply closets and put together some fun grab bags full of baking tools and gadgets.

I bought a cake stand a few aprons from Home Goods while Meaghan put together goodie bags filled with cookie cutters, food coloring and marshmallow pop making supplies!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

It was a really special moment for me to be able to shower these wonderful wounded soldiers, caregivers and active duty military with gifts.    Doing something like this has been a dream of mine for a while and being able to give to them an evening of joy, happiness and all you can eat cupcakes was just a pleasure.  A true pleasure.

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I can’t leave out my daughter Emily and her best friend Alexis for being a huge help to me before and after the workshop.  The girls did all the dishes after the event and helped clean up without any complaining!  Thank you, my sweet ladies!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

If you were at the dessert decorating workshop, I promised you the recipe for my buttercream and sugar cookies!

Vanilla Buttercream –  Sugar Cookies

Finally, a HUGE THANK YOU goes to Anna of Anna Kratoville Photography.  Anna donated her time and skill to my workshop so that I could focus only on teaching the class and not have to worry about taking pictures too!  Aren’t these photos just amazing!  If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, make sure to check out Anna and hire her for your next event!!

Dessert Decorating Workshop @ the USO - Fort Belvoir | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My heart is just overflowing with joy and happiness after putting together this class.  Everyone involved loved it, I loved it, the USO loved it and I can’t wait to do it again.

Thanks to all the sponsors including the USO, Wilton, Sweets & Treats Boutique and the decorated cookie.  Without you, none of this could have been possible.

If you’re interested in volunteering at your local USO, check them out on the web to find your local center.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Teen Bedroom Makeover

Being a military family can be rough on kids, especially when moving often makes it difficult to create a home out of a new house. By using Enbrighten Café Lights by Jasco and a small budget, I was able to create a Teen Bedroom Makeover that my daughter was crazy about!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

This post is sponsored by Jasco Products Company in conjunction with Acorn: An Influence Company. I was compensated & given a set of lights, but all the ideas and opinions are my own.

Being a military family that moves every few years, we get used to living small. We don’t hang much on our walls or get really into decorating because we know we’ll have to take it all down, fill the holes and start over in just a few years time.

In just a few months, my husband will be medically retiring from the Army after 3 deployments and 12 years of service. This means that we’ll be moving out of military house and into private housing that hopefully will become our forever home!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The new townhouse we moved to has a big basement with a bedroom and bathroom perfect for Emily. Emily is 16 years old and loves the privacy and access to her own bathroom! The only downside to this room is that is has no windows.

But that’s okay, no windows makes it the perfect space to use the Enbrighten Café Lights!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

You can see from these before pictures that Emily’s room wasn’t very big and had no personality. Emily is full of personality and I knew I wanted to have that translate into her bedroom decor!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I really wanted the Enbrighten Café Lights to be the centerpiece of the room. Emily’s bed doesn’t have a frame or a headboard so I decided to use the lights to create a focal point above the bed. Hanging the lights above the bed brought your eye from the bed to the ceiling, giving the space height and depth.

To add color and texture to the lights, I wrapped tulle around the entire strand of lights. Doing this brought the color from the bedding into the light display tying it all together.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

To makeover the bed, Emily chose a new duvet cover and pillowcases in lime green and decided on an accent color of hot pink. To cover the box springs, I placed a flat sheet over the box springs and let it hang just to the floor giving the illusion of a dust ruffle. It was an easy, inexpensive way to have the look of a dust ruffle even without buying or making one.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Instead of end tables, I used two metal and wood bar stools. Not only are these a fun alternative to traditional end tables, but they serve as seating for guests. I think we need to get a rug to tie this room together. I’ve seen some great ones on websites like Bazaar velvet so Emily will have to choose one.

To add another pop of hot pink, I placed several bunches of hot pink silk flowers in a vintage style porcelain vase. I chose silk flowers over real so that Emily can enjoy it all year round.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Finally, I brought over the green tool from the light wall onto the dresser pulls and mirror as well as a single hot pink silk flower. I hung a picture I had painted (which had hot pink in it) on her wall and set out a few of her favorite trinkets and her jewelry box to add a personal touch.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I really love how the Enbrighten Café Lights by Jasco bring Emily’s room to life! The LED lights will never die so this look can last as long as Emily wants it! We’ll never have to worry about changing a light bulb, ever! Their soft light is the perfect way to brighten this basement room.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

GIVEAWAY!

How would you use a set of Enbrighten Cafe Lights? Leave a comment below telling me how you’d makeover your space with these lights then enter to win a set below!
Cafe Lights Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Jasco Products Company in conjunction with Acorn: An Influence Company. I was compensated & given a set of lights, but all the ideas and opinions are my own.

Homemade yeast dinner rolls covered in warm, melted butter. The perfect side dish to any meal! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Fluffy, soft, and delicious are three words that my husband used to describe these Yeast Dinner Rolls. He also said they’re the best dinner rolls he’s ever had!

Homemade yeast dinner rolls covered in warm, melted butter. The perfect side dish to any meal! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I had dinner at Golden Corral for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love with their over-sized dinner rolls. If you’ve never been there, it’s an all you can eat buffet where you can pig out on everything that’s horrible bad for you yet so delicious.

Out of all the things I ate at GC, I went back for seconds (okay, thirds) for their yeast dinner rolls!

Homemade yeast dinner rolls covered in warm, melted butter. The perfect side dish to any meal! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

After eating enough dinner rolls for a four people, I decided it was finally time to for me to delve into the world of yeast once more. I’ve you’ve followed me for some time you’ll know that I am afraid of yeast.

Seriously. Almost every time I’ve tried to bake with it, I mess it up. So taking on yeast dinner rolls was no small undertaking!

Homemade yeast dinner rolls covered in warm, melted butter. The perfect side dish to any meal! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The most difficult part about the process of making these yeast dinner rolls was being patient.  Waiting for butter or milk to cool so it wasn’t too hot or waiting for the dough to rise.  I just wanted to hurry up and get it all done now!

Unfortunately, when making a good yeast dough, patience and time are two things that create a perfect result… not rushing!

Homemade yeast dinner rolls covered in warm, melted butter. The perfect side dish to any meal! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

In the end though, this dinner roll was so incredibly delicious and so light and fluffy I seriously could have consumed the entire tray of them on my own.

Well, I would have been able to if my husband didn’t eat them first.  Dave was so incredibly impressed that I made this bread that he made me promise I would make them again!

Of course I will… just not today.

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Yield: 2-3 dozen
Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (warm, but not scalding hot from the tap is fine)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups milk scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7-8 cups flour (plus more for the work surface)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter for greasing the pan
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the 2 cups of milk almost to a boil then cool down to lukewarm. This is called "scalding the milk".
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, dissolve yeast & 1 tsp of sugar in the warm water.
  3. Add the scaled, now lukewarm, milk and 1/2 cup of sugar along with 2 1/2 cups of flour and mix thoroughly.
  4. Untouched, allow the mixture to stand until light and foamy, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Melt the butter and allow it to cool while the mixture is getting foamy.
  6. Add the cooled melted butter, whisked eggs and salt and beat well until combined.
  7. Add remaining flour and mix until it forms a soft ball. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Spray the inside of a large bowl with non-stick oil spray.
  9. Turn the mixer on medium high speed and allow the dough hook to knead the dough until it becomes smooth and satiny.
  10. Turn out the dough into the oiled bowl. Turn it over a few times to coat the dough with the oil.
  11. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise until the dough is doubled in size. This should take about 90 minutes.
  12. Punch dough down with your fist.
  13. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle that is 1/2-in thick.
  14. Fold the dough in half onto itself, short side to short side, and gently roll together to seal.
  15. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  16. Grease a large baking sheet with butter. When I say large, I mean it... a giant one with tall sides.
  17. Using a pizza roller, dough scraper, or a knife cut the dough in straight lines creating rolls. Remember, the dough will rise and double in size again so keep that in mind when cutting. Place the rolls on to the greased baking sheet.
  18. Cover the rolls with a clean, damp towel and set in a warm place until they double in size... about an hour.
  19. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.
  20. Bake rolls uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the tops are rich, golden brown.
  21. Remove from the oven and immediately brush melted butter over the top of the rolls.

Notes

Recipe originally from 365 Days of Baking and More.

 

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