Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Turtle Rolls

A childhood friend and I were chatting on Facebook and I mentioned that I was thinking about doing a version of cinnamon buns that were a "take-off" on turtles (cashew, caramel and chocolate candy).  She asked me to send her the recipe when I finished it because her sister has been having a secret love affair with "turtles" for some time.  So Jil-Lyn, this is for you...

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, so to Ree Drummond at www.PioneerWoman.com....thank you for the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had.  Cinnabon needs to watch out for these....I will use Ree's recipe and will not be buying another cinnamon roll.

I made the Turtle Rolls for Christmas morning breakfast and my husband was speechless while he was eating one of them.  One of the best signs of a great meal is when no one is talking and they just keep eating.

I will warn you now...these rolls are very rich and oh so decadent.

What I did to make the Turtle Rolls:

The most important thing is to plan ahead.  Make the dough and the caramel the day before you want to serve the rolls.

First things first.....get 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, take the labels off, place them in a heavy bottom pan that is deep enough to be able to cover the cans with approx. 3 - 4 inches of water, place on the stove on low to very low with the cover slightly ajar so that steam will escape.  Let the water come to a light simmer...PLEASE  DO NOT LET THE WATER BOIL...and cook on a low to very low heat for 3 hours.  Please be sure that the cans stay covered with water the entire time that they are simmering.  Yes folks, cook the unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk in this manner.  No, I am not nuts....this is a trick that I learned from a little old Mexican woman.  After the allotted 3 hours, take the cans out of the water and let them cool down to room temperature.  Once they have cooled, you may open them by taking the lid all the way off.  What you will have is the best caramel on the planet.

Make 1/2 of the cinnamon bun dough recipe from Ree Drummond and put it in the fridge after you add the last cup of flour with the baking powder and baking soda.

About 90 minutes before serving the rolls, chop 4 - 6 cups of cashews and toast them lightly.   The amount of cashews used depends upon how many you happen to like in a pastry.

Preheat the oven to 350' and roll the dough out as instructed in the Pioneer Woman's recipe.
Spread the dough with a nice layer of caramel (you will use all the caramel except for what you sample), sprinkle the chopped nuts over the caramel and press lightly into the caramel, roll the dough like you would for the cinnamon buns, slice into 12 pieces and place in a greased 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan.  Bake approx. 30 to 45 minutes until the tops are browned nicely and the caramel is bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the chocolate sauce:
1 cup of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup chopped dark (or milk) chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup strong coffee
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Gently heat the milk, cream, butter, sugar and coffee in a sauce pan.
Add the cocoa powder and stir until dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and vanilla, stir until the chocolate is melted.  If you like a thicker chocolate sauce, add chopped chocolate by the 1/4 cup until you get to the consistency that you like.  This sauce should be the consistency of a nice ganache at room temperature.  Drizzle the chocolate over the rolls and serve.

While I was making the caramel, I came up with the following variation for a chocolate cream pie:
Make a chocolate cream pie (any recipe), but before you pour the chocolate filling into the pie crust, place a layer of the caramel in the bottom of the pie, pour in the chocolate filling, let cool and then cover with a thick layer of meringue, brown the meringue and then drizzle with melted chocolate and some of the caramel.

I will be anxious to hear if anyone tries these and what your thoughts are.

Have a great evening,


  1. I discovered that this chocolate sauce stays pourable even when it has been in the fridge.

  2. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,