Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Buns

A couple of days ago, I was in the mood to make cinnamon rolls after reading this post. Cinnamon rolls aren’t on my list of favorite foods — I can’t even remember the last time I ate one — but Hubby likes them a lot, so I figured I would give them a try.

For the dough and filling, I followed Elise’s adaptation of the recipe from Oprah magazine. However, I omitted her pecan topping entirely and substituted the frosting from the Clone of a Cinnabon recipe. The verdict? We loved them! The texture is light and the frosting has just the right amount of sweetness. Below are the various parts of the recipe, adjusted to create a half batch of 10 small rolls. But next time, I will likely make the full batch!

For the Dough:
1/8 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (half of a 1/4 oz package)
1/6 cup sugar
3/8 cup milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, and then turn it off.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and slowly incorporate the remaining 1/2 cup of flour (on low speed). Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the oven (which is warm but not on). Let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or longer if needed — I waited about 1 hour 30 minutes).
5. After the dough has risen, remove from oven and punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.

For the Filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter; keep separate.
2. Roll dough out into a rectangle (approximately 14″ x 10″). Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise. (Dental floss was very helpful in making the cuts. I made 10 rolls, but they are definitely on the small side.)
3. Place dough slices, flat side down, in greased baking dish. Crowd them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the Frosting:
3 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
very small pinch of salt

1. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while preheating the oven to 375°. Bake buns until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. While rolls are baking, beat together frosting ingredients.
3. Spread frosting onto rolls while they are warm. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Buns


My Mother’s Oatmeal

Oatmeal

I have fond memories of the “real” oatmeal that my parents would occasionally cook on the weekends when I was growing up. My definition of “real” is the type that is prepared in a pot, not the instant just-add-boiling-water stuff. I loved it on chilly winter mornings. In the summer, I would eat the leftovers cold. Yum.

Last month, I decided to make “real” oatmeal for the first time. I followed the instructions on the container to the letter. The end result was so disgusting that I ate three bites and threw the rest away. I told my sister about my disastrous results, and she mentioned that my father soaked the oatmeal in water prior to cooking and that sugar was added. Obviously, I never actually watched either parent making oatmeal.

I called my mother and got some general directions from her. This morning I had time to experiment again, and was so pleased that my oatmeal tasted just like hers. Here is the “recipe”. Please note that measurements are approximate and may need to be adjusted depending on your preferences for consistency and sweetness.

3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup water, plus a little extra
1/2 cup milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar

Pour 1 cup of water into a small pot and bring to boil. While waiting, measure out the oatmeal into a bowl. Add just enough water to the bowl so that all of the oatmeal gets dampened. Using a spoon, mash the oatmeal around for several minutes.

When the water is boiling, pour the oatmeal+water mixture into the pot. Reduce heat and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk and stir. Add sugar (to taste — I used 3 tablespoons), stir, and heat for an additional minute. Remove from heat and cover pot for 10 minutes. Makes 2-3 servings.


Saturday Morning Brunch

BananaPancakes.jpg

:: banana pancakes from this yummy recipe *
:: scrambled eggs
:: sausage

*omitted orange butter and macadamia nuts; halved recipe except for banana