Tag Archives: cinnamon

Cinnabon mots

20 Aug

I made these fantastic and very large cinnamon rolls last week.  They are fluffy and light and soft and airy and buttery and pretty delicious and remarkably un-vegan.  Personally I prefer my pumpkin vegan cinnamon rolls, which are a bit heavier, smaller, and denser with a stronger cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg flavor and filling, and they don’t really require frosting.  These white cinnamon rolls definitely require frosting- the cream cheese/butter combo makes them super delicious and ties together what’s basically a soft white roll + brown sugar and cinnamon.  It’s just down to your preferences- are you a sugar cookie or a spicy ginger cookie kind of person?    This was from a recipe called “Clone of a Cinnabon” and they are quite similar to that mall staple.

If you don’t have three hours to spare/you want cinnamon rolls RIGHT NOW, check out these super fast banana ones that I’ve made over and over again.

I feel a lot of pressure to come up with butter and butter puns... maybe I should start doing repeats and milk them for all they're worth

I feel a lot of pressure to come up with butter and butter puns… maybe I should start doing repeats and milk them for all they’re worth

I microwaved my milk for thirty seconds and put it in the mixer bowl, then added the yeast- you want it to be warm but not too hot.  Tickle the yeast, don’t kill them.  Also, turn on your oven to 350 while you prepare the dough, so you can have a warm place for the dough to rise.

Another way the kitchen aid stand mixer has changed my life- no more ten minutes of kneading required!  Just use the dough hook and the mixer does it for you!  I’ve never been a good kneader so this is great.  I did use a whisk to mix the liquid stuff first though (the yeast with the milk, then the egg and melted butter).

LOOK AT THIS ONE HANDED ACTION SHOT!  Do you know how hard it is to crack and open an egg with one hand?  The eggstremes I go to for you.

LOOK AT THIS ONE HANDED ACTION SHOT! Do you know how hard it is to crack and open an egg with one hand? The eggstremes I go to for you.

Now that my measuring cup was empty (because the milk was in the mixing bowl), I could use it to melt six tablespoons of butter- another 30 second zap.

Ghee whiz it's easy to melt butter

Ghee whiz it’s easy to melt butter

Add that in to your mixing bowl, then measure out your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt.  Toss them in, and use that incredible dough hook to knead the dough.  Or knead it yourself on a floured surface for ten minutes, until it makes a nice soft ball.

It's so great that after you bake something, you get to eat a baked good!  If you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you knead.

It’s so great that after you bake something, you get to eat a baked good! If you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you knead.

If kneading yourself, turn off your oven beforehand so it’s the right not-killing temperature for the dough to rest.  Otherwise, turn it off, then put the dough back in a bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and stick it in the off-oven for an hour.  Go do something else, like attend to the little monster who’s been crying at your feet this whole time:

Worst sous chef ever

Worst sous chef ever

Anyways, when you come back to it the ball should be twice as big as before and so fluffy.  Plop it onto a clean floured counter, leave the kitchen towel on it, and make your filling: this is just a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon, but I like adding white sugar to cut the molasses-ness of it.   This time I used the Cinnabon method and spread butter, then topped with sugar/cinnamon, but I actually think it’s better to mix the butter with the sugar/cinnamon ahead of time and use that as a filling, like we did with the pumpkin rolls.

Roll out your dough into a nice thin rectangle and fill it.  I used to use wine bottles or tomato sauce jars for this, but we got this awesome fancy rolling pin as a wedding pressent and I love it.  It’s too large for a drawer and sits on our counter looking mildly rustic/pretentious and I love it.  It’s like you’ve been eating jelly beans your whole life of various quality, and then someone gives you some Jelly Bellys.  That’s how I feel about this rolling pin.  (I love Jelly Belly jelly beans a LOT.  If you’re ever near Fairfield, CA I highly recommend the free Jelly Belly factory tour.)

Swing your partner round and round... Now dough

Swing your partner round and round… Now dough

See...

See…

Dough!

Dough!

Notice that I don’t put the cinnamon sugar all the way to the edge- this helps keep the filling from leaking out.

Now roll that log up (long side rolls up) and pinch the ends and the seam.

Don't be fooled- this would make a terrible rolling pin, even though it looks about the right size and shape.

Don’t be fooled- this would make a terrible rolling pin, even though it looks about the right size and shape.

Cut it in half, then cut each half in thirds, and cut each third in half.  If that sentence was hard to read, just cut it into 12 pieces in a reasonable way.  Put them into a buttered 9×13 (I used a pyrex), toss it back into that warm oven for half an hour.

Notice how far apart they all are- feeling a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit like middle schoolers at their first dance.

Notice how far apart they all are- feeling a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit like middle schoolers at their first dance.

They grow up so fast.  This is more like the club when they're leaving college.

They grow up so fast. This is more like the club when they’re leaving college.

Take out the big cinnamon rolls, then heat the oven to 350.  Bake for 20 minutes, until very lightly browned on the top.  Meanwhile, switch to the regular paddle (not the dough hook) for your mixer and beat some butter with some cream cheese until homogenous, then add a bunch of confectioners sugar, a dash of vanilla, and a bit of salt.

The proeblem with studying for speelling tests at the last minutee is you might end up addding extra letteers to words.  Creamming is not the answer.

The proeblem with studying for speelling tests at the last minutee is you might end up addding extra letteers to words. Creamming is not the answer.

Let the rolls cool a bit before your frost them, so the frosting doesn’t totally melt everywhere.  Like 5-10 minutes.  Then frost and eat these beauties.  We actually split them usually because a single one is so huge.

20150814_191927

 

Fake cinnabons, adapted from “Clone of a Cinnabon” on allrecipes

Bread:

1 c milk

1 packet of yeast

2 eggs

6 TB melted butter

4 1/2 c flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar

Filling:

3/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

3 TB cinnamon (+ginger, nutmeg if you like that)

6 TB softened butter

Frosting:

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)

1/2 c butter (1 stick)

3 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

 

  1. Heat up the milk until warm, then mix in the yeast.  Turn on oven (to whatever temperature).  Mix the egg and melted butter with the yeast-milk, then add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Mix until it turns dough-like, then knead until soft (10 minutes by hand, 3-4 minutes by stand mixer).  Turn off oven, and cover the kneaded dough and put into oven for an hour.
  2. Filling: mix all the filling ingredients together: you’ll actually want to cut the butter into the sugar so you’ll end up with a crumbly delicious mess.
  3. Take out your dough from the oven once it’s doubled in size, and plop it onto a floured surface.  Let rest for ten minutes, then roll it out into a big rectangle (12″ by 8″ or so), and spread the filling on it.  Roll up from the long side, tightly, and pinch the seams and end.  Cut into 12 pieces, and place into a buttered 13″x9″ pan.  Cover and put back into that warm oven for half an hour
  4. Take out the rolls, heat oven to 350, and bake the rolls for 20 minutes until very lightly golden on top.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter together, then add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth.  Frost the rolls about 5 minutes after they’re out of the oven.

Ridiculously easy mini banana cinnamon buns

15 Feb

While I’ll always make those vegan (sometimes) pumpkin cinnamon rolls whenever I have three or four hours to wait, I now make these cinnamon buns every time I want cinnamon buns NOW (but really, within half an hour from start to finish, which is faster than going to the store to get them).  I’ve had this recipe for about three months and have made these at least six times- they were the first thing I baked after baby was born!  They were also the second thing I baked after baby was born.  And possibly the third.

No matter how many people you have eating these, they’ll be gone very quickly.  I think four is a great number, so everyone gets to have two and maybe wishes they had more.  But three is also wonderful, because eating three of these is wonderful.  Honestly I could eat all eight that come in a batch by myself.  What I’m saying is THESE ARE SO GOOD GO BUY SOME CRESCENT ROLL DOUGH AND MAKE THEM NOW.

They’re so good that I didn’t take a picture of all the ingredients beforehand.  If you bake at all you already have all of these minus the crescent roll dough.

I just did jury duty.  Everyone had pat responses to everything

I just did jury duty. Everyone had pat responses to everything

First put a pat of butter in a smallish casserole dish or pie pan, and stick it in the cold oven.  Turn the oven to 350.  I love when stuff goes in a cold oven, so you aren’t wasting gas by preheating.  Anyways.

Open your can of crescent roll dough (this was not intuitive to me and it took me awhile and I still think I do it wrong), and spread out the dough.  Pinch together the edges so you have one big rectangle of dough.

It wasn't hard to get the witnesses to open up, you just had to press at the right moments

It wasn’t hard to get the witnesses to open up, you just had to press at the right moments

With the facts spread before us, we had to return a verdict

With the facts spread before us, we had to return a verdict

It’s OK if it’s not perfect; pinching just makes it easier to cut the buns.  Now stick another two tablespoons of butter in the microwave for 15 seconds (or if you’re one of those people who leave butter out, just take that softened butter.  I think I’ll start leaving butter out.  It’s so convenient!) and spread it on the dough.  Mash or slice a banana and spread it on top of the butter.  I’ve done it both ways and I think I prefer eating the mashed banana, but slicing is SO EASY.  Then mix some cinnamon into some sugar and sprinkle it over the whole thing.

We were following the letter of the law, ignoring ideas of sin. Amen!  Church and state should be separate

We were following the letter of the law, ignoring ideas of sin. Amen! Church and state should be separate

Sometimes witnesses would sprinkle in random facts/observations, and we'd take that into account too

Sometimes witnesses would sprinkle in random facts/observations, and we’d take that into account too

Now take the long edge and fold up an inch.  Roll up the whole thing this way (so you’re traveling a shorter distance and holding the longer side).

Taking a break from court- check out this natural log!  It rules!

Taking a break from court- check out this natural log! It rules!

Cutting the roll is the hardest part of this.  I’ve used floss, as in the next picture, but a sharp slightly wet knife has worked the best.  No matter how I’ve done it, I smushed the rolls.  That’s OK.  Cut in half (the dough already does this for you), then cut each half in half, and each of those in half, so you end up with eight. (Yes, Yen, two cubed is eight.  Good job!)

Sometimes it was hard to cut between the lines and figure out what actually happened.

Sometimes it was hard to cut between the lines and figure out what actually happened.

Now pull that casserole dish out of the oven- the butter should be nice and melted now.  Spread it around, and sprinkle with two tablespoons of brown sugar.

This was just a small civil case, not like Brown vs. Butter of Education.  Oh it was Board of Education, huh.  Mixed it up in mind for some reason.

This was just a small civil case, not like Brown vs. Butter of Education. Oh it was Board of Education, huh. Mixed it up in mind for some reason.

Many things were mixed up in the case- who was where when, why and how what happened happened, sugar and butter (I brought cookies for day 3 of jury duty)

Many things were mixed up in the case- who was where when, why and how what happened happened, sugar and butter (I brought cookies for day 3 of jury duty)

Now put the rolls, spiral side down, in the pan.  They’ll be a few inches apart, which is fine- they’ll spread into deliciousness.  This brown sugar-butter combination on the bottom makes a crust similar to pineapple upside down cake.  It’s awesome.

Bake for 20 minutes.

I love these plain, but you can also glaze them (powdered sugar + milk + vanilla) or frost them (cream cheese + powdered sugar + milk +vanilla).  I prefer the cream cheese and will include that below.

It was hard to look at the plaintiff when we returned the verdict in favor of the defendant- there was no way to sugar coat it.

It was hard to look at the plaintiff when we returned the verdict in favor of the defendant- there was no way to sugar coat it.

Baby cinnamon rolls, adapted from kevin and amanda (theirs is also good but uses twice as much butter and sugar)

1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls

1/4 c butter (1/2 stick)

2 TB brown sugar

2 TB white sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 very ripe banana

(optional): 2 oz cream cheese, 1 c powdered sugar, 1 TB milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla

Cut two tablespoons of the butter into a pie pan or a small casserole dish.  Place into the oven and set oven to 350.

Spread out the crescent roll dough, pinching seams together.  Soften remaining two tablespoons of butter (microwave 15 seconds) and spread on dough.  Either mash banana and spread atop butter, or slice and lay in lines across the dough (like an American flag).  Mix white sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the dough.  Roll up dough into a log.  Cut into eight slices.

Remove warm pan from oven.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Place slices spiral side down onto the butter-sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

(Optional): Soften the cream cheese (microwave for 15 seconds), then mash with a fork.  Add in powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, and mash until you have a thick frosting.  Plop some onto each warm cinnamon roll.  Devour.

an EGGNOGstravaganza! Part I: eggnog

22 Dec

I remember the first time I had eggnog- it was at my childhood best friend’s house, back when we lived in Minnesota.  I must’ve been ten or so, and I immediately loved this ridiculously rich, creamy, mildly spiced drink.  I loved it so much that I’ve only had it five times or so since.  Including a disastrous attempt to make homemade eggnog in high school, back before we knew how to use allrecipes and followed an old Joy of Cooking cookbook I had lying around.  That tasted like raw eggs sitting in milk, which is what it was.  That’s also what my first attempt at eggnog this year ended up as, which explains the coming posts of eggnog bread pudding, eggnog loaf, and bacon-stuffed eggnog french toast (no need wasting perfectly good eggs and cream!)  But my second attempt was AMAZING.  I know I raved about how great ambrosia is during my last post, and that I’ve talked about how pavlova is the best thing I’ve ever made, but damn.  This eggnog.  Definitely the best drink I’ve ever made.

So let’s start with the eggnog, shall we?  I did a comically awful job taking photos of the eggnog because it was SO GOOD that I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  I had to go to the store to buy cream, but other than that I had all the ingredients on hand: butter, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and (optionally) rum.  Actually I didn’t have cloves so I used star anise instead and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING STAR ANISE.  It’s so sweet and so spicy and just a great, underused ingredient.

“Illicium verum 2006-10-17”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Also note that this is an overnight recipe.  It’s really really good as soon as you make it but it’s even better the next day.

First, steep your milk with the spices.  If you had a cinnamon stick lying around now would be a good time to take it out.  I just put in ground cinnamon and a few star anise, then heated the milk on low while I separated the eggs.

This would make an at first delightful smelling STEEPlechase, but then the milk would go sour and everything would be bad

This would make an at first delightful smelling STEEPlechase, but then the milk would go sour and everything would be bad

The recipe I used called for a dozen eggs, but I got tired of separating eggs so I used seven.  It still turned out great!  I think six at minimum.  Honestly a dozen eggs might be too rich, though not if you add rum (I made some non-alcoholic by omitting rum).  Anyways, for a note on how to separate eggs see this old post.  Separate your eggs.

Very clearly separate and not equal

Very clearly separate and not equal

Once everything is separated, turn the milk heat up to high.  Cover the whites and put them in the fridge or freezer.  I put them in the freezer and it was a pain in the butt to thaw them the next day so I’m not sure why I did that.  You will use the whites the next day though so hang on to them!

Whisk the yolks with the sugar until nice and fluffy.  I was thinking about using the stand mixer for this, but the hand whisk worked just as well.

This is a labor oF LUFF. Alternate caption: Instead of naming planes after numbers like F-10s, maybe they should include the airline name too.  So you could have a F-LUFFthansa

This is a labor oF LUFF.
Alternate caption: Instead of naming planes after numbers like F-10s, maybe they should include the airline name too. So you could have a F-LUFFthansa

Now pour some of the hot milk (which is now hot because remember you turned the heat up?) into the egg bowl and whisk some more.  You’re tempering the eggs so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs sitting in milk (oh high school).  This is a mildly technical task but you know me- I don’t care too much about details (it still turns out awesome), so don’t worry.

I want some of those tamper evident stickers but change them to say temper evident.  Then I could put them on custards and on my baby

I want some of those tamper evident stickers but change them to say temper evident. Then I could put them on custards and on my baby

Just keep adding a little hot milk and whisking until the mixture looks pretty smooth.  Dump it back into the pot with the rest of the milk and stir constantly over medium heat until it gets thick, or until you get tired of mixing (which is what I did).  It’s about three minutes either way.  Let it cool for an hour, then add the cream, vanilla, nutmeg, and rum if you’re using it.  Also take out the star anise.  Throw it in the fridge overnight.

We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher!  Well, we have one.  Actually, if you think about how my stomach felt during pregnancy, we also have the latter

We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher! Well, we have one. Actually, if you think about how my stomach felt during pregnancy, we also have the latter

The next day, take out your egg whites and let them come to room temperature.  Throw them in a stand mixer or use an electric one and mix them until they’re frothy and stiff, like in the next photo.

If I get a dog, maybe I'll get a couple of small greyhounds- I always seem to need two whippet(s) This is  both an old photo and old caption

If I get a dog, maybe I’ll get a couple of small greyhounds- I always seem to need two whippet(s)
This is both an old photo and old caption

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the chilled eggnog, and serve.  SO GOOD SO FLUFFY SO TASTY.  Sorry for lack of photo.

Amazing eggnog, adapted from allrecipes

6-12 eggs, to your taste (12 makes it super rich, 6 is light and delightful.  I went with 7)

1 qt of milk (2 pts, 4 cups)

1- 1 1/2 c sugar, also to your taste (1 1/2 is way sweet, 1 is light.  I did a bit over 1)

2 c rum, also to taste

3 c cream (I used a cup of cream the previous day so I had this much.  You could also use 2 or 4)

1 TB vanilla

1 cinnamon stick and/or 1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 star anise pods

1 tsp nutmeg

Over low heat, combine the milk, spices, and 1 tsp of the vanilla.  Let it steep for five minutes, or however long it takes you until we mention this again.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a container for the fridge and the yolks into a medium-large bowl.  Refrigerate the whites.  Turn up the heat to high on the milk.  Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in a little hot milk (I did about 1/2 c at a time) and whisk until smooth.  Do this about three times until you have a very smooth and warm egg-milk mixture.  Pour the bowl of egg milk into the pot of milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for three minutes.  Let cool for an hour.

Take out the star anise pods.  Add the cream and remaining vanilla.  If you’re using rum, add it.  Refrigerate overnight.

About half an hour before you want to serve the nog, take out the egg whites.  About ten minutes before serving, beat the whites on high until foamy and stiff.  Then use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whites into the nog.  Best served in a punch bowl, as a pitcher will leave the foamy stuff out.  Garnish with some more ground nutmeg, fresh if you can get it.

Snickerdoodles, or more morning baking

12 Jun

This KitchenAid stand mixer is changing my life!  Baking during breakfast is awesome!

No normal subgroups here!  Sorry, this is a math pun, and only if you've taken abstract algebra (no normal subgroups = simple)

No normal subgroups here! Sorry, this is a math pun, and only if you’ve taken abstract algebra (no normal subgroups = simple)

I particularly liked my students this semester, so I made cookies for the last day of class.  The first summer I taught (the very first college course I taught!), I made two kinds of cupcakes for my students.  But I didn’t actually like the students that much (the cupcakes were DELICIOUS- margarita flavored (tequila-lime cupcake with salted lime frosting) and Irish car bomb flavored (Guiness cupcake, filled with whiskey-chocolate ganache, topped with Bailey’s frosting)), just baking.  And it was summer, so I had extra time.  Anyways.  These cookies were thrown together while I was making hashbrowns + eggs for

If I put some trinkets in a glass of lemon+sugar+water, it probably won't be as good a kitsch in ade as this one!

If I put some trinkets in a glass of lemon+sugar+water, it probably won’t be as good a kitsch in ade as this one!

Snickerdoodles are ridiculously straightforward: beat butter, sugar, eggs, add flour and leavening.  Pretty much all snickerdoodle recipes out there tell you to use cream of tartar+baking soda instead of baking powder, but I didn’t have any.  Whatever!  They still ended up delicious!  Form into balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar.

I should try this pick up line on husband while making these: will you be a sin o' mine, sugar?

I should try this pick up line on husband while making these: will you be a sin o’ mine, sugar?

We watched Clueless yesterday and I can't stop thinking about "rollin with the homies"

We watched Clueless yesterday and I can’t stop thinking about “rollin with the homies”

Bake for not too long while you eat breakfast!

Sometimes he likes to help out in the kitchen, but he never knows when I'll go BALListic on him (those are too close, damnit!)

Sometimes he likes to help out in the kitchen, but he never knows when I’ll go BALListic on him (those are too close, damnit!)

P1010827

These also cool nicely and pack well in tupperware.

Ridiculously easy snickerdoodles (adapted from the internet and cut in half from most recipes, makes about 2 dozen)

1 stick butter (1/2 c butter)

3/4 c sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 TB baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 TB sugar

Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy, then beat in the egg.  Add flour and baking powder and beat.  Form into balls.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Roll the snickerdoodle balls in the cinnamon sugar, then place about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet (they do spread, but only a little bit)

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes until just golden brown on the edges (you want crisp edges but soft and cakey middles).  Let cool.

“vegan” pumpkin cinnamon rolls

23 Jun

A couple years ago, I read Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals.  It didn’t have too much effect on my life at the time (I was dating a vegan and in Vietnamese culture you eat vegan after a family member dies for awhile anyways), but it’s echoed since then in the form of my friend Edward , who became vegan after reading it during a visit to me.  A few months after that, I visited him in Seattle and made these bomb cinnamon rolls.  They’re just incredible, you can’t tell they’re vegan, and sometimes when people find out they’re completely incredulous.  But you have to make them while watching TV/doing laundry/blogging because they take about THREE HOURS (maybe 20-30 minutes of active time).

The story was to explain why I sometimes do vegan baking.  My math big brother is also vegan, so I sometimes bring in baked goods and he can have them.  These cinnamon rolls are the first vegan thing I ever baked.

That said, I failed this time because I didn’t have any Earth Balance in my house, and my roommate shops at Costco so it’s hard to justify buying it when we have something like five pounds of butter sitting in the freezer.

It's around 3:14 but it's not pumpkin pi time... it's pumpkin cinnamon roll time!

It’s around 3:14 but it’s not pumpkin pi time… it’s pumpkin cinnamon roll time!

First, mix your yeast with your hot water.  It’s a packet to a tablespoon, and it smells awful, and you need to do it asap to give the yeast time to do their thang.  Then turn on your oven.  Basically to whatever temperature- I did 350 because it’s the default.  The point is to heat up the oven, and then after a few minutes you turn it off so you have a “warm place free from drafts” for your dough to rise in.

While you’re waiting for your yeast to chitchat and the oven to warm up, you can prep the rest of your ingredients/workplace.  Mix up the pumpkin, melted margarine (oops), sugar (only a heaping tablespoon!), and soy milk.  That’ll mix with your yeast in a few minutes.  Meanwhile, clean your countertop or table, then sprinkle a bunch of flour all over it.  Put 3/4 cup of flour in a bowl nearby with a tablespoon.

The skeptical Canadian was always suspicious of canned pumpkin.  "You say that's pure, eh?"

The skeptical Canadian was always suspicious of canned pumpkin. “You say that’s pure, eh?”

There's no plaid at this prep school, but there are lots of flour prints

There’s no plaid at this prep school, but there are lots of flour prints

Sift together the flour and spices and salt (I skipped this because I was using salted butter) (Also I skipped this step because I don’t sift things).  Point being, measure out your stuff.

By now you can turn off your oven, hopefully it’s around 150 in there.  Crack it open while you mix your wet ingredients with the yeast, then add the dry.

Pumpkin puree, there ain't no mountain high enough to keep me from gettin to you, babe.  Even if that mountain is covered in spices.

Pumpkin puree, there ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me from gettin to you, babe. Even if that mountain is covered in spices.

I just used a fork- you’ll get very sticky dough.  Just keep mixing it until it’s smooth.  Then it’s KNEADING TIME.  Throw that dough onto your floured surface, and start tossing flour on it a tablespoon at a time.  Knead, knead, turn, flour, knead, knead, turn, etc. for about ten minutes.  Honestly I’m awful at kneading so I won’t tell you how to do it, just try.

I'm just such a commitmentphobe- I hate being kneady.

I’m just such a commitmentphobe- I hate being kneady.

It’ll be a beautiful soft ball, a little sticky but not nearly as much as you started, and if you poke it it’ll gently bounce back slowly.

It's so beautiful, I might start crying.  Even BALLing.

It’s so beautiful, I might start crying. Even BALLing.

Throw it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a towel, and chuck it in your heated-then slightly cooled oven.  Close that up and let sit for an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.  I was productive played a lot of Candy Crush during that time.

After that hour, pull it out, punch it down, cover, and re-flour your surface.  Clean up all your bowls etc. and prepare the filling while you let it sit.

If we crossed Hansel and Gretel with a scandalous show about vampires, could we call it Struesel Blood?

If we crossed Hansel and Gretel with a scandalous show about vampires, could we call it Struesel Blood?

Filling is a standard streusel- I suggest doubling the recipe.  Sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and cut in chilled pieces of margarine until it looks like coarse crumbs, or in my case, until you’re sick of cutting it up.

Now you can uncover your dough, throw it on your floured surface, and roll it out.  You really won’t need extra flour because it’s already oiled so it won’t stick to your rolling pin.

It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but this version of pinball is way older than that newfangled version the kids are playing in them arcades nowadays

It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but this version of pinball is way older than that newfangled version the kids are playing in them arcades nowadays.

Roll it out to a giant rectangle- it’ll be pretty thin (like 1/4 inch) but it’s pretty easy to make a rectangle.  Then sprinkle your filling all over it, and start rolling it up tight, from the long edge.

2013-06-05_18-37-46_756

Though a rolling stone gathers no moss, a rolling pastry gathers lots of filling.

Then pinch the ends and seam to keep in the filling, and cut it up- I do cut in half, then cut each half in thirds, and then those in half to make 12 “even” sized pieces.

If you cut me, I will bleed deliciousness. So be careful to not lose too much filling on these.

If you cut me, I will bleed deliciousness. So be careful to not lose too much filling on these.

Now tuck them all in an oiled 9″ dish (circle or square) and cover it.  Let sit for about half an hour.

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It's ALLLLLIIIIIIIVE

It’s ALLLLLIIIIIIIVE

Actual bake time, for all that waiting, is happily quite short: 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Top it with a quick icing, made by mixing lots of powdered sugar, a little vanilla, and some warm water:

Time to cop a powder(ed sugar)

Time to cop a powder(ed sugar)

As with Chicago, all lines lead to the gLoop

As with Chicago, all lines lead to the gLoop

Cool, drizzle, and eat!

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Recipe from Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk, just slightly modified:

Combine:

1 package yeast

1/4 c warm water

Turn on your oven.  Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes while you mix:

3/4 c pumpkin

1/4 c soy milk

1/4 c melted margarine

1 heaping TB sugar

And sift together:

2 1/2 c flour

1/4 tsp each nutmeg, ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Turn off your oven.  Mix the yeast, the wet ingredients, and the dry ingredients until smooth.  On a floured surface, knead the dough for ten minutes, adding

3/4 c flour

a tablespoon at a time, until soft and slightly sticky.  Put into an oiled bowl, cover, and leave in the oven for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Pull it out of the oven, punch down, cover, and let sit for another five minutes.

Combine:

6 TB each white sugar, brown sugar

4 TB flour

1 TB cinnamon

in a bowl.  Cut in:

4 TB chilled margarine

until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Roll out your dough to a 9″ by 12″ rectangle.  Cover with the filling, then roll up tightly from the long end.  Pinch to seal seam and ends, cut into 12 1″ pieces, and place into a greased 9″ baking dish.  Cover and let rise for half an hour or until doubled in size.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Mix:

3/4 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 TB hot water

with a fork- you’ll get a thick, drizzle-able mixture (add more water if you can’t drizzle).  Drizzle over your cinnamon rolls.  Delicious!

Pudding it all together…

22 Apr

I’ve been traveling for the past several weekends, and this most recent weekend I ran my first-ever conference!  Which means that I haven’t been too consistent on this blog; I apologize for that.  I need to start making backup posts and posting them during the busy weeks.

It also means that I have very few ingredients at home.  You might’ve noticed we’ve been baking egg-free for the past several weeks.  I LOVE eggs.  And not just because they’re eggstremely amenable to puns (well, not eggsactly).  When I went to the store last week, I basically only got eggs and zucchini.  And hence last week’s baking adventure: rice pudding! (Also roasted veggies).

The "in" crowd can be very finicky (no one likes that second egg, but don't tell her that.  She's getting kicked out later.  We just needed an eggstra for the shoot.)

The “in” crowd can be very finicky (no one likes that second egg, but don’t tell her that. She’s getting kicked out later. We just needed an eggstra for the shoot.)

It’s very nice having a rice cooker to make your rice.  Every rice pudding recipe I’ve seen uses precooked rice, rather than cooking the rice directly in the custard.  I think this dessert is for leftover rice, just like bread pudding is for leftover bread, but sometimes you just make some rice/bread for the pudding because it’s delicious.

I wish it was this easy to turn anyone... I meant thing on.

I wish it was this easy to turn anyone… I meant thing on.

This was my first time baking rice pudding rather than making it on the stove.  I did it just for you guys!

First step: butter your pan.  I’ve done this with paper towels and a pat of butter or oil, and I’ve also done it with my hand.  The paper towels absorb too much fat, while I don’t like the oil on my hands (wash them beforehand if you do this of course.  Or just generally, wash your hands before cooking.)  So I’ve started using a piece of parchment paper instead.  See picture.

She's got beautiful surfaces, but her size leaves something to be desired.  Just kidding this pan is perfect.

She’s got beautiful surfaces, but her size leaves something to be desired. Just kidding this pan is perfect.

Next you need to do your custard.  Beat your eggs…

I wonder if the BEATles did a lot of baking

I wonder if the BEATles did a lot of baking

Then add your sugar, splash of vanilla, spices, and melted butter, and mix well

The seven deadly cinnamons: cassia, Vietnamese, Ceylan, and Indonesion.  Okay there's four so sue me, mon.

The seven deadly cinnamons: cassia, Vietnamese, Ceylan, and Indonesion. Okay there’s four I lied. So sue me, mon.

Now add your milk, carefully (I always need bigger bowls)

Geez milk is such a drama queen.  She's always milking pictures for all she's worth.  I guess she can't help it...

Geez milk is such a drama queen. She’s always milking pictures for all she’s worth. I guess she can’t help it…

And mix that custard well.  Then add your cooled, cooked rice.

Check out the fork while my baker revolves it, rice rice baby vanilla.  I've done this one before but guys I LOVE THIS SONG

Check out the fork while my baker revolves it, rice rice baby vanilla. I’ve done this one before but guys I LOVE THIS SONG

Personally I think rice pudding is best with cinnamon and raisins but guess what I didn’t have raisins so it’s banana chocolate chip rice pudding!

If Orange County were in the tropics would they call them the Santa Banana winds?

If Orange County were in the tropics would they call them the Santa Banana winds?

Now throw your whole mix (it should be like very thin oatmeal, thinner than you’d like to eat) into you buttered dish, and bake for an episode of TNG, or about 45 minutes.

"We're ready for lunch captain." "Did you mean launch?" "That's what I said, sir."

“We’re ready for lunch captain.”
“Did you mean launch?”
“That’s what I said, sir.”

The custard should be set but still soft.  I actually overbaked mine because I forgot about it.  Yours should not be as brown as below.  And to be honest, I think you should do yours on the stove rather than the oven.

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Rice pudding recipe (taken from my head):

Beat:

1 egg

Add:

1/4 c white sugar

1 TB melted butter

1-2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to your taste

Mix in:

1 c milk

And add

1.5 c cooked rice

Throw the whole thing in a small buttered pan for 45 mins at 350 or until set.  You can then stir in some more milk (up to 1 c) for creaminess, OR

Throw the whole thing on the stovetop and simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Have another 1 c of milk to stir in a few tablespoons at a time until it hits the milky creamy consistency you want.

 

 

 

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