Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls with Julie and Shelley - Two blondes make a right :)

Julie and I baked again this Saturday night.  This time...cinnamon rolls!  Cinnamon roles are something I've wanted to try to bake for awhile.  Julie had the brilliant idea of trying out two recipes.  We did one in the bread machine and one by hand.  They both turned out well, which you will find out below.  Forewarning...I might've been a little trigger happy.  We had too many great pictures.  For every 1 you see, there are 3 you are missing!  It's been the first time cooking with Julie that I've had my Canon Rebel.  I had a problem with it for the past week or so Lance helped me solve.  Let's just chalk it up to user error (mine).  The theme of the night...two blondes make a right!

Here are the ingredients (minus the cinnamon and optional pecans) needed to make cinnamon roles.  The flour is bread flour.   Cinnamon roles really are inexpensive and in these alumninum tins, make great gifts.

Here you will find my dough when mixed.  You will see how small it is before rising.  I felt as if the bread machine dough rose more than mine.  Sure enough, they both rose in the end. 

This is the dough out of the bread machine.  Please note Julie's happiness in this picture.  She was saying over and over, "This dough makes me soooo happy."  And she was right.  After all, who else would do this on a Saturday night?

The first recipe said to spread the melted butter on the dough and then top with this cinnamon toping.  We thought this was too much toping.  Instead, we found out you can really could use more.  This cinnamon mixture method ended up being the method of choice.  Read on to find out the other and why...

This was the fun part.  It is all taking shape.  Julie is a pro...

We only fit 7 in a pan.  We ended up having 2 left so you want to probably aim for 8 rolls per pan.  Both recipes make 2 pans.  One for you and one for a friend.  Or in my case, one for my coworkers (who will be happy on a Monday morning)!

Here you can see me rolling out the second batch of dough.  The first dough we referred to as the 'bread machine pudding dough' since it included a pack of jello pudding (interesing...I know).  The one I am working with in this picture rose on its own and, even though didn't rise as much as the pudding bread machine dough, was just as yummy.  

The second recipe called for the softened butter to be mixed in with the topping mix... Above I mentioned we like the melted butter spread on first, and the topping layered on top.  We think this keeps the cinnamon overflow from happening (and unfortuantely spilling in the oven).  You want to keep the cinnamon goodness in the roll and it worked better layering.

I am including this picture to demonstrate the cutting technique Julie taught me.  I wanted to start slicing from one side.  But by doing that, I would have lost count and likely had uneven pieces.  Instead, she had me cut once in the center.  And then split the two halves.  That way you have a better gauge on how big your slices need to be.  Make sense?   The pieces end up perfectly uniform.

Here we are trying to be patient...all 3 of us!

The results were well worth the wait!

Of course we sampled...

And there were others that REALLY wanted to!

Here we are with our finished product!  Like I said, each recipe makes two circular tins.  The recipe below is a combined version which brings out the best in both recipes.  We practically took the icing portion of one recipe and the roll part of the other!

Julie and Shelley's Cinnamon Rolls:
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

Cinnamon swirl:
1/4 cup butter, softened (for spreading separate)
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 (1.5 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start. When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.

*Editor's note 6/16/2013:  I never use a bread machine (since I don't have one on my own and really don't need one in my kitchen!) so don't let that stop or intimidate you.  You want to be sure they double in size when they rise each time.  The attic works well in the summer.  I actually freeze them often after I let them cool completely and ice them.  When I freeze, I wrap in saran wrap and put each in a gallon ziplock bag.

*Editor's note again 12/29/16:  Here I am years later, in Idaho, still making these jewels (and without a bread machine) for my neighbors for the holidays.  I honestly let them rise sometimes 2 hours at a time - maybe it is the dry, cool air here.  The recipe makes 2 of the round tins you can often find at the dollar tree.  I find you want to make sure you get a good first rise before you roll them and let them rise again.  But no fear, when you bake them they always rise even more.   I cook them 20 minutes but cover then part of the time to keep from browning with this oven.  Also, the recipe makes PLENTY of icing.  You won't want to use it all - it is too much.  I ofen put it in a ziplock bag and cut the tip to ice in zig zags.  You can always make the cut larger but you can't make it smaller - remember that!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oatmeal Crispies - Better than chocolate

I know. I can't believe I said it either.  I think I've decided this is my favorite cookie.  I didn't have time to step by step tonight.  (The Bachelor at a friend's house...I know...priorities.)  BUT I did take time to take pictures with my fun camera.  I've learned a thing or two.  Well, besides the second photo.  It takes me back to my nearsightedness days.

And for the recipe. Mom, I copied and pasted it from you:

Oatmeal Crispies

1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 well beaten eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 ½ c. flour (all purpose)
1 t. salt
1 t. soda
3 c. quick cooking oatmeal
½ c. chopped pecans (optional)

Cream shortening & sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet (sprayed with Pam) and bake at 350 degrees approximately 10 min.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Bday to Lynn

We were able to celebrate Lynn's bday this weekend while she was in town. Of course, I made a cake!