Life

Life is funny, don’t ya know? Here’s why I figure.

I am a baker. Not an amateur or even intermediate baker. I’m an advanced baker (or at least that’s what I tell myself).

Yet….

I failed at making bread in a bread machine.

Isn’t it ironic? (Don’t ya think?) A little too ironic. (Yeah, I really do think.)

I can’t even put ingredients in a machine and have it do IT’S JOB and make me delicious cinnamon raisin bread.

Fail.

Epic fail.

In other news, I’m swollen, irritable, swollen, exhausted, swollen, making potty trips every 15 minutes, swollen and irritable.

It’s a great day to be alive.

Becki

Have no fear…

Another Snowpocolypse is near! I will be sure to blog at least one thing of relevance this week. Cabin fever guarantees it!

Until then don’t forget to check out the new page I’ve added up top. It’s called ‘Brinley Says’ because its filled with all the marvelously hilarious things my daughter comes up with. Go and enjoy!

Becki

PS. Happy third trimester to little miss Layla and myself! Thanks again to everyone who’s been praying with us since week 5! We’re almost there!

Snowpocolypse & Apple Sauce

Fact: Today there was a blizzard in Oklahoma City.
Fact: I made homemade apple sauce and totally felt like Diane Keaton in Baby Boom.
Fact: Baby Boom is the best movie ever.
Fact: If you don’t like Baby Boom you can leave now.
Fact: I am currently eating a bowl of snow ice cream topped with a scoop of this delicious apple sauce.

If I could package this and sell it I would totally make some money. Just a thought. I should copyright Apple Sauce Snow Cream – Mine.

Another awesome fact: This is all natural with no sugar added! Toddler tested and dentist approved. Double win.

Here’s how you do this thing.

Get a lot of your favorite apples. Ten to be specific.

Slice and core your ten favorite apples.

Peel your ten favorite apples.

Dice your ten favorite apples into bite-size pieces.

Toss in a couple handfuls of your favorite frozen fruit for good measure.

Sprinkle your ten favorite bite-size apple bits and the couple handfuls of your favorite frozen fruit with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/2 cup of water.

Drizzle the beautifulness with 1/2 cup (or less) of Agave Nectar.

Toss and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 6 hours.

Gently pulse with immersion blender (if needed) to remove any remaining lumps. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream or cool.

Crockpot Fruity Apple Sauce

Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Serves: Hungry Toddler Monsters

Ingredients
10 Apples*, peeled, cored and diced.
1 1/2 – 2 cups Frozen fruit (optional)
1/2 cup Water
1 tspn. Cinnamon
1/2 cup (or less) Agave Nectar

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.  Serve warm or cool.
Will keep in the fridge for 3 days and a month in the freezer.

*I used what I had on hand. 6 Gala Apples, 2 Granny Smith and extra frozen peaches to even everything out.

Enjoy!
Becki

blame game

I know pointing fingers and blaming isn’t the most mature thing to do but then again neither is hiding the last few brownies from your husband. We’re all guilty of it at some point.

With that said I blame the following for my lack of blogging this past week plus:
– The Hunger Games series
– Couponing
– Toddler
– Glucose tests
– Car repairs and rental cars
– Finances
– House chores
– Other people’s blogs

There? Does that cover my disgustingly pitiful vacancy or do I have to pull out the pregnant excuse too? Cause I’ll do it. Don’t make me.

I here by solemnly swear that I will blog something of significance at least once a week from hence forth – maybe.

To make this a significant post I am going to point my fingers at the other blogs that have sucked my time. I love them all wonderfully and I appreciate them being so stupendous but dad-gum, I can’t do anything but check my RSS feed all day long. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as I do, cause it’s too much for one person to handle alone.

Jon Acuff – Stuff Christians Like (Funniest man alive. Period.)
> CouponCloset.net (Oklahoma Coupon Queen)
> DealDetectingDiva.com (Couponing Goddess)
> MoneySavingMom.com (AWESOME ‘We Paid Cash’ testimonials every week.)
> Dooce.com (Freaking hilarious and that’s putting it lightly.)
DesignSponge.com (Cause we all wish we could make their DIY projects as pretty as they do.)
> ADashOfSass.com (New york mommy food blogger in love with diet coke? Win.)
> ThePioneerWoman.com (Well big fat duh. Oklahoma food blogger made up of pure awesomeness.)
> EvilShenanigans.com (Seriously. Evil. I want to bake at least four of everything she posts. Always.)
> EzraPoundCake.com (Meatless Mondays always surprise me. Who knew vegetarian meals could be so tasty?)
>HowSweetEats.com (One of the funniest girls around since The Pioneer Woman. No, seriously.)
> JoyTheBaker.com (Again with the duh and rolling of the eyes. Who doesn’t know and love Joy?)
> ThePeche.com (Two Words: Pie Month)
> TwoPeasAndTheirPod.com (Healthy deliciousness)

Now go. Go read and forgive my lack of posts.
Becki

Simple Delights

There are a lot of things in life that can bring you a quick delight. A smile from Robert Pattinson, a shout out by your favorite blogger (yeah, that’s right, Joy the Baker totally twittered at me once), a good brownie, a really great quiet time with God, toddlers singing songs about pretzels to themselves, warm socks, a bowl of hot apple pie and ice cream.

Then there are things that are not meant to bring you physical delights. Like flu shots, waxing, fennel, Jillian Michaels and fasts.

Annually our church begins the year with a 21 day fast to bring us closer to God as a body of believers and to focus our minds and bodies on the will of Christ. There are a lot of different fasts to be done but the predominant one at church this year is the Daniel Fast. In a nut shell it’s a vegan diet taken a bit further. I realize that to a lot of you this may not be a big change of pace, but for those of us that live in the heart of red-meat country ’tis a bit more challenging.

To help bring back a little bit of delight to those around me that are fasting right now (or just trying to eat vegan) please consider the following recipe.

Baked Apples
By: Everyone & their Great-Aunt Patty, changes by Yours Truly
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake Time: 25-60 minutes
Result: 8 servings of awesomeness

4 large, tart apples (Granny Smith, Jonagold, Crispin etc.)
1 tbspn lemon juice
1/2 cup Golden Raisins, plumped in hot water or apple juice and patted dry
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, very finely chopped
2-2 1/2 tspns ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4-1/2 cup agave nectar (can be substituted with 100% pure pineapple juice reduced to a syrup or in its pure form)
1 cup 100% pure apple juice

Preheat oven to 350.

Wash and core apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Place apples in a glass baking dish (I used a pie plate and it worked just fine).

Toss together finely chopped nuts, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg (optional). Fill apples with this mixture until over flowing. Spread all remaining mixture over the bottom of the pan evenly.

Drizzle agave nectar or reduced pineapple juice evenly over each apple, to saturate the fillings. Any remaining nectar or juice may be added to the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the apple juice.

Cover apples with tin foil and place in the oven. In 10-15 minute intervals baste the apples in the baking liquids. Bake for 25-60 minutes depending on the size of the apple. The end result should be an apple that has the feel of a peach when pressure is applied, slightly springy and not mushy.

Slice apples in half and spoon more baking juices and raisin/nut mixture from the baking dish over them. Serve warm.


Here’s the lonely remaining apple. I baked 4 and when sliced in half they served 6 adults with one whole apple left-over for a delicious breakfast treat for some lucky winner.  These would be great with toasted oats or a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. One day we’ll try these again with the ice cream, until then they truly are beautiful, delicious simple delights.

Enjoy!
Becki

Monster Cookies

Monster cookies. Ever heard of them? They have an alias of the Kitchen Sink cookie, because you put nearly every awesome ingredient except the kitchen sink in them. Monster cookies – what better cookie is there to be made with a toddler that’s about to turn three years old herself?

This is the perfect recipe to have your kids help with. It’s ingredients they like and they can do a lot of the scooping, pouring and even stirring if you’re into the whole child labor movement. If not, just let them sit there on your cabinet and stick their fingers in all the yummy ingredients, it all equals out in the end.

Let’s get started shall we?

(Please pardon the marinara sauce on Brinley’s apron. We had just finished spaghetti and aprons on a toddler are basically floor length bibs. You probably already knew that tho.)

Place one cute toddler butt on the cabinet and crack three eggs into a bowl. Transfer eggs to large mixing bowl.

Add cup of granulated sugar…..eventually…

Ah there it goes…

Add cup and half of firmly packed light brown sugar.

Celebrate with a cute happy dance and continue with the recipe.

Combine sugars and eggs until they are light and smooth.

Check the toddler because she’s probably fisting mouthfuls of raisins or chocolate chips into her mouth as you watch the butter and sugar mix.

Add vanilla, salt, baking soda, a stick of unsalted room temperature butter and…

Kid tested, Mother approved…Peanut butter. We used creamy but I don’t see why crunchy, extra crunchy or even Nutella couldn’t be used and delicious as well. You will need a whole 12 ounce container of the nut butter (yes, I said nut butter) of your choice which evens out to about 1 1/2 cups.

Handy Tip Number One: while baking with toddlers have extra spatulas ready because a majority of them will end up in their mouth or on the floor.

Blend the ingredients until combined or resembling this consistency with creamy PB.


Handy Tip Number Two: Don’t turn your back on a toddler with a half cup of candy right next to them. It’s an amateur mistake but it happens, I promise.

Add candies, chocolate chips and raisins, combine.

Add 4 1/2 cups of oats and mix until everything is moist and well dispersed.

Remove the beater and give it to the toddler that is now covered in chocolate, peanut butter, marinara sauce, sugar and candy residue. She certainly deserves it all that hard work she’s been doing on quality control.

Scoop out into desired size and place them on a parchment paper lined or sprayed cookie sheet. Monster cookies do spread so be sure to allow them plenty of room to roam.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the top. Cool on pan for 5 minutes then scoop to cooling rack for crunchy or a plate for the way of the Lord (soft and smooshy).

Monster Cookies
Recipe by Paula Deen with teeny tiny alterations by yours truly
Prep: 10-12 minutes
Bakes at 350 degrees for 10 minutes

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
1 12 ounce jar peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies (Peanut or regular or half and half)
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins, plumped in warm water, optional but recommended
2 tspns baking soda
4 1/2 cups oatmeal

Directions:
Preheat to 350. Prepare baking sheets with cooking spray or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugars and mix until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter, mixing until well incorporated. Add the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, baking soda and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the pans.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until beginning to brown on top. Let cool on pan for 3-5 minutes. For crunchy cookies transfer to wire rack to continue cooling or for smoother softer cookies transfer to plate and let cool 5 more minutes before eating or covering with plastic wrap.

Gluten free? There’s a considerable amount of speculation on the internet that these cookies are gluten-free. Which can be true and can be false. Regular oats are coated with a flour powder of sorts to preserve them on the store shelf. However, if you opt for gluten-free oats such as Bob’s Red Mill or GlutenFreeda this can be a safe recipe. As alway, use your best judgement and be careful with all your ingredients. Do you own research before consuming or serving to someone with a gluten allergy.

Jalapeño Cheddar Beer Bread

Evidently pregnant women crave pretty random things. Last night my cravings were all over the board. One minute I wanted a peach cobbler more than air and the next minute I was munching very happily on CheezIts. Welcome to pregnancy, nothing makes sense.

One thing that does make sense is my desire to make a savory bread pudding. In the process of coming up with a savory bread pudding recipe I decided I needed good bread and the only way to get good bread is to make it yourself. Two recipes came to mind: an artisan-y gourmet bread or a beer bread. I decided to try both because, heck I’m pregnant, no one is going to throw stones at me for baking two variations of the same bread.

One is super easy and takes no time at all (this one) the other has been rising for over 2.5 hours. Yay. Super exciting. The beer bread is so simple that I didn’t need to document every step of the way for you with a camera. I promise, you can do this and it will be delicious.

Jalapeño Cheddar Beer Bread
Makes 1 5″x9″ loaf
Prep & Assembly: 5 minutes
Bakes at 375 for 1 hour

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tspns baking powder
1 tspn salt
1/4 cup sugar 
12 oz Budweiser Beer (Dos Equis would be a tasty substitute as well)
5 tbspn (2 medium) jalapeños, diced with seeds and veins
1 to 1 1/4 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded or crumbled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (if you need to you may use salted but…)

Directions:
Combine first 4 ingredients into a medium size bowl and add beer.  Mix until moist then add cheese and jalapeños. (At this point I mix with my fingers to be sure there is even distribution of the deliciousness throughout the bread. Beware – it will be very sticky and floured hands are not allowed.)
Put dough into greased 5″x9″ loaf pan, gently press dough into corners to ensure even distribution. Pour melted butter over top of the bread and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Remove from oven, run a knife around the edges of the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes. Bread should slide easily out of pan. Continue to cool for another 10 minutes then enjoy!

This bread is crunchy on top and more moist than should be legal inside. Unfortunately it’s going to be too moist to use in the savory bread pudding. Oh well. Now we know and we have a delicious snack to munchy crunch on! I promise you will love it. Go now, bake and enjoy!!

Becki

Cinnamon Rolls: Part 2

Welcome back. I’m glad to see you didn’t get scared away with the beginning post. Before you ask, I have no idea what the nutritional value of these are. I’m pretty sure it’s about the same as eating a brick but the good news is, these taste a hellofa lot better than a brick.

Lets finish up shall we?

When we last saw our hero he was taking a cool down in the fridge overnight. He can continue to cool it in there while the oven preheats to 375 degrees. When it’s ready place the pans in the middle of the oven (not the top, not the bottom – the middle) with the tin foil still on. Bake for 7 minutes then prepare for fun.

Grab a clean spray bottle, fill with warm water and set to mist. Pull the rack of rolls out of the oven, remove the tin foil and spray each batch 3 times holding about 8-10″ away. Replace the tin foil and repeat on each batch. Repeat this process again in another 7 minutes. Why are we spraying the dough? To create soft, moist rolls, not crunchy, someone burned the Pilsbury canned dough, rolls. The water under the tin-foil creates a steam that keeps the rolls soft and supple. This step can be skipped if you have a steam injected oven. Also, if you have a steam injected oven – why are you on the internet? Shouldn’t you be baking? I digress…Leave the foil on for another 5 minutes then remove it and let bake until desired doneness – About 10-12 more minutes.

While the rolls are finishing in the oven it’s time to make the icing. Combine far too much powdered sugar, vanilla or orange extract, butter (of course), milk, white corn syrup, orange zest and orange juice. Beat until desired consistency. I prefer mine runny so it pours right over the hot rolls and seeps down into every crevice of the roll, but hey – if you’re a thick icing person, there are other blogs for you. Just kidding. Sort of.

The icing should be thick but loose enough to stream off your whisk when raised. If you can’t see pieces of orange zest in the batter you need more. Trust me, more zest. Set the icing aside, keep your fingers outta this and prepare for the world to implode when this meets the hot rolls. Mmhm. World imploding icing. I promise, it doesn’t disappoint.

Pull the rolls from the oven when they begin to brown along the pan edges or when you consider them “done”. Use your nose and your sense of touch for this part. If it’s still too gooey for your taste leave it in for 2-3 minute increments until its how you like them. Do rotate the pan every time you check however to make sure that the rolls are browning evenly. Be cautious of burning the bottom of the rolls as well.

Here’s the fun part. Hug your loved ones and prepare for implosion. Using a measuring cup or ladle pour liberal amounts of icing over the rolls. Puddles are your friends, let them set while you continue over the rest of the rolls. Then with a soft spatula spread the icing out over the crevices, curves and sides of the rolls. When you’re finished it should look like they are floating in icing. Believe me, you want them floating.

PERFECTION.

Unfortunately, perfection cannot stay in the pan for long. Serve these hot babies immediately or begin to scoop them out onto a plate/platter/cookie sheet anything but the pan they are in. If you leave them in the pan you will never get them out of the pan. Never. Do not leave these in their baking dish for more than an hour. I say this for your own good, I promise.

There you have ’em, people, cinnamon rolls. Nothing fancy about them, no gourmet ingredients, no super special materials needed, simple as your grandma used to make them. Simple, buttery, gooey, ooey, delicious cinnamon rolls. Get off the computer and go make some. You’re welcome.

Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls

Makes: 16-18 large rolls
Time: 3.5 to 18 hours
Utensils needed: Bowls, pan liners (parchment paper), rolling pin, bench scrapers/pastry dough cutters, 2-3 glass baking dishes, tin foil, spray bottle, patience.

Dough:
3 cups warm water
1 tbspn rapid rise yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbspns salt
3/4 cup shortening
7-9 cups all purpose flour

Filling:
1 cup butter, unsalted and room temperature
1/4 – 1/2 cup cinnamon (to taste)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup raisins, plumped (optional)

Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbspn pure vanilla or orange extract
1/4 cup milk
4 tbspns butter, unsalted, melted
2 tbspns white corn syrup
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 to whole orange depending upon icing consistency preference.

Add yeast and sugar to 3 cups warm water in mixing bowl. Stir gently, add salt and shortening, mix gently until broken down and hazy. Add flour stopping at 7 cups and only adding more if needed. Knead for 7 minutes until elastic to touch. (If using a stand mixer do not exceed 2 on the speed settings or dough will be tough).

Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a smooth tight ball. Place in oiled bowl, rolling the dough to coat. Cover loosely and place in a warm, dry, draft-free place to rise for an hour or until doubled.

Assembly

Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Using your hands form the dough into a large rectangle. If dough creeps back to original form allow it to rest for a few minutes and stretch again, repeat if necessary. Use a rolling pin to create an approximate surface area on the dough of 18″ tall by 40″ long with a thickness of 1/4″. Using fingers spread the room temperature butter on liberally in vertical lines down the dough, sparing a 1/4″ border at the left end of the dough. Cover with cinnamon, granulated sugar, brown sugar and raisins.

To roll pull the right end of the dough taught and begin to roll it tightly into itself. Constantly pull and roll the dough so as not to create any air pockets. the tighter the roll the better. Once finished let the roll rest seam side down.

While dough is resting prepare 2 or 3 glass baking pans with parchment paper/liners and coat well in cooking spray.

Cut rolls with 1″ thickness. Gently reshape the roll and place in the well coated baking pans approximately 1″ apart from one another.  Roll the log of dough between cuts to ensure even distribution of weight and filling ingredients.

Set cut rolls aside in pans for an hour or until doubled in size. Rolls should be touching sides when finished rising.

At this point the rolls can be refrigerated overnight if needed.

If you do not want to refrigerate the dough (or the following morning) preheat your oven to 375 and cover the  dough with lightly greased tin-foil. Place in center of the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes pull back the tin-foil and mist the rolls with 3 sprays of warm water from a spray bottle and return the tin-foil. Bake for another 7 minutes and repeat. Cover and bake for another 5 minutes before removing tin-foil. Remove foil and bake for 10-12 more minutes or until desired doneness. Rolls should be browning slightly around the edges of the pan and tops of rolls.

While rolls are in the oven combine all the ingredients for the icing in a bowl and whisk until smooth and runny. (Tip: Spray the tbspn lightly with cooking spray before measuring each dose of the white corn syrup so it slips right off the spoon.)

Pull rolls from oven and immediately top liberally with icing. Spread evenly around ensuring that icing surrounds all sides of the rolls.

Serve immediately or remove from baking dish to plate or storage container. Rolls will continue to cook if left in the pan for an extended period of time and will become nearly impossible to remove.

 

Cinnamon Rolls: Part 1

That’s right, this is a cinnamon roll recipe that requires two blog posts. It’s too much awesome for one post. Plus it would meet my caloric posting limit for a 24 hour period as well.

It’s December 31st. You should make these to ring in the new year. “Hello resolution, meet my cinnamon roll.”

What do you say? Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: By reading past this point you are relinquishing the blogger of any responsibility for any of the following: sugar comas, drooling bouts, butter attacks, monitor licking, tight jeans and/or strangers showing up on your doorstep demanding baked goods.

Add yeast to warm water, with sugar and salt. Mix together gently with dough hook to incorporate ingredients until hazy or resembling above.

Add shortening. I know, I would apologize but you won’t want me to when you taste them. I promise. You’ll hug me.. or your computer.. one of the two, for sure.

Next it’s time to add enough flour to sink a small watercraft. Mix until all the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This is where it becomes important to have a stand mixer or wrists of steel. Knead the dough for no less than 7 minutes non-stop. Yep, you heard me. 7 minutes. Hug your mixer.

Absolutely, positively, under no condition are you to set your mixer to exceed this speed. Do you understand me? Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not have tough angry dough. You must trust the blogger. No more than 2. If you’re doing this by hand, stop, go buy a stand mixer and start over. I just saved you from carpal tunnel. You’re welcome.

While the mixer does all the work stop and adore my  beautiful daughter.

After 7 minutes the dough should look like this. Still ever so slightly lumpy in appearance and sticky.

Whoops, how did another picture of her get in here? Hm, I would apologize but I don’t really think I have to. Beautiful isn’t she?

At this point you need the following. A deep bowl coated with cooking spray for the dough to rise in and a bench scraper/flexible pastry cutter. Since the dough is sticky grease the scraper and use this to pull the dough out of the mixer onto a lightly floured surface.

At this point the dough should be soft to the touch and still slightly sticky. Flour your hands and slowly, gently work the dough into a ball. Use your hands, palm side up against the bottom of the dough. One on each side of the dough and move your hands clockwise in short deliberate motions until you get a smooth ball resembling…

Be sure the dough is free of air pockets and as smoothly round as possible. The tighter the shape the better it will rise.

Put the dough in the previously sprayed bowl and turn it over so that all sides are coated in the oil, ending with your smooth original side a top. Cover and let rise in a warm dry space free of drafts. Let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

While the dough is rising clean and dry the largest counter surface available and whip out your trusty rolling-pin. I prefer to use the french style rolling-pin. It’s oblong shape and thicker center allow you to work out the thicker sections of dough moving the excess to areas that are lacking. A regular rolling-pin will do the job just fine as well.

Fill a bowl with the desired amount of raisins (if including them in your rolls, which you should, it’s the holy way) and cover with very hot water to plump. Set aside.

See how pretty the dough is? Doubled in size after about an hour. It’s perfect.

Just like everything else in life that is perfect, this needs to be punched. Lightly flour the work surface and dump the dough out.

Things are about to get dirty. Remove all rings and bracelets, roll up the sleeves and pull your hair back. This is where all the fun happens.

Using your hands, press the dough out into a rectangular form. Use your rolling-pin to even out the thickness. Allow the dough to ‘rest’ for a few minutes on occasion and then roll it out a little more until you reach the desired size and thickness.

Voila! There you have it. Insane amounts of dough in the shape of a rectangle, longer than your arm and 1/4 of an inch thick. It doesn’t have to be pretty because we’re about to make it beautiful.

Do you hear the angels singing? I’m pretty sure I do. Hello, beautiful. Sweet cream unsalted butter oh how I love thee, let me count the ways. What could possibly make this moment even more enjoyable? We’re going to use our hands! (That’s what she said.)

Dig your fingers into room temperature butter and apply it in a vertical pattern from top to bottom liberally. And I don’t mean “We need change” liberally, I mean the good kind of liberally – a LOT OF BUTTER. Just when you look at the dough and say to yourself, “No one needs that much butter” add a few more passes and you’re good to go! In reality, everyone needs that much butter, maybe just not all at once. But who cares, it’s the last day of 2010 and you’re allowed to splurge.

Now it’s time to start the process of sprinkling, coating, drowning or whatever you would like to call it. Grab the best flavored cinnamon you have (I’m particularly fond of Spice Island’s Saigon Cinnamon but you can use whatever you have as long as it’s not 5 years old covered in dust in the back of your pantry) dust, sprinkle, scatter the cinnamon evenly as possible over the buttered surface sparing a small 1/4″ section at the far left end of the dough for sealing.

Repeat the process with granulated sugar so that the surface looks like a muddy road after a heavy frost or light snow – that’s the professional technical description by the way.

Once again do the same with light brown sugar. After the brown sugar use your fingers to incorporate all the spices together as best as you can being sure to  spread the filling as evenly as possible around the surface of the dough.

Remember the raisins? They should look about like this now, plumper and gross. Drain them and  a very gently pat dry being careful not to smash the new sweet plumpness out of them.

Sprinkle evenly and prepare to roll!

Ready to rock and roll? Well at least for this part we can drop the rock and just roll. The key here is to keep it very tight. Pull the dough back towards the right then begin the rolling, pulling every time to ensure that the dough is wound tightly. Imagine you’re making a telescope out of a piece of paper – the tighter you make it the better it will be. Simply rolling the dough will cause it to fall apart after being cut.

In the end the roll should be thick. By thick I mean huge, much bigger than your forearm and obviously bigger than your rolling-pin.

Roll the dough to seam side down and let it rest while you prepare the pan. Put parchment paper/pan liner/wax paper in the bottom of a casserole dish (heads up you’ll probably need 2-3 casserole dishes; glass only). Spray or butter the
pan with the liner already in place. Make sure there is plenty of shellac here, you do not want these babies sticking to your pan – trust me.

With a bench scraper or sharp knife cut the dough in 1″ thick portions and place in the pans about 1″ apart. The first few cuts will be mainly dough, discard or reroll, butter, sugar and make more. After each cut gently reshape the dough into rounds and pinch the ends of the dough together. As you’re cutting constantly roll your log of dough to keep the pressure and goods evenly distributed. The dough should make 16-18 cinnamon rolls the size of a softball – you’re welcome.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about another hour. This is why it is crucial that the rolls be spaced about 1″ apart from one another.  Once they are plump and beautiful you may do one of two things.
1. Cover them with greased tin foil and refrigerate overnight.
2. Put them straight in the oven.
I prefer to put mine in the fridge and wake the house up to the smell of warm cinnamon rolls the next morning.

This will now conclude the first portion of the recipe. Please join us in the next post for the final recipe and the beautiful results. 

Becki

 

Holy Gracious!

I am a bad, bad blogger.
I am excruciatingly sorry. (P.S.  I just spelled that right on my first try. Go me!)
Thank you to all who check in on a regular basis, I promise you shan’t be disappointed further.

I have a list and photos of recipes that are burning a hole in my pocket, a list of newly concocted recipes in my brain and I still have morning sickness and a nearly three-year old. There is plenty to blog about and now that I have a working laptop again I can sit in my lucky writing chair and stay up far too late and write about things that matter. I’m a world changer right here, watch out, I am armed with a killer white bread recipe and the wit of a salty old Irish beer maiden. Well, salty – yes. Old…um.

Coming up:
Tangerine Brownie Bites
White Bread
Soft Pretzels
Monster Cinnamon Rolls
and other things I might happen to crave in this fifth month of pregnancy.

Stay tuned, I promise deliciousness, sarcasm and awesomeness.

Becki