Friday, February 26, 2010

rolls and frosting and clowns, oh my.

I like to read The Pioneer Woman's blog. I think she is silly and takes good pictures and I love her food! I made her 4 cheese baked macaroni for Christmas this year and it was DELICIOUS! While reading through her blog this past weekend I found a recipe for cinnamon rolls that I couldn't pass up, so I sent my trusty assistant (Dan) to the store for a few missing ingredients and yesterday I labored over these lovely rolls......


I have to warn you though, her recipe makes 7-8 pans of cinnamon rolls so you either need to cut the recipe in half, or be prepared to share with friends and neighbors! I chose to make the entire batch and we brought 2 trays to our neighbors and Dan took 3 into work today.....we kept 2 for ourselves. What?!? They are delicious and I've been the model of restraint and only had 2 in the last 36 hours!

For whatever reason my cinnamon rolls don't seem to have as much frosting as The Pioneer Woman's do, but believe me when I tell you that it was PLENTY! I like that the frosting has maple flavor and coffee in it.....it gives these rolls a nice unexpected and tasty zing. The recipe will be at the end of this blog for anyone who might be interested!


In other non photographed news......I took Maddie to the circus on Wednesday night. It was raining and cold and after parking, walking to the entrance in the rain, and having my backpack searched I was told that my "professional" camera with a detachable lens was not allowed at the circus. So I took my soggy 3 year old and hiked back to the car so that I could stow my camera and then hike back to the entrance in the rain. Fun! I was actually really annoyed because it's not like I'm with the press or paparazzi or anything, and my camera is no where near professional......there are point and shoot cameras that have better zoom capabilities than my 28-105mm lens has. It sucks that I didn't get to capture Maddie's first circus experience because they feel threatened by my camera. So, a little note to those of you with SLR cameras who are thinking about attending the circus......leave your professional gear at home and buy a cheapy disposable! Once we got our popcorn and lemonade and got to our seat our cranky mood vastly improved and we were entertained by circus antics. Maddie loved the 2 women being shot out of the canon and the horses and zebras and she especially loved the elephants!! Oh, did I mention that we were in the second row with no one in front of us? Awesome seats! Those elephants were so close, Maddie could have gotten sneezed on. We went to the bathroom during intermission and I asked Maddie if she was having a good time.....

She said, "YES!"
I said, "What was your favorite part?"
She said, "You, Mama."

Melt.my.heart.

That child nearly brought me to tears with 2 little words. What a sweet, sweet girl! I had to keep that exchange in mind when she threw an ever lovin' tantrum when it was time to leave. Maddie has never been one for tantrums.....she has thrown maybe 5 ever. This tantrum was the best by far! She was crying and screaming and she wouldn't budge and threw herself on the floor when I tried to get her to leave.....she did not want for the circus to be over! One negative thing about being in the second row is that we had a lot of stairs to climb and when I say we, I mean me, because I had to literally pick her up, tuck her under my arm like a football and climb up all of those auditorium stairs. Boy, was that a lot of stairs carrying 42 pounds of toddler! Then we get outside back in the rain and she refuses to put her jacket on......so I said fine and we started to hike to the car sans jacket. About 2 minutes in she said she was cold and put her jacket on and thus the tantrum of 2010 ended. I have to say though.....Maddie took a crappy afternoon nap and by the time the circus was over it was 9:30 which is an hour past her bedtime! I'm sure she was sad the circus was done, but that tantrum was more tired than strong will. All in all it was a great night and hopefully I'll be able to take both Maddie and Charlotte to the circus next year......maybe Daddy will stay home with baby X.

And now without further ado......here is the recipe. Have a great weekend!

Cinnamon rolls

Prep Time: 2 Hours Cook Time: 30 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • _____
  • MAPLE FROSTING:
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Note: My rolls don’t work for me at 400 degrees anymore. I now bake them at 375 degrees.

County McCounterson