PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

January 24, 2013
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I apologize for the horrible picture. I can never get good pics in my kitchen. I need to remember to turn off the lights and open the window for natural light.

Since I started following blogs, I have bookmarked, starred and pinned approximately 100 billion recipes to try. Creative appetizers, quick lunches, comforting casseroles, yummy desserts, etc etc. I have actually tried probably 1% of those. There’s never time, or something else is always more pressing than spending the day cooking/baking.

Luckily, my sister-in-law has been eager to try her hand at making Pioneer Woman’s famous cinnamon rolls and she suggested that we tackle this together. Of course this is one of the recipes that I have saved. I LOVE cinnamon rolls. But there’s yeast, and rising, and waiting, and hoping and a whole list of stuff like that that has kept me from making them until now.

We set aside a Saturday afternoon – she and my brother-in-law came over and the boys wrangled the wee one while we slaved away in the kitchen. Only there wasn’t much slaving. It was – dare I say – easy!!

We quartered the recipe (and followed my friends’ helpful notes from when she quartered the recipe herself) and proceeded to make 3 pie plates full of yummy cinnamon rolls. Yep, a QUARTER recipe made 3 dishes – the whole recipe would feed an army.

Now here’s the thing. We did follow all the directions and everything appeared to be working out, but our rolls were much smaller than we expected. My friend said she quartered the recipe and got 12 rolls, but we had about 24. I’m thinking that maybe we didn’t let the dough rise quite enough in the first step. And then in the last rise before the baking, they barely rose at all. So something in there didn’t go quite right. We did add a bit more flour before rolling out the dough because it was VERY sticky. Maybe that did something? I assume that if they had risen correctly, the rolls would have been bigger in the end. They still tasted amazing though, so we did something right!

As I said above, this was much easier than I expected. And it didn’t take as long as I thought either. I think it was about 3 hours, start to finish, and half that time was spent waiting for dough to rise (or not, as the case may be). I did place the pans on the stove top over a warm/hot oven to help the rising, but maybe it still wasn’t warm enough. I would like to give this another shot at some point!

The original recipe calls for a maple frosting, but I’m just not a huge fan of maple outside of the pancake/waffle realm so I decided to make another kind of icing. (If my Canadian sister-in-law was very disappointed, she didn’t let on!) I didn’t want to do the straight icing sugar and milk because that is often too sweet, so I tried the recipe in my friend’s post for a cream cheese icing. I thinned it a little with some milk and added a bit more sugar to up the sweetness and it was VERY delicious, though maybe a tiny bit rich for my taste. Maybe I could have thinned it a bit more. Put that on the list for next time 🙂

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Look Whooo’s Having a Baby!

January 21, 2013

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Lame owl pun? Check.

The 6th baby shower cake I’ve made for one of the girls in this group of friends? Double check.

The FOURTEENTH child about to be born into this group of friends? Triple check, and holy crap that’s a lot of children that just a few years ago didn’t even exist!

Wawa is expecting her baby girl at the end of next month, so naturally we all got together to celebrate with cake, food, presents, and a few of those didn’t-exist-a-few-years-ago children. Of course I volunteered to bring the cake, but it had been 5 months since I last made a cake and I was a little rusty.

I picked out the decoration for the cake using this photo from a Google Image search as inspiration.

I went back and forth over whether I was going to use fondant or buttercream for the decoration but I ended up deciding that fondant was a little too ambitious for how things are going in my house lately. I used 4 different colors of buttercream and did the owl picture with several different round tips. Usually I would fill in the design with star tips, but some of the sections were so small and I knew the star tips wouldn’t fit. I basically just used small round tips and toothpicks to fill in the spaces. I’m back and forth over whether it looks “rustic” or just messy.

I decided at the last minute to make a from-scratch version of Funfetti cake and I found the recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Annie’s Eats. I used my normal vanilla buttercream for the icing, filling, and decorations.

Since there aren’t anymore baby showers on the horizon among my friends at the moment, I took a look back at the 6 baby shower cakes for friends I’ve done so far. I’m so happy to have been able to celebrate with each of these girls!

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