PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

January 24, 2013

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 🙂

Banana Mini Muffins

August 6, 2012

Caelan and I were invited to attend a play group hosted by a Bumpie friend of mine. It was a pool party so attendance was much higher than usual for the play groups. I’m not sure what the final head count was, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 adults and 20 kids (most of them <2 years old!). Epic.

Naturally, such a large turn out called for pot luck for the food items. I decided to make some banana mini muffins since I wanted something small and kid-friendly. I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Annie’s Eats. I skipped the sugar/cinnamon topping because while I’m sure it would have been delicious, I was sort of trying to avoid 20 toddlers on a sugar high.

The recipe claimed to make 10 standard size muffins and I ended up getting 47 mini muffins (so nearly 4 dozen). For some reason I always think that 1 muffin = 2 mini muffins, but that’s not really true. It’s more like double that. The muffins were good, but I think they would have been even better with the crumb topping.

Of course I didn’t plan ahead and I bought the bananas I needed for this recipe the day before I was going to make the muffins. I did put them in a paper bag to try to speed the ripening process, but I knew they’d never make it in just one day. So I Googled around and found out that I could bake the bananas to get them to the right sweet, squishy consistency I’d need for baking. I popped 3 of them in the (toaster) oven at 300° for about 30-45 minutes. They were frighteningly black when I took them out but not burnt or anything and they were nice and squishy on the inside. It was a nice short cut!