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Cinnamon Roll Brunch

30 May

Hope you guys had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend! Over here in Boston, the weather was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! The sun was shinning, the sky was clear–the perfect combination for swim-suits in the park and long summer runs {and by long I mean 2-miles, unless you are the fabulous Elise and are kickin’ butt in your half marathon!!!}

What was left of our brunch feast

These rolls are definitely my new breakfast go-to food, so friends, if/when you invite me over to brunch, except these to make an appearance. But seriously. Try them and you will see what I’m talking about.

Any long weekend calls for a brunch with friends to celebrate the fact that you’re not at work on Monday morning. After doing a little blog reading, I discovered a new site with incredible recipes, including this super easy, super yummy cinnamon roll recipe! I have been wanting to make these for forever and never found one I liked/was willing to try. But these…these give Pillsbury a serious run for their money. The Baker Chick is my new kitchen role-model! Recipe was found here on her blog. And huge bonus, these legitimately take all freaking day 90 minutes, including prep-time, waiting for the dough to rise, and bake time. Oh, and browned butter is my new favorite smell. Trust me.

90 minute cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 (.25) package instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar {regular white, granulated sugar}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar {pack it in tight!}
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter

For the frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons softened {not melted} butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar {you can use more or less depending on taste, I used less}

Directions

  • Heat milk in a saucepan until it bubbles–remove from heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Set aside and let cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, yeast, salt and sugar–whisk together. Add water, egg and milk mixture, and beat with an electric mixer.
  • Add the remaining flour slowly a mix well with a wooden spoon because dough will be too sticky for the beaters {you probably could use the dough hook on your KitchenAid, but I have yet to use mine, so I just did it manually. Plus you don’t have to mix for that long so it wasn’t too bad}. When dough has just pulled together {all the ingredients are just combined} knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 5 minutes. You’ll know the dough is ready because it will spring back when you press it.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, brown your butter! {the Baker Chick does it in the microwave, but I did it stove top which isn’t too hard. I found instructions from Simply Recipes}
  • To brown your butter, heat skillet over medium-high heat. Cut butter into slices and place in pan, stirring/whisking frequently {you need to keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn}. Your butter will bubble and foam, and then brown specks will start to form. Once you see the brown color, remove skillet from heat, but keep stirring. The butter will still cook but will not burn. {Seriously, stick your nose in the pan and smell–it’s the best smell EVER!}
  • While the butter cools slightly, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough in approximately a 12×9 in rectangle {use your 9×13 baking dish as a guide}. Using a pastry brush–or a spoon–spread 90% of the brown butter over the dough. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon-sugar mixture, and press into the butter so everything stays put when you roll it all up.

                   

My roll looks a little sad, but believe me, it still tasted delicious!

  • Roll up your dough and pinch the seam to seal. Cut into 12 {more or less if you can is fine} even pieces and place in a 9×13 baking dish {I used a smaller one, trust me, use the larger one!}. Drizzle the remaining brown butter over the rolls, and cover with a damp cloth and let rise somewhere warm until doubled, about30 minutes. I like to let mine rise in a sunny spot. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm, with cream cheese frosting {recipe below}

See what I mean about using a bigger pan? They were pretty squished in there

Home-made cream cheese frosting

{I have another cream cheese frosting recipe on the blog from last year’s Valentine’s Day. Both are similar, but Paula Deen’s recipe has a lot more sugar, cream cheese and butter….while neither are great for you, this one seems like it will clog your arteries a little less!}

  • Whip together the softened butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy
  • Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to taste. Beat until creamy and spreadable

If you have any of these rolls leftover from brunch {unlikely, but possible}, you can store them in a tupperware container in the fridge. Just zap them in the microwave and they’ll still have that just-out-of-the-oven taste. Mmmmm. Also, the frosting can be put in the freezer and saved for a rainy day. I hope you guys like this recipe because I am seriously obsessed. The feedback from my friends for this baking adventure was these were definitely in the top 5 things I’ve ever made. YAY.

Have a happy, happy week! And have fun baking, as always remember, it’s a cake walk!

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Sugar Substitues

2 Feb

A question for your guys….

I know there are a bunch of natural, organic, zero-calorie sweetener these days (I use stevia in my morning coffee) but for some reason I never bake with it. In fact, I have a big bag of regular sugar sitting my pantry at this very moment waiting to be mixed into cookies and cakes. Has anyone baked with a stevia-type ingredient? Good results? How do baked goods made with sweetener compare in taste to those made with regular sugar? Any word on how it works when making egg whites/meringue? I feel a kitchen experiment coming up.

Anyway, just wanted to get your opinions. Let me know your thoughts/opinions/experiments in the comments section! As always, it’s a cake walk :)

Fabulous Boston Bakeries

24 Apr

As much as I love to bake, sometimes it’s nice to go out with some friends for delicious latte and a yummy cupcake that someone else has spent hours baking. It is also a great way to find inspiration for new recipes and flavors to re-create in your own kitchen. In the spirit of (hopefully) summer closing in, I want to provide a list of some of my favorite bakeries in Boston, that will make a perfect after-dinner treat :)

Sweet Bakery

My cousin took me to this bakery the first week that I moved to Boston. Right off the bat, I loved this place. The name is just like their cupcakes: sweet and delicious. They have three locations in Boston: Back Bay, Mass Ave (off Newbury) and one in Harvard Square

Flour

A bunch of girlfriends and I went to this bakery before I class a few weeks ago. They are known for their baked goods, but they also have amazing soups, salad and sandwiches. When I ate there, I had their Cubano sandwich and the creamy tomato and fennel soup. It was a great way to warm up on a stormy day. They also have a wide selection of coffee and tea that I will be back to browse soon (after finals, I hope!) But they are famous for their sticky buns, which according to my friend Juliana are fabulous. Flour Bakery has three locations: Back Bay, Fort Point Channel, and Central Square in Cambridge.

Mike’s Pastries and Modern Pastry

I tried my first cannoli from Mike’s when I came to visit BU last spring. If I hadn’t already committed to BU, I was going to move to Boston just to have the cannolis! I don’t go to Mike’s often because it’s in the North End and I’m in Brighton, but I adore this place. After living in Italy for a semester in college, it was refreshing to walk into a real Italian bakery, complete with the traditional Italian desserts and the loud Italian families. There is always a line outside this place, but it moves fast. Don’t forget to stop by the ATM on your way to Mike’s, because it’s cash only. If you don’t feel like waiting, you can always go across the street to Modern Pastry–a smaller, but just as amazing bakery. One thing I like about Modern Pastry more than Mike’s is that you get to pick your cannoli filling, and they make it fresh, right in front of you

Kickass Cupakes

I haven’t been here yet, but I am following them on Twitter, thanks to @BostonTweet. This bakery seems truly kickass. They host a cupcake happy hour every last Monday of the month, where dessert lovers can enjoy a free tasting of cocktail-inspired mini-cupcakes. They also have incredibly creative flavors, such as the Green Monster (with Sam Adams Cream Stout frosting), the Mojito, and an every-changing flavor of the day cupcake. The bakery is located in Davis Square in Somerville, and I will be taking a trip out there soon! Also soon to come: the Kickass cupcake truck!

These are just a few bakeries that have caught my eye during my short time in Boston. Yelp also has a great list of bakeries in the area. But I put the question out to you, my amazing readers: where is your favorite bakery in Boston?

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