Bringing Home the Bakin’

1 Nov

Last week I had the rare opportunity to meet up with my friend Katie and her son Lucas for a play date.  In general, I have a lot of guilt issues because I don’t seem to be able to find people with whom I can do play dates or play groups or play armies or whatever.  In truth, I read too many articles when I was pregnant about “Play Date Etiquette” and was scared off.  It all sounded so tedious and impossible.  Play dates with Katie are, however, a pleasure.  Lucas and William are the same age and Katie and I so rarely get a chance to catch up.  It seems like we can’t even exchange ten words without wiping a runny nose, pulling up pants or shouting at a child who is swinging from the chandelier, but at least we are not feeling like we missed out on proper play date etiquette.

The other super thing about play dates with Katie is that she always makes some delectable treat for us – from scratch.  I showed up this time all harried, dragging my two hyperactive boys, and she had stovetop oatmeal cooking and these amazing-looking pans of cinnamon rolls on the countertop.  I’d have assumed they were frozen, but I saw her applying the sugar icing before my eyes.

When we sat down to eat, despite the fact that I was getting a severe reproach from my Lucky Sweet ‘n Low jeans, I ate THREE CINNAMON ROLLS.  OMG they were good.  Katie generously promised to share the recipe, which she had gotten from her mother-in-law, and we took the boys outside to play.

Boys with energy…

The next day, she followed through on her promise and sent it to me.

So here we were on Halloween weekend with two sick boys (both on antibiotics), needing to stay in out of the cold and spend the entire day administering doses of chalky-tasting strawberry nastiness.  Well, I don’t need to tell you that a pan of cinnamon rolls was just the thing to lift our spirits.

When Katie got this recipe from her mother-in-law, it was written with the assumption that you would make the rolls from start to finish in one session.  Katie then adapted the recipe to allow for overnight refrigeration, so there would be less work the next day.  We chose to try that two-part version, but I will show you how to do both.

Lucky Sweet ‘n Low jeans notwithstanding, we proceed.

Katie’s Jeans-Antagonizing Cinnamon Rolls

2 C plus 2 T unsifted flour

3T sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 pkg dry yeast

1/4 C plus 2 T milk

1/4 C water

1/4 C butter

1 egg

1 1/2 T butter, melted

1/2 C sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (up to 2 tsp)

Combine: ½ C. flour (NOTE! THIS IS NOT ALL OF THE FLOUR – we made the mistake of dumping all the flour in here and had to start over), 3 T. sugar, salt and undissolved yeast.

Danger Will Robinson…not ALL the flour!

Heat milk, water and ¼ C. butter over low heat until the butter melts.


Buttering you up…

At this point in the baking process, we had some unhelpful help from a couple of junior cooks, who were very put out when we were forced to remove them from the “mixing process.”

Flour is so…tasty?

Agony of defeat.

Recover from baby interference.  Add butter mixture to dry ingredients; mix with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.

Butter and flour – together at last!

Add another ¼ C. flour and egg; mix with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.

Egg and friends.

Add remaining flour; continue to mix with wooden spoon, enough to make a stiff batter. It does get really stiff!  Just like this:

That’s some dough!

Cover tightly.Refrigerate 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

Turn onto floured board. Roll into one 9 x 12” rectangle (very approximate sizing).  Brush with melted butter. You’ll see here that we used a rubber spatula and had the butter just very soft, mostly because that’s how Dan did it when he worked in a bakery in college.

Julia Child would be proud of the butter bomb…

Combine ½ C. sugar and 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough.

Sugar and spice…

Roll up from short ends, seal seams.  I do not have man-hands.  This is Dan (a.k.a. Danna White).

Putting the “roll” in…roll…

Cut into 1 inch slices.

Make sure your knife is sharp.

Place 12 slices in greased 9” round pan.

The gang’s all here!

At this point, if you want to bake them soon, just let them rise until they double in size (about 45 min, according to Katie’s mother-in-law).  If you’re planning to bake them tomorrow, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, remove the dish from the refrigerator and unwrap; let rest for approximately 30minutes at room temperature.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 min or until done. While still warm, frost with confectioners’ sugar frosting.

Frosting (a.k.a. insult to injury)

1 C. confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ T. milk

Place sugar, vanilla and milk in bowl and mix together until smooth.  One thing we discovered is that our brown vanilla made a sort of brownish icing.  If you wanted a snow-white icing, I’d look for a white vanilla extract.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the icing into a ziploc bag. Seal the bag.  When you are standing over the cinnamon rolls, cut the corner off the bag and use it to squeeze the icing onto the rolls.

Alternatively, you can just use a spoon and wipe it onto the rolls directly from the pot.  The first method gives more of a drizzled effect, while the second creates more of a smooth glaze.

Sweet success!

And voila!  You are sugary-riffic!  Spaz-ready!

Sunday Treat

Next time I make these, I’m going to experiment with freezing the sliced rolls and defrosting shortly before baking.  Wouldn’t that be the perfect make-ahead for special guests and breakfasts on holidays?

So this is to say thanks to the unparalleled Katie for a sweet new staple in the family recipe book…and for never batting an eyelash when our conversation must be interrupted to pull a baby down from the chandelier.  Now THAT is a woman with perfect play date etiquette.

The Fabulous Baker Boys


9 Responses to “Bringing Home the Bakin’”

  1. Rachel Roland November 1, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Those sound and look amazing! I think we’ll have to try them one weekend. Your little baker helpers are adorable.

  2. JWS November 1, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    this sounds great. Thanks!

  3. feastonthecheap November 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Those are some adorable little sous-chefs you’ve got helping you out! Just hope they helped with the clean-up too…

    • frazzledfoodie November 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

      Ha! Sadly, mess-making skills appear to develop in children long before clean-up abilities. Thanks for reading!

  4. Olena November 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Love it to the point that I want to make it! And yes, adorable helpers.

  5. thecompletecookbook November 2, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    🙂 Mandy

  6. Megan McDougal November 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    So glad you got together with Katie so you were able to share this recipe with all of us. Can’t wait to try them; never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before!

  7. Lisa November 9, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    Wow – they look fantastic. I have to give these a try.

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