After the disaster with altering Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls recipe, I decided to tackle another recipe. I am now officially obsessed with getting “it,” the cinnamon roll, RIGHT! Though I was tempted to replace all the “bad” ingredients with healthier ones, I refrained with much success; I simply improvised with what I had. The end results were fluffy, light, and delicious cinnamon rolls with a tasty cream cheese frosting! Although…I have issues with the package of instant vanilla pudding mix. Is this really necessary?? I will find out next time…
Using the Cinnamon Rolls III recipe I found on allrecipes.com…
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups bread flour (I used King Arthur 100% organic unbleached/unbromated bread flour)
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans (I did not have handy)
- 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons milk (I used buttermilk)
- In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start.
- When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17″ x 10″ rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
- Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9″ x 13″ buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.
One of my all-time favorite sweet breads is cinnamon rolls! Unfortunately I have not found too many bakeries that can pull off a great, fully-baked, moist bun with just the right touch of sweetness, cinnamon, and frosting. Sometimes they’re just too sweet. Sometimes it’s like eating dough (yuck!). Often I am just disappointed, not to mention flabbergasted at how pricey they can be! All this lead me to the great idea that I’d make my own…
AHEM, little did I know the amount of “love” (read: labor) involved in creating these high-calorie treats! Reading over Alton’s recipe, it didn’t seem all that difficult or complicated. However, my end result was such a disaster that I didn’t even want to post the picture! Well…they looked pretty, but they were extremely dense – the dough never rose as it should have, though I left it to rise for about 3 hours. I also baked them over the time instructed but just could not get them to not be doughy on the inside. *SIGH*
Oh Alton Brown, it’s not you, it’s me. It’s me because I keep trying to “health up” your recipes. For some unapparent reason to me, it’s just YOUR recipes that I try to alter.:)
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 large whole egg, room temperature
- 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
- 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
- 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting (I had the great idea of using an organic mix of unbleached/unbromated white-multigrain flour)
- 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
The absolute BEST shortbread in the whole world, in my opinion, are made by Walkers. They can be purchased here in the US, but they are imported from Scotland, land of Highlander, bagpipes, and pleated tartan (FYI: this is the true name for what we North Americans call “plaid”) kilts. They have a fantastic ratio of butter and sugar: super buttery but easy on the sugar, which is perfect for tea time. Unfortunately, if you consume your body weight in these shortbread cookies, it gets costly! That is where my journey in search of a comparable recipe begins. (Note: The cookies in the picture are mine. I was being eco-friendly by reusing the awesome tin.)
Googling “walkers shortbread cookie recipe,” I stumbled upon quite a few recipes that claim the same worthiness of space in my belly. I read the reviews on most of them but only one really stood out. It is the Scottish Shortbread II recipe from allrecipes.com. Many of the reviewers had stated they thought the cookies from this recipe taste just like or even better than the real deal! THIS I had see!
*Makes 24 cookies (I ended up with 16 fat, oblong cookies)
- 1 1/2 cups
all-purpose flour organic unbleached flour
- 1/3 cup
white sugar organic evaporated cane sugar
- 3/4 cup
butter organic butter sticks from Whole Foods
Before you begin, I should let you know that this recipe never states how long to bake them (I baked for 18 minutes at 350°F). Also, I added 1/2 cup cranberries to my dough and I did not use the 9 x 9 dish. Instead, I shaped the cookie bricks myself and just baked them on a cookie sheet. They expanded ever so slightly, so next time I will freeze them for several minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Blend all ingredients well. Dough will be stiff.
- Press into a 9 x 9 inch buttered dish.
- Prick top with fork.
- Bake until pale golden brown on edges.
- Cool and cut into squares.
If you’re a fan of coffee and chocolate, and you also happen to be a cookie monster, this is the perfect recipe for you! The recipe is from a bargain baking book (yet another one) that I found at Barnes and Noble. It calls for 3 cups of chocolate chips and each bite is dense with clusters of chocolate chips. I was a little generous with the chips, using heaping cupfuls that probably equated to 4 cups of chips in the end. I also increased the coffee from 2 teaspoons to 3. Next time I may increase it to 4 as the coffee flavor was very subtle.
Yield: ~3 1/2 dozen cookies.
- 2 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used organic, unbleached flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground cloves (I used nutmeg)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used organic evaporated canes sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups double chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips (I used a mixture of dark and semisweet)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Dissolve coffee in boiling water.
- Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in medium bowl.
- Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, coffee, and vanilla; beat until well blended.
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well blended.
- Stir in chocolate chips. *
- Drop dough by heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set.
- Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
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