Quick and Easy Cinnamon “Rolls”

Cinnamon Rolls FinishedI love cinnamon rolls, especially as a breakfast treat. I confess I will buy a Cinnabon or a can of refrigerated cinnamon rolls, but I always feel guilty. What’s in those? (Don’t look at the label!)

This recipe saved me at least a little bit of the guilt that comes along with eating sugar, butter, and flour for breakfast. I think mostly because they’re homemade. They do not require yeast and are baked in a muffin pan, which make these a little bit muffin, and a little bit roll.

Ahhhh, warming a cold Saturday morning with the sweet smell of baking cinnamon.

I found this recipe on Allrecipes. Thanks to Carol, the original submitter of these delicious little muffin/roll hybrid. Her profile doesn’t seem to be on the site, but I thought this was worth a shout out 🙂

Tips

  • I didn’t use raisins or currants… I’m not a fan of raisins in cinnamon rolls, but feel free to add them if you are!
  • I made a cream cheese icing, your basic cream cheese/butter/confectioners sugar/vanilla/milk icing. I’m sure these are equally yummy with the glaze that’s included in the recipe.
  • I thought I may have originally under-baked these, but they set up well, and the middle had the gooey-chewy feel that I like in a cinnamon roll. I feel that over-baking these slightly would dry out the edges too much for my liking, so keep an eye on them.

Here’s a photo collage of the process. Enjoy!

 

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2B3C Icing – The Delicious Icing That Needs A New Name

Yellow Cake with CinnaMmm Icing
Yellow Cake with CinnaMmm Icing

I topped that Moist and Mellow Yellow Cake in my previous post with this delicious icing:

Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

That name is far too long. You can’t tell your co-workers you made “Yellow Cake with Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing”. It simply doesn’t fit on a post-it note.

Better names: CinnaMmmm, CinnaYum!, Breakfast Icing, Cinnatoastfrost…

This icing is simple to make AND it’s posted on the web – originally found in Southern Living magazine.

TIP: I halved this recipe, using just a half stick of butter and 16 oz of powdered sugar, and it was enough to cover my sheet cake just fine. I measured the powdered sugar on a scale, but if you don’t have one, it’s about 3 and 2/3 cups of powdered sugar.

The thing I love about finding new recipes is learning ways to tweak them. I want to make other versions of browned butter frosting/icing because it adds a depth of flavor (think nutty, caramel-ish) I think would work well in other desserts.

Yellow Cake and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
Yellow Cake and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

“I don’t like buttercream” Glace Icing

I had a request to make birthday cupcakes, but the birthday girl doesn’t like thick frosting, such as buttercream or similar. I wanted to make icing that could be colored and also looked nice for presentation purposes, particularly on cupcakes.

I found a recipe for something called Glace Icing, but I, in true Drunken Cookie fashion, had to modify it for my needs.

You’ll need either a double boiler or a similar bowl / sauce pan setup to make this icing.

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons of hot water
  • food coloring and/or flavoring, if desired

Bring an inch or two of water to a simmer on the stove top. Combine the sugar and butter in the heat-proof bowl, and add 2 tablespoons of hot water to the bowl. (I simply took the water from the simmering pot for convenience). Set the bowl on top of the pot of simmering water to heat gently (the water shouldn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). Mix carefully while the icing is heating.

It will look like a hot mess. As the sugar heats and the butter melts, the icing will slowly start to take shape. Keep mixing. Add more hot water, a tablespoon at a time, until the icing is a smooth, spreadable consistency.

It’s tricky mixing this on top of a pot of extremely hot water, so be careful. Soon you’ll have a smooth, silky icing that looks like this:GlaceIcing20150327_194931

Add food coloring and flavoring as you wish. You don’t need much, as this batch of icing frosts approximately 8-12 cupcakes, depending on how thick the icing is when you use it.

Here’s the key to making this icing work, at least in my experience:

Don’t spread this with your typical spatula or knife. The frosting cools quickly and it will end up choppy, bumpy, and not attractive. Work quickly and stir the icing as you work so it doesn’t set in the bowl. If you need to, place it back over the simmering water and heat again.

You can either thin the icing so you can essentially dip the cupcakes in, like a glaze, or experiment further and do this:

Dollop a tablespoon or two of icing on the cupcake, and use your finger to pat the icing down, working from the middle out toward the edges. The heat from your finger smooths the icing to a fondant-like texture.

I confess I was making this technique up as I went along, since spreading in traditional fashion was a disaster. But, it worked great. The icing sets just enough so that the cupcakes can be covered, but won’t be hard when you bite into it.

I made white and pink frosting using this recipe, as seen in the soon-to-be-posted Birthday Baking Extravaganza post. The best part was, of course, these cupcakes received complements from the Birthday Girl!

GlaceIcing20150327_215959

Vanilla Glazed Donut Challenge

Iced Donut CloseupSometimes I like to try a recipe that’s a little challenging, and since a friend of mine wanted me to bake something “vanilla” (wha?). Last Saturday was the perfect opportunity.

Thanks to Saveur, I found this great Vanilla Glazed Donut recipe on their site.

I read through the directions and nothing seemed too tough, other than I’m fairly rookie level with yeast. Practice makes… better? So I decided to go for it.

Note there are no photos of me actually mixing the dough in my Kitchen-Aid. This is because I was thinking “this is all wrong” and “AGGGHHHH WHY DID I TRY TO MAKE THESE?” Which leads me to some words of advice, should you try to make them:

Advice
  • Prep everything. Read the directions a dozen times and prep again.
  • “Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl”. This dough is really sticky and will not simply “transfer”. Good luck. Next time I’ll spray my hands with Pam.
  • Donuts Rising
    Donuts before the 2nd Rise

    I used the back side of 3 large cookie sheets, covered in parchment paper and sprayed with Pam, to use as a surface for the donuts to rise once they’re cut.

  • I used a countdown timer for 1 minute 5 seconds for each side of the donut when frying. I would do this again. I do not suggest estimating the time in your head, at least the first time. Also, be sure you use a candy/deep fry thermometer and adjust your timing/heating based on the oil temperature. The recipe said to fry at 325°, but I was around 350° most of the time.
  • The icing was not thin enough for me to dip the donuts. I thinned it and used a brush instead.

Most importantly: The prep and cook time is not included in this recipe, because you’d read 5+ hours and probably pass. No, really, 5 hours for the first shot. Maybe cutting it to 4.5 if you’re a pro. Instead of listing the recipe again (just click the link above) I’d like to break down the time aspect into a donut chart (ha!):

 Prep Time: A Donut ChartDonut Chart (2)
Sample Donut
Sample with cinnamon and sugar

You might be thinking – but you’re not doing anything during the rise and cooling! Wrong. You’re cleaning and prepping, making way for the next step. I was able to relax for about an hour overall, and I made some awesome blondies during the first rise (post to come soon)… because I was not confident these would turn out. So if you’re not busy baking another recipe, you’ll probably get about an hour and a half worth of breaktime throughout the process.

Conclusion

They are really, really good. I have an idea to tweak these into cinnamon rolls already. Maybe the next weekend we have a big snowstorm headed our way…

Added bonus: I was SO happy when they turned out. It felt awesome. It probably made them taste even better, but my friends also enjoyed them. They do not stay fresh for more than a day, so be ready to share or have a belly ache.

Finished Donuts
Finished Product: 18 Delicious Donuts