Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Rolls

It’s October and once again, I’m asking myself where the time has gone. I’ve already been in school for over a month now and we are starting to prepare for midterms soon. Despite it, October is one of my favorite months. Usually, that means layering up, not looking too weird with a fuzzy scarf or vest or pea coat. However, I’m in Southern California where it seems as if summer wants to extend her stay. To bring in some kind of fall, I decided to make a batch of cinnamon rolls for my friends that are coming over later. I remember the first time I tried making cinnamon rolls…it was a complete flop. The yeast was either already expired to begin with or I used milk that was too hot, and thus, the rolls did not rise. They came out to be these tiny one inch circular hard biscuits that had a swirl of cinnamon brown sugar inside. Since then, I have told myself no more. Until now. A while ago, I found the absolute best Monkey Bread recipe. It tastes just like cinnamon rolls, so I figured it would be perfect to use.

Cinnamon Rolls

While this dough is probably the easiest anyone can ever make, it does take patience. And time. LOTS of time. You want to allow enough time for the dough to properly rise, for the needed reactions to take place, for the gluten to be able to rest, all that science-y chemistry stuff.

Cinnamon Rolls

To begin, make the dough. Combine the milk, water, and butter into a glass pyrex cup. As it is heated, the milk and water will begin to melt the butter. Microwave until the liquids reach 110 degrees, or just slightly warm to the touch. Once it reaches that temperature, add in the sugar and yeast and stir until it is completely dissolved.

Cinnamon Rolls

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment, measure in the flour and the salt. On low speed, slowly add in the milk mixture. Once it is all mixed in, turn it on high and beat until it comes together, about three minutes. The dough should be sticky, but not too wet where it cannot be managed. If it is too sticky, add in more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time.

Cinnamon Rolls

Turn the dough out into a lightly greased (with butter or oil) bowl and cover with saran wrap. Set it in a warm area of the house or outside if its hot and allow it to double in size. I allowed mine to rise for about two hours.

Once it has doubled and you are ready to use, punch it down and roll it out onto a floured surface. You can see the bubbles that have been released from the yeast.

Cinnamon Rolls

Roll it out into as even of a rectangle as possible. Make sure the dough is not sticking too much to the counter otherwise it will be hard to roll up.

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I use the rolling pin to almost flatten one of the long edges. This way, It will be able to seal up each roll without too much of a noticeable seam.

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After I roll it out, I give it a little time to rest as I make the filling. Simply melt the butter in a bowl and whisk in the cinnamon and brown sugar. Using an offset spatula, spread it out into an even layer of the cinnamon mixture onto the dough. Get every edge except the one that has the thinner border.

Slowly begin to roll up the dough, making sure to keep it tightly rolled up as you go until you get a log. To slice the cinnamon rolls, you can cut it in half, line it up, and cut them in half then in half again. That will give you eight nice sized pieces.

Cinnamon Rolls

Line them up into a baking dish. I’m using my cast iron to bake it in.

Cinnamon Rolls

Leave enough space between each one so that it has room for the dough to spread out and proof during its second rise.

Cinnamon Rolls

Place it back in a warm area and allow the dough to rise one more time for another hour. You will notice it to be ready when it has a puffed appearance.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Make sure you turn the pan halfway to ensure even baking. As it’s baking, whip up the maple cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then slowly add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup.

Cinnamon Rolls

When the rolls have finished baking, remove from the oven and immediately spread the frosting over the rolls. This will allow the frosting to melt and fall into every crevice of dish.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are incredibly easy to make. They make the house smell amazing, the textures are very fluffy and light, and the cinnamon is powerfully present. I think my friends are gonna enjoy these tonight!

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Dough

2 Tbsp melted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish

1 c warm milk, about 110 degrees

1/3 c warm water, about 110 degrees

1/4 c granulated sugar

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (one package)

3 1/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more if needed if dough is too sticky

2 tsp salt

Brown Sugar Filling

1 c packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup ground cinnamon

1/2 c butter, melted (1 stick)

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 package cream cheese frosting (8 ounce)

2 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup maple syrup

Liberally butter a baking dish with softened butter. Set aside.

In a large pyrex measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix the flour and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together. Dough should still be sticky, but dry enough to handle.

Grease a large bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl and turn it around to grease the dough. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.

Once it has risen, punch the dough down, and turn the dough out onto a floured counter surface. Use a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour and roll the dough into a rectangle. Use the rolling pin to flatten one of the long edges to create flat border. This will help the cinnamon roll seal. Let the dough rest while you make the filling.

Melt the butter in a glass bowl, then whisk in the cinnamon and brown sugar. With an offset spatula, spread the mixture over the dough in an even layer, avoiding the flattened border edge. Begin to roll the dough into an even log.

Cut into two inch pieces, and line it up in a buttered baking dish. Allow there to be some space between each roll as the dough will continue to expand during the second proofing. Cover with saran wrap and set it back in a warm location for an hour.

Once it has puffed, bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Turn the pan halfway during baking to ensure it browns evenly.

While it bakes, make the frosting. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. On low speed, add in the powdered sugar. Once it is incorporated, turn the speed high and let it whip. Slowly drizzle in the vanilla and maple syrup until fully incorporated.

When the buns have finished baking, remove from the oven and slather on the maple cream cheese frosting immediately. It will slightly melt the frosting and allow it to seep into the crevices of the rolls. Enjoy immediately.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

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Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. If it were up to me, I would be having it for lunch and dinner too, and many times, I do, mainly because I don’t wake up in time to put any effort into making a nice breakfast. Which reminds me…my New Years resolution was to eat a good breakfast at the start of the day…oops. My favorites include eggs benedict, omelette, good ol’ scrambled eggs or a hearty stack of buttermilk pancakes, just to name a few. For breakfast today, I decided I wanted to make blueberry pancakes. We have a large carton of blueberries in our fridge so I figured I would put them to good use. As per usual, I woke up a little later than what is normally determined as “breakfast time” so I proceeded to make breakfast for lunch.

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This pancake recipe is perfect already just by itself, but can be turned up a notch by adding lemon or orange zest, chocolate chips, raspberries, or in this case, blueberries! This recipe is deliciously light and fluffy and have a perfect balance of flavor in them. They contain just the slightest bit of sweetness which complements the natural sweetness of the berry!

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First, whisk together your egg and buttermilk, then sift in the dry ingredients.

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Just like that, you have pancake batter! Now wasn’t that easy

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Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes so that the gluten in the flour has time to relax. You can even make this the night before and just set it in the fridge to be ready to use right away. While it is resting, heat your skillet and brush it lightly with vegetable oil. Once the batter is ready and the skillet hot, scoop the batter into the pan. I use my OXO measuring scoop to make sure all my pancakes come out to roughly the same size.

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Once you have placed the batter in, drop 5-6 blueberries onto the surface.

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I know, I need to get a bigger skillet. You will know when your pancakes are ready they are begin to form bubbles on top and the edges begin to look like they are drying out.

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Flip! And proceed to marvel at how beautifully golden your pancakes are. Every now and then, you may ear a sizzle as the blueberries begin to break down and some juices ooze out. You want to continue to cook the pancakes until they are also golden on the bottom side.

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In no time at all, you will have a beautiful stack of the fluffiest pancakes! These can be eaten just as is, or you can smoother in butter or honey as I have done so here. Now that, is a winner!

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Buttermilk Pancakes

makes 14 small pancakes

1 c all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp sugar

1 egg

1 c buttermilk

(optional) blueberries, chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together until it becomes a homogeneous mixture. Sift in the dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the gluten from the flour to relax. Heat a skillet on medium heat and gently brush with vegetable oil. Once the batter is ready, drop 2 Tbsp of batter onto the skillet. If adding any fruit or chocolate chips, drop them into the pancake. When the surface forms bubbles, flip the pancake to its other side until it turns golden brown. Serve with butter, syrup, jams, or honey.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Something that typically happens when there is more than one grocery shopper in the house is that there tends to be an overlap of buying the same things. In this weeks case, it was the bananas. You know when you buy a nice bunch of perfectly blemish free curved yellow fruit and then it sits on the counter for a couple of days. And then spots begin to appear and it begins to ripen to the point where you don’t really want to eat it. Well, that happened to all the bananas in the apartment this week, I guess we were just tired and weren’t feeling like going bananas. (Pun most definitely intended.)

I had a total of 9 bananas that were going to go to waste if I didn’t use them. I busted out my recipe, tripled it, and began to whisk, fold, and sift away. When I laid out my pans on the table and was about to pour the batter in, I saw my box of one. dozen. eggs. completely. full. ugh. I forgot the eggs. I FORGOT THE EGGS!! HOW could I have forgotten. Now, if I added the eggs in, I might over mix the batter and create too much gluten, thus creating a tough muffin and bread. If I don’t add it in at all, it won’t rise and be a complete and utter mess. Not wanting the latter situation to go down, I decided to finely whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then with a hand whisk, gently added and whisked it in until it was all incorporated in and a homogenous mixture (besides the chocolate chips). I allowed the batter to rest for about 10 minutes so the batter wouldn’t be as tough, the scooped them into their pans. I used a loaf pan, muffin tin, and a mini muffin tins just to have variety. I placed them in the oven, prayed for the best, and waited.

To my incredible surprise, these probably came out the best out of all my batches of banana bread. The tops were golden brown (my guess is that adding the eggs last created almost an egg wash to it) yet light and fluffy as there was time for the gluten to relax. There are chocolate chips in every single bite and are utterly dangerous to be around. The mini muffins are a one bite wonder so restraint must be used. I now have enough banana bread to last me the next two weeks, but lets be honest here. I would give it two day before it’s all gone. Happy weekend everyone! The recipe below is the correct way they should be made.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread/ Muffins

makes 1 loaf (9x5in), or 12 muffins

1 c granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

3 ripe bananas

1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 c chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper or a muffin tin with liners.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the cream and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (muffins will take about 30-45 min). Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Buttermilk Pancakes

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The anticipation is real. No, not the kind where you are waiting for someone to come out of the airport terminal or waiting for your final grades to be posted (in that case, it would be called dreadfulness). I am talking about the sweet sweet descent of watching butter or honey or syrup drip down the sides of a beautiful stack of pancakes.

Let us begin shall we?

First, you need your fat pancake stack.

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Then, smother in butter. The more the butter (hehehe….)

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Lastly, drizzle on the honey or syrup. I use honey as it’s supposedly healthier, but either will do the trick. Doesn’t this just make you so calm watching it go?

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And when it finally reaches the edge of the plate, your heart skips a beat because that means it is almost ready for you to eat!

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Perfection. Dig in!

Buttermilk Pancakes

recipe from Crouton Crackerjacks

1 1/2 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 c water

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, water and oil. Whisk together and add to dry ingredients. Stir until just incorporated. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.

On a griddle preheated over medium heat, lightly butter or spray with nonstick spray. Pour 1/3 cup of batter in center and let it cook until bubbles form on the top and pop and the edges turn dull. Flip and cook for another 1.5-2 minutes. Continue with remaining batter. Top with butter, honey, or syrup!

Banana Oat Pancakes

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This year, my resolution is to incorporate breakfast back into my life. Now don’t get me wrong, breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. You have the hash browns, hollandaise with a poached eggs, you have scrambled eggs, omelets, grilled potatoes, waffles, my goodness the list of deliciousness goes on and on! But this past year as school and work took up a majority of my life, it has simply come down to a slice of toast or an asian steamed bun. And while I do consider myself a carb addict, I know that I can be starting my day off better and with more energy to last me the whole day. And so on January 3, I made the first step and made breakfast. The only reason why it took three days to start my resolution is because, well, it is winter break and I don’t exactly wake up in time for it. But that is besides the point.

The point is, I finally woke up early enough to actually make breakfast! And while I normally hate making pancakes (they always seem to fail me…), I really wanted to try this pancake recipe because it seemed so simple! And it is gluten free! And you mix everything in a magic bullet! These Banana Oat Pancakes only uses three ingredients– one banana, 1/4 c of oats, and one egg. I guess when they were naming it they wanted to be exclusive and left out the egg.

Since we’re staying on the healthy page of the breakfast menu, I used honey to drizzle on the pancakes instead of maple syrup. I thought the honey would taste better anyways since the pancakes really do taste like bananas and well, honey and bananas go together…right?

These pancakes came out beautifully puffed and full of flavor. I used my cast iron skillet to cook them and they were browned evenly without me having to butter the pan after every single batch. Hopefully, I can keep up with healthy breakfasts for this year. My only problem now is just waking up for it….

Banana Oat Pancakes

one serving, makes 10 silver dollar pancakes

recipe from YouTube

1 banana

1 egg

1/4 c rolled oats

unsalted butter for the pan

Take the three ingredients and blend in blender. Heat a skillet on medium high and drop in enough butter to coat the pan. Once it is hot, take an ice cream scoop and drop in scoops of batter. Once bubbles begin to appear on the batter surface, flip and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer onto a place and serve with honey.

The Dutch Baby

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Our family has a go-to breakfast joint called the Original Pancake House. And I don’t know about you but if your family is anything like mine, once we find an item on the menu we like, we stick to it. For as long as I could remember, my mother loves and had always ordered the dutch baby pancake before we all complained it took too long to come out, approximately 35-40 minutes!! And every time we go there to eat, she tries to order the dutch baby and with everyone objecting, she settles for the omelet. This time around, I left the restaurant determined to try and make one myself.

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Cast iron pan in hand, I felt like Rapunzel ready to whack and attack anyone that came my way. Those things are no kidding solidly heavy. I did some research and found a recipe that was simple where I can make any adjustments that I wanted to. The recipe only called for a few ingredients so I don’t know why they cost so much in restaurants!! By the time the batter was ready, the oven and the pan had finished preheating. As soon as I poured the batter in, you could hear the heat of the pan and see the sides already start to bake. Twenty minutes later, (okay I guess that is why it took so long for it to come out,) you have this beautiful pancake and with each one, you never know where it will puff and poof!

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I had raspberries on hand and so after the powder sugar dusting, I filled the inside with fresh berries and lemon juice. The balance between the tartness of the berries and lemon contrasting the sweetness of the sugar completely balanced each other out. So much harmony in one pan.

My mom approves of this recipe and so now, for a much cheaper cost and much less time spent waiting, our family can eat eat at the Pancake House at peace.

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Dutch Baby Pancake

serves two hungry people

recipe adapted from Woman’s Day

4 eggs

1/2 c whole milk

1/2 c flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

pinch salt

For the pan: 2 Tbsp butter

For the topping: powder sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 c raspberries

Preheat oven and cast iron skillet to 425 degrees.

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until well combined, but do not over mix. Once the skillet is completely heated, melt the butter to coat entire pan. If you are using 8in skillet (like I did), only used 3/4 of the batter. If you use a 9 or 10 in skillet, use whole batter. Pour in and bake for approximately 15 min until top is golden. Immediately dust with powder sugar, and pour in raspberries and lemon juice and serve while still hot.

Late Night Crepes

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Chef Gordon Ramsey is insane. Not because he has a terrible temper or has racked up his number of television shows. Not because he is able to insert the “F” word into every other word he speaks while carrying a conversation, or because he has tons of restaurants worldwide that have earned him his high standing position in the culinary world. Chef Gordon Ramsey is insane because he has an incredibly easy and insanely delicious crepe recipe.

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I have been through quite a stack of crepe recipes before I came across this one. Through some research and experimentation, I learned that the secret to a perfect batter was in the rest time. The longer you allow your crepe batter rest, the thinner your pancake will become deliciously delicate.

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I had only intended to make two crepes—one for my roommate and one for myself. Yet one crepe after another, my stomach kept yelling for more. And so I made crepe after crepe until I ran out of batter. I smeared on the obvious choice of Nutella, sliced up some strawberries, dusted with powdered sugar, and feasted. Never again, will I pay $8 for a crepe, and never again will I have to find another crepe recipe.

Perfect Crepes

recipe adapted from Gordon Ramseys Crepe Suzette

1 c sifted flour

pinch salt

2 eggs

200 ml milk diluted in 75 ml water

2 Tbsp melted butter, cooled to room temp

zest of 1 orange

1 Tbsp sugar

50 ml milk, set aside

Sift flour and salt together. Break eggs into flour and whisk together thoroughly. Gradually add milk and water mixture. When it is just mixed together until smooth, whisk in butter and sugar. Strain and filter out the mixture through a fine sieve or sifter to remove any remaining lumps. Stir in orange zest and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the batter to relax. When ready to use, gently whisk in remaining milk to thin out batter. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat and coat with a thin layer of butter. Once hot, take a ¼ measuring cup and ladle it onto the skillet. Quickly rotate the pan so the batter evenly coats bottom of pan. When the edges lift from the pan, that is when you know it is ready to be flipped. Each side should only take 1-2 minutes. When both sides are done, remove from heat and fill as desired.