Thursday, January 1, 2009

New year!

2009 rolled in quietly at The Spice Rack. The Boss was fast asleep, Hank was out of town for work, and I knit and made cinnamon roll dough for a brunch today.

Honestly, I don't mean to ruin everyone's healthy eating resolutions in one sitting, but I've been meaning to make them for ages. I finally had the time to wait around for the dough to rise, think about the past year, and the year to come!

I almost feel bad saying this, but I'm planning to spend more time on myself this year. That includes knitting for myself, something I have never done! While 2008 was the year of knitted gifts and I think I succeeded in my modest goal, this will be the year of knitting for myself. With the exception of babies (and there are a lot of babies coming in 2009). And my friends that I want to make stuff for. Oh, and my husband who has not received a hand knit either. Well shoot, didn't I say it's about me?! But I'm going to do it, because all I know is that I now wait for a train to commute and I walk back and forth from my office to the hospital many times a day and it's cold out there. I'm definitely in need of some warmer gear. I have a new bright green coat to chase any kind of winter doldrums away and I have and nothing to go with it. So that will be the first order of business.

You should join me. Whether it's knitting for yourself or just being better to yourself in some way, it will be a good thing.

Take time to share good food with friends.
A little singing and dancing in your pajamas doesn't hurt either.
The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Click link for her tutorial and printable recipe. I'm also including it here since I had some issues with her original recipe. My notes and adaptations are in italics. Oh, and this makes a gazillion. Half a batch made 24 large rolls for me. These are after the rise and before they went into the oven. I'll admit, they were pretty darn good and perfect for a lazy, wear your pajamas New Year's Day brunch.
1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
2 pkg active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp of yeast)
9 cups white flour, divided into 8 cups and 1 cup
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
1 heaping TBSP salt
3-4 cups melted butter (I would say this is obscene. I used probably less than one for a half batch)
2 additional cups of sugar (she uses white sugar, I used brown sugar)
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

1 bag of powdered sugar (she failed to indicate it's a 2 lb bag)
2 tsp maple flavoring
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brewed coffee (I didn't taste this at all so you could easily just use more milk)
1/8 tsp salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and 1 cup white sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of yeast. Let this sit for a minute and then add 8 cups of all purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

Add 1 more cup of flour (this is where I think PW was on crack. I had to add probably close to 3 more cups of flour before this would come together enough to handle. If I went with her measurement, it would have been impossible to roll out because it was a huge sticky mess. So, keep in mind, that based on your flour and humidity, you may have to adjust this), baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it--overnight or even a day or two. Just punch it down when it start to grow out of the pan.)

Sprinkle surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rectangle. Roll the dough thin, keeping a rectangular shape. Drizzle 1 1/2 to 2 cups melted butter over the dough (I just brushed enough to cover the dough, but in no way used even 1 cup). Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar (I think brown sugar has a better flavor and used it instead) over the butter, followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam to the roll to seal it. Spread 1 TBSP of melted butter in seven round, foil cake or pie pans. Then begin butting rolls approximately 3/4 to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Drizzle over warm rolls.


LisaBe said...

a. amen to the selfish knitting and generally taking better care of ourselves. if i ate better and made the effort to stay in shape, i'm sure my health would be better. i mean, file that under d for duh! and i think every time i'm outside how i wish i had my own handmade scarf, mitts, hat, and socks. what is wrong with me that i haven't done that? i don't know. i think i try to do too much. and too little (see: eating and exercising).
but 2. OR you could pick up a can of pillsbury cinnamon grands! (see above re: lazy.) :) but yours do look yummy and i'm SURE they taste better :)

K,S,M and R M said...

What sweet pictures of The Boss. Knitting sounds great, but my first love was reading. Reading for myself is on my list for 2009. Happy New Year!

DrDrama said...

#1: I am certain that those cinnamon rolls have a controlled substance in them because I have eaten far too many of them since yesterday.
#2: The girls are so cute and growing up too fast!

Emmy said...

the girls are all so adorable...there's something about kids in PJ's that I find to be so sweet!

Dr.L said...

Those cinnamon rolls look divine.

I applaud your resolution for selfish knitting. I just started doing the same, and so far I'm very happy with MY hat and MY sweater!

Good luck.