Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baking is My Therapy - Cinnamon Buns

For the past ten months, I have become a master of procrastinating. I am especially good at procrastinating when I have various papers/projects/reading assignments due and I am so stressed that I am losing sleep. This is the time I pull out all my baking supplies and waste even more of my valuable time.

I have also found out in the past ten months that baking can be very therapeutic. I realize that baking is not conducive to any sort of healthy living diet....at least not the recipes I make....but it relaxes me.

And so here goes.

I love baking from this recipe book.

The Cinnamon Buns are delicious.

To start you need to make the dough. Heat the milk (1quart), vegetable oil (1cup) and sugar (1cup) in a medium saucepan over medium heat; don't allow the mixture to boil. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle the yeast (4.5Tbsp active dry yeast) on top and let it sit on the milk for approximately 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of flour. Stir until the mixture is just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a place that is room temperature for about 1 hr.

Add the baking powder (1tsp), baking soda (1 tsp), salt (1tsp), and the remaining cup of flour. Stir until combined. The recipe guru (this isn't me just fyi) says that you can use the dough right away or put it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Give the dough a punch if it rises.

Now it's time to put the rolls together. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. It should be rectangular in shape.

To make the filling for these bad boys, pour 1 cup melted butter over the dough, and spread evenly.

Spread 1/8cup ground cinnamon and 1 cup sugar over the butter. It should be noted that I used way more than this quantity on my cinnamon buns.

Here's the hard part. Starting with the end farthest from you, roll your sugar/butter/cinnamon rectangular shaped glory toward you.

This is the therapeutic part. It is an excellent lesson is patience to roll an especially long log of dough. Especially if your dough has a mind of it's own which mine did.

Pinch the seam together when you are finished.

At this point it should look like one big, long log of doughy, sugary, deliciousness.

Cut the roll into 1.5 inch slices.

Pour a few tablespoons of melted butter into your pie pans. Place the sliced rolls onto your pie plates.

Preheat the oven to 375 and while your oven is preheating throw a towel over your rolls and let them rise for 20 minutes. After that, bake the rolls for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown.

While they are baking I made the icing that the recipe book called for. I highly recommend it. It's a maple icing and it is fab.

In a large bowl, whisk 2 pounds icing sugar, 1/2cup whole milk, 6Tbsp melted butter, 1/4cup coffee, and a dash of salt.

When it is mixed, add 1Tbsp maple extract. Whisk until smooth and add in more of the previous ingredients to taste.

Take the rolls out of the oven, pour on the maple icing,  and let them sit for a few minutes.

These cinnamon buns are slightly labour intensive but relatively easy. This is the first time I have ever made cinnamon buns and I thought they were really good. The Pioneer Woman is such a great cooker/baker/writer. I am obsessed with her website/blog: http://thepioneerwoman.com/. Her recipe book is also very user friendly (and very Boyfriend friendly).

These babies did not last long. YUM. The perfect therapeutic treat.

Happy baking!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tis the Season of Bridal Showers - Take 1

Summer is in full swing and I am lucky enough to have attended a number of bridal showers already this summer. Two of these were for my dear friends who are sisters to boot, and I had so much fun I decided I would post some pics from these happy events.

Shower One

The first bridal shower was for the younger sister whom I lived with for a fabulous period of time. The bridal shower was held at a restaurant called The Fainting Goat.

I was so excited to get the chance to go to this restaurant as I had never been there before!!

Prior to this shower, I had never attended a shower that was not at a house/hall, so this was a double treat. Oh yeah, and getting to celebrate with the happy bride-to-be was amazing as well!

The Maid of Honour rented the restaurant so that we had it all to ourselves. Except for the bartender.

The restaurant decor went well with the bright, Hawaiian-themed decorations of the shower.

The restaurant supplied the bridal shower guests with a table full of delicious afternoon snacks.

Fresh fruit, veggies and dip.....

Garlic hummus with homemade pitas and bruschetta.

And chocolate covered strawberries.

All the guests sipped on Sangria which was delicious. A perfect sunny afternoon drink.

My favourite snack (other than the Sangria of course...can I consider Sangria a 'snack?) were the tiny little cake squares with delicate little edible flowers. The napkins even matched the cakes!

We played fun shower games, and for a person who doesn't care for most traditional shower games (insert toilet paper bridal gown game here) that is a huge compliment! The Maid of Honour did a great job of planning!!! Here is a pic of the beautiful bride.

We had such a wonderful afternoon, and I definately want to go back to The Fainting Goat for a lunch or supper meal to try out the rest of their menu.

The lovely bride and groom got married two weeks ago. Congrats to the beautiful couple!