Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saucy Cinnamon Buns

Sunday Funday.  I woke up early today to get to the grocery store and pick up some missing ingredients for this recipe.  This one was requested by a non-follower, Josh, because he noted my affinity for using cinnamon while baking and was interested in tasting the spoils of my labor.  I was excited to try this new recipe too since I've only made cinnamon buns once before in home-ec class like in 7th grade.  Looking back, I remember them not tasting very good... so I was headed for redemption this time.

I chose to bake these guys at my moms house  for some quality mother-daughter time and much needed assistance (I didn't realize how much work goes into this recipe!).  Also, can I just say, having a microwave and an electric mixer are luxuries I never appreciated before moving into my new apartment which lacks both.  It must be noted that there were a few bumps along the road while baking, but they were quickly remedied (initially, I forgot the other two packets of yeast were needed!).

WARNING: This recipe was not too complicated, but time-consuming and super messy. Big Thanks to Rox for her superb cleaning skills and solicitous baking assistance.  Also, this recipe makes 16 buns and takes about 3 to 4 hours to make.  So buckle up and pay attention. This ones a toughy.


    • 3/4 cup butter
    • 1 cup water
    • 3 packages active dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    •  2 cups brown sugar, packed
    • 4 tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 stick of melted butter 
    • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 3 tbsp milk
    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/3 tsp salt

Step one:  make the dough.
Combine water (should be just slightly warm to the touch), yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, add butter to cooling milk in the saucepan to soften.  When entirely cool, add milk mixture to the yeast mixture.  Stir well.  Add eggs and salt and stir well again.  Slowly add the all-purpose flour; mix well.  Add 2 1/2 cups of the whole wheat flour; mix until the dough is quite sticky and begins to stick to the sides of the bowl.

Step two: knead the dough. 
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the remaining whole wheat flour onto a large board.  Knead dough about 10 minutes until dough is smooth, adding more flour if needed. Be very gentle when kneeding, if you're too rough with the dough it'll be tough after bakingt. After kneeding, the dough should be still soft and almost sticky. Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl, turning to grease the entire ball. Cover with a damp towel and let rise until double in bulk (takes about 45 minutes).

Step three: make the filling. 

Mix together melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts.
Step four: roll the dough. 
Turn dough onto large flour board. Roll out into a 24 x 20 inch rectangle. Dough will be thin at this point. Spread entire rectangle of dough with the filling mixture.  Roll rectangle tightly from long side.  Make sure you end with the seam side on bottom.  Shape with hands to make uniform in size from end to end. With very sharp knife (or a long piece of dental floss works too) cut roll into 16 equal slices.

Step five: let them rise. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Place each piece side by side in two well greased 13 x 9 x 3 inch metal baking pans.  Cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise in warm place (like over the oven) for 30 to 40 minutes until almost double in size.


Step six: bake those buns. 
Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit until nicely browned and filling is bubbling (about 35 minutes).
Step seven: make the frosting.
While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 3 tbsp milk, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. 

Step eight: set it up to serve. 
When you remove from oven, invert onto serving platter or baking sheet to allow syrup to drip from pan onto rolls.   

Step nine: frost them.
Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

NOTE: If you like to read my blog, please help me out by becoming a follower of my blog.  Also, keep the recipe requests coming!


Rebel Baker

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clinic Coconut Cupcake

Who needs sleep when they can rebelliously bake?  After a long day of school and some ass-kicking at the gym... I headed home to make dinner, do some more home work, and bake for my professor's end of the semester at the Clinic party.  I had opted to bring a dessert, promising something delightful.

After consulting with my sous chef (aka mom) about what would be an appropriate dessert to bring, I decided to bake a pecan pie (with a twist by adding coconut and maybe some chocolate to it).  However, this plan was foiled when I realized at 10 p.m. that my pie dish was at my friend Anya's house (I didn't post that pie yet, but I made her a strawberry pie for her game-night party a few weeks back and forgot to pick the dish up).  Oh well, I guess pie was not meant to be.

In a moment of desperation, I scanned my cupboards to come up with a last minute idea.  I even contemplated running out to Price Chopper for a new dish.  Then I recalled a conversation I had earlier that day about cupcakes, saw the coconut, and wahlah: Clinic Coconut Cupcakes (love the alliteration).  Here's how you make them:


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature (or soften in the microwave)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 10 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the Frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Step one: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Step two: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Step three: In a separate medium/small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in about 7 ounces of coconut.

Step four: Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Step five: Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Step six: Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

NOTE TO SELF: this recipe has WAY too much butter in it.  I haven't tasted them yet, but they are SUPER moist.  Perhaps we go a little more easy on the butter next time... Check.

ALSO: This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.  I had a 12 cupcake dish so, for the 4 I baked alone I put water in the extra (non-filled) cups.  This is important because you want the cups that ARE filled to cook evenly and your pan not to warp.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Not So Rebellious" Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

So, I'm visiting my very dear and very lovely friend Leslie in Brooklyn this weekend.  After a fun-filled day of city walking and costume hunting... Leslie, Lauren, and Jose undertook the feat of a lifetime: making cookies from a bag.  Okay, agreed it's not so rebellious.  But baking is baking, and I have to say we produced some tasty treats for us and her roommate to enjoy.

Leslie had a bag of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix which purports to produce homemade cookies in 20 Minutes!

I think it may have taken us a bit longer than that.... but that is probably because we played doctor with a mallet half way through the cookie making process.

There are three simple steps to yummy cookies:

Step one: heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Stir softened* butter (1 stick = 1/2 cup) and 1 egg in a medium bowl.  Stir in cookie mix gradually.  

*to soften cold butter, microwave unwrapped stick on High 10 seconds.   

Step two: drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Step three: bake about 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet. Cool completely on paper towels (it absorbs some of the excess grease).  Place on a plate and serve :)

See also Rebellious Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

Sunday, October 4, 2009



         (the ingredients)
Remember kindergarten? Well if not, this dessert will hopefully refresh your memory. Thanks to Leslie for the request and sugary sweet walk down memory lane.

Step one: make the dirt.

Chop 10 oreo cookies and about 4 graham crackers very finely. Keep in separate bowls.

Step two:  mix the mud.

Mix 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 package (4 oz.) cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar together in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the 1 package instant devils food and 2 and 1/2 cups of ICE COLD milk. Then combine these two mixes together and blend until smooth.

Step three: layer the goods.

Get 4 glasses (so you can see the layers) and carefully layer the pudding, graham crackers, and oreos together.  Hide some worms in there too.

Step four: chill it.

Put in the fridge for a bit until cold. Like... 1 hour or so.

Step five: top with whipped cream and gummy bears.

and SERVE.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apple Pie, I Die

Okay, here's one for all you traditional pie eaters out there.  Apple Pie. I picked the main ingredient at Bowman Orchards this weekend with some friends.  We also enjoyed some other fall festivities including apple cider donut eating, apple canon shooting, and pony rides.

Overall, a very fun day to be outside and to enjoy the fall.   I met Michele at noon and picked some apples and walked around taste testing the various kinds Bowman's offered. My favorite were the Pinova apples. 

Bowmans also has apples called Razzle Dazzle (actually, they were called Radiant Runkle but I like my name for them better).

Later, Alyson showed up and joined in the apple picking and apple rocket shooting too.  Noah and Katyln stopped by, intent on gathering enough apples to make apple sauce later that day.  Noah sought after the ellusive and (apparently extremely popular) HoneyCrisp.

I originally had in mind to pick Northern Spy apples for my pie: a little birdie told me that those make for good pies. HOWEVER, they are not
ready yet. Check out the apple calendar.   

I took my mom's advice and picked some Macintosh apples for the pie. They were really tart and sweet, which is pretty ideal for a pie anyways.  I also used my mom's pie crust recipe again -- you may recall it from the blueberry pie post. 


Step 1: make the dough (2 crusts - for the bottom and top)

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup salted butter (chilled)
1/4 cup ice water

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. "Cut in" butter with a pastry cutter or fork. Once blended well, sprinkle with the water gradually. Kneed with fingers for about a minute. The dough should be moist and malleable not watery or flaky. Roll into a ball, put back in the bowl, and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. (I didn't use all of the water by the way).

Step 2: make the filling.

2 lbs Macintosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 9 apples)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 lemon (squeezed)

Prep the apples and put in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon over them and then add the cinnamon and sugar. Coat completely.

Step 3: roll out dough

Cover a table with a few sheets of wax paper. Flour the paper and the roller generously throughout rolling. Separate the dough in 2 equal balls. Take dough #1 and roll into a circle a little larger than 9 inches in circumference. Be liberal with the flour!

Once it's big enough, fold the dough in the wax paper 4 times so it's like this. Then place it in a 9 inch glass dish (lightly flour the dish before) and unfold gently.

Roll dough #2 out in the same way but put it aside.

Step 4: fill the pie.

Add 3 tbsp flour to the filling gently. Make sure it covers all the apples and add a bit more if necessary. The flour is suppose to thicken the pie, so if you want a thicker pie add more and if you want it more juicy add less. Scoop the filling into the pie dish. Spread around and make a little hill in the middle.

Step 5: cover the pie.

Unfold dough #2 on top of the filling. Make sure it's even and then seal the edges with your fingers - you can dampen the crust with a little bit of water to seal it up. Then I make a few slits in the top of the crust.

This time I made leave cut-outs to decorate the pie with the extra dough.

Step 6: coat the crust.

1 Egg (beaten)

Scramble one egg in a bowl. Lightly coat the crust with the egg using a pastry brush. Start with the middle and work your way to the outside. Try to avoid any pooling of egg (you probably won't use the whole egg). The purpose: to make the crust come out golden brown after it's baked.

Step 7: bake it!

Put the pie in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Then reduce heat to 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown color and the juices are bubbling. If you think the edges are browning too quickly, you can cover them with a foil ring at that time to prevent burning.

Step 8: cool it.

Place the baked pie on a wire rack (I use the removable grills from my gas stove) to cool for several hours.