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.

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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.