Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Uncategorized

I got the recipe for these Cinnamon Rolls from a crime novel. In Diane Mott Davidson´s crime novel series, the heroine Goldy runs a catering business in Colorado. In between preparing buffets for wedding receptions, parties and school lunches, she solves all kinds of complicated small town murder cases. I enjoyed the novels very much, not only because of the witty writing style, but also because of the interesting recipes which Goldy provides every now and then.

Diane Mott Davidson

In “The Last Suppers”, Goldy makes “Monster Cinnamon Rolls”, as she calls them. They sounded so good that I had to bake them. When I made them the first time, I followed the directions in the book to the letter. At the end of this experiment, I knew how the rolls had gotten their name. They were delicious, but enormous, way too big for one person to eat. If you want to know what I mean: I will give you the original amounts of ingredients at the end of the recipe. Trust me – you won´t believe how much sugar there is in the original recipe!

Zimtschnecken 2

Anyway, the rolls, were delicious, but too much. I have been adapting the recipe numerous times until I was finally satisfied with the result. There´s definitely something about this combination of soft yeast dough, the cinnamon and brown sugar filling, the luscious cinnamon-caramel which accumulates at the bottom of the pan during the baking process, and the delightful cream cheese frosting.

 

Zimtschnecken 3

Zimtschnecken 3 (2)

Zimtschnecken 4

Ingredients:

Dough:
¾ stick (90 g) butter
½ cup (120 ml) milk, lactose-free
¼ cup (60 ml) water
⅜ cup (80 g) sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 ¼-ounce envelopes  (14 g) active dry yeast
2 large eggs
4 ¼ to 4 ¾ cups (500g – 630 g) all-purpose flour

Filling:
2 cups (350 g) brown sugar
1 stick (125 g) butter, softened
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Frosting:
6.5 oz. (200 g) cream cheese, lactose-free
¼ cup (60 ml) whipping cream, lactose-free
2 tbsp. vanilla sugar
1 ½ to 2 cups (130 g to 200 g) powdered sugar, sifted (I prefer 1 ½ cups)

For the dough, heat butter, milk, sugar, water and salt in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool. The mixture should be lukewarm when added to the yeast-flour mixture.

Put 4 ¼ cups flour, yeast, and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the lukewarm milk mixture. Beat until well combined, using a kitchen machine and a dough hook. Keep beating; add flour until you get a stiff dough. Knead for about five minutes until you get a smooth dough.

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it is about twice as big; about 1 hour.

Prepare the baking pan while the dough is rising: butter a baking pan of about 9 x 13 inches. Alternatively, adjust a baking frame to this size and put it onto a baking sheet which is covered with baking parchment.

Punch the dough down. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle of about 20 inches by 30 inches (about 50 cm by 75 cm).

For the filling, beat butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon with a hand mixer until well combined. Spread the mixture on the dough evenly. Roll the dough up, starting from the small side. Cut the log of dough into 12 pieces of about 1 ½ inches. Place the rolls into the buttered pan or the baking frame. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise until they are twice as big, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175° C). Bake the rolls for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, whipping cream and vanilla sugar with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. The mixture should remain smooth and not become stiff.

Frost the cinnamon rolls once they have cooled down.

You want to give the original recipe a try? Well, here is what you need:

Dough:
You have to double the ingredients, with one exception: you need 5 eggs. Roll the dough to a rectangle of 24 inches by 36 inches, and make the rolls 2 inches high. You get 12 rolls again, but those are twice as big as mine.

Since you have the double amount of dough, you need two baking pans of the size stated above. Put 6 rolls into each baking pan. The rolls will be very big, almost like small cakes!

Filling:
You need 5 cups brown sugar (Yes! 5 cups! This is not a typing mistake!!!), 2 ½ sticks butter, and 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon. The butter and the sugar will melt while baking and accumulate at the bottom of the pan, where they will be soaked up by the rolls. Delicious, and extremely sweet.

Frosting:
You need ½ pound cream cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 3-4 cups powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you want the rolls.

I like sugar, but this version is a bit too sweet for me. I find my version very sweet already!

(Frustratingly crumbly) Carrot Cake with Walnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting

Nice try, Recipes

Life was so busy lately that I simply did not get around to writing for this blog. Work, work, work, helping the kids with their studies, housekeeping, and all the rest. No time for writing.

At the weekend I decided to bake, despite all the work I had to do. I thought it would give me the feeling that there was still something like a “normal” life left. I tried hard to make a pretty and tasty cake, but it did not really work out. It is certainly better to do your baking when you have enough time for it and do not have to do all kinds of additional activities besides!

The recipe I chose was also not ideal, considering that the weekend was quite full already. I wanted to bake this Carrot Cake, which has already gone wrong once. When I baked it in a loaf pan as the recipe said, it looked like this:

 Karotten Walnusskuchen Versuch 1

The cake kept bothering me. The taste was excellent. Dark, moist, not too sweet, with an intense aroma of walnuts and cinnamon and a hint of lemon. I could not understand why it had not risen. That is why I decided to try it again.

This time I baked the Carrot Cake in a round baking pan. I was hoping that this way the batter would rise better than in the loaf pan. I was planning to fill and frost the cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and to decorate it with caramelized walnuts.

Unfortunately, this second attempt did not work out as I had planned. The cake was baked right through, but it was so moist and crumbly that I had a hard time cutting it into two layers. I ended up turning the cake upside down onto a plate with the bottom of the pan still attached to the cake, then cutting it horizontally in two layers. Next I took the bottom of the pan off, together with the top layer. This worked.

After filling the cake with the frosting, I put the cake together again. I could not match bottom and top layer exactly because the top layer would have fallen apart. The cake therefore looked quite lopsided. It was also so crumbly that I could not spread the frosting onto it without mixing lots of crumbs into the frosting.

Karottenkuchen Walnüsse 1

I also expected the caramelized nuts to be different, but was positively surprised by them.

Karottenkuchen Walnüsse 3

Initially I did not want to present this cake in my blog, but then I thought, why not? It might not look perfect, but the taste was good. I will certainly make it again, if only to find out how to make it turn out exactly the way I want it to be!

Ingredients:

Batter:
4 eggs
1 ¼ cup (225 g) brown sugar
10.7 oz (300 g) carrots, peeled and grated
2 ½ cups (250 g) ground walnuts
½ + ⅓ cups (120 g) chopped walnuts
Grated lemon peel of 1 organic lemon
juice from ½ lemon
½ cup (60 g) flour

2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 pinches salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:
14.3 oz. (400 g) cream cheese, lactose-free
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 ⅔ cups (160 g) powdered sugar, sieved

Caramelized walnuts:
12 halved walnuts
1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. whipping cream

Grease a round baking pan and dust with flour.

Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C).

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with a kitchen machine or a hand mixer at maximum speed for at least 5 minutes until fluffy.

Fold in the grated carrots, then the ground and the chopped walnuts, the lemon juice and the lemon peel.

Gently fold in the flour mixture.

Pour the dough into the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 270° F (130° C). Keep the door of the oven open a bit with a wooden spoon. Bake the cake for about 55 minutes, until it is browned. It will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
With the hand mixer, beat cream cheese, lemon juice and powdered sugar at medium speed.

Caramelized walnuts:
In a small pan, melt sugar and butter until the sugar has turned golden brown. Stir occasionally. Add the whipping cream. Be careful – the mixture might bubble up and splatter! Stir until all the lumps have dissolved and the caramel is smooth.

Add the twelve walnut halves to the caramel and stir until they are covered with caramel. Take the nuts out and individually place them onto a piece of tin foil. Pour or spoon the remaining caramel over them. Let the nuts cool down completely.

Finishing:
Horizontally cut the cake into two layers and fill with about one third of the Cream Cheese Frosting. Put the cake together and spread with the remaining frosting. Decorate with the caramelized walnuts.

For a quicker version, skip the frosting and the caramelized walnuts. Simply sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar instead and enjoy!

Adapted from:

Trish Deseine (2010), I Love Cake, München: AT Verlag.

Crunchy Granola with Nuts

Granola, Recipes

My kids love breakfast cereals – unfortunately those from the stores, with lots of sugar. For them they are an easy and quick breakfast. They do not care about the fact that they contain a lot of sugar. They like the taste, and the fact that all they have to do in the morning is pour the cereal into a bowl, add the milk and eat. No laborious spreading of butter and jam on a slice of bread. Much easier.

About a year ago I accidentally discovered a recipe for homemade granola, a chocolate granola. I was fascinated. I had had no idea that you can bake your own granola! I immediately tried the recipe and was thrilled by the result. The kids even ate it for breakfast, even though it was not as sweet as the cereals from the store.

I have since been making our granola myself, in different varieties. Apart from the fact that those granolas are a lot healthier than those from the stores, for me this has the additional advantage that I can create a granola that I myself can eat without problems. For example, most recipes bind the dry ingredients with maple syrup or honey. I use rice syrup instead. I also omit dried fruit and use more nuts instead. The granola thus does not contain a lot of fructose and is okay for me.

This variety is a crunchy mixture of flakes and nuts.

Müsli mit Nüssen 1

Granola mit Nüssen 2

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup (100 g) rolled oats
1 ¼ cup (100 g) spelt flakes
½ cup (90 g) oat bran
½ cup (55 g) almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup (65 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup (65 g) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup coconut flakes
1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

For the more or less fructose-free variety:
½ cup (120 ml) rice syrup

For the variety containing fructose:
½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C).

Cover a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the coconut flakes.

Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the coconut flakes and bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool down.

Store in an airtight container.

 Granola mit Nüssen 3

Adapted from:

http://call-me-cupcake.blogspot.co.at