Sunday, January 24, 2016

Homemade Adventures Part 1: Cinnamon Rolls

While Jonas was out there whipping snow and ice around I've been staying cozy inside and taking advantage of this downtime - until having to finally shovel today. As I was heading to bed Friday night I realized it might be a good time to see if I could knock off some of the things on my 101 in 1001 list. I started this list in October 2013 and at that point, a deadline of summer 2016 felt so far away. Now it's almost here!

After spending so much tim and energy this past year on marathon training, our house, and new business ventures, very little was checked off in 2015. So I took a good look at the list and what I could work on for this weekend and came up with the following for a to-do list:

  • Make homemade cinnamon rolls
  • Make homemade marshmallows
  • Make gnocchi from scratch
  • Watch five Audrey Hepburn films (one down before this weekend, four to go!)
  • Successfully complete a Sudoku puzzle (ha - this should be hilarious)
Can you guess where I started?

As I looked up recipes for each thing I wanted to make I had to include "without [insert some random ingredient]" to each search. For cinnamon rolls it was yeast, because who really has that just lying around in their pantry? But I mean I did have packets of plain gelatin in my pantry for the marshmallows so I guess yeast wouldn't be too crazy!

I found this recipe from and it was incredibly easy. Naturally I didn't look at how much of each ingredient I had before I started (one reason I'm so much better at cooking than baking), so for the cup of brown sugar I needed for the filling I had about a tablespoon and a half. Whoops. So I used the amount of butter called for, the last dregs of my brown sugar, and an entire spice container of homemade cinnamon sugar. I think they still turned out just fine, but I know they would have been so much more gooey with the brown sugar. Guess I'll have to make them again sometime.

Other tips and tricks for this dough...I used almond milk and they came out just fine. The dough was a bit sticky coming out of the mixer so I rolled it around in a bit of flour to make it easier to work with. Make sure to liberally flour your working space so that you'll be able to roll the sticky dough out. Also, have a good amount on hand to use as you spread the dough out into a rectangle. 

When it came to the icing, I should have known better but I went by the listed amounts for powdered sugar and milk (again, used almond milk and it was just fine). I had to end up adding in so much more powered sugar. So just use the amount of sugar called for and add in a little bit of milk at a time until you get to the consistency you like. 

Overall, this was super simple. I mean, I know my way around a kitchen and bake frequently, but don't tend to do many recipes with bready type dough like this and it was super simple. They cooked quickly and were delicious, hoping that they'll reheat just as well. What I'd be curious about is if you could make the dough the night before and refrigerate it to then make the rolls in the morning so there's less prep time when you're hungry and want to eat.

Now I'm going to try and not eat the entire pan...the woes of baking when you're home alone!

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