Friday, September 9, 2011

The Best (And Quickest!) Cinnamon Rolls

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I can't stand it when I have a cinnamon roll craving that I can't satisfy. Normally the craving will strike on a beautiful, lazy morning, but I know that by the time I go through the whole process of mixing, kneading, proofing, rising, and baking, the cinnamon rolls won't be done until after lunch.

Thankfully, Pinterest came to my rescue. I've attempted numerous yeast-free cinnamon rolls in the past, only to be disappointed. Normally they taste like biscuits with cinnamon. Granted, that's not a bad thing, but the texture of the dough was always so off that it never felt like cinnamon rolls. This recipe intrigued me though due to the use of ricotta in the dough, so I decided to give it a go.

And I'm so happy that I did! The dough was not only so quick and easy to put together, but rolling it out was a breeze. The house smelled amazing while they cooked, and we were able to enjoy delicious cinnamon rolls long before lunch time rolled around!

Fastest Cinnamon Rolls
Makes about 8 rolls
Adapted slightly from Don't Forget Delicious

– For the Dough —
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
2 oz. unsalted butter (1/2 of a stick)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
9 oz. all purpose flour (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
– For the Filling —
3/4 oz. unsalted butter (1-1/2 Tablespoons)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2-1/2  teaspoons cinnamon
– For the Glaze —
1 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoons skim milk, or more as needed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 8 or 9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the ricotta cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (don’t overprocess). The dough will be soft and moist.
  3. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth (it really only takes 4-5 times). With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×15-inch rectangle.
  4. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border without butter around the edges. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and press gently into the surface.
  5. Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal, and leave the ends open.
  6. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into equal pieces (I got 8). Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry if there are small gaps. 
  7. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 to 28 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the rolls, and transfer them to a serving plate.
  8. In a small bowl, beat the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to make a smooth glaze. Add more milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. Spread or drizzle onto warm rolls. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Seriously, everyone should try these. They're the perfect dish for a last minute breakfast or brunch. Delicious, quick, and easy - what more could you ask for?

Happy baking!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pallet Love

Update: Be sure to check out the finished product here! Finally...

I'm slightly obsessed with pallets.

But what's not to love? They're not only awesome looking, they're free! So when I passed by a dumpster and saw a pallet hanging over the edge, I couldn't help myself. Ignoring the weird stares passers-by were giving me, I managed to get it out and cart it home. I tried climbing up the side of the dumpster to rescue a second pallet, but couldn't reach it. The dumpster's gone now and I'm still a little sad about the pallet left behind.

I've been pinning a few ideas for projects using pallets and am so excited to actually have a pallet to use now!

I'm in love with this hanging shelf, but my pallet is configured differently, so this one's out. For now...

This bookshelf is amazing, but also out. I'm going to need to find bigger pallets and gain the ability to use power tools before I can pull that one off.

And we have a winner.

I've finally decided to turn my pallet into a headboard. My poor bed is currently nothing more than a mattress set on a metal bed frame, so this is the perfect solution. The colors of my room are similar to this picture and I love the natural look of the pallet with them. I'm so excited!

This is definitely a DIY project I can actually accomplish. Now it's simply a matter of waiting for the temperature in the garage to go below 110ยบ so I can start sanding!

Update: Be sure to check out the finished product here!

So keep your eyes on the dumpsters. You never know what inspiration you might find!

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