Yesterday, we had a rare March day with wonderful weather, and it was also the first day in three weeks that I haven’t felt like utter garbage. I am currently in the midst of the longest sinus infection of my life, but even so, it could not ruin my spirits prompted by warm weather. And by warm, I mean 45* F. But, still… the sun was out for a change! I had planned on spending the day cleaning my house after looking around and realizing that it looks like my closet threw up my entire shoe collection and I have a very impressive herd of dust bunnies breeding in my hallway. But life is short, and sunny, windless Sundays are rare in March, so I forced myself to put on pants and get out of the house. I got a coffee and took Bell to run around the dog park, and it wasn’t even muddy! It was freezing, but every once in a while, the clouds would clear for a minute, and the sun would warm everything up. The air smelled so good. I always forget how lovely early spring is until it comes back around again.
Other than toughing it through the freezing-warm weather for as long as I possibly could, I spent the whole day cooking up some new recipes. I love all the produce that’s out right now, and I’m taking advantage of it for as long as I can. It inspired me to make some roast chicken with lots of potatoes and fresh herbs and then watch Julie & Julia, because what else would you watch when food is inspiring you?
Another one of my spring favorites in the produce section is all of the fresh strawberries! Strawberry shortcake has always been a very Easter-y dessert in my family. We make our strawberry shortcake with biscuits instead of angel food cake, and I am convinced it’s the only way to even eat strawberry shortcake. Also, you have to absolutely drench it in whipped cream, it’s a rule.
Like I was talking about last week, I’m trying to take advantage of my very short weekends by getting up earlier and brunching more. Without some sort of goal, I have the tendency to sleep in and then lay in bed on my phone scrolling through embroidery instagrams for three hours. SO, instead of scrolling, I’m sconing. And eggs-benedicting. And waffling. If it’s brunchy, I want something to do with it.
But I digress. This is about scones. And strawberries. And mixing it all together to create some sort of strawberry-shortcake inspired scone. And also adding cardamom, because cardamom + strawberries = lalalala one of the best combos ever!! Why didn’t I do this earlier, it’s such a good idea? Cardamom is fairly expensive, but a tiny bit goes a long way, so you’ll definitely notice a little hint of it in these scones. The strawberry curd is a little extra step, but if you don’t want to go that far, you could always just serve these with jam or chop up some fresh strawberries to throw on top! These are perfect for Easter brunch, especially because they can be made a day in advance! Aaaaand they are best served with lots of fresh coffee, obviously.
Vanilla + Cardamom Scones with Strawberry Curd
3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut in 1/2 in. cubes
1 egg, whisked
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. whipping cream + more for brushing
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbs. milk or cream
Preheat oven to 375* F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Toss very cold butter in the flour. Using your hands, work quickly to break the butter into the flour until it is pea-sized. You may have some larger, flatter pieces.
Make a well in the center. Add the egg, buttermilk, cream, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix until just incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Press into a 1-inch disk. Cut into 8 sections. Alternatively, for smaller scones, you could press it into two 1/2 in. disks and cut each of those into 8 sections. Space on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush each scone with cream. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. of milk, and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle over scones. Serve with curd (recipe below).
1 lb. strawberries, finely chopped
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbs. corn starch + 2 Tbs. water whisked
6 Tbs. butter
Combine strawberries, zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until bubbling. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter. Cool curd and serve with scones + whipped cream.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Let it Happen by Tame Impala
I have this new hobby now where I come home on Friday night and immediately start baking. Gone are my college days where Fridays meant getting excited about actually going out in public. Now, I just want to make some brownies, eat Chinese takeout, and try to stay awake until 11 p.m. While I can firmly say I would not trade working full-time for studying until midnight or being the only participant on “team projects” anymore, I also 10/10 understand why adults don’t do things. At best, I can mentally prepare myself to go out on a Saturday night after a proper day of sleeping in and lounging around the house. On the other hand, I have extreme FOMO, so if you offer something really tempting, I’ll probably down a few cups of coffee and make myself socialize. But only if I can bring my dog.
One of the most stressful things of late has been deciding what I actually want to bake on these Friday nights, because if you see my “Recipes to Try” list, it’s as long as the Game of Thrones books. Granted, not all of it is baked goods, some are cocktails which actually would be the perfect for Friday-night recipe developing, and a lot are rando health-foods that are not acceptable for Fridays. But the baked goods list is long and arduous, and when I have to spend three weekends developing a cake, I get sad 🙁 Mostly because it means I have nothing to share for a weekend, but also because it means no cake for that weekend!
For example, this cake took me three fing times to figure out. THREE. And ok, I know that’s typical, if not modest, in recipe development world, but I’ve made cakes similar to this formula literally hundreds of times, so for it to not work three different times was appalling. As a person who considers herself an experienced baker, I was fairly offended about screwing up such a simple cake and felt like I had to prove myself worthy to baked goods. And although my salty-af first attempt inspired me to write a fairly impressive Vday-inspired caption, I also just really wanted this cake to work out some way or another, because black sesame + blood orange = 😍
In a perfect world, this cake would have been ready in time for Vday, because I don’t think it’s a coincidence that blood orange season is right around Valentine’s Day. That’s just way too damn convenient. However, I’m kind of fine that it didn’t end up working out that way, because the first batch of blood oranges I bought for this recipe were so-so, and the last batch I bought were unreeeeaaaaaal. They were the most beautiful color, and their frangrance made my whole kitchen smell like it had just been professionally cleaned, although I can guarantee that wasn’t the case. I think blood oranges are so underappreciated, because like, besides their ruby-red hue, they are so sweet and floral. Maybe we should be adding lavender to this cake instead of sesame?
However, I really liked how the sweetness of the blood oranges meshed with the earthiness of the sesame seeds. This color combo is perfection, and I liked the polka-dot look of the cake itself. I’m putting black sesames on everything from now on thankyouverymuch.
A few notes about this recipe before we get into things:
- Citrus is already somewhat salty, so it’s important to be stingy with the salt. My first two attempts at this cake were soooo salty (for various reasons, but still).
- Whip the butter, sugar, and eggs for much longer than you believe to be necessary.
- Definitely don’t over-bake this cake. Since it’s pound cake, it doesn’t use moisturizers like oil, so it’ll get dry if you wait too long.
- Use aluminum-free baking powder, or the metallic taste will be very present in this recipe.
- Use a higher-quality powdered sugar for the glaze. Since the glaze is almost exclusively powdered sugar, you will notice any chalky tastes and textures found in cheaper versions.
- Oh, and one more thing! These do great baked in mini loaf pans, but make sure to butter the bejeezus out of the pan, or they will come out as little hot messes like mine did (see below). However, if yours do come out that way, trash them up with extra glaze and maybe a little sprinkles, and you’ll be A-ok. I highly recommend this method, because baking mini loaf cakes means extras for the freezer, and they are the best way to eat cake for breakfast in a socially acceptable way!! #science
Black Sesame + Blood Orange Pound Cake
Ingredients for the cake
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. blood orange zest
3 c. flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
2 Tbs. black sesame seeds
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. Heat oven to 350* F.
Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar until it’s very incorporated, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly until the butter mixture is very light and fluffy, about another 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and blood orange zest.
Stir in half of the flour and half of the milk until just mixed. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Stir in the black sesame seeds.
Pour batter into a buttered and floured bundt cake pan. Bake for about 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached. Flip it onto a cooling rack and let it cool before glazing.
Ingredients for glaze
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 c. blood orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Milk, as needed
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, blood orange juice, and vanilla extract. Mix in milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. If the glaze gets too thin, add more powdered sugar a couple Tablespoons at a time.
Pour glaze over cake. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Become the Warm Jets by Current Joys
I’m just going to start off this entire post with the disclaimer that this recipe for zimtsterne is absolutely not traditional. I’ve been known around these parts to bastardize traditional recipes, such as when I baked a “New York” cheesecake with mascarpone + amaretto or when I made tater tot poutine. And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about the internet, it’s that people get actually upset when you don’t make a recipe exactly like their recipe. It’s the precise reason that I probably will never post a recipe for goulash or huevos rancheros, and why I keep disclaimers on these posts in the first place. But I digress…this is about cookies.
Ever since I went to Germany, I’ve been obsessed with Germany. Like, all I think of is Five Elephant and eating schnitzel with fries + mayo. And then yesterday, I went to a local bakery in town, Bavarian World, and honest to god it’s probably one of my favorite places in Reno. On one side, there’s a bakery/market that has absolutely the best baklava and pretzel rolls, and pecan cakes. And then on the other side is a restaurant that I’ve never eaten at, but I have secret dreams of going on a date there Fast Times at Ridgemont High style. While I was in line waiting to buy my pretzel rolls and roast beef for Christmas-day lunch, I saw a package of zimtsterne, a star-shaped cinnamon cookie, which I had never heard of before, but then I got really excited (!!!) because I literally stayed up the night before trying to think of a cookie I could make with pistachios. And even though zimtsterne is usually made with almonds, I am having a love affair with pistachios almost always, so I figured I could add those too. Yay Bavarian World!!!
This past week, I’ve had approximately three or four different Christmas parties to attend, and I am partied tf out. I have spent two too many mornings hugging a Gatorade and popping Ibeuprofen for my headache after an evening of Moscow Mules and late-night tacos. Which is why I spent my Friday night listening to She & Him Christmas albums and making this cookie dough. And it was perfect, because it has to chill for at least a few hours, and it was perfectly chilly by the time I woke up to bake them this morning! Traditionally these cookies are made with a meringue, but there are two ways you can go about things:
1. If you’re a sinner, you can just add the egg whites straight to the dough (hi), which yields a denser, chewier cookie.
2. If you’re a traditionalist, you can whip up a meringue and fold the nut mixture into the meringue which will result in a cookie reminiscent of a macaron.
Out of sheer laziness, and because the last time I whipped egg whites ended in an epic failure, I went with the “adding the egg whites” option, and I love that the texture is somewhat biscuit-y and chewy. However, next time I’m going to try it the meringue way, because I also love airy cookies.
Now, if I can just somehow get myself back to Germany ASAP I promise to try real-life, traditional, Christmasy zimtsterne. Scout’s honor.
Makes 28 two-inch cookies
100 g ground, unsalted pistachios (about 1 c. whole)
200 g ground, unsalted almonds (about 2 c. whole)
100 g (about 1/2 c.) powdered sugar
50 g (1/3 c.) flour
2.5 g (1 tsp.) cinnamon
Zest of 1/2 orange
4.2 g (1 tsp.) vanilla extract
2 egg whites
200 g (about 1 c.) powdered sugar
30 g (2 Tbs.) orange juice
30 g (2 Tbs.) milk
2 g (1/2 tsp.) vanilla extract
In a food processor, combine pistachios and almonds. Pulse until they are finely ground, but be careful not to grind them too much, or they’ll turn into a nut butter! In a bowl, combine the ground nuts, powdered sugar, flour, cinnamon, and orange zest. Stir in the vanilla extract and egg whites until a crumbly dough forms*. Using your hands, knead until everything is mixed together and the dough forms. Flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least an hour, but you can make it up to 2 days in advance.
Preheat oven to 350* F (170* C). After the dough has chilled, roll it on a powdered-sugar surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out about 28 cookies, re-rolling as necessary. I like to dip the cookie cutter in powdered sugar before cutting, because it prevents sticking. Line on a greased baking sheet. They can be pretty close together, because they don’t puff up much. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned. Let cool completely.
*Alternatively, for airy cookies, you can whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the dry mixture into the egg whites, add the vanilla, and finish the recipe as directed.
While the cookies are baking, combine the remaining powdered sugar with the orange juice, milk, and vanilla. I start with 1 Tbs. each of orange juice and milk and add more liquid to get my desired consistency of icing. After the cookies have cooled, dip each one in the glaze. Add sprinkles if desired! Let harden, and keep stored in tupperware.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by She & Him
If you’ve been on Instagram any time recently, and you have some American friends, you’ve probably noticed a couple of trends within our posts:
- Women are really stepping up in our political climate (woo!!), and
- We’re obsessed with rainbow foods
While the first trend makes my heart soar, the second one is a big “meh” from me. Although rainbow food is probably the happiest food ever, and it look really nice on Insta posts with a NYC cityscape in the background, I don’t know if I could handle eating something with those colors. Does anyone know if those dyes do something funky to your insides? Do all those foods taste like chemicals? The amount of food coloring added to get those vibrant colors just has to be astonishing…
However, my opinion has insufficient impact on the subject, because people are rainbow-ing literally everything they can get their slippery food coloring into. U.S. restaurants and bakeries are a unicorn’s freaking dream – try as I might, I can’t get away from it. And what do you do when you can’t beat them? Join them! And what do you do when you refuse to add entire bottles of dye in your food?
– which is a totally acceptable and subtle form of rainbow-ing food. (I would know. I have an expansive sprinkle collection).
Once the rainbow-food-trend got exponentially out of hand, and we Americans claimed it as our own, Australians were kind of like, “yo, wtf?”, because it turns out they’ve been eating a colorful treat called fairy bread basically this whole damn time. In case you missed it, fairy bread is strictly just white bread + butter + sprinkles, and oh, it also has the cutest name everrrrr. Anyway, I decided to do some extensive research on the subject, because these are the things that I care about, and I’ve learned a few tips from multiple articles that I have read – basically, Americans have a few things wrong:
- It’s never been called fairy toast, it’s fairy bread – a very important aspect.
- It’s not eaten as a snack or breakfast – it’s used as a birthday cake replacement at children’s parties.
- When making this treat, artisan breads, hand-rolled butter, and organic sprinkles are unwelcome. Seriously, it’s just white bread, a pat of butter, and nonpareils.
However, many Australians are really being good sports about it all, even complimenting some of the quirks we’ve added to our fairy bread in America – fancy sprinkles, thicker toast, and one article even mentioned that they think eating fairy bread for breakfast is GENIUS. So, I guess it’s not all bad.
After hearing about fairy bread, I felt the sudden urge to write a blog post about it before realizing that, hey, you guys are probably smart enough to figure out how to slather butter on some Wonder bread followed by a handful of sprinklies. And then I realized that muffins are a totally acceptable form of breakfast food and thought “Why not merge the two?”
Basically, I made a dense, slightly sweet muffin, filled it with sprinkles, and added a buttery glaze with extra sprinkles on top. Is it fairy bread? No. Is it inspired by fairy bread? Absolutely. Is it just an excuse for me to eat funfetti for breakfast in a socially acceptable manner? You bet your sweet ass it is.
Do you know any fun foods that are not well-known? Comment below, I’d love to hear!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Favorite Song by Kaiser Cartel
Merry merry merry merry merry merry Christmas! Yesterday, I spent the entire day making Christmas treats with my mom. This year we made my grandma’s butter cookies with walnuts, snickerdoodles, nut caramels, sugar cookies, and I also made a new recipe I’ll be posting about soon! After all the baking commenced, we went to look at a huge Christmas light display held in Reno every year, and then we grabbed beers and burgers for good measure. It was the perfect way to celebrate my day off after my last final exam!
Although I will not be active over the next couple of days due to Christmas, I wanted to post one last recipe if you’re looking for yet another thing to bake for neighbors and friends (: Around the holidays, I get a little cookied out (okay, sugared out in general), but every once in a while, I want to grab a piece of bread or pudding or something instead of another cookie. This year, I decided to make spice cake with my grandma’s penuche frosting. If you’ve never had penuche frosting before, 1. Um, why?, and 2. It’s this amazing, brown-sugar, caramely flavored frosting you make in 5 minutes on your stovetop. It’s a frosting I never remember to make enough, and when I do, I’m transported back into family dinners as a little kid, eating this frosting but not knowing quite what it was. And now I present it to you as I share some of my family nostalgia!
As I’ve shared in the past, Reno is higher-altitude, so I made my high-altitude cake recipe, but I also have adjustments to make it at sea-level. I like to use a different combination of spices each time in my cake, depending on what I have in my pantry at the time, but cinnamon always makes an appearance, because, well cinnamon. Feel free to add spices if you like reeeally spicy cake, or cut back if spices aren’t your thing. I love adding ginger, but you could always add a few grinds of black pepper and some cardamom for a chai-spiced cake, or you could add a little cayenne if you’re really feeling really crazy*. Do what feels right.
*Clearly, my idea of getting crazy is disappointing, but if you add a little whiskey or wine to your holiday-baking spree, I’d be supes proud.
P.S. This recipe is not exclusive to Christmas – it’s good year-round, especially in the fall! I just posted it at Christmas, because I’m missing my grandparents (: One of my favorite memories is making lefse with my grandma around the holidays for our traditional Norwegian dinner on Christmas Eve! This year, I didn’t get around to making any, so if you’re a fellow Norwegian (Norski? Norwegianite?) and have some laying around, send it my way!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Must Be Santa by She & Him
I’ve spent the last couple of days not even realizing that it’s September. Mentally, I have been completely checked out, which has been rudely unhelpful considering I just started my senior year of college this past Monday. The most surprising aspect of this scenario is that a mere 2 1/2ish months ago, I was in complete denial that I was almost done with the college portion of my life. Where did the time go?! Wasn’t I supposed to cherish this more? Get more involved? How are my 20s going this fast? SOS.
However, the closer I get to graduation, the more I realize the wonderful things ahead of me. Traveling around Europe. Getting a dog. Interviewing for my first big girl job. Getting said big girl job. Buying my first house. Opening up my coffee shop. Hopefully eventually getting married, which I’ve heard can sometimes be fun. Putting things into those perspectives can be really enlightening, especially when they’re looked at from a broad, futuristic viewpoint. It’s not that I necessarily expect every single one of those things to happen (or at least when I expect them to), but I love having future accomplishments or events to look forward to. Because, as far as I’m concerned, every Millennials’ goal should be to plan, plan, plan – but also, be flexible. Plan that trip to Thailand! Take that class on how to make perfect bread! Finish writing all those songs you’ve been stumbling over for months! And yes, while these are things that I would like to do, everyone should have their own goals, and hopefully with time, everything uncontrollable will fall into place.
And if I am totally wrong about all of this, please do not tell me, because I like to be
If I have not yet mentioned this a thousand times in the past, baking is one of many outlets I use to help relieve stress when I’m in the midst of school and work busyness. Along with playing instruments, I’m usually baking if I have a day off on the weekend. Sometimes, I tackle more difficult or time consuming projects like cinnamon rolls or strawberry galettes with homemade crust, but other times, I like to stick to something that can be made super easily! Usually in those times, I make my favorite 15 minute brownie recipe or chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorites, which is pretty much a given, because they’re essentially everyones’ favorite. Since they’re everyones’ favorite, everyone also has their favorite recipe. If you scour the internet, it’s filled to the brim with a million “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever” recipes. That market is saturated, folks. However, this recipe is one that I have adapted from the original Nestle Tollhouse recipe, and I think it’s absolutely perfect. If you watch Friends, you know what I mean.
As for the butterscotch chips, I’m not sure when I really became obsessed. I don’t know that I’ve necessarily had anything that was true “butterscotch” flavor, but one time I had some butterscotch chip cookies, and I thought they were amazing. With that said, I always love classic chocolate chip cookies the best. Sometimes, I just want a little bit more fun, and that’s when butterscotch gets added to the mix (literally). As for my recipe, I have made slight adjustments that fit with my taste preferences over the years , but you can use the original Nestle recipe if you prefer. You can also use all chocolate chips in my adjusted recipe if you like that better than butterscotch!
*Recipe Notes: 1. I live at a higher altitude, so I use 2 1/2 c. of flour to stabilize the cookie dough a little more. If you live at sea-level, you can use 2 1/4 c. like the original recipe, or you can use 2 1/2 for a little bit of a thicker, chewier cookie. The rest of the ingredients will work at both sea-level and high-altitude. 2. I add the cornstarch, which makes the cookies a little bit softer, but it is not necessary if you do not have it at home.
Have a beautiful weekend ♥
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Will I Come by King Krule
[Update 1/12/16: I made these rolls last weekend for the first time since I posted this recipe. I changed the recipe up a little bit for experimentation, and ended up liking the new recipe more. I added more butter (yikes, I know), tried traditional scalded milk instead of buttermilk, and used a different icing. The original recipe is in the body of the post, and the new recipe is on a recipe card at the bottom of the post. The new rolls are more fluffy, but if you prefer the old recipe, it’s still there, no worries! I also updated some new pictures, since my photography has gotten significantly better (but still left the old ones with instructions and whatnot). Hope you guys love! Xo.]
These are so good.
Have you ever had like, a really really really good cinnamon roll? Not like a Cinnabon one, but a really delicious, homemade cinnamon roll? It’s a special kind of experience everyone should get to have.
I’m happy to report that you may now make your own if you truly wish to experience the phenomenon of eating an out-of-this-world cinnamon roll.
I have truly done it. I have created the perfect cinnamon rolls.
They take pretty much all day to make, but they’re super easy. I promise, you can make these! Just make sure you have new yeast and everything is going to be okay. You can do anything.
Sara Lynn: motivator and cinnamon roll goddess.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you should make these cinnamon rolls and let me know if you think that I’m a cinnamon roll goddess.
A disclaimer about the following pictures:
1. My nail color randomly changes from red to sparkly pink because I got my nails done while the dough was rising. I highly recommend you find something time consuming to do while you wait because cinnamon rolls take a long time to rise and a long time to make in general (but still so worth it).
2. The pictures change from good quality to bad quality because, again, they take a while to make and I ran out of daylight.
Shall we get started?
1/2 c. warm water
1 package instant yeast
1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. melted butter
4 1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbs. butter
1 1/2-2 c. powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like your icing!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbs. milk, to thin
First, you’re going to want to mix together your warm water, yeast, and a tablespoon of sugar. Set it aside to double in size!
Mix 1/2 c. sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
Nice and doubled! Yay!
Mix together buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Add half of the flour mixture until it’s incorporated.
Add the yeast mixture and stir together.
It might not mix very well because it’s going to be very lumpy and thin like pancake batter.
Mix in the rest of the flour and knead a few times with your hands.
Knead until smooth and beautiful.
Set aside in a warm place covered with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours.
*insert random photo and nail color change*
Roll until about 1/8 inch thick.
Brush with melted butter.
Mix together cinnamon, sugars, and salt for your filling.
And spread it all around!
Roll it up.
Brush it with more butter (sorry cholesterol).
Cut into rolls that are about 2 inches wide. You should have about 8 pretty ones.
And a few not so pretty ones 🙁 Oops!
Brush a parchment lined casserole dish with more butter.
Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar.
Line the cinnamon rolls in the casserole dish. Set them aside, covered, to rise for another hour or two.
Look how pretty!!! (That top left one is so sad. Poor little guy. Still delicious).
Bake at 350* F for about 14-16 minutes, or until a light golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix together the icing! Whip butter and cream cheese together until incorporated. Add sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Thin with milk.
(Uhm, is this not just the worst picture you’ve ever seen? Did I even try? Just trust me, it’s a delicious icing).
Yay, they’re baked and beautiful!
Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls.
Do you see that cinnamon filling? Oh my gosh. I might go grab one of my extras from the freezer right now. They’re sooooo good.
Which reminds me, if you have too many because you made 11 cinnamon rolls and you live by yourself, just go ahead, wrap them in some plastic wrap individually and then place them in freezer bags. They’ll stay good for a few months and you can indulge in cinnamon bun goodness whenever you want!
Go make these. Right. Now.
* Notes*: 1. I use my mixer with dough hook, but these can also be made with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon! I’ve done tries both methods and either works! 2. If your dough won’t rise, try heating oven to 250* F, turning oven off, and placing covered bowl of dough in warm oven (make sure bowl is oven proof!). Leave alone for 2 hours. 3. If dough still won’t rise, your yeast is probably old. Buy new yeast and start again. 4. Rolls can be made one night, and baked in the morning! Just form the rolls and let them do their second rise in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). In the morning, remove from fridge, and let warm up for about an hour. They will take longer to bake (upwards of about 30 or 40 minutes, so don’t worry if they don’t bake quickly! Cover with foil halfway through if they start to brown too much.)
*Song of the Day: Won’t You Come Over by Devendra Banhart
I’ve decided to start off the official twelve days of Christmas by posting a holiday recipe every day until the 25th! Cookies, candies, and other foods that are bad for you (but it’s okay because it’s the holidays). The recipes will be some old, some new, but all worthy of your holiday baking list.
First Day of Christmas: German Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
This is an old recipe, dating back to 3 years ago (didn’t really think I had a blog that long ago tbh). These cookies remain one of my favorites, and I also like how they look snowy!
Second Day of Christmas: Soft Sugar Cookies with Sour Cream Frosting
These cookies are perfect for the holidays, because the recipe makes a lot, everyone likes them, and you can decorate them with holiday sprinkles. They take a little extra time than most cookies, but it’s worth it, I promise!
Third Day of Christmas: Orange Drop Cookies
This is my grandma’s recipe that I bake entirely too much (although, I don’t really see anyone complaining about it). It’s been one of my favorite desserts since I was really little. If you’re indecisive about holiday baking, just trust me on this: make these cookies.
Fourth Day of Christmas: Cheesecake Crumb Bars
Taking a break from the cookies to present cheesecake crumb bars! A mix between cheesecake, crumb cake, and shortbread. Customize with different flavors, or go simple with a little vanilla.
Fifth Day of Christmas: The Best Nut Caramel Ever
This is one of my family’s favorite holiday recipes! The caramel is super easy to make, and it’s customizable, because you can just add in whatever nuts you have on hand (although I highly recommend walnuts and hazelnuts). Wrap them in mini Christmas cupcake liners, because it’s cute.
Sixth Day of Christmas: Pineapple Zucchini Bread
This bread is a nice break from all the super sweet that comes with cookies and candy during the holidays. Filled with zucchini, walnuts, and pineapple, it’s perfect with a little butter and some coffee for breakfast!
Seventh Day of Christmas: Cinnamon Butter Candy
Unique, spicy, and the hardest part of the recipe is boiling the water. Wrap as a gift, and give your friends a break from peppermint chocolate bark. Or just keep it for yourself (trust me, you’ll want to)!
Eighth Day of Christmas: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
These are time consuming, but if you make these, you will pretty much win Christmas baking altogether. P.S. They’re not hard. They just have to rise for a few hours!
Ninth Day of Christmas: Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies are really easy to make, and I love how festive they are! Sweet from white chocolate, tart from the cranberries, and chewy from the oatmeal. Santa will be happy 🙂
Tenth Day of Christmas: Butter Cookies with Walnuts
Effortless, buttery icebox cookies filled with walnuts that melt when you eat them. Keep them simple with vanilla, or add extra flavors to get more creative with your holiday baking. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so you have plenty to wrap up and gift!
Eleventh Day of Christmas: Espresso Hot Chocolate with Vanilla Whipped Cream
This is by far my favorite hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Only 5 ingredients and perfect for Christmas brunch!
Twelfth Day of Christmas: Norwegian Lefse
My family’s Christmas tradition every year! Lefse is a cross between a tortilla and a crepe, made out of potatoes. I look forward to making lefse every year, because it’s fun and of course, it tastes amazing! If you’ve ever wanted to make Nordic food, this is the best place to start.
Merry Christmas, my friends ♥
Times my family uses my great grandmother’s china: 1. When I’m in town and pull it out of the cabinet with the upmost precision so I can take pretty, feminine pictures of cookies delicately sprinkled with powdered sugar. 2. For a holiday about once ever four years when my mom doesn’t talk herself out of using the plates, because they have to be handwashed. Other than that, they essentially sit in little boxes, covered in bubbly plastic wrap stacked neatly on top of one another. I’d like to think that someday I will have a fancy Alice in Wonderland themed tea party or host an extravagant ball that requires black ties and antique, fragile plates laced with gold. But for now, they’re the host of my grandma’s crumbly butter cookies that are filled with walnuts and literally melt while you eat them.
I love these cookies, because they’re extra easy, only six ingredients, and it makes lots of cookies to gift to your neighbors and coworkers. My family has been making these cookies for as long as I can remember, although, if we’re being honest, I got all creative and added the almond extract. I really think it adds extra flavor to these cookies, but you can also leave it out if you want simpler, more vanilla-flavored cookies or if you just don’t have almond extract laying around.
On the other hand, you could also go crazy with these cookies and add whatever you have laying around your kitchen. Dried fruits, nuts, citrus zest, cocoa powder, vanilla bean, etc. The cookies are so versatile that you could get extra creative and add some matcha powder or lavender buds or even dip them in chocolate. If you don’t have time to bake, these cookies are the effortless, buttery, icebox cookies your kitchen needs right now.
Song of the Day: Everlasting Arms by Vampire Weekend