Posts Tagged 'maple'

Pipe Dream #62: To Make Real Breakfasts – PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, just stop for a minute. Take a look. Imagine that smell.

I hope you are salivating, because I am. And heaven knows I love blending into the crowd. Question: have you ever gleeked on someone accidentally? That has to be one of the most embarrassing things in the world. Besides the expulsion of internal “vapors” after eating stuffed chicken breast. Yikes.

Question: Have you ever gleeked on someone on purpose? I’ll pray for you. Don’t ever do that to me. Seck.

Anyway, this recipe takes time. It takes patience. It takes yeast.

Some people are scared of yeast. They think it’s kind of fussy and easy to mess up. I’ve never had much trouble if I follow recipes carefully. The key is to get it the right temperature. Soothing warmth. Soothing warmth.

But I promise, these cinnamon rolls are something else. It’s late, and I can’t think of the proper descriptive words to come up with the blissful euphoria that accompanies the baking, eating and glorious aftermath that accompanies these rolls. But they are worth braving your yeast fears. No regrets now.

In this recipe, the yeast is enveloped in an oil and milk blanket. There are no horses in the original recipe, but I am going to use the word ‘adapted’ liberally.

I used my mummy’s rolling pin. It reminds me of my childhood. Plus, it is gourmet.

I’m not going to post a whole bunch of tips and tricks about this recipe because it is a PW recipe, and she explains everything so well that I would be adding nothing to the experience. If you need a great explanation for every step, follow the link below.

Oh please do make these for everyone you know (and me). The recipe makes a bunch, and they are the best cinnamon rolls I have efer eaten.

Morning, noon and night,


PW’s  Cinnamon Rolls, straight up

1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce packets
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1 tablespoon (heaping) salt
plenty of melted butter
2 cups sugar
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
½ cups milk
¼ cups melted butter
¼ cups brewed coffee
⅛ teaspoons salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Pipe Dream #22: To Make Uncrusty Frostings – Maple Pecan Cupcakes

I worked at Pier One Imports for a year in high school. Ah, Pier One. Those were happy days. I got to spend my time organizing glass into straight rows and chatting up customers about whether the Patchouli reed diffuser was too 1995 for their new home. In all cases, it was too 1995, but some people still bought them. It was a great job to have at that stage in life. I learned a little about interior decorating, a lot about sales and perhaps too much about the importance of being careful with box cutters…nostalg over.

I think my romance with cupcakes began there. I used to look through the above book when I was supposed to be dusting when I was on break. It is full of beautiful photos and interesting flavor ideas for cupcakes. I was inspired.

These are my 2009 interpretation of the pistachio cupcakes on the cover. And by “interpretation” I mean “attempt to copy exactly.” That failed, obviously. But they are still cute, methinks.

Psych! I’m not going to give you the pistachio cake recipe; these cakes are like the Woman Folly– enticing on the surface, but full of noise and ignorance on the inside. Or in this case, a crusty royal icing on the outside and a dry crumb on the inside. Not what you want to be making.

When I first started baking cupcakes, this one was my favorite. It rully were.  The sugar is half replaced by maple syrup, making for the most moisty, buttery cupcake you ever did see. And there are pecans. Have I ever told you about me and pecans? Ok. Sometime I will. And then you will know.

The frosting is an old-fashioned buttercream that leaves something to be desired–it gets crusty pretty quick. But that doesn’t usually matter in my case. Ahem. I can’t even make these anymore because they get eaten too quickly. Plus, I’m trying to get away from crusty frostings. If you were really cool (me, not), you could caramelize 12 pecans to decorate with, but I didn’t want to fuss. We all know I’ve only made good caramel once.

Please enjoy these in my name,


Maple and Pecan Cupcakes

Adapted from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake

For the cupcakes:

1 stick butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 eggs

1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

For the frosting:

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until creamy, then beat in the maple syrup. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then dump in the flour and fold in. Fold in the nuts and spoon the mixture into muffin cups. Bake for about 17 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the frosting, beat the butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar together until pale and fluffy. Spread the mixture over the cupcakes and top with a pecan, or a caramelized one.

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