I was just thinking recently that it might seem like I bake a lot. And to be honest, I do bake more now than I have over the past couple years, because it's a fun activity that B can "help" me do while also learning (numbers, names of different ingredients, distinguishing between "big" and "little" in terms of measuring cups and spoons, tasting a variety of spices, etc.).
I also have a lot more frozen bananas than ever before, because we buy big bunches now and don't always get through them all. Frozen bananas = yummy baked goods in our house.
Anyway, yesterday, I was looking at pizza dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (I was short on time for dinner, and the inspiration for pizza hit me too late in the day to make a homemade crust), when B requested cinnamon rolls. He was scanning the shelves as I mulled over which dough to get, and stated, "B needing cimmamum wolls" accompanied by pointing and empathic nodding to indicate to me just how dire this "need" was.
Coincidentally, when N came home last night, he told me that they were having a potluck of sorts at work today.
I was more than happy to
By "whip up," I mean spend two and a half hours in dough. Because cinnamon bread is a time-consuming undertaking. All that heating and cooling and mixing and rising and kneading and rising and cutting and rising.
Maybe that's why I only make them about once a year.
Speaking of which, look how itty bitty Little B was back then.
Even on tippy-toes, his chubby little fingers barely reached the counter tops!
I use Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls 101 recipe for my cinnamon squares, but all that rolling and oozing is too much work for me. So I cut and stack them. Another shout out to my friend Danielle, The Loquacious Introvert, for enlightening me to the wisdom of cinnamon squares.
PDubs' recipe makes a million and a half cinnamon rolls, and really, I don't have a bunch of big, burly rancher-types to feed around here like she does. So I make half (sometimes a quarter) of her recipe.
All that yummy bread just covered in that icing...
But this year, I went all out. He can handle a smidgen of caffeine, methinks.
(It really is only about 1/16 of a c of coffee, don't worry.)
We had a playdate scheduled this morning at a friend's house, but her older son threw up in the middle of the night. So although he was insisting he was better and wanted us to still come over and play, the mommies decided it was better to reschedule for next week.
Which means Little B and I are going to have to resist the temptation to eat an entire loaf of cinnamon squares all by ourselves today.
Except it's really about 2/3 of a loaf, because N and I couldn't help ourselves after they came out all warm and gooey from the oven last night. There's just nothing like freshly baked yummies with a tall glass of milk, is there?
Now I'd better go check on my son, who seems to have turned into a teenager overnight. It's past 9:30 and he's still sleeping!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
RECIPE: Oooey, Gooey Cinnamon Squares
In a stainless steel, large pot, scald (don't boil!):
*2 c whole milk
*1/2 c oil (I used grapeseed, but any unflavored oil good for baking would work)
*1/2 c sugar
Take it off the heat and allow it to cool to lukewarm (about 45 minutes).
Add 1 package of active dry yeast and allow it to soak the moisture in (about 15 minutes).
*4 c all-purpose flour
*1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
*1/2 scant tsp baking soda
*1/2 tsp salt
Mix thoroughly, cover, and allow to rise at least 1 hour. If you're making the dough ahead of time, you can set the entire pot in the refrigerator overnight.
Punch down your dough and roll it out into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Spread evenly on top:
*3/4 c melted butter
*1/4 c cinnamon
*1 c sugar
Cut the dough into even strips lengthwise. Stack strips on top of one another. Cut into squares. Arrange squares into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F.
While your dough is baking, make the icing by combining:
*1/2 package powdered sugar
*1/4 c whole milk
*3 T butter
*a smidgen of strong, brewed coffee (3-4 T)
*a pinch of salt
*1/2 T maple extract
As soon as you take the pans out of the oven, drizzle the icing all over the cinnamon squares, making sure to get into the "cracks." That's part of what makes them so "oooey gooey"! Remember, as PDubs says, "These are NOT non-caloric."