Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home Smells Like Cinnamon Rolls

Yeah, that's right, you know you want some ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July, I'm a few days late, but I've been pretty busy since my last post. On the 4th I moved all my stuff from NorCal to SoCal, it was my first time driving down California - I had my dad by my side - and it all went smoothly. So you're probably thinking it's not big of a deal right? Haha, oh boy, it was for me though! I tend to tense up when I'm driving somewhere new, so indeed, I was tense from about 9am that day til 6pm. My arms and eyes were so SORE!! Whatever though, I made it out alive with no scratches on my car. We made a stop in Santa Cruz (because I've never been) to check out the boardwalk, farmers market, lighthouse, and the beach of course. Got some beautifully fragrant and sweet organic strawberries from the market along with a lemon tart. Yum yum yum. I was also bringing down some Miette (in San Francisco) macarons, fleur de sel caramels, and a lemon tart for my sister. (Obsession with lemon tarts will be addressed in another post :] ).

I've also been looking for some kind of art/museum related job/internship and housing for grad school...yikes!! First day is August 31st, it's comin' up soon!

Okay, so when I got home to SoCal, it didn't actually smell like cinnamon rolls. But when I got the carpet cleaned for the house I was moving out of in NorCal, it smelled!! I mean it smelled clean, don't get me wrong. But it was just so overpowering once I stepped into the house. Ugh! I started sneezing uncontrollably while opening the screen doors and the windows while trying to figure out what to do about the smell. I had a fantastic idea. Cinnamon Rolls.

Make sure the dough rises! Don't be impatient...or if it the house isn't warm enough, just stick the covered bowl in front of a toaster oven on "bake" to the lowest setting :)

Since the kitchen was attached to the living room (which smelled the strongest) I knew this was going to work out perfectly. I also had a bunch of flour, brown sugar, and butter I wanted to use up because I knew they weren't going to be in the car ride with me. So I went to the Cinnamon Roll recipe I tried over and over again...yes, I mentioned it a while ago...Molly Wizenberg's Cinnamon Rolls. I came across these on Smitten Kitchen . And she got it from the Bon Appetit March 2008 recipe that you can see here. Trust me, they are amazing!!!

** The only change to the recipe that I made was substituting soy milk for whole milk since I usually have that on hand. And as I said before, I think my rolls came out fluffier when I used soy milk. Just to make sure this substitution wouldn't be too drastic, I did a little research on vegan cinnamon rolls - and indeed they use soy milk. Check out VeganYumYum's version. I also didn't have a rolling pin, so I didn't really get to roll out the dough, I just shaped it with my hands - I really don't think it matters much though.**

Filled, sliced with floss, and ready for the second rise.

And I think I can say that these rolls have taken out my fear of making bread. You see, the first time I made bread before my discovery of food blogging was probably more than four years ago. The first time I made bread, they came out beautifully!! They looked like rustic rounds, they had a wonderful texture. But when it came down to tasting it, OH MY FREAKING GOD!!! It was so SALTY!! I have no idea how I must have messed up the recipe, probably replacing the salt for the sugar. Anyways, we ended up throwing the bread away. It was inedible :(

Ready to bake after the second rise!

So the second time I made bread, I told myself I was going to do it right! I tried out Molly's recipe. Everything was going fine until I finished kneading the dough. I remembered I forgot something. I was so angry with myself. I was asking myself how I could forget to put the egg in the dough. Then I was thinking that maybe I could try to knead it into the dough. Hah! Yea right!! I stared at my dough for a while, crossed my arms as if I would magically remember that I DID put the egg in there, but I DID FORGET the egg, so I let it rise. While it was rising I just thought to mself, what's the worse that could happen?

Baked and ready for some luscious creamy glaze.

So my second attempt at bread didn't come out as perfect as I wanted. I only know this from doing this recipe multiple times. In comparison to my third batch, in which I remembered to incorporate all the ingredients, the egg really does matter...along with the dough rising in a warm spot. My second attempt rolls weren't really big and fluffy, they still tasted good nonetheless. But the third time I made these, they were AMAZING!! Soft, big, fluffy, sweet, cinnamony, gorgeous rolls. I was completely satisfied, despite the fact that I had no cream cheese to make the frosting. While I ate my rolls naked my boyfriend opted for some one month past expiration Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting. And boy did he seem to enjoy them! And yes, he didn't end up sick or anything, so it was all good :)

Yep, you know you want to go make these right now!!

So on the fateful day of the carpet cleaner, these cinnamon rolls saved my nose from the "too clean chemical/sterile" smell. And I'm proud to say that ever since I made cinnamon rolls, I've also tried my hand at pizza, focaccia, and soft pretzels...awesome. I think I've finally been redeemed of my "salty bread."

P.S. Have you guys ever heard of Macarons de Nancy/Nancy Macarons/Nancy Macaroons?


  1. I wish my home smelled like cinnamon rolls! These are gorgeous! YUM!

  2. The rolls look great. Macarons de Nancy are the old fashioned style macaron not coloured and filled ones you get in Paris

  3. I think these were very very good cinnamon rolls, babe! I can't wait to try the Nancy macarons, too. Heck, I'll try anything you make...even if it's salty!

  4. Just looking at these pictures makes my mouth water!

  5. i'm totally impressed with how these turned out