Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (Pecanbons!)

Ok, first a story about why I didn’t try and do my usual update last week. Two days off, two kids, two different activities to pull me away from the kitchen. That’s pretty much the long and short of it really.

Now on the story behind the cinnamon rolls. (This will encompass a couple of days)…This past Friday I got a sudden craving for Cinnabon or at least cinnamon rolls. I might be pregnant, except that’s not humanly possible, the only thing I’m ‘pregnant’ with are, pardon the pun, half-baked ideas. So, Friday, I’m willing to stay up a little late to make cinnamon rolls, but I get home late from work, blah, blah, blah, and anyway, I can’t do it. Saturday rolls around (again, pardon the pun) and I happen across this recipe on Yahoo for cinnamon rolls as close to Cinnabon as it gets, by Devin Alexander. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. So, I get home and begin working on some homemade Cinnabon, except to jazz it up I’m going to make the Pecanbon, which is just a cinnamon roll with pecans on top, maybe inside, I can’t remember it’s been so long since I last had one. Either way, this one I tried to follow close with the exception of throwing in some pecans. For the record, this is not a terribly difficult recipe to follow, but it’s a little time consuming with a couple of resting periods for the dough to rise, etc. So, without further ado, peep my homemade Pecanbons!:

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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

 

Note: The original recipe calls for light/low-fat versions of whichever ingredients offer them in such variety, substitute as you see fit. (Or fat, hah!)

Cinnamon Roll Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons of Neufchâtel
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Butter flavored cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 of a cup sugar
  • 1/4 of a cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast .25 ounces (one packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons, in case you’re not using the packets like myself)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if/as needed
  • 1 teaspoon, plus 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (for added flavor, toast pecans with one tablespoon of butter at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes)

1. Making the frosting – In your stand mixers bowl, combine sugar, Neufchâtel, milk, vanilla, and butter. Combine for about a minute, switch to high for about 30 seconds. Let it set for about 10 minutes then place in airtight container, can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Stir before serving.

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2. Making the cinnamon rolls – Use non-stick spray on mixing bowl. Set aside one tablespoon of butter. (Note: If you plan on letting the dough sit all night to double, skip the butter part)

3. In microwaveable bowl combine sugar, milk, and one tablespoon of butter. Microwave for two minutes, until milk heats to 130 degrees. Add yogurt and whisk until sugar dissolves. Add egg and egg white. Continue to whisk. Lastly, add yeast and keep whisking until dissolved.

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4. In your stand mixer bowl add two cups of flour, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt. Add milk mixture from step three above. With dough hook attached, mix on medium speed, add remaining flour and mix until dough is formed, roughly five minutes or so.

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Dough should be soft, but not sticky, so add small amounts of flour if needed. Then knead dough further. IMG_0324

Place dough in bowl from step two. IMG_0325

Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to double in size. This should be an hour if not longer. I left mine overnight, so that I awoke to a dough that looked like this:

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5. Cinnamon filler – In another, small bowl, place corn syrup, brown sugar, remainder of cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Stir well.IMG_0326

6. Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and place on lightly floured work area. Knead for a minute or so. Dust lightly with more flour. Cover again and let rest for 10 minutes.

7. Spray 11×17 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out 12×18 inch dough into a rectangle using the baking dish as a size template. IMG_0328

8. Spread your softened butter over dough using knife/spreader/spatula. Drizzle the cinnamon filling over the dough and spread to outer edges. (If adding pecans, now is the time to put them in) Roll lengthwise into tube. Like so:

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9. Cut into eight equal size pieces. Try measuring first. Score dough to approximate the slices prior to cutting. Place rolls into baking dish, spiraled side up. Top with pecans.

10. Place in warm and dry spot, cover with damp kitchen (or paper) towel. Let rolls rise for another half hour.

11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, place rolls in oven 22-28 minutes. Bake until lightly browned and doughy in the center.

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12. Remove cinnamon roll and spread frosting over top and sides. If cold, you can microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt frosting, if that’s how you like it.

13. Enjoy! I did.

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I’ll say this about the cinnamon rolls, they were tasty. They weren’t Cinnabon quality, but they were good. I think I’ve made better, but I’ll say this about the frosting: delicious. Previously, I’ve used the stuff in a can, but this I would definitely use going forward. The pecans were great, but buttered and toasted they would be so much better.

The only complaint I heard was about the density of the bread. It was pretty thick, not light and fluffy like the real Cinnabon. Either way, I think (and my daughter agrees) that they were pretty tasty. One last pseudo-complaint would be the artificial flavoring from the light/fat-free ingredients. If you’re one of those people who has the palate sensitive enough to taste them you may find them inside this recipe, so it’s give and take. Do you want the full flavor, calories and all or would you prefer to spare your waistline, but sacrifice a little flavor in the process? That’s the choice you need to make, but either way, make yourself some cinnamon rolls in the process, they’re delicious.

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White Chocolate and Green Tea Cake

I’ve been eyeing a couple of chocolate and green tea cakes for a while waiting for the perfect time to bake one up. I thought today would be that day, but I then came up with the ‘novel’ idea of making a white chocolate and green tea cake. When I popped that into a search engine I came up with quite a few hits, so I’m not as innovative as I thought, but I still had a little bit of trouble finding exactly what I wanted to do, so after a lot of searching I went in between two very nice recipes to make a great cake.

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My intentions were to make this a marble cake, but after making my batter I quickly realized I didn’t do it right, but I did what I could and it’s delicious either, so whatever. Here are the two recipes that I used for inspiration, one actually is a white chocolate and green tea cake with proper measurements using weight, which I could not follow for two reasons: 1. I don’t have a scale, so that’s probably an automatic disqualification. 2. It’s baked as a loaf style cake and I wanted a bundt, which needed to be bigger. That recipe is here on: LaTartineGourmand

The second recipe is of a simple white chocolate bundt cake found on Jenny’s Cookbook. Essentially what I did was make the white chocolate cake and then at the end work in the final couple of steps from the white chocolate green tea cake.

By the way, here’s the green tea powder I used, I got it from an Asian store in the Bay Area, it’s quite expensive otherwise. They’re in individual packets listed at a weight of 2 grams each, which I believe is roughly half a teaspoon.IMG_0317

So, here’s how it went down.

White Chocolate Green Tea Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup of flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of hot milk
  • 4 ounces white chocolate chopped or white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 4 grams green tea powder, two packs of powder in my case (About one teaspoon, I should’ve checked this in a measuring spoon, I will and get back to edit this)
  • Extra white chocolate for topping if desired

1. Grease and flour bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place white chocolate in a small bowl. Pour hot milk over until chocolate is melted and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside for cooling.

3. Cream butter and sugar. Like so:

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4. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix. Add vanilla and melted white chocolate.

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5. Add flour and yogurt, alternating, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined.

6. In clean mixing bowl whip two remaining egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Fold into white chocolate batter 1/3 of mixture at a time. Note: This will require a second mixing bowl.

7. Pour 2/3 of your batter into bundt pan.

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8. Take green tea powder and mix into remaining batter. Pour remainder over first batter. Snake a knife through for a marble look or give it a little more stirring to mix it up some.

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9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Until knife or cake tester comes out clean.

10. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Use knife to loosen edges prior to flipping over to cool completely.

11. Melt more white chocolate over the top and enjoy. Mine is rather messy, I tried to spread it on and made it look ugly, I needed more chocolate and for it to be more viscous. Or is that less viscous? I don’t know, it needed to be a smidge thinner to pour over the cake easily. You could also use powdered sugar, I suppose.

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Cut yourself a slice of that cake and once you get a taste you will find yourself in a state of nirvana. The white chocolate and green tea flavors go so well together you’ll wonder why you’d probably never seen them together before. Wonder no more. Plus, it looks so cool with, in my case a thin white chocolate layer with a nice green center. Yum.

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I hope you enjoy this one, make it look prettier than mine, but share it. Steal it and share it. This is a cake that I will definitely be making again, I love the green tea flavoring and in this cake it’s perfect. I hope you feel the same way.

Thanks for reading and come back for more another day. Get the updates via email or bookmark the page and come back. I try to update weekly if not more frequently. Until next time.

Last Week in Pictures

I’ve got a cake recipe coming up, but first I just wanted to post a few pictures from stuff that went on last week. Beginning with mini-meatloafs that I made for dinner one night. Recipe taken from here, but I used half ground beef and ground turkey amongst other alterations.

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My brother got married over the weekend, this was his pseudo cake. The rest was cupcakes, which I’m told were delicious, I didn’t try them because I had… (see next picture)

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Banana cream pie! Someone had a birthday. It was either a 35th or a 53rd. I’m not sure. The pie was delicious.

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Then we celebrated some guys birthday at my house with ice cream cake!

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And that was the week that was.