Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Spiced Rolls: My First Daring Bakers Challenge

.



I think the sound I made following breadchick's invitation to join the Daring Baker's was something like 'whooo!'.





I'd seen posts for previous challenges on some of my favorite blogs, and couldn't help but think 'this would be perfect for me'. A group of people who love to bake, a monthly challenge, and lots of support and friendship? Yeah, I'm all over that.


This month, the challenge was Cinnamon Rolls & Sticky Buns. Because it's me, I quite naturally wanted to make both, but I knew I'd never find the time. Since Matt's the big roll lover, I let him pick, and cinnamon rolls it was.





I only wish this recipe had been made available to me back when I suffered from Yeastaphobia; this was the most incredible, pliable, come-together-as-it-should dough I've ever encountered in a cinnamon roll. Iloved it.


It was, however, a bit hard on my poor mixer. I love rockin-and-rollin' as much as the next gal, but not from a kitchen appliance!



The color's a bit off, due to high ceilings and insufficient lighting in the room, but just look at that dough? Isn't it pretty? And what really got me was the smell...I could just tell it was going to be good.



I had worried about the dough rising properly; the temperatures here have finally dropped below the nineties, so I had no idea who long it would take.




I needn't have worried. Perfect dough, nice and puffy.




I hate being asked to roll dough, of any kind, into a square or rectangle...straight sides refuse to be seen on camera. Or, any where I may be working with the rolling pin.




Now, for the good stuff: the spiced filling! Having been given the option of playing with the spices, I gave Matt free rein. He came up with a mix, equal parts cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice, plus some sugar.




This was a very sticky dough...




Not my strong suite: slicing rolled food. Ok, I can cut sushi without much damage, but pastries suffer a bit from the effort.



More proof this recipe is amazing: the rolls puffed up perfecly. Then it was time to bake them...




One of 'side effects' of baking? The entire house smells of bread & spice...here are the rolls, just out of the oven.



Recently glazed. You may notice that one roll is missing? That's because Matt couldn't wait any longer to 'test' the finished product.



They were absolutely perfect. Asked to describe them, Matt came up with 'mmmmm....', and 'can't talk; eating'. I think that sums it up.



Alex enjoyed them, as well. Below, photos of a preschooler at breakfast.













Tagged with: + + + + + + Ginger + Allspice + Cinnamon

52 Thoughts for food:

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Ivonne said...

Stephanie,

Congratulations on your first Daring Baker challenge! Your buns look gorgeous!

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Tartelette said...

Congrats on your first fabulously completed challenge! I am thrilled you are a DB too! Your son is just adorable!

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Yum, it looks great! Congratulations on your first challenge - so glad to have you in the group! And I love the photos of Alex!

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Belinda said...

Yay! Another Daring Baker challenge sucessfully met...and we can now say with assurance, that we survived the first challenge! Your rolls look incredibly yummy...and it looks like taste tester Alex agrees! Too cute! :-)

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Sounds like you have a willing crew of taste testers. Welcome to the DB! Nice job on your first challenge.

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger Peabody said...

Great job on your first challenge.
Welcome to the group.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Gabi said...

Love your rolls and the perfectly charming photos of your son too!
So fun to see everyone's creations!
Cheers!

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Quellia said...

Well done Daring Baker!
Great pictures - your son certainly looked like he was enjoying his bun!

 
At 10:37 PM, Anonymous steph (whisk/spoon) said...

yay--first challenge! looking good!

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Brilynn said...

Well done on your first challenge! I agree, the smell is amazing, I think it would make getting out of bed in the morning easier if I woke up to that!

 
At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Marce said...

They look awesome, Stephanie! Congrats on your first DB challenge! And your son looks just adorable while indulging quite happily with those buns. Oh and i´m with you, a chai-style spice mix works wonder with this.

 
At 1:35 AM, Blogger Valli said...

Taste tester Alex seems to love your efforts. Congratulations on joining the talented and aqccomplished Daring Bakers!!! This months challenge looks delicious and like something I could accomplish myself even though I'm baking-challenged.

 
At 3:14 AM, Blogger Pille said...

Congrats, Stephanie! Beautiful buns for your first DB challenge!!

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ummm but the baker is already up. I guess if the baker went back to bed you could pretend you were waking up to the lovely smells of it baking. They did smell lovely.
Stephanie your buns are gorgeous but Alex is the best! Glad you enjoyed it.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger breadchick said...

Steph, GREAT FANTASTIC JOB!!

Your photos are great step by step and the pictures of Matt's stolen buns (maybe your husband, Peabody's husband and Tartlette's husband all shared notes on stealing bun before/during a photo shoot?) not to mention the "Mom, these are the best thing ever" photos at the end are priceless.

So glad you are on board

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger daphne said...

Gosh, those look so yummy. I would love to have one too.

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger marias23 said...

Cinnamon rolls = Happiness!

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Lis said...

HAR!!! Your son's face in those photos is priceless! I love it!

Excellent choice of spices - your hubby knows what he's doing! =)

I'm so happy you've joined up with us. Can't wait to see what you come up with next month!

xoxo

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

A happy pre-schooler is the true test for a good recipe! Great job on your first challenge!

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger thepassionatecook said...

ahhh! isn't he adorable! i can just see him running around the house with max, they seem to be full of beans, both of them, always! max didn't like the idea of my sticky buns, must try the cinnamon buns instead!

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger Aoife said...

Looks like you had a little of the same trouble I did with rolling the dough, but it came out wondefully! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

 
At 1:59 AM, Blogger Dolores said...

I love your photo essay... your pre-risen buns look like roses in bloom, and your final result is exquisite!

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! Your buns look so soft and billowy! I have trouble slicing rolled food, too. It's often a deflating experience, in more ways than one. Nice recovery, though!

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger Baking Soda said...

You just gotta love that last pic! Great job Stephanie, and look how they puffed so nicely, ragged edges and all. Yummy looking buns!

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

Congratulations on your successful challenge, and welcome to the Daring Bakers!! I have a few preschool age taste testers at home, too. :-)

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Ivonne! I'm really happy to be a part of the group.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh, Helene, thank you! And he is a cutie, isn't he? And a total foodie, as well.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Anne!

Matt was particularly thrilled my first challenge was buns/rolls; I know he'd like it if I made them every week!

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Belinda!

Love your icon...a love of horses is probably the 'girliest' thing about me!

I thought the rolls were wonderful, and yes...when your 4 1/2 year old give approval, it's a good day.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Jenny!

I'm very fortunate my son eats pretty much anything you set in front of him. He may not want to eat it, but we've taught him 'you have to try new things', and he does!

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Peabody! I'm really happy to be one of the many!

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks so much, Gabi!

It's a strange world Alex is growing up in, when the food in the house gets it's picture taken more often than he does!

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Quellia; thank you!

I was amazed, actually...on a weekend or summer day, he'll plow through his breakfast, but this was a school morning, and he usually spends thirty minutes not eating or chewing! I guess the rolls were that good...

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Steph!

It is nice to get that first one under the belt, isn't it?

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Brilynn...yes, if someone else was making it, I'd get up for rolls, too!

But not if I were making them just for me...

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Marce, and thanks!

We're fond of Indian spices in our house, so it made sense. And what a result!

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Valli!!

It's nice when you have someone around to test out cooking and baking adventures, absolutely. Between the two of them, I usually get a pretty fair review.

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Pille!! And good to hear from you again.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

MKiHC; yeah, it's more exciting for those who haven't spent hours working on it, isn't it?

Alex? Yeah, he's a sweetie. And a true food-lover. He's fun to have around in the kitchen.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi breadchick, and thank you!

I mean that...thanks for inviting me. I'm proud to be Daring Baker...and my guys are pretty happy about it, too!

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Daphne! This is a perfect breakfast food, although it wouldn't suffer as a dessert, either.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

marias23...absolutely!

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Lis!

Alex was barely awake when I took those pictures, so it's a wonder he managed to eat at all...

Thanks again for having me in the group...I'm already planning for the next one.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Deborah...you aren't kidding! Forget restaurant critics; if you can feed a preschool class without tears or melt-downs, that's a true test of cook!

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Johanna!

Oh, I'm sure they'd have a marvelous time. Does Max like to run and run, occasionally into other kids, until every single one of them falls down? Seems to be the favorite activity of Alex and his classmates.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank, Aoife!

There's always something, isn't there? But my...the end result was worth it.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you Dolores...that's a really sweet way to put it!

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Julie!

I have found that using a ceramic knife helps (in most cases); sushi no longer flattens because of our fancy Ming Tsai knife!

But yeah...not my favorite part.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, baking soda!

I'm lucky...Alex is extremely photogenic!!

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Andrea!

A few??? Girl, when do you sleep?

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Sweeti said...

Dental floss placed under the roll and brought up and crossed and gently pulled in the opposing directions cuts these very nicely. It looks like yours turned out just fine regardless of your cuts.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Sweeti, and for the tip, too!

 

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