Welcome to the January 20th Foodie Friday. I'm so glad you're
here, because I have a special treat, a guest post by author Shirley Hailstock. Shirley and I have been friends for over 30 years, long before we were published authors, and when we aren't discussing the writing business, we're talking about food.
The other day, Shirley made Cinnabons in her bread machine. We were talking on the phone, and I could almost smell the cinnamon. I immediately invited her to write a guest post for Foodie Friday, then I made a batch of Cinnabons for Bandwidth (Dr. G and I are still dieting. We sent one batch of rolls to his office).
Please give Shirley a warm welcome!
Stopping by the Kitchen on a Snowy Evening
A Guest Post by Bestselling Author Shirley Hailstock
Picture this – a roaring fire in the hearth, one that glows and turns the room into a place as cozy as a your favorite sweatshirt. You know, the one you’ve had since college that’s worn at the elbows and nowhere near the color it was when it was new. Big fluffy flakes of snow falling like feathers from the sky and coating the ground and windowsills until the world is marshmallow white. Warm cinnamony smells emanating from a country kitchen and wafting throughout the house making it an edible wonderland.
These are some of my favorite things. I grew up in snow country – the wilds of Buffalo, New York. We know snow. But in conjunction with that, we learned things to do when the weather keeps you indoors. Most of them are fat free, but there is one that is delicious enough for you to brave the treadmill for an extra mile in order to eat it.
For me the scenario of snow, fireplace and kitchen goodies is one of my favorites. It means contrasting the outside by baking something sweet, gooey, and loaded with mouth-watering calories. I tend to gravitate toward cinnamon rolls. I love baking cakes, muffins, cookies and bread, but cinnamon rolls are my snowy day indulgence. Inhaling that sweet air as the cinnamon and sugar melt and bubble up and the dough changes to bread is an experience eclipsed only by curling up in front of the fire with the picture window in full view, my fingers wrapped around a hot cup of coffee and biting into an icing-laden cinnamon roll.
We had just such a day recently. It snowed.
I made the dough in the bread machine. This was my first time using it for this purpose and it proved a God-send. The dough was perfect, elastic but not sticky, exactly the way you want it when you knead and knead and knead. This time without the effort. The machine even handled the first rise. And the elasticity made it easier to roll/create the required rectangle before adding the sugar-cinnamon mixture. I often have problem forming dough into a rectangle when it wants to be a circle.
Apparently, this was the kind of day when the universe was aligned and everything was working in my favor. The bonus was a mouth-watering dessert that proved a crowd-pleaser with every member of my family. There are times when snow is a good thing.
I live in New Jersey now. We get snow a few times in the winter. It’s usually heavy and will close businesses for a day. At my office once we talked about the foods we love to cook and eat on snow days. For me it was the cinnamon rolls. What is your snowy day favorite?
If cinnamon rolls are as mouth-watering for you as they are for me, I’ve included the recipe below. Bon-appetite.
Cinnabons (Bread Machine)
Ingredients - Dough
1 package yeast
1 cup warm milk
3 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
5 cups flour
Place above ingredients in bread machine in the order presented. Consult manufacturers directions to make dough. Allow it to run through the first rise. Remove from machine and place on a lightly floured surface while you make the sugar mixture below.
Ingredients - Sugar Mixture
1 cup brown sugar - packed
3 tablespoons cinnamon
½ cup butter or margarine (softened)
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until they are smooth and even. Mixture will be crumbly (no clumps). Roll out the dough, creating a 16x20 rectangle. Spread the butter or margarine over the dough. Top it with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Beginning at the short end (width), roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Cut into 12 rolls and place in a slightly greased 9x13 pan. Let rise until doubled. Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees. Bake rolls 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and sugar mixture is bubbly.
Ingredients - Icing
4oz cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup butter
1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor (I use pure vanilla not the extract)
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, place the above ingredients. Using a hand mixer, beat until they are smooth and have the consistency of eggnog or chocolate milk (store bought milk). It’s a little thick.When the rolls have cooled enough to touch, but are still warm, pour the icing over them and spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be even. The thickness is based on your taste for icing.
Serve warm. Coffee, tea or milk is optional.
Shirley Hailstock is the author of 26 novels, none of them about cooking and only one of that includes a recipe. She loves cooking for large crowds, generally for holidays. However, she goes on jags and cooks something special every now and then. This time it was cinnamon rolls, yet there's a story in her muffins and muffin tops that's the subject of another blog. Her most recent novel is Some Like Them Rich.
Thank you so much for stopping by Foodie Friday today. I'm trying to talk Shirley into blogging about her adventures in the kitchen; if you'd like to help me convince her, please leave Shirley a message!
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Happy Recipe Hunting!