Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Of Pee and Basement Raining

Do you have a to do list?  One that is a general working list of things you need to do, but flexible so if you can't get it all done, that's no biggie.  I had a list like that a few Saturdays ago.  On it, to make Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls for my sister-in-law's birthday brunch.  Also on it, a lot of other things.  Well, enter in Child #1 and the possibility she was sick.  I say possibility because it seemed like maybe she was?  Maybe she wasn't, UTI's aren't always something easy to figure out.  So, called the doc Saturday morning, they needed to see her.  Off we go to the doctor.  Did we bring a sample of pee.  Well no, had someone told us that on the phone - we would have.  Alas, we did not.  So we sit in tears in the public restroom at the doctors office a while, then go to Grandma's house for snacks and a drink - phew... success, drop it back off and then back home, hours after we had hope to be home.  Meanwhile Andy was having his own crazy morning - bringing the boy for a blood test and a haircut... probably just as tough to get blood out of a 7 month old as it is to get pee out of a 3 year old... just sayin'.  We met up at home - grabbed some Mc-A-Donalds for lunch, then tried to regroup.  We had a picnic and a birthday party to get to.  I quickly read online that the first rise of dough could happen in the fridge, so as fast as I could I threw the dough together and tossed it in the fridge.  As we packed up for the picnic, I grabbed a bottle of bubbles, as I was outside filling it up, I heard running water through the bathroom window.  Never have I run so fast.  You see, 3 year olds have an amazing ability to use an entire roll of toilet paper in just one day.  Our 1950's toilet does not take kindly to this.  Running to plunge, running to get towels from the basement and put a bucket under the water pouring from the basement ceiling, back up to soak up as much as I can with the towels.  Andy walked into the house from outside in the middle of this nightmare.  So he ran as well.  At this point it was comical.  How many more things could happen today that weren't on that dang to do list?
We made sure things weren't dripping anymore and we went to the picnic, had a lovely time, then to the birthday party.  Another nice time.  Back home, kids in bed, now, to see how my dough was rising.  Of course - just to make the day complete - it hadn't.  It was a sticky sloppy mess in the fridge.  Seemed fitting.  What to do?  What to do?  We could scratch it and just get something at the grocery store.  I could make something else.  I could just roll these silly things out and hope.  That's what I did.  I added a little flour and rolled out the rolls.  Sautéed some apples with brown sugar and butter, added them to the filling and tossed the rolls in the pan.  They were a pathetic looking mess.  By this point I was not willing to just stick them back in the fridge and hope the rising process would happen, instead, I tossed them in the oven to rise over night.  I do this with Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls, why not my own?  Into the oven they went with a prayer and a hope.
The next morning I heard Bronwyn wake up just before 7 and I sat straight up - the cinnamon rolls.  Raced down the stairs and found the most beautifully risen rolls.  They were perfect.  Baked them and added the icing - so pretty.  They tasted even better.  While I wouldn't advise our insane day as the best method of cinnamon roll making, I would say this is a very interesting idea as far as baking with yeast for me.  Making the dough, refrigerating it immediately, rolling it out before bed and letting the rise happen overnight.  I may just have to try it again to see if it was just a fluke or the real deal.
Now Bronwyn did not have a UTI and now we have plans to gut the bathroom this winter, so some good happened that day, but by far the best thing - were those cinnamon rolls.
You can tell how unconfident I was about this recipe… I only took photos with my phone for the laugh factor.

Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls


For the Dough:
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup apple cider (heated to about 110-120°F, about 30-45 seconds in the microwave)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 - 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the Filling:
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup (about 1 medium) peeled, cored, and diced apple (your favorite kind) sautéed with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

For the Frosting
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons apple cider

Make the Dough:
1.Place apple cider in a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat for about seconds in the microwave, until it’s about 110-120°F. (The time you heat it will need to be adjusted depending on your microwave. You can use a candy or a meat thermometer to test the temperature. Also, think very hot bathwater.) Add yeast and stir. Let it sit for a few minutes.
2.Place sugar, butter, salt, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until the butter is distributed throughout the liquids, although it may be chunky. Pour in the cider/yeast mixture and stir for a few seconds.
3.Add 3 cups of flour and stir with the paddle attachment just until the mixture starts to stick to the paddle. Then replace the paddle with the dough hook. Continue mixing on low speed until the dough forms a ball in the center of the bowl. If dough is still very sticky, you can add an additional 1/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
4.Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball in it. Spray the top of the dough ball with cooking spray (lightly) and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 1-3 hours until it doubles in size. Note on rising: if your house is warm, it should rise no problem. If it’s cold in your house, it may take longer for the dough to rise.

Prepare your Rolls:
1.Stir together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour until it forms a paste.
2.Once the dough is risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, about 10” by 14”. Spread the filling as evenly as possible over the rectangle, making sure to reach to the sides so the outer rolls have enough filling. Sprinkle with the chopped apple and nuts (if using).
3.Roll the dough up tightly from the long end. Decide how many rolls you want. You can make 8 big rolls, 9 medium, or 12 small. (8 rolls: 8x12” pan, 9 rolls: 9” pan or 9 1/2” round pie plate, 12 rolls: 9x13” pan.) Place the rolls into a pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
4.Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
5.When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them warm up to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 23-28 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Make the frosting:
1.Whisk the melted butter and softened cream cheese until mostly smooth. If your cream cheese is too stiff, you can use a hand mixer. Whisk/beat in powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons apple cider. Add more cider as you want for consistency. Pour over warm rolls and serve.

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