Tag Archives: vanilla

The Most Fantastically Ginormous Cinnamon Roll Ever

23 Jul

Are you the type that likes to make things more complicated than they need to be?

I sure am.  And proud of it.

So, while pondering what to bake my dear grandmother for her 83rd birthday, regular ol’ cinnamon rolls just simply wouldn’t cut it.  No, sir.  I had to opt for the more intricate and impressive version that hails from Azerbaijan (no, I did not make that up; that’s a real country) in the Middle East: Noon Rogani.

But I couldn’t stop there.  Its giant cinnamon roll resemblance had me itching for a glaze.  And I couldn’t resist scratching that itch, so glaze it I did.  Vanilla glaze, to be exact. 

And it officially blows Cinnabon out of the water.

Noon Rogani (AKA “The Cinnamon Roll Mothership”)

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Filling/Topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine dry active yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl.  Let sit for 8-10 minutes (it should have bubbles in it).
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and oil.  Add yeast mixture once its ready.
  3. Use mixer to combine ingredients.  It may be a little dry; add a little water as needed.
  4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface.  Knead well for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Let rise until puffy, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. While it’s rising, combine cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Gently deflate and shape dough into a square pillow.  Roll the dough into a large rectangle of 1/8-inch thickness, with the longest side being about 2 feet long.
  7. Using a frosting knife, spread softened butter evenly across dough rectangle, leaving about an inch of one of the longer sides unbuttered.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly across buttered dough.
  8. Starting at longer buttered side, begin to roll up dough as you would a jelly roll.  Pinch seam well.
  9. Roll rope until it’s about 5 feet long (mine reached 3.75 feet).  Be sure to press along length of the dough to remove any air pockets that may form.  It is normal for a few small tears to develop in the outer layer of the dough.
  10. Loosely twist entire strand of dough as if you were wringing a towel.
  11. On a greased baking sheet or circular baking pan, coil rope into round spiral.  Don’t wrap too tightly, as there needs to be some room for it to rise and expand.  Tuck the end of rope under.
  12. With a frosting knife, spread remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter evenly onto coiled circle of dough.
  13. Set aside, covered, to rise until puffy for about 40-45 minutes.  When only 5 minutes are left, begin to preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  14. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until deeply golden brown.  Cool completely on a rack before glazing.
  15. Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into a Ziploc bag and cut a small piece from one corner.  Drizzle over bread. 

Belgian Brilliance!

15 Jul

From the moment of their christening, foods carry with them the trademarks of their origins.  Just like parents name their children after older relatives, or tack on “Junior” to the father’s name, cooking perpetuates heritage by recreating the very food of our ancestors.  It is one of the oldest traditions we have. 

Like any tradition, some recipes are better than others, just as Halloween is arguably better than President’s Day.  In the world of food, Belgian waffles are Halloween.  They’re simply better!

It is for this reason I dedicate this post to genius Belgians everywhere.  Because really, what would life be like today without Belgian waffles?  No place I’d want to live, that’s for sure. 

(And I honestly can’t fathom how I’ve survived thus far without owning a Belgian waffle maker.  Courtesy of Target, however, I now have one.  I ripped the packaging off that sucker as soon as I got home and couldn’t whip up a waffle quickly enough!)

Spiced Vanilla Buttermilk Belgian Waffle for One

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Stevia (or sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sacco cultured buttermilk blend (or 1/4 cup buttermilk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon water (reduce to just 1 Tablespoon if using regular buttermilk)
  • 2 Tablespoons Egg Beaters
  • 1 Tablespoon all natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cooking spray 
  1. Preheat 1.5″ thick Belgian waffle maker (I used this one; also shown on right sidebar).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl.  Add wet ingredients and vigorously whisk just until moistened.  Be careful to not overmix.
  3. Grease waffle maker with cooking spray. 
  4. Pour batter into waffle maker.  Smooth batter to all edges, close the top, and flip iron 180 degrees.
  5. Wait at least 2 minutes to reopen waffle maker.  Cook however long it takes to reach desired crispness.

These waffles are oh-so-fluffy with just the right amounts of vanilla and spice.  I must warn you, though: They’re quite addictive.