Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, so these posts are a little backdated. But, I’ve told you all this before, I usually make a bunch of recipes, then schedule them all. So these cinnamon rolls I actually made at Easter. How fitting, right?Oh my gosh, they were delicious!! A beautiful combination of carrot cake and cinnamon roll… tons of cream cheese icing. The best of both worlds.I thought these cinnamon rolls would be a little finicky, but honestly, they turned out so well and I was so happy with them. I got rave reviews from everyone who got one. I found the original recipe here, and wow am I glad I made them. I also made a double batch and came out with 2 dozen rolls. There were plenty to go around!Seriously. If you are a fan of carrot cake or cinnamon rolls, go make these, and you won’t be sorry! I also apologize, because I got no good pictures of these rolls. Just trust me though, they were delicious!

Ingredients

Yield: About 8-12 rolls, depending on cut size

For the dough:

¾ c. milk
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
¼ tsp. sugar
4-4¼ c. flour
6 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla
¼ c. butter, melted
¾ c. carrots, finely shredded

For the filling:

3 tbsp. butter, melted
¾ c. brown sugar
1½ tsp. cinnamon

For the icing:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (½ of a regular brick)
¼ c. butter, softened
2 c. icing sugar

½ tsp. vanilla
3-4 tbsp. milk

To make the dough, in a small pot or heat-proof measuring cup, heat milk to 115°F. Add in the yeast and sugar. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.Add vanilla to the melted butter.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 4 cups of flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. With the mixer on low speed, slowly stream in the yeast mixture. After yeast mixture is incorporated, add in butter mixture.Add in one egg at a time, mixing after each addition, then add in the carrots. Slowly increase speed, until dough comes together. If the dough is a bit sticky, add in the additional flour.Transfer dough to large greased bowl, then cover and let rise in a warm space about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.While the dough rises, lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling in a small bowl.When dough is risen, turn out dough onto a well-floured counter or onto a silicone mat. Roll out into a large rectangle, about 12 x 20 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the dough evenly.Roll the dough into a log (I started at one of the long engs) and pinch the ends to seal. Using a knife (or unflavoured floss! – cuts super cleanly!) cut the dough into 8-12 rolls, depending on how big you want them. Just remember – they still have to rise, so keep this in mind.Space evenly in the prepared pan. Cover, and let rise for an hour in a warm place, until doubled in size.Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover rolls and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches at least 200°F. Remove from oven and allow rolls to cool 20-30 minutes before adding icing.To make the icing, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and icing sugar. Beat on low speed to incorporate. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Easy Artisan Rolls

Okay, it’s been a busy few weeks. Not going to lie, most of these posts that have been released at the end of August or at the beginning of September were made in the middle of summer, at the end of July.

I was able to catch up with my baking and do a lot of it over the summer, most often in the mornings when it wasn’t ripping hot the whole day. I wrote up the posts, took pictures, and then scheduled them for later.

It’s something I have to do because when I get busy, life is BUSY. By the time this recipe will have went public, I’ll be back in school, when in reality I typed it when I was still relaxing at the beginning of August.

Either way, to the rolls. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the recipe. Crusty outside, soft inside, really good basic bread rolls that have only FOUR ingredients, and take maybe 20 minutes hands on all together? Yes, please!

I found the original recipe here, and was extremely pleased by the results. Next time I need rolls for a gathering, I’m going to whip these up! It really couldn’t be any easier. Mix the four ingredients in a bowl, cover it up, go to sleep, then shape and bake in the morning. Seriously. These rolls are that easy. (Also, the author has some great tips on making these rolls ahead, if you need them!)

Next time I make them, I’m going to experiment with some flavour add-ins, like rosemary, sea salt, or maybe even cheese or garlic. The options are endless!

Ingredients

Yield: 12-16 rolls, depending on size

4 c. flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 c. room temperature tap water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Make a well in the center, and add in the water, incorporating everything together until a wet and sticky dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave out at room temperature overnight, or 8-12 hours.

After the first rise, preheat oven for 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour, then turn out the dough onto the flour. Cut into equal pieces, about 12-16 (depending on how big you want your rolls), and shape into balls, making sure rolls are coated in the flour, and pinching the edges together to seal.

If you want smooth looking rolls, place seam side down on the prepared baking sheets. If you want a more rustic texture, place rolls seam side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-40 minutes, until almost doubled.

Transfer pans to the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate pan(s) and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until rolls are an even golden brown. Transfer rolls to a wire rack to cool completely.

Rhubarb Sweet Rolls

If you remember from my last rhubarb posts, I have a lot of it. My wonderful parents have a garden, and in the summertime they are overflowing with produce of all kinds: tomatoes, beans, peppers, lettuce, carrots, and especially rhubarb. They usually have so much rhubarb and it grows so fast that they can’t physically keep or use it all.Last summer, my parents gave me 8 freezer bags full of rhubarb, and I’ve been looking for ways to use it up, especially because my dad told me they have a ton more for me to take. Ah! Pretty soon, it will overrun my freezer.Well, I woke up yesterday, and it was cold and rainy – a perfect baking day! I scoured Pinterest, and soon came upon these rolls, and decided the time was ripe (hah!) for another rhubarb recipe. If you are anything like my parents, and you have an abundance of rhubarb and not many ideas (I can’t make pie, as Paul is allergic to strawberries), I’m here to help! These are sweet and a little tart, but they are basically cinnamon rolls, but instead of a cinnamon filling, a quick rhubarb “jam” situation. You can have them for breakfast, or dessert and (if you’re daring!), put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warmed roll.

Ingredients

Yield: 12 rolls

For the dough:

¾ c. milk
4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, cubed
2¼ tsp. (or 1 packet) instant or active dry yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
¾ tsp. salt
3¼ c. flour

For the filling:

4 c. sliced rhubarb, divided (the recipe says 3 cups, but I’ll explain)
½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch

For the glaze:

Leftover filling
1-2 c. icing sugar (as needed)
1 tbsp. lemon juice (if needed)

To make the dough, in a large glass measuring cup, warm the milk and butter together in a microwave until the mixture reaches between 100-110°F. Be careful! Don’t go over. Too hot, and you run the risk of killing your yeast. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Wait 5 minutes for the mixture to start to bubble and foam. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead and you need to start again with new, fresh yeast.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the beaten egg, the milk mixture, the flour, and the salt. Beat with the dough hook, on low at first, then on medium for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together and becomes smooth and elastic.Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Oil the mixer bowl, then place the dough into the bowl, rolling to cover with oil. Plastic wrap the bowl, and set in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Make the filling while the dough rises.For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups of the sliced rhubarb (reserving 1 cup for the filling when it’s done – I’m a fan of rhubarb chunks, not just puree), the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until rhubarb breaks down and the mixture turns thick, into a jam-like consistency. Set aside filling to cool while the dough finishes its rise.To assemble the rolls, spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Lightly flour your work surface, and turn out the risen dough, gently rolling into a large rectangle, approximately 18×12.Spread 1-1½ cups of the filling over the dough, leaving about 1 inch of room around the edges of the dough. Sprinkle the reserved rhubarb chunks over the filling. Now it gets messy – beware! Roll the dough log in, starting from the top long edge. Some of the filling might leak out, but that’s okay. Get the roll as tight as you can, and make sure the seam side is down to try and seal it as much as possible.With a sharp serrated knife (or unflavoured waxed dental floss – that’s what I use!) cut the log into 12 even pieces. I use dental floss for all of my cinnamon roll cutting – it’s a trick I learned years ago. Just wrap the floss around the roll, and pull. It will cut everything for you! Easy-peasy.Place the cut rolls into the prepared pan, with a little bit of space between them, not squished tight. They need room to rise again. If you had a bunch of filling come out of the rolls, you can drizzle some extra filling over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for the second rise, about 30-45 minutes, until the rolls fill the pan and are touching.Preheat oven to 350°. Make a simple egg wash (if desired), and brush rolls to help browning. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.While the rolls bake, make the glaze. My glaze is different from the original (I didn’t want any leftover puree). In a medium bowl, combine the leftover rhubarb filling with 1-2 cups of icing sugar, as needed. There is enough moisture in the filling that you shouldn’t need any lemon juice, but if you like a runnier glaze, then use more liquid. Drizzle or pour glaze over the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.Cool in the pan, and serve warm.

Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Red Lobster. It’s a popular seafood restaurant that is known for events like Lobster Fest, Shrimp Fest, and of course, the biscuits.

I’m not the biggest seafood fan, so I’ve only been to Red Lobster a handful of times, and usually for people I love that are celebrating, like my mom, or for Paul’s birthday. Every time I go, I usually order something salmon. It’s safe, and it’s not shellfish. (I just have an aversion to shellfish. Too fishy. Don’t judge. I know it’s an odd trait.)

The one thing I do love from Red Lobster is those freakin’ amazing Cheddar Bay biscuits. The fact that they never stop coming to the table is heaven for a carb-fiend like me. You can’t have Red Lobster without the biscuits, am I right?

Either way, I always see the Cheddar Bay biscuits box mix in Costco, and I’m always tempted to buy it. (Still haven’t though. Willpower.) I also have a hard time buying mixed for things that I know I can recreate with a little bit of Googling and a trip to my pantry.

So, I was in the mood for something a little savoury, and a little salty, but not too difficult or time-consuming. Cue these biscuits! I had pinned this recipe on Pinterest ages ago, but hadn’t actually got around to making them yet. So glad I did!

It’s been long enough that I can’t really remember the exact taste of Red Lobster biscuits (just the memory of the taste… garlicky, salty, cheese, buttery goodness), so these were perfect. Crisp on the outside, tender and soft on the inside, and of course, garlicky, salty, cheesy, and buttery. Copycat win! I got the recipe here, and holy were they ever easy to make! It took me less than an hour from start to finish (finish as in cramming these beauties into my mouth). The only thing I “changed” in the recipe is that I added a pinch (or less) of the Italian seasoning into the biscuit, and I also sprinkled a teensy bit of kosher salt onto the tops of the biscuits to really make the flavours pop. I’ve reflected these minuscule changes below.

Go make these! You will not be disappointed!

Ingredients

Yield: 8-12 biscuits, depending on size preference

For the biscuit:

1¾ c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of Italian seasoning
5 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

For the garnish:

2 tbsp. butter, melted
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. (or 1 clove) minced garlic
Kosher or sea salt, for finishing

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cut in the butter, either by mixing everything in a food processor, or with a pastry blender. The mixture should be pea-sized chunks.

Add in the milk and cheese, and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky.

With a large spoon, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. If you want larger biscuits, like I did, make 8 fairly large dough balls. The original recipe makes 12 smaller biscuits.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits turn golden brown. (Mine took about 18-20 minutes.)

While the biscuits are baking, combine the topping ingredients by whisking together the melted butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.

Remove from the oven, and brush with the butter topping. Lightly sprinkle the buttered biscuits with salt, and cool slightly before serving.

These biscuits are best when warm.

White Dinner Rolls

I’m a sucker for bread. We know this. So, I came across these dinner rolls and something inside me yelled “WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW!”. I’m not one to argue when it comes to bread and baked goods, so I made them.

Let’s just say I am SO GLAD I did. The recipe makes a lot (as in two dozen rolls), but that’s okay. No one ever really turned their nose up at homemade buns…. did they? At least, Paul never has. These were pretty easy to make, and the appealing thing was that they use shortening. I’ve never used shortening in rolls or breads before (that I can recall, that is…), and I was excited because I forgot to take my butter out of the freezer to that last night.

Like I said, super quick to make, and they weren’t that difficult. The rise time is relatively short for bread dough, which also made me happy. I got the recipe from here, and this is a winner in my books.

Speaking of, I am feeling a little peckish as I write this. I think I’ll wrap up, and go get a mid-afternoon roll with butter. My kind of snack!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen rolls

½ c. water
2 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
¼ c. shortening or butter
1 egg
4-5 c. flour
¼ c. melted butter, for brushing

In a small bowl or coffee mug, microwave the water for 20-30 seconds, until lukewarm, but not hot.

Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar and stir. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t overflow! (As in, if your yeast is still alive, it will foam and rise very fast! If it doesn’t foam, the water was too hot and killed the yeast. Try again.)

In a glass measuring cup, microwave 2 cups milk for 1-2 minutes until it is warm but not hot.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the second measurement of sugar, salt, and shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon, or use your dough hook. Add the warm milk, yeast mixture, and 1 egg. Mix well and let rest 5 minutes.

Add 2-3 (or up to 3 ½) cups flour, one cup at a time, mixing in between. Once all the flour has been incorporated, knead for 5-6 minutes, using your hands or the dough hook. (I ended up adding the extra 3½ cups of flour.)

Grease a large bowl well with oil or butter. Scrape all the dough into the bowl, shape it together, then turn it over so that the top is greased. Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (pinch one end with your fingers).

Place the rolls in 2 well-greased pans. I used two 9×13 pans.

Cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. When they are almost done rising, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown all across the top.

Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.