Terms, Contact Info, Recipe Index, and link love


Brown Butter Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

  Can we stop the world for a minute?  Let's stop the commuting, milk steaming, 5:00 AM-ing, money saving, and school prepping for just a bit.  Because I need to talk to you about something very very important.

  These cinnamon rolls.  The best.  The best best best best best.

  We're turning this No Knead Brioche Dough from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day into the most delectable, moist, heavenly rolls you can imagine.  Major major kudos to Sarah from Sugar Hit for putting together this ingenious combination.  I died a few times.

  Not to say that this process was totally easy...I had a few screw ups in which I made double the amount of dough and had some mammoth cinnamon rolls on my hands.  I was practically chucking them at the neighbors in an effort to get them away from my hungry self.  So naturally I ran the recipe through once more, and it was muuuuch smoother the next time round.  This is a fantastic dough that you mix together the night before (no kneading though!) and then let it rise in the fridge overnight.  By the next morning it's chilled, it's risen, and it's ready to get saturated with brown butter and sugar and cinnamon.

  After another rise and a bit of time in the oven, we're ready to glaze.

  But this is no ordinary glaze.  This glaze embraces its off-white ivory self, because it's got nutty, deep, beautiful browned butter in it.  It is all the things.

  The end result is superb.  While the recipe does take a little bit of time what with rising and all, it's seriously overall the least labor intensive yeasted cinnamon roll I've ever encountered.  The brioche does tons for the texture, all it needs is a nice warm beginning and then a long, chilly rise.

  There is one more feature about these rolls that is key.  The bottoms.  While the filling does also stay nestled within the rings of the roll, it oozes out just a bit during baking and literally sugar coats the bottom of the roll.  The end result is just a bit of caramelized crunch.

  It's gotta be one of its best features, and I had several people comment on it.

  I could recommend these for Easter Brunch, most certainly, but honestly they're good anytime of the year.

  Add a little spice and brioche to your life, please.  You need these weekend treats.

Brown Butter Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 12 rolls

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 4 eggs (preferably at room temp, but if not it's cool)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Ingredients for the filling:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Ingredients for the glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Milk or half-and-half

Prepare the dough by whisking together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter in a medium bowl.  Add the flour a little at a time and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or an accompanying lid and place in the fridge to rise overnight (at least 8 hours).  The dough should, ideally, double in size.  If not, your beginning yeast mixture was likely too cold or too hot.  Yeast can be picky like that.

The next morning, prepare the filling before rolling out the dough.  Place 5 tablespoons of butter into a small pan over medium heat.  Melt it down and then continue to cook it, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns brown, foams a bit, and smells nice and nutty.  Place in a heatproof bowl right away.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Take the dough from the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Start rolling it into a rectangle that's just under 1/2 inch thick.  Roughly about 12x15 inches.  Using a pastry brush, brush the brown butter all over your dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top, leaving about a small border along both of the shorter sides and along one long end.  Starting at the long end without a border, roll the dough tightly into a log, pinching the dough together to seal.  With the log seam side down, proceed to use a knife or unflavored dental floss to cut both tail ends of your log off to even it out a bit.  Make some light indentations on the top of your log to score it into 12 pieces so you know exactly where to cut.  Starting at one end of the log, follow the marks you made and slice your log into 12 rolls.

Divide your rolls amongst your 2 prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for them to rise a little bit and to poof up in the oven.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free area to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, until they are puffier than when you started but not completely doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Set aside to cool completely.

To make the glaze, brown the 3 tablespoons of butter as per the instructions stated above for the filling.  Place in a bowl and add the one cup of powdered sugar.  Whisk together until smooth, adding small splashes of milk as needed until you reach the desired consistency.  Immediately drizzle on the rolls, allow to set for a bit, and then serve.

Sources: adapted from Sugar Hit and Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day


Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes with Apple Topping

  Whoever you are, I want the pizza you're consuming or thinking about getting.  I want the scones you're baking, the bacon you're frying, the cheese you just bought, the gummy bears you got as your after-work treat.

  In other words, I'm on a diet.  I, Ellen, curator of the sugariest of blogs, am on a freakin diet.

  No, I'm not concerned about thunder thighs, love handles, or any of that stuff.  I'm on the Elimination Diet, a 3-week digestive cleanse in which you cut out all the good things ever and start incorporating them back in very slowly to see how they affect you.  Just...google it.  Everyone does it a little differently.

  In my case, there's a very large lack of certain grains, citrus, tomatoes, gluten, dairy, sugar, red meat, and beans and stuff.  First couple of weeks weren't so bad...but somehow, somehow this last stretch is seeming so long.  I'm working with baked goods on a daily basis at my job (!!! yay employment) and making delicious wraps and sandwiches.  I think it's actually killing my soul a little bit.

  Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all that bad.  But it just hasn't really improved my overall well being either.  I don't feel cleansed.  I feel out of whack and perpetually a little bit cranky.

  So to all of you who are gluten and dairy free not by choice but by the chemistry of your body, I salute you.  It's a tough, expensive lifestyle in this modern America that we live in.

 Also, how does everything have added sugar?  I'm looking at you, organics section.  Preservative free you may be but dang son, where yo natural sweeteners at.

  So while this has been illuminating, by this time next week I plan on eating all the things.  And being very thankful that my body is generally okay with them.  Everything in moderation, that's what I'm learnin.

  I tried to put on my cape last week and not let this whole diet ruin my baking streak.  So I fixed up this paleo carrot cake loaf thing that looked promising and photographed real pretty-like.  But heyyyy I underbaked it big time.  The middle was completely raw, and even the edible parts were just very..healthy.  You just can't sub out butter and sugar like that and really get away with it.  Gotta keep your expectations low and stick with things that don't require an ungodly amount of substitutions.

  I also spent a good $20 on flour for that danged cake.  I'm pretty sure the good people at Target think I'm a little crazy now.  I literally spent a good hour or two raiding their food aisles after work two weeks in a row looking for something I could get away with eating/working with, coming away each time light or empty-handed and pretty dang crabby.

  But pancakes!  Pancakes I can work a little more with.  They're almost like dessert if you don't really think about it.  I've done a lot of almond flour stuff, but after the carrot cake disaster I wanted to use the coconut flour I was suddenly burdened with.  I learned that coconut flour is lumpy, and will absorb all the moisture in everything ever.  But if you douse a pancake in enough maple syrup and juicy apple topping, you hardly even know these are a somewhat funnily-textured dairy and gluten free health bomb.

  Plus they're just ever so pretty.

  So I'm not going to say these are great and maybe even better than the real deal, because at this point I'm really over all that stuff.  But I will say that they are satisfying, spiced, warm, and really for-real very good for you.  I wanted pancakes and, despite the lack of dairy and gluten, I got them.  I'm pretty proud of that.

  And shoutout to my awesomesauce mom for voluntarily doing this thing with me, she's a trooper <3

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes with Apple Topping
Yield: 6 pancakes

Ingredients for the apple topping:
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • ¼-½ cup water, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Ingredients for the pancakes:
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or any milk you'd like)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil of choice) (if using coconut oil melt to liquid form before using)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (heaping, not level)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, optional

To make the topping, add the chopped apples and about 2 tablespoons of the water to a small pot and heat to medium.  Cover the pot and bring it to a full boil, stirring occasionally.  As the water evaporates, add more, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until apples are softened (yet still slightly al dente).  The time for this varies greatly depending on the type of apple you're using.  A firmer apple could take 30 minutes, while something like Macintosh will get soggy very quickly and turn to applesauce if your'e not watching it.

Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Stir well.  Set aside on low heat until ready to serve. 

To make the pancakes, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla extract and oil.  In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and stir well until all of the clumps are out (coconut flour has a tendency to be chunky, so just keep mixing until a smooth batter forms.)

Heat a skillet or pancake griddle to medium-low heat.  Add enough oil to coat the surface.  Once the skillet is all the way hot, measure out about ¼ cup of the pancake batter and pour it on the skillet.  Allow pancake to cook until sides are firmed up, and middle begins firming up too, about 6 to 8 minutes (no joke!).  Carefully flip the pancake and cook another 2 to 4 minutes, until pancake is cooked all the way through.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve pancakes with apple topping and pure maple syrup.

Sources: adapted from The Roasted Root