Mama’s Cinnamon Rolls

Delicious yeast rolls packed full of cinnamon, sugar and plump raisins!

As a kid, I knew that cinnamon rolls were something that my Mom generally made during the holiday season. Early in the morning, I’d stumble into the kitchen and find her standing there with a piece of dough that covered our entire countertop (it was a pretty big countertop). Once she had it all rolled out, she’d cover it with a light layer of butter, sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar and then precisely scatter the raisins on top. Then seemingly with an effortless ease, she’d roll up the dough and slice it into generous rolls. Then the rolls would have a nice warm rise before they were baked to golden perfection in the oven.

Although my opinion is quite biased, I must say that my mom makes the best cinnamon rolls. This recipe is a close second but let’s face it, nothing is as good as mom’s.

 

 

Here’s the recipe:

Mama’s Cinnamon Rolls

     Recipe by: EE Winkler

For the dough:

  • 3 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBSP sunflower oil or melted butter +1 tsp for greasing the bowl (for the dough to rise)
  • 2 TBSP white sugar
  • 3 – 3.5 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter (softened) + 1 TBSP for greasing the pan

2/3 cup sugar

2 TBSP ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins (rehydrated for 5 minutes in warm water, then drained)

For the topping:

  • 2 TBSP softened butter (to brush the warm rolls)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 TBSP milk

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Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, egg, oil (or melted butter), sugar and stir well. Then gradually add in the flour (NOTE: you may not need all of it, so add it gradually. This is something that can vary). Add enough flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Then turn the dough over onto a floured work space and knead it for about 7-10 minutes.

Then place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place to rise for 60-75 minutes.

Once the dough has risen (it should have doubled in volume), remove it from the bowl and roll it out on a lightly floured countertop.

Roll the dough out until it is about 1/2 inch (approx. 1.5 cm) thick.

Then spread the softened butter evenly over the dough with your clean hands and/or a pastry brush.

Then combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle it evenly on top of the dough.

Scatter the raisins evenly on top of the cinnamon sugar.

Then starting from the longest side of the dough, push the edges up and begin to gently roll the dough, being sure to not have too much slack dough and that the roll is tight and stable.

Once the dough is completely rolled up, cut the dough into slices about half an inch (approx. 1.5 cm) thick.

Grease a deep baking pan with the remaining butter and then place the rolls in the pan so that they are touching, side by side.

Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and place in a warm area to rise for another 60 to 90 minutes.

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The cinnamon rolls before they rise…

Meanwhile, preheat the oven on 175C/350F.

After the cinnamon rolls have risen, they should have doubled in size.

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The cinnamon rolls after the rise

Remove the towel and place the cinnamon rolls in the oven and allow them to bake for about 30-40 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Then take them out of the oven and brush with the 2TBSP of softened butter.

Then to make the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar and milk adding the milk gradually until the glaze it the consistency of a thickened syrup.

Immediately drizzle the glaze on top of the cinnamon rolls.

Serve & Enjoy warm (they’re soooooo good when they’re warm)!

 

Bon Appetit!

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Creamy Rice Pudding

Creamy tender rice, lightly sweetened and warmly spiced with cinnamon, vanilla & nutmeg. 

 

Rice pudding is a favorite dessert of mine because it tastes so decadent but light at the same time. Plus, it’s super simple to make. Basically, if you can measure ingredients (or even eye-ball them) then you can make rice pudding because everything goes into the pot at one time and with occasional stirring, you have a beautiful dessert.

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Creamy Rice Pudding

Serves 4
  • 1/4 cup short grain rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 TBSP cream
  • 1-2 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP sugar (add more to your preferred level of sweetness)
  • Optional toppings: whipped cream, nuts or fruit

Preparation:

In a medium pot combine all of the ingredients together and stir.

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Place the pot over medium heat, slightly covered and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that it does not stick.

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Remove from the heat and serve warm or pour it into a heat-safe bowl, covered with plastic wrap pressed against the rice pudding (to ensure that it does not form the layer of skin on top).

Serve cold if desired with whipped cream, nuts or fruit.

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Note: Depending on the consistency that you like your rice pudding, you may want to add more milk and/or cream. I always like to add extra but it’s totally about personal preference. Enjoy it as you wish!

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Bon Appetit!

Donauwelle: A Traditional German Sheet Cake with Fresh Cherries, German Buttercream & a Chocolate Topping

A modern twist on the traditional German sheet cake, with layers of chocolate cake, vanilla cake, fresh cherries, German buttercream and topped off with a chocolate topping.

Although from the sounds of the ingredients, it may seem that you have heard of this cake before or it may seem similar to the Black Forest Cake. But in as many ways as it is similar it is also unique.

The cake batter is essential comprised of a chocolate cake layer and a vanilla cake layer but when the cherries are placed on top, they fall into the cake as it bakes thus creating a wavy cake on the inside.

Topped with a decadent German buttercream and a chocolate glaze (that gets better with time) it is a treat that is easy to serve to friends or enjoy for a special occasion.

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Here’s the recipe:

Donauwelle

For the cake:

  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c sunflower oil (or an neutral oil)
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c thick strained yogurt (Greek or Suzme)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 c cocoa powder
  • 1.5 – 2 c pitted fresh sweet cherries
  • 2 TBSP butter (for greasing the pan)

For the German Buttercream:

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1/3 c corn starch
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 c softened butter

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190C & grease a small cake pan with butter.

For the cake: whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and then whisk again. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Alternating between the flour mixture and the strained yogurt, add them to the cake batter, while whisking well with each addition. Divide the cake batter in half and whisk in the cocoa powder into half of the cake. Starting with the chocolate cake batter, pour it into the cake pan. Then add the vanilla cake batter on top creating a nice even layer. Then layer the pitted cherries on top of the cake to completely cover the cake in neat rows. Bake the cake for approximately 40 minutes and allow to cool.

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To make the German buttercream: Heat the milk in a medium saucepan just until hot, but not boiling. In the meantime, whisk together the eggs, cornstarch and sugar until smooth and well incorporated. Temper the egg mixture by slowly adding the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until completely combined. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until it thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Then pour the mixture onto a plate, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the cream. Chill for a couple of hours to overnight.

Once cooled, whisk the softened butter in a large bowl and then whisk in the pastry cream mixture into the butter until completely combined.

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Top the cake with a thick layer of the German buttercream and spread it evenly over the cake (Note: you might have some left over).

To prepare the Chocolate glaze: melt the chocolate over a double boiler until it is melted. Stir in the oil and set aside for about 5 minutes.

Once the chocolate has slightly cooled, pour it over the German pastry cream.

Then using a fork or a butter knife, create the waves on top of the cake allowing some of the pastry cream to be shown through the chocolate.

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Serve immediately or pop it in the fridge for a special treat for later.

Guten Appetit!

Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)

A flaky, thin, buttery crust filled with apples, cinnamon sugar and raisins! An Austrian delightful recipe!

I don’t know what there is not to love about apple strudel. It is so delicious and although the dough is an essential formula to this recipe, the dough does not steal the show away from the natural delciousness of the apples.

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Here’s the recipe:

Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel) 

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 2 TBSP melted butter (or any neutral oil) + 1 tsp for oiling the bowl
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 2-2.5 c sliced apples (I used Golden Delicious)
  • 1/3 c raisins
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon’

For topping the strudel:

  • 2 TBSP melted butter

Preparation:

To prepare the dough: Mix together the egg, oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Then add the flour and the salt and stir well until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes until the dough is smooth. Grease a bowl with butter or oil and then place the ball of dough in the bowl, cover with a damp dish towel and allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours.

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To roll out the dough: Cover a large countertop or table with a clean tablecloth. Dust with flour and roll out the dough into a very thin rectangular piece. The dough should be thin enough for you to see your hand through it and it will be very, very delicate.

To make the filling: Mix together the apples, raisins, cinnamon and sugar.

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To assemble the strudel: Pile the filling in a line along one of the shorter sides of the dough leaving about 2-3 inches of space from the edge of the dough.

Lift up the edge of the dough to partially cover the filling and then using the tablecloth, lift it up so that the strudel naturally rolls up.

Once rolled, tuck the ends under each side and brush liberally with the melted butter.

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Carefully lift the strudel on to a baking sheet lined with parchment and lightly greased.

Bake the strudel in a pre-heated oven on 375F until the strudel is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and brush with a little extra butter (if you choose; I did).

Serve and Enjoy warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Absolutely divine!

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Guten Appetit!

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