Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sweets for the Sweet

PoshMama article for this week:

". . . there is something in me that will not succumb to the woeful state of calling Valentine's Day 'single awareness day,' or be sad that I don't have a valentine to cook heart-shaped waffles for. I guess it's hope that keeps me floating. I know I don't have to be sad because somewhere, there is someone who is dreaming of heart-shaped waffles as he puts on his red and white striped tie to go to work and makes the best of the Holiday of Love!"

Well said, Sar. I love my cousin's outlook on Valentine's Day because it IS the holiday of love and not just the holiday of significant others. Whether it's your S.O., your kids, your family or your friends, let them know you care. Oh gag, I'm starting to sound like a Hallmark card. Let's get to Valentine's Day treat-making business, shall we?

By the way, I think heart-shaped waffles are adorable, too, but save yourself the $50 and put a cookie cutter through a square one.

Speaking of cookie cutters and Valentine's Day treats, I love these cookie cutters at Sur La Table. I think what I love more is the painstaking effort someone took to decorate them. They're gorgeous!

Also at Sur La Table are single-serving, heart-shaped springform pans. They come in a set of six. How's that for portion control? :)

Always a favorite, and slightly less guilt-ridden is chocolate fondue. (C'mon, you're eating fruit!) You can pick up one of these cute little fondue pots at any retail store that sells kitchenware. I've definitely seen them at Target. For a quick, easy fondue, just melt a bag of chocolate chips and add a teaspoon of shortening for sheen. Then let them dip their little hearts out.

Or as a counterattack against the sweets your children will bring home from school, try making Healthy Hearts or Ladybugs on a Stick. The little ones will love them!

I've saved the best for last, though. I would be anyone's sweetheart if they brought me a pan of warm, gooey cinnamon rolls right out of the oven. I salivate at the mere thought.

What I like about this recipe is that a bread machine makes the dough for you! If you don't have a bread machine, I've added an alternate recipe at the bottom. I've tried both and they're fabulous! You could even color the icing pink to make them more Valentine-y.

However you decide to sweeten your holiday, I wish you lots of love,


Cinnamon Rolls a lá Bread Machine
Recipe courtesy of the book that came with my bread machine

2/3 c. warm milk
3 eggs
6 T butter, softened and cut into pieces
½ c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
4 c. flour
2/3 c. cornstarch
2 1/4 tsp yeast

¾ c. brown sugar
2 ½ T cinnamon
4 T melted butter

Add ingredients to bread machine in the order listed. Run dough cycle for a 1.5-2.0 lb loaf. (If you have the option, if not, that's fine.) When finished, roll out dough into two large rectangles, about ½ in thick. Brush melted butter and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over each. Roll up, slice, and place in prepared baking pan . Let rise for 35-40 min or until doubled in size. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min or until they sound hollow when tapped.

Let cool for a few minutes, then top with frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese
¼ c butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ c pwd sugar
1 T milk

Makes 20-24 rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls a lá Your Hands
Recipe courtesy of the aforementioned cousin, Sarah.

1 ¼ c. warm milk
4 T. butter
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 T yeast
½ c warm water
4 c. flour

¼ c. butter
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c brown sugar

Place yeast in warm water and let rest for 5 minutes. Combine all dough ingredients and knead about 20 times. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. (Perfect excuse to use a dough scraper!!) Roll out into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick and add filling. Roll up, slice, and place in prepared baking pan. Let rise again until doubled. Bake 10-12 min at 400

Makes 15-20 rolls.

See Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe above.


Team Chilton said...

I was totally craving cinnamon rolls the other day, and alas we had no yeast....so I resorted to a Bisquick version...sad sad imitation. I'm going to get some yeast and make the gooey delicious goodness you've been so kind to share!

Millertime said...

I am excited to try it. Thanks for all your fun recipes.

Mary said...

Happy Valentine's Day! I love you, Nat! I want you to know that, in the land of ruined sweets (that'd be Taiwan-- everything here tastes a little off) it wasn't Valentine's Day without the heart shaped sugar cookies. I have NO recipes here, but Alton Brown took care of me, and the other teachers got a little bit of lovin' this Valentine's Day. Sigh. :)

Sarah said...

Happy V-Day. Thanks for helping me feel published internationally. =)
And thank you so much for your cinnoman roll dough recipe. I'm definitly trying this. xoxoxo