My suitemates and I have a tradition of making each other Pillsbury dough boy cinnamon rolls from the can for our birthdays or other special occasions. They are so easy to make, already pre-cut into perfect circles. All you have to do is pop them in the oven and spread the prepackaged icing over them. So gooey and fluffy.
I’ve always wanted to make them on my own but thought it would be too time-consuming. Well I finally got to it and it does take a bit of time, but it is worth it!!! And these are way healthier so that’s an extra plus. Believe it or not, I didn’t make them healthy on purpose. It happened because our house ran out of all-purpose flour, so I had to use whole wheat flour instead. I was scared the buns would be rock hard when I baked them but they turned out fine. They could definitely have been fluffier, which is why I would recommend using half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.
The best part is that you don’t have to wake up really early to make them. You can just prepare the rolls the day before, leave them in the fridge overnight, and then all you have to do is put them in the oven the following morning. Easy peasy 😀
WHOLE WHEAT CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS
1 cup milk, warmed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour (half all-purpose, half whole wheat mixed together)
Filling and Icing
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
6 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
Combine warm milk, butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand 2 min until yeast softens. With the bread hook attachment stir in the egg, salt and 3 cups of the flour mixture. Mix well, then add remaining flour and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl edges, about 5 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl, turning to coat all sides of ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a very warm place until doubled in size, about 3 hr. (I put the dough in a microwave with a large bowl of hot water).
Make filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon and chocolate. Butter two 8-by-8-inch pans and set aside.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 14-by-24-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Spread with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture. Starting with one long end, roll dough tightly to form a long spiral. Pinch the seam together. Cut into 18 slices, about 1¼ inch thick each, and place 9 in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning remove rolls from refrigerator and bring to room temperature in a warm place, 1 hr.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F and bake until rolls are golden and cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let rolls cool slightly and then frost them with icing.
Vanilla icing: Whisk confectioners’ sugar with 1 melted butter, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. (Makes 1 cup).
NOTE: If you make and bake them on the same day, don’t refrigerate after rolling; just let the rolls rise a second time before baking.
adapted from Bakerella
I don’t think Autumn gets as much credit as it deserves. Watching all the trees turn colors day by day while walking through campus is incredible. Even though the weather is getting chillier, the scenery is spectacular and for a moment, distracts me from the impending colder, darker days. There’s this one particular tree that I frequently pass by that is bright red; it’s color is so intense it’s hard to look away.
The Greek Yogurt Pancakes from a couple weeks back were such a big hit that I had to make pancakes again! This time I used up the rest of my can of pumpkin puree for a little bit of fall flavor (and color). These pancakes are fluffy and delicious, while also requiring very little effort.
Pancakes aren’t exactly the healthiest breakfast, but I made them healthier by substituting some of the flour with whole wheat flour. The texture is a bit rougher but I like it! Feel free to add some chopped nuts like I did.
EASY PUMPKIN PANCAKES
(makes about 6)
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil.
In another large bowl, stir the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice mix and salt until well blended.
Slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just blended; try not to over mix the batter.
Heat a pan over low-medium heat. Add about a ¼ cup of batter for one pancake onto the griddle. Brown on both sides and serve hot with maple syrup.
Food trucks are awesome because they are usually fast, cheap, and convenient. Earlier this week, several food trucks came to our school to serve food at a carnival-like event we had for the freshmen. My friends and I all happened to order the same sandwich, an avocado and bacon grilled cheese. Although the wait was exceedingly long, the sandwich was absolutely delicious. Putting avocados in a grilled cheese sandwich…ingenious.
I made a much healthier variation of that amazing grilled cheese sandwich by replacing the bacon with tomatoes and using whole wheat bread. It tasted even better! It was less salty (because there was no bacon) and the tomatoes gave it a burst of freshness. The way the melted cheese and avocado blend together is an unparalleled combination.
I made the sandwich using a pan, which heated the sandwich perfectly so that the outer bread layers were well toasted and the cheese was just melted. The heat didn’t get to the avocado or tomato so they still tasted fresh and uncooked. This sandwich takes only 10-15 minutes to make in total so it is definitely a great option for making lunch in the dorms!
AVOCADO AND TOMATO GRILLED CHEESE
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tsp olive oil
2 slices American cheese
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
Brush olive oil on one side of each slice of bread.
Lay oiled side of a slice of bread face down. Layer cheese, tomato, avocado, cheese, and other slice of bread with oiled side up.
Heat pan to medium heat and place sandwich on it. After 2 minutes, flip it over and wait another 2 minutes. The bread should be toasted brown and the cheese should be melted when it is done.