Category: B’s Kitchen

Back to Biscuit Baking – Day 20

Yesterday, I baked again. It felt glorious.

No, I didn’t break my sugar fast (although the banana coconut cream pie at the birthday party last night almost did me in). But yesterday morning, I broke out the sterling silver measuring cups. I got down the powdery white flour. I cut in some cold butter. I soured the milk for buttermilk. I made homemade, hot-from-the-oven biscuits.

They. Were. Glorious.

If you’re ever looking for a good biscuit recipe, we use the Minimalist Baker’s “Best Damn Vegan Biscuits.” We don’t make them 100% vegan – we use real butter – but it doesn’t impact the taste. These puppies are goooood.

As I was taking a few turns around the mixing bowl, I began to realize I missed baking a lot. I hung up my apron 20 days ago (since my favorite thing to bake is chocolate chip cookies). But a few dry ingredients forming a sticky dough quickly reignited my love. Fortunately, the recipe didn’t call for any sugar! Score!

As I was mixing, another moment from the weekend came to mind. Saturday morning we watched my daughter’s acting class perform their exercises for the parents. One game they played was designed to teach improv; each time a student suggested something to act out, they all responded in unison, “Yes, Let’s!”

It got me thinking… yes… what a powerful word.

Continue reading

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

There it was, sitting in the corner creaming butter and sugars together. A quiet hum from its motor filled my kitchen as the white paddle went round and round the metal bowl. As I stared at the red Kitchen Aid mixer, my stress level dropped. I took a much-needed exhale.

Hope filled my heart as I embarked on a new recipe – one guaranteed to be “the best chocolate chip cookie” my friend had EVER MADE. I was counting on her Facebook post to not let me down.

Step by step, I followed the recipe exactly. I even leveled the flour before pouring it in, and broke the eggs in a separate container – not over the bowl. Baking is good for rule-following girls like me who’s hearts can’t help but want to follow directions. And in the end, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was delighted. I’d just made one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’d ever eaten. My friend was right. They were really good.

favorite-chocolate-chip-cookies

Since that day, I’ve baked hundreds of dozens of cookies with the recipe. They cheer me up when I feel down. They helped send my friend to Nicaragua. So for National Cookie Day and in the spirit of Christmas, I felt it was only right to share it with you.

Don’t get me wrong – I almost held off. I mean if we’re honest, don’t we all want to keep the things we think set us apart and make us feel special all to ourselves?

But, it’s more important to me that others enjoy this deliciousness over and over. Plus, these aren’t my recipes to begin with, I’m one of the many bakers who’s made this recipe a part of my baking tradition.

So in the spirit of sharing, here’s my crowd-pleasing, go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Learning How To Cinnamon Roll With It

Guys, I did it. I mastered the cinnamon roll.

I’ve been trying to find a good recipe for several years. I’ve made many less-than-great attempts. But last weekend, it all came together. Here’s what happened.

cinnamon-roll-dough

Yeast

First, it took facing my fear of yeast.

Something about those powerful little granules make my armpits sweat – which isn’t good when you’re baking. Yeast really intimidates me. It’s delicate and sensitive, yet critical for a good batch of dough.

It’s taken me awhile to learn the difference between “too hot” and “not hot enough” water. I learned the hard way after several recipes falling (literally) flat because I either burned the yeast or didn’t add enough.

But last week, I got it. (Much in part to a $3 candy thermometer from Hy-Vee). The dough rose! Well, sort of.

cinnamon-roll-filling

Temperature

Although I faced my fear of yeast, I was not out of the woods. The other hurdle to overcome was temperature. This one almost ruined the day.

I pre-made the dough right before going to bed to give it time to double in size. When I woke up at 6:30 am the next morning, the dough had barely changed.

Grrrrrrrr.

I’d originally put the dough in the oven since it wasn’t drafty, however a cold front came in and the oven wasn’t warm enough. So, early in the morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand, I quickly pivoted. I turned the oven on very low heat and put the bowl in there.

And… the dough eventually rose! It wasn’t in the time I’d hoped (we ended up missing church over this ordeal). But it taught me a good lesson on temperature – sometimes to transform you’ve got to let things heat up.

Mae-helping-bake-rolls

Roll With It

When the first batch of dough didn’t go as planned, I got afraid I’d totally messed it up. So I whipped up a second batch of dough. I was determined to master the cinnamon roll. (Can you tell I’m an enneagram 1?)

After several hours, I had two bowls of perfectly good sweet roll dough on my hands. So what did I do? I made two different types of rolls, of course.

Half of the household loves fruity, jam-filled treats while the other half likes things straight-up sugary sweet. With a morning off track anyway, we re-arranged the day and everybody got the type of treat they desired. I added Orange-Glazed Sweet Rolls to the docket.

And what’s even sweeter? At one point, Mae even wanted to help me bake (which of course makes my heart sing).

Although my plans didn’t unfold like I originally hoped, things turned out better than I imagined. I had to roll with it (and the pun is totally intended).

danielle-burgess-sweet-rolls

Delish

In the end, both the cinnamon rolls and orange sweet rolls turned out great. (Anything with several sticks of butter and cups of sugar has a pretty good shot.) Baking took way more time than I originally planned. But along the way, I began to enjoy and appreciate the process and not just the end result.

And that’s why I find so much joy in it.

Not to mention the fact I felt accomplished and appreciated. It felt awesome to put two types of sweet rolls before a hungry crew that waited patiently as they smelled sugary goodness baking all morning.  Their eyes light up as they dove in and smiles spread across their faces.

I will definitely be making them again.

Corner-of-monroe-gang-cinnamon-rolls

What Recipes Did I Use!?

I’ve tried many attempts at cinnamon rolls but these are a winner. Big thanks to Anjee who I work with – she tipped me off to this recipe. Here’s a website not only with the recipes for the cinnamon & orange rolls – but many other varieties too!

Southern Sweet Rolls

If you have another favorite cinnamon roll recipe you recommend, let’s hear it!