Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (and an Ode to Thanksgiving Dinner)

Oh, Thanksgiving. How I love thee. Let me count the ways. Your juicy turkey goodness, your mouth-watering stuffing deliciousness, your sweet, buttery crescent rolls, your multiple kinds of potatoes and gravy. And pie. Oh goodness, the pie.
Seriously though, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days. This is the first year that we have ever done Thanksgiving without extended family or friends, with only the immediate family. And not even the whole immediate family at that. It doesn't lessen my thankfulness for each and every one of the wonderful people in my life though. Above all things, I am grateful for those I love and who love me, and make my life better every day.
Thank you.

This year, despite the much smaller crowd (only my parents, my sister, and me), we did the whole feast. Couldn't bear the thought of eliminating something. Probably could have made a little less of a couple things though. I'm going to be eating sweet potatoes for weeks (not a complaint, in case you were wondering). We had our celebration a day early, as my sister took a shift at her hospital on Thanksgiving day. The ER doesn't close for Thanksgiving, y'all. Here we are about to eat that glorious meal to celebrate all we are thankful for...

And pie. 

And more pie.

I didn't even get a picture of the turkey. But I can say that it was delicious, and that is what matters.

Today I got up and made cinnamon rolls. Because we needed something else to eat. Ha.
I recently stumbled across these Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls on Pinterest. Darla from Bakingdom (a goddess to whom I bow) posted them on her blog last year. As soon as I was done drooling over them, I bookmarked them for Thanksgiving morning. Actual Thanksgiving, as it turns out, because yesterday I was busy rubbing butter all over a turkey in the morning.
Turns out they really were super easy, and I totally could have made them on actual Thanksgiving morning.

They turned out amazing, and one consumer (my mother, who has been known to say nice things about me, and who might be a little biased) said "These might be one of the best things I have ever eaten. Like, ever. In my life." She likes cinnamon rolls. She is a bit of a dessert pastry connoisseur, actually. So that's awesome.

Anyhow, make 'em. you won't regret it. No-one will. They don't take long, and you might not eat anything else ever again. Until you make a leftover turkey sandwich. With gravy.

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!!


Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

by Darla from Bakingdom



3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar (I used about 2 1/2, but 3 would be fine)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons milk


First, make the filling. Mix the sugars, pecans, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir together with a fork (or your fingers, if that's how you roll) until the mixture is combined. Set this aside.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush a 9-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.

For the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. You could use your mixer, but it's just as easy to use a good old fashioned wooden spoon here. Add the buttermilk, maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and stir until combined. When it starts to come together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until it is smooth. It might remain kinda sticky, but that's OK.
Chill the dough in a covered, lightly floured bowl for 20 minutes.

After chilling, roll the dough onto a floured surface, making a roughly 8x12 inch rectangle (this isn't geometry class it doesn't have to be perfect). Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter onto the dough and spread it across the surface with your fingers (you could use a brush, but who doesn't love to smoosh melted butter around with your fingers?). Pour the filling onto the dough and spread it out, leaving about 1/2 inch space around the edges. Press the filling into the surface of the dough. Try not to lick your fingers every 12 seconds.

Roll the dough (from the long side) into a tight log, and pinch the seam closed (leave the seam facing down to cut...). Cut gently into 8 pieces and lay each piece in the cake pan. Brush the rolls with the last 2 tablespoons of melted butter and bake in the 425° oven for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be golden brown. If the tops start to get too dark, you can use a foil tent for the last few minutes.

For the icing, cream the butter in a small bowl. Add the sugar and mix until they start to combine. Add the syrup and mix until smooth. If it is too thick, add the milk little by little until you reach the desired consistency. It should be pourable, but not thin and watery.

Allow the rolls to cool for about 5 minutes before icing. You can leave the rolls in the pan, or move them to a plate to ice. Totally up to you.
Pour the icing over the warm rolls and serve immediately (that sounded urgent, but I guarantee you won't need me to tell you. Really though, eat them warm, it's the best way).

Enjoy! Be Thankful!